December 10, 2013 A.D.
On July 4, 2013, America was bound to the Cross at the Cross on Penitentiary Mountain at Caritas. We the People gathered in repentance, asking God to bind our nation, to cleanse it of our sins. We will be climbing to the Cross on December 12, 2013 and praying the Patriotic Rosary on top for the Conversion of our country, for it is through the Cross that we will once again become one nation, under God.
There are many, many stones laid throughout the mission here at Caritas that have built it to where it is today. There are so many stories, like the one below, that shows how strongly God has guided and moved a Friend of Medjugorje in regards to Our Lady’s messages and the Caritas mission and community. We plan to share more with you throughout this next year to give you a greater understanding of where we are in the present and where God is leading us in the future through where God has led us in the past. A Friend of Medjugorje has always kept much hidden of the wonder of what God has done for the mission and how strongly Our Lady has guided it. We are always in a struggle to speak more of the behind the scenes of what Our Lady has done here, but a Friend of Medjugorje often counters with, why tell it, when it is Our Lady’s hands that guide us. He bases everything on words Our Lady gave him personally through Marija on October 6, 1986, especially the part that Our Lady said to him, “Live in humility.” For this reason, he cares nothing for accomplishments, as “All glory is to God, we are only the tools of the Great Craftsman, and therefore are without merit.” The following is one such stone which Our Lady laid in building Caritas.
In July, 1993, a Friend of Medjugorje wrote a series of novenas for the purpose of the reconciling of ourselves, our families and our nation back to God. The novenas would be prayed for Our Lady’s intentions for the Dedication of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages and the five days of prayer held in December. The first novena was to begin in August, 1993, and then one each month, ending in December during the five days of prayer. A Friend of Medjugorje wanted to write a special prayer that would be prayed during each novena. All of this needed to be accomplished in less than 2 ½ weeks in order to place them in a booklet, print it, and mail it out. Everything came together, as we had hoped, except the main prayer still had not been written.
It happened that World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II was taking place in Colorado that same month, August, 1993. Several members of the community, along with the founder, were scheduled to go. But the novena booklet had to be completed before they could leave. The day before they were to leave, the novena prayer was still not written. The founder tried several times during the day to write it, but kept getting interrupted. These distractions made it difficult for him to enter into prayer and he was left with little time to put pen to paper, also he felt no inspiration to write. Finally, forced to write something as the sun began to set, he headed up a mountain path, hoping that a beautiful scene away from everyone and everything would help to inspire him. But shortly afterwards he was stopped by many trees that had fallen on the path from a storm the past winter which now blocked his way. He looked around. The beautiful scene that he had hoped to find was marred by the transmission electrical lines and poles cutting through the woodland mountains, through a barren, grassless, eroded right-of-way. With time running out and disappointed, he resigned himself to write the prayer. He sat down in the ugly right of way, which seemed offensive amidst God’s creation, and began to write.
“Lord, who are we as a people, having been given blessings in portions as no other nation before us? What has become of us, Father? We have spoiled your spacious skies with buildings and cities breathing with sin. The amber waves of grain are no longer viewed as our blessing but as our due. The awe and reverence due You when we gaze upon the purple mountains and their majesty is no longer held; rather, how much pleasure they can give us…”
Without a single erasure, suddenly, what had taken days of blocked intentions to get on paper, resulted in a prayer that was written in only a few minutes. The founder came down the mountain, turned the prayer into the pre-press department, stuffed a copy of it in the pocket of his jacket and left very early the next morning on a plane to Denver. The small group from Caritas had arrived in Denver a day early, before the events with the Holy Father would be taking place. Not having a plan for the day, they decided to drive to Colorado Springs, an hour away from Denver, to tour the new home of the large Christian organization, Focus on the Family. After arriving there, they discovered they were directly across from Pike’s Peak, and made the plan to drive up to the top just after noon. At the top, much of the history of this famous mountain was available in a small museum. One of the stories told was of Katherine L. Bates, a young woman who journeyed up this mountain in the 1800’s. She was so moved by the enthralling beauty of the mountains and landscape, she sat down and penned a poem that was later put to music, and that we know today as the song, “America the Beautiful.” What follows are just a few of the lines she wrote that day:
“Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain; for purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plains. America! America! God shed His grace on thee; and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”
Everyone was intrigued about Katherine Bates story, being that we pray so much for our nation. They asked one of the park rangers if he knew where Katherine Bates had written “America the Beautiful.” He pointed to an area on top of Pike’s Peak facing the purple mountains and their majesty that he said was the probable spot. They left the museum and found a spot overlooking the same “purple mountains” that had inspired Katherine Bates. They decided to pray Apparition Rosary at that spot. Only a Friend of Medjugorje at this point began to understand and was stunned. When he searched for his rosary in his jacket pocket, he found the prayer he had, by happen chance, placed there the afternoon before. He then began to explain what happened the day before. The rest of the Caritas members present hadn’t even seen the prayer yet, including his wife. They sat on the rock, and then prayed The Prayer to Heal Our Land for the first time for our nation’s conversion, at the place where “America the Beautiful” was inspired. They were awestruck and they were all shaken as they felt the presence of God moving. The moment was profound and the Holy Spirit’s presence was felt. After reciting the prayer, a Friend of Medjugorje’s wife, sitting a few rocks away from him, was so moved by Heaven’s circumstances that she got up and said, “I’m sitting next to my husband.” They then prayed a Rosary together on top of this mountain, consecrating The Prayer to Heal Our Land to Our Lady as well as the December retreat for the Reconciling of Ourselves, Our Families and Our Nation Back to God—the name that had been given for this event. They all knew that only God could so arrange the writing of a prayer that referenced the words from “America the Beautiful,” its theme, and less than 24 hours later, bring the group of them all the way from Alabama to Colorado Springs, up Pikes Peak, to pray this prayer for our nation’s conversion, for the very first time, on the same mountain top that first inspired these holy sentiments—with none of them even being aware of the song’s origin before they had arrived at Pike’s Peak.
Pike’s Peak – This picture was taken August 12, 1993 by the Caritas group. This is the view from Pike’s Peak that inspired Katherine Bates with the words to America the Beautiful. It was also the view that members of the Caritas Community gazed upon when they prayed the “Prayer to Heal Our Land” for the first time August 12, 1993. Twenty-four hours had not even passed between the prayer being written in the mountains overlooking the valley and mountain at Caritas, Alabama. A beautiful orchestration by the hand of God.
We invite you to join us in prayer as we are in the midst of our Five Days of Prayer, December, 2013 and the last of the novenas for the year, that we have been praying each year since 1993.
From Medjugorje.com: The above story is one of many – literally too many to count, where God’s hand laid heavily upon our founder and this mission. What is transmitted to you on paper and through this site is years of the miracles of God guiding Our Lady’s mission for the work She would have us accomplish. We ask you to join with us in this work. For only 14 cents a day, you can be an active part of helping to bring hope to a world in need of the miracles of God’s love. If this site has spiritually fed you this year, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us continue. Click to visit here to make your donation, or mail your donation to Caritas of Birmingham, c/o Medjugorje.com, 100 Our Lady Queen of Peace Drive, Sterrett, Alabama 35147 USA. Please indicate that your donation is for Medjugorje.com.