Finding Your Way Back Home

Swallows and their mud nest
The Old Stone Church

On October 23rd we celebrated the Feast of San Juan Capistrano and the return of the swallows of San Capistrano to Goya, Argentina. I live in Southern California, which is about 30 minutes from San Juan Capistrano. The Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded by Father Juan Junipero Serra on November 1, 1776.  On October 23rd, the swallows circle the Mission one last time before they leave on a 6,000-mile journey to Argentina. They will return on March 19th, the Feast of Saint Joseph. These common cliff-nesting swallows do not understand the religious significance of their journey; the only thing that comes natural is their instinct to find their way back home.

the majestic Golden Altar

We all have that same instinct in our spirit. We all need to make our way back home to our Creator. Until you come to terms with this supernatural phenomenon, you will always have something missing in your spirit. This spiritual homecoming is what completes us because it unites our heart, mind, soul, and spirit to God.

The Israelites

It took the Israelites  40 years to find their way home. They kicked and screamed at every turn; but when they finally reached the Promised Land, they realized they were home. The entire time God was with them; He fed them their daily bread (manna); they had fresh water to drink; and when they wanted a change in the menu, God brought them quail. Our Lord continues to provide for those who are still wandering in the desert of life. God is with them every step of the way. They can’t see Him because they have allowed the things of the world to weigh them down. Their eyes become clouded with tears from the pain of living in the desert. The desert is extremely barren, miserably hot and dry in the summer, freezing cold and unforgiving in the winter.

The Lord remained faithful to the lost Israelites, He provided a comfortable cloud covering by day, and fire by night. How much more will He do for you?

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

The San Juan Capistrano Swallows

These cliff-nesting swallows must prepare for their long journey home. For more than two centuries they have made their mud nests under the Roman arches of the Franciscan monastery of Capistrano. According to an article in the story of the swallows, they travel for 30 days to reach Mission San Juan Capistrano on March 19th (www.sanjuancaspistrano.net). During their voyage, to avoid wasting any time, they do not eat or drink because they fly from dawn to sunset. They fly at an altitude of 6,600 feet because this helps them catch favorable tail winds. They fuel their tanks with flies, spiders and worms for their long journey. Once they arrive, they restrengthen their nests for the birth of new life.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

The Papal umbrella granted by the Holy See proclaiming Mission San Juan Capistrano a Basilica

God’s Plan

These swallows are no different from us when we finally arrive home. We want to stabilize our lives by renewing our spirits for new life. God’s plan is not for us to be abandoned in the desert, but  for us to seek what He has in store for us. Our life in the desert is a learning experience  that involves strenuous obstacle courses for our minds. If we fail, the Lord is there to spot us. He patiently waits for us to cross that finish line.

When I returned to college as an adult, I had to take a class on statistics. This was the most challenging class I have ever taken. When it was time for the final, I knew I was doomed. All of the younger students finished the test in no time, but I was still trying to figure out how to use my computer to get to the problems. I was the last person in the class. It was past 9:30 p.m. when I went to the professor to let him know that I could not finish the final because I needed more time. He looked at me and said, “Take all the time you need, I will wait for you to finish.” With those words, a load was lifted off of me and I finished the test. This is exactly what God does for us; He gives us all the time we need to pass our life test.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

On Sunday morning Mike and I took a ride to San Juan Capistrano to attend Mass in the Basilica. This Mission is known as the Jewel of Missions. We arrived early so that I could walk the grounds and visit the Chapel of FatherJuan Junipero Serra, but due to COVID-19 it was closed. We attended the 9:00 a.m. Mass. It had been years since I last visited this church. As I walked in, my eyes were fixated on the altar. Surrounded with gold are Jesus “top center,” St. Juan Junipero Serra to His right and St. Kateri Tekakwitha to the left. Beneath her is St. Francis of Assisi, the Virgen de Guadalupe (at the feet of Jesus) and St. Joseph (to the bottom right). In the Jubilee Year 2000 this Mission was proclaimed a Basilica. This title was granted by Pope John Paul II. This honor was granted by the Holy See because of its historical and cultural significance in welcoming pilgrims.

Before Mass I was silently praising God when I heard the sound of music; the organist began to play a solemn hymn. This hymn was not only to welcome the parishioners but to unction the Holy Spirit. At exactly 9:00 a.m. the church bells rang as if  to wake up this sleeping community. I love the sound of church bells; they make my heart rejoice to be in the House of God.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord: I lift up to You those who are struggling with substance abuse, anger, loneliness and abandonment. Only through Your Holy Spirit can they make their way out of the desert. Lord, allow them to speak these simple words,”Jesus, I trust in You.” Put a new song in their hearts, and wipe away all their tears. Deliver them from all the bondages that have kept them from serving You. May the manna You feed them nourish their spiritual dry bones. Refresh them with Your holy water and bring them home. Amen.

 

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The Parable of the Election

The reason Jesus spoke in parables was to make certain that the Kingdom of God would be understood by all . There are over 46 parables in the New Testament. My favorite is The Parable of the Sower.

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil,
and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.
But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root,
they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Let anyone with ears listen!”
My question to all who are serving the Lord: Where did your seed fall?  If you are supporting a party that does not believe in Judeo-Christian values, your seed has fallen on rocky ground. We have two distinct choices, and their positions could not be made any clearer. Kamala Harris has stated that she supports killing a baby that has been delivered full term. What part of that narrative needs interpretation? She would murder a baby, and have no qualms about it. Joe Biden, on the other hand, claims to be Catholic, but does not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. He is in one accord with his running mate about killing full-term babies. Last week in his Town Hall meeting, Biden stated that he would defend the rights of eight-year-old transgender children. This is the most alarming statement yet! What does an eight-year-old child know about transgender identity and gender reassignment surgery? Is is not the parents of these innocent children who should be protecting their children against this indoctrination? There is no doubt that Joe and Kamala’s seeds fell on the path; the birds came and devoured them because they have no sense of morality.
Now 45%  of this countrys’ Catholics are listlessly meandering, looking for their seed that landed among the thorns. They are going to get cut up attempting to retrieve their seeds. They will watch their seeds get choked by making hasty, refutable choices. We all need to understand this parable to give us a lesson on the outcome of our country’s future. It’s is never too late to prepare for the good harvest. Use the tools that the Lord has so graciously handed you to seek the truth. We need justice to prevail, and for this election not to change our form of government. We need to once and for all rid ourselves of this hatred and polarization.

My Parable

Two old men wanted to live in the same White House. They were both familiar with this house; one man still lives in the house, while the other man worked there years ago. Each of these men had pets. One man had an elephant with a loud trunk. This elephant was opinionated and let the world know what he was thinking. The other man had a donkey. This stubborn donkey kicked and hee-hawed when it did not get its way. So the two old men planned a contest between their pets; whichever animal made the loudest and longest noise would win the race. There is one problem, the donkey is favored by the liberal press. This race will take place on November 3rd. The moral of the story is we must make a prayerful, conscious choice in casting our ballots.

Pray, Then Vote

My urgent prayer is not just for one group but for all of us to live in harmony. We cannot allow militant organizations who seek to overthrow our government, and to infiltrate the minds of our youth. The white supremacists, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter agendas cannot be allowed to sway this election. Black lives do matter, but our government does not have to radically adopt their Marxist ideologies in order to protect them.  Sorry, LGBTQ, and trans people, feminists, and Planned Parenthood, this is not about you. It’s about the Blacks who have been treated unjustly by police. We need to keep the subject matter separate and not allow every socialist group to ride on the shirt tails of Black people who have been affected by police brutality. I can guarantee that these groups came together because of their hatred of the founding principles for our democratic constitutional republic. That’s what they did to Jesus before His Crucifixion. The Jews hated the Romans but, for the sake of  malevolence, they joined forces.

Mug shots of white privileged, New York Post

White Privilege

To the radical, leftist student demonstrators: you’re nothing more than wanna be revolutionaries. Your liberal parents  have spoon fed you lies and sent you to elite colleges. For what? To get arrested for rioting and tagging? Wow! I wonder what the future has in store for you. According to an article in the New York Post, all these privileged white kids come from affluent backgrounds. Their parents have rescued them but failed miserably at disciplining them. The outcome of there upbringing have produced spoiled, willful anarchists who will stop at nothing to get their way because that is how they where raised.  You can read the story for yourself.  New York Post “Inside the Privileged Lives of Protesters Busted for Rioting in Manhattan.”

My Prayer:

Dear Lord, I pray for all those who are caught up in the confusion of this election. I pray that before they mark their ballots, You would speak to their conscience. I ask for a peaceful outcome in this election. Lord, extend Your Holy Hands and reach down to protect us from any backlash from any angry mods. May we who truly serve you do what is right in Your eyes. Amen

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Count Your Blessings

Even though we are still in the midst of the pandemic, I feel blessed. I thank the good Lord for my health and that of my family. We are blessed in so many other ways as well. We live in a country where we are free to worship the god of our choice. The Word of God says if you follow God’s Commandments, your blessings will overflow.

May you be blessed in the city,
 and blessed in the country!
Blessed be the fruit of your womb,
the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock,
the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks!
Blessed be your grain basket and your kneading bowl!
May you be blessed in your coming in,
 and blessed in your going out!
These blessings are for all of us, God never excludes anyone. These are the material blessings of peace, prosperity, a fruitful land, children, victory in war and, above all, God will make you His people. We struggle with asking for what He has already set aside for us. God wants to bless your comings and your goings; this means the beginning and end of every action. He is our Provider and when we are blessed, we, in turn, will bless others. If you want victory at work, you need God on your side; if you want victory with children who have fallen away, God will honor your petitions if you follow His Commandments. We can never do this alone. We need the help of our Creator.
Become The Head and Not the Tail
The Lord will give you victory and prosperity; that means He will put your enemies in place and make them scatter in seven different directions. God wants to bless the work of your hands. We do everything with our hands. He wants to bless what flows through our fingers: our work, our creativity, our touch, and how we lift our hands in praise.
I want the rain in due season because sometimes I’m spiritually dry and need the soft sprinkles of heavenly mist to rejuvenate my prayer life.
Being the head and not the tail means that you understand who you are in the Kingdom of God. This does not mean that we are to push others aside to reach the top; rather, we are to treat others as the head. This lack of respect is one of the missing elements in our society today. We cannot control what is being displayed by the vast majority of the media, but we can choose to walk away from this incivility. We have allowed evil to not only prevail in our land, we are being made to believe that this is a justified action on the part of the perpetrators. You will always be the tail if you disrespect others.
Our Crosses
The more you serve the Lord, the more crosses you are given. I will never be able to take the COVID-19 immunization because I suffer from an autoimmune disorder. This disorder was brought on by getting the flu shot. There is no cure for this unsightly condition, no medication to keep it at bay either. In April it will be two years that I have suffered with lichen  plantus; the only relief is that the lesions are fewer  than before. So if I developed an autoimmune deficiency with the flu shot, I can only imagine the disaster of a new, unsafely tested vaccine.  Most likely it will wreak havoc on my already weakened immune system. My allergies have escalated to a new high, so now I double up on the doses. I always forget to include myself in prayer, but my sweet  husband tells me that he prays for my healing daily. We learn to carry our crosses with grace by not complaining  (I’m still working on that one).
It does not matter where you are in you relationship with God, you could be a holy roller, someone who just attends church once a year, or a non-believer. The Holy Spirit is always available, ask Him to  help you.

COVID-19

This demonic pandemic has affected all of us. When it first started back in March, our Bible study group prayed for strangers with COVID-19. As time passed more and more people that I know personally have contracted coronavirus: two nieces, a nephew, an ex-brother-in-law and his brother and several cousins. The virus has taken a toll on two of these mentioned. One of my cousins, Ricky, is still in the hospital after four weeks following his diagnosis. What we do not understand about virus will be a lesson for all doctors and nurses treating patients. Why some react worse than others is still partly a mystery. My cousin did not have any underlying health issues, yet at one point he was fighting for his life. His mother, my Tia Maria, who is 95 years old suffered from fever and headaches but pretty much breezed through the virus without any hospitalization. Thanks be to God and the prayer chain, my cousin’s health has improved and he may soon be released from the hospital. According to the specialist, Ricky will  have several months of recovery ahead of him, but through the grace of God we will continue to pray for a speedy recovery.

My Cousin Ricky loves to cycle, on his birthday two years ago he cycled 100 miles
Blessing Others
If you need a financial blessing, start tithing to God’s work.  Offer your services to the needs of others. If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you must first become a servant. We give out of our necessity, because the more you give from your heart the more will be returned to you. This is God’s rule of reciprocity.
38 Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure,
packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on us. Thank you for good health and for keeping us safe during this pandemic. Lord, give us victory in every area of our lives. Teach us to operate in humility and to fully understand that You will bless our comings and our goings . Lord, I pray for all those who are suffering with coronavirus, especially my cousin Ricky.  Bring total restoration to their bodies and bless them with Your healing touch. Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to live in this great land, a place where we can freely praise You!
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