How much time do you spend in your mind, lost in world of racing thoughts concerning anything and everything but the present moment? Do you find yourself habitually living in a state of anxious deliberation fueled by past ponderings or future fears— instead of being fully present to God, yourself and others?...Read More
Here we go again, you may be moaning as a painful situation rears its ugly head one. more. time. Perhaps you’ve prayed for a miracle for years, decades, even a lifetime. Maybe you’re exhausted from asking God to answer a prayer, or just flat angry at him for apparently not hearing you—especially if you’ve begged incessantly for something good, like a healing, conversion, or cure—something God would surely want, right?...Read More
With the world teetering on the edge of nuclear war and anxieties running high, I humbly share with you a powerful prayer for healing and conversion given to me some months ago in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This prayer grew out of the recognition that we can “stand in the gap” in intercessory prayer like Abraham (Gen. 18:23), Moses (Exodus 32:11-14), and Ezekiel (Ez. 22:30), pleading for God’s mercy upon us and upon our broken world...Read More
I am happy to be back at my desk after taking a three week sabbatical from writing due to the death of my father and other family commitments. First of all, let me thank those of you who knew of my dad's illness for your prayers and support. He experienced a beautiful, holy death and was buried on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, a most special feast day to me. I am so very grateful to the Lord for the many graces that my dad and our entire family received during his illness and death. I will be sharing some of those later this week in a blog post. God is so good and merciful!
I also wanted to share with you the news of the publication of my new book, Mary's Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God, which will be released on The Feast of St. Monica, August 27. This book is a true labor of love; written in prayer and tears as I reflected upon and retold stories of the miracles God has worked in our lives in the midst of deep suffering. It is my ardent prayer that Mary's Way will not only help parents and grandparents pray more effectively for their children and grandchildren, but that it will bring honor to Our Lady, who has helped our family countless times and in countless ways.
I am delighted by the response the book has received thus far by those who have previewed it, including the following testimonials:
"With poignant and relatable storytelling, Judy invites us into the intimacy of her profound sorrows as a wife, mother, sister, and daughter in the hopes that the lessons of faith she learned will benefit us in our own struggles. If you're a mother or grandmother, you need Mary's Way." Kitty Cleveland, Author, Speaker, Singer
"No matter how great the struggle, God has a way and can bring you through. A great message of encouragement...you clearly made the point that faith and prayer made all the difference...Some of your insights regarding Mary's life and the power of the cross blew me away!" Carol Marquardt, Author
"I am at 35,000 feet and just finished your beautiful book! My heart is bursting and my eyes filled with tears. You have done it again. What a gifted writer you are. Thank you for sharing yet more of your faith and life with so many. I can't wait to order several copies. As I was reading, God placed several people on my heart who I want to give the book to. Can't wait it share with them!" Kelly Reed, Theology teacher
Blessings and grace to you and yours,
“Deme su manita,” was the first thing my ninety-five-year old Colombian mother-in-law, “Mina,” said to her son Henry every time he entered her home. “And once she had my hand, there was no letting go,” Henry shared with our extended family as we gathered after Mina’s funeral on The Feast of the Holy Rosary to have a meal in her honor. It happened so many times that Henry took a picture of Mina holding his hand and placed it in a frame in her living room where she could see it at all times from her chair. Mina took great comfort during the last days of her life in holding our hands, just as we had each received consolation in life by holding hers.
Henry shared a vivid memory he had from 1948, when he and his siblings, Bernardo and Hedy, were eating with Mina in a restaurant in their native Bogota. “A revolution broke out and gunshots started firing everywhere,” Henry told us. “We were only four, three and two at the time, and Mina took us by the hand and ducked from alley to alley until she got us home safely.” Though they left Bogota for America shortly thereafter, Henry never forgot how their mother had calmly and coolly led them to safety. Mina’s providing a sense of safety for others was a theme among us as we told our favorite stories about her life, along with the way that she made others feel not only loved and accepted, but truly beautiful.
Yes, Mina had taken each of us by the hand at some time in our lives, and she had confidently conveyed through both her immense love for others and her deep faith in God that everything would be okay. I’ll never forget the comfort I took in her presence when her son, my late husband Bernie, was critically ill. Though she was ninety at the time, she insisted that I pick her up in the evenings so she could come to the hospital to hold Bernardo’s hand and pray a Rosary with him, then bathe his face with kisses and tears. Mina’s health sharply declined after Bernardo died, and it was our turn to take her by the hand. Her family members, especially her daughter Hedy and her granddaughters, went to her home often to keep her company and pray with her. Mina was receiving back her own legacy of love and faith, as her family readied her to take the hand of God.
The last time I saw Mina, I held her hand and prayed with her the Rosary she taught us all to love. Mina had recited the Holy Rosary every day of her life—and God alone knows how many Rosaries she offered for each of us. Before becoming frail with age, she could frequently be found in her bedroom, kneeling on a prie-dieu before a lit holy candle and a crucifix that held the tattered body of her beloved Jesus, whom she called affectionately called Emmanuel. That name of Christ, which means “God is with us,” perfectly summarized Mina’s life belief. She was heard to say many, many times: “I have never been alone, because God has always been with me.”
In spite of the fact that her life held its deep sufferings, including the heartaches of being widowed in her forties and burying a son and grandson, Mina was secure in the knowledge that God was right beside her, holding her close. Her intense love of God and faith in Him was the foundation of her rich, blessed life. It kept her strong and peaceful until the Feast of the Guardian Angels, when God extended His welcoming, merciful hand to take her home.
Thank you, Mina, for your precious love and for your beautiful witness of faith, which impacted our lives so profoundly. You are now in the hands of your Maker. Rest there in sweet peace.
For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand. It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you."