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Bài Medu 201: Testimony From A Pilgrim: Gift Of Faith From Lady Of Medjugorje
Thứ Ba, Ngày 9 tháng 9-2008

Bài Medu 201: Gift of Faith from Lady of Medjugorje

§ Cường Lê

Our Lady Queen of Peace of Medjugorje’s April 2, 2008 Message to Mirjana for Non-Believers

“Dear children, also today as I am with you in the great love of God I desire to ask you: ‘are you also with me?’. Is your heart open for me? Do you permit me to purify and prepare it for my Son? My children, you are chosen because, in your time, the great grace of God descended on earth. Do not hesitate to accept it. Thank you.”

Our Lady blessed everyone present and all religious articles. As She was leaving, behind Her in the blueness was a most beautiful warm light.

1. Introduction:

This blueness and beautiful warm light I am able to experience daily with great humility, love and joy. This is a special blessing that I received from the Lady of Medjugorje due to my recent profound conversion from a recent pilgrimage. I was a born again Catholic after receiving this gift of faith. I saw miraculous things in Medjugorje, Paris and my hometown, San Diego. Like millions of other pilgrims around the world who receive the extra visions, seeing the sun spinning, dilating, and so on at the Apparition Hill in Medjugorje.

I recorded all the major miraculous events that my family experienced in a documentary called, “Me Den Lan Cuoi De Hoan Cai Cac Gia Dinh” (that translates to mean, “Mother Comes for the Last Time for the Conversion of all Families”.) I shared this documentary to only a few close friends, family members and have it posted on a website to give some hope to others. Some asked for the English translation, but I told them that it was better to read a more powerful testimony from a book called Medjugorje Investigated by Michael Kenneth Jones, who was an atheist converted to Catholism.

It now has been nearly eight months and I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on my experience. I feel compelled to do my own testimony. I recently read the stories of True and Lasting Conversion from another book called The Fruits of Medjugorje and was further convinced that I need to be a strong witness for Christ and the Blessed Mother.

2. Life Changing:

I was about to turn 41 and was looking forward to a get-away trip to Medjugorje after a year of stressful work and family life. I was not expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen. I was thinking that it would be a nice, relaxing vacation being on a spiritual retreat. I did not have much faith in the Blessed Mother when I left San Diego and thought there are people who might be superstitious in their beliefs when they go to places like Fatima, Lourdes or Guadalupe. There would need to be concrete proof of a miracle for me to truly believe. In my documentary, I admitted of having a marital problem but now, for the first time, I am revealing that I led a double life as a practicing Catholic, going through the motions for many years while leading a life of promiscuity.

You might wonder how that could happen to a poor, devout Catholic raised in a small village in Vietnam called Kenh B2. I grew up poor but happy attending mass on a very regular basis. Life was simple. We relied strictly on farming and fishing for a living. There were no street lights. We had to rely on natural light from the sky to guide us at night. I would often look up into the sky to count the number of stars and would appreciate the awesome power of God who created the universe. We had no sewage system. We’d often bathe and drink from the same river. We used candles and incandescent lamps at night for reading and studying. We were pretty much cut off from the outside world since there was no television or radio.

Having grown up in that environment, I heard much about America. I often thought of America as being in heaven. I left my family at the age of 14 in search of that dream. Like many Vietnamese boat refugees, I had to escape the country in the middle of the night and was lucky enough to be saved by an American submarine after 2 nights stranded in a middle of the ocean. I was brought into refugee camps in Singapore and Indonesia and had to survive there for 3 months before heading to America to start a new life.

Since I grew up poor, I had much drive and ambition to succeed when I got to this country. I always thought that going to school was a privilege because I spent most of my childhood working on the farm after school in Vietnam. I was shy around girls and was often teased about being a virgin. I lacked social skills. My mom told me that having a girlfriend would hinder my ability to have a bright future. Therefore, I’d spend any extra time before and after school, including summer, working to send money to my poor family back home.

Consequently, I did well in high school and got accepted into a prestigious university. I had good study habits so I did fairly well in college, but had a poor social life. When seeing a beautiful woman that I was interested in, I would freeze up and not able to carry on a good conversation. I finally was connected with a more traditional Vietnamese family where I met and fell in love with one girl. However, that relationship did not work out and I was left broken hearted.

At about that same time, I was shocked to find out I was born out of wedlock. My dad was a Major in a South Vietnamese Army who had a wife and my mom was his mistress.

Toward the end of college, I received a letter requesting that I join the Navy. I felt a sense of gratitude and indebtedness to serve this country. I also loved the outdoors and the ocean, so joining the Navy was an easy decision. I wanted an opportunity to travel around the world to forget my painful past. I saw the movies “Top Gun” and “An Officer and Gentlemen”, and really admired the roles that Tom Cruise and Richard Gere played in those movies.

I had much better luck with my social life once I put on the Navy officer’s uniform. I became more confident in my ability to attract women. As I developed a taste for beautiful women, I grew further away from God. I’d frequently date and have intimate relationships; engaging in pre-marital sex that I thought was wrong according to the Catholic’s belief but oblivious to the fact that it was a mortal sin. I was thinking that everyone was doing it in America so it must be acceptable. There was one priest who was ex-communicated from a diocese, but the bishop allowed him to hold retreats for college students. He was popular among college students because he thought that pre-marital sex was okay. I began to rationalize that as long as I wasn’t hurting anyone, being kind and considerate of others, and going to mass weekly, I’d still have salvation.

After having different girls in my life, I knew something was wrong because I hurt some girls’ feelings when the relationships ended. I wanted to go back to my old Catholic’s belief of having a monogamous relationship. I met my wife at my local church and got married shortly after. The local Vietnamese priest who performed the wedding ceremony warned me that my marriage would not last if my wife and I weren’t kneeling down each night in front of the mantel to pray the Rosary. I thought he was just an old-fashioned Vietnamese priest who needed to keep up with a new culture in America.

Looking back, he predicted exactly right. I fell back into my old way of living shortly after marriage. I practiced what many considered “womanizing”. It was difficult for me to have a faithful relationship. After a few years into my marriage, I felt like a bird being locked up in a cage yearning for freedom. Further tension was added when I sponsored my mother and my brother over from Vietnam as they had brought with them different expectations of me when they arrived in this country.

As tension and the frequency of arguments increased in the family, I’d find outlets by going to massage places and strip clubs watching naked women performing on stage. First, I did it out of curiosity. Someone told me that it was entirely acceptable for a married man to watch. But as time went on, I went from watching to having lap dancing and special massages- to include private parts. I’ll spare you the graphic details. Once I got seduced into this lifestyle, it was difficult to let go. I began to rationalize that people in high places, such as former President Clinton and former Catholic President Kennedy, had extra marital affairs. Therefore, I too began to think that God must be kind, merciful and understanding of this kind of human weakness.

I’d go to confession about twice a year- before Christmas and Easter- to meet the minimum requirement to keep my faith as a Catholic. I remembered during my childhood having strict confession, with a significant amount of time to examine my conscience before each confession. I thought it was a nice change to have quick confessions in America. I’d ask for forgiveness but would fall back into committing the same sins after a few weeks or months. I began to question myself whether there was any value in going to confession so I began going to confession about once a year. I would say to myself that I could ask God directly for forgiveness and not even bother going to confession.

Life began to change when I got a call to go on a Cursillo Retreat in October 2006. It was certainly a life changing experience for me because I had begun to relearn some prayers from my childhood. There were many witness talks with deep reflections that brought back wonderful memories from my childhood experience. After that retreat, I committed myself to go a prayer group where we would meet with other Cursillistas to say the Rosary and share Scripture Readings weekly. I thought that was a nice change that I finally had some direction in life. However, the change was not permanent and I would fall back into a life of temptation whenever my wife and I had big arguments.

I heard about Medjugorje through a friend in our prayer group. He told me that the Blessed Mother has been appearing daily with visionaries in almost the same way that She did in Fatima and Lourdes. It totally caught me by surprise because I never heard of this place before. He gave me the book called Medjugorje in the 90’s to read and asked whether I would be interested in going to a Thirteen day pilgrimage that started on September 25, 2007. I started to read the book and felt a sense of urgency to be there. I was able to make arrangements for my entire family to go.

Before getting on the plane heading toward Medjugorje, I listened to my wife and had one final confession. I managed to see the same priest who performed my wedding ceremony. This time there were no others waiting in line so I took time to reveal more about my sinful past. That priest openly told me what I was doing would be considered a grave sin. That shook me up a bit because I now began to understand the difference between grave and venial sin.

When I got to Medjugorje, we had masses about twice a day, plus Eucharistic Adoration at night, and other extra prayers at the Apparition Hill and the White Cross Mountain (Mount Krizevac). There were times I wanted to skip doing that because it was too hectic a prayer schedule. I wanted to have time for myself, to look at the beautiful landscape and drink a few beers to relax. Looking back, I believe that that it was the Holy Spirit who guided me to stay with this prayer schedule. I had a long confession with Pilgrimage Spiritual Leader, Reverent Thomas Khue. I told him that my marriage was in trouble and I saw no point of saving it. I needed to move on with my life because my wife and I had significant irreconcilable differences. Toward the end of that confession, he told me that my penance was to do the St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer.

Each night at the Eucharistic Adoration, I began to feel love and warmth in my heart as there were many beautiful songs and prayers in multiple languages. I so loved the wonderful music and harmony found in Medjugorje that I started to get a sense of true peace for the first time in my life. I gradually began to shed tears as I understood what I had done and how Jesus had to die on the cross to save someone like me. This happened at night and I was very glad because nobody noticed the tears coming out of my eyes. I had a macho attitude that men were not supposed to cry in public. To be honest, I remember crying only a few times in my life.

I was beginning to get a sense of joy out of praying where earlier I had thought it was impossible. I used to be able to kneel and pray for just a couple of minutes. Now I could kneel and pray for hours. After 9 consecutive days of doing that, the Blessed Mother woke me up in the middle of the night in a similar manner She did 18 years ago with Michael Jones.

3. Private Revelation:

According to Mr. Jones’ testimony, he was an atheist wanting to prove that “God and Satan do not exist”. He believed at the time that if God truly existed, there would be no pain or suffering. He picked up the Bible one day and discovered that Jesus had performed miracles. He then asked Jesus to do the same for him. He had a heart problem that required surgery. One day, he felt tingling in his toes and he shocked his doctor with the news that Jesus had healed him. He then heard a mysterious voice calling him to go to a remote place called Medjugorje that he never heard of before. While there, he met Father Jozo who told him, “Do not be afraid but the Blessed Mother will break you apart”. I met the same Father Jozo. When he put his hand on my forehead, I felt a strong warm current rushing through my body. When the Blessed Mother later came to me in my room, I experienced the same lightning and a sound of thunder that made me wide awake at 2:00 in the morning. My life instantly changed forever.

I felt a chill down my spine that night and now I still have a vivid recollection. The Blessed Mother led me out of darkness to show me the 2 Eucharistic images on the wall that I was able to capture on video earlier that night at the Apparition Hill when our pilgrimage group said farewell to the Blessed Mother prior to departing Medjugorje.

From that night and for a couple of weeks after being back in San Diego, I would be awakened about twice a night to do the chaplets of the Rosary and Divine Mercy. Each time, I felt a greater sense of joy in my heart and each tear drop that I shed would add extra vision into the other world that strengthened my faith. My wife would be sound asleep but I was wide awake. I felt peace and love that I never was able to experience before.

The extraordinary miracles happened in Paris where I received a direct message from the Blessed Mother in my hotel room, seeing the crosses and extraordinary pure white trails of smoke in the sky. My wife and I had a communication breakdown in Paris where she lost her fanny pack. She went to the airport all by herself to look for it without having any money with her, not understanding the language or knowing the city; but with the guidance of the Blessed Mother, she was able to get back safely to the hotel. The special light that my 9 year old son and I were able to see in the hotel room in Paris as being the Eucharist, I still experience in San Diego when I am up praying at night. The bright light would pierce through my bathroom window; go on and off every few minutes. I also have seen images of Mary and the Eucharist in my bedroom from the cell phone light emission in the dark at night.

a. Ecstasy Experience:

During the night of Halloween, I went out with my son Kevin for trick or treat. I thought that night should be reserved to honor the saints instead of believing in evil things. As my son walked from door to door, I began my usual praying of the Rosary and Divine Mercy. As I walked a few blocks down the street, I looked up into the sky and saw what I can only describe as a V shape cloud formation. I thought that the Virgin Mary must be coming so I stopped and looked across the street. There appeared to be an image of the Lady of Lourdes that I have a statue of Her on the mantel at home. I was thrilled but nervous. I thought this could not be possible, since I was in San Diego. I called my son to prayer as I did in Medjugorje and Paris because I knew that Blessed Mother has always been pleased with that. I began feeling a bit skeptical because I did not see any reaction on Blessed Mother’s face. I thought I was hallucinating so I asked my son. I could see the joy on his face which told me that it actually was the Blessed Mother. I asked my son to ask Her for direction as to what I should do next. He told me to trust myself in my ability to communicate with Her. My son has been able to hear Her directly on a few other occasions. I thought only saints could have such an encounter and I felt truly blessed and wanted to build a statue or something to remember Her. However, that was in front of someone else’s house. There were a few people passing back and forth so I began walking a bit further down the street pretending nothing had happened.

I was still unsure of what I was to do next so I told my son to go across the street. As we walked back to that house where I thought Mary was, I asked my son to see if he could still see Mary. Once we were able to pinpoint the exact location, my son got really excited and told me that Mary was right in front of my face. He took my hand and guided it to touch Mary. I was not able to see but felt the coolness and chill that I experienced the first night She came into my hotel room in Medjugorje. I was unsure of what to do next that my son told me to keep going because Mary would follow us home. As I walked down the street, my son told me to look at the street light because both he and I have been seeing some street lights as Eucharist’s. I must have stood beneath that light for 5-10 minutes looking straight into it. I again felt the flow of cool air, peace and love that I felt like an out-of-body experience. For the first time, I understood what it means when people say that visionaries go into ecstasy. I also began to understand why three children from Fatima were willing to accept all sufferings and would not miss anything earthly when two of them were told that they would soon be going to heaven.

b. Eucharist:

One day as I was leaving from work, I clearly saw two bright images of the Eucharist in the sky shining directly toward me. I was stunned because the light images were following me toward my car which was parked about 3 blocks away. I had to go across the bridge to get there. I did what I normally had done many times before which was to continue to pray in my heart and thank God for the special gift that I felt could only be reserved for a saint, and not a sinner like myself. I felt sorry for the fact that I could not kneel to pray properly because it was a public parking place.

c. Holy Spirit:

I’d often look up into the sky and see extraordinary pure white trails of smoke that I first saw in Paris. I knew I was seeing something unusual but could not figure out what exactly it was. One day I pointed this sight out to my son who told me that it was a Dove. I know the Holy Spirit whom Jesus had promised to send into the world after His Resurrection. I now pray to the Holy Spirit in addition to the Rosary and Divine Mercy. In addition, I have seen red colors in several unexpected places including the sky. This has strengthened my belief in the Holy Spirit being actively present in this world.

Another day looking up into the sky, I saw the shape of two hearts. I was a bit skeptical at first and said to myself, who would be spending money flying up into the sky to draw the shape of 2 hearts. Then I realized that it had to be the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Next to the 2 hearts was a letter C.

d. Mary’s Perfume:

Since I once saw a beggar who turned out to be a saint or angel at White Cross Mountain (Mt. Krizevac) when our group did the Stations of the Cross, I promised Mary that I would help any homeless whenever I encountered and not miss the opportunity. As I dropped off my car to have it fixed one day, I walked along the street and bumped into a lady in her 50s looking totally disoriented. I asked her what was wrong and she complained how the government had failed her. She was sick and needed food. I assured her that she was going to be okay because I met the Lady of Medjugorje. I promised her that I would do everything I could to help her. After purchasing the food, she wanted me to call 911 for an ambulance due to her diabetic condition. I called for an ambulance but she then changed her mind and wanted to go back to her shelter. I found that she was living out of an abandoned trash bin with a few other homeless folks. It was cold that night so I asked her if she needed anything to keep her warm.

She asked for sleeping bags and blankets along with 2 mattresses for herself and her companion due to their back conditions. I got the sleeping bags and blankets for her and a couple of others that night. They were former Catholics so I gave each of them a Rosary. I told them to pray the Rosary because that saved my life. The next day I went to the store to purchase a couple of mattresses and delivered them. As I walked into my living room that night, the entire house was filled with a special perfume. I asked my wife if she did anything. She told me no and said that she did not smell anything unusual. My son ran out from his bedroom and told me that it was Mary’s perfume.

e. Mary at the Gate of Heaven:

I often look up into the sky because there were times I would see the special cloud formations which looked like images of Jesus and Mary and a Dove. I’d ask my son each time and he confirmed what I saw. There were a few occasions that I saw what looked like Mary leading people to staircases of Heaven. My son said that was correct and I finally understood that Mary has always been at the Gate of Heaven. One time when driving home from school, my son told me that Mary was taking some people out of Purgatory and these people looked like they were truly sorry for their sins. I wanted to confirm that he saw Mary physically so I asked him for a description. He told me that Mary looked just about my size but a bit shorter.

I would normally drop my son off at school and say goodbye to him, then stop by the church to do the Rosary with a prayer group and to attend mass. My son explained to his classmates that he saw Jesus smiling at him from the Cross, the Eucharist and Mary stepping on the serpent while in Medjugorje. Practically none of his classmates believed him. Every night after praying together as family, I would tuck my son into bed. He would tell me to look up or outside the windows to see Mary and Jesus. He sometimes got frustrated with me because I was not excited. I told him that although dad can’t truly see, he believes and we should praise God together each time you see Jesus and Mary.

f. Mary at Mass Service:

Every year, our Vietnamese community would hold a special mass for 117 Vietnamese Martyrs. The local San Diego Diocese Bishop, Robert Brom, presided over that mass. Out of a hundred seventeen saints, I was intrigued of and admired one in particular named Andre Phu Yen, who was just 19 when he got beheaded for spreading the Gospel as a Catechist. Witnesses said that he continued to call out the name of Jesus and Mary as blood was spurting of his throat. I said to myself that he must have had some kind of private revelation to have such a strong faith. I then noticed quite bit of extra supernatural activities around the wall near the altar. I heard from a priest that saints would attend mass like ordinary people. At the end of that mass, my son told me that he saw Mary bringing baby Jesus with Her during that mass. This has further strengthened my faith; that I have known and seen her images at mass.

While in Medjugorje, I was told that She would come at exactly at five forty five each afternoon prior to six o’clock evening mass each day.

g. Extra Tear Drops:

I was elated to hear the news that the world famous International Lady of Fatima had finally arrived in San Diego. I wanted to get a glimpse of Her during the first week of Her arrival. I was yearning to know in more detail about the day she appeared to three children in Fatima. I went back a second time to see Her at another church. As I waited in line, I could see the joy in Her face as many people gathered around Her. When I got directly in front of Her, I touched the piece of cloth that was tied to Her body holding my wife’s hand. It felt like such a reunion when I say her eyes welling with tears. I thanked Her for saving my marriage. I began to get a bit emotional so I quickly got back to my seat. In Her final day in San Diego, I went to say farewell, just like I had in Medjugorje. As people carried Her into the church, I was overwhelmed with sadness and uncontrollable tears. I fought hard to control the tears because the church was packed with people. I did not want to distract others by noticing me. As I tried to close my heart to stop the flow of tears, I touched my eyes and noticed that the tear drops were no longer mine. In Medjugorje, The Blessed Mother had taught me to cry for the first time in my life. Now I occasionally have problems holding back the tears on some public occasions. Could She be telling me what many have said, that tears can be the best medicine?

4. Daily Life Struggle:

I was unable to focus at work and needed to get back to a more of a balanced life. I was searching for a local priest for advice on how to achieve this during my first month back from the pilgrimage. Reverent Jim Poulsen, who has been the pastor at the school parish, knows my wife and my son Kevin. I told him about our special blessings that we received from Medjugorje and asked him for a one on one consultation. Due to his hectic schedule, he did not have time that day but I approached him one day after a mass and asked him whether I had done enough praying. He looked at me with such an inquisitive look that I could tell he was surprised to see me attending mass and our prayer group regularly when I hadn’t before. He said that I needed to model myself after St. Joseph who worked hard as a carpenter. He then said that work is also a form of prayer. I thanked him and walked away. As I walked to my car, I contemplated on the fact that the world has changed so much in contrast to St Joseph’s time where life was simpler. Today there is so much politics in the corporate world and so much competition among people to climb the corporate ladder. I used to thrive in this business world but now struggle to fit in. I reminisced on how simple childhood was and have fond memories of those days.

It was much easier for me to pick up a Bible and read than to do anything else. I prayed to Jesus and Mary to give me the strength to return to a daily routine. It was a struggle, because I had gone from hardly praying to about 3 or 4 hours of praying every day. Had I not been married, I would have sold all my belongings to give to the poor and would have gone into a monastery to live a simple life of missionary and prayer.

We had another priest who would come by the parish to serve mass occasionally. I found out that that he was a retired Navy chaplain where I could tell that he was open and approachable. I asked him one day after mass whether he knew anything about Medjugorje since I found out during the pilgrimage that there have been people including priests being skeptical about what has been happening in Medjugorje for over 26 years. He told me no, but admired the fact that I had spent quite a bit of money getting my family there. I told him that I used to live a life far away from God and but recently I went to Medjugorje and experienced what I could only describe as someone coming home from Iraq. I had been traumatized from that experience. I had been praying at nights and not getting much sleep. I told him that I looked up to St. Padre Pio as a role model for the gift of stigmatization and his continuous prayer at night according to the recent story about his life, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”.

He acknowledged that I did experience some kind of trauma but reminded me that I wasn’t a monk and that had taken the vow of marriage. He advised me to get a good night of rest to be productive the next day. I shared with him about my sinful past and he told me to listen to my wife to get my life back together.

I kept much of the supernatural things that Kevin and I experienced to myself since Kevin is still very immature in his faith. Despite his great gift, he is still like any ordinary 9 year kid who has to be told to pray. He has gotten into more trouble with other kids in school. My wife and I had to meet with his teacher and the principal a couple of times due to his misbehavior around other kids. One day I shared with one lady at his school that my son had received a special message from Medjugorje. I am not sure what that lady asked my son but he came home visibly upset. I had to promise him not so share his stories with others but asked him to keep everything in a journal.

5. A Mother’s Love:

For several months, I found it difficult to go through life as a normal person. I was lucky to have picked up the book at Medjugorje called Marija and The Mother of God where the author, Heather Parsons, described the intimate relationship between the Blessed Mother and one of the visionaries, Marija. What is so special about Medjugorje is that all 6 visionaries are married. I did some investigation myself with the local people while in Medjugorje and discovered that the Blessed Mother would appear in human form and not just like an image high in the sky. One person told me that she would look just like any ordinary local woman breathing like you and me. She would speak the local dialect that no one could tell any difference. That really changed my thinking in that she could not be close to people.

One person also told me that She has been concerned more with the Sacrament of Marriage since there has been a significant problem of broken families throughout the world. I now have learned that the Blessed Mother is a real mother to the entire human race to including Christians, and non Christians, and all peoples. She is really close to each of us and will fight to save us as She did about 2,000 years ago at the Wedding of Cana. It is difficult to comprehend Her love because it is infinite, pure and unconditional. She’d cry like a real mother would when there is a lost soul. This would include someone on the way to an execution chamber like Sadam Hussein. Blessed Mother desires to have “no soul left behind” even when we as human beings have long given up hope on someone. I understand now why Saint Padre Pio would pray so much in order to ask for God’s Infinite Mercy to release all souls from Purgatory.

6. Why Does Hell Exist?:

Because of God’s infinite love and mercy, I would question myself before on why there is such a place called hell. Should everyone be saved because of God’s infinite love for mankind? His love has been described to be as vast as an ocean without a boundary. I have always understood that it was because of God’s justice that people would go to hell but now I have much deeper understanding from listening to a CD from Reverent Tuoc Nguyen, my Cursillo Spiritual Leader. Unlike hate which is done with coercion, love is something that gives a person freedom to choose. Someone might want to hand a person a gift; but if that person refuses, it is returned to the owner. There is an old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make that horse drink. I believe that God’s infinite love and mercy is like a vast ocean but a person has to open himself to tap into it. Otherwise, he’ll die of thirst standing right next to that large body of water. Blessed Mother said that the people going to hell are those who no longer have anything to do with God. They already live that life while still on earth.

I recently listened to a CD from Reverent Hoa Trinh who was very articulate in explaining hell using both Scripture Readings and private revelation for in depth analysis. One thing he said I remember well is that many people have misconception about Satan. People often think that Satan is an ugly, scary looking thing. On the contrary, it can be the most attractive person on earth with stunning beauty as such of former Princess Dianna. Not only that Satan can be the most attractive person but it can be the most loving person. He further indicated that there are three types of sins that people commit and end up in hell if not able to repent prior to death. They have to do with hatred, worshiping false gods including money, and adultery. After listening to that CD, I realized that I must have had one foot in hell without knowing it for many years. The Blessed Mother had to pull me out of darkness to light. That explained why I was so trembled when She came into my room in Medjugorje.

7. True Body and Blood of Christ:

As a kid growing up in Vietnam, I learned not to question authority. I was taught that during mass when priests do the consecration, the bread and wine would automatically turn into the Body and Blood of Christ. It was a mystery not to be fully understood. Since I was going to mass only through the motions for many years, I was receiving communion without thinking much about it.

Today I have been receiving communion with much reverence and preparation beforehand. I would make it a priority each day to receive the communion because I truly believe that Jesus would give everyone graces when we properly receive Him. If people understand the importance of receiving communion and the graces that Jesus provides, I think the church would be packed with people like in Medjugorje. Because faith is a grace, it can be difficult for people to accept.

Last year, I helped out with the group of kids who were about to receive their First Communion. Unlike my time, these kids questioned right away whether what we were doing during mass would be considered cannibalism since we were drinking and eating the Blood and Body of Christ. One Catechist explained to these kids drawing an analogy of his boat experience as a person escaping from Vietnam. He said that his boat was stranded in the ocean for many days with little food or water. There were many families onboard with small children. There was one mother in particular with an infant in her hand. She would not let go of that infant despite the fact that she knew that she was going to die of starvation and thirst. The baby continued to suck on her breasts for milk even after she had passed away. As a result of her sacrifice, the infant survived the journey but the mother did not. Jesus’ love is like that mother and that is why it is not considered cannibalism when we receive communion. I was moved by that explanation because even during Jesus’ time, several of his disciples left Him because they could not understand.

8. Clear Conscience:

I recently went to a friend’s Confirmation. During a homily, the bishop asked whether anyone knows why we are here on earth. That really struck a chord with me after reading the book called Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The bishop said that was to know, love and serve God. During the actual blessing where he put a sign of the cross on each person’s forehead saying, “Be sealed by the Holy Spirit”, there were tears streaming down my face. It was a flashback memory from the time I had my own Confirmation. Why did I go so far astray for so long and had not heard the Holy Spirit that has always been present in me to provide me with a clear conscience?

I believe that on the Final Judgment Day every thought and deed will be fully exposed. The Bible tells us that God knows everything and that He is keeping a record of our lives. On that Judgment Day, we will be required to give an account of what He has recorded (Romans 14:11-12). I know that God gave me a second chance to change that record. I truly believe that by the grace of a loving, heavenly Father, I have received forgiveness when I truly repented. The blood of Christ has covered all my sins so that my sinful past has been erased from the record.

I used to be very afraid of death because of the doubt in eternal life or where I would end up. Today I am confident and look forward to that day when I can truly experience the awesome Love of God and Mary. I often look up into the sky to see the beautiful sun with warm rays and spectrum of colors knowing God’s presence. I pray and remind my son each morning as I drive him to school to remember God’s most important commandment which is to love Him with all our mind, heart and strength and to love others, including those we might not like.

9. Love Your Enemies:

I did not understand before why Jesus said that we must love our enemies, but now I understand its significance. I’d do the humility prayer each night to be able to transform myself to comprehend that love. Our marriage was on the rocks with huge irreconcilable differences but now they subside because of our true love and open communication with one another.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray 24 hours a day. I believe this was the best tool He provided against Satan. According to St. Peter, Satan, the enemy of our soul, is described as a roaring lion that will devour us if we do not resist him steadfastly in the faith (1 Peter 5:8, 9). I try to pray continuously throughout the day to receive God’s graces to fight off all temptations. It is a pre-emptive strike against any negative thoughts, hatred or lust toward someone.

I also have to learn to interact with people that have problems communicating without using foul language because Jesus befriended with sinners. It is not easy because when people say bad words, they can trigger negative thoughts or images in my mind. The only thing I know to do to get rid of those is to do my favorite prayer of Divine Mercy:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

I also believe not to waste my suffering as pointed out during the talk from the visitation of International Lady of Fatima where the spokesperson said that the Blessed Mother predicted exactly what happed many years later with the collapse of the Soviet Union. War is a punishment for our sins and WWII might have been avoided had we done sufficient prayers and sacrifices throughout the world. I now know to turn to Jesus when there is suffering because there is no suffering that Jesus does not understand. God is pleased when we learn to accept all trials and tribulations and reward us with inner peace.

10. Message of Hope:

I now look at the sky each day with awe and wonder. I have much better understanding on why Jesus said that we have to be like a child to enter the Kingdom of God. In my office, there is a frame with a picture of Jesus that says, “Jesus I trust in you”. There are two other famous quotes. One says that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1. The other quote says, “There are 2 ways to live your life- One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” by Albert Einstein.

I am delighted to know this second quote came from the world renounced scientist. I am still amazed to this day why I am able to see the sun as a beautiful Eucharist along with the 2 images where I thought was never possible. As I get up each day, I look at the radiant sunlight through my bedroom window and feel God’s love for mankind. I’d kneel down to thank Him for another day knowing that I am here on this temporary planet called earth. I consider each breath of air a miracle.

I read all Mary’s messages whenever they first come out each month because I truly believe that each message is a source of nourishment for my soul. It would sustain and endure the changes in my life. I have to remind myself from time to time that it is a permanent change that needs to happen for me to have final salvation. She provided the exact formula for my deep conversion. I believe in the power of prayer, fasting and complete surrender to Christ because He is the true hope for mankind in today’s complex society. The Holy Father recently brought that message of hope with him when he visited America.

Message from the Blessed Mother, at Medjugorje, May 25, 2008

Dear children! In this time of grace, when God has permitted me to be with you, little children, I call you anew to conversion. Work on the salvation of the world in a special way while I am with you. God is merciful and gives special graces, therefore, seek them through prayer. I am with you and do not leave you alone. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Cường Lê


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Mục Lục Những Bài Viết Về Đức Mẹ Maria Tại Medjugorje, Từ Bài 1 Đến Bài 121. (8/5/2008) -- Từ 15/4/1999 lần truy cập -- Kim Hà [Valid RSS]
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