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
Prayer in the family
The most frequent call directed to the families is for the family to pray. In the message of June 2, 1984, Our Lady invites us to pray the novena to the Holy Spirit, so that He may be poured out on the families and on the entire parish. This desire of Our Lady reminds us of Her own experience of praying with the apostles for nine days after Jesus’ ascension. Jesus sent the Spirit, the Protector, just as He promised. The hearts of the apostles and Mary’s own heart were filled with strength and zeal with the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is through the descent of the Holy Spirit that the apostles became competent to witness what they had seen and heard. (Acts1:13-14 and 2:1-4). It is sufficient to recall the gifts of the Holy Spirit - wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety and the fear of God - in order to understand why the family needs to pray together to the Holy Spirit, and why, now in particular, we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The family is, in itself, a community of faith and love, of hope and mutual respect, attentive to the needs of each other in a material, spiritual or psychological sense. Man is educated for the family and is formed in the family. Without the family, normal growth of man is unthinkable. Nowhere else as in the family, are the gifts of understanding, counsel, wisdom, knowledge, strength, piety and the fear of the Lord, as necessary. Everything can be in order only when the hearts are full of, and when they are constantly being filling with, the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This message of Our Lady is an answer to all parents who are asking themselves what else they can do for their families, which are in a crisis. To pray to the Holy Spirit means to invoke the same Spirit who gives life and creates life, who transforms emptiness and waste into the fullness and life (Genesis1:2). To pray to Him means to pray to the Holy Spirit whom Isaiah saw at work when the bones of the dead came to life (Ezek 37:1-14).
In as much as the Holy Spirit is at work in the family, is how much He will form individuals into new persons. That is the extent to which man will have the strength within him to overcome the darkness with the divine light, to transform the wasteland of the heart and soul into a richness of unity and love, and to supply for the lack of love with the eternal love, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. By the strength of that same Spirit, the wounds of the heart inflicted by the lack of that same love, will be healed. In the message of March 28, 1985, Mary is thankful to all those who have started to pray in their families and to each person who has become active in this way, telling us that we have become dear to Her heart.