God is With Us. Setting the Stage for Made2Worship... and now RockToledo and IGNITE!
My personal circumstances of going to Medjugorje coincided with a good amount of trouble, heart breaking things going on with siblings and friends, exacerbated by my front-row view of a spiritually searching world as communications director of an international organization.
All I had head-learned in my Catholic faith was becoming real, particularly that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12). Yet, in the midst of this bleakness my soul was becoming attuned to an inexplicable, deepening love for Mary, perhaps even more, her love for me. She was simply there. And I was blessed by a number of spiritually astute friends who were opening my eyes to understand her God-given role to combat the devil (Gen. 3:15), particularly in these days, particularly through encounter with Her Son.
Looking up one evening at Mont Krizevac, or "Cross Mountain," I observed with all present the mysterious, bright light that consumed the cross. I observed and gazed upon the "dancing sun," that should have left me blind. The burdens that seemed so heavy only days earlier all seemed to dissipate. One evening, gazing out from the top of that mountain, I was acutely aware of an all-consuming peace that blanketed the place. I couldn't help but think: "The Mother of God is appearing here, inviting us to pray from the heart, to know her Son... and I'm worried about what?"
Whether one believes Mary is appearing there or not is of little interest to me. There's nothing she's saying that has not already been emphasized by our Church. She's calling us to pray from the heart, to believe and know God is with us, to turn from our sins and prepare our hearts for Him.
There's so much more to share, but nothing that wouldn't require a lot more ink. The bottom line is that we are living in spiritually perilous times. Satan is competing for our souls, causing us to be distracted, if not lost, by so many lesser things. But more importantly, the gates of heaven are open and God's grace is being poured out. God is calling us to Himself. He wants so much more than our empty actions. He wants our hearts. He wants to awaken us to His indwelling Spirit. And He gives us His Mother to help lead us there.
Made2Worship (the first Wednesday of every month) [Revised edition: Adding to M2S is now IGNITE in the diocese of Toledo). Come experience the storehouse of grace flowing from heaven. So much more than empty words and professions, He is really here, and He's waiting for you.
*On the Church and Medjugorje: Many books and programs have showcased the miracles taking place at Medjugorje. Scholar Dr. Mark Miravalle's well articulated summary concludes: "Is Medjugorje real? According to the Church's own criteria, the spiritual fruits superabundant throughout the world, and the saintly witnesses and discernments of Pope John Paul II and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, I believe the only proper theological response is 'yes.'"