Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus Family,
This Sunday evening is New Year’s Eve, and the day we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This past October commemorated the 100th anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima on October 13th. Our Lady, and Saint Joseph appeared holding the Christ Child and blessed the world. I would like to share the stories of three Nuns who discovered about the power of the Holy Family. I propose we take a look at their discoveries!
Mother Angelica founded the Eternal Word Television Network, the world’s largest religious broadcasting and media network. She started in her convent garage! She visited Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia to promote Spanish cable service in June, 1996. She visited a parish in Bogotá, Colombia, featuring a shrine dedicated in 1935 to the Christ Child. Thousands have visited and claimed miracles. In his biography of Mother, author Raymond Arroyo describes what happened: “While standing before the Divino Niño, she said, the statue appeared to move. ‘All of a sudden, He turns to me,’ Angelica recounted, ‘and He says, “Build me a temple and I will help those who help you.” That’s all he said.’ She claimed the voice was audible and that of a child. The sisters saw nothing but the tears streaming down their abbess’s face. Rushing to her side, they asked what was wrong. ‘Nothing,’ Mother told them. She needed time to discern the meaning of the message. ‘I didn’t know what a temple was.’” She went on to build a shrine to the Christ Child in Northern Alabama. Through her efforts many thousands of people have discovered the power of the Christ Child is to heal our lives. Many of us have painful wounds from the past that we can entrust to His Sacred Heart.
The one who knows this power best is His Mom and ours. At Fatima, Our Lady reminded us how the Rosary has many powerful riches for us. Yet if you are like me, we find the Rosary boring and repetitive and we would rather clean out the garage! By meditating on the life of Jesus, and turning to Our Lady we can win more battles. One visionary, Sister Lucia spoke of this powerful weapon. In an interview on December 26th, 1957, she said to a priest: “Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given new efficacy in the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families in the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.” So, if you have new year’s resolutions that you want to win, add the Rosary to your strategy and enjoy more victories in 2018.
Someone who brought victories to African American and Native American youth was Saint Katherine Drexel. A Philadelphia native, and heiress to the Drexel fortune, she found her path to fulfillment through her calling to found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1895, with her personal inheritance, she built St. Francis Academy in Rock Castle, Virginia: a school for African American young women. Coming to Richmond for the Cornerstone laying, an eight hour train layover occurred. They arrived late in Rock Castle expecting to sleep on benches. The station was locked! With nowhere to go that late at night, a coach drove up and an elderly gentleman asked if they were the ladies headed to the Duval Street convent. He delivered them, unloaded their bags, rang the doorbell and left. A sleepy and surprised sister awoke to let them in. No one had been informed that Mother was coming. The rest of her life, she was convinced that Saint Joseph had rescued them in their hour of need.
The Holy Family is always powerful to help us with their love and prayers. The Church reminds us this weekend that it is smart to learn from them and seek their help. We should also always listen to nuns. Happy New Year to you and yours!
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Bjorn Lundberg