God is good! Picking up from where we left off yesterday, and reflecting on the series of the messages of Medjugorje from the spring of 1992, I came across a reflection from St. Louis deMonfort from “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
If you recall the message I posted on 1/24/2011 from 3/25/92, the Blessed Mother said that her children were losing interest in her and her messages, and taking the message “superficially” as if this word was carefully used to describe the lukewarmness of the hearts of many so called devotees of Our Lady.
This is what the great Marian saint said about “superficial devotees.”
“Superficial devotees are people whose entire devotion to Our Lady consists in exterior practices. Only the externals of devotion appeal to them because they have no interior spirit. They say many rosaries with great haste and assist at many Masses distractedly. They take part in processions of our Lady without inner fervor. They join her confraternities without reforming their lives or restraining their passions or imitating Mary’s virtues. All that appeals to them is the emotional aspect of this devotion, but the substance of it has no appeal at all. If they do not feel a warmth in their devotions, they think they are doing nothing; they become upset, and give up everything or else do things only when they feel like it. The world is full of these shallow devotees, and there are none more critical of men of prayer who regard the interior devotion as the essential aspect and strive to acquire it, without however neglecting a reasonable external expression which always accompanies true devotion.” (96)
St. Louis deMonfort is describing those literally who just go through the motion; for example let’s say just praying the rosary with the lips, but there is no heart to heart union or contemplative reflection on the life of Jesus in the rosary. The rosary is a prayer of the gospels. They rush through the rosary, and are seen in the church as pious devotees however, there is no relationship with Our Lady or their God.
They have no interest in changing their lives or following the way of the cross as true devotees, in fact are put off by it. They look for spiritual consolations to make themselves feel good, but quickly find dryness in their prayer; kind of a “what’s in it for me attitude.”
St. Louis de Montfort called them ‘shallow devotees’ and are very critical of those seeking the interior life. They will not go deep into their hearts to look at themselves.
There is a danger here in this practice, because of self-righteousness, and false piety.
In her message of 3/25/92, the Blessed Mother admonished these superficial devotees, and said because of their coldness and disinterest in her, the messages or her Son, they leave themselves prey for the enemy. Simply because they are not seeking holiness, nor do they desire holiness, they do not root out the sin inside of them, nor practice their virtues and do not move toward conversion of heart.
So their spirits are left empty and void of God’s grace. If God is not filling the soul or spirit, there is only one thing left that can fill the spirit, and that is the wiles of the enemy.
Again, for your discernment dear reader, contemplate and read this slowly and prayerfully with the heart with the help of the Holy Spirit to help understand a deeper meaning for you.
It is very easy for anyone to fall into complacency; but there comes a point to where we have to pick ourselves up, and seek again that ardent and fervent desire to press on in the journey.
The following message came the next month. Keep in mind of the war that was occurring in the region at the time of this message.
Again I also remind the reader that Our Lady was sent by God to call the world to conversion, which she began at Fatima. The world rejected her call and World War II began as she said it would, and the spread of communism and godlessness throughout the world.
So here we are on the verge of a heated war ensuing in the Baltic region in 1990’s which was waged against Christian Catholics, (a sign perhaps foreshadowing the attack on the Church, Christians of the world…who knows-that is for your discernment); but keeing in mind that Our Lady just said to the world the month prior that we were not taking her messages with seriousness, and because of this, she is not able to help us.
I am sure those who lived in the region seeing the effects of the war, and their loved ones whose lives are threatened, were most likely listening very intently to what she was saying, and increased their prayer to God for help. Here is her message:
“Dear children, today also I invite you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped. Therefore, my dear little children, pray and by your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me, because satan wishes in these turbulent days to seduce as many souls as possible. Therefore, I invite you to decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you should do and which paths to take. I invite all those who have said ‘yes’ to me to renew their consecration to my Son, Jesus and to His heart and to me so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world. Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and your suffering is also mine. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (4/25/92)
“…but woe to you earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in a great fury for he knows he has but a short time…” (Rev. 12:12)
Here it is the remedy to defeat the enemy and sin…”prayer and fasting” Prayer and fasting can stop wars! Now look throughout biblical history how many times God wanted to chastise the people because of their sin. But when the people repented of their sin, they prayed and fasted, and put on sack cloth as a sign to God of their repentance.
Here in lies the majority of the call of Medjugorje, “prayer, penance and fasting…”
Through this form of penance there is a dying to ourselves in the flesh, which brings greater strength in our spirits.
Many are familiar with this message from Our Lady, which is common on many of her prayer cards. For this purpose though it bears repeating. She said:
“Dear children, I invite you for your individual conversion. This time is for you! Without you God’s plan cannot be realized. Dear children, grow day by day closer to God through prayer. I give you the weapon AGAINST YOUR GOLIATH, here are your little stones: (1) Prayer WITH THE HEART: ROSARY, (2) Eucharist; (3) Holy Bible, (4) Fasting, (5) Monthly confession.” (emphasis added)
Your Goliath, that is your giant sin that you just cannot defeat in you. The big sin in you where the enemy has the stronghold over you, where he agitates you, salts the wound, triggers you to react and fall into further sin. The weapons she is leading you to are the core themes of her messages.
So if we go back to her invitation to prayer and fasting to stop wars, the first step is to stop the war that is going on inside of the heart. Because war begins in the heart, with anger, hatreds, revenge, retaliation and so on. Your weapons to defeat this battle is the use of unceasing prayer, the sacraments and practice of penances, frequenting the sacrament of reconciliation.
The second part of this message of 4/25/92 she said;
…”Therefore, my dear little children, pray and by your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me, because satan wishes in these turbulent days to seduce as many souls as possible…”
Give witness that you are hers, she wants to protect us from the attacks of satan as in the way I said above. These are turbulent days she said.
Keep in mind of the words our Lady carefully uses here “turbulent”. The meaning of this word from the dictionary is, confusing, unstable, disordered, disorderly, chaotic, tumultuous, in turmoil, violent, rowdy, unruly, riotous, quarrelsome, restless…does this describe our world today? I should say so. And who is behind it? She named it, satan.
How many can honestly say that our surrounding enviornment most often is filled with as we described above “turbulence?”
These people of that region had to choose God or satan. It was a matter of life or death for them. They were facing possible death by the effects of war, a war that resulted in deep seeded hatreds of culture, religion, politics and race. Our Lady was asking them to be a witness of good against evil, as a sign that she was really appearing there. She gave a promise and said,
“Therefore, I invite you to decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you should do and which paths to take. I invite all those who have said ‘yes’ to me to renew their consecration to my Son, Jesus and to His heart and to me so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world…”
“Decide for God”…to decide for God is an act of the will and a conscious choice, one that we make with firm decision in our hearts first, and then we bring this witness to life. If you decide for God, you will show others that the Cross is worth living, and you can live it without fear. You decide by living His Commandments, obeying His Word and His authority.
Our Lady promised protection for those who “decided for God.” And by this firm decision, God protected the children of Our Lady and showed them how to avert the war and bring peace to the region. It began with reconciling among themselves, and lowering their egos to be humble enough to take the first step of reconciliation with their enemies and neighbors.
Now realistically this did not occur over night. The war went on for a few years, because to convert a region there has to be the cooperation of many hearts. Now we are lookiing at a conversion of the whole world. It is no wonder she remains with us for this long.
Fr. Jozo gave an incredible witness and testimony to this type of reconciliation, by stopping in the mass, and everyone that is everyone in the Church needed to go and reconcile before he would continue the mass. It was a powerful witness to the people, but it birthed a grace for the world to becoming still what it is today.
Our Lady didn’t stop there, not only did she say decide for God, but in addition invited all those now who did decide, those who said yes, no matter if it meant life or death, to now make an act of consecration, so that she could see not just in word, but now in deed that they really meant what they say in their choosing.
Therefore, trials would come their way, persecutions and tests of faith, which they would all have to persevere through still in virtue and as a witness to peace.
At the conclusion of this message she made a bold statement to the world about Medjugorje. She said,
… “Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and your suffering is also mine. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
“Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. I hear and feel the firmness and seriousness of these words in the depth on my heart. Accept this call with seriousness.”
Let’s just understand here for a moment, not in human terms, but in eternal, universal Godly terms, the words…”accept the call with seriousness.” God is serious, and means business.
If a father is serious about something with his child, how does a father respond to the child? Now let’s step it up for example in a family environment. If the mother is disciplining the child and the child does not respond to the mother, most often the mother turns to the father to intercede with greater authority. Is it any different for an Eternal Father? Actually most severe, and a great spanking is warranted.
Our Lady is determined to defeat satan in the world. (Rev. 12) Our Lady is fighting this battle along side of us, those who are devoted to her, she is there on the front lines with us, and with Jesus who is the General, the King leading the battle.
Our weapon is her weapon, the weapon of the King of Peace, who carries to two edge flaming sword into battle. Ephesians 6 describes this part of the armor as the “sword of the spirit” or the living Word of God, powered by the Holy Spirit. The breath of God will defeat the enemy, and Our Lady is carrying the full armor and clothing her children in it.
We need to be clothed with the power of the Most High God to win. We need the Holy Spirit fully alive in our hearts to defeat evil and sin in the heart, first in our own hearts, and then around us.
Folks the battle is “not out there,” the battle is in the heart. If every human being lived this call of conversion, frequently lived the sacraments given by the Church, how much more of the Spirit of Jesus will be in the world?
Instead because of sin and the infestation of sin, the spirit of evil is triumphant in many, many hearts.
The mother said that the world is spiraling into sin and it cannot help itself. She came to help pull it out of the pit of darkness. She comes with a great plan of God who is the master builder to reconstruct the human temple, and build a kingdom for her Son, to reign triumphant in us.
So the question comes again…”what are you devoted to?” Is it important enough for you to act and begin a new?
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming…” (2 Thes. 2:7-8)