And then there is Mary …..

By: Kathleen Aparo


And then there is Mary…….

This journey of faith cannot be taken without looking at Jesus’ mother, Mary. Why?

Because every strength we need, all the courage we need, the faith we need, shines through her life. She said “yes” to an angel and didn’t ask anyone to help her make that decision. She had courage. She courageously told her parents what the angel asked of her, risking their questions and disbelief. She had strength. She told Joseph her story, knowing he would find it hard to believe and may, in his sorrow and anger, leave her. She had faith. And because she is so loved by our God, he gives her a direct line to us.

Ask her to guide you, to strengthen you, to fill your faith jar up to the brim.

Hair Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee.” (the angel’s greeting) Lk. 1:28

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.” (Elizabeth to Mary at her Visitation,) Lk.1:42

Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen. (the church’s reflection on Mary’s intercessory role as the Mother of God)

Repeat, repeat, repeat for peace of mind.


The Assumption: Celebrating the Blessed Mother’s ultimate journey

The woman who spent so much of her life in motion — setting out, traveling, searching and fleeing –- finally is given a place of rest, a place “prepared by God,” as Revelation puts it


The gospel today begins with a journey.

“Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste…”

This time of year, I think, a lot of us can appreciate the idea of taking a trip. Millions of us are headed to the beach or the mountains, National Parks or Disney World. But what Mary does here is hardly a vacation. She has just been told that she is to be the Mother of God. And rather than keeping this news to herself, or wondering how she will cope, she sets out on a journey, to visit her cousin, Elizabeth — and we have this momentous scene that follows, The Visitation.

Not only does Mary take this journey to a town of Judah but, with this event, the great journey of her LIFE begins – an adventure that will not end until her final journey, to heaven, on the feast we celebrate today, the Assumption.

We tend to think of the Blessed Mother as a quiet, serene figure – a woman of few words, but blessed with tremendous faith, and boundless trust. This is true.

But this morning, I’d like to ask you to think of her a little differently.

Think of her also as a woman of action.

She is a woman on a continual journey — constantly, by necessity, on the move. She is restless, rarely sitting still or staying in one place.

After this journey to see Elizabeth, we next find Mary embarking on an arduous trip, while pregnant, to Bethlehem.

After giving birth, she and her small family are on the move again, fleeing to Egypt, to escape death.

We meet her again, traveling to Jerusalem, where her son goes missing – and we follow her as she goes in search of him. Finding him, she continues her travels, bringing him home to Nazareth.

Mary, as the first disciple, in many ways prefigures all the disciples who will follow – those who traveled, mostly on foot, throughout the world to spread the gospel and proclaim the good news. Like those apostles, Mary was a missionary – the first missionary, a woman who traveled and carried Christ to the world.

In today’s gospel, we see her, literally, bringing Jesus to another, as she carries him in her womb and goes to her cousin and speaks the words any missionary might pronounce – words which are the very essence of The Good News, and the beginning of all belief:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”

What follows, the Magnificat, is Mary’s great gift to scripture, one of its most beautiful prayers. It is prayed every evening in the Liturgy of the Hours by millions around the world. With that, Mary’s great acclamation becomes the Church’s.

We can only imagine what other travels she took in the course of her life … but we can’t forget one in particular, the most difficult of all, as she followed her son on HIS journey to Calvary.

But today, on this feast, we celebrate her ultimate journey – her assumption into heaven, body and soul. The woman who spent so much of her life in motion — setting out, traveling, searching and fleeing – finally is given a place of rest, a place “prepared by God,” as Revelation puts it. This day, we honor that, and honor how God has “looked with favor on his lowly servant.”

This feast marks the end of Mary’s earthly story – and the beginning of one that continues, to this day, in heaven. She becomes, for all time, what Elizabeth says in her first word of greeting: “Blessed.”

But though she left this world, Mary is not removed from us. Her life is closely entwined with ours. All of us, like Mary, are on a journey. All of us are traveling to places we may not understand, to destinations we cannot see. This is life. But we ask Mary to help guide us on our way.

The road is long. The journey isn’t easy. We pray to have the trust in God that we need to travel whatever road we must take – just as Mary did.

And we pray, too, that one day our journeying will lead us to meet her face to face – in that place prepared for her, that destination that became her home, and where she waits for us, with a mother’s love and a mother’s hope.


 kandra3 Deacon Greg Kandra

Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.


Come to Me

maryMessage from July 25, 1989 to Marija

“Dear children! Today I am calling you to renew your hearts. Open yourselves to God and surrender to him all your difficulties and crosses so, God may turn everything into joy. Little children, you cannot open yourselves to God if you do not pray. Therefore, from today, decide to consecrate a time in the day only for an encounter with God in silence. In that way you will be able, with God, to witness my presence here. Little children, I do not wish to force you. Rather freely give God your time, like children of God. Thank you for having responded to my

risenchrist2“Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened,
and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn
of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall
find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light”.
-Matthew 11:28-30

 Pray your rosary today for all your crosses!



Our Lady’s Message, January 25, 1996 with a reflection by Fr. Slavko

JANUARY 25, 1996: “Dear Children, today I invite you to decide for peace. Pray to God that He will give you true peace. Live peace in your hearts and you will understand, dear children, that peace is God’s gift. Dear children, without love you cannot live peace. The fruit of peace is love and the fruit of love is forgiveness. I am with you and I am inviting all of you, little children, to first forgive in the family and then you will be able to forgive others. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Before we begin with our thoughts about this message, let me, dear readers, remind you of the Christmas message. Last month we were called to unite ourselves with Jesus and to decide for Him. Jesus became Child and Bread and, in that way, did everything Himself to become united with us. Now it is for us, in the evangelical sense, to become children and bread ourselves. For us remains the great assignment, in the manner of John the Baptist, to become ever smaller so that Jesus can, all the time, grow ever bigger in us. Jesus is the Light, the Way, the Truth, Mercy, Peace and Love. The more we unite ourselves with Him, the more we will be filled with Light, with Peace, with Truth and with Love. May our path with Mary direct us there.

As I already said, our path with Mary leads us to Jesus and to an even deeper unity with Him. For this reason this first message of the year is again very important. Mary has come to help us on the path to Jesus — Jesus who is Peace and who can give peace.

Today I Invite You To Decide For Peace

Without our own decision for peace, peace cannot be given to us. This decision for peace immediately has tangible results. To clarify perhaps, let us think of a student who decides for getting good grades in his studies. In such a decision a constant flow of studying is also included, for otherwise the decision for good grades no longer has a reason or purpose. So, dear reader, if you now wish to make the decision for peace, you too should become aware that this decision primarily includes the love, the forgiveness, the humility and the courage to offer one’s hand to all others. Let us again refer to Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical, Gospel of Life. There he calls upon us all to respect, to serve and to love every life. When we become conscious of these conditions, then we will also understand why peace has not yet become a reality. We are all aware of how often our decisions are frail ones. Mary knows this and so she tells us what else we need to do, and that is to…

Pray That God Gives You True Peace

If we decide for peace, then this one more condition must be added to the other conditions. God is always ready to work along with our decisions, always ready to take our decisions seriously and always ready to start with us from the beginning again. This is the reason that Mary repeatedly calls us to peace. God is patient with every one of us, including those with whom we have already written off and ignored. In His love God is so very big toward us that He is more patient with us as even we are with ourselves. When we no longer have the courage to start anew and when we think that nothing will work anymore, He, on the other hand, never thinks in this way! In His love God is simply not to be challenged or tired. Mary calls us to…

Live Peace In Our Hearts and You Will Understand… That Peace Is The Gift of God

God’s love for us is the reason that He wishes to give us peace and He merely waits for our decision. If God did not love us, He would lose patience with us. It is also this way with us and ourselves, with us and others and with us and God. Without love, peace is simply impossible; and that is why our Lady continues with…

Without Love You Cannot Live Peace

Today there are so many people who attempt to create peace without love for God, without love for others and without love for their own lives. It is for this reason that there is so much terrible destruction of individuals, of families and of communities — destruction that all together has even put the existence of the whole world into serious doubt. At the beginning of the apparitions, Mary told the visionaries that her Son, Jesus, had sent her to help us. God loves what He created, and therefore He calls upon us to work along with Him. Our cooperation with Him is the condition without which nothing will work. St Augustine said “God created you without you, but He cannot save you without you.” Once we have decided for peace, we are in full cooperation with God, because it is His will that we have peace. As peace is impossible without love, so too is love, the fruit of peace. The good chain of good reactions goes on and on as Our Lady here tells us…

The Fruit of Peace Is Love and The Fruit of Love Is Forgiveness

One is the condition for the other. One cannot decide only partially for peace, just as one cannot decide only partially for God. To make a lasting decision, all conditions for it must also be accepted. Again, Mary, as mother and teacher, reminds us…

I Am With You

…and with her as guide, one must again start working at peace and do so decisively first and…

Before Anything Else Forgive In The Family And Then You Will Be Able To Forgive Others

All of us have had the experience that sometimes those who are most distant from us seem also to be those whom we forgive and whom we love more easily. This is a deception. Love first brings peace into the family and community, and only then can it spread out yet further. May it in this coming month begin again and spread out yet further with this message. Already before the next message Lent will have begun, and so this message also ought to serve as introduction and guide for us to enter into it.

God, our Father, we thank You that You love us and that in Your love You offer us peace. We beseech You, as Mary calls upon us to do, give us true peace that only You can give. Forgive us that we often expected peace from others and therefore remained without peace. Give all of us the strength to accept the conditions for peace. Give us Your Spirit that we with Mary, as Mary herself did, accept and live Your will. Free us from our weakness and from all fear and distrust, so that we, already today and today again, along with Mary can offer You our cooperation. Bless the visionaries, bless the Parish of Medjugorje, bless all pilgrims and bless the entire world. Oh Father, give us true peace that love will bring us, and give us love so that we can grow in forgiveness and reconciliation. We thank You. Bless us because You are the Father! Amen.

Fr. Slavko, Medjugorje
January 26, 1996


Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Novena * Sept 28- Oct 6 * Feast Day Oct 7

Our Lady Of  The Holy Rosary  Novena Prayer

My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet. Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart, and for this special favor which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena:  (Mention your request).

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son. If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused. I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God’s holy Will concerning my request. If what I ask for should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

I offer you this spiritual “Bouquet of Roses” because I love you. I put all my confidence in you, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

This novena is to be said along with a daily rosary 

“Listen, my faithful children; open up your petals, like roses planted near running waters; send up the sweet odor of incense, break forth in blossoms like the lily. Send up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all he has done.” (Sir 39:13-14)

Source: EWTN