BEING in the state of grace and remaining so has never been easy since the time of Adam and Eve. But especially in our times when acceptance of the outright diabolical has become “human rights” (as in the case of satanists asserting rights to build Satanic churches in the US) and temptations of the flesh or what the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Medjugorje, identified as the leading cause of the eternal perdition that could just be one finger click away on the phone or tablet or laptop etc. etc. etc.
One sign of the times within the Catholic Church is the lack of recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or, more simply in my young days, Confession. Sunday church pews empty as people line up for the Eucharist, but confessionals are rarely occupied even by priests to accommodate forgiveness of sins and absolutions. We are not merely Catholic but also saintly so? The likelihood is that we are sacrilegious. Add that to the list of modern sins.
But we are not short of assistance from Heaven amid explosions of Marian and other supernatural manifestations worldwide relaying to us messages that strengthen, inspire, redeem. Thus in this column, I share some of these quotes from the Blessed Mother in her recent apparitions.
To the children of Fatima, Portugal on Aug. 19, 1917: “Pray! Pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell for not having someone to pray and make sacrifices for them.”
To the visionaries in Kibeho, Rwanda 1981-1989: “I have come to prepare the way for Him for your own good” and yet, you do not want to accept. You do not want to understand. There is so little time remaining, yet you still allow yourselves to be distracted by earthly goods and desire which will soon all pass away. I see so many of My children going astray. And so I come to plead with them and to show them the correct way.”
To the visionaries of Medjugorje, 1981 to present: “Today, I am calling you to prayer. You know, dear children, that God grants special graces in prayer I call you, dear children, to prayer with the heart. Without unceasing prayer, you cannot experience the beauty and greatness of the grace which God is offering you. May prayer reign in the whole world. You know that I love you and am coming here out of love, so I could show you the path of peace and salvation for your souls. I want you to not permit Satan to seduce you. Dear children, Satan is strong enough! Therefore, I ask you to dedicate your prayers so that those under his (Satan’s) influence may be saved. Give witness by your life; sarcifice your lives for the salvation of the world. Therefore, do not be afraid. If you pray, Satan cannot injure you, not even a little, because you are God’s children, and He is watching over you. Pray, and let the Rosary always be in your hands.”
To Valentine Nyiramukiza, Kibeho, Rwanda in May, 1982: “You must begin your prayers by offering God all that you conceal in your soul. God sees your every action and knows your every thought. You can hide nothing from Him. Hold back nothing. Admit all your bad deeds and thoughts. Then you must ask for God’s forgiveness from the bottom of your heart. Then your sins will not distract you from praying sincerely. Then pray to forgive all of those who have trespassed against you. Pray for the spiritual and physical welfare of your relatives. You must ask God for strength to do His will. Pray for courage and wisdom to stay on the right path.”
To the Medjugorje visionaries, Aug. 18, 1982: “Have them believe and pray; I cannot help him who does not pray and does not sacrifice. The more you believe firmly, the more you pray and fast for the same intention, the greater is the grace and mercy of God.”
To Bernardo Martinez of Cuapa, Nicaragua on May 8, 1980: “I don’t want it (Rosary) prayed only in the month of May. I want it to be prayed permanently, within the family, including the children old enough to understand to be prayed at a set hour when there are no problems with the work in the home. Love each other. Fulfill your obligations. Make peace. Don’t ask our Lord for peace, because if you do not make it, there will be no peace. Renew the Five First Saturdays. You received many graces when all of you did this.”
To Marina Kizyn in Hrushiv, Ukraine, 1987: “Teach the children to pray. Teach them to live in truth and live yourselves in truth. Say the Rosary. It is the weapon against Satan. He fears the Rosary. Recite the Rosary at any gathering of people.”
To the Medjugorje visionaries, June 12, 1986: “Dear children! I am calling you to begin to pray the Rosary with a living faith. Only in that way will I be able to help you. You wish to receive many graces, but you do not pray. I cannot help you if you do not undertake the task of prayer seriously. Dear children, I am calling you to pray the Rosary. This prayer is a must, and you should pray it with joy. Only then will you begin to understand why I am with you for such a long time. I wish to teach you how to pray.”