Return to prayer! It might seem strange that Our Lady would say such a thing. Aren’t we already praying in answer to her call? What more does she want? But in actuality we constantly need to return to prayer. We need to be vigilant in prayer so that prayer does not just become a habit. I want to quote Fr. Slavko, who wrote extensively about prayer, according to Our Lady of Medjugorje. He helps us return to prayer through his insights. This excerpt is from “Be Similar to My Heart” by Fr. Slavko Barbaric:
“There are two conversions that should happen to us; IN OUR PRAYER and TO OUR PRAYER. The first conversion is to start to pray. Many people do not pray at all. The second conversion takes place in the prayer itself. We make ‘free’ our desires. Our prayers must be free of wanting to gain something from God, but rather to just ‘be’ with God. Some people’s prayers consist only of their wants, needs and desires. They come to tell their story to God but do not wait for an answer. Once they finish the list of wants, they immediately leave. We must be very cautious when we are praying and fasting, so as not to ‘blow the horns’ in front of us. We may end up ‘boasting’ to God about our prayers and be blind to giving Him our love. Sometimes we know we should go to Confession, but at the same time, we are not aware of the fact that we must change first. Conversion is not just saying many words but is then seen really by actions.
“An example of true conversion in our prayer is when we are looking for God because He loves us rather than looking because we want our needs met. In the September 1987 message Our Lady says, “Dear children, I invite you to prayer. May prayer be your life.” What is missing then in our prayer? Our Lady continually calls us to prayer. We do all the necessary things – Rosaries, Stations of the Cross and Holy Mass – yet, Our Lady still keeps asking for us to pray! WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN ORDER FOR THIS TO BE FULFILLED?
“…Perhaps the fact that she is asking us repeatedly to prayer does not mean we are not praying. Maybe what it means is she wants to show us a new dimension of prayer….
“In July 1994 Our Lady says, “Patiently give time to God.” Even here she is, like a mother, showing us and teaching her children to behave. It can be said that patience is a great virtue. It is a condition that teaches us how we can be with each other. Patience also helps us to speak with others and listen to others. If there is no patience, we cannot speak or listen to ourselves or others. We have probably all experienced this in encounters with others and in our families. If we speak impatiently to someone, their ears close. Patience is important whenever we meet someone and whoever is impatient cannot meet others on any level.
“Patience is also a product of love. If we love someone, we are automatically patient with that person, in all circumstances. If we do not love, we cannot be patient with ourselves or others. Every moment we spend with a person, whom we do not like, is much too long of a moment. Patience cannot be imagined or created. It is only born out of love. If we have lost our patience, then we have lost or failed in love. When we lack love, then we tend to be impatient. Our Lady is telling us that we should ‘patiently’ give time to God. When we have patience with god, this patience comes out of love for god. Very often we pray impatiently, and our prayers seem to be too long. Even Mass is too long for some. Whenever we talk with someone we love, we make the best of it. This is what should happen when we are with God. Many people in the world today have lost the purpose of prayer, and therefore, have also lost the purpose of love!” (Fr. Slavko Barbaric. Be similar to My Heart. Information Center, Medjugorje 1994)
Tomorrow I will share more of Fr. Slavko’s teaching on prayer. I am sure his wisdom will help us to return to prayer as Our Lady asks. In these very difficult days, we need very much to be living prayer!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2020