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Out of the blue, her eyes of mercy in the clouds, keeping watch.
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Wednesday, 29-Sep-2010 00:00
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Whoever and wherever you are, down the street, across the country or at the ends of the world, know that you are warmly welcomed.

Although not raised in the bosom of any church, I believed in God. I studied world religions and searched for God in many churches, but did not find Him. I was "spiritual, but not religious." Nevertheless, a providential God had His Eye on me, a contemplative soul in the midst of an aggressively secular world, just as He has on you, seeing that you are here, reading this.

One night, corny as it sounds, I wrote God http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=188237(a letter), seeking a closer walk with Him. Long story, short: Within days, through a series of "coincidences," He sent his mother to me with her earthly spouse, St. Joseph, and http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=738696(St. Patrick), as intermediaries. All three were unlikely emissaries, considering I only thought of Mary and Joseph fleetingly, if that, at Christmas and of St. Paddy (and green beer) on the secular version of his March 17 holiday.

Via inner promptings, she invited me to go on a http://www.medjugorje.org/pilgrimage.htm(pilgrimage), half way around the world. "Come, come quickly. You are my 11th hour convert." The invite, more an interior whisper than a call, was nonetheless clear and powerful. A few days later, and even more unexpectedly, my http://www.geocities.com/sptmbrmrn/112101.htm(dear husband), a cradle Buddhist, was extended http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=287865(an invitation) as well. Seized by this mysterious and fascinating call, we knew that we had to go. We took the plunge and made arrangements to go there at the first opportunity.

Our preparation was to http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=207049(teach ourselves) to pray the Rosary, memorize its prayers and learn the mysteries of the full http://www.geocities.com/ppilgrim3/(Rosary), no small task for latecomers in the autumn of their lives. Landing right into the arms of the Blessed Virgin, we were being directed to pay attention to her Son and through the Rosary, through her eyes, we learned, vicariously experienced and contemplated the entirety of Christ's earthly life for the first time. We began feeling a new presence of the Holy Family in our hearts and souls that ignited a desire for holiness and perfectionism in Christianity.

* "A perceived supernatural religious phenomenon has become a reality for millions throughout the world. Those who believe in this phenomenon see it as the singular most important event of our times.

For more than 23 years, the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared daily in apparition at the quiet, rural village of http://medjugorje.org(Medjugorje) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This unprecedented series of apparitions to six youths, and later by inner locution to two more young girls, began in June 1981. It continues to the present, with one overriding objective: To bring the world back to God. They are elevated in drama and urgency as she reveals that these will be her final apparitions on earth, because, as she adds, "It will no longer be necessary."

In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared in apparition many times throughout the ages, the most recognizable names being http://www.sancta.org(Guadalupe) (Mexico), http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/lasalette.htm(La Sallette), and http://www.lourdes-france.com/index.php?page=menu&texte=1&old=&langage=en(Lourdes) (France), http://www.knock-shrine.ie(Knock) (Ireland) and http://www.fatima.org/(Fatima) (Portugal). But never in recorded Marian history has she appeared daily for so long a period of time, to so many chosen visionaries, with such profound global results."~http://www.medjugorjeweible.com/(Wayne Weible), author of http://www.medjugorje.org/weiblep.htm(Miracle of Medjugorje)
On a mountain in that distant land called Medjugorje, she lovingly took our hands and brought us to her Son. Embraced and immersed in an otherworldly, tremendous peace, we were http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=340785(converted). A mystical veil was rended and we gained a view into eternity. We replied, each in our own way, unhesitatingly: "Yes, Lord, here I am, come to do Your Will." Within a year, in 2005, we received the http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=394437(Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, and Reconciliation), and were sacramentally married in the Catholic Church, perhaps the least likely choice before our Medjugorje experience, as we were ignorant, plain and simple.

Our misperceptions and misconceptions, based on anti-Catholic teachings as well as distorted misinformation of Church teachings, were the scales that obscured our pre-conversion spiritual eyes. I would be the first to admit that I was one of the millions that Archbishop Fulton Sheen spoke about when he said, "There are not one hundred people in this world who dislike Catholicism, but there are millions who dislike what they mistakenly believe Catholicism to be."

We have since immersed ourselves in a diligent, in-depth study of Church teachings by going back to the source, poring over http://www.mindspring.com/~jdarcy/files/cheatsheet.html(Sacred) http://www.catholicresourcecenter.org/audio_clips/scripture-matters-2001-03-05.ram(Scripture), perusing the writings of the http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/(early church fathers) (what an intellectual heritage!) and reading http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Scott%20Hahn&rank=-relevance%2C%2Bavailability%2C-daterank/103-3137959-1955827(books) and http://www.mindspring.com/~darcyj/files/drhahn.html(transcripts) by convert http://www.scotthahn.com/(Dr. Scott Hahn), a former vehemently anti-Catholic Protestant minister.

* "You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything in my name."~ Jesus Christ, John 15.

Surprise, surprise, we did not do the choosing; it was God's Doing. An unheard Voice called. We responded to it, followed the call and He http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=423830(brought us home to His Church). "God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform." Yes, indeed!

I, Peace Pilgrim, thank you, Gentle Reader, for being here as I take my baby steps to holiness. I pray that I will believe as children believe, to love as children love with undivided hearts, to give myself up to God as children give themselves up... and to pray with simplicity and humility, as children do.
~ Art credit: http://www.keatonprints.com/index.htm(Jean Keaton)

This "fotoblog", a chronicle of a new child's journey toward holiness, is also an expression of thanksgiving for God's graces, all totally gratis, unearnable gifts. (Did you know that http://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/nov2004/feature3.asp(we are ALL called to be saints?)) I am a neophyte -- a Catholic newbie -- who has embraced the Blessed Trinity, Eucharist, Holy Family, angels and the communion of saints, and Heaven on earth which is http://www.greatcrusade.org/greatcrusade/Mass/Holy_Mass-Web.htm(The Holy Mass). I am captivated by the Church's goodness, richness, http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm(fullness of the Faith), and beauty, as well as its logical and immutable http://www.catholic.com/library/pillar.asp(truth).

The Second Vatican Council taught that all the baptized are called to follow Jesus Christ, by living according to the Gospel and making it known to others. This blog is my little way of making it known to others and extending Our Lady's reach as she asks pilgrims to do, while living a life in imitation of Christ's and Our Lady's and sanctifying my every day work, in the middle of the ordinary circumstances of my life.

I invite you to browse, linger, catch glimpses of a journey of faith with its highlights and lowlights, joys and woes, beauty and ugliness, good and bad, sacred and mundaneness, twists and turns, and points betwixt and between. Perhaps along the way there's a smile, groan, lesson, or a shared experience for you. Just read along or feel free to teach me by using the comments section.

Gentle Reader,

"For wherever two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them," said Our Lord Jesus Christ. My husband and I pray http://www.geocities.com/ppilgrim3/(the Rosary) daily; we pray for God's Will; for each other; our family, friends and enemies; our students and patients; the sick, unbelievers, youth, priests and Pope and his intentions; Our Lady's intentions; and for peace. We will pray for you; you are our brother or sister. If you wish, you may post your prayer intentions below. You need not identify yourself; God knows who you are and why you are here. Feel free to join us: http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=760487(Common Prayers).

May God continue to draw near to you and those you love. May your mind, body, heart and soul be happy, healthy and One with God. http://www.mayyoubeblessedmovie.com/(May you be blessed with all things good...)

Peace be with you!

In God's Light,

Peace Pilgrim
"If you knew how much I love you, you'd cry with joy." ~ Our Lady, Queen of Peace

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If you wish to go directly to the pages of our Medjugorje trip, here are the links:

http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187497(The Calling) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187678(The Journey Begins) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187695(Day 1) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187720(Day 2) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187752(Day 3) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187785(Day 4) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=188235(Day 5) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=188289(Day 6) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=187602(Day 7) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=188635(Day 8) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=188658(Day 9) ~ http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/?entry=188279(We Return)

This photojournal is arranged in reverse chronology. Ignore the date of this entry; it is pre-dated to keep it at the top as an introductory page. If you prefer to read the entries in chronological order, click http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/cgi-bin/view_archive.pl?user=34888(here to get to the ARCHIVE page) and start from the bottom up.

Attention: This web space is provided for free by the web host, Fotopages. Until they begin charging for their services (I hope to be their first paying customer), I cannot opt out of the advertising banners that appear above and to the left of the pages. Please know that I am NOT responsible whatsoever for, nor do I necessarily agree with, the content of the banners. No money or fees are being received by me for these banners. Thank you for your understanding. ~ Peace Pilgrim

http://www.clocklink.com/clocks/0001-Blue.swf?TimeZone=PST(California Time) ~ http://www.worldtimeserver.com/current_time_in_US-HI.aspx(Hawaii Time) ~ http://www.worldtimeserver.com/current_time_in_BA.aspx(Medjugorje Time)
The time of the apparitions in Medjugorje is 5:40 pm in winter and 6:40 in summer; which is in California corresponds with 8:40 am in winter and 9:40 am in summer and in Hawai'i, 6:40 am in winter and 7:40 am in summer.

Multimedia: http://www.childrenofmedjugorje.com/index.htm(Children of Medjugorje): http://www.childrenofmedjugorje.com/OLSlideShow/InHonor.html(In Honor of Our Mother)

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