Dear Family of Mary

Gabriel brings God's call to Our Lady!
(c)Bernard Gallagher, used with permission

January 19, 2012

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Today I wish to call you to pray, pray, pray! In prayer you shall perceive the greatest joy and the way out of every situation that has no exit. Thank you for starting up prayer. Each individual is dear to my heart. And I thank all who have urged prayer in their families. Thank you for having responded to my call." (March 28, 1985)

Yesterday I mentioned Our Lady's offer, the way out of every situation that has no exit. Prayer is that way out! Prayer changes everything. Fr. Jacques Philippe writes about the power of prayer to change our lives. He believes that every situation we find ourselves in has within it a "call" from God. It is a call that leads to new life, and can be found through prayer. He writes:

The answer to the question "What call is the situation addressing to me?" does not exist before the situation exists. It is not a ready-made response or a kind of psychological projection. It is similar to grace; it is like a gift. It comes in the opening of the heart and the beginning of prayer. Often one finds it in the encounter with the Word of God, and often it has the unexpected newness that is the mark of the Spirit. It gives peace and liberates.

Often one's pre-existing responses have little to do with God's true call. They reflect one's habitual way of thinking, the coping strategies one has grown accustomed to. At first they may seem very spiritual and edifying. But they are not the will of God. To hear the true call of the Spirit, one must know one's self and listen to others who often see things more clearly. Then we generally detect pretty quickly what comes from God and what comes from the "flesh", as Paul calls it - which might also be called the wounded psyche.

It may be one's habit to blame oneself for life's problems. Or to blame others. Or to think one must be heroic in a way that God doesn't ask. A person may have a fear of weakness, believing what he or she must always be strong. Some of us are in denial; some are always taking flight. These are paths that lead to rigidity, worry, and tension.

The responses that come from the Spirit are different. They are in harmony with the Word of God; they have the flavor of evangelical sweetness, of humility and peace, a note of simplicity and realism. They are also characterized by freshness and newness, and give rise to confidence. Although it sometimes takes courage to accept them, they are not restrictive in nature, not imposed from the outside, but are part of an interior dynamism that respects freedom. They lead us out of our repetitious scenarios and produce true changes. They produce a renewal in our lives that can only come from God. (Rev. Jacques Philippe. Called to Life. Scepter Publishing, 2008, P. 63-65)

Pre-existing responses can create the situations we live in that seem to have no exit. They box us in, create unhappiness and fear. Pre-existing responses are very often sinful. But God's call to us will set us free, bring us new life, and bless everyone around us as well. God's calls to us are the way out of the situations in our lives that have oppressed us.

Prayer is necessary, if we are to hear God's call to us. Prayer opens our hearts to understand God's plan and His way. As our Lady says, "Pray, pray, pray!"

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2012

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