Reflection of January 25, 2011 Message to Marija “Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God’s love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said ‘yes’. Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call.” I AM WITH YOU AND I AM LOOKING AT YOU AND BLESSING YOU This month’s message reminds us of Mary’s presence with us, Mary’s look upon us, and how we are blessed by her presence. Mary herself knew the “look of God” when she was so highly favoured by the Most High, when He looked on his servant in her lowliness and waited for her yes, her Amen! So that the Holy Spirit could come upon her and Jesus take flesh in her, born of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s love became visible in human form. The face of the Son is the face of the Father. Mary too looks on us, blessing us and with hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. OPENNESS TO THE CALL OF MARY AND TO GOD’S LOVE The call of Mary is a call to be personally evangelised, and through being personally evangelised to come into a deep personal faith in God, and in Jesus Christ, whom He has sent into the world, and through ‘faith’ to conversion of heart. Only when these three steps have been taken by us, by all, again and again are we truly then disposed, open and receptive to the love of God which has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given us. Rom: 5:5 It is His love, the love of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that changes this world for the good. It is His love that changes people’s way of thinking, seeing, feeling, believing and behaving or acting. When His love is poured into our hearts we begin to look different, feel different, think and act altogether in a new way, seeing God, and our brothers and sisters in a new light because we are Spirit filled, Spirit led, Spirit anointed with His Truth and guided by His Divine love, by charity. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS CHANGING A MULTITUDE OF THOSE WHO ARE SAYING YES The Holy Spirit, seeks our co-operation with Him and His grace for our ‘co-operation’ with His grace, is the key to our growing in the joy of holiness, to know the reign of joy in our hearts and in the world. When we give the Lord our ‘yes’ or ‘Amen,’ then His grace works wonders in us and through us.
The word “Amen” denotes agreement, assurance, consent, trust, belief. When Jesus says “Amen” he assures us that what he is saying is worthy of our attention. When we say “Amen” we are giving our assent to what God is asking of us. We are saying, “I believe” and “I concur” Saying “Amen” is a personal act of faith. Jesus takes “Amen” as a name in the book of revelation, calling Himself the Faithful and true witness, because He cannot speak anything other than the truth, because He is Truth. Rev.3:14 & John, 14:6 Sometimes the word “Amen” is translated in the Old Testament as “So be it.” Let us listen once again to the call of Mary and to God’s love that each one of us can personally say as Mary did “Amen,” “So be it,” “Let it be done unto me according to thy word.” The more we ask in prayer for the grace of surrender to God’s will, the more joy and peace will begin to reign as God wants it for our good and for the good of society as a whole, and for His greater Glory. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he look upon you with kindness and give you his peace. God bless and love you all. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of the February 2011 Message Dear Children! Nature is awakening and on the trees the first buds are seen which will bring most beautiful flowers and fruit. I desire that you also, little children, work on your conversion and that you be those who witness with their life, so that your example be assign and an incentive for conversion to others. I am with you and before my Son Jesus I intercede for your conversion.
NATURE IS AWAKENING AND ON THE TREES THE FIRST BUDS ARE SEEN WHICH WILL BRING MOST BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS AND FRUIT. This month’s message begins by reminding us of how nature is awakening after the long sleep of winter, and on the trees the first buds are seen which will produce the most beautiful flowers and fruit. Just as nature is awakening, we too, as God’s children must in spiritual terms wake up if we are spiritually asleep, and, by Gods’ grace stay awake spiritually so as not to give the Devil his opportunity. Both the apostles Paul and John reminded the early Christians in their letters to this reality. To the church at Ephesus “Wake from your sleep, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” Eph 5:14 and, to the Church at Sardis, “Wake up; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast.” Rev 3:2 Soon we will witness once again the power and the beauty of God’s creation in nature as the most beautiful flowers and fruit appear on the trees.
WHAT BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS AND FRUIT DO YOU THINK GOD AND HIS BLESSED MOTHER WOULD LOVE TO SEE APPEAR AND BLOSSOM IN OUR LIVES, IN HIS CHURCH TODAY? Here I would like to dwell on two kinds of flowers and fruit that God loves to see in us, and on which we can work on for conversion as Lent approaches. The flowers we shall think of are the “ROSE” and the “LILY”. In the Song of Songs, we see that the flowers represent the Bridegroom since He is the flower of the fields and the lily of the valleys, “I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the valleys.” Sg 2:1 THE ROSE OF SHARON AND LOVE God is love and He desires that we receive and keep his love in our hearts. Love is the bond of perfection which is union with God and makes us truly beautiful in God’s eyes. Once our Blessed Lady was asked by the visionaries, “Why are you so beautiful,”? The Blessed Mother replied, “I am beautiful because I love.”
As we approach another season of Lent, let us ask God in prayer that He will bestow His grace and love upon us generously so that the “good works” we do in His Name, may blossom in His love like beautiful flowers and fruit that last.
Our Blessed Lord does not look at the amount of work we have done or the number of years we have spent in his vineyard but rather the measure of love with which we do things for Him and others. Notice how many so called works not only fail to flower but wither and die and become valueless in God’s sight even though they maybe perfect from a human stand point of view. Only where God bestows His grace and love do we see works that have blossomed in His love. The need for spiritual awakening is so great and needed more than ever before if people are to see and understand what is written in Sacred Scripture, “The wonder of your love is before my eyes.” “How lovely is your dwelling place Lord God of hosts.” “This is not the time to be sleeping but to be awake and sober.” 1Thess 5:6 “I slept but my heart was awake.” Sg 5:2 Let our prayer be “awake my soul” let me see O Lord the wonder of your love before my very eyes. Let me dwell in your presence forever and if I must sleep let my heart be awake, beating one with yours in perfect love. THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS The Rose (actually the crocus) and the lily (the red Palestinian anemone) in Mt 6:28 are symbolic of spring and the world to come. In many places lilies are blessed on the feast of St Anthony and given to those who desire them. Once the Franciscans had been expelled from Corsica and their church abandoned, yet people came to the church for the observance of the annual feast of St Anthony on June 13th. One year some month’s after the feast of St Anthony, a man wandered into the church and found lilies still fresh. The custom of blessing the lilies approved by Pope Leo XIII and the prayer of blessing asks for the grace to preserve chastity, peace and protection against the evil one. Soon Lent will be upon us and once again the church goes into battle against the forces of darkness and evil. The weapons we use are spiritual weapons, prayer, fasting, the word of God, the sacraments, especially the sacrament of confession, of reconciliation and of course the Eucharist feeding on God’s word and the Most Blessed Sacrament of our Lord’s Body and Blood, the food of eternal life. We have Mary interceding for us and with us as we pray and work on our conversion so as to not only bring ourselves closer to God but also to become a sign and an incentive for others to come and know the ways of God, to know God and his love as the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys. God bless you all and may you and your families have a very special grace filled lent So that when Easter comes we all will be shinning more brightly like Jesus the Morning Star who never sets, who never sleeps but lives to die no more. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th March 2011 “Dear children! In a special way today I desire to call you to conversion. As of today, may new life begin in your heart. Children I desire to see your ‘yes’, and may your life be a joyful living of God’s will at every moment of your life. In a special way today, I bless you with my motherly blessing of peace, love and unity in my heart and in the heart of my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” This month’s message begins with a call to conversion. The Blessed Mother desires that this conversion begin ‘today’ not tomorrow. “As of today, may new life begin in your heart” And, the word of God reminds us, “O that today you would listen to the voice of the Lord harden not your hearts”, and again, “this is the favourable hour, the day of salvation.” Mary wants to see this new life begin in our hearts. Every time we strike our breast in the Confiteor at Mass we remind ourselves that it is in the heart where sin has its origin and from the heart it must be ousted out. The heart must be purified, cleansed, sanctified and made holy for God, who comes to dwell within, then we can say with deep conviction, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’ Mary wants to see a new life in us were people look different, think different, feel and act in a different way than before. A new sight or insight into the mystery of this new way of life we celebrate on Easter Sunday morning and at every baptism where we put on the new life of Christ and become a new creation of his love. For the Blessed Mother to see this new life begin in our hearts she waits graciously to see our ‘Yes’ as a joyful living out of God’s will. A ‘Yes’ from our hearts, to the very heart of God Himself, is truly a moment of true greatness, of true blessedness, and leads us evermore deeply into communion with God and each other. IN A SPECIAL WAY TODAY, I BLESS YOU WITH MY MOTHERLY BLESSING OF PEACE, LOVE AND UNITY IN MY HEART AND IN THE HEART OF MY SON JESUS. The Blessed Mother’s heart is a heart of peace. (The Queen of Peace) The blessed Mother’s heart is a heart of love. (The Mother of beautiful love) The Blessed Mother’s heart is a heart of unity. ( One with Her Son in God’s will) Mary’s heart knows of no division but ever abides in the heart of Jesus her Son. This came home to me on one occasion on the small mountain of ‘Podbrdo’ during a time of deep prayerful meditation. I came to understand that from the heart of Jesus came forth a very beautiful golden rose and as the rose opened out there within the golden rose was the Immaculate Heart of Mary symbolising that her heart abides forever in the heart of her Son Jesus. It is only through abiding ourselves in the heart of Jesus like Mary that our own heart’s can become a blessing for others as a blessing of peace, love and unity in the heart of Jesus.
Let us pray, Oh Lord be gracious to us and bless us. Let your face shed its light upon us that your ways maybe known upon earth and all Nations learn of your saving help. As you waited for Mary’s ‘Yes,’ you wait for our ‘Yes’ so that New Life may begin in us today. Come O Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, come and create within us a new heart and a new spirit so that we can give our ‘Yes’ to you without fear or conditions. Come O Holy Spirit and transform us, transform our world into a garden of peace, love and unity. Come O Holy Spirit and glorify Jesus in our hearts and lives. Come with Mary Queen of Peace and guide our feet into the way of peace away from war, hatred, greed and envy, away from death, ruin and destruction. Come Holy Spirit help us once more to find our way back to our Father in heaven by helping your people fix their gaze on the pierced heart of Christ who gave his life for us on the cross. There, may we learn afresh where life for us truly begins in the saving blood and water flowing from the pierced heart of Jesus on Calvary. Come O Holy Spirit and grace the Nations of the world with the desire and decision for conversion to love of God and for one another. Amen
Reflection of Our Ladyâ€™s Message 25th April 2011 "Dear children! As nature gives the most beautiful colours of the year, also I call you to witness with your life and to help others draw close to my Immaculate Heart, so that the flame of love for the Most High may sprout in their hearts. i am with you and I unceasingly pray for you that your life may be a reflection of Heaven here on earth. Thank you for having responded to my call." All creation bears witness to the creative power and glory of God, and, if nature gives the most beautiful colours of the year for a short time before they wither and die, what must be the beauty and glory of the Most High be like which shines forever in Jesus our glorious and Risen Lord, through whom all things came to be and who is making all creation new. The grass withers, the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. 1Pet 1:24
Witness with your life Just as creation bears witness to the presence and active power of God, the sun rising, the moon at night, the stars in different degrees of brightness, the flowers, the trees and mountains and rivers, beautiful churches and crosses yet Jesus said, â€œYou shall be my witnesses unto the ends of the earth." Just where the Lord has placed you is one of the ends of the earth God has chosen for you to witness to the beauty of His truth and love.
A flame of love for the Most High In the heart of Mary burns an eternal flame of love for the Most High. We live in a world in some parts or ends of the earth where God is forgotten in the hearts of people, a kind of spiritual amnesia. By our closeness to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and by closeness I mean our imitation of her love for the Most High, her gentleness, purity, simplicity and goodness we too witness to others of our love for the Most High. Have we not witnessed this flame of love over the past 30 years sprout in the hearts of all those who have come to Medjugorje , with open hearts and a humility to learn that God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not his thoughts. It is good to hold and cherish those moments of grace with gratitude especially when the flame of love was rekindled or ignited in our own hearts and family members. It is also good to know and rejoice that the flame of love which burns eternally in the Immaculate Heart of Mary for God prays for us to become a reflection of Heaven and earth. If you have not yet been to Medjugorje, maybe this is the time for you to up and go so that you may receive some special grace for yourself and others so as to contribute to the growth of love for God and holiness of the church in our times.
A reflection of Heaven on earth One of the petitions of our Lord's prayer in the our Father is "thy kingdom, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Our blessed Lord wants what is going on up their in Heaven to happen down here on earth, especially love for God and one another. The more we turn too, our return to the Lord, the more we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit. 2Cor 3:18 Let us pray, O lord may the fame of love which burns in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, burn forever in the hearts of all those who believe, who seek to become a reflection of Heaven here on earth. May the power of the Most High which came upon Mary come upon the church in our time so that the witness to Christ your Son maybe be strong and bear the good and lasting fruit of holiness in your church through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th May 2011 “Dear Children! My prayer today is for all of you who seek the grace of conversion. You knock on the door of my heart, but without hope and prayer, in sin, and without the Sacrament of Reconciliation with God. Leave sin and decide, little children, for holiness. Only in this way can I help you, hear your prayers and seek intercession before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
This month’s message begins with Mary’s prayer and wish “for all you who seek the grace of conversion.” To seek the grace of conversion is to seek what God wants for all of us. 1. To be reconciled with God 2. To leave sin, and decide for holiness 3. To receive the help and prayers which make possible a renewed and lasting conversion to holiness of life.
TO BE RECONCILED WITH GOD Through the sacraments of Initiation we receive the new life of Grace. However, we are earthen vessels, subject to suffering, illness, sickness and weakness. This new life of grace within us can be weakened or lost by sin. Christ continues his healing through the sacraments of the sick and reconciliation. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we obtain from God mercy for the offence committed against Him and are reconciled with the church which we have wounded by our sins. Confession of our sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. It is also a confession of the holiness of God and his mercy towards us as poor sinners. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is primarily about Reconciliation, not just sin. Forgiveness is there to be taken, to be received with thanksgiving. God in Christ has reconciled the world to Himself and through St Paul appeals to all to be reconciled with God. Reconciliation imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles. The one who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call, “Go and be reconciled with your brother.” Reconciliation with the church is inseparable from reconciliation with God. Having confessed our sins in the sacrament of reconciliation the priest prays, “May God give you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!” Pardon – there is the Divine forgiveness. Peace – healing the wounds of sin. Let’s not forget that Christ breathed upon his first apostles the Holy Spirit and power to forgive sins. Please notice that the Priest pronounces words of absolution. “I absolve you,” Absolution is a need. It has nothing to do with solution. What solution is there to abortion when carried
out? Being reconciled with God is what matters, being reconciled with His will, His church. Accept that you are loved, forgiven and show your appreciation and gratitude by trying with God’s help to remain faithful to the grace you have received. Obstacles to receiving God’s forgiveness are ignorance, fear, a lack of perception or awareness of what sin and evil is, and finally pride. God refuses the proud and favours the humble. TO LEAVE SIN AND DECIDE FOR HOLINESS As Christians and Catholic’s we are called not just be good or better citizens, rather our call is to be holy as the lord our God is holy. The apostle Peter encourages us to “be holy in all that you do and make a habit of obedience.” The first requirement for becoming holy is to get down on our two knees humbly before God, and in prayer ask for the grace of conversion that will last, and bear the fruit of holiness of life. To become what we all are called to be. A holy church, a holy people who are set apart, consecrated to the lord, who have been called out of darkness into His wonderful and marvellous light. TO RECEIVE THE HELP AND PRAYERS WHICH MAKE CONVERSION POSSIBLE How did the Lord bring the first pagans to conversion? We see in the Acts of Apostles he purified their heart through faith. Our holiness too is a sharing, a participation in God’s own holiness as Paul reminds us, “Christ is our virtue, our holiness, our freedom.” Faith in Christ is our first step in coming to know Christ and to be put on the path to perfection of love. “I only want the perfection that comes through faith,” Paul cry’s out, and, it is the same for us too. Our knocking on the door of Mary’s heart or the heart of God Himself will not be in vain, nor without hope as long as we approach the Most High and His Blessed Mother with a disposition pleasing to them. Scripture reminds us that it is impossible to please God without faith. Let us believe more firmly in prayer and ask for the grace and all the help we need to continue our journey of personal conversion keeping in mind that true conversion when it happens to us also seeks to pray, help and teach others the ways of God and holiness of life. That was part of the prayer and conversion of David, “that I may teach transgressors your ways and sinners may return to you.” O Lord hear our prayer for each one of us personally and for all your people, that all may come to know with joy the light of your saving grace through conversion of heart. Amen God bless you all. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th June 2011 “Dear Children! Give thanks with me to the Most High for my presence with you. My heart is joyful watching the love and joy in the living of my messages. Many of you have responded, but I wait for, and seek, all the hearts that have fallen asleep to awaken from the sleep of unbelief. Little children draw closer to my Immaculate Heart so that I can lead all of you toward eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Our Blessed Mother, full of grace invites us to give thanks to the Most High for her presence with us. Just as Mary shared the gift of her presence with the early church Mary continues to make her presence felt in every generation especially where she is loved and honoured by the people of God. In this month’s message Mary shares with us her joyful watching of the love and joy that arises, grows and spreads among those who live her messages, who become ‘Doer’s of the word, of what her Son tells us to do.’ AWAKE FROM THE SLEEP OF UNBELIEF In the Old Testament we have the experience of the prophet Elijah who fled from Jezebel into the wilderness. (A priest once said, that every parish priest night mare is to find one or two Jezebel’s in his parish) However, tired by the journey sat down and fell asleep but an angel twice touched him and told him to get up and eat or the journey would be to long for him. He did eat and drink and was able to continue his journey to Horeb, the mountain of God. In our world today many have not yet even begun their journey in faith to God. They still remain asleep in unbelief and need the touch of God’s grace to come to faith in the Lord. Pray that the Lord will use you maybe during this month to be an angel that will touch the lives of others and awaken faith in their hearts. There are also those who may have begun their journey sometime ago but have fallen away again from the practise of the faith especially from the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. Its as if they have gone back into a spiritual coma and need a second touch of grace or what we call a renewed and lasting conversion. GREAT IS THE NEED FOR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING TODAY The Psalmist cry’s out “awake my soul,” The need for spiritual awakening is so great today. Even we ourselves need to be reminded of the message to the church in Sardis. “Wake up; revive what little you have left.” Rev 3:2 The need for spiritual awakening is so great if people are to see and understand certain great truths. The wonder of your love is before our eyes O Lord. How lovely is your dwelling place and, this is not the time for sleeping but to be awake and sober. 1Thes:5:6
If we must sleep- sleep but keep our hearts awake. I slept but my heart was awake.” Sg 5:2
DRAW CLOSE TO MY IMMACULATE HEART Mary desires to lead us to eternity and so invites us to draw close to her Immaculate Heart. The eternity Mary desires to lead us to is an eternity whereby we become like God. The Beloved disciple said the same thing, “We shall become like you.” All light, all love, all goodness, all that God is. What a grace of transformation awaits us. The Psalmist too said, “To finish I must be eternal like you. As long as we are still on this earth an ongoing purification is a necessary condition for living in communion with God for seeing God face to face. Once we have made that final journey home to God then we will truly appreciate the peace and holiness that comes to all who see God face to face in Eternal Life. Then we will know fully the love and joy Mary speaks of in her messages. Grace and peace be with you all. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th July 2011 “Dear Children! May this time be for you a time of prayer and silence, rest your body and spirit, may they be in God’s love. Permit me little children, to lead you, open your hearts to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in you may blossom and bear fruit a hundredfold. Begin and end the day with prayer, with the heart.” The scriptures tell us that there is a time for everything under the sun. The blessed Mother encourages us once again to make time for prayer and silence. We should never count the time spent in prayer and silence before God, but rather regret the times we could have and should have spent in prayer and silence to avail ourselves of the opportunity for grace, peace, and rest in the Lord. REST YOUR BODY AND SPIRIT MAY THEY BE IN GOD’S LOVE In Psalm 23 we have this image of the Good Shepherd and the sheep of his flock. At that time in the Middle East, a shepherd could walk with his flock up to ten or fifteen miles to find fresh pastures and still water. Once having arrived, some of the sheep would not always lie down to rest, so often he would tie their legs and force them to lie down to rest after the long journey. “He makes me down to lie.” Ps23:1 We should never wait until we are forced to lie down in some hospital bed or at home to rest for a time of healing. And yet sometimes it’s the only way the Lord can get our attention today with all our busy activities. I often tell my flock not to wait for the hearse to bring you to church to spend the night resting in a box before the Lord all night long. By the way, that is not the box that will take us to heaven but the confessional box where we know Gods’ mercy and eternal rest. PERMIT ME, LITTLE CHILDREN TO LEAD YOU, OPEN YOUR HEARTS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT SO THAT ALL THE GOOD THAT IS IN YOU MAY BLOSSOM AND BEAR FRUIT A HUNDREDFOLD. Mary herself knows the great benefits of being open to and being led by the Spirit. It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit in us through baptism and confirmation, it is another thing to allow that same Spirit of love, of power and self control to leads and guide us in our daily life, to surrender all of ones being over to Him, the Spirit of Truth and lead us according to God’s holy will. Mary invites us to be open to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in us may blossom and bear fruit a hundredfold. A farmer will usually buy the best seed and plant it in his fields. In the same way God plants nothing but goodness in our hearts and there is enough good soil in us to allow God’s word to grow. As children of God and Mary, we are good seeds. God expects us to grow and blossom and bear fruit that will last. For that to become a reality we must learn to imitate God Himself and live as children of His that He loves. Imitate Him who has
such a big, noble and generous heart that he sent His only Son to save us. Not content with sending His son, He also sent the Spirit to be the Lord and giver of life. The blessed Mother too herself comes to call us back from a living death to life in the Spirit, from our evil thoughts and ways to witness the triumph of good over evil. BEGIN AND END THE DAY WITH PRAYER WITH THE HEART Just as Mary begins this monthâ€™s message with an encouragement about prayer and silence, so too, we are encouraged at the end of her message to begin each day with prayer, with the heart. I wish you all a very good heart to heart communication this month with the heart of God Himself and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us conclude this reflection with a prayer from our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me O Holy Spirit that my work to may be holy. Draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me O Holy spirit to defend all that is holy, Guard me O Holy Spirit that I may always be holy with your holiness and gift of peace. God love and bless you all. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th August 2011 “Dear Children! Today I call you to pray and fast for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan. Here I began with the parish and invited the entire world. Many have responded but there is an enormous number of those who do not want to hear or accept my call. Therefore, you who have said ‘yes’ be strong and resolute. Thank you for having responded to my call.” This month’s message begins with a call to prayer and fasting for Mary’s intentions. It has a sense of urgency about it so that, Satan’s plans may be thwarted and Mary’s plan unfold and be realised not just for the parish of Medjugorje, but for the entire world. In the rite of exorcism Satan is perceived by the church as the enemy of faith, foe of the human race, begetter of death, robber of life, corrupter of justice, root of evil, foementor of vice, seducer of men, betrayer of the nations, instigator of envy, font of avarice, source of discord, author of pain and sorrow; and in the scriptures Satan is known as the accuser who has been thrown down from heaven, conquered by the blood of the lamb and the witness of God’s children to the truth of God’s word. We are living in a time of great spiritual warfare of which many sadly are not aware of. We see from the gospels that many followed Jesus, but also many walked away and did not want to hear or accept his call, his teachings. Mary is aware that many have said ‘yes,’ have responded to her call in this time of grace and wants to confirm them in their ‘yes’ so she urges us to be strong and resolute who have said ‘yes’ to her call to conversion and peace. YOU WHO HAVE SAID ‘YES’ BE STRONG AND RESOLUTE St Paul said something similar to the early Christians when he wrote to the Ephesians. “Grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. Put God’s armour on so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics. For it is not against human enemies we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens. That is why you must rely on God’s armour, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground.” To be strong and resolute we must put on the mind of Christ, put on the armour of God. In doing so we also put off the works of darkness, we make a choice for the light which darkness cannot overpower. We make a choice for the good which in the end will triumph over all evil. You stand strong and resolute when you stand your ground with truth buckled round your waist, and integrity for a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace, and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one, accepting salvation from
God to be your helmet and receive the word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword. Eph: 5:10-17 Both Jesus and Mary have given a firm ‘yes’ to God’s plan of salvation for the whole world. Both were resolute in taking the road for Jerusalem, to the hill of Calvary, the hill were God raises up saints and martyrs in every generation. Let us pray and fast this month not only for Mary’s plan to be realised for the whole church, for the whole world, especially for those who do not want to hear or accept her call so that their eyes and hearts maybe open to give their ‘yes’ and become strong and resolute in deciding for God, in deciding for faith, in deciding for conversion and so decide for true authentic peace in their hearts, their homes, their lives. If by chance we have become complacent in our efforts to grow spiritually in the Lord, now is the time to renew our ‘yes,’ now is the time to once again be strong and resolute in our ‘yes’ for God and his saving plan. Awaken too, and realise the power of prayer with fasting. Gather together as a family our in prayer groups with Mary the Mother of Jesus, and take at least one day a week to pray and fast for God to hasten the triumph of good over evil in our world today. Pray and fast if you wish to see strongholds of darkness brought down and God’s kingdom and his church built up in the power of the Spirit. God bless you all. Be strong, be resolute. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th October 2011 “Dear Children! I am looking at you and in your hearts I do not see joy. Today I desire to give you the joy of the Risen One, that He may lead you and embrace you with His love and tenderness. I love you and I am praying for your conversion without ceasing before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” I AM LOOKING AT YOU AND IN YOUR HEARTS I DO NOT SEE JOY In her nothingness Mary knew the look of God who gazed on her with such tender love and joy. Scripture reminds us that “Man looks at appearances but God looks at the heart.” God Himself is the great discerner of our hearts, our thoughts and our deeds. Nothing is hidden from the One to whom we all must give an account of ourselves at the end of this short span of life. In this month’s message Mary reminds us that she is looking at us and into our hearts. What is she looking for? What does she see? What is she hoping to find therein? Mary no doubt would love to see the joy that flows into every heart through conversion, the joy and happiness that causes the Saints and Angels in heaven to raise their voices in praise and thanksgiving for the repentance of at least one repentant sinner. Just as Jesus led His first children disciples from sadness to joy, from unbelief to faith in Him, from a loss of hope to a joyful hope and love that redeems, so the same Jesus desires to embrace us and lead all nations and cultures out of death and into the joy of life, the life of the Risen Lord who lives to die no more. I LOVE YOU AND I AM PRAYING FOR YOUR CONVERSION WITHOUT CEASING BEFORE MY SON JESUS Mary loves us as Jesus loves us even though we have not yet come to the perfection of love ourselves. Mary prays for the one thing necessary “our conversion,” and so should we for ourselves and others on a daily basis before the beautiful love and face of Jesus Her Son. Our conversion can be understood in different ways, here I mention a few aspects of our search and need for conversion. Is not conversion the continual search for and the revelation of God in our lives as his son’s and daughters sharing His glory forever? Conversion is a daily choice, a daily decision for God and his will, and if this is so, then, it means NOT creating any space for idols or rubbish that becomes an obstacle to joy in the Lord. This is were a good sacramental confession in our lives helps to get rid of the rubbish and idols so as to make way for the beautiful presence of God’s grace and peace in our lives as fruits of his love.
With the daily exercise of discipline that brings this body of ours into subjection joined with the desire for God then prayer will become a joy for us as we witness within ourselves and around us the joy of conversion. God never ceases in his efforts for our good and when we sincerely set out to love God and obey His commands we soon realise that all things work unto good for those who love God. Mary prays without ceasing for our conversion and in this we know a great support and power that helps us along the path of conversion. May the presence and prayer of Mary, bring once again into our lives, our families and the church, the joy of the Risen one who leads us in our faith and brings it to the perfection of love. God bless you all with peace and joy in the Risen Lord. Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th September 2011 “Dear children! I call you, for this time to be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. I am with you and incessantly intercede before God for all of you that your faith may always be alive and joyful, and in the love of God. Thank you for having responded to my call.” A TIME OF WITNESSING All creation bears witness to the presence and power of God; sun rise in the morning and sunset in the evening; the moon in the night surrounded by the stars which differ in size and degrees of brightness; the mountains that surround us, the waterfalls and different oceans with their living sea creatures. The very earth we walk upon with its many buildings, cathedral’s and church’s, crosses, statutes, the rain and the snow that comes down from the heavens speaks to us of the presence and power of God, but, it was to his disciples that the Risen Lord in glory said, When the Spirit comes upon you, you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. In this month’s message, Mary invites all who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. Jesus, the Son of God, Son of Mary, was sent for our joy, for our encouragement and salvation. The prophet Isaiah speaks of the increase of joy and gladness because of the coming of the light of the world’s salvation in the person of God’s own Son, Jesus, the Christ of God. Mary’s presence with the church in the Acts of the Apostles, in Medjugorje, in our times is there for our encouragement and with every generation she proclaims, “my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” You shall be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. Medjugorje is one of the ends of the earth where by we have truly witnessed the love of God and the love of Mary, the love of lived and joyful faith in the love of God. The witness of countless pilgrims over the last 30 years is a living testimony to such love and faith. A LIVING AND JOY FILLED FAITH The early Christians those who had seen and those who had not seen the Risen Lord but experienced his presence, his grace, his power in their lives could not keep such Good News to themselves but began proclaiming such Good News from the housetops. In his first letter the Apostle Peter writes to those who had not seen the Lord but experienced his saving presence in their lives, “You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.” The Good News of God’s love cry’s out to be heard, to be seen, to be believed and experienced. This is where ‘You’ and ‘I’ and many others who have been to Medjugorje, or who have in our local Church or
where ever have come to know and experience the love of God and His gifts can and should contribute our share for the joy and encouragement of others in the faith. Just as Mary intercedes for us, so too, we should always pray before we speak to others about God, about his love, his gifts, so that what we say may do good to those who hear us and be for their improvement and building up of their faith. May the Lord inspire us all with his wisdom and fill our hearts with the joy of his love. May His face shine upon us so that when others see us, they may see something of the goodness and the glory of God. In all of our comings and goings, may His give us the wisdom of his wordâ€™s to bring joy and faith to others who are without faith and knowledge of his loving presence. And, may the prayers of the Blessed Mother Queen of Peace help us to live the simplicity of her messages so as to better witness to the grace offered to us in our time for the joy and encouragement to others in the faith. God bless you all.Fr Ciaran
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th November 2011 “Dear children! Today I desire to give you hope and joy. Everything that is around you, little children, leads you towards worldly things but I desire to lead you towards a time of grace, so that through this time you may be closer to my Son, that He can lead you towards His love and eternal life, for which every heart yearns. You, little children, pray, and may this time for you, be one of grace for your soul. Thank you for having responded to my call.” This month’s message begins with Mary’s desire to give us hope and joy. In life we either desire that which is of great worth or that which is worthless. We have many hopes in our hearts but the greatest of all hopes is the hope of redemption, the hope of eternal life. Mary leads us to her Son, so that He in turn may lead us to desire His love and eternal life. In Jesus our hope is not deceptive but real for our God is faithful to His word and promises. Joy, a fruit of the Spirit, a fruit of love, in the Old Testament the joy of the Lord was seen as the strength of God’s people and in the New Testament, joy at the birth of Jesus our Lord and Saviour, was a joy to be shared by the whole people. I DESIRE TO LEAD YOU TOWARDS A TIME OF GRACE Mary desires to lead us towards a time of grace. This very season of Advent is seen as a time of grace for the church, and for the world, when we are reminded of the Christ child, who came once in the flesh at Bethlehem, comes now to every true believer who opens his or her heart to allow Jesus to be born again in their hearts and souls today. The same Christ who came once in the flesh and comes today will also come again in glory at the end of time, not wrapped in swaddling closes but in splendour and glory for all to see. WHAT IS THIS TIME OF GRACE MARY SPEAKS OF? Firstly grace is a personal thing and a relationship between God and mankind. Paul wrote to the early Christians to remind them that God’s grace has been revealed. The grace he writes about is the very person of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mystery of Christ that was hidden for many years is now revealed. John writes we must not love this passing world. Worldly things do not last forever but we know and believe in God’s love for us that is everlasting. This is what we call uncreated grace, God’s everlasting love for us and his constant affection towards us. Then we can speak of His created grace which is being held, supported and sustained by God’s love when all else seems to fail in difficult and testing times in our lives. But that which really changes our hearts and lives is what we call sanctifying grace.
It is our response to God in love and obedience. The more we respond in loving obedience to the call of God in our lives the more we will yearn for God and for the good things that our Father in heaven promises through His Son, Jesus.
PRAY AND MAY THIS TIME FOR YOU BE ONE OF GRACE FOR YOUR SOUL It is both a gift and a grace to be able to pray always and not lose heart. Finding time for prayer means finding time for God, it means finding time ‘for a time of grace’ that God alone can bestow upon us. If we are having difficulty in finding time for prayer, time for God, in our daily lives how then can we experience the fruit of deep prayer from the heart which brings about conversion and peace in ones life? In the New Translation of the Mass we now say before receiving Holy Communion, Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say but the word and my soul shall be healed. Today in the Middle East and other parts of our world we can see that the ‘Soul’ of many nations have need for both healing and saving. The three powers of the soul are ‘Memory,’ ‘Intellect,’ and the ‘Will.’ So much grace is needed to heal the memories, the scars and wounds that war and hatred leave behind in the souls of people. So much grace is needed if people are to be enlightened and educated to want peace. To understand, they must stand under the light of what has been revealed in Jesus if true peace is to grow and flourish in our world today. And, so much grace is needed for nations to put God’s will first in place of their own if they are to walk once again in the light of the Lord and His saving presence. Let no one this coming Christmas be a stranger or ignorant of the message proclaimed first by the angels from on high, “Peace on earth to those who enjoy God’s favour.” God’s favour, God’s grace is a condition for rue peace in our lives. We who have been so blessed to receive this hope and joy cannot and should not keep it to ourselves. The hope and joy Mary speaks of is for us first to receive it and then share that hope and joy with others as a time of grace. Why not invite a member of your family or someone you know who may have wander away from the life and prayer of the church to come with you once again and receive the grace of God which has appeared and made salvation possible for the whole human race? I wish you all a very blessed and grace filled Christmas. Fr Ciaran McDonnell
Reflection of Our Lady’s Message 25th December 2011 “Dear children! Also today, in my arms I am carrying my Son Jesus to you, for Him to give you His peace. Pray, little children, and witness so that in every heart, not human but God’s peace may prevail, which no one can destroy. It is peace in the heart which God gives to those whom He loves. By your baptism you are all, in a special way called and loved, therefore witness and pray that you may be my extended hands to this world which yearns for God and peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.” God chose Mary, to be the Mother of His Son, a Son given to us. Is: 9: 6 For nine month’s Mary carried Jesus in her blessed womb. After she gave birth to her first born Son, we are told she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. This Christmas season once again we welcome both Mother and child to receive in faith the blessing of His peace. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end. MARY INVITES US TO PRAY AND WITNESS THAT GOD’S PEACE WILL PREVAIL IN EVERY HEART Mary comes with her Son, “for Him to give you His peace.” His peace is bestowed upon those who love Him sincerely, who do not break faith, but keep faith with Him, who keep his commandments and follow Him, in a renunciation of violence, and all forms of hostility, aggression and destructive habits. Even during our Christmas Celebrations, sadly, we have seen the rods of oppressors and bloodstain cloaks in places like Nigeria, Syria and other parts of the world. This child of Peace, Mary’s Son, calls us all to peace and to be peacemakers. As we unite in prayer and witness to God’s great love and good will towards us, in sending His Son, for our salvation and encouragement, may Jesus Prince of Peace cause the footgear of battle to be burnt and consumed by the fire of His Divine love. BY YOUR BAPTISM YOU ARE ALL IN A SPECIAL WAY CALLED AND LOVED This month’s message reminds us also of our baptismal calling. Each one of us is called by name and loved into the new life of grace through our baptism. Today many who feel unloved need to be loved. They need to know that God loves them, that God first loved them and still loves them. We all need a sense of being accepted unconditionally. God accepts us as we are, but, that does not mean He approves of all that we do, especially if our words and actions or omissions hurt and wound other members of the Body of Christ, the Church. One important aspect of our baptismal calling is to witness to Christ in the world, to bring the message and Spirit of Christ to those who have not yet heard such Good news. We who have found the Christ of God must tell and show others how to seek and find the light of salvation, how to find the Saviour today.
During this time of grace we seek the face of the Lord just as the shepherds sought and found the child Jesus exactly as they had been told wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. This child we seek is both God and man, and that is why the angels sing Glory to God in the highest heavens and peace on earth to men who enjoy his favour. In this child of Bethlehem we have someone to love, someone to care for, someone to please, and the best way we can please Him is to accept that we are accepted unconditionally and loved by Him, and, it pleases Him most of all to give Him what he came to save us from, namely our sins, so he can fill us with His love and peace. We cannot save ourselves from our sins unless we call upon the Name of the Lord to be saved. Our first step towards the light of our salvation is to accept that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, but, by sending His Son, Jesus, to save us, God has filled us with ‘hope’, the hope of being saved and redeemed by His merciful love. Let us all make haste in faith to seek and find the child Jesus, who alone can save our world from sinful folly and death. Just as Mary carries in her arms the child Jesus and brings Him close to bless us with His peace, we too, will be her extended hands of life, peace, joy and love when we accept and submit to the word which has been planted in us and can save our souls and the souls of others. May this Holy child of Bethlehem, Mary’s child and Son, increase and strengthen our faith in Him, that in all our trials, temptations and weaknesses, we may turn to Him, who is also Mighty God and Eternal Father and know, His peace has no end. I wish you all a very grace filled and Blessed New Year when it comes. Let us pray for one another and that we may witness through the prayers of Mary Queen of peace a new era were peace will triumph. May the Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. God bless you. Fr Ciaran
Medjugorje Reflections 2011