LEAVES for March-April 2020 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       Spring is a beautiful time of the year. We need to observe the beauty around us, recognize it in the exuberant smile of a little one sitting in a grocery cart in the store or in a spectacular sunset. See the patterns of sunshine filtering through the brand-new leaves of a tree. Smell the crisp air on a chilly day. Appreciate the warmth of a cozy fire in the fireplace or the softness of a robe and slippers.

Remember that beauty is not just physical attractiveness. There is much beauty in an elderly couple, each with cane in hand, but still holding on to each other as they walk. Is not the smile of a homeless person beautiful when someone looks them in the eyes, speaks to them and offers them assistance?

Our Lord and Creator gives us such spectacular gifts in nature. Take some time from what might be a busy schedule to stop and relish the brave sprouts of spring, reaching towards the heavens in an array of vibrant colors, shapes and sizes. Crocuses, tulips, lilacs and daffodils show off their brilliant colors and sweet scents. Even roadside weeds lend a splash of color onto a previously bleak and bland landscape.

Many of us tend to hibernate indoors during winter. Spring should be a time to go out and check in with friends and neighbors. Take a walk together. Grab a cup of coffee with them and catch up with all their news.

Spring can be a season of constant change. One day it is sunny and warm, the next is cold, blustery and wet. Cloudy days make us appreciate days of sunshine. The rain helps our flowers grow. Think of what the different elements bring us with a positive view. Appreciate the warmth and the cold, the rain and the sun. All are gifts of God.

      One Lenten devotion to consider this time of year is attending the Stations of the Cross. If unable to partake of the Stations at a church, you can always meditate upon them wherever you are and whenever you are able. The Stations provide profound insights into Christ’s passion and death.

If you have slacked off on your observance of Lent, renew your effort now. It is never too late, and the Lord surely appreciates any endeavors to make Lent a time of spiritual growth.

The liturgies of Holy Week are profoundly inspiring. Beginning with Palm Sunday, make it a point to partake of as many devotions and Masses as possible. The greater your preparations for the Resurrection, the greater your Easter celebration.

Easter Sunday is April 12. This is the Sunday of Sundays, the highest feast day of the Church year. Celebrate it accordingly, with the distinction it deserves. Jesus Christ has risen! Amen! Alleluia!

May the good Lord grant all our dear LEAVES family abundant blessings at Easter and always! - Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

St. Therese
Has Done It Again

In June my grandson Steven had a scooter accident in which he flew off and injured his brain. He was in a coma for a couple of months. I was having a novena going constantly to St. Therese and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ss. Jude, Anthony and Faustina.

I have a rosebush that blooms every May and June. On Oct. 26 one rose bloomed. I knew then that my grandson was going to be fine. He can now walk, eat normally, understand and speak just fine.

The first time St. Therese answered my prayers was three years ago. My daughter wanted to buy a condo and had an appointment to view one on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. We were at early Mass and the only flowers in church were roses in front of the podium right in front of me. I told my daughter she was going to get that home. There were other interested parties, but she is living in that condo now.

The second time prayers were answered was when my son had a job, but someone referred him to another one. He didn’t know what to do. I told him that “God has a plan for you” and that I would pray for him to make the right decision.

On Valentine’s Day I received a bouquet of roses. My son started the new job on April 1. A few months later they made him president and COO. He said never in his wildest dreams did he think he would be a president of a company. That is where faith and trust in God comes in.

I promised that I would publicly acknowledge my thanksgiving, and so I am now. When one has faith and trust in God, miracles do happen. God bless the LEAVES family and the wonderful LEAVES magazine - Joan J.

Discerning God’s Will

First, thank you for continuing to send LEAVES magazine to us. There is no other magazine like it in its uniqueness and important messages for its readers.

Over the years I have noticed some small poems that have been printed, perhaps as fillers or as additions to the message to be conveyed. Months before my sister Marianna died, she was worried that she was not doing God’s will. She was always asking what God wanted her to do.

Years ago my sister had written a short poem which is perfect for what she was agonizing over months before her death. She discovered it among her poems and put it aside. She usually added her guardian angel Angelo as co-author to all her poems and short stories.

Here is the poem by my sister, Marianna Rose Graves:
To know thy will, O God, I pray,
And yet to know I fear -
Perhaps a million times you’ve told,
But I dare not to hear.

My donation is to help towards LEAVES expenses. Thank you again for the magazine - Theresa G.

St. Jude Intercedes

I am writing in thanksgiving for the great favor granted to my daughter through the intercession of the saints, especially Ss. Jude, Padre Pio and Joseph. My daughter had a very stressful social work job in foster care that grew even more stressful due to cuts in staff, increased on-call hours and unsupportive management decisions.

My daughter had gotten to the point that I was afraid that she soon wouldn’t be able to force herself to go in to work, yet she saw nothing for which she could apply. Within a couple of days of my beginning a novena to St. Jude, she very unexpectedly got an opportunity for a job as a counselor in a school for children with autism.

Other circumstances opened up, and my daughter was called in for an immediate interview and asked if she would like the job at the end of the interview. This was such a great grace! I thank God’s mercy towards my daughter in listening to the prayers of His holy ones - Ellen F.

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 received the novena in honor of Fr. Engelmar from a friend of mine. It said in the back of the book that whoever receives favors through the intercession of Fr. Engelmar is to report them. So, here is my report.

My oldest son had gotten mixed up with the wrong people and he ended up on drugs. He had a girlfriend and almost all the time they would fight and argue. We had been having trouble with our son for about two years. We knew he was on drugs but couldn’t do anything to stop him because of his age. He is 20 years old. All my husband and I could do was pray for him. Well, he ended up breaking up with his girlfriend one evening and she got mad at him. Then they started calling each other and arguing over the phone. She had him arrested for improper language over telecommunications and similar charges.

My son was very hateful at times and he stayed to himself when he would come home. He was in jail for eight days. I did not have the money to get him out, so I went and talked to the judge. I pleaded with him to put him in a detox center, then to send him to rehab. My husband and I worried a lot and all I did was cry. I couldn’t bear to see my son in jail. I came across my novena to Fr. Engelmar and began to pray it. The third day of the novena they called me to say that they were putting my son in a detox center. I cried so much in happiness, falling to my knees and thanking God and Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig for answering my prayers for my son.

Today my son is still in detox. He still has bad days, but he is trying very hard to overcome the drugs. He will go to rehab when he gets out of detox. I still pray for him all the time so that, when he comes home, he won’t hang out with the same friends he had when he was on drugs. He was such a good, young boy, very kind and loving. He never had a bad word to say to anybody. I gave him his Bible in jail and told him to read it every day and “to hold on to God and you will be fine.”

Please pray for me and my family, especially for my son. I also have another son who is 15. He prays for his brother every night. He was very close to his brother. He is much more understanding of his brother now that he is getting help. We talk to him a lot about his brother. I thank you with all my heart for all the prayers you can offer for us - Brenda R.

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This donation is in honor of Bl. Engelmar Unzeitig. My daughter and husband celebrated 28 years of marriage. God bless them and their four boys. I give thanks for prayers answered through the intercession of Fr. Engelmar. I will continue praying for his canonization. Prayer is the best medicine and God hears us. God bless all our Mariannhill priests all over the world - Iris G.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 111 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.

It Is Simple
By J.K.

How do we get to the Pearly Gates?
Through trials, hardships and mistakes,
Walking through the sand holding Jesus’ hand,
Not by force or by demand,
Gently, slowly trusting in Him,
Letting all His graces begin.
It’s really all that simple to see,
That it’s freely given to you and me.

Lovely Spring
By Margaret Peterson
A far cry from the icicles
Is lovely, lovely spring.
Gone are the icy blasts
That withered everything.

Now nature wakens crocuses
And pussy willows too,
Sweet lilacs and forget me nots
Of purest, clearest blue.

All of nature praises God
The best that they can do,
Never holding back a bit,
A fragrant I love You.

I pray that I may give my best
Like all the flowers I see.
Reflecting Him who gave us spring
In all its vibrancy.

My Special Friend
By Bernice Laux

A special friend just called today
To say He is on His way
To spend some time with me.
I think I’m ready! Let me see …

Everything is in its place;
Now I’ll see Him face to face.
I’m not perfect; oh, but then
All my failings He does mend.

He knows me very well
And helped me when I fell.
Yes, I hear Him at the door,
My special friend whom I adore.

Precious Jesus, do come in!
My life with You does now begin.
I’ll leave it all behind today
And forever with You stay!

It Matters Not
By Grace E. Easley

Do not remind me, gentle friend,
“I shall not pass this way again.”
It matters not to me today,
Who loved each step along the way.
Thank God, I have not been deprived
Of windy hills when Spring arrived,
Not missed the Summer twilight when
The stars lit up the night again.

The sweetest moments I recall
Were down a golden lane in Fall.
The dearest face I’ll ever know
Looked down at me through Winter’s snow.
A heart wherein such things remain
Cares not to pass this way again.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Holy St. Joseph, spouse of Mary, be mindful of me, pray for me, watch over me. Guardian of the paradise of the new Adam, provide for my temporal needs. Faithful guardian of the most precious of treasures, I beseech you to bring this matter [mention your request] to a happy end, if it be for the glory of God and the good of my soul. Amen.
[Editor’s Note: The feast of St. Joseph is Mar. 19.]

Trinity Prayer

Holy Spirit, I am sad with misgivings,
Replace these with faith.
Dear Jesus, my soul longs for you,
My hope, my redeemer.
Heavenly Father, accept my love
For you and all creation.
Amen. - D.T.C.

Words of Wisdom
From Pope Francis

“Often we are too dry, indifferent and detached and, rather than transmitting brotherhood, we communicate bad temper, coldness and selfishness. And with bad temper, coldness and selfishness the Church cannot grow; the Church grows only by the love that comes from the Holy Spirit. The Lord invites us to open ourselves to communion with him in the Sacraments, in the charisms and in charity, in order to live out our Christian vocation with dignity!” [www.Missio.org]