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Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Saturday, 6-May-2006 22:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
KEEPER: "You Took My Place!" by Author Unknown

"You took my place!"
One day, a man went to visit a church.
He got there early, parked his car, and got out.

Another car pulled up and the driver got out and said,

"I always park there! You took my place!"

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down.
A young lady from the church approached him and stated,

"That's my seat! You took my place!"

The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down.
Another member walked up to him and said,

"That's where I always sit! You took my place!"

The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.
Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them,
the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.
Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.

Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"
The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye,

"I took your place."
Graphic Credit: Julio Molina-Muscara http://www.julio.ws/pencils.html

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Friday, 5-May-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Happy Birthday, Dad-Aloha 'Oe to Earl Woods, until we meet again

Condolences to Tiger Woods who lost his dad, Earl Woods
Tiger Woods & His Dad: Bear Hug! (AP Photo/Dave Martin )
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." ~Proverbs 22:6

My Dad: Andy Hayashi (May 5, 1922 - October 1998)

When my father died in 1998, I had his face cropped from a photo taken on a Mediterranean cruise, our last earthly journey together, two years before. That's it above this text. Last night, I gazed at his face and said a prayer for him. Eight years have passed. I miss him deeply.

I wrote about his Church connection last year:

    "My Church connection began before I was born. In the heat of battle against Hitler's army, my father prayed that God would see him safely home. Soon afterwards, he was summoned to Rome; he had been randomly selected as one of two soldiers of the US Army's 442nd Infantry Regiment to take part in a private papal audience. Blessed by Pope Pius XII, he made it through the war and returned safely home to Hawaii, where he married my mother, Mary, raised four children, worked hard and created a thriving business, and led a full, productive life with charity and gusto."

I thought of Eldrick "Tiger" Woods and the pain he must be experiencing right now. He just lost his father, Earl Woods, who knew that it was more important to raise a good human being than a golf champion. He has my deepest condolences. I was surprised to learn that Tiger grew up in Cypress, California, a town that is four miles away from us; his father remained in their family home until he passed.

I learned that Tiger Woods and I have something in common. I was raised a Buddhist; and so was he, by his Thai mother. I was born to nominally Buddhist parents; Tiger's mother is a practicing Buddhist. (These days, Tiger is said to practice Buddhism"when he feels like it." ) We also have another thing in common. We were blessed with extraordinarily wonderful fathers with strong characters. Our fathers had several things in common. Both were veterans. Earl Woods fought in the Viet Nam War; my dad, WWII. Both were driving forces in our lives, who were also unafraid to express their love for us in countless ways, including big bear hugs. Both guided, but did not interfere, dictate or put undue pressure on us.

Like Tiger's father, my Dad, Andy Hayashi, wasn't just a "dad". He was my mentor, role model and teacher who provided far more than just physical support. He gave me direction and instilled values, especially integrity, family, and enjoying life. By his example, he also taught me to work hard and smart, never give up, and treat others kindly. Although I've had to overcome many life obstacles, my hardships were nothing compared to what my father went through in order to get me to where I started. I stand on his shoulders.

Most of all, he drilled into me that the sky's the limit, reminding me that I could be anyone I want. I think he's looking down with a smile on his face. I'm hoping to go beyond the sky and be in Heaven with him. These days, with God's Help, I am aspiring to be a saint!

As I write this, I realize that living without his physical presence has not diminished the memories of love and joy we have shared in the past. It is his love and care that I remember most. He went out of his way to spend time with me, not only when I was a child but as an adult. Wherever I was (another island or the mainland), he came to visit and we came to KNOW each other, not only as father and daughter, but as true friends. We never forgot to kiss each other good night...

I hope Tiger will make it a tradition to have some quiet time to remember his father on his birthday every year. After all, our dads were our Obi-Wans and we were their Luke Skywalkers. Remembering our fathers keeps their love alive and warm in our hearts.

>> Remembering Dad

If you have a dad still around, don't forget to hug him and maybe even kiss him goodnight as you did as a child. The years may fly by, but some things never get old.

>> How "Daddy" affects your job: psychologist

Thursday, 4-May-2006 00:04 Email | Share | | Bookmark
MUSIC: The Queen of Peace CD

Queen of Peace

    "Alleluia Ave Maria is a NEW HYMN in honour of Our Lady which was written during a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in thanksgiving for the miraculous healing of Colm Cahill a young boy from Jersey. Inspired by Our lady the Queen of Peace and her presence in Medjugorje the Hymn reflects upon various aspects of her messages given to six visionaries since 1981."

Vocals by Paul Le Claire. Produced by Marc Mitchell.

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Wednesday, 3-May-2006 15:57 Email | Share | | Bookmark
MEDJUGORJE PILGRIM: US Treasury Secretary William E. Simon

US Treasury Secretary Wm. E. Simon & Medjugorje Pilgrim
Yesterday, in describing Medjugorje to my friend, I used the words "Heaven on Earth." Today, googling, I learned that the late US Secretary of the Treasury, William E. Simon (aka: "Bill" Simon) described Medjugorje just as I did. The "small world" part of this is: when I was in Medjugorje, his son Billy was there too. After we had climbed Cross Mountain, our fellow pilgrim Rafael told us about his run-in with the visionary Ivan. No sooner said, we turned around and there he was with Billy Simon.

Jesus says: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." ~ Mark 10:25 Bill Simon died in 2000; he may be that exceptional rich man who made it through that eye...as with God, all things are possible.

US Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, Medjugorje pilgrim

From Spirit Daily, February 23, 2004:

In a new book, the late Treasury Secretary William E. Simon is quoted as relating a "miracle" that he said occurred at the apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Simon -- who served as secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as president of the U.S. Olympic Committee -- recounted a number of profound mystical experiences, starting with a trip to the famous apparition site of Lourdes in southern France. "My first pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1993 changed my life dramatically and permanently," recalled this counselor to presidents. "I saw the sick healed and the downtrodden embraced with solace and hope."

That, according to a close friend, industrialist J. Peter Grace, had a greater effect on the former cabinet official "than anything he had ever done."

In the book, A Time for Reflection (Regnery), Simon -- a former Wall Street wunderkind and multi-millionaire whose recollections were compiled by writer John M. Caher -- then dropped this bombshell:

    "At Medjugorje, I was actually the recipient of a miracle. Medjugorje ('between the hills') is a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina (formerly Yugoslavia) where, since 1981, the Blessed Mother has been appearing and giving messages to the world, mainly through six young people. Since the first apparitions in 1984, millions of people of all faiths have visited Medjugorje. Countless have been healed and converted.

    "After our first Mass at Medjugorje, I remember telling my son Billy, 'That is the closest I've ever felt to Heaven on earth.' I then pulled out the old, inexpensive rosary beads that I had bought about ten years earlier, and noticed that the chain was glittering in the sun.

    "That was strange. The chain was just some cheap, dull alloy, yet it suddenly appeared radiant and golden and vibrant and remained so. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, and upon my return brought the rosary to a jeweler for an appraisal. He confirmed that the chain, inexplicably, had turned to solid gold. I can't explain the transformation, either of the rosary or my own life, except as a sign of Divine intervention."

During a return pilgrimage to Lourdes, Simon said he felt the call to become a Eucharistic minister and tend to the sick and needy, especially those who were near death. This he did until his own death in 2000. His book carries the endorsements of President Ford, the Honorable George P. Shultz, and New York's Cardinal Edward M. Egan.

Simon is one of many leaders who have been touched by Medjugorje and Lourdes. President Ronald Reagan read messages from Medjugorje and attempted to speak with one of the seers after a glowing account of the site from Alfred Kingon, who served both as an assistant secretary of the Treasury and also Ambassador to the European Communities. Ambassador Kingon visited Medjugorje in 1987 and was so impressed that he sent a two-and-half page memo to Reagan about the messages. Soon after, he transmitted a similar report to Mikhail Gorbachev through an Austrian ambassador and the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. "Something of great import is going on," Kingon once said of Medjugorje. "The whole world is going to change."

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Tuesday, 2-May-2006 01:47 Email | Share | | Bookmark
SAINT: Today is the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker

St. Peter Chanel Church: St. Joseph
St. Peter Chanel Church: The Blessed Sacrament
We owe St. Joseph a huge debt of gratitude. He is prudent, just, humble, and responsible with us as he was with his foster son, Jesus. He teaches me how to listen, work hard with humility, and contemplate. He helped us to find our church home and he is my husband's patron saint.

Thanks to him, we are Catholics. Because I vaguely recalled a saint that helped people sell their houses, I was lead to him, then to Mother Mary, and then to Jesus and the Church. >> See previous entry

Last weekend, I discovered a Perpetual Adoration chapel at a neighboring parish, St. Peter Chanel Church. This morning, after attending Mass at our home parish, I drove over to it. Just outside the chapel was St. Joseph's statue which prompted a prayer from the Pieta Prayer Booklet:

    O 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 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 to 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 us. Amen

This prayer is over 1900 years old and, according to the booklet, is seldom known to fail to obtain anything you may desire if prayed for nine consecutive mornings. Since he is the patron saint of workers, I've been praying for the best work environment with a team WHOLLY composed of caring, virtuous souls who will lovingly care for those who are lead to us by Spirit. That we ONLY serve in ways that are compatible with God's Will is my desire, my prayer.

It is said no prayer to St. Joseph goes unanswered and I can attest to that. We recently added a staff position and we had the strongest applicants ever in 23 years!

I then spent quality time with Our Lord, i.e., in theEucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, for the first time since Medjugorje.

The chapel is a sacred space where the transcendent God encounters those who will sit in quiet contemplation and spend time with Him in silent private prayer. For me, praying in the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament seemed decidedly more focused, more personal, more intimate than prayer at home. The Lord is there, just mere feet away from me.

It was time BEST spent, for in the stillness of that small sacred space, I felt that I was at the heart of the Church.

+ + +

Mahalo, St. Joseph. Pray for us!

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

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