This simple and short message of Our Lady is extraordinary because it is all too short. We have become accustomed to messages with a few sentences and now she speaks to us in a very brief way. Each of us may interpret this message differently, but her call to prayer as a vital need in life remains the same throughout the years of apparitions.
We all know that prayer is essential and that God can only give us what we ask of him. Much can be said about prayer. It is one thing to talk about prayer and another thing to pray. We can talk about food, listen about food, but we will remain hungry if we do not eat. The same is the case with prayer.
All teachers of prayer agree that prayer is not something that just happens by itself. Prayer is effort, decision, and perseverance. The greatest difficulty in prayer is concentration. Concentration is easier when one is faithful to the prayer schedule and manages to maintain inner vigilance. Inner vigilance cannot be achieved without effort and in a matter of days, but it is a proven path and the advice of the Gospel which says that we should always pray and not give up (Lk 18:1).
Our spirit is like a mill. It grinds what is put into it. Therefore, it is important to nourish our spirit with healthy food. But our spirit needs repetition in order to digest and absorb the words of the prayer and identify with them. The prayer of repetition is the prayer of the Rosary. Or as the Desert Fathers used to repeat, “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me”.
The Eastern monks preferred to pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”
Prayer is life, it is the breathing of our soul. We cannot live without breathing, without air. Likewise, without prayer we are spiritually dead. Breathing is important. Breathing teaches us the truth of life. We can only give when we have embraced something. We can only breathe out if we have breathed the air in. Prayer connects us to God, the source of life.
Let us find a time during the day when we would breathe Christ into our souls as we say, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God’, and breathe out as we say, ‘Have mercy on me, a sinner’, i.e., with these words, cast out all anxiety, guilt, sin, and fear from inside us.
In this way we will be able to experience the power of God’s mercy and His closeness in our lives.
It is Our Lady’s maternal desire to bring us to the source of life, to God. Let us help her with our prayer, with perseverance in prayer, so that we may experience the riches of peace, freedom and health that God wants to bestow upon us at the intercession of our Heavenly Mother Mary.
Let us pray:
Our Lady, you are blessed because you have believed. Teach us to carry, protect and meditate on the Word of God in our hearts as you did. You have given to the words of the Heavenly Father not only your body, but also your heart, your soul, and your whole self. You persevered on the path of faith and hope all the way to Calvary, when darkness enveloped the earth and the hearts of men. In your heart you kept the light of faith and hope. Intercede for us, especially when moments of temptation and darkness come into our lives. Be a mother full of grace for us and for those who are experiencing difficult moments in life. May they feel your closeness and the power of your motherly intercession. Lead us to the light of the Resurrection so that we too may share in the victory of your Son Jesus over sin, Satan and death. Amen.