Extravagant Love of the Father
October 5, 2020
I was very much struck by the gospel this past Sunday about the parable of the landowner who planted the vineyard If you know the story, he leased it to tenants and when vintage time came, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain the produce. The tenants seized the servants and beat and killed not only three of them, but also another group of servants as well. Finally the landowner sent his Son to them thinking they will respect him. Why would the landowner risk in sending his only Son to collect the fruit after the servants were so brutally treated? This is the extravagant love of God our Father to us, who time after time wanted to display his mercy, power and love to His people. But instead we put His only Son to die a cruel death on the cross to set us free. What an incredible price he has paid for all of us!
I share this parable with you after I encountered a very humble middle-aged man who had just been released from prison after 30 years! He had very kind eyes behind his mask, a full beard and dressed very respectfully in his flannel shirt and holding a binder. He could not wait to show me as if I was the very first person he wanted to tell - he was now a free man! And there it was on paper - Floyd, after serving a sentence of 30 years, is now a free man! He was 18 when he entered and is now 48 years old. I felt so privileged to have met him. I prayed over him and asked God to protect him and direct his steps. I sensed that he was Christian as he was so receptive of the prayer. I gave him information about our church and pamphlets about the Good News. Please pray for Floyd that God would truly bless, direct and protect him! Please also pray for a kind, gentle soul, an older Spanish man, Saul, who received prayer for direction and for God to provide a job. Edward, Rachel and Natali were also three young teenagers whom I shared my witness with and received information and a prayer to commit their lives to God, that they would follow through.
Thank you to Rick who joined me for the first time last Wednesday and was a great help in evangelizing! Let us all rejoice because of our baptism! We have been plunged into the very death of Christ and have been given a new life, and, like Floyd - free men and women in Christ Jesus!
"You, my Child Shall Be Called the Prophet of the Most High"
September 5, 2020
This prayer that the church prays together every morning in the Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of Zechariah prophesying about his son St. John the Baptist. It is a call to the whole church also that we too are called to be prophets to prepare the way of the Lord, to be priests, prophets and kings. "For you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins." (Luke 1:68-70)
My husband and I recently had a get together at our home inviting our evangelists over to thank them for their commitment to the SPSE Team. One of the evangelists hit it on the head when he was encouraging one of the other evangelist what THE most important thing on his heart that he has when going out to evangelize was the kerygma. The Webster's dictionary, which I thought was very impressive, states that it is "the apostolic proclamation of salvation through Jesus". He said that if he proclaims this to at least one person in his outing, he feels he has accomplished his task. I totally agree with him. It is so amazing to see how many people have never really had the good news explained to them.
My husband and I went out today on this Labor Day weekend and I encountered a young adult, Kevin, who was about 18 years old. I asked him if he grew up in any particular church and he did not really know, although he said it was Christian. He was not too sure whether he was baptized or not. I gave him information on the Good News and how important it was to be baptized at which time his bus came. But I come across so many young adults who have no purpose or direction in their lives and are so surprised when I share with them the good news that God loves them and has a plan for their lives. Please pray for Kevin that he would seek to know God. I also talked to a Muslim, Omar, who was so open about hearing about God's mercy. He took information about the the good news and I showed him the beautiful prayer at the end of the pamphlet inviting God to come into his life right before his bus came. Please pray that he would follow through.
May God and Our Lady continue to bless and protect our little chapter, and that the seeds that were planted would bear much fruit for God's kingdom.
His Mercies Are Renewed Every Morning
July 30, 2020
The reading from Lamentations 3:22-23 is very comforting to me, as God's mercies are renewed every morning. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness Oh Lord (Lamentations 3:22-23) Living the Christian life can be challenging as God calls us to go deeper into being changed into His image and likeness. But as we take up our cross and try to follow Him to the best of our ability, He gives us new hearts (promise of Ezekiel 36:26), to experience His mercy and love so that we can give His love away. God's love is perfected in our weakness. I find this to be true whenever I go out to share my faith. I give God my little loaves and fishes and He multiplies them.
What I am also realizing is that even though I meet all kinds of nationalities, people of different cultures and faiths, everyone has the same innate desire for God. All of our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God. (St. Augustine's quote) No sooner did my husband Bob and I set up our SPSE table that people were approaching us for help and prayers. Please pray for Roland, a young adult, whose brother, Trent, had just heard the news that his best friend had died in a motorcycle accident and wanted to give him something to encourage and console him. I had just ordered the pamphlet "the Problem of Suffering" which he gratefully took along with the Good News pamphlet. We prayed with him and asked God to bring consolation and comfort to his family. Please also pray for a number of people who are looking for a job, a person from Ghana, Nicholas, who has to provide for his family and also Lily.
Please also pray for Ellis, an older man whom I prayed with who seeking to know the love of God in his life that God would bring him into a living knowledge of His love for him and also Deshawn, a young adult Christian who is not very happy being fed where he is presently attending church and who was given information about the Catholic faith that God would draw him to experience the fullness of the faith.
May God continue to bless and protect our little chapter and Our Lady guide us that it would bring much fruit for God.
God is So Faithful!
July 13, 2020
About four years ago, Joanne Portzer (then Joanne Fields), the SPSE Gaithersburg Chapter Leader, had met a sweet lady, Laurie Martini, at the Lake Forest Bus Metro. She spent a good deal of time with her. At that time I was joining the SPSE chapter and learning how to evangelize. When Joanne left to get married and moved to Ohio, I took the chapter over and started befriending her. To make a long story short, Laurie entered RCIA last September 2019 and stuck it out during this crazy pandemic. She was received into the church on Sunday, July 12, 2020 and extremely happy! It is so wonderful to see how faithful God is in drawing people to Himself and bringing them into His church. May God be thanked and praised! Her picture is below.
For Freedom, Christ Has Set Us Free
July 5, 2020
Happy Fourth of July 2020! I thank God for the freedom to share our faith on the streets. The first reading for Saturday, July 4, were so encouraging from the prophet Amos as God said "I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel". We, who were alienated from God of Father, have now been brought near through the precious blood of Christ. If Christ has set us free, we are free indeed!
After being locked down for three months. our little chapter is back on the streets and the harvest is ripe! My husband, Bob and I, ventured out on this beautiful 4th of July, and immediately people came up to our table and started asking for rosaries and information. I was hoping to see some people whom we have met over these past four years there so I could tell them I have been praying for them, and were so glad to see them again, but they were all new people at the bus stop.
Please pray for three young adults, Kevin, Noel and Joel (in the picture). Like so many young adults, many of them who do believe in God say that they don't belong to a particular church and have their own private faith. For Noel, as soon as I shared about the Eucharist and the real presence of God, he followed me to our table and wanted to know more. I am so glad we have this beautiful material to give out, particularly the Good News and Eucharist pamphlet. I shared how it is a foretaste of what heaven will be like as we worship the Lamb on the Throne. I gave him a list of churches in the area and phone numbers. Pray that they will follow up on the information given to them and experience the beauty of our Catholic faith.
Please also pray for Kofi, a kind, older man from Ghana whom I prayed with, for God to provide a good job for he and his family and for Omar, a Muslim who was open to hearing about the Trinity as one God in three divine persons and who is Love itself. I was grateful to hear the webinar on witnessing to Muslims as it gave me more of an awareness of where they are coming from.
May God continue to bless our little chapter that it would bear much fruit for God's kingdom. Thank you Faustina and Bernardine for your intercessory prayers!
"They Overcame Him By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of their Testimony" Rev. 12:11
March 12, 2020
As Bob and I ventured out today on this somewhat milder day of winter, we were reminded of the hope of spring approaching as the daffodils and forsythias are starting to bloom. We are grateful for the warmer temperatures these days. It is also a time of preparation for the greatest feast soon to take place of Our Lord's resurrection and victory over the darkness, sin and death. The harvest is so ripe and the kingdom of God must be ushered in and the good news preached to the poor. It is a privilege to share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly ministry of Jesus. We encounter so many young adults who have no direction for their lives and are not baptized into any particular church. That was the case today of four young adults -- Samantha, William, Jasmine and Que. As I shared my witness with them and the good news of salvation, they welcomed receiving information about Baptism and the different churches in the area. Please pray that the seeds that were planted would result in them experiencing the Father's personal love for them. Please also pray for Jayda, a girl who just moved here from Jamaica who is actually Catholic and was eager and grateful to receive information about Mother Seton Parish in Germantown where she lives. In closing this is a quote from Blessed Abbot Aelred from the Short Breviary on Christ's passion. "There is no greater stimulus to love of our enemies than the contemplation of the marvelous patience of him who, though "beautiful beyond the son of men," offered his face to be spat upon and endured the other torments of his Passion, and who was at last "led like a sheep to slaughter and stood silent like a lamb before the shearers, and did not open his mouth." May we all this Lent experience a deeper knowledge of God's mercy so that what we have received in faith we may give away.
In the Beginning was the Word
January 23, 2020
As my husband and I ventured out on Wednesday, I was thinking about how the Proclamation of the Word spoken to me transformed my life. It is such a mystery how this creative word of power can convict, comfort and change hearts. It truly is living and active. I experienced this in two interactions with some young adults. The first one was called Eli. As I offered him a miraculous medal and asked him if he needed prayers for anything in particular, he shared with me how he just moved from Alabama and wanted to settle in this area. I asked him if he belonged to any particular church and he said he went to a Catholic high school in Alabama but was a non-denominational now. I asked him if he had a good experience going to the Catholic high school and he said yes. I shared with him my witness and how I have a greater love for my Catholic faith especially the Eucharist. He was very open to hearing about my experience and wanted a list of churches in the area and also the Baptism, Eucharist and Why Be Catholic pamphlets. His bus arrived at that time and he thanked me for offering him a good faith community he could plug into. Please pray Eli will follow through.
The second encounter was with LeRoy. I asked him if he has ever heard the good news of the gospel and he was not exactly sure what that was. I asked him if he was baptized and he said his family are Jehovah's Witnesses. I immediately thought about what they believed about Jesus, that he is not really the Son of God. I shared with him about the Trinity as a community of persons who want to share their life with us, how man fell away from this initial relationship with his Creator and Jesus came as the Incarnate Son of God to save us and bring us back to the Father. I gave him pamphlets on the Trinity, the Good News, Why Be Catholic and Baptism. He actually said he would like to read all of them. I went back to the table and thought I should give him a miraculous medal and cross, but when I went back to the bus booth he was in, he was not there. A lady who had been listening to our conversation pointed me to where he was as he was in line for the bus and I was able to give them to him. I believe there are angels helping us minister to people as this lady was so eager to help me. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will touch LeRoy with the truth of the gospel and he will come to know the love of the Father personally for him.
May Your Kingdom Come, Oh Lord!
January 3, 2020
As we can see from the prayer of the Our Father that Our Lord gave us that the primary concern of God's heart is that "His kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven". As Bob, my husband and I, ventured out last Saturday, December 28, I prayed that God would give us an expectant heart. That God would use us, weak instruments that we are, to pray that His kingdom would come into people's hearts, that people would experience his presence.
The first person that God brought to my husband was Martino. Martino shared with him the great joy and comfort that he saw in people being out on the streets actually sharing about their faith. He was a Christian and shared with my husband his great conversion story of God delivering him from a very sinful life style and from alcoholism. It was beautiful. Bob prayed with him that God would continue to strengthen him in that area. His wife, however, was in a wheelchair and could not walk. As my husband, Martino and I prayed over Renee, his wife, I proclaimed over her that the Kingdom of God is real and that it was God's desire to heal and manifest His love. I knew God was with us and Renee and Martino expressed a real gratefulness that we prayed with them. I pray that God would continue to bring healing and health to her body.
The second person I prayed with was a partially blind beautiful woman, Kim. I felt for her because it was hard for her to see the right bus that she was to take in order to get where she was going. I asked her if she would like prayers for God to heal her eyes, and she was very receptive as she was Christian. Again I proclaimed the Kingdom of God is here and that God was with her and had a great love for her. I asked God would restore the wandering eye that I saw in her left eye and all the membranes connected with it. She asked what church I belonged to and was very surprised that Catholics were out on the streets praying over people and sharing their faith. She asked for information and I gave her a list of the churches in our area and the bus routes as I walked her to her bus. May God continue to do a great work in her.
Bob and I gave out many miraculous medals and good news pamphlets and ended up talking to a young adult, Robert, who was very sincere in seeking the truth and God's plan for his life. It was a joy to encourage him in the faith and to speak into his heart God's great love for him. Please pray for him that God would bring him into a personal encounter with him.
May God continue to bless our little chapter this new year, that it would bear much fruit for God's kingdom and that Our Lady would guide us.
Surprised by the Spirit
December 16, 2019
A woman from the Congo approached Deacon Mike and I last Wednesday when we first arrived at the Bus Stop straight away and was so amazed that we were Catholic since she had been looking for a Catholic Church after recently moving here. It was a joy to see how enthusiastic she was about her faith and to receive information about all the Catholic Churches in the area and a miraculous medal and rosary. We were then approached by Edith asking for prayers for her elderly father who has pneumonia. Please pray for his healing. Deacon Mike also prayed with three women who approached him who were from the Protestant background and were very much interested in why we were out there and was able to share with them the beauty of our Catholic faith and give them information. Please pray for Rosemary, Josephine and Gladys that they would be open to the fullness of the truth. Please also pray for Solomon, Jason and Liz whom I shared the gospel with and received information, that God would draw them to Himself. The last encounter was with a young man who listened very attentively as I was sharing my witness. I asked him if he had been baptized into any particular faith and he said no. His father is Muslim and his mother Christian and they were leaving it up to him if he wanted to be baptized or not. I was able to offer him the beautiful pamphlets on Baptism, the Good News, the Eucharist and Why Be Catholic. He felt that this was providential as he was looking for more direction in his life. As his bus pulled up, he gave me a big hug and parted with a smile on his face. It is such a joy to bring glad tidings to people and to see how the Spirit leads. May God continue to bless our little chapter, that it would bear much fruit for his kingdom and that Our Lady would continue to guide us.
It's in the Air
November 24, 2019
As Deacon Mike and I went out last Wednesday, November 20, we could feel the Spirit moving in interactions that we had with the various people we encountered People were coming to us and asking questions. Maybe it is the various Christmas decorations that are now being displayed in parking lots and grocery stores that people are sensing something special will be happening soon. However, some people may be dreading the holidays and hoping they will be over soon. In any event, people are hungry to hear the truth as they were approaching us. They are attracted to truth, goodness and beauty and the Catholic faith contains all three. Many nondenominational people and Protestants come to us and ask for rosaries. I know it is Mary interceding for them and drawing them to her Son. I believe as we share with them that they have a Mother who wants to guide and care for them that it is a comfort knowing they are not alone. This was the case for many people we met, in particular for Dave, Barbara, Simon, Michael and Nicole. Please pray for them that as Deacon Mike and I shared our stories with them and our love for the Eucharist, that God would draw them to Himself. Please also pray for Ashwen, a Muslim, who is opening to hearing about the Catholic faith and took information, that God would reveal the fullness of truth to Him.
May Mary and the Holy Spirit continue to guide our little chapter that it would bear much fruit for God's kingdom and bring glory to God. As we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe this Sunday, may He be praised, worship and adored. Thank you prayer warriors for your continued support and sacrifices.
The Hound of Heaven
November 12, 2019
As Doug and I were setting up the SPSE table, an older Spanish man approached me and wondered why we were there. He had a scarf around his face as it was pretty cold out so all I could see were his brown eyes. As we conversed, he shared with me that he had given up on God and that this is the way life is, just getting by and living each day aimlessly. I shared with him the good news and a bit of my witness and that he can have purpose and meaning in his life. He was not sold on what I was saying and started to walk away. I felt a little discouraged but as I followed him to the other side of the terminal I asked him if I could pray for him and asked his name. I believe that he was very touched by that and said his name was Mauricio. Pray that the Hound of Heaven would seek him out and reveal his personal love to him.
Doug and I prayed with an elderly gentleman who has a brain tumor. Pray that God would miraculously remove the tumor and manifest his love to him through this. As we were praying for the elderly gentleman another man was waiting at the table and was so amazed at all the literature and beautiful medals displayed. His name was Kenneth and was raised as a Baptist. As I shared with him the richness of our Catholic faith and especially the Eucharist his eyes lit up. I gave him information about churches in the area and the brochure "Why Be Catholic" He was every eager to receive it. Please pray also for Terrance who I have seen at the bus stop many times and have developed a relationship with, that he would have a desire to seek out the Catholic faith as he works seven days a week. Doug talked to Takia who took a rosary and was interested in deepening her faith and received information. A woman named Maria also talked with him who would like prayers for housing.
We were very blessed to have Jeannie Tondo come and help out as she is still grieving the loss of her dear husband Dominic. Please pray that God would continue to console and strengthen her. May God continue to bless our little chapter and Mary intercede for us to bear much fruit for his kingdom.
The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor
October 30, 2019
The Best Things in Life Are Free
October 22, 2019
Deacon Mike and I went out this past Wednesday and had many beautiful encounters. It is so amazing to see so many Protestants come up to us asking for rosaries. I do believe Our Lady is trying to draw them into the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith. We feel so privileged to be able to offer everyone the beautiful literature provided by SPSE, especially the crosses and Miraculous Medals. Many of them are astonished and ask if it is actually free because it is so beautiful.
We gave these to a beautiful french-speaking woman from the Ivory Coast in Africa who has a deep love for her Catholic faith and could not believe that we were offering all of the complimentary material. Deacon Mike was able to share the beauty of the faith with a Methodist woman who was very interested why we were there. People are hungry to hear that they can receive the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist which is the greatest treasure that we have.
Please pray for Joshua, James and Crystal who are young adults and were very glad to receive information about the faith, that they will follow through. I talked to Jason who believes in a “higher power”, that God would reveal Himself personally to him. Deacon Mike and I prayed with Dana that God would provide a job for her and for a Chinese lady who is unchurched and was given the Good News and Salvation pamphlet, that God would draw her to Himself.
Praised be Jesus Christ! If you run into someone who asks “what’s the catch?” when showing them love or giving them a rosary or Miraculous Medal, make sure to remind them that you’re just sharing the love and generosity that comes from God!