Welcome to our e-Newsletter
Online Issue #22
In Memory of Penny
Penny Remembers a
Saint Clare's Last
Christmas on Earth
Saint Francis made a
Creche at Christmas
Saint Therese's Last
Christmas as a Child
God Brings us Love today...
in touch and stay connected with us:
fill out this form
- we never sell or share your info.
Bob and Penny Lord
From My Pew
Thanks for the
Family, many of you will recall the theme song of Bob Hope. He sang a
few chords from a song he had sung in one of his earlier movies. But it
had great meaning to Bob Hope and the people he sang to, especially the
troops overseas during his annual Christmas tours from 1944 to 1990.
Well, the view from my pew has been a little different this last year
and a half since Penny left me to go to Heaven. I’ve gone through our
writings and selected some personal stories which you may not have read
or heard before if you’re not familiar with all our writings. I tried
to find particular ones where Penny was the sole author because she was
such an inspired writer, and also because I love her very much. One,
which you will find interesting, is written by both of us from our
particular vantage point of the day we met, September 23, 1957, her
birthday. That was taken from our book, “The
Journey and the Dream”
She had such a vivid recollection of her childhood, especially of
holidays when she was young. One of them tells about how she remembers
Christmas in an Italian neighborhood, the sights and smells of the
holiday. She writes so beautifully, so descriptively. This one comes
from our book, “Miracles
of the Child Jesus”
These are just some of the memories I want to thank my precious girl
for, and also for you, who have traveled with us over the years through
our books, television programs and lecture series. You have been an
important part of our lives and ministry.
Memories never get old
At this most important time of the year, you might want to turn your
mental vision inward to the memories which have been important to you
over the years. Think back on the people who have made such a
difference in your lives. Most likely they would be family, spouses,
children, grandchildren and so on. Try to remember a Christmas that
meant so much to you and them. It may have been long ago, or it may
have been more recent.
Try to remember other important times in your lives. For those of you
who are married, dig deep into your soul to the day you married, or the
days leading up to your marriage. Think about the day you met, and the
bond that was created between you as a couple and as children of God
If you are a priest or a religious, think back to the day you fell in
love with Jesus, and Mother Mary, and when you decided to give your
lives to them. Bring back to memory the day of your ordination, or for
religious, the day of your final profession, where you made the lifetime
commitment to give up your lives to your spouse.
These times, these memories are treasures you and your loved ones have,
that no one else has. Hold on to them; cherish them. If your loved one
is still with you, reminisce those times in your lives that have meant
so much to you. If you are separated by death, get together
spiritually, perhaps at the end of the day, and relive these memories.
It’s the best Christmas gift you can give one another. They are truly
And if I may combine Mr. Hope’s sign off with ours,
“Thanks for the
memories…..We love you!”
Stay Tuned here this week
We are adding one article per day for next few days
Penny Remembers a
IMAGE LICENSED TO EWTN FOR PROMOTIONAL, TV, AND
EDITORIAL USE (Photo by Greg Tarczynski)
For those of you who do not know our story, Bob was born in the Bronx
and I in Brooklyn. We were city children who lived in a small town
called a neighborhood. Customs from different parts of the world filled
and permeated our little world. Often a neighborhood became like a
little country unto itself, as members of families and friends from the “old
country” moved close to
each other. My family was originally from Sicily, Italy, as were most
the people on our block.
Many of our neighbors did not even know the English language, so out of
necessity we were a multi-lingual society. But we were more like a big
family, our traditions making us one.
Christmas, like all holidays and Feast Days was a neighborhood thing, a
shared experience, what with doors open, the fragrance of sauce and
pizza filling the air, the freshly baked Italian cookies on a plate by
an open door for one to bring home to share with the family. We were all
poor, but I never felt poor. I always felt like a princess in wonderful
wonderland. Christmas in my life was filled with, you might say, two
days of gift giving and receiving. I opened gifts on the morning of Christmas and
again on the Feast of the Epiphany. My parents striving to be
American, adopted all the customs of their new land and gifts were
placed under the tree, Christmas Eve. But my grandmother, clinging to
the customs of her people, exchanged gifts on the Feast of the Epiphany.
Early in the evening, Christmas Eve, we were told we had to go to sleep
or Santa Claus would not stop at our apartment and bring us gifts. I
never questioned why the Santa who visited us, early in the evening,
looked different each year. I believed in Santa Claus and that was
enough for me. Now, one of my brothers, a sophisticated giant, who was
tall while I was petite, with six years on me, decided he would
burst my balloon and expose Santa Claus as a myth. Needless to say, this
brought about much wailing and torrents of tears in its wake. My mother,
who plainly adored him, gently challenged him, “Oh, you don’t
believe in Santa Claus. Well let’s see what he brings you!” Now,
although there was no question about my mother’s open affection and
preference toward her little boy, a lesson had to be given and brother
received coal in his stocking and nothing else. Needless to say, the
subject of Santa was never brought up again.
I never questioned why my Nana (grandmother) brought gifts on the
twelfth day of Christmas, the sixth day of January, rather than on
Christmas Day. No one told me about the Magi; they got shoved out of the
way by Christmas Trees and Santa Claus coming down the chimney bearing
gifts in his sack. Although in our cold-water flat, we had only a coal
stove in the kitchen to warm us in the daytime and a kerosene space
heater in the front room to provide heat in the bedrooms in the evening,
I never questioned which chimney he was going to climb down.
To those of us who grew up in the North, Christmas and snow were
synonymous. When I think about it now, how awesome and wonderful is our
Father, to place that Bundle of Joy in our midst amid the gloom of
winter. We speak of Spring as new beginnings and it is, especially with
the new hope of Easter. But the new beginnings began at Christmas with
the Baby Jesus. Our Hope was born into the world. Do you ever meditate
on why God chose to come as a Little Baby into the world? Why not a
grown Man? What was God trying to tell us? Was the Omnipotent God
showing us the way, through His Son Who is the Way, the Truth and the
Life, that the way to know eternal happiness is in becoming as innocent
and vulnerable as a little child fully dependent on the Father’s Will?
The Feast of the Child
It was not till I returned to Jesus and Mother Church that I learned
about the Magi and the reason my ancestors gave gifts during the Feast
of the Epiphany. They
were truly reliving the days of the first Christmas! It
was then that Bob and I began our long journey to understand the full
meaning of Christmas. As we got closer to understanding the Treasures of
our Church, Christmas became to us the Feast of the Christ Child, the
Babe born to die for our sins, the Feast of our Heavenly Mother who said
Yes and brought Our Little Savior into the world. The awe and wonder of
that much love alone brought a touch of sadness mixed with great joy. We
knew we were loved and we would never be alone again. This was a truth
no one could take away from us. Jesus chose to be born a Helpless Little
Child, He became One with us His creation in all things but sin. All for
us, for you and me.
The time between Christmas and Easter seems to fly faster and faster, as
we grow older. No sooner have the Christmas decorations been safely
stored away, than the days swiftly pass till Ash Wednesday begins our
forty days of Lent. I remember one year, at our parish, the children
enacted a Passion Play on Good Friday in our church hall. The curtain
opened up to the Crucifixion scene, which showed our little ten year old
grandson playing Jesus dying on the Cross. Our eyes, fixed on this
little boy, bleeding and wounded, were filled with tears.But it wasn’t
until our eyes followed a dim light off to the side - Mother Mary and
the newly born Infant Jesus - that the stark truth came to us that Our
Lord, the Baby Jesus began His walk to Calvary the night He was born. Or
was it the day Mother Mary said Yes to the Angel Gabriel and Incarnation
The gloomy, rainy days of Lent pass and the sun comes out on Easter
Sunday and with it new hope, new life and new beginnings. And if we are
not careful we soon forget the price paid for our new springtime, by the
One born in the cold of winter, the One Who would die on the Cross.
Those who plant harvests and flowers know that in order to have new
growth, a plant must die and produce a seed for life to go on. With our
change of climate, the cold and rainy weather changing to sunny and
balmy, we forget the One Who died that we might live.
And what has this to do with the Child Jesus and Christmas? If we
meditate on why He was born, and contemplate the price He paid, alone
having to witness His dear Mother’s suffering at the foot of the Cross,
we look at Christmas and we think of what the word means, Christ - Mass,
the same Mass that is the ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross, the
reenactment of the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Our Savior Jesus
We go full cycle. At the Annunciation, it all began and on the Cross it
was finished. At Christmas, a Baby was born, Who would be the God-Man
Who came to save the world, and at Easter we celebrate the hope He left
us that we too would rise - Christmas and Easter interwoven - the
ongoing circle of life eternal.
There is something about Christmas that changes men’s hearts, even for a
day. It is truly a time of Joy to the world and Peace to all mankind.
For a short time, out of our busy lives, we pause and think of others.
We take time to try to bring happiness into the world. During war time,
even battles cease during Christmas Day. Even those who do not believe
in Our Lord Jesus respect the solemnity of Christmas. Or is it that our
love and more importantly the Love of Our Savior somehow breaks through
the tough, hard shell the world has formed on our hearts, and we take
time to love, to care. And think of it, it is in the Form of a Baby that
such metanoia comes about.
Take Christ out of
Two strong anti-Christ movements have been insidiously polluting our
society and sadly at times our parish churches: One, Take
Christ off the Cross and Two, Remove the Crèche and the Baby
Jesus. Why has the enemy of God been so dedicated to removing these two
life-giving symbols? It is said that one of the reasons Lucifer said He
would not obey and took One third of the Angels with him, was that God
was going to become One of us, One with those He had created - a
Creature. And insults of all insults, he, Lucifer, top Angel, would have
to have as his Queen another creature - Mary. His pride could not handle
it and he left. But he was not satisfied with having taken one third of
the Angels with him, to spend an eternity in the nether world. He has
spent the rest of his time on earth trying to woo God’s beloved
creatures away from Him. One way: The proud one who would fill our
heads with Pride, would take away any reference to the Birth of our
Savior, remove any evidence of Jesus choosing to be born under humble
I still remember parking on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica
and walking past the living scenes of the Birth of Jesus, with live
animals keeping watch with Joseph and Mary. Here in a town not far from
downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, Christ was remembered, Crèche and
all. On every corner where there was a church, the Nativity scene was
there, more often than not, a living enactment. Families made elaborated
Nativity scenes on their front lawns. Then the enemy of God was able to
use a few (it’s always a few) to end this awesome tribute to the Child
Jesus. Now, it may be only where we now live. I don’t know what came
first, but it appears after September 11th and that disaster, that there
is barely a church or a home that does not have a Nativity scene on the
front lawn. Along with our American flag that had been at best put away
and worse burned, the Baby Jesus returned and became the Reason for the
Season! After September 11th, you could not see one home or car without
an American flag flying bravely for all to see. And so it was with the
Crèche and the Nativity Scene. God was back for all to see, as was our
love for our country.
The second movement Lucifer was hell-bent on eradicating was the
Price Jesus paid for sinful man, His weak creation - take Jesus off the
Cross. As we recall, Lucifer, right up to the last seven words Jesus
uttered, did all he could to get Jesus to come down off the Cross. Why
was this so important to him? He promised Jesus anything, he would do
anything if He would only come down off the Cross. Why? Lucifer
knew that the only way man could be redeemed was through the Cross. No
Cross, no suffering, the Gates of Heaven would not be opened and we
would be lost. Another reason Lucifer did not want Jesus to die on the
Cross is that this One Act showed man how very loved he was, how very
precious he was.
But man has forgotten how precious he is in the Eyes and Heart of Jesus.
In the lunacy of the topsy turvy world we live in, where one can barely
tell a man from a woman, at times; where often confusion reigns and sin
spreads like the lava of an exploding volcano, a battle rages between
God and Lucifer, all for our souls. That’s how very important we are to
God and His enemy. There is nothing as angry as a person who has lost
his soul. He will do anything to make you lose yours. He needs the
company; he doesn’t want to go to Hell alone.
We saw a movie the other evening, and at the end, the soldier died
because he wouldn’t allow someone to take the flag from him. His words
were: “No one can take the flag away from us; it is our flag.” And
with that he hoisted the flag on high, as bullets ripped through his
body. No one can take our flag from us. It is our flag, the red stripes
signifying passionately the price the generations have paid for that
flag and the right to fly that flag over our land. Likewise, no one can
take God away from us; He is our God. The Father sent His only Begotten
Son to the world as a tiny Baby. They can take our Nativity Scenes from
us; they can take Our Lord off the Cross; but they cannot take Him from
us. He dwells in the deepest caverns of our hearts, His Love permeating
our entire existence, crying out “I
Last Christmas on Earth
would like to share one of Clare’s experiences, which is recounted in
the Fioretti, the Little Flowers of St. Clare. It is the foundation for
the title she was given, Patron
Saint of the Airwaves. It took place on Christmas Eve,
1252, the year before she died.
Clare was too ill to go to Midnight Mass services with her Sisters. She
was too feeble to get out of bed. She lay there, her heart breaking as
she was to be deprived of our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist on this
special night. Her thoughts brought her back to the time in Greccio,
when Francis made the first Nativity Scene, after which all Nativity
scenes in the future would be fashioned. Christmas had always been a
joyous time for both Clare and Francis. She missed not having him with
her on earth, but especially at this, so important a time.
She looked about the bare room that served as the sleeping quarters for
the Sisters. Suddenly, there was a great light in the room. She could
hear the sounds of Christmas hymns being sung at the great Basilica of
St. Francis in Assisi. She felt herself being lifted out of her bed.
The cool breeze of the December night brushed across her face; she was
transported to the church amidst what sounded to her like the voices of
angels. She could smell the sweet fragrance of burning candles, and
altar incense. She was taking part in the Midnight Mass at the
Then she was whisked off to the east, to the Bethlehem of 1200 years
before. She was brought down to the cave where the Infant Jesus was
born. St. Joseph and Mary were there, in the company of the animals
whose cave the Holy Family shared. Our Lord Jesus came to her as a
grown man, and placed the Sacred Host in her mouth.
Then she was transported back to the convent of San Damiano in Assisi.
When her daughters in Christ came back upstairs from the Church, their
joy was overshadowed by the great sorrow they felt because their Mother
had missed the beautiful service. She smiled weakly. Her face was
flushed, but not from the illness. She told them of her experience, and
how the Lord Himself had given her Communion. They sat by her bed
listening and smiling. As they all fell off into a peaceful Christmas
slumber, the soft, distant sound of angels singing Gloria in Excelsis
Deo could be heard.
More information about Saint Clare of Assisi
St. Francis made a
Crèche at Christmas
Family, the traditional Nativity Scene put up with great joy in
anticipation of the coming of the Savior is something we do, but we
don’t really think about where it came from. We want to tell you the
story of St. Francis of Assisi at Greccio one Christmas eve in 1223. We
are quoting from Celano’s First Life of St. Francis, as put forth in the
Omnibus of Sources.
“Francis’ highest intention, his chief desire, his uppermost purpose was
to observe the Holy Gospel in all things and, with perfect vigilance,
with all zeal, with all the longing of his mind and his heart, ‘to
follow the teaching and footsteps of Our Lord Jesus Christ.’ He would
recall Christ’s words through persistent meditation and bring to mind
his deeds through the most penetrating consideration. The humility of
the Incarnation and the charity of the Passion occupied his memory
particularly, to the extent that he wanted to think of hardly anything
What he did on the birthday of Our Lord Jesus Christ near the little
town called Greccio in the third year before his glorious death should
especially be noted and recalled with reverent memory. In that place
there was a certain man by the name of John, of good reputation and an
even better life, whom blessed Francis loved with a special love, for in
the place where he lived he held a noble and honorable position in as
much as he had trampled upon the nobility of his birth and pursued
nobility of soul.
Blessed Francis sent for this man, as he often did, about fifteen days
before the birth of the Lord, and he said to him: ‘If you want us to
celebrate the present feast of Our Lord at Greccio, go with haste and
diligently prepare what I tell you. For I wish to do something that
will recall to memory the little Child who was born in Bethlehem and set
before our bodily eyes in some way the inconveniences of His infant
needs, how He lay in a manger, how with an ox and an ass standing by, He
lay upon the hay where He had been placed.’ When the good and faithful
man heard these things, he ran with haste and prepared in that place all
the things the saint had told him.
But the day of joy drew near, the time of great rejoicing came. The
brothers were called from their various places. Men and women of that
neighborhood prepared with glad hearts, according to their means,
candles and torches to light up that night that was lighted up all the
days and years with its gleaming star. At length the Saint of God came,
and finding all things prepared, he
saw it and was glad. The
manger was prepared, the hay had been brought, and the ox and ass were
led in. There simplicity was honored, poverty was exalted, humility was
commended, and Greccio was made, as it were, a new Bethlehem. The night
was lighted up like the day, and it delighted men and beasts. The
people came and were filled with new joy over the new mystery. The
woods rang with the voices of the crowd and the rocks made answer to
their jubilation. The brothers sang, paying their debt of praise to the
Lord, and the whole night resounded with their rejoicing. The Saint of
God stood before the manger, uttering sighs, overcome with live, and
filled with a wonderful happiness. The solemnities of the Mass were
celebrated over the manger and the priest experienced a new consolation.
The Saint of God was clothed with the vestments of the deacon, for he
was a deacon, and he sang the holy Gospel in a sonorous voice. And his
voice was a strong voice, a sweet voice, a clear voice, inviting all to
the highest rewards. Then he preached to the people standing about, and
he spoke charming words concerning the nativity of the poor King and the
little town of Bethlehem. Frequently too, when he wished to call Christ Jesus,
he would call him simply the Child
of Bethlehem, aglow with overflowing love for Him; and speaking the
word Bethlehem, his
voice was more like the bleating of a sheep. His mouth was filled more
with sweet affection that with words. Besides, when he spoke the name Child
of Bethlehem, or Jesus,
his tongue licked his lips, as it were, relishing and savoring with
pleased plate the sweetness of the words.
The gifts of the Almighty were multiplied there, and a wonderful vision
was seen by a certain virtuous man. For he saw a little child lying in
the manger lifeless, and he saw the holy man of God go up to it and
rouse the child as from a deep sleep. This vision was not unfitting,
for the Child Jesus had been forgotten in the hearts of many; but by the
working of His grace, He was brought to life again through His servant
St. Francis and stamped upon their fervent memory. At length the solemn
night celebration was brought to a close, and each one returned to his
home with holy joy.
The hay that had been placed in the manger was kept, so that the Lord
might save the beasts of burden and other animals through it as He
multiplied His Holy Mercy. And in truth it so happened that many
animals throughout the surrounding region that had various illnesses
were freed from their illnesses after eating of this hay. Indeed, even
women laboring for a long time in a difficult birth, were delivered
safely when some of this hay was placed upon them; and a large number of
persons of both sexes of that place, suffering from various illnesses,
obtained the health they sought. Later, the place on which the manger
had stood was made sacred by a Temple of the Lord, and an altar was
built in honor of the most blessed Father Francis over the manger and a
church was built, so that where once the animals had eaten the hay,
there in the future men would eat unto health of soul and body the flesh
of the Lamb without blemish and without spot, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who
in highest and ineffable love gave Himself to us, who lives and reigns
with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, eternally glorious, forever
and ever. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia.” Omnibus
of Sources – First Life Celano
Family, I think we have lost a great deal of the reverence and love that
was exhibited first by St. Francis in Greccio that Christmas Eve, and
then magnified by the presence of Jesus in the form of the living baby,
as testified by John of Greccio. Miracles abounded after that night
when anyone touched the hay of the Holy Manger. Just a little hay from
the Manger would bring about cures, help with difficult pregnancies, and
heal hearts and souls. But the real miracle was the love which poured
out from the people in the neighborhood of Greccio, where there had been
no love before, and“overcome with love, and filled with a wonderful
How would you like to have that experience this Christmas Eve? Do what
St. Francis did. Set up a Crèche in your home, a Nativity Scene if you
will. Put it in your front window, where people outside can see it.
Make it a Christmas Eve celebration. Get your neighbors to take part in
your Christmas Eve celebration. Keep the image of the Baby Jesus out of
it until after midnight on that Holy Night. Sing hymns to the Newborn
Child, the Savior of Israel, the Savior of the world. We need a Savior,
brothers and sisters. The world is moving in a tailspin, not in a good
direction. We need a Hero who will stop the downward momentum and bring
us up from the black hole we are descending into, and save us from a
world without God. You can do it. Just call on Him. Call on Our Lady,
the Angels and the Saints, especially St. Francis. Have a Blessed
Christmas. We love you!
More about Saint Franis click here
St. Thèrése’s Last Christmas as a Child
December the twenty-fifth, 1886…
I was given the grace to leave my childhood’s days behind…”
“…God had to perform a miracle on a small scale to make me group up’
grow up all in a moment. And the occasion He chose for it was
Christmas, that night of illumination which somehow lights up for us the
inner life of the Blessed Trinity. Our Lord, newly born, turned this
darkness of mine into a flood of light; born to share my human
weakness. He brought me the strength and courage I needed. He armed me
so well, that holy night that I never looked back.”
St. Thèrése, the Little Flower, God’s bundle of love and energy and joy,
had to go through her dark night of the soul at a very early age, four
to be exact. Her mother, whom she loved dearly, and who was so close to
her, died after a long illness.
Almost immediately, the loving, outgoing, beautiful child became
introverted, frightened, closed from the whole world except her family.
She spent the next nine years in deep depression. The slightest look,
or cross word, could send her running off to her room, in tears. She
feared being separated from her family. She was traumatized by going to
school at the local Benedictine Convent in Lisieux. She refused to grow
“Yes, it was on December the twenty-fifth, 1886, that I was given
the grace to leave my childhood days behind; call it, if you will the
grace to complete conversion. We’d just got back from Midnight Mass, in
which Our Lord had come to me with all His strength and vigor. On such
occasions, there was a treat in store for me at Les Buissonnets (Thèrése’s
home). I would go off to find my Christmas boot (Lace or button boots
which were set out in a row in front of the empty grate and filled by
the parents with sweets made in a variety of shapes – pipes, mice, pigs,
etc.) in the chimney corner; we’d loved this so much in our childhood
that Celine went on treating me as if I were a baby, being the
youngest. Papa was always so fond of seeing my happiness, and listening
to my cries of delight as the magic boot revealed, one after another, my
surprise presents, and part of my enjoyment was the pleasure he took in
it. But this time, Our Lord meant to show me that I ought to be getting
rid of my childish defects; so this innocent joy was denied me and he
allowed Papa to be the means of my disappointment. He, Papa, was tired
after the Midnight Mass, and the sight of my boots in the chimney corner
annoyed him. Imagine my distress when I overheard him saying: ‘Well,
thank goodness it’s the last year this is going to happen!’
“Our Lord meant to
show me that I ought to be getting rid of my childish defects.”
I was going upstairs at the moment, to take off my hat. Celine, who
know how touchy I was, saw my eyes shining with tears, and was ready to
cry herself; in her loving sympathy, she knew exactly what I was
feeling. ‘Oh Thèrése,
don’t go down just yet; it’ll only make you miserable looking inside
your boots now!’ But
she didn’t know the Thèrése she was dealing with; Our Lord had changed
me into a different person. I dried my tears and went down at once; my
heart was beating fast, but I managed to get hold of my boots and put
them down in front of Papa, and as I took out my presents you would have
thought that I was as happy as a queen. Papa smiled, his good humor
restored, and Celine
thought she must be dreaming. But no, it was a sublime reality; little
Thèrése had recovered the strength of mind which she’d lost at four and
half, and recovered it for good.”
Thèrése was a suffering servant of Jesus all her life. She was not
aware of it while she was experiencing it, but He was preparing her for
the Kingdom, and for the work He would have her do, from her very
Her mother died when she was four years old. Thèrése didn’t want to
give her mother up. The Lord asked her for self-abandonment from the
very beginning. Thèrése began to develop her “Little Way” from that
early age. But it wasn’t until that Christmas of 1886, in that one
instant, that she realized Jesus was asking her to give up her mother
and her childhood together. None of her family, with possible exception
of Celine, had any idea what a high place she had reached with that one
act of self-abandonment. No one was aware, not even she, that this
would give her the courage she would need to go back down into the
valley, and accept all the valleys in her life.
“If you would be perfect…”
There’s a strong message in this, which comes across loud and clear.
The Lord had a reason for asking this act of abandonment from Thèrése.
And Thèrése said “Yes” to the Lord. The reason was most likely us, you
and me. The walk towards Jesus is full of boulders to climb, big
obstacles which we have to overcome. Strangely enough, these are the
easiest to surmount. It’s after we’ve given up the obvious things that
Jesus wants, that we find ourselves walking on small rocks and pebbles,
twisting our ankles as we go along. It becomes the small things, which
we never thought of as being obstacles to our relationship with Jesus.
It becomes attitudes, prejudices, and judgments that Jesus asks us to
give Him. These little things are sometimes the most difficult to turn
over to Him. “If you
would be perfect…”
Thèrése fought her natural instincts all her life to walk the road to
perfection. She invites us to do the same. We never really get there,
until we meet Jesus in the Kingdom. But the Journey is what He asks
from us. Thèrése gave these two important things, her mother and her
childhood, to Jesus as a Christmas present.
Do you have a Christmas
present to giveJesus this year for His Birthday?
More about Saint Therese http://www.bobandpennylord.com/St_Therese_of_Lisieux.htm
God brings us a today
to love.... _
God brings us a today
a yesterday to remember,
a tomorrow to count on
When Bob and I met, who would have thought God would use us to
spread the Good News that He is alive and He is in our Church, and in
our lives. I only knew I liked Bob; I trusted him. He was not like the
other young men in our school. He respected women. The other male
students frightened me. He was different; he was polite, considerate
and protective; he was honorable. When other young men in the school
spoke ill about a girl, he would always defend her. He never gossiped
about anyone. He always saw the good in everyone. At times, to my
frustration, when I judged some took advantage of his generosity and
ongoing Yes, he would gently answer my objections with a smile.
I always saw greatness in Bob. From the day I met him, I knew
that God had something special for him to do. I would say, quoting
Shakespeare, "Thou hast great Glamis that which would make thee
great, if thou wouldst be great." What it was, I did not know. I
just had a feeling!
For Penny and me, there is no doubt in our minds, hearts, or
souls that the events of Monday, September 23, 1957 were definitely
orchestrated by Our Lord Jesus, Our Lady and all the Angels and Saints.
A new class session had just begun in school. We can envision a grand
meeting in Heaven, in which it was determined that these two children
(us) had work to do for the Lord, and it would not begin until they met
and married. And with that goal in mind, a Heavenly contingency
descended slowly to the earth, with Angels carrying our Lady on a cloud,
singing songs of praise to God. O.K., that's my vision!
On earth, we were positioning ourselves for the execution of
the Heavenly plan, although we didn't know it. We were busy
familiarizing ourselves to a new school year, and new people, whom we
had not met the school year before. I had never met Penny. I only knew
her by sight, or rather, from a distance, from where I looked at her the
previous semester. She was breathtakingly beautiful, lively and
buoyant, truly a product of Heaven. In my mind, she was definitely a
creation of the Master Artist, God. We had never been introduced, and I
was kind of shy. She was shy, too, but covered it up by appearing
standoffish and antisocial.
We were just getting used to being back at school. For me, it
took a certain amount of discipline, after having been off all summer
from school. I worked nights at United Press International, down on
35th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. As I got home from work at
6:30 in the morning, and my school hours were not till the afternoon, I
was sure, I would be able to get a few hours’ sleep in the morning. It
should have worked out all right. The only problem was, I never wanted
to, because there was too much activity going on. But after being back
to school for two weeks and being exhausted from burning the all-night
oil, I vowed that this night, Monday night, September 23, 1957, I was
going to sleep after dinner, and not get up until absolutely necessary.
Besides, that night, I had to be particularly alert, as I had
to go to the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, to cover a prize fight between
Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson. That was my agenda, not our
Heavenly Family's agenda. My roommates told me they were going to give
a birthday party for one of the girls they knew, who was away from
home. Oh man, I thought, there goes my sleep time. But I had vowed
discipline, and I was going to sleep. To be honest, if I didn't get
some sleep, I was going to die. So I buried myself in the bedroom and
tried to block out the noise of the party going on in the next room.
Penny arrived. She was outside in the living room with all
the guests making a big fuss over her. She later confided that, as she
missed her family, she was just looking for an excuse to make a quick
getaway, back to the Barbizon Plaza, which was a women's residence in
It was very difficult. The Angels had to get me out of the
bedroom into the living room in order to meet Penny. I was exhausted.
To me, the people out there had no consideration for anyone. They just
wouldn't let me sleep. Finally, I gave into the plan from Heaven. If I
couldn't sleep, I thought, I might as well join them, but I was not
going to be happy, and I certainly wouldn't be friendly.
It was as if Choirs of Angels raised their voices in praise of
God, as I opened the door to the living room. Among the crowd of people
there, who should I see across the room but the girl I had been admiring
for so long, from a distance, (actually ogling) my Penny. She was
so-o-o-o beautiful. Then I realized, it was her birthday!
I had to meet her, but I had to be cool. I would also have to be nice.
So I put on my best James Dean look, tousled hair, frown and squinty
eyes. For those of you who were not on the earth yet, ask your parents
about James Dean. It wasn't really difficult to put on this posture, as
my hair was messed up, from having just gotten up from bed, my eyes were
slits because I had been in the dark, and now was blinded by the light.
So it didn't take a whole of lot of creativity to do my James Dean
Now, here's where I believe the Heavenly Family came in.
Penny was on one side of the room, surrounded by all the young men in
the room, actually encircled by them. I'm sure some of it had to do
with the fact that it was her birthday and it was her party, and also
because she was a knockout. But the moment I came out the door, the
Angels cleared a path between her and me. The closest I can think of
was the parting of the red sea, only in this case, it was the parting of
wall-to-wall people. Our eyes met. It reminded me of when St.
Bernadette's eyes met Our Lady's for the first time in the grotto of
We sat down at the kitchen table, and began talking. I have
no idea what we talked about, but we talked for hours, lost in each
other's gaze. It seemed like we were both in a state of hypnosis, but
it was more like Heavenly bliss. At the beginning, people may have
tried to break in, like when they wanted Penny to blow out the candles
on her cake, but the Angels blocked us from them with their wings, and
after a while, they knew they couldn't get between us and they just left
us alone. It was like we were not there. We were shielded by the
I had been excited about the prospect of covering the prize
fight at Yankee Stadium, but now, I hated the clock ticking away,
getting ready to separate us. This was a mystical, magical moment. I
didn't want it to end. She did not want it to end. But the clock
struck seven. I had to get to the Yankee Stadium. I felt like
Cinderella at the stroke of midnight. I was furious because I had to
leave; I was so much in love.
At the Yankee Stadium, I met Ernest Hemingway, who was sitting
ring-side and asked him to autograph one of his books, I just happened
to be reading. Now, not even the boldest bettor would give
a-thousand-to-one odds that something like that would happen. As I was
an ardent fan of his, you would think this would be the highlight of the
night. But the experience dims obscurely in the brilliant light of
having met the love of my life, my future wife and soul-mate, my Penny.
After having gone through my usual grueling routine, working
all night, getting home at about 7 in the morning, I looked forward to
getting some much needed sleep; but because my roommates were just
getting up and, and as I said before, they had absolutely no
consideration for me or my need to sleep, this was not about to happen.
However I managed to fit in a few hours of sleep; then got up, shaved,
showered and left the apartment in search of the girl I loved.
I started that next day convinced that the meeting with Penny
had to have been orchestrated by the Heavenly Family, and I still
believe that to be true. Everything that happened that evening was so
perfect. It could not have been of man.
But then proof of that came crashing down on me the next day.
I knew I would have a chance to run into her; we were in the same class.
We would rekindle the flame, lit the night before. I hurriedly walked
to the coffee shop near the school, in hopes of finding her there. I
knew she always spent time there with her friends. But she was not
there! I walked quickly towards the school and found her, standing off
by herself, looking at a notebook, as if to remember an appointment. I
rushed up to her, and I gave her a big hello.
She looked right through me as if I didn't exist. I reminded
her that we had met the night before at her birthday party. She didn't
seem to know what I was talking about. Bottom line, she had forgotten
completely our evening together. The most important day in my life, and
she forgot it the next day!
Needless to say, I was crushed! I had also aroused my Irish
temper. In my mind and heart, I called her every terrible name in the
book. But I never said a word to her directly. I vowed I would never
speak to her again, even if she were in danger of death and it would
take my being nice to her to save her life. I was really hurt. But
now, over 50 years later, I realize it was just the enemy trying
desperately to keep us apart. God had put us together, and we would be
together for the rest of our lives. Satan had to try to pry us apart.
It didn't take much time for me to back down on my firm
commitment never to speak to her again. She was so pretty. It also
didn't take long before she remembered that she did know me, she had met
me, and she did like me. Little by little, our love bloomed. We had
the most romantic courtship the world has ever known. We did little
things together, which young couples should always be allowed to do. We
walked through Central Park together hand in hand. It is a perfect
place for young lovers, or at least it was in 1957-58. We sat on the
grass and studied there. We talked about our lives and our dreams. We
went to the movies together, and shared dutch-treat Italian dinners
(cost 35› each). Every day, after school, we would walk down to a fruit
and vegetable store on 8th Avenue and 51st Street, where I would buy
Penny one golden apple. She loved golden apples. Somewhere down
through the years, we stopped the practice of golden apples, until we
began to write this book. Then I remembered buying Penny the golden
apples, and we started to buy them again. They are the most delicious
The best birthday gift I ever received - the day I met Bob
I was away at school. My first marriage had ended long before
our divorce. I came from a family who believed (and rightly so) that
marriage is forever. But there came a day, when even my dear mother
would tell me it was time to make a life for myself and the children.
There was nothing left of the 17 year old girl and the 20 year old boy
who met and got married after knowing each other three short weeks. The
differences became, over the years, unsurmountable. But that is another
Mama suggested I return to school and seek a career; she
offered to take care of the children. I reluctantly started to scan the
newspapers and magazines, trying to choose where I would go, and as God
would have it, I ended up in New York City, going to school in the
daytime and returning home at night. At the beginning, I could be home
before the children returned from school. But after the first year, as
I had to travel fifty-seven miles on not the best of roads, and then to
compound the situation, in the second semester I had classes in the
morning and the afternoon, it became impossible to go home, except on
A day to remember!
It was September 23, 1957, and my birthday. Some of the
students decided to give me a surprise party at one of their
apartments. Whatever this party was trying to accomplish, it missed its
mark. While everyone else was dancing and having a great time, I was
sad and downcast. It was my birthday; I was away from home, from my
children and parents, and I was homesick! Little did I know that I
would meet the one who would become the most important person in my
life, that night.
Then the bedroom door opened and although I did not know it at
the time, so did my life. Out walked a tall, slim young man dressed in
a black shirt and black jeans, his hair tousled from sleep, and not very
happy to have been awakened by music blaring, and voices trying to top
the noise. I remember his eyes were barely slits. Never able to stay
angry for long, his annoyance soon turned to friendship and warm
congeniality. He came over to me and the next thing I knew we were
sitting in the little kitchenette off to the side and I do not know how,
but we were talking!
Sadly, as I was still too wounded and not very trusting, the
next day came, and I had blocked him out of my thoughts and, I thought,
my life. I was not like the other girls; I was older; I was not there
to meet someone, but to learn a career and a way to support my
children. So the next day, when Bob saw me, and said hello, I looked at
him as if I had never met him. It wasn't a game; I had psychologically
blocked out any possibility of friendship with someone of the opposite
sex. I just wanted to be about the reason I came, in the first place.
I was also very wary, because there were all kinds of little games being
played, to entice me to go out with some of the young men of the school.
Bob and I were thrown together in the same class. When we had
a small break between classes, Bob would ask another girl and myself out
for a cup of coffee (or as I was a tea drinker, a cup of tea). I
thought it was she he liked, as she was Irish, like him, and was part of
the same clique who socialized together on the weekends, when I went
home. I thought he was asking me to go along, because he was too shy to
ask her alone; and he didn't want her to know he was serious about her,
in case she did not share his feelings. You can see, even in those
days, I was writing scripts.
Then, I got sick and was out for a few days. The phone rang
at least two or three times a day, and it was Bob asking how I was. My
parents began inquiring about the young man who kept calling. When I
said "He is my best friend," little did I realize how true this was, and
that this truth would become a reality. What I didn't add was, "I
really cannot think about a tomorrow without him in my life."
Understanding, more than I, how deeply I felt about Bob, my father
turned to my mother, "Oh, oh Mama, it is the old best friend routine."
Bob was different! Now that I think of it, he has always been
a little like my father. Bob would give me little gifts, like stop at
the fruit market a couple of blocks from our school, each night after
class, and buy me the largest golden yellow apple, he could find. Then
carefully scanning it to make sure it was perfect, without blemish, my
knight would hand it to me, like it was a precious jewel. And to me, it
The time came when poor
Bob had to meet the family!
So many memories, such sweet memories. I remember when the
time came for Bob to pass muster and meet the family! Within a short
time, Bob had won my parents' hearts; but now it was time for my
brothers' approval. It was Thanksgiving. By this time, I was out of
school, I had an apartment in New York with my children going to
Catholic School in Manhattan. It was a tiny apartment with an even
tinier kitchenette. But nevertheless I cooked a great big turkey with
all the fixings. As cabinet space was at a minimum, I had to get on a
step-stool to reach platters on the top shelf. Bob, seeing me, ran over
and insisted on getting the dishes. And to my sisters-in-law's horror,
that was not all; he was taking the bird out of the oven! One of them
spoke up, "In this family
men do not do women's work."
Now first of all, I don't know where she got that idea; my
father and mother never played man and woman roles; but instead, always
partners in all they did, shared in whatever tasks came their way. To
my delight and their amazement, this dear young man, who desperately
wanted to be accepted, stood up to the women and said, "In
our family this is the way it is going to be. Penny is too delicate and
I don't want her to hurt herself." Needless to say, that won him a
great deal of "brownie points"_ with my father and mother.
My father had only one deep concern. He called Bob over to my
closet and showed him my wardrobe. The spoiled youngest child and a
girl at that, my parents had given me every advantage and then some. He
pointed to my shoes. "She pays more for one pair of shoes than you make
in one week." And turning to me he said, "You know you can only wear a
Fenton shoe."_ I protested I could do without the shoes and all the
luxuries, as long as I had Bob. And Bob said, "I promise she will never
want for anything. I will take care of her the rest of my life." And
he has! When we could not afford the clothes I was used to, I did not
desire new clothes; nothing appealed to me. I had everything! I had
Bob and my two children and life was wonderful!
We had the most delightful, up and down, courtship of fifteen
months, we believe the world has ever known. We went from being good
friends, to boy friend and girl friend. We were kids together,
experiencing life with all its glory. Then the time came, when we
wanted to get married. But there was a problem: Penny was a divorced
woman. She had two children, who loved me; her mother and father loved
me; and I loved them all. But we were both Roman Catholics, and the
Church would not allow divorced people to marry in the Church. So the
dilemma was what to do about our love for each other.
Penny was the best Catholic I had ever met. Granted, she knew
very little about our Faith, as opposed to me, who knew whatever you
learn in Catholic Grammar School, High School, and two years of Catholic
college. But she loved Jesus and everything that had to do with being
in the Catholic Church, while I, on the other hand, had embraced the
world, and walked far away from the Church.
We sat before a chubby
Priest in the Fall of 1958
This was my frame of mind when Penny and I sat before a chubby
priest in northern New Jersey, in December of 1958. We were going to be
married and that was all there was to it. At her request, we went to
talk to the Catholic priest about being married in the Church. I knew
there was no way. Her first marriage had been blessed in the Church,
some 10 years after she had been married civilly, in an effort to save
her marriage. This priest had performed the marriage himself. As far
as he was concerned, he had dotted all his i's and crossed all his t's.
He was not about to tell us it could be annulled. The Church didn't do
things like that, especially not in 1958.
I tried to appear calm, cordial, and respectful, while inside
I was nervous and upset. I had convinced myself, we weren't doing
anything wrong, and this whole interview was so much nonsense. My
cordiality went out the window, when the priest told us we would be
living in sin. I had all to do to keep from exploding. There were many
thoughts, which rang through my mind. Instead, I told him what Penny's
and the children's lives had been like, not being able to practice their
religion openly, being Catacomb Catholics. I went on that the marriage
should never have been blessed in the Church, in the first place. He
knew Penny's first husband better than I; it had been clear to me that
he never had any intention of fulfilling a Catholic marriage contract.
It should have been obvious to him, as well.
I went on, how could this priest possibly say, in all good
conscience, that by being married to me, where she and the children
could practice their religion without any hindrance, we'd be living in
sin; while being married to her first husband, where religion was a
constant obstacle, an irritant and cause for major arguments, was not.
The priest told me it would be next to impossible to prove that her
first husband had no intention of living up to the marriage contract he
had made when they were married in the Church. But I wasn't listening.
I was on a soapbox.
I accused this priest, and the whole Catholic Church of
condemning Penny and the children to a life of misery. I ended my
tirade with "If that's the stand the Catholic Church wants to take, then
we don't want any part of it. We don't need the Catholic Church to
worship God. We don't need any Church."
How foolish are the young. How prone we are to make brash
statements that we can't ever expect to live with. That day, in front
of that priest, I truly believe that Jesus, Mary, all my friends, the
Angels and Saints, were there, rooting for me, praying I wouldn't make a
fool of myself. How they must have wept when I turned my back on them.
I know for myself, no sooner had the words slipped out of my stubborn
mouth, than I wished I had never said them. Tears welled up in my eyes;
my tongue became thick. I couldn't talk. I told Penny I always got
this way when I became angry. But truly, I was sorry for my big mouth.
I wanted to cry. In my mind's eye, I could see my Heavenly Family, so
sad, but mostly, my best friend Mary. I had betrayed her so cruelly.
Could she ever forgive me?
Penny and I loved each other. Our love was good; my anger
with the priest was that he seemed to be making it into something ugly,
and it was not ugly; it was beautiful. We wouldn't let anything or
anyone stand in our way. Love would conquer all. The one thing we did
not accept, or believe we had to accept, above all else was Obedience.
Order both our books on
Miracles of the Eucharist for
Normal Retail Book I = $14.00
Book II = $17.00
Total = $31.00
Shipping will be $5.41 - Normal $6.00
Total Savings $5.00 or 22%
Book I Miracles
of the Eucharist
plus Book II Miracles of the Eucharist
click icon below
Miracles of the Eucharist Books I and II
+ Special Documentary on Miracles of the Eucharist - DVD
All three for $42.95
Booklet $6.00 44 pages Does
not Include shipping
Miracles of the Eucharist
Miracles of the Child
Miracles of the Cross
Catholic Books Media
Select from Pull down then click on GO
Click the yellow GO
Click the yellow GO
Family, Pope Benedict XVI has pleaded with us
to do whatever we can to insure that the
He is asking us to spread the
Christian Culture in our case, the Catholic Culture far and
This being the season of giving, is a perfect
opportunity to follow the mandate the Pope is giving us.
As a part of this, he has asked us, the Mystical Body of
Christ, these last two years, to get to know the
Saints. The Catholic Saints are our ancestors, our
brothers and sisters who have gone before us, and have
passed the test of time.
The Catholic Saints are Role
Models. We have received many requests from
non-Catholic Christians for books and videos on the Saints
because they are much-needed Role Models for their children.
Their comments were Thank God for real role models.
Our children have no role models, other than what comes out
of MTV and Hollywood.
We have been able to do what we
do because of your support. The way for us to continue
bringing you Role Models, the Saints, is by giving our books
and videos for Christmas. In order for us to continue
to add to the long roster of Saints and Apparitions of Our
Lady, and Miracles of the Eucharist, we need you to
evangelize with us by giving our books and DVDs to your
friends and family for Christmas.
We have tried to
give you some
specials in the form of discounts and free books for this
Please take advantage of this opportunity.
Listen to our Pope and spread the Christian Culture.
Together, we can change the world. We love you
Bob and Penny
of Super Saints