January 17, 2011
St. Anthony of the Desert Dear Family of Mary! "Dear Children! Today I call you especially now to advance against Satan by means of prayer. Satan wants to work still more now that you know he is at work. Dear children, put on the armor for battle and with the Rosary in your hand defeat him! Thank you for having responded to my call." (August 8, 1985) We still have more armor to put on, so we will continue with this message! Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore,... having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace..." (Eph 6:15). St. Paul tells us to stand on the evil day, to withstand the enemy and having done all, to stand! There is something powerful in those words. They carry with them the idea of perseverance, of stubborn faithfulness and loyalty, and of courage. One thing really necessary for standing is a good pair of shoes. Soldiers need really good boots, strong and supportive and dry. A soldier without good boots will suffer a great deal and be hindered in his progress. So our spiritual feet need to well shod! The battle ready shoes according to St. Paul are those equipped with the gospel of peace. Isn't that interesting? St. Paul sends his warriors into battle in shoes of peace! Isn't that the Christian way! We are such paradoxical people! We fight with the gospel of peace! But really, if you think about it, we perform the best when we are at peace. If we are anxious, riled up, angry, hateful, vengeful, our emotions can interfere with our execution. We are much more dependable when we are at peace. But of course, St. Paul is referring here to the "good news" of Jesus, which is the declaration that there is now peace between God and man, that we have been redeemed and forgiven, and that we can approach God through Jesus Christ now with the hope of eternal joy. That is the gospel of peace! And what power there is in that gospel! It changes everything. With that gospel in our hearts, we can stand through anything. We have the hope, the reality, of eternal life with God. Nothing in this life can deter us from that hope. We have the peace of knowing that one day we will live with God forever! Our Lady has made peace her guiding message in Medjugorje all these years. She came as the Queen of Peace, and she has constantly called for peace in her messages! "Peace, peace, peace; only peace...Peace must reign between man and God, and between all people." (June 26, 1981). This is one of the very first messages given to the visionaries on the third day of Mother Mary's coming. She has not wavered in this call to peace. On Christmas Day, 2002, Our Lady said: "I desire to give you peace, and that you carry it in your hearts and give it to others until God's peace begins to rule the world." This seems to be Our Lady's battle plan. It is a peaceful revolution of love that will change the world. The shoes of the gospel of peace! Yes, it is peace that will change the world, one heart at a time. This is the wonderful battle plan of Mary! "Peace is a precious gift from God. Seek, pray, and you will receive it. Speak about peace and carry peace in your hearts. Nurture it like a flower which is in need of water, tenderness and light. Be those who carry peace to others." (February 25, 2003) Peace is precious. It makes life worth living. The gospel of peace makes life worth living! This is our great gift to the world, peace in God. May we ponder this gift every day, pray for it, seek it, offer it, delight in it, share it, be it! May we stand in the peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
In Jesus and Mary!