Christmas Miracle – Mother and Child

Fox News reports,

‘Hand of God’ Seen in Christmas Eve Revival of Mother, Baby.

Quoting the dad:

My legs went out from underneath me,” Mike Hermanstorfer said Tuesday. “I had everything in the world taken from me, and in an hour and a half I had everything given to me.”

Dr. Stephanie Martin, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs  said:

“She had no signs of life. No heartbeat, no blood pressure, she wasn’t breathing,” said Martin, who had rushed to Hermanstorfer’s room to help. “The baby was, it was basically limp, with a very slow heart rate.”

Elizabethan Totalitarianism/Barbarism

In Fr.Robert Barron’s “A Tale of Two Skulls” history comes alive and speaks to the accepted barbarism of an age that lost its way, much as our own has.  Today we can terminate a pregnancy and label the dismembered embro as “products of conception.”

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Las Mananitas- Tradionally sang to greet Our Lady of Guadalupe “Lupita” early in the morning on her feast day.:

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
Despierta, mi bien*, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.


This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint’s day we’re singing it for you
Wake up, my dear*, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe here Don Antonio Valeriano

Update – St. Juan Diego


The Man and The Eagle

The Story

St. Juan Diego – Model of Humility

Listen and let it penetrate your heart … do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?
(Words of Our Lady to Juan Diego)

Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favour upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.

Beloved Juan Diego, “the talking eagle”! Show us the way that leads to the “Dark Virgin” of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen.

(Words of Pope John Paul II from the homily at the canonization of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin)

“I thank you, Father … that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Mt 11:25-26).

Ordinary People – Extraordinary Love

In life no one goes unchallenged.  Challenges rise before us like daunting mountains before the promised grace abounds that will carry us up and over.  Angels stand by still and mute til summoned to our side. The Church teaches, yet it is left for us to decide to trust and to obey.  From Christ we hear, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew16:18)  When I hear that I must assume that “the gates of hell” will certainly try. Be Not Afraid.Net shares a story of trust amid extraordinary challenge.

From:L  A Donation of Spirit by Katrina J. Zeno:

“She was the first person I ever met who wore black leather and lipstick to match. It was 1983, and I was a freshman at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. The young woman in black, Dawn Scanlan, was the University president’s niece. She had been “entrusted” to my small, faith-sharing group for the weekend with the hope that we would be a good influence on her. Much to my surprise, and to the delight of her uncle, Dawn enrolled at Franciscan University the next fall. Leaving behind the racy life of a Long Islander, she tried to give God and her Catholic faith a fair shake. She half succeeded. After a year of less than spectacular grades, the probation committee at the University informed Dawn she couldn’t continue. She got a job with British Airways, moved to Atlanta, Georgia, married a Lufthansa airline employee, and settled down to a mediocre Catholic life. “I continued to straddle the fence,” Dawn says. “I went to church on Sunday, taught my two daughters their prayers, but still compromised in many areas.” But in August of 1997 the fence began to crack. Five months into her third pregnancy, Dawn received some disturbing news: Her baby had a rare and fatal form of dwarfism (only 100 documented cases) in which his lungs would never develop. If he made it to term and was born, he would die within hours. Additionally, he had no arms or legs, just hands and feet, and he was hydrocephalic. “I was very confused and didn’t know what to do,” Dawn says. “Some of my friends suggested I have an abortion. I wanted the Catholic position, so I called Uncle Mike.” Uncle Mike, a.k.a. Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR, president of Franciscan University, listened to his distressed niece and then gave his advice: wait and pray for 24 hours, and then he’d call back. “It was the best advice he could have given me,” Dawn says. “Within two hours, I knew what I would do. I would continue my pregnancy and shower my baby with love. I made the decision with God’s help. It was my decision. It wasn’t Uncle Mike’s decision.” …….  the rest here.

Things Visible and Invisible

I tend to see Christ and Our Lady all around me:

in trees,

on trees.

Once I saw his name “Jesus” spelled out in the shadows on the ground in front of me as the sun shown through the leaves of my shefflera.  My husband who doubted me, soon found himself tracing out the letters with his foot.

This past summer, I set up a tent behind my trailer. It had mesh, see-through, sides.  The next day, a man from the next campsite came over to tell me that his whole family saw Our Lady of Guadalupe but her image was only visible through the sides of my tent.  I checked it out that evening and sure enough, I could see her too.

All this to say I understand when the Anchoress declares  Advent Pictures of Christ amid the snowflakes.  In an absolutely stirring post, she says, “When I first saw these pictures, all I could think of was: Look! Pictures of Christ!  Pictures of perfection, they remind us of the joyful Antiphon for a Monday’s vespers: ‘yours is more than mortal beauty; every word you speak is full of grace.’ “

Celebrating My Feastday!

My middle name is Concetta.  Growing up my mom translated it as “Constance” which I always liked because I felt called to be “constant” in my faith.  I think that helped me try harder.  This year I looked up “Concetta” and found:


Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Italian cognate of CONCEPCIÓN


Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: kawn-thep-THYON (Spanish), kawn-sep-SYON (Latin American Spanish)

Means “conception” in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

What a gift this late in life to find yet another call on my life.  I’ve worn the Miraculous Medal since childhood and now I feel a bit closer to the mystery of what God has in mind for me. So I celebrate this day in an even more personal way.

That brings me to the other side of celebration. As I was heading off to Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and my Feastday, I was greeted by an icy driveway, and lots of slipping and sliding.  Treacherous as the roads and walks were,though, what a delight it was to make it through the church doors and have my heart lifted by the stalwart souls packing the pews. Sacrifice and celebration seem to go hand in hand.

The winds are still blowing outside and now the roads are littered with tumble weed.  What joy! Crazy as it my seems, when it costs me a bit,  I value the moment all the more.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Dec. 8th

Podcast for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

H/T  the Jesuits in Britain.

Visit for a marvelous prayer experience.  Get God on your pod.

Knight of the Immaculata

A wonderful and profound way to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: consider the Prayer of Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of spiritual renewal.

Prayer of Total Consecration
By St. Maximilian Kolbe

Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, N…, a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.

If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and, “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.

Commentary on consecration prayer

Extreme Shepherding

It's Your Job – Go Tell It On the Mountain!

Thanks to the problems the Anchoress in having, I found this:

Advent Reflection

As this Dec. 7th, the 68th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, causes us to reflect on war and suffering, the Church has us read:

Isaiah 35: 1-10

The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
Then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals lurk
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
nor fools go astray on it.
No lion will be there,
nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it.
It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.

Isaiah sees each man’s part, Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak. Say to those whose hearts are frightened, ‘Be strong, fear not! Here is your God’ ” With Isaiah, Pope Benedict XVI sees every man’s participation in this coming of peace, this becoming of each and every man and woman. Benedict sees the vocation of all as integral in their fulfillment and God’s destiny for His people.

St. Augustin wrote:

The garden of the Lord, brethren, includes – yes, it truly includes – includes not only the roses of martyrs but also the lilies of virgins, and the ivy of married people, and the violets of widows. There is absolutely no kind of human beings, my dearly beloved, who need to despair of their vocation; Christ suffered for all. It was very truly written about him: who wishes all men to be saved, and to come to the acknowledgement of the truth.

In Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict quotes Pope Paul V in  Populorum Progressio:

Progress, in its origin and essence, is first and foremost a vocation: “in the design of God, every man is called upon to develop and fulfill himself, for every life is a vocation.” This is what gives legitimacy to the Church’s involvement in the whole question of development. If development were concerned with merely technical aspects of human life, and not with the meaning of man’s pilgrimage through history in company with his fellow human beings, nor with identifying the goal of that journey, then the Church would not be entitled to speak on it.”

Further, Pope Benedict challenges every woman/man, every generation,

“Love in truth — caritas in veritate — is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized. The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development. Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value.

Benedict goes on to say:

“Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce.”

Benedict with Isaiah calls us to a journey and a service to truth which sets us free, despite the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations.

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Pearl Harbor Attacked!

Pearl Harbor Survivors Association here.

Lessons from history are the most potent.  Forgetting our history and the historical fact of our relationships with other nations and their history, will make us victims of our own stupidity.  As threatening to our future and freedom as that is, the mangling of history, the distorting history and the making of history to be “politically correct” and palatable to all, endangers this and future generations who need truth not fiction and propaganda to survive.

Michelle Malkin on “never forget”: Pearl Harbor 68 years.

Advent Reflection

The prophet Zephaniah shows us a picture of God that reveals the delight He takes in His creation, a rejoicing, dancing God, waiting to sweep you off your feet.

Zephaniah 3:17

God will dance for you with songs of joy.

God rejoices in you.

He will renew you in His Love.

He will dance for you with songs of  joy.