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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (7)

In 1936, St. Faustina was transferred to live in two rural convents. Before departing Vilnius, she was asked by an elderly nun to ask Jesus whether He had truly forgiven her sins after Confession all these years. That night at Mass, during the Consecration, she heard Jesus saying, “Her lack of faith injures my Heart far more than her sins.” On April 3, Jesus showed her how many souls she had converted over Lent by revealing a ciborium holding the many Eucharists they had received. On May 11, St. Faustina transferred to Krakow and served as the gardener and porter. Jesus revealed that all who prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet would receive special graces from the inexhaustible Mercy of God. He also instituted Divine Mercy Sunday on the Sunday after Easter, which would be a refuge of sinners, when a fountain of mercy would be opened as an ocean of grace for sinners. On this Divine Mercy Sunday, let us ask for God’s mercy by praying the Chaplet.
Publish date: 2018 - 4 - 7


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (6)

On September 13, 1935, St. Faustina received a vision of an angel destroying a city. But she begged God to have mercy on the city, praying with some divinely-inspired words. After praying those words, the angel was made powerless to destroy the city. Later, God revealed to St. Faustina that she had prayed the first Divine Mercy Chaplet and was to spread it to others. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed on the same beads as the Rosary, but begins with the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Apostles’ Creed; followed by five decades of one “Eternal Father” prayer and ten “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” prayers; and concluded by three “Holy God” prayers. Jesus lamented that many of the elect, instead of entering into intimate conversation with Him in the interior life, were looking for distractions in the external world. When we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, let us meditate on the interior presence of God.
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 31


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (5)

From 1933 to 1936, St. Faustina lived in Vilnius, present-day Lithuania. She found a spiritual director in Fr. Michael Sopocko, who asked her to ask Jesus about the meaning of the red and white rays in the Divine Mercy Image. Jesus responded that they represented the blood and water that flowed from his Sacred Heart after it was pierced, and that those souls who took refuge in it were blessed. In 1934, St. Faustina was told by Mary that she would suffer much for her mission to the Divine Mercy devotion and was told to pray for the souls of the dying. At 3pm one day, she heard a sister’s voice from Warsaw, “Please pray for me until I tell you to stop. I am nearing death.” St. Faustina prayed without ceasing until, at 5pm, she heard the voice again: “Thank you.” The next day, she received news that Sister Philomena had passed away in Warsaw the previous day at 4:45pm. In 1935, a marshal was on his death bed, and he was admired for his achievements but was far from the Church, and his sins caused him to suffer a hell on earth. Nonetheless, he had a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary, and through the intercessory prayers of St. Faustina, he entered Purgatory instead of Hell. St. Faustina also had a gift of prophecy and she told Fr. Sopocko that a beautiful Polish city would be destroyed because of the sin of abortion. After World War II, he realized that she had prophesized the destruction of Warsaw by the Nazis after the Warsaw Uprising.
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 24


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (4)

In 1931, St. Faustina received a vision of the Divine Mercy Image: Jesus with His right hand raised in blessing and his left hand over His Heart, out of which shone two rays of light – one red and one white. Jesus commanded St. Faustina to depict the vision on an image with “Jesus, I trust in You” at the bottom, to promote its veneration, and promised special protection to the souls who venerated it, especially at the hour of death. He also promised the special grace of conversion to those who prayed the Conversion Prayer. He said, “The faithlessness of sinners rends My Heart, and the lack of trust in the elect increases my anguish.” In the five months that St. Faustina spent in Warsaw in preparation for taking her perpetual vows, she struggled to find a confessor who could tell her whether her visions came from God. Eventually, she found a priest who understood her at a retreat, and she understood that her mission was from God. After taking her perpetual vows in 1933, she commissioned an artist in Warsaw to paint the vision, but on first seeing it, she was so distraught at its inferiority to the vision of Jesus that she tearfully ran back to the convent chapel to pray. Jesus told her, “The importance of the image lies not in the beauty of the paint, but in the grace of God.”
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 16


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (2)

From 1926 to 1928, Sr. Faustina was a novice sister. Her novitiate teacher taught her to be humble and trust in God like a child, and she did not hold grudges against others, only praying to God about them. At the end of her first year of the novitiate, she experienced her 18-month Dark Night of the Soul. She felt abandoned and despaired, prayer and meditation were difficult, and temptations great. She was supported by her teacher, who told her that God had favoured her. Once, she received a vision of St. Thérèse de Lisieux after praying a Novena to her, and was told, “I suffered like you, but if you trust in Jesus, you will be a saint too.” In 1928, she took her first vows and left the novitiate. After the ceremony, she told her parents, “The one I took my vows to, is the son-in-law you have betrothed me to, Jesus Christ.”
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 3


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (11)

If children can be saints, all the more so can adults. After the Fatima apparitions, Lucia suffered greatly until her death in 2005. Francisco, her father, and then Jacinta died in quick succession, and she fell into severe depression and spent much time in the cemetery mourning them. Her bishop eventually decided to move her away from Fatima. In 1925, while living in a Dorothean convent, she received a vision of Mary and the Child Jesus. Mary said the offences of ungrateful sinners had caused her a lot of suffering and promised special grace at the hour of death to those who followed the Five First Saturdays devotion. On the first Saturday of five consecutive months, they would need to go to Confession, receive Holy Eucharist, and pray and meditate on the Rosary. Jesus revealed that these practices would repair the offences done to Mary. Of course, we can receive the Sacraments on days other than first Saturdays – the important thing is to do this for the reparation of sinners. The Opus Dei Prelature has a tradition of praying five decades of the Rosary daily and meditating on the remaining fifteen, for the reparation of offences to the Virgin Mary.
Publish date: 2018 - 2 - 10


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (10)

The July apparition and the three Fatima secrets revealed there deeply affected Jacinta’s spiritual development. Having seen the pitiful souls suffering in Hell, she loved making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, such as fasting and frequenting the Church even when it wasn’t Sunday. She was also devoted to the Immaculate Heart, loved the prayer “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.” and encouraged Lucia, who was entrusted with the mission of spreading devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Jacinta, having seen the Holy Father being martyred, also loved offering prayers and sacrifices for the Pope. In 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta and publicly thanked Jacinta for her prayers and sacrifices. Mary let Jacinta know that she would be brought to hospital in Lisbon to die alone, and then be brought to Heaven. When it was time to leave, Jacinta tearfully embraced Lucia and, knowing this was their final farewell, she asked Lucia to keep praying for her until she reached Heaven and to keep sacrificing for sinners. While in Lisbon, Mary revealed to Jacinta that it was the sin of impurity that brought the most souls to Hell. After Jacinta died, her body was discovered to be incorrupt and the Pope commanded Lucia to recount the stories of Francisco and Jacinta to the world.
Publish date: 2018 - 2 - 3


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (9)

After the October 13th apparition, Francisco dedicated himself to solitary prayer to console Jesus, while Jacinta dedicated herself to sacrifices to save sinners from Hell. When Lucia questioned Francisco, he replied, “When you saw Mary’s face, didn’t you see how saddened she was by the offenses shown to God? I want to first console God and then convert sinners so they will cease offending Him." When Lucia went to school one day, Francisco felt death nearing, so he stayed in the church to pray, saying, “I must stay with the hidden Jesus.” But when Francisco fell sick and could not go to church, he asked Lucia to visit the hidden Jesus on his behalf. Although he suffered greatly from the sickness, he remained joyful for the sake of Jesus. When his sickness worsened, he asked Lucia and Jacinta to help him recount his sins so he could make a good Confession and receive the Eucharist. Having received the “hidden Jesus”, he promised Lucia, “I will not forget about you – I will plead to God to bring you to Heaven soon.” Francisco died on April 4, 1919 and on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, May 13, 2017, Pope Francis canonized Francisco and Jacinta.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 27


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (8)

On August 12 and 13, there was a great downpour, but many people still came to the site of the apparition, hoping to witness the promised miracle there. The mother of the Dos Santos children also came. Although she still did not believe their visions, she wanted to protect them against angry crowds in case no miracle took place. Lucia led the crowds to pray the Rosary, and seeing the Virgin Mary, she asked, “What must I do?” The Virgin Mary replied, “Build a chapel for me here, and pray the Rosary, so that the war will end.” When Lucia brought the needs of the crowd to Mary, Mary replied, “Some I can grant, others I cannot. They must first change their lives. God has already been deeply wronged.” Then, Mary stretched out her arms, and a bright light appeared, showing Jesus and Joseph blessing the world – the Holy Family. At the same time, the crowds saw the Sun dancing in circles across the sky. Many thought that Judgment Day had arrived, but after eight to ten minutes, the sun returned to normal, and the formerly wet ground was dry. Many doubters of the Fatima visions believed that day. Clearly, God performed a miracle to emphasize to humans the importance of praying for peace.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 20


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (7)

The three Dos Santos children were upset at having missed the August 13th Fatima apparition, but Mary appeared to them on August 19th. Mary told them to return to the regular site of the apparitions on September 13th, exhorted them to continue praying the Rosary, and promised them a miracle in October. Mary looked sorrowful and said, “Pray continuously and sacrifice – many souls have entered Hell because there was no one to pray for them.” Remembering their vision of Hell, the children dedicated themselves to prayer and sacrifice. They gave food to poor children, fasted from food and water, bound tight ropes around their waists, and prayed the prayer taught by the angel. On September 13th, Mary told them that Jesus Himself would come in October, and that God was pleased by their sacrifices, but that they ought to wear the ropes only during the day, and not while sleeping. Prayer and sacrifice are two indispensable tools of the faith, and oftentimes, God saves souls through these invisible means. Even though it is sometimes impossible to contact all unbelievers in person, we can contact them spiritually through prayer and sacrifice, and bring them to accept God’s saving grace.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 13


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (6)

After the children were revealed the first two Fatima secrets, an ambitious local official was convinced the hidden third secret concerned him, so on August 13, on the pretext of giving them a ride to the site of the apparitions, he kidnapped them. He brought them to a prison and threatened to boil them alive unless they revealed the third secret. Jacinta began to cry, but Francisco began praying in reparation for sinners. Jacinta hung her religious medal on the wall and the three children began to recite the Rosary. The prisoners also tried to console the children: one of them danced with Jacinta, who loved to dance. Although the children were freed, they endured a martyrdom of sorts, refusing to divulge the third secret on pain of death. Thus, they missed the August Fatima apparition, although some people saw a blue cloud column appear thrice that day. They were very upset, and thought that Mary would not appear to them again.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 6


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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (5)

Publish date: 2017 - 12 - 30