In yesterdays message from Our Blessed Mother to Marija in Medjugorje, she says:
“Dear children! I am calling you to be prayer for all those who do not pray. Little children, witness with your lives the joy that you are mine and God will heed your prayers and give you peace in this peaceless world where pride and selfishness reign. Little children, you be generous and be the love of my love, so that pagans can feel that you are mine and convert to my Immaculate Heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Our Lady calls us to “be prayer for all those who do not pray.” We often think of prayer as a thing or an action, not something we can be.
When we then consider St. Paul’s instruction to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) this starts to make a little more sense. It stands to reason that if we’re immersed and consumed in prayer at all times, we are “being” prayer.
St. Theresa of Avila defines prayer as a “conversation with the one who loves you” (God). So if we’re always conversing with God, we’re always in prayer. Living united to Christ and bringing Him into every moment of our day ensures we’re always praying – and getting closer to Our Lady’s call to “be prayer”.
Being Prayer for Others
Let’s look at the second part of her call – the reason for us to be prayer (for all those who do not pray). She’s reminding us that the purpose of our efforts to be united with Christ at all times living in this continual conversation is not for our own sake but for the sake of our brothers and sisters.
In Matthew 22: 34-40 Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
Jesus makes clear that the most important thing for us to do is to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Living in conversation with Him (being prayer) most certainly enables this. To do so for those who do not pray acts as an offering to our neighbors, fulfills this second great commandment.
She particularly points us to those who aren’t praying – why? In today’s modern culture, these are the brothers and sisters of ours who are at the most risk of being lost forever. Going back to St. Theresa’s definition, these are our extended family members (all around the world) who are completely ignoring any conversation with God. They’ve abandoned Him (not the other way around). Of course we should be praying for them! That is not a live anyone should desire to live, nor see another stuck in.
Our Mother is continuing to point us back to Jesus’ great commandment – what is referred to as “Holy Love”. By praying for our lost brothers and sisters, we’re also consoling our Lord’s own heart as he certainly wants these lost sheep back in the fold.
Willing the Good
St. Thomas Acquinas defines “love” as “willing the good of the other”. To love someone is to desire good for them. It is completely impartial to one’s own self – it is solely directed towards someone else receiving good.
Today’s modern era looks at love from a far more selfish point of view – the feelings that we get as opposed to what we desire for others. When Jesus calls us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” He’s asking us to desire good for all of our neighbors just as we would want for ourselves.
One of the greatest goods that we can desire for our neighbors is forgiveness for their sins.
In Direction for Our Times’ Volume 6, Jesus Speaks to Children, He says:
“I have told you about heaven. You will be happy here and this is truly your home. Now I want to tell you how you can help Me. I am part of a family and so are you. We are part of the same family. It is a bigger family than you belong to on earth. This bigger family includes all people. I want all people to come home to heaven when they are finished on earth but some will need help because they are not trying hard enough to be good…all a soul needs to do to come to heaven, is to try to be good and then to say sorry when they make a mistake.”
Further in the same letter he requests that we pray for others that are making mistakes and don’t appear to care. Using a similar request Jesus made from the cross, He asks us to simply pray: “Jesus, forgive them.” We’re presenting them to Jesus as our brother or sister and seeking their forgiveness.
It’s very easy to look at faults and failings of our brothers and sisters and compare our progress or choices against theirs. This is a slippery slope to judgement – but even if we don’t slip that far, we are missing out on an opportunity to love them. This simple prayer “Jesus, forgive them” is a beautiful way of turning that moment into a blessing for them.
In doing so, we’re “being prayer” by remaining in conversation with Jesus, loving our brother or sister by bringing them to Him and loving God by desiring that none of His children are lost.
Be Prayer today
As you go out into your day today, look for everyone opportunity to remain in conversation with Jesus, especially when it comes to interacting with other people.
Look at each of them with the conscious effort to “will their good” and wherever you see mistakes being made, immediately bring it to Jesus seeking their forgiveness.
As we do this, we grow closer to God, we grow in our own holiness, and we help our brothers and sisters along their own paths as well.