Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/17/2014

 (c) Mary TV 2014 


July 17, 2014,

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children, today I extend my hands towards you. Do not be afraid to accept them. They desire to give you love and peace and to help you in salvation. Therefore, my children, receive them. Fill my heart with joy and I will lead you towards holiness. The way on which I lead you is difficult and full of temptations and falls. I will be with you and my hands will hold you. Be persevering so that, at the end of the way, we can all, together, in joy and love, hold the hands of my Son. Come with me; fear not. Thank you." (March 18, 2008)

Yesterday (July 16, 2014) at English Mass a lovely priest from England shared from his heart. I have transcribed his homily because it carried so much the spirit of Our Lady. God bless you all!

I'm here from Bedford in England with a couple of friends of mine. And today we made the decision to climb Mt Krizevac. It was lovely when we set out. But by the time we got to the top of the mountain it looked more like Mt. Sinai with a big dark cloud hanging over us, and thunder and lightning, and then the rain started. It wasn't a very wise decision, and we thought we had better get back down before it got too bad. So we made our slippery way down the mountain without falling nor having any accidents.

We are thinking about another mountain today, Mt. Carmel. Mt Carmel is in the Holy Land, and it is there that the prophet Elijah defended the faith before the people of Israel. Then in about the 12th century a group of hermits settled down under the patronage of our Blessed Lady, with the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. That is the feast we celebrate today. That group of hermits became known as the Carmelite order. We have some very famous and well known saints who belonged to that order, we think of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese of Lisieux. So today's feast is a special day for the Carmelites. And especially for us too, because we also live under the patronage of Our Blessed Lady, our heavenly Mother, especially as she appears here.

And like any good mother, she is concerned for our wellbeing, the wellbeing of her children. She wants us to arrive at that final destination, which is union with her Son. She looks after us, she guides us, inspires us and protects us. And here in the special place, this place touched by heaven, we feel that presence of the Mother. And that is why she is appearing here for so long. To help us to understand the purpose of our lives. And what is the purpose of our lives? To make ready for heaven. And the way to that place is her Son, Jesus. She is constantly pointing to Him and saying, "Do whatever He tells you."

We think how privileged Our Lady is to be the Mother of God. And of course she is privileged. But we are also privileged because it says in the Gospel today that whoever does the will of My Father is my brother and sister and mother. So we are brethren of Jesus, we are mother and sister and brother to Him. Mary is honored because she perfectly did the will of God, not because she is Jesus' earthly mother. Her greatness consists in doing the will of God. And it is in doing the will of God that we become His true brother and sister and mother. That is our privilege, a great privilege, a great honor. And it should fill our hearts with a great deal of joy and pride. We are as closely related to Jesus as Mary was.

But doing whatever He tells us is not always easy as we know. It can be a struggle. It can be demanding. However, we do not rely on our own strength in this matter. In our weakness and our frailty we rely on the grace of God. My grace is made perfect in weakness, He told St. Paul at one time. So let's not be discouraged by failure, let's not be discouraged by sin. We fall. It happens. Again Jesus says, "My grace is sufficient for you."

Coming down from Mt. Krizevac was treacherous. I felt very vulnerable, and a little frightened that I might end up falling and breaking something and heading off for the hospital in Mostar. But thanks to Our Lady and our guardian angel, they saw us all safely down. We all can feel vulnerable and frightened. We are afraid of falling. Sometimes we do fall. Sometimes we fall badly. We are afraid of the future and sometimes we doubt. We lose hope. We are frightened by our worldly conflict. And we wonder: "Is there a God at all? Does He care?" These things go through our minds at times.

We come to this place to seek reassurance, to seek strength and to receive hope, to come for forgiveness and healing. We are in need of our Mother. And she is here! If we place our hand in hers she will see us safely down the mountain of our fears. She will lead us to her Son, who whispers, "It is I, do not be afraid." We come here with our many burdens and concerns, our heartaches too. Leave them there before Jesus. Leave them there before His Mother. Allow Jesus to heal, to forgive and to strengthen. Allow Him to act in you and above all to love you! There are five words to keep in mind always. "Jesus loves you very much." If we keep that in mind, then everything else will fall into place. "Jesus loves you very much." Hear those words echoing in your heart. "I love you very much." We are after all His brother and His sister and His mother, His family.

In this place we can become aware of our great dignity and destiny. Listen to that murmur of Living Water that whispers within, "Come to the Father." We are called to climb the mountain of God. And we do so, not unaided, but with the help of Our Blessed Lady, and with the help of each other. We are on pilgrimage together. We should take care of each other, be concerned for each other, and give each other a helping hand in the journey of faith, the journey of life. We keep our eyes and hearts fixed on the goal. And our time here in Medjugorje affords us little course corrections that we need to steer in the right direction: Prayer, Fasting, Confession, Adoration, the Mass, Personal Conversion. Little course corrections in our lives that we need from time to time.

I'm a parish priest and am very busy with my parish, the school, the prison, a hospital, and two parishes to serve. I also have various diocesan responsibilities. I am constantly doing, instead of just being. One can get so caught up on the business of life that one forgets the purpose of life. So thank God for a place like this. Thank God for Medjugorje. I can just "be" here. I need the course correction in my life, otherwise my duties can prove exhausting. Without that chance just to "be" I cannot "do".   That applies to every one of us. We have to "be" and this place affords us that opportunity.

But we learn here that we have to integrate "being" into our daily lives. That is why Our Lady tells us to "Pray, pray, pray." This is the summation of her messages. "Pray, pray, pray." Through prayer, understanding will be given to us, strength, renewed hope, and a new perspective on things. In prayer we can be ourselves, naturally, before God. In fasting we can receive His love for us, and like the prophet Elijah we will hear that still small voice. So pray for a listening heart. So that we will hear the voice of God and receive his love, his forgiveness, and He will take away all our fear and heal our wounds, the wounds of our humanity. He wants to do this for you. Let Him. Let Him be God. Let Him act freely in your lives. Turn up every day in prayer, and let Him hold you, and hold you close. You are after all His brother, and sister, and mother.

Then when you get into that attitude of prayer something extraordinary will happen. We shall begin to see things as they really are. We shall see things as God sees them. And not be deceived by the things of this world. We will have a mystic vision on life. The world will change for us. We will see the divine plan then. And we will see it with great pity and mercy and love as God sees it. And look upon each other in the light that shines on us from God. Mystic eyes, the eyes of faith. We can see with God's own eyes, and love with His heart. That is the fruit of prayer, the scales will fall from our eyes and we will see things from the perspective of eternity. And we will be filled with divine joy. And we shall be able to laugh again. Don't be sad. Sadness is a tool of the devil to keep us down. Don't give into sadness. Be joyful. Laugh. The devil hates laughter. Love and laugh!

The mother is with us, and stays with us, and leads us to Jesus who is our peace.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Cathy Nolan
(c)Mary TV 2014

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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