It is important to underline once again that Mary is educating and teaching us in a simple way. As a Mother, she says only what deeply touches the life of the faithful. She also told us about how we should treat churches as buildings, because the King of kings and the Lord of lords dwells in them.
In the message of 25 April 1988, she said that Holy Mass is the centre of life, life itself, that a church as a building is consecrated by the divine presence, and that all the faithful are invited to holiness, which proceeds from the encounter with what is holy.
“Dear children! God wants to make you holy; that is why He is inviting you through me to complete surrender. Let Holy Mass be your life. Understand that a church is God’s palace, a place in which I gather you and want to show you the way to God. Come and pray. Do not look at others or gossip, but let your life be a testimony on the way of holiness. Churches are worthy of respect and they are consecrated because God, who became man, dwells in them day and night. Therefore, little children, believe and pray to the Father to increase your faith, and then ask for what you need. I am with you. I look forward with joy to your conversion and I protect you with my motherly mantle. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (25 April 1988)
To make us holy is the first and the final goal of Our Lady’s education. To be holy means first of all to be healthy in soul and purified of sin and of its consequences. It means also to have peace and love in the heart and to grow spiritually. Holiness does not mean to do miracles and perform miraculous signs, to be a visionary or to have the gift of prophecy or something like that. Mary’s desire to make us holy is deeply present in our spiritual being. Holiness is our vocation. The will of God for us is to be holy and blameless like our heavenly Father. (Cf. Eph 1:1f) Therefore, Mary’s duty and task is to lead us on the way of holiness. All Christians are invited and they can be holy.
Each space and each time, each community and each individual, just as they are, are the right place and the right time for holiness. We would deceive ourselves if – as a condition to take a personal decision to grow in holiness – we wanted other times and other people around us. In order to become holy, we need only to cooperate with the will of God wherever we are.
God Gives Holiness
Mary, the servant of God, preserved from sin and immaculate, is an example and a mirror for what God has in mind for us. In her, we can feel all the beauty of the growth in holiness. She can encourage us to grow in holiness, but she cannot make us holy. Only God gives holiness. That is why we should do what she did and what she tells us: we should abandon ourselves to God, trust Him and allow Him to lead us.
In Mary’s messages, abandonment is an expression of faith. To believe means to give the heart to God, to trust God, to say with Mary, “Here I am, O Lord”. Lack of trust and resistance to the will of God is godlessness. God would contradict Himself – which is impossible – if His will was not our holiness, our growth into His image and likeness. We destroy ourselves if we do not cooperate with the will of God.
Believe, Come, and Pray
To believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, and that Holy Mass is His permanent sacrifice for us in which we truly encounter Him, means that we are invited to come where He is and to pray. Faith has to be experienced. Faith comes from experience, and experience comes from encountering one another and from being together, from sharing the same fate, the fate of the other.
Some believers may convince themselves that Holy Mass can be replaced by prayers at home or by private devotions. This can happen when without real reason we try to justify our not coming to Mass. We should first come to Mass and pray for the grace of faith, and only then ask for what we need. We should live the eucharistic communion, live from it and deepen our experience with God and with our neighbour. That is how one becomes a witness, and we are all called to bear witness.
Faith is always something personal, but it is never a private affair of an individual, because faith has to be seen in society. Many people make confusion between personal and private, they separate themselves from others. In this way, individuals suffer, other members suffer and the whole body suffers. (Cf. 1 Cor 12:12-31)
A Church Is a Temple of God
In her message, Mary asks for our respect, adoration, deference, even in the way we dress. This is the language of a mother who teaches her children to behave properly in the church, because a church is a temple of God. God lives in it. By His presence, churches are sanctified, and in holy places we should behave accordingly, in a holy way.
Just as God’s presence sanctifies the church, it also encourages growth in individual sanctity. This sanctification continues in the world. Whatever the faithful do and whatever they touch becomes sanctified, because they are sanctified. If we are aware of it and if we behave accordingly, we shall sanctify everything and grow in respect towards people and nature. By our behaviour, we have desecrated the world, and by our behaviour we can restore its dignity, beautify the face of the earth and create a new order.
St Paul says that one day everything – all people, the whole creation – shall be submitted to Christ. Death shall be no more, and Christ will submit Himself to the Father. And God, through Christ, shall be all in all… (1 Cor 15:23-28)
I Am with You
Mary remains our faithful Mother and teacher. She accompanies us, she prays, rejoices, protects, invites, and thanks us. And what is most important – she is present among us.
(Barbarić, Slavko. 2018. Celebrate Mass with the heart.)