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Good Eternal Father, we are happy to gather together at the dawn of this year to wish You a “Happy Feast Day!” What joy and gratitude we feel over having you as our Father! How could we ever express the immense happiness we feel over being your children? We, poor humans, even sinners, we can call You “Our Father,” just as Jesus, Your beloved Son, taught us.
On several occasions in the Gospel, God the Father manifested Himself directly. After Jesus received baptism in the Jordan from the hands of John the Baptist, He withdrew upon the bank and began to pray. Suddenly the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended visibly in the form of a dove and rested upon Him. At the same time, a voice from the heavens was heard, saying: “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
On another occasion, Jesus was on Mount Tabor with three of His Apostles: Peter, James and John. The Gospel relates: While He was praying, He was transfigured before them. His face shone as the sun; His garments became radiant as snow when it reflects a dazzling light. Peter and the two others were weighed down by sleep. When they awoke, they saw Jesus in glory. Saint Peter, delighted with this manifestation, exclaimed, “Let us set up three tents here and remain.” A cloud surrounded Jesus, and from out of the cloud came a voice saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!
On Palm Sunday the crowd ran ahead of Jesus with palm and olive branches to acclaim Him: “Hosanna! to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” This upset and enraged the Pharisees, who expressed their spite in no uncertain terms. A few moments after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus foretold His imminent Passion again, and then He added: Now My soul is troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour! But it is for this hour that I have come. O Father, glorify Your Name! And from heaven a voice was heard once more: I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.
You have noticed that on each of these occasions, the voice of God the Father was heard as Jesus was praying.
My dear brothers and sisters, We give you as the watchword for this year, PRAYER, so that God may manifest Himself and that His voice may be heard.
Last year we asked you to read the Holy Gospel, with the wish that the Kingdom of God may come. This year we maintain the same wish: God’s Kingdom come!
“Good Heavenly Father, we wish for You that through prayer, the Spirit of Your Divine Son and His sentiments, His examples and His Wills which are Yours, may be impregnated in us, so that Your Kingdom may come in us.”
My brothers and sisters, if the voice of God makes itself heard in your heart, if you truly listen to Jesus, the Kingdom of God will be established within you. And if God reigns in you, infallibly His Kingdom will also be established over all the earth. Jesus said to His Apostles, It is the glory of My Father that you go, that you bear much fruit and that your fruit should remain. Each person who follows this path, who wants to contemplate Jesus, pray to Him, study Him, draw near to Him so that He may reign in him, bears fruit, and that fruit remains.
My brothers and sisters, this year we ask you for prayer, especially prayer while studying Jesus and contemplating Him in His Gospel. Continue to read the Gospel while praying humbly, entreating Jesus to manifest Himself to you. Jesus says to us: I have kept My Father’s commandments and I abide in His love. I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. The Father is always with Me, He does not leave Me alone, because I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. While contemplating Jesus, let us make His words a prayer.
We dream of seeing that the kingdom of God be finally established over all the earth. May evil cease, shameless evil, evil generalized everywhere. In order for the Kingdom of God to come, His Will must be established within us first. Turn to -Jesus in prayer: “My Jesus, You who, being God, said to me that You have come to do Your Father’s Will, following You, I want to do the Will of God.”
One day the Apostles asked Our Lord -Jesus Christ, “Lord, show us how to pray.” Jesus answered: When you pray, say: “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come!…” These first words of the prayer taught by Jesus Himself are the first reason for the watchword for this year: That the Holy Name of God be hallowed and that His Kingdom come! May each one of us sanctify the Name of God in his own life. In this way, it will be sanctified around us.
We are grieved on seeing that God does not reign on the earth, we suffer over it. Let us pray! Let us implore God to convert us, to transform all our brothers of the earth. May He intervene in His almighty power to touch the hearts of His children. It is not easy to touch the hearts of men. In certain circumstances, it is mission impossible. To bring hearts into the way of the good, to detach them from the earth and orient them towards God is mission impossible. And yet, God is asking His child to be united to Him. How can we attain this? Amen, amen, I say to you, says Jesus, whatever you ask the Father in My Name, He will give you, especially if your prayer seeks His glory, His interests. If you ask that He be known, loved and served, God will absolutely answer your prayer. Jesus says, I say to you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive, and it shall be granted you.
The world needs prayers more than words or commentaries. This year, let us make this prayer, a prayer of the Church: that the name of God be sanctified! I am making this a very pressing invitation to you, a watchword. That the name of God be sanctified, that at last our God may be glorified, that our Heavenly Father may manifest Himself. He is almighty, He knows how, we have no advice to give Him. But we have a lot of prayers to make! Until now, you have not asked anything in My Name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full, for God is going to reveal Himself to our hearts.
Our hearts suffer over seeing God flouted, scorned, derided, set aside. People turn to the earth, to idols. You deplore the fact that even in your own lives, so many things set an obstacle to this love of God, to His honor, His glory.
What is sin? It is disobedience to God. It is thinking and living like earthlings. Instead of bearing in mind the prospect of our eternal destiny, we say like worldlings, “There’s no harm in that. There’s no harm in this, no harm in that, no harm in all sorts of things.” We treat ourselves to our whims, we entertain and amuse ourselves on earth, we do not sacrifice ourselves, because “there’s no harm in that!” Religion does not consist uniquely in not doing evil, but above all in uniting ourselves to God. To make up a religion based on the principle “There’s no harm in that” is a false religion. It is not a religion. We must insist on union to God. Our attachments, our lack of sacrifice, our earthly ambitions, all of that keeps us from uniting ourselves to God. That is the real evil: not being united to God, the sole aim of our life. To live only for the earth, like an earthling, without an eternal destiny: that is evil. This is what we have to say, and we must be convinced of it.
Evil is not in one thing or another. You might even say: “Jesus made a miracle, He changed water into wine. There’s nothing wrong with drinking!” That is true! But to be attached to drinking is evil, and not only in excess, but even being attached to it. Being attached to things of the earth, being attached to anything whatsoever, is evil. To say that there’s nothing wrong in it is evil. We must detach ourselves from everything on earth. We must live on earth as strangers. Our sole attachment must be Jesus. Our goal is union to Him. We must understand this. Once you have understood this, all the rest becomes luminous.
The more a soul is detached from the earth, the more it can truly enter into prayer. To become souls of prayer in the full meaning of the word, souls truly united to God, we must be sacrificed souls. We must strive for this, work at it, desire it. To truly contemplate God, we must detach ourselves from the earth. The two go hand in hand. To be a soul of prayer, you have to sacrifice yourself. And to arrive at sacrificing yourself, you must pray, you must ask God for the strength.
Jesus says, The Father is always with Me, because I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. What is the goal of prayer, if not union to God? Through prayer, sinful, infirm man unites himself to his God! My brothers and sisters, if I ask you for prayer this year, it is because I would like each one of you to be united to God. Prayer unites you to God, makes you enter into His intimacy, into His Will. Through prayer you contemplate Jesus, you implore Him to resemble Him.
One of the things that Jesus manifests to us as a central point in His Gospel is obedience to His Father. He never tires of teaching this to us. The Son of God, equal to His Father: with what humility Jesus speaks to us, with what docility and obedience! Not on My own authority do I say the words I speak to you: it is My Father who sent Me. For I have not spoken on My own authority, but He who sent Me, the Father, has commanded Me what I should say, and what I should declare. Not on My own authority do I accomplish the works that I do: it is My Father who sent Me to do them. I do everything that My Father has commanded Me. The things that I have heard from My Father, I have made known to you. Jesus says this over and over in every way. I came down from Heaven, not to do My will but the Will of the One who sent Me.
When I was a young religious, these words which Jesus repeats incessantly annoyed me for a long time. I said within myself: “Jesus, You give us Your teaching in the Gospel. You are God, I believe it: the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, incarnate; You came to show us the way to Heaven. I believe Your word, it is enough for me. So since You are God, why do You always repeat in so many ways that what You say and do, it is Your Father who told You to speak and act that way? My Jesus, You look like an errand boy to me, a little boy to whom his father said, ‘Son, little boy, go and get a quart of milk at the corner store. Go and get me some bread. Go and return this to the neighbor and tell him this for me.’ The little boy goes and repeats, ‘Daddy told me to tell you this.’” The child says nothing on his own; it is his father who spoke. This really annoyed me, until the day God was merciful to me and I finally understood that Jesus had formulated these words so many times to confound my pride, ruffled by this extreme humility of the Son of God incarnate who says and repeats over and over: What I say, it is My Father who told Me to say it. What I do, it is My Father who told Me to do it.
This year, let us unite ourselves to Jesus in this petition: “My Jesus, I want to resemble You in Your obedience. I want to accomplish the Will of the Heavenly Father like You. I want it so that Your kingdom may come.” Jesus says, Father glorify Your Son! The Son is glorified by His Father when a child, a Christian, unites himself to Him in prayer and follows His examples.
May your prayer be humble! Let it not be the prayer of the Pharisee: “I am not like the rest of men, a sinner. Thank You, Lord, that I am not like them.” Let us rather say: “O Lord, convert me! May Your kingdom come in me. May Your name be hallowed in my life, in my conduct, in all my words, my thoughts, in everything. My God, I implore You…”
If you pray with humility like this, God will reveal Himself to your heart, I assure you in His name. It is God Himself who assures us of it. You just heard in the Gospel of today’s Mass: O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I bless You for having hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and for having revealed them to little ones. And Jesus continues: Yes, Father, I bless You, for such was Your good pleasure. It is a will of God, it is a must. God reveals Himself to the little ones. The little one prays with humility, he weeps before God and wants so much to be pleasing to his heavenly Father. He groans and entreats Him, seeing the universal desolation, he offers his prayer for all his brothers and sisters of the earth: “Lord, come to our assistance! Come to our help! Convert me! Convert us! Change this world, so that Your name may be glorified! Thy kingdom come!”
God speaks to the heart of that little one in prayer, whereas He hides voluntarily from the arrogant, the proud, the great in heart, the wise of this world. And if God hides Himself voluntarily, you will never find Him. It is impossible! He hides His secrets from the proud and -reveals them to the little one who prays humbly before Him. What a power, what a wonder! God manifests Himself in humble prayer. But persevere in prayer, and never grow weary.
We would like to be answered instantaneously when we pray. “My God, I am a bit proud, I need You to transform me. I am vain, disobedient, sensual, carnal, gluttonous, slothful, full of myself, egotistical. I think only of myself. I seek my whims, my pleasure on earth. Please change that, Lord! There! Thank You!” The prayer has been made and we move on to something else, we have fun, we amuse ourselves. Then we say to ourselves, “I asked humbly, and I did not obtain it!” The prayer you made is good, but persevere in prayer! Pray without ceasing, without ever growing weary, and you will receive.
You who desire to know God in order to love Him and serve Him, you must pray humbly. Otherwise you will never know God, you will not really love Him. We are never mistaken when we pray humbly, striking our breast, praying God to manifest Himself to us. When God manifests Himself, man infallibly falls in love with Him. When a man loves God, he serves Him. Then everything changes. A Saint, a servant of God, can change the world. We have seen it in history. Consider Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the durable mark she has made in the Church. God manifested Himself to the soul of that little nun who prayed, who united herself to Him in the humility of her heart. She entreated God, she contemplated Him in prayer.
Prayer can take all kinds of forms. There is public prayer. There is the moment when we gather together to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the greatest prayer of Jesus. On the altar, Jesus immolates Himself to His Father as on Calvary.
Let us contemplate the prayer of Jesus in the womb of His Mother, the Virgin Mary. What must have been the prayer of that Little One in the grotto of Bethlehem, in the cold night, in silence, in that place abandoned by people, a shelter for passing animals? What was the prayer of our God incarnate, a little Child? You contemplate this prayer of Jesus, you unite yourself to His prayer in His Mother’s arms, in that food trough for animals. That is how Jesus began: in a food trough for animals! Contemplate the prayer of that Little One.
What was the prayer of Jesus, hunted down because a prideful potentate had decided to kill all the little children to make certain to destroy Him? What was the prayer of that Little One before the Holy Innocents who were being massacred for Him? He leaves in exile for Egypt, like an outcast, in His Mother’s arms, conducted by Saint Joseph. He is exiled from His Heaven, exiled from His homeland. You contemplate this prayer: Jesus is a stranger in the most absolute sense, with the most total privations. You contemplate Him and you pray. You tell Him that you too want to become a stranger on earth, because you want so much to resemble Him. “It is hard for me, my Jesus. I let myself get tempted, I let myself get snagged by so many things. I get attached to everything. I detach myself from one thing, and five others snare me! My Jesus! And You… You were a stranger…”
After seven years of exile in Egypt, He returns to Nazareth and remains unknown. You ask Jesus: “What was Your prayer during those thirty years?… What silent prayer, in the union of Your soul with Your heavenly Father, seeking only His Will! During the course of Your public life, we often see You withdrawing to a mountain to pray during the night.” What was that silent prayer of Jesus at night, on the mountain, in a secluded place, alone with His Father, without any witnesses? The Son of God who prays!…
This year, may your prayer be made in imitation of Mary. Think of little Mary, entrusted to the Temple from the age of three where She remained until She was fourteen. Contemplate Her praying for the Kingdom of God to come. For years, She implored God with tears: “O Lord, come! Come! We need You! Things are not going well, come! Come and save this poor world, we are all lost.” Very young, She prayed, She implored God. God received the prayer of that little girl with such joy and pleasure. Through the prophecies, young Mary knew that the hour of the Redemption, the coming of the Messiah, was at hand. She prayed to hasten that day. Nevertheless, She did not know that She was to become the Mother of God. Certain people might say that at any rate, the divine designs were fulfilled at the hour willed by God. Yes, of course! But the prayers of little Mary were necessary for them to be fulfilled.
It is the same thing for us now. We must make this petition to God. Following the example of little Mary praying in the Temple, our prayer must be a petition to God to hasten His Kingdom, to hasten the hour of salvation. That is the intention of the watchword. That is the prayer that we are going to make all together this year. We are going to implore God to hasten the moment of salvation for humanity. The days are counted, the hour is near for the accomplishment of God’s designs, but God wants this prayer; He is waiting for it.
Wherever you may be, pray with us as much as you can, as much as human frailty permits. Unite with the Church in this prayer to hasten that hour. You are already asking for it a great deal; I know that you are suffering in your soul. God sees it. Continue to pray, to implore. God is waiting for your supplication.
At Cana, Our Lord answered the Blessed Virgin who had asked Him to intervene: My hour has not yet come. With Her prayer, the Virgin Mary hastened the hour of God. God is waiting for these suppliant prayers this year, more than you might think: “O Lord, hasten Your design!…” We sang all through Advent: “Come, Divine Messiah!” Let us continue that same supplication: “O Lord, hasten this moment of salvation! Compensate and come to perfect what is lacking in us. Sanctify us so that we may be fit to fulfill Your project. Detach us from the earth!” Let us repeat this wonderful prayer to the Mother of Salvation: “Detach us from the earth, purify our hearts, unite us to You in order to ask for mercy, to hasten the moment, to hasten that blessed day of the redemption and salvation of the world.”
You see the intervention of Heaven that took place through the mission of Saint Joan of Arc. This is what is happening with the Renewed Church. This time it is an intervention of Heaven for the Church, for humanity. God will have pity on men as He had pity on France. Even though the French were not innocent or any holier than the others, God had pity on them. It was a decision of Heaven. What is on the way is a decision of Heaven to make hell tremble, to give Satan a decisive defeat. The devil has been laughing at God for too long. The Kingdom of God will come, have no doubt!
May your prayer be virtually habitual, day and night. Pray in your comings and goings, in your occupations, but above all, reserve some personal moments for yourself, moments of tranquility, of solitude, all alone with God. Consecrate some time to make this supplication to God, calmly, beneath His gaze, striking your breast, annihilating yourself before Him: “Lord, if Your assistance does not come, it is my fault. Do not delay salvation because of my negligences, my offenses. I beg of You, purify me, detach me from the earth, please! Take away the obstacle from me so that salvation may come, because it is urgent! Do Your Work, operate our salvation. We need it. It is for Your glory.” This humble prayer touches the Heart of God.
We wished for the establishment of the Kingdom of God for the year that just finished. Did you see how it ended? With an act of idolatrous worship before the whole world. This shows you the urgency of the hour. Some Churchmen find all sorts of formulas to justify this apostasy. This worship given to idols is an indescribable abomination! Alas, things are going to get even worse! It is not God who is reigning on the earth today, it is the devil.
And yet, soon, very soon, the hour of God will come. Jesus says, Now is the hour of the power of darkness. But soon it will be His hour, the hour of His sweet divine vengeance, the sweet revenge of His Infinite Love.
Soon will come the moment of the vengeance of Infinite Love, through those He Himself has put in reserve here and there all over the world, who will be meek and humble in their heart, who will intercede in favor of humanity. That is our role this year. Before God, let us purify ourselves and implore Him: “Accomplish Your design. Purify what must be purified. Remove everything that sets an obstacle to Your grace. But please, do not delay Your projects!” God loves supplicant prayer which rises up to Him, and all of Heaven listens to that prayer with admiration. If you only knew, you would always be in this state of prayer which makes Heaven enter into jubilation and which so to speak makes it forget the reign of Satan.
Good heavenly Father, for Your glory we are going to offer this first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of the year 2020, which will unfold beneath Your divine gaze. We pray You to look closely at Your Son, who is going to immolate Himself on this altar, and who prays to You as He sacrifices Himself. Jesus prays for us and implores You to grant mercy to the poor world, so distant from You. We pray You to receive this sorrowful prayer of Jesus on Calvary, and to let Yourself be touched. Although we are very faint-hearted and fearful, we unite ourselves to His sorrowful prayer in order to implore You that Your name be hallowed upon the earth, to implore You that Thy Kingdom come!
So, my brothers and sisters, this year we are going to seek to penetrate ourselves with the thought of Jesus through prayer. May He assist our brothers of the earth. We ask Him for His Kingdom to come. We have a fine role this year. Heaven is counting on us. A holy year of prayers, of supplications to God all together!
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.