Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our Lady of Kibeho

                During the week, I go out to look at a few blogs that help give me inspiration.  My aunt rekindled her site a couple of months ago.  Not only does she encourage me, I also feel more a part of her life since we don’t get to see each other all that much.  I follow a couple of writers and a very dear friend.  To take a break from my own writing on Friday, I went to see if my friend had written anything new.  She had.  What a journey it has taken me on.
                She wrote about a family tradition her and her family participate in every year.  They each draw a saint’s name.  Throughout the year, they study the saint and keep a special spot in their heart for that historical hero during the twelve months.  Such a cool idea!  While I was reading, I kept thinking, I have to e-mail her to have her pick me a saint.  At the end of her post, she invited all her readers to do just that.  I immediately wrote to her.  My next writing project, as I have shared with you, is going to be about suffering.  Who would God pick for me to spend time with?  Then I waited in great anticipation.  I mean, this was better than waiting for Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.
                As I waited, I thought about what a great project this could be for all Christians.  Many people could enjoy learning more about the great historical heroes who helped pave the way of all walks of Christianity: Sir Thomas More, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Elizabeth Ann Seton, Billy Graham, or Brigham Young.  Hey, maybe even Tim Tebow.  What about picking people from the Bible: Paul, Martha, Abraham, or Peter.  It dawned on me that I had actually done this last year without even knowing it.  When I started my blog, I went out to find the patron saint of writing which happened to be Saint Francis de Sales.  I read some of his work, studied his history, and chatted with him about my writing.  Within a couple of hours, I excitedly looked at my e-mail to find my saint had been delivered:  Our Lady of Kibeho.
                Yes, it is a Mary thing.  You know how we Catholics are.  We love Mary.  Even before I became Catholic, Mary has been a part of my life.  Since my childhood, I have had a statue of her that was given to me by Father Smart at Christmas.  During BASIC training, I prayed with her to feel comforted and loved so far away from home and my new husband.  Where two or three are gathered there also will be Jesus.  Many times, I have needed someone with me to pray with and Mary is awesome at it.  I could go on and on about this topic, but the reality is that once we die, I think we get to heaven and have work to do.  Some of us will be working here on Earth, you know like Touched by an Angel.  This is theology according to Lisa of course, but I do believe at the very least the souls in heaven pray for us and can pray with us.  Also, if we Christians can’t believe in divine miracles and actions, what really is the point?  God can do all things.
                Immediately after reading the e-mail, I went to my kindle and downloaded the book Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa by Immaculee Ilibagiza.  I read the book in a day.  Throughout the year, I will do some posts to share the things I find.  A quick history is that Our Lady came to seven primary visionaries in Kibeho, Rwanda from 1981 through 1989 to tell the world to pray and repent.  Of the seven, three of them have been acknowledged by the Vatican.  Also of note, Jesus came to a couple of the visionaries as well.  Mary also warned the people that blood would flow in Rwanda which it did take place in 1994.  She also asked one of the visionaries to reintroduce to the world the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.  This prayer was prayed during the middle ages but was forgotten.  I couldn’t have asked for a better saint.
                My writing project on suffering will be enriched by studying Mary’s sorrows through Biblical text.  I will also be able to study the life of author Immaculee Ilibagiza who survived the Rwanda massacre though she lost her parents and two brothers to this evil event in history.
                I challenge all of you to go out and find a Christian project to help your faith grow though the coming year, to help you on your journey to holiness.
                Blessing to you all.

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