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.