Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Lady's Little Stone: Monthly Confession

A photo of confessions taking place at St. James Church, Medjugorje
In Medjugorje, confessions are available everyday beginning at 6:00pm, and lasts well into the evening.

If this post is the first you have heard of Our Lady's "Little Stones," and the apparitions at Medjugorje, then perhaps it best I explain a little bit about Medjugorje and what has happened there since the very early 1980s.

The Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing to six visionaries since June 24, 1981, all of whom are alive and continue to receive visions from Our Lady. Since then, Our Lady has been giving the visionaries messages for the world. So important are these messages, that many of the laity and clergy have gone on pilgrimages to experience the beautiful hope, love, and peace emanating from Medjugorje. To date, over 40 million pilgrims have gone to and become spiritually adopted in Medjugorje and many, if not all, return home strengthened and renewed.

There have been so many fruits harvested from this spiritual orchard: conversions; vocations to the priesthood and religious life; drug and alcohol recovery; spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical healing; and answers to life questions and many miracles. It was at one of the apparitions that Our Lady communicated the following message:
Dear children, I invite you for your individual conversion. This time is for you! Without you God's plan cannot be realized. Dear children grow day by day closer to God through prayer. I give you the weapon against your Goliath. Here are your little stones:
  • Pray The Rosary With Your Heart - A daily recitation of the entire Rosary, that is, the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. 
  • Eucharist - Receive the Eucharist on Sunday and when possible, go to daily Mass.
  • Holy Bible - Read the Bible everyday 
  • Fasting - The best fast recommended by Our Lady is, "bread and water" and to be done on Wednesdays and Fridays, from midnight to midnight (the entire day) 
  • Monthly Confession
Our Lady's mission is of peace and love. So important is this mission that the Blessed Mother announced herself as the "Queen of Peace." Our Lady has come to reeducate, convert, and bring us back to God.

To ensure our success and give us the spiritual weapons that will allow us to fight the good fight, Our Lady has given us "little stones," just as God gave to David to battle against Goliath, a stronger and more powerful opponent. (1 Samuel 17Our "little stones" are to be used against our Goliath, the Evil One, the Devil or Satan. As David hurled a little stone at the forehead of Goliath, and sent him to his death, let us hurl our spiritual stone, our monthly confession, and put to death all that the Evil One tries to do to interfere with our faith journey and our daily conversion.  

As to which of the "little stones" to first write about, I purposely chose "Monthly Confession." Entering into this battle, one wants to start off in the best possible manner, and this is what confession provides, a spiritually cleansing and entry into a state of grace. In so doing, we the branches are reconnected to our vine, Jesus Christ, whom acts directly upon our soul through the person of the priest. It is only then, can we begin do anything with Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)  

The importance of confession or the Sacrament of Reconciliation cannot be overstated. Many have responded to Our Lady's request—as the photo published with this post depicts—and it is a well known fact that the demand for confessions in Medjugorje has risen dramatically. Some who have never confessed in twenty or more years, have gone to confession in Medjugorje.

One of the visionaries Vicka Mijatovic's diary entry of the twenty-eighth apparition, July 22, 1981, notes the following communication from Our Lady, "A good many people have been converted and among them some had not gone to Confession in 45 years, and now, they are going to Confession. Go in the peace of God."

Confession is for many, the humble beginnings of a conversion and that is what Our Lady has called us to, conversion. We need to say "yes" to Our Lady by confessing our sins once a month, complying with her request to live her messages. In so doing, we follow Christ in a closer manner and the more we receive this sacrament the better we will be able to do this.

Not only is confession a sacrament that absolves us of our sins, but it is a source of grace that strengthens our souls against relapses, provides us with the fortitude to resist temptations, and grants us a stronger and more determined resolve to follow Christ with a greater love and fidelity.

Through confession, we come to know ourselves better because each confession is preceded by an examination of conscience. Your conscience is the place where you and God meet, where God reveals the truth about yourself. During confession, Jesus provides us with the remedy for all sins and imperfections and; thus, teaches us how to "Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) Here is another of Our Lady's messages regarding confession:
Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of God you will discover the love and the joy of living. (November 25, 2012)
Mary is our best teacher in the school of Christ; therefore, let us follow her messages with complete trust as she has requested, "Little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. I love you and this is why I call you to the way of salvation with God." (December 25, 1989)

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

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