Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after a victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.’ –St. Augustine~
FOCUS ON GAINTS ---YOU STUMBLE FOCUS ON GOD ------ YOUR GAINTS STUMBLE ***************************** The world has heard enough of the so-called rights of man. Let us hear something of the rights of God
“Oh, my soul, how much longer do you wish to be so stingy with Jesus? Why so negligent towards Jesus who made You? Why so lazy towards Jesus who redeemed you? Who do you want to love, if you do not want to love Jesus?” — St. Gemma Galgani
“TO THINK YOU CAN LOVE GOD WITHOUT BEING CHANGED BY HIM, IS TO THINK YOU CAN JUMP INTO THE OCEAN AND NOT GET WET. TO REALLY LOVE HIM, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR LIFE IS GOING TO BE WRECKED BY HIM, AND BUILT AGAIN INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, SOMETHING LASTING.”
Or in this case, a picture testifies to millions of deaths.
"I lost my little sister to the cruelty of abortion. She was killed when she was three years younger than me, killed in the same womb I once called home. This picture is a reality for me, and it hurts to have to imagine the childhood we could have shared together, a time that we should both hold memories of. Raised as an only child, my formative years were dramatically different than what they could - what they should have been.
Not only was my sister erased, but so were my nieces and nephews and their children and their children’s children. Abortion not only kills an innocent child, it kills generations, it kills relationships, it kills hope, and it kills love.
This breaks my heart so much. I can’t imagine the pain."
An amazing story of conversion and forgiveness: St. Maria Goretti & Alessandro Serenelli
Although Alessandro was only 19 years old, he had become addicted to pornography. Wanting to live out his fantasies he attempted to molest an 11 year old girl. As she yelled out, “No Alessandro, it is a sin…” he became enraged and stabbed her 14 times. Although she made it to a hospital and received Communion as Viaticum, she died.
Alessandro was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Although he was aware that Maria, the girl, had forgiven him on her deathbed (even saying she wanted to be in heaven with him) he did not feel remorse. Then he had a dream – which was surprising in and of itself because Alessandro did not typically dream.
In this vivid dream, the prison walls and bars fells away as his cell became a sunlit garden. full of flowers. He was surprised to see a peasant girl dressed in white since they wear dark colors. Then he realized it was Maria. She was walking among the flowers, smiling and not as all fearful. He wanted to leave but couldn’t. Maria picked white lilies and handed them to him saying, “Alessandro, take them!”
One by one he accpted the 14 lilies. As he took them, each lily transformed into a flaming light. There was one lily for each of the times he had stabbed her. Then Maria smilingly said, “Alessandro, as I have promised, your soul shall someday reach me in heaven.”
The dream changed him. For the first time he understood the light of God’s grace and mercy. From that time on, he looked to reform his life.
Because of his good behavior, he got out of prison after 27 years. For a time he wandered as a farmhand, but then he became a brother in a Capuchin monastery.
Finally, 31 years after the trial, he went to visit Assunta Goretti, Maria’s mother. Begging Assunta’s forgiveness, she placed her hands on his head, caressed his face and gently said, “Alessandro, Marietta forgave you, Christ has forgiven you, and why should I not also forgive. I forgive you, of course, my son! Why have I not seen you sooner?”
The next morning Assunta, with head held high and tears falling, took Alessandro by the hand and led him to Mass. Side by side they took communion. From that day on he was welcomed into the Goretti family as “Uncle Alessandro.”
Assunta and Alessandro were also side by side when St. Maria Goretti was cannonized.
“You have not been sprinkled with forgiveness. You have not been splattered with grace. You have not been dusted with kindness. You have been immersed in it. You are a minnow in an ocean of his mercy.”