We continue with Fr. Slavko’s reflection on the December 25, 1994 message:
December 25, 1994 “Dear children! Today I rejoice with you and I am praying with you for peace: peace in your hearts, peace in your families, peace in your desires, peace in the whole world. May the King of Peace bless you today and give your peace. I bless you and I carry each one of you in my heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
PEACE IN YOUR FAMILIES
When Mary says ‘family’ we think of husband and wife, mother and father and when they together create the conditions for peace. It becomes a call for unconditional love, for forgiveness, for respecting one another and for accepting one another. Whenever the parents are wounded or wound each other it, of course, falls upon the children and in such a situation peace is NEVER possible. Therefore, it is the parents who are first called upon in the family unit to have peace with each other, to have peace in their desires toward themselves, each other and toward their children.
Of course we can only imagine what is in the hearts of many parents while they are trying to guide and raise them, with all their worries of what the children will be doing and what will the world be bringing to them! These doubts and questions are justified but we will not react with fear, with panic or with mistrust. These will not solve the problems. It is not in this way that we will be able to help the youth. The best help that can be offered to them is when the parents have decided for peace themselves and when they thereby stand in front of the children as witnesses of peace.
Only when life becomes a gift from God the Creator and when we therefore learn to love everything more within the family will it become easier. It will also become easier when one removes all that which threatens peace and these things become even more difficult when the children reach puberty. The suffering of the parents then becomes extreme and often unimaginable but peace is still possible because Mary also is praying for peace with us.
This is the reason that we very consciously must renew this prayer for peace in our families every day. Yet more than on anything else this peace depends on the parents, on husband and wife, and then finally also on the children. If only one is there as an agent of interference, confusion or division, then the peace of the entire family is at risk. Then seen on a merely human level, peace becomes impossible. Then Our Lady addresses a very important level of peace and that is…
PEACE IN YOUR DESIRES
With this, I believe, she is touching upon our inner-freedom. The freer we are from ourselves, from other people and from the material, the more we will have a true peace within us. When we are dependent upon ourselves or when we have pride in our hearts, then we will only with great difficulty, if at all, be able to have true peace. When we are dependent on things, people, wealth, influence, alcohol or drugs, then it is impossible to have peace within us because the mind or the body come to control everything. All of these only hinder the heart from coming to peace.
It is therefore good when we ask ourselves this. What is it that we are really seeking in our lives? Is it to meet with god and then out of Him and with Him to meet other people and all of His creation? This is not easy. It is difficult and it means daily attention and daily straining, but it is only this search that keeps us in a deeper peace. When we become free in this sense we are bringing peace into our desires and thus it is ONLY peace that controls us.
Here it becomes important to think of this message that Mary gave us. “Work on your hearts as you work in your fields.” This is a valuable assignment for the coming New Year as well for all the coming years. We have all been wishing each other peace when we were sending Christmas cards and meeting so many people over these holidays. We want this to be our desire, our ONLY desire in our hearts all year long!
The simpler our desires become, the stronger we yearn to love God, to love freedom and to love other people. Then it will become easier for us to take upon us all that helps us come to inner peace in our desires. It will then also be easier to accept all those things that are not all right and that are not helping us to be in contact with God…
(Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM. “Mother! Lead us to Peace!! P. 306)
The Final installment will be tomorrow!
Peace in our hearts, Peace in our families, Peace in our desires…and Peace in the whole world!!!