Day 22 Mary's Gift of Mercy

As the book says, “During this fourth and final full week, we will be focusing on the example and words of another great teacher of Marian consecration:  Blessed John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the Pope when I was a kid.  I remember my Grandpa and Grandma Steinlage talking about him often. How he was shot, how he went to the man who shot him and forgave him.   Pope John Paul II was another person dedicated to Mary, who gave himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  So its no surprise that he proclaimed to the world often and he still does today, “the saving power of God’s Merciful Love”.   The church celebrates a Feast Day that he established as Pope called “Divine Mercy Sunday”.   This is a feast that celebrates the depth of God’s Merciful Love.  I don’t believe its a coincidence that Pope John Paul II died on the first Saturday and the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday.   In a previous blog, it was brought up that within the Immaculate Heart of Mary you find Jesus.  The more I reflect on this, the more I read of these Saints who gave themselves to Mary, and the more I give my self to Mary, I Hear the words of Jesus  upon the cross.  “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”     These words can also be said like this “Forgive Him Father, For Wade knows not what he does”.     So many people believe these words were meant for others, but being humbled by things I couldn’t control in life and by the challenges  of Sin, I have come to understand that God’s Merciful Love is for me.   As I have said this many times, but just to remind those reading, I Wade Talley cuss to much, I get upset, I talk bad about others at times, I have family that drive me nuts due to political views, and I have things in the past that I don’t like, but God’s Merciful Love is bigger than all of it.  I am willing to fight for Jesus and I am willing lose the things of this world, for the Man that picked me up out of a Hole that I would have never gotten out of by myself.  Mary I thank for bringing me to Jesus!  May we all echo the words of Pope John Paull II when he repeated his on person consecration to mary.  “To You, Mary, I repeat: Totus Tuus ego sum.”

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  • Julie

    As Wade said, this week we take a look at St. Pope John Paul II aka John Paul the Great.

    He is my absolute favorite pope, more than likely because I grew up with him. He was elected to the papacy shortly after I turned 5. I still remember the day he was shot. I was in the first grade, and my principal came over the intercom with a startling message: The pope had been shot. The principal then led our entire student body in prayer over the intercom. At the time, I was too young to understand the significance of the date: May 13.

    As I grew older and advanced through my Catholic grade school and high school, I learned so much more about the pope and the secret to his holiness: He saw himself as a child of the Blessed Mother, and he believed, like St. Louis de Montfort, in a total consecration to Jesus through Mary. In fact, his papal motto was: Totus Tuus.

    As a young adult, I was extremely fortunate to see him twice. I had the opportunity to be in attendance for a papal Mass in St. Louis. A few years later, I was (again) extremely fortunate to be in St. Peter’s Square for one of his weekly audiences. He absolutely exuded holiness, and there wasn’t anything he would have refused God or the Blessed Mother.

    Because he was so close to Our Mother’s heart, he knew the significance of the dates he was shot, May 13. It was the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. (FYI. Father Michael Gaitley discusses this further in the retreat workbook. He also elaborates more on this Christ-incidence in the book, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told. They’re both great reads!) He often talked about how one hand shot the bullet, but another guided it. Later, he visited Fatima and gave the Blessed Mother one of the bullets shot by Ali Agca. And as Wade pointed out, he also forgave his would-be assasin, visiting him in jail.

    It takes courage to forgive your attacker. Yet, it is a Christian response. St. John Paul II was able to forgive because he drew strength from Mary’s example and because he spent time time in prayer every day, drawing closer to both the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sometimes I wonder if I would have the same response. It brings to mind another great saint, one we’ve already talked about during the course of this retreat, St. Maximilian Kolbe, who forgave the Nazis as they injected him with carbolic acid, ending his life. Again, he drew strength from our Lord and our Blessed Mother. Would I be able to do the same?

    The answer is: I don’t know. I’ve never been in either situation. I have been in many situations in which I needed to forgive others though. The real question is: Have I truly forgiven other people for the hurts they caused me in my life? And have I truly sought others’ forgiveness when I needed to?

    A friend of mine said she was having a hard time forgiving someone. I shared with her a tidbit I gleaned from another friend the last time I went through this retreat as part of a group. Harboring hatred, anger and resentment is akin to drinking poision and hoping the other person will die. Hatred, anger and resentment will not affect the other person, but they will affect me.

    So the question I’m asking the Blessed Mother and her son, Jesus Christ, is this: Will you help me to identify the areas of my life in which I need to forgive someone? Will you show me the areas of my life in which I need to ask for someone’s forgiveness?

    Saturday is first Saturday of the month. At Fatima (and we’re in the centennial of Fatima this year), the Blessed Mother recommended the practice of First Saturday devotions to us. I’ll admit I’ve never put that devotion into practice. I should. So, I’d like to ask the Blessed Mother to help me start the First Saturday devotions this weekend. For all of you reading my comments, pray for me in getting started this weekend. Also, if you want to learn more about it, you can look up the practice on the Internet at the World Apostolate of Fatima ( Our grandmother used to take the apostolate’s magazine Soul for years, and that’s something else for which you can find information on that particular website.

    Part of First Satuday devotions include making a sincere and honest Confession. In order to make a sincere Confession, we need to take a hard look at ourselves. I know I’m FAR from perfect. I say things I shouldn’t, I don’t say things I should, I let my mind wander at Mass, I criticize or judge someone unfairly, I get short with my husband or another member of my family, and I get lazy in my spiritual life. I become prideful, and I complain when I think something is unfair. Yet, I always expect others to forgive me. Am I willing to do the same?

    Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …

  • Chris baumgartner

    I get so involved in living life I forgot to take the time to see how im doing
    I need to examine more
    I need to forgive more
    I need too recognize where I need to be forgiven
    I dont like this list
    Mary help me be forgiving

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