January 16, 2018
Dear Family of Mary!
“…May your crosses be your means in the battle against the sins of the present time…” (October 2, 2010)
I have always considered crosses something to be avoided, something to set aside as quickly as possible. And so the October 2, 2010 message was a revelation for me. To believe that the crosses in my life can be opportunities to turn the tide of evil, the sins of the present time, is to change the way I think about so much! As I was praying about it, I came across this message from 1996:
September 25, 1996 “Dear children! Today I invite you to offer your crosses and suffering for my intentions. Little children, I am your mother and I wish to help you by seeking for you the grace from God. Little children, offer your sufferings as a gift to God so they become a most beautiful flower of joy. That is why, little children, pray that you may understand that suffering can become joy and the cross the way of joy. Thank you for having for responded to my call.”
Our Lady has been praying for us to receive the grace from God that will enable us to offer our crosses and suffering for her intentions! She has needed our cooperation in her battle for souls all along. Without our willing sacrifices and sufferings, she cannot achieve her plan to bring about an era of peace. Our crosses are the means in the battle!!
But she assures us that if we give our sufferings and crosses to God as a gift, they will be transformed into joy! We might wonder how this can be. And indeed, every person has their own path to this joy. St. John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Letter, Salvifici doloris, in 1984, in which he explored our call to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. He was still recovering from the assassination attempt in 1981, and his pontificate was shape by his own suffering from that point on. He writes about the joy that comes from offering suffering to Christ in this way:
(26)…Christ through his own salvific suffering is very much present in every human suffering, and can act from within that suffering by the powers of his Spirit of truth, his consoling Spirit.
This is not all: The Divine Redeemer wishes to penetrate the soul of every sufferer through the heart of his holy Mother, the first and the most exalted of all the redeemed. As though by a continuation of that motherhood which by the power of the Holy Spirit had given him life, the dying Christ conferred upon the ever Virgin Mary a new kind of motherhood-spiritual and universal-towards all human beings, so that every individual, during the pilgrimage of faith, might remain, together with her, closely united to him unto the Cross, and so that every form of suffering, given fresh life by the power of this Cross, should become no longer the weakness of man but the power of God.
However, this interior process does not always follow the same pattern. It often begins and is set in motion with great difficulty. Even the very point of departure differs: people react to suffering in different ways. But in general it can be said that almost always the individual enters suffering with a typically human protest and with the question “why”. He asks the meaning of his suffering and seeks an answer to this question on the human level. Certainly he often puts this question to God, and to Christ. Furthermore, he cannot help noticing that the one to whom he puts the question is himself suffering and wishes to answer him from the Cross, from the heart of his own suffering. Nevertheless, it often takes time, even a long time, for this answer to begin to be interiorly perceived. For Christ does not answer directly and he does not answer in the abstract this human questioning about the meaning of suffering. Man hears Christ’s saving answer as he himself gradually becomes a sharer in the sufferings of Christ.
The answer which comes through this sharing, by way of the interior encounter with the Master, is in itself something more than the mere abstract answer to the question about the meaning of suffering. For it is above all a call. It is a vocation. Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but before all else he says: “Follow me!”. Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through my suffering! Through my Cross. Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him. He does not discover this meaning at his own human level, but at the level of the suffering of Christ. At the same time, however, from this level of Christ the salvific meaning of suffering descends to man’s level and becomes, in a sense, the individual’s personal response. It is then that man finds in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy.
27. Saint Paul speaks of such joy in the Letter to the Colossians: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake”. A source of joy is found in the overcoming of the sense of the uselessness of suffering, a feeling that is sometimes very strongly rooted in human suffering. This feeling not only consumes the person interiorly, but seems to make him a burden to others. The person feels condemned to receive help and assistance from others, and at the same time seems useless to himself. The discovery of the salvific meaning of suffering in union with Christ transforms this depressing feeling. Faith in sharing in the suffering of Christ brings with it the interior certainty that the suffering person “completes what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”; the certainty that in the spiritual dimension of the work of Redemption he is serving, like Christ, the salvation of his brothers and sisters. Therefore, he is carrying out an irreplaceable service. In the Body of Christ, which is ceaselessly born of the Cross of the Redeemer, it is precisely suffering permeated by the spirit of Christ’s sacrifice that is the irreplaceable mediator and author of the good things which are indispensable for the world’s salvation. It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything else, makes present in the history of humanity the powers of the Redemption. In that “cosmic” struggle between the spiritual powers of good and evil, spoken of in the Letter to the Ephesians, human sufferings, united to the redemptive suffering of Christ, constitute a special support for the powers of good, and open the way to the victory of these salvific powers. (Salvifici doloris, n 26-27
I know this is long. But how can we not listen to Saint John Paul II talk about the process that makes suffering turn into joy? Our Lady told us it is true. Saint John Paul II showed us the way by his own life. He tells us that Mary has been given a new kind of motherhood, one in which she draws us to her Son on the Cross, to help us unite our suffering with His. And he assures us that our suffering can turn to joy, because “human sufferings, united to the redemptive suffering of Christ, constitute a special support for the powers of good, and open the way to the victory of these salvific powers!!” Our suffering, given as a gift to Jesus, can change the world!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Mary TV 2018
PS. Mike Nolan has created a new website where you can purchase and download his new CD’s, “Mary TV Soundtrack”, and “Oh Jesus, we adore you.”
I recommend them both highly!