On the 2nd of each month, Our Lady appears to the Medjugorje visionary Mirjana, to give us her message to the world, and in particular for those who do not yet know the love of God. Below is the latest official English translation as provided by the Information Center in Medjugorje.
Message of July 2, 2010:
“Dear children. I am beside you because I desire to help you to overcome trials, which this time of purification puts before you. My children, one of those is not to forgive, and not to ask for forgiveness. Every sin offends Love and distances you from it – and Love is my Son. Therefore, my children, if you desire to walk with me towards the peace of God’s love, you must learn to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Thank you.”
Forgiveness does not always come naturally. Many times it is a laborious exercise of the will, united in prayer with Jesus. When we feel like we can’t forgive, we can at least ask Him to give us His heart, and through Him who lives within us, Who said on the cross, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do,” we can actively decide to forgive. But before we do that, it is necessary to express our true feelings of hurt–not necessarily to the offender(s)–but on paper, in a journal, or in a letter that is never sent. Those feelings need to be honored, expressed and validated. Then we can move into the work of forgiveness.
As for asking for forgiveness from God, this means we need the gift of humility to realize we are not perfect. We are not like Jesus in his humanity. We are not like the Virgin Mary. When we can freely say we are not, and when we hold ourselves up to the light to see the dark spots of our flaws, failings, and sins, then we can see the need to ask for forgiveness from God. The next step God asks of us is to express this in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where in one glorious moment, in the words of absolution from the priest, those spots are wiped away.
On the 25th of each month, Our Lady appears to the Medjugorje visionary Marija to give us her message to the world. Below is the latest official English translation as provided by the Information Center in Medjugorje.
Message of August 25, 2010:
“Dear children! With great joy, also today, I desire to call you anew: pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way. I love you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
It seems that for those of us who sometimes do our prayers on the run or in various places, Mary is asking for a simpler practice, which may require a bit of readjusting, planning, and discipline. She tells us to find a specific, special place and insinuates that we should make daily prayer there a habit.
And once again, she mentions joy. Pray joyfully, she says. At times, when life is easy and full of obvious blessings, joy comes easy. But as the psalms suggest, joy does not always well up within us immediately. Sometimes it comes after we pour out our sorrows to the Lord, and only then can thoughts of joy and praise rise up in our hearts. Joy, nevertheless, can be ours.
May you find that special place.