How to take a retreat
The retreat is a special time
Mary herself invites you to it and promises it will lead to the miraculous transformation
of heart, so your heart would become ONE HEART with the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Listen to the video teachings.
End your day devoted to Mary with evening prayer. How to pray?
First, it is important to thank for the whole day for Her presence with you, for Her guidance, for all new your learned about Her today for being able to get closer to Her. It is important to say “thank you”.
Second, ask Mary to show you the passing day through Her eyes, to see it as She sees it. Ask Her to lend you Her eyes so you could see your day from a different perspective.
Third, try to recall events of the day one by one from the moment you woke up until now. And see what you experienced, how was God leading you look at the emotions you felt, decisions you made.
Look at your resolution for today and see did you manage to be faithful to it. If you were faithful to God in something, thank Him for the grace of faithfulness. If you fell, lost with some temptation, say sorry, and ask for the grace of faithfulness.
You may also ask the Holy Spirit to write the decision you made today on your heart so your heart would become more and more the heart of Jesus.
Every day for 33 days:
listen to the teaching or read it
make your daily resolution
remember about evening meditation
God wants to reveal himself. God wants to let us know Him, and He wants us to know that we are not alone. We are not alone when we are lost, when we fall, and when we are weak. When He comes to reveal himself and to let us know Him, it is like He is lighting a light. Something that was not visible becomes visible because He knows that is what we need.
Saint John Paul II said that man is unable to understand himself without Christ. I cannot understand myself if Christ will not let me know Him. If I haven't met Christ in my life, I don't understand myself. The church tells us that Christ is the light of the nations, the light of the world. He said himself. In the Gospel, Jesus asks Peter: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”. Peter replies: „Christ, the Son of the living God”. Then Jesus says: „Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven”. So Simon Peter was given a revelation, an understanding of who Christ is. That was the action of God in his heart. He did not see that in a natural way. That was a supernatural grace given by God to show him the full mystery of Christ in his heart. The supernatural revelation.
But Peter did not know that there is a price to pay for receiving it. When Jesus told Peter that He must suffer, and be rejected and crucified, Peter told him, “Far be it from you, Lord”. Although Peter received the revelation of God, his way of thinking was not converted yet. That is why Christ had to chasten him. Peter had to experience the pains of childbirth caused by the revelation of God. That is the suffering of Jesus on the cross. And this trial was failed by Peter too – he was not under the cross with Jesus.
But there, under the cross, Christ gave us Mary. “I am and will be for you such as you praise Me for being”, said Jesus to Saint Faustina. We see this mystery when an angel comes to Mary saying: „You are full of grace”. Mary was troubled because She knew that God and only God is full of grace. He addressed that concerned, and he told Her: You have every grace that you need, and you will lack nothing. By revealing himself, God included Mary in His life, in His plan, in His action. Saint Paul said that Jesus Christ is a Deity that lives in a bodily form, and that is a Deity in Mary. Thanks to Her, God is close to us.
In the Old Testament, God revealed himself to Moses in the bush that was burning but did not burn up. And this is Mary. The same fire of the Holy Spirit descended on Mary, and She also is a bush in which the Holy Spirit is burning but does not burn up. The God who was revealing himself to Moses on Mount Sinai, who was revealing himself among thunders and storms, so people were afraid to touch the mountain so they would not die – that same God comes through Mary, and She does not die, and She is immaculate. In her, God reveals His power but also his gentleness when He comes as a baby.
God chose Mary and made her a privileged channel of His grace. He said: I come to you through Mary. He chose once, and the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, said Saint Paul. He elevated Mary, He took her to heaven, He made her the Queen of Heaven, and Earth, and He wants to come to us all the time through Her, He wants to give us his grace.
Saint Joseph and Mary are two souls whose lives were hidden. Bible doesn't say much about them and how they lived. But Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will teach us, He will unveil and reveal more to us. And in the time we live in, the Holy Spirit is showing us Mary, He is showing us Joseph. He is revealing the mystery of his actions in them, the hidden now becoming visible. We can see that in Mary's revelations on the whole world.
The name of the last book of the Bible, the Revelation, comes from the Greek word meaning uncovering and referring to the theatre's curtain. And we have something similar here. God is revealing a curtain, showing something not visible before. He lights a light where the darkness was. And we can see reality as it is, in his light. According to many revelations from the 20th century, Mary comes to the church as a mother carrying about her children. Mary's mission in the church is to shape us as similar to Christ. From the cross, Jesus told Her: you will be the mother of the church. She wants to shape that similarity in the entire church, but also in us, in each of our souls. She wants to make us similar to Christ.
Revelations of Mary in the church are prophecies about what God wants to do in the soul of every man. The triumph of the immaculate heart of Mary means that our hearts are becoming like She was. Her life is a prophecy about us. That is the plan that God has for each of us. The revelation of God always leads us out from some captivity, blindness, and deafness. Each of us can experience an internal struggle, the temptation not to accept the revelation of God. The temptation to believe the lie that I do not need it, that it is not for me, that I know it already. When we experience the action of God, some temptations are trying to close us off from his intentions. That leads to a struggle. So if you think: I know it, it is not for me, God can speak to others, I don't need it, then know this is a temptation that is closing your heart, and you need to turn it down.
Someone may ask why God is revealing himself in such a way and in such time. God is sovereign in his doings and his wisdom. He has a specific way and time of coming to the life of each person. In the Acts of Apostles, we see the first man healed by Saint Peter. Peter told him: “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”. But that man seated in this same spot many times for many years, and he has seen Jesus there. And maybe he wanted to be healed when he heard about all the miracles Jesus has done. However, God chose a different time to act in his life. It didn't happen when Jesus was walking the earth, but when apostles were acting. We need our hearts to be open to free ourselves from our ideas about how God is supposed to work in our lives, to accept his way. And that's why we want to follow the path of Mary. She will teach us to be free from our ideas, our conceptions, and She will show us how to receive what God is giving.
Let us pray.
Father, you promised us the Spirit of revelation so we could know you better. Come, Holy Spirit! The Spirit of revelation! Come and touch our hearts touch our minds. Show us the image of Mary and her mission in today's church and in the soul of each of us. Mary, come to each of us! In an entirely new way with new revelation and new knowing and with a fresh experience of God.
Come Holy Spirit!
God is sending us His angels, and He wants us to recognize them. In the world that we live in, we have many wrong ideas about angels starting with the image of a sweet little chubby creature covered with glitter, and smiling at us. But angels are not like that. The word of God says they are mighty warriors fulfilling the orders of God. An angel is the emissary of God sent to protect us. Not only to protect us, but there is much more to it.
In the Book of Exodus, we read: “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared” (Ex 23:20). We can see that an angel is not only a protector. His task is also to ensure the fulfillment of God's promise and plan in my life. God gives me an angel, and that means I am important to Him. God sends His angels to guard you in all your ways, so you are precious in His eyes, so we are all precious in his eyes. That means you are not just anybody that you are not worthless, not cheap. You cannot be left out, ignored, not heard out. God is giving you His angels to protect you. Bible says that angels are walking with you and me, so we are not alone in the fight. Before you do anything, your angel prepares you the way, and he walks ahead of you. Before you get somewhere, your angel prepares the place for you and, he is clearing your path.
When we read the Old Testament, we see that before Israelites inhabited the land of Cannan, God expelled six different nations from there. Three of them run away because of the hornets even before Israelites entered. So even the insects, nasty insects, became an angel who prepared everything so that Israelites could enter the land promised by God. Jesus said to Saint Faustina: “All things, willing or not, must serve me”. God rules over everything, and nothing can slip away from him. That is beautiful! But the Bible also says that we must listen to our angels. It's not the angel who needs to listen to me, my prayers, but I need to listen to the angels because they were sent to me by God. Bible shows there is an angel who guards me in general, but also I am given an angel for each mission God gives me. I am getting all the help and grace I need for everything that I do.
An angel came to Mary and said: “You are full of grace”. God wants to give us the protection of his angels. One day when I was praying for a person that person told me: “Father, you have so many angels!” I was surprised: “I am sure I have one guardian angel”. “No! You have many angels”, the person responded. After that, I started to read about the experiences of angels different saints had. And I learned that every county has its angel, every workplace, every position. For each task, we are given an angel.
Bible shows us that when Tobias had to journey through the desert, he was given an angel who led him in that difficult time. God sends us angels that we could see his promises fulfilled. But an angel is not an extra person between me and God, not any obstacle between us. He is helping me to be closer to God.
An angel doesn't necessarily refer to a celestial being. An angel can refer to a mission. For God, even insects were angels because they received a mission, a task to help God's promise to be fulfilled. A person can be an angel that received a mission to preach the Gospel. The part of the Greek word for Gospel, “euangelion” is the word angelos, angel. So when you preach the Gospel, you are an angel because you carry the Good News, you lead people to God. An angel is someone who brings you closer to God, who connects you with Him. And it doesn't even have to be a person. It may be something that happens and helps you come closer to God. This retreat can be your angel if it brings you closer to God.
When angel Gabriel came to Mary, he told her: “You are full of grace”, which means you have every grace that you need. Mary started to think about it. When the angel told Her what the plan of God for Her life is, She was very down to earth about it and asked: “How will this be?”. And the angel replied: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you”, give in to Him, and then you will see the sign that your infertile cousin is six months pregnant. Mary saw that sign at the end, not at the beginning. But God says: “No! You have the angels and every grace you could need. You will lack nothing. Go! Give in to the Holy Spirit”. That's what Mary is teaching us. She was given every grace She needed. Circumstances were proving the opposite. She gave birth to Her son in exile in the cave. She was cold, rejected, and She witnessed the death of her innocent son. But all that time, She knew She was given every grace she needs.
And today, Mary is the Queen of angels. She can teach us to see all the events of our lives as gifts from the hand of God. And God is good. Try to go through your day with such an attitude that whatever happens to you today is an angel sent to you. An angel that gives you good things from God's hand. I invite you to decide to see whatever happens to you today as good. If you are stuck in the traffic and waste time, take it as your angel. Try to think that maybe God is trying to protect you against something. If you meet the neighbour that is difficult to talk to, accept the angel in that situation. Accept that in that situation, God is giving you every grace you need. And maybe God is giving you the grace of patience or unconditional love for your neighbor.
God is giving us angels for everything. Once when I was praying for my parishioners before giving them a pastoral visit, God showed me an angel whom He gave me for that visit. And when I was leaving for that visit with the altar boys I told them: “It's not just the three of us. There is the fourth one. We got an angel, and he is walking ahead of us to the families we are about to visit. Someone is clearing our path”.
Try to live this day with that attitude. Whatever is ahead of you, maybe an unpleasant conversation or challenging meeting, thank God He is already sending there His angels to clear your path so you could be close to Him.
The rest. We are going to talk about the rest.
The world we live in is offering us many different forms of resting, relaxing, forgetting our troubles, having time to ourselves. But God also talks about rest. When He created man, He wanted to take a rest with him, as the Book of Genesis shows us. The Book of Genesis also shows us Noah. His name means “rest” in Hebrew. You could say Noah was the kind of man with whom God could rest, with whom God could be himself, be free. He could come and say whatever He felt, and He knew Noah would take it seriously. So He did so and said to Noah: “Make yourself an ark” (Gen 6:14). Nothing was hinting rain, no one could expect the flood, but Noah said: Ok, I will build an ark. Everyone stared at him. They were probably asking why he does this. But he simply took seriously what God told him, and accepted what he was asked to do.
When God finds a man with whom He may rest, He starts to do things that He has never done before. Never before has He offered any man what He offered to Noah because He knew that only Noah could do it. Only Noah allowed God to be God, only he was a man with whom God could rest, and only he was able to agree on doing something beyond his way of thinking, his ideas, his plans.
That is how it was with Mary. Mary was just the kind of person Noah was. God asked Her to do what has never been done before in the history of the universe. And Mary said: “Let it be” (Luke 1:38). Mary agreed. Noah built an ark and rescued everyone close to him. Mary became an ark, and She will rescue everyone close to Her.
To be in Mary means to be in an ark. In the Book of Leviticus God calls: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev 19:2). In the Old Testament, being holy meant being separated from this world. Noah had to accept that his way of thinking will be different than the way of thinking of those around him. But his actions were most important. And when God comes to Mary, He reveals the full meaning of holiness. “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy”, He said. He did not say: “Behave like you were holy because I behave like I am holy”, but: “Be holy because I am holy”. So God is not asking us to change the way we behave but to change the way we are. Not to change what I do but to change who I am. I have power over what I do. But I cannot change who I am. That is a completely different logic, different level. That is the work of God in our hearts.
Entering this level of holiness means not only my efforts but also allowing God to do with me whatever he finds right. We can say that this call to “be holy” increases since Jesus incarnated of Mary and means more like “be Me”. After all, when Jesus came through Mary, He had her body, her DNA, her eye color. He was born of Her. In Mary, the call “be like Me” transformed into “be Me”. It is not enough for us to improve ourselves. We are not called to be better people but to be reborn, to be reborn from Mary. And this is the work of God in me.
In every one of us since the original sin, there is a division, a crack. I have my egoism, my old man, old me, old Marcin Modrzyńki. But there is also a new man, Christ. Me, Marcin Modrzyński, is my egoism, is what I want, what I imagine, what I expect, what I control, what I understand. And there is the Christ in me. I must decrease, and He must increase. I must not feed me, Marcin, not feed my desires, but Christ has to be formed in me instead. And this is what Mary can do.
Mary, said saint Louis, is a mold of God. He also said that holiness is like making a sculpture. If we want to create it, we need good materials, good tools, and good skills. And only then, after a lot of effort, many years of practice we may create a beautiful sculpture. But this takes a lot of effort, is depending on us, and is not always successful. But Mary, said Saint Louis, is the mold of God. We need to be put in that mold so she could form us into Christ. Outside I will be me, but in me, through me, God will come to this world just like in Mary. When She revealed herself in Lourdes, She introduced herself: “I am the Immaculate Conception”. She introduced herself with the name of the Holy Trinity. "I am" is the name of God from the Old Testament. Immaculate is the Lamb in the Book of Revelation. And conception was done by the Holy Spirit. So we see Mary, the Mother of God, but in her whole Trinity comes, she uses the name of the Trinity. It is like the holy host. Outside it is a regular bread, but spiritually it is the body of Christ.
We should enter that reality and see the work of God in us. When Mary saw the work of God in Her, Saint Joseph could not understand that. And she didn’t explain it to him. But God’s work in her heart was inviting Joseph to respect it to listen, to wait for the revelation, wait for God to lead him into this. We know the story. God intervened, and He showed Joseph what he has done in Mary’s heart. God wants to give that understanding to all of us. To each of us, He wants to reveal his work in Mary, and He wants us to be in her. As a bride of the Holy Spirit, Mary shapes us to be like Christ. Thanks to her, He can come to this world in us.
God chose Mary, and through Her came to this world and is revealing himself. In the same way, He takes us into Mary’s heart. She is a channel of grace to make us like Christ was. That will happen when we allow God to do whatever He wants. It can be something beyond our way of thinking, ideas, and expectations. Other people may not understand that, and we may be forced to fight those who live under the influence of the spirit of this world and do not understand our choices.
If you trust God, you need to accept that people will not understand you. That may be an internal struggle, a fight with your egoism, with the feeling that you’re not managing it, you can’t control it, you don’t understand it. Or a struggle with my will to do something on my own. But this is about something much greater. Jesus told Saint Faustina that she should not try to be a saint according to her ideas, but instead try to accept everything that happens to her as good, as given by the hand of God.
I invite you to be like Saint Joseph, who had to face the work of God in Mary. If there is something in your life that you don’t understand, accept it with trust. Wait and ask God to explain it to you to speak to your heart, to let you know Him what he wants to do in you by that situation to make you more and more like Christ. The truth is we experience the greatest blessing not when everything goes according to our plan but we became like Christ. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28), said the word of God. So I encourage you to look from this perspective see that God wants to work with you to make you more like Christ. That is the greatest blessing and the greatest compliment that can be given by God when you will stand in front of Him: you are like Christ even in your wounds.
Previously we talked about Noah and the kind of people God is seeking. Today we are going to talk about Moses. Bible calls Moses a friend of God who understood His heart very well. In the Book of Exodus, God said to Moses: “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves” (Ex 32:7). God said that to Moses as to a friend. We should be aware that when God speaks to us, He does that to make us more like Him, and so He could come to this world through us.
When God speaks to Moses, He speaks as a Father who knows what is going on with His children. A Father who cares, a good Father, who knows the needs of His children. He cares about you, knows what do you need. But He also knows the needs of those to whom He sends you. He is our common Father. He needs someone ready to go down, to descent. He said to Moses: “Go down, for your people have corrupted themselves”. He needs people who will be like His Son, who went down, who descends from high to low and becomes a man. Moses is like a Christ who descends from high to low to be with people, bring them what Father wants, and fulfill His will.
Moses defends his people. And by defending them, He takes the role of the Holy Spirit. Jesus called Holy Spirit “paracletus” (“paraclete”), which means a defender in court. God needs people who will be like He is in the Trinity. He asks Moses to look at the people. He shares what He sees. In Moses, God comes as a Trinity: Father seeing His children, Son who goes down, and Holy Spirit who defends.
Mary takes the same mission that Moses had. The history of Mary’s revelations shows us how She, as the Queen of Earth and Heaven, goes down, descends. Just like God the Father, She sees our weaknesses, She sees how we are lost, and shows us a path of prayer, a path to go back to the Father. In her, we can fully see what God wanted to do by Moses. And just like Moses was essential to bring people up out of the captivity in Egypt, Mary is essential to bring us up out of our captivity.
We are going to experience a spiritual struggle, so we would not work with God's grace like Mary. We will be tempted not to be like God the Father and not see the needs of others, to be indifferent to let others be orphans. We will be tempted not to be like the Son. Not to go down, not to humble ourselves, serve. We will be tempted not to be like the Holy Spirit, not to defend, but to accuse others. And there is only one accuser. So if I am not like God, who am I like then?
I encourage you to be like Moses today to take the role of the Holy Spirit, the defender. Whenever you will have the reason to accuse someone in your heart try to defend him, try to understand him to try to justify him in your heart, not accuse.
Mary is a masterpiece of the Holy Trinity. When we read the Book of Genesis, we see that God created the woman so she could be next to the man and be a help to him. Jews say that God did not make her from his head, so she would rule him or from leg so she would be at his feet, but he made her from his ribs so she would stand by him. And the same woman who was supposed to support the man and give life brought death in the end. But even in the Book of Genesis, we can already find the God News, God’s announcement of the triumph of the woman's offspring.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Mary with a passage from the Letter to the Ephesians. It says that God has blessed Her with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places even as he chose Her in Him before the foundation of the world, that She should be holy and blameless before him (Eph. 1:3-4). Mary is a masterpiece of God. She always answered yes to him, “let it be”. She never resisted Him. Whatever He gave Her, she took it. Mary is the daughter of the Father, who reveals His goodness. She accepts His will even when She does not understand, even when it was difficult to accept.
On the cross, when Mary was next to the cross, Jesus said to John: this is your mother. She helps us to have the same relationship with the Father as She does. On orthodox icons we can see the hand of the Father on the horizontal bar of the cross just as if God was saying: Son, take the good from my hand. And Mary truly understood this prayer from the cross because she was willing to take everything as good from God. God anticipated Mary before He created the world. Son made her a mother for us from His cross. The Holy Spirit descended on Her on the day of Pentecost and is still descending through Her hands. Mary teaches us how to be dependent on the Father, to live in the victory and trust. She who always stares at the Father and who always answers Him yes shows us that being dependent on God is good.
In today’s world, we see dependence as something bad and we would like to be completely independent. But independence is an illusion that leads to rebellion, resistance, doubts about God’s goodness, remorse against Him, and finally to spiritual orphanhood. In Mary, we see Father’s daughter, completely dependent. We can see that dependence is good, and we can see God reveals this truth to us in Her. So we should be aware of that struggle: each time when we rebel, resist or doubt in God’s goodness we are in danger of spiritual orphanhood. We need Mary.
Ask Mary to teach you to see everything that is going to happen to you today as good given by God’s hand, so you could see good in whatever happens no matter what is your attitude. Ask Her to transform the way you see and to let you see through Her eyes.
Who can teach us to be like Christ, if not Mary? The Book of Genesis says that God created man in His image, after His likeness. Bible uses the Hebrew word “demut” which means “likeness”. But it also translates to “shape”. God created us into His likeness, all of us. But this likeness is something that depends on us. Image is independent of us and our decisions, but likeness is different. We can be more or less like God. It is like a picture on the wall. That is always the same picture, although it may be in good condition or be dusty and neglected.
Saint Louis called Mary the shape of God and the mold of God. His likeness. In Her, we become more like Christ, the Son of God. Saint John Paul II wrote in “Redemptoris Mater”: “She made present to humanity the mystery of Christ. And She still continues to do so. Through the mystery of Christ, She too is present within mankind. Thus through the mystery of the Son the mystery of the Mother is also made clear”. When you are closer to Christ, Mary gets clearer to you and Gods work in Mary gets clearer to you. John Paul II said, that Mary “made present” meaning She is the place in which God works so that He could come through Her.
That happened during the incarnation. The only task given to Mary was to let God work. However, He wants to be himself. Let Him make himself present however He wants. Mary said: “let it be”. That decision, Her yes, allowed Her to carry Jesus in Her like a child, like a part of Herself. What can be more intimate? Mary gives Him life, but at the same time, She takes life from Him because He is Her God. She becomes the Mother of God. She, who was given life by Him, is becoming a space to which and through which He comes. She makes Herself available to God.
Jesus said in the Gospel: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it”. Who did it better than Mary? Pope Paul VI wrote: “Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, subordinated to worship of the divine Savior and in connection with it, also has great pastoral effectiveness and constitutes a force for renewing Christian living. Mary's mission is directed towards producing in the children the spiritual characteristics of the first-born Son”. That is Her mission to make us like Christ. So we can go inside Her and make ourselves and our lives available to God just like She did. All the levels of our lives: what we listen to, our rest, our work. So that God could be present at every level of my life and in this world. So He could work through me.
And then I become Christ’s, Christ-like, Christ-shaped. Then Father looks at me and sees the likeness to His Son. We may be tempted to do things in our way, to fear that we don’t control something, to judge that I would do it better myself. So we need to be submissive like Mary was submissive to the Son, the Holy Spirit, and to the Father, so Mary could shape as to be like Christ.
Ask Mary to teach you to see everything that will happen to you today as it was something to make you more like Her son. Bible said that for those who love God, all things work together for good. So this exactly is what is happening in your life. By everything that happens, God is trying to make you more like Christ. Ask Mary so She would fully reveal the life of Christ to you so you could see the resemblance of your difficulties to what He experienced. So you could look into His life like it was a mirror, see your life in His. That is the greatest blessing that we can receive.
Saint John Paul II said in Lourdes: “Mary is the first who participates in the kingdom of glory and union with God in eternity. Her birth for heaven is the final beginning of glory, that sons and daughters of this earth should achieve. Redemption is the foundation of transforming the history of the universe into God's kingdom. Mary is the first of redeemed. She already began transforming the universe into the kingdom of God”. It is amazing how God gave everything to Mary, and She accepted all of it. She was fully for Him, and He elevated Her above all creation. She is the Queen of Heaven and all the Earth. That is obvious that when the son is a king, the mother is a queen. The moment when She spoke Her “let it be”. She became worthy of being the Queen of Heaven and all the Earth because She accepted all that God gave Her.
We could say that Jesus and Mary not only rule but also participate in the same dominion of God. Jesus is the king of everything, so Mary is the queen of everything. Saint Louis said that God, who is almighty by nature, gave all the graces to Mary. So if He is almighty, He made Mary almighty. But not by nature – by grace. She, as creation, can do everything that God can do because She was always answering Him “yes” and He made Himself present through Her. Through Her, He gave himself to us, and He still is giving.
Saint Louis refers to saint Bonaventure who claimed that all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to Her: “Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God”. The Bible tells us that angels in heaven sing “Holy, holy, holy” to God. But if Mary entered heaven alive and God made Her queen, and if God gave Her everything, then angels look at Her and see everything the same as they see in God. So they praise His work in Her. In the just soul, there is the Holy Spirit. Then it’s logical that in the justest soul the Holy Spirit will rule, and with the most power. There are no obstacles for Him.
We may be tempted to see how this world teaches us to see: see Mary, our relationship with Her, the way we live our lives, and what God wants from us. But since Jesus incarnated, all that was of this world became deificated. Everything that was of this world, was transformed by the Holy Spirit. Nothing is just of this world anymore, it belongs to God. Mary’s life was not only in this world. It was ordinary, but it was deificated, it belonged to God. And God, seeing Her sorrow, or what was sorrow according to the way this world thinks: humbled, suffering, rejected, exiled, elevated Her to His glory. And She is the queen.
I encourage you to think about it today that you have a queen that Mary is not only your mother but also a queen. Treat Her as a queen with reverence and respect, and be aware that you are a servant, and She is the queen of entire heaven and entire earth. And that God gave Her everything. This queen chose you to serve Her. And She takes care of you. So think about it today that Mary is a queen, and your whole life belongs to Her.
It may be hard to describe the work of the Holy Spirit in Mary because the work of the Holy Spirit is often hidden in a soul. But that’s good because it shows there is a mystery. In the rosary, the church gives us the mystery of Jesus’s and Mary’s life to reflect on. The mystery is not something to speak of publicly but something to reveal to someone close to us, someone we trust. Angel told Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). Angel told Her to be submissive to the Holy Spirit. And when we are submissive to the Holy Spirit, God reveals His mysteries to us. We need to ask Mary to reveal to us the mystery of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said: “If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (John 16:7). It was horrible for disciples to hear that. They were attached to Him, and they didn’t want to lose Him. And they were afraid they would. But Jesus meant something different from losing: you will gain, the Holy Spirit will come, and He will teach you everything. Disciples concentrate on the loss. And this is a temptation that we may all face. We may concentrate on what we have lost, what we don’t have, on what we lack. But Mary and Jesus are showing us that always when we lose something, the Holy Spirit comes to give. And I need to learn what He brings me, how is He working in me, and be submissive to Him.
Only Mary, the bride of the Holy Spirit, can reveal to me the mystery of His work in a person’s heart. She can reveal the mystery. When an angel comes to Her, she is practical. When the angel reveals God’s plan to Her, She asks for details: “How will this be?”. In the same way, we need to ask Her: Mary, tell me about the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. With this question, you can pray the rosary, and in each mystery ask: Mary, tell me about Holy Spirit’s work in your life, show me what did He do. Then Mary starts to act, and She reveals the mystery to us herself.
Each time we have difficulties, we need to see them as a struggle. We will be tempted to give up. I am facing difficulties, so I’m giving up. I am having difficulties, so I concentrate on what I am losing. But Mary teaches me perseverance and to focus on the Holy Spirit’s work. So please, pray the rosary today. Ask Mary to tell you about Holy Spirit’s work in Her life, reflect on each mystery with that attitude. Ask Mary to tell you about the Holy Spirit’s work in Her life so you could see how He will work in yours.
Saint Louis pointed out that for many thousands of years, despite expectations of prophets and all the saints of the Old Testament, God did not send the Messiah because He wanted Him to come through Mary. Saint Augustine said that if the world was not worthy to receive the Son of God directly from God's hands, God gave Him to Mary, and the world received Him through Her.
Look how God works through Her. He sanctified John the Baptist by Her words. When Mary entered Elizabeth's house and greeted her, the Holy Spirit came. This is how much Mary was filled with Him. Mary did not pray for Elizabeth. She just came and said “hi” and the Holy Spirit came. Just because She said a word. This is how much She was filled with the Holy Spirit. The first miracle of Jesus at the wedding at Cana happened because She asked. We see how privileged Mary is and what God can give us through Her.
Saint Louis also noticed that according to the Book of Genesis, God took all the waters and called them sea, “Maria” in Latin. In the same way, He took all the graces and placed them in Mary. And from the cross Son gave Mary everything in His testament, He gave Her His Church.
The Holy Spirit made Her the dispenser of all the graces. She gives all the graces to whoever She wants. She, who was humble in Her life to the point of nothingness, is elevated by God. Mary shows us the beauty of being dependent on God. She wanted to be dependent on Him in everything, so He gave Her everything. And because of that, She is the most effective mediator for us. Saint John Paul II wrote about it beautifully in "Redemptoris Mater": “Mary's cooperation shares, in its subordinate character in the universality of the mediation of the Redeemer, the one Mediator. Through Her mediation, subordinate to that of the Redeemer Mary contributes in a special way to the union of the pilgrim Church on earth with the eschatological and heavenly reality of the Communion of Saints”.
Mary’s mediation is subordinated to the only mediator Jesus Christ. She is not leading us away from Christ. Mary’s mediation is subordinated to Him, and it is not overshadowing Him. In Her life, Mary was fully submissive to God, so how could She overshadow Him now? It is against Her nature, against God’s work in Her. Her mediation is showing Her submissiveness.
I encourage you to live this day in awareness of being dependent on Mary. In everything that is happening in your life, you depend on Her. Just like a child in a mother’s womb, totally dependent. Live this day like that. Be dependent like a child in a mother’s womb.
God chose the particular people. In the Book of Genesis, we read about Noah: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Gen. 6:9). Bible uses the Hebrew word “tamim”, which means “complete”. Just as if Noah was the final version of man. The man who is “tamim” is chosen by God to work with Him. Same when God spoke to Abraham and made His covenant with him. He told him: “be blameless” (Gen. 17:1), be “tamim”. When God was bringing Israelites out of Egypt, He told them to sacrifice the lamb without blemish, “tamim”. And this is how Mary is. She is "tamim". She is the immaculate conception. God created Her as perfectly holy. She is the first creation who brought full joy to the Holy Trinity. God kept Her from evil, so She is completely devoted to Him. All of Her desires are directed toward Him. And all the hate in Her is directed at sin.
To speak about God's holiness, the Bible uses the word “kadosh”, which also means “separate”. God separated Mary from this world, making Her free from the influence of the original sin. He made Her holy and immaculate from the beginning. The sin did not afflict Her. And this is a grace of God. God is independent in His doings. He does what He wants. And He wanted to give Mary this grace. And His grace is free. The fact He gives for free shows that everything is His.
Mary lives according to this logic. She knows that everything is His. When the angel came to Her, She accepted the will of God, and how will it be fulfilled. When She visited Elizabeth, She carries Him and allows Him to act. When Jesus was born, She showed Him to people and made Him available to them. When She brought Him to the temple, She joined Her suffering with His. When She found Him in the temple, She was submissive to Him, the child. That is what Mary shows: God is first.
Letter to Ephesians said that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The seal means owning, belonging, confirmation. Putting a seal on something used to mean making something your own. That is a sign of inviolability. Seal made the thing inviolable, showed that someone has power over it. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel was thrown into the lion's den in the cave. The king sealed the cave himself. The Book of Job tells us that God sealed all the stars and that He can make any of them stop shining. In the Book of Revelation, God is sealing His servants. Mary also was sealed. Just like servants are sealed as God's property before God's coming at the end of the time, Mary is sealed since the beginning. She is separated from this world. Saint Louis called Her the sealed garden. There will be the time in the Church at the end of the time when God will reveal Mary like He never did before. God will remove His seal and reveal Her splendor to everyone. The revelation of Mary, unsealed by the Holy Spirit.
Live this day aware that there is a seal of God given to you at your baptism. God put His seal on you and told you: you belong to Me, you are inviolable. And live with that knowledge that you belong to God that you have His seal on you. But also ask Mary to reveal you in your heart the truth about who She is, so you could understand better who you are in God because of the seal of baptism.
When God made a covenant with Abraham, He told him: “walk before me, and be blameless”, be “tamim”, like we said before. “Walk before me” means be with me. Old monks used to say “in Domino ambulare”, to walk in the presence of God. And Nazareth is the school of walking in God’s presence. Nazareth is an ordinary everyday life that is teaching that God is present. It shows that God is extraordinary in ordinary things. Look at the proportions of Jesus’s life. In thirty years of life he hid in Nazareth, and three years of public activity. Ten to one, those are the proportions of our lives because Jesus’s life is our life. So often, we want extraordinary, but our life is just ordinary.
Mary teaches us how to live an ordinary life with Jesus. She, who for 30 years lived the life hidden from everyone. Even the Bible doesn’t tell us much about it. It’s hidden from people outside of it, cannot be posted on Facebook or Instagram. Today’s world wants to have everything for others: post everything, picture everything, show everything. And Mary invites us to the hidden, ordinary life, in which we can be unseen, ignored, unappreciated.
Those experiences are getting harder and harder for us: when I am not appreciated, not looked at, ignored, and when no one asks for my opinion. We want to be asked, seen, appreciated. We want to have an extraordinary life, and because of that, we are losing the amazing treasure that is life in Nazareth. Nazareth is the school of walking in God’s presence.
When prophet Elias was performing miracles, he used to say: “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand”. Spiritually Elias was standing before God all the time. Outside he was in the desert or with people, but inside he stood before God. And that’s the point, to have the same attitude as Elias and Mary. Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, spiritually stand before God.
Jesus, asked about His miracles, said: “The Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing” (John 5:19). What does it mean? He was in Capernaum, He was in Galilee, He was in Jerusalem. But inside, spiritually, He constantly was before His Father. He was seeing what the Father was doing, and He was doing His will. He knew what Father was doing, and He was doing exactly the same, He was working with Him.
Only Mary can lead us in this mystery of being, walking, and living in God’s presence. Then my soul becomes host: from outside, you can’t see what is inside. And as the host is just bread after consecration, it becomes God inside. And this is the mystery and the secret of Mary’s life which She teaches us. Outside you may seem very simple and ordinary, but inside, your life has eternal value because you are united with God. Mary leads us is into that. And we become like hosts.
Ask Mary to teach you to walk in God’s presence. Whatever you are going to do today, no matter how simple and ordinary, will you be doing the dishes, cleaning up the house, or meeting people, ask Mary for this grace so you could constantly stand before God no matter what. In your heart, stand before God, even while doing ordinary things.
Let’s explore the topic of Evangelical counsels in Mary’s life. Someone could ask why is that important, isn’t that something meant for monks and nuns? But the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “Christ proposes the Evangelical counsels to every disciple”. Every disciple. So I, the priest, will talk about Evangelical counsels.
Poverty. The Old Testament tells about the poor of Yahweh, “anawim” in the Hebrew. That was the group of widows and orphans whose faith was death because they had no means to support themselves. They knew they are dependent on God. And in God’s eyes, they were privileged. God was especially carrying about them because they were constantly looking at Him. Their lives were convincing them constantly, that they are fully dependent on Him, that they can’t depend on people, only on God. And God was answering to that faith.
This is how Mary is. She is constantly looking at God. She is fully “anawin”. In the spiritual life, there is a connection between look and power. By looking at someone, I give him power over me. Mary was constantly looking at God, so He had power over everything in Her life. It’s beautiful when Jesus comes to the disciples walking on water, and Peter asks: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Matt. 14:28). Jesus answered: “Come”. Peter leaves the boat, and as long as he looks at Jesus, he walks on water. But when he begins to look at the water, on waves around him, he starts to drown.
You give the power over you to what you look at. The world we live in wants us to look at it, so we would not look at God, so we would worry about our problems, about the storms in our lives. But by doing that, we give it power over us. And Jesus says: look at Me.
But without Mary, we can’t look at Jesus. And She can teach us to look, no matter the circumstances, because She is looking at Him no matter the circumstances. Saint Louis called Mary the paradise for God because God was looking at Her like She was the paradise, and this is also how She looked at Him. That mutual look is only possible by love. It is not possible without love, only between two people who love each other. Without love, it’s impossible.
Poverty is looking away from this world and yourself and looking at God. The world may speak against it. My feelings, my impressions, my ideas may speak against it. But I look at God. That was what truly happened in Mary’s life. She went through many difficult situations but was always looking at God. When She was giving birth to Jesus in the stable, it was cold at stinky around Her. Those were the least comfortable circumstances to give birth. But Mary was looking at Jesus, not at reasons to complain.
What are we looking at? Live this day like there was only you and God. That doesn’t mean to forsake your duties. Just in every situation and in every dilemma, think about God, who is eternal.
Obedience is a way to sacrifice and consecration. What is sacrifice? What is consecration? We can see it best in the Eucharist. When the bread is consecrated, it’s impossible to make it unconsecrated. Giving yourself to God has the same power. The difference is, that the Eucharist is consecrated by the words of a priest, the Holy Spirit makes Christ present immediately. So it is a miracle. It is a little different with people. We know that there are consecrated people in the Church. They also belong to God and are consecrated, but the consecration is not happening immediately, forever, or fully because we are sinners and we have free will.
Even if someone follows the Evangelical counsels, it doesn’t mean he can’t sin. But he is following the path that leads to being fully consecrated. We could say that consecrated people are a prophetic sign of what we are all supposed to become. In Mary, we can see it most clearly. Saint Paul said: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 5:20). Who more than Mary can say: “Christ lives in me”? In Her, the Word became flesh. Who more than Mary can repeat after the priest during Eucharist: “This is my Body, this is my Blood”? In Mary, we have the easiest way for Christ to live in us.
Pope Paul VI said that if we want to be true Christians, we needed to be Marian. So love to Mary is not just one of many options. It is our to be or not to be. Saint John Eudes talked about the union of hearts, the switch of hearts. In this consecration, Mother of God is giving me Her heart, and I give Her mine. And this is a mystical union of life. And we, as Christians, are invited to it.
In the Book of Isaiah, we read: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword” (Is. 1:19-20). We see that submissiveness and obedience are the way to grow in the consecration, way to learn sacrifice, to be closer to God, and to be more in His presence.
On the other hand, we see that submissiveness and obedience are bringing the end to our way own of seeing and thinking. My egoism dies, same with my way of thinking, my ideas, my expectations. By obedience, God wants to make us more united with Him. Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). My egoism is supposed to die.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola said: "Greater is the one who denies himself that the one who resurrects dead”. Raising the dead is a charisma revealing God, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to sanctity. It can lead to pride, unfortunately. We can take the credit for God’s work, although He gave grace. Jesus said that there will be people who professed, healed, and exorcised in His name, but He will tell them: “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23). That means that using charismas did not lead them to know Jesus. This is why Saint Ignatius said, that the one who denies himself who kills his egoism, who increases himself so Christ could live is greater than the one who resurrects dead. And obedience is a way to achieve that.
Saint Louis suggests giving Mary our thoughts, our wills, and our bodies. Giving Her thoughts and agreeing to know only what God will want me to know about my life, about what is happening to me. Saint Louis said that we should agree for God to make us lose our mind if necessary for our salvation and the greater glory of God. That is total trust, trust that God knows what is good for us. Saint Louis advised giving Mary the will, which means to agree for Her to persuade me to whatever She wants both when it comes to my life and the world. So She could convince me, invite me, lead me. So She could use me as a tool to lead others to Christ. And finally, Saint Louis said to give Her the body, health, and death, all that I have.
Mary, I am all yours, and whatever is mine, is yours! All that is outside and all that is inside. All the graces, all the merits, all the gifts, all the talents. All, Mary, is yours.
I invite you to live this day in such submissiveness to the Mother of Good. During your day, keep saying: “Mary, lead me, I trust You”. Before starting your duties tell Her shortly: “Mary, take this. Lead me in this”. Let Mary lead you today. Listen to Her.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). Purity opens our hearts to God’s presence. Thanks to purity I see Jesus in my heart and my life. I see Him, and nothing is blocking Him out. I see Him in everything that is happening in my life. And this is purity on the deepest spiritual level. We have many difficulties because they are cleansing us, God uses them to make us pure. On the one hand, they show my poverty because I understand less and less, and nothing is like I want it to be. That is one of the forms of experiencing poverty: I don’t understand, I don’t know. On the other hand, difficulties make me more obedient to God, because I can say: I don’t understand what is happening, but I want to trust You, I want to be submissive to You, I want You to lead me.
This attitude, when through difficulties I go deeper into the poverty, obedience, and submissiveness to God, leads to the purity of heart. I start to resign from what I find right, and I am willing to take as good all that God gives. That makes me pure. That is seeing God in ordinary everyday life, in every event, knowing that He is coming to me in that. When someone asked Michelangelo how is it possible, that he makes such beautiful sculptures, he answered: “I simply take a stone and cut what is not necessary”. When he was looking at the stone he already saw the sculpture, and he just had to remove was not needed. And this is how God looks at you. He asks: we should cut something now, right? The problem is that we are attached to what He cuts. He says: no, don’t attach yourself to it, trust Me, I know what I am doing.
And when you accept to be poor, that you don’t understand what is going on, but you are willing to be submissive to God, then you can be pure at heart. You start to see His work. The Word of God asks: “How can a young man keep his way pure?” (Ps. 119:9). And it answers immediately: “By guarding it according to your word”.
Listening to the Word of God and living according to it is a path to live in purity, which means to see God all the time. Look how Mary accepted the Word of God. When the angel came to Her, She didn’t know what will to happen. But God said: you don’t need to know, just be submissive to the Holy Spirit. And She carried Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit to Elizabeth. She had to walk 153 kilometers. She didn’t care about the difficulties that She had to walk through the mountains, that it was far. All the time She was looking at Jesus, and She carried inside Her. And that’s purity.
Jesus told Saint Faustina: “Constantly unite yourself with Me through love”, be with me in every situation. Want to see Me, want to unite with Me, be aware, that I am with you. We are often frustrated when things don’t go according to our will, our plans, and when something fails. It happens also when we mean well, and when we’re doing God’s works.
Jesus told Saint Teresa: “I desire the smallest piece of your heart more than thousands of various actions”. He cares more about me being with Him than me succeeding in something or not. In the Book of Revelation, when John asks one of the elders about the martyrs, who came in white robes, and the elder replies, that those are the people who are before the throne of God day and night (Rev 7:15). And when he says day and night, it doesn’t mean only time, it also refers to the state of spirit. To what do you have at heart.
Sometimes you feel that you see in the light, and sometimes darkness is all you can see. But even in this darkness, be before God. Be before God in the light. Like it doesn’t matter is there a light or darkness because it only matters that you are in the presence of God. Padre Pio ensured: “Don’t be afraid, don’t be anxious. It’s enough, that we love Jesus and He loves us”. All the rest is secondary. Jesus said in the Gospel: “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33) and said to Saint Faustina: “My kingdom on earth is My life in the human soul”. In other words: take care of Me, and I will take care of you.
This is what Mary did. She carried only about Him. And this is why we come to Her, so She could teach us purity, which is to see God’s actions where they are usually not visible.
Live this day like that and ask Mary to teach you to see like that, so all that happens to you would make you closer to God. No matter will you succeed or fail with something, are you doing well or not. Whatever happens, today stand before God, know, that Jesus loves you and is beside you. And this is more important than anything else.
Each of us has to fight. And in a fight, we need wisdom. It’s impossible to fight when being blind. Saint Louis said that there is real wisdom, but there is also a false one. The real wisdom is the one that God gives, which is revealed in Mary, in saints. The false wisdom is the wisdom of the demon, of the world, of my broken human nature. There are three false kinds of wisdom, that are trying to deceive us. So we are not only fighting the demons, not only his temptations, like many think. Some people see the demon, the devil everywhere. But that’s not true. He’s not our only enemy.
This world we live in is also our enemy. The world is hostile to God in its way of thinking. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). And what did the world do to Christ? Crucified Him, rejected Him. Saint James warned that friendship with the world is enmity with God. It’s not about not living in this world, because we are in it. But we are not supposed to live like children of the world but like children of lightness. So the world is trying to glut us, so we would adapt its way of thinking instead of the Gospel’s way of living. Where can we see it? We can see it best in beatitudes. Beatitudes are the spiritual DNA of a Christian. In them, we see what Christ invites us to and what world invites us to.
Because Christ says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. And the world says: Blessed are the rich because they can afford everything, who can forbid than anything?
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. And the world says: blessed and happy are those who are always happy, who post pictures on Facebook and Instagram, always smiling life is one big party for them, from one party to another. That is the blessing of the world.
Jesus says: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. And the world says: No! Blessed are those who can outcry everyone else they can always achieve their goals, they are admired.
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”. And the world says: Blessed are those who are sure they are right things go just as they want them to go, they are already satisfied.
Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy”. And the world says: Blessed are relentless in enforcing their rights doing, whatever it takes no matter the cost and who gets hurt.
Jesus says: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. And the world says: blessed are the beautiful, sexy, trendy, and fashionable. Crowds admire them, and they are celebrities. Be like they are, imitate them, not Christ. That is your goal, be like them.
Jesus says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”. And the world says: Blessed are those who demonstrate their power because no one will threaten them.
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. And the world says” Blessed who are not afraid of God because they decide what is good and what is wrong. Right?”
We are so infiltrated with that. Being in this world and trying to get closer to God means to fight because this world and its way of thinking are deeply rooted in us. We are afraid of being excluded, not getting the material goods we chose conformity. We care about what people think about us. But all of it is the DNA of the world. That is not the DNA of the Kingdom of God.
When we look at Mary, we see She is made of those blessings. She is the embodiment of them. She didn’t care about what will people think. To Her, it was most important to accept the will of God and fulfill it. And if people will accuse Her of adultery because of Her pregnancy? To Her, the will of God was important, not what will people think. We can look at Mary’s life and how She took those blessings to see that She was the most blessed. She said: “From now on all generations will call me blessed for He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:48-49). Mary can teach us how to live according to the blessings. Sometimes we care too much about what will people think about us. That is one of the most common temptations of the world: what will someone think? But this is like looking for life in other people, and Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). So why are we worrying about what will people think instead of worrying about what will Christ think?
Last week I talked to the man who told me that at work, his colleague told him once: “I saw you on the street, and you kneeled” He replied: “Yes, because the priest was carrying the blessed sacrament, Jesus, to the sick”. She asked: “But didn’t you worry what will people think?”. But what would Jesus think about him? For that man, it was most important than what will people think.
Today ask Mary to set you free from worrying about what people think. Try not to worry about it. Worry only about pleasing God.
The next fight we need to have is the fight with the demon. That fight is not about facing him in a battle, but about exploring our identity received at the baptism. The baptism is freeing us from the kingdom of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of light. The way to fight the demon us to give ourselves to God, so there is no time for the demon left. This is what Christ shows us, what Mary shows us. The demon would like to be important, but his name is Lo-cifer, and that means the one with no number, no worth. He is not important! The whole point is to access the identity received during baptism deeper. And who is more isolated from the darkness and walks in the light more than Mary? Who belongs to the kingdom of the light more than Mary? She, who was born immaculate, without original sin. Every sanctity is Marian in some way, intentionally or not, and reflects something of Mary.
The teaching of Saint Louis was all about deepening the consecration we received during baptism. By baptism, we were freed from the kingdom of darkness and received by the kingdom of light. During the baptism, we were not given to God by the hands of Mary, so now, thanks to Her, we may deepen what we received then. We are offering to God not only our lives but also all the good, external, and internal, all the graces. I am stressing that: giving ourselves to Mary is deepening all we received during baptism deepening our identity as the children of God. Where is light, there is no more space for the darkness. When I give myself fully, Totus Tuus, all yours Mary, then I begin to experience that faith is participation in the life of God. Living faith is the life of God. He gives me His eyes, and His heart. I make Him present.
That completely transforms the way of living and the attitude. The point is to live with the awareness, that God lives in me. I am an extension of His hands. Mary was aware of this presence of God in Her when She entered Elizabeth’s house. The Holy Spirit came. She was aware of God's presence, that Jesus lives in Her. And She had no time for anything else.
I heard that when father John Bashobora was a kid, and he learned that the Church is a Body of Christ, he said: „If this is true, that Church is Your Body, I want to be your hand so you could heal through me”. And we know that God listened to his prayer, that He takes prayers like that seriously. So the point is not to search for the demon but to defeat him by being busy with God and His affairs just like Mary was. That is how Jesus lived. He said that His only task is to do the will of God, that is His food, He is what He lived for, He needed nothing else. He only wanted to do the will of God, what God gave Him for the particular day. He also said that He could do nothing of his own accord, that Father is always with Him. Whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. If He had not seen the Father doing, He would do nothing. When He healed someone, He did that because, in the spirit, He saw Father healing that person. And He simply did what Father did.
Mary did the same. She didn’t care what is going to happen to Her, even with Her life. She only cared that She said “yes” to Him. She wants to fulfill His will. We want to think like that, fight for being close to God. Live this day like you were an extension of God’s hands. Aware you are His child. He lives in you. Let Him be present by you. Give Him access to your heart, hands, mouth, and eyes so He would live through you in this word. So He could look through your eyes, speak through your mouth, listen through you, touch others through you.
Let Him do that.
The third fight we need to have is the fight with our self-love, with our egoism. Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we have to deny ourselves. What does it mean to deny myself? Deny my ideas, my expectations, even my good desires. I need to decrease so that He could increase. Sometimes people are driven by emotions. We can have different emotions, they can be positive or negative, but they are not reliable criteria to judge what’s going on in my life. Sadness, the negative emotions, may sometimes lead to the conversion, so good comes of it.
We need to look at the source of what we have inside us. Since the original sin, we are broken. We care about ourselves and what we find right. That is very interesting. People tend to consider themselves wise. All of us. When you ask who considers himself wise, everyone will raise a hand. So why is there so much stupidity in the world?
Someone once said that men are like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If the Leaning Tower had eyes and could see, she would say that all the other towers are leaning, and she is the only one standing straight. And this is what our self-love is. We are attached to what we think. And we tend to see ourselves as more important than we are, overrate the importance of our opinions. We are attached to our ideas, expectations. Why are we frustrated, why we argue with other people? Because you see the other person and you also have some idea about him. And if that person doesn’t match your image of him, there is a problem.
What does it show? It shows that I love my idea more than the person. The source of that idea is humans broken nature. We have so many false ideas: about ourselves, about life, about what we do. I can be attached to them. And because of them, I am not able to serve God. That is horrible captivity. Something horrifying. It steals away the freedom. That is how it was with the disciples who were running away to Emaus. Why did they do it? When Jesus met them, they said: “We had hoped”. We had some ideas, but it all fell apart. And if so, we are done, goodbye.
Sometimes we can even justify our ideas by the Word of God. Some people press very much to pray for physical healing because, in their minds, every disease must be cured. But does God want that? Do I pray for the healing because I think that every disease must be cured, or because God told me He wants to heal a particular person? That’s a huge difference.
We are very attached to our way of thinking. How to learn to be free? When someone praises you, you can be proud. But you can also think that they praise you only because God gave it. And you can praise God. And when someone reprimands you – and we don’t like that, and it’s difficult to accept – you may thank God that people can’t see all your sins because they would reprimand you and blame you even more. That is how you can be free from worrying about what others think about you and from thinking you know what is right and just.
Saint Louis said that before receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, we should deny our way of thinking, no matter how right and just it seems to us. That is extremely important. When I do this, I enter the level on which I see I cannot control the faith. Because faith causes things to happen, and those things are not according to my plans, they may not go along with my way of thinking, and I may not like them. I won’t control them. I may even not understand them, but I may say: I trust You, Jesus, I trust You, Mary, I trust You, lead me! And this is what we need.
I encourage you to live this day like this. To be glad about all that is not going according to your ideas. Because this helps you to overcome your self-love, egoism, gives you more freedom. And then you can say: Jesus, my vision felt apart, but I trust You. I am in Your hands, so lead me. And this is the moment your faith can grow.
God is always greater. When God comes to Mary through His angel and reveals His plan for Her life, Mary is ready to expand the limits of Her understanding. Endless God comes to limited creation. If I want to let God act in my life, I have to let Him go beyond my limits. Limits of my thinking, ideas, endurance, tolerance, patience, love. And when I let Him do that, suddenly I realize I start to love like I never could love, be patient like I never could be, that I start to understand what I never could before. And it happened because I allowed God to go beyond my limits.
Mary shows that limits expand when we meditate on the Word of God. Mary knew that. She carried the Word of God in Her heart, all the time meditating it. And this is why She could not stay behind the Holy Spirit but walk with Him whatever He did in Her life.
When we meditate on what God does, we are ready for God to come. We need to follow the Holy Spirit when He works in our hearts. That is necessary to let Him lead us just like He led Abraham. God told Him: “Go from your country” (Gen. 12:1). In Hebrew, the words are “lech lecha”. That may also translate to “go from yourself”, "go beyond yourself". Go not only from the land you live in but go beyond your limits, beyond yourself. That is not psychological training, self-fulfillment, perfecting yourself, that would be Buddhism. God wants to initiate us in faith, which is to be a part of His life. And He does so through Mary.
Looking at Jesus, we can see that this is the nature of God. He has no limits. Christ cannot be limited. He exceeded the limit that was death. Death could not hold Him. Jesus was going forward all the time, and we can see it in His life. He was telling the apostles He is going forward. He was telling people difficult things. He asked apostles: “Do you want to go away as well?”. Because I am going forward. Peter answered: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). And Jesus started to initiate him further. He said: Son of Man will be rejected, He will suffer. But this was beyond Peter's limits, and he could not understand it. The more Jesus fulfilled the will of the Father the more lonely He was. Disciples left Him. Jesus went beyond the limits of betrayal, suffering, death. None of that can stop Him.
That is what is amazing about our God. He goes forward. You cannot stop Him. Holy Spirit acts. You cannot stop it. He is the gentle lamb who will not break a bruised reed, but at the same time, He is the invincible lion. Jose Prado Flores said that the Holy Spirit is like a hurricane, but we are trying to use Him as air conditioning. Set it on low power, ok Holy Spirit, that’s enough. But He is a hurricane. And with God entering your life, the craziness starts. You are not able to control what is happening. God controls that. God is bigger than what you can understand and control. You are in His hands. You let Him lead you. "Another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go". You cannot even imagine where, because it’s beyond the limits of your understanding. But faith makes it happen.
And this is Mary’s way. Mary let God lead Her like that. And look how beautiful and amazing Her life is. She was very quiet. She only cared about God. Looking at Her life since the beginning, we see the whole history of what God wants to do with us. No matter how do our lives look now. Good wants us all to reign with Him just like Mary was. And Mary shows us the way.
I encourage you to live this day remembering, that God is greater than everything that is going to happen in your life. If something difficult happens, something goes against your plans, makes you worry, then just remember: God is greater. And this is not a coincidence that you hear this message now.
We are always devoted to someone. We may not be aware that we always belong to someone or something. And this is a free choice for each one of us. Saint Louis named the three kinds of captivity, of slavery. There is natural slavery. The World of God says: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Ps. 24:1), so everything belongs to God by nature. There is forced slavery, and demons are bound like this. They don’t want to serve God, but they have to because they are creations are they belong to Him. They hate Him, but they have to serve. In “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov demon said: “That Power I serve which wills forever evil yet does forever good”. From evil done by demons, God can make good. They don’t want to serve and obey Him, but they are forced to. Jesus said to Saint Faustina: “All things, willing or not, must serve me”. And finally, the third kind of slavery is slavery by will. That is giving ourselves to God.
Why do we always have to be in some slavery? Saint Peter said: “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19) And Saint Paul said: “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom 6:16). So we see that we have to serve someone. I serve God and His righteousness, and my life is devoted to Him, or my life is devoted to sin. So I am either the slave of sin or the slave of God.
When we understand who we are according to God’s plan, that we are like men were in paradise, we see this as slavery of love. To us, the word slavery associates badly. We understand it as taking away freedom. But the slavery of love given by God in paradise meant that no one could disinherit us from paradise. Sadly, the man did it himself. It was doing the will of the Father, His slavery, which is the fullness of love and safety. Since the moment of sinning, it all got complicated. We became slaves of sin, slavery of the lie, lust, pride, limits of our broken nature, egoism. But God planned a path for us.
Saint Louis called Mary the paradise of God. She is an embodiment of slavery from paradise but in a perfect way. When the angel came to Her, She agreed to God's plan and said: “Behold, I am the SLAVE of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). In the Greek text, She calls Herself not the servant but the SLAVE. A servant is not the same as a slave. In baptism, we deny the slavery of sin, and satan. We deny everything that leads us to evil. And we do it whenever we renew our baptism vows. And we do it to be more in the slavery of God, the slavery no one can disinherit us from. The slavery in which we will not do our own will but the will of the Father, just like Jesus and Mary.
Ask Mary today to teach you to serve God in everything that is going to happen. Remember that everything depends on Him, and you are His slave. He wants you to feel safe. No one will be able to touch you, hurt you. “Who touches you touches the apple of My eye”, said God (Zech. 2:8). You are important to Him, and He wants to take care of you.
We have to understand well what slavery is. Being in the slavery of Mary is truly a great privilege. That is a relationship in which She invites you to be Hers, and She becomes a shield for you. Saint Louis said that In the middle ages, slavery meant that some people have the right to live in particular land, and no one could remove them from there or disinherit them. And this is the kind of slavery Saint Louis is talking about. By becoming Mary’s slave, you become untouchable. She becomes your shield, your insurance. She shelters you. Slaves had the privilege of living on the land, so they were sure to live safely there for generations. They knew it’s their place, their home. That is what Saint Louis means to have a home in Mary to live in Her for generations. “His mercy is from generation to generation”, said the Bible (Luke 1:50). The blessing given by God lasts for a thousand generations.
We are from the generation of Jesus and Mary, and we are blessed. Mary wants us to live in Her. And then we can have our lives in Her, breath through Her. Acts of Apostles say that God is a space in which we live: “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Mary, who likened herself to God and made herself available for Him, becomes like He was. She wants us to live in Her, move in Her, She wants to be the main point of reference for our lives, for what we do. She wants everything to be concentrated on Her. She wants to be the Sun of our life. She is in the center, and She gives light to everything, just like the Sun holds the planets in their places thanks to gravitation.
Mary, thanks to the fact we gave ourselves to Her, places all that happens in our lives in the plan of God and helps us accept it. God has a plan for mine and your life, and Mary helps us to get to know it and to accept whatever happens as good, just like She did. She chooses you to shape you as Christ. That is Her desire. She wants our hearts to be Christ-like.
In a relationship with Mary, there is only one currency: everything. Everything for everything. You say: I am all yours, Totus Tuus. She says: I am all yours, Tota Tua. And then Mary becomes a space we live in. Saint Louis was telling about aspects of life with Mary. The first one is to live like Mary. Decide like She did, think, what would She do in this situation, be like Her in our decisions and doings. The second is to live with Mary being aware of Her presence. She is with me, and She leads me, accompanies me, guards me. The third is to pray through Mary, to give our issues to God by Her hands. Pray through Her prayers, love through Her love, trust through Her trust. Fourth is to be in Mary. That is like being in a fish tank and being surrounded by water. In the same way, She is around us. The point is for Mary to be the most natural surrounding we live in.
Futurologist say that there are plans about the development of civilization to change the natural habitat of men. People always lived in the natural habitat, which is the material world they had contact with nature. By observing the animal tracks, they could say what animal and when was there and so on. But today some people want to exchange that for virtual habitat so that the virtual world would become our natural habitat so we would live in it. In the morning after waking up, we would look at our smartphones, check Facebook and Instagram, what is going on in the virtual world. The virtual world is to become our first and natural habitat.
That is dangerous. Virtual reality is like a parody of spiritual reality. It’s parallel to the material reality. It’s invisible just as a spiritual reality, but there aren't any relationships in it. There is emptiness. In the emptiness there is some information, but there are no relationships. I am not saying that virtual reality is an invention of the demon, but it is useful to him. Desert Fathers named this kind of demon the wanderer. In the morning and the evening, he temps monks living in the hermitages away from the cities. Just before they go to sleep, he temps them to think about what is going on in the city, in people’s lives. That is the way of thinking social media encourage: I wonder what is going on in other people's lives. So I am not where I am, but I am somewhere else. And I am endangered by this way of thinking, of being somewhere else all the time, when virtual reality is my natural habitat.
The culture changes. It is more and more like that. But Mary helps us so we could concentrate on Her. She is my natural habitat, the space in which I live, think, feel, and being oriented only to God in everything in my life. She shows me the meaning of everything. Thanks to Her, I can accept it as good. When the angel came to Her, she said: “I am the slave of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word”. Whatever you give me, I will take it. Ask Mary to let you live this day as Her slave. Don’t care about yourself, only about Her. Don’t think about what you feel. Don't worry, but in all that is difficult for you, chose to live with Mary. She is the most important. Even if something seems hard to you, the point is Her glory, and for people to know Her, love Her, and for you to serve Her most faithfully, no matter the cost.
Totus Tuus – Tota Tua. I am all yours [Mary], I am all yours [Mary replies]. When the angel came to Mary and told Her: “You are full of grace”, he used the name of God from the Old Testament. Only God was full of grace. And the angel came and called Mary, the creation, with this name. It’s beyond understanding because by that God gives Her all of Himself. I am not leaving anything for myself, just like you didn’t leave anything for yourself. It’s completely mutual, total devotion. Whatever happens in Your life, you have the grace for it. You are not alone, Mary. That is the beauty of God, who always gives us what we need.
Sometimes we may think we want something different than that, but God always answers most fully. When you live in Mary, surrounded by Her love, when you live in Her slavery, then you may understand what does it mean to have all the grace that you need. God will deny you nothing. As Saint Louis said, devotion to Mary must be total, with no objections. Total. You cannot say: ok, Mary, I give you this and that but this and that I am leaving for myself. You can give Her even what you are afraid of. She knows what is good for you. You don’t have to be afraid. You can give Her your biggest fears. You can give them irrevocably. Even if you’re afraid of retreating, you may say: “Mary, if I will try to retreat, don’t listen to me”.
Giving yourself to Mary cannot be egoistic, done for your good, it must be done because of Her. Not because of the profits, because that would not be love, not the slavery of love. It would all be about you. And nothing kills love more than self-interest. The point is not to care about yourself but the other person. Give and devote yourself for the good of Mary, for Her glory to shine through you. So people could know Her better, love Her, chose Her, and know Christ through Her. The slave of Mary cares about Her. You have to accept that She might not listen to you, to what you ask. But you have to listen to Her. That gives freedom, great inner freedom.
Live this day loving Mary with no self-interest, not because She gives you things, not because of what you can gain. Try to love Her just because of Her.
The covenant is a sign of unity with God. By the covenant, God wants to bring people of sin back to unity with Him. Covenant is also a sign of belongingness. The whole history of the Old Testament, since we drifted away from God by sin, is a history of God giving people covenant. God shared His holiness. He says that Israel, the people who received the covenant, especially belong to Him. We can see that in Israel’s history. First, God offers the covenant to particular people like Abraham. There is the covenant from Sinai, the covenant with all the people, the covenant which signs are the temple, the priest, all the celebrations of Israel. The idea of covenant is that by words, God expands the boundaries. He regains what was lost by sin. God comes to take what is His. And He wants to shelter His people, His children, from sin, its effects, and consequences. On one hand, the Old Testament is the story of God searching for a man, and giving him the covenant. But on the other, it is also the history of our unfaithfulness, of rejecting covenants. Of hitting the hand of God, who is trying to help us.
When God comes in Jesus, even the disciples experience the effects of the broken covenant. When Jesus teaches in parables, they don’t understand it and are afraid to ask Him. So lack of understanding and fear. We don't understand because we are not in unity with God. Fear comes from a lack of relationship. And those are the consequences of the broken covenant. Even the apostles living with the closeness of Jesus experienced that! Their minds are not able to know God, and hearts not able to go beyond themselves. That is a wall, consequence of the sin, the obstacle they struggle with. But from His cross, Jesus gives us Mary. He said: “This is your mother”. And who is Mary? In Her, what cannot be joined is joined. Deity and humanity, the whole God and the whole man, 100% of God and 100% of man. Fire who is God, so mighty that when it’s revealed in the Old Testament, people are afraid to come close to the mountain, not to die. God fills Mary, comes to Mary, and She stays alive. The Holy Spirit conceives the Son of God in Her, and she is still a virgin. What seems impossible to join is joined in Mary thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit.
She never said “no” to God. She was always saying “yes”. She was able to accept all, even what was beyond Her way of thinking and beyond Her understanding. She answered: if You say so, let it be. She allowed God to be God. In the Old Testament, when God saw people breaking next and next covenants, He announced: “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord”, to know Me (Jer. 24:7). And this is the heart of Mary. Mary, in Her revelations, says: “In my heart God prepared the rescue for the world”. And Mary invites us into this heart. In Her heart we have the covenant with God. In Her the promise of God becomes fulfilled. The word spoke in the spiritual reality becomes flesh. In the Gospel of John we see, that Mary is what ties all together. First, the miracle is performed in Cana because She asked then. In the end, She is under the cross, and we hear: “This is your mother”. It’s the same in the spiritual life, in Mary and the history of the Church. Just like God came through Mary at the beginning, He will reveal Her presence and necessity of Her at the end-times. God, who for the first time came through Mary, and was incarnated, will also come through Her at the end-times. That is what God shows us in Mary.
Live this day knowing that God will do whatever it takes to regain your heart. If you lost something in your life with God, then God will do whatever it takes to restore it. To Saint Faustina He said: “With My mercy, I pursue sinners along all their paths”. He wants to regain you for Himself today. Ask Mary to teach you to see that whatever happens today is for God to get you back so you could be closer to Him, so you could devote yourself to Him more in every situation, be more intimate with Him, in the covenant.
Saint Louis said that there are two Churches, the apostolic Church, and Marian Church. Apostolic Church lives and thinks as apostles did. At one time it heals someone, next time it frees someone, and another time it resurrects someone. It’s focused on signs, miracles, charismas, manifestations of the power of God. It goes to the world offensively. Christianity becomes a triumphant march through the cemeteries of the world, filling everything with the power of the Gospel and concentrating on the signs given by God. To the apostles Church was a service for which God gave them the power to step on snakes and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy. They looked at Jesus, and they saw a king, the Messiah who will save them. But this was the image according to their ideas, and although Jesus showed them this glorious service when they were with Him, it did not save them from abandoning Him on the cross. Apostles loved their ideas about Jesus and the Church more than Jesus and the Gospel He gave them. When Jesus meets disciples on their way to Emmaus, they say: “But we had hoped” (Luke 24:21). They had ideas and expectations that didn’t survive the trial of the cross. And yes, those expectations were glorious, anointed with the amazing power of God, but still, they didn’t survive the trial of the cross.
Today in the Church we need the charisms like never before because the world is getting more and more laicized and secularized. The world lives farther and farther from God. The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. People want to see the Gospel alive in us, the power of God. But we may be tempted to stop only on that. Apostles loved their ideas about Jesus and the Church, and God was confirming it by the signs and miracles. So signs and miracles are annunciating the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. But they itself are not the Kingdom. This is like entering the city. When you enter Poznań there is a sign “Poznań”, but if you’re going to the city, you will not stop next to the sign, you will go further. If you stop next to the sign, you don't get to see the city. Because you stopped at the sign. In the Church, in the charismatic reality, there is a temptation to concentrate on the signs. People may make different theologies build on the charismatic reality and gifts, like the Gospel of success popular in the West. But Jesus told Saint Faustina that He is greatly aggrieved by those who use His graces to offend Him. Someone may ask: But are charismas offending God? If I am attached to this image of Church, and I have no freedom towards that vision, then I have a problem with my self-love.
But Saint Louis also talked about the Marian Church. about the Marian Church. She said: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38), and She waited for God’s intervention, for Him to act. She was taking everything He was giving Her. And how do you listen to the Word of God? Do you listen to it every day? Did you read today's Gospel in the morning? Do you believe that the Gospel God gave His Church for today [as daily reading] is an answer to your questions, that it addresses your difficulties, each situation you will get into today? The Holy Spirit speaks in the Church through the Word that the whole Church listens to today. He speaks to you, to your heart. Are you willing to listen? To take it seriously? To trust it is an answer to all your questions and needs? This confrontation checks am I not creating artificial needs for myself. Needs that are increasing my eagerness, my bravery for the Kingdom of God, for Jesus. Because I can do things for Jesus. But is doing something for Jesus the same as the act of Jesus? You can do something for Jesus: Lord, I will do this for You! But I can also do the acts of Jesus, His work. And Mary is our way to do it. You can get charisms but stay deep in sin. All who use charisms know that.
The wisdom of the Church shows us, that all the saints were charismatics, but not all charismatics were saints. What is important, is not to serve with charisms, but for charismatic service to give fruit. And the fruit is not the healing but my sanctity. And what is sanctity? It’s accepting the will of God, working with Him. And it starts with simple things. With what God gives me today through the Gospel. The first commandment, listen Israel, listen to the Word of God today. And this is a path of Mary. To look and listen to God. The Book of Revelation describes how all the enemies of God gather to surround the holy city and all the saints of God to destroy them. And it’s written: “Fire came down from heaven and consumed them” (Rev 20:9). The victory came not through the confrontation but by God’s intervention. I believe this is how it works in the times we live in. Charismatic Church confronts Pharaoh just like Moses did.
I believe that in these times God wants to intervene and send the fire from heaven, and we will win by adoring God, by looking at Him, by accepting everything He gives. This is not concentrating on signs but going deeper, concentrating on the Kingdom of God. And that is the inner spiritual life. That is what Jesus told Saint Faustina: “My kingdom on earth is My life in the human soul”. His life is to not only care about the signs but to live by His Word today. Saint Louis said that God wanted Mary not to perform any miracle during Her life although it was She who was the greatest charismatic. When we look at Mary’s revelations, we see that where She reveals herself, people are healed, freed, amazing miracles are happening. So She had all the charisms, but She didn’t use them. Because this is what God wanted. But we see that after She was taken to heaven and crowned as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, She can perform the miracles everywhere on Earth, not only where She is physically present. God increased Her range. See how fruitful is giving ourselves to God. She was waiting, not rushing Him just said: “Let it be to me according to your word”. And God elevated Her and distributed His graces all around the world.
That is also how it was with Saint Charbel. He was a monk who was praying for his entire life, and no one even knew how he looks. And when he died, miracles started to happen. Today the whole world knows him and all the miracles God performed because of him. Amazing things are happening that were not happening during Saint Charbels life but are happening after he died. So we live in the times when God works in this way: during someone’s life He hides him and only after his death starts to work through him. And this is a question for every one of us. The question about the time of God’s acting, what is God doing now. We need to see it as Mary did. God saves me from disturbing Him with my ideas about the Church, even if they come from the Gospel. I have to be solely His, listen to His word, so He could do what He wants and when He wants.
If you didn’t read today's Gospel, do so. You can find it on the internet, read it from the Bible, or some prayer book. Read it, and meditate on it. Ask God what He wants to tell you by it. What does He want to give you, what is He coming to you with, what He promises you, what He invites you to? Where are you in this Gospel? Think which passage touches you most, make you think. Ask Jesus: Jesus! Through this Word tell me what I need to hear and understand the most today.
As Christians, we are all called to live like Christ. It’s more than just a call because God gives us the grace to do so. This grace especially comes through Mary because Christ was the first slave of Mary. He was in the slavery of love. He was devoted to Her for 30 years in Nazareth. He was listening to Her. He lived with Her. And She knew Him best because She shared His everyday life. And into that, Mary wants to lead us.
Previously we talked about the apostolic church, miracles and signs, healings, and that we should go deeper into the life of Jesus. Not to concentrate on signs but live our everyday life with Him. Not only what is extraordinary is important. The ordinary, like everyday life, also is. Mary teaches us to look at Jesus all the time. To always have Him before our eyes. So nothing would block Him. She asks God to give us the grace of pure hearts. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). So the point is to always have Jesus before our eyes.
Saint Bonaventure said that who takes roots in Mary becomes a saint. No man devotes himself to Mary and is lost. More someone devotes himself to Mary, more Mary leads him to Christ. When we give ourselves to Mary as slaves, our dailiness becomes the space of our special life with Jesus. And my heart becomes another space of God's doing in the world. I make myself available to God. I give Him the space to act in the world. But I also agree to have a hidden life. I agree that between me and God there will be things that others may not see and understand. And this builds amazing intimacy with God. I have my secrets, and no one knows about them.
As a priest, I experience that in a new way because when I confess people and see how they convert, that is an incredible joy that someone experienced God’s forgiveness and mercy. But when someone doesn’t want to convert and give up sin, he cannot receive absolution. That is a tragedy and my heart hurts horribly. Those are the joys and sorrows that I cannot share with anyone, as I am bound by the seal of confession. And I can turn to no one with this, only to Jesus. No one can see those things, but they built unity between us.
Living in everyday life, the dailiness, with Mary, is living a hidden life. That is not at all understandable for the contemporary world that wants to photograph every meal and shared it on Instagram, which tells you that you have to take a selfie so others would know where you are and with who so you could boast about it. And here we are entering a space that is only for God. I agree not to be understood for my good intentions not to be appreciated, but You God know it all. It concentrates me very much like a laser beam, concentrated at one point. Light from the flashing is lightening more ground and laser beam concentrates on one point. So this is how we should concentrate on God, like a laser beam: You know everything, I am all Yours, in everything. Starting this everyday life with God is giving Him your body, your soul, all your material goods, talents, relationships, spiritual goods, and graces received.
Mary, it’s all in your hands. Do with it whatever you like. You had Your life hidden, so help me live Your hidden life. I want to be all yours in everything. And then, in everyday life, I can breathe Mary like air. You start to be in Her 24 hours a day. Your life begins to transform. You begin to experience what is unity with God. and that you are with Him in everything. At some point, it will not be clear anymore where are you and where He is. Saint Teresa said that it’s like melting together two drops of wax when they become one. And Mary wants to lead us to this unity.
The Word of God says that we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men (1 Cor. 4:9). Think for a minute. Your heart is a spectacle. All the angels are looking at your heart as at the stage on which God works in your life. Each of your thoughts, each quivering of your heart, has a huge meaning. Jesus told Saint Faustina that He listens to how the hearts of people beat and waits for them to beat for Him. Think that every quiver of your heart, every beat of your heart, every thought has a huge meaning for God no matter does anybody else understands it or sees it. This is just between you and God.
Live this day especially aware of those moments of every heartbeat, every thought, knowing, that it has a huge worth for God. In your everyday life that might seem ordinary, you may unite with God in Mary. Just like She did for 30 years of life in Nazareth. Remember your every heartbeat and your every thought is precious to God.
The Gospel of John says: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God” (John 1:12). In the Gospel, Jesus makes children a very privileged group: “Let the children come to Me” (Mark 10:14). He also said: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). A child is always looking at a parent. The child is concentrated on him or her but is not afraid to be helpless. When the child sees a puddle that it cannot jump through, it asks: Mom, carry me! And this is a perspective we need. When I see a puddle, and mom is with me, I don’t need to worry, and I just have to look at mom.
When we have a problem, we tend to judge and blame the circumstances. We find the reasons to complain because someone else messed up, not we. We can always blame the circumstances, complain that something wasn't right. But when we look at the life of Jesus, we see that He didn’t complain about how Pharisees were treating Him. He took the reality as it was, and He was looking at the Father all the time. He accuses disciples of not having faith many times, but at the same time, He was looking at the Father. He knew that Jerusalem will reject Him, and He cried over it. But even then, He was looking at the Father. Jesus didn’t judge or blame the circumstances. He was looking at the Father.
That is how Mary has seen Her reality. When She was giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem, She didn’t think about the circumstances, but She was looking at Jesus. Jesus was everything to Her. We are tempted to look at the circumstances. It happens because we tend to set on achieving things. And if the circumstances do not allow it, we blame them. What Mary teaches us is not that we should do things but accept what is happening in your lives. See that as an invitation to participate in something greater. Let God give as good. God wants to send me further, lead me deeper.
We need to understand: there is a battle in us about what we look at. There are two temptations. First, to judge the circumstances and look for someone to blame. That enables me to trust God like Mary. The second is to say: What? I can’t do it? I always can! I have to manage. But when I am like a child, I don’t judge the circumstances, but I also see my helplessness. Amazingly, my helplessness is not destroying me because I am not alone, and Mary is with me. Helplessness is crushing me only when I am alone. And when I am with Mary, when I am with Jesus, helplessness is very fruitful. They lead me through it. They complete what I can’t do. I give it to them.
Don’t be afraid to be helpless today. If you feel helpless, see it as an opportunity to find shelter in Mary. To come to Her closer, give yourself to Her more. Don’t stay alone with your helplessness. Be with Mary.
Saint Louis said that there are different devotions to Mary. Some people may simply pray the Hail Mary every day, others can be closer to Her, be a member of different groups, pray the rosary, have a scapular. But about the devotion of the holy slavery, he says that it cannot be compared with any other because no other requires so much sacrifice self-denial, so much death of egoism, selfishness, self-love, self-importance. That is the most radical way. Saint Louis claimed that the enemies of salvation are afraid of such life, because it unites us with Christ and makes us very similar to Mary.
Just like we said it, Mary is the mold of God and shapes us to be like Christ. And Mary is speeding our progress on this path. There are the traditional stages of the spiritual life: purification, illumination, and union. Going through them takes years. But Mary is speeding our union with Christ. Saint Bonaventure said that Blessed Virgin not only is kept in the fullness of sanctity, but She also keeps saints in sanctity so their sanctity would not decrease. Every person trying to unify with God and reach sanctity struggles, falls, sins, and fails to have perseverance in some resolutions. But Mary is our guarantee, the treasury of graces, guarantee of our perseverance. She is our insurance.
We gain perseverance from this devotion as Saint Louis said. Mary takes us, and we cannot back out, we cannot regress. When you give Mary the right to decide in your life, She wants you to bear fruits. Jesus said that we bear fruits by our perseverance. That is Mary’s problem to make us perseverant, to make us trust God more and more, and help us give ourselves to Him more. She takes the initiative. The struggle for perseverance is a temptation to look at our limits, our weaknesses. Oh, I can’t do it, I tried so many times. But this is a temptation not to trust, to see the water before me, not the Mother of God who leads me.
Today decide to live in trust that you will persevere in Mary till the end of your life. Live with awareness that you are guaranteed to stay with Mary till the end of your life, that you stay with God.
A temple is a place where we worship God. But it’s also an image of the soul. So not temples are important, not the buildings. The point is for us to see the temples, the buildings, to know that we are the temples. Jesus incarnated, and that means He united with me, and that my body is holy. Saint Teresa said that during Eucharist Jesus comes at the words of a priest not to be in a gold tabernacle but to be in our hearts. That is a temple. Jesus’s union with us. When Jesus talked to the Pharisees about the temple, He was talking about the temple of His body (John 2:13-22). Saint Paul said that body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:18). And if it’s a temple of the Holy Spirit, not my temple, then I don’t belong to myself. Sometimes one of the youth asks me: “Father, why is smoking cigarettes a sin?”. I reply: “And what would you say if I, as a priest, bring a lot of wood to the church and started a bonfire?”. “Well, that you are crazy, why are you making smoke in the church?”, the wonder. Exactly. And my body doesn’t belong to me. It’s a temple of the Holy Spirit, it’s not mine. I can’t do whatever I want.
The temple has a gate through which people enter. Our bodies also have gates, the same as our soles. There is a gate of eyes gate of ears. What I look at, what I listen to greatly influences my spiritual life. I can look at something or listen to something that will open me more to sin. I can be in the company, and there might be a conversation which – despite my resolution that I don’t want to slander anybody – will make me do it. When we are with people, we start to behave like they are. In the 43rd chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, an angel led Ezekiel to the gate facing East. Reading the Word of God in the spiritual key, we remember that gate was called the Gate of the East by first Christians. If we keep reading with that key, we will see that when the glory of God entered the temple by the East Gate, even the ground in the temple started to shine. Everything started to shine. It’s what happens to my soul when Mary enters it because every soul can recognize Her presence, mystics said. There is a gate of eyes and the gate of the ears. And in the same way in the soul there is a special gate for Mary. When She enters my life, even what is ground, what is dust, what is weak starts to shine. What is weak, is sanctified. That is the key to the complete transformation of our lives: who we are, what the Word of God says about us, and what we think about ourselves.
Today think about yourself as a temple. See that this temple has gates. Pay attention to who you let inside, what do you look at, who do you listen to. Is all of that worthy to enter? Maybe we should drive the traders from the temple as Jesus did because there is something that is not supposed to be there. Ask Mary to show you this through Her eyes what you allow to enter the temple of your life.
If you want to live with Jesus, in His closeness, clinging to Him, you will face the temptation of pharisaism. Jesus accused Pharisees of two things: that they tithe mint and dill and cumin (Matt 23:23) and that they like the best seats in the synagogues and that they like being greeted (Matt 23:6). So He accuses them of what they give or what they do, and what they like. Those are two obstacles. What I give, what I do is when I think I am first, that I do something. God will be freeing me from that so I could be like Mary. Mary listens to the Word of God first, and then God acts through Her. She is not first, God is first. She is only an extension of His doing. She answers, accepts the way He comes. And in the same way, He will come to the others. She is not tense all the time, always trying hard, there is balance. We need to learn that. Breath in, breath out. I remember the campaign called “I am second”. People were giving their testimonies and talked about the fact they are second because Christ is first. Pharisaism is not allowing me to cling to Jesus because I am doing what I care about. Self-love triumphs.
Aside from what I do, there is what I like. I am attached to my likings, to what I see as right, comfortable with what my ego wants because that is pleasant. And even the godly doings of Pharisees didn’t change the fact they were whitewashed tombs. And the godly deeps they did, didn’t change the fact they were bearing the fruits of death. When I do something, but I don’t do it with Jesus who is life, like Mary did, then it will bear the fruits of death and will have eternal worth in God’s eyes. Jesus told Saint Faustina to constantly unite with Him through love. That even good done for other men is not a deed of mercy because only good united with Him has eternal worth in God’s eyes. So it’s not about volunteer work, being good to others. It doesn’t have eternal worth in God’s eyes. It bears the fruits of death. It’s about clinging to Jesus, uniting ourselves with Him. Then I become transparent. I become the space in which Jesus is present, and He comes to the word through me.
In the Book of Revelations there is a call “marana tha”, come, our Lord. That is a call of first Christians: come, Lord Jesus! That is a call for the end-times. In history, it has two meanings. “Marana tha” means “come, Lord Jesus” but sometimes it’s written “maran atha” and then it means “Lord is coming now”. Our life has both. First is waiting for eternity. Jesus is coming, and we are waiting. “Marana tha”, come, Lord Jesus! Second is the coming of Jesus, which is now when I unite myself with Him in all through love. And love is not a feeling, not butterflies in the stomach but a decision. Jesus, yes, I want to experience this with you in unity. And then I see that the call “maran atha” is happening through me because He united Himself with me and through me. He comes to this world just like He came through Mary.
Unite with Jesus today in all you do. To be with Him fully no matter what you do, and do you like it or not. If not, that’s even better because it’s more important to be with Jesus than to have satisfaction.
Mary was fully devoted to God. Fully. Because of that, She had no false dependencies in Her life. She knew She only depends on God. Our problem is that we have a lot of false dependencies. We think that our lives depend on money, career, our plans being successful, our talents, spiritual gifts. We give those things more meaning and value than we should. Full devotion to Mary is also giving Her all those things: my material goods, my money, my talents, my career, my plans, my intentions, my expectations, my ideas, all. Same with graces given to me, my spiritual gifts. I give it all to be free, not to make idols of it. So none of those things could overshadow God. This sacrifice makes me free to live in God. It makes me ready for God. Since I fully devote myself, everything is judged through Mary’s eyes. I see everything through Her eyes. I don’t give just a part of myself. I give myself fully. My whole life. And I become consecrated just like nuns and monks are. My life belongs to God. In my life The Holy Spirit does whatever He wants. He has access to all goods, internal and external. Mother of God leads us to devote ourselves to Her radically, to care about Her business, not ours.
Someone may ask: “What? I cannot pray for my intentions?”. Well, you can, but the point of this devotion is to fully give ourselves to Mary in everything, to admit that She knows best, She cares about everything, She knows all, so we should fully care about Her intentions. This is the logic Jesus spoke about: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Matt. 6:33). To Saint Faustina Jesus said: “My kingdom on earth is My life in the human soul”. So if I only care about Jesus to be in my heart through Mary, then They will care about everything else. Everything for everything. I care about Her in everything, and She cares about me in everything. I care about all Her matters, and She cares about all mine. Making this decision opens a path of spiritual purification because I don’t search for my happiness stuck in the pride of fulfilling my desires. I stop admiring my successes, what I achieved, and I stop to value my life from that perspective. I only care about Her.
On this path the Mother of God will be showing me my false dependencies: look, your life doesn’t depend on that, it doesn’t depend on that success, or on that defeat, be free! Your life depends on Her. I give myself to Her fully. I don’t want to have any false dependencies that bound me to this world. I only want one dependence, to Mary who unites me with Christ. That is the meaning of spiritual poverty, that I have nothing but I have Mary who has Christ, so I have everything. And this way I win everything. That is the narrow gate leading to salvation. In Hebrew salvation is described by the word “Joshua” which is the name Jesus. This is a narrow gate that leads to Jesus: Mary. In spiritual life there is a rule: I’ll be as truly saint as much I am dependent. I am as a saint as much I depend on Mary.
Ask Mary today to show you your false dependencies. On what do you think your life is dependent on? Ask Mary to show you what it’s just your idea, not the truth. So you could see that the only life-giving dependence is the dependence on Her. Ask Her to help you to put your life in order. What is influencing your spiritual life too much? What overshadows God? So you could see Mary and Jesus through Her.
In my life, I had two spiritual breakthroughs. First was the baptism in the Holy Spirit, second giving myself to Mary as a slave. Those events completely changed my thinking and the direction of my life. Devoting to Mary changes the whole way of living. She becomes the center, and everything gets oriented to eternity. But eternity is not, like we often say, the life after death. Jesus says that eternal life is to know the Father and the one who Father sent, Christ. Then eternity is a personal and deep knowledge of Jesus and the Father. After we die, our knowledge will be full and perfect, but eternity begins now when I know Jesus and the Father. Of course, it’s not about intellectual knowledge but the experience of everyday life. It’s about deep and intimate personal relations, and it’s leading to being united. Mary said to God: what is Yours, is mine, I am all Yours. And God answered Her the same. And we also want to answer Mary like that: I am all Yours. And she replies: I am all Yours.
That is the law of mutual belonging. When I visit my parents, and my mom makes me a coffee and forget to bring the spoon and sugar, I simply go to the kitchen, I take sugar and spoon, and I sweeten my coffee. I don’t have to ask my mom where the spoons are, and can I take one. When I am a guest somewhere else, I am supposed to ask, but I am home, so I don’t have to ask. I have rights in my house. Different rules apply to me in my house than in someone else’s house. Same with God. You live with God and what belongs to Him belongs to you, and what belongs to you belongs to Him. Your matters are His, and His matters are yours. That is how Mary lived. That is how we want to live. My matters are Hers and Hers are mine. I pray for Her intentions, and She cares about mine. It’s mutual.
When we are oriented on Mary, to be like Her, we see the real meaning of everything that is happening. Mary takes away the fear of losing, fear of not having. You can see the meaning of everything, so you understand why it happens, and you see the direction. You have a new perspective on what does it mean to die to yourself. You understand what does it mean to die to gain life. Death is not to be dead, but so Christ could live in me. And without the experience of life with Christ through Mary, I am afraid of death because I don’t know what comes after it. When my plan fails, I am alone with this defeat, and fear and anxiety are born. And when I am with Mary, I am not afraid. One of the fruits of this devotion is being free from fear. You’re not afraid that something can go wrong, that what you do something wrong, that someone will laugh at you, that you’re not worthy, you don’t care about human judgments. This is me, Mary, I am Yours. I try to do what I can for You. And you see that.
Another fruit of this devotion is unlimited trust. Outside you can see that things are falling apart, and you fail, but there is still trust in your heart. It’s like what we see in the Book of Habakkuk: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab 3:17-18). Everything around, whole reality tells me that I have reasons to be sad and to complain. Nothing is how it is supposed to be, and I am going to rejoice in the Lord. When we look at Mary’s life since the moment angel came to Her, and when She gave birth to Jesus, it seems that nothing is like it supposed to be, and She was rejoicing in Lord at all times. Saint Louis said that it’s not him who lives now, but Mary lives with him and Her life became his. And the fruit of that devotion is that you have the spirit of Mary. One spirit is in your hearts. The Holy Spirit works in me as He worked in Mary orienting my life to God. You start to think as She did, react as She did, see as She did, treat God like She did. You begin to live Her life. And this is how you start to live the life of Christ. That is a transformation to be like Christ happening in your life. It’s hard to talk about it, and you need to experience it yourself. God already put the wanting of freedom and limitless trust in your heart. The more you are disappointed by people and yourself, the more you see that you can’t trust yourself and trust God and Mary.
Live this day with a desire to live in such slavery of Mary. To leave the slavery of the world, sin, and egoism to live in the slavery of Mary’s love. Make this day a day of the burning desire of that life in slavery of Mary’s love, which brings us real freedom.
Saint Louis wrote about the generation of woman, the people who will be shaped by the Mother of God. We can read it in his ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin’ starting with section 55:
“Finally, God in these times wishes his Blessed Mother to be more known, loved and honoured than she has ever been. This will certainly come about if the elect, by the grace and light of the Holy Spirit, adopt the interior and perfect practice of the devotion which I shall later unfold. Then they will clearly see that beautiful Star of the Sea, as much as faith allows. Under her guidance they will perceive the splendors of this Queen and will consecrate themselves entirely to her service as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience her motherly kindness and affection for her children. They will love her tenderly and will appreciate how full of compassion she is and how much they stand in need of her help. In all circumstances they will have recourse to her as their advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will see clearly that she is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus and will surrender themselves to her, body and soul, without reserve in order to belong entirely to Jesus.
But what will they be like, these servants, these slaves, these children of Mary?
They will be ministers of the Lord who, like a flaming fire, will enkindle everywhere the fires of divine love. They will become, in Mary’s powerful hands, like sharp arrows, with which she will transfix her enemies.
They will be as the children of Levi, thoroughly purified by the fire of great tribulations and closely joined to God. They will carry the gold of love in their heart, the frankincense of prayer in their mind and the myrrh of mortification in their body. They will bring to the poor and lowly everywhere the sweet fragrance of Jesus, but they will bring the odour of death to the great, the rich and the proud of this world.
They will be like thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.
They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from his enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law.
Lastly, we know they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will they show favor to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be. They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behavior.
Such are the great men who are to come. By the will of God Mary is to prepare them to extend his rule over the impious and unbelievers. But when and how will this come about? Only God knows. For our part we must yearn and wait for it in silence and in prayer: “I have waited and waited”.
Saint Louis prophetically describes the generation of people who will come and stand up, and for the order of the Almighty, Mary Herself will form them and shape them to the image of Christ. This generation was born in Fatima when an angel in Fatima was praying the prayer of compensation: to love God in the name of those who don’t love Him, to worship Him in the name of all those who don’t worship Him, and thank Him in the name of those who don’t thank Him. And this is the lifestyle of compensating. That is the lifestyle of Jesus. He compensated Father for our sins. He became one of us who said “no” to the Father, and in our name, He said “yes” to Him. So the Father looking at us sees His “yes”, because Jesus compensated for us. And Mary took the same mission under the cross. Then, when everyone abandoned Jesus, She, in the name of everyone, kept the faith of the Church. She compensated in the name of everyone. Jesus said to Saint Faustina that He desires to give His graces to the souls, but some souls are not willing to accept them. And He asked: “You, at least, come to Me as often as possible and take these graces they do not want to accept”. So God needs people who will come in the name of those who are not willing to come.
This is the compensating generation. It’s a generation of prophet Elias. In the Book of Malachi – those are the last words of the Old Testament – there is an announcement: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction” (Mal. 4:5-6). Just like before the birth of Christ prophet John the Baptist sent in the spirit of Elias to call to the penance and conversion, in the same way before the second coming of Christ there will be a generation who will come in the spirit of Elias and will compensate to God. And we see that this generation is already rising since Fatima. The Mother of God rises the desire to compensate in people’s hearts. After the revelations in Fatima many saints and mystics lived in the spirit of compensation.
This way of living brings true reconciliation. When father compensates for son, when son compensates for father, when father compensates to God for his sins, when son compensates God for his sins but also sins of others then reconciliation happens. When true unity comes, true peace comes because true peace is the gift of God. True peace is not achieved by the agreement with others, not by human efforts. True peace is the one that we can receive from Christ and the one that can only come through compensation. In Gospel Jesus said that when He comes to bring the sword. And people divide. And He announces that when He comes, sheep will be separated from the goats. This polarization is proceeding in the world. But Jesus doesn’t want to lose any of those who Father gave Him. So in those who are His sheep He engages the spirit of compensation to save those who drifted away from Him. Jesus promised Saint Faustina that in the end all the people, the whole creation, will praise His mercy. Because this is His desire to raise the compensating generation. It will be funded by Mary. Those people will be true apostles of the end-time. They will go and without any compromise proclaim the Gospel. They will bring living Christ to the world, and through them God will come with His power.
Let’s pray the prayer of the angel from Fatima: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee. O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners”.
We want to accept the invitation to this way of living, to compensate. Live this day like that. Compensate God for your sins, but not only for yours, also for the sins of others. Let this day be a special occasion to come closer to Jesus’s heart. Each time you see the sin defeat or weakness of you or other people, don’t judge but compensate to Jesus by your closeness comfort His heart.
Before the second coming of Christ, the Church will go through a trial. Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraphs 675-677: “Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world”. We see, that before God’s triumph some “mystery of iniquity” will reveal itself as a religious deception, the illusion of religion.
Saint Paul wrote to Saint Timothy that there will be people having the appearance of godliness but denying its power (2 Tim. 3:5). Church teaches that our path is like Christ’s path. Like Christ went on Golgotha, Church’s path leads through Golgotha. Jesus said: “If they persecuted me, your master, they will also persecute you” If He is the head of the body that is the Church, then the whole Church will experience what Christ experienced. The triumph of God will happen when His Bride descends from heaven. And this will be the complete triumph of God over rebellion and evil in this world.
Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen said: “The antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers”. And he added that the logic of the antichrist is simple: live only by the earthly life, not think about what happens after death. Because if there is no heaven, there is also no hell. If there is no hell, that means there is no sin. And if there is no sin, there is also no judge. If there is no judge, then you and I can decide what is good and what is bad. We may call good evil and evil good. That is what happens in the world around us. That is confusion. That is the way of thinking of the antichrist. Blessed Archbishop also said: “In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God he will deceive even the elect. He will set up an anti-church which will be the ape of the Church because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ”.
In the Gospel Christ announced, that there will be a time of such activity of the spirit of confusion that even the chosen will be deceived. So we need the wisdom of God. When we read the Word of God we see, that in the Book of Revelation antichrist is described by the number 666. And that number is used only two times in the Bible, in the Book of Revelation and the 1st Book of Kings. There we read, that the Queen of Sheba came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. She was amazed when she saw everything that was happening at his court, and she decided to send him 666 talents of gold each year. And since exactly that moment life of Solomon started to fall apart. That moment, thanks to the gold he received, his power, his impact, his army, and his strength were increased. His reaches increased, and so did the number of his concubines. Power, riches, lust. Three of the seven deadly sins. Pride, greed, lust. Three sins making our hearts like the heart of antichrist.
In Fatima Mother of God announced: “In my immaculate heart God prepared rescue for the world”. In Her heart that is poor, obedient, and pure. That is the complete opposite of the heart of the antichrist. Living in this world we are all poisoned by pride, greed, and lust. Her heart is the only rescue, the only antidote. The Church goes to Golgotha. Closer to the cross Jesus was, fewer people were with Him. Under the cross there were only Mary and John, Her son in Her heart. We may say that he survived in Mary, like in the days of Noah. When the sin was increasing, he found shelter in the ark, and he survived in Mary. She is the new tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, through Her the spring of the Church comes, through Her resurrection came. For those three days of darkness, when Christ was in the grave, She carried the faith of the Church in Her. And this is the time for us to find shelter in Her heart. So She could shape our hearts so they would be like Her heart poor, pure, and obedient. And by that we will triumph over the antichrist, who acts through the way of thinking of the world we live in.
Live this day knowing that Mary wants to shape your heart. So you would be poor. Poor doesn’t mean not having money but not attached to your doings, your ideas, your vision, your dreams. That is the deeper level of poverty. Mary wants you to be obedient to God to be submissive to Him to answer Him “yes” whatever happens. And She wants you to have a pure heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Mary wants you to see Jesus. Try to have a vigilant heart. God wants you to have poor, pure, and obedient heart. And through all today’s events God wants to shape your heart. Wait for that be submissive to Him. Let Him lead you.
We sing that Mary is the city of escape. The city of escape is the place mentioned by the law of the Old Testament. When the Israelite killed another man by accident, and the judge confirmed that, this man could seek shelter from the revenge of the killed man’s family in one of the six cities. For some time he could find shelter in one of those cities. Why are we talking about this? Because this has to do with you and me, we are the killers. We are killing the Son of God. We are crucifying Christ. And often we do that without realizing, without such intention. That is why Jesus asked from His cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The Word of God says that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him, so no man knows Jesus. Mary is the rescue for us. She is the city of escape. When I stand under the cross, it purifies me, that justifies me. I come to the cross as a murderer, and I leave as justified. Jesus says from His cross: “This is your Mother”. Under the cross you can stand either as a murderer or as a son. There is no other option. The truth is each of us stands under the cross of Christ. And it’s our choice do we want to stand there as murderers or sons. We may struggle, and we may not be willing to acknowledge that we are the murderers. We may feel the temptation to deny that, to say: I am not committing such sins, I am better, I didn’t kill anyone, I didn’t still form anyone. But God’s standards are different than ours. God is not comparing us to others. God is comparing us to the life of His Son, how much like Him we are. So the point is to see that in Mary God gives us mother. The one able to born us again to the new life. The one who is the city of escape for us, murderers. The truth is that only under the cross we may be born again, from Her, who is our last shelter.
Today is the last day of this retreat. Live it being under the cross of Jesus. Be aware of your sin and that your sin kills Him. And ask Him for forgiveness, for mercy, repent for your sins. But at the same time let the desire for mercy grow in you. The desire for a new life with Mary. Desire to turn to Her in everything, in every weakness, every sin, to Her who is the shelter for sinners. Let those two desires live in you today: the desire for penance and the desire to be born again from the womb of Mary, the Mother of mercy.