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TEACHINGS

 

Below are narrations of sermons  based on Sister Stella-Maris teaching at various prayer meeting and first Friday of the month's vigil.

 

Lent    

Why don't you let your light shine on others             

The Devil's Advocate: Who are they?

Remove The Stone                                                     

Christ the Light

Glorifying Death                                                       

The Holy Queen and The Rosary

Resentment                                                               

God's Odiiches : Who are they?

The Trinity                                                               

True Wisdom

Are you a Barren Fig Tree                                         

Reaching the Kingdom of God                                                                         

Shame the Devil

Give God The Everlasting Joy                                   

Alone With God

The Great Question                                                   

Behold Among Men The Dwelling Place of God

 

Resentment

The Devil's Fertilizer Resentment is a cankerworm. It eats you up and makes you rotten, and like anything rotten, turns you into a very fertile land for the devil to sow whatever evil seed he wills.

Resentment turns a man into a fertilizer for the devil. On this fertile ground of  resentment, the spirit of God cannot sow - for God cannot sow His seed on rotten ground. Resentment, like a little leaven, leavens  the whole lot. He soon makes you to see even the little good you saw before as evil. Very soon, you will not see any good anymore in the other person when it matures into full - blown Hatred.

Resentment is the jaundiced eye - not too black but just too annoyed to see right. If controlled in time, its ground can still be salvaged for God. The way to do this is this: - Do not let anger lead you to sin - The sunset must not find you still angry - Never go to bed with that anger boiling in you, for by morning, it would have matured into something else - Forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins - Hold fast unto the little good you ever saw in the other person - Let the good/healthy thoughts overshadow the negative trend of resentment - Strive by all means to establish a rapport - Continue to show kindness and love to the other and soon you would have given resentment a hard knock on the head and ............Out it goes!

Good Luck!!!

The Trinity

‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Without him was not anything made that was made and the word became flesh and dwelt among us.’

 

A question was posed at what time did Jesus become subordinate to the Father. Was it at the point of incarnation?

 

Subordinate? This is a ridiculous assumption because it is not a question of subordination but how the Father wishes it to be. That is how they exist: Trinity the mystery of three persons in one, the undivided Trinity according to our catechism. So if the Trinity is undivided how then do we have Father, Son and Holy Spirit and they still remain undivided? Well according to our doctrine and faith even though they are named accordingly they remain undivided Holy Trinity.

 

The catechism tells us further that Jesus remained one in substance with the Father through Him all things were made. So what are we talking about here? We are talking about the role of each one of the Trinity not a question of which is subordinate to who.

 

The role of each person of the Blessed Trinity is different. The role of the Holy Spirit is different from that of the Son whose role is different from that of the Father. Yet they remain one and by power of the mystery no one on earth can explain and the Father has refused to reveal to anyone though they are one each knows there role and no one interfere in each others role unless permitted to do so. This was shown clearly when Jesus told His follower he had to go so the Holy Spirit can come so has to fulfill His role.

 

Roles

Jesus’ role, as Son was that of the Messiah, the Savior, and the Redeemer. The Word through whom things were made, the let it that be and it comes to be, the Great Amen. Without the Word nothing would be in existence today. ‘No one can come to the Father accept through me’ said Jesus because He knows He is the ‘Let It Be’. (John Chapter 1 v 1-18)

 

So it was in the beginning was The Word and The Word was with God and The Word was God. At the creation the Father proclaimed let there be light, let there be water let there be… (Genesis Chapter 1 and 2) and The Word came forth from the Father, The Power, The Force, The being that is part of the Father that makes things be and so it was and so creation came to be has the Father proclaim.

 

The Holy Spirit is the mover while the Son is the one that let things be. When the Father created trees and man they initially all remain lifeless until the Spirit was breathed on them they now began to move. Hence the breath of God is the Holy Spirit, the wind that makes things move, life giver. Also the Holy Spirit is the teacher the advocate sent by the Son to each of us the follower. (John Chapter 16 v 5-15)

 

For example, Pentecost day when the disciples were in hiding and crippled with fear and unable to proclaim the Word till the Holy Spirit descended on them they came alive and no one could stop them from proclaiming the Word at the top of the voice. (Act Chapter 2 v 1-13)

 

So when we look at the Trinity we should not look at it with human eye but has the mystery that it is. Look at it as distinct role but undivided.  All three persons of the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and due to this fact the Father is the greater power who is the Source from whom the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeds from.

 

The Son and Holy Spirit do not claim equality with Father but acts as One in Love, One in Unity, One in Essence and One in Mind and nothing can come between the three persons of the Blessed Trinity and this is the true meaning of the Trinity. Roles distinguish them but they still all remain one in love, unity, essence and mind as evidence in creation. They were all involved in creation performing their different role according to the mind of the Father.

ARE YOU A BARREN TREE

 

Sr, Stella's discourse on Thursday 11th September 2003, was based on Luke 13:6-9, the story of the barren fig tree. Sr. Stella started off saying she did not want to expound at length but would want each one to examine his/her conscience to discover whether or not he/she is a barren tree.

 

We are all planted by the Lord, she said, to bear fruits of the Holy Spirit. Normally, a tree should be productive after 3 years, but lamentably, many of us have been planted for 10 years, 20 years, 40 years, 50 years, even 60 years and still remain barren.

 

A 10-year-old is not too young to bear fruits of the Holy Spirit, but may delude himself into believing that he is indeed too young! At 20, 30, even 40, some continue in their self-delusion and risk remaining "fools forever" Whereas one ought to have learnt all the essentials and made necessary changes, adjustments and improvements in their personal development and life-style, they have learnt nothing and remain contentedly in their culpable ignorance.

 

What anyone has not learnt at 40 years of age may elude him forever, whereas he/she should have acquired wisdom by that age! Despite the accepted fact that middle-age begins at 35 years, many tell themselves that they are still young at 40, 50 years of age. She reminded us of the adage "a man does not learn to dance in his old age", saying: "if your life does not give glory to God or begin to glorify God by then, you remain a fool forever.

 

Then at age 50 or 55, after all their tomfoolery, they are afraid to die because of their lack of fruits to present before the Eternal Judge. By contrast Sr. Stella continue that some of the great saints died at 11 years of age, 13 years of age etc. and had exceedingly rich fruits to show. She named St. Agnes, St Agatha and St. Maria Goretti as examples of young saints that are beautiful flowers in heaven, held before us for our edification and instruction.

 

A common factor to them all was their realization and acknowledgement from a tender age of Jesus' supremacy and pre-eminence, and Jesus as the only one that matters: the sole end of our existence. 13 year old St. Maria Goretti's simplicity was remarkable - o complicated philosophy, rationalizations about mortal sin and venial sin or sophisticated theology for her, it was simply a matter of whether or not Jesus would like whatever line of action was proposed to her. So when that lustful youth from a noble family wanted to rape her, she kept on resisting and protesting: "No, Jesus will not like that" until he knifed her to death.

 

By contrast, Sr. Stella said, for most of us, the consideration is "I like this or I don't like that". This self-conceit and self-worship: this modern day form of idolatry, leads us to commit grievous sins like gluttony, drunkenness, stealing, cheating, fornication, adultery, malice, avarice, etc. because "I like it" and results in barrenness and, if unrepentant, eternal damnation. We carry on recklessly, forgetting that death is a constant companion that could strike any moment for both young and old alike, that time is short and that "the Master is already at the doorstep".

 

She told the story of a lady who ran helter- skelter in her desperation to find a husband and nearly went mad after a so-called spiritualist woman somewhere had laid hands on her. Sr. Stella was prevailed upon to pray for her to regain her sanity. Eventually, she married last year November; she died at childbirth this August. What has this lady gained in the end after offending God so grievously in the bid to have her own way because "I like it, I want this"? She has now landed herself in a place of punishment.

 

Sr. Stella, who described herself as "a voice in the wilderness" (rustic Balogun Ibikunle Village), warned that all those who have heard her and do not follow the path of righteousness which she is showing them, would have themselves to blame when they are called to account. She is calling loudly and clearly for repentance, saying: "if you refuse to bear fruit, you shall be cut down like that barren fig tree. If the Word of God has no meaning in your life and you prefer to do the opposite of what you know God wants, you shall answer for it".

 

She then urged us to pray for the holy souls in Purgatory, who sit helplessly in their sufferings, totally unable to help themselves. Only our prayers can appease the justice of God and call down His mercy, thus helping to shorten their time of punishment. Without it, they are stuck and would have to serve the full punishment decreed by God. We are so sadly forgetful of this need, that while a dead parent may be suffering in purgatory, his children are having a grand burial ceremony feasting, drinking, dancing while being "sprayed" by their guests and consoled by all that their parent is already in heaven, whereas he/she may "stuck" on the way. She also reminded all of that song "It is all the good you did on earth that you will be remembered by".

 

Some may be telling themselves now, "This salvation is it by force?" Anybody with that attitude should be prepare for suffering and gnashing of teeth in the next world. The Lord has reminded us several times, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul? She then sent everyone out to the "desert" to examine his or her consciences and listen to the Lord. A frequent resort to this exercise is highly recommended for self-monitoring, so that we shall all conclude the race for eternal life successfully. May God help us all to bear fruit and make to our eternal home in heaven.

 

As narrated by  Fola Olumide  Member

 

GIVE GOD THE EVERLASTING JOY

 

The Chief co-ordinator of PRO LABORE DEI, Sr. Stella - Maris, has called on all men to sow good seeds of kindness, compassionate love and faithful service in order to give Christ a rich harvest of souls. These she said will give God everlasting joy.  

 

Sr. Stella-Maris said this in Asaba recently during the celebration of the organisation’s 10th Anniversary. Speaking further, she said "PRO LABORE DEI means Jesus is in our midst working, showering rays of Joy on the needy, the sick, the abandoned and those who hitherto had thought that God had abandoned them completely.  

 

God brought down PRO LABORE DEI to shower rays of Joy, shelter, food and what have you, on the needy and oppressed.

 

The launching of "Rays of Joy Magazine" in her words is "Joy to the World." The Father, the Son, the Angels and the Holy Spirit rejoiced in heaven as the Magazine was being launched. She informed all present that PRO LABORE DEI celebrated in a special way the previous day. It was special because PRO LABORE DEI is like a Mustard Seed planted by the holy water and watered by the Lord himself. At this point, she declared openly that whatever she had led her members to do is God's own Inspiration because "we do nothing by ourselves, we are deeply rooted in Christ".  

 

She also referred to PRO LABORE DEI as the "Big Stem" which will continue to produce big branches. Asaba, she said is one of the branches, Lagos is another. This tree shall never lack water and the leaves will forever be green because it is planted in Christ".  

 

She went on to describe the God of PRO LABORE DEI, as the one who sends you and at the same time carries the load, shows you how to carry it and eventually leads you to carry it. May His name be praised, for He has carried PRO LABORE DEI for 10 years and He is never weary. The tree and branches are well watered and they shall bear fruits, which shall be reaped at the first time. She called on all present always to be righteous and sow good seeds through good deeds.

 

These are a source of joy to God. God will be pacified even if the world annoys him by committing abortion and abandoning babies here and there PRO LABORE DEI will pick them and bring them up. Our happiness is that our Father finds Joy in what we are doing. We stand on eternal wisdom to the harvest of Joy. That giant tree will grow a stem that will be unmoved by the powers of darkness. She urged all present to rejoice with us, as the day was for rejoicing in the Lord.  

 

On the launching of souvenir articles, she explained that supporting PRO LABORE DE is supporting the work of God and she finally prayed to God to bless: all those supporting PRC LABORE DEI in one way or the other.  

 

Her idea of money she said is what the money can do to help or to feed others. At the end of her inspirational talk, she declared "The good that men do live even longer after them" So she advised all present to do their own little good wherever they are and leave those doing evil, for "the shall reap what they sow."  

 

At the dose of day a group from St. Brigid's, Asaba entertained while Brother Konwea rendered a wonderful solo.

 

Recorded by: Christie Akako (Mr. PLDAsaba.

LENT

 

I am dust; from dust I came and to dust I will return.

 

This should be our anthem during lent. If you keep this in mind at all time you will be very careful what you do during this period of lent.

 

Lent is the period of fasting, prayer, mortification and penance. A period of forty days set aside by the church for us to beg for pardon for all our sins and for the sins of the world. Every adult Christian is expected to do some form of penance.

 

Some forgets or refuse to do some penance during lent but don’t forget Easter celebration. They want to celebrate Resurrection of our Lord without suffering with Him. If Jesus did not suffer and die will He rise on the third day? Will we have a Resurrection to celebrate on Easter Sunday? So only those who suffered with Him for forty days have the right to celebrate His Resurrection with Him.

 

So people of God what are you going to do this forty days of lent which the Church has given for penance for our sins and others so that we can rise with Jesus on Easter day?

What will you do to show God that you are really sorry for your sin?

 

 

Will you do has people of Old Testament who use to put ashes on their head and cry as sign of sorrow?

 

Will you be like King David who took off his fine garment and put on sackcloth, sat on the floor and beg for pardon?

 

For forty days will you do extra hour of prayer daily asking for pardon?

 

How are you going to show God for these forty days your true sorrow?

 

Will you mortify your flesh?

 

If you are a liar will you stop this period and beyond?

 

If you are light fingered will stop taking what is not yours?

 

Will fornicator cease gratifying his or her flesh?

 

Adulterer, will you go home to your partner rather than the mistress?

 

Remember you are dust and there you will return but not your soul. So give up all bad habit not only during lent but beyond.

 

So people of God what are your resolution this lent?

 

Fasting

Prayer

Alms Giving

Mortification

Forgiveness

 

What ever your offences before God, whichever commandment you are breaking will you use this lent period to repent and ask God for pardon and endeavor never to do it again (not going back to our sin being the sign of true repentance).

The Devil’s Advocate Who is he?

 

Last month who looked at God’s Odiiche and who they were.

 

This month we will look at the devil’s advocate and who they are. 

 

Lovers of Christ must be very careful. The devil does not come out in his naked self to deceive Christian because he knows that nobody will listen to him. He appoints agents; advocate doing his dirty work for him. Be careful not to give your ears for the devil to talk to through his agents and advocates.

 

Who are they? ·

They go about in human form usually “whitened sepulchers” so that they are not easy to identify. · They, like their master are liars no truth can be found in their mouths. ·

Like their master Lucifer they are “accusers of the Brethren” (Rev. Chapter 12 v10). Accusing day and night, the virtuous good works of the virtuous man is a reproach to their conscience. ·

Their eyes are jaundiced and so they see everything around them with jaundiced eyes. ·

Their minds are black like Lucifer and so they see white as black they see good as evil and the virtuous man as an enemy. ·

Their hearts are full of malice; they convince evil all day long thinking nothing but how to oppress the true servants of God. ·

In their bitterness they can kill, when they cannot do this with the sword to the Saints, they proceed to do this with their mouths. ·

Their tongues sharp as arrows, they spread negative rumours about the Saints far and wide to destroy their image in the world it has become known. ·

So vicious is their hatred and anger towards the Saints/virtuous that they can set up wild fires of gossip and slander destroying whole nations and peoples just to destroy the one virtuous soul that is a threat to their evil domain. ·

It was they who planned and executed the killing of the prophets of old.

It was they who killed the Holy innocents. ·

It was they who accused the Lord Jesus of using Beelzebub to cast out demons because their eyes were jaundiced and their hearts too black to see white as white. ·

It was they who beat up the apostles and threatened them, commanding them never to speak again in the name of Jesus. ·

It was they that accused Jesus of contravening the law while he was all the time doing well and saving souls.

They twist the law to suit themselves and to achieve their evil intentions while they themselves are not obeying the law – indeed they know nothing about the law of God in truth.

 

BEWARE Lovers of Christ, true friends of God for these advocates of Satan are still around looking for someone to pull down and shouting louder than the gentle voice of the sweet Saints. Wherever town or city God plants His work to shine the light, swiftly the devil appoints his agents to run it down, but from Genesis to Revelations and to this day, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overtaken it. Jesus said, “Be brave, I have conquered the world” and so march on militantly in the good you are doing for “Lo!” said the Master “I am with you always, even to the end of time” His words are eyes and Amen! And we too say Amen!!! So be it.

HATRED The Devil Himself

 

Just as God is love, so the evil is hatred personified. When a man hates, he is possessed by the demon of hatred – You can call it the spirit of hatred if you do not like the word demon, but a demon simply means an evil spirit. This particular evil spirit is a master demon – the spirit of Lucifer himself. ·

 

Hatred is the absence of God. ·

Hatred is darkness. ·

Hatred is vicious ·

Hatred kills ·

Hatred bears false witness ·

Hatred is the mother of resentment, malice, slander, calumny and their kind. · So blind it never sees good · So darkened it never sees light. · So brutal it destroys by the sword or by the tongue · Hatred is vindictive · It knows not God WATCH IT!

 

Are you living in hatred? (Pause for a period of conscience examination). Be honest with yourself. It is a thing that must not be found in a Christian (1 John 3: 10). Do not allow the devil to possess you. The moment you hate, know for sure that the devil has entered. There are no two ways about it. Light and darkness cannot live together and so light departs and when the spirit of God departs, the devil takes over riding you like a man rides his horse. There is no limit to where he can drive you accomplishing his nefarious activities. He’s been waiting. Now he’s found a willing body: You offered it to him the day you hated that man/woman. What a pity! Now it’s all darkness and blindness. COME OFF IT! Quick! You can reject him. You can overthrow him as a horse sometimes overthrows its rider. KICK HIM OFF, then run from hatred with all your might and Lucifer will never see you again!

"SHAME THE DEVIL" SISTER STELLA SAYS DURING HER AUGUST VISIT TO ASABA BRANCH

 

The Chief Co-ordinator of PRO LABORE DEI, Sr. Stella-Maris, started her talk with these pertinent questions, which looked like a joke but were actually very serious.  

(i) How many of you have come here today because of just your confidence in what God can do?

(ii) How many of you came to try to see what God can do?  

(iii) How many of you came with the mind of may be He can do it or may be He cannot?  

(iv)How many of you came because you are sick? 

(v) How many of you came to worship here because God is God and He is standing in our midst. 

 (vi) How many of you came because of the favour received and want to glorify Him? The crowd was advised to ponder over these questions and try to justify their reasons for leaving their homes every second Monday of the month to attend mass at PRO LABORE DEI, Asaba.

 

Whatever their reasons were, they were advised always to testify to God's favour and to shame the devil. They were also advised not to hide God's favour if they wanted to receive more favours from God. In fact, they were warned not to behave like the nine lepers.  

 

Sr. Stella warned everyone to be careful and to avoid God's anger, so that He might not ateach a bitter lesson. She declared, "if God wants to teach one a bitter lesson, He does not care who is affected".  

 

She also warned against taking God for granted because of the covenant he made with PRO LABORE DEI: no one who comes for prayer will go back home empty-handed.  

The summary of all these is that, it is testimony that the Lord demands from you. Don't become contemptuous; the one who gives is able to take too.  

 

To those waiting for miracles Sr. Stella said, "God will do it because he is Mr Do-good and he is good. Only that man is stubborn and adamant like our fore-fathers, Adam and Eve."  

She made them to read from 1st Samuel Chapter 3, "the call of Samuel" where God displayed his patience, politeness, simplicity and humility to the boy Samuel. The simple message is that God can choose to work with anybody.  

 

In Samuel Chapter 2 verse 24 Eli's children were committing sin, although Eli cautioned them, but, God was angry because Eli as a father did not stop them. At this point parents were advised to examine their consciences to see if their children were on the right track. Our Christianity, she said, will reflect on our children and it is better for one to be childless than to have a child who will override his or her parents. She made them know that the worst sin is to bring a child into the world and allow the child to go to hell. There would be no seat in heaven for such parents. They were made to know that Catholic Women's Organisation attires and being a member of St. Vincent de Paul could not gain anybody automatic entrance to heaverr. On this note, she highlighted how easy it was to gain or lose heaven.  

 

Reference was made to St. Monica, who learnt from Eli's mistake. And Eli himself, when he heard of God's decision about him, was not discouraged, rather his comment was: "He is Lord, let Him do whatever is best". She then asked the congregation how many of them worshipped God in the spirit of Eli. She concluded by saying that the age of those who knew God had gone.  

She also enjoined all present to have a true faith in God through all periods, through thick and thin, sickness or in health, in wealth or adversity.  

 

Mrs Christie Akako  

P.L.D. Asaba

 

CHRIST THE LIGHT

 

When Christ lives within us we become Christ bearers. So as Christ bearer you automatically become a light bearer. If you are a light bearer everywhere you enter darkness will cease.

So how does one become light bearer before whom darkness must recede? When you are a light bearer anywhere you go you will despoil darkness and this is a statement of fact and we don’t need to think too much to see how. If truly Christ is in you anywhere you go the powers of darkness will cede.

 

As you come into any environment and situation if you are a Light bearer where there is confusion you will find confusion disappears, where there is fighting everyday when a Light bearer enters that environment peace transcends. If you are truly a Light bearer, that is to say a Christ bearer wherever you go even the power of hell in whatever form will become uncomfortable and ultimately they get out. Although the first thing they try to do is to attack the light. When they see light they try to resists, they try to gang up hoping they will be able to conquer the light after all you are only one person against many. But darkness cannot overcome light even the wavering flame burning slowly somehow illuminate the place. The first reaction of darkness is this light is going to show up our darkness, it is going to show up what we have hidden hence lets gang up against the light. As they try to gang up against the light, they find themselves being destroyed.

 

How are they destroy? Here is a simple example. When you light a candle and leave it there. If there are any insects around they will eventually go straight for the light and try to put out the light. Hence when you leave a candle out for a while and when you go back you will find dead insect all around the candle. If the lighted candle was not left where it was there will be no dead insect but in infect what all the insect where doing was to gang up against the candlelight so has to put it out but to no avail because they get destroy instead.

 

If you are light bearer and remain steadfast as light though the power of hell may gang up against you to put out your light in the end they are destine to be destroy because it is written darkness can never overcome light. Praise God.

 

My dear people of God therefore what am I saying. I am saying that the light which we are now bearing is Christ who was the Light of the world that Light that shines in the darkness came from heaven to illumine the world to bring light to our darken world. St John said ‘HE came to is own and His own receive him not’. If the true light Jesus Christ came into the world and the world receive Him not will they receive you when you become Christ bearer? Will they receive you when you become a Light bearer? Does the world want to see light? The answers are No.

 

The world hates the truth. They do not want to see light. When the true light Jesus came into the world some of us forgets that HE suffered rejection that was humiliating. Many times we look at the end suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ and we talk about His Passion and His death but the more I read the scripture the more I tell myself that I think there is something we are not all recognizing.

 

Sometimes we seem to imagine that Jesus had a beautiful life and in the end suffered and HE died. The more you read of the new testament the more you discover that Jesus’ passion His suffering began from day one. Because from day one the world saw Him as Light, Light that has come to despoil darkness and automatically they attack they ganged up immediately and they struck from the moment of His birth to put out the Light. But God in His infinite wisdom though had the power to destroy those who wanted to destroy the Light He sent into the world, did not go that way instead HE said to Joseph take the mother and the child and go to Egypt. Instead of the Light being destroy countless little babies under two years of age where destroy but darkness did not put out the Light and the Light continued to dwell among men.

 

 

At an opportune time the works of darkness became challenge by the power of the true Light and like was said earlier they gang up against Him. They try to destroy Him before HE did anymore to entice the people. It is very interesting to note as we read the bible how Jesus the Son of God without whom was not anything made that was made had to constantly hide and slick away from His opponent. How many time did He work a miracle and they wanted to arrest Him and what did He do? In one place we are told they wanted to stone Him to death and He slip through their mist and when He does that HE will just go to a quite place and stay for a while. He will not talk or operate just keep calm till the noise calms down a bit. Praise the Lord.

 

 

Last month we spoke about how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but the aftermath of this story was not looked into. The story's highlight apart from it being the beautiful story of the power of God being made manifest when Lazarus was raised from the dead. Apart from it being a manifestation of God’s great power and the fact that God in Him is life and He has power to bring to life and to take away. For me the great highlight of that story as at this time of my life is that Jesus said to them Remove the stone.

 

Many times we are all amazed when the story of Lazarus is narrated how he was raised from the grave we find it beautiful, Jesus Power. Fine we all know Jesus is powerful we don’t need to be told that at this point so we look at another aspect of that story and we talked about ‘remove the stone’.

 

In is infinite power God raised a dead man by word of command ‘Lazarus come out" He did not say stone move away but said to the people around Him remove the stone and in their doubt Martha said He has been buried four days and if we remove the stone the place will be smelly and Jesus said ‘Did I not tell you if you believe you will see the Glory of God remove the stone. So the stone was removed and they saw the Glory of God. If the stone were not remove and Jesus commanded ‘Lazarus come out’ Lazarus would have risen but won’t be able to come out due to the stone blocking his path.

 

 

It was necessary for the stone to be removed so that the miracle when worked was manifested. For all of us God wants to do something in our lives, He wants to work a miracle but there is a prerequisite necessary for us to do which is to remove the stone.

 

We need to remove anything in our lives that might prevent our miracle being manifested. He is prepare to do something but don’t block the way. Remove the stone, the obstacle this could be stone of unbelief, lack of faith, a harden heart who the word of God means nothing to. Jesus is saying remove the stone so that when He orders the miracle you will see it and will Glorify God. So first you remove the stone and then believe.

 

Many of us when Jesus come to us we give excuse for not removing the stone but Jesus is calling for faith rather than looking at things from logical eye. We must all stop whatever we are doing that is contrary to the Lord because ‘no one can sit in sin and expect God’s blessing.

Jesus has His own part to play in the miracle of our lives but we must play our own. I tell you solemnly the day the master comes to your door HE comes to dispel the darkness of the tomb in your life. He comes to bring you from death to life.

 

Now back to our point of today after the Lord has raised Lazarus from the dead so has to manifest Glory of God has proclaimed, while the simple hearted rejoice in the Glory of God that has come among men, enemies of light began to gang up. They called council meeting immediately. They felt that things were getting out of hand and it was time to do something otherwise the whole world will follow this man. They want to eliminate the light so that people will not follow the light and darkness can become comfortable but the light shines in the darkness and light cannot overcome it but they gang up all the same.

 

Just has the enemy of light will gang up against you when you become Christ bearer automatically you will have enemy which will increase and you will wonder what have you done. Some friends will turn against you if they do not have the light in them, your boss becomes unbearable, and your neighbors turn to neighbor from hell just because they cannot stand the light. Just like the forces of darkness gang up against the Light even though HE had just done something unheard of (raising the dead) but their worry is everyone will go after this source of light. But 2000 years later the people of darkness failed because are we not all following him now.

 

Darkness can only gang up against light they can not overcome it so when your enemy gang up against you because they now see the light of salvation in you, they now see a change because you have become a light bearer do not back slide people of God do not go back in an attempt to win them remain steadfast in the end they will be like the insects that gets burn by the light. Stand firm no matter how long it takes. They will either follow your light or they will self destroy and you will remain steadfast. Those who are trying to put out the fire within you does not realize they are too small to put out your light because the light in you is the light of Christ that illumine the world.

 

The light which darkness can never overcome they do not understand they think it is something man made that they can control. They cannot control it what God has destine will come to pass.

There is one thing that we must learn about our Master the Light of the world the light that we are carrying within us. What do I want you to learn from Him to day?  

 

He is the Light of the world, Yes  

He is Power personified, Yes  

Authority, Yes  

 

Let there be and it shall be. When there was storm in the sea and His follower were petrified He said you men of little faith and He rose and stretch His hand over the ocean "Be still’ and instantly everything became still. He got to the grave of Lazarus and said ‘Lazarus come out’ and so it was.  

 

We have more than enough example of His power from Old Testament to the New. We all need to learn something from the Lord today that a servant cannot be greater than His master. What does the master do in time of adversity (John 10 v39-40)? Jesus said to us learn from me I am humble of heart. We must learn right from the master and be like Him in many ways so that the Light that illumine the world will continue to shine in us and not die a premature death.  

 

According to John He slip out of their hand and went to where John the Baptist was baptizing and stayed there. When the path of darkness gang up against Him He was not going to allow them to lead Him to a premature death or use His power in a way contrary to what the Father has sent to do. He was given Power to do Good not bad and not even His worse enemy will make Him do otherwise. Power given to Him was to Glorified the name of the One who sent Him by becoming humble even unto death. Not by exalting Himself showing off His Supper Power, which is the problem with many of us, once God gives us one little gift, little light, pride enters. We get into unnecessary trouble that could be avoided but you want to show off your power.  

 

When your enemies are plotting against you instead of being like your master by slipping away like your master to another place to calm down. Then come back to your work. There is no need to try and fight the darkness your light will eventually destroy darkness for you no matter how long. The name of Jesus that the enemy tried to stop spreading as continued to spread far and near.  

Remember discretion is the word. Prudence, the right thing at the right time in our religion as Christian we must be very Prudent like our master He was discrete at all time. For everything there is a season. There are other passages after Jesus finished working a miracle that things go against Him because the people believed. There were many occasions that Jesus realized it was more prudent and wiser for Him to do otherwise and get away from the eyes of the world. (John Chapter 11 v 54)  

 

The master light of the world wishes to address us little candles that will go forth into the world John Chp.15 v 18 to Chp.16 v 4  

 

Word of advice from the master light ‘If the world hates you just remember they have hated me’ When you become a light bearer the world will hate you, you will loose many friend. Then you get worry. Many of us want to have our cake and eat it. Once you are a light bearer the line will be drawn because we cannot be in the light and darkness. Remember Jesus said ‘if the world hates you just remember they hated me first’ No servant could be greater that it’s master. Praise God

GLORIFING DEATH

 

There was once a woman, at the beginning of her life she wanted to give her life to Christ and join a convent but her parents were against it. So she married and had two children. Her husband was not the best of men. He drank and treated his family badly. The woman today is known as St. Rita.

 

One day the man was killed and his two sons’ were determined to retaliate by killing the person who killed their father. They were determined to kill the person that killed their father.

 

Their mother Saint Rita when she heard about their plot lifted her eyes to heaven and prayed. She begged God and said instead of her sons to commit murder, a mortal sin let them die. She said this prayer with her whole heart and God heard her prayer and the two children died. How many of you can say that kind of prayer?

 

St. Rita’s commitment to God, her total love of God, which can make her to offer her whole life in penance living with a man that was a real thorn in her flesh. She offered that marriage to God, a marriage with no happiness. She tried to be a good wife to a drunkard by doing all the things a good wife should do without complaining. Then she sacrificed her two children for the salvation of their own souls. She did not mind going empty handed no husband no children. This was better for her than to feel that her children have offended God. So now she find herself with no husband no children and the she remember before becoming a wife and mother she wanted to be a sister. She wanted to give her life totally to God and now that God has taken everything she decided to go join the convent. But they explained to her they do not take married women. She explained that she had wanted to be a sister but nobody wanted to hear wanted to be.

 

So one day has she stood behind the fence of the convert, till today no one can explain the mystery of how she ended up on the other side of the fence to the convent. All the gates where locked and how did St Rita get inside the convent. The Mighty Hand lifted her. Then they knew indeed that Jesus the lover of souls loves this soul whether married or not. That is how they accepted her into the convert. After her death she was canonize a saint. Just like Thomas Moore when you call Saint Rita even till today miracles begin to happen. She was a woman.

 

All I am saying is that holiness that will make us attain the height where this woman the most blessed is you and I can also get to. The place where the most blessed of all women is the Queen of today we too can also get there. If only in whatever state of life we find yourselves you offer yourselves completely as a living sacrifice to God. Even as a married woman offer yourself a living sacrifice to God (Roman chapter 12). Even as a married man offer yourself a living sacrifice to God. Whether a counselor like Thomas Moore offer yourself a living sacrifice to God.

 

It is not until you start performing big miracle that we have attain true holiness. We think that what makes us holy is the amount of spiritual power we have; gift of tongue, prophecy, healing, deliverance, vision. We think these are what make us holy but this is not the case. While we are running around for the big things (such as the spiritual gift mentioned previously) to make us holy we are passing by the small small things that we should have done which will be enter in the book of life for us.

 

St Theresa of the Child Jesus did not do any big miracle such as healing but what she did was to give her life to God. She did little little things like helping others wash their clothes, clean their room, bring their clothes from the line outside and for all this she never asked for thank you.

 

St Theresa never got a chance to be a missionary but she offered countless prayers for missionaries and those she prayed for who where successful where uncountable. This where the things that made Theresa to become a Saint, little little things and so she was called the little flower.

 

Here we shall stop. We should begin to ask God for the grace to die a death, which in the sight of God will glorify Him. Will you die the kind of death that will make the Lord shake His head and say ‘oh no one more loss’ or will you die the kind of death that will lead to great rejoicing in heaven with trumpet blasting and angels dancing.

 

Questions to ask yourselves

 

Will my death glorify God?

If my death will glorify God by what principles must I leave my life?

 

If you have no principles for your life right now, which you resolve before God and you are willing to stand on, no matter what then your death can not glorify God.

 

St. Thomas Moore’s death glorified God because he was highly principle man who stood by the truth and word of God even when it meant death. This principle was not acquired overnight but it was a life achievement.

 

So I say to you today if your death will glorify God write down the principles by which you will lead your life. Guiding principle even at point of death and danger you will stand by for the love of God.

 

 

Why don't you let your light shine on others?

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ I will like us to look around us either at home or at our working places to see some of these things that do not look normal but yet are happening and we do nothing about them. ls it that we are harden or that we are now used to them that make us not to think over some of these things and try to bring about a change? What are these things we are talking about?

 

They are injustice, tribalism, nepotism, cruelty, willful murder, slander, gossip, adultery, fornication stealing, bribery and corruption, obscene talks, immorality: Similarly, why are we not disturbed by the sight of the less-privileged in our society or those who are ignored in the society and tagged ‘mad'? Are you not bothered at the rate that poverty is crawling into every home and only very few people are rich and getting richer everyday? What about those who are naked, those in prison, those who are dying of hunger and have no hope for tomorrow? Can we not do something about these? Are we going to fold our arms and watch?

 

Now let us ask ourselves ‘why did God make us? I will say that God made us that our light must shine in the sight of men so that seeing our good works they will praise our Father in Heaven. In what ways can we make our light shine on others?

 

Do you share your bread with the hungry? Do you visit prisons, visit the sick, and console those in pains? Do you feed the hungry? Do you share your shelter with the homeless? Do you clothe the naked? At least, you must do something for somebody. Of course, you always have something to share. If there is nothing to share, share love, advice, smile, laughter, peace and joy that will radiate to others. In doing all these, your light will shine, for in so doing, they will glorify our Father in Heaven.

 

As Christians we are supposed to bring meaning to the lives of others. We should be an epitome of goodness, love, kindness and what have you, so that others can learn from us.

These good works are not meant for only those in church or those born of the same parents with you. This goodness and act of Charity are meant for all God’s creatures no matter the religion color or race.

 

Please don’t become so immersed in everyday life that the move you any longer. Learn to think and care about certain situation and try to bring about solutions. Be alert, do not lose sight of justice and don’t think that because one bad thing has persisted it has become the order of the day and can now be normalized. When in doubt as to which step to take, stop and ask questions, enquire to know how Jesus would have done it being in that same situation.

 

With this I urge you to stand firm and erect without fear or favor to fight injustice and all the ills of the society. Stand up and fight for the downtrodden. Help in whatever capacity you can to bring smile or light to the lives of others.

 

Whatever you decide to do in order to bring light into the lives of others, do it without any ulterior motive but purely out of love. You should also know that you could do much if you allow the Holy Spirit that lives in you to empower and direct you. He can make you a powerful minister of justice for the Lord.

 

Charity is for all; why not let your light shine on others? Or are you egocentric? - Me and my wife and children only? Have you ever thought of supporting an intelligent relation who is clever and intelligent, who has gained an admission into a university?

 

Do you like people to suffer because they are not in the same church with you? In fact, that is not Christianity. The Christians are to bring to others. We are supposed to be an epitome of goodness and love. We are the salt and salt brings taste to the soup. Have we bothered to bring others close to Christ?

 

The Christians are called to be shinning examples to others and to shun vices such as: -

- Bribery

- Corruption etc.

- Drunkenness, and return to our God in faith

 

We are to show practical generosity to our dear brothers and sisters. As we received without paying much, we give without being paid. We pray that Mother Mary, the mother of hope and love will guide us along the charity route!

Amen

 

 

 

 

REMOVE THE STONE

 

Once upon a time there was this Family that Jesus loved very much. You will be surprised that Jesus too had special friends when He was on Earth. There were certain families He goes to and feels relaxed, at home at ease and even eat with them. He does not do this everywhere He goes. One of such Families was the Family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

 

On this occasion Lazarus was very sick. This family because they were so close to Jesus believed in Him and trusted in Him. So when Lazarus sickness became so serious they sent a message to Jesus. When Jesus heard the message He sent back a message to Mary and Martha that He was coming. But Jesus stayed were he was for another two days. The only thing Jesus said to His followers is that ‘Lazarus sickness will not end in death rather it is for God’s Glory and the Son of Man will be Glorified through it’. He stayed where he was for another two days before saying to His followers let us go to Judea and Thomas said to the Lord you have just come out of the place where they wanted to stone you to death and you wish to go again.

 

Thomas then turned to the others and said let us go with Him so that we can all die together. (We can see that Thomas had faith in his own way even though we know him has doubting Thomas).

They left for Judea. As they were going towards the village of Bethany were Mary Martha and Lazarus lived, Jesus and his followers were still a fair distance away when the word reached Mary and Martha that Jesus was on His way to their house.

 

Martha ran with speed (by now Lazarus was dead and buried) to meet Jesus because Martha could not wait for Him to reach their house. She left the mourners in her house. In her mind she knew if she did not see Jesus no one could console her. When she came to where Jesus was she looked at Him and said Master, Lord if You had been here my brother would not have died but I know whatever You ask God, God will give You’ and Jesus said to her ‘your brother will rise again’. She replied I know he will rise again on the last day. She did not understand and Jesus said to her ‘if you believe your brother will rise again because I am the Resurrection and the life’ and Martha said Lord I know that You are the Messiah, I know that You are the Son of God the one who is to come and I Know that all things are possible with you.

 

We can imagine at this point Jesus asking Martha about Mary’s where about and how she was taking the loss of their brother and hoping she was not too devastated and crying too much because Jesus love for Mary was great (please note this is not in the bible) and Martha would have replied that Mary was at home crying. Jesus would have asked to see her without the crowd gathered at their house. Martha then would have gone home to get Mary. Jesus stayed where Martha met Him.

 

Martha went to Mary and whispered to her that the Master was on his way but would like to see you before he gets to their house which was said to be filled with well wishers. We could imagine Martha briefing Mary about her conversation with Jesus and all that was said. Especially the part about their brother rising again which she did not understand.

 

Mary went to meet Jesus. From experience one always finds that you try to remain strong in front of well-wishers but there is someone that you allow yourself to breakdown in front off. Such a person for Mary was Jesus. Upon arriving at the place where Jesus was Mary fell at His feet and the tears just flowed afresh. Mary’s pain and tears was of both regret and pain for death of her brother. To Mary death meant the end, once dead that is the end. Jesus heart was quite heavy at the sight of Mary’s pain that He also wept.

 

Jesus asked to be taken to the grave. He followed Mary and was led to where Lazarus was buried. The mourners who followed Mary were talking among themselves that ah why did He not come in time. He was supposed to be their friend after all. He gave blind  their sight, cured the sick why did He not prevent Lazarus from dying. Jesus heard all their comment but ignored them. At the grave Jesus said ‘remove the stone’. Everyone including Martha said it was up to four days and the body will be smelly now. Jesus repeated remove the stone. I told you if you believe you would see the Glory of God. Remove the Stone so they obeyed Him and removed the stone. Jesus offered prayer to the Father and then He cried out ‘Lazarus come out’ and behold out came a human being still wrapped up. Jesus gave the command untie him and before them stood Lazarus as fresh as ever. Some would have fallen at Jesus feet and declared Jesus is Lord while some plotted.

 

So people of God which one of us is like Martha? Those, who do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and you did not understand when Jesus said to Martha I am the Resurrection and the Life anyone one who believe in Me will not die, your brother will rise again if you believed’.

 

When they got to the grave the same Martha that He told and who replied with great faith Lord I believe you are the Son of God, I believe you are the Messiah the one who is to come. At that point one will think her faith complete yet when they got to the grave and Jesus said open the grave she replied Lord it is four days now and if we open it will be smelly. She has quickly forgotten her declaration of faith "You are the Messiah, You are the Son of God and I believe" When it came to time to let her believe do the work, time to show her faith she showed that she had no faith and showed she did not understand what she was saying.

 

We are all Martha in many ways, quick to declare our faith, but when it is time to prove our faith in the Lord, time for action, we fail. When we are faced with the impossible, when we are standing by the graveside when the body is rotten that is time to show that we believe He can do anything. When the situation is looking hopeless and there is an outward sign that nothing thing can actually go right again this is the time our faith should be the strongest. The time to show Jesus is Lord.

 

People of God it is time to remove the stone, remove the stone of unbelief, the stone of doubt, the hardness of the heart, the anxiety, the worry. Jesus is telling you today to remove the stone and allow a miracle to happen in your life. Do not be like Martha who thinks if the stone was remove the place will be smelly or situation will be worse. As Jesus reminded Martha, He is reminding us today " I told you I am the Life and Resurrection if you believe you will see the Glory of God". So today all ye Marthas remove the stone of fear, worry, doubt despair etc Remove the stone from whatever stands as a grave in your life and let the Glory of God manifest in your life today.

 

The grave stands for whatever we think is impossible in your life. And if you remove the stone and believe you will surely see the Glory of God. That thing you believe to be impossible will become possible. All you have to do is remove the Stone and trust in the Lord. Amen

 

Meditation Focus

John Chapter 11 v 1 – 44

Prayer Focus

In our prayer let us ask God to remove the stone from our heart so we can trust in Him completely.

 

 

REACHING THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

This teaching (like all the other powerful words of God poured out through the mouth of God's servant, Sr. Stella-Maris) is worth remembering. It is for the benefit of those who came late, who were not listening or not present that I have decided to write it out. The teaching began with God's creation of everything that was made.

 

Our attention was drawn to the following facts:

1. That the sun has never ceased to shine.

2. That all the creatures created by God increased and multiplied as God said.

3. That the forests have always their trees from generation to generation. The trees have also never ceased to exist.

4. That all that God created was set in its proper place, and as has remained in its proper place, except MAN. 

 

Then the following questions were asked:

-Why has man broken the Heart of his Creator?

- Why has man refused to bloom where he was planted?

- Why has man turned out to be a sorrow to God?

- Why has man failed to glorify God?

- Why did man not obey God but wanted to be like God and, therefore, ate the forbidden fruit?

- Why was man the only creature cursed by God?

 

For this, man is living cursed life. God did not create us to be struggling beings, to struggle to survive. Man was not made to labour or suffer. In spite of the millions of years of living this miserable life, man has still not accepted the Kingdom of God. Then, God sent His Son to give us hope; to get, that which was lost after sin, to give us the offer of eternal life where we will get our lost hope. Many of us have refused to accept this offer. We are still going about in our waywardness of heart. We say we know God but our hearts are far from Him. We prefer the hearts of stone so that the Lord cannot write on them; so that the words of God cannot take root. It is this lost Kingdom that the Lord came to preach about.

 

We were then asked how many of us have accepted the message of eternal life. People read the bible everyday and yet there is no change in them. Then this illustration was given: When you put a seed of corn in the soil, after a few days, there is a change. As the planted seed takes something down, something else is coming up. The seed dies, to bring out a new plant. This illustration is to bring out the following facts:

(1) That the old self must cease to exist for the new man to shoot out. The old "you" must be gone for the new self to multiply.

(2) Some of us come to P.L.D. for prayers; go to our different Churches, yet we make a mockery of God.

(3) The Kingdom of God is not achieved by mere saying that we know God. If we say, "yes" to God, what are the signs to prove this?

(4) Some of us refuse to improve. Our stubborn-heartedness, our greed, our pursuits of worldly things, the lying, gossiping, fornication, slandering, still remain.

 

We make a change in one direction, and take on another vice in another direction. If you do not change, the Kingdom of God has no place in you. From now onwards, look at the changes in your life.

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

a) Is the seed of God germ mating in me? If you are still at the germinating stage after all these years, then there is something wrong with you. The seed germinates, brings the leaves, the stalk, and the leaves increase and the stalk gets thicker and thicker.

b) Am I growing? Keep asking yourself if you are growing or else you may become a spiritual dwarf.

 

The Kingdom of God, is a gradual process, it is not achieved automatically. You have heard the word of God. The seed has reached you. It is either you accepted the word of God and refused to grow or you did not accept it. The person who threw the seed has done so and so, the seed must be growing in you. The Lord is expecting a harvest on the last day. It is you that must allow the seed to grow because the seed should grow in a normal person. The One, who sent the seed, sent it with power.

 

Some people are not making any effort to make the seed grow. Some people are lazy in spirit, and are, therefore, not making any conscious effort to make the seed grow. Some, who have the seed growing, refuse to weed the nonsense that they allow to grow with the seed. We need the Kingdom of God, we need to move there, so to move, we need to be humble, generous, remove fornication, remove all the vices.

 

The sick man needs a physician. Mankind needs salvation because we lost our initial place of beauty and glory. We need our original home. From today onwards, ask yourself the following:

(I) Am I growing?

(2) Am I shooting?

(3) Has the word of God reached me?

(4) Has my old self died to a new one?

(5) Am I the same old person?

(6) Am I still slanderous?

(7) Am, I generous?

(8) Am I still pompous?

(9) Is my life making others happy?

(10) Is my life still miserable?

(11) Do I bring sorrow to people around me and to God? 

 

If we are still doing these negative things, then we are bearing bitter fruits - fruits to be thrown away. The word of God is alive and active and, so, no one must remain the same. There must be a change if the word of God has reached you or else the Kingdom of God has no place in you. We should be bearing good, sweet palatable fruits, not bitter fruits. He who has ears, let him hear, Sr. Stella-Maris concluded.

 

Teaching of Sr. Stella-Maris Written by Mrs. V.A. Ukoyen

 

 

ALONE WITH GOD

(ONE OF SR. STELLA-MARIS' RECIPE FOR RADICAL CONVERSION FOR A NEW PERMANENT STATE OF LIFE)  

 

STEP1  

Consider a quiet retreat by yourself and spend a minimum of 2 hours with the Lord. Think of where to go, so that you can talk with Him without interference from others.  

  • Once you are there, you make the sign of the cross and say;  
  • "Lord, I have come to be with you. Show me who I am and what I am.  
  • Am I alright with you?  
  • Am I on the right track?"  

Then listen to Him, just listen; He will surely talk to you, if only you will not be too distracted to hear him.  

 

For a closer, cordial and more united relationship with God, do this. Go with a bible, a notebook and a pen. Make the sign of the cross and say...  

"Lord, see me, I have come, show me myself, tell me what I am, don't let me deceive myself. Am I all right before you? Have I forgotten my sins, not confessed them? Tell me what I can do, show me myself, so that I can change. If what I am doing is not right, show me the right thing so that I will do it.  

 

NOW    

Look back into your life from childhood, if you are on the wrong track ask him to show you the right way.  

Say;     "God help me, for I cannot plan my Life by myself ".  

Sing;   "Father I need your help. I cannot do it alone. (2ce)

Now listen and write as he tells you. Keep writing because you are there to discover God. You can now make a resolution to change and give yourself to Christ. You can end it by thanking him for showing you the way and promise never to depart from his  ways or derail again. As from now, you will pray this everyday:- "God help me to keep on the right lane",  

 

STEPII  

If you are on the right lane, the devil will surely come to tempt you. He can come in different colours using 'different styles and even coming through people very close to you. As soon as he sees you making this U-turn, he will intensify his effort and really plan for you so you have to be at alert and have this slogan at the tip of your lips. "Be gone, satan".

The bible did not tell you that temptation is over, but says "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil". You need these two sentences to strengthen you.  

1. Be-gone satan,  

2. Blood of Jesus, cover me.  

 

STEPIlI  

You see that sin is poison to the soul, so in your new way you need to be very very careful and to avoid sins, lies etc.  

 

STEP IV 

As you are now wearing a new dress, Confession and Absolution will keep your clean dress shining. Now avoid your old method of Confession where you hide some sins and cover up sins while confessing. Learn to make honest confessions from the bottom of your heart. Now pray:  

"God, I am wearing a new shirt, don't let: me fall and stain it".  

Pray to the Holy Spirit to give you a strong faith.  

 

STEPV  

Righteousness  

Let your new name be "Mr. Do-good" and let the devil run away. Now wear holiness as shoes and let it guide you into the path of truth forever and ever. If you can put on Shoes of holiness, faith and righteousness, your new name shall become "HOLY".  

May God give us the grace to digest this meal so that it will bear fruit in you. Amen.  

Mrs Christie Akako

 

 

 

The Great Question

 

Early this year, we were advised by our Mother, Sr. Stella-Maris, to get ready to climb a ladder that goes straight to heaven. So in January, we got prepared with the helping words of God and put our feet on the ladder. The putting of feet on the ladder was not as simple as it is written.  

In February, we got prepared for step two of the ladder, which was termed "Purity". A question was asked, "Who will go to the mountain of God"? Who will see his Holy face? - A man with a clean mind and a pure heart.  

 

We had lectures on the nature of purity - Purity of the eyes, the legs, the mouth etc. Useful hints and some pieces of advice were given.  

 

In the month of March, we got ready for step III that was termed "Forgiveness". There was a great emphasis on Forgiveness as lack of forgiveness can pull one down, even after purification, because of mark of malice.

 

On the 6th of June, having exhausted the topic on Forgiveness we now got ready for step IV titled "Run away from sin". We were advised, and infact it was dramatized for all to see. At the end, the message became clearer that it was not just to run away from sin but to pick race as fast as our legs could carry us.

 

We were also advised to be wise because Ignorance is not an excuse in heaven. We were further told that sin speaks to sinners, so that we should be watchful and careful. An example of sin speaking to a sinner, is like a pregnant schoolgirl hearing a voice saying "go and remove it before anybody knows" if not careful, the girl will yield to the voice. Then after committing the sin she can never sleep nor rest again. Heartbeat now takes over. The sin now begins to cry against her. If she continues to listen, she will harden.  

 

Goodness also speaks, infact you will hear "well done" and, like a lizard, you will nod your head.  

When you know what is wrong avoid it, stop blaming Rev. Fathers and Sisters. When you don't even tell them the whole truth. You will always present your case hiding some facts. Apart from hearing from Rev. Fathers and Sisters, does your conscience not reproach you or say well done!

 

So whenever your inner mind says it is not good, it is not good, run fast. If you stop to think, the devil will come to give reasons and encourage you and you will be totally confused.  

 

Do not wait to think twice. Do not let the devil mislead you. Jesus said, " I love sinners but I hate sin". Infact, God cannot stand sin.  

 

The essence of all this advice is to make you very cautious and vigilant; because immediately you reach this very point of the ladder the devil would have seen your potentials and will not take it lightly that you have agreed to be pure, so he will come with temptation either through your best friend or through what you like, What you like can be your children, your husband/wife. Be assured that it cannot be through your enemies. It may come through the things you are seeking for example, job, child or, even, admission. So we have to be careful and watchful.  

 

We must be careful with our eyes. The eye can lead us to many sins, like lust and wishing to steal. Once the eye starts to look and look, then it is begging the heart to join and very soon it beckons the hand to steal and the leg to run away.  

 

When you start to admire a thing too much, know that sin is about to join.

Here, Jesus is telling us to "run away from sin", even if our mother is the tempter". Run as fast as your legs can carry you and go to Christ, He will accommodate you, for He has said, "If your right hand will cause you to sin cut it off. So, even if it is your child that will make you sin, you do what? Your guess is as right as mine.  

 

We know that God said that what he has joined together, let no man put asunder. Yet if that right hand that will cause you to sin is your husband/wife, cut it off because sin is the poison of the soul. Nobody will see poison and drink it, so don't try to drink or taste sin.

 

To try to sin is to take the poison of the soul.

 

Take for example, if your husband wants to take a title that requires idol worship. What will you do? Cut it off and run? Why not? You are not to take part in that title, stay away from that ceremony. Stop running from Father to Sister looking for reasons to join him. You already know the Lord's commandment. 

 

Besides you don't put food in your nostrils. Well, you can put food in your nose for a trial, if it goes well, then go ahead. If you choke, okay for you too.  

 

Stop worrying the Rev. Fathers and Sisters with half and half-truths - Take responsibility for your action and stand for what is right. It is better to go to heaven with one eye than to go to hell with two eyes.  

 

So please don't choose to go to hell with one man or woman you met on the street so many years ago. It is not worth it. People of God, at this step we must denounce, reject, refuse, cut away and run away from anything sinful. Only after we have done that can we put our feet on the 4th step of the ladder. "Are we ready?" was the great question that threw every one into a deep silence.   

 

Mrs, Christie Akako  

Member

 

 

 

BEHOLD AMONG MEN THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD

 

In this season of Advent, with Christmas round the corner, it   is   good   to remind ourselves that God actually dwells among us physically and walks about on two legs in our midst. Though we are not privileged to see Him physically, we can see Him with our spiritual eyes. Since God is God and can never tell a lie, we must believe His statement that He would not leave us orphans and would remain with us till the end of time. After all, He is Emmanuel, "God-with-us".

 

The fact of God dwelling with us was the recurring theme of Sr. Stella's discourse on 31" of October during the Prayer Session. She reminded us that God, from the very beginning, had lived among His people. He lived- with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, visited them and strolled with them in the cool evenings. When they offended, He cast them out but that was not to be the end.  

 

Later, He took pity on humanity and brought Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans to create a new people called "Israel" from his descendants. He renamed Abram "Abraham", called them His people and lived with them. The bible tells us of Yahweh's visits to Abraham and conversations with him.  

 

Sr. Stella continued that after several generations, He called them out of Egypt and lived with them "a pillar of cloud by day" and "a pillar of fire by night". He never created us to keep us down here while He remained up there in the skies. In the desert, when the cloud moved, they moved, when it stayed, they stayed, wherever He turned right or left they followed.  He remained with them. As long as they were ready to do His will, He remained with them.  

 

When they arrived in the Promised Land, He even told them to build Him a tent, giving them the detailed layout and dimensions. When the temple was completed He moved in, to great rejoicing and feasting, for He had come to take abode with them physically and "permanently" now that their wanderings were over.  

 

She reminded us that after Moses, Joshua and other prophets, they rebelled and wanted kings to rule over them like other nations. The prophets warned them but they did not listen. So God gave them kings. These kings oppressed them and could not win all their battles for them as Yahweh did when He lived physically with them.  They suffered greatly.  

 

Much much later, she said, God took pity on them and sent His only Son to come and live with us. He came in the flesh, walking among us, wearing clothes like us, eating and drinking like us and doing wonders in their midst. Eventually, they killed Him. But, even before they did, He declared that He would not leave us orphans and would send the Advocate to teach us all things and He would be with us till the end of time. He also promised that wherever two or three were gathered in His Name, He would be there in their midst.

 

So, till today, He is still with us, living among us.  

 

Why then are people surprised to hear that Jesus is appearing in PRO LABORE DEI? It has always been God's desire from the very beginning to live among His creatures. "Behold among men the dwelling place of God, we shall be His people and He shall be our Lord and God" the words of this song are very apt indeed. In all generations, God decided where He wanted to dwell. In those days He chose Israel out of all the nations in the whole world. Other nations heard of it, knew it and trembled with fear over it.  

 

God had always chosen whom He wanted to appear to, how and when. In the days of old, He appeared to Abraham, Moses and several others. In our days, He is still appearing to people of His choice like Margaret Alacock to whom He came holding His sacred heart in His hands. He is God and can do all things. He does as He wills, nobody can stop Him, nor can anyone tell Him what to do.  

 

He is dwelling in PRO LABORE DEI as He himself has proclaimed over and over again. His sojourn in PRO LABORE DEI is not determined or limited by the presence of His servant, Sr. Stella. Whether she is around or not, He is there. He continues to confirm His presence by the wonders He does. For example, on Monday 21'' October, during the prayer session at Enugu, a blind man recovered his sight. Sr. Stella was absent because she was on mission in the United States of America, but the Lord did as He has promised Our God so good! How many examples do we need to give to convince the skeptics or those who doubt? The fact remains that the TRUTH is the TRUTH, whether people believe it or not!  

 

Another amazing thing at PRO LABORE DEI is that Jesus beautifully fulfils His promise to send us the Advocate to teach us all things. Many confess that they come here to "enjoy" Sr. Stella's talks at the Prayer Sessions and Vigils. Yet, she never prepares those talks. She merely puts herself in the hands of the Holy Spirit and He takes control and "pours out of her mouth" whatever He wants to teach us. Sr. Stella could expound the same scripture passage again and again and each talk would be different, highlighting fresh areas that were not developed in any of the others. This fact really amazed the American members of PRO LABORE DEI who followed her everywhere on her itinerary. They said they were glad they followed her around because they learnt something new from each of her discourses at the different places even when the topics were the same!  

 

We thank God that Jesus and His mother are appearing in PRO LABORE DEI and continue to do so. They had made it Holy Ground and the miracles will continue even if they stop appearing here, like at Lourdes, Fatima and other such places. Nothing can change that. We are even luckier still that while in those famous apparition centers they appeared only for a little while (e.g only 14 apparitions in Fatima!) he apparitions here are innumerable.  

Sr. Stella asked: "Does anyone think that when Sr. Stella dies, Jesus and Mary will leave here and follow her?" She stated emphatically "Sr. Stella or any other creature cannot bring God (their Creator) here, nor can they remove Him".  

 

It is good for us all to ponder, "Where is all this leading to"? Jesus and His mother are not appearing at PRO LABORE DEI just for fun. They are here to "harvest our souls for God" as Mother Mary told us several months ago. Perhaps we should take a close look at the words of the song "Behold among men", some verses of which are reproduced here, and meditate on them often.

 

Song:  

Chr.   Behold among men the dwelling place of God  

           We shall be His people, and He shall be our Lord and God.  

1 .    People called by God through the words of the prophet  

         People brought together in the house of the Lord,  

         People who attend to their Lord, the Church of Christ the Lord.  

2.    Temple   built   by   saints   by   the   Martyrs   and Apostles,  

        Holy temple built upon Christ the corner stone,  

        Holy dwelling place of our God, the Church of Christ the Lord.  

3.        People who are born in the waters of the Spirit,  

         People who are marked by the seal of the Spirit,  

         People in the Spirit made one, the Church of Christ the Lord.  

        May we be among the harvested souls on the last day. Amen.  

            Mrs. Fola Olumide  

         Member     

 

 

The Holy Queen and the Rosary

 

The Holy Mother to Saint Dominic first of all revealed the Rosary and it became very popular and people who went on crusade in those days will say their rosary and be successful in battle.

This thing that we Catholics call Rosary represent to us Roses. You give a Rose flower to somebody you love and to use each bead represents a Rose, which we put into the hands of the blessed Mother.

 

But we also use the Rosary for our prayer sometimes. We are encouraged to say the Rosary everyday by the Church. Prayers are make easier using the Rosary because by the time you have said the Rosary you don’t need to say any more long prayer. Every thing is contained in the saying of the Rosary.

 

It is important we say the Rosary properly. The correct way of saying the Rosary is:

First we must knock on the door. How do we do this?

 

The first thing we come across is a cross with the image of a crucified Jesus on it. Satan can not stand looking at Jesus on a cross even an image and therefore removes his face from you and run away upon seeing it on you. So wearing a Crucifix is for one own good.

 

When we want to say the Rosary, we use the cross to make the sign of the cross, ‘in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’ on our body. First you touch your forehead In the of the Father, then the middle of the chest for the Son and touch your two shoulder blade for the Holy Spirit. Thus making a sign of the cross upon your body. As you do this you are blessing your self in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

So once you have bless your self to starting with sign of the cross calling on the name of the Holy Trinity (Three persons in One God), we now profess our believe in God. As you are saying I believe in God the devil runs away even faster. The profession of Faith is called the Creed. This is read on the cross.

 

The Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. I believe in Jesus Christ is only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified: died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right had of God the Father Almighty: from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

 

Any real Christian can dispute not a word in the creed as fact and the truth. As you go further and further in saying the creed the devil runs even faster away from you. What is the problem that the non-Catholics have about saying the creed? The main problem probably comes when they get to the point of I believe in the Holy Catholic Church then it becomes a case of I am Pentecostal or I am Anglican etc. They fail to realize the true meaning of the word Catholic, which is Universal so all we are saying, is we believe in the universal church of Christ. God’s church and mission is universal. We are not saying we believe in any particular parish but that the church Christ came to establish is universal.

 

When you have said the creed you now say "Our Father’, 3 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be to the Father. All these: sign of the cross, The creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Mary and Glory Be to the Father is the knock at the door, which should never be left out. If you don’t knock at the door first no one will know you are there and therefore the door can not be open and no one will hear what you have come to say.

 

After that you start again by saying ‘Our Father’ and then decade of the Rosary.

When you say the ‘Our Father’ we are saying the most worthy of all prayers thought by Our Lord Jesus Himself. The Son who knew the Father so well knew the best prayer to touch His Heart and how to say it. Jesus thought His follower and said when you pray do not babble like the Pharisees who like to use long and empty words like many of us today. We think the more we say the more God will hear. Whereas The Father will be looking and laughing because all we are saying He already knows. We quote half the bible before we get to the point.

When we say the rosary we are saying the best prayer possible. After saying I believe in you my God we then now say the prayer thought to us by Jesus Christ.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name: Thy Kingdom come: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread: and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Amen. (Matthew Chap.. 6 v 9-13)

 

Then we say Hail Mary.

 

Hail Mary Full of Grace the Lord is with you.

Blessed her thou woman and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinner, now and the hour of our death. Amen.

‘Hail’ is a form of greeting of that time just like hello or hiya etc. So we say Hail Mary full of Grace; the Lord is with you as said by Angel Gabriel in the bible (Luke Chap.. 1 v 26-38).

 

The Father puts whatever is said by heavenly beings into their mouth. Hence the Heavenly Father was actually saying Hail Mary Full of Grace through the mouth of Angel Gabriel. The Angel only said what he was sent to say by the Father nothing more nothing less. So if the Father is saying Hail Mary Full of Grace who are we mere creatures to dispute the fact that Mary is Full of Grace?

What are people’s contentions against Her when the Creator has set her apart? We have nothing to argue about but those who still feel the need to argue are arguing with God.

 

Then Elizabeth said blessed are thou among woman and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus when Mary went to visit her. When Elizabeth said this she didn’t say it on her own accord because the bible tells us that when Mary entered the house of Elizabeth, the child in her womb leapt and she was filled with Holy Spirit. (Luke Chap.. 1 v 39-45)

 

So we can say the first part of the Hail Mary, we are using the same word of the Father and then of the Holy Spirit used to address Mary.

 

We don’t pray to Our Lady but we ask her to pray for us just as we ask others to pray for us. We know that Our Lady will pray to God just like anyone we ask to pray for us will do.

 

There really isn’t any need to defend our love of Our Mother Mary and the right to ask this most blessed of woman to pray for us sinners now and the hour of our death.

All mankind should take Mary has their Mother. The woman the Creator say is Full of Grace, the woman the Holy Spirit calls most blessed.

 

The rest of the Rosary is based on meditating on the mysteries.

 

The Holy Queen is the advocated of all before the Lord and we should say the Rosary daily. The Holy Queen has her role to play in the life of every single person. If we will only allow her to be our advocate before the Lord just has she did in Cana at the wedding feast. (John Chap.. 2 v 1-12)

 

 

 

 

 

God's Odiiches"

WHO ARE THEY?

"God has no favorites. But why is it that some pray and pray and do not get what they are asking for while some pray only once and get what they want?"

It is true that the Bible tells us that God has no favorites. Yet a quick survey of the scriptures shows us some persons who enjoyed Gods favour and were great friends of His. Why? What did they do to acquire this enviable position?

 

Let us look at case of Moses for instance. The Lord said to Moses on one occasion: ‘I will do just as you have asked. I know you by name’. Usually it is God who commands and we do as He asks. The boss commands and the servant does whatever he asks him to do". Moses was astounded when he was sent to go to Pharaoh to bring these people of God out of Egypt? The Israelites might not believe him to start with and he was not even a fluent speaker. Yet, he did as he was told by the Lord.

 

He continued to obey other instructions as they came, with docility and total submission to the will of God. He became very familiar with God, a good and faithful friend. They conversed face to face, he referred all his problems in his mission to God and he was "the humblest man on earth".

Moses, with time, became very confident before God. — That crippling fear that made him cover his face at their initial encounter (Ek. 3:6) had disappeared to the extent he ask to see the dazzling light of God’s presence. It is so dazzling that the angels before Him cannot even look at Him; they cover their faces with 2 of their 6 wings while the elders around the throne fall prostrate before Him. Now, Moses who was sill on earth, a mere mortal, asked to see that dazzling light God agreed". He made all His splendor pass before Moses, pronounced His sacred Name (i.e., allowed Moses to hear His voice) but Moses was not allowed to actually see the face for none can see God’s face and live. God even protected him by putting him in a cave and covering him with His hands so that the dazzling light would not kill him. God did all this for a mere creature, mere dust. Why? This is because he had found favour with God.

 

"If you sit inside sin and still have the boldness to start quoting God’s promises to him and demanding this and that, can God actually say He is pleased with you? "If, on the other hand, you please God, He will "obey" you and He will protect you from all danger. If you find favour with God, you can get away with almost anything, like in the case of Elijah (1King 9:1-7). If you please Him, the Holy Spirit will overshadow you like in the case of Mary. Then, the impossible becomes possible."

 

When Mary found favour with God, things began to happen and she was blessed. That blessing has extended to us today. It is a life of integrity, honesty, righteousness and obeying the laws of God; it is not long prayers commanding God to do this and that’ - that makes you God’s Odiiche’.

The pre-requisite is "love of God, obedience of His laws, a life of holiness honesty. Then, He will answer your prayers and the Father will say that He knows you very well. He will do it just for you. He will come and live with you and He will accommodate your requests even if He would not normally have done what you are asking for". Then, you can rejoice and claim that you are one of God’s Odiiches - someone pleasing to Him, someone who brings a smile to His face.

 

If you look at an ordinary family, you will usually find that there is one among the children who is very special. You will not have to search for the reason why that is so. It may be an obedient child, a very considerate child, a cheerful one, one that has loving ways, one that bends over backwards to please and make others happy. Whatever the reason, when that child is around, the parents are aglow. Yet they have no favourite as such but this child somehow "earns" a warmer response than the others do. He never gets a "No" from his parents. It is the same with God’s family.

 

This is a good point at which to do a sincere self-examination and ask yourself what kind of child you are before God. Do you bring a smile to His face, or a frown? Do you try to please Him - really and truly make a determined effort? Or do you just pay lip service to doing His will? If you are an "Odiiche" of God then, thank Him for the grace and resolve to do even better because "the largest room in the world is the room for improvement". If the result of your self-examination is negative, do not despair, you can begin again. "Where there is a will, there is a way" and "the journey of a million miles begins with the first step." Take that first step today, do not postpone it Surge forward and may God bless you as you go.

 

 

 

 

TRUE WISDOM

 

‘Jesus said if anyone loves me he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make our home in him’. He added and ‘My Word is not My own no it is the Word of Him who sent Him.

 

This Word is found in the Book of His Word, the Bible. So for us to know Him and Keep His word we need to read and learn about Him from The Bible from the beginning to the end rather than hear it in fragment in church. We need to read in the sequence events unfolded of the presences of God as existed from beginning of time (Books of Old Testament from Genesis), the life of Jesus from day he was born till the day He died (Four Gospel in New Testament), teaching of the Holy Spirit (Books of New Testament from Acts of the Apostles) till the end (Revelation).

 

Let us now open and read the following passages:

The Book of Wisdom chapter 9

Ecclesiasticus Chapter 1v 11-21

 

What is the root of true wisdom? True wisdom is the fear of the lord and her fruit is long life, happiness, health, joy, and peace.

 

Is there is anybody who does not have peace of mind, peace at home, peace with your children and peace with the family. Is there is anyone who has no happiness or joy. Everyday brings new problem. Is there anyone who has everything from external achievement but yet not fulfilled?

All these people a question for you is do you know God? Do you know God because of what others has said about Him or do you know him from having read the book of His Word, the Bible and has seen Him in action: The God of old, The God of today and tomorrow. Do you know Him from Genesis to Revelation?

 

If you don’t know Him from Genesis to Revelation that is why your life is like someone standing on sinking sand, everything giving way and nothing to hold onto it. This is because you have not and do not truly know him. This is not a joke.

 

When there is no peace in the heart, remember we are talking about the peace which Jesus Christ spoke about ‘Peace I give to you my peace I leave with you. Not has the world gives do I give you’ said Jesus. In other word not the peace of external peace but internal peace, which we get even when the world around us is falling apart. The kinds of peace that will make you sleep through the night.