(Sts. Perpetua and Felicity)
Dear Family of Mary!
I have found another homily by Fr. Slavko Barbaric, from the Yellow Book of Homilies – published in 1987. Fr. Slavko teaches about Our Lady’s call to prayer and fasting in a way that will help us as we begin our Lenten season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I will present one half today and the second half tomorrow.
Thank you, dearest Mother for giving us Fr. Slavko Barbaric as our great friend and priest:
“Dear children, you forget that you are all important.”
I will read you last Thursday’s message and try to explain it in the context of all the other messages:
“Dear children, today I invite you to pray. Dear children, you forget that you are all important. The elderly are especially important in the family. Urge them to pray. Let young people be an example to others by their lives and let them give witness to Jesus. Dear children, I beseech you, begin to change through prayer and you will know then what you need to do. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
The apparitions show us in a practical way how to go towards peace and how to achieve peace. I think that all of us can find the answer to “Why am I here?” from this fact. Perhaps because I believe that this place, over the last five years, has become a place of prayer, of fasting, of re-awakening of faith, where peace is found, where it is possible to live reconciliation with God and other people.
In her first five messages, Our Lady said, “Pray.” Since 1st March 1984, she has been giving us a message every Thursday. When we read these messages, it can be seen that no message is without this strong invitation to “Pray”.
Naturally we must ask ourselves why there is this invitation to pray. If you read the messages you will understand the reason. Our Lady repeats many times, “Pray and you will have all you desire”, “Pray and you will have peace, a deeper joy, you will overcome your tiredness, you will have love, strength for reconciliation”, and much else.
Many people have discovered something very important here: that they can pray and that they have time for prayer.
Many of us caught up in the hectic routine of our modern world lose the time to pray and many people excuse themselves, “I haven’t enough time”. It would be more honest to say, “I don’t see the need for prayer.” We can’t see the value of prayer anymore. Thinking of all of us who wish to peace, wish to love and be loved, it is true what Our Lady is telling us, “Pray and you will have all of this.” And what do we do? We leave prayer, we haven’t got the time for it, we believe that we can resolve everything with our money, by our devices, and I don’t know what else. This is a great mistake, also in the lives of us Christians.
But when we discover the value of prayer, then we find the time for prayer and we start again to organize our life with God.
This is our conversion. This is the significance of the words in the messages where Our Lady says, “Abandon yourselves, let yourselves be guided by me.”
In her last but one message, she said, “You are too preoccupied with material goods, and in these goods, you lose everything that God wishes to give you.”
In other words, in the first place in your lives there is not God, love of God, or peace; material goods take the first place.
Naturally, if we do not meet each other through our hearts, but with our money, our muscle, our heads, then conflicts and wars must follow. I would like to explain to you that Our Lady has never spoken against our belongings, against our money or against our work, never. But she has spoken many times about changing our relationship with all our possessions and finding a new order of values in our lives. This is what the apparitions are for, to produce this new order of values in our life.
God is not inviting us, through Our Lady, to lose something, but to change our values in the light of our faith. This is why Our Lady is always telling us, “Pray.” Without prayer, this change is not possible. But not all prayer helps us to change our lives and to bring harmony to them. You know that Jesus told us not to pray as the pagans do, only with our lips, but to pray from the heart; seeking first of all the will of God and the Kingdom of Heaven and then all else will be given to us. Here Our Lady is inviting us to heartfelt prayer and asks that it be active prayer, that the words be active. She said, “I invite you once again to pray.”
What does heartfelt prayer mean? It means feeling the words of God in our heart and allowing ourselves to be moved by these words. Do God’s words move me or not? What does it mean to me when God says, “I give you my love”, “I give you My Body”, “Here is My Word for you”, and from the Cross, “Here is your Mother. Here is your son”, “Be reconciled to your neighbor”, “Love your neighbor, love your God above all else, love yourself, do not destroy yourself.”
If these words leave us indifferent and if we continue to find excuses it means that prayer is not active, it cannot move us, and we are closed. Or in other words, what does the Cross mean for you in your family? When you look at it does it invite you to love and to reconciliation? Does it help you not to blaspheme and not to use swear words? Does it help you to love your neighbor? Does it help you to accept Our Lady? To pray or not?
If we continue to behave selfishly in front of the Cross, if we affirm that we cannot forgive when someone has offended us, then it means that the Cross is silent and is no longer speaking to us. Our Lady, by inviting us to pray, wants us to be touched by God’s Word once again, and not to be afraid in the face of these things. Like a Mother, Our Lady invites us, “Do this and you will receive all that you need.” In one of her message, she said, “I know that you want to live all that I tell you, but you are not able to do so because you haven’t yet started praying.”
In this message too, we have an example of whether the word moves us or not; Our Lady said, “Dear children, you forget that all of you are important.” These words said by Our Lady are serious. She is telling each one of us personally, “You are important.”
Sometimes we talk about inferiority complexes in psychology; how many people, especially amongst the young, have lost the meaning of life, of sacrifice, of love and many other aspects and do not want to live life, and so the way is opened for drugs, alcohol, crime and all that is negative. Our Lady says to each one of us, “You are important.” I believe that these words must heal our soul and our heart of every fear and worry. We are important for Our Lady and important for each other.
If we accept this and begin to live it, who will dare to hate someone anymore, or with hate destroy someone? What parent will dare to fight or get divorced if they become important to each other, and if their children become important to them? Look how important what Our Lady is telling us is. In the Kingdom of Heaven no one can be idle because no human being refuses love.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2019