LEAVES Website for March-April 2023 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       We are in the midst of Lent during March. Now is a good time to review our Lenten promises and practices. Sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. Sickness, injury or other afflictions arrive at our doorstep without warning and everything else goes off track.

If we have fallen away from faithfully executing fasting and abstaining, we can recommit ourselves at any time. Instead of just one day of abstinence, add another small sacrifice. If we gave up eating candy for Lent, we might also give up cake or cookies for one day a week as a way of making up for sneaking that candy bar at the office.

Abstaining from unnecessary chatter can prove to be a means of experiencing the blessings of sacred silence. Too often we do not allow ourselves to be still and simply be in the presence of the Lord. How wonderful if we can do this at church before or after Mass or during Eucharistic adoration, but we also can listen for the Lord’s voice wherever we may be.

Making Lent a time of active spirituality is a very worthy goal. Why not try adding a new daily prayer? The Church has a tremendous wealth of classic prayers that will surely enhance our spiritual life.

It would take a lifetime to discover and read all the classic Catholic literature that is available. So many saints have written jewels that continue to enlighten and edify us today. The lessons they offer are timeless and the variety almost endless. Spend some moments in Lent availing yourself of these treasures.

If you want to find good reading material, you need look no further than Scripture for the best. If unsure of what parts of the Bible to read, or where to start, reflect upon the Gospel for each daily Lenten Mass. You can also carry a pocket New Testament with you and delve into it whenever time permits.

Let the New Testament highlight the life and ministry of Jesus for you. As you read the teachings of Jesus, look for ways to incorporate them into your life. His teachings are a roadmap to living an abundant, joy-filled life.

If we are able, we ought to attend as many Lenten liturgical celebrations as we can. Many parishes offer Stations of the Cross and Eucharistic adoration during Lent. Sometimes more opportunities are available to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation that will allow those who have busy schedules to take advantage of this important sacrament.

We all have challenges; however, we all likely know others who are more in desperate need than we are. Charitable offerings benefit the giver and the receiver. Giving opens our minds and our hearts to the needs of another.

While monetary gifts are certainly appreciated, the gift of prayer for another can deliver life-changing, sometimes miraculous, results. Why not combine sharing treasure with sharing prayer.
Look around your family, your circle of friends and your community this Lenten season. What can you offer others? Do not wait to be asked to help. Offer your assistance, and if possible, do it anonymously. Better to receive your reward in heaven than here on earth.

May your observation of Lent be particularly blessed!

       It is important that we especially focus on our Lord and Savior during Holy Week. The passion of Christ is heart-rending, but only by knowing the incredibly awful details of His suffering and death can we truly appreciate His monumental sacrifice.

      Easter this year is April 9. It is the summit of our Faith and should be celebrated as such. Jesus’ resurrection defeated death and opened the gates of heaven for us all. What greater gift could there be?

     All of us at LEAVES send all of you, our dear readers, our very best Easter wishes! May you and your dear ones be abundantly blessed on Easter and always! – Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

Fall Recovery Resulted
From Persistence in Prayer

Just a note to give praise and glory to God!

My child fell and it resulted in a broken hip, which left him in a state of paranoia for fear of falling again so much so, that he could not walk outside alone, without assistance. He cried at the drop of a hat, even if it was just a little windy.

We were two years into the aftermath of the fall and my son hadn’t advanced very far, despite on-going rehab and encouragement. It was very discouraging. I felt so badly for him, as he is a godly-person, doing missionary work and active in his church, albeit not the Catholic Faith.

I prayed for him continually, but he didn’t seem to be progressing. Finally, I asked God to please grant him a “modern-day Lazarus-type healing: to get up and walk and spread the word.” Little did I know that my wish had been granted, because he was living apart from me at the time it occurred, and he didn’t let me know!

We were reunited last month, and you can imagine my shock when he walked toward me in the airport with no walker, no support system and no wheelchair – nothing but his own two feet and lots of confidence. Turns out, the miracle happened in April, exactly two years from the date he fell!

Praise God and don’t ever doubt the power of prayer. I am still in shock! But I am spreading the word! My donation is in thanksgiving – Name Withheld.

St. Therese’s Gifts of Roses

When my 27-year-old son died in 1996, I was in such grief.  I always have had a devotion to our Lady and St. Therese and I believe that they were, and are, instrumental in my healing through my rosary and prayers to St. Therese.

A few years later, I had been telling my mom of St. Therese. (My aunt loved her so much, and she would tell me stories of her when I was a child.) I had been shopping with my mom and we took the groceries into the house.

As we walked by, I picked a rose from my rose garden and gave it to my mom. When she received the rose, she had to sit down. I asked her what was wrong and she replied that she was praying a novena to St. Therese and asked for a rose to be assured about where her grandson was located.

I thank St. Therese for this gift and also for the set of roses she received the other day from my other son and grandson. I love you, St. Therese and our Lady – Name Withheld.

Trusting in the Lord

I am sending a donation for favors granted. My son contracted Lyme Disease and a parasite. He was very ill and had to be hospitalized. His condition was very severe.

I stormed heaven’s gates with prayers to our Lord, the Blessed Mother, Ss. Joseph, Anne, Michael (his patron saint), Jude (his confirmation name), and also Anthony, Therese and Rita. Many weeks have gone by and he is recovering and doing much better. I am so very grateful. I praise the Lord and give thanks to the many saints that helped him through this difficult time.

I have prayed to the LEAVES family and these many saints many times throughout my lifetime. My prayers have always been answered, as I also request that our Lord’s will be done in all these petitions. I am also grateful for the LEAVES magazine which always inspires me to keep persevering in prayer.

I praise my Lord. He always hears my prayers, but sometimes I have to be very patient and wait for His will to be done. I trust that He knows what is best in every circumstance. He loves us so much and wants what is best for us all – B.P.

Excerpted from Blessed Father Engelmar Testimonies:

A Life of
Blessed Father Engelmar

There is now available a booklet of the life of Blessed Father 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.

This offering is in thanksgiving for favors that have been granted through Bl. Engelmar. Also, please pray for good health for my daughter, for her family and for me and for my special intentions. Thank you – S.B.

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I ask the LEAVES family to pray for my five-year-old great-grandson Thomas Joseph. He will be having surgery on his spine, which is going to be his best chance to ever be able to walk. I am asking for the intercession of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, Bl. Fulton Sheen and Bl. Engelmar to guide the surgeon’s hand.

Thank you — Barbara C.

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Please find my donation in thanksgiving to God, Jesus, Blessed Mother, Ss. Ann, Rita and Lucy, and Bl. Engelmar for favors granted.

Please continue to pray for me to stay cancer-free forever and that  all my future check-ups will continue to be good and clear.

Thank you for your prayers and God bless you – Patricia S.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 114 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.

A Prayer for
Passion Sunday

By St. Clare of Assisi

Praise and glory to you, O loving Jesus Christ, for the most sacred wound in your side … and for your infinite mercy, which you have made known to us in the opening of your breast to the soldier Longinus, and so to us all.

I pray you, O most gentle Jesus, having redeemed me by baptism from original sin, so now, by your Precious Blood, which is offered and received throughout the world, deliver me from all evils past, present and to come.

And by your most bitter death, give me a lively faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may love you with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength; make me firm and steadfast in good works and grant me perseverance in your service, so that I may be able to please you always. Amen.

The Cross
By Margaret Peterson

The cross on which our Savior died
   Was fashioned from a tree.
How could something, once alive,
   Cause such agony?

We are like a living tree
   If we do what we should,
But when our life is wrongly spent,
   We become mere wood.

Only God can guide us to
   The purpose He intends,
The purpose no one else can do.
   It’s when our will ascends

To His great will and begs to be
   Used for total good,
We become a living tree,
   Not a cross of wood!

Keep up the Fight
By Mrs. Norma N. Poblete

When life gives us more ups and downs,
The foreheads show wrinkles and frowns,
Cannot enjoy parties in towns,
Ignoring too the jest of clowns.

With this sad plight we ought to do
Bend down our knees, prayers ensue
To Him, we pray, to see us through,
Begging for strength, O God, we woo.

Show the way out and shed some light
So we can see yonder is bright,
Maintain our faith with all our might.
God is with us, keep up the fight!

Eternal Love
By Patricia Moore

Come to Me, my weary child,
I will refresh your soul.
Come to Me in your distress,
I will comfort you.
Come to Me in your despair,
I will give you hope.
I wait for you in the Blessed Sacrament,
Draw near to Me.
I will always be with you,
My love for you is eternal.

Many Faces of God
By Sr. Marcella LaKoske, OP

How many faces of God are there? / It is impossible to know,
but let me try to show you some.

A kind face –
   to the mother of Naim whose son was dead.

A compassionate face –
   to the 10 lepers He cleansed.

A loving face –
   when He kept Peter from drowning.

A gentle face –
   when He gave the blind man his sight.

A comforting face –
   when He fed the thousands.

A forgiving face –
   when He helped the woman taken in adultery.

A generous face –
   when changing water into wine at Cana.

A merciful face –
   when He called Lazarus to come forth.

A beautiful face –
   in doing the Father’s will.

A knowledgeable face –
   when He cured the centurion’s son.

A joyful face –
   when He raised the dead girl to life.

A peaceful face –
   when He greeted the Apostles after His resurrection.

Have you seen these and many more faces of God?