Spiritual Talk
 
 
Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France

The Lourdes apparitions are the most famous of the 18th-century Marian apparitions. On February 11, 1858, Bernadette, her sister, and a friend were out collecting wood and, hearing the sound of wind, she saw a beautiful woman in a nearby grotto. She was clothed in white, with a veil on her head, a blue sash on her hips, yellow roses on her feet, and a gold-and-white Rosary in her hands. Bernadette attempted to make the sign of the cross, but was immobilized, and only when Mary made the Sign of the Cross could Bernadette do so. Bernadette began to pray the Rosary, Mary silently counted with her and disappeared. Bernadette realized that the other girls had not seen the vision and told them to keep it secret. But her sister told their mother, who was convinced she was dreaming. On February 14, Bernadette returned to the cave with locals, who cast holy water and prayed the Rosary, thinking the apparition demonic in origin. When Mary appeared, Bernadette said, “If you come from God, please approach us.” The holy water touched her foot, and Mary walked forward, prayed a Rosary, and disappeared. The day after Ash Wednesday, February 18, a woman and a nun accompanied Bernadette to the grotto. The three of them prayed the Rosary and lit a holy candle. When Mary appeared, Bernadette asked her to write her name. Mary said there was no need and told her to come every fourteen days: “I will not promise you happiness in this life, but happiness in the next.” On February 20, Mary taught Bernadette a private prayer, the content of which has never been revealed. The day after, Mary asked Bernadette to pray for sinners.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 16


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Marian apparition in Pontmain, France

On January 17, 1871, in Pontmain, France, two brothers had finished helping their father with farmwork. They saw the sky above one of their neighbours’ houses lacked stars. There, the boys saw a beautiful woman smiling at them, but the adults could not see the vision. Their mother thought it was a Marian apparition and told them to pray five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys in her honour. After dinner, they went back out and the vision was still there. They notified their teacher, a nun, who couldn’t see the vision, so she brought three children: the oldest two saw the vision, but the youngest did not. The adults could not see the vision but, under the guidance of their parish priest, began to pray the Rosary. The children saw a blue oval surrounding Mary – who had a red cross on her heart. The stars flew onto Mary’s clothing and made it shine, then at Mary’s feet, words appeared: “But pray, my children.” After the priest led the people to sing hymns to Mary, new words appeared: “God will soon answer you. My Divine Son has permitted Himself to be moved.” Then, a large image of the Passion of Christ appeared before Mary, and her smile turned to grief. The stars lit four candles, the Passion image disappeared, and the people began to pray Matins. That night, the Prussian invaders halted their advance into France and, 21 days later, a peace treaty was signed. In the village of Pontmain, all the soldiers returned home unscathed. The local bishop verified the miracle in 1872, and a big basilica was built there in 1900, and the Feast of Our Lady of Pontmain was established on January 17, to remind people to pray for peace, an important task in the 19th century and in our present age.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 9


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Marian apparition at La Salette, France

In 1846, Mary appeared at La Salette, France to a boy and a girl, who saw a weeping beautiful woman who said to them in French, “My children, come here, don’t be afraid.” She said that, unless people were obedient, her Son’s Divine Hand would have no alternative but to punish them. The locals would often curse with the Name of Jesus, even after God sent a potato crop failure to warn them. Now, a drought would come. Mary asked them, “Have you prayed well?” The children admitted they had not, so Mary told them to at least pray the Lord’s Prayer and a Hail Mary each day, but to pray more if time permitted. Mary complained that few people attended the Mass apart from old women, instead preferring to work in the summertime. And during Lent, they would continue to eat meat like ravenous dogs. She emphasized the importance of living out the first three Commandments – to worship God, to not take His Name in vain, and to keep the sabbath day – and also of making reparations for those who did not.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 2


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Catherine Labouré (3)

Ten years after St. Catherine Labouré received her visions of Mary, another sister of the same order, Sr. Justine, received her own vision. In 1840, she saw Mary clutching her enflamed Immaculate Heart with her right hand, and her left hand grabbing a green scapular, with an image of the Immaculate Heart pierced by swords on the reverse, encircled by the prayer “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” A voice told her that through this image, many lost souls would be brought to Mary and saved. Sr. Justine knew that she had to distribute this sacred image as fast as she could. In 1841, Sr. Justine told Fr. Jean-Marie about the visions, but as he was already promoting the Miraculous Medal devotion of St. Catherine Labouré, the promotion of the Green Scapular devotion was delayed and lacking in faith. Mary appeared in 1842 and 1846 to protest. People asked whether the devotion required any specific blessings, and Mary told Sr. Justine in a vision that, as the scapular belonged to no particular order, no specific blessing was needed. The devotee need only pray the prayer on the back of the scapular daily. The Pope approved the Green Scapular devotion and it spread widely, bringing many souls to conversion.
Publish date: 2018 - 5 - 26


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

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

On the night of July 18, 1830, the Virgin Mary first appeared to St. Catherine Labouré, the “sweetest moment” of her life. On November 27, 1830, the Virgin Mary appeared again as she was meditating in the chapel – she saw Mary standing on a hemisphere before the altar, offering up a gold orb to God. On her hands were many jewelled rings: she told St. Catherine that they were graces delivered to those who requested them. The dull ones, she said, were the graces that no one requested. Then, Mary extended her two arms on the hemisphere, light shone forth, and she was encircled by the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”. Then, the frame began to rotate, and on the reverse, she saw a large letter M surmounted by the cross and encircled by twelve stars above the Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced by a sword. Mary told Catherine to make sacred medals of this image, and that those who wore it on the neck would receive special graces. She only told her confessor about the visions, and after two years of investigation, he finally brought the matter to the Archbishop of Paris, who approved the distribution of the medals. The devotion spread widely and became known as the Miraculous Medal of Our Lady of Graces. There was a wealthy Jew called Alphonse Ratisbonne who hated the Catholic Church. One day, his friend dared him to wear the Miraculous Medal and pray the associated Memorare prayer. While waiting for his friend in church one day, Alphonse saw the Virgin Mary appear as in the Miraculous Medal image. He instantly understood Catholic teaching, converted, was baptized, became a priest to the Jews, and his entire family of 28 was converted, including two brothers who became priests. St. Catherine never revealed her identity as the Miraculous Medal visionary, and only just before death did she reveal her identity to her superiors, so that they could make a statue of Mary offering a gold orb to God as in the vision. In 1876, she died, and 57 years later, her body was found to be incorrupt. Today, she enjoys the company of Mary forever in Heaven.
Publish date: 2018 - 5 - 19


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Catherine Labouré

May 13th is Mother’s Day, also the 101st anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. The period of 1830-1954, known as the Marian Age, was a period of numerous Marian apparitions, starting with Catherine Labouré in 1830. Born on May 2, 1806, Catherine Labouré dreamt an old priest telling her to come over, but she refused. He said, “My child, it is good to care for the sick; you have left me now, but you will later come willingly. God has a plan for you, do not forget that.” Many years later, she saw a portrait of that priest on the wall in a Daughters of Charity-run hospital – it was their founder, St. Vincent de Paul. In 1830, she entered the order in Paris, and was granted many visions. On the eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, the mother superior explained the virtues of their founder to the novices, and gifted them some of his relics. She prayed fervently to the Saint, asking that he grant her a vision of the Virgin Mary. At night, an angel woke her up, told her to meet the Virgin Mary in the chapel. On entering, she saw Mary seated on the mother superior’s seat, and the angel told her to kneel beside Mary. Mary told her, “God will give you a mission. You will be opposed, but do not be afraid. Tell your superiors all that you see. France and the world are very evil. I will give graces to those who pray for them. There will be persecution, and the Cross will be insulted.” Over the next 125 years, the Church went through many revolutions and two World Wars, but Mary sustained her with messages of prayer and reparation.
Publish date: 2018 - 5 - 12


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (11)

During the last week of her life, Sr. Amelia took care of St. Faustina, and said, “I would like to go to Heaven a year from now just like you.” St. Faustina replied, “If I get the opportunity to, I will ask Jesus on your behalf.” Indeed, one year after St. Faustina’s death, Sr. Amelia passed away. At 10:45pm on October 5, 1938, after suffering greatly and offering up her sufferings to God, St. Faustina passed away. And when her body was displayed in an open casket, others noted that her face was so peaceful that she seemed more beautiful than in life. Her funeral occurred on October 7, but her family did not attend because, according to St. Faustina’s wishes, they were not notified in order to prevent them from spending precious money on the journey. But before the news of her death reached her family, her sister Natalia had already known – she had a vision in her room of a thin St. Faustina with a face as radiant white as the Eucharist, saying, “I am going to Heaven now, and have come to say goodbye. You must stay with God and mustn’t cry.” Natalia was speechless, and when St. Faustina left the room, she began to cry into her pillow, so St. Faustina returned and said, “I told you not to cry. Stop crying!” On April 30, 2000, the happiest day of his life, Pope St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and declared every Second Sunday of Easter from then on as Divine Mercy Sunday.
Publish date: 2018 - 5 - 5


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (10)

St. Faustina was able to live out the Divine Mercy message as a doorkeeper in Krakow, and she had contact with more people. Even when she had no food to give to the poor, she gave them comfort through words. As her health worsened, she was unable to attend Mass, and she thirsted for the Eucharist and Heaven. Once, she experienced a miracle and she received the Eucharist from the hand of an angel on her bed. Previously, she had spoken to her spiritual director, Blessed Michael Sopocko, about her mission to establish an order dedicated to the Divine Mercy. While celebrating Mass one day, Fr. Sopocko had an idea – if St. Faustina was unable to draw the Divine Mercy image and commissioned an artist to do it instead, then why couldn’t she commission another person to establish the order for her? Afterwards, he asked St. Faustina if she had anything further to reveal about the order, and she replied, “No, Jesus has already answered you at Mass.” Afterwards, Jesus revealed to St. Faustina the regulations of the new order, and someone else founded the order after her death based on her writings. St. Faustina was close to death, and Fr. Sopocko began to prepare her soul to meet God.
Publish date: 2018 - 4 - 28


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
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


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
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


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
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


Segment_Spiritual-Talk

 
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