Image by Meir Jacob | מאיר יעקב via Flickr
March 30, 2011Dear Family of Mary!
"Recently, the seer Marija Pavlovic [Lunetti] said: 'Once during prayer, I saw a flower, as in a picture, three times. The first time it was beautiful, fresh, full of color. I rejoiced. Then I saw the flower closed and withered. It had lost its beauty. I was sad. Then I saw a drop of water fall on the withered flower and it opened. I recognized it again in its first freshness and beauty. I tried to understand the picture and what it meant for me, but I could not. Then I decided to ask Our Lady during one of the apparitions. I told her, "Our Lady, the flower which I saw in prayer, what does it mean?" Our Lady smiled and said, "Your heart is like a flower. Every heart is gorgeous, full of beauty. But when sin comes, the heart withers, its beauty disappears. That little drop that you saw fall on the flower and rejuvenate it is a sign of Confession. When you are in sin, you cannot help yourself, but need help from outside." "Dear friend, I am convinced that some of this experience which was shared by Marija is part of your life's experience. Many times your own heart has been like this flower, beautiful, full of joy and peace, ready to bring joy to others and to love others unselfishly. But surely, on other occasions, your heart has been closed, wounded, withered, without joy and hope, without peace and love. Those are always hard and painful moments for you personally and for those around you. And then something happened to you so that Your heart sang again, blossomed, came back to life and brought joy to others once more....
"In Medjugorje, many hearts become blossoming flowers. Many families become real oases of joy and peace because their hearts are renewed and refreshed with drops of the mercy of God joyfully poured out on everyone [Confession!]." (Give Me Your Wounded Heart, A Guide for Confession. Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M. Franciscan University Press. Steubenville. 1991. P. 1-2) I love this very simple image of the flower because it says so much! Our hearts have been created by God to be full of grace, full of love. Our hearts hold the key to our call from God, the DNA of the meaning of our life! If our hearts are free of sin, if we choose to follow the Lord and His plan for our lives, then beauty and joy will flow from them. But if we choose rather to follow another plan for our lives and we sin, our hearts will begin to wither and die. Turned in on ourselves, we will become disconnected from the God who made us and sustains us, and our lives will end in frustration, isolation and failure. Just as the flower needs nourishment from its environment, so do our hearts need to be connected to the Lord who nourishes them.
Image by def110 via Flickr
Sin disconnects us from God. When we sin, we are choosing another plan, stepping out of God's call for our lives. Marija and Fr. Slavko both saw that a sin-filled heart cannot grow and blossom. It will die. But the cure comes from outside the heart, outside the flower. The flower cannot heal itself, and neither can we. The cure comes from God's forgiveness and mercy, administered in Confession. Confession can bring our hearts back to life, just as water does the flower!
Image by Rutger de Moddertukker via Flickr