Day: September 28, 2023

September 29, 2023 Reflection – Your prayer invites God to enter your life!

Your prayer invites God to enter your life!   September 29, 2023 Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels Dear Family of Mary! Today, in Chapter 8 – Teaching Eight, Fr. Shamon tells us that our prayer invites God to enter our lives: Fr. Shamon writes: One final point remains on prayer. It is this: Why does Mary need our prayers? Why does she beg for them? On September 13, 1984, she said: “Dear children. I still need your prayers. You will ask yourselves: why so many prayers?” Yes, why? The answer lies in the fact that God has given us a precious gift, something that makes us most like Himself–our free will. The Founding Fathers of our nation (the USA) cherished liberty. The Statue of Liberty graces the harbor to our land. Revolutions have been fought for liberty. But no one respects our liberty more than God Himself and His Mother. God made us free. In the Exodus, He showed that He wanted all mankind to be free. He will never violate that freedom. He even sent an angel to get Mary’s consent to divine motherhood. John pictured Our Lord as standing at the door of our hearts and knocking for entrance (Rv. 3:20). Only we can open it. And we do when we pray. Prayer says in effect to God: “I want you to enter into my life, into our world.” That is why Mary pleads for us to pray. It gives God and her the green light, so to speak, to go ahead and act in our lives and in the world. Mary is so respectful of our freedom that her messages often begin with the words “I invite you.” Like the gospel, her messages are invitations. They ask for an RSVP – a response if you please, but a response freely given. All she can do is invite and wait. Prayer is our response to the invitation. It is our asking God and Mary to step into our lives. On Thursday (4/26/84), Our Lady did not give any message to the parish. The following week (5/3/84), Marija asked Our Lady: “Dear Mother, why did you not give a message for the parish last Thursday?” Here is what Our Lady answered: “I do not wish to force anybody to do anything they do not feel or wish to do, even if I had some special message to give to the parish with which I wanted to revive the faith for all the faithful.” Imagine that! Our Lady implied that even if she had a most helpful message to give, we could prevent her so doing just by our saying ‘No’. What Our Lady can do, or will do, depends on each of us. For instance, Our Lady told the visionaries when they had asked her what she would like them to do with their lives late on: “I would very much like for you to be priests or religious, but that is for you to choose. You are free.” Again she said: “You must make up your own minds. I will help you in your decisions.” Ivanka decided to marry. Our Lady did not object. It was Ivanka’s decision. We are free! In the monthly messages to the world, Our Lady constantly calls us to decide. “Dear children. I invite all of you to decide for paradise” (10/25/87). God will give paradise only to those who freely choose it! “Dear children. I invite each one of you to decide again to surrender everything completely to me. Only in that way will I be able to present each of you to God…I desire each of you for myself, but God has given to all a freedom which I lovingly respect and to which I humbly submit…” (11/25/87) There you have it. “Only in this way will I be able…God has given to all freedom…I respect this…I submit to this.” Can you now see why she pleads so earnestly that we pray? Prayer frees her to act in our lives. This deep respect for our liberty is one of the marks of the authenticity of the apparitions of Medjugorje. Mary invites; she thanks us for our response. But not so Satan. He is the father of all agitation. He is harsh. He seeks to force his will upon us. When Mirjana saw the devil (4/14/82), she said: “You cannot imagine how terrible he was. He almost killed me with his gaze…” At every Mass we are reminded at the Presentation of the Gifts that our salvation is the work of both God and man; for the Church speaks of bread “which earth has given (God’s work) and human hands have made” (man’s work), and of wine as “fruit of the vine (God’s work) and work of human hands” (man’s work). In one of her latest messages to the world (1/25/88) Our Lady once more underscored the power that is ours in our free will. She said: “Dear children, today I am again calling you to complete conversion, which is difficult for those who have not chosen God.” We must choose God; otherwise conversion is difficult. “I am inviting you, dear children, to convert fully to God.” She asks for full conversion. Too often we seek God only in times of sickness or problems; we think He doesn’t listen to us or hear us. And that is not true. We limit God’s power by our lack of faith. So the Mother of God said: “I am praying for you and I want to draw you ever more near to God, but I cannot if you do not want it.” The final decision is ours. Mother Mary says she cannot draw us to God is we do not want it. St. Augustine said: “God who created us without our consent will not save us without our consent.” And that is that: that is why Our Lady begs us to pray. Prayer opens us up to God. Rev. Albert J.M. Shamon, “Our Lady teaches about Prayer at Medjugorje.” Chapter 8, Teaching Eight! (P. 34-37) We are grateful to Fr. Shamon for such simple but powerful words which show us Our Mother’s love and great holiness. We are in good hands with Our Lady!! In Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Cathy Nolan (c) Mary TV 2023