"Dear Pilgrim" accompanies the Heart to Heart - A Divine Invitation booklet and is based on the Marian Consecration Daily Prayer on the back of the booklet. View the Heart to Heart video overview at DivineInvitation.org
God loves you ...
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (RSVCE)
These words are true, dear pilgrim, and when believed by faith - life changing. Often, however, the circumstances of life have left a pilgrim feeling unloved, unsafe and without hope. But there is hope, dear pilgrim - order where there was disorder, love where it was absent and safety in the midst of life’s storms.
God desires to speak to you ...
Heart to Heart
A Divine Invitation to enter into the life of the Holy Trinity
He has given us His Mother as a model - a most holy and perfect disciple
Let us pray together, dear pilgrim, through Mary our Mother
Help me by your prayers to accomplish all that God has planned for me in advance to do. Amen.
God has a plan for your life ...
He desires to share with every pilgrim that salvation is a free gift initiated by His grace and received by each one of us through humble faith. He has a plan for each pilgrim and Jesus has come in the flesh and dwelt among us that we might have abundant life in our present circumstances and the hereafter.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (RSVCE)
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (RSVCE)
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known.Jeremiah 33:3 (RSVCE)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (RSVCE)
Renounce the devil, turn away from sin and believe the Good News ...
Help me by your prayers to be faithful to the vows of my Baptism.
“Men,” says St. Thomas, “make a vow at their Baptism to renounce the devil and all his pomps.” “This vow,” says St. Augustine, “is the greatest and most indispensable of all vows.”
St. Louis Marie de Montfort, dear pilgrim, teaches, “... that the most perfect consecration to Jesus Christ is nothing else but a perfect and entire consecration of ourselves to the Blessed Virgin, and this is the devotion I teach; or, in other words, a perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy Baptism.”
A pilgrim may ask what are the other vows of holy Baptism? Simply, a confirmation of the beliefs of the Catholic faith as written in the Apostles’ Creed.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen
Do you believe, dear pilgrim? If not, fear not ... pray as this father who desired healing for his child prayed in the Gospel of Mark.
And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-25 (RSVCE)
If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NRSVCE)
Imitation of the Holy Trinity ...
I thank God the Father, for choosing you to be my heavenly Mother. I thank God the Son, for giving you to me as He was dying for my sins and those of the whole world on the cross. I thank God the Holy Spirit, for the graces He gives me through you.
Now, dear pilgrim, we reveal to you a most profound secret and truth ... one that has influenced many Saints and Popes including St. John Paul the Great!
To give ourselves to Jesus through Mary is to imitate God the Father, Who has given us His Son only through Mary, and Who communicates to us His grace only through Mary.
It is to imitate God the Son, Who has come to us only through Mary, and Who, “by giving us an example, that as He has done, so we do also”, has urged us to go to Him by the same means by which He has come to us—that is, through Mary.
It is to imitate the Holy Ghost, Who bestows His graces and gifts upon us only through Mary. “Is it not fitting,” asks St. Bernard, “that grace should return to its Author by the same channel which conveyed it to us?” #35 Secret of Mary by St. Louis Marie de Montfort
A Pilgrim’s Response to the Divine Invitation ...
Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of all hearts, I offer and give my prayers, sacrifices, good works, time, talent and treasure to your Immaculate Heart, to do with as you please, for the greater glory of God.
It is with these words prayed with sincerity, dear pilgrim, that we accept and respond daily to the Divine Invitation. We say yes as the Blessed Virgin Mary did at the Annunciation when her Fiat - her yes - led to the Holy Spirit overshadowing her, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (RSVCE)
And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Acts 17:26-28 (RSVCE)
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” St. Augustine
An Image to hold in your heart ...
The "Triple Heart" image, from the Heart to Heart - A Divine Invitation booklet, represents the safest place for your heart to reside, dear pilgrim ... entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary within the Heart of the Most Holy Trinity.
‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Acts 13:22b (RSVCE)
After being found in temple at 12 years old, Jesus "... went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:51-52 (RSVCE)
Jesus, prior to His passion, prayed these words ...
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21 (RSVCE)
A Christmas Story
The Man and the Birds
by Paul Harvey
The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.
Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.
And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.
“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”
At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.
And he sank to his knees in the snow.