Friday, December 22, 2006

A Christmas Message From Jesus

As given to "Anne", a Lay Apostle.

December 21, 2006

Jesus

I am Jesus. I am God. I am complete in Myself. I am present in your world and I am present in heaven. You see, I am omnipresent. Even if you wish to, you cannot remove yourself from My presence on earth. I created earth. You might say the earth belongs to Me. All in it, are also My creation. You, dear beloved one, were created by Me. Do I say that you belong to Me? I say it in another way. I say, I want you to belong to Me. I want to possess your heart. Why do I use the word heart when truly it is your soul that I seek? I use the word heart because people characterise the heart as the place where people hold the love they possess. If you have love, people say you have it in your heart. The heart is known as the source of love and the receptacle of love, so I, Jesus, tell you that I want to possess your heart. When it is all simplified, as it should be, I am saying that I want you to love Me. I love you. There is no problem there. I love you today and I will always love you. A difficulty we have is that you do not know Me. The only way for Me to teach you to love Me is for Me to reveal Myself to you, to allow you to know Me. For that reason, I come to you today. I reveal Myself to you through these words and through the graces attached to them. If you read these words and sit in silence, you will begin to know Me. If you begin to know Me, truly, you will begin to love Me. Forget anything that tempts you to move away from these words and graces. Rest. Be with Me. Allow Me to teach you about Me.

Jesus

In your world today, there are many claims of goodness. Some of these claims are true. Some of these claims are false. I, Jesus, am never present in lies. I do not rest in falseness. Truth has a pure feel to it and truth does not change. If you want to find truth, look back over time and see what claims of truth have persevered. What are the things that were true two thousand years ago? You will find them if you look to see what has persevered through the ages. Two thousand years ago, it was true that I came to bring salvation. Today, that is still true. I came then and I come today. I come for your salvation. I come so that you will be saved. I come so that where there is falseness, where you are being deceived, I will be present with My truth.
Two thousand years ago, there was evil in the world. Today, evil persists alongside good. Does this mean evil is good? Has truth changed? No. Just as truth never changes, so evil does not change. Evil simply changes its disguise. I, God have not changed My character. When you first know someone, you know a few things about them. As you get to know someone better, you learn more. Over time and with consistent interaction, you begin to know someone well and you can then say that you understand that person.
I want you to understand Me. I am truth. Truth is Me. To know Me, Jesus, you will have to know what is true and what is false. I will teach you this but it is not something that I can teach you all at once. Truth, in its great depth, must be absorbed gradually. For this reason, I invite you to keep company with Me. If you do, I will teach you all you need to know to distinguish between the truth in your world and the deceit in your world. I will teach you to separate good from evil at a glance. I am the great Teacher, the Divine Teacher. With Me comes the light necessary for instant instruction on any given topic. You may say, "Give it to me all at once God. If You are who You say, You can do that."
You are correct. I could do that, such is My power. But you, My friend, are not disposed to accept such an experience because My truth is all about love. Your little heart must be expanded first. We have to make room for all of this truth, which is filled with love. I want you to embark with Me on a journey. Walk with Me. Allow Me to draw you into your soul, into the mystical nature of yourself. Come to Me there so I can introduce you to the great truths about your family, the family of God. You will find such acceptance there. When you rest in My gaze in your soul, you will understand about love. You will, at the same time, understand about heaven, your ultimate home. I am calling to you now and I know that you hear Me. Come to Me. Stay with Me. Give Me the briefest chance to reveal Myself to you.

Jesus

As I draw you into the mystical nature of yourself, I draw you into My heart. My heart and your heart belong together. When you are with Me, you feel calm and accepted. You feel oneness with others because you experience community in your soul. If I am with each man as I am with you, then you are connected to each man through Me. Do you begin to understand the family of God? I love every man created. I have a good plan for every man created. This is My truth and, as you recall, I can never be where there is deceit. If I have a good agenda for every man created, and I have a good agenda for you, you are safe with Me and all mankind is safe with Me. Connected to Me, each man will serve his time on earth in mystical union with every other man and in mystical union with all of the saints in heaven. We are all connected. After this time of service, each man connected to Me comes home to Me and home to the family that loves him, awaits him, and welcomes him. There is no bad will on heaven's side. There is only acceptance and truth. I have such hope for you, My friend. All of your gifts originate in God and are an outgrowth of God's goodness. If you learn to understand Me, you will learn that I want to use your gifts to create harmony in your soul. When you use your gifts and energy for My purposes, you will benefit the whole world. It must be so because I have said it is so and I can speak only the truth. We are all connected. Would you like to benefit the world? Truly, you are capable of this and this is My plan for you. I have so much to give to you in terms of knowledge and wisdom. Teamed with Me, you will flourish and grow to heights you never dreamed possible. Rejoice, man. You are resting with God, the God of All. This God tells you today that you are loved and needed.

Jesus

Follow this path that springs up before you. Come to Me. Turn in My direction and I will reveal this path that I want you to take. You will feel lightness in your Spirit, a relief. You will feel calm. Inside there will quietly burst forth a bud of hope. This bud will blossom, have no fear. The hope you feel in your soul is nourished by the time you spend with Me, seeking truth. I will see to it all. I need the smallest, even the most tremulous willingness. You are hesitant to believe in Me. I know that. I understand everything that has gone before this moment in your life. Remember that I have all universal truth available to Me. In that respect, am I not a valuable person for you to know? Could you admit that I am possibly the most valuable person you could ever know? If you knew of someone on earth who had all truth about everything, who understood the purest facts and possessed the cleanest, most pristine vision of reality imaginable, would you not seek out this person's company? If you were wise, you would do so. If you were a man who desired truth, you would do so. If you were weary of lies and falseness, you would do so. My friend, if you seek truth, you must come with Me. If you seek acceptance, you must come to Me. If you want to be loved, you must rest in My heart because it is the only place where you will find the perfect security you crave. I am with you. I will never leave you. You could not escape My presence, even if you wanted to. You may as well get to know Me better so that you can decide whether you will reject Me or accept Me. This is the ultimate choice that will be yours. Just as you cannot escape My presence, you cannot escape this choice. It is yours. I want you to consider your options.

Jesus

My friend, this is between you and Me. By 'this' I refer to both this conversation and your ultimate decision of whether to accept Me or reject Me. When you are asked to make an important decision on earth, you consider your options. You take time and weigh both sides. Perhaps you waver between one course and another. I want you to consider both sides of this decision. If you accept Me, you will have entry into the most loving and secure family of all. If you accept Me, you will have security for the rest of your life in that I will lay out the course in front of you, guiding you, protecting you, and never leaving you. If you accept Me, you will come to heaven in triumph, bringing with you the great benefits that your cooperation secured for your family. You will walk in truth and in calm. Your life on earth will not suddenly become easy, but it will be filled with God's peace and God's grace.
If you reject Me, you will continue on, vulnerable to the deceit of My enemy. You will delude yourself at times, thinking that you are wise. Perhaps you will feel superior to many of your brothers and sisters, but I tell you today, in all of My truth, that the most humble one in heaven holds all of God's mysteries in his soul. You will not be privy to these mystical realities if you reject Me. How could you be if you did not want to be?
I conclude with the greatest truth of all and that is that I do not force My children to choose Me. I do not force humanity to work for heaven. If I did, we would not have a family, but a master and his slaves. No. This is not for Me and this is not for you. The heavenly kingdom would not be the heavenly kingdom if it were not filled with willing and beloved children. Everyone in heaven works for each other in great joy. Everyone in heaven works for our family members on earth in great hope. As you read these words, there is great hope in heaven that you will choose Me, Jesus Christ, and embark upon the journey to truth. It is here for you. I have truth and I have a course laid out for you that will bring you to this destination.
I repeat the most important truth of all. I love you. I will take care of you. Choose Me and I will begin to reveal Myself to you. You will know peace, My friend. You will know security. You will know joy for all eternity. This is your inheritance and I am your God. Allow nothing to divert you from the truth that I am Jesus Christ and I love you. I come today to announce Myself to you and to save you. Come. Trust Me. Be with Me. I will protect you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pictures of an Ancestral Church

A newly-discovered cousin of mine in Australia emailed me the following pictures. These are photos of the parish church and countryside surrounding Hohen Sprenz, Germany, the ancestral home of my Schmidt line of ancestors. My great-grandfather, John Schmidt, was baptized in this church in 1865, as were many generations of his ancestors. To see Hohen Sprenz on a map, click here.









The Johann Schmidt in this list of war dead is a relative. These are men from the village who died fighting Napolean's army in 1813.




This is the school in Hohen Sprenz.




This is a view of the surrounding countryside.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I admit that one of the things I love about the Advent and Christmas season is that our television gets dethroned. To put up a tree, something has to give, and I seem to make sure that each year it is the TV. This year it may be a bit more permanent. As we do not have cable and receive only one channel well here in our valley, we really do not watch much television beyond the news. So, the TV is mostly in use for video watching. But on our main television, the built in VCR has gone kerfluey. It is now in the entrance hallway so that weather forecasts can be checked. Then I salvaged one of the tvs left by our former renters (see this post) which essentially only plays videos. That is up in "the play room" right now. Which means we have a peaceful first floor and that the talking box is out of sight, out of mind for the kiddos during the day.

The peace and happiness this brings me makes me wonder why I didn't think of it sooner.

By the way, I also want to be self-congradulatory (in the nicest way, of course), regarding my accomplishment yesterday. I overcame a long-standing fear of car batteries and learned to jump start our car with our electric charger. And I may need to do it again tomorrow to get it to the shop to replace the switch that keeps our dome lights on longer than needed -- hence draining the battery!

Monday, December 11, 2006

A New Look

I'm experimenting with a new hair look. I've been feeling like a bit of a sheep dog with my thick hair flopping down. It's one thing when my hair is curly, but in winter, it's not so easy. This is "old hair"





This is "new hair".

Basically a pony tail in the back and a braided pony tail in the front swept up for a little "puff".

I'm used to seeing myself with lots of hair, but it's hard to organize that lot sometimes.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Retreat

Yesterday, I participated in a retreat sponsored by the local Catholic homeschool support group. I wanted to record a few bloggable bits and insights that I picked up throughout, in one way or another.

* "You are not the victim of your frustrations; you are the creator of them." Frustration comes when you meet something that blocks your way, but you insist on banging your head against it and persisting in going your way anyway. The answer comes either in going a different way, or maybe just waiting. Ask Jesus "What do You want me to do now?" when an occasion that could turn frustrating arises.

* If you question whether Jesus cares about the details of your life, you need to meditate on a crucifix. If I doubt His love, He would say to me, "Woman, where is your mind?!?" Imagine how Jesus feels when He went (and goes) to such extreme lengths to prove His love and still we are not sure.

* Take First Fridays and First Saturdays seriously. There are many aspects of Catholic life that I don't at all deny, but have never lived with purposeful seriousness. These are two examples. I go to daily Mass almost every day of the year, but observing First Friday and First Saturday means more than going to Mass on these days. I need to re-appreciate things that have seemed "too devotional" or perhaps quaint to me in the past. Jesus because Jesus or Mary spoke promises or concerns centuries or decades ago doesn't mean they aren't still valid. Probably they are all the more valid than ever before.

* I really do know in my knower when I've taken in all I can. I need to trust that and be willing to act on it.

* I need protein to keep me ticking.

It was so beautiful to have four hours with lots of silence. I do regret not bringing a notebook (or at least a pen!!) with me.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Serenity Prayer

I received this by email today. The second half makes quite a statement.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.


--Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, December 03, 2006

New Advent

Here we are, the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of the new liturgical year. If you are anything like me, Advent has gone by in years past as one of those seasons where you knew you were supposed to be preparing spiritually somehow for Christmas, but really it was just a nebulous idea of doing different things in prayer, different types of readings during the liturgy, an advent wreath, and of course all the stuff you do to get ready to celebrate Christmas.

I don't know that I can put any of this in words just now, but I am getting a completely new sense of Advent this year. If you are Catholic and pay attention to the readings at Mass on Sundays and during the week, you know that the Church emphasizes the end of the world, Jesus' return in glory nearly as much as the time of His birth during the Advent season.

I continue to read the Volumes from Direction for our Times, and the graces continue to flow into the rest of my life. Perhaps it is still too fresh to have words for, but I am sensing the connection between preparing for the last days and preparing for the birth of Jesus. Quiet. Meditation. Prayer. Calm. Love. Trust. Watching. Alertness. Wholly given over to the desires of the Holy Spirit, not carried away in "drunkeness, carousing and the anxieties of life" as today's gospel said.

There is some way in which the Church now is to be like Mary, to bring forth Jesus into this world, completely in the power of His grace.

Our family tradition for the Sundays of Advent, which we are observing for the third year in a row now, is to have "picnic" food, eaten in the living room with the light from the crèche and the Advent wreath, before prayers. The darkness and light make quite an impression on the little ones. And tonight, it all made quite an impression on me, as well -- the need for calm, simple preparations, how little we can do in the dark, how drowsy it makes us. But how good it is to praise Him who is Light.

Right now it's ineffable, but not nebulous.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Heaven Speaks to Families -- Volume Six Part Four

Part Four: Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

June 29, 2004
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

Dearest little children, I am Mary, your heavenly mother. I am the mother of Jesus and the mother of all people also. I want to tell you about Jesus because it is so important that you know about Him. You see, my dearest little children, Jesus loves you very much. He wants to bring each one of you safely to heaven. Heaven is your real home, where you will live forever. Many souls on earth forget about heaven and think that earth is their only home. This is not true and if you believe that earth is your only home, you will not try to earn heaven and you will make many mistakes. If you always think about heaven, and being good so that you can get to haven, you will do better and Jesus will be happy. I am your heavenly mother and I help many souls get to heaven. You can talk to me as well as to Jesus. I will help you with many things but mostly I will help you learn about Jesus and learn how to love Him. I am His helper, you see, so my job is to bring souls to Him. I will do that for you if you would like to me. You can say simply, “Mother, help me to be good.” I will hear you immediately and I will begin helping you. In this way you will have someone who loves you and understands you and who is always looking out for you. Call on me often, my beautiful little child, because I am your heavenly mother and I love you.

June 29, 2004
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

How happy I am to be talking to you in this way! God is very good to allow me to do so. You see, dear children, usually God does not allow people in heaven to communicate with people on earth. God is allowing it now because this is a special time. During this time, Your time on earth, heaven is doing special work. There are many souls on earth who do not understand that God is the One who is in charge of everything. These people think they are in charge and they are trying to be better than God. This is a mistake for them and they must change. All people must understand that God created the world and each person in the world. God allows the sun to shine, God allows the rain to fall. If God did not allow these things to happen, these things would stop. We must always thank God for making the world so beautiful for us. When you thank God for making the world and making you, He is happy and He sends even more graces down to the world. Graces are good things that come from heaven. So you must join me, Mary, your mother in heaven, and ask God for more graces from heaven for the world. Will you do that? Will you help me? Together we will say, “God in heaven, you are the Creator of all things. Please send your graces down upon our world.” I thank you, dear children. I love you very much. I will help you in everything. Like Jesus, I can always hear you, so talk to me often. I will always be close to you.

June 30, 2004
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

Dear little children of heaven, your Blessed Mother loves you. I look with such happiness on you and you play and work. All of heaven watches you and helps you when you are in trouble. Be happy, knowing this. Be happy in the thought that Jesus also loves you and watches you with delight. You are heaven’s little treasures and your prayers are so important to us here. When a child speaks to heaven, God the Father always listens carefully because children pay the most favorable prayers. Your prayers are often even more powerful than an adult’s prayers because usually children are more pure. Being pure is important, little children. Do not use bad words or watch bad things on television because if you do these things, your purity will go away. Purity means always trying to think about good and happy things. Think about me, your heavenly mother, and Jesus your heavenly King. Think about all of the wonderful saints in heaven. Saints are people who lived in the world and did a good job for Jesus. You can be a saint, too, and that is what I want for you.. I want you to be my little saint. Will you try to do that for me? I will help you by reminding you when you should pray. When you think of me, say a prayer. When you think of Jesus, say a prayer. It does not have to be a big prayer. It can be simply, “Jesus, I love you.” That is a good prayer to say and it will make Jesus and me so happy. I am with you, little child of my heart. I am always with you.

July 1, 2004
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

Dearest little children, I am your heavenly mother and I love you. I want to bring you to Jesus. I do that by helping you to understand the great love Jesus has for you. Many souls think of God as someone far away who is very busy with the business of heaven. This is not true. Jesus is God and Jesus is very busy looking after souls on earth. Jesus loves you most tenderly. Jesus loves you so much that He died on the cross so that heaven’s doors would be open to every boy and girl in the world. And heaven’s doors are open to you, little child. We wait for you to come to heaven so that you will be happy forever. I want you to know that each soul makes mistakes on earth. That is why Jesus chose to die for you. He knew you would make mistakes. He wanted to be certain that there was enough forgiveness for each mistake made by every person. Never worry about your mistakes. Even the greatest saints made many mistakes. You say you are sorry to Jesus and Jesus forgives you for your mistake and He forgets about your mistake. Sometimes children think that they are bad because they have made mistakes and this is simply not true. I am your heavenly mother and I look into your little heart and I see such goodness. You can do great things for Jesus if you try to do your best. Will you do that for me? Try to be good and all will be well.

July 2, 2004
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

Dearest children, you must live for Jesus. When you awaken in the morning you should tell Jesus that you love Him and say “Jesus, I offer you my day.” Little children, if you do this then Jesus will take every part of your work and play, your eating and sleeping, and He will use it to bring other souls to heaven. Isn’t that easy? You see my little ones, it is not hard to please Jesus. He is loving and happy and wants you to be loving and happy. If you do as I say, you will be happy because it is in being good that we become happy. You must never worry if someone is not good. Just pray for them and we will help them. You may not see us helping them but you can believe that we will because I would never tell you something that was not true. Neither would Jesus. We speak only the truth. You should practice speaking only the truth also. You may make some small mistakes at times and at times you may forget to pray. Simply tell Jesus you forgot and pray a small prayer. All will be well. If you practice these little things they will become good habits and you will become a beautiful little saint for heaven. It is easier than you think, my precious ones. I am with you and I will help you with everything.

July 3, 2004
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Speaks to Children

My dearest children, I am glad to see that you have listened so carefully to the words we have sent you from heaven. Now you know how to be good and how to please Jesus. Jesus, because He is God, knows everything and He knows exactly what is best for you. At times you may pray and you may feel that your prayer was not answered. My dearest little child, Jesus made the world for you. Do not think He would not give you everything in that world. But sometimes, because Jesus knows everything, He knows that you may be asking for something that would be bad for you. In this case, Jesus must say no. You understand, don’t you? Perhaps you are asking for a red car but you are too small to drive. Jesus will say no to that prayer. I want you to know that Jesus is the smartest and most clever man who ever lived. He sees everything and knows everything, because He is God. His decisions are always the right decisions so you can trust Him in everything. I want to tell you another way you can please Jesus. You must tell Him this: “Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you.” If you say that three times, it is a most beautiful prayer and you will then begin to trust Him in everything, which will make you feel safe and happy. I love you dearly, my little child. I place my hands over you in a protective blessing. Try to be good and I will help you.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Heaven Speaks to Families -- Volume Six Part Three

Part Three – Jesus Speaks to Children

June 21, 2004
Jesus Speaks to Children

Dear children of the world, how I love you. You were created by God the Father and He created each one of you with the most careful thought. Indeed, in heaven’s eyes, you are perfect. I am Jesus, and I am in heaven with the Father. But because I am God and come from God, I can do anything. I am powerful, dear children, but I do not like to show off, so I do not use My powers in silly ways. I use My powers in important ways, that will help people. One way that I use My power is to make people happy when they are sad or worried. Are you sad or worried? If you are, then you must come to Me and I will make you happy again. It is important for you to know how to come to Me so I am going to tell you. When you wish to come to Me, Jesus, and tell Me about your problems, you must pray. There are many ways to pray and they are all perfect. One way to pray is to close your eyes and speak to Me silently in your head. You might wonder how I can hear you if you are speaking silently. That is part of My magic, dear little child. When you wish to speak to Me, your Jesus, who is your very best friend, you can speak to Me at any time, in any place. I will hear you. I will listen carefully to your worries or to your trouble, and I will help you. You will not see Me, but I will be there. I am in heaven, yes, as I told you. But I am also everywhere on the earth. Wherever you are, I am also. So if you are playing, I am there. If you are eating, I am there. If you are going to sleep at night, I am with you. You will never be in a place where I am not. I am your invisible friend and I never go away from you. So tell Me everything that worries you, because I love you and I want to know. I can help you with many problems. You will know that I am with you because after you speak to Me you will feel a bit better. That is My magic. You must trust Me in everything because I love you very much. I think you are perfect. I am going to tell you about Me so that you know you have a very powerful invisible friend.

June 22, 2004
Jesus Speaks to Children

I am with you, dear children of the world. I am with you everywhere. Do not be afraid because I am all powerful and I am your friend. You understand that when you are finished in this world, you will come to My home, and that My home is in heaven. I have prepared a beautiful place for you to live, where you will be very happy with all of the people you love from earth. Heaven is the nicest place you could ever imagine. There are beautiful lakes and streams where you can play. You will never be hungry or afraid in heaven because there is no badness. No one can hurt you in heaven. You will have many friends here and you will never be sick. Heaven is the perfect place and it is filled with My friends because I am Jesus and I am God. Do you want to come to heaven? You are welcome here, My dearest child, because I love you. I will be waiting for you and when you are finished on earth, I will take you to heaven. What a happy day that will be! You will be happy, because you are coming to this wonderful place, and I will be happy because I am going to be with you forever. Everyone in heaven will be happy because they love you already and wait for you to come here to join them. They have so much to show you and to tell you. You will have great fun in heaven, little child. Sometimes, when you are sad or afraid on earth, you might say, “Jesus come and take me to heaven now.” But I cannot do that, dearest child of My heart, until it is time. You have to finish your time on earth first. I am the only one who knows when your life is finished and it is My job to come for you. Do not worry though, because I will come for you the very moment you are finished with your work. You see, My friends who are here with Me in heaven, helped Me while they were on earth. I am your Jesus and I need help from all of My friends now. Soon I will tell you about your job so that you will know how you can help Me, too.

June 23, 2004
Jesus Speaks to Children

I have told you about heaven. You will be happy here and this is truly your home. Now I want to tell you how you can help Me. I am part of a family and so are you. We are part of the same family. It is a bigger family than you belong to on earth. This bigger family includes all people. I want all people to come home to heaven when they are finished on earth but some will need help because they are not trying hard enough to be good. Are you trying to be good? Well, this is the first way that I need your help. I, your Jesus, am asking you to try to be good. When you try to be good, it is like you are giving Me a present. Would you like to give your Jesus a present? Just do your best to be a good boy or a good girl and you will make Me very happy. I can use your present and turn it into forgiveness for someone who is making mistakes. You will make mistakes too sometimes so you understand that it can be hard to be good. But I forgive you every mistake that you have made and I will forgive you every mistake that you will ever make. I would like to forgive everyone for their mistakes but some people do not want to say they are sorry. You see, My little friend, all a soul needs to do to come to heaven is to try to be good and then to say they are sorry when they make a mistake. Even if they have made many terrible mistakes, I forgive them. But they have to say they are sorry, just like you say you are sorry when you hurt someone. Trying to be good while you are on earth is like doing your job for your heavenly family. I will tell you now another way that you can help Me. You must say often, “Jesus, forgive them.” You do not need to say it out loud if you do not want to. You can say it in your head because remember that I told you I can hear you speaking even when you are speaking silently. If you say this, “Jesus, forgive them,” I can save many people and bring them to heaven. I want everyone in heaven so this will be helping Me. Will you do that for Me? You are My friend and I am your friend. I will give you a big reward for helping Me and I will give you many presents when you come to heaven. Thank you, dear friend. I am your Jesus and I thank you.

June 24, 2004
Jesus Speaks to Children

Dear children of the world, I am happy to be talking with you. You are so precious to Me and I think of you all day, every day. I watch you when you are unhappy and I hope that you will talk to Me so that I can make you feel better. I will always be close to you so you can talk to Me whenever you wish. The most important thing for you to remember is that I am with you. There are two other important things for you to remember also. One is that I love everyone, even when they are making mistakes. Do not think that I stop loving a person because they do the wrong thing. I love them just as much and I love you just as much when you do the wrong thing. The second thing you must remember is that you can talk to Me when you make a mistake. Come to Me quickly when you do something wrong. If you come to Me, I can make you feel better and forgive you at once. In that way you will not feel sad inside and make more mistakes because you feel badly. That can happen, with adults as well as children. So you must remember that your Jesus loves you always, even when you make mistakes. And you must also remember that if you make a mistake, you must talk to Me right away. Tell Me about the mistake and say you are sorry. I will then help you not to make more mistakes. You see, My beautiful child, I can help you with everything. You must ask Me to help you and you can be certain that I will.

June 25, 2004
Jesus Speaks to Children

My dearest children, I want you to know Me. I know you perfectly. I know what makes you happy and I know what frightens you. I am your Jesus and I am your God. You hear many stories about Kings. Well, I am the greatest King because I am the King of all people. Most stories that you hear are pretend stories, about imaginary kings. Dear child, I am real. My story is a true story and you can believe everything that I tell you. I am truly with you. I will never leave you. And at the end of your life I will come for you to bring you to heaven. Be happy, little one. Your Jesus loves you most tenderly. I want to tell you today about the different parts of you. You have two parts. You have a body and you have a soul. Your body carries your soul because your soul is inside your body. The body, your arms and legs and everything else, is the part you can see. The soul is the invisible part. You cannot see it, like you cannot see Me, but it is there. Your soul is beautiful and I am in your soul. You must always try to eat so that your body can feel good and grow. Well, it is the very same with your soul. You must always try to pray because that is how you feed your soul. Whenever you talk to Me in prayer, your soul becomes stronger and grows. If you never talk to Me, your soul might feel sick or weak. How will you know if your soul is sick? I will tell you. You will know if your soul is sick because you will begin to feel unhappy. I do not want you to be unhappy. There are many people who have very sick bodies but they are happy and that is because they have a very healthy soul. When you die in your body, as everyone does, it is time for your soul to live and so your soul comes to heaven with Me. It is your soul that I will come to collect at the end of your life. During your time on earth, when you will live in your body, you must always remember to feed your soul so that it is nice and strong because a nice strong soul will get you straight to heaven. Talk to Me often, dear child. Talking to Me is prayer and it is prayer that makes your soul grow strong.

June 26, 2004
Jesus Speaks to Children

My little ones, it is My greatest wish that you remain close to Me. I do not want you to live your life thinking that Jesus is not with you and that Jesus does not love you. Always remember Me and remember that I love you. I will help you, dear child. I will help you in many ways. Sometimes, you might be with people who do not love Me. You must pray for them. Ask Me to help them and I will do so. You have a great deal of power if you are My friend because you can ask Me to do things for you and I will, as long as you are asking Me to help others. Believe in Me, dear child. It hurts My feelings that so few believe in Me or talk to Me. Some people would rather have a lot of things than be My friend. I know that you love to have toys. I like you to have toys, too, because it is good for you to play. But I do not like you to have too many toys and I do not like you to keep your toys all for yourself, never letting anyone else play. Share your toys and I will be happy. If you do not have a lot of toys, be happy, little child. You will have as much as you want in heaven. You will have everything in heaven that you wish for. It is often better if you do not have a lot of things on earth because then you are not tempted to become selfish or greedy. People are selfish and greedy when they want to have many things and keep them all to their self. I have given you the world where you live. I gave you clouds, sunshine, water, trees, and grass. All of these things come from Me because I created all of these things. Every so often you should try to give something away and pretend that you are giving it to Me. If you give anything away, dearest child, I will give you credit for giving it to Me and I will give you back far more when you reach heaven. Always share. It is good for you and makes Me very happy. I love you perfectly. I will always love you perfectly. I am your friend. I am Jesus.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Heaven Speaks to Families -- Volume Six Part Two

Part Two – St. Joseph Speaks to Fathers

June 14, 2004

I send the most affectionate greetings to my brothers and sisters on earth. I have come particularly to speak to fathers during this time of darkness. If you have been given a child or the care of a child, you must take responsibility for the formation and support of that child. I wish to share a glimpse of my family with you, so that you can follow the example we have set. There were three of us, Jesus, Mary, and me, Joseph. I took responsibility, as much as possible, for the support of the family. We were poor, it is true, because we lived in difficult times and for a time we were exiled. When you move to a land that is not your home, you are at a disadvantage, often, with regard to work. That was the case with me, and while I was skilled at my profession, I found it difficult to obtain as much work as I would have liked. Nevertheless, I made enough to keep us and we lived simply. I taught my Son that work was to be enjoyed and that through work a soul gave God great glory. I worked steadily and thoroughly, always being scrupulously honest and fair. My reputation was sound and I would have been known as a just man, both professionally and personally. I understood that my responsibility to Jesus was important to the Kingdom. I had the task of accompanying Him through His precious childhood. Jesus, I must say, did not require any real correcting, because He was a most beautiful and sweet boy. His kindness brought tears to my eyes, sometimes many times in one day. I will say truly that He was an example to me. With that said, however, I also tried to be an example to Him and so must you be to your children. While I understand that you are not called upon to accompany Jesus through His childhood, you must understand that your child or children are equally precious in their humanity, because each little soul is of equal value in the Kingdom. Each day and each moment of each day is an opportunity to teach your child what it is to be a follower of God’s kingdom.

If I were allowed, I could write pages and pages, speaking only of the holiness of Mary, the mother of Christ. Can you imagine the honor that was mine? I was given the task of parenting with Mary as my partner. I will say briefly that Mary was the kindest, most gentle, and most humble woman ever created by God. You must not think that she was given these virtues or that it was easy for her. This was not the case. Mary sacrificed each day and practiced these virtues. She was another constant source of example to me. How could I have been anything but virtuous living with these two heavenly creatures? Fathers, mine is the honor of instructing you on leading your families to Christ. Thank our loving Father in heaven for this grace because it is a very beautiful thing for Him to allow. Treat these words with humility and reverence and He, the God of All, will bring peace and joy to your families. You can be another pocket of holiness, as we were, and I will show you how. Remember that you have great and limitless help in heaven. Do not be discouraged if your family is struggling with worldly influences at this moment. I will help you and together we will move toward the example that our little Holy Family has set for you. All is well. Let us begin.


June 15, 2004
St. Joseph Speaks to Fathers

Fathers of the world, listen carefully to my words. Please understand that you will be help accountable for your parenting. In most cases, a father should be with his children. In cases where he cannot, through circumstances beyond his control, that is different. But I speak to the majority of fathers at this time. Your children are your treasure and they are also a large part of your salvation. You will gain the greatest of graces through your parenting of your children. To begin with the most fundamental advice, you must be with your children in order to properly parent them. Many fathers today view the role of father simply as a provider. They feel that as long as they are providing for their children’s material needs, their job has been completed. Fathers, you know this is not the case. Providing for your children’s material needs is only one aspect of your role as father. You must accept that if you are not at work, generally speaking, you should be with your family. Children learn from observing and modeling. They cannot do this if you are not in their company. Be with your children, fathers. You need do nothing, only set a calm example. Be about your household chores and let the children see that you are dutiful. Another current trend that concerns heaven is that of purity. Fathers, children must learn how important it is to be pure. Are your children learning this from you? They will learn it by observing the entertainment you participate in. How do you respond to television shows that depict impure actions and situations? Fathers, these things are not acceptable for you. You must not watch television programs that illustrate mortal sin. Certainly your children should not watch these things either. That, dear men, is a profound truth, and if you are allowing your children to view behaviors on television that depict sin, you are in effect teaching them these behaviors. You must understand that by not objecting to these things, you are teaching your children that these behaviors are acceptable. This must stop. When you reject a program because it is illustrating un-Christian-like behaviors, you must take the opportunity to explain to your children why you are doing so and why the behavior you rejected is not Christian. Do you understand? You must ask me to help you in this issue if you are unsure because homes are being contaminated constantly in this manner. This form of entertainment is unsuitable for you, dear men of God. You want to come to heaven, do you not? Then you must begin to prepare yourselves on earth. You can do this by spending time with your children in purity, and doing things together that do not offend God. You will be accountable for each word you say to your children. God does not expect you to be perfect. Do not be afraid. You will make mistakes, of course, and that is understood and forgiven. But you must not allow a pattern of entertainment in your home that is objectionable to heaven. Consider always what Jesus would say about an entertainment. He is with you, you know, at each moment. Be aware of His presence and you can then judge your actions and activities by His standard. I will help you to escape from any bad habits that have taken hold of you. Be cheerful and courageous and together we will purify your life.

June 16, 2004
St. Joseph Speaks to Fathers

Dear fathers of the world, you must heed my voice. I am speaking to you from kindness and concern. We in heaven watch the events in the world because we are eager to assist you. We hear your prayers and immediately begin interceding for you so that any graces available will be utilized. Allow us to help you to examine your role as father so you can be certain you are fulfilling this role as God has willed. You must examine your role in comparison to me, Joseph, the head of the Holy Family. Do not examine your role in comparison to a soul who is not following God. You must take this opportunity to also look at your companions. Are the true followers? Do they encourage you to be a good father and husband? Are they themselves good fathers and husbands? Dear man, if they are not fulfilling their role as father and husband, it will be difficult for you to resist their influence. Many in this time will encourage you to put yourself first, but I tell you in all seriousness that you should not do this. Your wife and children must come first. You are to lead your family to heaven. In heaven, the first will be last. Consider yourself a servant to your family. In this way you will not spend too much time meditating on how you would like to follow the world. You live in a world of great darkness. I must speak the truth so that you know that it is critical that your family be steered safely through these times. With the help of heaven, you will do this successfully. But in order to obtain this help, you must ask for it. In order to ask for it, you must be prayerful. If you are not prayerful, you will not see the need to pray because you will be too busy scurrying from one day to the next and telling yourself that all is well because this is what everyone else is doing. Fathers, seta tone of quietness in your home whenever possible. Children in your care will then feel free to come to you with their little difficulties and fears. Be available to them by often sitting quietly or working in silence. There is no need for the constant distraction of noise. It dulls your soul, dear man, and God cannot find rest in you. If you spend time in quietness, your soul will calm and your God can claim you and communicate with you. He will inspire you to give consideration to His will for your life. He will give you an awareness of the large view of your life and your family, pulling you away from the small view, which is the moment. If your large view includes heaven, and serving god, you will understand that you must live each moment differently. Set your sight on heaven, for both you and your family, and you will see your perspective begin to shift a little here and alter a little there. This is a process and you can be comfortable that all will not change in a day, particularly if you have been spending too much time in the world or practicing bad habits. But it will change. Gradually, your home will feel different to you. You will long for holiness for each of the souls in your family who are walking your life journey with you. You will see their spiritual development as the priority. Dearest man, created by God, this is your role. You, in partnership with your wife, are to shepherd your little ones through their childhoods so that they can grow strong in the service to the Kingdom. Be brave and allow Me, Joseph, to show you how this should be done.

June 17, 2004
St. Joseph Speaks to Fathers

Dear sons of God, you must treat fatherhood like the great honor that it is. By allowing you to provide formation to a child, Our God has placed a degree of trust in you. You will not want to disappoint Him. You must listen to for direction on what your children require for the best possible preparation in life. Because each soul is unique, the same approach that works for one, will not work for all. Each child will need thoughtful consideration given to the approach that will best suit their nature. Fathers, when do you give the rearing of your children this consideration? You should spend some time each day thinking of your children and what they need. It is important, of course, that they be fed and clothed, but not to excess. It is important that they have shelter, and if possible, an education. What I want to stress to you, fathers of the world, is that your children need your love, along with these other things. Children, more than anything, must know that their father loves them and considers them precious. Your actions every day will tell your children how you feel about them. If you are called on to correct a child, do so gently, with love. If a child angers you, you must remember that you were once a child and made similar mistakes. Do not frighten your children, fathers. This is not love. This is the opposite of love. Your child should respect you, of course, and you should not tolerate behavior that will not be welcome in the Kingdom, but expect some bad behavior and expect to have to gently correct your children. Fathers often make the mistake of thinking that their primary function with children is that of disciplinarian. This is an error. Your primary function as a father is to love and then to set an example that your children can follow which will result in eternity in heaven. Are you doing this, dear man? Be vigilant in examining your own behavior and be certain that your children are not mimicking something in you when they misbehave. This is important, so pay heed. I love you dearly, men of the world. I understand the influences with which you struggle. That is why you must spend time in prayer, and not with entertainment. Your Jesus wants to help you and He wants you to help Him. This is a dark time for mankind because many have said no to God and to holy living. If you have done this, you must tell Jesus today that you are willing to change and that you desire that He help you. I tell you most sincerely that Jesus will handle everything if you are willing to change. He will forgive you every sin. He will mitigate any damage that neglect has done to your children. Jesus, in short, will solve your problems but you must spend time in silence with Him. Make prayer the most important part of your day, fathers. Only in this way can you determine what Jesus requires from you with regard to your life and your parenting. Heaven understands that you have pressures and that you must earn your living and support your family. Heaven respects these things because it is heaven who has ordained this way of life for you. You must constantly ask heaven to guide you in these matters, as well as in spiritual matters. We will hear your prayers and assist you. But you must be the head of your family now and set a tone of respect for God.

June 18, 2004
St. Joseph Speaks to Fathers

Again today, I call out to fathers. Dear men, you must face your mistakes fearlessly. Examine with me, the way that you live. Do you live for God? If God were to call you home to heaven today, could you lie down peacefully, content that you had worthily accepted your vocation as husband and father? As human beings, created by God, we are all subject to His time. When He decrees that your time on earth has passed, it has passed. There will be no second chances with regard to either your life or your parenting. When your children are grown, the opportunity to influence them diminishes. You should never give up setting an example for your children and attempting to help them to see the straight path to heaven, but you can do far more with children than adults. So you see, dear man, that you must seize the opportunity to mold your child when he is small. Many souls on earth think that they are entitled to great amounts of relaxation and play time. I tell you most solemnly that play time is for children. If you are an adult, you should be concerned with serving Christ, and not with entertaining yourself. If you spend time in silent prayer, considering Jesus and what He did for you, you will understand what it is He asks that you do for Him. This is simple, I know, but I assure you that few men are giving Christ this time to work in their souls. It is for this reason we have reached the current level of darkness. Historically man said no to sin. In this day man says yes to sin. Children suffer because if man is saying yes to sin, he is saying no to his vocation. You cannot live two ways, my dear friend, so you must make a choice. Choose God. There is no future for you of your family in choosing darkness. Do not underestimate the power of God to assist a soul who seeks goodness. He will help you.

I would like to speak about how I treated Mary, my wife on earth. I treated her with the greatest dignity and respect. I tried to help her when I could, and I remained in constant awareness of her comfort and happiness. I was unable to provide her with great wealth, and sometimes we were forced to go without, subsisting on the barest of necessities. She did not complain and I did not rail against God for placing us in trying times. I humbly placed my little family in the care of God and did the best I could to provide for them. Dear men of the world, there are those who are in far more need than you, whatever your circumstances. You must be content with what God has given you. Remember that there will always be those with more, and there will always be those with less. Praise God in everything and you will be cared for by heaven. When you worry about material things, consider what would happen if you were to do without many of the things you have today. Would you starve? Spend some time considering what it is your body needs for survival and I think you will see that you have been given these things. There may come a time when you do not have as much as you have today. How you will shake your heads at your former complaints. Do you understand what I am trying to tell you? Do not wish for more; wish to be happier with less. Pray this way and God will help you by showing you that you do not need all of these things with which you surround yourself. These things are a distraction. Your families are no happier than those who have less, and this I say from experience. We were very happy on earth and we had little. Keep a heavenly perspective and you will not feel that you require more.


June 19, 2004
St. Joseph Speaks to Fathers

Dear men, destined to serve God, please consider that your first duty is to your family. Indeed, caring for your wife and children is your sacred duty, and all of heaven will help you to make this your priority. God’s love will flow through you into your home, and He, through you, will be the leader of your family. Do you want this to happen? Look closely at your home and family and determine if it is already this way. If it is, then all is well and we will continue on, heaven working closely with you to steer your family through difficult times. If this is not the case, then you must understand that there is work to be done in your life. Most men in today’s world have a little work to do so do not be discouraged if you see things that must be removed from your life. Be brave and steady and you will come to know God’s will for you. Dear man, you were created by God to serve during this time and God needs your service. He is calling out to all of His children now and asking that souls put aside worldly desires in favor of heavenly desires. Come to the most direct path to heaven and do not leave this path again. Please. You will be so glad that you served in a very short time. These times are not ordinary times, my dear friend. These are extraordinary times and the greatest of heavenly help is available for God’s servants. Do not be anxious by this. Be grateful. Jesus is all good. If you but knew the depth of His compassion and love for you, there would be no need for any words at all. But souls in the world have been distracted and the view to heaven has been all but obliterated by the darkness of sin. There is little joy on earth and many souls wander in despair. You must not do that. You are a child of the Kingdom and you must walk in joy. I will show you that path to joy. As a man of god, you have the greatest dignity as your right. That dignity comes from living a purposeful life in union with Jesus. When you seek His will, look no further than your family and you will find your path to salvation. Join us, the army that seeks to wage war on darkness. We are brave and loyal to our King. Our King, Jesus Christ, gives us all that we require for this battle. He has a particular mission for you but you must sit in silence and ask Him to reveal it to you. I, Joseph, am very close to the Saviour. I will intercede for you to help you eradicate sin in your life and restore your heavenly role to its rightful level of holiness. Be at peace in everything, but do not hesitate to answer yes to God.

August 2, 2004
Jesus

My servants must remember that sin is an intentional mistake and should not be confused with an unintentional mistake, such as dropping a glass. Little children very often obey their impulses and commit small transgressions, such as striking out at another. Along with our Blessed Mother, Mary, I refer to these acts as mistakes. This is acceptable when referring to the acts of children. Deliberate acts of malice, committed by older children or adults, should be referred to as sin, which is always forgivable.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Heaven Speaks to Families -- Volume Six Part One

I requested and was given permission to reprint messages from Volume Six of Direction for our Times, as given to "Anne", a Lay Apostle. See this link for more on this particular apostolate.

This is the first of four sections of this particular volume: Mary, an Unknown Saint, speaks to Mothers.

This does not include the introduction, table of contents, comments from the publisher or other portions included in the book version.

June 7, 2004 Mary (an unknown saint)

With gracious permission from the Lord Jesus Christ, I speak today to all mothers. You are living in a time where mothers are no longer honored for the important role they play in the protection and development of society. Mothers, you are the cornerstone of the home and the home is the place where a person’s soul begins his or her critical formation. The enemy labors relentlessly to persuade mothers that they should leave the home and abandon the development of their children to others. Mothers, another person cannot love your child the way you love your child. Another person, even though they may be a good person, is not intimately interested in the emotional and spiritual development of your child. Many of you must work to support your family. Jesus understands that and will help you, as will I. But you must scrutinize your situation fearlessly and be certain you are leaving your children so that you can earn the money to procure necessities. It will not be acceptable to say you left the rearing of your children to others so that you could earn money that was not needed. I tell you this because Our Lord wishes families to be together. Jesus, who knows exactly what each soul requires for proper formation, is asking that mothers remain home with their children whenever possible. I am unknown in your world, yet, I am a beloved saint here in heaven. On earth, I cared for my children in my home. There were many times when I found the work tedious. I can assure you that I often longed to be working outside of my home because I had always thought I would work professionally. The days may seem tedious, dear mothers, but when stitched together they make the most beautiful tapestry that illustrates the growth of a little soul. I earned a very high place in heaven simply by caring for my husband and children. If you have more than one child then you are teaching Christ-like behavior all day long as you show the children how to behave toward each other. If this beautiful formation occurs in your home, you will send your children out, knowing that you have helped the Kingdom to release Christ followers into the troubled world. You may not understand the gravity of your role but if you meditate on it you will see that if all mothers were to abandon their responsibilities, we would see even greater darkness. Jesus will not allow this of course. I want to speak to those mothers who have lost children through sickness or tragedy. Dearest mother, whose heart is broken, you will see your child again, and when you do you will see that your child has been joyful and cared for in your brief separation. Do not grieve if you can help it, but spread joy to those who also grieve. Ask me and I will help you to do this because I know that it seems an impossible thing. All is well in heaven. Have no fear that your child is not with God. We must all cooperate with heaven during this time so prayerfully consider what it is that Jesus needs from you.

June 8, 2004 Mary (An Unknown Saint)

Again, today, I speak to mothers. Jesus, who understands all, wishes that I speak to you with the power of experience. When someone speaks to you about a skill and you suspect that the person knows nothing about the topic he addresses, you tend to wonder why you are listening. But when someone speaks to you with the benefit of experience, you listen more carefully, because if you are wise you will wish to learn from that person’s experience and so avoid mistakes you might otherwise make. I wish to help you to understand the noble task of mothering that God has willed for you. If you are a mother, the parenting and direction of your child must be the first priority of each day. You must see to the child’s need before anything else. If you are working in a job where it is not possible to do this, you must consider carefully whether or not Our Lord wishes you to remain in that job. Again I must say that I do not speak to mothers who are working to provide for food and shelter for their children. You will know yourself if you are working from necessity or working from the desire to acquire more worldly possessions than you need. Let us examine what is necessary for a child to flourish in today’s world. Food, shelter and clothing are the barest concrete necessities. What kind of food does your child need? Simple food, prepared at home, by someone who loves the child. This is the best way to nourish a growing body. If your child is well used to eating at home and eating simple foods, that child will not demand more elaborate fare. If the child does demand more elaborate fare, you simply say no. Now we look at shelter. When a child is born and is laid in his mother’s arms, he does not wonder how many rooms are in his home. He feels safe and warm and is content. That child is brought home. Again, he is not concerned with how big his house is, rather, he is concerned that when he cries, his mother responds. The child begins to grow and look around. Still, he does not say, why don’t I have a big house? Why don’t I have an expensive car to drive in? He looks to his parents for guidance in this area and if his parents are content with what that family has, then the child understands that there is no reason to complain. If a parent is discontent and always longing for something better or something more, the child feels he, too, has been shorted. Mothers, please set a tone of thanksgiving for what you have, regardless of how humble are your possessions. Your child will do the same and you will set the course for a lifetime of contentment, rather than a lifetime of greed and covetousness. I must speak about clothing. Again, if you do not entertain thoughts of bitterness that your clothes are not as fine as the next person’s, your child will think nothing of it. When he comes home and says that other children have better clothing than he does, you must say that in heaven nobody looks at clothing and begin to praise the beauty of your child’s soul and the lovely virtues that are developing. My child will not like this, some will say. Again I say to you dear mothers that your child will adopt the tone you set. Set a tone of simplicity in your home and explain to your child that your family rejects the notion that fine clothes and homes make fine people. Holy households make fine people and that is what you must strive for. You will find peace in your home if you try to implement these concepts because you will have all of heaven assisting you. I understand that some children have been exposed to worldly ideas and we will speak about that tomorrow. For today, concentrate on simplicity in your home.


June 9, 2004 Mary (An Unknown Saint)

Dear mothers, you must serve tirelessly. Those who have not experienced motherhood cannot understand how hard it can be to work, perform the same tasks, over and over. When you perform these tasks in love, great graces can be obtained for both your family and for the Kingdom. In this way you are directly contributing to the advancement of the cause of heaven. Jesus is so pleased with this kind of cooperative service and He will reward you in countless ways. Cleaning your floors then becomes a divine service, as does washing your dishes, or cleaning the children’s clothes, or any of the hundreds of domestic chores you perform daily. I am in heaven now and I have the benefit of such wisdom and knowledge. You would be overjoyed to see my reward, yet I was a simple housewife. I looked on my role of mother as a serious task. I saw each child individually and wondered where they would fit. I tried to help them develop their strengths, all the while searching for the character flaws that might cause them hardship. When I spotted something I felt might be a problem for them, I tried to help them conquer this flaw. These little acts of control or mortification should be praised in your small ones because as they grow they will then practice that same control or mortification as adults. There is no way to understand the importance of that early formation. Truly, believe me when I tell you that you will see your children as adults behaving the same way they did as children, so if a troublesome behavior is allowed as a child, that individual will practice that same behaviour as an adult only you will have little power to correct it. So watch your children closely and praise their little virtues with great constancy. Praise and encouragement will win the day with little ones. When you do identify that little flaw, mothers, speak softly but firmly and explain how Jesus will help with any temptations. Do not criticize your child in such a way that they are embarrassed as this is never a good thing and causing a child public shame results in the most serious effects. But quietly and privately explain why such behaviour is wrong and how it could hurt either someone else or the person committing the act. The little soul is so precious and must be preserved. We teach children how to clean themselves and how to feed themselves. We must also teach children how to clean and feed their little souls. Many of today’s children do not even know they have a soul, much less how to protect it and maintain it. Poor Jesus. How he looks with sadness upon these precious little ones, so hungry in spiritual terms. Mothers, treat this responsibility with the greatest reverence. I want to help you. Our Lady wants to help you. I prayed to her so often and she always helped me. There were many times when I worried myself nearly sick over a child. There was no need for this. I should have trusted more. I urge you all to pray together but we hardly need talk about the necessity of family prayer. Let me say that there are invisible graces that flow down upon a family during family prayer. Those graces provide unseen ties that hold a family close during all trials. Pretend these ties are visible and that you can see them, flowing down upon your family as you pray together. I want to tell you that when you attempt to introduce family prayer to those children who have not prayed together in the past, you may experience resistance. Expect this. Also, when you say no to a child who has previously been given many material things, you will get anger. It will pass. Your child will object to being forced to pray and having material things taken away. Be brave, mothers. Be strong. Do not think for a moment that your decisions should be based on the anger or resistance of your children. Make your decision, and then impose it. Your children will come around if you are firm. Pray to Our Lady to help you turn your household into another holy family that serves the Kingdom. She will hear you and she will help. Set an example of calm holiness yourself and I promise that all will be well.

June 10, 2004 Mary (An Unknown Saint)

We must speak today to all mothers who are alone in the parenting of their children. Dear mother, you are supposed to have help, it is true. It is very difficult to be alone in a job that requires two people. Do not be afraid though, because in this situation heaven steps in with great power. You must tell yourself to be brave. You will never be alone in any problem that involves your parenting. God is the Father of your children and He has placed them in your care. He will see that you have everything you need to shepherd your children through their childhoods. You must communicate with Him constantly about your fears, your concerns over their development, and of course, providing for their material needs. You should also confide in Mary, the Blessed Mother. She was a constant source of comfort and support to me in my own parenting. Between Jesus and Mary, you will have all of the assistance you require. Please believe that if you are following that path to heaven, your children will also follow the path to heaven. A great deal of the work of parenting is done in the example that you set. If you walk constantly toward Christ, your children will recognize that path, and they will recognize when they have left that path. You are not a single parent, dear mother, because you are part of a heavenly team that is going to see that your children receive exactly what they need to serve Christ. You have many friends in heaven who understand your struggles. Cry out to them when you are worried. When you experience joy and there is nobody there to share it with you, share it with Jesus. He will experience such delight if you do this. Our Jesus wants people to rely on Him in grief, of course, but He takes special joy in a soul calling Him in to share family happiness or accomplishment. This will create for Jesus a firm role in your family and He will not disappoint you or fail to pull His share of the weight. Such a thing is not possible. You must always remember this, dear little mother who feels so afraid at times. You are not alone. Speak constantly to heaven about your children. Heaven is filled with souls who cherish them as much as you do. Mothers, there will be children who divert from the heavenly path at times. You must try not to be alarmed because this is not uncommon. Pray constantly for these souls, of course, but show them peace in the face of their rebellion. Explain that they have left the heavenly path and that if they are off the path when Christ comes, there is the danger of not getting back to the path in time to get to heaven. I speak of course about older children who have rejected Christ and Christian living. I hear the cries of mothers who worry over these rebellious ones. That is why I speak of it. Remember that Christ is all mercy to a mother. Your maternal prayers are powerful so continue to pray for your child but do not think that all is lost, regardless of the circumstances. Even in the direst cases, Jesus will forgive all for the sake of a holy mother. So really, there is nothing you should upset yourself with, dear mothers. Our Lord will save your children and protect their eternities. Your job is to cooperate with Him. Speak the truth to your children fearlessly, in kindness and love, and they will belong to Christ.

June 11, 2004 Mary (An Unknown Saint)

Mothers of this time have many fears and justifiably so. The world seeks to snatch souls from Jesus and attempts to entice children away from the path. Mothers, do not fear, but talk to your children about sin. When a child commits an act that is sinful, you must tell that child that he or she has committed a sin. You must then make a habit of participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that the child understands that while he or she has committed a sin, there is forgiveness available. You must secure your children’s habit now, so that when grown they understand not only that a sin has been committed, but how they should go about cleansing their soul. They must know that they have a need for this Sacrament often. These habits stick, which is why it is so important to ingrain them in souls when they are young. If you do this, you will see your children taking responsibility for their mistakes as adults. This is what the world is lacking during this time of darkness. There is a great deal of blame being laid by souls who refuse to acknowledge that they make mistakes. In this way, they do not have to change sinful patterns of behaviour. The world reinforces this by the constant game of blaming someone or something other than the person who committed the act. Mothers, do not allow this to happen in your home. Be kind and understanding always but if a child commits an act that has risen to the level of sinful behaviour, you have an obligation to call it by name and the name of such an act is sin. It can be difficult if your husband is not following the same path. This is a great cross for you and also a great cross for your children. In that case you must pray with the greatest of diligence, every day, for your husband’s conversion. You must also continue to set the example, often in the face of ridicule, that you will not be enticed to sin simply because your husband is behaving in a rebellious way. Many marriages today are ill advised because one of the parties has no intention of following Christ. If this is the case, you must not marry this person. You cannot be expected to bring up children as Christians if your husband refuses to acknowledge Christ as the Leader. Take heart though, if you are in this situation. Do your best, dear woman, and let Jesus flow into your home with special graces. He will do this and He will hear your pleas for peace in your home. And do not lose hope that your husband will convert. Your children will also know the Truth, and, although there will be times when it suits them to follow the path of the non-believer, they will return to Christ. The best way, indeed the only way, to have a holy family, is to live in holiness and allow Christ to protect your family. He will do this for you.

June 12, 2004 Mary (An Unknown Saint)

We must all give great thanks and praise to God the Father for allowing these many graces to flow down into your world. It is a sign of His great mercy that so many of us are allowed to speak to you. I have a special bond with mothers of course, because so much of my life was spent in this role. I want to say a brief word to mothers of children who are ill or who struggle with disability. Mothers, our little child will be perfectly healed in heaven. You must believe that God understands your heartache and that He wishes to walk with you in this heartache at each moment. I know how difficult this may be, but try to accept that God had a purpose for allowing your child to experience this suffering. You are a part of that purpose so be certain that you continually ask God to send each and every grace available to you. Set a tone of joyful acceptance always and your child will understand that he or she is precious and perfect in your eyes and in the eyes of God. I lost a little child to sickness so I understand the great sorrow attached to this heavy cross. You will never regret that you accepted great sorrow for Christ. Believe me please when I tell you that in heaven all is joy. If you are struggling with crosses involving your children, you must cry out often to heaven, sometimes all day long. Heaven will help you, in many ways, but the most important grace that heaven will send is peace, and peace will soothe your family and decrease the weight of your cross. Do not compare your family life to others, who live only for the world. You must live for heaven and for the Kingdom so compare your family life to that of the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph lived simply and humbly, offering all to heaven. They often went quietly without for lack of money. They spent time in exile. They served God in everything, seeking only His will. They were fair and just in their dealings with others and used the family home setting to increase their virtues by selfless service to each other. Mary, our heavenly mother, is the model of all mothers. She was kind, gentle, and she was constant and consistent. She did not require long holidays from her role as mother. Her husband and child were her first priority and her role in her home was her vocation. Joseph is the model for fathers and wishes to speak with you himself. In heaven, Joseph is honoured with the greatest of reverence. His faith alone makes him worthy of the greatest reward, but his humility also bears mention. He will speak to all, but especially to fathers. I thank God for allowing me, Mary, a humble little saint in heaven’s ranks, to speak with you. Call on me for anything. My love and prayers are with you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Baby Kicks

This morning as my 19-month old summoned me to retrieve her from bed and greeted me with a smile and her a gentle kick, I was instantly transported back two years. It was two years ago today, on my 37th birthday as I lay in bed that morning, that I first felt her kick. From the inside, of course. That qualified as my best birthday gift ever.

She still is a gift, as is my whole life. I am just so grateful to God for my husband, our children, our home, our life, and most especially to Our Lord for all the places He has brought me as I've walked with Him.

And really I feel younger than in years past. Maybe it is not so much about feeling young as it is about feeling alive.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Crinoid Stem


Wednesday I finally got further insight into my pre-6th grade Earth Science class experience.

More about the experience in a minute. The more recent experience first. I went to the Carnegie Natural History museum Wednesday with my children, and remembered this time to bring along "my fossil". A volunteer was kind enough to ring up a paleontologist, who took my little specimen, examined it, and returned with the verdict. It's a crinoid stem, from the Silurian Age, which was about 443-417 million years ago. And I thought that finding it in Madison in 1978 made it old.

So, I took this Earth Science class in the summer before I started 6th grade. I guess the main idea there was to get used to my new Middle School (as dreadful as it actually was, it would have taken a lot more than a class to get used to it). One day we took a bus out to a rock quarry west of Madison with instructions to "look around until we found something fossil-like." Talk about a completely non-systematic needle-in-a-haystack type of project! I remember feeling like this endeavor was completely hopeless. The 15 or 20 of us looked through a mountain of limestone rocks which all looked exactly the same. I approached the teacher, complaining that it was useless. He, patiently or exasperatedly -- I couldn't tell the difference -- told me to just keep looking. I sighed, and went back to digging through the mountain. Suddenly I saw it -- a REAL fossil. Relatively speaking, a HUGE fossil. I brought it to the teacher. I don't remember if he then told me, but if he didn't he didn't really have to: "See, I told you not to give up!" That was the life-lesson I gleaned from that experience. All the way home I looked at what turned out to be the biggest find anyone made. Just when I wanted to give up, I kept going, and found this.

I've kept it on my desk or dresser ever since. Through high school, college, working, Japan, grad school, marriage. I've told my son the story several times. And Wednesday I finally remembered to get it identified. I did kinda wonder whether it wasn't just a mud-covered bed spring, because that's a bit what it looks like.


(This is what the thing supposedly once looked like when it lived in the bottom of the ocean where Wisconsin currently is.)

There is of course a bit of irony here, as I was raised to believe in a strict six day creation, as per Genesis. I recall telling my 5th grade teacher that I didn't believe dinosaurs ever existed, for instance. As they supposedly lived all those millions of years ago, and I didn't accept that millions of years had happened, I didn't accept that they existed.

To be honest, I haven't researched or concluded everything about how I do view claims of millions and millions of years. I do accept Genesis, but I do also accept that a six 24-hour day creation is not what Genesis teaches. (Scott Hahn's book A Father Who Keeps His Promises has been most effective for me there.) But the science, well, let's just say it's still on my to-study list.

And as my son is keen on everything scientific, I'll need to bring it near the top of my list pretty soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Will to Power

I'm back to pondering power and service again as it pertains to parenting.

I belong to a bunch of yahoo discussion groups and have become scarcer and scarcer on them. This is a re-prioritization project that I feel the Lord has me in the midst of. I've thought: why belong to these groups? Many I joined as support groups for various things from infertility to computer problems. Some are just to chat about things with like-minded people (mostly "Mom's groups"). But, I've thought, why is it important for me to belong to these groups? I think at heart, with most of them at this stage in my life, I want to pass along insights that have helped me that I'd like to see be helpful in others' lives. (One exception would be the Catholic Unschoolers group, which is a place to glean and ponder.)

It kind of boils down to the desire to influence people. This is the sort of thing, I think, that never feels like "enough". Like potato chip eating. (Or soy chip for Type O and A ;)) Then the next step is feeling irked when people are not falling all over my suggestions and raving about how they have changed their lives for the better. Oh, sometimes people will credit me for a step they have taken, and sometimes it makes me feel real good for a moment. But then there has to be that next chip eaten.

So, this just feels like a cycle that isn't doing me that much good. Wanting to have power and influence in people's lives -- in a disordered way -- just isn't good for anyone. But in praying over this, I see that the people God has called me to have influence over primarily are those living under my roof, particularly the little people. And how do I have influence over them? Well, it isn't my lecturing them with all my wonderful ideas. It's by serving them. It's by loving them, being present for them, by being a virtuous example to them, helping them see themselves as God sees them and to encounter others and treat them with the same respect and dignity.

I used to think it would be neat to be a seminary professor. What an honor to have a role in the formation of future priests! What an ego perk for me! But now I realize -- how about the general formation of tiny little minds?! Not just for a few months or a couple years, but for the long-term.

I come back to that gospel again that I wrote about a few months ago . True influence, true power is that ability to be like cellophane through which people encounter God. It is not dominance, coercion, or the desire for adulation or prestige. Mary is like cellophane. Is glass a better metaphore? If you see a cake all wrapped up, you don't say "wow, look at that great wrapping!" You say, oh, that cake looks great.

Hmm.. will have to ponder the cellophane thing a bit. Anyway, influence and power are most potent when not lorded over others, but when God takes the lead and the cellophane is open to following His directive.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Vaccine Action Alert

The FDA has recently announced that it is open for comments from the general public regarding the "Characterization and qualification of Cell Substrate and Other Biological Starting Materials for the Production of Viral Vaccines ". In other words, yes, we can make public comment that will be heard by the Pharmaceutical Industry regarding the use of aborted fetal cells for the production of vaccines.

Click here for more info and here to register your comments.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Child-Led Fashion



Child-led learning? Yes. I'm all for it.

Child-led fashion? Sorry, she's just not ready.

Blood Type Surprise

We've been following the Eat Right For Your Type eating approach for about a year now, give or take. We thought it was so handy that my husband and I and our daughter were all type O. How convenient. The only wildcard was our son, whom we adopted. Still don't know his type.

I bought two blood type cards recently, and today was the day when we were going to test my son. It involves getting stuck by a little lancet, of course, so at the last moment he chickened out, after I had the card all prepared. So, I tested my daughter instead, since we didn't know her rhesus factor (positive or negative).

Imagine my surprise when her result turned up A+!

I was distracted by this development all day long, told my husband about it, and had him sit down for the test right after dinner. He who long believed himself to be O- tested as A-.

Now, you know that something is really a part of your life when a change in it throws you for a complete loop. It was like discovering you aren't really who you thought you were. Just very, very weird.

For dh, it means no beef or lamb. No tomatoes, bananas or green peppers (things he'd been eating daily). It means coffee gets a welcome back (instead of a guilty drink now and then). Sour cream, non-fat, goes back in the fridge, corn and corn chips (do you have any idea how many things corn shows up in?), and lots of grains.

For me, it means learning a whole second set of food requirements, and doing a bit of creative meal preparation.

Now I can just guess that ds will test as B. Just to throw me for another loop.

The Eat Right plan really has produced great results for me. I've never been exactly overweight, but I have lost pounds that just weren't going anywhere. The best result of course was that we were able to conceive my daughter -- cutting out wheat and dairy seemed to have a drastic effect on my endometriosis.

So, I do recommend the plan. And soon, I'll know a whole lot more about how another 40% of the world's population best eats!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Direction for our Times

Two weeks ago, I went to hear a speaker at Franciscan University. She is known as Anne, and she is reported to receive locutions from Heaven. Now, I am not one who chases after every private revelation or everyone claiming a message from God. I believe, wholeheartedly, that God does speak to people. That God desires to communicate with us in private ways. But I believe the Church also asks us to be discerning.

That Fr. Michael Scanlon and Dr. Mark Miravalle were welcoming her got my attention as they certainly are not light-weights or people who promote spurious causes.

So, I went. I was pretty much expecting to hear someone who was serious, dramatic, who had instructions about more praying and more fasting, or something like that.

Instead what I heard was a woman whose demeanor can best be described as "normal." Extremely normal. Her message was not at all dreary, or heavy or depressing. And so much, SO MUCH of what she said just resonated with me and affirmed what I feel God has been leading me in for the last many months.

You can read more about the mission here:
http://www.directionforourtimes.com/


After she spoke, there was a Holy Hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The priest who works with this apostolate lead the holy hour, and we prayed (among other intentions) that God would give us the grace to know clearly His will into which He desired to lead us.

This last week I have had that grace, and many others.

Much of the message is simply that we need to embrace our daily duty in a holy way. Live simply, and get rid of "excess baggage" that detracts from our duty or just isn't necessary. Offer and consecrate each day to the Lord, pledge your allegiance to Him and pray for the grace to follow His will in all things. God's desire, this message tells us, is to come into the world through us, through our daily duties which we thus consecrate to Him.

There are many writings which Anne has produced, and I've only read a few little things. I want to read more, though, and plan to do so.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Unschooling Snippets

Yesterday Kwamai and I did a few fun things. For one, we read through a science book on light and colors. It was written with a little information, then questions to elicit from the reader what s/he already knew about the subject at hand, and experiments to find out more.

Here are some of Kwamai's comments.
Q: What are things that give off light?
A: The sun, the full moon, lots of little stars all bunched together, planet blobs in the sky.

Q: How can you see at night?
A: You can use your whiskers to feel where you are.

Q: How can you make a shadow get bigger?
A: Hold someone's hand.

We tried our first full-fledged science experiment, which was supposed to show that if you twirl a multi-colored ring around you will see white, due to colors blending into white light. It didn't work, but Kwamai thought it was great fun anyway.

Then I tried a little idea to expand Kwamai's sight vocabulary and ability to spell beyond toilet content words. I gave him a magazine, asked him to pick out pictures and tell me what word he associated with it. He picked Elmo, football (as in the sport, not the object), drums, funny face and colors. I pasted the pictures onto cardboard, and put the written words on the back. He looked them over a few times, and was able to tell me by looking at the word what it said very quickly. He did have to concentrate a bit a couple of times which tells me he truly was reading it. The funny thing was, when he tried to verbally spell "drums", he started out "p...". From reading the book Upsidedown Brilliance, I knew that if I told him that b, d, p, and q were all the same letter just turned a different way, that that would make sense (and was "ok" and wouldn't scar him educationally for life!!)

The cool thing to see was how his confidence soared after mastering these few words. It was like he knew he could do something he really wanted to do.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Remembering Fr. John



Fr. John Campbell, S. J., was my spiritual director at a very pivotal time in my life. I had just become a Catholic, and there was much that was confusing to me. It was like stepping into dazzling brilliance from murky grey.

God had led me right to him, practically. He (God) had given me rather specific instruction to start going to daily Mass. When I finally heeded that call, I went to the 5:30 pm Mass at Gesu parish (on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, which was about 8 blocks from my then-apartment). I remember the first Mass I attended at which Fr. John presided. I thought to myself "he might even be saved!" I didn't have any trust in clergy at the time, and almost none in anyone Catholic. (It was no big surprise that God had me wait almost 18 months from my initial conversion of heart to actually entering the Church, but that is another story.)

Fr. John preached intelligent, thoughtful homilies, and even then I could see that he was all about the paschal mystery.

But eventually one thing really started to bother me about dear old Fr. John. He was of the generation and place and circumstance where he just never called God "He." He didn't call God She, either, mind you; mostly just "God." I remember one Psalm response which became "God Godself is in the midst of God's people." It started to drive me nuts, and soon I started to avoid that particular 5:30 pm Mass and attend at a different parish when I could. Then one Sunday (mind you, this was all before I actually came into the Church, in 1992), he was the presider for the particular Mass I attended. I *almost* turned to leave to come back for the next Mass, when certainly another of the many Jesuits would be presiding. But something made me stay. Specifically, God kicking me in the butt. If the Holy Spirit can have a stern "voice", He told me ever so sternly to respect this man (and by connection, everyone participating in Holy Orders). Specifically because this man knew what it was to walk through the darkness by faith. I felt deeply chastised, humbled, and practically commanded to pray for and love this man.

What happened next, I will never forget. A Religious Sister started talking to me after Mass, a rarity. We chatted on and on, and then she suddenly said "have you met Fr. John? Let me introduce you." She led me over to where he was, and introduced me. He started telling her that I listened so intently to his homilies, and that it really helped him to pray. He was so gracious, so welcoming, so real, so accepting of me. I felt like slithering under the tiles in the floor. Now, he knew who I was.

I don't remember how long it was after that that I really really felt the need for a spiritual director. I felt like a kitten whom God was picking up by the scruff of my neck and depositing at Fr. John's door. At the time I was so extremely nervous about talking to strangers (and everyone felt like a stranger to me). It took a good long time, almost a year I think, and enough desperation, for me to finally call him. Again gracious, he returned my call with that jovial voice of his.

We met for spiritual direction for the first time in January of 1994. He had the great skill of making me feel completely at ease, and not at all strange for being an ex-Pentecostal struggling to make sense of myself in a Catholic context. We met monthly at least for the next nine months. I poured out my heart, we shared a few tears, and most of all, he listened. Listened. Listened very well. I don't remember much of what he told me, and I do remember some of it not seeming to make any sense at the time at all. But we were able to share in a kind of spiritual communion that was deeply healing to me.

Then, I went to Japan. It was really the worst decision I had ever made, and I made it during my third month in spiritual direction. He wasn't the type of director to say "now, Marie, are you sure this is a good decision? Are you sure this is what God wants for you?" Maybe I really needed to learn the hard way at the time.

And he was there when the whole Japan thing came down around my ears. I ended up being briefly engaged to a Japanese man, and that would have been such a disaster had we actually gotten married. I shudder to think of it. I was back in the States on "break" when I realized I needed to come home for good, and I was about to be stranded in Los Angeles -- long story there. Fr. John set me up with relatives of his who were so kind to me. When I finally washed up on shore to the US again for good, I saw him again.

And then I was off to Steubenville.

I had written to him frequently in Japan, and he made it clear he wasn't a correspondent and wouldn't write back, and I said that was fine. Once I got to Steubenville and started truly feeling alive again in many ways, I started writing letters of thanks to Fr. John. I think maybe once or twice a year I would just well up with the awareness of thanks for the gift God had made of Fr. John in my life.

After I got married, Fr. John eventually started writing back. My husband and I had lunch with him when we went to Wisconsin one Christmastime. That was wonderful, and strange too, for I still had a good deal of that painful shyness. Eventually, I would write at least at Christmastime, and so would he.

In Christmas of 2004, I wrote of our good news that we were expecting a baby in April, and that our son's adoption would finally be finalized. He wrote his news; he was battling cancer of the tongue, but he was looking victorious, although he'd been forced to stop preaching for several months.

My newborn daughter had this little half smirk-grin that reminded me so much of Fr. John. I so wanted to tell him that, and I thought of it every time I looked at her. It took me some time to get a picture sent off to him, though, with all the busyness of having a new baby. It was September when I finally did.

Around this time last year I got a card from Gesu Parish. I stared and swallowed when I realized it wasn't Fr. John's handwriting. It was from his superior. He had taken it upon himself to open my letter, and to let me know that Fr. John had passed away on June 26, 2005. The cancer had spread rapidly, the experimental treatments he had volunteered for were not successful. He welcomed his time to go home to the Father's house, at age 60.

I felt -- I feel still now, in a way, more alone in the world. Ah, but with friends in high places.

Fr. John, as always, I pray for you and carry you in my heart. Please, do the same for me.