May 12, 2017 – “Dear children. Also today, in this time of grace, I desire to call you to open yourselves, open your hearts. Especially I call you to pray more in your families. That you renew your families. Open yourselves, dear children, to the Holy Spirit, that He may lead you, that He may lead your families. You are needed. Therefore, pray and open yourselves. Thank you dear children for also today having responded to my call.”
This past week has been a busy one for me, but this message has been really stuck on my heart since I first read it. Although short, it says a lot.
The first thing I couldn’t help but notice is how Our Lady repeats the word open.
“Open yourselves, open your hearts…”
Given the total times she has repeated this phrase in a short message, there’s most definitely an air of urgency and precedence in her call for us to be more open to God.
Is it any surprise for her to be asking us this? No one knows their children better than a mother, and Our Lady can see how easily at times we can isolate ourselves from God. She knows that doesn’t do us any good, and presses us not to do it.
It can, unfortunately, be very easy for us to sometimes close the doors of our hearts to the Lord.
Through unpleasant experiences, missteps, regrets, betrayals, and anguish, the world hardens our hearts, causing us to raise the drawbridge and keep everyone out—including God. We become fearful, untrusting, lacking peace, and desiring to take control of everything thinking we know better than the One Who created and redeemed us.
In addition to isolation, we can also start to take on a completely negative, self-defeating attitude. We look at those mistakes, struggles, bad memories, or failures, and magnify them, blowing them completely out of proportion.
It’s kind of like using a macro lens on a camera. When focusing on your subject—for instance, a grain of rice, a flower petal, or an insect—every detail is enlarged and exaggerated on a massive scale. But, meanwhile, everything outside your focus point is completely blurred and indistinguishable.
I’ve talked about this before, maybe even more than once, but it bears reminding. We can get so fixated on whatever it is that’s bugging us, that we can’t see anything else around us. All we can see is that problem in such a distorted, melodramatic way, and believe the accompanying insecurities it dumps on us.
I’m not good enough… God will never forgive me… I’m just damaged goods… Nobody cares… Nothing ever goes right, so what’s the point?… Why bother trying?… I’m never going to succeed… I’ll never find the right person…
You get the picture, right? We’ve all been down similar roads before. Or maybe you’re stuck in the middle of such a road right now.
Which brings me to the next thing that Our Lady said, which is absolutely amazing to me.
“You are needed.”
Here we are thinking that we’re garbage, unworthy, broken vessels without a fragment of hope, and of no use to anyone, and the Mother of God tells us something completely unexpected.
You are needed.
This isn’t the first time Our Lady has told us how much we are needed. I did a search, and the number of times she has said the phrase “I need you” was about twenty times. Here’s one of them:
July 2, 2009 – “Dear children! I am calling you because I need you. I need hearts ready for immeasurable love. Hearts that are not burdened by vanity. Hearts that are ready to love as my Son loved, that are ready to sacrifice themselves as my Son sacrificed Himself. I need you. In order to come with me, forgive yourselves, forgive others and adore my Son. Adore Him also for those who have not come to know Him, those who do not love Him. Therefore, I need you. Therefore, I call you. Thank you.”
I find myself sometimes surprised and humbled by these kind of words. I think to myself, “Wow, Jesus and Mary. I’m nothing. I’m the one who is in need of you because of my weak human nature. And you need me?!”
From love we came into being, and it is love that we are called to live for.
God is Love Itself. You exist because of Love, not because of some fluke.
There are no coincidences with God. If we exist it is for a reason, a purpose. It is not to live for ourselves alone, but for Him.
You are unique, unrepeatable, and made in the image of Love.
You play a great part in God’s massive plan.
You are not simply another face in the crowd, wandering aimlessly in life and bound to end up nowhere. To believe in that, is to believe in a lie of the devil. Don’t fall for his tricks. He wants you to think you are no good, beyond saving, and abandoned by God in order to prevent God’s plan through you.
You are not nothing. You are something. You matter. You are needed.
Our Lady’s words are truly that of a mother. Only a mother could see the goodness and true potential in their children when the child cannot, whether that son or daughter be on the right or wrong track in life.
She calls us continuously because she knows that the enemy never sleeps, and that we are meant for so much more than our constant worrying. God has a plan mapped out for us, and she wants us to open ourselves up to that plan, and allow Him to cultivate it in us.
The Gospel reading yesterday, I believe, really goes well with this message:
“You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. My command to you is to love one another.” [John 15:16-17]
We are chosen. We are needed. All of us.
God Himself has created and chosen us to spread the seeds of love and faith in a world that has forgotten Him.
In our families, communities, friends, workplace, neighborhoods, parish; you can make a difference anywhere. Even something as simple as a smile or hello could reach the heart of another.
Our job isn’t to sit and worry about when, how, and where God is going to use us in His grand plan, or whether we are worthy enough. Our job is to live the faith, to listen to and trust in Jesus and Mary. The rest will be taken care of.
Many are the plans in the human heart, but the purpose of Yahweh—that stands firm. [Proverbs 19:21]
Leave all your worries, insecurities, bad memories, regrets, and problems at the foot of the Cross. Don’t even think about carrying it around for another second. It isn’t worth a single darn thing.
You are worth much more in the eyes of the Lord! After all, you were created in His image. You are His precious child. Do you really think He wants you to be miserable, alone, and suffering in vain? He gave His life on the Cross so that you can live!
Open yourself to God, and He will lead you!
Take courage! Trust in Him! God’s plan is infinitely better than ours. Let Him take the steering wheel!
Prayer, penance, fasting, sacraments, scripture; these are all ways in which we can better release ourselves into His loving hands. The more we live united with Him (in our work, family, school, projects, everything!) the more peace and joy we will experience in our lives, even in the hardships!
And our Mother, Mary, is also with us, encouraging us, and helping us to have a better awareness of His limitless love and mercy. Let our Mother take you by the hand, and lead you away from the darkness and into the glorious light of her Son!
You are needed so dearly by her and Jesus! Let them love you and guide you always!