Valli's Blog


A PENTECOST PRAYER


Father of Light, from whom every good gift comes,

Send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind,

And by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds.

Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech,

For without your Spirit man could never raise his voice in words of peace

Or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

One God, forever and ever.  Amen.


HAVE YOUR WAY WITH US, OH LORD, AT PENTECOST AND ALWAYS.  HAVE YOUR WAY!




LENTEN MANNA REFLECTION WRITTEN ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY

__________________________________________


FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM!

 


                 As we celebrate  the “wearing of the green” for St. Patrick’s Day, I am reminded that the green symbolizes growth in the Spirit.  For if we are not in the growing mode, then we are in the dying mode, a place where we never want to be.  St. Patrick had to depend on the Holy Spirit in order to forgive his persecutors in Ireland, who enslaved him for so many years.  Only then could he be free spiritually to return there and to become the beloved saint who drove the “snakes” out of that beautiful country and restored growth in the Holy Spirit.  Satan, the snake, is powerless when mercy and forgiveness take root.  This Lenten Manna Reflection is offered in the hope that we decide to grow stronger, closer and deeper to Jesus Christ--rooted  in faith, hope and love, not only for 40 days but for forever.  Lent is the time to get ready, to equip ourselves; for life is not a playground but a battlefield.


 

                Yes, we are encouraged to DIE to self so that others might live, to DENY ourselves, to pick up our crosses and carry them, knowing that, like Jesus, the best is yet to come.  When he uttered from the Cross, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they are doing,” he gave us a lifelong model to follow.  Resurrection for us Christians is just around the corner—from our small and large trials here on earth and also for all eternity when we will see our Lord face to face!  If you’re like me, it’s the daily humdrum frustrations that tend to leave me feeling less than joyful at times.  It’s the complaining spirit in the mind and on the lips that keeps me bound to sadness and depression.  It’s the need to forgive the people closest to me every single day that will reap the greatest rewards.  Maybe it’s my spouse, child or family member, my friend who has disappointed me, my boss, my priest or a church member,  a doctor or a judge, policeman or another authority figure who has “ruined” my joy or who continues to get me down.  Praying in the Spirit with the sincere desire to get over ourselves is the answer this Lent.


 


                Jesus challenges us to rise above our E-MOTIONS (which often tempt us to “EVIL-MOTIONS”) and instead to put into MOTION the goodness and the promises we are given in Scripture and the power we are given in the Eucharist to overcome hatred, bitterness, resentment and anger, which are like the four walls of a prison cell.  The only key to getting out of this jail confinement is FORGIVENESS from the heart, which is only possible when we ask the Holy Spirit to forgive through us.  Then we can take it a step further and ask that we come to actually LOVE those who we once considered our enemies.  WOW!  That’s FREEDOM!  All it takes is our free-will desire to ask and allow God to change our hearts and to depend on him—to trust that if we take the small steps, He will do the BIG things for us!   Soon we will be dancing and leaping for joy, loving even our enemies!  In His time, He makes all things beautiful.


 

                Brothers and sisters, we have an awesome Father in heaven who loves us unconditionally.  We have everything we need when we have the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, living in us in the power of his Word and in the source and summit of our Catholic faith, the Eucharist.  When we truly desire to be more like Him, we are impelled to forgive ALL THE TIME.  For, as we progress in this “greening” of our souls, we come to realize that to forgive is to live; and that to live, really live, is to forgive.  Each time we do confess and forgive, it is like a mountain-top experience, like the one on Mount Tabor when Jesus was transfigured right before their eyes.  Forgiveness is GLORIOUS!  It is worth fighting, praying and dying to self for.  When we are in Christ, we are his new creation.  The old ways no longer satisfy us, for the new man or woman screams out for true freedom and runs from unforgiveness at every turn.  Rejoice!  For forgiveness is true freedom.  Will you do it, remembering that it is always your choice to forgive? It is always your choice to be FREE.  And it is always your choice to REJOICE!  Amen.




 

CALL ME “GRANDMA”

 

Call me “Grandma;” call me “Christian.”

Call me good and call me kind.

Call me full of the Holy Spirit,

Full of faith and full of fire!

 

Call me Catholic; call me holy,

One in faith and hope and love.

Call me servant of the Gospel,

With my eyes fixed up above.

 

Call me wife and call me mother.

Call me sister, aunt, cousin and friend.

Call me helper of the hopeless.

Call me faithful to the end.

 

Call me crazy; call me silly.

I am a sinner  --  but now redeemed.

Call me naive; call me simple.

In the Word, I’m being steeped.

 

Call me narrow-minded one;

Single-hearted I remain.

Call me fool; in Him I live,

For Jesus Christ, no other Name.

____________________

 Written by Valli Leone


Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man,

unconcerned about anyone’s opinion.  Mark 12:14

 

Everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord.  Acts 4:12

 

Come, share your Master’s joy!  Matthew 25:21,23

 

 

GRAND AND WONDERFUL

It’s all so grand and wonderful, this faith that we’ve been given.

Our Triune God, living in us, on earth—and then there’s heaven.

Each holy saint whose life is blessed has something new to share,

Their joys and sorrows day by day encourage folks everywhere.

 

It’s all so grand and wonderful how angels keep us safe,

Surrounding us with peace and power, when we’re asleep or awake.

And what about the many gifts that bring such joy to hearts—

A voice that sings so sweetly and the pleasures of the arts.

 

It’s all so grand and wonderful, all creatures great and small,

Created by our Maker, as they run, swim, fly and crawl.

Just look intently at the face of one who you love so.

Then gaze into the eyes of each new person, a friend you soon might know.

 

Majestic, grand and wonderful is this entire life,

With opportunities open wide for overcoming strife.

We have the power to step into the service of the Lord,

To reach out with our hands and hearts, to help the sick and poor.

 

Yes, it’s quite grand and wonderful, to be alive this way,

With courage, grace and thankfulness, to seize each brand new day.

Let’s go, with hearts and minds on fire to work, to save and heal;

And when the tired day is done, with gratefulness to kneel.

________________________________

Written by and given with love from Valli Leone

August 31, 2012

Mighty and wonderful are your works.   Revelation 15:3

Yours, O Lord, are grandeur and power; .. it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.  1 Chr. 29:11-12

The voice of the Lord is majestic.   Psalm 29:4

 

 

RADIANT ELECTION DAZE

 

Women may sparkle, and men might shine.  But I am yours, and you are mine.

Issues may cheer you and platforms delight, but I am here with you all day and all night.

Do not be dazzled; do not be fed.  Let not your heart go astray or be led

By earthly persuasions and cults of all kinds.  You, my disciples, go ahead, not behind.

 

Women may sparkle, and men might shine.  The truth needs no makeup; it’s simply divine.

The governing bodies on earth are bereft.  There’s only one Way—not the right or the left. 

Do not be deceived, as though parties perfect.  Endeavor, in me, at all times to elect. 

Stay close in my word; stay close; hear my voice.   My love will assist you to make every choice.

 

Yes, women may sparkle, and men might shine.  Remember, I live in you all of the time.

Make haste now to praise me, to lift up my name; for yesterday, today and forever I am the same.

Listen, my people; listen and pray; for power and beauty all fade quick away.  

Promises made by the world will be broken, and all that will last is the word I have spoken.

 

Women man sparkle, and men might shine.  Whatever they seek, not just speak, they will find.

For power, position, money all can allure, but only in me can each one be secure.

Choose life and choose me, and do not be confused.  Obedient and caring are the ones I can use.

Reach out to the poor; step out now in faith.  I’m pouring out mercy, true wisdom and grace.

 

Yes, women may sparkle, and men might shine.  Yet in my economy, everything’s mine.

Stand firm in the wind and through persecution.  I gave you my Light when I gave you my Son.

The only thing that you need know, without doubt, is my faithful love, from within and without.

If this be your constant and my Spirit your guide, you never need shrink or from peril to hide.

 

For when others do sparkle and many do shine, still strong in my truth you will glow, always mine.

Go into the world; spread my truth and be brave.  I am in control; I continue to save.

The kindness, compassion, that others will see, will mirror my love; me in you, you in me.

In heaven one day, truth will sparkle and shine--on the faces of all in my radiance sublime.

_________________________________

 

 

Written by and given with love from Valli Leone


 

You alone, O Lord, make me secure.   Psalm 4:9

Justice and judgment are the foundation of your throne.  Kindness and truth go before you.  Psalm 89:15

Put no trust in princes, in man in whom there is no salvation.  Psalm 146:3

 

 
 
 
A November Reflection:
 
On these days just before Thanksgiving Day, as I continue to read and reflect on the Word of God, I am stunned and amazed by the newness of the love of God for me and for you.  He continues to reveal wisdom, to release his power and majesty in ordinary and in extraordinary ways.  In Chapter 14 of the Book of Revelation, I was reading today about the companions of the Lamb, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ--how in John's vision, those who had his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads (the faithful who keep Him preeminent in their minds and hearts) are ransomed by his love.  I'm learning day by day that true love, forgiveness and mercy can change everything.  Love changes history.  That's why I refuse to depend on the princes of this earth for peace, my health and well-being or on any person, practice or thing for my happiness.  Are you broken-hearted today?  Sick?  Lonely, feeling lost or confused?  In financial straits?  Let us be comforted by knowing that every time we pray, the Lord hears and answers in the way that He knows is best for each of his children.  Until we hear clearly and discern his voice, let's remain in him and his Word daily, be still and know that He is God. He loves us more than we could ever hope for or imagine.   Be it done to us, Lord Jesus, according to your Word and your will; your goodness and mercy always prevail.  Thanks be to God!
 
Reflections on Travel Graces:

Marty and I returned this week from a 16-day Retirement Road Trip through 18 states and 4,500 miles.  Praise the Lord!  He was with us all the way, everyday in every way.  One of our stops was in St. Louis, Missouri; and I was able to ascend into the Arch, built as a symbol of St. Louis' being known as the "Gateway to the West."  It was a lovely view from the top.  While up there, I noticed a small Church at the base of the Arch and later found out it was the Old Cathedral of St. Louis.  When we exited from the Arch, we were blessed that a Mass was being celebrated at 12:10, so we attended.  The Lord spoke to my heart while gazing at the large altar cruxifix, and I realized that thousands climb up that Arch to see the Gateway to the West each week; yet, right at the base a small, old stone church which houses the Word of God, the Risen Lord, has an even greater gift, sight and impact since He, our Jesus, is the Gateway to Heaven.  Alleluia!  So, it's the message of two sighting spots:  the Arch and the Cross, the gateway to the West and the gateway to the Kingdom of God.  One can give us the city sights; the other eternal vision and heaven forever.  I hope to always cherish the power of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrrected, so that as we travel and enjoy the sights of God's creation we may give him glory and thanks, seeing him in and among all people and things. 
 
I'm looking forward to the Orlando Catholic Charismatic Conference next week, where I will be emceeing.  May we continue to pray in the Holy Spirit for all God has done, is doing and will do, as we surrender our hearts and lives to him.  Jesus never fails! 
 
 
A Pentecost Reflection:

Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, thank you for stirring into flame the gift of your love and salvation for all mankind.  Release your power in our lives with a new outpouring, an explosion of grace like never before into the hearts of all believers and non-believers.  Come, Lord Jesus, suddenly and turn our hearts toward you, that we might contemplate the radiance of your holy face night and day.  May your word be ever before us, in us and work through us to accomplish the greater deeds you promised we would do for your glory and for the building up of your Kingdom.  We say "yes, yes, yes!"  Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven, oh Lord.  Let your mighty winds blow and the life-giving waters flow through us, out into the ends of the earth, purifying, healing, teaching and proclaiming your goodness forever!
 

There's Grace Enough

posted Jan 24, 2011, 6:19 AM by Valli Leone

Happy, Holy New Year -- and May 2011 bring us all closer to the one who loves us the most:  Jesus--our only hope for heaven in 2011!
 
 
GRACE ENOUGH!

 

 

There is grace enough for each new step.

There is joy for each tomorrow,

When I let go and let my God take all my fear and sorrow.

 

I will not fear; I will not fear, for Jesus Christ, my Lord, is here.

I will not fear; I will not fear, for Jesus Christ, my Lord, is here.

I will not fear; I will not fear, for Jesus Christ, my Lord, is here.

 

The past is gone; the moment now

Requires faith, hope and love.

With trust, I will depend on him, his bounty from above.

 

I will rejoice; this is my choice.

I will not shrink or hide.

His Holy Spirit lives in me; my needs will be supplied.

 

No matter what the world may think,

Or what some others say,

I know the Lord is at my side, to guide me all the way.

 

Through shadows and through darkness,

My light in him will shine,

The race I run, with peace and love, for blessed assurance is mine.

 

I will not fear; I will not fear, for Jesus Christ, my Lord, is here.

I will not fear; I will not fear, for Jesus Christ, my Lord, is here.

I will not fear; I will not fear, for Jesus Christ, my Lord, is here.

 

A better friend I could not have;

No better help than he is.

For I am his and he is mine—this brother and lord, Jesus.

 

There is grace enough for each new step

And joy along life’s path.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill me up,

Until I’m home at last!

 

_______________________________

 

 

Untitled Post

posted May 9, 2010, 4:08 AM by Valli Leone   [ updated May 9, 2010, 4:20 AM ]

5/9/10  Mother's Day
Abba Father, thank you for the gift of life!  Thank you for the smiles and faces of those I love and even for the smiles, tears and faces of those who I do not know personally but see daily in the news.  We are in this world together as your children.  Help us to have your eyes, your heart, your desires, to make this world a better place by sharing the faith we have been given, the hope that you are for us, and the tremendous love that has been poured into us through your own Son, Jesus' life, death and resurrection.  Thank you for keeping your promise by sending us the Holy Spirit, the greatest of Helpers in this life.  Now we are able to forgive what once was unforgivable, to love who we thought were unlovable, and to treasure what we once took for granted.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of eternal life and for each precious moment you give us to share the love we have been given -- without measuring, without counting the cost.  May we desire to glorify you alone, as you continue to show us your perfect plan for each of our lives.  Jesus, I love you; your presence changes everything!

Untitled Post

posted Feb 24, 2010, 8:36 AM by Valli Leone

Lord, during this second week of Lent, we pray that you will continue to strengthen us in our journeys toward a more close and loving, personal relationship with you.  Remind us, Holy Spirit, of all that you have taught us; and give us repentant hearts and spirits to turn from any evil way you find in us.  Search us, Father, and establish a humble and contrite spirit within us.  Show us how to pray, how to be encouraged by our fasting, to give generously and to spend time with and effort on those who are suffering the most.
 
Make us more like you, oh, Lord; for then and only then will our Lenten plans be successful.  We give all of these plans to you that they ight succeed for your glory.
 
Thanks be to you.  Jesus, you never fail your people! 

Welcome

posted Dec 22, 2009, 7:04 PM by Raymond Rodriguez-Torres   [ updated Feb 16, 2010, 6:22 PM by Valli Leone ]

Jesus is Lord -- and He is waiting for us to respond to his call for prayer, fasting and giving during this Lenten season.  The Holy Spirit wants to do something new in each one of us.  He invites us to "step out of the box" of our own limited past experiences and understandings, to go deeper into his Word and his love.  Let's get real with him this season and ask him, "Lord, what would please you, purify me and bless others as well?"  Of course, praising and worshipping Him in spirit and in truth is always a  joy to God's heart.  And it's never too late to begin.  
 
Heavenly Father, I pray that you will give each of us a pure and holy passion to do whatever you tell us, to shine like the stars, and to move us in the power of your Holy Spirit into new depths of faith, hope, and love.  Open our hearts, Lord, to every good and perfect gift you have for us, as you release your power and your majesty in, over, around and through us.  Be glorified through the sacrifices we make and through the steps into deeper revelation we take as we spend more time in your holy Word.  Help us to reach out to those in need in ways like never before.  Release your power and your majesty, oh Lord, giving us voices to sing and shout and feet to dance, for you truly are the Lover of our souls!

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