Daily Reflections
by Cathy

The world is in such need of your arms raised towards heaven…

(c)Mateo Ivankovic  2017


June 14, 2017

Dear Family of Mary!

“Apostles of my love, the world is in such need of your arms raised towards Heaven, towards my Son, towards the Heavenly Father…” (June 2, 2017)

This wondrous sentence from Our Lady’s June 2, 2017 message has set me to wondering. Our Lady seems to be letting us in on something very important to her. The whole world needs something from us. And we are ready to respond. But what does she ask of us? “The world is in such need of your arms raised towards heaven, towards my Son, towards the Heavenly Father…” What can this mean?

Those in the Charismatic Renewal (which just celebrated its 50th Anniversary) would recognize this posture of raised arms as a posture of prayer and praise. It is a regular part of a prayer meeting, to raise one’s arms and spontaneously praise the Lord. This is very possibly one understanding of Our Lady’s plea.

But I wanted to look at Scripture, to find out what the roots are to this kind of gesture in prayer. I came across an article which listed several Scripture citations that mention lifted hands (which I think is much the same as lifted arms). The citations are listed below so that you can pray over them, and possibly go to the Bible chapter and read them in context. The lifting of hands (or arms) seems to be a sign of respect, praise, and also supplication. Most of these citations are from Psalms that are laments, in which the Psalmist is begging God for mercy, deliverance and help. The gesture of raised hands is one of submission and supplication.

Psalm 28:2

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help,
As I lift up my hands towards your Most Holy Place

Psalm 63:4

I will praise you as long as I live,
And in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 88:9

My eyes dim with grief, I call to you,
O Lord, every day: I spread out my hands to you.

Psalm 134:2

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
And praise the Lord.

Psalm 141:2

May my prayer be set before you like incense:
May the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Psalm 143:6

I stretch out my hands to you;
My Soul longs for You, as a parched land.

And from the New Testament:

I Timothy 2:8

Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray,
lifting holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

(see: http://artistictheologian.com/journal/at-volume-2-2013/lifting-holy-hands-nuance-nuisance-or-error-a-biblical-theology-of-the-practice-of-lifting-hands-in-worship/ Calvin Pearson)

In 1 Timothy 2:8 we see St. Paul instructing men to pray in this way, with lifted hands, but also with pure hearts. So the early Christians also used this gesture in prayer.

I feel myself that Our Lady is telling us that the world needs our prayer of intercession, a deep intercession that borders on lamentation, a cry to the Father and the Son to have mercy on us all. She sees souls on the brink of damnation, and she wishes so much that we, her Apostles, would join her is lifting our arms to the Father and the Son for those most in need of mercy in these days.

Lifting our arms in prayer is a sign of deep dependence upon the Lord, much like a little child lifts his arms to his father, asking to be picked up. We all feel the need to be picked up by our heavenly Father. Let’s lift up our arms, our hands, to Him who loves us and loves the whole world. We can ask for mercy for them all.

PS. I think we can lift up our arms in prayer simply by praying with the heart in deep supplication, praying the Rosary for the salvation of the world, going to Adoration, Holy Mass, and to prayer meetings. I feel this is a gesture of the heart! It is intercession!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

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