DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     April 16-18, 1999     vol. 10, no. 75


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    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

          Today Sister poses the ultimate question to all of us: War or peace? She's of course speaking about the current war in the Balkans and places the responsibility on all of us in that we are all major players in this. If we want war, we can ignore what the Blessed Virgin Mary has said, or if we truly want peace then we will adhere to all she has imparted, especially at Fatima and Medjugorje as Sister shows us in her column today, WAR OR PEACE?

          Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.


      At Fatima, Our Blessed Mother told us that "war is a punishment for sin." She said that, if her children did not pray the Rosary and make sacrifices for sinners, there would be a third world war and whole nations would be destroyed.

      I donít like to be a doom and gloom sayer, but, if mental health is where reality is, then we must face the reality that for some time now, our world has been on a course of increasing grave immorality for some time.

      I have sometimes said to God: "How long can You put up with this generation? With so many grave offenses against Your Commandments?"

      The answer lies with the fact that God is infinitely patient and merciful and that He does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he/she should be converted and live.

      Another answer lies in the fact that Our Blessed Mother is exactly that ... Our Mother ... and she has been interceding and praying for us and for our conversions incessantly. She has been staying the Just Hand of God in punishing us. But how much longer can she hold back the Divine Strike?

      For those who may say that God would not punish this world, may I please kindly remind you that all GOOD parents ... at times ... though reluctantly, must punish, if they truly love their children.

      God has been sending His (our) Mother to us for almost 18 years in Medjugorje to prepare us for what would inevitably happen in our world. Our Ladyís messages can be summed up in five ideas:

    1) PEACE - Work for peace in your own heart, in your family and in your work places. Peace means having a right relationship with God and with your neighbor, as far as that is possible.

    2) PRAYER - Pray the rosary every day. Increase prayer in your life. Make Holy Mass your life. Pray from your heart. Talk to God as you would your best friend.

    3) FAITH - Every day ask God to increase your faith and then ask for whatever else you need. One of the first things Our Lady said in Medjugorje was: "Iíve come to tell you that GOD EXISTS." Faith is increased by making Acts of Faith. The more materialistic people become the less they think they need God.

    4) FASTING - Fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. And if, for health reasons you cannot, you can impose upon yourself some sacrifice. Maybe itís giving up cigarettes those days, or television ... something. Offer it up for your own conversion and that of the whole world.

    5) CONVERSION - To convert means to ďturnĒ to. We must make decisions ... moral decisions for God every day. Our Lady said: "Decide for God." Go to confession at least once a month. Twice a month would be better. All of us must work harder to make choices that are pleasing to God.

      You and I can decide for war or peace within our own lives.

      Our Ladyís many apparitions around the world have not been for fun and games. She is VERY serious. We either decide to live her messages or we can blame ourselves for the consequences.

      May God give all of us His Peace!

April 16-18, 1999       volume 10, no. 75


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