Saint John of the Cross

December 14, 2017

Saint, Spaniard and Poetjohnofcross
St. John of the Cross is best known for his poem, The Dark Night of the Soul. Not a poem of tragedy and storms, St. John and all his poems spoke of love and joy, that happiness that only the Father can provide! The Dark Night of the Soul tells of lover encountering Lover, only to become one in heavenly communion. Like with St. Teresa, his only true desire was to achieve that complete union when he and the Lord would be one.
As we turn the pages of St. John of the Cross’ story, you will discover a powerful woman in this powerful man’s life. Like with St. Francis of Assisi, whose Sister Moon was St. Clare, the story of St. John cannot be told without St. Teresa of Avila. God was to use her to change the course of his life. He loved her with a powerful celibate love, the gift we will all bring to the Father as we face Him on our last day. Almost thirty years older than he, at times she led him; at other times, she leaned on him. Born into a strong macho society, he was free to recognize, love and follow this controversial woman who, with him, would unseat and ruffle the feathers of the Church and world of sixteenth century Spain. Working through the Church, always loving and obeying Her, even when they did not always agree with Her leaders, Sts. John and Teresa brought about Reform.
Keeping His promise that Hell would not prevail against His Church, our Lord raised up another Saint to save Her. It was a time of heresy and division. There was a storm brewing over Europe which would destroy everything in its path. Good people were doing bad things, and the Church would bear the scars for centuries to come.
St. John of the Cross, known in Spain lovingly as San Juan de la Cruz, was born four hundred years ago into a time of darkness and disgrace. God always balancing the scales, there was an excitement that filled the air of Spain, as well. It was a time of pathos, not knowing when to cry and when to rejoice. It was the year 1542. After hundreds of years under the oppressive yoke of the Moors, a golden age was emerging for Spain.
Fifty years before the birth of St. John, Catholic Queen Isabela, believing in Columbus, had backed up that belief, financing him and his expedition. He set out to open a new route to India. His discovery of America for Spain, instead, opened an early gateway to the Americas, gaining a sizable advantage for Spain and her navigators. Her Treasury swelled as her ports buzzed with traffic from the sea.
Spain has always been made up of soldiers of fortune and men in love with God and His Church; one moment, planning the possession of more land and more gold, for the glory of Country, and the next, building churches and spreading the Gospel to their newly discovered colonies for the glory of God. They were a contradiction within themselves, an enigma. Subjected to cruelty and slavery for centuries, they became a nation of men who could be as cruel to those they conquered. St. John would write and suffer for his opinions, for his desire to reform this unruly Spain gone proud and haughty, this Spain he so loved.
He was born of little estate
He was born of peasants in a land where the land and the weather can be an enemy. But to the poor, of which he was a part, it could be a killer. He was placed by God in a village called Fontiveros in the Castile section of Spain. Here, the villagers he grew up with lived simple, hard lives. John, along with his two brothers and widowed mother, were colder and hungrier than most, his mother unsuccessfully trying to eke out a meager living doing some weaving. With not even her husband’s relatives willing to help, the little family had to move to Medina del Campo or starve. Here, the little band would know some relief; they would be able to find some work and therefore, some food.
John, the youngest son, found work in a hospital serving men suffering from tumors. This brought some money into the house and still enabled him to go to school. All the deprivation, he had known, physical and emotional, had not affected his will or his mind. Right from the beginning, he showed himself to be enthusiastic and brilliant.
God, His plan in the works, began molding John through a new company of men dedicated to Him and His Church. The teachings of these holy men, already known as the Society of Jesus, would remain with him the rest of his life. But whereas they left an indelible imprint on his mind with their character, he had a problem with some of their methods. The structure of this company very clearly projected that their founder was a Spaniard and an officer.
The founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius Loyola, was the prototype of Cervantes’ Man of La Mancha, the dreamer of impossible dreams, the believer of a new world somewhere. And the new world Ignatius Loyola dreamt of was his love, the Church. He was a knight; but the treasures he would bring to his Queen, the Church, would be men’s souls. He would champion the Woman clothed with the Sun, his Mother Mary. All he had been trained for as a soldier for his country, he would use to form this army of the Church.
Although this would influence St. John and his walk to the Lord, his road was to be different. He was being called to be a new Saint, one who would touch lives that possibly Loyola could not; so God would use his training under the Company of Jesus, but would fashion him uniquely and authentically through Himself and for Himself, a one of a kind!

For more information about Saint John of the Cross Click here

 

Watch this upgrade High Definition Video short clip
that is part of our HD DVD see below

Saint John of the Cross HD Video preview

 


Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec 12 Apparition

December 12, 2017

guadalupeDuring the night of Monday, December 11, the uncle’s condition grew worse. He asked Juan to go and get him a priest. He wanted to confess his sins, and receive the Last Sacraments of the Church. Early on Tuesday, December 12, Juan got up and headed for Tlatilolco to bring a priest back to his uncle. The first inkling we have that Juan remembered the meeting with Mary came when he approached Tepeyac Hill. He had to pass there to get to the city. He realized that if he went the same way he had the previous two days, she would be waiting for him. We’re not sure if Juan was afraid of being chastized for not having kept his appointment to bring the sign to the bishop, or as he told the Lady, he didn’t have time to take care of her request this day, because of his uncle.
Juan decided to avoid confrontation. He went around the other side of Tepeyac Hill, in order to avoid meeting the Lady. But as he passed near the place where they had met, he saw her walking down towards him. She asked him,
“What is the matter, my little son? Where are you going?”
Juan’s reaction reminds us of the little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He acted as if nothing had happened.
He bowed down before her, and spoke. “My Child,” he began, “my littlest Daughter, Lady. I hope you are well and happy. Did you sleep well? Are you in good humor and health this morning, my Lady and little Daughter?”
Juan went on to tell her about his uncle, how he was sick to the point of death, that Juan had to get a doctor for him and nurse him the whole day, and now he was on his way to her house (the Church) in Tlaltiolco to get a priest for him. He continued,
“But even so, I’ll return here right away, tomorrow, to take your message to the bishop. I promise not to deceive you. First thing tomorrow, I’ll be here.”
The Lady stopped Juan Diego with her sparkling smile, before he could say another word. She spoke to him gently but firmly.
“Listen to me and understand me well,my son, smallest of all. You have nothing to be worried about. Have no anxiety about your uncle. He will not die now. Is this not your Mother here next to you? Are you not here in the shelter of my loving shadow? Are you not safe here within my loving bosom? What else is there to worry about?
At this very moment, your uncle is being cured. He will be well.”
Juan Diego breathed a sigh of relief. He believed what the Lady was telling him. With this burden lifted from his heart, he was able to concentrate fully on what Our Lady wanted from him. He begged her to send him to the bishop with the message immediately.
She asked him to climb up the hill to the place where they had met previously.
“There you will see many flowers; gather them carefully and place them together in your tilma; then bring them down and show them to me.”
Juan Diego mumbled under his breath as he climbed the hill. Simple he might be, but not stupid. Flowers never grew up in that place, much less at this time of the year. There was frost covering the ground. How could anything grow up there now? But he was wise enough not to question the beautiful Lady, so he followed her instructions. His eyes grew wide as he reached the appointed place. In an area where previously there had only been thistles, thorny plants, cactus and mesquite, he saw the most beautiful Castillian roses of assorted varieties and colors. They were out of season for the most fertile ground, much less for this barren soil.
He gathered them carefully, and placed them in his tilma (poncho), being sure not to crush any of them. Then he retraced his steps to the other side of the hill, where She was waiting for him. The world’s greatest decorator took the flowers from him, and rearranged them in his tilma. How must Juan Diego have felt having this exquisite child/woman standing so close to him, actually touching him? There was a fragrance about her, so much richer than that of the beautiful roses. It filled his nostrils. He became heady from it. After she had arranged the flowers to her satisfaction, she instructed him to close his tilma, so that they could not be seen.
“My little son, these various roses are the sign and proof that you must take to the bishop. Tell him in my name that they will make him understand my wish, and he must carry it out. You are my ambassador. You are most worthy of my confidence. Now, most important, do not unfold your outer garment or reveal the contents to ANYONE until you are in the bishop’s presence. Tell him everything I’ve said to you. You can do it, Juan. I will be with you.”
Juan held the flowers close to his chest, being careful not to bruise them, as he walked towards the city and the bishop’s palace.
He repeated the Lady’s message over and over as he neared his destination. He wanted to be sure he didn’t forget one word she had said, even her slightest inflection. He was confident now. He had the sign. The bishop had to realize that nowhere in the country could he find roses like these at this time of the year. There was no place they could have come from, other than Heaven. He would believe that Our Lady was speaking to him, and everything would be fine.
What he didn’t take into consideration was that there would be two forces working at the bishop’s palace that day. Our Lady would be there, but the evil one would also be in attendance. Satan had been in control of Mexico for the last ten years. He had good reason for not wanting this sign to come to the attention of the bishop. He knew what would happen. So he put all his forces to work around the residence of the bishop. When Juan arrived at the palace, the guard refused to let him pass. The servants who had lost him the other day, came out and began berating him. He just stood there, his head drooping, not knowing what to do. A long time passed.
The servants realized that Juan was carrying something inside his tilma. Their curiosity got the best of them. They asked what he had there. He did not answer them. They crowded around him, demanding to see what he had inside the cloak. He knew what his instructions were, but he also knew that this crowd would not be satisfied until they saw something. So he opened his tilma slightly to show the roses inside. They marvelled at what they saw. They knew how impossible it was to have Castillian roses at this time of the year. They wanted them. They began to grab at the roses. But as they grabbed a rose, it disappeared, and turned into a painting on the tilma. This shocked the servants.
They ran to the bishop to tell him what was happening, that Juan Diego was here with the sign from the Lady. The bishop, believing that this was important, allowed Juan into his office. The Indian knelt as before, and repeated the entire story over again. He told him about the Castillian roses on the hill, and how Our Lady had arranged them, admonishing Juan that no one should see them before the bishop. Juan ended his report with the words “RECEIVE THEM”. With that, he opened his tilma, whereupon all the roses cascaded to the floor.
Juan looked for an expression of surprise and joy from the bishop as the roses came into his sight. Juan’s eyes followed the roses to the floor, and then looked up at the bishop. He was surprised to see that the bishop was not looking at the precious roses at all. Neither was the interpreter, who was standing next to the bishop. They were both staring intently at Juan Diego’s chest.
He watched incredulously as their expressions changed from surprise to fearsome awe, to exalted reverence. Both men fell to their knees; tears of joy streamed down their cheeks. Juan looked at the tilma, to see what the reason was for their bliss. Before their eyes, the three men saw the image we call Our Lady of Guadalupe take form. It was not there as the roses first fell out of the tilma. It was only beginning. In a short period of time, the entire image was complete, the only true picture we have of the Blessed Virgin, designed by the Master Designer, and painted with joy by the Angels. In this glorious moment in time, the destiny of Mexico was altered. Our Lady had come to the Americas, to change the course of history.
Throughout the account of the Apparition, we hear Our Lady speak of the importance of having the bishop build the temple. She insisted that Juan Diego had to be the one to bring the message to the Church of Mexico. Why, we ask ourselves? It was so difficult. Had she used a more prominent person, as Juan had suggested, wouldn’t it have been easier? Wouldn’t she eliminate the risk of not being accepted?

Family,

Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  May She cover you and all of your families with Her Mantle.

For more information about Our Lady Of Guadalupe click here


Today we celebrate Saint John Lateran the Cathedral of Rome

November 9, 2017

Saint John Lateran Cathedral in Rome is the Official Church of the Pope the Bishop of Rome.

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Please watch this short video clip about Saint John Lateran Cathedral Click here

 

https://bobandpennylord.com/Saints_of_Rome.htm


Surround Yourself with the Angels

October 31, 2017

dreamstime_xl_4096338Hello family!

As I started my drive home from Holy Family Mission Saturday, I began with the prayer Bob and Penny taught me. I’m not sure if it’s a traditional prayer, I never learned it in school, or maybe they made up, but 23 years later, I am still reciting it whenever I travel (or before children go out Trick or Treating):

Dear Lord Jesus,

We ask you to send all the Guardian Angels to form a protective circle around this (car, home, plane, child etc) with St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael in charge.  Angels and archangels in front of us, in back of us, to the right of us, the left of us, above us, below us. We ask for our Lady of Guadalupe to cover us with her mantilla, Our Lady of Loreto to sit on top of (whatever), and Our Lady of Czestochowa to keep anything away from us that could harm us in any way, physically, spiritually, emotionally or mentally, and bring us safely to our destination so we can glorify your name in everything we say or do. Amen.

There’s such a sense of comfort to know I have angels surrounding me. I’m not sure why, if it’s the images I’ve seen of St. Michael or all the accounts of his presence but I feel especially protected by him from the enemy.

“Michael is famous for rallying the forces of the good Angels against those of the fallenHeavenly Army of Angels angels. We see paintings of St. Michael hurling them down into the fiery pits of hell. And this great battle that took place before the earth was formed, is still going on. Michael is someone we can call on when we feel the modern day world of Lucifer swallowing up so many good and unsuspecting brothers and sisters. There are times when we feel as if we are walking through a holocaust; chaos and destruction all around us, threatening to envelope us, when suddenly we feel covered by a warm, protective shield. To us, that shield is our St. Michael, given to us by the Lord, to turn to, when things get rough.”

Taken from Heavenly Army of Angels, Bob and Penny Lord, Copyright 1989 & 2007

For more information on The Heavenly Army of Angels and St. Michael, click here

You are in our prayers. We love you!

Andrea (and Rob)


Are you praying The Rosary?

October 27, 2017

Hello family!

I was recently reminded, in a homily, that Our Lady of Fatima told us to pray the Rosary

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with our families to end wars. Are you praying the Rosary? Prayer is one of our most

powerful weapons.

October is the month of the Rosary. If you haven’t already, take these last few days in October to start praying the Rosary with your family, with us…

We love you,

Rob and Andrea

If you’d like to hear the homily I referred to from Fr. Jay Voorhies, click here

For more information about Our Lady of Fatima click here


Watch for new posts from Bob and Penny’s grandchildren: Rob and Andrea Ziminsky

October 27, 2017

Hello family!

We are excited to share that Rob and Andrea will be contributing to our blog! They are committed to continuing the work Bob and Penny started.

As you may know, Rob and Andrea are very familiar with our Ministry and very knowledgeable about all of Bob and Penny’s works.

We know you will enjoy reading their posts.


October is the Month of the Rosary – Pray the Rosary!

October 24, 2017

“All we can do now, is pray!” When all else fails, whenrosarybook
there is nothing left to do, we pray. A last ditch effort; we’ve tried
everything else; it’s out of our control; now all that is left is to pray.
Instead, we should begin by praying, recognizing that the most
powerful tool we have is Prayer.
Saint Paul said: “Put on the armor of God, that you may be
able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is
not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the
Powers, against the world rulers of the present darkness, against the
spiritual forces of wickedness on high.”
Now, we are in the best of times; we are in the worst of times.
Our battle is not with humans, as St. Paul tells us. It is truly a battle,
possibly the final battle for our souls and those precious souls of our
families. What is the armor of God? What better armor can you
wear than that of the Virgin Mary? Who did you run to when you
were a child? Wasn’t it to Mama? We need our Mama. I remember
when I was a child, and I would have a nightmare. Who did I run to?

My mother! And what did she say? “Did you pray before you fell
asleep?” Each time, I had forgotten to pray. Then, when she sent
me back to my bed with, “Now say your prayers and you won’t have
any more bad dreams.” I really didn’t have too much confidence
that it would work. Although her reassuring words turned out to be
prophecy, I never believed. But, it always worked!
“Put on the armor of God.” Who was chosen by God to bring
into the world His Son, to care for Him, to parent Him, to teach Him,
to protect Him, to love and cherish Him? Was it not Mother Mary?
Did Jesus not perform His first Miracle through the intercession of
the Blessed Mother? As we journey with Jesus and Mary in this
book, we see how many times the Mother of God, and our Mother,
interceded for us, how many times she had to make the decision for
us, at the cost of her most precious Son. And she said yes! If she
did that, knowing her Son would suffer, how much more would she
do now, as we turn to her, praying the Rosary, the one hundred and
fifty roses we place into a bouquet for her.
The Lord and His Mother, the Angels and the Saints have always
been interwoven. When we wrote of the Miracles of the Eucharist,
we not only learned more about the Holy Eucharist, we discovered
Mother Mary and her connection with the Eucharist. We encountered
the Saints: how they lived and died for the Eucharist. We learned
of the presence of the Angels during the Mass. When we wrote of
Mother Mary we became more fervently aware of the Eucharist, the
Saints and the Angels. When we wrote of the Saints, we could see
the love they had for the Eucharist, how they all turned to Mother
Mary and how many relied on the help of the Angels. We could see
the work of the Angels in Jesus and Mary’s life and in the lives of
the Saints.
The greats of our Church turned to the Lord, to His Mother,
to the Saints who had come before them, and to the Angels. They
knew they needed help and they were not past asking for it. Our
Popes all prayed the Rosary.

 

For more information about the Rosary click here


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