Reflection in January 2003
Reflection on the Message of January 25, 2003
PRAY FOR PEACE
“Dear children! With this message I call you anew to pray for peace. Particularly now when peace is in crisis, you be those who pray and bear witness to peace. Little children, be peace in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of January 25, 2003
The Blessed Virgin Mary calls her children again; she calls all those who want to hear her motherly voice and respond to the voice of peace. The call is given in love and leaves us freedom to accept it. In Our Lady’s motherly voice there is no intimidation, no threatening, no pessimism, no fear and no panic. Her voice and her words come from a heart that is pacified in God. She sees well the situation of the world, but she is not in despair because of it. She also sees well the crisis of the world, of men, of the family, of youth and of old people, but she also sees well the possibility of these same men to reach peace and to witness the peace that she gives us, and to which she invites us. Mary, our Mother, wishes to lead us to the experience of a heart full of peace that we can obtain through abandonment to God, without effort and without tension. This is what the psalmist speaks about: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.” (Ps 131)
We have to develop trust and exercise ourselves in trust in the Almighty who wants to give us this experience. Such an experience of trust and peacefulness is a treasure from which one can live and which can be given to others. I believe that each one of us has had the experience of an encounter with an aggressive person, but also with a person whose heart is pacified. We run away from those who are aggressive, we avoid them because they bring trouble and threaten our peace. On the contrary, we are ennobled by an encounter with a person whose heart is pacified, a person who makes no offence, utters no calumny, does not attack, has no hatred in the heart. We can feel that such an encounter make us take part in the peace of that person. The most frequent cause of peacelessness and tension is mistrust, which engenders a feeling of being threatened. Ladislaus Boros says in connection to this: “True Christianity knows the power of meekness, knows holiness of character, and the power of abandonment. A new strength enters into the world where those, who bear witness in their blood tremble in pain and still persevere without being revolted and without perverting their suffering by hatred, desire of vengeance or vanity. It is a great delight to encounter a truly meek person. She can set her seal on the entire life of another.”
These are fruits of faith and of trust that the Holy Spirit produces in us. Faith bestows on our life relaxation and peace. To believe in someone means to have the possibility to come to know this person. If I do not trust someone, I cannot come to know this person, because I am closed. It is the same with our relationship to God. If I do not believe what Jesus tells me in the Gospel, I will never be able to make the experience of what He promises me by his word.
Words of Our Lady’s message, just as the Gospel, may seem distant, idealistic and impossible to be put into practice in our lives. Our Lady’s message reminds me of Jesus’ words: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5,48) At first sight, it is an almost impossible demand. The Gospel really demands from humans what is impossible for human strength. This impossible demand of the Gospel would like to lead us not to rely on ourselves but on God. Only then shall we have peace. If we try to put these demands into practice by our own strength, we shall be defeated and frustrated. Women in Africa usually carry loads on their head, and if they keep them in a good balance, they can walk many kilometres with them. If loads are not in a good balance, they will hurt their back after only a few meters. In the same way, we have to understand well the Gospel, which does not support loads, according to the words of St. John: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 Jn 5,3). Let us rely on God. May He become more important for us then we are important for ourselves. Let us allow Him to take initiative in our lives, because it is more important what He does in us then what we do ourselves. Let us allow His love to touch us, so that His peace may come into our lives, our words, our encounters and our deeds.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, January 26, 2003