Take Over! an
anointed, inspirational account of how the Blessed Mother -- as Undoer
of Knots -- should be handed our daily trials large and small as we
watch her work wonders with them -- turning obstacles into miracles! This
booklet is by the same group that brings us 'Mary Undoer of Knots' and
though small brims with powerful examples of how the Virgin Mary can enter
any situation -- can help you against any 'Goliath' -- and make things better than ever.
SHRINE IN ARIZONA SUFFERS MASSIVE DAMAGE IN FIRES THAT HAVE SCORCHED SOUTHERN STATES
Often, holy structures survive disasters. We saw this recently during the tornadic destruction in Joplin, Missouri [left, right]. A Cross will still stand. A statue of the Madonna will barely escape the plummet of a tree. A Bible will survive a fire. It happens more frequently than would be expected by chance: When Hurricane Charley destroyed a Florida church -- utterly, seven years ago -- still, a candle at the tabernacle flickered.
Not always -- the wind blows where it will. God leaves us to discern. We are tested -- witness the cathedrals in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the recent quake, other churches in the tornado-stricken Midwest, and now a shrine in southeast Arizona dedicated to the Blessed Mother -- Our Lady of the Sierras -- that was all but wiped from the map during recent raging wildfires that have scorched 1.4 million acres in twelve states.
Located in what is appropriately known as Ash Canyon, amid the Huachuca Mountains (which also had spiritual meaning the to Indians), the rapidly moving blaze severely damaged the chapel and consumed all support structures, including what were known as Mary's Knoll Prayer House, Mary's Farm Guest House, and St. Joseph's Home. Also destroyed were most neighboring farm homes, although a retreat center at the shrine was spared.
Plans already are in the works to rebuild this shrine. It was built by a couple, Gerald and Patricia Chouinard, who are formerly of Illinois and decided to construct the shrine after visiting the apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1990 and is in good standing with the Tucson diocese, which allowed the Blessed Sacrament to reside in the now-devastated chapel.
Overlooking the canyon, it has a 75-foot Benedictine Cross and a 31-foot statue of the Blessed Mother (both built after a long legal battle with residents who didn't want "visual pollution" in the mountains). Seven years ago, a ten-foot tall statue of the Angel of Revelation was installed. There is also a marble angel, "Guardian of the Children," at this place with a special dedication to the unborn. Spiritual phenomena have been associated with "much that surrounds [the Blessed Mother's] likeness," notes the official website.
It's said when workmen were gathering river rocks by surface mining during construction, the special kind of rock they sought kept appearing "unbelievably" in a way that brought to mind the multiplication of loaves.
It is not the only place where there have been trials -- and perhaps signs.
In Jasper, Indiana, fire erupted at Providence Home Health Care Center, a Catholic nursing home. Writes correspondent Lana Fierst of Jasper, Indiana, where a Cross here too was scorched by fire: "Many of us who are perpetual adorers in a chapel just under that Cross were surprised by the sudden fire that began during the 7 a.m. hour of May 12. Also it did not escape our attention that it was the right Hand of the Jesus statue that burned -- the Hand of Blessing. Ten days prior, on May 2, we had the roof of our high school gym collapse due to heavy rains combined with clogged drains and much debris blown onto the roof as the result of high winds. The Lord had mercy on us, because just more than 24 hours before there were over 600 high school students and some adults in the gym for our prom and post prom activities." Reported a news item: "Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said the Cross’s ballast shorted and the building sustained minor roof damage. A statue of Jesus with his arms spread attached to the wall below the cross also was damaged. Melting plastic fell on the statue’s right hand, burning away a finger and heavily scorching the rest of the hand." Remarked the house supervisor, Lynn Meny, intriguingly, "People that passed by have called and said it looked like Jesus was holding a ball of fire."
Let us discern.
Back at the Arizona shrine, Patricia believes she has receives messages. They are posted on the shrine's website, and one, in February, reminded them to embrace the crosses in life. Another (in May) said that they would be poured out "as a libation upon the sacrificial altar for souls." Back on December 1, 1997, when they were just starting the shrine, she claimed to hear the Blessed Virgin Mary say to her, "My dear children, prepare yourselves for a great time of change soon comes. I urge you to read my messages and discern that which has been revealed to you. Your time for decision seeps swiftly through the hour glass of life's unending challenges."
[See: Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine]
[resources: Retreat and Mass in New Jersey and Spirit Daily pilgrimage: Holy Land]
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