The Family in the Messages of Our Lady Queen of Peace
Date: July 21, 2005 , Originally published November 10, 2001
Author: Dr. Fra Slavko Barbarić, OFM
Category: Priests of Medjugorje , Theology reports
Content of the article
1. Medjugorje is a school, in which Mary, the Queen of Peace, has been speaking, and thus teaching us for fifteen and a half years already. Through Marija Pavlovic Lunetti, She has given simple messages on every Thursday from March 1, 1984 to January 8, 1987. From January 25, 1987 up until the present, the message has been given on the 25th of every month. She does not tell us anything new, but, in a motherly way, full of understanding and love, of gentleness and patience, She clearly and decidedly reminds us of that which we, as Her children, as individuals, as families and as the entire Church are obliged to do.
She speaks simply and concretely, without theorizing or philosophising, exactly as every Mother should. Mary, the Queen of Peace, is clear in what She is seeking and demanding of us. Her messages do not require exceptional explanations. They are understandable to everyone. There is no misunderstanding or lack of clarity in them.
On the one hand, Her messages have a deep link with the Biblical messages, while on the other, they show a deep link with our everyday reality. So as to more easily recognize this deep link of Our Lady’s messages with the Biblical messages and our everyday life, it is enough to recall Her main message given on June 26, 1981: "Peace, peace and only peace." To this She added the prophetic words: "Pray and fast, because with prayer and fasting you can stop wars and natural disasters". Back in 1981, the reality of war for us Catholic Croatians was unthinkable. Yet, ten years later, in 1991, on the same date of the 26th of June, the first bombs fell announcing the terrible reality of the war, which we neither desired nor expected, and which we all hoped would not be of such proportions.
The main goal of the apparitions is 'peace' and it is continually woven like a golden thread through everything that Our Lady says and does. That is why She also spoke of the conditions for peace: prayer, fasting, faith, complete abandonment to God and remaining with Her on the road to holiness. She has also clearly spoken about the means to attain it: the prayer of the rosary, confession, reading of the Scriptures, attending Holy Mass and good works.
Individuals, families, groups, the entire Church and the whole world are equally invited and called by name. In the entire process of peace, Mary continually stresses the importance of the individual, the family and of the prayer group. Her way to peace is inductive. It all begins with the individual who changes and, in changing, creates new relationships in the family, in the society, in the Church and in the world. Everything begins with the personal conversion of an individual, which then first of all creates new relationships in the family before going further.
The visionaries tirelessly repeat that, first of all, peace must reign in our own hearts, then in the families and only then in the world. In this, we see the indispensable and uncircumventable value and importance of the individual. Without the individual, the plans, which God entrusted to Mary, are unattainable. The individual creates a new nucleus, a new family, and the new family creates a new Church and a new society. The new society, the new Church and the new family, renewed by the renewal of the individual, in turn, have their role in educating and making it easier for the individual to create his or her own identity.
The task of this presentation is to concentrate on what Mary is saying about families: what type of a family She desires; what She is recommending and what She is warning us all about as parents, as children and as the elderly. It also includes what values She asks us to live by and how we are to behave towards each other, towards God, towards prayer, the Holy Mass and the Holy Scripture.
2. In 27 messages, Our Lady mentions the family . Of those, 13 were given on Thursdays and the other 14 were given on the 25th of the month. What She has said can be presented either chronologically or thematically. I have decided for the latter.
God in the First Place
God is the foundation of everything, the fount of life and holiness, the Creator and the Sustainer of everything. He is peace and love. Without a personal contact with Him, no one can have peace. He gives us everything we have and everything belongs to Him. In a devoted family, God is found in the first place and He must govern the life of the family. To decide for God and to put Him in first place means to do what Mary did and to live as the Holy family of Nazareth lived. In the message of December 25, 1991, Our Lady says, "Therefore, dear children, put God in the first place in your families so that He may give you peace and may protect you not only from war, but also in peace protect you from every satanic attack." Mary speaks clearly about Satan’s continual and tireless activities both during a time of war and of peace. He does not tolerate anything good, "because Satan wants war, wants lack of peace, wants to destroy all which is good" (March 25, 1993). In that same message, She invites us to prayer three times "pray, pray, pray". This is the answer to the question of how we are to be close to Her motherly heart.
"I have come to tell you that God exists", was of one Her first messages, which the visionaries transmitted to the world. Later, in many messages, She invited both individuals and families to decide for God and to put Him in the first place.
That is how it was in completeness during Her entire life. She called Herself the handmaid of the Lord who fulfilled the will of God in everything. God was in the first place in Her thoughts, in Her words and in Her actions.
In the message of June 2, 1984, in which She asks us to pray a novena for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the families, She invites all of us to let our entire lives on this earth be a glorification of God. She tells us that God Himself will give us the necessary gifts for this to take place (June 2, 1984). St. Paul teaches us in the first letter to the Corinthians: "So whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do for one another do so for the glory of God" (1Cor 10:31).
Everything She tells us She does so in the name of God. Mary is a Prophet and the Queen of the Prophets. A prophet is one who speaks in the name of God. Therefore, the words of a prophet do not primarily pertain to future events, but to speaking in the name of God. For this reason, every mother and father is, foremost, a prophet who reveals the will of God, Gods love and mercy, Gods plans and the means through which these plans are realized to their children. To Her, God entrusted plans, which can only be realized in cooperation with us: "You have helped me along by your prayers to realize my plans. Keep on praying that my plans be completely realized" (Sept. 27, 1984). She teaches us that everything needs to belong to God, and we can realize that through Her hands (Oct 25,1988).
It is when we put God in the first place, that we will have peace and can be secure from every satanic attack. When we have God, we will truly have everything, Without Him, we are miserable and lost, we do not even know whose side we are on. The decision for God and the placing of God in the first place will make our lives and all of our actions completely clear and orderly (December 25,1991).
The family and, in this case, the parents are those who transmit the experience of God to their children. When they put God in the first place, then there will be love between them, they will serve life and guide their children onto the right path. For this reason, Mary invites us to encourage the youngest to "prayer and that children go to Holy Mass" (March 7, 1985). Only in this way will the children learn that what their parents live. When children discover God, and He enters into their life also and takes the first place, they will remain on the way of peace, faith and love.
In the message of August 25, 1996, Our Lady invites parents to instruct their children because, if they are not a model for them, they will fall into godlessness and that means into darkness, unrest and into death.
Mary did not forget the aged in the family either. They are important and need to be encouraged to pray and, by their exemplary lives, the young must become a help to everyone so that they may thus bear witness to Jesus (April 24, 1986). This type of relationship between the young and the old, and the importance of the aged in the family, one can discover only in one's encounter with God. In the rhythm of the contemporary world, both the children and the elderly are regarded as a bother and a hindrance to the enjoyment of life. In this type of a relationship, abortion, the murder of the young and the rejection of the elderly to the point of euthanasia, becomes justifiable. A change in this attitude can only be expected if everyone decides for God, who is the Creator of all and who gives deep meaning to each life jeopardized by a materialistic attitude towards it. For this reason on March 25, 1995, Mary says that there is no peace only where there is no prayer, and that there is no love where there is no faith. Peace is born in the encounter with God, in the love and trust in Him and in the complete abandonment to Him. God gives peace, and peace is Gods gift (January 25,1996).
When God is in the first place in the families, then prayer has its proper place and time and this will make it possible to seek and to find the will of God (April 25, 1996).
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