Thursday, January 11, 2018

St. Joan of Arc-Fearless And Bold-An Example for the Modern Age in 2018


I am not afraid.....I was born to do this.   St. Joan of Arc

I recently saw the quote above on a plaque and I just loved it. What better quote for a believer, in the New Year-2018. If only we could all find out what God's will is for our lives and then work to fulfill it. (Without having to be martyred, of course!) All the saints say, that it is very important (perhaps the most important thing), on the spiritual journey, to find out God's will for your life. That is not easy to do and takes much discipline and prayer.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has a great, very large oil painting of St. Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien Lepage (1879). I love to gaze upon it and study it whenever I'm at the MET. Bastien-Lepage, a native of Lorraine, depicts in the painting,"the moment when St. Michael, Margaret and Catherine appear to Joan in her parents' garden, rousing her to fight against the English invaders in the Hundred Years War."
So what is it I shall do in the New Year to be fearless for Christ? And what will you do in the New Year to be fearless for Christ? What should the Church do in the New Year to be fearless for Christ?
I have an idea what the Church should do, should have done years ago to make itself more relevant (and open to growth) in the modern age. I know but I'll keep it to myself. But maybe you know too!
Pope Francis and the entire Roman Curia as well as the Cardinals and Bishops should be fearless and face the modern day realities we are dealing with. It is extremely important for the Church to face the unique challenges of the modern world and deal with them creatively and through working with the Holy Spirit as guide.
NJA

Veni Sanctus Spiritus!
Amen!




"Come Holy Spirit, Come!" St. Joan of Arc pray for us!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bono-We Are To Be Grateful For Everything!

I read an online article titled, "Bono Complains Modern Music 'Has Gotten Very Girly'" and it makes the point that in a recent interview with "Rolling Stone," U2 frontman Bono remarked (among other things), that, "You know people of faith can be very annoying, like when people on the Grammys thank God for a song and you think, 'God that is a shite song. Don't give God credit for that one, you should take it yourself!'" Obviously he doesn't think artists should thank God unless its a remarkable, fantastic song (in his opinion).  I respectfully disagree. Perhaps the noted artist didn't get the song, "directly from the mouth of God," but certainly artists get inspiration (in varying amounts) from God, as Bono well knows. And anyone who makes it to the Grammys or any other awards show and wins an award, should definitely thank God. (Actually they should be on their knees!) I thank God for the smallest accomplishments, in my life, knowing that all is gift and I would not have made it this far in life, were it not for God's inspiration and guidance.
God indeed has great taste, as the world is filled with natural beauty, inspiring artwork and writings, music and beautiful things. When we unite our will to the will of God and ask God humbly to bless our work, whatever that work may be, creativity shines forth. So much to be thankful for as this year ends and another one begins.
NJA

In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 
First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (1Thes 5:18)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017-Blessed New Year

I hope and pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! How blessed we are to believe in God, worship God and have Jesus near. There is no better gift, no greater advantage in life than to have the living God as friend, Savior and Redeemer.
As I get older and take stock of all I have been given, as I have followed the spiritual journey with and in Christ, I am amazed. I have been greatly blessed, on many levels. Of course, I have also had to suffer trials, be misunderstood, suffer terrible losses but I have always remained in hope.  I have never stopped praying or believing that God would turn things around. And God has in God's time and in His way.
The words  of St. Faustina, "Jesus I trust in you," that she was told by Jesus to have painted on the bottom of the painting of Divine Mercy are  a great comfort and words that should never be far from the lips of a Christian.
During trials in my life, I always knew that God would help, would strengthen me and be close to me. I always knew that God is full of mercy and compassion. At times waiting for God to act can require patience, and I like things to happen quickly. But that's not God's way.
When God does move, when the Spirit moves, you can get glimpses of the genius of God. As a person of deep faith but also as a person who likes to observe and analyze, I'm amazed by God's creative action. God will not be outdone. God is a God of justice and great mercy.
How blessed I am to know God. How blessed you are too!
NJA

I thank you Lord, with all my heart, you have heard the words of my mouth....I thank you for your faithfulness and love, which excel all we ever knew of you." (Psalm 138:1-3)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Advent 2017-Doing the Will of God

This has been an unusual Advent for me. All I have to do, (with just some effort) is watch God work in God's mysterious and powerful way and let things unfold according to God's will and plan. The Spirit is moving.....As you can see, (from the ad on this site), I have published a book on mysticism, on a mystical experience I had many years ago, when I was a young mother, living in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn. I had great fears about publishing this book and telling this unusual story.  I finally did it, as I became convinced that it was God's will and it is what God wanted me to do. Having read the saints over the years, I knew that they continually say that doing God's will and finding out what God's will is for your life, is crucial and of most importance on the spiritual journey. Doing the will of God will ultimately bring peace, fulfillment and depth of meaning to one's life. And of course it is necessary to trust in God.
However, before I actually put the finishing touches on the book and sent it off, a fear overcame me. Friends tried to calm me but I didn't know how the book would be received and that concerned me.  And of course, there can still be some doubt and negativity. But amazingly, my family and Church friends who have read the book (and even some reviewers on Amazon), like the book and find it inspiring.  Praise God!
So the fear has left me because what I have come to understand is that you will always be taking a risk when you do the will of God, it will never be easy and you just have to go with it and pray, which is what I did. And as people have positive reactions, I see that the fear was probably from the "evil one," trying to stop the process or dare I say, a lack of trust in God. (Sorry about that God!)
But God's holy will is in progress, everything is unfolding according to God's plan and for that I am very grateful this Advent.
NJA

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wake Up! It's Advent!

On Sunday I attended a beautiful Marian Day at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, Long Island. The Celebration of Mary provided a faith-filled spiritual day for the "Friends of the Seminary" and all those invited from parishes around Long Island. Mass began at 10:00 AM and the amiable Auxiliary Bishop--Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski-of Rockville Centre presided. It was the first Sunday of Advent and the readings spoke of being alert, being watchful.
Jesus said to his disciples: 'Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.'

Bishop Andrezej walked around the magnificent main chapel during the homily saying simply-Wake Up! Be alert! Wake Up! He said other things of course but "Wake Up" stuck in my mind, because it's so true, so many people are not alert enough, aren't watchful and we should be in a state of wakefulness, especially during Advent. People are driving crazy, no one is watching and everyone is in a rush. Besides that people (myself included) should wake up and realize what's really important during the holy season of Advent. It's a beautiful thing to give and share and prepare and eat a meal with your family, but it's so important to live each day with meaning and purpose, to pray to do God's will in your life, whatever the cost and to grow closer to God each day.
Besides the beautiful liturgy, there were two interesting lectures, one by Fr. Michael Whalen, CM and  the other by Brother Timothy Driscoll, SM., (who interestingly had taught (many years ago) Msgr. Richard Henning-the rector). Then to end the perfect day, Ms. Theresa Bissex sang beautiful Christmas hymns, and Scripture readings were read in between.
Advent bliss.
NJA

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017-God's Blessings Abound For Those Who Believe

Happy Thanksgiving! This past year was a year of some disappointments and some big accomplishments. The ups and downs of life, are ever present in our lives, in my life. But as long as I walk with Jesus, with Jesus at my side, I can and do overcome obstacles and rise to new heights. This was the year I finally finished my spiritual/mystical memoir and its selling on Amazon. More importantly, people are reading it and being inspired by it. Praise God! That's important because no one ever read the book before I published it but me. I was apprehensive about showing it in full or parts to anyone, so I never knew what people would think of it. Most people who have read it, know me and care about me, so perhaps they have a bias, but in any event, its a relief that people like the book. One of my friends told me she has bought copies for each of her adult children That amazed me.
I think I'll do a You Tube video about the book in the new year. Why not? I should evangelize shouldn't I?
And so, may you have a very Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are, be thankful because the good news is that if you pray and have a relationship with God, "all things work together for good." And everything becomes rightfully ordered and in God's time, all things work out.
That has been my experience. Being in relationship with God has enriched my life and brought many blessings and graces into my life, and for that I am very grateful this Thanksgiving.
God's abundant blessings on your life.  Now it's time to start cooking!
NJA


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Beauty of Creation-Proof of God's Existence-In A Turquoise Sea

I already have great assurance of God's existence but I'm baffled by people, such as atheists and skeptics who deny God's existence. I sometimes wonder if they see with the same eyes that I do. I recently came back from a trip to Grand Cayman Island, the largest of the Cayman Islands, which is a British Overseas Territory. Located in the Caribbean Sea, the colors and vistas that I saw as I sat on the beach made me think of the Divine Artist, the Creator,  whose mix of the colors, blues and greens in the sea and in the sky were breathtaking. The Divine Palette mixed together the most beautiful hues of green and blue and white.  Near perfection in natural beauty.
The water was turquoise, surrounding the beach,  which I hadn't seen in a long time, such pure, natural beauty. Then about a mile from the beach, beyond the turquoise was a reef, creating a rim around the inner sea. White waves were crashing on the reef,  giving a contrast between the turquoise water nearby and the deep blue sea beyond the reef. Such magnificence. So as I sat there mesmerized and taking in more sun than I should have, I kept thinking, "Who thinks these colors, this amount of beauty and perfection can be an accident or a coincidence?" "Who can possibly doubt the existence of a Divine Creator, who created with order, mathematical exactness and complexity and so much natural beauty?" I just can't get my head around it and never will.
If there was no Creator, no Divine Artist than perhaps we would live in a gray world, no striking colors, no natural beauty to cast our gaze upon. All gray...then I might think well perhaps this is an accident. But show me a simple flower, or a sunrise, or a turquoise sea and I'll believe in a generous Creator, who has a "eye" for beauty, because God is Beauty.
NJA