Isn't it sad how people value priorities today? Advertisers are paying an average of 1.7 million dollars for a thirty-second spot on the final episode of Seinfeld, but executives hedge when they're reminded of the importance and necessity of tithing. Money. That's what it's all about today. Few quality programs exist today because of the greed of network honchos who haven't got a creative bone in their body. How "Touched by an Angel" continues to garner boffo ratings is still a puzzle to Nielsen researchers. We'd rather watch Mother Angelica Live any day, but many cable companies don't think it's feasible to carry EWTN full time and so often the only full-fledged Roman Catholic network is piggy-backed with another, usually getting the back-end of the deal such as here in San Diego's North County where the VCR gets duty from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. since that's the only time we can get Mother's programming. No wonder the Blessed Mother said at Medjugorje to turn off the televisions and put them in the corner. She is the great "Promoter," the PR agent for the Superstar of superstars and we're not talking about Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar" of the sixties but Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Lord and Savior forever, the One Who founded His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and passed it on to Saint Peter and 263 Popes after Simon the Rock. Lately it seems Our Lady has been more like a voice crying in the wilderness as the apathy mounts and people turn their back on her Divine Son and her pleas to return to Him before it is too late. Yes, even today Seinfeld and company are more popular than Jesus, but then that's nothing new. All through history there have been many more popular than Our Lord because what Jesus says is not always popular with those who are intent on following their own stubborn wills. In fact, in His time, when push came to shove, only a handful of dedicated men and women and eleven diversified apostles truly believed. That would not have garnered even an interview with the network honchos who would have canceled His act in a New York minute. But, oh how they miss the boat! You see while Seinfeld is a show about nothing, Christ's performance of His Passion, Death and Resurrection are about EVERYTHING! They say fame is fleeting and how right they are. Long after Seinfeld becomes nothing more than a trivia question, Christ will go on and on and on. He may not be the longest running play on Broadway, but His truths are the longest running production in the annals of mankind. For 2000 years His Church has persevered and will continue for He has promised it will "even unto the consummation of the world" (Matthew 28: 20).
Isn't it sad how jazzed the world is over a final episode about nothing, when what they should really be excited about is the expectation of the greatest event in history: the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that is closer than many realize. As we noted in yesterday's editorial, it will be an event that surpasses all understanding in what Our Lady imparted to Saint Bernadette Soubirous will be "The Second Golden Age of Mankind". For us it's easy to see how the final episode of a television program pales in comparison, but for the world, blind to spiritual values and only intent on the present they have nothing to hang on to except a show about nothing! On Thursday night nearly 90 million were glued to their sets, oblivious of all else. Let us all say "yadios" to Seinfeld and the calibre of programming today, and say "hello" to the Way of Christ. If we do, then when the Triumph becomes reality there will be billions glued to Christ. That's as it should be. But there's a tremendous education process to all Our Lady has imparted that needs to be implemented in full force before we can relish the rewards of the conversion of the world. Seinfeld is going out on top so to speak, most of the other programs eventually get cancelled. Wouldn't it be a shame if God cancelled us because we chose to be couch potatoes instead of strong oaks spreading the seeds of His Words and Way to all we encounter? There is that possibility unless we start campaigning for the cause Our Lady, her beloved Pope John Paul II and her faithful remnant are championing. If we do, it will amount to something not only we, but God will be mighty proud of. If we don't, then yada, yada, yada is really nada in the overall scope of God's Master Plan!
In each weekend issue she hopes to find the time in a busy schedule of caring for a sick child, schooling another son, and the regular work of keeping up a home not to mention helping with the ministry, to write a few lines in sharing with all the experiences and lessons learned in her own introspection. Cyndi has chosen to call her few words, humble and poor in the face of the Almighty, "SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING", for He has placed these words in her heart. To suffer: How all hate the thought, and how, when one is a mother who is faced with the onset of an illness for which the cure may be years away we feel our hearts break in many places. Yet, God hears a beautiful melody here. The angels hear it, too, and so do the saints. The melody reaches to the Heavens and joins with the unending chorus of all the hosts of Heaven praising God. It is Cyndi's sincerest hope that perhaps, together with the reader, we can take our sufferings, which are different yet similar, and place them into this great hymn of praise to the Creator, our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and learn to make beautiful music unto the Lord. Below is her first rendition.
From the first moment of the first public message until the last one received on the Feast of Corpus Christi in June 1995, there was a certain "celebrity" status given to me, a status I neither sought, desired, nor one that I particularly liked. During those years it was, at times, very painful being a "locutionist" for many were those who literally hung upon every word I spoke, never understanding that I was but a child of God, a fallible human being, a sinner just as everyone else is and was. They couldn't understand that the moments of the locutions were a gift given by God, controlled totally by God, and my only role in them was to obey God fully, to discern, test and then to write what I heard God speak to me.
There was much suffering for my family and me during those years, sufferings that were pertinent to the role God asked of us, and of me. There were many then that said to us, to me, that it must be wonderful having God talk to you each and every day, directing your path at every instance. They didn't understand the cross that went with the gift. The failed to see the "thorn with the rose". Even more, they didn't understand that with the gift came the added responsibility of doing more, giving more, being answerable to God for the gift that was His, never mine.
It has been nearly three years since the daily messages stopped. No more public messages. Have I ceased being God's Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart? God has not said so to me, but I know in my heart that I have not. For what He sees in us is the ultimate of His perfection, the cause and joy of His mercy. I am still Cyndi, still a wife, and a mother. The days and months and years now which have passed without the constant gift of interior and exterior locution have proven to me how much greater a gift it is to "not" hear in this extraordinary way, but to have faith which believes even though it does not "see."
I have learned that there are far, far too many of us who seek for the supernatural in an extraordinary way, who chase after messengers and messages, not because we find God there, but because we find a kind of quick fix to our current situation. We want instant gratification, some assurance that we're going to be okay, no matter what events occur in the world.
I have learned that the sufferings of those years when the messages were daily, around the clock with God, was the basis upon which the sufferings of the ensuing years without the messages rested.
Somehow, I came to know from the many people I met in those public years somehow mistakenly believed that my husband, my children and I did not suffer, for we had supernatural signs and wonders going on all the time. They felt that we were elevated above our human nature, above the laws of human nature, and that we were "privileged" to "float in a supernatural realm."
This, of course, was far, far from the truth. And, in time, when those who flocked to us realized that we were still in our humanity, still in our weaknesses and faults, they deserted not only us, but the ministry, seeking "greener" pastures where another "messenger" or "visionary" might just carry them along on the "supernatural ride" they believed God's messengers enjoy.
Would that all could know how greater is the grace, how greater is the gift that is now - for there is only faith that keeps us moving forward. A faith that has absolute trust and confidence in God, and a faith that is motivated not by signs and wonders, but by love for perfect Love-God!
The sufferings have not ceased by any means. They have changed. They have even increased. The sufferings are there not as punishment, but as a grace from God to help us on our path of salvation, and to assist so many other countless souls provided we, of course, unite all we are asked to do and bear by God to the Most Sacred and Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Until next time when I will detail the sufferings of a mother, I most humbly ask that you keep all of my family and myself in your prayers, and I assure you that never have I stopped praying for all of you.
"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."
I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwest where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.
I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event-such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends'.
"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing-I'll never know. It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good Friends whom I was going to get in touch with-someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write-one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is...a gift from God.