Conferences given at the MMP International Clergy Retreats
Fr. Francis Geremia, CS
THE RAYS OF LIGHT OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (PART ONE)
On 15 August 1984 (a) our Heavenly Mother said: “…I am shedding upon you the rays of my immaculate Light and, in the deep darkness in which you are more and more enveloped, I invite you to walk along the light-filled path which comes from my Heart.” In today’s first two conferences we will speak about the “rays of light” with which the Immaculate Heart of Mary enfolds us. In the two conferences of tomorrow, Our Lady will tell us: Now go and shed light upon the earth.
In her messages, Our Lady speaks about the darkness which today covers the world, the Church, families and souls. Whoever lives in sin, or has lost his faith and doesn’t know where to go, is in darkness. On the other hand, the teachers of spiritual life, when speaking about those who undertake a serious spiritual journey, say that sooner or later they have to experience the darkness of the soul.
Light and darkness
We know well the contrast that exists between Light and darkness in the History of Salvation. The first reading of midnight Mass at Christmas, begins in the following way: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.” (Is. 9:2).
In the first chapter of St. John we read: “Through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:4-5).
After the blessing of the fire at the Easter Vigil, the Priest or Deacon sings aloud: “Christ our light”; and in the Easter proclamation we announce: “Rejoice, o earth in shining splendour, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!” After a child is baptized, the parents and godparents are given a candle lit from the Easter Candle, and the Celebrant says: “Receive the light of Christ. This light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He is to walk always as a child of the light…”
We read in the Book of Revelation: “The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.” (Rev 21:23).
Our Mother tells us (#483e): “It pertains to my function as the new Eve and to my task as Mother, to bring all humanity back to the full communion of life with God, helping it to come to birth and to grow in grace and holiness. Therefore, it is my task above all to drive far away from you, from the Church and from humanity, the dark shadow of sin and evil, in order to lead you all to the Holy City of purity and love. The light of this Holy City is the very splendour of the Father; the sun which gives warmth is the Immolated Lamb, from whose Heart come forth burning rays of fire and of love; the breath is the exhalation of the Holy Spirit, who gives life and rouses all creatures to their hymn of glory and celestial harmony. This is the task entrusted to your heavenly Mother.”
The Light of the Most Holy Trinity lives in the heart of the baptized and of those who are in God’s grace; while darkness belongs to those who live in mortal sin and therefore live under Satan’s rule. Everyone must keep this lamp burning (in remembrance of the parable of the ten virgins), that is, everyone must always have Jesus in their hearts. Therefore, we must all grow in our life in Christ, that is, in our holiness. The Consecration to Our Lady helps us to preserve and increase this Light of Christ in us.
The book of Revelation tells about the battle of the Devil, the red Dragon, with the Woman clothed with the sun. When Satan couldn’t do anything against Jesus and his Mother, the Bible says that he “became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” (Rev 12:17).
(414, j) In a message of Our Lady we read: “Indeed the Apocalypse sees me as a great sign in heaven: the Woman clothed with the sun and who does battle with the Dragon and his powerful army of evil. And so the stars about my head indicate those who consecrate themselves to my Immaculate Heart; who form part of my victorious army; and who allow themselves to be guided by me in order to fight this battle and to attain in the end our greatest victory.”
Saint Teresa of Avila, in her book “The Interior Castle” describes the radiant beauty of a soul in a state of grace.
Once it so happened that, while St. Teresa of Avila was pondering the mystery and beauty of a soul, Jesus showed her the vision of a soul. In the vision, Teresa beheld an exceedingly beautiful castle, made of pure transparent crystal. At the entrance of the castle was a gate, and inside the gate there were seven mansions, each with many, many rooms.
Jesus told her, that the mansion situated in the very centre of the castle, was occupied by the King of Glory. From this central mansion, all was illuminated with the most beautiful brilliancy which emanated outwards and Teresa was delighted and enchanted with this charming vision, and thereafter she referred to it as the “Interior Castle”. This vivid and lovely image of the soul, enables us more easily to visualize the magnificently beautiful “castle” Of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady’s Heart is a mystical place where we can hide, where we can retreat to, where we can dwell with our Beloved Mother. The Mystical Castle of Mary’s Immaculate Heart is in reality, a “little Heaven”. As She says in the following message: (#33g) “My Immaculate Heart is like a part of Paradise in which I want to enclose my beloved sons.” And in another message She says: (#107j) “But why, while still living in this land of exile, do you not also live, even now, there where your Mother is? Live in Paradise with me and do not let yourselves be attracted by the world, nor imprisoned by this earth.”
And so Mary calls us to enter through the door of this, her castle. In fact, on 11 July 1983, She said: “Enter, therefore, through the heavenly gate of my Immaculate Heart”.
Our Lady’s light guides us and transforms us
We may ask, how have we have arrived before the door of this castle? In the famous poem, written by Francis Thompson, called “The Hound of Heaven”, we read of a man who was mysteriously followed by someone, day and night, for years upon years. No matter where he went his pursuer was ever there behind him.
“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him…
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.”
His was the life of a fugitive. He ran and he ran, he fled and he fled, until one day he was struck by a sudden realization. It was that the one he had been fleeing from all these years, was in fact, the one he had been searching for! For the Hound of Heaven was no other than Jesus.
In our troubled lives, perhaps unknown to us, someone has been following us too. Our Lady says: (#135 b) “For years I have followed you, day by day.” It is She, our Mother, who has brought us to the door of her castle. We now quote three other short messages: (#136 bc) “For how long have I been forming you, following you…From your very mother’s womb I have received you into my Immaculate Heart and, in life, I myself have arranged everything for you. Your whole life has been a tapestry of my love.” (#283f) “Your heavenly Mother…is watching you with her merciful eyes.” (#283 r) “I am following you and am with you. I live with you, I prepare everything for you, I lead you by the hand.”
Once inside this Mystical Castle, the Beautiful Lady is only then able to begin to bring about a wonderful and amazing transformation of our hearts, according to her maternal handicraft. How can this be, one might ask?
Think of the pearl. The pearl is formed in the oyster shell. It is formed in hiddenness. Is there anyone who can see a pearl being formed, except for God? It is formed in silence, and secrecy at the bottom of the sea, with infinite patience, with delicacy and refinement. It begins with a tiny, tiny grain of sand, one of the smallest things on the face of the earth. Then, over time, it gradually changes and is fashioned, ever so gently and slowly, into something beautiful and perfect: a pearl!
So too, the Radiant Heart of Mary is a “secret” place. It is hidden. And it is here, in this secret hiding place, that our tiny hearts are formed. With gentleness and patience, Our Lady fashions them, in silence, gracefully toiling with incomparable love. Then, slowly and imperceptibly, the tiny grains of our hearts begin to change. And with the passage of time, they evolve and are gradually formed into something beautiful and perfect, something precious and pleasing to the Most High God! Yet, no one sees this happening, not even ourselves.
(#148 hi ) “These are the times when I am working the greatest wonders in hiddenness and silence. I am working my greatest miracles in the hearts and souls of my beloved sons. Without you or others noticing it, I am leading you to great holiness.”
(#22 de) “With the act of consecration you have put your life in my hands. Now it belongs to me, it is mine. I have taken possession of it and now, bit by bit, I am transforming it according to my will. Gently I will lead you to that perfection which is pleasing to my heart, and, little by little, I will transform you into a very faithful image of my Son Jesus.”
The light of Mary in our poverty
Our Mother promises that those who are consecrated to her Immaculate heart, who take part in Cenacles and put her messages into practice, will always possess the light of Jesus, and therefore her light, even though they live in a world that no longer believes, in a corrupted world. She tells us (#441k): “In the deep darkness of this, your time, if you live with me, you can already glimpse the glimmer of the new times which are awaiting you. Look to this light and live in peace of heart and in hope. If you remain always in my Immaculate Heart, my beloved ones and children consecrated to me, even as of these moments you can begin the new era of holiness and of grace, of light and of purity, of love and of peace.”
In the message of 8 December 1995, we read: “You are called to be the pupils of my eyes; you are destined to carry my light to the ends of the earth. The light, which I give you, is that of my Son Jesus. Bring everywhere the light of his Word.” This happens even when we experience darkness or spiritual dryness: a necessary stage for those who seriously undertake the spiritual life. Humility, poverty, and even frailty, are the necessary pillars of all times for spiritual life. It is poverty – Our Lady calls it littleness – that draws the graces reserved for the true children of God. If you are in the grace of God and always try to do his will, but find yourself in the deepest darkness, don’t despair and don’t try to get over it by yourself.
Our submission to God’s will, always calls his Power upon us. As an example, we have St. Paul himself, who thus wrote to the Corinthians: “Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
Let us learn to await God’s salvation, which comes only from Jesus and from our Heavenly Mother: once again let us think about the rays of light which come from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She tells us (#483a): “My beloved children, allow yourselves to be drawn by the immaculate light of your Immaculate Mother.”
The light of Mary even in the “Darkness of the soul”
If Jesus wanted his Mother close to him while he climbed Calvary and was dying on the Cross, it means that we will be able to bear even the greatest crosses and sufferings, if we stay close to Her (#171k): “The same hours of suffering that my Son Jesus lived through are awaiting you too, beloved sons: the hours of Gethsemane, when He experienced the interior agony of being abandoned, betrayed and denied by his own…
If this is the road trodden by the Master, it is also the road which you too must tread, you his faithful disciples, as the purification of the entire Church becomes more painful. Have confidence, beloved sons, apostles of my Immaculate Heart… You must be ready to suffer more and more, the closer the final moment of purification comes. And so I have wished to prepare a safe refuge for you. In my Immaculate Heart you will be consoled and formed in the virtue of fortitude, as you become more and more aware of the presence of your heavenly Mother at your side. She will gather up all your sufferings, as beneath the Cross she did those of Jesus…”
At times, being able to accept even one’s own spiritual or material failures can be a heavy Cross. Jesus said to St. Faustina: “give me your misery, because it is your exclusive property.” Even I can say that when I experienced the greatest spiritual poverty, our Heavenly Mother took me by the hand and lead me to this experience of being loved, protected and guided by her. She once said to Don Stefano (#9d): “I myself will take you by the hand and together we shall do everything. With you, I am like a mother who is teaching her child to take its first steps. Now that I have snatched you definitively away from my Enemy, you are now taking the first steps along the road of love. How necessary it is that I stay with you! I am so very much a mother for you; I am also very jealous of you, just as I am a good but jealous mother for all the priests of my Movement.”
How many times, we too have experienced an earthquake, where everything crumbles around us, on a spiritual, pastoral, physical and at times psychological level? Thus the prayer of Psalm 130 comes to our mind: “Out of the depths I call to you, Lord, Lord hear my cry…” In these circumstances let us not force ourselves to build everything up again. Just like the refrain of the Italian song: Lascia fare a Dio : “Let God take care of it. He will be able to help you. Let God take care of it: he will be able to understand you. He will be able to offer you all his love and happiness.”
Our Lady tells us (#18c): “Be afraid of nothing, do not be worried about anything: I will do everything for you and with you, because I love you with a greater love than you could ever imagine.” So let us invite the Immaculate Heart of Mary to come with her Son Jesus to enlighten our poor grotto, which we ourselves have darkened. That is, we must say together with the Psalmist: “I wait with longing for the Lord, my soul waits for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak.” (Psalm 130).
Our Mother is always encouraging us (#205f): “Go forward with courage, without ever stopping, carrying your cross, as your brother Jesus did on his journey to Calvary, along a way which seemed impossible and out of proportion to the little strength that remained to Him. Your mission is sublime, and you must not let it come to a stop through weakness or human discouragement.”
(#196r) “Pronounce with me your yes to the cross, dearest sons of mine, because for you also the hours of the passion and of Calvary have come…Your yes, my little children, within the yes which your heavenly Mother continually repeats, with joy, to her God. Then, in you also, the will of the Father can be fulfilled, and my Immaculate Heart will become the altar upon which you will be immolated for the salvation of the world.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta herself suffered darkness, spiritual aridity and the temptation of doubt for 50 years. And yet she always smiled and spread rays of light wherever she went. It was the Crucified Jesus in her who spread graces to those who in turn were struck by many sufferings. The secret of her perseverance was the Rosary, which she always held in her hand, daily Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass.
We, who belong to the MMP, are very fortunate, because even in these times of darkness, we can always be surrounded by the rays of light of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is an anticipation of her future triumph. She tells us (367j): “The more the immaculate Light of your Heavenly Mother will spread everywhere, the more will humanity and the Church be prepared to receive the Lord who is coming.”
As God lead the Jews in the desert with a pillar of light, so also, if we go into the desert with Jesus, without getting discouraged and without complaining, we will discover the powerful presence of Jesus and of our Mother in our entire existence. If we remain docile and little, the Holy Spirit, like the cloud in the desert, or rather, as the Angel said at the Annunciation, will cover us with his shadow.
She forms us in humility
The fact that a pearl always begins with the smallest grain of sand is very meaningful. Just as a pearl can never be formed from a boulder, or a stone, or even a pebble, Our Lady, in the same way, can never form our hearts unless they are very little. (#41 ef ) “They must simply be little children, the smallest of my children. Because I call them to be great in love, in holiness, in heroism, they must become the smallest of all.”
This is the very reason why Satan untiringly tempts us, first and foremost, to pride. We know very well that he will never remind us of Saint Teresa’s debasing description of herself: “I am God’s little nothing.” Instead he emboldens us to emulate the Great Cyclops! We read in Homer’s Odyssey that there lived a race of huge one-eyed giants called the “Cyclops”. They were proud and mighty, savage and lawless monsters who dwelt in dark caves. They were able to forge thunderbolts to hurl at their enemies. In Homer’s story, Odysseus crossed paths with the fearsome Cyclops. In desperation, Odysseus frantically thought how he might save his life from the killer monster. Then he fixed upon a bold strategy. He took the Cyclops by surprise, and blinded his one eye with a sharp burning post. Once the howling Cyclops had been blinded, he groped about, and Ulysses managed to escape with his comrades.
Today we find ourselves living in the land of the Cyclops. In stark contrast to Our Lady’s call to “littleness”, Satan has transformed mankind into a great, lawless Cyclops, and blinded it with pride. (#10 h) “My poor children, how senseless they are, how blind. How the devil has known how to capture them! They have reached such blindness because they have listened neither to Jesus nor to me.” (#275 g ) In another message She tells us: “Today Satan is successfully conquering everything with the spirit of pride.” And in another message: (#53 c ) “This pride…comes solely from Satan.”
Like the proud, blinded Cyclops, mankind gropes aimlessly, headed for disaster. Because, if it is so very hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven, it is even harder for a proud man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He is no longer able to see the “narrow road that leads to life. (#109- lmn) “You must be little to oppose Satan, who is succeeding in leading people astray by pride and arrogance. Do you not understand, that he will never succeed in leading you astray, or in deceiving you, if you remain humble? You must be ever littler.”
How very insistent Our Lady is that we do not follow the way of pride. She never tires of warning us about it and she cannot stress it enough. Our generation is one that refuses to humble itself; a proud generation which has rejected the Prophetess of Fatima. She tells us: (#425 b ) “Humanity has not accepted my motherly request to return to the Lord along the road of conversion of heart and of life, of prayer and of penance.” (#529 g) “My extraordinary interventions, which I have worked in order to bring humanity back onto the road of conversion and of its return to the Lord, have been neither accepted nor believed.”
And so we have become like “Atlantis under the sea.” Plato once wrote of a lost continent, off the coast of Gibraltar, believed to have existed thousands of years ago, called Atlantis. It was said to have been a strong, highly advanced, superior civilization. But with the occurrence of some unknown natural catastrophe, Atlantis completely disappeared beneath the surface of the ocean and was never seen again!
If Atlantis were discovered at the bottom of the sea, we would perhaps marvel at the beauty and genius of this super civilization frozen in time. It would be fascinating, but it would be dead; a dead civilization, with no future, no hope, and no life. The reason we have become like Atlantis is because we are submerged under a sea of pride, living without God. And without God, there is no future, no hope, and no life. Our Lady said: (#220 i) “Humanity is experiencing the greatest rejection of God in all history.”
Satan – Our Lady tells us (#366 c) – “has made you slaves of pride and of haughtiness, with the deceptive illusion of bringing you to getting along without God, of putting your own selves in the place of God…Thus he has driven humanity to build a new civilization without God…” (#404 g) “which carries within itself the seeds of corruption and death.”
However, Satan often tempts us in a different way when, for example, we get discouraged if things don’t go according to our plans! Our Lady tells us (#128d): “(Satan) even brings you to doubt that you have been really chosen by me and loved by me, so effectively does he convince you of your wretchedness and make you feel the extent of your human fragility. To bring you to this paralysis of mind and thus render you ineffective, he will turn upon you with every kind of temptation…” At times, however, Satan tempts us in the totally opposite way.
This is what our Mother tells us in the same message (#128q): “Satan ensnares you by causing you to feel like adults, sure of yourselves, and by causing you to set the basis of your security in your own selves, in your own ideas, your own actions. And because confidence and self-abandonment are qualities of the humble, he tempts you more and more with doubt and lack of confidence in my action in your regard. He tries to convince you that it is you who should do, you who should organize, you who should act, that everything depends upon you alone… And you constantly toil all the harder and you do not let me act. And so I cannot lead you any further because you are thus no longer capable of being docile. If you do not remain little in this way, my designs cannot be realized.” Even when we preach or lead Cenacles, we must be conscious of the way in which God works. (#129e) “It is the Holy Spirit who suggests everything to you – She tells us – But it is the Mother who gives word and form to all that the Spirit prompts you to say, so that you may reach the hearts and minds of those who listen to you…”
With trust let us raise our eyes to Mary
What can save this rebellious generation that is in danger of sinking under the enormous weight of its own pride and being lost beneath the sea? This pagan civilization can only be saved by the “Woman clothed with the sun”. It was she who saved some pagan Incas of Copacabana, Bolivia in 1576. One dark night they found themselves caught in a violent storm on the lake. Their fishing boat was being tossed upon the waves. They were terrified, totally at the mercy of the storm. Just as they were about to sink, one of the fishermen sighted a glowing light out over the water. As it came closer, they saw that it was a beautiful radiant lady, glowing with light, hovering above the waves! She was motioning to them to follow her. With what strength they had left, they tried to turn the boat in her direction, and they managed to follow the radiant Lady as she glided across the waters.
She led them through the night until they finally reached a safe harbour. The fishermen were overjoyed, but when they looked back, the mysterious lady had vanished! It would not be until years later that the pagan fishermen would discover the identity of the lady, that she was in fact the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact, they saw that same Lady in a painting in a Catholic Church.
In these times, it is necessary for all of humanity, so threatened, to turn to the Lady of the Light in order to be led to safety. (#252 d ) “In the stormy sea in which you are sailing, hasten all to my Immaculate Heart.” (#327 i ) “From my Heart there comes a ray of light: it is the light of your Mother, faithful Virgin.” (#285n ) “Do not lose heart!…Let yourselves be carried in my Heart over the stormy waters. Courage!”
Let us enter into the safe refuge of Her Immaculate Heart
Our Lady wishes to lead us to that safe harbour of her Mystical Heart because she sees that we are living, in fact, as she tells us, (#14 h) “in the midst of the greatest storm in history.” Let us listen to her ominous warnings. Turning to the Church, she says (#242 f ): “You will be buffeted by the wind of a tempest and a hurricane.” (#509 f ) Many “will be scattered by the violent wind of this frightful hurricane.”
A hurricane is an awesome thing. It is a tropical storm of violent intensity. Its circular wind speeds can reach as high as 250 miles per hour. A hurricane has an immense power, equivalent to the explosive energy of several thousand atomic bombs! Amazingly, in the exact centre of the hurricane, there is calmness. This is called the “eye” of the hurricane. Even though the eye is surrounded by a vertical “wall “ of roaring thunderstorms, rising to a height of 8 miles, inside the eye, all remains peaceful and calm, with clear skies directly above. The “eye of the hurricane” is an especially vivid image of Mary’s Luminous Heart, because, even though we are frightened by the violence of the storm raging all around us today, we are surprisingly untouched by it and even encompassed by a certain calmness and tranquility. (#33 f ) “My Heart is a
refuge which protects you from all these events…You will remain serene, You will not let yourself be troubled, You will have no fear. You will see all these things as from afar, without allowing yourself to be in the least affected by them.”
(#83 s ) “My Heart will be for you the place of your peace, while outside, the most violent storm is raging.” There inside her Luminous Heart, we experience a profound peace and serenity which is undisturbed by the frenzy, wild fury, and turbulence of the world that encircles us.
Together with Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a light in the darkness
Like a glowing moon, above the horizon, the Luminous Heart of Mary is set in the midst of a dark night. Our Lady comes to us in our night of these times. (#14 a ) “Night has now fallen upon the world, my son. This is the time of darkness, Satan’s hour.” (#256 d ) The world “is immersed in the deepest of nights and no beginning of a year can dissipate the great darkness in which it is walking.” (#368 b ) “You are living the dark hour of the victory of my Adversary, who is the Prince of the Night.” (#250 c) “You are living through tempestuous and difficult days: men are withdrawing further and further from God and their hearts are being closed, in the chill of egoism and hatred.” The darkness of our time is so deep that people can no longer distinguish good from evil. In how many traditionally Christian cities, are Gay Pride parades, which are true celebrations of sin!
We are like the Egyptians, struck by the plague of darkness, a darkness so black that they could not see their hand in front of their faces. And, obstinate like Pharaoh, we refuse to look to the light of the Heavenly Mother. Instead, we turn to the Witch of Endor, like King Saul, and seek an answer to our problems from the “Powers of Darkness”, the New Age Wizards, or the deranged wisdom of this darkened world. Our Lady won’t abandon us because she assures us: (#250 d) “but over this world of yours there throbs my motherly and Immaculate Heart, which beats with love for all and is ever causing the dew of grace and of mercy to descend upon the earth…”
Yes, the Radiant Heart of Mary has come to bring light to her lost children.
She continuously repeats to us: (#381 c ) “I want to let shine upon the whole world, the light of my Immaculate Heart.” Satan forever tries to extinguish this light. He, says Our Lady (#200 h ) “succeeded in extinguishing the light of divine life in many souls.” As with Mary, Satan too, unfortunately, has his “Castle of apparent light”. And he wishes to lure us into this black enticing abode which is for us a source, not of light, but of darkness.
Satan’s dark castle resembles the curious “Black Holes” which astronomers have discovered in the universe. They are invisible and mysterious. They are astonishingly powerful! A Black Hole is believed to be a collapsed star which exerts an enormous inward magnetic power on nearby objects. It consumes and draws into itself, everything that comes near it -asteroids, comets, stellar particles. At the centre of the Black Hole, matter is compressed and crushed to zero volume. Its infinitely strong gravitational force actually squeezes matter out of existence. This inward force is so inconceivably powerful that it even devours light.
This is exactly what Satan does. He devours the light. He is the “Prince of Darkness.” He is a fallen angel, a collapsed “star”. With his frightful and extraordinary power in the world, he seeks everywhere to annihilate the light, and to magnify the darkness, because, to the very core of his dreadful being, he is anti-light, anti-truth, anti-Christ!
Fortunately, in the spiritual world there is a power in the universe which exceeds that of this “preternatural Black Hole.” It is the Star of the sea of the Virgin, whose light cannot be blotted out, whose celestial brilliance escapes the engulfing power of the Black Prince. She is the dazzling Queen of Light who illuminates the deepest night. She has the divinely-assisted power, not only to nullify the darkness, but to actually retrieve what has been devoured. She is the one who has been sent to drag sinners out of the deathly vortex of Satan’s all-consuming, bottomless Black Hole. (#29 g ) “At the very moment when Satan will be enthroned as lord of the world and will think himself now the sure victor, I myself will snatch the prey from his hands. In a trice he will find himself empty-handed.”
We mustn’t forget that the Angels of light are always at the disposal of the Queen of the Angels, in her battle against the Angels of darkness. Here we quote only one of her numerous Messages (#433a): “In these times of the great tribulation, I urge you to live in a union of life with the Angels of the Lord. Today they have an important task to carry out on your behalf. They light up for you the path along which you must journey, in order to be faithful to the consecration which you have made to me. It is a difficult and painful path, marked by many obstacles and threatened by the many snares of my Adversary. The Angels take you by the hand and lead you along the path of light, of love and of holiness. They give you courage and comfort in the many difficulties which you must put up with and they support you in your human weakness. They are at your side as true brothers, who take to heart your person and your life.”
Nothing can stop our Heavenly Mother.
At times she even intervenes personally to rescue. Such was the case with Joseph Terylia, who was imprisoned in a Siberian jail by the communists for distributing religious pamphlets in the Ukraine. This is an episode which he himself told us during a Retreat while I was in the Hamilton Parish. One night the guards attempted to freeze him to death. It was winter and there was no glass in his solitary confinement. Joseph paced back and forth in his tiny dark cell, saying the rosary, until he could no longer walk. When he sat down on the bench, he felt his jaw beginning to freeze. Then his eye-lids froze shut.
As Joseph resigned himself to death in that cold, merciless night, he suddenly realized that there was a light in the room. Had the guards come with flashlights? There was not a sound. Then, to his great surprise, he felt a human hand over his eyes! From the hand came a thawing warmth. When he slowly opened his unfrozen eyes, what did he see? There, right before him, was the Blessed Virgin, encircled with indescribable light! Joseph was so astonished, he could not speak. She smiled at him and then said, “Yes. It is I, Your Mother!” In the morning the guards stood at the door in disbelief that Joseph was still alive. Some time afterwards he was released and expelled from the country.
As our world is imprisoned in a darkness far worse than a Siberian jail, Our Lady must come to rescue us by means of her invincible light. She comes to bring us from this dark prison to her Castle of Light. When Our Lady entered Joseph Terylia’s prison cell, he found himself immersed in a resplendent shimmering light. And when we enter the Luminous Castle of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, we also find ourselves enveloped by a heavenly, supernatural light, not of this world. (#305 b ) “I am the ever Virgin Mother. I am immaculate whiteness, the splendour of Heaven which reflects the light of the Most Holy Trinity.” (# 305 a) “I enfold you with my motherly rays; I enlighten you with the light which comes from my Immaculate Heart.” (#499 c) “I reflect upon you the rays of my splendour.” (#108 f) “I will cover you with my own brightness and you will always be filled with light.”
Deep inside the Luminous Castle of Mary’s Heart, there is a secret passageway which leads to the “Holy City”. This passageway she calls the “way of light”. (#429 i ) “Today…I urge you to walk, each and all, along the way of light which I have traced out for you.” (#483 f ) “It is my task above all…to lead you all to the Holy City.” (#483 z ) “Allow yourselves to be drawn by the enchantment of your Heavenly Mother and follow me, in the wake of my sweet fragrance, in order to go with me to meet the Holy City.” (#483 p ) “The Spirit took me to the top of a great mountain which was very high, and the angel showed Jerusalem, the Holy City, which is that of the Lord. It was coming down out of Heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendour of God, its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like a gem, clear as crystal.”
Just as in the past many holy cities were built up around great cathedrals, situated in the centre, so too, there is to be found in the heart of the “Holy City”, the new Church of Light”. This will be an unheard of reality, novel, extraordinary, and inexpressibly beautiful to the amazement of all.
(#435 bd ) “Today I announce to you that there is about to be born the new Church of Light…That which is being prepared is so great that its equal has never existed since the creation of the world.” (#429 c ) “It is the Church of Light which has a splendour greater than a thousand suns put together.” (#161 i ) “The Church will shine gloriously with a great light such as has never been known.”
High up upon the soaring cliffs of Tyntagel, on the west coast of England, the wind blows across the stone ruins of the ancient castle of the great King Arthur. From these ruins, his kingdom will never rise again, and the winds will blow there forever. But from the ruins of this dark epoch of our times, like a Phoenix rising from the flames, there will arise a new kingdom that will last forever. It is the Kingdom of the Prince of Light, the King of Kings. And towering above the pinnacles of the Kingdom will be the turrets of the Luminous Castle of the Queen of Light. As for the Black Prince: (#464 l ) “Soon his reign will be reduced to a heap of ruins and his power will be destroyed.” (#464 m ) “And it will be Jesus Christ, King of eternal glory, who will reign over the whole renewed world and thus bring about the beginning of the new times, which are on the point of arriving.” So now we see how very precious is this Luminous Heart of Our Lady, in which we find ourselves enclosed, and how gracious is She who has called us to be her own “Apostles of Light.”
This will be the subject of the next two conferences.