It doesn’t matter if you are ready for this, ready to believe this, or not. But, as a reporter, well into my 70th year of life (nearly seven decades on this earth!) here is what I have discovered along the way. This is not merely through reading and study and lessons at church, but through actually living my life, through prayer, contemplation, reflection and meditation as well:
God’s desire for us is quite simple: God wants to save the entire world!
This means that God wants to save EVERY ONE of His children, and that means that God wants to save you and me, to save us for Eternity.
Now this is in a world that is not peopled by robots who automatically know and do God’s will.
No, in fact one of God’s greatest gifts to us is that we, as human beings, have been given the gift of free will. We are free to choose, to decide for ourselves what we believe and how we will live our lives.
This freedom is a gift from God, yet it carries with it major responsibilities. If we abuse this freedom by imposing our will on others, through force and violence, through treachery and deceit, we move away from God’s intent for us, away from God’s desire.
Yet He trusts us enough to make the right decisions that He gives us free will! And He doesn’t abandon us solely to our own devices and desires. God, the Good Parent, also offers us Heavenly guidance, assistance through the Holy Scriptures and through the example of His son, Jesus.
This Jesus of the Resurrection still lives, of course; and He lives in our world today in the presence of the Holy Spirit, the other great gift that God has given us, a Holy Spirit that offers us sustenance and support and encouragement when we are trampled down by life, a Holy Spirit that asks us to open our hearts and our Souls so that we can be nourished and fed and made whole by God’s great Love, despite our many sins.
Love and be Loved
When we love, we also reflect God’s love for us, and we move away from sin and right into God’s loving embrace.
I am not writing this to make you believe, only you can do that. I am writing this so that you may understand more of why I believe, even in this climate in which too many have declared that God is dead, or that He doesn’t even exist.
Teach and be Taught
If I were teaching a class right now, this is where I would ask for a show of hands!
How many of you have heard of Fatima, or of Lourdes? Yes, many of you know of Lourdes as a place of miraculous cures, a place where the ill and infirm have gone for decades to bathe in its pools and its waters and to pray for help with their troubles. It is a place in France where many cures have actually been documented.
Fatima, in Portugal, is also a place where, to this day, they reverently celebrate miracles that took place a century ago.
More to the Story
Now when you do a deep dive into these mysterious events at Fatima and at Lourdes you discover that the central figure in both of them is Mary, the mother of Jesus. You see, Mary lives on. In fact, she is with us today. She lives on as a Spiritual presence in Heaven where she has a permanent home.
Mary, who was conceived without sin, became the channel for God’s greatest gift to us: His son, the child Jesus, who became, through the way He lived, the Christ, the man who declared:
“I have come to serve, not to be served, and to offer myself as a ransom for many.”
And what does Mary, the mother of Jesus, want from us, why did she make appearances at Fatima and at Lourdes and at 140 Rue Du Bac in Paris, home of the Daughters of Charity?
She did so to guide us to her son, Jesus, to point the way to the key to our salvation as human souls here on earth, Jesus Christ.
You see, when we exercise our free will that God has given us, to open ourselves to and to be guided by His son, Jesus, to be in communion with Him, to open ourselves to Love and to service over self, we truly begin to live our lives as envisioned by our Creator. This pathway leads to great joy, to soul-stirring accomplishments, to making what might seem the impossible into reality, a reality that has one purpose: to bring the world into a full understanding of why we are here, and to guide us to our authentic selves, to our true lives, to lives of loving, and of giving and of responding to God’s will, joyfully, and with hope.
Mary, who, by the way, is still with us, and who is still praying for us before God, asks of us simply that we pray to God until prayer becomes joy for us, to open ourselves and to pray to God, until prayer becomes LIFE for us!
Many of us already were taught the prayer that Jesus taught us: the Our Father. This is a wonderful starting place for those who are concerned they don’t know how to pray.
In the words of Jesus, here is what we should pray:
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever and ever, Amen!”
Mary asks that when we pray, we pray from the heart, not merely repeating the words, but reaching out with our hearts to embrace the Holy Spirit that is near us and ever present.
When we do this in sincerity and in faith and in trust, we bring God deeper into our lives.
One of my favorite sayings about Mary is this one:
“Mary not only obeyed God, Mary trusted God.”
You see, God is trustworthy. God does not lie. God does not con. God does not hate. God does not create ruin. Instead, God loves, God IS love.
And when we bring His love into our world, both we and our world are the better for it.