The Signs of Hope

Do you see what I see?

As seen through a Telescope

Five our family members came down with COVID-19. Two have fully recovered, while the others are traveling the road to recovery

On December 21st, I patiently waited for the sun to set. Witnessing this wondrous miracle from God caused much-needed excitement. The last time Jupiter aligned with Saturn was over 800 years ago.  I joined several of our neighbors as our eyes scanned the southwest of the clear California skies. At first nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary, so we all went back to our homes. About 45 minutes later I stepped out and could not believe the breath taking sight. Our neighbor Kyle was star gazing as well. I was running around like Chicken Little; I wanted to announce this fascinating event to the whole world. I called out to all the neighbors in our cul-de-sac and, with great excitement pointed to the Star of Bethlehem. This title is fitting because the Three Kings witnessed the heavens open to reveal its special blessing to give us hope. I called my granddaughter Maddie and Sonja, my daughter. I called Helen and Sarah and ran to Lalo, our neighbor, and made his family come out to witness this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

I keep asking God for signs to remain optimistic about the last week of the worst year. No physicists, scientists, medical doctors have given us the hope that we need to see past this pandemic. The entire world is captivated by this elusive virus. The more it rears its ugly head, the more despair it spreads.

The Vaccine

I remain indifferent to any immunization. I understand and respect those who choose to receive the immunization, but I will not. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it takes 10 years for a drug to be developed and approved for prescriptions. We’ve all seen countless commercials for prescription medications on television; at the end of the advertisements all the side effects are listed. It’s alarming when one of the dangers of a medication that is used for depression may cause suicide. I would consider this a paradoxical contradiction, because how does the good outweigh the bad in this situation?

I remain skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine. Just because it has been approved by the FDA does not guarantee its safety. According to Drugwatch, drug manufacturers recall 4,500 drugs and medical devices annually. I pray that these new drugs will not have any serious side effects. To those who choose to take the vaccine, pray to the Holy Spirit before you make that conscious decision. Another great concern is the ethics in the manufacture of these drugs by the pharmaceutical companies. No aborted fetal cell lines were used in the production or development of the  Moderma and Pfizer vaccines.  This does not mean that they were operating in ethical practices because they did use aborted fetal cell lines in the testing. AstraZeneca does use the aborted fetal cell lines in their COVID -19 vaccine.


The beautiful Christmas Cactus bloom

The Signs

The first sign, as I’ve already mentioned, was the beautiful Star of Bethlehem. How can God not be speaking to us? This phenomenon was for the world to witness. Our earth is merely a speck compared to the rest of the universe. God created this event to offer us much-needed hope. Not a day passes without me praying for someone who is suffering from COVID-19. Before I was praying for strangers, but now its hit home; several of our immediate family members have breathed in the hellish vapors and have fallen ill. Many of my friends are fighting this invisible demon, some are  worse than others. When I pray, I naively ask God to give me a sign as to when this darkness will dissipate.

Last December I received two beautiful Christmas cactus plants. I placed them in the kitchen bay window. Much to my surprise, they produced beautiful blooms. Even though these plants are said to  bloom once a year around Christmas, this was the first time they have bloomed.  By the first week of December I noticed an abundance of white bulbs. This is another sign of  hope because God’s beauty is being restored. I smile while doing my dishes and take in the rich colors of the pink and and white blooms. The other Christmas Cactus displays more Christmassy colors of deep reds. I’m amazed at the hand of the Creator and how He can bring joy in this time of distress.

The Christmas Lights

I know that many non-Christians celebrate Christmas. If you took the time to understand the purpose of this season and why it’s celebrated, you would recognized the light of God. The first Christmas lights were waxed candles. The candles were lit for only a few seconds; this was symbolic of the “light of Jesus.” When we light up our neighborhoods we are in one accord with what the  spirit of Christmas represents. We wait with anticipation to celebrate the arrival of the Christ Child. We witness a positive change in the atmosphere and, though we are in the midst of a pandemic, our Lord’s light comes forth. As humans we are naturally drawn to the light because light expels all the darkness. This is what Jesus does: He sheds His light so that we can see with eyes of wisdom. We can experience the Holy Spirit anywhere: in our prayer closets, in our cars, or while watering our plants.  We can go to Him and ask for help or we can intercede for others. I feel a special connection to the Holy Spirit when praying the Rosary. The powerful words of the “Our Father” can break strongholds, while “Hail Mary’s” and her mighty intercession break barriers. I am a believer in asking God for all that I have. He directs my prayers as to how I’m to pray. He gives me the time and special attention that is needed for my pleas. Though the spirit of Christmas draws us to desire Him more intimately, He is always waiting for us to run to Him. Jesus is my strength in all that I do, and the Word of God says that NOTHING is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). This means that He will meet all of our special needs.

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

One Family

We are a universe of numerous races, but we all belong to one family. God is our Father and Mary is our Mother. Not everyone was born with great parents, but we have a Father in heaven Who  watches over us, He wants the best for us. If you are steeped in sin, ask Him for help. If your marriage is falling apart and you see no hope, God can repair any broken relationships. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, ask Him to deliver you from your dependence.


Make this year matter! Do not waste another Sunday without going to church and worshipping God. Become the person you were called to be, and if you don’t know what that is, ask God. He has gifts stored up for us, and they are much better than the gifts you receive on Christmas morning. These gifts come with a lifetime guarantee, and our Father in heaven wants to bestow them on each of us.


Our Cat Prudie is keeping the Holy Family warm.

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly approach Your holy throne. I lift up all those who are fighting this dreaded pandemic. Lord, hear my cries for those who have lost loved ones. Shed Your light of love and comfort over them and bring them peace. Lord, I beg You to make 2021 a year of restoration. Allow Your Holy Spirit to reign in the hearts of men. Mother Mary, I meet you at the foot of the Cross to intercede for this world. Amen.

Continue Reading

The Eucharistic Adoration Miracle

Diann and the restored Mother Mary statue

In late August of 2005 the largest and third strongest hurricane made landfall in the United States. Mother Nature and her demonic daughter Katrina ravaged 90,000 square miles, bringing with them winds clocking in at 175 miles per hour. The storm surge was 20-feet high. The final death toll was 1,836 people, mostly from Louisiana, and 238 from Mississippi. Among the survivors were Diann, and her daughter Tayler, and their dog Angel.


Before Katrina
After Katrina
Damage, and clean-up
The mold throughout Diann home


Diann’s home was completely destroyed, submerged under nine and a half feet of water. The water remained in her house for over three weeks. For the first three weeks after Katrina, Diann, her daughter Tayler and their dog Angel evacuated and stayed with family in Alabama. From their they evacuated to Santa Fe, New Mexico to stay with her Nanaine (French for “godmother”). For nine months Santa Fe became their home. Diann had to make two trips back to New Orleans to take care of personal business matters. She needed to apply for a federal grant to rebuild her home and fill out the proper forms for a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) trailer. Once she got clearance for the trailer they moved back home. The FEMA trailer was parked in her driveway during the restoration of her house.


Diann restoration of the Crucifix


The Holy Encounter

Diann, a single mother,  was so devastated; all that was left for her to do was pray. Diann visits the Eucharistic Adoration chapel at her local parish on a regular basis. The chapel also sustained a lot of water damage, and because of this the paint was scaling off the statue of Mary. After Katrina, Diann visited the chapel for  private prayer. She was sitting and praying for 15 minutes when she looked at the statue of Mary and in tears said, “I’m lost, I don’t know what to do, I need help!” She suddenly heard a distinct, soft voice saying, “Make me pretty again.” Diann looked around the chapel to investigate where the voice was coming from, but discovered that she was the only one in the prayer room. Diann thought that she was losing her mind when again the soft voice repeated, “Make me pretty again.” Diann answered, “Mother Mary, are you speaking to me?” And then for the third time she heard “Make me pretty again.” Diann prayed, “Mother Mary, I really don’t know what to do. What would you like me to do?” Then Diann heard “Michael, Michael, Michael.” She stayed in the chapel for a few more minutes, puzzled with the message. She realized that this was a holy encounter and was elevated to a new spiritual realm.  She left the chapel with a heavy heart. Her mind was fixated on the holy encounter, but she did not understand what Mother Mary meant by the name Michael. She kept repeating it in her head, “Michael, Michael, Michael.” Then she received a revelation, “Three Michaels! Oh! Michael’s, the craft store!” She did not waste any time and drove to Michael’s. She approached an employee and asked where she could find supplies to paint religious statues. Diann purchased paint for eight dollars and went home.

Special Permission

Diann knew that she needed special permission to complete this commission from God. She contacted the president of the men’s group at the parish for a directive. His response was, “Have you ever painted before?” Diann’s honest answer was, “No sir.” He then explained that he needed to check with the pastor. Through the providence of God, she received permission. She had no idea what she was up against, but she was obedient to the words spoken to her.

Doing Work Unto The Lord

The statue of Mary was moved to a back room. Diann was talking to Mary, as she always does, and was finished. The original color of the cloak was slate gray. She thought to herself that the color was too dark; then she heard, “Blue.” She responded, “Oh, I can do blue highlights!” She completed her work through much prayer. She then moved on by touching up the crucifix, painting Jesus’ legs, Chest, the Crown of Thorns. Then she added gold highlights to His hair.


Catholic Charities to the rescue

The Blessing

Diann had already experienced being taken advantage of by two unscrupulous out-of-town contractors; she lost $14,000 by trusting strangers with her property. Within a week after she had completed repainting Mary and the Crucifix, she was approved for a $150,000 grant through the program “Road Home.” This program was established by President Bush to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina get their lives back to a state of normality. The special blessing was that this grant money was the largest amount available. Not everyone received this compensation.

With the help of Catholic Charities, volunteers from Kansas City and California came to her rescue. These kind people removed all the mold and stripped the house until only the original studs were left of her New Orleans Colonial Cottage. It took three days to get the work completed, but Diann’s beautiful 100-year-old floors were warped. It took her a year to find an honest contractor. after all that time the floors dried out, and the original one-and-a-half inch antique heart pine floors were saved. Just one more added blessing!

Giving Back

Diann was overwhelmed with these blessings and she wanted to give back. She drove around her neighborhood and started to restore religious statues. Using the table in her FEMA trailer, she lovingly restored these religious statues. She has since restored more than 60 statues; her artistry is offered as a gift to the homeowners.

Eucharistic Adoration

At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the Eucharist as His body and blood.

19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Catholics practice Eucharistic Adoration to draw closer to Jesus. Where Jesus is, Mary is also there. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but our Lord received his flesh from Mary.  because he was born of Mary His outward appearance resembled hers. Mary was immaculately conceived; she could not have any stain of original sin because she was divinely chosen to be the Mother of God. She has been compared to the Ark of the Covenant, carrying Jesus in her womb because God was within her.

Eucharistic Adoration draws you closer to Jesus, the Lord is doing something through this non verbal communication: He is reaching out to us. The fruit of Eucharistic Adoration gives you peace; you become more like Jesus.

My Prayer: Dear Lord, may we all learn to adore You, especially during Christmas. O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ our Lord! Amen.

The Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, the water level was inches from the feet of Jesus’Crucifix
Continue Reading

Keeping the Faith

Patricia and Carlos Reyes with five of their six children

Attending daily Mass keeps me grounded. I’m committed to this sacrifice because the challenges of our world are more than overwhelming. We must remain diligent in our prayers; the Devil is loose and is making havoc of all that we hold dear.

The Reyes Family

Carlos and Patricia Reyes and their family are great witnesses in my walk. For months I have sat a safe distance behind them at daily Mass. They are a family of eight, and are obviously noticeable because of the size of their clan but also because their faithfulness. Because of all the outdoor Masses we have become a community by standing the test during these days of uncertainty. I look forward to seeing the familiar faces who want to remain at peace.

The Reyes family takes a lot of time during  “the sign of peace” segment of the Mass. They kiss each other on both sides of the cheeks; the masks are moved down off their faces as they gently complete this spiritual ritual. In my heart they have become the preachers of the Word without saying a word. This is a special type of ministry that has remained firm.

Other than handing out communion to this family, I had never spoken to them until this past Friday. I asked if I could take their picture. Carlos, the patriarch, shared with me that he and his wife Patricia have six children, three boys and three girls. This couple, with the help of God, are raising remarkable citizens.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,

    and the glory of children is their parents.

Raising Holy Children

If you want your children to serve God, you must set the example. A single parent cannot use the excuse that two parents are needed. If you do not introduce your children to God at a young age, they will not understand their purpose in life. A family must be grounded in God to live holy a life in this day and age. We are all created to serve one God and, until we find our way, we are lost in a world of defective teachers. We are experiencing this in our public education with the introduction of matters that no children should be subjected to. A well-grounded child will developed the discernment to know what is truth and walk away from lies. It is up to us as parents to establish a strong relationship with God in order to give our children a fighting chance.

I knew all along when our children were small that God had to be an intricate part of their lives. Mike was busy establishing our business, so it was left to me. Many times I felt overwhelmed, but I never gave up. Mike was supportive of most of the decisions I made during this time, but when I left the Catholic Church for a season Mike fell through the cracks of the Protestant churches I attended. Only after I returned to the Catholic faith did he finally commit to attending Mass with me on a regular basis.

No Excuses

We cannot allow the Enemy to draw us away from our calling. No church is perfect. The Catholic Church has had many challenges these past years, but I choose to remain a Catholic. I will not allow the sins of men  to take my core beliefs from me . Not even the Pope, with all his misguided opinions, will affect the Catholic doctrine that I hold true to my heart.

As a grandparent my role is subdued, but my prayers for our grandchildren are like fire to the ears of God. I hold back nothing when it comes to my family; they are saturated in prayer. This is one of the main reasons I attend Mass on a regular basis. Spiritually I cannot put anything in the way of serving God. When a family member is spiritually wounded, it breaks my spirit too. This is when I cry out to God without ceasing. God hears the cries of a parent. When your children are small, it’s much easier to comfort them. When they get older, and do not understand who God is, this is when you realize you’ve dropped the ball in introducing them to God at a young age. The beauty in this scenario is that it is never too late to fix this problem. We serve a God Who allows us special graces to come to Him with all of our burdens. My advice to parents: Become that godly example to your children, and they will honor you.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;  to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears
Mike’s COVID 19 birthday celebration: Wil, Mike, Sonja, Jacob, Lucas, and Maddie


2019 Birthday
Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Norbert Catholic Church

The Birthday

As a family Mike and I attend Mass together. We are a couple who will do whatever it takes to keep peace in our family. We celebrated another COVID-19  birthday at home. Mike shares his birthday with Our Lady of Guadalupe, which makes this day a little more special. We had reservations at Ruth Chris, but, like everything else in life, they were cancelled. We stuck to the Ruth Chris menu and had the best steaks. Jenny, our daughter-in-law, nailed the chopped salad and sweet potatoes; they were delicious. We honor Mike because he is a great example to us as a father, grandfather and husband. His co-workers honored him with a birthday cake and a gift basket. He’s a special guy!

My Prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank You for our families. Our children are a gift from You, Lord, and we entrust them into Your hands. Teach us to always do right by them, and help us to guide them to serve You. Lord, I lift up those who have lost their battle with COVID-19. Comfort the hearts of their families and give them peace. We continue to pray for those who are battling this pandemic. Heal them Lord. Amen.

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,

    and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord rescues them from them all.

Continue Reading