March 25, 2017 – “Dear children! In this time of grace, I am calling all of you to open your hearts to God’s mercy, to begin a new life through prayer, penance and a decision for holiness. This time of spring moves you to a new life, to a renewal, in your thoughts and hearts. Therefore, little children, I am with you to help you to say ‘yes’ to God and to God’s commandments with resoluteness. You are not alone; I am with you through the grace which the Most High gives me for you and your descendants. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
This is such an encouraging message from Our Lady, especially now in this grace-filled Lenten period. Truly, in this time of Spring, and with the anticipation of Easter, our hearts are drawn to a desire for renewal or rebirth.
A rebirth in nature, in the family, in ourselves.
A kind of shedding of the old skin, and embracing the new one. A good spring-cleaning to clear out all the junk and make way for the new, fresh, positive, and vibrant things in life. And I’m not just talking about all the old, dusty stuff we’ve accumulated in our homes—although having an over-cluttered home could negatively affect someone’s morale. I’m talking about clearing out the junk we’ve accumulated in our hearts, and minds.
The bad habits, negative thought-patterns, those self-defeating assumptions made about oneself or the world; grudges, fears, bad memories, worries, insecurities, mistakes, and guilt. The list goes on.
How much junk do we still hang on to from yesteryear, and how much room have we made for the One Who was nailed to a Cross in order to free us from sin? Jesus, our Blessed Lord, suffered the death of a sinner, although He is sinless, in order to free us from ourselves. Jesus conquered death itself!
A love like that, our human minds cannot comprehend. Our Lord even told St. Paul, “My grace is enough for you” [2 Corinthians 12:9]. Why, then, do we still hang on to all that other junk? Shouldn’t we be trusting Him?
The truth of such a reaction all points to egotism. Holding on to all to the negative brings about a false sense of control. It makes us believe that we’re “handling” the situation somehow when in reality we’re just stuck in mud, and preventing ourselves from moving forward. We’re putting more trust in ourselves than in the One Who redeemed us.
It’s like throwing in the towel before the race even started.
Whatever makes you feel or believe that your efforts are in vain, that God does not forgive and love you, or that you aren’t good enough… don’t believe it. It is a big fat LIE. Those feelings and ideas do not come from God. They are from the devil.
Here’s what Jesus said to St. Faustina from her diary about His mercy:
My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace. (1486)
How beautiful! The Lord’s mercy and love is infinite! He sacrificed Himself for our sake, so that we can live. Jesus doesn’t want us to make things so difficult for ourselves by doubting and fearing. He just wants us to surrender everything to Him! To trust Him! He is waiting to bestow His grace on you, not to punish you!
Jesus’ words connect with what Our Lady just told us recently:
In this time of grace, I am calling all of you to open your hearts to God’s mercy, to begin a new life through prayer, penance and a decision for holiness. This time of spring moves you to a new life, to a renewal, in your thoughts and hearts. Therefore, little children, I am with you to help you to say ‘yes’ to God and to God’s commandments with resoluteness. You are not alone; I am with you through the grace which the Most High gives me for you and your descendants.
No more hoarding of useless, self-defeating junk that stands in the way of God’s beautiful and immense grace.
Throw it away! Leave the old ways behind. And open your heart to His mercy!
This is a time for new beginnings!
Let His love and mercy disinfect and wash away all the grime and dust within us. He can and will renew us and our families when we give Him our yes, when we firmly decide live His commandments with love and joy. And who better to help us give our Fiat than the Blessed Mother!
We are not alone. The Mother is with us. She is interceding for us in this moment just like she did at the Wedding Feast. “Do whatever he tells you,” she told the servants that day. And today she is telling us the same. Jesus is telling us to trust in His mercy, and Mary is asking us to listen to Him.
As we’re reaching the pinnacle of Lent—our Christian faith—these next three weeks, let us make a resolution to heartily reject all discouragement and to keep pressing forward down that long, narrow road through our fervent prayer, penance, and our striving for holiness.
This is a time of renewal! This is a time of mercy!
Remember, we are not alone.
Our Lady and your Guardian Angel is beside you.
Keep your eyes on the face of Jesus!
Be a warrior, not a worrier!