LEAVES Website for the July-August 2018 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

      On Mar. 19, 2018, Pope Francis released his Apostolic Exhortation on the call to holiness in today’s world entitled, “Rejoice and Be Glad” (Mt 5:12). He begins his teaching noting that “Rejoice and Be Glad” is what “Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake. The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence.” 

      There are many who encourage us to seek holiness. They may be “our mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones.” Everyone can say: “Surrounded, led and guided by the friends of God… I do not have to carry alone what, in truth, I could never carry alone. All the saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me.”
According to the Holy Father, holiness is evident in “those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbors, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence.”
We are all called to holiness; however, there are many paths upon which one can travel towards this goal. It is not necessary to be a member of the clergy or a religious order, although living out that commitment with joy is very honorable. Pope Francis asks: “Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.”

       The Holy Father offers examples of holiness: “a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbor and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: ‘No, I will not speak badly of anyone.’ This is a step forward in holiness. Later, at home, one of her children wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams, and even though she is tired, she sits down and listens with patience and love. That is another sacrifice that brings holiness. Later she experiences some anxiety, but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary, she takes her rosary and prays with faith. Yet another path of holiness. Later still, she goes out onto the street, encounters a poor person and stops to say a kind word to him.” It is through these small steps that we advance to holiness.

       A constant in our lives should be asking the Holy Spirit to guide us to do whatever the Lord wishes us to do in order that we become a reflection of Jesus in the world. Of course, if our actions are the result of “anxiety, pride or the need to impress others,” this does not lead us forward on the path to holiness. Every moment of our lives ought to be “an expressing of self-sacrificing love in the Lord’s eyes.” We must strive for holiness in “our solitude and our service, our personal life and our evangelizing efforts.”

       The Pope warns us of the dangers of selfishness and consumerism. He notes: “We will find it hard to feel and show any real concern for those in need, unless we are able to cultivate a certain simplicity of life, resisting the feverish demands of a consumer society, which leave us impoverished and unsatisfied, anxious to have it all now. Similarly, when we allow ourselves to be caught up in superficial information, instant communication and virtual reality, we can waste precious time and become indifferent to the suffering flesh of our brothers and sisters.”
Look to the Beatitudes for guidance in our daily lives (Mt 5:3-11). As the Holy Father reminds us: “The word ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’ thus becomes a synonym for ‘holy.’ It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness.”

       The Holy Father highlighted five significant expressions of love for God and neighbor. They include:
Perseverance, Patience and Meekness
Joy and a Sense of Humor
Boldness and Passion
Being In Community
Constant Prayer

       Discernment is important in determining whether something comes from the Holy Spirit or from the devil. Pope Francis says, “If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely we will grow in this spiritual endowment.”

       Let us look to our dear Blessed Mother for loving direction. As the Holy Father advises, “Mary is the saint among the saints, blessed above all others. She teaches us the way of holiness and she walks ever at our side. She does not let us remain fallen and at times she takes us into her arms without judging us. Our conversation with her consoles, frees and sanctifies us. Mary our Mother does not need a flood of words. She does not need us to tell her what is happening in our lives. All we need do is whisper, time and time again: ‘Hail Mary’….”

       Finally, Pope Francis enjoins: “Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for God’s greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort. In this way, we will share a happiness that the world will not be able to take from us.” Let us all strive for holiness every day. May God grant you abundant blessings always - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

The Power of the
Rosary Novena

I want people to know how powerful the 54-Day Rosary Novena is: a daily Rosary - prayed 27 days in petition and 27 days in thanksgiving.

I had a problem which could not be solved, so I started the Rosary Novena. It was answered. My niece, with whom I have had very little contact, sent me a beautiful rosary pouch with the Blessed Mother’s picture on it.

My niece had no idea that I was praying the novena. The rosary came to me on the last day of my novena. If anyone wants a favor, I recommend that they pray the 54-Day Rosary Novena. Thank you, Blessed Mother - C.P.

Triplets Born Fine

In 2000 I was thrilled to learn that my sister was pregnant with triplets. She had many complications in the first few months, though, and we didn’t know until the 17th week if she was still carrying three babies. The doctor had said previously that he only heard two heartbeats and my sister couldn’t really feel one of them moving too much.

I began a daily novena to St. Therese for the health of my sister and the babies. The very next day I received a beautiful email poem, called “The Rose,” from someone I had never heard from before or after!

Another concern came up a few months later, but I was relaxed after seeing a girl in a rose sweatshirt. In early May of 2001 the babies were born at 4 ˝ pounds each!

My nephew became seriously ill that summer, and it was through the prayers of many and a relic of St. Therese that his tests came back fine. It will be some time before he is given a clean bill of health, but St. Therese has always been there for us before and I am sure she will continue to be - Name Withheld.

Lost Blessed Palm Located

I have to tell you what happened to me. My daughter was driving my pick-up truck. I was beside her with my granddaughter in my lap with the window open. My granddaughter grabbed my blessed palm and the wind sucked it out the window. I looked at my daughter to stop, but she said, “That’s lost forever.”

We continued home, and then my granddaughter’s hat was sucked out the window. My daughter told me to go on a four-wheeler to pick up the hat. I did so and then proceeded to look for my blessed palm. I asked St. Anthony to please help me locate these things.

I drove up and down the road and, when I got home, my husband called and said he needed a lift to get home. I got in my pick-up truck feeling sad, so I said to St. Anthony, “Please help me find my blessed palm. If you find it for me, I will let everyone know that it was ‘you’ that found it for me.”

So I got in my truck, drove slowly, my eyes scanning the road. Lo and behold, there it was, the blessed palm, next to the road on the grass. I went to pick it up.

In giving thanks to St. Anthony, I am sharing my story. Also my donation is in thanksgiving for favors received. I’m praying for all readers and for Mariannhill for all you do for everyone else - P.K.

Excerpted from Blessed Engelmar Testimonies:

A Life of
Blessed Engelmar

There is now available a booklet of the life of Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig, C.M.M. You may receive a free copy of it by sending a stamped (postage for one ounce), self-addressed envelope to us at: LEAVES, P.O. Box 87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.

I am writing to say that I have been blessed with my prayers to Bl. Engelmar. I have prayed for improvement of my eyes, mind, ears, legs and knees. I feel my prayers have been answered. I am doing so much better. Thanks be to God! - Sharon LaH.

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My granddaughter is expecting a child but is having problems with asthma and is on Prednisone. I ask prayers from Jesus that He will control her asthma and help her carry her infant to term. I pray a lot to Fr. Engelmar. His story is so intriguing. Please accept my donation and thanks ever so much for prayers - Mrs. R.C. Gray.

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I have been praying the novena in honor of Bl. Engelmar Unzeitig for many years, and every time I get an answer to my prayers, I say, “I’m going to write and tell them how I get answers to my prayers.” So now I am doing just that.

Over the years I have always prayed to him. My husband was in ICU a couple years ago and Bl. Engelmar pulled him through. Recently I prayed for my grandson to get an internship during his last year of college and that was granted.

I just sent an extra novena booklet to my brother-in-law whose wife is suffering from ovarian cancer. Perhaps Bl. Engelmar will indeed grant a miracle and cure her of this terrible illness. If not, we will accept the outcome. Many thanks to Bl. Engelmar Unzeitig - Mrs. Raymond S.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 109 years ago its monks became the Congregation of Missionaries of Mariannhill. He was not only a great missionary, but also a holy man. The cause for his beatification has begun. We have available a novena in his honor and will send you a free copy of it when you send a stamped (postage for one ounce), self-addressed envelope to us at: LEAVES, P.O. Box 87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.

(August 15)

A holy day of obligation commemorating God taking Mary into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life. This truth was proclaimed a dogma by Pope Pius XII on Nov. 1, 1950.

O Jesus, you paid our debts by your death.
O dear Mother, you gave Him to us so we could be saved.
God did not choose great people for His messengers and His channels of love.
Only the humble can see clearly,
And only they say we are nothing and God is everything.
How blessed you are, dear Jesus, and how loving is your Mother.
Please help us and bless us.

The world proclaims the gospel of money;
Jesus proclaims the gospel of love.
Help us, Mother, to love your Son more
and follow His holy Gospel. Amen.

What’s Right?
By Margaret Peterson

Heaven isn’t an automatic.
Rather it’s a reward
For those who tried to do their best
To serve their dearest Lord.

Call those trials a chance to grow,
Disappointments too.
Mountains aren’t climbed by wishing, for
Heaven takes effort too.

By Sharon Obuchowski

What I find in prayer is hope,
What I lose in prayer is me.

What I find in prayer is love,
What I lose in prayer is darkness.

What I find in prayer I learn anew,
What I lose in prayer is my stupidity.

And then ... WOW!