For you this week:
Saturday April 24, 2021
... and many came to believe in the Lord. (From Saturday's first reading)
Lord Jesus: In dark times I want to keep seeing everything through Your eyes. You are my guide, my path and my support at all times. I praise You, my God! Amen.
Reflection for Saturday:
A story of healing and victory in the worst of times
Lawrence is a long-time member of Good News Ministries. A year ago, he wrote to me for prayer support in his marital troubles. Soon after, his whole life came under attack and he eventually ended up in prison. I've compiled a series of letters from him that tell the story of how God worked in the midst of this to bring healing and victory.
May 2, 2020: "It has been rather challenging for me for the last 2 months as I struggle to keep my marriage. My wife wanted to end the marriage but I’ve been praying incessantly for a sign from God asking Him what’s His Will for us as I’m reluctant to give in to my wife’s impulsive and unreasonable demands.
To keep the peace I’ve had to move out and, as if the pandemic was not bad enough, I now face a most difficult decision to either end the marriage to regain my sanity and peace of mind or to trudge on in this marriage and try desperately to reconcile with my wife, knowing full well that reconciliation may only be temporary until her next outburst. It’s so tiring to try to fight a losing battle, and I need your prayers to see me through this challenging period in my life."
July 29, 2020: "Four years ago I was wrongfully charged for causing grievous hurt to a man who had been stalking me and my family for two years. All I did was to try to restrain him, while waiting for the police to arrive, by sitting on his buttocks, but unfortunately due to his health issues which I wasn’t even aware of, he died. I've been carrying this heavy cross and pray that justice will prevail, and I hope that you'll pray to God for me to give me the strength to pull through this crisis. Pray for me to have peace of mind and heart."
August 27, 2020: "In the most absurd world that we live in, the judge on the August 24th delivered a verdict of guilty. My heart sank as I heard the verdict being pronounced, and I felt like Jesus being wrongly accused and crucified for doing the Father's Will."
September 29, 2020: "Last night I received very disturbing news that the state prosecutors have recommended to the court that I serve at least 12 months of jail time. This was after telling me that they'll recommend a more lenient sentence in view of the aggravations my family and I went through. Everyone is shocked including my lawyer! Even he feels the sentences are excessive! I'm feeling lost and devastated at this moment. I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Jesus help me."
October 7, 2020: "The judge felt that the strong mitigating factors were in my favour as my family and I had suffered aggravations from the deceased for two long years leading to 59 police reports. He noted that I had clearly not sought out the deceased but had instead reacted when the deceased went over to my home to harass me and my family. He added that his provocative behaviour was a strong mitigating factor for me whose intentions were to hand him over to the police in our quest to put an end to our harassment."
Lawrence was sentenced to 8 months. His imprisonment began on October 20th.
October 8, 2020: "Thank you through the Precious Body and Blood of Christ for praying and supporting me as I'm about to journey into a new phase of my life, as I take refuge in knowing that, like St. Peter and St. Paul, God will give me His strength and courage to undergo whatever challenges I'll be facing."
April 6, 2021: "After 5 months and 12 days in prison, I was released last Wednesday the 31st of March. It felt really great to be back home again. God has always been with me throughout my journey in confinement."
April 8, 2021: "It's so appropriate that the last of my months in prison was during the Lenten Season. That was one of events that helped me overcome my ordeal of prison life, by recalling and meditating on Jesus' passion, death and resurrection.
God indeed had a reason for placing me in there, for I was given the opportunity and privilege to evangelise to my cellmates, both Christians and non-Christians. I didn't know I had the strength and courage to share my faith with them, but I can say for a fact that my daily prayer and quiet time was instrumental in helping me to remain calm amidst the turmoil I was going through.
We had Muslims, Hindus, Christians and lapsed Catholics in my cell, and yet most of them were amazed at my calmness, faith and persistence in praying everyday. In the early mornings when everyone is still asleep, I would sit up in the corner of my cell to pray the Rosary & read Scripture. In the afternoons I would pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I did all this everyday till the day I was released.
Meanwhile, God had healed my marriage. My wife became my source of inspiration as she constantly wrote to me and visited me. God showed both of us how special we are to each other, and He removed the pride and selfishness in us so that we are able see the good in each other and how we indeed love each other.
I shared this revelation with my cellmates and my family, especially those who were going through challenging marriages and family crises. I saw how God used me to comfort my cellmates and family.
This unusual experience has made me a stronger person and it has affirmed my faith in God that with Him everything is possible and I definitely would not survive without Him.
When I recall how Jesus was scourged, tortured and imprisoned, I realised what a privilege it was for me to experience a tiny portion of the suffering that He went through."
Inside the Ministry: Consecration to the Holy Spirit
April 24 – June 6, 2021
Become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings! Wherever you are on your journey of faith, you can receive more from your personal relationship with the Third Person of the Holy Trinity than what you’re currently experiencing. By opening yourself to the truths that will be revealed in this 44-day CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, your life will never be the same. The event begins on April 24, 2021.
Each day you will receive a prayer and a short video. You will learn how to hear the Holy Spirit and start living in the power of the Holy Spirit. Consecration day will be May 23, Pentecost. Afterward, we will continue in a Mystagogia Period for two weeks of learning how to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, ending on June 4, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. May your spirit leap for joy as the Holy Spirit embraces you — because you actually feel it!
Sign up today at https://elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/holyspirit.
How to Detect God’s Signs for You (podcast)
Between Easter and Pentecost is the time of year when the readings from Mass make it very clear what normal Christian living is supposed to look like. We need take this very seriously -- now more than ever.
One of the identifying signs that we are living as a "normal" Christian is our joy. Saint Paul said, “Rejoice always in the Lord!” How do we do that in today's crazy, evil world? How can we rejoice always? Rejoice means “re-joy” – joy again and again and again. The key? Joy amidst trials comes from knowing how to identify the signs of God’s intervention, that God has heard our prayers.
Satan wants us to be depressed and joyless. No one is attracted to the Church when the people in the Church are dour, unenthusiastic, or complaining.
Our joy comes from discovering the same level of faith that Lawrence found while he was in prison. We all suffer in this world. We all have trials that are difficult to go through. But the Lord wants everyone to know that he is there for each of us when we turn to him – even when everything seems to get worse instead of better. Especially then!
By knowing how to read God’s signs, we can discover that he truly cares about our problems. God’s signs, which he provides as often as we need them, gives us reason to rejoice.
I went into this in greater depth when I recorded "How to Detect God’s Signs for You" (May 9, 2019). Learn how to identify the divine interventions that he’s providing for you right now, today. In this episode, I share stories of miraculous signs that I have experienced in my own trials. The hawk in the photo was spotted in a tree in my back yard. It is the actual hawk that was one of God’s signs for my — as described in this episode.
Listen to this podcast today @ gnm.org/footsteps5.
God bless you!
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
And when you have to look at others, see them through his eyes.
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