Monday, December 29, 2014

If Christians Had Chutzpah

It's December 27th and Christmas is only 2 days old...yes, 2 days. Catholic/Christians forget that up until the 25th it is Advent. Christmas is celebrated for 12 days and ends with the Feast of the Epiphany. I was told by a sage Episcopal priest that for Christians to rush about during Advent buying, wrapping and giving gifts along with Christmas cards that include a New Year wrong. We have the luxury of sending out cards and giving gifts for almost 2 weeks longer, but like many original traditions...this, too, has been secularized. If Christians had chutzpah and abide by this tradition, we wouldn't be so rushed, stressed and often disappointed that "Christmas is over" on the 26th. Please, don't get me started.

If Christians had chutzpah we would push back against the commercialism that has nearly destroyed the true meaning of this Sacred Season.  The phrase, Jesus Is The Reason For The Season, has been said airily so many times that it has become a trite phrase that lacks conviction and meaning. Pablum.

Many Baby Boomers, and now their children, have raised brats...Christmas brats. We are willing to go into debt at Christmas to give them everything they've asked for. We can't say no. Once, two gifts and some candy or fruit in a stocking sufficed. Now if the kids and grand-kids don't open a minimum of 6 gifts....Christmas joy goes into the dumpster. If a family decided to give one gift and spend a certain sum on the needy instead, how many of our kids would be pleased? How many would understand that this IS the way to celebrate Christ's birth? And I'm not saying that needy children should get all the gifts either....hello? the lesson is for ALL Christians. I'm suggesting that $$ go to a charity for ill children, wounded veterans, soup kitchens, food banks, etc.

I'm tired of the Christmas bashing. I'm tired of feeling guilty because I believe that Christ is born on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas....horrors! Not on ads, not on flyers, not on the lips of the employees taking a Christian's God-given money. Please, don't get me started. If Christians had chutzpah we'd cash in our bargaining chips...don't buy but one gift for your child(ren). Remember the charities...and you'll see how quick the Merry Christmas banners will go up!

And what's with every group under the heavens being represented in the Town Square along side of the Nativity? This past Christmas, Karl Etters of the Tallahassee Democrat, reported that the Florida Capitol's holiday display would include a greeting from the Church of the Spaghetti Monster and the Satanic Temple. Read it here:  satanic-temple-joining-capitol-displays. What do these groups have to do with Christmas??? Do you really think that their " good wishes" are heart-felt? Do you really think that their desire to express their freedom of speech is to spread peace and love-the essence of the Christmas season? Humbug. Why does a Temple that represents the Evil One need or should be displayed at Christmas time? It, along with the Atheists and others of this ilk, have only one common reason for wanting to be represented....their animosity for Christ.  

This isn't Happy Holiday time, people, it's Christmas. I don't buy gifts for Thanksgiving....I don't buy gifts for New Year's Eve. I buy as a nod to the from the Three Wise Men to the Savior of the World.  Oh, non-Christian business owner....alert! if Christians had chutzpah they'd keep out of your shops during Christmas time and shop at Christian based stores for that one-gift-they-will-buy.  Most churches have a gift shop, Hobby Lobby is Christian owned, as well as Mary Kay cosmetics. There are Christian book & gift stores galore on-line. Don't harass Christmas and we will bless you with our God-given money. Freedom of speech, you say? My antlers it is! It's just being plain mean spirited. Do you think Christians want to hone in on an Atheist's holiday? They can declare April Fool's Day as their High-Holiday. I'd be fine with it and have no desire to add my Christian sentiments to their special day.

I believe that anti-Christmas groups are emboldened because they know there are so many disinterested Christians. Poinsettia and lily church goers have no passion for Christ. The Birth of Jesus is nothing more than a time to over-eat, over-drink and out buy the Jones'. Many children from these Christian-lite homes have no clue why there's a star on top of the Christmas tree or that the lights on their house is supposed to reflect the Light of the World. Will disinterested Christians even notice when all remnants of religion are removed from "The Holiday Season"? Christmas Squelchers are counting on it, and as long as nothing gets in the way of the latest's all that matters...on both sides.  

The world is riddled with war. Our country is ablaze with anger and hate. So here we have a season to reflect on peace and good will to all humankind and society has allowed anti-Christmas groups to strangle it into silence. Really? Really? Instead of everyone banning together and using the joy, love and generosity of this Sacred Season to heal our hurting world...God's intention all along...they use it to slash the heart out of hope. They label it political correctness and freedom of speech when in fact it's the lying, liberal voice of Satan. If Christians had chutzpah we'd protect every wonderful, grace-filled aspect of Christmas as though we were protecting the Baby Jesus Himself. Merry Christmas.

Christmas, my child, is love in action.  Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.
--Dale Evans

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Friendly Stores 2014

Rating the Top Retailers and How They Market to Christmas Shoppers


Please support retailers that market Christmas properly. Mention that you appreciate that they advertise CHRISTMAS

AFA's 2014 listing of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas:
BLUE: An AFA "5-Star" rated company that promotes and celebrates Christmas on an exceptional basis.
GREEN: Company uses the term "Christmas" on a regular basis, we consider that company Christmas-friendly.
YELLOW: Company refers to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.
RED: Company may use "Christmas" sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.
 American Family Association continually update the list, so check back often. AFA site for updates
Criteria - AFA reviewed up to four areas to determine if a company was "Christmas-friendly" in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store. If a company's ad has references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach "Christmas" shoppers.
If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word "Christmas," then the company is considered as censoring "Christmas."
Want to report a company? Send your detailed report to Please know that we receive hundreds of reports (emails) each day. We are unable to respond to each one personally, but your report will be read by one of our staff.
Note: AFA does not list local or regional companies. Only nationally-recognized companies will be listed. This list only reflects a company's "Christmas" advertising and does not take into account other corporate policies AFA may not agree with.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

When They Just Don't Get It

Taste of Heaven Awaits Us

Ignorance is bliss, so the saying goes. In the age of the Internet where knowledge abounds... ignorance is just plain laziness. I'm not referring to non-Catholics who are clueless about Catholicism. I'm not talking about those who don't consider or realize that Catholics are Christians. Nope. I'm writing about uninformed Catholics.

Sadly, many "lazy" Catholics have never, ever taken the time to learn what the Catholic Church believes & teaches. IF they did, they would come to realize the beauty, the richness, the love affair with Christ that is the foundation of the One, True Faith. As the beloved Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said, "Not 100 in the United States hate the Roman Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think the Roman Catholic Church is." Unfortunately, there are many baptized in the Catholic faith that can not defend her.

At the age of 8, I was given the St. Joseph's Missal to follow the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In the Introduction, it explains the principle parts of the Mass. This red bound book paved the way to my understanding why Catholics do what we do every Sunday of our lives. This journey continues and I hope never ends. So what makes someone thirst for knowledge and others not?

Parents: My parents are/were devout Catholics. Mom at the age of 91 still attends Mass on a daily basis. She prays for hours each day and is an avid reader of Catholic literature. My dad, who has died, prayed the rosary, attended Mass and was unashamed of his love for Our Blessed Mother. He wore a gold Miraculous Medal for forty years. One day, I saw him go to his garden and pick a yellow rose. I asked him where was he going with it. In a reverent tone, he said, "I'm bringing it to Our Lady." This big, bear of a man gently placed it in a bud vase by the statue of Our Lady of Grace on mother's dresser. This kind of gesture helps a child realize there is something wonderfully special about his/her faith.

Example & Tradition: All Catholic holidays/holy days were made special in my family. The focus, unlike today, was on the religious aspect rather than the secular. Midnight Mass....a church filled with poinsettias, choir singing its heart out to Emmanuel. To this day, I sing "Happy Birthday" to the baby Jesus as I place the tiny statue in His manger. Easter....shhhhhh, the vigil Mass....a dark church suddenly alive with hundreds of lit candles to welcome the Risen Christ, Alleluia! With a palm dipped in holy water, the male head of our household blesses the family gathered around our Easter table. Regardless of what friends we are with...what restaurant we are at, we are unashamed to make the sign of the cross, bow our heads and say grace before our meal. Growing up, saints were honored in neighborhood festivities....St. Joseph feast, a fair in remembrance of St. Marie Goretti. The story of this young saint who was raped and murdered, but who forgave her assailant before she died, was recounted each year. It set the example of forgiveness and grace for the children who heard it. Remember incense? For me, it was a hint of what God might smell like. Okay, now I associate Him with the scent of pine. (Scent of God ) But as a child....God wore incense cologne.

Get Involved: It's amazing how many think that Catholics are ignorant of the Bible. Poppycock! Pick up the Mass Book at church. When cycle A B C of this book is completed, the whole Bible has been read. There are plenty of Catholic Bible study guides, countless CDs & DVDs explaining the Bible by Catholic authors. Classes are full with Catholics wanting to learn more about Sacred Scripture. Renew programs, Cornerstone retreats, Charismatic Conferences abound for those who hunger for knowledge of the faith. I took a friend to a charismatic prayer no time she was clapping her hands as we sang God Is An Awesome God. Grinning she asked, "Why hadn't I known about this?" Not all Catholics sit at the back of the church and look like the "frozen chosen".  Get involved. Make an effort. Join. It can be something as fun as helping with the church carnival. Being active in a church program puts you together with other Catholics. There is nothing more deeply spiritual than sleeping on a carpeted floor in front of a displayed Monstrance with other adoring Catholic women. I actually had this wonderful experience at a Woman's Cornerstone Retreat.

Friends: Birds of a feather flock together. Befriend a priest or nun. They are often separated from family. Invite a religious to share a meal at your home. Is there a visiting priest in your parish? He most likely hails from another country. What a wonderful opportunity to hear how foreigners celebrate the Universal Faith. And boy, do they! My life has been enriched by the friendships of priests, monks and sisters. I sat at the feet of Benedict Groeschel C.F.R., a Franciscan author, psychologist & activist, and listened to him speak. The nuggets of truth and wisdom he shared brought me closer to Christ. Truly, he is a living saint. My circle of Catholic friends is forged with the spirit of love and familiarity. We intercede for one another, we grow in our faith as we learn together and edify each other. Through these relationships, I have grown spiritually stronger. They have made me a better person in countless ways.

Read, Read, Read: Many voracious readers will go from one romance, mystery or self-help book after the other and never think of picking up a book about his/her Catholic faith. I know a Catholic man who reads many books on "spirituality"....A Course In Miracles, Power of the Subconscious Mind, The Secret, but has never picked up one written by St. Augustine, Dorothy Day, John Henry Newman, Peter Kreeft or St. John Paul the Great. He can talk for hours on what makes a person a good Christian, a good person, but is clueless about the Catholic faith he practices. I believe there would be fewer disenchanted Catholics if they educated themselves in the most beautiful faith on the entire earth...the one created by Christ. Yes, there have been scandalous popes, priests, nuns and situations, but if we looked at the lineage of Christ.... murderers, adulterers, schemers, cowards....we might could someone so perfect come from this? And so it is the same with Catholicism.
I cringe when I hear, "I don't get anything out of the Mass" mainly because the homily wasn't riveting. A stirring homily is nice, but that's not why I'm there. I love the prayers, the hymns and liturgy, but most of all the Eucharist. It takes my breath away. How can you not fall in love with the Holy Mass when you know the true Presence of Christ is in your midst? This knowledge brings me to my knees and tears to my eyes.  Everything from the vestments the priest wears, to the beauty of the chalice, the stained glass windows, the awesome statues makes me aware that I'm on holy ground....I'm in the home of the King of Kings. I'm there to spend an hour with my Savior. Every gesture, every word, every part of the Mass has a special purpose. Knowing what that meaning, that purpose is, gives us a glimpse into the eyes of God.

Converts: No one is more on fire than a convert to Catholicism. They put most "cradle Catholics" to shame. These men & women didn't convert because their future spouse asked them, they systematically xed off  all the "obstacles" that prevented them from converting. Intelligent, Bible believing people seeking the Truth listened to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. They heard Christ's call to leave all behind and follow Him...straight home to the Catholic Church. The books converts have written explains Catholicism in a no-nonsense approach. Some are: Scott Hahn's Rome Sweet Home, Jeff Cavins', Great Adventures Series, Kim Hahn's, Catholic For A Reason & If Protestantism Is True by Devin Rose. The most riveting testimonies come from Jewish converts, Hebrew Catholics. It is said that Judaism is the root and Catholicism is the flower. Want to better understand and appreciate being Catholic, then read, Honey From The Rock: Sixteen Jews Find The Sweetness Of Christ, complied by Roy Schoeman. Hebrew Catholic Association.

I just don't get...When They Just Don't Get The Catholic Faith. For me, my heart bursts with pride-I feel privileged to be a Catholic, an enchanted Catholic. Thank You, Jesus!
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gun Control: A Pro-Life Issue


The Catholic Conference of Bishops label gun control as a Pro-Life issue. I agree. People using a gun to murder are as guilty as those who uphold abortion...both stop a beating heart. Stricter gun laws are needed, but gun control is a social problem as well. In addition to tighter gun regulations, the bishops have asked us to “make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime,” and have also called on society to “provide health services and support to those who have mental illnesses and to their families and caregivers.” Stable people do not commit crimes. We can’t leave mental health care to the government. It is up to parents to admit that their child has problems that need to be addressed before that child has a chance to obtain a weapon. It’s time to actually be a parent and say no to bad behavior. It's time for parents to censor the entertainment their kids watch. It's up to parents to spend time with their children so they can be more aware of who they hang with, where they are going and the changing barometer of emotions taking place within them.

We, the people, have the right to bear arms. That doesn't mean just anyone should be allowed to own a gun. Stricter laws should and must be enforced. Along with these restrictions, parents need to be more responsible. Open dialogue on the dignity of life is way overdue. Kindness should be nurtured and bullying not tolerated. Use real-time tragedies as a learning tool by discussing the consequences of violent actions. Pray together…invoking the help and blessings of the Prince of Peace. When attention is focused on the The Lamb hearts soften and hands do good not evil.
Back in the day, Westerns were the rage. Receiving a pair of holstered guns was a coveted gift. Cap guns were a close runner up. Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger were heroes. The outlaw's head wasn’t blown off…nope… he just fell off his horse. That's as graphic as it got. We played “shoot ‘em up” all the time and I don’t know one friend who has been convicted of murder. The break-down of the family unit and lack of Godly men contributes to the culture of death prevalent in our society. The dismissal of God is the other factor. With no one to respect, bad behavior goes unchecked.

So factor in Hollywood’s lust for blood drenched flicks with godlessness and dysfunctional families and Here We Are.  Hollywood and video game creators contribute to gun violence and anyone who thinks they don’t should see a shrink. It’s time we admit that viewing violent movies and playing violent games have desensitized us. There is no room for the Prince of Peace in our spirit when we are bombarded with graphic violence. How can a youngster know unconditional love when his mother aborts his sibling? Grabbing a gun and killing is no different for this young person than his mother snuffing out the life of a preborn infant.  The sanctity of life is non-existent in such a home. It is time to admit that violence against our own flesh and blood, as well as viewing violence, has negative emotional, psychological and spiritual effects. It is time that our children know the security of being cherished.

Sin begins in our hearts. Hollywood pumps our hearts, worse our children’s hearts, with sewage and calls it entertainment.  Producer, Harvey Weinstein, is scheduled to produce a movie starring Meryl Streep that will make the NRA wish they never existed. His movie would “take ‘em down”. Well, well, well, Mr. Weinstein….you glorify violence and made millions by doing so. Movies can’t get much bloodier than your films: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Gangs of New York, Scream. And you have the audacity to threaten the NRA? Viper! the Good Lord would call you. Does Harvey carry a gun? Nope. He has hired "security" to protect him. 
Mr. Weinstein is between a rock and a hard place. He should be reacting to the fact that viewing violence causes a person to use aggression to resolve conflicts. A steady diet of violent programs, movies and video games darkens a person’s view of the world, seeing it as a hostile environment. Put a gun in the hand of a person with this mindset and we have a real life scene out of Pulp Fiction. Statistics show that by the impressionable age of six, a child in the U.S. will have witnessed 8,000 murders and a 100,000 acts of violence on TV.  Cinema is even worse! Thank you Harvey Weinstein, another Hollywood hypocrite, acting righteous with blood on his hands. Does the word, Pharisee, come to mind? 

In the song, Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young there is this line, "Teach your children what you believe in. Make a world that we can live in". Truer words were never sung. The government may let them down...society may let them down, BUT, Godly parents will not. Parents whose hearts are filled with Christ's love and teachings will teach their children well.  Pray and foster the dignity of life so that-- a beating heart is never again stopped by gun violence.

Pray To End Abortion

Gun Control: What does the Church say?
A Catholic Case For Gun Control 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Friendly Stores: 2013

                                              Naughty or Nice?

AFA's 2013 listing of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas:
BLUE: An AFA "5-Star" rated company that promotes and celebrates Christmas on an exceptional basis.
GREEN: Company uses the term "Christmas" on a regular basis, we consider that company Christmas-friendly.
YELLOW: Company refers to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.
RED: Company may use "Christmas" sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it. 
List updated on 11-25-13 

Companies For "Christmas"
AFA Online Store
ACE Hardware
Banana Republic
Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Big Lots
Collective Brands
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dollar General
Dollar Tree
Gap, Inc.
H.E.B. Stores
Hancock Fabrics
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot
Home Shopping Network
JoAnn Fabrics
L.L. Bean
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Office Max
Old Navy
Pier One Imports
Rite Aid
Sam's Club
Scheels Sporting Goods
Super D Drug
TJ Maxx
Toys R Us
Companies marginal on "Christmas"
Bath & Body Works
Best Buy
CVS Pharmacy
Hy-Vee Stores
True Value
Whole Foods
Companies AGAINST "Christmas"
Barnes & Noble
Family Dollar
Foot Locker
Limited Brands
Office Depot
Pet Smart
Radio Shack -BOYCOTT! See more
Victoria's Secret
AFA continually updates the list, so check back often.

Criteria - AFA reviewed up to four areas to determine if a company was "Christmas-friendly" in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store. If a company's ad has references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach "Christmas" shoppers.
If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word "Christmas," then the company is considered as censoring "Christmas."
Want to report on a company? Send your detailed report to Please know that AFA receive hundreds of reports (emails) each day. They are unable to respond to each one personally, but your report will be read by one of their staff.
Note: AFA does not list local or regional companies. Only nationally-recognized companies will be listed. This list only reflects a company's "Christmas" advertising and does not take into account other corporate policies AFA may not agree with.

American Family Association  link to AFA

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Up A Tree

It amazes me that I can hear a Bible story year after year and then suddenly have an Ahhhhhaaa moment. I know this is the Holy Spirit working within me. How grateful I am to receive the grace to allow new spiritual lessons to be learned. So it was with the story of Zacchaeus. In a nut shell... he was a chief Jewish tax collector who was so curious about Jesus that he climbed a tree in order to see Him pass. Jesus acknowledges him and asks Zacchaeus to receive Him as a guest in his home. Imagine the shock! A Jewish tax collector...despised and friendless being asked to host Jesus! What fodder for gossip that must have been. But, Jesus was very controversial and didn't conform to the norms of the day...a true rebel! Yet, a rebel with a cause.

Zacchaeus must have been just as shocked as the crowd. Notice that Jesus calls him by name. He does the same to us. He knows where we are hiding and what is in our hearts. How many times have we judged others by the way he/she looks or what we have heard about a person? Zacchaeus was small of stature. Perhaps, he had low self-esteem or a defensive attitude because of this-Napoleon complex? He certainly had to have thick skin. His trade was despised...doubly despised by his own people, the Jews, for extracting every penny in taxes for Rome and most likely...a bit extra. I'm sure he was shunned and grouped with sinners and outcasts. Being friendless had to make the man bitter. A bitter, greedy little man. What hope of happiness or redemption did this tax collector have? He was truly up-a-tree.

We have all been there...up-a-tree. How often have you heard or said, "I can never be forgiven?", "Who can love me, now?" "I'm this or I'm that"? Ah, but Christ sees through all of our weaknesses into our heart. He loves us. His love is what matters....His love and acceptance changes lives. As it did Zacchaeus'. Having this experience with Jesus was life altering. Meeting Jesus...knowing Jesus... always is.
Zacchaeus' sycamore fig in Jericho (Wikipedi)

Jesus promises us freedom. Freedom from guilt. Once we repent, he wipes the slate clean. Once Jesus reveals Himself to us, we must come down from the tree and be part of His plan. It is through knowing Jesus that we become responsible for others. Like Zacchaeus, we wipe the slate clean of others' "debt". He resolved to make restitution to those he bilked out of money. This magnanimous gesture showed that he forgave himself....believing that Jesus forgave him. Debt doesn't necessarily mean cash owed means to forgive that hurt we've been harboring. It's doing an act of kindness and loving the unlovable without extracting a payment. Knowing Jesus, suddenly, opens our hearts to generosity. Zacchaeus yearned for his moment to shine. He just needed a bit of prompting.  He needed to be asked with compassion to come down from the tree. He felt special. Don't we all need to feel that way? Shouldn't we make others feel that way? Zacchaeus didn't deserve Jesus' love and acceptance. He was a sinner. I don't deserve it, either. But Jesus gives it anyway...His flow of mercy.

Interestingly, Zacchaeus means pure and righteous one. He is a fine example of the beatitude, "Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God." We are asked to see Christ in everyone. In this way, we get a glimpse of God. Christ saw Zacchaeus' worth. We can do no less, but to love others, warts and all.

We cannot stay up-a-tree and hide from the world because we are wounded. We must jump down excitedly, and serve God...serve humankind. So what if we skin our knees in the jump? Jesus took far more pain for our sins. How proud Zacchaeus must have felt to be singled out by the Christ. But it couldn't have compared to being forgiven of past sins, loved & accepted, then given the chance to show mercy and generosity all in one day! Don't miss out on the joy of having Jesus as a guest in your heart. If you find yourself...up a need only climb down and meet Jesus half way. After all, He is the Truth, the Way, and the Life.  Zacchaeus had a "front row seat" to experience a life changing miracle and we, like he, should never miss the opportunity to proclaim, "Today Salvation Has Come To This House".
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Archangel Michael Defends Us All!

The following post is from the Newsletter written by Irish mystic & author, Lorna Byrne. Ms. Byrne sees angels like we see everyday people. It began when she was about 3 yrs. old. She thought everyone saw the same figures until she was old enough to understand that her experience is unique. As with many chosen by God to receive a special gift....seeing angels was her "cross to bear", but wondrous indeed.  She overcame many obstacles to become a Sharer of the Good News. With the help of earthly and heavenly friends, she overcame learning disabilities to write several books and become a world renown speaker.  A special companion throughout her life is Archangel Michael. What a privilege! 
As with any supernatural event, you may believe it or not. As a Catholic, I believe if a spiritual-supernatural event brings me closer to God, affirms the Good News of Christ according to the Catholic Church, and helps me to better understand my faith than it bears "good fruit". Please do as I have done...research it, pray about it, ponder it, then let the Holy Spirit lead you to the nuggets of truth that will enrich your life. A Lorna Byrne book is not the Bible, the Word of God.
Please keep in mind: how we perceive the nuances of what we see or hear often reflects our life experiences. Living in war-torn Ireland with great political upheaval, and in poverty, has given Ms. Byrne her own unique perspective. Also, we can all have the same experience and interpret it differently. If something you read doesn't feel right in your's okay not to bring it into your heart. Remember, Lorna Byrne is relaying HER story. Her message is one of hope & comfort...a very good thing.

The Feast of St. Michael is September 29th & he is the patron of mariners, paratroopers, police, grocers and sickness.

Dear Friends
A few months back I was a passenger in a car and we stopped at a red light outside the main Criminal Courts in Dublin.  I watched a woman in her fifties walk up the steps towards the main entrance of the building. There were three angels walking with her as well as her guardian angel, which I saw as a light three steps behind her.  The angels were enormous and dwarfed her;  they were dressed in white through which I could see reflections of other colours. Their arms and hands went out every so often to support her. It was as if I was watching it in slow motion, her steps looked so slow and heavy. I could see angels of prayer rising from her like an incredible waterfall of angels falling upwards, straight to heaven. One of the angels with her turned towards me and told me without words that she was very worried. She was praying as she walked and the angels of prayer were enhancing her prayer, as they do for all of our prayers. 
As she reached the door of the building the Archangel Michael appeared beside her. He looked like a handsome middle aged man dressed in a fine dark coloured suit – he didn’t look out of place there, but I could see the glow that comes from him. I was asked how I recognised him – I recognised him as you would recognise a member of your family in a crowd. He turned and smiled at me as he walked through the door in to the courts with her.
I know the woman had asked for Angel Michael’s help.
Angel Michael is there with a person when he is called upon, he may only be there for a moment or two. He is there with other people at the same time, and at the same time will never have left the throne of God. I have no explanation for how he and other archangels can be different places at the same time.
We all have guardian angels and they never leave us for one moment. I sometimes meet people who tell me that Archangel Michael is their guardian angel. He isn’t. He isn’t anyone’s guardian angel.  Angel Michael is an extremely powerful angel and he is here to defend us all and to help us to go on the right path.
Angel Michael though is with people who have asked – like the woman that day on the courthouse steps.
One day some years ago I was walking with the Angel Michael; I had been wondering whether he was there for people who were being dishonest or doing bad things. As always with Angel Michael I didn’t have to tell him what I was thinking - he knew my thoughts.  He stopped and took my hands as he answered – I love when he takes my hand. This is what he told me:

“God wants me there for everyone who calls on me - even those that are being dishonest or doing wrong. God has said I must be there for all, there to defend each and every one. With people who are doing wrong I defend them in a different way – I try to give them the courage to be truthful, to admit they have done wrong and to make things right for themselves and others.”
I interrupted “Does it always work?”
“No Lorna it doesn't.” He replied rather sadly.  “Lots of men and women just don't want to listen. They have free will, and I can’t overstep it”
I told him that I wished people would listen more – even a little bit more. Angel Michael smiled at me and we started to walk again. After a minute or two Angel Michael turned towards me and said “I'm always here to defend you”. Then he disappeared.
I have my guardian angel and other angels around me so I don’t feel the need to call on Angel Michael to help me in my life. I always feel that the things that are affecting me in my life are small, and he has much bigger tasks to take on.
I never pray to angels, even archangels, I only pray to God, but I do ask angels for help. At the moment I am asking Archangel Michael for help a lot– not for me but to help to resolve the problems in places like Syria where there is so much violence and injustice, so much pain.
I don’t know why Angel Michael is allowed to be in my life so much. He will often appear when I am looking for information to share about something spiritual, then he will appear and say “God heard your call”. I have been thinking about this and have come to the conclusion that Angel Michael is not here for me personally, he is here as God’s messenger to give me information to share with the world.
I keep working to share these messages with the world, and I am so deeply appreciative to all of you who receive this newsletter because you listened. I appreciate so much how so many of you help to share these messages of hope with others. (the end of letter)

Christian tradition, through Scriptural passages, gives to St. Michael four offices:
  • To fight against Satan .
  • To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
  • To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
  • To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment ("signifer S. Michael repraesentet eas in lucam sanctam", Offert. Miss Defunct. "Constituit eum principem super animas suscipiendas", Antiph. off. Cf. The Shepherd of Hermas, Book III, Similitude 8, Chapter 3).

 How It All Began: 

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

 One day, after celebrating Mass, the aged Pope Leo XIII was in conference with the Cardinals when suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side could find no trace of his pulse and feared he had expired. However, after a short interval the Holy Father regained consciousness and exclaimed with great emotion, "Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see!"
He had been shown a vision of evil spirits who had been released from Hell and their efforts to destroy the Church. But in the midst of the horror the archangel Michael appeared and cast Satan and his legions into the abyss of hell.
Soon afterwards, Pope Leo XIII composed the following prayer to St. Michael. It is the shorter version.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

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