Why to save them? - April 17, 2022

Why to save them?

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town.
One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….
“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging his bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Take ‘em home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”
“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”
“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”
The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”
“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister.
They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”
“How much?” the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill.
He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.
The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot.
Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation.
Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ‘em all!”
“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”
“And what will you do when you are done with them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, I’ll kill ‘em,” Satan glared proudly.
“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you.
They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”
“How much? He asked again. Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”
Jesus said, “DONE!”
Then He paid the price. The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.
So we have Easter

The Legend of the Donkey Cross - April 10, 2022

The Legend of the Donkey Cross
 
No matter what their color, almost all Miniature Donkeys share the distinctive mark of a cross that extends down their back and across their shoulders.  While genetics account for this coloration, poet Mary Singer has a more touching explanation:
 
The Donkey’s Cross
 
“Bring me a colt of a donkey,” was the Master’s request.
 
A young donkey was brought to Jesus to bring Him to Jerusalem.  A week later Jesus was ordered crucified.
 
The little donkey so loved the Lord that he wanted to help Him carry the cross. 
But alas, he was pushed away.
 
The sad little donkey waited to say goodbye until nearly all had left.
As he turned to leave, the shadow of the cross fell on his back and shoulders.
And there it has remained, a tribute to the loyalty and love of one of the humblest of God’s creatures.

God’s Wings - March 27, 2022

God’s Wings
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.

Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast….because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.
(Psalm 91: 4)

" St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen."

A Text from our friends - March 20, 2022

A Text from our friends

[3/9, 5:21 AM] Barbara/Mobilni Vucic: I know you are still sleeping...please say thank you for anyone included in this....I dont have words to say something..Never ever did someone like this for me and my family. Im going now to pay bills. Then I go to buy food for me and my family. Then I have 2 more faimilies with children I want to buy food for whole month and clothes for children and winter shoes. Then I will give also for one family which lives in a rotten house. I will say it is from good people from St. Helena so they can pray for you all.That are my things first to do.

[3/9, 6:55 AM] Barbara/Mobilni Vucic: Just a big THANK YOU to all of you...I’m like walking in tears and people are staring at me but I dont mind... Tears of joy and thankfulness and hope and love.

[3/9, 7:00 AM] Barbara/Mobilni Vucic: Always when I come to this place there are 2 men, homeless....and they are always in cold or in heat they try to earn money here..I gave them now that they eat and money for tomorrow that they can buy something to eat. They are Catholic imigrants from Lebanon. A elder man and his son. I spoke to them. They fled because also in Lebanon the situation is very very bad. They will pray for you and me. Very nice people but heartbroken and homeless.

[3/9, 8:57 AM] Barbara/Mobilni Vucic: Yes MeSo of course I can take pictures of them...I think the wont mind...I already gave one family with children...now Im home...tomorrow I will go again and I will take pictures. There is also one women 76yr she lives alone. I will also go to her and buy her food. She is in Citluk. Also one friend of mine told me a family with children is in need that somebody pays their electricity bill, its about 250$. I asked my friend to contact the family so that they give him the bill so I can pay for them. They turned off the electricity for them.

A Message from our friend - April 3, 2022

A Message from our friend

“I would like to say thank you for your kindness, for your help, for taking care of the ones in need. I believe that faith should be followed by did’s, because the faith without good did’s is dead. In that spirit we should recognize Jesus in every person we meet. I thank you once again for your financial help and I promise you that this money will be used to help the most needing. God bless you all.”
- Jacov Colo (Visionary of Medjugorje)

 

4-1-2022
Today I went to those 3 angels. Delivered money to the parents to buy them clothes and shoes and food. The mother Ivana cried. Told that she never became something like this in her life. She told she will pray for your whole community.

WHEN THE WINDS BLOW - March 13, 2022

WHEN THE WINDS BLOW

Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him.

"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

MORAL: When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.

We, as believers in Christ, secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don't need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the midst of the storms.

Indulgences: God’s Gift and the Church’s Treasure - February 27, 2022

Indulgences: God’s Gift and the Church’s Treasure
Indulgence: The remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin whose guilt has already been forgiven. A properly disposed member of the Christian faithful can obtain an indulgence under prescribed conditions through the help of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. An indulgence is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or pleary if it removes all punishment. CCC 1471

Usual Requirements for gaining Plenary Indulgences
1) Be in the state of grace by the completion of the indulgenced work
2) Be free of all attachment to sin
3) Receive Holy Communion that day or within a few days
4) Make a good Confession within 20 days (before or after)
5) Prayers for the Pope’s Intentions

Indulgences Available For Particular Feasts and Daily Pious Acts

 Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart
-Plenary for recitation of the “Most sweet Jesus, who overflowing charity…” prayer
-Partial for recitation on other days
Solemnity of Peter and Paul
-Plenary for using an item blessed by the Pope or a bishop
All Saints Day
-Plenary for 8 days

All Souls
-Plenary for visiting a church and praying for the faithful departed
Solemnity of Christ the King
-Plenary for recitation of the “Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer…” prayer
-Partial for recitation on other days
December 31
-Plenary for reciting the Te Deum
January 1st & Pentecost
-Plenary for singing the Veni Creator

Daily Prayers & Pious Actions
-plenary for spending a least a half hour before the Blessed Sacrament
-partial for making a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament
-partial for praying the Adoro te devote, O sacrum convivium, or Tantum ergo
-plenary for those who assist at the first Holy Communion of others
-partial for making a spiritual communion with an approved prayer
-partial for reciting the Anima Christi after Communion
-plenary available at the hour of death
-partial for a good examination of conscience before confession
-partial for reciting the Act of Contrition
-plenary for assisting at Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday
-plenary for making the Way of the Cross with approved stations
-partial for used an article of devotion blessed by a priest or deacon
-partial for spending time in mental prayer
-plenary for listening to preaching at a parish mission
-partial for being present for the preaching of the Word of God
-plenary for recitation of the Rosary with others or in a church
-partial for recitation of the Rosary alone
-partial for reciting the Magnificat
-partial for reciting the Angelus/Regina Caeli
-partial for reciting an approved Marian prayer (Memorare, Salve Regina, Sub tuum)
-partial for reciting the Angel of God prayer
-partial for reciting an approved prayer of St. Joseph
-partial for reciting a prayer honoring the saint of that day
-partial for reciting approved litanies, novenas, little offices
-partial for reciting an approved prayer for benefactors
-partial for reciting an approved prayer for the Holy Father
-partial for offering an approved prayer at the start or end of the day
-partial for offering a prayer before & after meals
-partial for offering an approved prayer starting & completing work
-plenary for assisting at the First Mass of a new priest
-partial for assisting at a jubilee Mass of a priest
-partial for renewing baptismal promises on the anniversary of their own baptism
-partial for renewing baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil
-partial for visiting a cemetery to pray for the dead
-partial for reading the Bible for half and hour
-plenary for visiting one of the four major basilicas
-plenary for visiting a parish church on it’s feast day
-plenary for visiting a church on the anniversary of its’ consecration
-partial for teaching or studying Christian Doctrine

Change the battle ground - February 20, 2022

Change the battle ground

The Eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battle ground, and then it releases the snake into the sky.

The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful wise and deadly.

Take your fight into the spiritual realm by praying and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes over your battles.

Don’t fight the enemy in his comfort zone, change the battle grounds like the Eagle and let God take charge through your earnest prayer. You’ll be assured of clean victory.

Pray without ceasing.

Saint Valentine - February 13, 2022

Saint Valentine, officially known as Saint Valentine of Rome, is a third-century Roman saint widely celebrated on February 14 and commonly associated with “courtly love.”

Although not much of St. Valentine’s life is reliably known, and whether or not the stories involve two different saints by the same name is also not officially decided, it is highly agreed that St. Valentine was martyred and then buried on the Via Flaminia to the north of Rome.

One common story about St. Valentine is that in one point of his life, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia, he was on house arrest with Judge Asterius. While discussing religion and faith with the Judge, Valentine pledged the validity of Jesus. The judge immediately put Valentine and his faith to the test.

St. Valentine was presented with the judge’s blind daughter and told to restore her sight. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine. Placing his hands onto her eyes, Valentine restored the child’s vision.

Judge Asterius was humbled and obeyed Valentine’s requests. Asterius broke all the idols around his house, fasted for three days and became baptized, along with his family and entire 44 member household. The now faithful judge then freed all of his Christian inmates.

St. Valentine was later arrested again for continuing to try to convert people to Christianity. He was sent to Rome under the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II). According to the popular hagiographical identity, and what is believed to be the first representation of St. Valentine, the Nuremberg Chronicle, St. Valentine was a Roman priest martyred during Claudius’ reign. The story tells that St. Valentine was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Both acts were considered serious crimes. A relationship between the saint and emperor began to grow, until Valentine attempted to convince Claudius of Christianity. Claudius became raged and sentenced Valentine to death, commanding him to renounce his faith or be beaten with clubs and beheaded.

St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses and his feast day is celebrated on February 14.

Push Until Something Happens - February 6, 2022

Push Until Something Happens

One man had a great desire to please God. He prayed day and night and once he heard the voice from above saying: “I want you to go and push that large stone.”

The man woke up and was so inspired. He ran to find the stone and started pushing it. He pushed and pushed, but nothing happened. He kept pushing the rock all day long.

The next day he did the same, but the stone did not move at all. For three months the man kept pushing the huge boulder. Finally he got tired and stopped pushing.

That night he had another dream, and he heard the voice saying:
“Why did you stop pushing the stone?”

“Nothing happened and the boulder is still there,” – answered the man.

“Nothing happened? Look at you! You have become so much more focused and stronger. You built up your muscles. You are a changed man now! Pushing has transformed you! Besides, I did not tell you to move the stone. I just told you to push it. When the time comes, I’ll move it Myself!”

A Prayer for an End to Abortion - January 30, 2022

A Prayer for an End to Abortion
Heavenly Father,
Spare our nation from the scourge of abortion.
Protect the lives of children in the womb.
Give hope and strength to their mothers.
Stir love in the hearts of fathers to support and cherish mother and child.
Cause our elected leaders and the courts to recognize and protect the person hood of unborn children.
Lift up church leaders to proclaim a Culture of Life.
Lead parents who had abortions to repentance and healing.
Bring about the conversion of the abortionist, of those who deny the birthright of children and those who are indifferent.
Grant me the courage and energy to be a Defender of Life.
I ask this through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” - Thomas Jefferson

The Unseen Hands For Those Who Are Ready to Help - January 23, 2022

The Unseen Hands For Those Who Are Ready To Help

There were three ships which were nearby when the Titanic sunk. One of them was known as the Sampson.

It was 7 miles away from the Titanic and they saw the white flares signaling danger, but because the crew had been hunting seals illegally and didn’t want to be caught, they turned and went the opposite direction away from the Titanic. This ship represents us and people like us if we are so busy looking inward at our own sin and lives that we can’t recognize when someone else is in need.

The next ship was the Californian. This ship was only 14 miles away from the Titanic, but they were surrounded by ice fields and the captain looked out and saw the white flares, but because the conditions weren’t favorable and it was dark, he decided to go back to bed and wait until morning. The crew tried to convince themselves that nothing was happening. This ship represents those of us who say I can’t do anything now. The conditions aren’t right for it and so we wait until conditions are perfect before going out.

The last ship was the Carpathia. This ship was actually headed in a southern direction 58 miles away from the Titanic when they heard the distress cries over the radio. The captain of this ship knelt down, prayed to God for direction and then turned the ship around and went full steam ahead through the ice fields. This was the ship that saved the 705 survivors of the Titanic.

When the captain looked back at the ice fields they had come through, he said Someone else’s hands must have been at the helm of this ship! This ship represents those who would pray to God for direction and then go without hesitation.

 

IF GOD IS WITH US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US (Rom 8: 31)

Tale of Two Wolves - January 16, 2022

TALE OF TWO WOLVES

An old Cherokee was speaking with his grandson.

He said, “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The Cherokee’s grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The Baptism of the Lord - January 9, 2022

Maria Valtorta, POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Chapter 45.
The Baptism of the Lord

Jesus is alone. He is walking slowly, coming forward, behind the Baptist. He approaches noiselessly and listens to the thundering voice of the Penitent of the desert, as if He also were one of the many who came to John to be baptized and purified for the coming of the Messiah. There is nothing to distinguish Jesus from the others. His clothes are those of common people, but He has the bearing and handsomeness of a gentleman. There is no divine sign discriminating Him from the crowd.

But it would appear that John perceives a special spirituality emanate from Him. He turns round, and at once identifies the source of the emanation. He descends impulsively from the rocky pulpit and moves quickly towards Jesus, Who has stopped a few yards away from the crowd and is leaning against the trunk of a tree.

Jesus and John stare at each other for a moment: Jesus, with His very sweet blue eyes; John with his very severe black flashing ones. Seen from nearby, one is the antithesis of the other. They are both tall -- their only resemblance -- for all the rest, they differ immensely. Jesus is fair haired. His hair is long and tidy, His face is white ivory, His eyes blue, His garment simple, but majestic. John is hairy: his straight, black hair falls unevenly onto his shoulders, his sparse dark beard covers his face almost completely, but his cheeks, hollowed by fasting, are still noticeable, his feverish eyes are black, his complexion is dark, tanned by the sun and weather-beaten, his body is covered with hairs, he is half-naked in his camel-hair garment, which is tied to his waist by a leather belt and covers his trunk, reaching down to his thin sides, whilst his right side is uncovered and bare, completely weather-beaten. They look like a savage and an angel, seen close together.

John, after scrutinizing Him with his piercing eyes, exclaims:

“Here is the Lamb of God. How is it that my Lord comes to me?”

Jesus replies calmly “To fulfill the penitential rite.”

“Never, my Lord. I must come to You to be sanctified, and You are coming to me?”

And Jesus, laying His hand on the head of John, who had bowed down in front of Him, replies:

“Let it be done as I wish, that all justice may be fulfilled and your rite may become the beginning of a higher mystery and men may be informed that the Victim is in the world.”

Poem of the Man-God, chapter 34 - January 2, 2022

Maria Valtorta, POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Chapter 34.
The Adoration of the Wise Men
…Mary is sitting with the Child in Her lap and Joseph is standing near Her. But She also gets up and bows when She sees the Magi entering. She is all dressed in white. She is so beautiful in Her plain white dress which covers Her from Her neck down to Her feet, from Her shoulders to Her slender wrists. She is so beautiful with Her head crowned with Her blond plaits, Her face more rosy for the emotion, with Her eyes smiling so sweetly while Her mouth gives a greeting: "May God be with you", that the three Magi stop for a moment, completely astonished. They then proceed and prostrate themselves at Her feet…

…The three Wise Men contemplate the Child, Who I think must be nine to twelve months old. He is so lively and strong. He is sitting on His Mother's lap and smiles and prattles with a shrill voice like a little bird. He is all dressed in white like His Mother, with tiny sandals on His little feet. His dress is a very simple one: a small tunic, from which His restless feet protrude, and His plump little hands which would like to get hold of everything, and above all, a most beautiful little face in which two dark blue eyes shine, and a pretty mouth with dimples at the sides shows its first tiny teeth when it smiles. His pretty little curls are so bright and soft that they seem gold dust.

The oldest of the Magi speaks on behalf of them all. He explains to Mary that one night the previous December, they saw a new star of an unusual brightness appear in the sky. The maps of the sky had never shown or mentioned such a star. Its name was unknown because it had no name…

They had seen it and had striven to understand its meaning. They were happy to give up the little sleep they usually granted themselves and forgetting even their food, they devoted themselves entirely to studying the zodiac. And the conjunctions of the stars, the time, the season, the calculation of the hours passed and of the astronomic combinations had told them the name and secret of the star. Its name: "Messiah". Its secret: "The Messiah had come to our world." And they had set out to worship Him. Each of them unknown to the others. Over mountains, across deserts, along valleys and rivers, traveling by night they had come towards Palestine, because the star was moving in that direction. Each of them unknown to the others. For each of them, from three different points on earth, it was going in that direction. And then they met beyond the Dead Sea. God's will had gathered them there, and they then proceeded together, understanding one another, notwithstanding that each spoke his own language: by a miracle of the Eternal Father they were able to understand and speak the language of each country.

…And they had come towards Bethlehem and as soon as they left the Holy City, the star had reappeared to them, and the night before their arrival in Bethlehem its brightness had increased; the whole sky was ablaze. Then the star had stopped over this house engulfing all the light of the other stars in its ray. And they had understood that the Divine New-Born Baby was there. And now they were worshiping Him, offering their gifts, and above all, their hearts, which never cease thanking God for the grace granted to them; neither would they ever stop loving His Son Whose holy human body they had now seen...

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We, at St. Helena Catholic Church, are concerned with educating, directing, and sustaining all who visit. 

In particular those who draw near to the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church. 

We strive to achieve this by utilizing the Cardinal Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.