CECILIA BARTOLI IN VERSAILLES

This morning we experienced a little bit of the triumph of good over evil. Today, the Lord’s Day, July 22, 2018, would also be the Feast of St. Mary Magdeline. However, her annual feast day is trumped by Our Lord’s Day, this beautiful summer Sunday. After a “tornado” hit our peaceful home with a threatening letter from our local fire department, telling us that we had a matter of a week or so to transform our quarter acre, cutting all branches from all our trees six feet from the ground, among other things. If we failed to pass the second inspection, we would be given a sizable fine. If we ignored the threatening notice, a lien would be taken out on our property. Two homeowners, one in San Diego and the other in Oakland, California have already lost their homes!!!
So, this morning, around 8:30 a.m., Jose, Michael, and their crew arrived to transform our garden as required by the fire abatement regulations of our local fire department. Thank God, my husband read the mail the day the notice arrived, as the deadline is threatening. Just as the powerful chopper was fired up and the lower branches from all of our trees were being fed into the chopper, suddenly the fabulous voice of Cecilia Bartoli came ringing into my ears as she sang IN CONCERT on EWTN in the Palace of Versailles, music composed by the 17th century Italian priest, composer, and diplomat, Fr. Agostino Steffani.
This music can be heard on the new album, “Mission”. The fabulous music played and sung in the gorgeous setting of Versailles included a period-instrument orchestra, I Barrocchiste, with a lute, tambourines, Baroque guitar, organ, harpsicord, and chorus.
Fr. Agostino Steffani was born on my grandson’s birthday, July 25th in the year, 1654 in Castelfranco Veneto. He had a wonderful voice and was admitted into the chorister at San Marco’s in Venice at an early age. Although he was an Italian, he spent most of his life in Germany. He wrote 15 operas and 75 chamber duets.
Count Georg Ignaz von Tattenbach took him to Munich and his education was paid for by Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria. In 1673, he was sent to Rome to study. There he composed six motets. In 1674, he returned to Munich and published his first work. He was appointed court organist and was ordained as a priest with the title of the Abbote of Lepsing. Elector Maximillian Emanuel appointed him as Kapellmeister of the Court of Hanover where he became friends with the future Queen of Prussia. In 1710, he showed great kindness to Handel.
Pope Innocent XI made him a bishop of what is now modern day Biga in Turkey. He served as Vicor Apostolic of Upper and Lower Saxony. In 1698, he was sent as the ambassador to Brussels. Then, at Dusseldorf, he held the offices of privy councillor and protonotary of the Holy See. He composed several more scores under a pen name.
The Academy of Ancient Music elected him its honorary president. The British museum possesses more than a hundred cantatas he composed for two voices, accompanied by a figured bass. The scores of his compositions are preserved in Buckingham Palace. He was sent as an ambassador to various German courts. He met, for the last time, Handel, in Italy in 1727. He returned to Hanover and died in 1728 on February 12th, while on diplomatic business in Frankfurt.
Cecilia Bartoli, who sang his compositions this morning on EWTN from the Palace of Versailles, can be heard and seen on You-Tube, where she is given an extensive interview, along with recordings of a voice lesson by her mother, and finally, a recording where she sings with my all-time favorite opera star.
So, as I smelled the fragrance of the redwood, bay, birch, apple, pear, and pine tree branches being chopped in the powerful, loud chopper beneath my bedroom window, I listened and watched Cecilia Bartoli’s lilting voice in the elegant setting of Versailles. God is good. Her Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end. Light over darkness; good over evil. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
God bless you all.
Yesterday, about the time the mini-“tornado” was beginning to subside, a package was delivered to our door. Inside was a lovely leather edition of The Vatican II Weekday Missal by the Daughters of St. Paul. My used copy was falling apart, and my gracious husband found this beautiful out-of-print volume in beautiful leather on Amazon. I opened the book to page 1114 and 1115 for the First Reading from the book of the prophet Micah, year II on the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time, which stated in part: “Woe to those who plan iniquity, and work out evil on their couches, In the morning light they accomplish it when it lies within their power. They covet fields, and seize them, houses, and they take them; They cheat an owner of his house, a man of his inheritance……..”
Thank you, Jesus. I prayed to St. Anthony, James made a search on google, made a couple of phone calls, and Jose and Michael came to the rescue. I topped off the Sabbath morning with several Country French crepes for the two of us. God is good. All is well. The threatened disaster has been vanquished. Thank you, Jesus.

Advertisements

BORN AGAIN AND AGAIN

This little Iowa farm girl, turned wide-eyed and ecstatic, seeing the beauty of San Francisco in June,1960, when she arrived with her carpool from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa at the age of twenty. She, and all the carpool, had been involved in the video production of “West-Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein at the University. The drive and owner of the car had produced this musical video for his final project to earn his M.A. degree in radio and television. Bob, Mike, Deanne, and I were all dancers in the production.
I had come to California for the summer after my second year at college. Eventually, I had to make the big decision, to stay or not to stay. If I stayed, in The City I had fallen in love with, I would have to end my education at SUI, but realized I could resume it in California, if I worked two years in San Francisco, thus earning residency status, and a very reasonable tuition at San Francisco State. Within a short time, I made my decision and have called the San Francisco Bay Area home for 58 years, except for seven or eight years in Kansas and ten years in Nevada City, CA.
Having lost my faith due to sin and an atheistic professor of biology at San Francisco State, (where I earned a B.A. in humanities and speech in 1965 and a California Secondary teaching credential and a second major in English literature in 1967),I searched for God everywhere. In the ’60’s, San Francisco hosted every guru that landed here from India. I met almost all of them! I first began studying art privately with Barbara Briggs in Tiburon. Then, I enrolled in art classes at the College of Marin and studied with Marty Stoezel. Next, I studied drawing with Norman Steigelmeyer at the University of San Francisco Extension. Later, I joined Norman at the San Francisco Art Institute on Russian Hill where I earned a B.F.A. in painting in 1977 under the tutelage of Sam Tchikalian. One day, during my drawing class on Gough Street with Norman, I asked him how he had become so peaceful. He told me that he was a student of Suzuki Roshi, the founder of the Zen Center on Page Street. So, I walked up the stair steps leading up to brick Zen Center and spent the next two or three years attending the Saturday lectures by Roshi-Baker and sitting zazen. Eventually, I began to study Japanese tea ceremony with Okasan, the wife of Suzuki-Roshi.
Later, I began attending the lectures each Sunday for three years by a student of Sri Orobindo at the Ashram on Fulton Street. There I learned the importance of meditation. When I read “The Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda, I learned the importance of finding a guru.
Besides attending Grace Cathedral, the Episcopal Church on Nob Hill, when I lived in an apartment on Nob Hill, I attended several Protestant churches, and Temple Immanuel, the Reformed Jewsih Temple on Lake Street, all in search for the lost faith of my childhood.
In those days, the Tibetan Buddhist teachers were also visiting San Francisco regularly. I attended the Black Hat Ceremony with the Karmapa and cooked for the American students of Tibetan Buddhism when Kalu Rimpoche was in town. I did not miss the teachings of Katageri Roshi and visited him at his Zen Center in Minneapolis. Finally, after witnessing Trumpka Rimpoche three sheets to the wind, I gave up looking for a guru!!
The Tibetan Lama from Berkeley invited me to his exhibition of Tibetan tankas at Grace Cathedral. I was the gate-keeper and ticket taker. One night, we viewed “Shangrala”, the beautiful film about Tibet. I met a student of Gurdjieff. He handed me a slip of paper with a phone number and the name of Kadija. He said that my daughter might be interested in the summer Sufi camp. I carried that slip of paper in my billfold for two or three years. Finally, I called that number and registered for the Sufi camp in Mendocino in June of 1976. There I met Pir Vilayat Khan, head of the Sufi Order of the West, and son of Hazrat Inayat Khan, of India, and founder of the Sufi Movement. On June 18, 1976, I took initiation. The rest is history. I followed Pir around the world for the next twenty years, every three months flying to India five times, Surenes, France, outside Paris to his summer school, the Swiss and French Alps for the Zenith Camp in the summmer, New York City to attend his training for leaders at The Abode of the Message in New Lebonon,in upstate New York, to Florida, Arizona, and the Nevada desert for his winter camps, along with his summer camps in Nevada City, CA and Santa Barbara.
While living in Nevada City, CA, I had four radio shows on KVMR-fm, including “A Bowl of Saki” where I shared music and teachings from the religions of the world. One day, I aired a tape by Dr. Helen Caldacott, the pediatrician who had left her profession to spread information of the harm of a nuclear war, including not only the death of people, but the destruction of all of the arts of Western Civilization, including Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Shakespeare, etc., etc. I was horrified. I looked up at the control center of the radio station, seeing the red light ablaze. Somehow, I knew there was a Power even stronger than the nuclear bomb and my fear subsided.
I created a poster of the planet earth with a line drawn through it. and labeled it: “Nuclear Free Zone”, posting it all around the village of Nevada City, California.
Fast-forward to the summer of 1984. I returned to Mendocino for another Sufi camp with Pir. Ariel made the following announcement: “The women are invited to a Puja for The Mother at noon. I thought I was going to a Hindu religious ceremony for Mother Earth! Instead, when I reached the cathedral of redwood trees, we were asked to pray the rosary, something this fallen-away Protestant-Sufi did NOT know! But, I did my best to pray the rosary, IN TEARS, as I thought the world was threatened with a nuclear war and the destruction of all that I loved. Afterwards, Ariel said that she had a message from Our Lady for Tasnime and Ardvisura, a fallen-away Catholic-Sufi and me, as my Sufi name was Ardvisura.
The rest is history. I began attending daily mass. In 1995, we moved from my 18 acre farm in Kansas and landed in my Japan friend’s condo in Foster City adjacent to St. Luke’s Catholic Church. As James and I waited for our San-Tran Bus to travel to San Francisco where we both had jobs, I saw the priest outside the church in the early morning hours. I said to him, “When the school year is finished, I am going to begin attending daily mass.” So, I kept my word. The first free day after the school year ended was a Wednesday. I attended daily mass at St. Luke’s in the little chapel and stayed for the rosary. I overheard the rosary group say they were going to have breakfast at Carrow’s. So, I walked to Carrow’s and ordered a poached egg. Pat saw me at the table and said, “Didn’t I see you at St. Luke’s at mass and the rosary?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Why don’t you join us at our table?” So, I did and they invited me to Our Lady’s Prayer Group that meets every Wednesday night in San Bruno Catholic Church in San Bruno, California. I attended the prayer group where the Mother of God appears to two visionaries from El Salvadore. The next week, Deacon Paul sat next to me and heard me sing. He told me to join the choir. The rest is history. I was a member of Our Lady’s Prayer Group for the next 20 years, taking multiple pilgrimages with the visionaries to Medjugorje seven times, Paris, Lourdes, Fatima, and Poland.
Fast-forward 23 years. In the meantime, I spend all these years focusing on my conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. Then, on June 17, 2018, I was inspired to call my Sufi friend, Rev. Berthi in Pennsylvania hoping to catch her before she moves. I learned later that I had called her on the 14th anniversary of the death or Pir Vilayat Khan, his urz. Subsequently, I was inspired to take a Sufi retreat and wrote Aziza Scott, the only person who was able to translate Pir’s esoteric teachings during his retreats. I asked her when she would be giving her next retreat in California. I learned that her next retreat is in all places, Nevada City, California, where I spent ten years running a Sufi Center!
So now, I have dusted off my Sufi library, my Zen and Tibetan Buddhist library, and discovered a little diary of Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil, documenting apparitions she received from Our Lord and Our Lady from 1954-1981, while Mildred was residing in Fostoria, Ohio, USA. The title of the Diary is “Our Lady of America”. In the final message, Our Lady warns the world, through Mildred, about the threat of a nuclear war. For more information, write Our Lady of America Devotion, P.O. Box 264, Lodi, Ohio, 44254 or on line at Our Lady of America.
May God, in His great mercy, bless, protect, and guide us all to peace on earth, good will to all men. Amen.

A LIVING, UNCANONIZED SAINT

Who is this living, uncanonized saint? Her name is Reverend Berthi. She was born in Holland. Both of her parents were also saintly. They were fervent members of the Dutch Reformed Church. During World War II, Berthi sufffered physically from lack of proper nutrition. She married and gave birth to a son and a daughter. She lived in the United States and became a registered nurse.
Her parent immigrated to the U.S. and helped to establish a retreat center in the mountains in Pennsylvania. She entered the ph.d program in theology at Princeton University and became a Presbyterian minister.
I met Berthi in Bennington, Vermont, at an ecumenical symposium which featured teachers from the religions of the world. I invited her to the Abode of the Message in Upstate New York in order to meet Pir Vilayat Khan. They were introduced and Berthi eventually took initiation into the Sufi Order of the West. We both joined Pir on one of his annual pilgrimages to India to celebrate the urz, (death anniversary), of his father, Hazrat Inayat Khan). We met again in Suresness, France, outside Paris.
During a visit across the street from Fazil Manzel, the home of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Berthi met the head of the foundation that held the archives of all the original teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. A profound link was made between Berthi and the head of the archives. Arrangements were established whereby Rev. Berthi became an employee of the foundation. Maintaining her residency in Pennsylvania, she began to live in Suresnes part-time in order to translate the words of Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan that had been recorded in shorthand Dutch during his talks in the 1920’s. Eventually, a series of volumes of his talks were published with multiple footnotes documenting various translations of his words. Each year, Rev. Berthi would travel to France to continue this task. Now, finally, her work at the foundation has been completed and she has retired.
Through these years, beginning in perhaps the late ’70’s, I have considered Berthi as my most beloved friend. I met her holy parents in their little cottage in the woods in the Pocano Mountains. Her father was born on my birthday. He fed the birds outside their cottage and sang hymns. Berthi’s mother was very gentle and sweet. Berthi took care of her until the end of her life on earth. On the walls of the little cabin hung a beautiful oil painting by a family member.
One February, after returning from India on a buying trip for my Oriental art and antique shop in Nevada City, California, I met Berthi in New York City where we attended a science and spirituality conference with Pir vilayat and other teachers and scientists. Berthi rescued me from an unholy relationship and offered me hospitality at her home. Later, she met me in New York City when I returned from India very sick with Guillian Barre Syndrome, caring for me until I was strong enough to fly home to Iowa and eventually to San Francisoc.
She had an icon waiting for me at the church the day I married James, my beloved husband, on the south shore of Clear Lake, Iowa. She never misses calling me for my birthday which I share with her beloved father.
May God, in His great mercy, continue to anoint, bless, protect, and heal my most beloved friend, Reverend Berthi.

JOAN OF ARC – A LIFE TRANSIGURED

Last night, I finished reading “Joan of Arc – A Life Transfigured” by Kathryn Harrison. Yes, I had loved St. Joan of Arc since the days of yore when I was a Sufi. On my first trip to Paris, her beautiful statue stood in front of our hotel in the courtyard. Yes, I traveled to Rouen and visited the Cathedral painted by Monet when I was a young bride. Much later, I returned to Rouen as a convert and visited the church built in her honor next to the site of her martyrdom. Yes, I loved St. Joan of Arc, always, but it wasn’t until I read the book of her life that I came to know and love her even more.

She was born in January in the year 1412 in the French village of Domremy. In the summer of 1424, Joan first received a voice from God to help and guide her. In 1425, her hometown was raided by the Burgundians. Her family had to flee to Neufchateau. In July, 1428, the Burgundians forces raided Domremy for the second time. In October, the English lay siege to Orleans. In February, 1429, she began wearing male clothing and met with Duke Charles of Lorraine. In March, she met the dauphin Charles. In April, the citizens of Orleans welcomed the Maid into their city. On May 4th, Joan led her army to victory.
On May 7th, she was wounded. On May 8th, the siege of Orleans was lifted. On July 17th, Charles was anointed King of France in Reims, (which I visited on my first trip to France, not visiting the cathedral as it was being refurbished.) On September 8th, Joan was wounded for the second time, this time on the thigh that was pierced by a crossbow. In April, 1430, Joan, according to witnesses, raised an infant from the dead. In May, 1430, Joan was captured at Compiegne. In an attempt to escape, Joan lept from a 70 foot tower at Beaurevoir! On December 23, 1430, she arrived in Rouen. The trial of condemnation began on January 9, 1431. Joan became seriously sick after eating a fish sent to her by Cauchon. The inquisitors drew up twelve articles of condemnation against her. On May 30th, she was burned at stake at the old marketplace in Rouen. On April 18, 1909, she was beatified. On May 16,1920, Joan of Arc was canonized.

Read the book; it will inspire and awaken you! St. Joan, pray for us.

Contemplative Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition

After twenty year with a Sufi mystic, living in a Korean zen center in Lawrence, Kansas, and close to twenty years with the secular Carmelites, Discalced, one would hope to integrate within oneself, these years and years with the three spiritual disciplines. Monday, I experienced the Gregorian Chant mode on the Rife machine in my weekly light therapy. This led me to a three hour recording of Gregorian Chant from the Benedictine Monastery in France founded by St. Martin. After twenty years with my Sufi teacher, filled with the most inspiring music on the planet, it is truly time to return to the Gregorian Chants that we deeply love each Christmas and Easter at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California.

So, this morning, with my headset on and the French Benedictine monks singing in my ears, I stumbled across a wonderful article by Eugene McCaffrey, ocd, on the ocarm.org website of the Order of Carmelites, the Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.  Quoting St. John of Cross, Eugene Mc Caffrey, ocd writes, “No matter how much you think you are searching for God, He is searching for you much more.”  There is no setting out on the contemplative journey, unless the soul is in the beautiful Spanish phrase, enamores inflamada, “enkindled with love and yearning.” Contemplation may be “an inflow of God’s love into the heart.”  Embrace the darkness:  “the night has eyes”. The soul in darkness is being renewed and transfigured.  (Trust and surrender!)

According to St. John Paul II, we are also in a dark night of the world. “the dark night refers to a phase of the individual spiritual journey and also a collective character, bearing on all life.” especially for an age all too painfully aware of the silence or absence of God, i.e. the dark night of the world.”

“St. John of the Cross does not try to give a speculative answer to the appalling problem of suffering but sifts out something of the marvelous transformation which God effects in darkness.” St. John Paul II,  [Master in the Faith: Apostolic Letter of John Paul II, December 14, 1990.]

Meditation, John of the Cross calls “the sweet idleness of contemplation.”  “One act of pure love is of more value to the whole world than all other acts put together.”  “Compassion is the first fruit of contemplation.” Eugene Mc Gaffrey, ocd

St, Therese of Lisieux. on the day she died said, “I have never sought anything but truth.”  A Sufi mystic said, ” I am what I do. I do what I am.”  St. John of the Cross wrote, “Even as a ladder has steps that we may go up, it has them also that we may go down.  Of such is the nature of secret contemplation. For on this path the way down is the way up and the way up is the way down.”

[It is both personal and universal.] “When we truly find our own centre, we find the “still point” of the turning world. This is the greatest gift the contemplative can give to the world:  to see clearly and to share that vision with others.” Eugene Mc Caffrey, ocd

“Contemplative prayer in the Carmelite tradition embraces the dark night and the living flame, the spiritual canicle and the ascent of Mount Carmel. Presence and absence, joy and pain, discovery and bewilderment, they are all there, a dark mystery full of light, a way of paradox and seeming contradiction, not afraid and opening new horizons for the future.”

“It was all these things for John of the Cross, poet, mystic, and contemplative.  The totality of his experience erupted in a transforming vision of the world redeemed by Christ – the longing of every human heart, the cry of the restless spirit, and creation itself, all gathered  into a unity of purpose and harnessed into an energy of love as he cried out:  “Mine are the heavens and mine the earth.  Mine are the nations; the just are mine and mine the sinners.  The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine, and God himself is mine and for me.  What then do you ask for and seek, my soul?  Ours is all this, and all is for you.” St. John of the Cross, “Prayer of a Soul Enkindled with Love”, Sayings of Light and Love.

So, let St. John of the Cross say the last word. God bless you, each and every one. Let us unite in pray to our God of love with the music of the Benedictine monks ringing in our ears as they chant the liturgy of the hours this morning in France. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SSource: Contemplative Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition

TORTURED FOR CHRIST by Richard Wurmbrand

Although the book, Tortured for Christ, was first published in 1967, I only read it this week. the author, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who lived from 1909 to 2001, was an evangelical minister who was imprisoned and tortured for fourteen years in Communist Romania. In 1945, the Communist took control of Romania. They attempted to control the churches. Richard Wurmbrand began an underground ministry. He and his wife, Sabina, were arrested in 1948. He spent three years in solitary confinement. Later, he was transferred to a group cell where he was tortured for five more years. After eight and one half years in prison, he was released and immediately resumed his work with the Underground Church. In 1959, he was re-arrested and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. He was released in a general amnesty in 1964. Norway negotiated with the Communist authorities and he was released from Romania. As a political prisoner, he was sold for $10,000. After his freedom, he founded the Christian mission, The Voice of the Martyrs. More information is available at http://www.persecution.com

The 31st Annual Catholic Charismatic Convention

The 31st Annual Catholic Charismatic Convention in Santa Clara, CA, May 25-27, 2018
Friday, May 25th, the opening day of the Charismatic Convention, Our Lady said the following words to Marija, a visionary in Medjugorje: “…….Open your hearts to the gifts which He desires to give you…..” Yes, our hearts where opened and many gifts were received at this awesome, spirit-filled convention! Words of knowledge during the masses echoed Our Lady’s message! The Lord wanted to fill us with His gifts and blessings through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.
The event began with a pleasant miracle. We arrived at the Hyatt Regency around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The parking lots were jammed, what with Great America next door, Memorial Day weekend, graduation events, and the Charismatic Renewal Convention.. There were long lines waiting to get into the underground and overhead garage. Suddenly, after not knowing what to do and saying a short prayer, someone backed their car out of a parking space directly across from the lobby!
Father Jaya-Babu Nuthulapati, C.PP.S., was the first speaker in the main arena. I told my friends at lunch the following day that I knew Fr. Jaya-Babu before he was famous. I heard him offer up a prayer at a regional Legion of Mary meeting at St. Edward’s, when he was the new parochial vicar. I asked him to bless me or pray over me. The rest is history. Now, he is the Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for the Diocese of Oakland, appointed by the bishop in 2014. In 2015, we was appointed pastor of St. Edward’s parish in Newark, CA. He was appointed as a “Missionary of Mercy” by Pope Francis in the Year of Mercy.
The title of Father Jaya-Babu’s talk was “How do we Know the Will of God?” He said that God has made a covenant with man, based on faith. God has written His love in our hearts. God has written an indivisible mark on our hearts at the time of our baptism. “You are my people; I am your God.” We are to become priests, prophets, and kings. Our sins will be forgiven and He will not remember them!
Then, Father Jaya-Babu quoted Pope Francis saying, “Receive the Eternal Spring”, ( the Eternal Primavera.) God’s mercy will never end! “Go into the whole world ……those who believe will be saved.” We receive the Holy Spirit. What is the will of God? God said to Jacob, I am going to make you a New Israel. We must have the courage to rise and shine. God can make me strong like Jacob and Peter. The Prodical Son looked into himself, i.e. introspection. He said, Forgive me Father, I have sinned against you, the Father.
Pope Francis sent this e-mail to Fr. Jaya-Babu: “Mercy never ends.” We need to listen to the Master’s voice…….without electronic gagets! Open your heart to the Lord every time you open your aps. An obstacle to know the will of God is our material goods. “Do not store up treasures on earth.” Simplicity leads to humility. Note the example of St. Padre Pio and St. Francis. Jesus goes up to the mountain or out to the desert to hear the will of God. We need to practice introspection to discern the will of God. Avoid distractions like t.v. and smart phones. Empty yourself for ten minutes each morning.
In eighth grade, Fr. Jaya-Babu felt God’s call. Father Jay said that he can still feel the call of God. For eight years, Father Jaya-Babu outstretched his arms in full prostration every day praying, “Thy will be done.” Then, in one day, he was accepted into the seminary, and he went to Bangalore. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I am in God’s hands.
__________________________________________________________________________________
The next speaker was Sr. Linda Koontz, SNJM, who lives in El Paso, Texas where she ministers to the poor in Juarez, Mexico. She called down the Holy Spirit in a moving speech, urging us to be open to His gifts and to share them.
__________________________________________________________________________________ The next speaker that I heard was Rev. Gary Thomas, the pastor of Sacred Heart Church and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose. He spoke of the Seven Deadly Sins. The first deadly sin is pride, which involves undue self-esteem setting us in competition with God. Pride is a case of entitlement, blindness, and a lack of humility. Pride does not create community nor bring harmony. Instead of pride, think about what one says and how one acts. “Follow the way of love….” Eph 4. The perfume is mercy and forgiveness comes down from the cross when we go to confession. Humility is the antidote of pride.
The second deadly sin is greed, an excessive desire to want more than is your share. (Fr. Gary Thomas grew up at All Souls in South San Francisco.) The difference between needs and wants is how we recognize greed. The antidote for greed is charity.
The third deadly sin is envy, the resentment of another’s good fortune. You can admire someone’s good fortune. That’s okay. After Satan rebelled, one third of all the angels fell. Christmas is really the rebirth of the human race. The Cross of Jesus makes it possible for us to attain heaven.
The fourth deadly sin is anger, rath, rage. It is the unbrittled emotion directed at another person. Our emotions can cloud over our reason. “Never hate your enemy; it clouds your reason,” as Fr. Gary Thomas quoted the God Father speaking to his nephew in a film. Cordelioni was quoting scripture!
The fifth deadly sin is lust, the appetite for sex. It creates an obsession. Lust for power, attention, to be the center of attention. We should desire a relationship, not just about sex. Lust is an appetite that depersonalizes another human being. We manipulate another person.
The sixth deadly sin is gluttony. Gluttony is the over-indulgence of food, of drink, or of work. It includes addictions, work-a-holic, internet, video games, texting, I-phones, etc. Sin is a disorder. God created order. Disorder was created by Adam and Eve metaphorically. Gluttony of seeking pleasure, always traveling for pleasure, and all excessiveness. “May God who has done the good work in you bring it to a conclusion.” Fr. Gary Thomas always prays this when someone comes up to communin with his arms crossed, (apparently not a member of the Roman Catholic Church). Confession keeps us honest. Scrupilocity is an over reation to sin and guilt. Guilt is a rudder that helps to steer the boat. Guilt is a by-product of our conscience.
The seventh deadly sin is sloth, or laziness. Sloth is a lack of appropriate ambition with goals and direction in life. A professional uses his gifts to the highest possible degree. Strive to be the very best one can be. (In my notes I wrote, “This man is brilliant!”) Sloth creates a disrespect of the needs of other people. It is carelessness and a lack of care. Mass is the practice of our faith. It is like the Golden Warriors shooting baskets at practice. We have to show up (at mass on Sundays!)
In summary, Fr. Gary Thomas reviewed the seven deadly sins and their corresponding antidotes. Then, he added an eighth deadly sin, i.e. paganism. Paganism puts other things ahead of God. Idols are put ahead of God in paganism. The occult and the New Age are perversions of a relationship with God. Occult practices are about knowledge and power. They are portals to evil influence. They alert the demonic world. The occult rejects the Cross and the Ressurrection. “I am God”, said Jesus. “I am God”, mimics Satan, the occult, and the New Age. Prayer is the antidote to paganism. Faith is so important. The antidote is based on free will.
Bishop Sam Jacobs, Bishop Emeritus of Houmma-Thibodaux, presided at the Holy Mass at 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The powerfully anointed mass was followed by the healing service. Relics from both St. John Paul II and St. Padre Pio were present, along with praying over by teams of prayer warriors.
——————————————————————————————————————-
Sunday morning, Fr. Jaya Babu Nathulapati, C.PP.S., spoke at 9:00 a.m. on “Growth and Transformation Through the Holy Spirit”. Sunday was Trinity Sunday. Mark 1:1 There is only one Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are four evangalist. The goal is to save humanity through God the Father, God, the Son and Redeemer, and God the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier. John 3. ” God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,” to save us. God the Father is the Blazing Sun. God the Son is the Light. God the Holy Spirit is the Fire, the substance. You are in a relationship with a significant other! You are in relationship with the Trinity, with God. “Remain in My love.” If you keep the commandments, We will come to you. The mission is invisable. It is made visable through us as His instruments for salvation.
John F. Kennedy was known as the best and the brightest. That was also true of Saul. He became jealous of Jesus. He wanted to kill Steven. We are the Body of Christ. Acts. 8. Jesus responded to the persecution of His body. Thus, He responded to Saul. He is the bright Light! “My Lord and my God!” St. Thomas said. Jesus goes to Ananeus and says, “Lay your hands on Saul.”
Have a retreat. Listen to Him. He listens to your heart. Your Wi-fi is Jesus! He’ll contact you in your heart. Go to a priest if you are sick. Ask him, “Can you pray over me?” Go on a retreat once a year. For ten minutes, keep silent! Connect wi-fi with the Holy Spirit! That’s my secret! Ten minutes to reboot. To make him, (Paul), the Apostle of the Gentiles. We need to be obedient and ssurrender to the Holy Spirit. Paul means small and humble. There are 1.8 billion Catholics.
The Kingdom of God is peace, joy, and truth. John 15. My word will sanctify you. Pray for your family. They do not listen to you but to the Holy Spirit. Surrender your children to the Lord. Have patience in the Holy Spirit.
——————————————————————————————————————-
Bishop Sam Jacobs spoke at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning on “The Role of Charismatic Laity”. He is the former chairman of the National Service Committee for Charismatic Renewal and is now Bishop Emeritus of Houma-Thibodaux. In 1967, at the retreat house outside Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, there was a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis said that each person needs to see oneself as a current of grace for the Church and in the Church, i.e. the grace of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This current is for all the Church. We are all servants of this current of the Church. Listen to the Holy Spirit where it blows. It is your duty to share it. This is your identity. A current is a continued flow as long as it is connected with the source. You are the switch! The power sosurce is the Holy Spirit. To be a current of grace, you need to be a current, an on-going growth, increasing your relationship with Jesus.
Continually renew your original myth-moment, i.e. the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We started the journey of love with Jesus. Return to your first love. Do not interrupt the work you have done. Christ will complete what He has begun. “Always carry the Word of God with you. ….always,” Pope Francis said. You have a call to grow in holiness. We must evangelize. Evangelization is the heart of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those who have been evangelized need to evangelize. 160 million Catholics have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. You need to make known to others your joy in the faith. “I pray that they may be one.” Be a witness to all Christians. This is spiritual ecuminism. Only the Spirit of God can give us unity. Only in the Holy Spirit can we understand the Gospel. We need to look at their hearts as we work with other Christians. Seek unity within the renewal. No in-fighting for power. That is not of the Lord, where ever division occurs.” Unity does not mean identical. Unity in diversity. Do not be afraid of differences,” Pope Francis. Become a part of the life of the Church. Be a leven to the parish. There was once a parish with no life and boring homilies. Thirty minutes before the masses, a group of people sat in various places within the pews praying silently the gift of tongues. It transformed the so called “dead” parish to an enlivened one. Be close to the poor. Please draw near to them. These were words of Pope Francis at the 50th anniversary in 2017 in Rome of the Charismatic Renewal. “It’s the Light of the Church!”
——————————————————————————————————————-
Music Ministry
Prior to lunch on Sunday, The Lord’s Flock, the music ministry from Daly City, California, directed by Richie Almendrala, gave an over-the-top praise and worship service. Richie led the Youth/Teen Ministry at the Convention. The music, singing, dancing, and prayers sung and played by this young group was so anointed, I danced in my chair, not unlike days of yore, (1976-77), while on retreat high in the French Alps, when I danced standing, not sitting, outside the tent on the high elevation of Chamonix overlooking Mt. Blanc!
All the music ministries were terrific, including Children of God, Holy Spirit Music Ministry, Godsent Music Ministry, Great Harvest, Misericordia De Dios, Our God Reigns, Siloam, and The Lord’s Flock. May God bless them and continue to anoint them!
__________________________________________________________________________________
A Tribute to Msgr. James T. Tarantino
On Sunday at 1:45 p.m., Fr. Ray Reyes, the Archbishop’s Liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, gave a tribute in honor of Msgr. James T. Tarantino, who died on April 25, 2018. Later, after the closing mass on Sunday, Msgr. Jame’s sister, Mary Tarantino, gave a moving tribute in honor and memory of her brother. May he rest in peace and may perpetual Light shine upon him.
__________________________________________________________________________________
The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity Mass
The truly anointed and spirit-filled convention closed with the Sacrifice of the Mass on Trinity Sunday. Bishop Mylo, D.D. presided at the closing mass. He was ordained at the Manila Cathedral in 1990. Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija in 2005. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Pasig in 2011. He was installed in 2011 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pasig City, Philippines. This young and down-to-earth Bishop gave a homily on “How to Discern God’s Will”.
First, one needs to desire to discern the will of God. Secondly, one needs to have an openess to God. Abraham, for example, was 75 years old when he was sent on his mission. Thirdly, one needs to have a knowledge of God through the study of the Scriptures. The final three words of Christ were: GO – BAPTIZE – KNOW! Go home as an instrument of forgiveness. Make possible reconciliation. “Know I am with you.” Be filled with hope and faith. “Know that I am with you until the end.”
May the good Lord protect and bless all those who worked so hard to make this beautiful convention yet another holy and anointed success. May God finish what He has started in this Charismatic Renewal. May His Holy Spirit fall down upon us as we look toward to the 32nd Annual Catholic Charismatic Convention on May 25, 26, and 27, 2019 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, USA.