LEAVES Website for July-August 2022 Issue
Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:
Summer is an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities. Even a busy schedule may still allow for a sack lunch on a park bench or picnic table. For those who work inside, just a short walk around a parking lot during break time can be invigorating.
If summer heat makes being outside uncomfortable, have your morning cup of coffee on the back porch, or even just near a sunny window. Greet the sunrise as its rays first reach over the horizon. Put on a raincoat and boots for a walk in a gentle rain.
As you enjoy some warmth and sunshine, look around you. Debris can accumulate quickly and we all can chip in to dispose of it. We must not take our beautiful earth for granted. Rather, it is incumbent upon all of us that we cherish it and care for it.
It is up to all of us to practice good housekeeping in our earthly home. The pride we have in having a neat and clean house should be extended to our neighborhoods and beyond. We would not dream of throwing garbage on our living room floor, so we should not throw empty bottles or cups anywhere but in a trash or recycling can.
Recycling is an important component of caring for the environment. Landfills are overflowing due to a careless use of disposable items. As a result of pollution, there are places where the water is not fit to drink and bottled water is a necessity. However, many of us can, and should, use reusable cups for water and other beverages. Using regular plates and silverware are better options than using disposables.
Planting landscape using native plants can help control our use of water, fertilizers and insecticides. Native flowers, shrubs and trees are better adapted to where we are located and do not require as much extra assistance, all the while providing the beauty we desire. Planting a little garden, or even just a tomato plant in a pot on the balcony, can provide delicious fresh food and even ease the grocery budget a little.
There are many groups that are dedicated to the protection of the environment. For those who are able, there are many ways to support them. Do some investigating to be sure that any group you consider supporting uses its resources properly.
As our LEAVES family is well aware, one of the most powerful means of support is prayer. Let us pray with Pope Francis:
Loving God, Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained. Open our minds and touch our hearts, so that we can be part of Creation, your gift… Enable us to succeed in listening and responding to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs of a more fraternal and sustainable world. We pray through Christ our Lord, under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians. Amen (Regina Caeli, May 2020).
Enjoy the seashore, rivers, mountains and lakes this summer. Pray a rosary on your hike through the forest. Meditate on a verse of Scripture while you listen to the waves breaking upon the beach. Stargaze on a warm night while acknowledging the infinite goodness of the Lord. Have a blessed summer!
May God grant you abundant blessings always – Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.
Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:
Prayers Answered Quickly
This is a long overdue thank you to our Lord, our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph for prayers answered over many years.
Whenever my parents, brothers and sisters wanted to sell a home or buy one, I prayed to these heavenly helpers for a successful sale and or purchase, even if it was for land on which to build. Sometimes the housing markets were really not all that great for either sale or purchase, as I am sure was the case with many others.
My prayers to Jesus, Mary and Joseph were always answered in a fairly quick manner. Due to my finances (wages, etc.), I could never dream of owning a home of my own and I have always rented. Still, I always have been thankful that my prayers for the members of my family in this regard have been answered by our Lord, our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph.
I ask for prayers of conversion for my brothers and sisters and their families. All members of my family were baptized into the Church, but in many different ways, they have drifted away in both understanding and practice.
I ask for the help and prayers of the LEAVES family, in conjunction with the help of St. Anthony of Padua, finder of lost things. I feel he can help lost souls, as well. My grateful thanksgiving to Our Lord in His Divine Mercy and His Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph and St. Faustina, Apostle of Divine Mercy – Edward S.
A Miracle by St. Therese
The telephone rang at 5:15 a.m. on the bleak November morning almost 11 years ago. My brother called and it was bad news: my mother had died of a massive heart attack on the bathroom floor!
There is a photo of St. Therese on our bedroom wall. I told St. Therese that she lost her mother when very young and that she had to give me strength now to get through this. I asked her to give me a sign that she was with me, that my mother was at peace and that I know that I was not going to crack up. We woke up our three teenaged children and my husband drove three blocks to my mother’s home. My brother was devastated and we had to work together fast.
Before we walked into my mother’s home, my daughter picked up from the ground a beautiful American beauty rose. The petals were fresh and still had some dew drops on them. The rose looked like it was just about to open. The fragrance was powerful and delicate at the same time. My daughter told me, “Mom, you know where this came from.”
I held the rose as I saw my mother on the bedroom carpet with a pillow underneath her head. My brother had moved her from the bathroom. We called a friend, a Jesuit priest, and we all felt calm under these circumstances.
My daughter bought me an engraved glass box and throughout my mother’s wake and funeral, the rose rested in it. I had absolutely no doubt where that rose came from and from whom it came. It stayed fresh and without fading or discoloration for an entire week.
To this day, I have the rose still in its glass case, positioned under the childhood photo of St. Therese, my dearest, beloved friend, namesake, protector and guide. When I was baptized, the middle name given to me was Therese.
Yes, St. Therese was with me, she still is. And I am grateful to her for this and for so much more – Name Withheld.
My Mother and the
Divine Mercy Story
I was introduced to the beautiful LEAVES magazine in 1958 by my dear mother Mary Elizabeth. I want to share my Divine Mercy story. Although this happened in 1998, I feel that it is really important in this day and time when our country is experiencing a pandemic and St. Faustina’s story on the Divine Mercy and its power is needed most urgently.
My dear mother introduced me to the Divine Mercy back in 1997. She kept an 8 x 10 picture of the Divine Mercy in her home. My mother was a strong believer in novenas and prayer, especially after the death of my dear father John in 1984.
I was very close to my mother and she moved next door to me after the death of my father so I could look out after her. She was full of wisdom and seemed to predict the outcome of many things before they happened. I knew I would have a tremendously hard time when our Lord would call her home, so I prayed the Divine Mercy for strength especially when her 90th birthday neared.
About a year before her death, I was always awakened at the 3:00 a.m. hour at night to say the Divine Mercy. This seemed to happen each night. One day I happened to be working in the yard close to a wooden fence at the garage entrance and noticed a figure on the wooden fence. I looked again and to me it resembled the Jesus of the Divine Mercy. I was stunned, but I kept this to myself.
A few days later a friend was visiting and I pointed to this image on my fence and she said, “Oh, I think it looks like Jesus.” Shortly thereafter, my dear mother became ill on Jan. 24, 1999. She was 91 years of age, and had contracted pneumonia at the local hospital. I knew she wouldn’t survive this illness as she was unable to swallow, and the doctor couldn’t determine the type of pneumonia she had developed and hadn’t given her medication for it.
I prayed that, if it was not His will for my mother to live, our Lord would call her to himself on Valentine’s Day, the day of love. She died at 3:20 a.m. early on Valentine’s morning after my sister and I had prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet by her bedside at 3:00 a.m., just before her death. A tiny heart, about one centimeter long, formed on her right arm and the image of Jesus on my wooden fence began to change into a rainbow after her death.
My mother was truly always an inspiration to myself and my family and was a lady who loved much and was much loved! – Emma R.
Excerpted from Blessed Father Engelmar Testimonies:
A Life of
Blessed Father Engelmar
There is now available a booklet of the life of Bl, Fr. 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 sending a donation to LEAVES in thanksgiving for a petition granted. My thank you is to the Sacred Heart, Ss. Therese the Little Flower and Jude and Bl. Engelmar for a situation that was successfully resolved for us. I am also requesting prayers for a granddaughter who is going through a very stressful time right now.
My granddaughter needs prayers for her mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. She has love and support from her family, but needs also guidance and strength to get through a difficult situation. Thank you – Name Withheld.
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Please accept this donation in thanksgiving to God, Jesus, Mary, Ss. Ann, Rita and Lucy and Bl. Engelmar for favors granted. Please continue to pray for me that cancer never enters into any part of my body again.
Please pray for me that, if I have to have surgery for my left hip, the surgery goes well and without any complications, including during rehab. Thank you for your prayers. God bless you – Patricia S.
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My donation is in thanksgiving to the following saints for prayers answered through their intercession: Ss. Anthony, Jude, Padre Pio and Therese, Bl. Engelmar and Bl. Solanus Casey and many other saints – Name Withheld.
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Sincere thanks to Bl. Engelmar! Time and time again he has interceded on my behalf on a wide variety of requests. I am praying he gets recognized as a saint very soon – J.B.
Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner
Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 118 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.
Heart of Jesus
Dear Heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked for many favors. This time I ask for this special one (name it here). Take it, dear Jesus, and place it within Your own heart where Your Father sees it. Then in Your merciful eyes it will become Your favor, not mine. Amen.
God, source of all freedom,
this day is bright with the memory
of those who declared that life and liberty
are your gift to every human being.
Help us to continue a good work begun long ago,
that only in human solidarity will we find liberty,
and justice only in the honor that belongs
to every life on earth.
Turn our hearts toward the family of nations:
to understand the ways of others,
to offer friendship,
and to find safety only in the common good of all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
[From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers]
I Am Very Small
By Leslie Jean Anderson
I know that I am very small,
Unable to grasp big things,
Yet hear, my heart is full of song
And with God’s praises sings!
I sing of love on stormy seas
And that of shores serene.
I thank my God for all His care,
His vision is my dream.
So let all humble hearts and souls
Ask His blessings from above.
See, in the gratitude for mercy,
More joy is born of Love!
Our Beautiful World
By Bernice Laux
There’s much beauty in this world
if we but stop and take a look.
To try to write about it all
would fill a mighty heavy book.
Look at the magnificent ocean.
See its huge waves all curled.
Notice the unending vastness
of sparkling waters unfurled.
The sky dressed in azure blue
reaches far beyond our sight.
It hugs the bright sun all day
and kisses the stars at night.
Pretty multi-colored flowers
attract the bird, bee and fly,
who know they can’t compete
with the lovely butterfly.
Up and up purple mountains reach,
trying to touch the far-off sky,
but failing in that endeavor,
snatch at clouds rolling by.
Who created all this, we ask?
Why, the mighty God above
who, looking down on earth,
showers all with perfect love.
The Carpenter’s Son
By Josephine Mastrangelo Mosera
When Jesus was a little boy,
Did He have a favorite toy?
When He helped in the carpenter shop,
Did He ever stop
To feel the nail that fastens to wood?
He must have known that nails
Would pierce Him to a tree.
Did Joseph carve Him a little lamb?
I know He did understand.
Yet He said, “Father, Thy will be done,”
Because He is God’s Only Son!
He rose to open heaven again,
So you and I could be saved from sin.