(c)Mary TV 2012
Blessings in Medjugorje!
March 20, 2013
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you - works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds - for your intercessors in the reconciliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you." (03/18/13 through Mirjana)
This beautiful message is a gift for all of us! Coming at the end of Lent, it is a call to return to the Father with complete trust and faith that He loves and forgives us. It is the message of the Pascal Mystery that will soon unfold before us. We are loved, forgiven, and saved.
Pope Francis has been proclaiming a similar message ever since his election to the Papacy. In his first Angelus address, given on Sunday, March 17, 2013, Pope Francis said:
In this Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel presents us with the story of the adulterous woman whom Jesus saves from being condemned to death. It captures Jesus' attitude: we do not hear words of contempt, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion. 'Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more!' Well, brothers and sisters! God's face is that of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God's patience, the patience that He has with each of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, is always patient with us, understanding us, awaiting us, never tiring of forgiving us if we know how to return to him with a contrite heart. 'Great is the Lord's mercy', says the Psalm. (Vatican Information Service, March 17, 2013)
"God's face is that of a merciful father..." This face of mercy and love is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. This love is far beyond anything we can understand. But it is precisely in understanding this love that we will finally open ourselves in trust to it, and become carriers of it! That is our mission on earth, to accept the forgiveness and love of God and then carry it to others.
Caryll Houselander wrote beautiful poem/prayers that seem to embody this great truth of the love of God for us and His desire that we surrender to it. I find her prayers to be very helpful in crossing the border from reason to belief. Here is her prayer to Jesus, who embraces His Cross. It may help us to surrender to forgiveness and love (I may have shared this once before, but it is worth a second look):
Prayer (Jesus receives His Cross)
let me receive the cross gladly;
let me recognize Your cross in mine,
and that of the whole world in Yours.
Do not let me shut my eyes
to the magnitude of the world's sorrow
or to the suffering of those nearest to me.
Do not let me shrink from accepting my share
in that which is too big for me,
and do not let me fail in sympathy
for that which seems trivial.
Let me realize
that because You have made my suffering Yours
and given it the power of Your love,
it can reach everyone, everywhere-
those in my own home,
those who seem to be out of my reach-
it can reach them all
with Your healing and Your love.
Let me always remember
that those sufferings
known only to myself,
which seem to be without purpose
and without meaning,
are part of Your plan
to redeem the world.
Make me patient to bear the burdens
of those nearest at hand,
to welcome inconvenience for them,
frustration because of them.
Let me accept their temperaments as they are,
nurse them in sickness,
share with them in poverty,
enter into their sorrows with them.
Teach me to accept myself-
the humiliation of being myself, as I am.
Allow me, Lord,
All my life long
to accept both small suffering
and great suffering,
certain that both,
through Your love,
Are redeeming the world.
And in communion with all men,
and above all with You,
let me accept joyfully,
death and the fear of death-
and the deaths of those whom I love-
not with my will but with Yours,
knowing that you
have changed sorrow to joy,
and that You have changed
death to life.
(Caryll Houselander. "the Way of the Cross". Liguori Press 2002)
Caryll could see Christ's love in everything, even in her failings. Like Caryll, may we embrace our lives out of love for Jesus, and knowing that He loves us so much that He would die for us! And let's begin to forgive ourselves as Our Lady asks, so we can love others.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2013