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 second rendition.
I am coming now to understand. All in God's time, as He Wills, does He reveal what we need to know for our own good.
Our sons suffered tremendous persecution, ridicule, and much, much more in the course of our public ministry. They were the "victims" also of ridiculous people who put all the emphasis on the messenger and never stopped long enough to pray over, meditate upon and discern the messages, which were the keynote of the apostolate then, never me.
Now, these many years later, the fruit of that public ministry, the terrible mistreatment of our children by so many who professed to love in Christ's name, have born sufferings that tear at the heart and the emotions, that would otherwise shred faith into a gossamer scrap that would blow away so quickly one would never notice it going. Our oldest son has been given a great cross to bear, and we, as his parents, and I as his mother, bear that cross no less than he does. He has suffered a severe blow to the head some years ago, and was also treated with a new "antibiotic" which has since proved to be the cause of "psychotic" episodes that are irreversible. Because of these things, our oldest son is now totally enveloped in what I term "black cellophane" wherein he cannot find God, he cannot find the reason to live, to be happy over anything, to enjoy his teenage years, etc. Instead, he suffers from severe depression that has hospitalized him, and has literally brought my husband and I to the point of homelessness. His treatment will be ongoing until the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart. He doesn't understand now that he will, one day, be better. He doesn't understand that the Triumph for which we work and pray is close at hand. He can't see that far ahead. Rather, our oldest son is caught in the web of the evil one's snares set and enacted by many along the way who sought us out not for God's Will, but for their own will.
In all of this, I have learned also from God, as if the knowledge was placed in my heart in an instant, that it is all part of His Perfect Plan, and that, in the end, God shall claim the victory. In this suffering, as there must be in all suffering, there is a symphony at work. We, with our earthly ears, cannot hear the symphony being played. We hear the tears, see the pain, feel our own hearts breaking, have concerns, anxious moments and overburdened brains that are striving to make prudent decisions to keep our son well and keep a roof over our head at the same time. However, I believe that all suffering, if given to God, if united to the Passion of Our Lord, is a beautiful symphony that the angels hear and repeat before the throne of the Triune Divinity.
It is not that we are not to cry, weep, hurt, and feel the anguish of illness and disease. If we didn't feel these things, then of what value would they be in redemptive suffering? However, we do not have to cry, weep, hurt, and feel anguish as people who are without hope. No matter how much it hurts, I am reminded that my hurt as a mother is a mere shadow of what Our Blessed Mother felt in her lifetime, and the pain that my son feels, that we share with him, is but a smattering of what Our Lord suffered in His Most Sacred Passion.
I have learned that the greatest prayer is the one that comes from the will, not from the feelings, not because there's a spinning sun or a rosary turning gold in your hands as you pray, nor a statue of the Blessed Mother weeping a few feet in front of your face. The prayer that brings torrents of mercy upon us, and upon the world, is the prayer that rises from faith that seeks God who is Love, Mercy, Justice and all Hope and Trust.
I am not saying that God's chosen messengers and visionaries do not have a role in His Perfect Plan. I am not saying that we shouldn't pay attention to apparitions and the messages from Heaven. Far from it! I am certain that God does not waste Time, and therefore if God deems it vital that Heaven speaks for the sake of mankind, then we, as His children, must pay attention and do what is being asked of us.
I am saying, however, that the wonders and signs we all hunger for are there, and they are extra graces from God, like icing on the cake of grace. However, they are not the platform upon which faith rests, nor should they be. Like icicles on a sunny day, these "extraordinary" signs and wonders can soon melt away in the blithering distractions, lukewarmness, and cold-heartedness of the human condition. Real faith, the faith the blazes like a shooting star in the night sky, that is the lamp kept lit by the wise virgins, foregoes any desire to seek or chase or follow after signs and wonders, but waits with expectant hope for the promises of Christ to be fulfilled. Real faith is the faith that sees God's hand in all suffering accepts the suffering and unites that suffering to His Sacred Passion. It is real faith that sees the injuries done to one, or to one's sons, and husband, and real faith that prays for the grace to forgive as Christ forgives. Real faith embarks upon each day with renewed hope and trust and love, and keeps the ship of faith floating toward the Heavenly Shore, even though the lighthouse (Christ) may seem far away, and even camouflaged.
Until next time, 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 your.
The entire site is easy to navigate and the photos are stunning, including the brilliant painting of Pope John Paul II elevating the chalice at the Consecration with the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (the Black Madonna) in the background which can be found on the home page. The graphics load surprisingly quick and there are few long pages where one would have to scroll forever, so to speak. It is well put together and most comprehensive. The site, maintained by webmaster Aaron Gerlach and assisted by George Leite, originates from the University of Pittsburgh and offers a plethora of resources and links pertaining to the Eucharist and Catholicism. It is truly a diamond in the rough that needs to be discovered by not just Catholics who might doubt the Real Presence, but Protestants as well who deny His Presence; for once they read all that is contained here they will discover without a shadow of a doubt that there can be no doubt: Jesus is truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity! Because of the excellence of this site's contents and layout, as well as the noble objectives and its thorough treatment, we present our GOLDEN CHALICE AWARD to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist website, conferring EIGHT Hail Mary's to this site whose developers are doing all in their power to perpetuate the fact that Jesus will be with us always in a mystical and wonderful way in the Holy Eucharist confected in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This site brings into focus how important it is for us to be present to receive this Present of the Real Presence.
I RARELY go to movies. If I go to one movie theater a year, that is more than average. I find that most movies today (given their previews) invariably contain at LEAST one scene that portrays the breaking of at least one of Godís Commandments, and frankly I donít find such "entertaining." I am concerned, however, that society today is hardly offended by "sinful" scenes and have become insensitive to the moral decay with which modern movies (and plays) are inundated.
One evidence of such insensitivity occurred with the movie SISTER ACT! I admit that I went to see that movie because so many people told me how funny it was and how much they liked it. I trusted their judgment.
I confess that I did laugh at times, but as the movie progressed I became humiliated at how Hollywood was portraying the consecrated life of nuns. Oh, I certainly believe that all of us should be able to laugh at ourselves and I donít think we can have good mental health if we take ourselves too seriously.
After the movie I thought that Hollywood would not get away with making fun of Jews or black people the way they made fun of "nuns." Hollywood really made the "nuns" in the movie come across like they were absolute idiots who couldnít carry a tune in a tin bucket. It took Whoopi Goldberg, wagging her hips in the sanctuary of a Church to bring the "best" out of the "nuns."???
How stupid, blasphemous, and what an ingenious tool of "red-sweats."
Did you see the movie? If so, really try to be objective. Donít you think that the "world" finds it very hard to understand the celibate consecrated life? Hollywood is so imbued with "sex" that they win first prize in not comprehending the words of Jesus, Who in speaking of living celibately said: "Let him take it who can take it."
Imagine Hollywood making a movie of a group of black people who lacked the ability to feel rhythm in their dance. Or imagine Hollywood making a movie of a group of Jews who acted like idiots about their ancestry? Itís hard for us to imagine such a movie to be tolerated. But "nuns" can be made to look like absolute nerds and people think it is just great!
May I inform you that most "Sisters" have at least a Bachelorís degree and many, many have Masterís Degrees and Ph Ds. They may not talk about it, but most Sisters I know are very well educated... certainly beyond high school.
How many professional people are there in our country who were taught in grade school or high school by women religious.
If you are one of those persons who thought SISTER ACT was terrific I question your sensitivity and respect for what is set apart for the service of God. How subtle the evil one is! He never makes a bad thing look bad! He always makes it look good so that we are drawn to it.
Unless we have a deep prayer life, we may be easily taken in to mock what the Church holds as sacred. Today Hollywood makes fun of those living a consecrated life. Tomorrow it will make fun of the laymanís Faith. "Watch and pray," Jesus said, "lest you enter into temptation."
Let's all be a little more sensitive to the Catholic bashing that is so prevalent today and not be afraid to stand up and say "enough", that not only offends me, but it offends my Lord and my God as well as His dear Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints above! God bless you.
The confusion within the Catholic Church was not always there, at least for those of us who carried out its precepts faithfully, and found it to be a haven of peace, joy, security, and strength. Others may have been effected by confusion, but it was nothing that we, of the faithful, even gave a thought to. It must be stated that the mark of unity is in no way threatened by confusion. The Church still teaches a oneness of truth; there is still a oneness in leadership. This confusion has a source outside of the internal fabric of the Church. The Church is still One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic, and will be so till the end of time.
Today, it is evident that something has happened along the way to unsettle those of us who religiously held onto every precept given to us by our bishop, pastor, and the sisters. Confusion seemed to enter into the minds of the faithful after Vatican II. Why should anything like that be? The Council was convoked by the saintly Pope John XXIII, seen to its happy conclusion, and promulgated by Pope Paul VI. It was a Council, as was every Council in the history of the Church, enlightened, inspired, and guided by the Holy Spirit. As such, it proposed nothing but that which was true, and that which was to bring to the faithful a solid spiritual base from which to enter into a world beset by confusion, plagued by every sort of error and moral aberration.
The one, true Church of Jesus was now to launch out into the waters of humanism, materialism, paganism, atheism, all fostered by the worldly, and enter into an exciting new evangelization. It was to go out into the secular world, to renew all things in Christ, and with the Holy Spirit reigning within it, and with Mary, His Spouse, declared to be the Mother of the Church, to renew not only the Church, but the entire face of the earth.
What has surfaced now is that the implementation of some of the decrees of the Council fell into the hands of its enemies and, instead of the Church entering into the secular world to do its best, the secular world entered into the Church to do its worst.
Jesus, while on earth, spoke words which will give light to the above. I quote the passages to bring forth immediate clarity.
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?' He answered, 'an enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest, then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn'" (Matthew 13: 24-30).
"His disciples approached Him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.' He said in reply, 'He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the END OF THE AGE, (author's emphasis) and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send His angels and they will collect out of His kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear" (Matthew 13: 36-43).
Surely the above, in part, could fit into the entire history of the Church, nonetheless, Jesus made reference to the END OF THE AGE. Making every effort to read the signs of the times as Jesus, Himself, had encouraged, in fact, in a way, commanded us, we have many evidences that we presently are in that frame of time. Jesus makes it clear as to what has happened in the Church. In the next installment we shall continue in this same vein and research what has and is happening.