|The beautiful statue of Our Lady at St. Jame's Church|
Our Lady is asking us, her children, to dedicate a total of three hours of prayer each day. Prayer is one of the main core messages Our Lady has given us in Medjugorje. Our Lady's "little stone" of Praying the Rosary Everyday With The Heart is the main aspect of her prayer request. Prayer could also include devotional prayers such as the Peace Chaplet (Creed, 7 Our Fathers, Hail Mary's, and Glory Be's), prayers to individual saints, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Litany of the Saints and novenas.
Part of today's post draws from a talk given by one of the Medjugorje visionaries, Ivan Dragicevic, Our Lady Wants to Lead Us From This Darkness Into the Light. In that talk, Ivan spoke specifically about prayer. There were many key points made about prayer including a general guideline:
Also Our Lady’s wish is that we pray everyday for three hours, not three hours at once, or not just three hours of the rosary; we are talking about, Holy Mass, reading of the Holy Scriptures, also, praying the rosary, family prayer, adoration, to do good deeds, to help each other, this is what Our Lady is asking from us.Our Lady has put her prayer request into perspective when she stated that it does not even constitute one sixth of our day. Yet for some, such a request becomes an immediate struggle in trying to determine how to add three hours of prayer into an already very busy schedule. If you are one such individual, today's post will help you deal with that concern.
Prayer is an aspect of our daily lives that we must accept with great responsibility, if we truly desire to live Our Lady's messages. As Ivan states in the aforementioned talk, "...We have to accept with great responsibility these things in which Mother is inviting us, we have to be responsible to be able to accept the word of Jesus and the word of Our Lady." If you are somewhat new to prayer, this will take time and effort. It can not be approached in an irresponsible manner, as a quick "add on" to a busy schedule, hoping to swiftly recite the prayers and be finished with it. To do so fails to properly enter the spirit of prayer and does not comply with Our Lady's request. To make way for three hours of prayer each day, you will need to seriously review and prioritize your schedule accordingly. Ivan quotes Our Lady to emphasize the importance and seriousness of daily prayer:
“Dear children, if you want to attend this school of prayer, then you must be aware that this school of prayer has no vacations, no holidays, and no weekends. You have to know in this school of prayer is every single day, and my dear children if you want to pray better, then you always have to pray more, because if you pray more it is always a personal decision, and to pray better that is grace.”Step by step, slowly but surely, you can make the transition to include more prayer in your day until you finally reach the goal of three hours of prayer. I can speak from personal experience that once the transition has been made to three hours of prayer, you will come to realize just how unimportant and unnecessary some of your previous daily includes actually were.
Depending on what type of prayer life you currently have, to comply with Our Lady's request may require a serious rethink about your daily calendar. The Rosary comes to mind immediately as an example of the necessary adjustment some may have to make. The daily recitation of the entire Rosary, that is, all four sets of mysteries, takes approximately two hours to complete and can not become a daily include if you have never done it before. It will require a bit of training. Begin by setting reasonable and attainable goals, such as a decade or two each day and be consistent in reciting them. By doing so, like an athlete who trains for a marathon by running only a few kilometres, and builds upon that, you too will build up your prayer capacity and eventually recite the entire Rosary each day, completing the Marathon of Grace.
Even after reading up to this part of the post, some may still be holding on to the notion that your schedule is non-negotiable, that you are just too busy and you can not free up three hours each day for prayer. In the aforementioned talk, the visionary Ivan stated there are many excuses why people do not pray:
There are so many situations in our daily lives that we are trying to find excuses why not to pray, we say, we don’t have time, it is impossible to get the family together, children are going to school, the father works and returns really late from work. I don’t have time for the family and my children, and when we come back home from work, we have to cook, we have to watch television, we have to go shopping. Actually time is always a problem, but Our Lady says, “Dear children, time is not a problem at all, the problem is love, because, dear children, if the person loves something he always finds time for it.” Of course if man doesn’t love something then he is not going to find time for it.Love is an important aspect of prayer and absolutely necessary to comply with Our Lady's request. Not only will love compel us to dedicate our day to prayer, but it will allow us to properly pray with the heart. There is no other better way to prove our love for Our Lady than by our actions by living her messages. The importance of love in our prayer life can not be overstated. I would like to conclude this post and leave you with a thought from Ivan:
Love conquers, love is always victorious, whoever has love will find the time, and this is why Our Lady in these 28 years has been trying to wake us up from this spiritual coma that mankind has been in. She wants to straighten us up in faith and in prayer, and I do hope that we are going to respond to Our Lady’s call, that we are going to accept Her messages, and that we are going to be co-creators in the creation of a better world, a world which will be dignified of the children of God.
Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.