Medjugorje Message Dec. 2, 2009

Mother Mary’s message at Medjugorje on Dec. 2, 2009:

Dear children. At this time of preparation and joyful expectation I, as a mother, desire to point you to what is the most important, to your soul. Can my Son be born in it? Is it cleansed by love from lies, arrogance, hatred and malice? Above all else does your soul love God as your Father and does it love your fellow brother in Christ? I am pointing you to the way which will raise your soul to a complete union with my Son. I desire for my Son to be born in you. What a joy that would be for me as mother. Thank you.

Chadstone Shopping Centre during busy all-nigh...
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Mother Mary’s message at Medjugorje on Dec. 2, 2009:

Dear children. At this time of preparation and joyful expectation I, as a mother, desire to point you to what is the most important, to your soul. Can my Son be born in it? Is it cleansed by love from lies, arrogance, hatred and malice? Above all else does your soul love God as your Father and does it love your fellow brother in Christ? I am pointing you to the way which will raise your soul to a complete union with my Son. I desire for my Son to be born in you. What a joy that would be for me as mother. Thank you.

You cannot help but notice that obvious Advent and Christmas theme in Mary’s message as She talks about Jesus being born in your soul.  Like Her previous messages, Mary asks that we make room in our hearts for Jesus by clearing away the “junk” of sin.  We do this house cleaning through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I know that for most people between the Christmas shopping, work, and getting ready for that huge family gathering, going to Confession is probably the last thing on “TO DO” list.  However, a clean soul would be the perfect Christmas gift for Mother Mary this year.  And like a selfless mother, Mary does not ask this of us for Her sake, but for ours.  She desires nothing more than seeing us, side-by-side with Jesus, in His Heavenly kingdom.  So as we flock to the malls, let us also remember to flock to our churches as well and really receive the gift that keeps on giving — God’s grace.

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Medjugorje Message Nov. 25, 2009

Oh boy, I have fallen very behind on my commentary on Mary’s messages at Medjugorje as well as other posts to RosaryMeds. With Thanksgiving, catching a cold, and now Christmas, I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time reading Her messages, much less meditating on them. This is doubly-bad considering Her message asks us to make more room for Jesus in our lives. This time you all receive a special “double feature” of Mary’s messages on Nov. 25 and then Her Dec. 2 message in a post in the very near future.

Our Lady’s message on Nov. 25:

Dear children! In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from His love. Little children, be my extended hands, hands of love for all those who have become lost, who have no more faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Međugorje
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Oh boy, I have fallen very behind on my commentary on Mary’s messages at Medjugorje as well as other posts to RosaryMeds.  With Thanksgiving, catching a cold, and now Christmas,  I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time reading Her messages, much less meditating on them.  This is doubly-bad considering Her message asks us to make more room for Jesus in our lives.  This time you all receive a special “double feature” of Mary’s messages on Nov. 25 and then Her Dec. 2 message in a post in the very near future.

Our Lady’s message on Nov. 25:

Dear children! In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from His love. Little children, be my extended hands, hands of love for all those who have become lost, who have no more faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Mary calls us to have a renewal of prayer.  That seems like a perfect message during this time of Advent.  I feel that we too often get so consumed with the Christmas shopping season that we forget about the Advent praying season.  Everyone looks for that perfect gift, the perfect tree, the perfect dinner, and tasty treats.  And yet, we often forget to perfect our prayer lives.  Mary reminds us that this is a time of prayer.  Don’t forget to do your Christmas shopping but also don’t neglect your Advent praying.

Mary further asks us to help those who are far from God‘s grace.  But she asks us to do more than just remember the lost souls in our prayers (although that is very helpful).  She asks us to be an example of God’s love for those who have no hope.  In other words, Mary asks us to follow up our prayers with good works and action.  She does not say that we should come down hard on those who have strayed from God’s path with words of judgment and condemnation.  Instead, she asks us to remain in a state of grace so that those who are lost will be attracted to God’s ways through our example.  Basically, Mary is reiterating the old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”  Let us remember that those who have fallen into a life of sin need more of our love,  not less of it.

May we all strive to be beacons of God’s grace so that we may guide those who are lost back to God’s love this Advent season.  May we strengthen ourselves through prayer and make room for Jesus in our lives.  Basically, may we all have the strength to live according to the spirit and meaning of Advent.

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Rosary Meditation — The Fifth Joyful Mystery

Today’s rosary meditation focuses on The Fifth Joyful Mystery — The Finding of Jesus in the Temple. When returning from a festival in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph noticed that Jesus was not in the caravan. They went back to Jerusalem and searched for Jesus for three days before finding Him in the temple talking to the elders. When Mary said that she and Joseph had been searching for Him in sorrow, Jesus responded, “Why did you search for me? Did you not know I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Lk. 2:49).

The twelve-year-old child Jesus in the temple ...
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Today’s rosary meditation focuses on The Fifth Joyful Mystery — The Finding of Jesus in the Temple.  When returning from a festival in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph noticed that Jesus was not in the caravan.  They went back to Jerusalem and searched for Jesus for three days before finding Him in the temple talking to the elders.  When Mary said that she and Joseph had been searching for Him in sorrow, Jesus responded, “Why did you search for me?  Did you not know I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Lk. 2:49).

Mary and Joseph traveled for a day before noticing that Jesus was missing from the caravan.  They assumed He was somewhere else in the party.  How far do we sometimes travel in life before we notice that Jesus is missing?  How many days do we sometimes go without praying, reflecting on our sins, or thanking God for all the blessings He gives us?  How many people do you know who are moving away from God’s graces by sinning but just assume God is “cool” with everything they are doing?  Like Mary and Joseph assuming that Jesus was still in the caravan, many times we assume that we are much closer to the Lord than we really are.  Many times we willfully go against Church teaching and sin and yet still think we are in God’s graces.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to really examine ourselves, admit when we have moved away from the way God calls us to live, and then turn back and rediscover Jesus.  We reconnect with Jesus through the sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer, reading the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Basically, we find Jesus in His “Father’s house” when we act in accordance with His Church’s teachings.

Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus for three days before finding Him.  I think this is an important aspect of this mystery.  It shows us that sometimes, even when we commit ourselves to finding Jesus in our lives, it can still be a long and difficult journey.  We don’t always instantly feel God’s graces when we choose to reject sin and follow Jesus.  I’ve heard many times of people feeling frustrated, depressed, or angry with God because they do not feel His presence although they are constantly looking for Him through prayer, fasting, and not sinning.  But this mystery teaches us that we must not give up.  We must constantly be looking for Jesus like a parent would look for a lost child.  Mary and Joseph did not give up their search and neither should we.  The Gospel describes that Mary and Joseph searched “in sorrow.”  Our path to Jesus might not be easy and there will probably be setbacks, dead ends, relapses, and disappointment.  But this is one search that we must never call off because our very souls are at stake.

Let us meditate and pray for all of those who are moving away from God.  We should pray especially for those whose pride has blinded them to the truth of God’s Word.  We must pray for those who twist the Church’s teachings to try to justify sinful behavior.  And we ask God for the strength to always turn towards Him and return to His Father’s house when we stray.  For it doesn’t matter how far off track we are, either with a single sin or a lifetime of sinful behavior, we can always turn around and find God’s mercy.

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Medjugorje Message October 25, 2009

Mary’s message at Medjugorje on October 25, 2009:

Dear children! Also today I bring you my blessing, I bless you all and I call you to grow on this way, which God has begun through me for your salvation. Pray, fast and joyfully witness your faith, little children, and may your heart always be filled with prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Virgin Mary
Image by Dshalock® the Libertarian Emperor of America via Flickr

Mary’s message at Medjugorje on October 25, 2009:

Dear children! Also today I bring you my blessing, I bless you all and I call you to grow on this way, which God has begun through me for your salvation. Pray, fast and joyfully witness your faith, little children, and may your heart always be filled with prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Her message, as always, is a simple one — pray and embrace your faith.  She asks us to make our lives a living prayer.  This means living a life dedicated to God.  Living a life of prayer is not something reserved for priests or nuns, but is the way God desires us all to live.  I always chuckle when people justify sin when they say, “I’m not a priest!  You can’t expect me to live like one!”  And you know what, they are right.  God doesn’t ask us to live a life of prayer like a priest.  In reality, God calls us to be more spiritual than any priest, nun, bishop, cardinal, or pope.  Because everyone, even the Pope, usually fall short of how God wants us to live.  All of us, from the daily-churchgoer to the non-churchgoer, can always improve our spiritual life in little and big ways.  Mary’s message, asking us to have a heart filled with prayer, is simple to understand but takes a lifetime to implement.  As She stresses in Her many messages, there is no time like the present to live a holy life.

I know that many times I focus on the rules of the Catholic Church in my articles.  I mention using Church doctrine as a guide for discerning between right and wrong.  I talk about praying the rosary every day and finding ways to integrate prayer into your life.  To some, all of these rules just seems too rigid, too strict, and requiring too much effort or a giant leap of faith.  This causes many people to become resentful of the Church and all its “rules” and abandon Her.  I’m sure all of us can think of a handful of people who are feeling detached from God’s graces and are lost in life (it might even be you).  Unfortunately, we forget about these lost souls as we go about managing our lives.  We often don’t want to deal with the added burden of dealing with others’ misery.  However, we must always pray for those who are lost and sacrifice for their conversion.  After all, when compared to God and the majesty of Heaven, we are all lowly sinners in need of each others’ prayers.  The next time you pray or fast offer it up to those who are in most need of God’s mercy.

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Rosary Meditation — The Fourth Glorious Mystery

In the Fourth Glorious Mystery of the holy rosary we meditate and pray on Mary’s Assumption into Heaven. Having accepted God’s plan in the Annunciation, Mary was honored by being assumed, body and soul, into God’s kingdom. However, Her work was far from over as She now takes the role of our guide and spiritual mentor. She is always trying to bring us closer to Her son, Jesus Christ.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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In the Fourth Glorious Mystery of the holy rosary we meditate and pray on Mary’s Assumption into Heaven.  Having accepted God’s plan in the Annunciation, Mary was honored by being assumed, body and soul, into God’s kingdom.  However, Her work was far from over as She now takes the role of our guide and spiritual mentor.  She is always trying to bring us closer to Her son, Jesus Christ.  She has a difficult challenge since She needs to not only fight the forces of evil, but also fight against our own weaknesses to live as one of God’s children.

Mary has appeared to many different people over the centuries and reiterated the ways we can live in God’s grace and ultimately live in His kingdom of Heaven.  Her messages can be narrowed down to five simple behaviors that She wants all of us to do:

  • Pray:  How can you have a meaningful relationship with God unless you talk to Him?  It doesn’t matter whether you recite prayers, meditate, or just have a free-form prayer session.  You need to talk to God and more importantly, listen to what He tells you.
  • Bible: Again, how can you love God if you do not know Him or His Church?  Read the Bible, the Catechism, and the writings of saints and scholars.  Know your faith so that you can live it with every thought, word, and action.
  • Fast: The key is to detach yourself from the bonds of this world and leave room in your soul for God’s grace.  Mary’s messages at Medjugorje always talk about leaving room for Jesus’ love and mercy and fasting makes you more receptive to God’s truth.
  • Confession: You need to free yourself from the bonds of sin by receiving absolution.  Like a shower for your soul, the Sacrament of Confession cleans away the damage sin inflicts on you and strengthens your resolve to remain in a state of grace.
  • Eucharist: You need to receive Jesus’ Body and Blood regularly because it is your spiritual fuel that will give you the strength and resolve to do God’s will.

Mary wants only the best for us.  She wants us to be close to Her son, Jesus Christ.  That is why She was assumed into Heaven so that She can be our guide and protector from evil.  What She asks of us is not terribly difficult.  She asks us to recognize God in our lives through prayer and act according to His Word.  Taking the time to listen to Mary and following Her guidance will lead to something far greater than anything in this world — God’s kingdom.  So, when we pray this mystery we should ask ourselves, “Are we listening to our Heavenly Mother?”

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Medjugorje Message — October 2, 2009

This is Mary’s message from Medjugorje on October 2, 2009. Unlike the messages on the 25th, these messages focus on those who are have drifted far from God’s love. The tone is a little harsher, almost like a mother scolding a misbehaving child. However, even if you do try to live a life free of sin, you should listen to these messages since we all have moments of sin which separate us from God’s grace.

Virgin taken from a mural in the Iglesia de Je...
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This is Mary’s message from Medjugorje on October 2, 2009.  Unlike the messages on the 25th, these messages focus on those who have drifted far from God’s love.  The tone is a little harsher, almost like one of a mother scolding a misbehaving child.  However, even if you do try to live a life free of sin, you should listen to these messages since we all have moments of sin which separate us from God’s grace.  Furthermore, even if your soul is as clean as one fresh out of the sacrament of Confession, you probably know someone who is separated from God’s love.  You need to read them to understand the danger people are in when they sin and pray extra hard for their conversion towards our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I also want to reiterate that even if you do not believe in the events at Medjugorje this is still an important message.  Mary offers nothing different or contrary to what the Catholic Church already teaches so this message could easily have come from a priest’s Sunday homily, the commentary from a Bible study, or the teachings of a saint.

Dear Children, As I look at you, my heart seizes with pain. Where are you going my children? Have you sunk so deeply into sin that you do not know how to stop yourselves? You justify yourselves with sin and live according to it. Kneel down beneath the Cross and look at my Son. He conquered sin and died so that you, my children, may live. Permit me to help you not to die but to live with my Son forever. Thank you!

Mary’s message sounds very much like a mother who sees all the ignorant and dangerous things her children do and wonders what could possibly be going through their young minds.  She has the benefit of seeing the splendor and glory of God’s kingdom and she tells us that all the sins that we commit are not worth losing the gift of Heaven for all eternity.  She wants us to take a hard look at our lives and ask ourselves why we sin.  Sure, certain sins may make us a little happier temporarily, make our lives a little easier, make us a little more popular, or richer.  But all those small gains in this world will cost us much more in the next.  In the best case we will serve more time in Purgatory for those sins.  At worst, we lose the gift of Heaven forever.  Mary does not want any of us to miss out on what awaits us in Heaven and that is why it pains her so much to see people living only for this world without regard for the next.

We should listen to Mary and turn away from sin.  Jesus taught that all are welcome into His kingdom as long as we have the courage and strength to turn away from sin.  We should lay all our worries and weaknesses before the Cross and ask for greater faith in God’s loving mercy.

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Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing

The rosary has the ability to heal and mend what is broken in our lives. Fr. Dwight Longenecker, on Catholic Online, discusses how praying the rosary brings us inner peace by replacing all that is earthly with what is heavenly.

Blessed Virgin Mary - Mother of God
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The rosary has the ability to heal and mend what is broken in our lives.  Fr. Dwight Longenecker, on Catholic Online, discusses how praying the rosary brings us inner peace by replacing all that is earthly in our life with what is heavenly.

From the article:

In a mysterious way Christ’s perfect life and the perfect love he shared with his mother, flow into the wounded places in our lives. This grace empowers us to return to the confessional with a clearer vision. It helps us to be open to the healing Christ brings through the Eucharist, and it gives us the strength to continue the daily hard work of being transformed into Christ’s image.

I really like this idea of replacing our “wounded places” with Christ’s love.  It goes hand-in-hand with many of the message from Mary at Medjugorje when she asks us to clean out all that prevents us from fully accepting God’s graces.

The article also discusses how our lives mimic the values and themes seen in each mystery of the rosary:

Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae writes, “The rosary marks the rhythm of human life, bringing it into harmony with the rhythm of God’s own life.”

Pope John Paul II said that we can reflect on all the joys, sorrows, and challenges in our lives by looking at the ones shown in the mysteries of the rosary.  Over time, through rosary prayer, our ways begin to mimic Jesus’ ways revealed in those mysteries.  For example, we see Jesus taking up the cross in the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery.  We know that Jesus fell down repeatedly and yet He always got back up and continued on.  We can learn that we all have our “crosses” in life and at times we might fall (either by sin or just lacking faith and spiritual energy).  However, to imitate Jesus we must get up and continue working towards His kingdom.

The next time we pray the rosary, let us ask ourselves what each mystery reveals about our own lives.  Are we imitating what Jesus did in those mysteries or are we ignoring His teachings and example?

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Medjugorje Message, September 25, 2009

Mary’s message at Medjugorje calls on us to persistently work on conversion and to offer all our joys and sorrows to her Immaculate Heart so that we may find joy in her son, Jesus Christ.

St. James Church in Međugorje.
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Mary’s September 25 message at Medjugorje:

Dear children, with joy, persistently work on your conversion.  Offer all your joys and sorrows to my Immaculate Heart that I may lead you all to my most beloved Son, so that you may find joy in His Heart.  I am with you to instruct you and to lead you towards eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Mary wants us to “persistently work” on our conversion towards Jesus Christ.  This theme of conversion is echoed repeatedly throughout the mysteries of the rosary.  We see it most clearly in the Third Luminous Mystery.  We are called to live for Jesus’ kingdom of Heaven by converting our earthly ways to His heavenly ways.  I like how Mary calls conversion “persistent work” in that our conversion towards Christ isn’t something done in an instant.  Everyone, from the normal person on the street to the Pope has to work constantly on their conversion towards Christ.  Mary adds that not only should we work towards conversion, but we should work with joy since there is no higher goal than living in God’s grace and one day living in His kingdom of Heaven.

The idea of joy is repeated throughout Her message.  She says that we should convert with joy, offer up our joys, and we can find joy in His heart.  At times we don’t always think of our faith with a sense of joy and wonder.  Instead we see its rules, laws, and obligations.  We see it as a burden to go to Mass on Sunday.  We see only the hardship of following the Church’s laws and not being able to do whatever we want.  But we miss the joy of working towards something so much greater than what this world has to offer.

May we listen to our mother, Mary, and persistently work on our conversion to be true followers of Christ.  May we keep our eyes on that eternal goal of the joy of Heaven instead of being consumed entirely by shallow, earthly pursuits.  Mary asks us to orient ourselves towards Jesus Christ.  Ask yourself, which way are you pointing?

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Medjugorje Message: August 25, 2009

The August 25, 2009 message from our Mother Mary at Medjugorje:

Dear children! Today I call you anew to conversion. Little children, you are not holy enough and you do not radiate holiness to others, therefore pray, pray, pray and work on your personal conversion, so that you may be a sign of God’s love to others. I am with you and am leading you towards eternity, for which every heart must yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje Mary Statue

The August 25, 2009 message from our Mother Mary at Medjugorje:

Dear children! Today I call you anew to conversion.  Little children, you are not holy enough and you do not radiate holiness to others, therefore pray, pray, pray and work on your personal conversion, so that you may be a sign of God’s love to others. I am with you and am leading you towards eternity, for which every heart must yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Mary isn’t pulling any punches in this message.  She basically tells all of us that we need to step up our game and become holier.  She even has tough words for those who do try to live a good and holy life of prayer and avoiding sin.  Mary says that it is not good enough to be holy in private, but we must “radiate holiness to others.”  All too often I think we have a tendency to erect a wall between our spiritual lives and our “normal” lives.  Mary challenges us to make our spiritual life our normal life for all to see.

Her message has many connections to the mysteries of the rosary.  She tells us that we must orient ourselves towards eternity which means we must orient ourselves towards God.  This is the message of the Transfiguration that we become oriented towards God whenever we listen to His son and follow Jesus’ teachings.  Mary calls us to go out and spread Jesus’ message by living  holy life.  We do this with the help of the Holy Spirit as seen in the Pentecost.  We are also called to lead a holy life through the Institution of the Eucharist where we act as holy vessels of Jesus Christ by being His hands, legs, and voice in this world.

This message reminds me of a story I heard from Father Corapi.  He talked about one day when St. Francis asked one of his fellow friars to go and preach throughout the village.  They walked around all day in their robes and conversed casually with the townspeople.  They never got up and gave a formal sermon.  At the end of the day the friar asked St. Francis when they were going to preach God’s word.  St. Francis replied that they had been doing that all day.   They were “radiating” holiness by making others aware of God’s presence in the world by the simple act of making themselves, and hence, the Catholic Church, available to others in the community.  It is as true today as it was back in the time of St. Francis that small acts of holiness can go a long way in bringing people closer to God.

So, how will you radiate holiness today?

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Medjugorje Message: July 25, 2009

Our Lady’s message from Medjugorje on July 26, 2009. Mary calls us all to a life of prayer. Sometimes the simplest message is often the hardest to carry out. After all, how much time do you spend in prayer every day? Or better yet, do you make your entire life a living prayer where you put God first above all other things?

Medjugorje Mary Statue

Our Lady‘s message on July 25, 2009 is short and simple:

Dear children! May this time be a time of prayer for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

That’s it.  Of course, the simplest message is often the hardest to carry out.  After all, how much time do you spend in prayer every day?  Do you think you could stand before God and honestly tell Him that you spent enough of your life in prayer?  Or better yet, do you make your entire life a living prayer where you put God first above all other things?  I know that I have a tendency to isolate my faith where I set aside some time for God but then go about my day focused (or obsessed over) other things.

So ask yourself, do you make your entire life about loving God and having His love shine forth through you in all that you do?  Or is there a disconnect between your prayers and how you live your life?  Let us remember that prayer is more than just reciting an “Our Father” or “Hail Mary.”  It is a time for us to talk to God and learn how we can incorporate His will into our lives.  May our prayers bare fruit by living as God calls us to live.

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