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Announcing New Life -- Christians are called to be not only defenders of life but also restorers
The Word Among Us ^ | 7-1-02 | by Father Tom Forrest, C.Ss.R.

Posted on 07/21/2002 6:37:55 PM PDT by Salvation

Announcing New Life
Christians are called to be not only defenders of life but also restorers of life. by Father Tom Forrest, C.Ss.R.

In this story of the raising of the dead son of the widow of Nain, Jesus reveals himself as a conqueror of death. He comes upon a scene of terrible sadness and changes the anguish of death into joy, the pain of separation into the thrill of reunion. The same power that on this occasion brought a dead boy back to his mother’s arms, on many other occasions brought sons and daughters spiritually dead through sin back to the loving arms of a heavenly Father.

As evangelizers, we too are called to be conquerors of death, communicators of new and abundant life, renewers of the human condition as we lead people to rebirth and re-creation. This story of a widow who lost both her husband and her only son to death offers a model of our task as Christians, people of God and servants of his people.

Heralds of Good News. All sin does damage to our lives as children of God. It can even destroy life completely. We have all been born into the death of original sin and must be brought to life by baptism. Those who suffer the death of personal sins must be brought back to life by faith in the victory of Christ. It’s our job as Christians to be heralds of the good news, to proclaim to both the physically and spiritually dead that they can come back to life.

The world has never heard happier or more important news. This is more important than any announcement made by Sigmund Freud or Dr. Jonas Salk. We can come back from the dead! We can come back from our wounds, weaknesses, and sins to the health and innocence of the children of God (1 John 3:9)!

In athletics, business, and politics, people work with incredible enthusiasm and determination in their quest of fame, money, power, and pleasure. But no one ever had a goal comparable in importance to that of a Christian as a restorer of life. We are chosen and anointed instruments of nothing less than the resurrection! We are chosen to speak words of life, words of hope, words of rebirth and re-creation, to those who are spiritually or emotionally dead or dying. We are chosen to speak the way Jesus spoke to the dead son of the widow of Nain. We have been chosen to echo Jesus’ proclamation: “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

These words have meaning for the here and the hereafter! God the Father raised his crucified Son from the dead so we could rise with him to a new life, the life of God’s children, life in abundance (John 10:10). That life begins with belief, and belief begins with clear proclamation: “How are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?” (Romans 10:14).

A Culture of Death. The world needs to hear this proclamation of the new life that is ours in Jesus Christ. People can be so misled and confused by what Pope John Paul II calls the “culture of death” and see death as the easiest solution to many of our problems. Or they can lose their sense of the reality of death as newspapers and news programs bombard their minds with the latest tallies of deaths resulting from wars, acts of terrorism, racial violence, state executions, murders, assisted suicides, and the millions of abortions.

But these are not the only deaths over which we have to proclaim victory. There are also the deaths of marriages, killed by a love turned to hatred or put to death by the suicide of a quick decision to divorce. There are all the suicidal deaths through addictions to drugs and alcohol, the plight of those whose hope has died completely. Vital relationships are dying every day as people allow the tiniest word or slightest offense to end a valuable friendship.

All over the world, peace is dying because nations and cultures do not see their differences as gifts to be shared but as divisions to be resolved through war and death. They have no sense of the forgiveness we have been sent to proclaim!

Messengers of Hope. God is calling us to an action so vital and practical that it can make the difference between life and death. Our task is to be conquerors of death in this valley of tears (1 Corinthians 15:54-57; John 16:33; Revelation 21:4). Like Ezekiel, we must prophesy life back into the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). Like St. Paul optimistically calling out “Don’t worry!” after a young boy took a fatal fall from a window (Acts 20:9-12), we must pray to bring back to life all those who have suffered a fatal fall from grace. And like Jesus commanding the mourners, “Go away!” once he reached the home of the little dead girl (Matthew 9:24), we must restore hope to all those who are trapped in despair and grief.

Jesus commanded his disciples, “Preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead” (Matthew 10:7-8). This is exactly what we are doing when we evangelize. We are administrators of the only healing available to those spiritually dead through sin. We are the resuscitators of those dying because of failed relationships, disordered emotions, or overpowering passions. Do you want to know what a Christian is? A Christian is a messenger of hope, an angel of light, a communicator of life with a voice filled with optimism and joy.

We are sent to cry out “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). We are to lead every Lazarus we find out of the tomb. We have a message that can transform even the inescapable reality of physical death into nothing more worrisome than a peaceful transition to a better life. We are sent as “salt” to restore flavor to a world gone sour with too much sin and death (Matthew 5:13). Salt is a preservative. Our job is to keep the world preserved from going bad and dying the death of despair.

We are sent as “light” to people so blinded by despair that they are unable to forgive others or even to forgive their own sins. We are sent to carry hope, the healing message of the Father of life, to all his beloved children threatened by either the attraction or fear of death.

Passing On the Torch. There is a living Savior to announce, the conqueror of death, the giver of life who calls himself “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). There is a world to be saved, sin and death to be overcome, families and nations to be kept alive in hope, children to be protected, crimes and wars to be avoided, hunger and injustice to be ended. There is a humanity in need of healing, peace, and love. There are millions who need a “new life,” millions in need of resurrection.

Because the whole world needs us so badly, we can’t surrender to discouragement. The world has enough of that already! We must be vibrant, enthusiastic, and dedicated Christians of the gospel of Life. Our task is to pass the torch of life to our fellow Christians and to all people, setting them on fire with joy to share with others the thrilling and totally satisfying life of Christ. We are leaders of God’s Easter people, ministers of nothing less than resurrection.

May we see the dead coming back to life as God uses us as his chosen instruments of the new creation! May the Holy Spirit, who gave life to the church, empower us. May our dear mother Mary, who gave life to the Savior of the world, inspire us to go and bring the dead back to a life destined to last for all eternity, together and alive in Christ. We can bring a world lost in the darkness of death back to the Light of Life!

TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; evangelization; heraldsofgoodnews; messengersofhope
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Spread the Good News!
1 posted on 07/21/2002 6:37:56 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Evangelization Bump!

Any thoughts from any of you?

2 posted on 07/21/2002 6:39:52 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
All over the world, and even in our churches, the good news of the possibility of eternal salvation for each and every one of us is slowly being leached away. So many are forgetting the whole point of Jesus' presence on this Earth. As you said, let's spread the Good News!
3 posted on 07/21/2002 7:20:28 PM PDT by yendu bwam
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To: Salvation
We are sent as “light” to people so blinded by despair that they are unable to forgive others or even to forgive their own sins. We are sent to carry hope, the healing message of the Father of life, to all his beloved children threatened by either the attraction or fear of death.

I love that part! Thanks for posting such uplifting articles. They are an oasis sometimes.

4 posted on 07/21/2002 8:57:18 PM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
You already are letting your light shine here and at your church with the teens. Keep up the goos work! And keep asking those people the questions!
5 posted on 07/21/2002 9:58:41 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
In athletics, business, and politics, people work with incredible enthusiasm and determination in their quest of fame, money, power, and pleasure.

Thought the following story from the webmaster at, would surely be an inspiritational example of evangelization.

By Michael H. Brown

A little over ten years ago I attended a pro-life conference in Chicago and there met a man named Thomas S. Monaghan, who at the time owned Domino's Pizza, a major-league baseball team (the Detroit Tigers), and a software company. Back then he was said to be worth $600 million but ended up a billionaire.

I was impressed with his wealth, of course, but more so with what he decided to do with it. He said he planned to divest his companies and dedicate the rest of his life to serving his faith, which is Catholicism. He told me two of the very highest points of his life had been meeting the Pope in his private chapel (where Monaghan received Communion from the Pope's hands) and being present for an apparition at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina. After his spiritual awakening, Monaghan halted construction on a home that if I recall accurately was to be located in the Ann Arbor area and cost more than $30 million. 

The house, I gather, ended up significantly smaller, and true to his words, Monaghan ended up selling both Domino's and the Tigers. He has taken his fortune and used it to build missions or churches in Third World countries like  Nicaragua (where he paid three-quarters the cost of a new cathedral) and has founded Ave Maria, a Catholic law school in Michigan. This man who could easily have afforded a fleet of his own jets has also taken to flying coach, and has started up an organization for Catholic CEOs that focuses on spirituality. One newspaper quoted him as saying that the idea came from "divine inspiration." His new goal, he says, is to "die broke." 

Obviously, Thomas Monaghan is not going to end up on the street, but it was his way of saying that he planned to allocate most of his money in service to God. I don't know the accuracy of every little detail, but the point is that he is following what Jesus asked of the rich man (Matthew 19:21) and is doing what we all, rich or poor, are supposed to do: take gifts we have been given and use them for the Lord and the betterment not of self but of mankind. 

It is time for more CEOs -- for all CEOs, for all wealthy people, and for everyone else -- to wake up to what is right to do with their money. I don't know if everyone is meant to take the exact same course but do you realize how many kids in the Philippines or Pakistan or India or Tanzania can be fed with $1 million -- which is what countless rich Americans spend every year on their yachts?

This is a sin greater than what our "Christian" society will acknowledge. 

The Pope himself sternly warned in 1999 (during his trip to the U.S.) against a runaway free-market system and a "purely economic conception of man." 

A basic tenet of Christianity is that one cannot serve both God and mammon -- yet this is precisely what a majority of Americans, perhaps a large majority, now do. Too many have become slaves to gold and bonds and the stock market, not realizing that the Catholic Church has long taught that capitalism can become as evil as socialism and that it is wrong to compete selfishly or to gamble or to gouge each other -- to take advantage, to charge "whatever the market will bear." 

As historian Barbara Tuchman recounts, our Christian forbearers stated "that profit beyond a minimum necessary to support the dealer was avarice, that to make money out of money by charging interest on a loan was the sin of usury" and that "prices should be set at a 'just' level, meaning the value of the labor added to the value of the raw material."  In Church history, usury was considered to be the charging of a higher rate than was absolutely necessary. Take a look at interest payments on new homes or what credit-card companies charge and see if there is something fundamentally wrong with the modern system.

This may seem radical, but it is what is taught by our Church. In a right world, a man makes good money for providing legitimate societal benefit. 

But this is not what we see in the modern world. Today we see executives who cart off not millions but tens of millions from companies that aren't even viable and that they did not even start and who when you really look at it produce nothing. 

I remember when I lived in Manhattan in the Roaring Eighties and 25-year-old kids who were working the foreign exchange desks down at the World Trade Center could afford limousines and big nights out and I remember the commodity brokers who were sapping the systems while the farmers who actually grew the product were going bankrupt.   

Contrast this with Jesus, Who Himself is never recorded to have owned anything but the clothes He wore and the scars from His cross. 

I know plenty of wealthy people who are very decent -- and excellent Catholics. Being prosperous doesn't make somebody evil. And being poor doesn't make someone good.

But as Jesus said, how difficult it is for the rich to gain direct entry into heaven. 

Tom Monaghan? I don't know Tom Monaghan. We met that brief time. But I'll never forget him. To me, he's an American hero, or at least a great example of a Catholic businessman. The last time I saw him in the news he was proposing to build what might be the world's largest Crucifix (or at least the tallest free-standing one in the West). The proposed 25-story crucifix, planned for the law school campus, would be taller than the old General Motors Building, taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and just 51 feet short of the Statue of Liberty's torch.

I don't know if he's going ahead with that plan, but I know if more CEOs followed his way an awful lot more of them would find their way through the eye of the needle.

6 posted on 07/22/2002 4:48:10 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
“Go, and Make Disciples. . .”
What Makes an Effective Evangelist?

Filled with the Love of God
For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
(2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
(Matthew 10:7-8)

Filled with Love for Others
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)

The glory that you have given me I have given them, Father, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:22-23)

Filled with Faith
Just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with Scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”— we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. (2 Corinthians 4:13-14)

For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.
(2 Timothy 1:11-12)

Filled with Hope
Continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. (Colossians 1:23)

May God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.
(Ephesians 1:17-19)

Filled with Boldness
And now, Lord, . . . grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus. (Acts 4:29-30)

I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel. . . . Most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear.
(Philippians 1:12-14)
7 posted on 07/22/2002 2:33:15 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: NYer
Thanks for that article about Tom Monaghan. There are many more like him who give their money away to charities.
8 posted on 07/22/2002 2:40:11 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
Yes, here's yet another example of a wealthy man who chose the difficult path and followed Christ.

9 posted on 07/22/2002 4:17:46 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
What is the story about Fr. John Corapi?
10 posted on 07/23/2002 9:22:56 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Evangelization Ping! Post your own faith stories or those of people whom you know--life is a journey.

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Alleluia Ping list.

11 posted on 07/23/2002 9:27:18 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
click for Fr Corapi's story and order a FREE tape
12 posted on 07/23/2002 9:50:48 AM PDT by MudPuppy
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To: Salvation; MudPuppy
You can hear him lecture on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sunday evenings on EWTN. He is an extremely powerful, inspirational and motivational speaker. Also available on Holy Spirit radion at:
13 posted on 07/23/2002 10:36:28 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation
The "Culture of Death" truly resonates with me. I have walked through the Valley of the Culture of Death and its stench is still on me. I was dead, in the Pauline sense, and risen. I resolve to find others who are trapped in that valley and help them out as well.
14 posted on 07/23/2002 1:32:55 PM PDT by WriteOn
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To: WriteOn
I resolve to find others who are trapped in that valley and help them out as well.

You will do it! The Small Church Communities sounds OK -- I am just very partial to the Disciples in Mission small group formation.

15 posted on 07/23/2002 6:53:42 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: WriteOn
Courage for the Task
How do we persevere when the going gets tough?

Do you want to know how to get into trouble fast? Try dedicating yourself to doing good. People will immediately start making comparisons between your life and theirs—and let you know that they don’t like coming out the loser! They will begin to tell you that you’re just trying to prove you’re better than anyone else, a do-gooder showing off and claiming to be holier than everyone else. Well, we are trying to be holier—but only holier than we ourselves used to be!

Now, do you want to know the quickest way to get into trouble? Try evangelizing. Evangelization is dangerous because it does the greatest good of all. Evangelization gives sight to the blind. It gives the pearl of great price to the spiritually destitute, hope and joy to the weary, and the love of God to the lonesome and unloved. Evangelization shows the way to the lost, frees prisoners with truth, offers forgiveness and healing to the weak and wounded. Evangelizers give away salvation—and give it for free! They give the greatest of all gifts, Jesus the Savior!

If ordinary goodness gets you in hot water, be prepared for a real battle when you start giving away God. John the Baptist cried out in absolute delight: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). And what happened to him? They served up his head on a platter! Jesus walked from town to town announcing the good news that “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:23; 10:7), proving it by healing the sick—and he was mocked, whipped, spat on, crowned with thorns, hung by nails on a cross, and pierced with a lance.

Never Give Up!
St. Paul is a special example of the cost of evangelization and the courage needed to persevere. He went around preaching the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyria (Romans 15:19) and eventually all the way to Rome. And what happened to him? Labors and imprisonments, Paul tells us, with countless beatings, and frequent brushes with death: “Five times . . . I received forty lashes less one; three times I was beaten with rods; I was stoned once, shipwrecked three times; I passed a day and night on the sea. I traveled continually, endangered by floods, robbers, my own people, the Gentiles; imperiled in the city, in the desert, by sea, by false brothers, enduring labor, hardship, many sleepless nights; in hunger and thirst and frequent fastings; in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

Just imagine what St. Paul’s back must have looked like after all those beatings! Yet, amazingly, he never thought that he should stop evangelizing. He kept right on preaching. In Lystra, when he was stoned and dragged out of the city, he got up and continued on to Derbe with Barnabas. And after they proclaimed the good news in that town and made numerous disciples, they even retraced their steps back to Lystra and Iconium (Acts 14:19-21). It sounds like Paul was thickheaded in more ways than one: Stones bounced right off his head, and the idea of giving up could never get into it! He lived out—literally—the prophecy of Christ: “They will hale you into court; they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings to give witness . . . on my account” (Matthew 10:17-19). And Paul did it all, because for him evangelization was that important! And it’s no less important today.

When the first Christians were persecuted, their response was to gather together and pray: “Grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29). The martyrs did not stop proclaiming the good news of salvation that is ours in Jesus Christ.

The Foolishness of the Cross.
Today we hesitate to evangelize our friends and coworkers or even to mention Christ to our children because we don’t know what to say. But didn’t Jesus promise that we would be given the right words to speak? “When they hand you over, do not worry about what you are to say or how you will say it. . . . When the hour comes you will be given what you are to say. . . . You yourselves will not be the speaker. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you” (Matthew 10:17-19). Or we fear that someone might call us a name or give us a dirty look. We only want to evangelize at a perfectly safe moment when we are sure to sound absolutely brilliant. If Jesus had waited for the perfectly safe moment, we would still be waiting for him to get there!

Describing the dangers Paul encountered and the problems we face in sharing the gospel with others might scare you off rather than convince you to evangelize. Yet I’m following the example of Christ. He clearly foretold the dangers, but he also added this encouragement: “Do not fear those who kill the body, but can not destroy the soul” (Matthew 10:28). The reason he warns us is this: If you’re easily scared off, you can’t do the full job.

Proclaiming the “stone rejected” invites rejection (Acts 4:11). Witnessing to a crucified Savior involves the cross. Preaching virtues like humility, forgiveness, purity, poverty, and justice tends to put our necks in a noose. But it is in the nature of evangelization to be out of style, to go against the grain and rub the world the wrong way. If you’ve never been persecuted while doing the unpopular job of proclaiming the “foolishness of the cross,” you might not be doing the job well enough.

Proclaiming the Good News with Perseverance.
When it comes to evangelization, none of the excuses gets you anywhere. “I’m too timid!” only means you are too worried about yourself! Evangelizers need the determination, courage, and conviction of St. Paul: “I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God leading everyone who believes in it to salvation” (Romans 1:16). “I’m too busy!” Too busy for what? Too busy to talk? Or just too busy to talk about Jesus?“It’s not my thing.” If you are a Christian, it is! It’s the basic task of the people of God; it’s the reason why the church exists; it’s our supreme duty (Mission of the Redeemer, 3). If you are planning to go to heaven, you’d better make it your thing fast! As Pope Paul VI once said: “Don’t be so sure you’re going if you’re not taking anyone along!” “I don’t know enough.” About what? God? Salvation? Goodness? Truth? God’s living word? The way to peace and happiness? But what’s wrong with studying? The answers have all been revealed.

If excuses like these don’t work, then the job simply has to be done—despite the dangers, persecutions, rejections, insults, time involved, things said, comments made, looks given, study and preparation needed! The successful evangelist is a person so convinced of the importance of the gospel that he or she will pay the price—whatever it is—to proclaim.

The secret is to persevere when the going gets tough—and it will get tough! So, “let us not grow weary of doing good. If we do not relax our efforts, in due time we will reap the harvest” (Galatians 6:9). And what a harvest! Nothing less than new souls for paradise! It’s worth the effort! It’s worth the cross! It has to be done! And it can be done with nothing less!
16 posted on 07/23/2002 6:56:59 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: MudPuppy
John Corapi's Amazing Story

Here is a letter from Bud Macfarlane, Jr., founder of the Mary Foundation:

Dear Mary Foundation Visitor,

John Corapi's Amazing Story" is just that: amazing. You'll have to listen to it yourself to appreciate how one man can go from the utter depths of despair to the heights of supernatural happiness.

Because it was the first recording released to the general public featuring Father Corapi, virtually no one in America knew who he was at the time. Of course, Father Corapi has since become one of the most influential Catholic speakers of our times, appearing at countless conferences, parish missions, and regularly on EWTN, the global Catholic television network.

I often compare Father Corapi to Saint Anthony, who also had the ineffable power of God fueling his speaking ability, giving him supernatural influence beyond the meaning of his words.

You'll find out exactly what I mean when you hear the incredible story of his life. But first, I want to tell you what happened to me when we recorded "John Corapi's Amazing Story."

In 1983, while I was an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, a group of students and I decided to consecrate our hearts to Immaculate Mary as members of the Militia Immaculata. One of the men in the chapel that day, was Tony Anderson. After graduating, Tony entered a small and dynamic new congregation called S.O.L.T., the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. It just so happened that Father Tony studied to be a priest alongside an unusually talented man with a water-well-deep voice, and they had just been ordained, side by side, in Rome.

Father Tony gave me a "bootleg" recording of his fellow priest, telling me, "You have to listen to this guy. His story is amazing." So I listened. I was so moved that I loosely based a character in my first novel on his story. And the Mary Foundation decided to introduce Father Corapi to the world. And now you can get to know him, too.

Since then, Father Corapi has given his testimony many times to many audiences, but I'll never forget the day we recorded "John Corapi's Amazing Story" for the Mary Foundation. He happened to be in his hometown in upstate New York. We met with a group of people in the grammar school gym where John had played as a young boy. I set up the recording equipment myself, off to the side, on the hardwood floor.

While Father gave his talk, something happened to me that has never happened before or since. There is a part near the end of the talk where Father Corapi implores listeners to "Answer the call!" You'll know it when you hear it. It's powerful.

During this riveting section, even though I was alone and off to the side in a stale-aired gym several yards from the nearest listener, I smelled the most beautiful fragrance I've ever smelled in my life. It was overwhelming, like heavenly flowers. I looked around to see if someone had spilled a bottle of perfume near me. No one was nearby. There were no flowers in the gym, of course.

The fragrance graced my nostrils for several minutes; it dawned on me what was happening. I had heard stories about the "gift of fragrance" before, usually the scent of roses to indicate that Our Lady was nearby in a supernatural way. Now it was happening to me, Bud Macfarlane, just another guy from New Jersey!

I'm not the kind of person this type of thing happens to. And I'm not a "flowers" kind of guy. I don't like perfume, but this fragrance was different. It was powerful but not in a way that was off-putting. It was as if I was inhaling Beauty itself. It was, in a word, miraculous.

After the recording was complete, I thanked Father Corapi, then went to the people who, although far away, were seated closest to me. They had not smelled anything out of the ordinary. I told Father Corapi about it, and he just nodded in a knowing kind of way.

I drove back to the Mary Foundation, recording in hand, knowing for certain that we had something that was going to help countless souls. And so it has. As I look back on the experience, I often wonder exactly what kind of flower I was smelling.

What it the fragrance of a rose? No, it wasn't roses; I know that smell pretty well, since roses are the only flowers I buy for my wife. The more I reflect upon that incredible day, and every time I listen to "Father Corapi's Amazing Story," the more certain I become that the lovely fragrance from heaven which I smelled during the recording was that of...lilacs.

When you hear "John Corapi's Amazing Story," you'll understand the significance of lilacs.

I warmly invite you to experience this miraculous talk in your own way by requesting your free copy today.

With Immaculate Mary,

Bud's Signature
Bud Macfarlane, Jr.
Executive Director

17 posted on 07/23/2002 7:02:17 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
Today's Gospel: (7-24-02)

Mt 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
"A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."

The Parable of the Sower as an inspiration for all who evangelize! (All of us, BTW, as we go through our daily lives in our homes, churches, workplaces and society in general, spreading the Good News of the Risen Jesus Christ.)

18 posted on 07/24/2002 9:00:27 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
"It is not enough to discover Christ--you must bring Him to others! The world today is one great mission land, even in countries of long-standing Christian tradition."
(Pope John Paul II)
19 posted on 07/24/2002 9:06:23 AM PDT by Salvation
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to read later
20 posted on 07/24/2002 3:03:00 PM PDT by independentmind
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