(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2018 February 16, 2018 Dear Family of Mary! February 25, 2007 “Dear children! Open your heart to God’s mercy in this Lenten time. The heavenly Father desires to deliver each of you from the slavery of sin. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time and through meeting with God in confession, leave sin and decide for holiness. Do this out of love for Jesus, who redeemed you all with his blood, that you may be happy and in peace. Do not forget, little children: your freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with seriousness. Thank you for having responded to my call.” As we begin Lent, it is a very good idea to go to Confession. In our journey towards Easter, we are looking for the grace of self-knowledge. We need to know ourselves, our real selves. We need to see what God sees in us, in order to change and grow in holiness. God loves us so much. He sees our weaknesses and sins as clear as day. But He still loves us so much. His desire is to help us to see ourselves with His eyes, so that we can run to Him for help in our fight against sin and selfishness. He only wants to give us His peace and light. That is what awaits us in confession. There is a beautiful Psalm that is a good prayer to pray in preparation for Confession. It is the Psalm for Mass today: Psalm 51 Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance. O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar. Our Lady has turned Medjugorje into the confessional of the world! Just being in her presence, pilgrims feel a great desire to be washed clean, to be made whole by Jesus, through the priest in Confession. It is one of the great signs that Our Lady is really present in Medjugorje. Confession is the emergency room for souls. There, we broken ones come face to face with Jesus and His Mercy. Truly in Confession we receive the most precious gift, the gift of self-knowledge, the gift of the truth about ourselves. As the Psalmist said: “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.” This is the gift Jesus gives us in Confession. Truth in our inward being!! Wisdom in our secret heart!! Our lives are changed forever by Confession. We come out of that emergency room with new hearts!! Thank you, dearest Mother, for drawing us to your Son in Confession where we can be healed. Thank you for showing us the way to life! In Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Cathy Nolan Mary TV 2018 PS. During Lent, Denis and I will pray the Stations of the Cross during the Hour of Mercy. Join us at 3:00 pm Medjugorje time!! Live!