Reflections on the message of August 25, 2001
Dear children! Today I call all of you to decide for holiness. May for you, little children, always in your thoughts and in each situation holiness be in the first place, in work and in speech. In this way, you will also put it into practice; little by little, step by step, prayer and a decision for holiness will enter into your family. Be real with yourselves and do not bind yourselves to material things but to God. And do not forget, little chlidren, that your life is as passing as a flower. Thank you for having responded to my call.
WALKING ON THE PATHS OF HOLINESS
The messages of Our Lady allow us to see her desire, the love of the Mother who desires to accompany her children on the paths of life. We can see that she lives, breathes and walks with us. In the message of July, she calls us to rest in God, because only God gives us rest. It is not prayer as such, but God, whom we find in prayer. Prayer is not the goal, but a way to reach the goal, which Our Lady wants us to take to heart. There are prayers, in which God cannot enter, because the entrance door is closed and locked. It is closed, because our heart is closed. A formalistic and superficial prayer, done out of duty and not out of love, is tiring, because God is not there. This is why our Mother calls us to the prayer of the heart, with love and with the desire to meet God who makes us healthy, pure and strong, able to carry our days and our burdens joyfully throughout our lives.
Mary calls us to holiness. God alone is holy. He is thrice holy. We are not worthy to approach Him, to come near Him and be in His presence. But He has proved and confirmed with His life that we can come to Him without fear. Jesus lived in such a way that no one had to fear Him or dread Him. We come to Him not because we are good, holy, pious and devout but because we need Him as dry and waterless earth needs the rain. We receive Jesus in Holy Communion not because we are worthy to receive Him, but because we need Him in order to survive.
Our part is to decide for holiness, and God’s part is to make us holy, according to the words of Jesus: “Without me you can do nothing.” What we can do is to decide: God cannot and will not decide for us. He cannot give us freedom, faith, trust and love by force. He can help us only when we ask for it. He asks us as He asked the blind man from the Gospel: “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus wants to hear our answer, He wants to hear our heart speak, He wants to hear our decision, the cry of our soul after Him, so that – day after day – we may become more like unto Him.
Usually, we have a distorted image of saints: we think they are strange, difficult and eccentric. Yet only saints were completely healthy and the most normal people of the world. People were longing for them, because in them they discovered the face of God. People sought them and longed for them. Also today, people cry out for God, seek God, seek those who will tell them that God exists, that He is deeply interested in the destiny of men and theirs lives. To decide for God is not something cheep, but demanding. God does not demand us to give Him little pieces of the time, which is left over in our day, but much more. He demands a bit of our heart, a bit of our love, a bit of enthusiasm for Him and His Word. Just as God needs Mary, the Mother of His Son Jesus, He needs you to give a smile to someone, He needs you to defend someone who is unjustly accused, He needs you to bandage a wound of someone who is injured. He needs you to tell people that you have nothing against them and wants you to resist any bad-mouthing. Also today, God wants you to look beyond the surface, to look with the heart, because everybody desires love, desires to meet people who do not look for their personal interests, their personal advantage, but God’s advantage and God’s desires.
Do have the courage to be considered as abnormal in this world, so that the world may seek you and long for you, who had the courage to walk on the path of God, because He needs just you: you who have the courage to believe, the courage to pray when everyone is cursing, the courage to believe when everyone is doubting and despairing.
Let us be real, let us be true with ourselves. Look and see that you do not hold your life in your hand, that you are not the master of your life as much as you try, as much as you work, as much as you acquire richness… You can nor preserve your earthly life. You are here to spend you life: not in vain but wisely, as Jesus and Our Lady invite us in this message. If the grain of wheat does not die, it cannot bring fruit; but if it dies, it bears fruit a hundredfold. Your life can flourish again independently of your age, independently of illness or old age that may have bound you on your bed. Accept your situation, your life and people whom God has put on your way. Thank God from the heart even for unpleasant things, knowing that He has the solution, that He knows why it is this way – and already you have entered into the space of confidence and peace. Stand at the side of God, rely on Him as on a rock, a solid foundation where you cannot be threatened nor condemned by this world. You cannot cheat your soul: it seeks God. Seek Him where He dwells. Seek Him in your heart, seek Him in the community of the faithful who gathers for Eucharist and the listening of His Word, seek Him in the Gospel, seek Him in every person, whom you like or dislike. Wherever you go, God is there. Let Him open your eyes for new horizons of life, of trust and of peace.
And to you, Mary, I pray: as you gave birth to Jesus, give birth to each one of us, give us birth to a new life. May your words, O Mary, feed us with confidence that God is on our side, that He intervenes and cares for us.
Fr Ljubo Kurtović
Medjugorje 26th of August 2001