When Our Lady lastly appeared to Marion Gutman, Christine Neg and Judith Hiher, on October 17, 1999, at Marpingen, Germany, it is said that she used the phrase: Decide for God.
The excerpt from her last message, given on October 17, 1999, runs as follows: My apparitions in the world, as it is at the moment, will soon come to an end. For a time I will not be seen again. However, I will lead you by thought and perhaps by locutions: this is in God’s hands and I cannot yet say. The new time of which I speak will come much, much later, because in Heaven time is not measured as it is on Earth. There will now be a period of time when – after my apparitions, which I am currently continuing on Earth, have ended – you will have to decide for or against God. After you have decided, after, long after, you will see me with your own eyes. But that is a long time away…
The phrase decide for God is very much present within Medjugorje messages. It is interesting to see the contexts in which this pivotal phase is employed. In the message Gospa gave us on May 25, 1987, she exhorts us to consciously decide for God and against Satan. Here is the message: Dear children! I am calling everyone of you to start living in God’s love. Dear children, you are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hand of Satan without reflecting. I call on each one of you to consciously decide for God and against Satan. I am your Mother and, therefore, I want to lead you all to perfect holiness. I want each one of you to be happy here on earth and to be with me in Heaven. That is, dear children, the purpose of my coming here and it’s my desire.
For Our Lady, decide for God means to choose Him above everything and everyone else. In the message she gave us on January 25, 1990, she explains to us: “Dear children! Today I invite you to decide for God once again and to choose Him before everything and above everything, so that He may work miracles in your life and that day by day your life may become joy with Him. Therefore, little children, pray and do not permit Satan to work in your life through misunderstandings, the non-understanding and non-acceptance of one another. Pray that you may be able to comprehend the greatness and the beauty of the gift of life.
In another message of June 25, 1990, we are invited by Our Heavenly Mother to decide for God so as to get to know His will for each and every one of us in prayer. Dear children! Today I desire to thank you for all your sacrifices and for all your prayers. I am blessing you with my special motherly blessing. I invite you all to decide for God, so that from day to day you will discover His will in prayer. I desire, dear children, to call all of you to a full conversion so that joy will be in your hearts.
To decide for God for Mary is important because away from God we can never live truly in peace. In the message of February 25, 1991, she encourages us to resort to personal prayer. Dear children! Today, I invite you to decide for God, because distance from god is the fruit of the lack of peace in your hearts. God is only peace. Therefore, approach Him through your personal prayer and then live peace in your hearts and in this way peace will flow from your hearts like a river into the whole world. Do not talk about peace, but make peace. I am blessing each of you and each good decision of yours.
Our Lady of Medjugorje teaches us that when we decide for God means wanting God to be the focus of our families. In her Christmas message of December 25, 1991, She says: Dear children! Today in a special way I bring the little Jesus to you, that He may bless you with His blessing of peace and love. Dear children, do not forget that this is a grace which many people neither understand nor accept. Therefore, you who have said that you are mine, and seek my help, give all of yourself. First of all, give your love and example in your families. You say that Christmas is a family feast. Therefore, dear children, put God in the first place in your families, so that He may give you peace and may protect you not only from war, but also in peace protect you from every satanic attack. When God is with you, you have everything. But when you do not want Him, then you are miserable and lost, and you do not know on whose side you are. Therefore, dear children, decide for God. Then you will get everything.
As our wise teacher and counsellor Mary tells us in her messages that we are to decide for God so that we shall let His protection flow on us and recognize the direction He wants to give to our lives. In the message of April 25, 1992, Our Lady says: “Dear children! Today also I invite you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped. Therefore, my dear little children, pray and by your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me, because Satan wishes in these turbulent days to seduce as many souls as possible. Therefore, I invite you to decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you should do and which path to take. I invite all those who have said “yes” to me to renew their consecration to my Son Jesus and to His Heart and to me so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world. Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and your suffering is also mine.
Finally, to decide for God implies that we can live in authentic freedom and love. In her message of March 25, 1996, Our Lady says: Dear children! I invite you to decide again to love God above all else. In this time when due to the spirit of consumerism one forgets what it means to love and to cherish true values, I invite you again, little children, to put God in the first place in your life. Do not let Satan attract you through material things but, little children, decide for God who is freedom and love. Choose life and not death of the soul, little children, and in this time when you meditate upon the suffering and death of Jesus I invite you to decide for life which blossomed through the Resurrection, and that your life may be renewed today through conversion that shall lead you to eternal life.
These are some example of the different shades of meaning that the phrase to decide for God carries. However, what we have said so far is so powerful and life-giving. Is not powerful and life-giving to decide for God and against Satan? Is it not powerful and life-giving to decide for God to choose Him above everything and everyone else? Is it not powerful and life-giving to decide for God in order to get to know His will for and every one of us in prayer? Is it not powerful and life-giving to decide for God so as to live truly in peace? Is it not powerful and life-giving to decide for God so that our families and communities’ focus is God alone? Is it not powerful and life-giving to decide for God so that we can experience first-hand His protection and recognize the direction He wants to give to our lives? Is it not powerful and life-giving to decide for God so that we can live in authentic freedom and love?
If all this is so powerful then why don’t we DECIDE FOR GOD NOW?
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap