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The Mystics

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Our Catholic faith has many fascinating elements to it. Not many people pay attention to the mystics. These are individuals who possess a gift that allows them to participate in a different level of awareness and connection to Jesus and Mary. There are many Saints who were mystics. They experienced visions and participated in interactions that are, for lack of a better phrase, out of this world.

There is one such mystic today who is a wife, mother of six, and a Secular Franciscan named Anne. She experiences interior locutions. An interior locution is a mystical concept used by various religions, including the Roman Catholic Church. In an interior locution, a person reportedly receives a set of ideas, thoughts, or visions from an outside spiritual source. Interior locutions are most often reported during prayers. An interior locution is a form of revelation, but is distinct from an apparition or religious vision because no supernatural entity is reported as present during the interior locution (forums.catholic.com). I learned of her writings a few years ago, and with skepticism, read them. Even though her texts carry the Imprimatur, I always went into them with a prayer on my lips and in my heart not to fall prey to anything that wasn't Truth. I don't believe I have. I wish to share some of what Jesus told Anne to write. These messages are in line with the gospel. They are simple and clear. Peace! 

I am Jesus. I am God. I am complete in myself. I am present in your world and I am present in Heaven. You see. I am omnipresent. Even if you wish to, you cannot remove yourself from my presence on Earth. I created Earth. You might say the earth belongs to me. All on it are also my creation. You, dear beloved one, were created by me. Do I say that you belong to me? I say it in another way. I say, I 'want' you to belong to me. I want to possess your heart. Why do I use the word heart when truly it is your soul that I seek? I use the word heart because people characterize the heart as the place where people hold the love they possess. If you have love, people say you have it in your heart. The heart is known as the source of love and the receptacle of love, so I, Jesus, tell you that I want to possess your heart. When it is all simplified, as it should be, I am saying that I want you to love me. I love you. There is no problem there. I love you today and I will always love you. A difficulty we have is that you do not know me. The only way for me to teach you to love me is for  me to reveal myself to you, to allow you to know me. For that reason, I come to you today. I reveal myself to you through these words and through the graces attached to them. If you read these words and sit in silence, you will begin to know me. If you begin to know me, truly, you will begin to love me. Forget anything that tempts you to move away from these words and graces. Rest. Be with me. Allow me to teach you about myself.

History of Halloween

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Halloween is based on the Celtic festival Samhain, a celebration in ancient Britain and Ireland that marked the end of summer and the beginning of the new year on November 1. It was believed that during Samhain the souls of those who had died that year traveled to the otherworld. The thought of souls wandering about the earth was unsettling, so many would build bonfires and do other things to keep them away. In the 8th century CE, the Roman Catholic Church moved All Saints’ Day, a day celebrating the church’s Saints, to November 1.

This meant that All Hallows’ Eve (or Halloween) fell on October 31. A traditional practice to ward off the souls would be to carve scary faces into potatoes and turnips. When immigrants brought the tradition to the United States, the pumpkin seemed a more appropriate canvas (www.britanica.com). For a similar reason, costumes, or disguises, were worn so as not to distract the souls from their eternal destination by seeing their loved ones (www.reference.com).

How was trick or treat connected to religion? Poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called “soul cakes” in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. Known as "souling," the practice was later taken up by children, who would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food or money (www.history.com).

However, let's not forget the feast day itself. Our practice of honoring those who have joined the heavenly ranks before us originates in the Book of Maccabees. When the Israelites fell in battle, Judas Maccabees orders that his soldiers pray for those who died. The practice is further corroborated in 1 Corinthians and in Ephesians. The dead play an important role in our understanding of the body of Christ. "Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others...We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head...Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments" The communion of Saints is the Church. We are all saints! (CCC# 947). Don't forget about this wonderful collection of people who can have great intercessory power when joining us in our joys and sorrows. St. Dominic, pray for us!

Pocket Saints

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I have a collection of pocket Saints. My pocket Saints are my go to group of "friends" that I call upon when needing some additional assistance in one way or another. Just as we have family/friends on earth that we call upon when we need assistance, I have collected a heavenly variety. I ask them to pray with me and intercede on my behalf to "get something done." I currently have a collection of twenty. They are, in no particular order, but for very particular reasons: St. Jude, St. Anthony, St. Dominic, St. Joseph, St. Gemma, St. Gianna, St. Marie Almondi, St. Cecelia, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Terese of Calcutta, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Monica, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Medjugorie, Mary Mother of God and All the Holy Men and Women. It is like saying a litany every time I lay them out like that. The newest addition is St. Monica.

I added St. Monica to my list of pocket Saints about a year ago. As a parent, my biggest fear is that my children, two daughters, would grow away from Christ. With my children now attending college, one is a junior at St. Norbert and the other a freshman at University of
Minnesota in the Twin Cities, I had to resign myself to the fact that I have done all I could to help them put on the armor of God, and it was now up to them to wear it. Faithfully. While I trust in God's providence in all things, I am only human. I want to control what happens to my children. I realized a little over a year ago that this is yet one more thing that I can't control. Therefore, I called upon all of my pocket Saints and solicited the help of St. Monica to surround my children with an extra layer of support to steer them in the right direction - straight to the heart of Jesus! St. Monica is the patient mother of the most notorious bad boy, St. Augustine. If her prayer power can turn the course for him, she certainly can keep my girls on track. The best tool I have now is my prayers. The hands-on work is complete.

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