Our next mailing will be Our Lady's March 18 annual message to Mirjana.
Steve and Ana Shawl
The Medjugorje Web
WITH PRAYER AND RENUNCIATION TOWARDS HOLINESS
"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call you anew to prayer and renunciation. May your day be interwoven with little ardent prayers for all those who have not come to know God's love. Thank you for having responded to my call." Message of February 25, 2008
Throughout almost 27 years of Our Lady's apparitions, we have been the witnesses of her care for us, just as a true mother cares for her children. She finds each and everyone of us important. No one is excluded from her plan. She wants to bring all of us to her son Jesus Christ.
In her tonight's message, Our Lady draws our attention to the dedication so characteristic of the time of Lent we are living right now. During Lent God gives us another chance to become better people, to start to change. We should be concrete as prayer is the encounter of a true and concrete man with the true and concrete God. We are asked to become better as people in all areas of our lives. Our Lady provides us with the means that will help us in our fight – by prayer and renunciation.
Jesus is our first teacher of prayer. When asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray, he taught them to pray Our Father. It is a prayer that must not turn into a mere pronunciation or repetition of words. It must be a true address to the Father for his kingdom to come. In the Father we have everything. The only thing we have to do is to listen attentively to what He says to us in prayer. Everything else will be just added to that. We should be persistent in our prayer, and open to God's spirit which will provide us with strength when things happen in a different manner than we expect them to.
Together with Jesus, Our Lady is our first female teacher of prayer. Some wonder why Our Lady often mentions prayer and calls us to it. Those wondering about that are people who do not pray, those who want to turn everything, even prayer, into sensation. These are the people not yet embraced by the spirit of the Gospel. They still feed on mundane spirituality. Our Lady calls us to prayer as she too has prayed and is aware of the importance of prayer more than we are. She prayed in all the crucial moments of her life: before the embodiment of her son Jesus Christ, when Christ's conception was announced, on the day of Pentecost when Church was born, the Body of Christ. At God's offer from heaven she replies with her whole being and full of grace: «I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said.» (Luke 1,38). That is why she stands before us as the example of deep faith and prayer.
Another important means of growth in our spiritual life is renunciation. Not for the sake of renunciation itself, but in order for us to create room in us where God can be at work. Every renunciation is a sign of spiritual growth. One should renounce first the thing other than God that one puts first in his life. This thing may be people, fame, power, money, human considerations, we ourselves or something else. God must be put first. Only then everything we have renounced is given its true sense.
Every day in this time of grace we are called to grow through our prayers by which we intercede for those who have not yet come to know God's love. We are called to pray for the forsaken, lonely, unhappy, aborted, for the souls in Purgatory, for all those who are in need for prayer. May our Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, help us and bless our noble-minded effort.
Fr. Danko Perutina