The message Our Lady gave us in Medjugorje, on Sunday July 25, 2021, the liturgical feast of St James, reflects the present difficult moment we are living in as humanity. As a caring Mother Our Lady presented to us some priceless hints as to how we can live and witness to Jesus in this agonizing time the world is presently going through.
Here is the message the Gospa gave us for this month:
Dear children! I am calling you to be prayer for all those who do not pray. Little children, witness with your lives the joy that you are mine and God will heed your prayers and give you peace in this peaceless world where pride and selfishness reign. Little children, you be generous and be the love of my love, so that pagans can feel that you are mine and convert to my Immaculate Heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.
The message starts with a warming even if somewhat urgent invitation. Mary, like Her Son Jesus, calls or rather is calling us both personally and collectively! Led by God’s grace, which in her certainly overflows, Mary is the one who takes the initiative. She calls us but for what? To be prayer!
But what is prayer? In number 2559 the Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about prayer: “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God”. But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God”.
We pray to let God helping us to better receive his grace which comes in and flows out from us! If that is what we mean by prayer than it makes perfect sense that Our Lady wants us to be prayer! If we are open to God and let His Holy Spirit guiding us we can easily be a prayer of adoration since we can praise God by what we are and do! How beautiful if our lives become a prayer like the following one: Dear God, I know that you are all-loving! Then, if we let God’s Spirit work in and through us we can become a living confession too! For instance, we can tell Him: Please forgive me for the horrible things I have said about …
Prayer has the power of making us people whose song is thanksgiving to God! For example, Thank you for the amazing weather this week … Moreover, prayer is a beautiful form of supplication too. Lord, give me strength to … The last component of prayer is intercession. How beautiful it is if we pray for others who are undergoing periods of great difficulty in their lives! An example of this kind of prayer is this: Please remember my cousin, who is ill, and help and her after his and her operation.
Thus, prayer is ACTS and I, that is: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication and Intercession! If our lives do reflect these values how much joyful will we really be! This was precisely the kind of prayer Mary prayed to God! And that is why her prayers were always and will be always heard! And, her prayer reveals how Mary is the figure and personal embodiment of the Church herself. That is why I.-M. Hennaux, S.J in “En apparaissant à la Vierge Marie, le Christ ressuscité a fondé son Église”, Nouvelle revue théologique, vol. 126/ n.1, jan-mar 2004, writes:
For Ignatius of Loyola, the Risen Christ appeared to Mary in her quality as the figure and personal embodiment of the Church.
It is important to remember that Mary offered Jesus a virginal and immaculate space where his glorious body could grow without encountering any obstacle.
In Mary, Jesus finds his glorious Body. He can place in her the entirety of salvation and grace, so that, having participated in his work of salvation since the Incarnation, she can become his perfect collaborator in spreading the fruits of the Redemption.
In other words, Christ makes her a personal figure of the Church-mediatrix of all grace. The Lord, in fact, wants to do nothing without the help and mediation of his Bride, the Church.
Because Mary is full of grace, full of the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, then there is joy and generosity! Peace and love! To Jesus through Mary we attain the Father’s Peace that shatters and destroys the cancerous vices of pride and selfishness. How beautiful when we can become Mary’s love in action! If we can be more like Mary by saying “YES” to God, being humble, sharing our joy, making the big ask boldly as she did to Jesus at the Cana wedding, and walk with someone in their pain other people who are skeptical or perhaps pagan feel that we are Mary’s and then start converting to Her Immaculate Heart.
Mary gives us the sublime example of a love that never turns away and never gives up. Mary encourages us like her to be a prayer for those who do not pray!
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap