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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 186 (March-April 2006)

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Our Lady’s message, 25 January 2006:
“Dear Children! Also today I call
you to be bearers of the Gospel in your
families. Do not forget, my Children,
to read Sacred Scripture. Put it in a
visible place and witness with your life
that you believe and live the Word of
God. I am close to you with my love,
and I intercede before my Son for each
of you. Thank you for responding to my
call.”
Bearers of the Gospel
“Zacchaeus, make haste and come
down, for I must stay at your house today”
(Lk 19:5), says Jesus, and Zacchaeus
receives Him with joy and the encounter
changes his life as Jesus confirms: “Today
salvation has come to this house”
(Lk
19:9). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday
and today and for ever”
(Heb 13:8), and
today like then, Jesus comes to look for and
save those who are lost (cf. Lk 19:10).
Jesus comes to ask if he can enter our
home. Our home is our heart, our soul, our
family, our house. Jesus comes and brings
salvation, but we cannot receive it within
our sitting room. He comes to establish
himself in our life, to be our Life. The
encounter with Him ought to radically
change our life. The change is not
necessarily instantaneous, but the
encounter with Him must be the beginning
of a process of real conversion. The times
and ways may vary from person to person,
but there is only one way and that is
communion with Christ Jesus.
Mary invites us to be bearers of the
Gospel in our families, that is, to accept
Jesus - the Word made flesh, the Word of
Life - into our families. When He is
missing, it is light, wisdom, peace and love
that are missing. We can find surrogates,
but these would be temporary and
inadequate remedies, and sooner or later
ineffective remedies. In God alone does my
soul rest, from him comes my salvation
[Ps
61 (62)]. This rest for the soul is surrender
to God: necessary for communion with
Jesus Christ, necessary for communion in
the family and the Church, fundamental for
the Kingdom of God.
The invitation to be bearers of the
Gospel in our families, is addressed to
each and all of us: father, mother, son,
daughter, brother, sister. Each must bring
the Gospel
to each other so he can live his
role to the full (cf. Mk 3:35). This way,
Christ will be all in all (cf. Col 3:11). Do
not forget, my Children, to read Sacred
Scripture.
The reading of, and the listening
to the Word is a channel of communication
between man and God; it is a disposition
to be open to His grace; it is to immerse
oneself in His Spirit.
Mary had already asked us to place the
Bible in a visible place (18 Oct. 1984; 25
Aug. 1996), to be bearers of the Word of
God (25 Aug. 1996), to read it and live it
(25 Aug. 1993; 25 Aug. 1996), to read it
at home
(18 Oct. 1984; 14 Feb. 1985; 25
June 1991; 25 Aug. 1996). Today she again
invites us to place it in a visible place and
witness with our life that we believe and
live the Word of God
. The Bible (in a
visible place) at home is a banner that
expresses our belonging to the heavenly
Homeland. It is a declaration of our identity
as children of God in Jesus Christ. This
declaration, however, must be authenticated
by the witness of a life that imitates His
life, that follows in His steps, that carries
the perfume of Christ.
Though we are aware of the infinite
distance between what we are and what
we are called to be, between our humanity
and Your divinity, Jesus, we shall not stop
beneath the weight of our poverty and
misery. With serenity and humility we
desire journeying with You Lord. Mary is
near us and intercedes for each of us
with her Love. In her hands our limits
offered up to You will become fuel for the
fire of Your Love. Thank you Jesus; thank
you Mary!
Nuccio Quattrocchi
“Lent is a privileged time
of interior pilgrimage
towards Him Who is
the fount of mercy.”
Benedict XVI
Our Lady’s message, 25 Feb.2006:
”Dear Children, In this Lenten time
of grace, I call you to open your hearts
to the gifts that God desires giving you.
Do not be closed, but with prayer and
renunciation say ‘yes’ to God and He
will give to you in abundance. Just as
t h e e a r t h o p e n s t o t h e s e e d i n
springtime and yields a hundredfold,
so will your heavenly Father give to you
in abundance. I am with you, my
Children, and I love you tenderly.
Thank you for responding to my call.”
Say Yes to God
Each year the Church unites herself to
the Mystery of Jesus in the wilderness by
way of the solemn forty days of Lent
(cf.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.
540). In this Lenten time of grace, I call
you to open your hearts to the gifts that
God desires giving you.
Lent is a special
time of grace which we ought to cherish
by living this time with an open heart.
Being mere spectators is not enough; we
must be players. It is a salvific time, and
we must enter the mystery that we
contemplate, be a living and active part of
the mystery. Do not be closed, but with
prayer and renunciation say ‘yes’ to
God
.
The call that Mary continues to address
us from Medjugorje is particularly pressing
this time, but also laden with promises. If
you have already said ‘yes’ to God, renew
your ‘yes,’ entrust it to the Baptist in the
waters of the Jordan, that the heavenly
Father may bless it. If you have forgotten
the ‘yes’ said time ago, be now reconciled
with God
(cf. 2 Co 5:20). If you have yet
to say your ‘yes’, say it now, right now;
you are still in time. May each of us open
his heart to God: with prayer and
renunciation say ‘yes’ to God.
The ‘yes’ that God awaits from us is
the, Behold, be it done unto me according
to Thy word
: the response Mary entrusted
to the Angel (Lk 1:38). It is the Behold, I
come, oh Father, to do Thy will
,
pronounced by Jesus (Heb 10:7-9, Mk
14:36). It is not a matter of repeating
formulas, or of inventing new ones, but of
letting ourselves be reached by God
through prayer and renunciation. And then
of remaining with Him, communicating
with Him, just as Jesus did, as Mary did.
We must renounce the voices that drown
out His Voice, the lights that cloud over
His Light, the loves that destroy true Love,
the riches that dissipate true Wealth, the
hopes that suffocate true Hope.
Renunciation equals fasting.
Prayer is a vessel for God’s salvific
grace. To pray is to breathe in God’s Spirit;
March-April 2006 - Echo of Mary, Queen of Peace, P.O. Box 27, I-31030 Bessica TV, Italy. Yr 22 # 2
Ph/fax 0423-470331 - E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net- A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
186
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it is to plunge oneself in God, to be
shipwrecked in His Love. To pray is to
praise God in all circumstances, in joy and
sorrow, fatigue and rest, health and
sickness, because He is always by our side,
even when we are not aware of it. We are
never alone; Jesus is with us every day…
until the end of the world.
In this time of grace let us say yes to
God, and renew our baptismal promises:
our faith in Christ and our rejection of Satan
and all his works and seducing ways. Let
us seek out the forgiveness of our sins in
the sacrament of confession to be
reconciled with God and with our brethren.
Let us seek in the holy Eucharist the gift of
life in Christ and the strength to offer
ourselves to God for the sake of our
brethren. Do not be closed, but with
prayer and renunciation say ‘yes’ to God
and He will give to you in abundance
.
Yet, His gift has already been given us: it
is there before us, within us even, and
awaits only to be recognized and accepted.
It is Jesus Christ Himself!
Just as the earth opens to the seed in
springtime and yields a hundredfold, so
our heart opens up to God’s Kingdom that
descends as rain on the grass, as showers
falling gently on the land
– so that in the
world, justice will blossom and peace will
abound
(cf. Ps 71:6-7).
Mary is with us and loves us
tenderly: tender like a new bud in
springtime, like the Life in her that
blossoms and is donated to us. It is the
bud of the root of Jesse (Is 11:1) that
awaits to blossom in us.
N.Q.
It was a day in spring
He died a year ago, and it seems like
yesterday. Then, we felt orphaned, but his
presence is so strong that now we almost
don’t miss him. Yet how we feared to lose
him! and how many times did we think
another pope could never replace him, so
used we were to his way of guiding the
Church.
The events contradict us: JOHN PAUL
II continues his mission from his place in
heaven. He is free at last of a body which
had become too cumbersome for his soul
which instead was ready to give himself in
a more radical way for his children. And in
his place we have been given a new Pontiff
of similar stature.
Usually on an anniversary, especially
if it’s the first, many words flow for the
occasion. The following words were
written two days before the death of Pope
Wojtyla. They are still steeped in the
spontaneity of the moment, and express the
commotion of a heart filled with gratitude
as it prepares itself to bid goodbye to its
beloved father.
Rome 1st April 2005
“The world is an altar that sings glory
to God with the beauty of nature, in a
singular and unique melody expressed in
the glimmer of the stars, the voice of
running water, the warmth of a fire,
enflaming the Creator’s passion of joy for
His creation. The earth is an altar; it
nourishes the living beings, and gives light
to the many spring times in the heart of a
man that opens up to the infinite love, that
unique and unrepeatable miracle that lights
up every fraction of time.
Man, God’s beloved and chosen
creature, blossoms as the spring and opens
up to the light and warmth of the sun to
reveal the beauty of the infinite colours and
their multiple nuances enhanced by a soul
in God’s grace, radiating the beauty and the
perfume around him as a corolla of a
flower.
John Paul II, authentic man, completed
by God, donned with a robe woven in the
most precious fabric: the fabric of truth. It
purifies the peoples and sustains them when
they totter. John Paul II, pilgrim of the
world, in a single embrace you build up
God’s people, mending lacerations and
distances in hearts. You offered up your
own heart, completely, and for everyone
without distinction. And in your self-
offering your heart was lacerated even more
and it poured out upon us the love of the
Father.
You are as a precious flower that
blossoms in the holy spring time, sanctified
by the passion and resurrection of Jesus
Christ; you came into full bloom to be
robed in light for our sake, to bring us all
to God, in His infinite glory.
Thank you Holy Father: Friend,
Brother, Father, Mother!”
Tommaso C.
Pope’s First Encyclical
A God who is Only Love
A pope’s first encyclical is said to be
programmatic, a kind of manifesto of the
style that Peter’s successor desires giving to
the Church during his pontificate. And how
could one not see in the title of Pope
Benedict’s document the will to begin from
the foundation of Christianity: God is love
(1Jn 4:16), so that this humanity ever more
divided amid the sea of options proposed by
society might be shown the tracks that lead
to God.
It is only from this statement that one
can begin to comprehend the mystery of a
God who took on flesh and died on a cross
to save his own children. It is only in this
light that one can accept the precepts of a
faith that invites us to continually welcome,
comprehend and have mercy on one and all,
including enemies. Only in the perspective
of the love of God - who is love - can any
order be made of the bazaar of “loves” that
man procures to satisfy the deep yearning
he experiences in his heart.
A problem of language
“Today, the term “love” has become one
of the most frequently used and misused of
words, a word to which we attach quite
different meanings,” begins the Pope, who
then asks a question: “Are all these forms of
love basically one, so that love, in its many
and varied manifestations, is ultimately a
single reality, or are we merely using the same
word to designate totally different
realities?” The Pope’s response is
supported by the definition of
God as love: “The name of God
is sometimes associated with
vengeance or even a duty of
hatred and violence… For this
reason, I wish in my first
Encyclical to speak of the love
which God lavishes upon us and
which we in turn must share with others.”
Which love are we talking about?
Love as charitas, charity, love in its
fullest form, made up of worldly love, eros
(ascending, possessive or covetous love)
together with love grounded in and shaped
by faith: agape (descending, oblative love).
Two elements, typically thought to be
contrasting, yet they can never be completely
separated: “Were this antithesis to be taken
to extremes, the essence of Christianity
would be detached from the vital relations
fundamental to human existence, and would
become a world apart. Yet eros and agape
can never be completely separated. The more
the two, in their different aspects, find a
proper unity in the one reality of love, the
more the true nature of love in general is
realized,” says the Holy Father.
Purification leads to true love
Benedict doesn’t avoid warning us of
the dangers of degraded love to which the
world today has become accustomed, that we
might attain the love which promises infinity
and eternity. “Purification and growth in
maturity are called for; and these
also pass through the path of
renunciation. Far from rejecting
or “poisoning” eros, they heal it
and restore its true grandeur,” he
points out. “Nowadays
Christianity of the past is often
criticized as having been opposed
to the body; and it is quite true
that tendencies of this sort have
always existed. Yet the contemporary way of
exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced
to pure “sex”, has become a commodity, a
mere “thing” to be bought and sold, or rather,
man himself becomes a commodity.” He then
adds: “True, eros tends to rise “in ecstasy”
towards the Divine, to lead us beyond
ourselves; yet for this very reason it calls for
a path of ascent, renunciation, purification and
healing.”
Harmony of love
The challenge of eros is overcome when
both body and soul live in harmony. “Love is
indeed ecstasy, not in the sense of a moment
of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an
ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-
looking self towards its liberation through
self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-
discovery and indeed the discovery of God.”
It is part of love’s growth towards higher
levels and inward purification that it seeks to
become definitive, and fully realize its human
and divine promise. “Man is truly himself
when his body and soul are intimately united;
the challenge of eros can be said to be truly
overcome when this unification is achieved,”
says Papa Ratzinger.
2
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Giving of self out of love
The first part of the Encyclical is
concerned with redefining the meaning of love
so that its true essence may be evident. A
Christian, though, is also challenged to love
his neighbour as himself
. Thus, Christians
have always given utter importance to “works
of charity.” Awareness of this responsibility
has had a constitutive relevance in the Church
from the beginning, and numerous are the
religious institutions founded on assisting the
needy in body and spirit. “It is only through
serving the poor that my eyes are able to see
what God does for me and how He loves me,”
continues Peter’s Successor. However, he also
makes it clear that when charity isn’t rooted
in a personal relationship with God it is a form
of social assistance. Charity work, he explains,
must be more than mere philanthropy.
Mother Teresa and other saints
The saints are a living testimony to this.
“In the example of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta we
have a clear illustration of the fact that time
devoted to God in prayer not only does not
detract from effective and loving service to
our neighbour but is in fact the inexhaustible
source of that service,” emphasizes the Pope
while he specifies that love of God and love
of neighbour cannot be separated, but are a
sole commandment. “Love of neighbour
will no longer be for (us) a commandment
imposed from without, but a consequence
deriving from (our) faith, a faith which
becomes active through love.” Love grows
thanks to love.
Charity always more than only activity
“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver
my body to be burned, but do not have love,
I gain nothing” (1 Co 13) says St. Paul in his
ode to charity, which according to the Pope
has to be, “the Magna Carta of all ecclesial
service; it sums up all the reflections on love
which I have offered throughout this
Encyclical Letter. Practical activity will
always be insufficient, unless it visibly
expresses a love for man, a love nourished
by an encounter with Christ. My deep
personal sharing in the needs and sufferings
of others becomes a sharing of my very self
with them: if my gift is not to prove a source
of humiliation, I must give to others not only
something that is my own, but my very self;
I must be personally present in my gift.”
Serving others correctly leads to
humility
The one who serves does not consider
himself superior to the one served, however
miserable his situation at the moment may
be. “Christ took the lowest place in the world
- the Cross - and by this radical humility he
redeemed us and constantly comes to our aid.
Those who are in a position to help others
will realize that in doing so they themselves
receive help; being able to help others is no
merit or achievement of their own. This duty
is a grace. The more we do for others, the
more we understand and can appropriate the
words of Christ: ‘We are useless servants’ (Lk
17:10). The more we are aware of bringing
God to others as a gift, the more effective will
our love be in changing the world.”
Editor
Pope sings Mary’s praises
Benedict concludes his Encyclical with
praise for Mary, “Mother of the Lord and
mirror of all holiness.” To Mary, who
knitted love into every moment of her life,
who became the mother of Love, are
dedicated the last words of his letter on
love. His words are full of grace and tender
love for the little woman of Nazareth.
“In the Gospel of Luke we find her
engaged in a service of charity to her cousin
Elizabeth… ‘My soul magnifies the Lord’
(Lk 1:46)
. In these words she expresses her
whole programme of life: not setting
herself at the centre, but leaving space for
God
, who is encountered both in prayer and
in service of neighbour - only then does
the world become good.
Mary is great because she wants to
magnify God, not herself. She is lowly: her
only desire is to be the handmaid of the
Lord. She knows that she will only
contribute to the salvation of the world if,
rather than carrying out her own projects,
she places herself completely at the
disposal of God’s initiatives.
Mary is a woman of hope: only
because she believes in God’s promises and
awaits the salvation of Israel, can the angel
visit her and call her to the decisive service
of these promises.
Mary is a woman of
faith: ‘Blessed are you who
believed,’ Elizabeth says to
her. The Magnificat - a
portrait, so to speak, of her
soul - is entirely woven from
threads of Holy Scripture,
threads drawn from the Word
of God. Here we see how
completely at home Mary is
with the Word of God, with
ease she moves in and out of
it. She speaks and thinks with
the Word of God; the Word of
God becomes her word, and
her word issues from the Word
of God. Here we see how her thoughts are
attuned to the thoughts of God, how her
will is one with the will of God. Since Mary
is completely imbued with the Word of
God, she is able to become the Mother of
the Word Incarnate.
Finally, Mary is a woman who loves.
How could it be otherwise? As a believer
who in faith thinks with God’s thoughts and
wills with God’s will, she cannot fail to be
a woman who loves. We sense this in her
quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy
narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the
delicacy with which she recognizes the
need of the spouses at Cana and makes it
known to Jesus. We see it in the humility
with which she recedes into the background
during Jesus’ public life, knowing that the
Son must establish a new family and that
the Mother’s hour will come only with the
Cross, which will be Jesus’ true hour (cf.
Jn 2:4; 13:1)
. When the disciples flee, Mary
will remain beneath the Cross; later, at the
hour of Pentecost, it will be they who gather
around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit
(cf. Acts 1:14).
Mary has truly become the Mother of
all believers. Men and women of every
time and place have recourse to her
motherly kindness and her virginal purity
and grace, in all their needs and aspirations,
their joys and sorrows, their moments of
loneliness and their common endeavours.
They constantly experience the gift of her
goodness and the unfailing love which she
pours out from the depths of her heart. The
testimonials of gratitude, offered to her
from every continent and culture, are a
recognition of that pure love which is not
self-seeking
but simply benevolent. At the
same time, the devotion of the faithful
shows an infallible intuition of how such
love is possible: it becomes so as a result
of the most intimate union with
God, through which the soul is
totally pervaded by him - a
condition which enables those
who have drunk from the fountain
of God’s love to become in their
turn a fountain from which ‘flow
rivers of living water’ (Jn 7:38).
Mary, Virgin and Mother,
shows us what love is and whence
it draws its origin and its
constantly renewed power. To her
we entrust the Church and her
mission in the service of love:
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son - the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely to
God’s call and thus became a wellspring
of the goodness which flows forth from him.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so we too can become capable of true
love and be fountains of living water in
the midst of a thirsting world.
Benedict XVI
WHAT THE POPE THINKS OF...
the potter and of the sculptor
who “fashions” and moulds his
THE EMBRYO
Let’s take a psalm (138), and we’ll
see how in the psalm the human being,
while still an unformed presence in the
womb, is the subject of the Creator’s
loving gaze. He is still an “unformed
substance” in his mother’s womb:
described in that term as a small, oval,
curled-up reality, but on which God has
already turned his benevolent and loving
eyes.
In the psalm there is the symbol of
artistic creation, his masterpiece. “
The idea in our psalm that God
already sees the entire future of that
embryo, still an ‘unformed substance,’
is extremely powerful,” he commented.
“The days which that creature will live
and fill with deeds throughout his earthly
existence are already written in the
Lord’s book of life.” Thus, once again
the transcendent greatness of divine
knowledge emerges, embracing not only
humanity’s past and present but also the
span, still hidden, of the future.
3
Echo 186
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Life, a gift we cannot waste
is close the conscience of mothers
who are often deceived into
believing that their newly
rather to understand what happened and
face it honestly. If you have not already
done so, give yourselves over with humility
and trust to repentance... You will come to
understand that nothing is definitively lost
and you will also be able to ask forgiveness
from your child, who is now living in the
Lord...” (Evangelium Vitae, 99)
John Paul II: “...[In] firmly rejecting
“pro-choice” it is necessary to become
courageously “pro-woman,” promoting a
choice that is truly in favour of women. It
is the woman who pays the highest price,
not only for her motherhood, but even more
for (...) the suppression of the life of the
child who has been conceived. The only
honest stance is that of radical solidarity
with the woman. It is not right to leave her
alone. The experiences of many
counselling centres show that the woman
does not want to suppress the life of the
child she carries within her. If she is
supported in this attitude, and if she is freed
from the intimidation of those around her,
then she is even capable of heroism.”
(Crossing the Threshold of Hope)
Benedict XVI: “In man, whatever his
stage or condition of life, there shines a
reflection of God’s own reality. For this
reason, the Magisterium of the Church has
constantly proclaimed the sacred and
inviolable nature of each human life, from
conception to natural end. This moral
judgement also holds at the beginning of
an embryo’s life, even before it is
implanted in the mother’s womb
.” (27
Feb. 2006)
Suggested reading: “Forbidden Grief” by
Burke and Reardon; “Aborted Women,
Silent No More” by David Reardon (Loyola
Univ. Press); “A Greater Vision” by Joan
Ulicny, “Helping Women Recover from
Abortion” by Nancy Michels (Bethany
House); “Women Who Make the World
Worse, and How Their Radical Feminist
Assault is Ruining our Schools, Families,
Military, and Sports” by Kate O’Beirne.
Web pages: www.afterabortion.org
http://www.hli.org/
http://members.aol.com/infants1/
How many forms of life, and how
much vital energy gushing forth
continuously from the bosom of the Father
to continually generate the earth! It is a
perpetual motion that cannot be halted
because God is the source of life which is
eternally open. We can admire it in the
fleeting life of a flower, or centuries-old
trees that watch, immobile, as generations
come and go. It can be admired in animals,
and we can be surprised and fascinated by
the variety of species, and even more so
by the knowledge that it was entrusted to
man that he might draw life from life.
In these creatures, however, life begins
and after a certain period of time – be it
long or short – life comes to an end. Not
so in man. Life is a free gift, that once
conceived will never end. Our earthly life
comes to an end, when our bodies cease
to function, but our life continues in that
eternal dimension hidden in the mystery
which has been revealed to us through
Jesus Christ and is the foundation of our
faith.
The technical and scientific progress of
today has allowed man to delve ever more
deeply into the secrets of life, but at what
price? and who will pay the price?
If we are honest, we know the answer.
Embryos never born, considered not
suitable to be planted in a uterus that didn’t
generate them, are the objects of frequent
experiments. Their destiny? Manipulation
and the market. Wasted life, such as the
children who are conceived, not wanted and
eliminated, as though they were merely “a
problem.” The number of abortions every
minute all over the world is enormous.
Our world, created that life might abound,
continues to generate death.
The means of killing our little ones
have continued to become more immediate
and even “home-made” such as the much
discussed abortion pill (RU486), designed
- it has been said - to spare women the
trauma of surgical abortion, but no doubt
to shift the responsibility from those who
perform abortions entirely onto the women
of their unwanted babies. In truth, all it does
conceived child is merely a blood clot.
Medical indications describe an “expulsion
of embryonic tissue,” omitting that a life is
being suppressed.
It is one of the many lies behind which
is hidden the father of lies, Satan, known
also as the great accuser. Women will be left
with all the responsibility and inevitable
feelings of guilt. Another great lie is calling
contraception (that which counteracts
conception) what is instead abortion. Yet,
manufacturers publish the facts on the
abortifacient nature of contraceptives, such
as IUD’s and other methods, and including
the contraceptive pill. Official statistics tell
us that the pill does not always impede
ovulation, so that when conception occurs
the hostile environment of the uterus created
by the “contraceptive” impedes nidation /
implantation of a zygote (a human baby at
its youngest stage). This means that the
newly conceived child, deprived of nutrition,
will die soon afterwards.
It is especially from women that a cry
of alarm is being raised, particularly by
women who under various circumstances
have had to get rid of an unwanted
pregnancy. It is a critical moment and the
would be mother is extremely vulnerable.
The devil knows this and exploits the
situation, and oft times the mother becomes
just as much a victim as her child. But in
her heart the burden and the memory remain.
But if she opens the door to God - who is
life and light - He can transform the
sorrowful event into an occasion of
redemption, for herself, her child, and for
others.
S.C.
John Paul II: “I would like to say a
special word to women who have had an
abortion.
The Church is aware of the many
factors which may have influenced your
decision, and she does not doubt that in
many cases it was a painful and even
shattering decision. The wound in your
heart may not yet have healed. Certainly
what happened was and remains terribly
wrong. But do not give in to dis-
couragement and do not lose hope. Try
The Way that leads to Heaven
able to experience Christ Himself suffering
with and in us. Yet, despite this we still resist
with might and rebellion before unexpected
suffering. At times our will is stronger, all the
same Christianity should not be confused with
stoicism or a state of remaining unperturbed
before sorrow and pain.
If on the earth we shall always have to
encounter suffering, we must not forget that
the Lord promises us complete joy and
fullness of life. Does awakening to the call to
participate in the continuous suffering of all
His members mean we are also called to
become witnesses of authentic good news?
How to reconcile all this?
Profound and constant contemplation of
the Lord’s passion is the answer. Through
contemplation of the folly of love that urged
One is the way the Lord trod to redeem
us, one is the way that He indicated as
bringing salvation. There is no other way. A
Christian is one who knows how to recognize
this narrow way, and will say yes to Him in a
world that seeks it but refuses to understand
the meaning of suffering, and is scandalized
at every cross.
“Dear Children, from the cross
come great graces.”
If - out of love of God - we have been
able at times to embrace our little crosses that
life deals out, then we have surely experienced
that these were the most fertile moments in
our spiritual life, moments of renewal in a
journey towards a new light, in which we were
4
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the eternal and infinie God to allow Himself
to be slain for our sake, one is given the
inner strength to handle the contradiction.
This person will feel ever more closely
drawn to the love - insane, uncontrolled and
uncontrollable - of God: Creator, Redeemer
and fount of every good.
Contemplation is more than human
reflection; it is looking and understanding
with the heart; it is perceiving from within;
being united to divine sentiments, and
letting oneself be involved in a living
relationship with the suffering Christ. He
for first travelled down this road of His own
free will. Out of love He asks us to follow
Him. To follow, or to decide for Him
doesn’t mean to attract to self every form
of suffering, but it means to live in
communion with Him everything that
comes our way. All we have to do is unite
everything that we live to Jesus Christ.
Only then shall we discover that Love leads
to sacrifice, and sacrifice to freedom!
The gift of Krizevac
As we reflect on all this we can better
comprehend the fact that here at
Medjugorje Mary gave us the gift of
Krizevac: the highest of the hills
surrounding Medjugorje. Very special
graces are connected with this hill upon
which pilgrims practise the Way of the
Cross.
What a gift to be able to meditate the
Way of the Cross as we climb this steep
and rocky hill, where every single step
behind Jesus is a step closer to Heaven.
The Lord draws us to Himself; He calls
us to the heights. Through following Him
along the way of sacrificial love, of love
totally offered up for the salvation of the
world, we come close to Heaven, in a
place never before known. From here our
view is greatly widened, and with a new
gaze we can look back upon the journey
so far and intuit how much He has always
been close to us. We shall see that it is
because He has loved us so much that He
lead us to such heights. And we shall
finally understand the salvific value of
every suffering offered up and overcome
in union with Christ.
Awaiting us is another cross, but it will
not upset or intimidate us. We shall
recognize in the cross the door that leads
to the new dimensions of man transfigured
by love; we shall recognize the cross as a
sign of extreme love, a fount of life and
resurrection, the cross atop of the holy
mountain to be a blessing and protection
for the whole world, and for the redeemed
people a sign of belonging to God. United
to this cross we can truly be a living
blessing for all that we touch and feel.
What a grace to be a part of this cross!
We do not want even the smallest of our
daily crosses to be taken from us, for the
cross alone fulfils and seals our true and
intimate union with God. F. Cavagna
JELENA INTERVIEWED
Our Lady told us the truth
Jelena, you have
been absent from
the pages of Echo
fo r s o m e t i m e .
W h a t h a s b e e n
h a p p e n i n g i n
your life lately?
W h o i s Je l e n a
today?
We’re expecting our third child, but the
pregnancy hasn’t been going according to
previsions, and I’ve been confined to total
rest. But I’ve seen how this condition of
immobility regards my body only, while
my spirit has been able to broaden out
continually. So this has been a time of grace
for me, because love has two sides to it.
There is the joy and the enthusiasm of
giving, even though this is accompanied by
the cross, but it is when the cross is
accepted, that our joy is even deeper. Then,
everything is okay. It seems as though life
should be always downhill to be true – or
that’s how we imagine it. However, I am
coming to understand ever more how
suffering is our true life. So I can say that
right now I am living this “true life.”
You mean the cross should be a kind of
permanent fixture?
The cross is inevitable, but when it is
accepted as an element of love, then it takes
on so much more meaning and becomes
more bearable, I would say even inexistent
- or at least the negative charge we feel is
greatly lessened.
My suffering of now is not marked by
great pain; it’s rather an experience of being
unable to “produce” according to the
mentality of modern day society, for which
“being” equals nothing. No one asks who
you are… you asked me who I am!
Maternity, rather than doing, is being,
and at present I am living this state of
being. Mary gives us her example. Her
life was a life of prayer, spent listening
to the Word, at disposal of the Word
whom she bore in her womb. Though she
cooperated with Him, it was the Son’s
work. Suffering places us in this true
vision of life, where we depend entirely
on the Lord, where it is He who works,
and has everything under control
So what is the correct attitude to assume
when we suffer?
There are three possible approaches.
The first is when a person feels he is
crushed by suffering and seeks to resist and
fight back. In this case, the person becomes
aggressive, even unbearable, for those
around him because he wants at all costs
to control his own life. The second option
is to feel so crushed as to become passive.
The person refuses to cooperate and
becomes depressed.
The third option is what I would call a
type of “dance” where it is necessary for
the person to collaborate. In this dance you
feel yourself being carried up by God’s
energy: the source of this energy is not
yours, as it is God who leads. You, however,
are not passive, not a puppet being pulled
around by God. An interaction takes place.
I think suffering must be lived thus, as a
dance together with the Holy Spirit. He
inspires you, shows you the steps, and you
– through following Him – express an act
of will. This way, suffering need not be
lived as something destructive, or as a
defeat. It is important that we neither resign
ourselves nor want to impose our will on
our lives, otherwise we would find
ourselves fighting against God.
Mary often refers to suffering as
something to be lived as an offering to
God. Man, though, is afraid of
suffering. In a world that teaches us to
avoid and even anaesthetize it, the
words of Mary come to counteract this
idea, they come as a medicine. What
would you say?
I recently read a book by Benedict
XVI called Maria, Chiesa Nascente. A lot
of its expressions are still impressed in my
mind, and I want to use them to say what
I’m thinking. You know, without Mary the
Church would be nothing more than an
organization of persons, and peoples, who
try to make a project work. Mary, instead,
helps us to understand who the Church
really is. She is the Church-bride, the
Church who listens, the Church who in a
certain way subjects herself – even though
this word is not very popular today. In
short, the Church is aware of being
betrothed to Christ, not an autonomous
Church that’s “in business.” That is why
Mary at Medjugorje asks us above all to
learn from the Bridegroom, to let
ourselves be led by Him, as she did.
In this perspective Mary becomes the
central figure in the life of the Church.
Yes, and without Mary our spirituality
would risk being mere activism. Only she
can teach us to pray. These days prayer is
in a crisis, as is listening with the heart to
God. So it is right that she should come to
teach us again. Without Mary we cannot
be what we ought to be! So rather than
“doing” prayer, perhaps we should learn
something from Mary’s way of being. She
is a sign of what each of us should be
before God. I think it is a great injustice
to be deprived of Mary. We need her.
Many people say they can’t pray
because they lack the time. However,
you say that Mary asks us to be
“contemplatives” in the world. How can
we do this?
I want to refer to the Pope’s book
again, when he speaks of the dimension
of motherhood without which the world
could not survive. The problem is that the
role of motherhood is almost completely
Your Cross, by St Francis de Sales
The everlasting God has in His wisdom
foreseen from eternity the cross that
He now presents to you as a gift from
His inmost heart.
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background image
disfigured in today’s world, because all of
the tasks that were once a mother’s have
been removed from her in one way or
another, due to a distorted vision of society
that makes one believe that if the woman
cannot “produce” she has no worth, and
does not consider that certain aspects of
femininity are fundamental for the
collective growth. In his book the Holy
Father says that there are some things that
need only grow, and someone must watch
over that growth.
So the role of the woman in the Church
is fundamental in her capacity to make
things grow, besides generating them.
I don’t think women need to take on
men’s roles. Perhaps men need to learn who
the woman really is, because before God
each soul is almost feminine. I don’t mean
to get philosophical, but I do see that before
God the soul is receptive, disposed, and
welcoming. Women, then, don’t have to
withdraw or feel useless in society. They
only need to profoundly be themselves to
be able to save the world.
It’s what Pope Benedict says in his
book: if everything was just activism, those
things that only need to grow - for example
a child in the womb, or a flower - could
not exist because they would be suffocated
by activism. Without motherhood, without
Mary, there would be no prayer. Without
prayer one loses time. That is why
motherhood is not attractive for many,
because they consider time spent talking
with your child is time lost.
So the Church needs people willing to
“lose time”?
Someone in a hurry cannot have a
fertile spiritual life. If a mother’s
relationship with her children is rushed she
cannot live her motherhood properly.
Children need their parent’s union more
than they need bread. Today we worry
about houses and things – not that this isn’t
good – but the interior life is practically
ignored.
Our world reminds me of a silent film:
there are events that we see, but we can’t
see the real meaning of things because we
don’t listen to God’s voice in us. We live
life badly because we don’t realize that
human relations – which mirror our
relationship with God – are the most
important thing on this earth.
Why do you think relationships clash?
I think because we cultivate our own
projects, which at times can be obsessions;
and because we’re obsessed with reaching
a certain point without ever listening to
the Holy Spirit, or to others. We really
need to be in harmony with God and with
those around us. We can’t have everything
the way we want them.
I would say that it would be better to
prefer the other to self. I know it’s very
hard, but when we treat others this way,
they too begin to treat us in the same way.
So it’s for our own good, really. We
concern ourselves with our own things,
without considering that only good can
conquer the heart of another. The more we
are allied, the more this good grows also
within us.
Mary has prepared us over these years,
and she desires that her children today
be ready. Habit can weaken one’s initial
zeal. What would you say to those
who’ve responded to her call”?
I would say that prayer must dilate the
heart; and that often the heart is instead
closed. Love is missing. The wine is
missing, like at Cana. Gradually, one tires
along the journey. We have to trust Our
Lady; believe that she told us the truth;
and we shouldn’t doubt, or lose our faith.
I see that often people feel isolated, as if
deciding for God meant withdrawal.
Instead, when you decide for God you
enter into the heart of the world. The world
desires God, but it’s like an immature child
that can’t hear the voice of its parent.
You’ve been in Rome for many years
now. How do you relate with
Medjugorje today?
For me Medjugorje is not a place, but
a state of being. Before I spoke of a silent
film, whereas I think of Medju as a film
with a very deep sound, and where there
is great awareness of life and life’s
destination. Here, instead, there’s no
conscience; we don’t know where we’re
going. We’re going, but without knowing
where. Medjugorje is this awareness of
God in us, where it is normal for everyone
to think that God is with us, despite all
the limits that exist. I’ve noticed that at
Medju love remains always, even if people
weren’t to speak well of each other, behind
there is still this love which is committing.
Here instead it seems that there is a total
non-commitment, in everything!
What is your mission?
It’s not a profession, that’s for sure.
Not even an activity which I don’t think
I’ll ever take up. Probably, I think I’ll
especially live the Incarnation in every
aspect of my life and be in a certain sense
a bridge. I wouldn’t like this to sound too
vain, but lately I’ve been thinking that all
of us should be like Mary, in that she is a
mirror of God’s work, so that the world
might believe in this Presence. In short,
I’d like to realize the Christian life: that
is, lead an ordinary life that is also
extraordinary. In other words, make those
choices that the world by now finds
profoundly disturbing.
Do you have a word for the Church of
today?
I strongly feel the universality of the
Church. I think that we have a very big
family, and that we can’t close ourselves
up in our own little family. I am a mother
of children, but I see how they share my
same destiny, which is to be a part of this
big family. So the word you ask for is:
love!
(interviewed by S.C.)
Fr. Divo Barsotti
returns to the Father
Years ago Fr. Barsotti had
agreed to grant me an
interview for the Echo of Mary, but due to
his illness I put it off. While I regret doing
that, I am consoled knowing he is even
closer now that he is freed of his body and
can communicate via the Spirit. “It is rather
relative that the wall of the body should
impede us from being together. Our union
with God (Father) is not in the experience
of our senses, but in Christ who united us
to Himself and wanted us to be one Body
with Him,” he had written before falling
sick.
Fr. Divo Barsotti departed for heaven
on 15 February in his house Casa San
Sergio
, the little hermitage in the hills of
Florence and home for his Community of
the Children of God which he founded in
1948. “He was a priest, mystic, writer,
theologian, preacher, counsellor and
spiritual father, and founder of a
Community that now counts more than
2,000 members and is present in various
parts of the world. Despite this, there was
only one thing that he wanted: to seek
God
,” said Card. Antonelli at the funeral.
“He would often say that death doesn’t
exist, and if it does it is only as a medicine
that once and for all opens us up into God’s
infinite love. The older he got the more he
felt he was living. The peace and joy that
he radiated with increasing intensity
testified most splendidly that for him death
was the fulfilment of life.”
The deepest memory lies with his
Children who accompanied him over the
years, and in their collection of teachings
and writings (more than 500 books
published), memories and especially his
fatherly love that was never lacking. “Have
trust. Death does not frighten me
… I am
leaving you only apparently. Really, I am
with you more than before,” he said in the
last message which he dictated a few
months before he died to his successor Fr.
Serafino Tognetti. “I will not abandon
anyone,” he continued. “I exhort you to be
united; do not doubt, do not be dispersed,
do not be discouraged…”
Touching words that each of us can
make his own, for they bear within them
the concern of the shepherd who knows
how to protect his fold and guarantee green
pastures
for his sheep. They are words that
bear the mark of a man who “knows the
way home” and who for all his life sought
complete union with God: “I live in
constant anxiety, an ever growing yearning
to reach Him.”
We entrust him to Our Lady to whom
the 20 year-old Divo professed his act of
offering: “I desire for my entire life to be
an act of love for you, my sweet Queen,
and as proof of my love for you, beginning
from this instant I offer myself entirely to
you, together with all my belongings, and
I offer myself to God as a victim of
holocaust
, with supplications that He
might consume me ever more in His love.”
Editor
6
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Why Are You Afraid?
not up to us to judge. In a way
the responsibility is ours because
when fear begins to get a hold on
us it means that there is
Perhaps Christ would say this to us
today. In the Gospel, at the time when He
was walking in the midst of men, He often
said: Do not be afraid! (Mt 28:10);
Courage, it is I, do not be afraid! (Mk
6:50); There is no need to be afraid, little
flock
(Lk 12:32); Do not be afraid, only
have faith!
(Mk 5:36).
He was the long-awaited Messiah; the
people got to know him and his new
teaching gradually. But we, Christians of
today, have known him for centuries. We
have countless experiences that witness to
this truth: if Jesus is with us there is
nothing to be afraid of!
So why do we
allow fear - under its various forms – to
shamelessly invade our inner spaces? Why
do we harbour fear that tangles and binds
us, removing our peace? Above all, why
do we allow others to subjugate us by
manipulating our fear? If man was created
to be free, we must know that fear is one
of the shrewdest robbers!
Why and where fear is born, I know
not. There is no doubt an abundance of
texts on the subject. Many are the causes
and factors for which a fear, when
generated, remains hidden within us. It
would be interesting to know more.
However, here we are concerned with the
inner mechanisms that impede the soul
from growing in wisdom and grace (cf.
Lk 2:40) according to the leading of the
Holy Spirit.
It is not rare that some like to hold
others in their power, and to exercise that
power they touch on our vulnerable spots
through awakening our fears. If they are
successful, it means that our fears are
rooted there where we are most exposed.
Whose is the fault? Certainly, those
who exploit our fragility do wrong, but it’s
structures, and arid institutionalism that we
cling to when we are fearful.
What is the first step? Begin by
stripping ourselves of our interests: of the
will to keep something for ourselves at all
costs, or of wanting to self-manage our
lives, possessions, and personal relations.
If we truly trusted God we would let Him
govern everything. If something is meant
to be for our good, He will defend it.
Instead, if we do not need it anymore, He
will remove it, but only to give us
something better. And we will see that our
fears have no reason to exist, and they will
vanish like smoke which is all they are.
Surrendered to God we shall no
longer need to fight to keep our goods,
but shall be serene and free. Then, we shall
begin to be our true selves, without the
mask of harshness of one who has to
protect his treasure, or of the victim who
feels he has suffered injustice. It is
preferable to put up with injustice that
comes from without while being free on
the inside, than to be free externally whilst
being imprisoned by terror on the inside.
Poverty of spirit is thus the true
antidote to fear. Poverty of spirit is that
healthy detachment that enables us to see
the fleetingness of life, helping us to fix
our gaze on the eternity of God who awaits
us. Vast horizons will be opened before
us in which we will perceive enticing
novelties, those which could not blossom
because their place had been occupied by
old things we didn’t want to renounce.
Why are you afraid, Christians of
the third millennium? You have the keys
to science, the secrets of technology,
millennia of history behind you, yet your
life is enveloped by fear! When we unite
ourselves to Jesus, who came to free us,
our existence is transformed into a
“monstrance of hope” - as Fr. Tonino Bello
would say. Others will not delay to notice,
and they will want to know more.
Stefania Consoli
This is a Time of Grace!
by Giuseppe Ferraro
From the unfathomable depth of the
mystery of the Incarnation, the fullness of
God’s life entered into time. From that moment
on a process of recapitulation of the entire
creation began within the history of the world
in the glorified flesh of the Risen One. This
will culminate in the “handing over of the
kingdom of God the Father (after) having done
away with every sovereignty, authority and
power” (1Cor 15:24).
Thus, the work of salvation will
necessarily have to be fulfilled within the
time that belongs to the history of mankind.
Time is, in fact, a dimension essential to the
expression of the salvific action of grace.
Even in the antique book of Qoheleth
(Ecclesiastes) we read: “All things have their
season…” (Qo 3:1) and we know that when
“the appointed time came God sent his Son,
born of a woman… to enable us to be
adopted as sons” (Gal 4:4).
In her messages the Queen of Peace
insistently refers to the special tonality of
this time, marked in an extraordinary way by
the grace of Her presence in the world. “This
time is a time of grace and I desire for you
that the grace be great”
(message 25 June
1989), “God grants me this time as a gift for
you”
(25 Aug. 1997).
This time is in fact charged with special
graces; a time in which God entrusts Mary
with a mission that will determine the future
of humanity, for which she is calling her
children to take a new and decisive step: “I
desire that you all be active too in this time,
which through me is bound to Heaven in a
special way,”
(Mess. 25.05.1996). A great
epoch-making passover that already shines
with the light of the new heavens and new
earth, appears on the splendid horizon of
Christ’s fulfilled regality in hearts and all
creation: “For he must be king… so that God
may be all in all” (1Cor 15:25-28): “Dear
Children, God grants me this time as a gift to
you, so that I might instruct you and lead you
on the path of salvation”
(Mess. 25.08.1997).
“Increase your prayers because you
particularly need to in these last times”
(1.08.1990).
But what is this absolutely
extraordinary grace that God is offering
his children in this time?
It is the possibility
of joining Mary to become vessels of God’s
life and love for the entire universe! It is given
to those who lovingly respond to the call of
the Mother. It is for this that God the Creator,
through Mary, is calling ranks of children to
allow themselves to be interiorly transformed
by the action of the Holy Spirit, till their life
and hearts are completely fused into Mary’s
Immaculate Heart, so that through Mary they
can be united to the burning Heart of the Lamb
who was slain. For He alone, through His
regal offering, is able to definitely break the
seals of death that still shut off multitudes of
souls from the gift of divine life, and to ransom
“for God.. with his blood… men of every race,
language, people and nation” (Rev 5:9), that
“everything is subjected to him… so that God
may be all in all” (1 Co 15:28): “This is a
special time; for this I am with you, to bring
you closer to my Heart and to the Heart of
my Son Jesus. My dear Children, I desire that
you be children of the light and not of the
darkness. Therefore, live what I tell you.”
The fulfilment of all this, by divine
disposition, passes through the “triumph of
Mary’s Immaculate Heart”
(announced at
Fatima) and the establishment of her regality
over the universe: “Dear Children, help my
something in us we fear to lose.
This is the point! The coffer where
we keep our interests and property tightly
locked up is threatened. No matter how
legitimate it is to have these, we are faced
with the fear of losing: work, house, wife,
rights, reasons and health, without
mentioning our very life. These are all
holy things, but what do we do with the
assuring words of Our Lord? Do we really
believe or do we leave them on the pews
of our Sunday Mass?
We must realize that at the beginning
of this century there lurks in the air a
subtle and sordid desire for the control
of all humanity
by forces more or less
manifest, that nurtures a climate of
instability and fear. The news medias seem
more like scaremongers. No one tells us:
Do not be afraid! Rather, out of love for
sensationalism they tend to foster in us
insecurity, discouragement and mistrust in
a world where “anything could happen to
us,” resulting in us continually “looking
back over our shoulders” as we try to get
on with our lives.
“Man, who has snatched your
hope?” I heard this at a recent seminar,
and it seems appropriate, except that we
should replace “man” with “Christian,”
meaning those who have adhered to the
Gospel of hope (cf. 1Pt 3:15), and have
believed.
We will not resolve anything if we wait
for this system, which has contaminated the
globe, to change, for if this is its criteria it
can only get worse. We can, however, begin
to work on ourselves, by offering ourselves
up into the hands of the Lord so He can
turn us into yeast (cf. Mt 13:33 ) that is
able to make the mass grow so much that it
breaks through the rigid walls of the
container: that is, the conventions,
7
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Ph/fax: Italy +39 (0)423-470331
Immaculate Heart that it may triumph in a
sinful world”
(25 Sept. 1991). In this special
time (“this time is my time”, mess. 25 Jan.
1997) Mary calls her “dear children” that
have been chosen from eternity to become
“citizens with all the saints, and part of God’s
household… a house where God lives, in the
Spirit” (Eph 2:19) to the fundamental
priestly, prophetic and regal service of
accompanying the entire creation to the same
paschal passover that the Son fulfilled once
and for all in the “hour” which was written
in the heart of the Father and must now
involve the entire universe: “Dear Children,
I want you to understand that God has
chosen each of you in His plan of salvation
for mankind. You cannot understand how
great your person is in the plan of God”
(Message 25 Jan. 1987).
It is only in considering this ineffable
dawning of grace that we can understand
the true meaning of that part of the message
of the Queen of Peace - of more intense
apocalyptic tones - where she announces
the secrets, in reference to events which
will be decisive for the future of the world,
and the great visible sign that will remain
in Medjugorje after the apparitions have
finished: “This time before the visible sign,
is a time of grace for believers. Therefore,
convert and deepen your faith! When there
is the visible sign it will be already too late
for many”
(23 Dec. 1982); “Here there are
secrets, my Children! It is not known what
they are, but when it will be known it will
be late! Return to prayer! Nothing is more
important than (prayer). I would like the
Lord to allow me to clarify at least in part
the secrets; but, the graces that He offers
you are already too many.”
(Message to
Mirjana 28.01.1987).
The extraordinary grace of the Mother
of God’s presence thus is part of a greater
plan of salvation
destined to involve all souls,
and since it is mysteriously connected with
it, the entire creation which is “groaning in
travail until now” (Rom 8:22). It will be, in
fact, through the free response of love by those
children that She is calling in this time, that
the fire of Trinitarian Love will reach all the
spiritual places in the universe and consume
every shadow of death and sin. Then from the
same dark night of suffering, pain and death,
will bud the paschal light of the new heavens
and new earth that radiates irresistibly from
the glory of the Risen One.
Happy are those who will have fully
accepted the nuptial gift of the call that the
Father addresses to His children in time of
grace!
These will be spared the bitterness of
the time of purification, the “way of the cross”
the world must ascend, a passover necessary
to the universe that it might be fully
transfigured by the pure Love of the Most
High. These then will be called to shine with
the same uncreated light of the Mother of God,
to become - with Her and as Her - guide and
sign of sure hope and salvation for the
multitude of brethren still immersed in the
darkness. The names of these are written in
the Heart of the Father since eternity, and
without tiring He waits to embrace them in
the New Creation and unite them eternally to
the glorious chant of the redeemed: “We give
thanks to thee, Lord God Almighty, who art
and who wast, that thou has taken thy great
power and begun to reign” (Rev 11:17).
Humble at Heart
“Learn from me, because I am meek and
humble of heart: and you shall find rest for
your souls”
(Mt 11,29).
With His birth in a stable, with His
earthly life and His death on a cross, Jesus
made it clear for all that He is Humble of
heart.
Jesus is the Humble of heart that dons
man’s clothing, and we can see Him - if
we look carefully - in the people we
encounter every day: in the needy, lonely
people, in any person, rich or poor.
Jesus is the Humble of heart who
continually gives, He especially gives
Himself to us, He makes Himself little for
us, so that we can call Him brother and
friend. He doesn’t give to crush or mortify
us, or to exert His supremacy over us, but
to elevate us and draw us to Himself, to
create communion.
We cannot live a life fit for heaven if
we are not humble, in the imitation of Jesus
Christ. May Jesus, Humble of heart,
therefore make us humble and help us see
that when we seek to impress and to be
praised, we are impoverished because we
don’t give to God what is His.
May Jesus who said: “Learn from me
because I am meek and humble of heart,”
make us see how we are foolish when we
seek our own glory rather than God’s. May
He make us see how a proud person does
not build up anything, but destroys
everything, including himself. May He help
us discover that not so much what we say
or do has worth, but what we are. May He
make us ever more similar to Him, the
Humble One; and may He help us discover
the treasure for which it is worthwhile
sacrificing everything.
Pietro Squassabia
* Request for Rosary beads, etc.
1) Fr. Vittorio Grigoletto, Murungaru Catholic
Parish, P.O. Box 410, 20117 Naivasha,
Kenya, Africa. “I receive continuous requests
for Rosary beads for my Christians and
catechumens. On their behalf I humbly appeal
for rosary beads of any type, even used,
crucifixes, and images of Our Lady. I invoke
upon you and those who shall help us the
blessing of the Virgin Mary, our Mother.”
2) Mrs H. J. Lambert, Divine Mercy Prayer
House, 68 / 59A-5-5, P&T Colony,
Vijayawada 8, A.P, India
3) Mission Catholique, Parroisse Christ Roi,
Curè Mr. Mathieu Messangbo, BP 357,
Lokossa-Mono, Rep. Benin, Africa
Our Readers Write...
Fr. Stefano Maria, Bologna Italy: Praised
be Jesus Christ! I am an Olivetan Benedictine
monk. I’d like to witness that the reading of
your holy spiritual journal had more than a
minor role in my response to the vocation.
God bless all your efforts and dedication!
Fr. Felipe Quineche, Peru: Warm greetings
in the Name of Christ Jesus and Mary our
mother. With immense joy I communicate
that I was ordained a priest for the Diocese on
25 July 2005. I have been receiving the
Echo for many years, and it has been a
blessing for my life and the life of many
others. As a priest I continue the precious
work of spreading this paper. I am now
working in a mission in the diocese
of Callao, a missionary zone of extreme
poverty where there is an abundant
proliferation of sects, and where the church
has just begun its work. I believe this
magazine will be of great help to these people
who are so much in need. My blessings!
Sr. M.Gregory Rosa, Zanzibar, Tanzania:
I am very grateful for the magazine I have
been receiving all these years. I have since
made my first trip to Medjugorje and I was
very much impressed and touched by the
attendance of so many thousands and their
religious spirit. I myself never prayed as much
as I did during that pilgrimage. It is my prayer
that all may have the opportunity to make
this pilgrimage at least once in their life time.
God is so good to have allowed our Mother
to visit us all these years! May People
everywhere respond to her invitation to pray,
reconcile and fast!
ECHO is on line at: www.ecodimaria.net
e-mail: info@ecodimaria.net
*
Our Prayers for you! - On the first
Saturday of each month we offer up to
God prayers for readers’ intentions. Once
a month Fr. Alberto also celebrates a Holy
Mass for the same intentions.
May the Lord bless you, and Our Lady keep
you! And may Fr. Angelo on this his 6th
anniversary, intercede for you!
3 March 2006
2006: 5th Centenary of the birth of great
missionary priest, St. Francis Xavier.
May he intercede for us!
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