Archive | September 2013

A Few Words From Pope Francis I * Jesus Doesn’t Need An Army To Cast Out Demons

This article comes from Rome Reports ~ A publication of the Vatican on the activities of Pope Francis I.  I find this article particularly relevant to our times today. . .Enjoy!


September 3, 2013. ( Pope Francis explained during his Mass homily at Casa Santa Marta that modern culture gives way to cultural and technological knowledge, and gives the impression of enlightenment, but that many people live in the darkness because they do not know the light of Jesus.   


“Jesus doesn’t need an army to cast out the demons, He has no need of pride, no need of force, of arrogance. ‘What is there about His word? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ This is a humble word, meek, with so much love; it is a word that accompanies us in the moments of the Cross. Let us ask the Lord to give us today the grace of His Light, and to teach us to distinguish when the light is from Him, and when it is an artificial light, made by the enemy to deceive us.” 

The Pope added that the light of Jesus is knowledge that can lead to peace and tranquility, and that it can be reached by being meek and by looking on the Cross without fear.


(Source: Vatican Radio) 

“You can know everything, you can have knowledge of all things and this light on things. But the light of Jesus is something else. It is not a light of ignorance, no! It’s a light of wisdom and sagacity, but it is something other than the light of the world. The light that the world offers us is an artificial light, strong, perhaps – but that of Jesus is stronger, eh! – strong like a firework, like a flash of photography. Instead, the light of Jesus is a mild light, it is a quiet light, it is a light of peace, it’s like the light on Christmas night: without pretense.” 

“How many believe they are living in the light and they are in darkness, but they don’t realize it? What is the light like that Jesus offers us? The light of Jesus can be known because it is a humble light, it is not a light that imposes itself: it is humble. It’s a meek light, with the strength of meekness. It’s a light that speaks to the heart, and also a light that offers you the Cross. If we, in our inner light are meek, if we hear the voice of Jesus in the heart and look on the Cross without fear: that is the light of Jesus.” 

“Jesus doesn’t need an army to cast out the demons, He has no need of pride, no need of force, of arrogance. ‘What is there about His word? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ This is a humble word, meek, with so much love; it is a word that accompanies us in the moments of the Cross. Let us ask the Lord to give us today the grace of His Light, and to teach us to distinguish when the light is from Him, and when it is an artificial light, made by the enemy to deceive us.” 

The Back Nine

I want to add my own “caveat” to this post.  I got if from a dear friend, Bob Engel.  I don’t know who wrote it, so if the author of this writing sees this, please know that I will give your proper credit for it.

I think this is such a moving and very profound piece ~ also a very funny piece of writing, I just had to share it with all of you. . .the young AND the old.


THE BACK NINE (as in Golf for you non golfers)

You know … time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware  of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just  married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it  seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know
that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of
all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is… the “back nine” of my life and it catches me by
surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and
where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking
that those older people were years away from me and that “I was only
on the first hole” and the “back nine” was so far off that I could not
fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting gray…they move
slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some
worse shape than me…but, I see the great change…Not like the ones
that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age
is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to
see and never thought we’d become.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for
the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory!
Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so…now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for
all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and
do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know,
that though I’m on the “back nine”, and I’m not sure how long it will
last…this I know, that when it’s over on this earth…it’s over. A
new adventure will begin! Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish
I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many
things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the “back nine” yet…let me remind you, that it
will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to
accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too
long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can
never be sure whether you’re on the “back nine” or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your
life…so, live for today and say all the things that you want your
loved ones to remember…and hope that they appreciate and love you
for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

“Life” is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to
those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY
TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY ! HAVE A GREAT DAY                 Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.


LASTLY, CONSIDER THIS: ~Your kids are becoming you……but your
grandchildren are perfect! ~Going out is good.. Coming home is better!
~You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they
even knew you!!! ~You realize you’re never going to be really good at
anything…. especially golf. ~The things you used to care to do, you
no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do
them anymore. ~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring
than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep”. ~You miss the days when
everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch.. ~

You tend to  use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”…” ??? ~             Now that you  can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere. ~ You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!! ~What used  to be freckles are now liver spots. ~Everybody whispers. ~You have 3  sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear.

~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of

Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!”  It’s Not What You Gather, But What You
Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.


I’d Like To Tell You “The Rest of My Story”

Many of you know that I had a double lung transplant on Sept. 30, 2005, almost 8 years now.  I had emphysema and asthma and in the year or two prior to my transplant, I was dying.  My lung function was dwindling and by February of 2005 I was placed on oxygen 24/7.  Just walking across the first floor of my home which was the length of 2 rooms was very difficult without the oxygen.

My lung function when I was placed on the transplant list was only 20%. I was on the transplant list for only 2 weeks to the day.  What a surprise to me.  I was expecting to wait months or years.

In the early morning hour of 12:15am on September 30, 2005 I received my call.  My pre-transplant coordinator, Paul called and asked me “So San, whatcha doin’?” I said, “Getting ready for bed.”  He said, “No you’re not.  We have a set of lungs that we believe are just for you.  So, I need you to make your phone calls and get your ass in here asap.”

Well, wow, I didn’t know what to think because I was kind of numb.  I knew I had to call my daughters and let them know and I had to reach our son, who happened to be out at the time.  This was before he had a cell phone.  We couldn’t wait any longer so I had to leave him a note on the kitchen table.  I hated to leave such a message on a note, but I had no choice.

I distinctly remember walking out to our car and turning around to look at the house that we had lived in and raised our 3 children in and wondered if I would be coming back to that home of our love and life.  It was a very strange feeling, I wasn’t panicky or terrified but I was feeling a bit uneasy, wondering if this whole thing was real and yes, it was very real.

So here we were, me and my husband, sitting in the lobby of University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Hospital waiting to be taken up for the transplant.  It was 1:30in the morning.  As I looked to the left I saw a man walking through the shadows toward us.  As he got closer I recognized him to be the priest I had worked for years previously.  He had in the last couple years moved from Pittsburgh to California.  Now here he was in Pittsburgh at 1:30 in the morning!!!

He walked past us, I imagine he didn’t recognize me because I had gained some weight and was wearing oxygen.  I told my husband to go out and get him, Fr. Eugene was walking toward the parking lot.  As he brought him inside, he came over to me and I said, “Eugene?”  and he answered, “yessss???”   I looked at him and said, “you don’t know who I am, do you?”  Fr. Eugene answered, “Honey, I don’t know anyone at 1:30 in the morning”.  After I explained who I was, he then remembered me.  He said, “Sandy, what are you doing here”?  I told him that I was waiting to up to surgery for a double lung transplant.  His eyes got so big and then his face softened as he looked at me.  Fr. Eugene took my hands in his and said a prayer for me.  He said, “I just wish you all the best.”  With that he left and flew back to California.

After he left, I knew I was going to be just fine.  I felt such a feeling of peace, I can’t describe it, but I had no fear.  I went forward with the surgery and I am sitting here today, nearly 8 years later doing well.

I saw Fr. Eugene 3 years later back in Pittsburgh, giving a conference at the Monastery where I work and where I worked for him when he was Rector back in the 80’s.  When he saw me he asked me how I was feeling.  I told him I was doing very well.

Fr. Eugene went on to tell me why he was in Pittsburgh that night.  He said he had just left the bedside of a friend who had died.  I said, “Eugene, do you realize that you walked from death to life that night?”  He said, I guess I did.

Now, this is where this story gets even better.  Many years ago, when Fr. Eugene had become the Rector of a Retreat House in Riverdale, New York, my 2 friends, Dee and Shirley and I went to Riverdale, New York to attend a weekend retreat with Fr. Eugene and many others who had come to experience the retreat.

When the time came for Holy Communion, Fr. Eugene said to all of us, “Instead of saying ‘Amen’ when I offer Communion, perhaps you could say something that has meaning for you. . .perhaps you could say, I love you Jesus, or Thank you Lord, or My Lord and My God, something like that.

While I was walking up to receive Communion I had no idea what I was going to say.  Even when it became my turn, I was at a loss. . .that is until he offered Communion by saying, “The Body of Christ” and out of the blue I said, “I want to live”. . .What???  I had no idea why I would say that, and beyond that when I got back to my seat, I just began to sob and sob and sob. . .I was in a happy mood, why was I sobbing in this pew.  Everything in my life felt so good.  But there it was.

This memory came to me in the last couple weeks and it just blew me away. . .Here is the same priest who years before suggested saying something to receive Communion. . .and I say that I want to live. . .and years later here comes this same priest from across the country to pray with me while my life hung in the balance.

No one can convince me that God and his angels aren’t working on our behalf all the time. . .

May you all be blessed!!!

Sandy Ozanich (c) Sept. 1, 2013