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