Why I Wear My Cross AND The Miraculous Medal to Evangelize
By Donald Andre Bruneau
Ever since I came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in January of 1975, the burning desire to share with others the “Good News” about Jesus Christ has always been uppermost in my thoughts, my actions and my prayers every day.
As my precious mother said so often….”God is so good”…and I wanted everyone to know this JESUS who so loved us He suffered the Passion and died on the CROSS for me a sinner. (cf:John 3:16)
Therefore, it was with great anticipation and immense joy in my heart that on October 18 & 19, 2013, I attended a timely and wonderfully encouraging and challenging conference titled: “The New Evangelization and The Year Of Faith.”(cf: http://www.catholicscholarscanada.com/TheNewEvangelizationAndTheYearofFaith)
It was put on by “The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars” at “Our Lady Seat Of Wisdom Academy.” In Barry’s Bay, Ontario.
One of the key points given during the conference was to inform ourselves of what the ‘Church Fathers’ had to say about ‘Evangelization’. The next day I did some research and came across an excellent article by Fr. John Behr titled: “Evangelism In The Early Church.” ( www.academia.edu1949066 / Evangelism_and_Patristics )
Here is a vital point of Fr Behr’s presentation:
“Origen wrote in his commentary on John:
“Now what the Gospels say is to be regarded in the light of PROMISES of GOOD THINGS; (all *capitalized emphasis which follows is mine) and we must say that the good things the Apostles announce in this Gospel are simply….JESUS.
One good thing which they are said to announce is the RESURRECTION; but the resurrection is in a manner Jesus, for Jesus says:
“I Am The Resurrection.”
Jesus preaches to the poor those things which are laid up for the saints, calling them to the divine promises. Thus it was Jesus Christ who not only preached a NEW LIFE in God but a NEW DEATH.
Death was the common factor that all people shared and here was a person who stated that even DEATH was not the end. It was possible to die and yet to LIVE in God.
The world did not seem so frightening when death itself could be OVERCOME.HE DIED AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD and opened the door for all mankind to be reconnected with God.”
I find that Fr. Behr summed up so beautifully and precisely the “Good News” which the secular, paganized world we are living in today needs so desperately to hear. In this world where truth is all ‘relative’ and everyone has their own version of the truth, we must, even like the early Christians at the cost of our very life, boldly proclaim the ‘Truth in Love’.
Many Christians will hide their faith in this pagan world, but as Christians we cannot “deny” our faith. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 10:32-33:
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him will I deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
We live in an age of ‘martyrs’, just as the first Christians did in the first centuries of the Church. Visit this site to learn about the MARTYRS. http://www.cuf.org /2013/01/out-of-death-life-the-martyrs-of-the-early-church/ .
Christians are suffering persecution, torture and death mostly at the hands of radical Islamists in many parts of the world. Islam is out to convert the WORLD to ISLAM by means of “Jihad”. We have only to visit www.jihad watch.org to see the reality and the truth of this.
In a report from Robert Spencer of www.jihadwatch.org , Oct 28/13, titled: “Syria:Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar” threaten Christians…convert to ISLAM or you will be crucified like Jesus.” is an example of the ongoing persecution of Catholics and Christians and Jews.
Kirsten Powers of the Daily Beast, reports on the persecution of Christians and Jews around the world. She introduces readers to an ominous Jihadous slogan: “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday.” it means “On Saturday we kill the Jews; on Sunday we kill the Christians.” (It’s Time Newspaper, Issue #340, pg 2.)
This is all the more reason why we, like the early Christians must give ‘public witness’ of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Pope John Paul II said it so clearly to the youth at World Youth Day, 1993: “Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places like the first apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is time to preach it from the rooftops.”
Often when I share my Catholic faith with others I’ll say to them:
“The God I serve as a ‘Christian’ is a God of Life, of Love, of Mercy and Justice.”
The God I serve is in TOTAL CONTRAST to the God of ISLAM. You will see this as you read on.
This is a powerful statement to unbelievers and it represents my image of God as I have discovered it through my lived Christian experiences, a deep prayer life and in reading the Word of God and the teachings of my Roman Catholic faith, founded by Jesus Christ.
Everything that I and other Catholics believe is found in the ‘Nicene Creed’. It is our ‘Profession of Faith’.
THE NICENE CREED
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
Begotten, not made,
One in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation,
He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit
He was born of the Virgin Mary,
And became man.
For our sake he was crucified
Under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the
Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy
catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one
Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
What a precious creed this is. It is a summary of our faith as Catholics. It is part of ‘God’s preciousness’ to which my mother refers to later on.
Now let us turn our attention to the CROSS of Jesus Christ. Imagine the miraculous and salvific effect it would have IF EVERYONE who calls themselves Christians would wear the CROSS publically.
We must PROPOSE our Christian faith to everyone. It cannot be IMPOSED on anyone, as the religion of Islam does. Their KORAN teaches them that anyone, especially Christians and Jews are ‘infidels’ and MUST convert to ISLAM!
To see the truth of this and learn about Islam visit the site of ‘Robert Spencer’, an international authority on Islam. Here you will see how Muslims throughout many parts of the world are waging “Jihad” I.e., war, in order to force everyone to convert to Islam or pay the “jizya” (poll TAX) and be subject to living under humiliating regulations that institutionalize inferior status for non-Muslims under Islamic law OR be killed.
To force another human being to do something against their will, such as leaving their religion for Islam, is a brutal act of dictatorship and of total disrespect.
The religion of Islam does not understand MERCY. A report by Robert Spencer illustrates this so well in his article on www.jihadwatch.org / “President of the Islamic Forum of Canada and VP of Islamic Council of Imans of Canada justifies STONING SINNERS TO DEATH.” Note: the punishment of stoning applies in Islam to adulterers and homosexuals. (Oct 28/13)
Now CONTRAST THIS to how Jesus replied when the scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery. In John 8:1-11 Jesus said to those who wanted to stone the adulteress “He that is WITHOUT SIN among you first cast a stone at her.” They ALL dropped their stones and left. Then Jesus said to her “Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more.” (John8:11)
What a TOTAL CONTRAST there is towards sinners by Islam’s Sharia Law (NO MERCY) and the teachings of Jesus Christ followed by Christianity.
The religion of Islam IS FORCED on everyone under the threat of DEATH. With Christianity God respects our ‘freedom to choose’ Jesus Christ, His Son as our Lord and Saviour to get to Heaven OR to refuse His awesome gift of salvation and consequently go to Hell for eternity!
Jesus said in John 14:6: “Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me.”
We are ALL sinners, in need of a Saviour. “For all have sinned and do need the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
God warns us in 2 John 1:7: “For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a seducer and ANTI-CHRIST.”
The religion of Islam denies the ‘divinity’ of Jesus Christ. Their Koran teaches that Jesus Christ is a ‘prophet’ and not the Son of God as Christians believe. Their religion is ‘anti-Christ. Please pray for all Muslims that they may come into a personal relationship with God’s son, Jesus Christ who is a God of LOVE, not HATE as taught in the Koran.
Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim and author, states: “The word LOVE is never mentioned, not even once, in the Quran.” (Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying And Global Implications of Islamic Law. Pg 196)
NOTE: her book is a real eye opener as for the way WOMEN are treated under Islam.
I invite all Muslims to read the BIBLE and discover the God of the Christians, the God who respects the “free will” of every person, the God who is for Life, not Death, for Love, not hate, for Mercy, not Vengeance, and for Justice for one and all.
The God of the Christians teaches respect for the LIFE of EVERY HUMAN BEING from the ‘moment of conception till its natural death’.
“Thou shalt not kill.” Is one of God’s TEN COMMANDMENTS.
If the Imams quit preaching ‘Jihad’ today we would not have all the bloodshed and persecution of Christians and Jews all over the world. The Muslims need to encounter the true God, Jesus Christ and discover God’s MERCY and LOVE and JUSTICE.
In 1John 4:20 God tells us:”If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not? And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother.”
I ask all Christians to pray for the courage and wisdom to be a witness in the midst of the world today and to earnestly pray for the conversion of Muslims.
I began to wear my Cross and the Miraculous Medal around my neck three days after I turned 65. I suddenly realized:
“Hey! The better part of my life is already gone by! I must spread the Good News with a much deeper commitment than ever before while I still have life and time.” There are so many lost souls all around us heading towards Hell.
I am also grateful to my prayer partner, Rose Nadeau, whom many have called “that lady with the Cross” for being steadfast in wearing her wooden Cross AND the Miraculous Medal for well over thirty some years.
I truly believe that her “commitment” to wearing the Cross AND the Miraculous Medal and her example had a subtle and influential effect on me over those many years of “seeing” them.
The CROSS is ‘the’ symbol ‘par excellence’ of our faith as Christians. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem understood the significance and power of the CROSS extremely well. He stated:
“It is the sign of the faithful and the terror of the demons, for the Lord triumphed over them with this sign. SHOW IT FORTH BODLY, for SEEING THE CROSS they will remember the Crucifixion; they fear the one who crushed the head of the dragon.” ( The Sign of The Cross: Saint Francis de Sales, Sophia Institute Press, pg 81)
There is also the words of my precious mother which still echo in my heart and soul:
“Time is precious,
It gives us time to love,
Time to have God’s preciousness.”
By Leona Bruneau-Deschenes, Dec 26, 2005.
To read the entire poem “Time is Precious” go to www.striveforheavennow.ca / Time_is_Precious .
God’s preciousness is the ‘eternal life’ He offers us in Heaven, through His only Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
I invite you to go now to my website and read a Conference talk I gave on God’s Love at Saint Paul University in 2002, titled “Perfect Love”. It can be seen at www.striveforheavennow.ca /perfect love
In this talk you will understand the huge importance of putting everything else aside and give an answer to the question:
DO I KNOW JESUS CHRIST?
Then you will discover the PROMISE of all good things found in Jesus, which will benefit you immensely and immediately and for all eternity. They are God’s preciousness!
It is for this reason that I and all committed Christians put evangelism as the priority in our daily lives. It is a question of “saving souls’ , of presenting to them the love, the mercy and the justice of God. The ultimate, eternal choice is in their hands.
Getting back to my wearing of the Cross AND the Miraculous Medal. You may be asking yourself: Why does he also wear the Miraculous Medal?
To answer this important question I will refer to the life and writings of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. (cf: http://www.Marypages.com/KolbeEng.htm )
I recently finished reading an exceptional book titled: “Mary and The Holy Spirit” by Fr. H.M. Manteau-Bonamy,O.P. Fr Bonamy studies and explains St Maximilian’s lifelong interest in the MIRACULOUS MEDAL (cf: http://www.marypages.com/first1.htm ) and Our Lady’s statement to Bernadette Soubiroux in Lourdes, France. Mary said to Bernadette:
“I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION”
In the introduction of the book by Fr Manteau-Bonamy, we read: “It must be repeated over and over again that the entire life of Fr Kolbe was spent in the pursuit of a single goal: making Mary Immaculate known and loved so that all men might realize to the full what their Christian vocation implies.” (Pg xxx1)
Fr Kolbe would often say: “How little known Mary Immaculate still is!”
I understand Fr Kolbe’s passion to have “The Immaculata” known worldwide because he has understood the AWESOME TREASURE that the Virgin Mary is and the unlimited graces available to us Catholics, when we CONSECRATE ourselves to Mary.
Fr Kolbe also said: “We must neglect nothing so that the Immaculata may be even better known. Her RELATIONSHIPS with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with the Trinity as a whole, with Jesus, with the Angels and with US must be made clear…we have here an unlimited field for study.” And I will affirm Saint Maximilian:
“We must study the IMMACULATA and realize her unique and awesomely powerful “relationship” with God.” and especially with the ‘Holy Spirit. (Donald Andre Bruneau)
Saint Maximilian also states:
“Every GRACE given to us has passed through her hands. And all this must be proposed to souls so that they may be nourished with the Immaculata…so that they might RESEMBLE her as soon as possible, and BE CHANGED INTO HER. Then they will love Jesus with the Immaculata’s heart.” (Letter to Niepokalanow, Oct 30, 1935)
Fr Kolbe explained so well as to why we are to love Mary Immaculate and consecrate ourselves to her unreservedly.
He stated: “The Mother of God is a creature. It follows that all she is, she has from God. But she is God’s MOST PERFECT CREATURE. For this reason, the homage paid to her is, by the very nature of the case, paid to God himself. If we admire a statue, we honor the artist who created this masterpiece. If we honor Mary most holy, WE HONOR GOD. The more we pay homage to the divine perfections found in Mary, THE MORE PERFECT IS OUR HOMAGE TO GOD; this is perfectly in order, since God created her IN THE HIGHEST STATE OF PERFECTION.” (Conference, April 9, 1938)
Saint Maximilian goes on to explain why we should love and consecrate ourselves to Mary. He states: “Why do we love Mary Immaculate and consecrate ourselves to her unreservedly? Not because of what she is in herself, but because SHE IS WHOLLY GOD’S….We love her because we love God.”(Conference, April 4, 1938)
Personally I wear the ‘Miraculous Medal’ of which Saint Maximilian had such an appreciation for because it is truly MIRACULOUS and brings many GRACES both to the one who wears it and to the one who ‘sees’ it!
Wearing the Miraculous Medal is my witness to the world of my great devotion and love for Mary, the Mother of God, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the Immaculate Conception!
I humbly and prayerfully encourage you to pray Saint Maximilian’s PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATA. Pray it with the utmost sincerely and commitment. You will never be the same again. Once you TOTALLY GIVE your life over to the IMMACULATA she will form you into a SAINT! Like Saint Maximilian Kolbe she will fill and set your heart ON FIRE with the fire of GOD’S LOVE! You will then be a willing and committed Servant and WITNESS for Christ and for the building up of the Kingdom of God.
This is your ‘timely’ opportunity to turn to ‘Jesus and Mary’ and invite them into your life. It is not ‘by chance’ you are reading this precious message.
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATA
O, Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to Thee.
a repentant sinner, cast myself at Thy feet humbly imploring Thee to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to Thyself as Thy possession and property.
Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity whatever most pleases Thee. If it pleases Thee, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of Thee: “She will crush your head,” and, “Thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.”
Let me be a fit instrument in Thine Immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the Blessed Kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
For wherever Thou enters, one obtains the GRACE OF CONVERSION AND GROWTH IN HOLINESS, since it is through Thy hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise Thee, O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against Thy ennemies.