In her recent message, just like in many of her previous messages, the Blessed Virgin Mary repeats and calls us three times in a row to: "pray, pray, pray". She utters these words wanting to remind us and to emphasize the importance of prayer for our spiritual life. It is not about some pious exercise or an imposed law. It is not a call to follow a forgotten custom. Prayer is not some spiritual training. Prayer is life. Just as our body needs air, food and other conditions in order to live, our soul needs prayer. We become well aware when we neglect our body. When we become undisciplined with our diet, our body easily falls ill. The same happens when we neglect prayer. Then spiritual viruses and bacteria find an easy way to our soul and man easily becomes a slave to all sorts of sins. He becomes prey of evil, hatred, wickedness, bad habits, curses, harsh words, selfishness, laziness and other evils.
Being a Mother, Mary wants to tell us that there is no other way and no other means towards God but through prayer. "Little children, when you pray you are close to God" – she speaks to us. In prayer we hear the echo of eternity in our souls. Or as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: " As "the seed of eternity that we bear in ourselves is irreducible to the merely material, man's soul can have its origins only in God " (CCC 33).
Only in prayer to which Our Lady calls us so tirelessly can we experience and feel that deep desire hidden in our hearts. Only in prayer can we experience the truthfulness of St. Paul's words: "But our homeland is in heaven. And we eagerly await Our Saviour from there – the Lord Jesus Christ“ (Phil 3,20).
Eternity does not begin when we die. We are immersed in eternity. It has already begun. We are to commit ourselves to it and struggle for it every single day. To be devoted to the Holy Spirit is to find eternity in time. The experience we have about the reality before a prayer is an experience of a limited nature of this reality to begin with. We experience how everything passes and goes into its own direction. However, after a prayer we see that everything is becoming different, new and never-ending. We then become fulfilled with eternity and discover an eternal dimension in everything. Or as St. John of the Cross wrote: "Lord God, anything can change as long as you permit us to have our dwelling place in You. Once we find our dwelling place in God through prayer, we no longer live in changes. At the end of our lives events continue to take place. We, however, are no longer involved in them. We find ourselves in a deeper place, in God, who is the very stability.
Once we have accepted God and taken His side that is against sins, evil, darkness and hatred, we already are in eternity. It is here that we need to struggle and create God's Kingdom. It is here that we need to be allowed and to allow God to guide us, change us and enter into our lives just as Mother Mary invites us to do.
With sincere and humble hearts we pray to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, who has become great because she has let God perform His works in her and through her. Let Her teach us how to believe and how to surrender completely to God and to our fellow creatures in order to truly experience in us the eternity that we have been created for.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtović
Međugorje, 26 November 2006
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