In the message of March 25th 2008, Our Lady invites us to personal conversion. This call is addressed to every individual, since no one is excluded from this motherly invitation. To convert means to renounce the previous way of life and to begin a new life in Jesus Christ. The conversion envelops the whole human being; for example, this happened the prodigal son from the Gospel of Luke, and St. Paul , St. Francis, and many other known and unknown saints. The conversion envelops our heart and our will, heart because it is the centre of man and, if the heart is converted, the whole man is converted. But, besides the conversion of the heart, there should also be the conversion of the will, because the conversion is a cry for help. The will helps us on the way we have chosen. It helps us not to fail at the first crosses. True conversion asks for the renouncement, not only of the sin, but also from all other small, petty gods which prevent us to choose God completely. Jesus is brilliantly clear when He says: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Lk 9,23). In conversion, we allow God to lead us so we can know His plans for us. There is no conversion without the prayer, since the prayer is, in a way, the first and the last precondition for conversion, spiritual advancement and holiness. Our Lady also points us to this direction, when she says in Her message from June 25th 1992 that she invites us to conversion from day to day. If you do not pray, you cannot say you are converting, says the Lady. The prayer helps us to convert continuously, to always think about God and to remain faithful to Him. The prayer is the conversation between God and man. God knows our hearts better than we do; He is not interested so much in our words as in attitudes of our hearts. One more important thing for the prayer is also commitment. We should commit ourselves totally into the God’s hands, so He can make of us His loving sons and daughters. We should yield to Him our wishes, plans, goals and weaknesses. We should give ourselves to him completely, so He can lead us wherever He wants – to His kingdom. As a true mother, Our Lady directs us the whole time to her son Jesus and never puts herself in the first place.
In the evening message, she also invites us to worship Jesus in the Holy Altar sacrament, since the Worshipping connects us with the whole Church. St Alfonso Maria d'Liguori says that, after the sacrament, among all kinds of devoutness, the first and the dearest to God, and most useful to us, is the devoutness of worshipping Jesus in the Holy Altar sacrament. The nearness of Jesus wakes the living faith in us, and faith is the undeserved God’s gift which God gives to every man. Therefore, all people should open their hearts to accept that gift. Through the faith, we open ourselves to God, and only then can we recognize Him. We could compare the faith with the light. Like the light, it repels darkness, anguish and despair, and gives confidence and strength. In a way, faith lightens the path of those who have it and leads them like the dark cloud led the Israelites through the desert by day, and light cloud by night. Those who expect clear, material evidence of faith must be disappointed. When St. Thomas , in his deep disbelief, said that he will not believe in resurrected Christ before he puts his fingers into Christ’s wounds, Jesus answered him: “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (Jh 20,29). If everything was completely clear, there would be no merit in believing. People do not believe in something they know for certain, but only in something which remains partly hidden. Faith is trust, but it is also love toward the person we believe. Many people are aware that this world is transient in its weakness, yet they choose to believe in those transient values. Our Lady warns us that only God is eternal. Queen of Peace encourages us with love. All of her messages contain love and humility. We are grateful to her for this and we recommend ourselves to her mediation.
Fra Danko Perutina
Međugorje, March 26th 2008
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