Joy Battista

"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.

"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44

This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Three Year Old's Vision, a Poem Printed in Honor of Her Deceased Family

Many years ago I wrote a poem called Sweet Jesus. I knew the time would come that I would want to print it here and have waited for just the right time. I felt I would probably print it after I had written about how God was so loving to answer my prayers for my daughter Michaela. Sometimes though, I have felt a little guilty about Michaela's survival of cancer because I have also known many parents who have lost their children and it is so hard to know how to address them or what to say. I am sure they probably prayed just as hard for their children as I did for Michaela. Why is it that some prayers seem to be answered and others don't? This is a mystery I have pondered often.

I am printing Sweet Jesus today in honor of the family of the little girl who is the subject of the poem. I do believe that God allows intense suffering so that he can bring about a greater good. The poem is a true story of an interaction I had with the little girl's mother when she had just found out that her child became terminally ill with her cancer. For me, showing others the love of Jesus was the purpose of the young child's short life.

I am printing it now because the little girl's entire family, including her mother, father and sister all died last week from an apparent house fire. The public has since been told the family died of unnatural causes prior to the fire. The police are not actively looking for a suspect but there is still an investigation going on and the specifics have not been made public. Many rumors have circulated. I am personally anxious to find out what happened but in the meantime I want to honor the family for their contributions to building up the faith by the mysterious way of suffering. That is what Sweet Jesus is all about.

Here it is:

Sweet Jesus

I was sitting there in the waiting room with my child
when out came a woman so meek and mild.
I recognized her immediately,
the mother of Jessica who was only three.
As the tears streamed down her tender cheeks
I could tell that the news was very bleak.
I had to say something but I didn’t know how,
so I said, "How is your child doing now?"
"We are having a bad day." she said,
"The news I was told is what I dread."

She had known for three weeks.
A mother just knows
that certain language God’s Spirit blows.

Jessica hadn’t been acting the same
and she told her mother that Jesus came.
Jesus made a visit to show He cared.
He spoke to Jessica so she wouldn’t be scared.
Jessica said to her mother
how He hugged her and loved her.
And He stayed quite some time.
She knew everything would be just fine.

Through those tears the mother continued along
with a message so tender and loud and strong.
Jessica told her Jesus smelled so good.
He smelled like some of her favorite food.
The mother asked her what it could be,
Jessica smiled and said, "why it was a cookie."

Sweet Jesus is He
Precious to behold, precious to see.
His light shines bright
through the dark dark night.
Nothing more shall we want.
Only with Him can we triumph.
We are drawn to Him so vibrantly
At 99, 51, 29 and even 3.

How could we want to keep such a child away from Thee
Who loves and hugs and smells just like a fresh baked cookie.

I pray that the entire Hindman family can rest in Peace with their little Saint Jessica up in heaven and that through the Mercy of God all their suffering is over.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Have Been Drawn the Priesthood!

I have been feeling a very incredibly strong spiritual movement in my life that I am to follow the life of St. Francis of Assisi in his example of prayer, poverty (as I am able in my family life), gospel study/gospel sharing, charity and rebuilding
the church.

My main pull is to rebuild the church through fostering the priesthood. I feel my life and children have lead me to this vocational work through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church itself is also giving me and you the wise counsel to promote vocations.

The front page of my diocesan newspaper in Lincoln, NE, The Southern Catholic Register, headlined this week’s title with, “Pope Urges Entire Church to Promote Vocations, Says This Marks the Vitality of Local Community.” The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI was pictured with a caption that read, “The Holy Father, in a Feb. 10 message for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated May 15, underlined the necessity for every member of the Church to promote religious vocations.”

I have come to realize that life is really oriented toward the priesthood which is an orientation toward Christ. Priests are Christ's representatives here on earth. In my life, like so many others, it was a priest that baptized me, gave me my first communion and all the following communions after that, a priest confirmed me, forgave me and still does over and over again, conferred the sacrament of marriage on my spouse and I, anointed my mother and daughter and so many others when they were sick and taught me how to live a holy life.

I have recently seen the workings of God in my life through becoming acquainted
with St. Francis of Assisi. One of his main missions in life was to rebuild the
church. The Catholic Church right now is growing in certain places and declining
in others. The times we are living in look very similar to the times St. Franics of Assisi lived in. I believe it is the devil's attack on our bishops and priests that has caused the current decline. He uses priests to attack the Church from within. But personally I have only had positive interactions and good thoughts of priests.

My mother, prior to her death, loved the priesthood. She did her part to serve
the priesthood by depending on them for her spiritual needs and then by feeding
them feasts and treating them with dignity and love. My father insisted that my siblings and I receive a Catholic education and while living in Lincoln we had the opportunity and availability of going to Catholic schools, and we did.

When my mother died, I knew she would get to heaven because she persevered in the Faith to the end. I watched her love God and be anointed by a priest on the last two days of her life.

It was a priest who taught my husband, just before we married, about the faith and then brought him gently into the faith. What a blessing it has been to share the Eucharist each week with my husband over the years!

When I became pregnant with my first child I protected her in the womb because I
knew the scourge of contraception and abortion was a sin against the fifth
commandment as taught to me by my Catholic Faith. Had I been using contraception
as the culture would have had me do, she most likely would not be here today.
It was not good timing for my husband and I to have a child, he was a full time
student. But I listened to my heart and a priest, and he essentially saved my baby’s life. I realized that her life was precious unlike so many other mothers.

After my baby was born, while I was still in the hospital, a priest brought me Communion. It was then that I truly understood how much God loved me. Through my child and a priest I found out that God loved me like I was his only child.

Then when this child became ill at the age of four it was a priest who I went to
for a blessing for her. The priest found out about her diagnosis before my
husband, through God’s divine intervention. And then throughout the 4 and ½
years of this child’s cancer treatments that same priest prayed for her just
before the consecration of the mass at every single mass he celebrated. My
daughters life, was spared in a large part because of a priest and his
persevering and continual prayers for her at the foot of the cross. He prayed
for Michaela at the foot of the cross over and over and over again. It was a
direct intervention.

There was a time when Michaela was in critical condition in the hospital and a priest anointed her. Soon after the anointing of the sick she bounced back and became better. God allowed this suffering so that someday I would understand that he was
pointing me to the importance of CATHOLIC priests!!!!

Now my three boys play priest and revere priests and love priests. This was not anything special that I did. Please understand, though I placed them in the position to be around priests at church, they took it upon themselves to dress up like priests and pretend. They drew me in and they continue to point me to the priesthood. I really believe the Holy Spirit has been using them for this purpose.

St. Francis, during his life on earth, had a mission to rebuild the church.
Through his intercession and guidance I now go forward in trying to also do my
part to rebuild the church. It is through priests, those men who act in
persona Christi, that the church will be strong. I must pray for them and act
for them. And I will!!

Please comment and share your testimony on how priests have affected your life. And then join me in praying for priests and promoting them for you will be rewarded in heaven!

Friday, February 4, 2011

John the Baptist-Humble, Upright and Austere, Paid With His Life for the Witness He Bore To Jesus the Messiah

I pasted and copied everything below, in honor of John the Baptist, the namesake of this blog!

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Friday, February 4, 2011

4th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 6:14-29

Opinions About Jesus
[14] King Herod heard of it; for Jesus' name had become known. Some said,
"John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are
at work with Him." [15] But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a
prophet, like one of the prophets of old." [16] But when Herod heard of it, he
said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."

John the Baptist Beheaded
[17] For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake
of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; because he had married her. [18] For John
said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." [19] And Hero-
dias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, [20]
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept
him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him
gladly. [21] But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet
for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. [22] For when Hero-
dias' daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the
king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it." [23] And
he said to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom."

[24] And she went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said,
"The head of John the Baptizer." [25] And she came in immediately with haste
to the king, and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John
the Baptizer on a platter." [26] And the King was exceedingly sorry; but because
of his oath and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. [27] And im-
mediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head.
He went and beheaded him in the prison, [28] and brought his head on a platter,
and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. [29] When his disciples
heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.


16-29. It is interesting that the extensive account of the death of John the Baptist
is inserted here in the Gospel narrative. The reason is St. John the Baptist's spe-
cial relevance in the history of salvation: he is the Precursor, entrusted with the
task of preparing the way for the Messiah. Besides, John the Baptist had a great
reputation among the people: they believed him to be a prophet (Mark 11:32);
some even thought he was the Messiah (Luke 3:15; John 1:20); and they flocked
to him from many places (Mark 1:5). Jesus Himself said: "Among those born of
women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11).
Later, the Apostle St. John will speak of him in the Gospel: "There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John" (John 1:6); but the sacred text points out
that, despite this, he was not the light, but rather the witness to the light (John 1:
6-8). More correctly, he was the lamp carrying the light (John 5:35). We are told
here that he was a righteous man and preached to everyone what had to be
preached: he had a word for people at large, for publicans, for soldiers (Luke 3:10-
14); for Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 3:7-12); for King Herod himself (Mark
6:18-20). This humble, upright and austere man paid with his life for the witness
he bore to Jesus the Messiah (John 1:29 and 36-37).

26. Oaths and promises immoral in content should never be made, and, if made,
should never be kept. This is the teaching of the Church, which is summed up
in the "St. Pius X Catechism", 383, in the following way: "Are we obliged to keep
oaths we have sworn to do unjust and unlawful things? Not only are we not ob-
liged: we sin by making such oaths, for they are prohibited by the Law of God or
of the Church."

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

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"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." -- St Jerome


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Making a Difference

I have a confession to make, one of my New Year's resolutions of exercising every morning has not happened for various reasons. But I have been getting to daily mass again after dropping the kids off to school on a consistent basis, which was my other main New Year's resolution. This week with two snow days I have missed mass twice which I am bummed about. But I know God understands and is happy with me for my efforts otherwise. Mass has indeed been my priority over exercising and I know that it is very very good.

I am excited to share with you the fruits of going to mass and praying and blogging and being open to the Holy Spirit. I have blogged in the past about my newfound discovery and love of St. Francis of Assisi. I actually feel that St. Francis has been stalking me (more on that in future posts I’m sure!). And I am happy to be stalked by him! And I am sharing this with you hoping to inspire you to start a relationship with St. Francis if you don’t have one. Or if not St. Francis, maybe there is another saint stalking you and you don’t know it yet or haven’t figured it out (see my archive, October 4th and October 28th, 2010 posts on examples of St. Francis stalking me). Or maybe you have a special Saint relationship but haven’t shared this with others. I beg of you… please share. Start a blog, facebook about it, share it over a cup of matter what, let the Holy Spirit help you to tell others the good news along with your special saint.

I received a phone call back in December from a reader of my blog who started reading because of our friendship on facebook. This friend was a lukewarm Catholic who had just been going through the motions of her faith. But something inspired her to begin reading the life of St. Francis of Assisi in the past year. She then started reading my blog and found a true connection and called to share it with me. She was overflowing with zeal and told me how a traveling statue of Our Lady of Portugal came to her home for a month last October. Because of Our Lady’s special presence, which sparked prayer in her home, she had a profound conversion back to the Faith. She reread her St. Francis book and she started attending daily mass and praying the rosary. This gave her the confidence and zeal to speak up to her children's Catholic school officials about truly living the gospel in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. She has courageously become outspoken about living and teaching others to live a Christlike life and to treat others in a Christlike manner. This woman is on fire and making a difference. And the difference is that she is speaking up and sharing the good news of Christ and the Saints and the Church to others, myself included.

Now our relationship is blossoming and we have connected with other friends to start a special Rosary for Peace. We have secured a place to meet and pray the rosary on a weekly basis every Wednesday, from 2:30pm-3:00pm. We’ll pray for peace in our hearts, homes and families, schools and churches, America and the world. Won’t you join us in person or in spirit every Wednesday. Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has asked us, in her appearances throughout the world, to pray the rosary for peace and that is what we are gathering to do!!! (Praying the rosary is a meditation on the life of Christ through the intercession of Mary.) For more information comment here or e-mail me on facebook.

Do you have a special saint story you would like to share? Please comment here and make a difference!