St. Louis de Montfort wrote: “Therefore, indeed, it must be said with the saints: There is never enough of Mary.” In the same way, we could speak of Our Lady’s messages, “It is never enough to speak of prayer and to invite others to prayer.”
Also, in this message Our Lady is very brief and specific: “I am calling you to return to personal prayer.” We can read and listen to beautiful words about God. These nice words can awaken in us hunger and thirst for God, but they cannot quench it. Only the experience of encountering God can do that. And, this experience comes only through the struggle and effort of personal prayer.
Gabriel Bunge, a priest and monk, speaks in his book How to Pray of the crisis of faith in the western world on the one hand, and on the other hand about the abundance of theological and spiritual literature that is increasing year by year. This abundance of books with spiritual content expresses the restless search of a man who does not reach the goal. We can read spiritual writings, books, the wise thoughts of the Church and Desert Fathers, and yet nothing changes in our hearts and lives.
We seem to have lost the key to the treasure of faith and tradition that we have in the Church. We can only understand the faith when we practice it. It is the same with the Word of God, i.e. the Holy Scriptures. The Word of God needs a soil to fall into, it needs a heart that will receive it. Only when the Word of God is incarnated it becomes real, tangible and apprehensible. The saints are living examples of the incarnate Word of God. They allowed God’s word to enter their hearts and they became new, transformed people. When we read the biographies of the saints, we see God’s word so clear, tangible, and real.
Only through prayer can we become who we truly are, the image and likeness of God. Our deepest nature is in our devotion to God. The manifestation of our devotion is prayer, to which Our Lady, as Mother, calls us also in this message.
Our Lady, before whom Satan trembles, warns us of the danger we are in when we do not pray. The danger Our Lady warns us about is Satan and all his traps, lies and deceptions. Satan’s goal is to tranquilize us, to draw us to himself with his alluring promises, after which, if we agree to them, we will experience desolation and slavery. Very easily we fall into forgetfulness, spiritually fall asleep, and move away from the Lord.
There are many factors that keep us away from the Lord. These include our distractions, worries of life, grumblings, ideologies, fears, and various temptations. Also, this pandemic time that we are living is a time of crisis that reveals to us our spiritual richness or poverty. In this time also we can see how much we belong to the Lord or to this world and its laws.
Our Lady invites us with very simple words that recall the words of the Apostle Peter in the first letter, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Also St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says, “Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)
In his letter, St. Paul puts our human existence, our human life, into the war category. There is a state of war. We are in a spiritual warfare, a war for souls. In this war we are not without “weapons” and the possibility of resisting evil. Our enemy surpasses us in strength and cunning. And our struggle is not against flesh and blood. The flesh is not the enemy we must kill. It is the power of evil.
Both evil and the evil one were defeated by the one and only – our Lord on the Cross. We cannot fight evil in our own strength, but by prayer we can turn to the Lord, build a relationship with him, decide for good, and choose good to be protected from evil.
Let us pray: Our Lady, you are blessed because you believed. You are the Immaculate Mother who crushed the head of our enemy. You are the one who brings and gives Jesus to us. You are the one who leads us to Jesus. By your intercession, grant us the gift of faith, awaken in our hearts a deep longing for the Lord whom you served and remained faithful to until his death at the Calvary. Many times, in your messages you say to us: “I am with you.” We also want to pray until the Lord gives us a profound experience of His closeness and love. An experience of freedom and protection from evil and the evil one that lurks over our souls. Pray, Mary, with us, for us and for all those who have abandoned prayer and God. May every human heart, which is made in the image and likeness of God, experience the beauty and depth of God’s love and mercy. Amen.