A Story of “Faith” Umbrella

The spring rains did not come and the summer heat was worse than it had ever been.  All the fields in the area were parched, dusty, and brown. Our livelihood, our way of life, was wilting away. Most mornings we would search the sky for any sign of relief, for a hint of rain on the horizon. Days turned into arid weeks and soon became months.  Everywhere faithful people prayed.

The ministers, priest and rabbi of our local churches announced that there would be a special service to pray for rain on the following Saturday. They asked that everyone bring an object of their faith. So come Saturday morning we all gathered in the town square. People came with anxious faces and hopeful hearts. Looking around you could see the Bibles, Book of Prayers, crosses, crucifixes, pictures of Jesus – and you could tell the Catholic because of their rosaries.

And so we prayed.  We prayed a mighty prayer of praises for God, praises for His divine protection, and  petitions for rain. We sang, prayed some more, and heard the minister proclaim our faith in Jesus. And then we prayed some more. Just as the hour of prayer was concluding, and as if by some divine cue, a soft rain began to fall. Cheers swept the crowd as they held their treasured objects high in gratitude and praise.  The Pentecostals were shouting out their Hallelujahs with arms raised in ecstasy. The Catholics even got excited and were waving their rosaries, whipping them around in a frenzy.

But one symbol of faith seemed to overshadow all the others; one person had brought an umbrella.

Faith Umbrella

Special birthday pilgrimage to receive blessings on my 50th birthday in Vatican, Rome, Italy.

Source:   Friarmusings

Open your Heart

Open the doors of your heart.

Give special attention, love and prayers to all those who come to the door of your home and workplace.

Let this simple gift of self be a witness to the love of Christ among us.

Meteor Showers

Many years ago, a warm summer evening, I took Carson and Emma, my friend’s grandchildren up in the mountain to watch shooting stars.  It was about the same month as now, August. 
There were hardly anyone on Cypress Mountain.  It was a perfect place for star-gazing and count shooting stars.  Of course it was more fun to challenge each other and see how many shooting stars we could count should our eyes are fast enough to spot them. 
The best way to look at the sky is to lie down on the pavement and we did exactly just that in the middle of the parking lot.  We just hope that nobody will drive up and run over us.  
As it turns out, the shooting stars became meteor showers.  It was spectacular. 
Cypress Mountain: Photo credit vancity

Cypress Mountain: Photo credit vancity

 The Meteor show which occurs in mid-August is called the Perseid Meteor Shower.  It is also known as “The Tears of Saint Lawrence.” 
Who is Lawrence? 
Lawrence was an early Christian deacon tortured to death by the Romans in AD 258. His saint’s day of August 10 coincides with the Perseids buildup. 
Lawrence’s responsibility is to handle the material goods of the Church, and to distribute alms to the poor. When Lawrence knew he would be arrested like the pope, he sold the material goods of the church and gave all the money to the poor of Rome. 
The prefect of Rome thought that the Church is rich because they use silver cups for the sacred blood and golden candlesticks.  He asks Lawrence to bring all the Church’s treasures for the emperor.  
Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich. “I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory.” After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said, “These are the treasure of the Church.” 
Needless to say, this angers the prefect and sentenced him to death. 
According to legend, Laurence was martyred on an iron grill over a fire, during the ordeal he quipped to his persecutors: “Turn me over. I’m done on this side!” 
 
Related Articles:

Forgiveness in Action – March Monthly Peace

The monthly Peace Challenge for the month of  March 2013 is about Marching Towards Forgiveness. 
Forgiveness is just a not a word for me.  I can only forgive through action.  I can think about it, I can meditate about, I can wish about it; none of these would work for me.  I can only show it.  And here is a great story about forgiveness. 
As John Paul II took the hand of his would-be-assassin, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness. 
One of the bullets that struck John Paul II remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. 
 
By Brother Randall J. Meissen, LC
4/27/2011 JohnPaulMoments.com (johnpaulmoments.com) 
ROME, Italy (John Paul Moments) – On December 27, 1983, as John Paul II sat in a bare, whitewashed jail cell of Rome’s Rebibbia prison, he was unprepared for the question voiced by an unshaven prisoner to his side, “So why aren’t you dead?”  
Why aren’t you dead? 
Death had appeared all but certain to bystanders when three bullets fired by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca tore through the pope’s flesh on May 13, 1981, staining the pope’s white cassock with deathly scarlet. 
Ali Agca was a professional assassin, he had aimed at close range, and he had aimed well.  But somehow, the bullets missed lethal targets, one grazing the pope’s right elbow, and another deflecting off his left index finger before passing through his abdomen, a fraction of an inch from a major artery.  
By John Paul II’s assessment, “It was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path,” and permitted that “the dying Pope. stopped on the threshold of death.”  The assassination attempt had taken place on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and the pope had no doubt that his survival was due to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
In gratitude, the Pope gave one of the deadly bullets to the bishop in charge of the shrine at Fatima, Portugal.  To this day, that bullet remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary housed at that shrine. 
However, as John Paul II sat at the side of his would-be-assassin, Ali Agca expressed fears that this Lady of Fatima might come after him next.  The pope stated the contrary; he himself had come to forgive, not to harm.  But Ali Agca did not ask for forgiveness.  
Thus, as the pope took the hand of the gunman, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness.
 
Source: Catholic.Org

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – “EYE” Dream

Illumination is more than an ordinary light to me.  To be illuminated is has to touch the very core of my soul.

This picture was taken in one of the Churches in Rome.  It reminded me of my dream. Should you be interested in knowing the dream, click on Eye Dreamed post.

 
The EYE of GOD

The EYE of GOD