A Super Easy Meal

Roast chicken and potatoes

Place a large chicken already basted and stuffed, (when purchased from the supermarket) into a large pan with a raised steel grill insert. Surround the chicken with large (rinsed) unpeeled potatoes, (the potatoes that are already clean when purchased from the supermarket). Cover with the lid and bake on 180 degrees Celsius until cooked. Serve with frozen peas cooked in the microwave and chicken gravy made up to packet instructions.

You can also add a cup or two of water.  This will help keep the food moist. This is especially useful if you are using smaller potatoes.  My daughter says that the food is nicer when the water is added.

More household hints here

An ecumenical boss

I once worked in an office in Sydney, where the staff were consisted mainly of Catholics and Jews.  The boss in my section was a member of the Anglican Church. He used to let the Catholics go to Mass in work hours at a nearby church on Holy Days of Obligation. The reason for this was that his little grandson was a Catholic and used to ask him why people were in different churches. This is hard to explain to a three year old. The boss had a great time telling this to the bank manager over the phone in these words, “I let Gilroy’s mob go to Mass”.  For those who are not familiar with this ‘Gilroy’s mob’ was the bosses’ way of describing the Catholics on his staff.  Cardinal Gilroy was the first Australian born cardinal.  At that time he was the Archbishop of Sydney.

Have you ever prayed the Mother Teresa Emergency Novena? (It is also known as the Mother Teresa Express Novena.)

Have any of you ever prayed the Mother Teresa Emergency Novena consisting of the Memorare prayer said nine times in a row for an intention? If you did so, could you tell me if you prayed it by yourself, or with one or more people and what the results of the novena were. If you prayed it with more than one person, how many people prayed it with you?   (The novena was named after Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who received striking favours through this novena).  I would also like to know if you prayed a variation of this novena and the results of that.

This is the Memorare prayer:

Remember O most loving Virgin Mary that never was it known in any age that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided, inspired by this confidence, therefore I fly to thee O Virgin of Virgins my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful, do not O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise my prayers but in thy mercy graciously hear and answer them.  Amen.

A few suggestions
Life is full of situations that need help immediately, not in a week’s time.  If a mortgage is going to be foreclosed at lunchtime today, because you can’t pay it, a nine day novena or even an eight hour novena is not quiet the way to go!  Think of this emergency novena as being like an express train. It is 10.30 a.m. and  you have an appointment in the city at 11 a.m. so you catch the express train that speeds pass many stations, not the slow train that stops and picks up passengers at every station!  Imagine also that you leave at petition station and arrive at miracle station!  I like to see a picture of Mother Teresa on the outside of the train, with the words: The Mother Teresa Express novena on it. It helps to use your imagination when praying.
Update
On this blog I have another posting on this novena. It is called the Mother Teresa Emergency novena is  a real winner!

Here are some testimonies to this novena

A terrible smell

Julia noticed a very bad smell in the back room of her house. She searched for the source, but could not locate anything that could be causing this smell.  It was summer and the smell got worse and worse.  Julia remembered that a dog had got into the yard and went under her house a few weeks earlier.  She had been too scared to check whether it was still there.  It had been raining a lot and it crossed her mind that the dog might have got trapped under the house and died there. The smell did seem to be coming through the floor boards. Some relatives came to visit.  Julia was really embarrassed by the awful smell, but the relatives said that they could not smell anything.  Maybe they were just being polite or their noses did not work anymore!

Before Julia went to bed that night she said The Mother Teresa Emergency Novena for a solution.  In the morning when she came out to the back room, much to her dismay, the smell was still there. In the back room there were some boxes with cartons of long life milk in them. The boxes were stacked up on top of one another.  She looked down and saw a white gooey substance leaking from under the boxes. The box at the bottom of the pile had been damaged by the other boxes on top of it and one of the cartons of milk inside it had leaked. The leakage had obviously started on the previous day, but it had not yet leaked out from under the box, so it was hidden at that time. This was the source of the dreadful smell. Julia was very relived to know what had happened.  It was an unpleasant smelly mess to clean and fix, but when that was finalised the horrible smell was gone!

Permission granted after a firm refusal!

The Mother Teresa Express Novena was prayed, plus prayers for and to the Holy Souls in Purgatory asking for their help, and also to the saints, when work leave was refused to a girl, who wished to take time off to go on a pilgrimage.  She had accumulated lots of leave, but the particular time off that she had requested could not be accommodated.  After the novenas were prayed, the favour was granted.

Computer trouble

My brother telephoned to tell us that he had a problem with his computer, and to seek our advice regarding same. We were unable to help him. He was cleaning the keyboard when the screen picture turned on its side. No matter what he tried, the situation could not be remedied, e.g. trying various keyboard combinations, rebooting the computer etc. To make matters even worse, it was a five day holiday period over Easter, when it would be more difficult to find computer experts to help out.  I made a Mother Teresa Emergency Novena (nine Memorares in a row), in order to get help. The next morning when my brother phoned, I inquired about the computer and was informed that it was fixed. My brother had found the correct combination of key strokes to get the screen picture to go back to the correct position.

Prayer wins again

Late last week a situation arose which was very difficult.  Prayer to and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and the Mother Teresa Express Novena turned the situation around dramatically in two days.

The choir

Anna was organizing Divine Mercy Sunday devotions for her group. She had asked several choirs if they could help out, but they were all unable too. She mentioned this to her friend Cathy. Cathy promised to say the Mother Teresa Express Novena, (the Memorare prayer said nine times in a row) for a solution. She said the novena, and also prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and asked for their intercession to obtain the favour. Anna found a suitable choir a couple of days later.

Other Information

Read accounts of the gratitude of  the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors

Read my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer), free on-line

The grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France

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 This is the famous grotto at Lourdes, France.  It is the place where Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette, on February 11,  in 1858.  There a miraculous spring there.

Why some shops lost my business

There are a few shops who lost my business because of their own stupidity.  The first one was a take-away shop that sold me a cooked chicken that was definitely off. Another take-away shop assistant left me waiting for nearly an hour while he cooked fish, chips, hamburgers, etc. for many customers who placed their orders after mine!  It was January l and when I left that shop I was crying.  Another shop assistant took my order for coffee and then talked to another customer for ages before bringing me the coffee.

Food for the needy (The power of the Hail Mary)

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The following story should go far to show how acceptable to God the Hail Mary is. Jason is a volunteer worker for a charitable organisation which distributes food to the poor.  He purchased eighteen hams from the supermarket on the organisation’s credit card for distribution to the needy.  This would have been an expensive purchase.  For some unexplained reason the hams were not credited to the card. Jason brought this matter to the attention of the supermarket’s manageress. She shrugged her shoulders and said that nothing could be done about it and that the organisation did not have to worry about paying for the hams. Jason attributes this favour to his regular practice at the beginning of each undertaking of saying of one Hail Mary and simply asking Mary to help him with the charity work. Jason has received other striking helps in his work from this simple way of invoking Mary, including a large donation of the exact amount that he had assessed that the organisation was in need of to carry out its works and that he was about to apply to the head office of the organisation for.

 This is one of the stories in my book Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer).

Press here   to read the book.

Don’t throw a job interview

My mother wanted me to go for a job interview for a job which I did not think was suitable for me, so I decided to throw the interview.  I knew all the right ways to go about a job interview so I did the opposite. I demanded more pay than they were offering and boldly asked about benefits.  I felt sure that the interviewer would not want to employ me.  Guess what? He said that’s great, we need a person who can stand up for themselves in this job! I got the job.

Modest Dressing (for girls and women)

If you dress modestly
according to what’s right,
you’ll be a picture
you won’t be a sight!

More poetry

How my family received a blessing from Pope Paul VI

In November 1970 Pope Paul VI visited Sydney, Australia.  Mum took us kids on the train to Sydney.  It was a hot day.  Lots of people were lined up along the street in front of Hyde Park. Mum took us to the front of the rows of people and earned the irritation of a lady nearby, who said that they had been there for hours in the heat. So my mother said “Lets cross the street and stand over there”.  We crossed the street and stood near the outside of St Mary’s  Cathedral.  The pope was inside the cathedral having a meeting with the clergy. Finally he came out. He was standing on the back of a ute which was driven out of the cathedral car park.  We were standing at the pedestrian lights.  No one expected the pope’s route to be there, so our family were the only ones standing there. The pope’s vehicle drove past there very slowly and the pope looked down at our family and studied our faces! We waved to him excitedly.  Then he lifted his arm high and gave a blessing to mum and to us children. (Most of us including myself, where in our early teens and were then in high school). Even today I find it hard to believe that this happened.

Two wrongs don’t make a right (except in my job application mathematics test)

I applied for a job and I was given a simple mathematics test.  Alas hardly any mathematics test is simple for me because I am what you would call in politically correct terms mathematically challenged, or in other terms a mathematical failure. I took the test and memorized what the questions were and my answers.  Later when I went home I slowly worked out the test again. I passed the test and in the question that got me through the pass mark I made two errors in working out the answer. These two errors cancelled out each other and I got the right answer!!!

The elephants and the tsunami

This story comes from the Asian Tsunami. Elephants picked up children with their trunks and took them to higher ground. After the Tsunami they picked up the dead bodies and put them together in one group. What an wonderful act of God’s providence.  I was told this story by a friend, who learnt it from her family doctor.

The story of a vocation to the priesthood

Here is the way that one man became a priest. He is an Australian who was teaching in Papua New Guinea at a Catholic school.  A native boy came to him and said: “Why you not  priest?  You talk with priests, you act like priest.”  That simple remark got him thinking and he later became a priest.

The Bambino of Aracoeli (Rome), Italy

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The picture was taken by my husband Chris during a trip to Rome.           

This statue dating back to the end of the 15th century is a wood carving made in Jerusalem from an olive tree from Gethsemane by a pious Franciscan Friar.

According to tradition, the friar did not have the necessary paints to complete his work so it was miraculously completed by an angel. During his return trip to Rome a severe storm on the sea forced him to throw overboard his small case containing the precious treasure, but the case arrived at the port of Livorno by itself in the wake of the ship. 

Proceeded by the fame of unusual miracles the holy image was received with great joy in the Eternal City and was accorded special veneration. One day during the Christmas season, while the Bambino was lying in the crib, a noble Roman matron stole the statue and carefully hid it in her home. However becoming gravely ill she was obliged by her confessor to return the statue. 

A popular tradition has it that it left her house by itself during the night and returned to its place on the Campidoglio as the bells of the Basilica rang joyously announcing the miracle. 

Rich gifts of gold and precious stones give witness to the gratitude of the faithful for the innumerable graces received. These gifts were always furnished abundantly whenever the statue was sacrilegious despoiled. In 1798 a noble Roman citizen, Serafin Petrarca, saved the statue from being burned by the troops of Napoleon, by paying a huge ransom. 

The chapel of the Holy Bambino is continually visited by pilgrims from all parts of the world.  Mothers, before giving birth, visit Aracoeli to receive a special blessing and also bring their children to be consecrated to the Divine Child.  From time immemorial, the Bambino has been carried to the sick-bed of the faithful and oftentimes one could see in the Campidoglio Square a long line of carriages awaiting their turn. 

The ever-increasing fame of this miraculous image moved Pope Leo XIII and the Vatican to order its coronation which took place with solemn rites on May 2, 1897. This fame is attested to by the numerous letters of petition and thanksgiving which the Divine Infant receives daily from devout people from all corners of the globe; the little ones and the great of the world write to Him as to a dear friend. During Christmas time the children of Rome uninterruptedly come before the crib to sing jubilantly to the new-born Babe. 

  Learn about another devotion to the  Child Jesus   (The Infant of Prague)

An Australian beach

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This is an Australian beach on the south coast of NSW.  I thought that you would like to see it.

The Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

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 My backyard Lourdes Shrine

A severe cough  (The devotion of the Three Hail Marys)

During a long bus trip, Clare developed a very severe cough that was loud and prolonged. The lady who was sitting behind her took out a holy card of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and silently continuously prayed a devotion that is known as The Three Hail Marys, to ask for a healing of the cough. Later on another passenger came up to the lady and touched her with a relic of Saint Philomena. The next morning Clare was completely free of the cough. 

The Three Hail Marys Devotion consists of saying three Hail Marys followed by the invocation “O Mary my mother keep me from mortal sin”. This devotion is in honour the power, wisdom and love with which the Blessed Trinity has infused into the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many favours have been granted throughout the centuries to those who practice this devotion. 

This story comes from the book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free-online by pressing  here.

The Hail Mary Prayer

Hail Mary full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary Mother of God
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Today is Mother’s Day

Our parish priest is on holidays and we have a retired priest filling in for the month.  At the end of the Vigil Mass last night, Father gave each mother present at the Mass, a signed card (for mother’s day) with the following quote of St Therese on it:

The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother. 

The card was decorated with roses. I was especially pleased because I have been praying to St Therese for a very important intention and that has given me encouragement regarding that matter. 

I know that Mother’s Day is a secular celebration and is also commercialized at that, but Anna Jarvis (the American lady)* who started it to honour her own mother never intended it to be that way. 

In this age where abortion has become so widespread, it does not hurt to give a genuine approach to mother’s day, recognizing the importance of mothers and babies. No pope, priest, layperson, scientist, king, queen, president**, teacher, tradesman, etc., ever got here without a mother*** yet mothers are so despised. They are supposed to go to hospital, get the baby out and turn up at their ‘real job’ in the office, in the parliament, on the board of executives etc. next week. 

Today is not only mother’s day, but it is also my own mother’s birthday. She has always liked the film: The Song of Bernadette, since it was first released in 1943 when she was a child, so I am giving her a DVD of that film. 

*Anna Jarvis was never a mother herself. (She never married). 

**President Obama your own mother Anne made sure you were born and grew up.  Let other babies be born and grown up. I send the same message to Hillary and to many other politicians and others around the world. 

***There are two exceptions to this. Adam and Eve never had an earthly mother, because they started out as adults with a lot going for them.

Andre Rieu in Australia

Andre Rieu signing autographs

Andre Rieu signing autographs

Our family went to the local shopping centre at Blacktown on Friday to see Andre Rieu. We were treated to seeing him play the violin.  A memorable experience.  My daughter braved the lenthy queues to get his autograph.

Abortion (find out what it really looks like)

It is a good idea to confront people with graphic pictures of what an aborted baby looks like.  Father Frank Pavone highly recommends showing these pictures. He receives emails everyday from people who supported abortion and then changed their position to being pro-life immediately, upon seeing the pictures of abortion on the Priests for Life website. Pregnant women who have seen pictures of aborted babies have cancelled their abortion. Seeing is believing. Priests for Life have been trying to get TV stations to show these images for some time.  Father Pavone does not even ask for a message to be given with the TV images.  The images speak for themselves.  Showing pictures of the reality of something is sometimes the only way to get people to come out of denial.  On TV there are horrible video images of the inside of a smoker’s lungs. Smokers who are hooked on smoking like to switch off to arguments against it.  The TV video images of a smoker’s damaged lungs can’t be argued with. Likewise TV campaigns against speeding and drink driving show the ugly reality of a fatal car accident.  Pictures speak louder than words.

To read a poem on the evil of abortion visit this webpage.

St Therese of the Roses (a fifties hit song)

Several years ago a lady told me that there had been a 1950’s song on the hit parade called: St Therese of the Roses.  I wondered if that was possible and thought that it would be hard to verify. Pop tunes are rarely about things like that. (I know that Andy Williams has a well known recording of the song called:  The Village of St Bernadette, so such things are possible). The Village of St Bernadette is played occasionally on a Sydney commercial radio station. Recently I found the lyrics of: St Therese of the Roses, on the internet, soon after I had invoked her for a special favour. It is about a man who promises to pray in a candlelit chapel each night and asks St Therese to protect him and to guide him and his fiancé in their future marriage. Then the song talks about how St Therese guides everyone who comes to her for help.

I will quote here the promises of St Therese.

Promises of Saint Therese of Lisieux 

“I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth”

“After my death I will let fall from heaven a shower of  roses” 

The “roses” that Saint Therese referred to in the prophecy quoted above: is the term which she used to describe her miracles and favours. The feast day of Saint Therese is celebrated on October 1. 

I have seen St Therese keep her promises on many occasions, including healing my aunty of cancer. 

The story is in my book:  Help from heaven  (Answers to prayer).   The stories have been posted online.