Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eucharistic Miracles - Thank You Lord Jesus!

This message is very powerful and moving. I got goosebumps and misty eyed just reading it. God is good. His Word is amazing. His works are wonderful. The Holy Eucharist is awesome! Praise the Lord! :)

- Misty

Please share this with your family and friends if you are moved by this message too.

Dear friends who usually get my homilies: I am sending along a homily from my friend, young Father Jeffrey Montz. He was ordained a priest a year ago, and is now the Parochial Vicar at St. Frances of Assisi . Perhaps, as moving as the homily is Fr. Jeff's note to me which I have copied and attached to the end of the homily.

Here is Fr. Jeff's Homily:
“I am the bread of life.” In the year 2009, I was distributing communion to the faithful when a young woman approached and extended her hands to receive the Eucharist. Almost as soon as I had placed the Host in her hands, she began moving away and in the process she dropped the host. Standing over the fallen Host lying on the ground, a slight giggle, shrug of the shoulders, and re-extended hands, her body language said to me, “Ooops, I dropped it. Can you give me another one?”
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

August 15, 1996 an elderly Eucharistic minister was distributing the Precious Body of Christ to the faithful in a parish in Buenos Aires , Argentina when a similar accident occurred. Not wanting to consume the Host because it was dirty after falling to the ground, he asked the priest to pick it up. Reverently the priest placed the Host in a receptacle of water and put it into the Tabernacle where it would dissolve with time. Six days later when the priest examined the Host that should have been dissolved by now, he was perplexed by what he saw. The Eucharist seemed to have grown in size and was covered with red splotches.
Leave it for a few more days, he thought; it’s just a matter of time. But then with each passing day the Sacred Species took on the appearance of coagulated blood, until eventually the Host looked like a piece of flesh. “The bread that I will give is my flesh.” A miracle! Perhaps, but first this had to be investigated. A lab in Buenos Aires examined a sample from the Host. The scientist discovered red blood cells, white blood cells, and hemoglobin, but what perplexed him the most was that the cells were moving and beating.
Three years later Dr. Ricardo Gomez was called in to perform a more thorough examination. He sent a sample from the Host to a lab in New York but didn’t tell them what it is; he wanted them to tell him what it is. They did. It’s living muscle from a human heart.
Now the year is 2004, Dr. Gomez had located a unique doctor named Frederick Zugibe whose expertise in examining the heart of a dead person allows him to know the nature of the person’s death. He too was given an opportunity to examine the Host without knowing that this heart was formerly a round wafer of wheat bread. His findings?
The heart belonged to a person who had been severely tortured. “So Pilate wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.”
After his examination, Dr. Zugibe passionately said to Dr. Gomez, “You have to explain one thing to me, if this sample came from a person who was dead, then how could it be that as I was examining it the cells of the sample were moving and beating? If this heart comes from someone who died in 1996, how can it still be alive?” When Dr. Gomez explained to Dr. Zugibe that it was the Eucharist, he nearly pulled his hair out of his head in shock.

Backtrack to the 8th Century in Lanciano, a town in southern Italy where a priest was celebrating the Mass doubting that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. As he raised the Host, it instantly transformed into a piece of flesh in his hands. In the 1970's this piece of flesh, which remains available for veneration to this day, was tested by a leading Italian doctor. His findings? It is living muscle from a human heart. Dr. Gomez decided to cross examine the Host from Buenos Aires with this Host from Lanciano.

Amazingly, both hearts were found to have come from the same person. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” My brothers and sisters, our faith proclaims to us the wondrous mystery that Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. It’s no mere symbol, no mere reenactment. It is the Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ! What I place in your hand or upon your tongue is not a ritual piece of bread. I place God in your hand! I place God on your tongue!

I know that even after telling you the story of the Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires , I haven’t proven this. I can never prove this truth, because it’s a matter of faith. However, all I’m asking my brothers and sisters is that you ponder the story I shared with you this morning.

Perhaps, the skeptic in you calls it all a bunch of lies.

Perhaps, the unimpressed call it a coincidence.

Perhaps you’re a person of faith and you’re in awe at what I’ve shared with you. All I ask is that if there’s the slightest inkling in your hearts that what you received in the Eucharist is the flesh of God, then please my brothers and sisters, never let the lance that pierced my heart in 2009 when that young woman stood carelessly over God’s fallen Body pierce my heart again. Please treat this mystery which you receive with the reverence God deserves.

HERE IS FR. JEFF'S RESPONSE TO ME WHEN I ASKED PERMISSION TO PASS HIS HOMILY ON TO YOU. Hey, I've heard it said that in any good homily we're really preaching to ourselves. That being said, as familiar as I was with the homily before I delivered it, I found that in delivering it to the people it still had an effect upon my heart. For lack of better words it stirred me. Afterwards, I found that my celebration of the Eucharistic Prayer was even more meaningful. I can't express how moved my heart was as I said those words, "This is my body." Those words seemed to flow from my heart as if they were flowing directly from the Heart of Christ. The tone of those words almost became a tone of pleading on Jesus' part, "This is my body," "please believe me; this IS my body and I want all of you to believe and to receive my Heart of Love!" We are so blessed to have the Eucharist!!! Anyways, I'd be happy if you should share this homily with others; these are the miraculous stories that God wants us to share so that our faith can be strengthened. As it says in the Scriptures, "Encourage one another while it is still day." It's sort of like the Transfiguration which was revealed to Peter, James, and John so that they could persevere through the Passion and death of Jesus. And I wouldn't even mind if you didn't give me credit. After all, it is God who deserves all the credit on this one; I just did the typing :)
Also, to make the process of distribution easier I could email you a copy of the homily if you'd like. Just let me know.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord now and forever! Your brother, Jeff

Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Turn Complaints into Aim - A Lesson About Gratitude

What are the poisonous serpents (complaints, sins) in your life? How can you turn them into “aim”?

Lord Jesus, increase my faith in You and in Your power to transform my life’s crosses into blessings.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prince Of Peace (You Are Holy) lyrics

Prince Of Peace (You Are Holy) lyrics

Michael W. Smith

You are holy (You are holy)
You are mighty (You are mighty)
You are worthy (You are worthy)
Worthy of praise (Worthy of praise)

I will follow (I will follow)
I will listen (I will listen)
I will love You (I will love you)
All of my days (All of my days)

I will sing to (You are Lord of Lords)
And worship (You are King of kings)
The King who (You are mighty God)
Is worthy (Lord of everything)
I will love and (You're Emannuel)
Adore You (You're the Great I am)
And I will bow down (You're my Prince of peace)
before You (Who is the Lamb)
I will sing to (You're my living God)
And worship (You're my saving grace)
The King who (You will reign forever)
Is worthy (You are ancient of days)
I will love and (You are alpha, omega)
Adore You (beginning and end)
And I will bow down (You're my Savior, Messiah)
Before You (Redeemer and friend)
You're my Prince of Peace
And I will live my life for You
(Repeat above 2x)

My LSS for today. Check this out on Misty's Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Numbers Should Not (And No Longer) Matter

One of my former clients once told me, "Show me that numbers don't matter."

I found this phrase kind of interesting because I really didn't get it at first. Back then, we were discussing a business venture that could potentially benefit the both of us. For weeks I could not get this phrase out of my head. I still don't fully understand what this means but it sure struck a chord in me.

Today, when most people just care about numbers - age, weight, height, income, etc. - it is refreshing to know that we can (and should) live in a world where numbers don't matter. Just think how freeing it would be to not care about our age, weight or social security number! lol. I am getting ahead of myself.

You know why I really love this idea? Numbers have always held me back. I used to obsess about how much I weigh and at what age I might go through menopause and all that stuff. Looking back, I figure it would be so much fun to just throw those numbers in the air and forget about them. I am not a fan of numbers. I was not very good in math growing up though I had a couple of good semesters in the spotlight back in college. Aced Algebra, Trigonometry and Statistics (working part-time too.) Thanks in part to carefully written notes (my friend's and mine. no cheating, mind you. lol).

I am officially in transition from youth to well... you know. Turning 36 used to be scary because of that darn train. Until I realized that I probably should not even be on that train to begin with. They say that when our age falls off the calendar, we should go for that last trip. Well, I have been on a few taxicab trips of late and what most of the drivers ask is my age, my marital status and if I have kids. I know, very intrusive. I like to talk but I used to really dislike these subjects. I'm like, "why is it any business of yours?" Of course, I don't say that out loud but you can imagine my consternation when guys started asking these questions again.

Just this week I realized something. I don't really care anymore about "missing the train," menopause, growing old and all that jazz. All that really does is bring me down so I am making this promise to myself. I may no longer be on the calendar but that won't stop me from having fun! Seriously! I only go through each bend once so I may as well enjoy this ride, train or no train. See you all at the bright side (or at the bright end of the tunnel! :)

On Healing, Broken Relationships and Moving On - Thank You Lord Jesus!

A while back I wrote a blog entry about broken relationships and the devastating effects they have on people. I have been going through this "phase" if I may call it that where I have been trying to mend broken relationships. One valuable lesson I learned is this -- it is not possible to heal broken relationships when either or both parties are still holding on to old resentments and reluctant to let go, let alone move on.

I am guilty of this too, which is probably the reason why I feel this disconnect. For the longest time, I have been holding on to the hate and anger and resentments, ill feeling which should probably have been laid to rest a long, long, long, long, long time ago. Healing begins with acceptance and forgiveness, I was told, and holding on to feelings of hurt and resentment, which could quickly turn into anger is not a healthy way to deal with problems.

I have been holding on to grudges for a long time too. And holding on to the guilt and shame that came with it. I would like to speak in the past tense now, because, from this moment forward, I choose to be happy. I refuse to be held back by anger or guilt or shame or hurt or resentments because all these negativity does is weigh me down. I chose to let go of all this because I want to grow. And I want to love again. And I want to grow deeper in communion with You Lord Jesus. This is my desperate plea for tonight... expressed in the best way I know how... my journal. And so as I utter a whispered "I love You Jesus." I will also close this chapter with a prayer.

Lord Jesus I pray for love. I pray for acceptance and forgiveness. I pray for the genuine and permanent healing that only You can provide. I also pray for genuine repentance. May this be the first step towards a long and healthy relationship renewal with You Lord Jesus. And I pray for forgiveness from all the people that I have wronged. Most of all, I pray for true humility, obedience and strength. I praise You Lord Jesus. You are my King. My Saviour. My Friend. Lover of my soul. My all in all. Mere words could not express how much I long to be with You. Thank You for giving me space and time to heal Lord Jesus. And for blessing me with survivors around me - my family and friends who have stood by me through all the storms. I pray for them Lord Jesus. Please bless my family and friends with love and happy relationships. I ask nothing more but the same for myself. Your Love and Your Grace Lord Jesus. Thank You God. Amen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Broken Relationships & Moving On (My Journey Continues)

Have you ever wondered why broken relationships is the media's favorite topic? A Pinoy telenovela on TV isn't complete without conflicts, broken homes or marriages falling apart, complete with dramatic slaps and tears.

I used to take this for granted... that is, until I went through the same thing... well, not exactly. No dramatic slaps but the tears are there -- in fact, you can say that dams have burst. And I am ashamed to admit that partly, the fault was mine. I will not elaborate for privacy reasons but I can tell you this -- broken relationships really really hurt. It's like a gnawing pain in my heart that simply won't go away.

I don't know how this happened or when things came to a boiling point but the pain is real... it's ever-present... and I have no idea how to fix things. I can barely keep up with my daily chores, let alone try and fix broken relationships so I have decided to lift everything up to the Lord. Only He knows how and when these broken relationships will heal but there's one thing I am sure of -- God will never leave and His timing is always perfect. Praise You Lord Jesus. Thank You for Your gift of love that truly heals. I surrender my life to Your loving arms Lord Jesus. And I will trust you alone. Amen.

I asked, He answered... Thank You Lord!

When someone evil stops sinning and does what is right and good, he saves his life. – Ezekiel 18:27

This passage jumped out of my screen today after I asked God for wisdom and guidance. I don't know why but this seemed like the perfect answer to my prayer.

You see, I have been sorely tempted to avail of an iPhone plan that is being offered in SM City Cebu. I have always been fascinated with gadgets. Lately, my inner gadget geek screams iPad 2 but so far, I have avoided that. So imagine my consternation when I got wind of the iPhone plan offer! Sheesh. Hihihi.

Well, imagine my surprise when I got home from lunch at Jollibee raring to write again cuz I'm on a roll. Thank You Holy Spirit. My goal for the day is to write 5 PRs. I don't remember going beyond 4 so I am very excited. The surprise? My inner gadget diva (lol) was screaming iPhone! Goodness me! I don't think I could have fought that temptation on my own. Thank God for His message (care of Kerygma Family).

The passage "When someone evil stops sinning and does what is right and good, he saves his life." – Ezekiel 18:27 not only stopped that tempting thought on its track, everything screeched to a halt for a while. Imagine how wonderful it would be to be in Heaven, knowing that all is forgiven and life is saved. Then imagine the opposite. I'm sure that I would prefer the former than the latter. And so, as the gadget diva's voice is stifled, I breathe a sigh of relief and thank God with a short prayer.

Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me from myself time and time again. And for helping me get up and move on whenever I fall. But most of all, I thank You Jesus for carrying my cross for me. I am ready now Lord Jesus Christ. I will get up, carry my cross and follow you wherever you go. I want to stick it out with You and I will serve you now and forever, my Servant King! Thank You Lord Jesus for Your kindness, Your mercy, Your goodness, Your grace and most important of all -- Your Love...

Your LOVE is amazing Lord God. I never want to be separated from You no matter how great the material desires may be. Amen.

Allow me to share one of my favorite prayers to the Holy Spirit...

Oh Holy Spirit, Thou who make me see everything and show me the way to reach my ideal.
You who gave me the divine gift to forgive and forget the wrong that is done to me and who are in all instances of my life with me.

I, in this dialogue, want to thank You for everything and confirm once more that I never want to be separated from You no matter how great the material desires may be. I want to be with You and my loved ones in Your perpetual glory. Amen.