“Dear children, At this time, I am calling you to return to God and to prayer. Invoke the help of all the saints, for them to be an example and a help to you. Satan is strong and is fighting to draw all the more hearts to himself. He wants war and hatred. That is why I am with you for this long, to lead you to the way of salvation, to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Little children, return to the love for God and He will be your strength and refuge. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
40 Years Among Us!
They say hindsight is 20/20, perfect vision, and soon we will be in 2021 and we will more clearly be able to reflect on the trials that culminated in 2020. The number 40 appears in the Bible 146 times, and it symbolizes a period of Testing, Trial, and Probation. Throughout these 40 years, Our Lady has been preparing us on how to survive and weather these difficult times by arming us with these “Five stones of Medjugorje:”
Prayer – She asks us to Pray the Rosary: “Pray, pray, pray, prayer is the basis of peace.”
Prayer is the first stone: You must begin praying now so that you may be transformed and raise yourself up with others as well. Priests, parents, everyone, must pray. Prayer is a gift and a principal weapon given to the Church. The Church is neither an idea nor a political party; it is a family that prays, a family that loves. This is the reason Our Lady insists that prayer is needed in order to transform the world.
Fasting – “Let the people perform strict fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, except the sick”, “The best fasting is on bread and water.”
Fasting is the second stone: It can be fasting from cigarettes, from television, from an evil thought, from a negative project, and from food. Fasting demonstrates your individual capacity to love and affirms that you are important to everyone. Fasting is medicine and a sacrifice. With fasting, egoism is defeated. He who knows how to fast is capable of hearing his neighbor, of being available for others, and of understanding how to love the entire world. He who fasts sees himself and others truthfully and is aware of how to cleanse his inner self.
Eucharist (Holy Mass) – “The Holy Mass is the climax of prayer.”
The Eucharist is the third stone: In the Mass the Incarnation occurs, the transubstantiation of the bread and wine. This is also a sign of our transformation: from death, we are brought to life. The Mass transforms the Christian, transforms the Church because with the Mass Jesus is offered completely to the Church. The Mass is the origin of the Church, the Mystical Body. The Mass-Sacrifice renders the Church a holy family. In the Mass, one is born again if one’s own life is placed upon the altar as a sacrifice, in the manner of Jesus. We are the drop of water poured into the wine; the Church is united with the Blood of Jesus. Therefore, you must not just listen to the Holy Mass but live it. Without the Mass the Church does not exist; without it, the Church is an orphan.
The Bible – Read the Holy Scripture every day: “You have forgotten the Holy Scripture.”
The Bible is the fourth stone: It is not one of many books, it is the Christian’s flag. Deprived of the Bible, the Christian is no longer the same person. The Bible is born from the heart of the Lord; it is His Word. Therefore, it must remain first within the family. It must be set in a place of honor, and that place must be sacred for us. It must be the source of our prayer. The Bible illuminates the Christian’s walk amid doubt and conflicting ideologies today.
Confession – Confession once a month: “In confession, many blessings are received”.
Confession is the fifth stone. Our Lady requests us to make monthly visits to the sacrament of reconciliation. The purpose of Confession is not to recount one’s actions; it is not a psycho-analytical session. It is a sacrament and a source of peace with oneself in the meeting with the Lord. In Confession, we obtain the peace of the Lord so that we may transmit it to others. In confession, we open ourselves up before the Lord, asking Him to transform and renew our hearts. Confession is both a sacrament and a mystery.
Together, these five stones that Our Lady has given us through her messages of Medjugorje are the weapons in the battle of good and evil and are the medicine that enables us to heal and find true inner peace. Let us celebrate her 40 Years Among Us in Medjugorje.