Friday, July 26, 2019

Saints Joachim and Anne and Medjugorje - How Thin the Veil Is Between Heaven and Earth!

Today, July 26th, is the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne.

How deeply Mary's mom and dad must love this place where it is reported that Mary, Our Queen of Peace and their little girl, has been coming daily for over 38 years! If this is really true, how much they must be praying for all those who come to this place seeking Christ, and for "those who do not yet know the love of God," for whom Mary's continues to beg us to pray. 

If all that is reported in Medjugorje is real, it is incredible to contemplate how close the Mystical Body of Christ is to us!  All the signs, wonders and graces flowing upon the world through Medjugorje, I'm sure are, in part, sent to help us to recognize how thin the veil is between heaven and earth! And how deeply ALL the angels and saints are invested in our lives and are praying for God's plans for our conversion to be fulfilled!!

Giotto, di Bondone: No. 6 Scene from the Life of Joachim and Ann Meeting at the Golden Gate, 1304-06

How beautiful it is to consider this!

Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us! 
Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of Our Queen of Peace, pray for us!
St. James, Apostle and Martyr, whom I wrote of yesterday, pray for us!
St. John the Baptist, on whose feast day the apparitions began, pray for us!
St. Padre Pio, who foretold of Medjugorje, pray for us!
St. John Paul II, who believed Medjugorje was an answer to his prayers, pray for us!
St. Mother Teresa, who prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje daily, pray for us!

All you holy men and women, pray for us!

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.

For more extended reading, see What is the Holy Father's Mission in Medjugorje?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Power of Absolution and Confession - Woman in Coma Touched and Freed by Christ

I came across this story through Sister Emmanuel's Children of Medjugorje June 2008 Newsletter

Sister Emmanuel writes of Father Tim Deeter's experience of ministering to the sick and dying as a hospital chaplain. He testifies particularly of the supernatural power given through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
It is such an incredible story!
May this story forever change us:
"A coma of light? 
Father Tim Deeter’s witness, given last night, is going to comfort many who refuse to compromise with the culture of death!  A sick person in a coma is a soul who lives mysterious experiences with God, and God sometimes allows these experiences to come to the light…
While serving as an assistant parish priest, Father Deeter was also assigned the night shift of chaplaincy at a large Catholic hospital directly behind the parish.  The night shift was busy for him, and he would see many patients.  It was a time when all the exams and tests had been completed by the doctors for the day, and all the visiting family members and friends had gone home.  The patients were left alone, many of whom were awaiting surgery the next day.  It was during this time, more than any other during the day, that patients requested the presence of a priest.
There was one person in particular whom Fr. Tim visited every evening.  Helen had been in a coma for several weeks (comatose patients can often still hear, since hearing is the last sense to leave).  He would pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be with her each night and then briefly fill her in about the latest happenings of the day: news, sports, weather, etc.  One evening, Fr. Tim had a long list of people to visit, and so he thought he might not have time to see this particular woman. “Besides”, he thought, “she is not responsive, so would it really matter if I skipped a night?  Would she really miss me?”  Yet, when he finished his nightly rounds, he had this nagging feeling that he should still visit Helen.  
It was about 3 o’clock in the morning.  Father entered her room, not even turning on the lights, for the moon was bright and provided enough.  Sitting in a chair next to Helen’s bed, he began to quickly recite the usual prayers, figuring that this would be enough.  Still he had a feeling deep inside that he should do something more for her.   Something then told him that he should give Helen the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation; perhaps she did not have the chance for absolution prior to her illness.   So he explained to her that he would offer her sacramental absolution.  He indicated that he would give her a short period of silence during which she could acknowledge her sins in her heart.  He then recited an Act of Contrition and asked Helen to pray along with him silently.  Following this he prayed over her, giving her absolution from all of her sins.  (Remember:  the word ‘absolution’ does not mean ‘forgiveness’, but ‘release’.)

As Father concluded the words of absolution, Helen sat bolt upright in her bed!   With eyes wide open, she reached forward her arms and, with a smile on her face, cried out, “JESUS!”
Shocked — and not afraid in the least — Fr. Tim quickly turned towards the wall that Helen was facing, and saw a small wooden crucifix hanging on the wall.  He looked back at Helen, and saw that she had fallen back on her pillow, and died.  It took Father several minutes to comprehend what had happened:  something in Helen’s life had been tying her down to this life, but when she was released from that bond, she was freed to go to Jesus.  Father said to us, “It was like being in my room, writing at my desk, and suddenly feeling someone is there.  I turn, and see a shadow in the hallway, or the door quietly closing.  I don’t actually see who it is, but I know someone was just there.  In the same way, I did not see Jesus, but I am certain that He had been in that room.”
At Helen’s funeral, her sister approached Fr. Tim.  She had heard that he had been with her sister at the time of her death.  Father told her that he had given Helen sacramental absolution, even while she was comatose.  The woman expressed her gratitude, and said, “When my sister and I were children, we were taught to pray every night for the grace of a happy death (dying in the state of God’s grace).  Now I know that God heard our prayers, and I am so grateful that my sister was able to die in peace.”
Sometimes Father Tim asks comatose patients to hold his hand tight if they want to receive absolution.  These patients would often respond with a light pressure of the hand, indicating that they hear and understand everything, and that they wish to receive the Sacrament. These testimonies should be shouted from the rooftops!"
This story speaks so powerfully and profoundly of many things. Here are a few that come to mind:

1. The sanctity of life of all from conception until natural death
2. The importance of providing loving care and ministry to the sick and the comatose 
3. The power of Absolution and Confession
4. The power of a sacrificing and selfless priest who stands in the place of Christ
5. The importance of praying for a happy death
6. The 3 O'clock Hour of Mercy
7. The joy of heaven that awaits us

May we ponder this story and it's importance, and pray.

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving and providing for us unto death - and for giving us the means to reconciled with you through the Sacraments and the ministry of the priesthood.
How grateful we are for your intimate love and mercy tangibly expressed and given to us through your shepherds. Thank you for enabling them with the power to free us so we can experience an eternity of glory with you in heaven.
Amen! Alleluia!

Our Mother, Queen of Peace, pray for us now and at the hour of our death, Amen!

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.