St. John Bosco
Dear Family of Mary!
Little children, do not forget that Satan is strong and that he wants to attract all the more souls to himself. That is why, you be vigilant in prayer and resolute in the good… (January 25, 2022)
Our Lady told us on January 25, 2022 to “be vigilant in prayer…” I decided to look up the meaning of “vigilant” to see if it would help me respond to her message. I found these simple meanings:
“Carefully observant or attentive; on the lookout for possible danger…”
“Someone who is vigilant gives careful attention to a particular problem or situation and concentrates on noticing any danger or trouble that there might be.”
“Watchful and alert…”
“To watch, keep awake, not to sleep, be watchful…”
It was helpful for me to know that vigilance is linked with danger. It explains why Our Lady told us that Satan is strong and wants to attract souls for himself just before she told us to be vigilant in prayer. She wants us to know that there is an enemy lurking, and enemy that wants to harm us and all those we love. There is a real reason to be vigilant in prayer. Our enemy lays traps all around us that can do us harm. Only constant, vigilant prayer can protect us from his wiles.
There is a Gospel reading which tell us of a situation in which vigilance was necessary and yet some of the apostles failed at that very vigilance:
“And they went to a place which was called Gethsem’ane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:32-38)
Another word for “vigilant” is “watch”. Jesus told the Apostles, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” But when He entered into His temptation in the garden, they fell asleep. They were no help to Him at all. When Jesus returned to them He said: “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Indeed it was a sad moment for Jesus to see how weak our humanity is, and how little we compassionate with others.
But the Lord never gave up on His Apostles, and He doesn’t give up on us. And neither does Our Lady. Here is another of her messages in which she encourages us to pray and “watch in vigil”. We need to keep trying!!
November 25, 1988“Dear children! I call you to prayer, to have an encounter with God in prayer. God gives Himself to you, but He wants you to answer in your own freedom to his invitation. That is why little children during the day, find yourself a special time when you could pray in peace and humility, and have this meeting with God the creator. I am with you and I intercede for you in front of God, so watch in vigil, so that every encounter in prayer be the joy of your contact with God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
May we learn to be vigilant in prayer, to “pray and watch”. Part of being vigilant is staying awake and alert, looking for the Lord to come to us in our prayer. We need this encounter every day. In doing so we will receive what we need from the Lord and we can help Jesus and Mary to protect and save the souls that have no idea of the danger they are in…
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!