One of the greatest gifts we were given growing up was a sincere respect for womanhood. This began with treating our mother in the most profound, gentle manner we could starting with total obedience to her as the heart of the family. Dad was the head of the family so naturally, just as our kids do today, we gravitated to Mom. It's only natural then that Catholics therefore gravitate to our Heavenly Mom. It is also that love, affection and respect for Blessed Mary that prompted us to respect the frail sex. This was, of course, before the womens libbers flooded the estrogen market with testosterone and masculated the masses of women the world over. No wonder Our Lady weeps. That, too, is something missing today - the word "lady" which represents one of the highest class and of the utmost morals. This editor still feels so blessed that he found the "lady of his dreams" when my bride Cyndi came into my life back in the first days of 1981. In fact, it was on Mother's Day that we said "I do" on May 10, 1981, a year notable for both the start of Mother Angelica's phenomenal and necessary Eternal Word Television Network and the beginning of the Medjugorje apparitions six weeks later.
In fact, it was at Medjugorje nine years later on May 10, 1990 that we both experienced our encounter with the Holy Spirit and a full conversion experience that would change our lives forever. We were blessed to have with us our spiritual director Father Al Svobodny, OMI who has continued to help us on our spiritual journey ever since as he celebrates this month his golden jubilee of 50 years as a priest. We will be doing a special tribute to this man of God in a few weeks, but for now this column is dedicated today to Mothers. It was at Medjugorje that we rekindled a relationship with the greatest Mother in the world and committed ourselves to her forever by saying "yes" to Our Lady. It helped give us an inkling of what His Holiness John Paul II intended when he dedicated his pontificate to Mary with his Totus Tuus motto. It helped give us a better understanding of what Wayne Weible meant when he said that it may take a while to say 'yes' to Our Lady but when you do, you're hooked. That is how we first heard about Medjugorje - through Wayne's first book "Medjugorje, the Message" in 1989. On June 1st his latest book will be released entitled "The Harvest" which brings the Medjugorje mission full circle in explaining what the Gospa - Our Lady - is asking.
Three years later we had our marriage blessed on our twelfth anniversary in one of the crypt chapels below St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. who had accompanied us along with Father Vince LeMoines to the eternal city on a special mission to give the rule and constitution of the Institute of Divine Mercy to the Holy Father through Cardinal William Baum's help. So you see, Cyndi has not only been the mother of our two sons Kevin Michael and Kellin Joseph but also of the new congregation of contemplative, cloistered nuns with houses in Texas and Puerto Rico. Actually, the term mother is not appropriate as the founder of the Institute of Divine Mercy for it is merely a fulfillment of what Our Lord asked of Blessed Faustina Kowalska in the 1930's. Cyndi was merely the facilitator, the midwife so to speak in helping the Institute receive full Church approval on May 23, 1995. Since that time her role has been, by and large, as a prayer warrior supporting the fledgling congregation through prayer.
It was less than a month after approval of the Institute that the messages to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart were completed on June 18, 1995 - the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In that message Our Lord said to her "My little hidden flower knows full well the solemnity of this Feast. She knows full well that this is My last message given to all the world through her, for she now enters upon her final mission of love of Me." And thus she embraced that mission which saw her more and more suffer as a victim soul, for the next four years. She suffered in many ways just as Jesus had foretold when he conveyed "Know that I desire to work in you in silence, that you shall suffer many crosses and that to you shall be given the triple martyrdom of body, mind and soul." Her name and reputation as a visionary, wife and mother were slandered terribly, yet she remained silent through it all. As one closest to her, this editor can attest to the great pain and suffering at being hurt by those whom she had thought were her friends, those she had trusted with her heart. Only in the final print issue of A Call To Peace did this editor finally speak out, clarifying the truth after much prayer and consultation with Fr. Al and the ministry's Board of Directors.
Through it all Cyndi remained silent and our love and marriage was tested greatly. Without a strong foundation in our faith and total trust in God's Will, our bond would have disintegrated under the stress of all that has occurred in the fashion of Job. But God has blessed us in accepting our crosses joyfully and having total faith in Him that whatever happens is for the best. All that has happened has been for the good and done in reparation for transgressions committed against God. It has also allowed Cyndi to return to her first duties - that of a mother. Both of our moms have been called home by God and so Cyndi is now the only bonafide mother on either side of our extended family. As mother she has been there for our boys who have struggled with the oxymorons of society and the paradoxes of striving to live God's Will and the narrow path we have shown them as opposed to the wide, easy road that society so temptingly offers with all the trappings and peer pressures. It's not easy growing up today. It's not easy being a parent today. Cyndi can attest to what countless other mothers would agree to, it's not easy being a mother today. She has experienced it all; from the painful miscarriages of Angel and Dawn to the exhiliaration of our boys' birth. She, like countless other mothers, has sat up all night with a sick child; withstood the excuses of why they didn't want to eat something or go to school on this day or that; and sought to soothe broken hearts when a supposed friend would turn on them. One of the toughest tasks for a mother has to be the fine line she walks in bringing a child through the gauntlet of childhood from the age of innocence to the exciting, but dangerous vistas of teenhood to the inevitable bulwark of adulthood and maturity without being scarred or tainted for life. It taint' easy, folks. Any mother can tell you that. But we all have a mother who not only understands all this, but has a special pipeline to the Lord. Another reason we have nothing to worry about because Mary is a good Jewish mother who is constantly reminding us of her Divine Son Jesus. Can't you just hear her saying, "Have I got a Son for you!" And so, on this Mother's Day weekend, we join Our Lord in wishing His mother a Happy Mother's Day and our own mothers and wives as well. After all, they are really moms to us as well because we all know they mother us whenever they can. And we all offer our heartfelt thanks to moms everywhere for whether it's our birth moms, our brides or the Blessed Mother, Mother's Day is a special day when mothers like to be mothered too!
Birth of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II son of Otto II during the reign of Pope Benedict VI.
The magnificent Cathedral of Rheims in France is destroyed by fire. Arson is suspected but never proven. One year later to the day in 1211 the cornerstone would be laid on complete reconstruction of the new Cathedral of Rheims.
Pope Clement V closes the Fifteenth General Council or the Council of Vienne begun in October 1311 in which the Church abolishes the Knights Templar and that all their property be turned over to the Hospitallers who were the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
The Lutheran army led by the German emperor Charles V sacks Rome, kills 147 of the elite Swiss Guard protecting the pontiff, and captures Pope Clement VII, imprisoning him for six months. Clement, though favored by Charles, opted to throw his support behind Francis I of France and that irked Charles to no end whose conquest ended the High Renaissance in Italy.
Saint Francis Xavier arrives in Goa, India in his quest to bring the faith to the Far East.
Alois Estermann, his wife Gladys and their purported murderer Cedric Tornay are laid to rest in the second worst catastrophe in Swiss Guard history when there is murder in the Vatican two days prior and the funeral was held on this day last year.
O! How sad is my heart, sorrowful and grief-stricken over the hardness of my little ones' hearts. I weep, for the many who once gave to God their fiat have forgotten their promise. Now they are beguiled by the evil one, the cunning serpent. These are the souls who go about with poison spewing forth from their tongues. The evil one has so blinded them that what they believe to be justifiable is only pride, yes even spiritual pride. These are the souls who now seek the ruin of my chosen messengers and of all my faithful little ones. They go about daily, puffed up by self-righteousness, to destroy all that I have asked for. In their hearts they seek revenge, because their plans, their interpretation of my words is contrary to God's Will. They are, therefore, lost in the mire of satan's wiles. They do not see that their hearts are lacking all mercy and love. They seek to satisfy their human ego, unaware that they gravely offend God and their souls are slowly dying.
I beseech all of my children: Examine your consciences. Are you at peace? Do you truly seek reconciliation with God and with your neighbor? If you do not reconcile in the love and for the love of my Divine Son, you possess not the Spirit of God and are anathema before the Most Blessed Trinity.
To all I solemnly tell you. The time is now, and it is critically short. Do not be proud stubborn children. Do not remain unreconciled, for if you do you will be found wanting at the time of your visitation. If you are truly mine, secure in the Refuge of my Divine Son's Sacred Heart, you will cast off all self-seeking. You will reach out to all in love and be merciful to all.
Those who practice love and mercy in all things have abundant peace and have nothing to fear. Those who speak without love and mercy are hypocrites, and my Son shall bring them to ruin.
Awake now to my call. Love one another as my Divine Son taught you. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
But I behold My children in great sorrow and My Sacred Heart is torn asunder, for so very few want My Peace! No, they seek worldly peace, which for them means worldly prosperity, security and a respite from all suffering. To what lengths do My children go to avoid Me, the True Peace and their only Refuge.
I solemnly tell all the world: Heed My Mother's words, for she comes at the Will of the Trinity to announce the end times, and to prepare all for the battle ahead.
If you heed Her words then the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier shall fill you with great understanding.
I solemnly tell all who thwart My Mother's role, and who thwart the Perfect Will of God: Woe, triple woe! You are a billy-goat, a wolf that devours the pearls of My Mercy and Peace. You shall see the Justice of God and you shall tremble!
To all who truly seek Me and abide with Me because they are meek and humble of heart, I solemnly tell you: Fear nothing for I am with you and I am your Food and Strength.
Let those who have ears hear.
Let those who have eyes see the signs I am giving.
Be humble and meek. Be obedient little children who rely on Me for all things. Then you will have true Peace and My Mother's Heart shall triumph.
Behold, the hour of great strife has already dawned. Great shall be mankind's sufferings. Come to Me, all who are meek and humble, and take comfort from My Sacred Heart.
I love you. I bless you. Prepare, for the hour is at hand!