“Dear children! You are running, working, gathering – but without blessing. You are not praying! Today I call you to stop in front of the manger and to meditate on Jesus, Whom I give to you today also, to bless you and to help you to comprehend that, without Him, you have no future. Therefore, little children, surrender your lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead you and protect you from every evil. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
*Dear brothers and sisters, my dear praying family!
The Queen of Peace said these words on the very Christmas day. What grief, what sorrow and what pain are radiating from these words! We have learnt to live for days and weeks, for months and years like all other PAGANS OR SOME ROUTINE CHRISTIANS who live as if there were no God. Yes, She watches my everyday life, the beginning of my day, of a new workday or feast, it does not matter. Each of these days is the same as that of other people in my midst whom I do not influence. In all this race of mine I, too, have got the aims and the means I use to realise them. I do not think of or count on blessing. I do not start my day with prayer and do not ask for blessing. I am sure only of my work, of my results, of my projects. In fact, the race that has taken hold of my heart is like an athletic discipline to which each competitor is subjected: there is the start, measuring of time, adherence to every rule, and the like. My life is conditioned by work discipline, by regulations in traffic, by regulations at work; my life is conditioned by the fashion and the trends dictated by shop-windows, television screens and various shows. Such attitude to the social environment excludes my faith and hope in God, excludes every blessing. I do not feel that God wants to act upon and change people through me. I am one of them. All of us, who know each other, are like eggs in a basket. It is here that our apostolate stops, and so does our ability to be the salt, the light and the yeast to this generation.
When I heard men and women speak shamelessly, flipping the ash off their cigarettes while doing so, I remained dumbfounded. To see how the mentality of this world, the world of consumerism of all forms and colours, has become the law of communication and false prestige among people! We are all affected by this race the Queen of Peace is speaking about.
*A man who has no time and finds no time for another man, finds no time and has no time for prayer either. I observed and studied people who speak and live as if they had no time for their family, for their children, for their friends. They lose their family and their friends. Such people do not pray. They persistently argue they have no time for prayer. They never deny God, no, but they like to say: “I am a believer, but I have no time to practice my faith, I have no time for prayer.”
Such people are unsuccessful in their family, and frustrated in the society, are a failure in their vocation whatever it might be. Such people anxiously reiterate how they failed to finish this or that job. Somehow they feel they have reached the point when they can attain their goal, but is eludes them at the last moment. They are difficult people who start looking for culprits for their failure and start accusing everybody, starting from their loved ones in the family, at the workplace and the like. This race is being intensified and spread like a plague through modern technology and communications. Alienation is growing. Today you get not a letter written by a human hand that has a contact with the heart, but an SMS message which is pale and almost empty. The race alienates us from each other and breaks our nature: to be with others as a social being, to live, to sacrifice oneself for others. For a meeting with others enriches me. It brings me close to others and I am sure that I am not alone, that I have not been forgotten. A running man gets tired and as such he does not want others and to be with others.
*You are working and gathering, but all without blessing. A powerful word of the Mother. We must not shut our ears to it. We hear terrifying life stories by many: “I have been working all my life, providing and gathering, and today I am forsaken and without blessing. My family, my children do not appreciate it, do not see it, consider me frustrated, and the like. How hard and painful it is to listen to so many and such life lamentations. Why has happened what nobody wants? Because our life and work have been without blessing. Blessing comes from God. It pours out through prayer into our work and our family. The running and hurrying man does not find time for prayer, because he feels safest when watching the fruits of his hands, of his work, of his skill and career.
*You are not praying! This truth is a sickness that our family suffers from. It is a sign that we have not come to believe and accepted to live Our Lady’s messages yet. One of the messages that the Queen of Peace is daily calling us to live is the prayer of the Rosary. By praying we learn how to pray. By praying we win others over for prayer, because prayer yields magnificent fruits. It is through prayer that our deeds and our work, our day and our week, our fields and our studies, our cross and our suffering are blessed. There is no such temptation and no such weakness as could be an excuse for our putting off or missing the family prayer for any reason whatsoever. The renewal of the family, of the parish, of the Church is not possible without prayer.
The praying man has got time and finds it more and more and takes it out for prayer, because he loves, because without prayer he cannot live.
Mother’s call on Christmas – Little children, surrender your lives into the hands of Jesus, for Him to lead you and protect you from every evil, is a powerful and a gentle call. Everything without Him is empty, a failure, a vain effort and a useless race. With Him everything is blest and successful. Simply said, protected from every evil.
My life is not filled with peace and rest without Him. Christmas is a feast that teaches me to surrender to Him and to serve Him. That is why the Mother calls us to stop before the truth of the manger, the stable, the closed door. She calls us to meditate on Jesus whom She gives to us to bless us. She, the bearer of God to man, as Benedict XVI put it so nicely, gave birth to and brought her Son to bless us and enlighten us so that we may comprehend with our heart that the world and our life have no future without Him. He became man to save us, to redeem and deliver us from every damnation and give us His peace and blessing. I need His peace and blessing. I do not want to be a damned, but a happy and blessed man: parent, priest, child, worker, etc.
This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:
1. That each of us may know how to apply the life principle of saints: Pray and work! (St Benedict). That we may not be affected by the fear and the fever of the “crisis” being announced by the people who have been building and gathering and running without God. As work belongs to human dignity, so does prayer.
2. For our praying family that we may revive the ardour for prayer and the love for the apostolate of everyday family recitation of the Rosary.
3. For blessing and peace in the new year 2009 in the Church and in the world, among peoples and nations.
That we may learn from St Francis, the 800th anniversary of whose Order the Church is celebrating, to be bearers of peace and propagators of the Gospel. That we may learn from him how to pray to and praise God.
Dear brothers and sisters, this message is a strong call and sign to us all at the beginning of a new year. Respond with love and enthusiasm to this call. We have felt the need to respond to the call of the Queen of Peace. Therefore, renew your vow and your promise.
Kneeling and praying for you is your devoted brother
Široki Brijeg., 28.12.2008.