Rosary Meditation: The Second Joyful Mystery

Today’s rosary meditation is the Second Joyful Mystery — The Visitation. After accepting God’s will in the Annunciation, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. This mystery is one of the best examples of using God’s grace to help others. As the Mother of God, Mary chose to use God’s grace to serve others and not to be served. This is a theme seen in Jesus’ ministry as well as the lives of the saints.

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Today’s rosary meditation is the Second Joyful Mystery — The Visitation.  After accepting God’s will in the Annunciation, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.  Mary came with this message, “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior.  For He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed” (Lk 1:46-48, emphasis mine).  She stayed with Elizabeth for three months presumably offering a helping hand whenever needed.

This mystery is one of the best examples of using God’s grace to help others.  Keep in mind that traveling to see relatives in the time of the Roman Empire was no easy task.  It would take weeks, if not months, to travel between villages.  Traveling was a challenge and dangerous for the very strong let alone a pregnant teenager.  Despite the hardship, Mary made the journey in order to share the good news with her cousin and help in any way she could.  As the Mother of God she chose to use God’s grace to serve others and not to be served.  As she said in Luke’s Gospel, God’s greatness is found in His lowly servants doing His will, not those who try to be masters.   We see this same theme through Jesus who is King of Heaven and yet came into this world as a humble servant.

When I meditate on this mystery I’m often reminded about the difference between acquiring God’s grace and using it.  I know that prayer, fasting, and receiving the Sacraments (particularly washing away sin during Confession) all help me achieve God’s grace.  However, I often fail in using grace to help others in need.  I could help others more whether it be donating some of my time for charitable causes to just making myself available when friends or family need me.  I’m sure I miss great opportunities to actually put my faith into practice all the time.   Ask yourself, are you using all of your God-given gifts to their full potential?  Are you choosing to serve others as Mary did or are you expecting to be served?

The lesson behind The Visitation is that God calls on us all to put our faith into action.  Yes, our faith is something that is deeply personal.  But it is also something that should be very public.  God gives us grace not only for our own sake, but to also help others in their conversion towards God’s love and their ultimate salvation.  I’m reminded of the saying, “actions speak louder than words.”  Let us remember that about prayer.  Let us not just pay lip service to God, but actually put into action what we believe.  Prayer is good and necessary, but it is the foundation for good works and not an end in itself.

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Medjugorje Message: June 25, 2009

The message from Mary at Medjugorje on June 25 calls on all of us to “convert in joy” so that we may be brought closer to God’s love. Despite the challenges and hardship in converting our hearts from a worldly one to a Heavenly one, we shouldn’t forget the joy that comes in being in God’s grace.

Medjugorje (16)

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

Dear children! Rejoice with me, convert in joy and give thanks to God for the gift of my presence among you.  Pray that, in your hearts, God may be in the center of your life and with your life witness, little children, so that every creature may feel God’s love. Be my extended hands for every creature, so that it may draw closer to the God of love. I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.

What grabbed me in this message is that Mary is asking us to “convert in joy.”  This echoes the Third Luminous Mystery of the rosary where Jesus calls on us to work towards a converted spirit.  Conversion is an important cornerstone of our faith as this theme appears in Jesus’ words, the saints’ teachings, and Mary’s messages.  However, when I think about conversion, I typically see it as our struggle to transform our wicked ways into God’s ways.  I tend to focus on the effort to pray more, to go to Confession, to be more compassionate, and do all the other little things to imitate Christ.  I concentrate on the act of conversion while overlooking why I need to have a converted spirit so that I can receive the benefits of being in God’s grace.

There is much joy in converting our worldly hearts toward God.  Think of the joy that comes when starting any large project.  I know I feel a sense of joy and excitement when I start a new endeavor such as a large home improvement task or a large programming project at work.  Yes, these projects will have their challenges and won’t always be pleasant.  In the middle of a difficult project we can lose that joy we initially felt and just feel consumed by the obstacles and setbacks.  However, we are typically rewarded for our efforts whether it be a nice, clean home or knowing that our hard work improved some one’s life.  The same can be said about our spiritual life.  Converting our ways to be more like Jesus’ ways may be difficult but the end result of having God’s grace will be well worth the effort.  After all, if we can feel a sense of joy and accomplishment after cleaning and organizing our home, imagine the joy that comes when we clean and organize our souls!  May we listen to our Heavenly Mother and convert in joy by making God the center of our lives so that He may draw us closer to His love.  If we can do this, I think we will see that it was time and energy well spent.

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Medjugorje Message: May 25, 2009

The May 25, 2009 message from our mother Mary at Medjugorje. She sends a message that the Holy Spirit will lead you on the way of witnessing your faith.

St. James Church in Međugorje.
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The latest message from our mother Mary at Medjugorje:

“Dear children! In this time, I call you all to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit upon every baptized creature, so that the Holy Spirit may renew you all and lead you on the way of witnessing your faith – you and all those who are far from God and His love. I am with you and intercede for you before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Let us pray for all of those who have wondered away from God’s grace whether it be deliberately or inadvertently.  As I discussed in my Third Glorious Mystery meditation, the Holy Spirit’s greatest give is the strength and courage to live the faith and remain in God’s grace.  The question is, will you let the Holy Spirit into your life or are you blocking Him?  Let us make an effort to quiet our hearts and minds so that we may hear the Holy Spirit and let Him guide us.   We must also pray double for those who are the furthest away from God’s Word and truth since they need the intercession of the Holy Spirit the most.

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Random Thought: Call Your Mother

Remember to call your mother today. But do not forget Mary, our heavenly mother. Honor her by praying the rosary and moving closer to her son, Jesus Christ. That would make her so proud.

In honor of Mother’s Day:

Remember to call your mother today.  But do not forget Mary, our heavenly mother.  Honor her by praying the rosary and moving closer to her son, Jesus Christ.  That would make her so proud.

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Medjugorje Message: April 25, 2009

Our Mother Mary asks us to make God’s peace our highest priority and through prayer she can help us obtain that lofty goal. I interpret the peace that Mary talks about as being a little different than the conventional notion of peace. Mary’s peace is where we try to obtain a heart centered around God’s truth. Often, I feel like the greatest war is an internal and personal one waged inside our minds and souls.

Medjugorje Mary Statue

Here is a new message from Our Lady at Medjugorje on April 25, 2009:

Dear children! Today I call you all to pray for peace and to witness it in your families so that peace may become the highest treasure on this peaceless earth. I am your Queen of Peace and your mother. I desire to lead you on the way of peace, which comes only from God. Therefore, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call.

The message this time is clear — pray for peace.  Our Mother Mary asks us to make God’s peace our highest priority and through prayer she can help us obtain that lofty goal.  However, I know a lot of people probably think that they are too small to bring about peace in this world.  After all, we are not leaders of nations or political groups.  We cannot attend international summits and converse with the world’s presidents.  So what can we do to create peace?

I interpret the peace that Mary talks about as being a little different than the conventional notion of peace.  It is more than just the absence of war and hatred.  Mary’s peace is where we try to obtain a heart centered around God’s truth.  I feel that the greatest war is an internal and personal one waged inside our minds and souls.  Often we live for all the wrong reasons — money, power, sinful desire, and other pleasures of the flesh.  Living for these goals creates disunity within ourselves because we replace God’s permanent and real love with shallow imitations.  We often hear stories about people who have all the money in the world and yet are not happy.  This is because they do not have the peace that only comes from following God’s will.  As Mary says, real peace can only come from God.

I’m reminded of a story involving Saint Francis.  One day a fellow monk asked him what he could do to bring about peace in this world.  Saint Francis replied that he could start by closing the door quietly.  Saint Francis was cleverly teaching that peace begins with the individual and the conscious effort to live peacefully.  How can there be peace around the world if we are not at peace with ourselves?  The first order in building a lasting peace is to “clean house” spiritually.  Mary’s last message was all about making room for the Lord.  Where do we start?  Mary’s answer is simple — in prayer.  Peace starts with praying and being connected to God.  Without that connection we can never achieve the true peace of God.

Let us pray that we find God in our prayers in order to bring real peace to our hearts and souls.  May we have the courage to find peace, especially with those closest to us like our parents, family members, and friends.  As the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

It’s always a good time to visit and shop in the RosaryMeds Store.

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Medjugorje Message: March 25, 2009

A message from the Virgin Mary from Medjugorje. She asks us to awaken our souls for Easter and be open to the truth of Jesus Christ.

Medjugorje Mary Statue

Here is another message from Our Lady at Medjugorje.  Like the earlier message, I ask that you read it with an open mind even if you are highly skeptical of the events surrounding Medjugorje.  If you don’t think that these messages come from Mary then please think of them as coming from a priest or prayer book.  It does not make the message any less truthful.

Dear children! In this time of spring, when everything is awakening from the winter sleep, you also awaken your souls with prayer so that they may be ready to receive the light of the risen Jesus. Little children, may He draw you closer to His Heart so that you may become open to eternal life. I pray for you and intercede before the Most High for your sincere conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.

I like Mary’s call for a renewed effort or “awakening” of prayer.  I have to admit, lately it has been difficult for me to pray earnestly.  For some reason I feel distracted and my prayer time has felt more burdensome than meditative.  This message is a great relief that I’m not alone in feeling weary on my spiritual journey.  Jesus knows that for many of us prayer does not come naturally and easily.  But he urges us, through His Mother, to dig deep down and make that extra effort to pray and do His will because ultimately it is good for us.

This message reminds me of a doctor telling the patient that, although the recovery from an injury or illness may be difficult, he has to persevere and stay on his regiment to be healed.  Similarly, we are prescribed a spiritual regiment of prayer and fasting to bring us into God’s grace.  Many of us (myself included) sometimes don’t want to take our spiritual medicine.  Maybe we refuse to take it because we do not see immediate results and get discouraged.  Or maybe we make our own “adjustments” to our prayer life instead of following the doctor’s orders.  I know I skimp on prayers all the time telling myself, “I’ll be extra good about it tomorrow.”  Only, tomorrow comes and I fall into the same pattern of putting off prayer, fasting, or acts of charity for another day.

In the remaining days of Lent, let us make an earnest effort to listen to God and what He asks of us.  Mary tells us that it is time to wake up from our “winter sleep.”  As we all know, waking up in the morning can be difficult but we also know that we can’t stay in bed all day because we have obligations to our family, friends, and jobs.  Mary asks us to wake up spiritually because everyone ultimately has an obligation to God.  So now is the time to stop hitting that spiritual “snooze” button, wake up, and live our lives for God.  Let me be the first to say, “Good morning and have a great day!”

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Medjugorje Message: March 18, 2009

My thoughts on the Virgin Mary’s message at Medjugorje on March 18, 2009.

Medjugorje Mary Statue

There is a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina called Medjugorje.  In that village, the Virgin Mary has been giving messages to six individuals since 1981 through the form of apparitions.  To some, She appears every day while others only receive an apparition once per year.  There is vastly more to the story of Medjugorje than I can explain in this post.  If you like, you can read more at http://www.medjugorje.org.

In addition to my rosary meditations and other spiritual musings, I thought I would start posting Mother Mary’s messages.  While many people are skeptical of the messages coming from Medjugorje, I encourage you to still read them.  Even if you do not think they are authentic, there is still a great deal of spiritual truth behind them.  The messages are great meditations and really make you think about your relationship with God.  So I ask that you read this with an open mind.

Dear children! Today I call you to look into your hearts sincerely and for a long time. What will you see in them? Where is my Son in them and where is the desire to follow me to Him? My children, may this time of renunciation be a time when you will ask yourself: ‘What does my God desire of me personally? What am I to do?’ Pray, fast and have a heart full of mercy. Do not forget your shepherds. Pray that they may not get lost, that they may remain in my Son so as to be good shepherds to their flock.

Our Lady looked at all those present and  added: Again I say to you, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry with happiness. Thank you.

I think this is a wonderful message during the season of Lent.  Mary asks all of us to introspect our hearts and souls and ask ourselves how much room we have made for God in our lives.  Are our hearts only filled with the desire for money, power, social status, and earthly comforts?  Or, are we filled with fear and doubt?  In these uncertain times, have we made any room in our hearts with the faith that Jesus Christ will be with us through any trials we encounter?

Like many of Her other message, Mary calls us to pray and fast.  These are the tools by which God enters and occupies our hearts.  While God is always wanting to be in our lives, we have to make room to let Him into it.  Praying and fasting is a way of doing a little house cleaning of our souls in order to prepare it for God’s graces.  So let is follow Mary’s advice.  We should fast and pray and see what spiritual junk lingers in our hearts that we can let go to make room for God.  Do we keep any grudges toward others that we can let go?  Do we spend every day with a constant anger towards other people or groups?  Do we complain about any unfair circumstances and harbor animosity towards those who seemingly have it easy?  Are our causes just and a reflection of God’s natural law or are they merely shallow justifications to make our lives easier?  Let us take a long look at ourselves and ask, “Have I made room for God today?”

It’s always a good time to visit and shop in the RosaryMeds Store.

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