By Debbie Womack
Our Lady’s Message
Prayer with the Heart
Hvaljen Isus i Marija
When Our Lady comes, the first to be converted is the soul who sees her. Those who see her are filled with the desire to pray, to empty their hearts to receive the grace offered by the Father through her Immaculate Heart. It is as if they have received such an infusion of grace, that to deny it is incomprehensible for them. They become messengers of Peace and the desire to share what they have seen and heard fills their hearts, and like Sts Peter and John, they too proclaim, “It is impossible for us to refrain from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19).
In October 1985, Our Lady repeated the same message to Jelena, the young locutionist, for three consecutive evenings. Her message: “If you were to accept my love, you would never sin.”
This message is for each one of us, also. If we wish to live the reality of the apparitions at Medjugorje, by accepting the love of Our Lady, each of us must enter into them with the full depth of our lives, entirely, with every fiber of our beings.
There is only one way for each of us to abandon ourselves and enter into this love and into each of the messages. The way is prayer. Prayer with the heart.
But how does a soul, first experiencing the grace of conversion, proceed on this path to deep prayer, prayer with the heart? What is required? Is it necessary? What fruit will it bear?
The Mother comes to us faithfully each day at the same time. In the world with little we can trust, little we can count on, she comes as the harbinger of Peace, bearing in her Heart and at times in her arms, her Son. What do we bring, what do we offer her, this Immaculate Masterpiece of God?
We bring our sin, our guilt, our wretchedness, our faults and our hope, the hope which only grace has provided.
“God does not have a hard heart, but look around you at how people live, how people sin… Just look at the faithful coming to church: do they really come to meet God, or do they come out of habit?” (October 25, 1985)
We come to her with a willingness to change, a curiosity that perhaps all of this is possible, a hope that we will be called an apostle of her love and her messages.
And the Mother accepts us. As we are. Determined by our willingness, she proceeds to cleanse us of the dirt and muck and filth that has clouded our judgment. She cleans us for the Gift she has for us. She is Mother. She desires her children to be clean, as she presents each one to the Father. And as she cleanses our hearts and our minds, we begin to experience a holy emptiness that longs to be filled with all that is Good. Our vision clears, our demeanor softens, our ears begin to hear with the heart.
Yes. With the heart. And soon that which seemed impossible, whispers to us, “Come! Know the Joy of living in My Love.” And with the holy emptying of our self, we come to experience a profound Peace. We experience a new love, a joy, a deeper faith and a strong desire for more.
Fr. Harold Cohen (RIP) of New Orleans, would tell the story of his first word, spoken while in the high chair. “More” he cried out and as he grew in faith, this More he desired was the Bread of Life and the Gift of the Spirit. The Lord entered into his life and filled him with More.
More. We desire more. We learn to trust and to ask for it. As the Lord responds to us, we come to ask for more of Him. Our Lady holds us in her arms, presenting us to Him. And He delights in fulfilling our every wish. In His Yes to us, we learn that He has engulfed our hearts with His Love and now, too, we can share Him with those around us.
Now, freed of our guilt, our insecurities, our hopelessness, we make baby steps to share what we have found. We offer ourselves freely to Him, knowing our safety is in His arms and under Gospa’s Mantle.
Our prayer deepens. Our prayer is from the heart. Our prayer bears the fruit of Peace and Joy, Hope and Love.
Now we are strengthened enough to be taught in the School of Our Mother’s Love, to grow in the knowledge of God’s will and plan for our life.
“Dear children! Behold, also today I want to call you to start living a new life as of today. Dear children, I want you to comprehend that God has chosen each one of you, in order to use you in His great plan for the salvation of mankind. You are not able to comprehend how great your role is in God’s design. Therefore, dear children, pray so that in prayer you may be able to comprehend what God’s plan is in your regard. I am with you in order that you may be able to bring it about in all its fullness. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (January 25, 1987)
The key to participating in this plan is to empty the heart. Ask for More Jesus. Be open to be filled and receive Jesus in your heart. Then you are prepared to give Jesus to all those you encounter, by word or by deed. It is not easy. It takes effort and a willingness to be humbled. Like a daily workout, you will have great days, exhilarating days, exhausting days and failed days. When you fail, get up the next day with a new resolve to try again. The Lord will always help you.
For Scripture clearly teaches us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are renewed EVERY MORNING; Great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Then your very life becomes a prayer in a faithless world – and together we join Our Lady’s army as apostles of Love.
Live the Message. Spread the Message.