Daily Reflections
by Cathy

September 6, 2022 Reflection – A Word of Encouragement!

A Word of Encouragement

September 6, 2022

Dear Family of Mary!

“Dear children! God permits me to be with you and to lead you on the way of peace, so that through personal peace, you build peace in the world. I am with you and intercede for you before my Son Jesus, that He may give you a strong faith and hope in a better future, which I desire to build up with you. You be courageous and do not be afraid, because God is with you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (August 25, 2022)

Our Lady concluded her August 25, 2022 message with these words of encouragement:

“You be courageous and do not be afraid, because God is with you.”

Not only is Our Lady with us, but God is with us!!!  What could we possibly fear?  But the enemy is a master at spreading fear and discouragement, so we have to stay close to our Mother!!!

I want to share a story that Fr. Joe Freedy began his homily with yesterday at English Mass in Medjugorje (September 5, 2022)  I will transcribe it here, but also give you the link so you can hear it for yourselves!!

( Here us the link: https://marytv.tv/english-homily-in-medjugorje-2/?smid=iwyQxjs4hl9&slid=IRBKmbjFsDA )

Fr. Freedy told us this incredible story:

I want to share this story with you because it provides so much encouragement for me in my prayers.  Sometimes we get discouraged.  And I want to say that the voice of God is always the voice of encouragement.  Never if discouragement.

The devil’s voice is always the voice of discouragement and never encouragement.  The devil’s modus operandi, the way he works, is always the same.  He wants to get us discouraged and get us to despair.  That is what he is always leading to: discouragement and despair.

What God wants to do is to encourage us and fill us with hope!  Amen! Yeah!

So… my buddy, John, told this true story, that happened in Pittsburgh, in a little town called “Greentree”, which is right outside of Pittsburgh. His name is John Petrovich.  He is a very normal guy.  Just a good guy.  And he told me this story.  And I said, “John that is an amazing story, can I tell it?”  And He said, “Absolutely!”  And so I tell it everywhere I go.

He was jogging one morning in a neighborhood that he is not used to jogging in.  And he saw an ambulance in somebody’s driveway.  And because he is a really good guy he thought – “Should I stop and see if everything is ok?”  But then he said to me, “You know, Fr. Joe, I am not a doctor and I didn’t know this person.  So I kept jogging.”

And he said that as he passed by he said one “Hail Mary”.   He didn’t stop and fold his hands, and he didn’t get down on his knees.  He didn’t pray from the heart like we are taught to do.  He just prayed the “Hail Mary.”  Maybe some of you do that.  When I see an ambulance, because I am a priest, I give the ambulance and the people inside it a blessing.  And he said he just prayed one “Hail Mary”.

He said, about a week later, he had thought nothing of it.  And he was jogging around the same neighborhood…this is a true story…And he heard a woman call out, “Hey, You!! Sir!”  And he said to me, “Fr. Joe, I just kept jogging because I didn’t know anybody in that neighborhood.”  And she said, “No, you, the jogger!!” And she was on her porch, pointing at me.  And he turned around and said, “Me?”  And she said, “Yah, you!”  And she said,” You saved my life!”  And he said, “Sorry, Ma’am, I don’t think we know each other. I’m not from this neighborhood.  I’m from a few neighborhoods over.”

And she said (listen to this guys): “No I recognize your face.” She said, “Last week I had a stroke. And I was rushed to a hospital in the city of Pittsburgh. And I was in the hospital bed and I was dying.  I knew I was dying.  And Jesus appeared to me.  And He held out His hand. And your face was on the palm of His hand.   And He said, “You were going to die, but because of the prayer of this man, you are going to live.”  She recognized my friend’s face in the palm of Jesus’ hand!

Folks!  How many hundreds of thousands of Hail Mary’s have you prayed?  How many hundreds of thousands of Rosaries have you prayed?  How many thousands of Hail Mary’s have you prayed just in your time here?  I just want to let you know, and for anybody who might be discouraged, that every time your turn your heart and your mind to Our Lord and to Our Lady, that they have heard your prayers!!  Amen!!

There is no unanswered prayer.  Every prayer you have prayed, whether it is fully from your heart, though that is how we desire to pray, or whether it is just offered, a sigh of your heart, it has been heard because she is an attentive mother!  Amen!

So don’t be discouraged!  Be encouraged!  Maybe some of you have had the thought that the situation I have been praying for is beyond the reach of God…It’s an impossible situation.  But we know that there is nothing that is impossible for our God! You have seen miracles in your life.  We have all seen miracles.  God can do it!

Remember the Chronicles of Narnia!  C.S. Lewis.  The great scene where Aslan is down on the beach.  Aslan is the Lion. He is representative of Christ.  And there are two people talking, and one is a little bid discouraged.  And the older person says to the younger person, “Yes, things do look dark. Things do look bad.”

Maybe we look out on the world and we think, things are dark, things are bad, the countries, the states and cities we are from, even our families are broken…

But he says, “But listen, Aslan is on the move.”  Aslan is the Christ-figure.  I want to let you know that all the situations that you have come here to pray for, your children, your grandchildren, your marriages, your work situations, maybe your own depression, or your own physical infirmities…Aslan is on the move!  And if it seems like things are only getting darker, Aslan is on the move! God has a perfect plan!  Amen!  Be encouraged today.!!!!

Well, thank you Fr. Joe! You are a man of encouragement!!  We are encouraged!!  We will pray for you as you spread the Good News through your priesthood!!

Follow this link, and listen to Fr. Joe directly!!  His homily is anointed and wonderful!!


“You be courageous and do not be afraid, because God is with you.” 

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
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