|Notre Dame de Medjugorje from|
I know the official Church word is still out on the appearance of the Blessed Virgin at Medjugorje, in part because the Church typically doesn't rule on apparitions until they have ended, but the message coming from the Mother of God is one that we should be able to follow in good conscience whether we believe in the apparition or not; whether we believe in the intercessory power of Mary or not.
She has been appearing there since 1981, and she consistently tells us:
It's difficult not to get depressed or worried by the slaughter of Christians, the sexualization of children, the objectification of women, the attacks on Church teachings by our own government and other alleged Catholics in power, and the general descent of our culture into hedonistic, anti-Christian paganism.
We have been warned, time and time again, about what's happening in our society and what's to come, and we've ignored those warnings, justified our wrong-doings, and relieved ourselves of the responsibility of speaking the truth.
The answer to all of it? Keep on praying. Trust in Jesus.
In the message from the August 2, 2014 appearance, Mary said, "To follow me means to love my Son above everything, to love Him in every person without making differences. I call you anew to renunciation, prayer and fasting. I am calling you for the Eucharist to be the life of your soul. I am calling you to be my apostles of light who will spread love and mercy through the world."
I have a particular aversion to fasting because, quite simply, I'm undisciplined. I want what I want when I want it, and that attitude has played a big part in our descent from principled children of God to little piggies rolling around in the mud.
Jesus had mercy on us even though we didn't deserve it. He died for our sins whether we loved Him or not, whether we had abortions or murdered someone or treated another with detestable smugness or racism. He died for us whether we beat our spouses and children or drank away our lives or treated our bodies like trash, having sex with any available partner under the guise of a "good time."
If He can do that for us, can't we hold our tongue when someone insults us? Be kind to that stranger who smells funny? Skip that third latte and give the money to the poor?
He's not asking much, but the reward will be great. Mary also said,"When you come before my Son, in your hearts he will see how much love you had."
Not how many toys. Not how successful a career. Not how many witty comments you made in His name.
How much love you had.
What can you do to increase that love today? Here's a good place to start: