DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     November 19-21, 1999     vol. 10, no. 220


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    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister continues the story from a dear friend who experienced conversion through God's providence and His Blessed Mother's secret weapon - the Rosary. It all began in Medjugorje after her dear friend Kathy, like so many other millions, had read about the "Miracle of Medjugorje" from Wayne Weible and heard the call of Our Lady to come to her special Oasis of Peace in then Yugoslavia back in 1988. Sister writes from Kathy's point of view in sharing how Kathy's heart was moved, even though she did not fully understand, to pray with the heart for that is truly the crux in getting to the heart of the matter as Sister Lucy shows in the fourth of a multiple part entitled simply Kathy's Rosary Story part four.

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.


        I continue Kathy's story. Again I remind you, she wanted me to tell you that if you would like to have a copy of her unedited story, you can e-mail her at KHestekin@aol.com. Her story is not to be reproduced for profit, however.

          Having given my Rosary to the young singer at the Conference, I was once again without a Rosary. But I still had a few left from my trip to Medjugorje, and chose a black and silver one. I used it constantly and, yes, it, too, turned gold eventually. I was deeply grateful to God and my spirituality grew.

          The next couple of years were very prayerful. I was "on top of the mountain," so to speak. I did a lot of spiritual reading from 1990 through early 1996. I read several books on the saints, the complete works of "Poem of the Man-God"(excellent), the Holy Bible and many publications, such as Wayne Weible's Medjugorje Newsletter. I made friends of many priest and Religious Sisters. I developed a friendship with someone who has great knowledge of the lives of saints.

          My son met and married a very beautiful lady and gave me a grandson four years later.

          My stay on the mountain top, however, was to come to an end. In early June 1996 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor said I needed to have the breast removed and I opted for reconstruction. Before my surgery, my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the base of her brain. She had begun to lose memory of things and falter. I went to visit her at the hospital. I took my black and silver Rosary that had turned gold. Silently I prayed for her. My sister had married into a Greek Orthodox family, so she was more understanding of my conversion to Catholicism. In the few moments that I could speak to her, I explained my Rosary and then gave it to her, letting her know that the Blessed Mother would watch over her.

          Thanks be to God my sister's tumor was a very rare type of cellular distortion, but it was NOT cancerous.

          Three days later, I had my surgery. I should tell you that I have another affliction called Fibromyalgia Syndrome, which affects the muscle tissue. In post surgery, I suffered very much from the reconstruction, as muscle was involved.

          I had read how the saints offered all of their sufferings to God. I did so, but God wanted even more suffering so that more souls would be saved.

          In August of 1996, my surgeon advised me to start chemotherapy. I was devastated. During the time of my recuperation, I had a great deal of time to pray. I had picked out a large crystal Rosary I had brought from Medjugorje. Yes, and very soon, it, also, turned gold. How I thanked Our Lord! This was my little piece of Heaven and I needed it now more than ever. Yet my suffering was not to end.

          One Friday evening, I received a call. My Dad had had a stroke. Dad was very special to me. The thought of losing him was very hard.

        But that's yet another story for next time when I will continue. Until then, God bless you, dear reader.

November 19-21, 1999       volume 10, no. 220


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