In our poor corrupt and corrupting world, the idea of God and Christian values is driven from almost every place: schools, work sites, public spaces, homes, even from the hearts of certain Christians or individuals who call themselves so, and even worse, from some churches.
Yes, it is very distressing to see that only anti-religious values are preached in schools; that laws violating God's commandments are voted in certain, or better said, numerous countries; that in the media, movies, arts and shows, perversion, violence, duplicity and the seven deadly sins are exalted; that children may so early lose their innocence under the pretext of "freedom".
It is right that God made us the indefeasible gift of freedom, and nobody will be able to take it from us. Now, what use will we make of this freedom? Adam and Eve were sinless and they were free. They have chosen to know evil… so as to know all things, be aware of everything and be like God…
The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was sinless and she was free. She chose to remain pure and faithful to God and her Immaculate Conception remains undefiled forever. We, who were born with the stain of original sin, and about whom the devil continually roams, seeking someone to devour, we also have, every minute, the freedom of choosing our way.
A few years ago, a "liberated" gentleman, proud of his person, asked something to a nun regarding her vow of chastity: "You will not make me believe that in our present time, one can live without pleasure, without desire"! And she replied to him: "Sir, my model is the Virgin Mary". "Nonsense! I cannot believe you! One just cannot live without desire" "Sir, each individual places his desires at his own level"! Then he left, beaten and annoyed.
Yes, let us raise our desires higher, let us consider how much does Jesus love us, and all what he did for us. Let us turn to the crucifix with a new look, as if for the first time, and let us look at our Jesus, nailed to the wood, casting on each one of us a look filled with love and mercy, not a reproach… only love… Let us consider all the benefits that we received from God since the beginning of our existence.
At our birth, He was there… At our baptism, He deified our soul… He came and dwelt into her with the entire Trinity… And we did not even know it… this did not prevent him from loving us, and acting within us. In our first falls, He was there… in the others also. He patiently mended all what we had crushed.
We drove him out… ten times… twenty times… or a hundred times… He came back; He settled at our bedside… He cured us… He turned us fairer. In the storm He was there, an invisible companion on the boat… When you happened to carry the cross He was there, on the heavier side, least his beloved child would be crushed under its weight. You forgot him for long years; you have lived as if He did not exist… He is waiting for you and looking at you with love.
You betrayed him after you had given him your heart; you took it back, thinking that you could find something better in a creature, and quite soon you realized that nothing and nobody could ever replace, or be compared with Him. And He is looking at you and waiting for you with love, with the same look he had on the Cross, as the father of the prodigal son, as the Good Shepherd, hugging fast on his heart the sheep he has found again…
Let your heart take its flight towards him and tell him: "O Jesus, your hands are nailed down: I shall be your hands to nurse the sick, feed the poor and orphans, bury the dead, build your churches, schools, dispensaries, orphanages and hospitals, in which you will have the first place in the poor and the little, who indeed, belong to you. I shall be your hands, to hold the Holy Host and offer you up in sacrifice on the altars, so as to implore Mercy from your Father, and save thousands of souls.
O Jesus, your feet are nailed down: I shall be your feet, to go on the roads where You will send me and announce the Good News to all, tell them how much You love them, and carry you in triumph to the four corners of the earth.
O Jesus, your eyes are filled with tears, dust from the road, sweat and tears: I shall be your eyes to look lovingly at all those I will meet on the way, the ill-loved, prisoners, the neglected, the embittered, tepid, indifferent, so they may know that You are there and You love them immensely.
O Jesus, your mouth was shut in the throes of agony, after having drank the gall and vinegar, after you had drank the chalice to the dregs, after you had given us, as our Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, your own Mother: I shall be your mouth, to tell everyone that She is really our Mother, tell them how much She loves us, and how much You love us; I shall be your smile, to restore courage and trust to the unfortunate and those who despair. I shall be your mouth to sing the divine praises, make You be loved, and make the Most Blessed Virgin Mary be loved."
And you, priestly vocations who are reading these few lines and delay to answer, for whatever reason, through laziness or cowardice, because you are too well in comfort and your own will, because you are trying to convince yourself that one can serve God even when living in the world, one can "help in a different way".
Well! But you are called! Will you have pity on these faithful, who walk miles and miles several times a month to inquire when will the next baptisms take place; these children, these nuns who wonder if Bishop Jean Marie will be able to send a Priest for Christmas or for Holy Week, or if, as it already happened, they will have to content themselves with spiritual Communion, because we do not have enough priests…
We beg you for it: come out of your shell now and answer "Present"! Go with courage and meet this Jesus who loves you so much, who is so lovingly looking at you and tells you: "Come follow me; from you, whom I love, I shall make a fisher of men".
[…] "Young people and not so young ones, it is you I address today, so that you take my appeal seriously. (After a short silence, Our Lady speaks directly to everyone). I need you to announce the Gospel of my Jesus. I need you to celebrate Mass, the Sacrifice of Christ, my Son. I need you to sing the praises of my God. I need you to nurse and coddle the sick of Jesus. I need you to teach both the little and the great and let them know the Love of Jesus. I need you to put yourself in the service of the Missions. I need you, so you place yourself in the service of the poor, the unfortunate, the misunderstood, the neglected, the starving, those without a smile, those without affection, the contagious, the desperate." (Our Lady to Father Jean Marie, September 14, 1993)
"My little children, may peace not depart from your heart… My little children, my Heart suffers to see so many young people and not so young ones who willingly turn away from the religious vocation; they say they prefer to serve God in the world… But he or she who received the Call cannot serve God properly in Divine Will, in a lay life not consecrated to God, without offending the Love of God, of this God who bowed towards him or her, and whom He called by name. My little children, understand how great, how beautiful, how sweet the life of the consecrated is, and how it pleases and is agreeable to Almighty God, adorable Trinity. I am the Mother of the consecrated, I have a love of predilection for consecrated souls. I protect them, I watch over them tenderly, with all the love from my Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Souls consecrated in religious or priestly life are precious pearls that honor and embellish the Holy Church of my Divine Son. May the humility of the Child-God of the crib reign within the hearts of all the consecrated. […] (Our Lady to Father Jean Marie, December 14, 1995)
[…] "And you, my Servants, Friars and Nuns, Priests and Bishops of the Congregation that I have wanted in this blessed place, remain in peace and understand how much I love you with a love of predilection. Be at the service of everyone, as witnesses to Merciful Love. Be at the service of the poor, the sick, the infirm, the dying, prisoners, all those who suffer, in their heart as well as in their body, as if it were I who would act. For it is through you that I want to bring peace and love to those who suffer and to all men of good will." (Our Lady to Father Jean Marie, June 10, 1997)