By the act of the decision and love of God, I am chosen to be the Mother of God and your mother. But also by my will and my immeasurable love for the Heavenly Father and my complete trust in Him, my body was the chalice of the God-man.
I was in the service of truth, love and salvation, as I am now among you to call you, my children, apostles of my love, to be carriers of truth; to call you to spread His words, the words of salvation, by your will and love for my Son: that with your actions you may show, to all those who have not come to know my Son, His love.
You will find strength in the Eucharist-my Son who feeds you with His Body and strengthens you with His Blood. My children, fold your hands [in prayer] and look at the Cross in silence. In this way, you are drawing faith to be able to transmit it; you are drawing truth to be able to discern; you are drawing love that you may know to love truly. My children, apostles of my love, fold your hands [in prayer], look at the Cross. Only in the Cross is salvation.”
Such a bold message for prayer from Heaven’s most treasured Daughter. It reminds me of a story a priest shared during the homily today.
There was a monk who lived a peaceful life in the desert. Each morning he would rise and pray. Eat. Meditate. And work in his garden. When the afternoon came he did the same. Pray. Eat lunch. Meditate. Work in his garden. When evening came it was the same. Content with his life, each day he repeated it.
One day an angel appeared and said unto him, “Your routine is well enough but the Lord requests of you this one thing.” The angel pointed to a large boulder in the monk’s garden. “Rather than tend to your garden each day, the Lord wants you to push against this rock.”
“Push a rock!” The monk exclaimed. Puzzled, the monk agreed, “Well, if it’s the Lord’s will than I shall do it. Although I do not understand it at all.”
The angel disappeared and the monk did as the Lord had asked. Each day, he rose and prayed, ate, meditated, and pushed against the rock.
After the 60th day, the monk was frustrated. The rock had not moved. Not even one inch. Discouraged at the site of how little he made progress against the stone, the monk gave into his disappointment and exclaimed in despair, “I give up! I quit.”
At that moment, the angel reappeared. “You give what?”
“I give up!” The monk repeated.
“Why have you given yourself over to such despair?” The angel asked.
“Because I did what the Lord asked of me and yet, I cannot move this rock! Oh how I’ve tried to move it but it will not budge. I am a failure. I might as well quit and let someone else do it who is more pleasing to the Lord.” The monk explained.
The angel looked again at the rock, which had not moved. “Son of Man, you despair in error. The Lord did not ask you to move the rock, he asked you to push against it.”
Blinking in confusion , the monk responded, “I do not understand.”
“Look at you.” The angel spoke. “Has everything been in vain as you have believed? Are your arms not stronger now from pushing? Is your skin not healthier from being outside?” To which the monk shook his head in agreement and the angel continued. “The Lord did not ask you to move the rock because it is His to move. He requested only that you might grow stronger in pushing against it until the time is come that He will move it.”
Friends, you and I are the monk. Our Lady, who calls us her Apostles of Love, is the messenger from Heaven sent to tell us we must P.U.S.H. We are asked to Pray. Until. Something. Happens. And that thing that will happen may look nothing like we think. For we too are not asked to save a soul, for salvation belongs to Christ alone, but instead we are asked to be “carriers of truth”, “to spread His words”, and to love as He loved us that with your actions you may show, to all those who have not come to know my Son, His love. Like Mary, we are invited to be in “the service of truth, love and salvation.” We are invited to PUSH against the rocks in our lives. The unmovable things that only God alone can move in His perfect time.
Strengthened by the “true food” found in the Eucharistic blood of Jesus, we can find strength in communion to keep our eyes on the cross and continue to PUSH in silence, without despair, without discouragement, without the cry to give up. Why? Because we are drawing faith to be able to transmit it, we are drawing truth to be able to discern, we are drawing love from the cross, which is where all our salvation comes, that you may know to love truly. We are being asked not to fold our hands in exasperation, giving up, but rather to fold our hands [and P.U.S.H.] and love others as Christ truly loved us.
Let us pray then, brothers and sisters, that we may have courage in these days. When so many things appear not to move but rather stand in stubborn opposition to our truth, our faith, our beliefs and even our love. And let us pray. Let us pray that we may continue to find ourselves strengthened by Communion. Let us keep PUSHing and keep our eyes on The Cross.
Mother most humble, you have shown us the way of Truth by your silence in how you pondered all things. Thank you for continuing to teach us how to silently ponder the cross. Thank you for continuing to PUSH us by your love and fidelity to Our Heavenly Father that all may know His love for us through His Son who died for us on a cross. Only in the Cross is salvation.