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An Excerpt from Rev. Aloysius Hong-Bin Changís book:

Oh, What an Amazing Love!

My reformed life as a priest

When I look back my life until now, which seems to have been long and, at the same time, short, I become certain that I am walking the way of priesthood thanks to the influence of women.  I was born of my mother, a woman, and was nourished with her milk.

When I was twelve years old, I was playing in the front yard of a parish church.  I suddenly noticed a woman wearing a black outfit and a white hat coming toward me and began running away because I was scared.  This woman followed me until I reached my home.  Later I realized that she was a Sister in the parish church.

I was born in a pagan family, but began going to church thanks to that Sister.  Soon I was baptized and began serving as an altar boy in the church.  Every morning I went to church one hour before the Mass began, waiting at the locked gate until someone unlocked it.  At that time, the boy who came to church first could serve as an altar boy.  My mother was not a Catholic yet, but woke me up early in the morning so that I could go to church earlier than others.  In high school, I even was elected president of the youth group in the diocese, but went to a secular college thinking that priesthood was reserved for very special people only.

One day I received a letter from a young lady who was a friend of mine, who said in her letter, ďI think Aloysius has a priestly vocation.Ē  I began thinking seriously about becoming a priest.  For one year I prayed and meditated about the priestly vocation.  I quit the secular college and entered the seminary.  After eight years in the seminary, I was invited to become an eternal priest and shepherd working for the Lord.  I realized that my life until I became a priest had not been led by my own ability or my own will but by the invitation from the Lord moment after moment.

After serving as a chaplain in the army, I worked as an associate pastor or a pastor in several parishes.  Twenty years passed like that.  It was August 1, 1987 when I first visited the Blessed Motherís House (the Chapel) in Naju at the suggestion of a Sister.

At that time, Mrs. Julia Hong-Sun Yoon had the weeping statue of the Blessed Mother at her Soogang Apartment in Naju.  I saw the peaceful and beautiful scene of many lay people praying quietly before the Blessed Motherís statue.  I joined them.  Afterwards, I forgot about the Blessed Mother of Naju because of my busy daily life.

After the Easter Sunday in April of 1989, I had an opportunity to travel to New York.  While staying with a Korean family in New York, I had a chance to watch a video.  It was about the Blessed Mother weeping tears and tears of blood in Naju.  I was deeply moved by the Korean Catholics in New York, thousands of miles away from their home country, trying to live faithfully according to the Blessed Motherís messages in Naju.  I even felt ashamed of my indifference.

I made a resolution that I would certainly visit Naju, listen to the messages, and meditate on them.  After I came back to Korea, I became too busy again.  I kept delaying the visit to Naju.  One day, a layman persuaded me to visit Naju.  Later, I realized that it was a call from the Blessed Mother.  On May 23, 1991, I visited Naju again. 

Since then, I visited Naju many times and witnessed the Blessed Motherís tears and fragrant oil.  I frequently smelled the fragrance of roses from the Blessed Mother.  I even witnessed the miraculous changes of the Eucharistic species into those of flesh and blood.

Why is the Blessed Mother shedding not only tears but also tears of blood?  And even shedding blood from her nose?  Why is she shedding tears of blood for priests?  Why is she showing the miracles of the Eucharist?  She is crying because of the uncontrolled abortions by which human dignity is destroyed, because of so many sons and daughters who have left the Church through their indifference and apostasy and are walking on the road of sins, wandering without any sense of direction, because of so many sacrilegious Confessions and Communions through which the Sacred Heart of Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament is insulted and attacked, because of the disappearing trust in God and love for God, because of the collapsing respect for human dignity, and because of the annihilation of love among people. 

I was deeply moved by reading the Blessed Motherís message for priests on August 11, 1985: ďNow, priests are like lights before wind.  They are being subjected to temptations.  Windows of the rectory are left open.  Through the open windows, three devils (of pride, greed and lust) are peeking in.  Close the windows of the rectories

Since that time, I began offering up what I had been attached to, one after another.  I gave up smoking, which I had liked so much.  I gave up golf, card games, and television (except news).  More important than these external renunciations were internal changes: turning my whole life into prayers and becoming a little person with simplicity like a child.  Namely, we need to live according to the words of Jesus:  ďThe greatest in Heaven is the one who lowers himself and becomes like a childĒ (Matthew 18:4). 

The current age is an age of distrust and disrespect.  Distrust has spread widely among people.  People even distrust and reject the words of God.  The mystery of the supernatural world is being despised and forgotten, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is being degraded to a superficial liturgy, and people simply do not understand its mystery.  Priests and lay people attend Mass without any preparation; the faithful hesitate to go to Confession even when they commit serious sins; even if they make the Confession, they do so without true contrition; and they receive Communion out of habit.

I myself am guilty of having offered superficial prayers, saying the Divine Office and celebrating the Mass out of habit, receiving Communion without fervor, and leading a life with hypocrisy.  Now, I am being spurred by the Blessed Motherís calling to reform my life.  I am even amazed at the changes in my life and am grateful for them.

For several years since then, I have visited the Blessed Motherís House in Naju many times and have carefully observed Julia and everything that has happened there.  I have realized that the Blessed Motherís messages there do not contradict the Church teachings but perfectly support the authentic teachings of the Church.  I wanted to give testimony to the authenticity of the Blessed Mother in Naju by writing this book. 

I have observed Julia willingly offering up her extreme pains in reparation for the sins of abortion; the pains in her ribs; the pains of the Five Wounds; the pains of being scourged and being crucified; the pains that the Korean martyrs had suffered; and many more, and am convinced that she can endure these pains because the Holy Spirit is with her and sustains her.  Can we also participate in the mystical sufferings of Julia, which she willingly suffers in order to participate in the sufferings of Jesus and the Blessed Mother?  Lastly, I would like to mention some of the fruit through the messages and signs from the Blessed Mother in Naju. 

The number of those who had abortions and stayed away from the Church but have returned to the Church, those who restored peace and love in their families, and those who are converting to Catholicism from other religions thanks to the graces through the Blessed Mother in Naju is countless.  Also, numerous people who had incurable illnesses and given up hope have experienced cures in Naju, which modern medicine simply cannot explain.  I am convinced that these are the fruits of the graces through the Blessed Mother.

While looking back at my past life as a priest, which was lazy and weak in faith, I feel a painful remorse and, at the same time, am eager to make known to my sheep Godís graces and the Blessed Motherís love which are leading us to the right way.

I wish to shout to those who are walking on the wrong path that the God of Love and  Mercy does not abandon any of them but is anxiously waiting for their return. 

I profess that what is written in my diary is true according to my faith and conscience before the Lord and the Blessed Mother.

 

April 8, 2002
Sunday celebrating the Annunciation
Pastor, Goheung Catholic Church
Rev. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang


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