The greatest miracles happen in the heart where God alone dwells. The transformation on the inside is a work of God. Those who have walked and talked with God can look back on their lives with tears of thanksgiving for His amazing grace.
On December 8, 2020, Catholics around the world celebrated the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Each year on that date, we commemorate the singular grace bestowed upon the Mother of God, her preservation from any stain of sin from the first moment of her conception.
The best Christmas gifts are not always found under a tree rather they are discovered along the journey. This Christmas season Deacon Pat and I found ourselves homeless and alone. Our home in Viera, Florida sold miraculously in just one week without a realtor. Thirty days later we closed on our Florida home and that chapter of our life.
Soon we will celebrate Christmas, the day on which the fulfillment of the Incarnation of Jesus came to pass. By the Incarnation is meant that the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God, while maintaining His divine nature, took on a human nature and human flesh in a sublime act of love, being born of the Virgin Mary. This profound mystery has been studied for centuries by the greatest theological minds, yet it also struck awe into the heart of one of the humblest of God’s creatures, Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 – 1226).
“Julia” grew up in a good Catholic family. She went away to college and began dating a young man who was heavily engaged in the occult. She participated in these rituals and fell into other sinful behaviors as well.
The world-renowned sacramental we call the Miraculous Medal has several connections that perhaps are not so well known – to the Vincentian Order for priests and brothers, to the Daughters of Charity religious Order for women, and to the city of Philadelphia. Exploring how these fit together hopefully will help us celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal on November 27th with a renewed understanding that will be pleasing to her.
One of the many beauties of our Catholic faith is the fact that, very often, those who rise to the heights of the altar of saints have the humblest beginnings. A case in point can be found in the life of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850 – 1917), whose feast day is today.
Pope Clement VIII: “We have determined to establish publicly in this Mother City of Rome an uninterrupted course of prayer in such ways that in the different churches, on appointed days, there be observed the pious and salutary devotion of the Forty Hours, with such an arrangement of churches and times that, at every hour of the day and night, the whole year round the incense of prayer shall ascend without intermission before the face of the Lord”(Letter titled Graves et diuturnae, November 25, 1592).
It was almost immediately when I started intentionally covering my family members in prayer years ago that I realized the magnitude of participating in the power of Christ who drives out demons and destroys strongholds. “You want to play that game?” the darkness seemed to sneer, surfacing from areas I hadn’t suspected.