Author: Shirley Aaron

‘Nobody Will Live Forever…When God Calls You, He Will Ask You About Your Life’ – Virgin Mary

‘Nobody Will Live Forever…When God Calls You, He Will Ask You About Your Life’ – Virgin Mary


Since 36 years, Mirjana, one of the six visionaries who, thanks to Our Lady, leaves us her precious messages to Medjugorje, asked of the Virgin how to be alert and to recognize the face of evil, Mirjana in an interview revealed what Our Lady told her: 

Our Lady said in a message:

“Where I arrive, Satan arrives. Because he can not see holy Masses and prayers without trying to do something. But he has strength if we give it to him. If God reigns in our hearts, Jesus and Our Lady is already occupied”.


Our Lady is the one who has more power against Satan; remaining with her, entrusting herself to her intercession, can make the difference in every moment of our life, between remaining in the Lord’s graces and stopping in despair, hatred and resentment.

If someone thinks these are affirmations of circumstance, he must do nothing but experience them, with an open heart and full hope, to verify their veracity: he will not be disappointed!

“We think we live forever. Nobody will live forever. Every moment can be the one in which God calls us. Because life passes. It’s just a passage. One must earn one’s life with God. (…) Our Lady said in a message: “When God calls you, he will ask you about your life. What will you tell him? How were you? Only that is important”.

And even in this the Virgin helps us very much : she is the model to which we will have to inspire ourselves. His irreproachable behavior is for us the drive towards the search for purity, humility, to recognize oneself without any wisdom or ability, except by divine action.


Praying is the means to free oneself from the superfluous, from everything that obscures or hides the truth, from what makes us waste time in finding a dialogue with the Lord. And praying is not a way to satisfy oneself, but to rediscover the union with all the brothers , in a gigantic embrace that gathers those who yearn for the Creator.

“I wanted to ask you from the heart: please pray for us visionaries, to do all that God wants from us. It is very easy to make mistakes and we need you, your prayers. 
We here in Medjugorje pray for pilgrims every day, so that you can understand why you are here and what God wants from you. Thus we are always united in prayer, as our Mother wants. Always as His children”.

‘The Devil Fears To Mention The Name Of Padre Pio And The Saint Is Offen With Me’ – Italian Exorcist

‘The Devil Fears To Mention The Name Of Padre Pio And The Saint Is Offen With Me’ – Italian Exorcist


Padre Piero Catalan was a spiritual disciple of Fr. Gabriele Amorth. He says that during exorcisms the demon calls the saint of Pietrelcina “the bearded man” or “Francesco Forgione.”


Fr. Piero Catalan caught the attention of the media after he led the meeting at the Telesio Grammar School in Reggio Calabria, Italy, on December 4, to discuss the “horror game” that has been popular online for quite a while, the “Charlie Charlie Challenge.”


A conference with the Focolarini

Fr. Piero Catalano, disciple of Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the famous exorcist of the diocese of Rome who died in 2016, is a priest and exorcist of Reggio Calabria, explained why he uses the relics of saints during exorcisms and invokes Saint Pio of Pietrelcina against the devil to good effect.

After a life dedicated to volunteer work with the Gen Movement (connected to the Focolari Movement founded by Chiara Lubich), on December 8, 1988 he became consecrated to God in the priesthood. He has been the pastor of two towns on the Jonica coast of Reggio Calabria—Roccaforte del Greco and Saint Pantaleone—and today is the pastor of the Parish of Saint John Nepomucene and Saint Philip Neri in Arangea.


The demons fear even to say his name!

Fr. Piero studied for years to be an exorcist and is a spiritual son of Fr. Amorth. He started practicing prayer of liberation at the age of 18, and was named an exorcist three years ago.

In his office, he has many relics of saints. “I use them during my exorcisms,” he explains to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera (last December 19). 

“Which saint do I invoke most often? 

I have a special love for Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, who often makes himself present during exorcisms. The possessed person becomes afraid. He’ll say, ‘The one with the beard is here!’ And I reply, ‘By any chance, is he named Saint Pio of Pietrelcina?’ The demon will respond, ‘No, his name is Francesco Forgione, (Padre Pio’s birth name).’ The devil fears even to name him.”


From nausea to cold

Fr. Piero says that he becomes aware of a demonic presence, a possession, or a vexation, through typical reactions of the demon. “For example, as soon as I put my hand on the person’s head, he or she pulls back, turns very cold, feels like he or she is choking, or becomes nauseated, etc.” If it’s not a case of demonic presence, then the exorcist limits himself to a prayer of liberation.


“Do you want to come over to my side?”

“The demon,” Fr. Piero observes, “does everything possible to tempt us exorcists. Once, he asked me, ‘How much money do you want to come over to my side?’ I started to laugh, because I’ve made a vow of poverty. I don’t have money to pay for my own funeral if I die, and I share everything with the poor. And the devil said, ‘If I could, I’d kill you instantly.’ Then I replied, ‘But you can’t because I belong to Jesus!’”

5 Dead, After Terrorist Attack On Russian Church 

5 Dead, After Terrorist Attack On Russian Church 

 


On Sunday, February 18, a terrorist attacked an Orthodox church with the cry of ‘Allah Akbar,’ killing five people and injuring four, before being shot dead.

In what context did this attack take place?


Dagestan, on the border of Chechnya, Georgia and Azerbaijan, is one of the poorest regions of Russia. With 90% of the population Sunni Muslim, it remains marked by the Chechnya war, which took place on its border. The attack on Sunday, Feb. 18, was aimed at a church and took place on “Fat Sunday,” a religious holiday for the Orthodox, which precedes Lent. In addition, this attack took place in the city of Kizliar, whose inhabitants are known to be loyal to the Russian regime. Xavier Moreau, a businessman and politico-strategic analyst based in Moscow, recalled that during the war in Chechnya, the Kremlin handed over weapons to its inhabitants so that they could defend themselves against Chechen Islamists. In targeting this pro-Russian city, Russia is targeted.

Was there an organization sponsoring the attack, or was it a lone gunman?


At this stage of the investigation it is impossible to make conclusions with any certainty. One can nevertheless note that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Moreover, the Islamist group that historically imposed terror in the region, the so-called Emirate of the Caucasus, does not seem to be behind this attack. The “Emir,” Doku Umarov, died before the Sochi Olympics, and his emirate did not survive. The Islamic State’s involvement, other than as a source of inspiration, has not been established. Sunday’s assassin had limited means (shotgun and knife) and was accompanied by his wife. The latter has been arrested, and her interrogation should teach us more.


Does this attack threaten the stability of this region?

“We should not imagine this region as a united front of Muslims opposed to Orthodox Christians,” says Xavier Moreau. Muslims are certainly in the majority, but there is no frontal opposition against Orthodox Christians. Dagestan is a region that brings together no less than 40 nationalities, he says. His opinion is shared by Archbishop Barlaam of the Diocese of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. He stated “I am convinced that no matter who is behind this monstrous crime, he will not succeed in destroying peace and harmony in our multinational and multi-faith republic. In spite of everything, we, and our brothers who confess Islam, were, are, and will be good neighbors and the sons of one Father. ”


Is the Orthodox community a target?


Clearly, targeting Christians in front of a church on a feast day fuels religious tensions, but division in Dagestan is more political than religious. The region is plagued by corruption and organized crime.

How to explain this attack?


While we cannot for the time being exlude the “lone gunman” theory, this attack might have been a response to the vast anti-terrorist operations in place throughout Russia. A large-scale operation took place two weeks ago, and Xavier Moreau, from Moscow, notes that the security forces are on alert, obviously fearing aftershocks. It could also be a reaction to the anti-corruption campaign launched in the area, in the run-up to the March 18 presidential election. In addition, last October, Vladimir Putin replaced Ramazan Abdulatipov at the head of Dagestan with a Russian, Vladimir Vassiliev.

Source:

Aleteia

Did The Blessed Virgin Mary Die? 

Did The Blessed Virgin Mary Die? 

After the Blessed Virgin Mary died, the Apostles brought her body to her tomb, where she was buried. And it is from there that she was assumed into Heaven, leaving behind an empty tomb, courtesy of her Resurrected and Ascended Son. St. John Damascene, in the 7th century, said of this place that her empty tomb is a resting place for us:

She, who brought about the Word’s divine Incarnation, rests in her glorious tomb as in a bridal-chamber, whence she goes to the heavenly bridals, to share in the kingdom of her Son and God, leaving her tomb as a place of rest for those on earth. Is her tomb indeed a resting-place? Yes, more famous than any other, not shining with gold, or silver, or precious stones, nor covered with silken, golden, or purple adornments, but with the divine radiance of the Holy Spirit.

While we were there, the Greeks and Copts were celebrating Divine Liturgies simultaneously in front of her tomb, after which the Catholics and a couple of Muslims went in to pray by her empty tomb. It was fascinating, but it also reminded me that many people (including Catholics!) think that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary never died. That’s not the case. As Pope St. John Paul II pointed out:

Some theologians have in fact maintained that the Blessed Virgin did not die and and was immediately raised from earthly life to heavenly glory. However, this opinion was unknown until the 17th century, whereas a common tradition actually exists which sees Mary’s death as her entry into heavenly glory.

Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Munificentissimus Deus, which infallibly defines Mary’s Assumption, doesn’t shy away from the fact that Mary died before being assumed into Heaven. Pius makes this point by quoting from both Western and Eastern liturgies:

17. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: “Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself.”(11)

18. What is here indicated in that sobriety characteristic of the Roman liturgy is presented more clearly and completely in other ancient liturgical books. To take one as an example, the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary’s as “an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin’s Assumption is something unique among men.” And, in the Byzantine liturgy, not only is the Virgin Mary’s bodily Assumption connected time and time again with the dignity of the Mother of God, but also with the other privileges, and in particular with the virginal motherhood granted her by a singular decree of God’s Providence. “God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb.”(12)

Pope Adrian I, who Pius cites in the encyclical, was pope from 772-795, so the idea that Mary died before being assumed isn’t some modern invention. And we find this belief resounding throughout the ages, as Pius goes on to note:

35. In like manner St. Francis de Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: “What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?” (38) And St. Alphonsus writes that “Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust.”(39)

Of course, given the purpose of the encyclical, the focus isn’t on the fact that Mary died, but on what happened next… that her Divine Son assumed her bodily into Heaven, reuniting body and soul in heavenly bliss.

But we might still ask, why should Mary have to die? After all, she was free of original sin, and death is part of the curse of Adam (Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12). Why didn’t the same God who preserved Mary from original sin preserve her from death? Pope St. John Paul II addressed this question in a General Audience from 1997:

3. It is true that in Revelation death is presented as a punishment for sin. However, the fact that the Church proclaims Mary free from original sin by a unique divine privilege does not lead to the conclusion that she also received physical immortality. The Mother is not superior to the Son who underwent death, giving it a new meaning and changing it into a means of salvation.

Here, I think it’s helpful to connect Mary’s death with her earlier purification in the Temple. In Luke 2:22-24, we find Joseph and Mary presenting Jesus in the Temple, and offering a sacrifice of two turtledoves for Mary’s purification. This event is celebrated on February 2, which called both the Feast of the Presentation and the Purification of Mary. But this has led to some confusion: why was Mary being “purified,” if she’s without sin? Because ritual impurity isn’t the same thing as sin, as Jesus explained to the Pharisees (Mark 7:1-23).

But what’s striking is that this offering is only made by a woman who has “received seed” (Leviticus 12:2) which Luke has already informed us Mary hasn’t, because of the Virgin Birth (Luke 1:34-35). In other words, Mary was free of the strictures of the Law, but like her Son would later do, nevertheless submitted to the Law:

Mary, God’s blessed mother and a perpetual virgin, was, along with the Son she bore, most free from all subjection to the law. The law says that a woman who “had received seed” [Lev 12:2] and given birth was to be judged unclean and that after a long period she, along with the offspring she had borne, were to be cleansed by victims offered to God. So it is evident that the law does not describe as unclean that woman who, without receiving man’s seed, gave birth as a virgin. Nor does it teach that she had to be cleansed by saving sacrificial offerings. But as our Lord and Savior, who in His divinity was the one who gave the law, when He appeared as a human being, willed to be under the law…. So too His blessed mother, who by a singular privilege was above the law, nevertheless did not shun being made subject to the principles of the law for the sake of showing us an example of humility.

So even though Mary was conceivably exempt from this purification, she nevertheless submitted to it. It was the same sort of humility practiced by her Son throughout His earthly life (for example, in paying the Temple tax in Matthew 17:24-27) and supremely in His voluntarily Death. How fitting, therefore, that the Virgin Mary’s death should echo that of her Son!

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