A Reflection of Our Lady's Message of February 25, 2009

Message of February 25, 2009
“Dear children! In this time of sacrifice, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and allow it to change you. Convert, little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

The Queen of Peace reminds us that this time is special, gracious, that this is the time of sacrifice, prayer and penance. Yes, this is the time that we started on Ash Wednesday, by bestrewing ourselves with ashes, as a sign of transience, the dust from which man was created and to which every living creature returns, including man. A man bestrewed with ashes is put on the road that has got its goal.
Lent is a time of forty days. It is a period that was familiar both to prophets and saints, a period which they used to spend in the desert, fasting and praying. Jesus, too, after having been baptised by John the Baptizer, went to the desert, where He devoted Himself to fasting and prayer. During that time He went through strong temptations by Satan. But He rejected Satan’s offers and promises, and remained faithful to the Father and to His mission.
The climax of Lent is in the Holy Week. Jesus passed through all temptations and humiliations. This did not confuse, but rather strengthened Him. At the end He took up the cross and death as the only way – through the grave to the final glory and Resurrection and the victory over death and sin. Likewise, our Lent confronts us, who are transient, with the intransient, the eternal. Lent brings us, sinful and miserable as we are, face to face with the grace and goodness of God. This is the time of our return to the Father. Throughout Lent one is called to see his limitations, his sins and weaknesses. To live without sacrifices, without fasting, without prayer, means to be hiding from God. This mantle of selfishness is so heavy that it blinds us. This wall of our haughtiness is so hard that it closes the last door of our hope. Therefore this message touches in us what is essential – our human nature. It does not allow us to hide our weakness but calls us to recognise it and to confess it humbly in the sacrament of reconciliation. This grace that flows and pours into us through the holy sacraments comes from God – not from our sacrifices and prayers but from the pierced heart of our Lord. Our prayer, our fasts and sacrifices are our humble response with love. For, the Lord created us without us and without our consent, but without our “yes” He cannot save us. This is the greatness of our Lent. My decision, my choice, my “yes” is great. It is in this that our human dignity is manifested. “What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them little less than a god, and put all things at their feet.” (Cf. Ps 8:5-6)
Who am I and where am I heading for? Who am I and why do I live? These are the questions haunting all generations. Only Jesus gave answers to them. Only He, and only His word is our way, our rule and measure of life. Lent is a time of imitation of Jesus in a special way: through fasting, prayer, penance, sacrifice and sacraments. There is no other way. It is from prayer and sacrifice that the light comes to each of us – that we may see what the world is offering us, and what the Lord is offering and asking.
Penance and sacrifice, fasting and prayer open my heart and the eyes of my soul so that I may see properly, that I may decide, in due time, for one goal, and that is my God. It is not an ordinary word, but the truth without which I am in error, in deadly danger, where I no more distinguish between the good and the evil. We are surrounded by various people, we meet the ruined and the disappointed, we meet seducers who offer us everything in the name of the Evil one. Young people are in great danger to decide for the wide road of sin, which ultimately means ruin. There are people who are completely committed to evil, and to its programmes and promises. Today it is necessary to switch off the television so that one could feel free and find peace. But, you will not be able to do it unless you have fasted and prayed. You are nervous without a cigarette, without a glass of your favourite drink, and you forgive it to yourself saying that you will sacrifice yourself in some other way. Unfortunately, we are never able to make this substitute sacrifice, because the first one failed to occur.
We are called to confession, to give up our sin for ever.
Once I visited one of the largest Buddhist temples. There are 12 thousand Buddha’s statues in it. At the temple entrance there is a dragon. Its paw is so bright that the question poses itself: “Why? A teacher of Buddhism explained to me that Buddhists leave their sins under the paws of the dragon for it to keep them while they are in the temple. And when they leave the temple their sins again follow them like a shadow. That dragon is some kind of a cloakroom for sins. But only for a short while the dragon keeps the sins lest they disturb one while he is in the temple.
I wonder whether you are aware of how exalted is our faith and our God! How our God gives us grace and responds to our needs, how He redeems our sins. No man can take sins upon himself. Nobody can destroy them, to burn them like paper. Neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist can say to you: “Have no fear! You have confessed your sin and it is no more in your conscience, in your life.” A thing like that surpasses human power. Only God forgives sins. In Jesus and through Jesus He forgives our sins. Jesus left this gift and this grace to the Church through His priests. Our sin has not been deposited in some darkness, in a space of oblivion. No! Our sin has been forgiven in a sacramental confession. In the confession it disappeared in the ocean of God’s mercy and love. Have no fear. After confession your sin will no longer weigh down upon you. Therefore the man whose sins have been forgiven, knows to whom he should go and to thank for the immense and divine peace in his heart, conscience and soul. Confession is medicine. Confession is a gift that only God gives to His children. This grace, this sacramental grace opens my heart and changes it, and I wish only one thing: Never more to offend my God and spurn His love!
I know that He has a plan for my life, my marriage, my profession, my cross. So during this Lent I am going to learn how to imitate Jesus and to keep Him constantly before my eyes.
O, Redeemer of sins, merciful victor over our sins and frailties, let us live in You so that Your mighty love may powerfully act in us, a love that is stronger than sin. O, victor in suffering, O crucified Saviour, in You we want to endure all dark hours. May everything that befalls on us be a way to the eternal light of resurrection. O, King of Hearts, may Your crucified Love shield and protect our tired and fragile love. Wake up in us what we lack: compassion with You, the love of You, faithfulness and perseverance in contemplating your passion and death. Let our prayer family come back to You, to Your cross and Your love in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Give us grace that we may be a sign to others like You are.

This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:
1. For all Christians who have neglected fasting, penance and prayer, that their hearts may open in this Lent, that they may respond to the call of the Queen of Peace.
2. For our prayer family, that we may be open to God and Our Lady for their plan for us. It is not us who have chosen Her, but it is Her who has chosen us. Let us pray that we may give a good example by our life, and by living the messages give testimony to all people.
3. Let us pray for all the sick, for all the strayed from the Church. Let us pray for all the responsible people in the Church and society that they may put the Lord and His will in the first place, and in doing so to serve all on the way to salvation. Let us pray for the visionaries, priests and all those responsible for the messages of the Queen of Peace, that in this time of grace Her will and Her plans may be realised.

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