LEAVES Website for September-October 2020 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

        This past June Pope Francis added three new invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary Litany of Loreto. According to the Vatican’s Archbishop Arthur Roche, the invocations “respond to the realities of the time that we are living.” 

According to directions from the Vatican, the invocation, “Mother of mercy” is to be inserted after “Mother of the Church,” “Mother of hope” after “Mother of Divine Grace” and “Solace of migrants” after “Refuge of sinners.” 

Archbishop Roche explained that these invocations are aimed towards those throughout the world who are afflicted in many ways, not only by the pandemic, but also those who are forced from their homes because of poverty, conflict and other reasons. “Referring to the present times, marked by feelings of uncertainty and trepidation, the People of God,” the Vatican says, “have devout recourse to her, full of affection and trust.”

The Litany of Loreto is named after a Marian shrine in Loreto, Italy, that has existed since the sixteenth century.
October is the Month of the Rosary and the litany is often recited at the end of the Rosary. This October we should add these new invocations as we pray the Rosary as often as possible.

      The Holy Father’s September prayer intention is a plea for respecting the resources of the earth: “We pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner.”

This is not just about driving fuel efficient vehicles. We must also think about single-use items, such a plastic grocery bags, plastic silverware, paper plates, even paper towels. It might be hard for younger folks to imagine, but there was a time when kitchen spills were wiped up using a cloth dish rag and windows were cleaned using newspaper.

In the past we did not have hundreds of soaps and cleaners. In fact, many people made their own out of simple ingredients that would not pollute the environment. If we wanted our homes to smell good, we opened the windows to fresh air or went out into the garden and picked some flowers to bring in the house.

We may not be able to stop rogue oil drillers or unscrupulous mining companies from destroying landscapes, but we can walk instead of drive to the corner store. This saves gasoline and is healthy exercise. Combining all our errands into a single trip rather than making a daily run into town saves time and money.

In times past Catholics did not eat meat on Fridays throughout the entire year; now this is mandated just during Lent. Even now some forgo meat on Fridays as an act of sacrifice. When you consider the vast resources that are required to produce meat, avoiding meat once a week is a worthy endeavor for the health of the environment and the soul.

If in preparing for a lockdown from the pandemic or the arrival of a hurricane or snowstorm we hoard bread, water and paper products, and that results in another person facing empty store shelves, that is selfish inconsideration of others. Keep in mind that the Holy Father appeals to us that we not only respect, but share, resources.

Our bountiful, beautiful earth was not given to only a select few. It is a priceless gift to all from our magnificent Creator. Our Father expects us to enjoy the fruits of His creation with our brothers and sisters. Let us all do our part. May God grant you abundant blessings always – Fr. Thomas Heier, C.M.M.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”:

Home Safe from Blizzard

I am sending a donation for St. Anthony’s Bread. St. Anthony always finds lost articles for me and St. Therese always sends me a rose for favors for which I pray. Last February I went shopping in the next town. I was ready to drive home when all of a sudden heavy, windy snow began falling.

As I was driving home, three miles into the trip, it was a complete “white-out” blizzard! I couldn’t see where I was driving on the road! And it was another 27 miles to my home. I thought – this is it. I am going to die!

In my old car I have sacramentals, statues of the Blessed Mother, the Infant of Prague, St. Joseph, a 12-inch wooden crucifix, pictures of the archangels and more. I took my big rosary and prayed while driving, and I thought it would be the last rosary I would pray!

It was all wooded country driving and I couldn’t stop, even though there were hardly any vehicles on the road. It would not have been prudent to stop, as someone could have hit me or I could have hit someone else in the terrible white-out.

On the rosary I prayed for a miracle to somehow get home safely, petitioning the Blessed Mother, Jesus, St. Joseph and all of heaven. I was driving about 10-15 miles per hour. Finally I reached my town with street lights and the white-out conditions seemed to let up.

Then my driveway appeared, and in spite of heavy, wet snow, I was able to drive into my pole barn. I was so thankful to all of heaven for this big miracle! To Jesus, Mary and Joseph – Judi.

Blog Uplifts Readers

The peace of Christ and a blessed day to you! I have been receiving LEAVES for ages. Its content is like a fresh spring breeze on a hot summer’s day! Your dear magazine is always inspiring and shows the deep faith of your readers.

I understand that there is a good amount of negative and critical comments on the internet. Bishop Barron noted that people use it to “vent their spleen.” This disturbs me, along with Catholic sites that give too much coverage to negativity. There is so much good in our Church!

A friend suggested that I start a blog. With the help of my computer tech, it is now a reality. I sent it to a number of people on my email list to read, share with others, and be a follower. I plan to post a short uplifting item once a week. By being a follower, the post goes directly to their email inbox.

I invite LEAVES readers to read my blog. Its purpose is to provide a few moments of rest and reflection in the peace of Jesus. People seem so busy these days. Please check out:  https://contemplativechristianityorg.wordpress.com.

May LEAVES continue until Jesus comes again. In His love – Carolyn H.

The Necessity of Prayer

I love reading the stories of all my brothers and sisters who write in to LEAVES, asking for prayers. As a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother, I understand your needs for prayer. You cannot be a member of a family and raise children, and not experience suffering and disappointments, along with the many joys of parenting. 

Keep praying and never stop bringing your wounds to God in prayer. That is what our human experience is all about. The rewards may not come right away or even as you desire, but God does answer His children’s every need.

As you age and your journey begins to slow down, you will have time for reflections on the hills and valleys you shared with God. It will be in these reflections that you will realize how many times God walked through each problem with you. The more you prayed, the closer He walked you out of a crisis.

I understand all your desperation because I have been that desperate so many times myself. Today, at 93 years old, I am surrounded with the joy of God’s answers. So, never stop talking to your heavenly Father in prayer. Trust Him and you will experience the answers that would never seem possible — Sheila 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.

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I hope I can provide our beloved, saintly man [Bl. Engelmar Unzeitig] with the person who needs his miraculous intercession. My niece is losing her battle against breast cancer after an 11-year struggle. My husband and I are praying daily for her recovery and for his elevation to sainthood. My “love affair” with Bl. Engelmar started many years ago when you sent me his 32-page novena booklet. When I opened this little treasure, there he was. His gentle gaze spoke to me the way my son did. I have turned to him so many times over the years, and I know his intercession was powerful and poignant. I believe this miracle for my niece will be substantiated, if it is God’s will for her. We will keep you updated – Blanche M.

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Thank you, Bl. Engelmar, for having answered my prayer. My nephew was looking for a job. He found one and two days later was let go because of the economy. He found another job and was laid off again. He did odd jobs just to keep going, and I then began the Novena to Bl. Engelmar and on the ninth and final day of the novena my nephew received a call that the business went through. Days later it fell apart and I began another novena. On the third day of that novena he called me to tell me that everything went through again and he was set to move and begin his future. Thank you, Bl. Engelmar, for your trust and intercession to our loving Lord and God – S.P.

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.

Novena to St. Jude

O holy St. Jude, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke your special patronage in time of need, to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you, to whom God has given such great powers, to come to my assistance [name your request]. Help me in my present and urgent petition. In return I promise to make your name known and cause you to be invoked.

St. Jude, pray for all who invoke your aid. Amen.

(Say also three Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Bes. Do this for nine consecutive days.)
[The feast of St. Jude (along with St. Simon) is Oct. 28. He is patron of desperate and lost causes.]

Prayer to
Our Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
[The feast of Guardian Angels is Oct. 2.]

Blessing for the Sick

[The Sign of the Cross may be made on the sick person’s forehead during this prayer.]
Lord and Father, almighty and eternal God,
by your blessing you give us strength and support in our frailty:
turn with kindness toward this your servant, [name].
Free him/her from all illness and restore him/her to health,
so that in the sure knowledge of your goodness
he/she will gratefully bless your holy name.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

By Linda Frandsen

Seasons Change
From the cold winds of winter, the
frosty air crisp and chilled, with
the snow covering the earth like a
mantle of purest white

To the springtime when everything becomes
new, fresh and green, meadows fragrant
after a gentle rain, the sweet scent of
flowers blooming in a garden of
heavenly beauty

To the hazy days of summer when the
bright rays of the sun bring forth the warmth
of God’s Love to the world.

All too quickly summer turns into fall
when the hills are ablaze with the flame
of autumn’s splendor, trees resplendent
in a riot of glorious color, with
sun-kissed leaves of burnt orange,
golden yellow and scarlet red, the great
hand of the Divine Master painting the
countryside with bold and radiant hues,
a panorama of breathtaking majesty for
the eye to behold,
then fades into the cold winds of winter,
we begin anew and the
Seasons Change.

A Quiet Place
By Bernice Laux
I set apart each day
A quiet place to pray;
There with God alone
   That time is all His own.

I seem to hear His voice
And I worship and rejoice.
From this quiet place I part,
   Knowing God is in my heart.

Then to all I meet
With His love I greet.
It’s what He asks of me
   For everyone I see.

The time I spend each day
In the quiet place I pray
Is spent for one and all
   As God’s blessings on them fall!

Nature’s Lovesong
By Margaret Peterson

In secret little wooded glens,
Where no one ever walks
And only bird songs fill the air,
No one ever talks,

Nature sings wild hymns of love
In praise to God every day.
The Bible is unknown and yet
They follow Him their way.

I have loved LEAVES magazine since I first read it in the 80s while working the night shift as an RN. Now I am very old, often in pain. Everyone has problems, the ones in LEAVES attest to that. As I dealt with very serious family problems throughout the years, I learned to lean very heavily upon God – M.A.W.
P.S. Here is my morning offering:

Good morning, God
Holy God, Almighty God, Eternal God, Creator of all things,
God, my Father
God, our Father
God – within me

I give to you this day – my body, my soul, my heart, my mind, my every breath, my every heartbeat, my every movement, thought, word, deed, action

My every distraction, discomfort and pain.
May your holy will be done at all times, in all things.
Holy God, I thank you for all things –
Your passion, crucifixion, death and Resurrection,
For every grace and blessing you have bestowed upon me for my family
For my guardian angel.
Holy God, I thank you for all things, for it is you alone who has given them to me.
May your holy will be done at all times, in all things. Amen.