Monday, July 03, 2006

July 2006

Dear Friends,

Welcome to July and our third e-letter to the Lilies of Saint Maria. This is Bernadette talking. It’s my turn to write the e-letter. :) Been quite busy, so I did not actually write up the A Few Thoughts section in the e-letter. But I’m sure you’ll like what I have for you – good for mind and soul.

To explain what this is about: Each month or as often as we can, we will post a free e-letter on our website, Lilies of Saint Maria, for all our visitors to read. Both Rebekah and I will take turns writing the e-letter. We will try to include some inspiring words, any news from here or afar, magazine sneak peeks or updates, prayer requests, and/or anything else that we think would spark your interest. To make this letter more convenient to read, it will not only be available to those visiting our site, we will also send it to you via email after you sign up for it HERE.

Our audience is, of course, directed toward Catholic girls and teens, but hey, we invite everyone to share in this endeavor.

Just a Few Thoughts . . .

Some sweet Sisters of the Carmelite monastery in Ada, MI sent me a booklet with some writings of Saint Therese’s sister, Pauline. What a soul she is! I read it through and chose some of my favorite pieces just for you. You could try using them for meditations, too – that would be great!

Jesus wishes us always to rejoice, and to love with a supernatural love everything that He sends us, everything He permits, all the sacrifices He asks of us.

In your heart abandon yourself to God and go courageously through the trials He sends in order “to see how far our trust will go.”

If you can bless Him in the night of exile, praise Him for all He does or permits, without trying to understand His mysterious ways, you will bless Him all the more when He rends the veil.

We must do everything gladly, even what pleases us the least and which could last all our lives. We must constantly accept the Will of God and never question it.

If we want to benefit from Jesus’ kindness, we must say ‘yes’ to all the means He uses. . . His ways are hidden from us but everything reveals His goodness.

There is grace hidden in everything God permits. Always seek Jesus in everything.

How good God is to give us occasions of practicing meekness, humility and patience. It is another proof that everything should serve to detach us from the earth, that the only way we can be happy waiting for heaven is in practicing charity. It suffices for everything.

Let us try to sweeten the bitterness we know is in the ‘chalice’ of our Sisters, drinking theirs as well as our own if we can, and as our beloved little saint (Therese) said, “without letting it be noticed.”

Do not make the fact that some of our Sisters have nothing about them that reminds us of Jesus a pretext for imperfections in our sisterly charity. What does a little piece of bread on the altar have in common with a God?

We must not run away from the opportunities of little daily martyrdom which present themselves. We run away when we do not do all that God asks of us, when we resist His grace and inspirations, and when we close our eyes as not to see the light which clearly reveals some sacrifices to be made, some duty to perform. Take the sword bravely, give yourselves neither rest nor truce in the battles of life. This is how we shall obtain true peace, and how our secret martyrdom will become glorious.

You will become more pleasing to Jesus each day by seeing Him in all things and always making His Will your own . . . Do the will of others; that will be doing the Will of God.

Only confidence can give us peace. Only blind confidence in God can give us the strength to accept everything and even be happy in our acceptance.

We must trust God always, and the less we understand His Will, the greater the love and confidence with which we should embrace it. Otherwise, where would be the merit of faith?I can do nothing, but Jesus can do everything – that is the basis of my trust.

We must courageously plunge into the blessed of truth and sincere humility . . . It is the humble soul who does real good. Unknown to itself, it repairs the greatest of evils, pride, and holds up the world with its weakness. It delights the Spirit of the Lord Who fills it unresisted. He carries out within it His miracles of salvation for souls and finds in it a second heaven.

If we beg the grace to be profoundly humble – and we shall obtain as mush as we desire, - then everything in our souls will become pleasing to the Lord.

Jesus is not asking us to succeed in the work of perfecting ourselves in any startling fashion. He watches our efforts with delight when they are inspired by love. Sometimes our failures, accepted with humility, even attract His tender compassion and touch Him more than our victories.

We must always be ready to admit our failures, not afraid to have them known or corrected, and not finding excuses for them. We must look ourselves straight in the face, longing ceaselessly for the fire of love which will consume our faults. Then they will be transformed into flowers of humility and we shall not have to pay for them after death. On the contrary they will have earned us treasures for eternity.

It is true, as the Imitation says, that “the moment one seeks self, at that moment, one ceases to love.” But it is also true that the moment you humble yourself you begin to love again, or rather continue to love. Love cannot be interrupted by involuntary faults; we shall bewail these until we die.

To be corrected is one of the great graces of religious life, and you should not think that, on the contrary, it is a grace to be left alone and never humiliated. You should go away happy afterwards; the worst thing you can do is sulk. You must be content. Have nothing weighing on your heart and always be gay and happy. What do you expect? We will be imperfect until we die, but we must not grieve over it; that will not prevent us from going straight to the Heart of God. What He asks of us is humility of heart. If we have that we can still be very imperfect and God will smile on us all the same – I am quite sure of it.

ur exile cannot be exempt from suffering; we must carry our cross each day, but since the cross has borne Jesus, it has lost all its harshness. We can say now with the holy Cure of Ars: “The thorns give forth balm and the Cross breathes sweetness.”

Both tribulations and the ephemeral glory of this world come to an end, they disappear with the speed of lightening; but a holy life has no evening – the night of death introduces it into eternal day.

If God tries us and if we submit with all our hearts to His Will, however crucifying it may be, He will not be able to continue, and without waiting for heaven, He will be with us in a marvelous way.

Our goal is not suffering, our goal is Heaven, for ourselves and many other souls; first a Heaven of peace here below and afterwards a heaven of glory. We must not complain of the length of our sufferings, for after all they are only a road leading to a life of eternal blessedness in which the other will seem no more than a flash of lightning.

Let us be saints, it is not so difficult; love finds nothing hard.

A few sunbeams and many clouds – that is life. But when the sun is Jesus, a single ray of light is enough to make one accept and even forget the clouds.

Help Us Spread the Word . . .

Sponsoring our Magazine

  1. Do you know of any generous Catholic people (or are you one?) who would be willing and able to become Sponsors for our apostolate? This means those people who have the time and means to promote St. Maria's Messenger.

  2. Can you be able to reach a large audience of Catholic girls and/or families?

  3. Can you be able to tell them about St. Maria's Messenger in its true form – honestly and with sincerity? (No car-salesman pitches.)

  4. Can you tell girls through ads, website(s), flyers, etc.?

  5. Are you able to do all this with the little we have to offer in return? (Prayers and an ad for your company/work on our website and in our magazine.) Note: We cannot supply sponsors with the money, supplies, and equipment needed to spread the word unless otherwise noted after contacting us.

We greatly look forward to your help in this matter. Please pray about this, do not just brush it aside as another one of "those." Thank you!

Post Flyers:

Post flyers about our magazine in your Parish Church or wherever possible (permission needed first, of course). Just click HERE and up will pop a page you can print off and then distribute. Using colored paper (or ink) will help the flyer stand out better.


Write reviews or press releases about us for your local newspapers and periodicals.


Post on Internet groups and boards about us. Add our website to the link page of other websites. The address is: www.saintmariasmessenger.com

Please Keep In Your Prayers . . .
  1. Jacob: He is 16 years old and his heart is in critical condition.

  2. Wright Family: A Catholic family of 11, three of whom were in a horrible car crash. One died and the rest are in serious condition.

  3. Hanson Family: They are a new Catholic family singing group and would appreciate your prayers.

  4. Leo: Health is declining.

  5. Virginia: Passed away last year.

  6. Sally: Who passed away last week.

  7. Al: Who passed away last February.

  8. Stephanie's aunt: For her health.

  9. Carole: Health and well-being.

  10. Christopher: For his vocation and ministry

  11. Mrs. Egleston: For her health

  12. Anne: For her vocation and new job

If you have any prayer requests please let us know so we can add them to our prayer list!

Saint Maria's Messenger Sneak Peeks or Updates . . .

Hope this won’t spoil the surprise, but our sister Catherine (the website programmer) is updating our site to make it more easy and efficient for our visitors. Remember to check it out in a week or so.

We hope to interview many people/groups for the upcoming issues of Saint Maria’s Messenger. Famous people and not so famous. Young and old. Man or woman. Who would you want to read about in the magazine? Please let us know. saintmariasmessenger@yahoo.com

To remind you from our previous e-letter: We have issue themes all set up for our Volume Five that will be coming out this November. What are issue themes? For each issue and every issue of St. Maria's Messenger we try to stay within one subject or topic. In the past we have done magazines devoted to angels, family, St. Maria Goretti, miracles, and so on.

Now, since we have our themes for next season nailed down, we are looking for the content to fill it. We are hoping some of you may help us by bringing one of the following ideas for articles into reality.

  1. Discovering the Soul of America. The past, present, and future of a state. What churches, shrines, festivals, history, landmarks, sights, recipes, events, charities, would you want to show or talk about that are located in your home state? Try to stir in a Catholic view point as many times as you can.

  2. The Strength of the Soul. What virtuous fruits are obtained through sports and recreational fun? Show how sports can be very beneficial to the soul as well as the body. Quote from the saints and popes, maybe use fictional or non-fictional stories to demonstrate the necessity of recreational fun. Perhaps bring to light a Catholic woman athlete or a girl who is a sport fan.

  3. Catholic 101. This article will list many things every Catholic girl should know. Give the statistics of how religious education has dropped over the last few decades, how important it is to learn your Faith, give a quiz listing the most necessary Q and A's , (Baltimore Catechism), give a few tips on how to defend your faith, and list good Catholic websites so our readers can learn more about their Catholic Faith.

  4. Fictional Fun. Do you have an idea for a story that will fit our magazine's standards? Well, sit back, relax, and just have fun with it! We are looking for any sort of story around 1500 words long and that would be intriguing to our readers.

  5. Rosary Know-how. The rosary is a powerful tool against the devil and is often neglected and forgotten by many Catholics today. Bring to light this wonderful gift from God, tell stories of how this prayer has changed hearts, quote from the saints, give it's origin and history, list the indulgences attached, give tips on how to remain in meditation while praying, and give meditations on each mystery of the rosary.

  6. Catholic Authors. Give brief biographies on Catholic authors through the centuries. Possibly some or all of the following: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Augustine, St. Gertrude, St. Thomas Aquinas, Ann Ball, Mary Fayban Windeatt, C. S. Lewis, J. R. Tolkien, G. K. Chesterton, Michael Brown, St. Therese of Lisieux, or St. Alphonsus Liguori.

  7. Bookworm Food content. We have to admit it, we are both true bookworms and a lot of our readers are no different. Yet, we are always short on time when it comes to reviewing books. That is why we are always in need of reviews on books that are safe and interesting to our readers. Please try to keep in mind our age range: 10-teen.

  8. Mary, our Mediatrix. Dig deeper into Marian apparitions and find the revelations, hope, facts, history, and lives of the visionaries. Please only write about apparitions that have been approved by the Catholic Church.

SMM Catholic Reporter (home, national, or world news). . .

Home News

Please check out www.magiclandfarms.com to find out what we have been up to at our farm. My Papa regularly updates the website, especially the Magicland Farm News section. Also, my website about gourd art (one of my hobbies) is up and running. Please take a look at it: Bernadette’s Gourd Creations


General: That all those who are in prison, and especially young people, may receive the necessary support from society to help them rediscover a sense to their own existence.

Missionary: That in the mission territories, different ethnic and religious groups may live in peace and together build a society inspired by hu­man and spiritual values

Here are some news articles you might be interested in:

and . . .

From UK Telegraph (a London newspaper)

Silence modern music in church, says Pope

By Malcolm Moore in Rome

(Filed: 27/06/2006)

The Pope has demanded an end to electric guitars and modern music in
church and a return to traditional choirs.

The Catholic Church has been experimenting with new ways of holding Mass

to try to attract more people. The recital of Mass set to guitars has
grown in popularity in Italy; in Spain it has been set to flamenco music;
and in the United States the Electric Prunes produced a "psychedelic"
album called Mass in F Minor.

However, the use of guitars and tambourines has irritated the Pope, who loves classical music. "It is possible to modernise holy music," the Pope said, at a concert conducted by Domenico Bartolucci the director of music at the Sistine Chapel. "But it should not happen outside the traditional path of Gregorian chants or sacred polyphonic choral music."

His comments prompted the newspaper La Stampa to compare him with Pope
Pius X, who denounced faddish classical and baroque compositions and
reinstated Gregorian chants in 1903.

The Pope's supporters argue that the music played during Mass is a vital part of the communion between worshippers and God, and that medieval church music, with the liturgy, creates the correct ambience for perceiving God's mystery.

Cardinal Ersilio Tonini, the Archbishop of Ravenna, said:"Mass is the
presence of Christ and the music adds so much more when the harmony allows
the mind to transcend the concrete to the divine."

But Cardinal Carlo Furno, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, said it was "better to have guitars on the altar and rock and roll Masses than empty churches". The use of modern music was a "sign of the vitality of the faith".

The argument is part of a wider debate about the Latin Mass, restricted in
the Vatican II reforms of the 1960s because it was seen to be putting
worshippers off going to Church.

The Pope believes that if Latin Masses are reintroduced, more Catholics
will learn the words to the Gregorian chants that he advocates.

Catholics can get indulgence for praying for families in early July

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To encourage Catholics to attend the Fifth World
Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain, and to recite prayers with their
families, Pope Benedict XVI is offering a special spiritual gift, the
Vatican said.

"The gift of a plenary indulgence" will be given to those who
participate in the July 1-9 meeting in Spain or who gather their own
families together in early July to pray for families, the Vatican
announced June 27.

An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment deserved for sins.
In order to receive the indulgence, Catholics must attend the meeting in
Spain, go to confession, receive the Eucharist and offer prayers for the
intentions of the pope.

If they cannot go to Spain, the decree said, "they will obtain the same
plenary indulgence under the same conditions," but rather than going to
the meeting they are to "recite as a family the Our Father, the creed
and other devoted prayers" asking God to strengthen their families.
Both those in Spain and those remaining at home are to promise to dedicate themselves generously to conforming their families ... to the holy rule of the Gospel, said the decree, which was signed by U.S. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court responsible for regulations governing indulgences

Special Events coming up:

Sisters of Life Fall Come and See

November 16-19, 2006

Villa Maria Guadalupe Retreat House

Stamford, CT

Call Sr. Mary Gabriel, S.V. at 718.863.2264 for more information

Vocational Retreat sponsored by the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary

August 1-3, 2006

International Schoenstatt Center, Waukesha, Wisconsin

Contact them at: 262.542.4384 or vocation@schsrsmary.org

Ask about a Consecrated Life Retreat at the Passionist Nuns Monastery

Whitesville, KY

July 21-23, 2006

Prior to registering for this retreat please e-mail or call and ask to speak with Sister John Mary. The quicker you contact them the easier you make their job!
Space is limited ... Registration Deadline: July 14th, 2006 ... Registration Fee $10


(270) 233-4571

Passionist Nuns

8564 Crisp Road

Whitesville, KY 42378


Soaring for Wisdom

Join the Brothers and Sisters of Saint John (www.stjean.com)

Princeville, IL

July 8-16

Contact Angela Grunkmeyer



Also, check out the religious life link below to find out where and when other vocational retreats are held.

A Few Extras . . .

Discerning your vocation or know someone who is?

Check out these informative websites:

Have a Very Blessed Month of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus!

In the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Bernadette and Rebekah Fox


Saint Maria's Messenger

A Catholic Magazine for Girls

5426 S. Gordon Ave.

Newaygo, MI 49337