Dear Members of the MMP,
The coronavirus health emergency has quickly reached all parts of the world and has nearly everywhere limited our ability to physically gather together. Despite this, many of you on every continent have proposed new ways for meeting in the cenacles – either directly via the internet, or by suggesting a particular time to pray together in one’s own home, or with international chats where the cenacle times are divided at different times among cities of various countries. In this way we are spiritually united, and we want to offer to our heavenly Mother that prayer which She has insistently asked us to offer in Her Immaculate Heart to the Most Holy Trinity. I now want to give you some guidelines with which to pray.
This is certainly a time of trial. Suffering has suddenly reached many families who have been struck by grief, sickness and the social inconveniences resulting from it. Because of the alarm concerning the contagion throughout nearly the whole world, the faithful have been asked not to participate in Holy Mass and many churches have been closed. This is a great trial for the Church, paralyzed in her pastoral life and in the life of the faithful who, in addition to the above mentioned sufferings, are being deprived of the one true Treasure, the Eucharistic Lord Jesus.
During this suffering many people do not feel it is a problem not to be able to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist; in fact, the Eucharistic Jesus takes a back seat to the current demands of everyday life which – with such generosity – we try to defend in every way.
My dear friends of the MMP who love to be guided by Our Lady in the light of her Immaculate Heart, She has always asked us to be a “balm of love” for this suffering humanity. She insistently calls us to follow the teachings of Jesus which form the basis of our brotherly love: our daily journey in the Kingdom of God, our life of faith in the Church, our fidelity to the Gospel, and our participation in the richness of the sacraments and the practice of the virtues. She helps us so that we might help others, and that with Her we might be the continuation of Her Son’s Work of Salvation.
In many hearts warmth for the Eucharist risks growing cold as a result of this current storm. Our prayers (and our sacrifices) during this time of the pandemic cannot be directed only to asking to be spared from this virus, but that through this suffering all of us in the Church might grow in faith and love for the Eucharistic Jesus (who during this time is everywhere denied us) so that all men may again find the need to seek God and to listen to Him, leaving behind whatever is sinful and letting themselves be interiorly healed by Him.
Jesus tells us, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (cf Mt 6:33) If we ask only to be spared from earthly evil and not also from spiritual evil, we become strongly imbalanced and we fail in the true spiritual dimension of our life. Jesus said about the illness of his friend Lazarus, “This illness is not unto death but for the glory of God.” (cf. Jn 11:4) This suffering resulting from the coronavirus cannot just be about dying or even about earthly life. Jesus expects us to face this trial as a call that will make us grow in faith and overcome the evil one, so that from this terrible trial we will emerge interiorly healed, and this will all be for the glory of God.
Our Blessed Mother teaches us not to get caught up in our earthly affairs, but to look at them through her eyes. The medicine to heal our life from the works of the evil one comes from the Heart of Jesus (Feb 11, 1977; April 19, 1992) who has given Her to us in order to heal us (Feb 14, 1985; Feb 11, 1993). In this way we can be medicine for our loved ones, for the Church and for the world, in a life more animated by the Holy Spirit who renews us (Sept 13, 1984; Dec 3, 1986).
She taught the shepherd children of Fatima to face trials by “transfiguring” them, looking to the Lord as their strength and the goal of everything: “O Jesus, it is for love of you, for the salvation of souls and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” At Lourdes She left the beautiful sign of the spring of water and then explained to us its meaning: “Wash yourselves at the spring” (cf. Feb 11, 1977 & 1995) which She tells us many times is the Grace of God that we receive in the sacraments, especially Confession. With these miraculous waters and their sign of physical healings, She teaches us that our physical health is an image of the way to eternal salvation. She desires for us not only physical health (protecting it and happy about it as any good mother would be) but Her great Work is to help us live daily in the Grace of God, in spiritual health, healed from sin and “immunized” against apostasy.
Dear friends, let us learn from Our Mother also how to face this current trial. “If they do not accustom themselves now to seek me alone, to listen to me alone, and to entrust themselves to me alone, how are they going to find me at the moment of the great tempest when everything will be plunged in darkness? Let them accustom themselves as of now to see me as the light of their every action!” (Feb 10, 1974)
It is right and proper to pray for an end to this terrible pandemic but, for us who belong to Her Movement, Our Lady asks that we “work” and “battle” for the souls of both the sick and the healthy – with our Cenacles, with the Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart and with our love for the Eucharistic Jesus (while churches are closed, one can take advantage at least of adoration streamed live), so as to emerge from this trial having grown in faith, together with our brothers and sisters, so that with Her the Church might take a step forward towards the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and of Jesus’ Eucharistic Heart, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
United in the Immaculate Heart of Mary
and in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
Fr. Luca Pescatori and the MMP Spiritual Council