Monday, July 20, 2015

Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/20/2015

(c)Mary TV 2013

July 20, 2015
St. Apollonius

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer and silence. Rest your body and spirit, may they be in God's love. Permit me, little children, to lead you, open your hearts to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in you may blossom and bear fruit one hundred fold. Begin and end the day with prayer with the heart. Thank you for having responded to my call." (July 25, 2011)

In yesterday's Gospel, Jesus told his apostles "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mark 6: 30). At English Mass, the priest who gave the homily certainly showed us the way to come to Jesus and rest a while. This homily is full of spiritual food for all of us weary travelers. Let the wisdom in it draw you to Jesus!

English Mass Homily, July 19, 2015, Medjugorje:

(The priest is from England, but he did not share his name. Thank you, Father, for this wonderful homily!)

Whenever I hear that Gospel about Jesus saying to his apostles, "Come apart now and rest awhile," because there was so much coming and going, it really resonates with me because I am very busy. I have got a couple of schools, a prison, a general hospital and two parishes to serve. I also have various diocesan responsibilities. And so to come apart and rest awhile really resonates and so I come apart, here, just for my own benefit. I am here for a couple of weeks with a couple of friends to just rest awhile, and I feel the benefit of that. I have been here now almost two weeks and I appreciate that term "holiday." It comes from the words "holy day". And I have spent now almost 14 holy days here, apart from everything back home in England in my parish. I have been able to rest in Jesus here, rest in Mary, His Mother, and with my friends here too. It's a real tonic. I am sure you feel that too, those of you who have been here a while or hope to be here a while.

In my life there is a lot of coming and going, I am constantly doing. It is sometimes difficult just to be. Just to be, you know. It is very easy to get caught up with the business of life, and forget the purpose of life, even for a priest. There are so many things to attend to, so many responsibilities and meetings, etc. It is good to refocus and to receive in this place a little course correction because you can go off course very easily if you are not careful. This is for me a course correction. We need some of those in our lives to keep us going.

Thank God for a place like Medjugorje. I can just be here.  I need that course correction in my life. Otherwise all this doing, all this activity is fruitless and exhausting. It is sometimes a good feeling, but it can drain you. I know you must have that feeling, you have your responsibilities of your families, your children, your work and so forth. It is great to just come apart and rest a while and calm down your faculties so that we can be. Without that chance to be we cannot do. We cannot do.

We therefore come to this place just to be, but to also seek assurance of what? Of God's presence in the world today where there is so much upheaval and conflict. Where the values that we hold dear have been undermined, especially the family and marriage. We come to seek strength, to keep going, to renew our hope, to look for forgiveness and healing, and to allow the Lord to do that. To not deny Him His right to come to us with His healing grace, His mercy and His forgiveness. And to not deny our own right to receive that mercy and forgiveness in our own hearts. And so we take the opportunity here to just do that.

We need our Mother Mary too. And she is here. We place our hand in hers and she will lead us safely through all the confusions and vicissitudes of life and she will lead us to her Son, Jesus, who speaks to us in our hearts, "Do not be afraid, it is I, I am with you."

We come here with our many burdens, our many concerns, our heartaches even, our hurts, and we leave them here before Jesus. We leave them here before His Blessed Mother. And we allow Jesus to heal, to forgive and to strengthen. We allow Him to act in us, and above all, to love us. We need to be convinced of God's love for us, despite our many failings, weaknesses and sins. He is like the sun out here, His love is constant. It never alters. So we need to bask in His love. Allow Him to love us as we are with all our imperfections.

In this place we become aware of our dignity and our destiny. Our destiny to live with God forever. The whole purpose of life is to prepare for eternal life. Places like Medjugorje offer us a course correction in our lives because we can very easily veer off and lose our way a little bit. And we come here to listen, to listen to that murmur of living water that whispers within us, "Come to the Father, come to Me."

We are called to climb the mountain of God. Perhaps rather foolishly I went up on Friday in the heat of the afternoon, and it was an exhausting climb, as you might imagine. But we were able to stop on the way, take a sip of water and carry on. In the end, we eventually got there. It was an exhausting climb, but we were together and we were able to encourage one another, help one another. And it is like that in our lives. We are on a pilgrimage back to the Father, but we need the encouragement and care of one another. We don't make that journey unaided. We have the help of Jesus Himself, the help of His Mother Mary, and the help of one another. So we are all in this journey together. If you see people struggling with their faith or struggling with life itself, reach out a helping hand. With your loving concern, help your brother or sister with the journey of life. Guide them back to the Father's house. That is what we need to do. WE are not here just for ourselves. We need to guide one another too.

We keep our eyes fixed on the goal all the time, fixed on the goal. Our time in Medjugorje affords us a little opportunity to refocus. We need to be steered in the right direction. Those little signposts are prayer (as Our Lady tells us), confession, fasting, adoration, the Mass, and personal conversion. All these little signposts along the way. What we learn here we need to integrate into our daily lives, to find opportunities when we can pray, come apart and rest awhile in the quiet of our room or in the church or just walking along. Just to come apart in our hearts and our minds to be with the Lord, and to rest a while in His presence.

That is what Our Lady is constantly calling us to do, pray, pray, pray. In prayer we can be ourselves! We can be! We can just be!!! We can be open and natural with God because He understands us better than we understand ourselves. Just be, like in the company of a good friend. You just are, naturally. Or at home with your family. One of my friends said, it is like coming back home when you come to Medjugorje. I feel at home, relaxed. I can be myself. Just be, be with God.

We just bask in His love, therefore. I like the prophet, Elijah. We hear His still, small voice in our heart. So we pray for a listening heart, that we may hear that still, small voice amidst all the upraised voices that clamor to claim our attention in the world in which we live. Listen for that still, small voice. He doesn't raise His voice. So you need to be quiet, to rest in His presence, and to listen for His voice. Be assured of His love and His forgiveness. He will take away all that fear in our hearts, and heal our wounds, our heartaches. He wants to do this. So let Him! Give Him an opportunity to do just that, to act in you, to act in me.  

Every day we need to turn up, just to turn up, even though we don't feel like praying, just turn up for prayer. Just be there. Let God do the rest. Sometimes we are too tired or distracted, but as long as we give Him that little bit of time, He can do the rest. He understands. He understands the clay we are made of. He was one of us, let's not forget. So just to turn up and be there for Him. Otherwise, if we are not there, He cannot give us the graces and the blessings He wants to give us, to impart to us, because we are not there. So just turn up every day in prayer. Especially the prayer of the Mass.

So we allow Him in prayer to enfold us, to hold us close to His heart. And there you will hear the great heart of God beating for you and for me. We will hear the great heart of God beating for you and for me and for this world. But we need to get close to Him. Allow Him to embrace us. Then something extraordinary will happen. We will begin to see things as they really are once more, because we will be able to see things as God sees, and not be deceived by the things of this world. And not be deceived by the Deceiver himself. The scales will fall from our eyes. We will see things from the perspective of eternity. Then Divine Joy will flood our hearts and our lives. WE will begin to smile again and to laugh again, because this is God's world, and He will not abandon it.

This is a great grace. In one of her messages Our Lady says, "Dear children, give me your hearts completely. Allow me to take you to my Son, who is the true peace and happiness. Do not allow the false brightness of this world around you, being offered to you, to deceive you. Do not allow Satan to reign over you with false peace and happiness. Come to me, I am with you."

We come to Our Blessed Lady, and she always leads us to her Son, who is our peace and with Whom we can just be.

In Jesus, Mary and Jospeh!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2015

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