Another Big Event: Father Antonio On EWTN Today

September 12, 2008

I remind my friends in America that EWTN will air the story of conversion that took place in the Lamb of God Shrine. The program is called “The Choices we Face” with Peter Herbeck.
They will put it on Friday September 12 at 6:30 am.
You can watch the first part on the following link on EWTN “Sept 7 A Conversion in Lebanon-1”
Tomorrow, we will have the great event: The feast of the Lamb of God Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Maronite: Applebee’s In Lebanon

June 15, 2008

Applebee’s

 


Now, we have Applebee’s, just one mile away from my parents’ house.
I will wait to visit after Great Lent.

Written March 2006

The Daily Maronite: Old Friends

June 14, 2008


After 13 years of absence, here we are, the old friends, gathered together, but just for a while, because some of them live in Canada, others in Dubai, others keep traveling.

So, it was a cool night together. We had remembered funny old stuff. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: Love & Lust & Yellow Snow

June 13, 2008


Today, we had a weird storm here that I’ve never seen before.
I fact, we had two storms and the result was truly funny.
The first one is a warm dust storm coming from the Sahara Desert, from Africa.

The second one is a cold snow storm coming from Europe.
Both of them hit Lebanon at the same time…
and the result… Guess what!

Yellow Snow

Have you heard about this before? me either.

Imagine you live in a town where all people are convinced that the yellow snow is the true color of snow. No, it’s not. The color of snow is white, but the dust has made it yellow.

The same thing with sex. Most people think that lust is normal and that lust is the true “color” of sex. But it’s not. The color of sex is love, but the original sin has made it stained with lust.

I am amazed by the teaching of Pope John Paul II about the BODY. I hope everybody can read it.

Orig. published March 2006.


The Daily Maronite: What Seems Like So Little Can Do So Much

June 12, 2008

I live in a region that was deeply affected by war. In 1983, 63 Christian villages have been destroyed and all their inhabitants have been displaced. Ten years later, people started coming back. The development in the Christian villages is too slow and sometimes totally absent. The young are obliged to emigrate and in winter time, just 10% of the people remain in their villages.

Six families have benefited from the amount of money the Ave Maria has sent:

One of them is an 8-year-old boy, Karim, whose family is extremely poor. This boy is suffering from an unknown disease that is eating his body, little by little. His flesh is filled with sores. He reminds me of Lazarus. You can see in the picture his foot filled with sores, as well as his face. He lost his arms. A friend took a picture for me and the boy. I had stomach ache when I saw him. Karim is able to understand, to talk, but he cannot walk. He cannot sleep as well. His mother takes care of him. This boy cannot be left alone. I gave his mother 100,000 LBP worth 66 US$. It seems a little money, but in fact it is worth 20 pizzas here in Lebanon (20 pizzas cost 300 $ in the US). The minimum wage here is 300,000 LBP, so 100,000 LBP is 32% of the minimum wage here. Again, I thank you and encourage other people to help the poor (to adopt children if you can).


The Daily Maronite: Ash Monday

June 10, 2008


The Season of Great Lent is a time to fast in order to be able to regain our vision which has been distorted by our disordinate desires, personal sins, bad habits, etc… It is a time to regain sight: to see the face of our Lord and the needs of our neighbors. It is like a trip on a boat from one side to another side, from old life to new life, from death to life, from dark to light.

On Ash Monday, the Maronites in Lebanon and the whole world gathered at churches and received the sign of the cross with ashes on their front. When the priest makes the sign of the cross on your front, he says, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”.

Orig. published February 2006


The Daily Maronite: A new bishop

June 9, 2008


Today, we welcomed the new bishop of our Eparchy (Diocese), Elias, who is the youngest bishop in Lebanon.

He stopped by our church before he had Mass in Bet Eddine, a town next to ours.

Orig. Published February 2006


The Daily Maronite:Greetings from the Mountains

June 8, 2008

After a long meeting with 5 priests, I took a ride up to the mountains.

This place is just 20 minutes away from the Mediterranean Sea.

I have a T-Shirt with the picture of Greg.

Greg, my bestfriend from Cadillac-MI, sent me his picture when he was a child. Now, he has 4 kids.

I assure you that I have all the pictures of all the good people I met in the US. They are here in my heart.

Orig. published February 2006


The Daily Maronite: Everything was white: The nature, the babe, the Church

June 7, 2008

Today, I woke up seeing the whole town white. The bricks of all houses were white because of the snow. It is very cold. I had to drive on the road at 6:45 am to say Mass for the nuns. After Mass, I took a ride under the snow. That reminds me of Michigan. I miss MI. Then the road got slippery, so I went back to the monastery.

At 10:00 am, I welcomed the body of a 6 month-old child. He was like an Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: Evangelization on the Mountains

June 6, 2008

On Friday February 10, 2006, I came to a non-Christian town. I entered a house where 10 non-Christians gathered together to hear the Good News: The father and the mother + 2 children- Another man with his wife + 2 children – and two guests.

A little boy asked me saying, “Tell me about Jesus”. I began to evangelize. Little by little, the 14-year-old girl said, “How beautiful Jesus is.” I gave them copies of the Bible. We read from John chapter 4. I talked about the Samaritan woman. They asked many questions. The little children opened up their hearts talking about their nightmares, fears, and struggles. I had to offer them Jesus who can set them free. After 3 hours of discussion, they invited me to eat dinner with them. I ate with them. After dinner, I blessed their house, gave them holy water and left their town. I drove at night back to the parish, the snow at both sides of the road, I had to drive carefully. Suddenly, I had to push the brakes thinking I was going to hit someone, a being, but it was not a person. It seemed to me like a ghost. That was scary. But I knew I would be under attack because of evangelization.

Today, I called these 10 thirsty non-Christians. They said I should come and tell them more about Jesus. I think soon they will accept the Lord and receive Baptism.

Praise to God. The harvest here is so big.

Orig. published: Feb 2006


The Daily Maronite: Renewing vows on the feast of St. Antonius

June 5, 2008

Renewing vows on the feast of St. Antonius

 

It was on January 17, the feast of St. Anthony of the Desert, when we (the members of my Maronite Order) renewed our vows.
Ohh. I am a big sinner. I think this ceremony should be cancelled. Who can be faithful? Only God is. We are all a bunch of sinners. Though we are loved by God.
I am in the back holding a sheet of paper. after prayer, we had a really good lunch. Mmmmm.

 

 


The Daily Maronite: We have found the Messiah (John 1:35-42)

June 4, 2008

We have found the Messiah (John 1:35-42)

 


Despite the noise of politics, the financial preoccupation, the anxiety over the future, the fear of terrorism, let us retire today to meet the Lord Jesus in this passage of the Gospel of John. We may find here a light of hope in the midst of darkness:

1- Jesus walks by:
Jesus passes by our lives. He sees the things that are going on in our lives, nation, world. But this time, he walks by knocking at each one’s door, holding with him a promise: A promise of Peace, Glory, the Holy Spirit. If you hear his voice do not harden your hearts.

2- “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”:
This is the voice of a Christian who discovered the Mystery of Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: The weapons of our battle

June 3, 2008

The weapons of our battle

 

Saint Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians that the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but of spirit. We do not force people to believe in Christ. We do not blow up ourselves in order to expand our religion. We do not fight evil with bombs and explosions. I do not force my parishioners to welcome Christ in their hearts. The weapons of our battle are spiritual. These weapons are enormously powerful, capable of 4 things:

1- destroying fortresses (strongholds);
2- destroying erroneous thoughts (arguments);
3- destroying every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God (proud);
4- taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ.
That was the mission of John the Baptist: calling everyone to repentance so that everyone might understand the message of Christ. Without repentance we can never understand the will of God in our lives. John the Baptist was preparing the way for Christ in destroying fortresses, erroneous thoughts, Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: White Christmas in Lebanon

June 2, 2008

White Christmas in Lebanon

 


We had white Christmas in Lebanon. That’s where I live. It snowed on December 24 but it didn’t stick. The snow in the picture is just 20 minutes away from where I live.
We had 6 Masses in the parish. We heard hundreds of confessions. The bells ring everywhere. There were even some non-Christians attending Mass. One of them asked me to bless him with the chalice (with the Blessed Sacrament).
Even though Christians have fears & they are anxious because of security issues (since the terror regime of Syria is still trying to undermine security in Lebanon in order to regain control and enslave this last free place in the Middle East) the Lebanese people try to keep hope stronger than despair, life stronger than death.

 


The Daily Maronite: The Birth of the Savior & the Birth of our Independence

June 1, 2008

The Birth of the Savior & the Birth of our Independence

 

Christ has been born in the world. The Light has come. The Truth has been revealed. Life came to us. The Word became flesh. Salvation has been born. Freedom has begun.

Christ the Savior was born in the world and no power has been able to stop God’s plan of Salvation. No one has been able to stop the encounter Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: The Miracle of the WORD

May 31, 2008

The Miracle of the WORD

 

2000 years ago, God has said His WORD. He said everything He wanted to say in Jesus Christ. He sent His only Son to the world, to save the world. He showed us the power of the Word, the need for the Word (for salvation), and the way everything can be fulfilled through the Word to overcome evil. Do I believe in the power of my word? Do I know how much my word is needed in my community? Where can my word be fulfilled overcoming evil?

The power of the word:
The word has the power to destroy or to build: The word “I hate you” is totally different from the word “I love you”. Each word has a different effect on the person who hears it.
The word has the power to create a certain atmosphere: Swearing at home can create a very tense atmosphere in the family. Speaking calmly can create a peaceful atmosphere at home.

The word has the power to transform those who receive it: Your word can transform despair into hope, desolation into consolation, slavery into freedom, darkness into light, sickness into healing. The centurion asked Jesus to “only say the word and he shall be healed.”

The word has the power to destroy evil: Pope John Paul II has never used weapons to overcome the evil of communism. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Poland and the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Maronite Patriarch has never used weapons to overcome the evil of the Syrian regime. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: REVELATION TO JOSEPH

May 30, 2008

REVELATION TO JOSEPH

 

This Sunday is the Revelation to Joseph Sunday. The truth is revealed to Joseph after doubts concerning his beloved Mary. Joseph was in front of a great Mystery (the Virgin is with child) and a great vocation (to become a father of the Son of the Father in Heaven).

We learn 7 things from Joseph:

1- The Righteous man: Joseph was a righteous man, committed to God’s commandments. He had no fear or shame of his commitment. Joseph is an example to every man: Do not be afraid to be a man of prayer, in union with God, surrendered completely to God’s Will, avoiding evil and doing good.

2- The pure love: Joseph had a pure & honest love towards Mary. His love was not controlling. He respected her. A controlling love leads to despair, illusion, envy, and in some cases to crime. There are many people in this world who are stuck on the road because of their controlling love. They love the other for selfish reasons.

3- No exposure to the public: Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. It was very easy to Joseph to bring his fiance to the priests where she would be condemned to death. When our partner, our wife, our husband, our girlfriend, our boyfriend, our neighbor, our brother, etc… relapses or fails, sometimes we are too quick to judge. We emphasize his/her sin and we make his/her story the discussion of the day. The Church teaches that talebearing destroys our neighbor’s honor. It is a sin against justice & charity.

4- He planned to dismiss her quietly: Joseph did not surrender to the feeling of being betrayed or to the love of vengeance.

5- The openness & listening to God’s revelation: Joseph was opened to God’s explanation of what was going on. He listened to what the Angel told him in the dream. With his openness, Joseph understood the Mystery of the Virgin and his Vocation.

6- No suspicions: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Love believes everything.

7- Welcoming Mary & Jesus: The Angel said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your house.” Joseph welcomed Mary & Jesus in his house. That’s what we can learn from Joseph, to take Mary & Jesus to our hearts, family, life.

A reading from St. Ephrem the Syrian:
Joseph had loved the Son as a child and he served him as a god. He rejoiced in him as he rejoices in the Good One and he feared him as a righteous. How amazing?

Joseph says, “Who gives me this grace that the Son of the almighty be my son. I suspected your mother and planned to dismiss her. I did not know that in her womb was hidden a great treasure that enriched my poverty.

David the King was from my kin and he wore the crown. But I , myself, had been humiliated becoming a carpenter instead of a king. But the crown had been given back to me for I hold the Lord of Lords in my hands. 


The Daily Maronite

May 29, 2008

 

 


The Daily Maronite: My Nephews & Niece

May 28, 2008

My Nephews & Niece

 


That was yesterday. 


The Daily Maronite: The Birth of John is Good News

May 27, 2008

 

The Birth of John is Good News

 

THE BIRTH OF JOHN (Luke 1:57-66)

I- When John the Baptist was born, Elizabeth & Zechariah, the neighbors & relatives experienced 3 things:

1- God’s great mercy: For the neighbors & relatives, God’s mercy was great because He blessed the barren woman with a child in her old age. The mercy of God was great for this family.
For Elizabeth & Zechariah, God’s mercy was great not only to their family but also to the whole world, because God’s Promise was fulfilled and the Messiah was close to come.

2- Joy: The neighbors & relatives shared Elizabeth’s joy because she bore a son.
Elizabeth & Zechariah’s joy was greater, especially in the Presence of Mary, whose presence reminded them that the birth of John was a clear sign of the coming of the Messiah.
Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: The Word of God in practice

May 26, 2008

The Word of God in practice

Yesterday, I put into practice the Word of God, the story of Mary’s journey to a town in Judea.

I am convinced that this new experience was the work of the Holy Spirit.
On November 30, I decided to go with another monk to a remote village, in the North. It is a big Christian town. I drove 110 miles. Here, it is like traveling through 5 States. It is like going from Michigan to Alabama, because the country is divided into cultures and sects: We went through the Druze region (state), the Sunni region, the Maronite, the Orthodox, the Sunni again, then the Maronite.

I told my friend not to bring with him food and if someone welcomes us we should stay with him/her. We arrived at noon.

We went imediately to the priest’s house as Mary did. (She entered Zechariah’s house, the priest’s house).

We talked to him. We told him about our vision: A camp for Mission.
He was very open. I went with my Christian friend to downtown. We met a different priest. He insisted to go and visit him. That’s what we wanted to do. We entered his house. His wife was there. We revealed to him our vision. He was very glad. We set up a time for our camp. It will be in July 2006.

His wife prepared a good meal. We had lunch with them. Then, the priest cried in a loud voice: “My house is Blessed.”

I remembered what Elizabeth said to Mary and what the Bible said when the Ark of the covenant stayed for 3 months in Obed’s house.

We were like Mary bringing Jesus to the priest’s house.

We left this town after we had put up a plan for the summer.

posted by Fr. Antonio


The Daily Maronite: My Visitation to this world: My Mission

May 25, 2008

My Visitation to this world: My Mission

 

“Blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45).

Blessed are you, if you believein God’s promise to you,in His promise to lead you to Holiness, Freedom, Love,in the Mission for which He is preparing you.

Blessed are you if you believed, followed Christ, and remained faithful despite difficulties, doubts, and temptations.Blessed are you if you take advantage of a little moment in which you felt the Presence of God and you followed up this relationship to God with Faith that He would fulfill His Will Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: The Announcement to the Virgin Mary

May 24, 2008

The Announcement to the Virgin Mary

 

After the Announcement to Zechariah, Elizabeth conceived and she kept to herself for five months.On the sixth month, we have a new announcement, this time to the virgin Mary who would become the mother of God.

What do we learn from the Announcement passage (Luke 1:26-38)?
I would like to meditate on 4 things:

1- We have good news: The angel said to Mary: “Rejoice”. Wow. This is good news. “You will conceive and bear a son, Jesus.”When I go to Mass, I Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: To All Friends: Map Yourself

May 23, 2008

To All Friends: Map Yourself

 


Not only to Maronites but also to my friends: Map yourself. Go to this link: http://www.frappr.com/maronitefamily
It’s easy and simple. Just click on “Subscribe to Map”.
Thank you 


The Daily Maronite: The Announcement to Zechariah

May 22, 2008

 

The Announcement to Zechariah

 


After sin entered the world, the relationship between God & Man was broken. Man began to run from himself. He became afraid, unable to see or comprehend his Creator. He would blame God for his misery, his problems, and the evil in the world.

God did not leave humanity alone. He began to reveal Himself gradually. The story began with a promise to Abraham: “Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s house for a country which I shall show you; and I shall make you a great nation… and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you.” (Genesis 12:1-3). Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: Snow early November

May 21, 2008

Snow early November

 


I took this picture just few miles (10 minutes) from the Mediterranean Sea.


The Daily Maronite: Cedars

May 20, 2008

Cedars

 


I visited the Cedars. What a beautiful smell. like incense.
This picture is a gift for Hint’s Feet. 


The Daily Maronite: The Christians of Chouf

May 19, 2008

The Christians of Chouf

 

In 1983, 63 Christian villages were partially or completely destroyed in the chouf region. All people found themselves refugees. 10 years later, they began their way back to their lands. Very few came back. It is a mission to confirm these Christians and help them stay in the land of their ancestors. Watch 


The Daily Maronite: A November Day in Lebanon

May 18, 2008

Winter

 

 


The Daily Maronite: American group in Lebanon

May 17, 2008

American group in Lebanon

 


During Mass, I was surprised to see 30 American students present in the church. I felt I was in Michigan. Most of them were Non-Catholics. I gave my homily in Lebanese, then I switched to English. Later after Mass, people told the mass was heard in the town (big speakers). I didn’t notice that.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Maronite: It is foggy today. A lot of rain.

May 16, 2008

It is foggy today. A lot of rain.

 

It is foggy today. People began to wear sweaters. It’s not cold for me. I still wear T-Shirts. People laugh at me here. I was used to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in Michigan. 


The Daily Maronite: My niece & nephew

May 15, 2008

My niece & nephew

 


This is my beautiful niece “Melanie” & my nephew “Elie” (which means Elijah) 


The Daily Maronite: Mary & St. Sharbel in the midst of a spiritual battle

May 14, 2008

Mary & St. Sharbel in the midst of a spiritual battle

 

The evil hand that has been controlling Lebanon for almost 30 years tried to assassinate many leaders or journalists who spoke out against terror.
It is the war between the “beast” & the children of God.
In the 80’s, Camille Chamoun, a former Maronite President, survived after an assassination attempt with a car bomb. After the incident, Camille Chamoun took a picture of Our Lady of the Hill out of his pocket saying to the media: “It is mary who saved me.”

On October 1, 2004, Marwan Hamade, a Druze Deputee, survived after an assassination attempt with a powerful car bomb. after the incident, he took a medal out of his pocket saying to the media: “This miraculous medal of Our Lady (Catherine De Laboure) saved me.”

On July 12, 2005, Elias El-Murr, an Orthodox Defense Minister, survived Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: I live here

May 13, 2008

I live here

 

 


The Daily Maronite: persecution & mission

May 12, 2008

persecution & mission

 


Deir El Kamar has a long history of persecution. It is the biggest Christian town in a non-Christian region. In 1860, all of its inhabitants were massacred. Back then, the conflict was incited by the Ottomans (turks). In 1983, 64 villages were completely destroyed. Many people were killed. The rest of the inhabitants of these villages took refuge in Deir El Kamar. Deir El Kamar was spared after 100 days of siege.
Now, there is peace. Christians & Non-Christians have been reconciled with one another.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Maronite:My new car

May 11, 2008

My new car

 


It is a Wolkswagen Golf. Today I received it from my Order. Finally, now I can visit my friends & family. 


The Daily Maronite:Fresh Water from the mountains of Lebanon

May 10, 2008

Fresh Water from the mountains of Lebanon

 

 


THE DAILY MARONITE: Youth Groups

May 9, 2008

Youth Groups

 


There are over 50 young people very active in the church I am not assigned to. 


Prayer to the Holy Spirit

May 8, 2008

 

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

 

Come Holy Spirit, and from heaven direct on man the rays of your light. Come, Father of the poor, Come, Giver of God?s gifts, Come, Light of men?s hearts, Kindly Paraclete, In your gracious visits to man?s soul, you bring relief and consolation, it is weary with toil, you bring it ease. In the heat of temptation, your grace cools it; if sorrowful, your words console it. Light most blessed, shine on the hearts of your faithful, even into their darkest corners; for without your help there is nothing good in man, and nothing is innocent. Wash clean the injured soul. Soften the hard of heart, warm the cold of heart, and direct the wayward. Grant the seven holy gifts to your faithful, for their trust is in you. Grant reward for their virtues; grant them death that ensures salvation; grant them everlasting bliss. Amen. 


Father Anthony’s Address

May 7, 2008

My Address

 

Fr. Antonio Feghali
Notre Dame of Louaize
P.O. Box 31
Zouk Michael-
Keserwan-Lebanon

My Phone number:
Dial 011-961-3413476

There are 7 hours in difference between the US & Lebanon:
If it is 8:00 am in the US, it will be 3:00 pm in Lebanon
If it is 5:00 pm in the US, it will be midnight in Lebanon.

Please don’t call me after 4:30 pm in the US.
Thanks 


Saydet El-Talleh (Our Lady of the Hill)

May 6, 2008

Saydet El-Talleh (Our Lady of the Hill)

 

 


Deir El Kamar

May 5, 2008

Deir El Kamar

 

 


Here in Lebanon

May 4, 2008

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Here in Lebanon

 


Dear friends,
I just came to Lebanon. I left the US on Sept 19 at 7:00 pm and arrived in Lebanon on the 20th at 7:00 pm local time.There are 7 hours of difference between the US & Leb. My family welcomed me. It is a party to my nephews and niece. Yesterday, Sept 21, I visited my General Superior, the new abbot. We talked about my new responsibility and … also what I had done in the US since 2001. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing Father Antonio!

May 3, 2008

Father Antonio is a Maronite religious priest who is a co-author of the blog Spiritual Friendship.  He is a good and holy priest who is making great effort to rebuild a church shrine in Lebanon.

To me the blog Spiritual Friendship has been very much like a fine restaurant that is a well kept secret.  To read of the work he is done, and what he is doing – even in the day-to-day events – is to get a better feel for how Catholics in the Middle East live.  It puts a human face and experience to what most of us think of as “on the other side of the world”.

His blog is, in my opinion, too well kept of a secret!  I wish more people read about it – to do so is to see miracles unfold.  With that in mind, he has agreed to cross-post here on TBC.  I am going to begin to help him get old archived posts cross-posted here.  In the course of a year, we will be going through almost three years of posts.  I think it will be worth it.

Pray for his work, and – if possible – consider a donation.


The Story of a Shrine and of a Conversion (Part 2)

April 6, 2008

THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD
At the end of the day, Ahmad looked at me and said: “You know, I feel peace with you.”

I said: “I did not even talk to you. You don’t even know me, how did you feel peace with me?”

He said: “I don’t know, but I feel peace with you.”

Then, Ahmad opened his heart and told me about an amazing experience he had had 3 years ago. He said, “I was working on the Bobcat removing rubbles. I noticed a book over there. So, I turned off the Bobcat and walked towards the rubbles. I took the book in my hand, removed the dust and opened it. When I read a passage, I felt a power entered into my body. Since then, I have been liberated from a vice I had been struggling with.”

I said: “Wow, what is that book?”

He said: “The Bible.”

I said: “OK, I have a Bible in my car. Would you like to read a passage from it?”

He said: “Yes, sure.”

I said: “OK, take the book. Pray first. Then, open it and the passage that comes I will read it for you.”

Ahmad took the Bible, prayed and opened the Gospel on the second letter to the Corinthians 5:17-19.

I read: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

I was reading this passage, and Ahmad began to cry. He sobbed. Then, he spontaneously confessed all the sins he had done in his life. I left this man purified from his old sins and I went back to my church.
That was the first day.

THE POWER OF CONFESSION
On Thursday March 8, 2007, I took Ahmad from his apartment to the Shrine project. He was in complete silence. He couldn’t work a lot because the Bobcat had a few problems. Read the rest of this entry »


The Story Of A Shrine And Of A Conversion (Part 1)

April 5, 2008

A DESIRE IN MY HEART
On Christmas 2006, I had a great desire in my heart to find a place somewhere on the mountain of Lebanon, where I can bring the Blessed Sacrament and gather all people in the cold to worship the Lord.

So I went up to the mountain. There was a huge cross built in 1932. I said “Maybe we can build a tent and worship the Lord in the cold next Christmas 2007.” But the property was not for the church. It was for the nuns. So I went and met the general superior and told her about my desire: “Can we do this next Christmas?” She looked at me and said: “We will think about it.” I understood that she drove me away in a diplomatic way.

A GREAT DISCOVERY
I went to the township and asked: “What do we own here as a church.”

So they showed me maps. I looked at them and was surprised and shocked when I found out that we have a property on the mountain not too far from the Cross. So, overwhelmed with joy, I went immediately to the mountain. I entered a forest that had been neglected for decades because of the wars and turmoil in the Chouf region. And the vision began to form in my mind: “OK, I will build a way, like the way of the cross, that leads to a grotto. But where is that grotto?” So I told two of my friends to come with me and try to find out where is that place of worship. We went on January 9, 2007. My friends went in a direction. I went in a different direction. I climbed a small hill filled with bushes and thorns. So, I got scars everywhere. Then, suddenly, I discovered natural rocks hidden behind the bushes. So, I cried out in a loud voice: “George, George, I found it. I found the place.” “Where are you?” George asked. “I am here. Come and see.” My friends arrived and saw the natural rocks and said: “Wow, this is the place.”

SOME OBSTACLES
I brought an excavation machine and removed the small hill filled with bushes. We found hundreds of stones beneath the hill. So, we kept them aside. Now, the news reached religious authorities that Fr. Antonio is building A WONDER LAND or A WALT DISNEY LAND on the mountain. So they sent me a priest to check what I was doing. The priest arrived, put his hand on his forehead and said: “What are you doing? This is a big project? It will cost you more than 50,000$.”

I said: “Please, just give me your blessing and let me work.”

He said: “You can’t do this.”

I said: “Tell the general superior to give me his blessing. That’s all I need.”

He said: “Listen, you cannot take one penny from the church, not even from your personal pocket. You cannot work with debts and you cannot make advertisements.”
I said: “OK. I won’t do these things. Whatever Our Mother Mary sends me, I will put it here. If she doesn’t send anything, I won’t do anything.”

He said: “OK, work in silence.” Read the rest of this entry »


Rebuilding Blessed Yacoub’s Church In Lebanon

April 3, 2008

The following is from the Blog Spiritual Friendship by Maronite Catholic priest Father Antonio: 

The cost of the restoration of this small church of Fr. Yacoub is about $10,000.Until now, I did not receive contributions, but my heart is on fire for this project. I have great confidence that the Lord will provide everything.I already have the relic of the saint. I will place it inside this small church, which will become a shrine.I believe, this project is very important for the flourishing of Christianity in this region. Read the rest of this entry »