When was the last time a certain song played over the radio and it was like you were instantaneously transported back to a specific time or place in your life? Perhaps it brought you back to your college days? A fun dance off or karaoke moment at a party? That first date? The first time you drove alone in your very own car? A flood of emotions stirred within you and all these memories and feelings seemed to be so present, right there in front of you. It’s a strong yet involuntary reaction that can change our mood and affects us. Certain sights, smells and sounds that are powerfully linked with our memories have the incredible ability to move us and remind us of certain times, things, and people.
“For more than a thousand years, church bells have rung out throughout the world to call Christians to prayer. At midday and a few minutes before every mass, bells ring out from tiny villages, to mission churches, to the skyscraper-filled cities. Bells also ring inside the churches – at the sacred moment when Christ becomes present again. And now, with this necklace, a bell rings for you too.
Your personal story is a unique and essential part of a much bigger story. You are a vital part of God’s divine plan. You are a beautiful chime in the harmony of life. Listen to the ringing of the bell, imagine all the other bells, and smile: the Good Shepherd will never let you wander beyond the reach of His care.”
-Fr. John Bartunek, LC ThD (RCSpirituality.com)
Awaken and Listen
The ringing of bells makes us stop and listen, if only for a moment, and it tells us that God is present very near, within ear shot. It is a sweet invitation to come visit Him, or in the least think of Him, and that in itself is a prayer, a simple “I love you” to Him.
Wear this necklace and let the gentle chime remind you that you are never alone. God sends you his company of angels and saints. His providence guides you through every struggle, sorrow, victory and joy. When you hear this chime, allow it to awaken your senses to the presence of the angels and saints.
You Are Not Alone
The chime of a bell will always remind me of the classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life. “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”. Know that as often as you hear the chime of this bell around your neck, your Guardian Angel is beside you, protecting you, guiding you, and is your very own faithful friend from heaven. Find comfort that the Archangels: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, are your advocates. With the feast day of the Archangels on September 29th, and the Guardian Angels on October 2nd, we are surrounded with reminders that these powerful allies are ever present to help us on our journey to heaven.
The Awaken Angel Chime Necklace
The bell is inscribed with the My Saint My Hero logo; a cross and the intertwined letters A & M for Auspice Maria, meaning “under the protection of Mary.” This represents the saints as they walked under the protection of Mary and in union with Christ. The chain has seven crystal stones representing the seven archangels.
Designed with love, may you be blessed by the community of love and prayer at My Saint My Hero. Your purchase enables us to use the power of giving to help transform lives and make the world a better place.
Madi, our newest team member, shares her experience and reflections from the LA Prayer Breakfast that took place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown Los Angeles, this past Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Many team members of My Saint My Hero were blessed to attend this event and be part of this beautiful movement of unity! We were proud to help sponsor this event by donating over two thousand One Nation Under God United in Prayer bracelets to everyone who attended.
Before the sun rose Tuesday morning, My Saint My Hero gathered with about two thousand other people of the church -from families to students, priests, sisters, bishops, normal people like you and me -to pray for our city and our country.
One Nation Under God United in Prayer Bracelets on those who attended.
We were welcomed by the angels and saints at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in the middle of Los Angeles, a place that, as you walk around, has you surrounded by the presence of the angels and the saints. And as one nation, one church, one family on earth and in heaven, we worshiped and interceded for our city & our country. We were encouraged by a great theologian and leader of the church, Dr. Scott Hahn, who led us deep into the heart of the Father with such a simple message: He is a good, kind Father.
United in prayer and blessing.
It is so easy to hear that and then just move on with our lives, for our mind to accept it and move on to the next worry, the next thing on the to do list. But do we let it reach our heart?
You are loved more in this moment by the Father than any other person could love you in an entire lifetime.
The love He has for you has nothing to do with your performance, your goodness, your success, how much you get done today. It has everything to do with His goodness, with His never-ending grace. Some of us may have bad experiences and views of our earthly fathers. But our Heavenly Father is unlike any flawed human father, some who may at times hide or run when things get hard. In contrast, He gives His whole heart to you at each moment. He holds nothing back.
So I encourage you today to rest, find yourself held by the Father at his throne. Let that love sink in into the deepest places of your heart to heal the wounds of this world.
Today let’s turn to some theological experts to help us better understand and appreciate the significance of this feast day. Monarchy, for many of us is a thing of the past or simply a formality in some countries, and without the insight of these scholars, we may fail to grasp the depth of honor of this title given to Mary: Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Queen of Heaven, Rejoice! Alleluia!
“When the angel Gabriel came to Mary he told her that her Son would have the throne of David and that His kingdom would have no end (Luke 1:32-33). If our Lord is our King, then His Mother is our Queen. In ancient Israel, the mothers of the House of David’s kings were crowned, addressed as Gebirah, “Great Lady”. They sat beside the throne of their royal sons.
Mary’s Queenship is intimately tied to the Kingship of her Son just as Her Immaculate Heart beats in harmony with His Sacred Heart, for she conceived her King within her Heart, before she carried Him below her Heart, and Her Queenship rests not on her own merits alone, but rather it rests upon the majesty of her divine Son. At the conclusion of Dante’s Divina Commedia St Bernard sings of Heaven’s Queen that she is the “daughter of her Son”. But she will always remain, as Saint Thérèse observed, “more Mother than Queen”.
Speaking of addressing Mary, we name her Queen in many prayers, such as the Salve, Regina. We invoke her in the Litany of Loreto as Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, All Saints and, so important these days, Families. St John Paul, taking stock of our times, added that last title to the Litany in 1995. She is the Queen conceived without original sin, assumed into Heaven, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Queen of Peace.”
Scott Hahn on the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Novena to the Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth
I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, refuge of sinners, and Queen of the Universe.
Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty, sweetness, and tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, and beg of you to obtain for me of your dear Son the favor I request in this novena: (mention your request). Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven and Earth, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity, and obedience. Above all, I beg you to be my mother and protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of Mercy! Have pity on me, and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death.
Accept this offering, sweet Queen of Heaven and Earth, and obtain for me from your dear Son, Jesus Christ, the favors I ask through your intercession in this novena. Obtain for me also a generous, constant love of God, perfect submission to His Holy Will, the true spirit of a Christian, and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.
This Sunday we celebrate the Transfiguration: the moment when Christ transformed or “transfigured” from human form to dazzling white right before His disciples’ eyes! Behold a miracle… behold a transformation from what we know to that which is beyond physical perception! I never quite got this significance or maybe I just didn’t understand until now. The time is NOW to fully grasp the moment… for then, for now, for what is. I hope this (as summarized and quoted from the August Magnificat) helps you to open up the horizons of your heart, soul, body and mind. Please read and share with your friends! A rising tide elevates all… may we together elevate each other and rise!!!
May I become what I behold so that my life will radiate the glory of God in grace and love.
When life gets hard…disgusted and a little defiant we fall into what may be the heresy of the 21st century: “that’s just the way I am”…
But the miracle of the Transfiguration broadcasts a luminous truth: things can change.. you can change… what changes us is a radiant face!
The real miracle in the transfiguration is not only the change in Christ as he became dazzling white… but the change in perception to see beyond physical vision and see the divine glory … they began to see beyond their limitations and seize the truth of Jesus Christ. – taken from The Magnificat, August 2017 edition
We, too, Can be Changed
Through the encounter with the One who shines on Tabor, we can be transfigured into beings bursting with love, eager to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the ill, and visit the imprisoned. As Simone Weil said, “God made it so that his grace, when it penetrates to someone’s very center and illuminates their whole being, permits that person to walk on water without violating the laws of nature”.
We, like the Apostles, must not stay on the mountain but come down and radiate His love to the world by our own transfiguration. Acts of wonder convince the world that God is real, that love heals and that prayer works. The time is now to behold who you are!
The Struggle Between Martha & Mary: Finding my Inner Mary and Learning the Beauty of the Balance in Between
The “Better Part” is something I have been struggling to understand in my life for almost five years now. Struggling because I thought I was Martha in the story of Martha & Mary in the Bible, where we all want to be Mary because we don’t want to be reprimanded by Jesus like Martha was. I knew that God was bringing this story into my life over and over again to get me to slow down, make some different choices, and to choose the “Better Part”… ultimately, to choose Him! I was so caught up in the example of Martha cooking and cleaning while Mary sat at Christ’s feet and listened, because I would think “It’s fine for this one story to make a point, but wouldn’t they all have gone hungry that day had Martha not put the work in?” However, I was missing the honored guest list on this particular day. This was Jesus Christ Himself that was in her presence, not a normal guest! He doesn’t tell Martha that on a daily basis she should forget all about her obligations as the woman of the house. Rather to recognize the importance of the time when Jesus was right in front of her, for He knew He wouldn’t be there forever.
The Martha Lifestyle
I always worried about being present to every single person in my life while still attempting to be a good wife and mother and boss. But I realize now that this is impossible and this is the “Martha lifestyle” many women create thinking they are doing what God wants, when instead He is asking them for something else… something so much more fulfilling… something so much more attainable… something so much MORE. Making time to find when and where Jesus is actually right in front of you; asking you to sit at His feet and make time for Him, for the “Better Part” that He offers. He gives us so many opportunities, yet the world calls on us to be Martha and keeps us blind to them.
He’s Calling You to the “Better Part”
When is Jesus right in front of us, calling us? The glaring example is in the Mass. He wants us to know, to really know, that He is present there – body and soul, fully human and divine. Yet, like Martha, we sit during Mass thinking of our to-do list, organizing our day, our week and our life. Why? Because it’s the one hour a week we sit in quiet and our minds have the opportunity to organize and prioritize. We need to make more time to sit at His feet. At first, the Martha in all of us will kick in. We will use this time for the much needed opportunity to keep everything together. But the more time we spend with Him (more Sunday Masses, more daily Masses, praying the rosary, reading the Bible, and daily quiet time in prayer and conversation with Him to do all of the above) He will teach us. He will help us organize our lists and our life so much better than we could’ve done on our own, and then He will help us to put the list aside for the “Better Part”, for the time to sit at His feet and listen to what He wants to share with us. The “Better Part” becomes addicting and you will find yourself trying to steal away more time with Him. You will find yourself waking up earlier than you ever have and hiding away in your closet or any empty, quiet space in your home to have that time to sit with Him. You will find yourself giving up other activities in your day or other people in your life to make the time for Mass, adoration and personal prayer time.
Discovering Your “Inner Mary”
I know this seems impossible , or like the farthest thing from what you had planned for your life… but somewhere inside you know you were made for the “Better Part”. Start small, do an experiment… take the 40 Day Prayer Pledge (click on link to get one) and spend just 10 minutes with Him every day. Use the journal space and write. Don’t worry about what you are writing, that’s between you and Jesus and no one else. I promise you that at some point you will be genuinely surprised by your thoughts, your works, your actions throughout the rest of your day, and the glimpse at a peace you’ve been longing for… a peace from knowing that even though to the world you may look like Martha in all you do in your days, you will know that on the inside you have discovered your “Inner Mary” and that you have discovered what you are made for…the “Better Part”.
This is my ‘prayer couch’ as my family calls it. This is where I sit at His feet every morning…. Where do you make the time for Him? I can’t wait for you to share what you do now… or what you find yourself doing after taking the experiment in prayer!
I imagine this is how each one of us is listed in St. Peter’s large book at the gates of heaven. It doesn’t matter what our occupations are here on earth, God calls us all to be the best version of the person He made us to be… He calls us all to get up each day and try and try again… He calls us all to sainthood.
It is no coincidence that St. Benedict is one of the patron saints of My Saint My Hero. It is not us that chose him; he chose us! He made sure the women of Medjugorje were weaving the bracelets with his image and crest when Amy first went on pilgrimage there. It was also no coincidence that God had timed this while our Pope at that time was the great theologian, Pope Benedict XVI.
St. Benedict laid the groundwork and the inspiration for Ora et Labora (prayer & work) at My Saint My Hero. Prayer is a simple conversation (in relationship) with God. There are good practices & habits in prayer, but there is no right or wrong way to pray, for it’s as unique as the person that is practicing it. The important thing is to actually pray. Benedict taught us to make all we do an act of prayer. He also made it one of his rules that his brother’s prayed in community EVERY day to maintain brotherhood and peace.
We invite you to take an experiment in prayer: at home, in your car and in your work. Start with just one simple prayer together every day in your home as a family and say one simple prayer before you start each day at work. Remember to also experiment in praying for those that you are sharing our wearable blessings with. Take a leap of faith and let us know what changes you notice.
I sit and imagine someone in heaven looking down on me and loving me. That someone is St. Kateri Tekakwitha and I believe that she is being true to her quote above because she chose me this year to guide and to love in a special way.
On the feast of the Epiphany (Jan 6) each year at My Saint My Hero we draw a saint card from a hat to be our patron for the coming year. We have come to learn that although we choose the card, it’s really the saint who is choosing us from heaven above. This year I pulled St. Kateri Tekakwitha. I knew very little about Kateri, and honestly I was a little envious of those around me pulling out the cards of Mother Teresa or JPII to be their guide. But I found a place for her card on my desk and every day I glance at her and wonder what she is teaching me or how she is interceding for me in ways I may never know about.
I was so excited this week when I received an email to learn more about her from one of my most trusted spiritual mentors, Fr. John Bartunek. He creates amazing online retreats and I’d love if you’d participate in this retreat with me tomorrow on the feast of St. Kateri.You can sign up and then click right on the new Retreat Guide at https://rcspirituality.org/a-virgins-courage-a-retreat-guide-on-st-kateri-tekakwitha/. We need to encourage each other to watch and talk about great examples such as Kateri (maybe switching the ‘girls night out’ conversation from the latest happenings on The Bachelor).
You may not have picked a patron saint this year but I’d love to share Kateri with you. Let’s learn from her perseverance and determination in faith and prayer. Let’s share what we have learned from her example and stay connected in prayer. Reply in the comment section below and I’ll send you aMy Saint My Hero “wearable blessing” so that we can have a tangible reminder of our connection in prayer and a tangible reminder that we have a saint in heaven that is looking down from heaven and sending us love.
Praying with you (and St. Kateri) now…. very sincerely, Christine
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Benedict. This day is special to us here at My Saint My Hero because the Benedictine cross medal is at the heart of each of our Blessing Bracelets.
Have you ever wondered why this particular medal? You can find the answer on the prayer card that accompanies each of our bracelets.
Each one of us has the chance to make our world a better place every single day. We do so by choosing to do what is right and good, choosing to avoid what is wrong. God has given us an internal sensor that helps us seek good and avoid evil; it’s called our conscience. He has also given us the Holy Spirit to keep our conscience strong and clear, but we still find it hard to say no to temptation and sin. This bracelet is an extra help in your battle to make the world a better place and follow the path to heaven. It’s like a secret weapon.
In Christian tradition, the Benedictine cross is one of the Church’s most powerful signs of divine protection. It was created in the mid 600’s as a symbol of the spiritual truths that enabled St. Benedict and his many followers to resist evil and do good. “The Holy Cross be my Light,” is written in Latin on the front of the cross, which is used all over the world to help spread Christ’s Kingdom of love and light. Wear this ancient symbol to help protect your soul, your loved ones and your home from anything contrary to God’s love. -Fr. John Bartunek, LC ThD
Called to Be Saints, Called to Do Good
We invite you, as we do, to wear this bracelet to remind yourself that God has given you a mission to make the world a better place, and that you can choose to fulfill that mission by using your hands to do good.
Humble Saint of God, teach us and guide us to wear the armor of God’s grace to resist evil and do good. May “The Holy Cross be my Light” be always on my lips and guide me through this day; so that in everything I say, think or do, I may help spread Christ’s Kingdom of love and light. St. Benedict, pray for us! Amen.
The heart of Jesus…is there anything more beautiful, more passionate or inspiring? I recently had an experience of the Sacred Heart which I shared on my personal blog, but I want to continue to reflect with you here how we, at My Saint My Hero venerate and love the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The other night, as I lay awake waiting for sleep to wash over me, I thought about life, about suffering and pain that never seemed too far away from me and those around me. Every single day there’s someone out there who is heartbroken, someone who has to bury their loved one, someone who is homeless and shivering in the cold, some child going hungry after days without food or clean water. […] The list is goes on. I thought about how even the people closest to me sometimes fail me and how I could not rest my heart in anything of this world. It left me very, very sad.
I asked Jesus, Lord, what is the solution to all this? Do you not know what this suffering is like? Why?! I then shed tears as I heard Him say, “My Child, more than you can ever know.” [read more here]
Loving Him, Loving You at My Saint My Hero
Here at My Saint My Hero we hear about the real stories of people’s sufferings every day and not a workday goes by without each member of our My Saint My Hero family coming together to pray for each and every one of those intentions, and for everyone who wears our blessing pieces.
Every day at noon, when the My Saint My Hero family comes together for our Angelus, we voice our intentions, the needs of those dear to us, and the petitions of our community of prayer. As each member of our team voices the intentions closest to their hearts, it’s hard not to dwell on suffering and pain that never seem too far away from us and those around us.
In this small way we strive to comfort the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to pray for our dear brothers and sisters who are suffering. We pray that they may find His peace, healing, strength and know that they are not alone. We pray for them and lift them up.
Thomas, CBO at My Saint My Hero, and a true man of God, allowed me to share his beautiful reflection that he posted on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus here. He writes:
Devotion Lived & Worn
Our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus is deep and personal, and we feel so blessed to offer two more blessing pieces, the Holy Family Cuff and Sacred Heart Earrings, that are dedicated to this devotion. Let it remind you of his boundless mercy and love. Our prayer for you is that you may experience His blessing and love through these pieces and that you will share our blessing pieces with those you love who maybe need a tangible reminder of God’s loving blessing in their lives.
Jesus also made 12 specific promises to those who would honor His Sacred Heart:
I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
I will give peace in their families and will unite families that are divided.
I will console them in all their troubles.
I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.
I will bestow the blessings of heaven on all their enterprises.
Sinners shall find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall rise quickly to great perfection.
I will bless those places wherein the image of my heart shall be exposed and honored and will imprint my love on the hearts of those who would wear this image on their person. I will also destroy in them all disordered movements.
I will give to priests who are animated by a tender devotion to my Divine Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in my heart, never to be effaced.
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence: they will not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.