1. On 25 May 2020, the visionary Marija Pavlovic received Mary’s monthly message for the world:
“Dear children! Pray with me for a new life for all of you. In your hearts, little children, you know what needs to be changed. Return to God and His Commandments, so that the Holy Spirit may change your lives and the face of this earth, which is in need of renewal in the Spirit. Little children, be prayer for all those who do not pray; be joy for all those who do not see the way out; be carriers of light in the darkness of this peaceless time. Pray and seek the help and protection of the saints so that you also could yearn for Heaven and heavenly realities. I am with you and am protecting and blessing all of you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
2. On the Feast of Corpus Domini, it was a truly joyful occasion to be able to follow Jesus, exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, through the village of Medjugorje! Many Croatians came to participate in this procession, which warmed our hearts! To finally be able to get together again was beautiful! (Gaby, the short movie here please)
3. We are approaching the 39th anniversary of the apparitions! The visionaries, Marija and Ivan have already arrived! As the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina will only open on July 1st to non-nationals, this will be a very modest Anniversary celebration, but we know that so many of the Gospa’s devotees in the world are in communion with us, and lovingly prepare Mary’s favorite gifts to offer her during this novena! Our prayers are especially necessary today, for on the summer solstice (June 21), all over the world, the enemies of the Lord and his Church joined together in their cults and other ‘ceremonies’ to glorify their miserable master. Let us pray that the “Woman clothed with the Sun” will protect us and hasten her Son’s victory over all evil.
4. Fear… a positive springboard! During these past months, fear has increased significantly in many people around the world. If, as St. Paul says, “love banishes fear,” it is worth examining this issue, because we want to live with love, and not fear!
In reality, fear is innate in man, it is part of our nature, ever since the eruption of sin. Adam was the first to express it, after the Fall: “I was afraid, because I was naked and I hid myself” (Gen 3:10). And what did God do? He placed a barrier between evil (the snake) and man: He made the snake “crawl on his belly”, preventing it from attacking man head-on, and made an incredible promise to man: “I will put enmity between you (the snake) and the woman. This one will crush your head.” (Gen 3:15). Fear, which henceforth became part of the human condition, is therefore at the same time a constant call to take refuge in the goodness of God who is Father. So it is not a matter of denying fear or feeling guilty about it, but of using it wisely and channeling it in order to subject it to the grace of God. In short, let us not allow fear to dominate us to the point of it enslaving us. It would be terrible to let it determine our choices and poison our existence.
We currently have many reasons to be afraid, we just have to look at the world and the many threats hanging over it. My point is not to list these threats and failures of all kinds – they are already quite visible to everyone. My point is rather to look with you at how the Saints managed to direct their fears and turn them into victories. The Saints are magnificent in their teachings, and the Holy Mother of God urges us to read their lives for a reason!
From the beginning of his pontificate, Saint John Paul II told us, ‘Do not be afraid!’. He was a mystic who saw the threats that we are much more acquainted with now. But he never stopped giving us reason to hope, for ‘Jesus conquered the world’.
We may have good reasons to be afraid, but we have no reason to give in to fear. That is the genius of the Saints, they remained free from all fear. They refused to remain frozen in the web of fear and become slaves to it. And this freedom of heart is a treasure that Jesus wants to give to every Christian, to all those who want to follow Him in truth. It is up to us to accept this treasure – as Mary says, to decide – and to work on it day by day, with humility and tenacity. It is really a matter of following the Shepherd, the best of shepherds, the One who came to make us free.
One of the great temptations, when one is afraid, is to withdraw into oneself; but cutting oneself off from others prevents love from flourishing. When training the young people in the prayer group, the Blessed Mother strongly emphasized this point. When you withdraw into solitude, you may think that you are protected, but this is an illusion. What happens is just the opposite, you cut yourself off from the source of love, you start to wither and risk sinking into sadness. Our hearts are created to love, so if the oxygen of the Holy Spirit is lacking, then we risk asphyxiation. From there spring so many evils… What a pity to miss the great happiness of forming one body together, the body of Christ where love circulates!
How should we react when we are scared? The Saints teach us to look at Jesus, the source of our life, our peace and all true love. That is the key! Jesus himself looks at us constantly, with a gaze that is full of life and overwhelming love, and if we respond to His gaze, then we let His own soul transform us and little by little, we regain peace and courage. This is the fruit of prayer. Instead of being fixated on the raging storm, we lift it up to the One who has the power to calm the storm. “Why are you afraid?” asked Jesus to the apostles who were in real danger of perishing at sea. That was their mistake. They were looking at the huge waves instead of looking at Jesus who was with them. To be or not to be with Jesus, that is what makes the difference. Jesus may test us – and He does – but it is always for a greater good, for our salvation. He does not want to see us sink!
Trusting in his love is what will drive this change for us, moving us from a visceral fear (humanly justified), to a liberation of the heart. God only wants our good, in all circumstances. When we turn to Him with trust and total faith, He raises our hearts in such a way that we no longer depend on our visceral reactions, but on a supernatural grace – above the natural – that allows our soul to taste a deep peace, that “peace of God that surpasses all understanding,” as St Paul describes it. We let the Holy Spirit take over and that is how this evil thing called fear becomes a real springboard that can lift us up to God, enrich us through Him and sanctify us.
You may be afraid without knowing why. In that case, instead of hiding from it, it is better to face your fear directly, and to ask: what am I afraid of? Becoming ill? Experiencing hunger? Being betrayed by a friend/ relative? What would happen if this fear came true? What damage would that do? This is an opportunity to entrust to the Lord your real fear, very precisely and concretely, so that this reality now belongs to Him, not you. That is also what it means to confidently consecrate our whole being to Him. And what a relief that is!”
When we fully surrender to God in our trials, we overcome all fear. God allows us to be tested (whether we are Christian or not), because in every trial experienced positively with Him and offered up, we grow in holiness and we help the Savior to save many souls that walk in darkness. Furthermore, by offering our sufferings, we give God the deep joy of preparing new diamonds for our eternal crown. In other words, we allow him to cast upon us the waterfalls of his love and the infinite happiness that comes with it, in this world and in the next. Aren’t Saints the happiest of all people? Why? Because even in the midst of their tribulations, their hearts rested in God, and remained united to the One who is love itself. This love is the dream and full realization of every human being created in the image of God who is Love.
Here are some examples:
Sister Faustina was fearful by nature. She herself wrote in her Little Diary that she was afraid of people. But she did not back down from the obstacles, focusing her gaze on Jesus.
“Oh! I am not afraid of anything. If God sends to the soul such a great torment, He sustains it with an even greater grace, even though we do not realize it. In such moments, an act of trust restores to God more glory than all the hours spent in prayer, filled with consolation.” (St Faustina, Diary, 78)
“I am not afraid of anything when I am with You, O Jesus, for nothing can harm me”. (Diary 306)
Her confidence in Jesus became manifest when danger threatened. She said, “I was in a hurry to get home. I took a few steps, but a lot of demons blocked my path. They threatened me with terrible torment and voices were heard: ‘She took away everything we have worked for so many years.’ When I asked them, ‘Where are you from, in such large numbers?’ The accursed answered me: “From human hearts; don’t torment us!’ Seeing their terrible hatred against me, I immediately called upon my Guardian Angel for help, and immediately his clear and radiant appearance stood by me. He said to me, ‘Don’t be afraid, bride of my Lord. Without His permission, these spirits will not hurt you.’ Immediately, the evil spirits disappeared, and the faithful Guardian Angel accompanied me in a visible manner, to the threshold of the house. His gaze was modest and peaceful; a ray of fire gushed from his forehead. O Jesus, I would desire to suffer torment and pain for the rest of my life, for this one moment in which I experience, Lord, Your glory and the salvation of souls.” (Diary 418, 419)
“I am not afraid of blows, for God is my shield. It is the enemy who should be afraid of us, not us of him. Satan only wins victories over the proud and the cowardly, for the humble are strong. Nothing will confuse or frighten a humble soul. Such a soul is flying straight for the blaze of the sun and nothing will stop it. Love does not allow itself to be imprisoned, it is free as a king.” (Diary 450)
These words remind me of a conversation with Don Gabriele Amorth, a prominent exorcist from Rome: “Don Gabriele”, I asked him, “when faced with serious cases of possession, are you not afraid that Satan will jump on you and hurt you?” “No,” he replied, “I have never been afraid of Satan, he is afraid of me!”
Faustina: “On Friday evening, during the rosary, thinking of tomorrow’s journey and the seriousness of the business I was to present to Father Andrasz, I became fearful at the sight of my miserableness, my incapacity and the greatness of God’s work. Crushed by this suffering, I surrendered myself to the divine will. At that moment, I saw Jesus in a light tunic, near my prayer desk. He said to me, ‘Why are you afraid to do My will? Am I not going to help you like I have done so far?” (Diary, 489).
When fear wants to impose itself, the way out is to give this fear to Jesus! Give it away, again and again…
“What are you afraid of? If you are with me, who would dare touch you? However, I am very happy that you are giving me your concerns. My daughter, tell me about everything, very simply, you will please me greatly. I understand you because I am God and man. This simple conversation of your heart is more pleasant to me than hymns composed in my honor. Know, my daughter, that the simpler your words are, the more you draw me to you! “ (Diary, 796)
Afraid of the unknown? Afraid of an uncertain future? Afraid of losing what we care about? Jesus did not give us any false consolations by saying that we will not lose anything, but He promises we will never lose the only true treasure, Himself, if we dive into Him, “Sin will reign, Mary told us recently, but if you are mine, your refuge will be the Heart of my Son Jesus!” (25 /8/19)
Jesus to St Faustina: “Do not scrutinize with any curiosity the paths along which I lead you! When boredom and discouragement threaten your heart, run away from yourself and hide in my Heart! Don’t be afraid of battle: courage alone often intimidates the tempter and he doesn’t dare attack us! Always fight with the deep conviction that I am close to you! Do not let feeling dominate you, because it isn’t always in your power! It is in the will that all the credit lies… Get ready for big fights! Fight like a knight so I can reward you! Do not be too afraid, because you are not alone! (Diary 1760)
The only fear we must have is that of being separated from God, of not loving. That of not following Jesus and finding ourselves without a shepherd. That of missing out on the incredible treasure set aside for us if we decide to follow Jesus, humble and poor, and to live his Word and to trust Him. That of not accepting what His Providence places on our path. Because then the danger we face is real!
The Blessed Mother knows our fears!
“Dear children, in these days you have felt how Satan acts. I am always with you. Do not be afraid of trials because God is always watching over you. I have given myself to you and I empathize with you, even in the smallest temptations.” (8/19/84)
How can we not think that Mary, seeing her Son leave for His Passion, did not experience fear? How could she not have trembled? She knew in advance what was going to happen to her, for she knew the Scriptures, and Jesus himself had hidden nothing from her. But this fear did not stop her, for she had offered everything ahead to the Father, for the fulfillment of the Son’s mission: to save humanity from the power of death. She may have felt fear, as we do, but she offered it to the Father, and in doing so she helped Jesus in his mission. She overcame her fear, which became a springboard for more love and power in her vocation as Co-redemptrix. Having given everything to God, she had nothing to lose.
“Dear children, today I invite you to total surrender to God. Everything you do and everything you own, give it to God so that he may reign over your life like a King over everything you possess… Little children, do not be afraid, for I am with you, even when you think that there is no way out and that Satan reigns. I bring you peace. I am your Mother and the Queen of Peace.” (8/25/88)
“He who prays is not afraid of the future, and he who fasts is not afraid of evil.”
“Love, and do not be afraid, because, my children, there is no fear in love. If your hearts are open to the Father and they are full of love for Him, why be afraid of what is coming? Fear those who do not love because they are waiting for punishment, and they know how empty and hard they are. As children, I guide you to love, to the dear Father. I guide you to eternal life. Eternal life is my Son. Receive Him and you have received love. (25 Sept 2001)
“I look into your hearts, I see in them pain and suffering; I see a wounded past and an unceasing search; I see my children who wish to be happy, but who do not know how. Open up to The Father! That is the path to happiness. God the Father never leaves his children alone, especially not in pain and despair. When you understand this and accept it, you will be happy and your search will end. You will love, and you won’t be afraid…” (2 Jan. 2012)
Jesus experienced anguish, to the point of sweating blood! At Gethsemane, Jesus saw in advance all those who were not going to grasp the eternal salvation He would offer them, and the loss of those souls tortured Him, to the point where he said, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death.” (Matt 26:38) It is out of compassion and love for us sinners that He lived this bitter anguish, long before His passion, when He said, “But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I will be until it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50) He took upon Him all our anxieties in order to deliver us from them. Henceforth, even our anxieties can be changed in the path of holiness, united with those of Jesus in the Garden of Olives.
5. I will publish video news separately, because these pages about fear are already rather long…
Dearest Gospa, what a joy it is for us to know that you are with us! Your Immaculate Heart is truly our safe haven!
Sister Emmanuel +
Community of the Beatitudes
(Translated from French)
PS1. During this time of restricted movement to other countries, some of you may want to read one (or more) of my books. They can be purchased from whichever continent you live on! If you would like to buy one for yourself or for a friend you can buy the paperback or e-book at the following links:
PS7. Our Lady is hoping to hear from you! Give joy to her heart, write to her your gratitude and your needs at “Queen of Peace”, BP 2157, F-06103 Nice Cedex, France. Your letter will be given to a visionary, and Mary will answer you in prayer.