The month of May was dedicated to our Mother Mary with special attention given to her apparitions at Fatima, Portugal. Our Blessed Lady appeared for the first time to three shepherd …
The month of May was dedicated to our Mother Mary with special attention given to her apparitions at Fatima, Portugal. Our Blessed Lady appeared for the first time to three shepherd children (Lucinda, Jacinta and Francisco) on May 13, 1917. She went on to appear to the children till October of that year, ending it with the miracle of the spinning sun. Mother Mary’s message to the children was to offer self-sacrifice and pray for forgiveness for sinners and peace in the world. The mother of Christ brought us the message of God’s mercy and love and encourages us to accept God’s unlimited love and forgiveness. She told us that through prayer and self-sacrifice we, though sinners, can bring about God’s forgiveness and peace into our world. Peace cannot exist as long as we refuse to forgive ourselves and others.
Oftentimes when someone mistreats us or offends us, we fail to realize that the offense or mistreatment is not just against us, but it is against the Lord. When someone steals from us or lies to us or cheats on us, they are actually breaking commandments given by God himself, so rather than taking it personally, we need to be filled with compassion and love by interceding for them via prayers and self-sacrifice. After all, Jesus said, “whatever you do to the least of these, you did it for me.” Pay close attention to what Jesus said: He did not say “whatever good you do,” but “whatever you do.” When we take wrongdoings against us personally, we become self-centered and hard-hearted and can be filled with hatred and bitterness towards that person rather than loving them. The evil one loves nothing more than to fill our hearts with bitterness, anger, hatred that leads to wanting revenge so as to separate us from God. Saint Peter warned us against the devil in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, alert and cautious at all times because the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”
Right before Christ was arrested, Jesus prayed for his disciples, asking God to bless them even though he knew the sins they were about to commit. Jesus knew Judas was about to betray him, Peter was going to deny him three times, Thomas was going to doubt him and all but one of his disciples were going to abandon him at the foot of his cross. In John 17:20-26, as Jesus prayed he said, “Father they are your gift to me.”
We all have experienced hardships that may have been caused by our own friends and family, but do we see them as God’s gift to us and do we pray for them? It is not easy to pray for those who hurt us when we can’t forgive ourselves first so we can start by forgiving ourselves. When we have a contrite heart, God forgives us instantly as is said in Psalms 103, “for as the heaven are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east from the west so far has he put our transgression from us.”
When we accept God’s mercy and forgiveness, then we can have peace that passes understanding. The peace that will help us forgive other’s shortcomings. The month of May was dedicated to our Blessed Lady for bringing us the message of peace and prayer and the month of June is dedicated to Christ’s Divine Mercy.
I love the very simple prayer Christ gave to Saint Faustina of Poland during his apportions, as he brought us the message of God’s limitless mercy for his children. At his apparition to Saint Faustina, Christ asked her to remind the world of God’s infinite love for his children. He wants us to realize that the sins we commit are like a drop of water in his ocean of mercy and love for us. He gave Saint Faustina a very simple prayer which I pray throughout the day: “Jesus I trust in you.”
We have to trust that God forgives all of our sins when we are truly sorry for falling. We all fall at times and we are all broken but we are loved by the creator of the universe. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with this world’s troubles and forget for a moment that you are the beloved child of the most high God who created you fearfully and wonderfully say this simple prayer “Jesus I trust in you” and offer everything up to him. It always fills my heart with peace and I hope it fills your heart with peace that passes all understanding.