You are all so weighed down by your humanity that you never know how to pray by rising above the human, and you give the words of the prayer [only] a relative sense. But prayer opens up infinite horizons, O sons. Those horizons will be your dwelling, after returning to God —if you have known how to keep your spirit in God, and God in your spirit.
Even when you reflect on what you say—and it is already much if you do this—you give yourselves the limited range of the Earth and the flesh. With much difficulty do you raise your mind beyond the [present] moment and your daily needs.
You do not immerse yourselves in the Light.That Light is for you [only] a distant and halting reflection, like that of the sun in a Nordic winter. It is a glimmer—not even light—but only a twilight. So [too] is that Light which shines in you, because you do not open your doors to the Light which asks to plunge Itself into you, to instruct you and fortify you against the Darkness. Do not shut your spirit up within the opaqueness of material things. Your spirit is of God. And it should see God, know God, live from God, in God. He is Life for your spirit. And if you separate yourself from God with a [grave] fault, you kill your spirit; if you keep it far from God, you make it feeble and quench it like a lamp deprived of oil.
With your progress you can [now] substitute [this progress] for anything. But not for that which is life for the spirit. There is nothing that can keep your heart saintly if it is not fused with the Saint of Saints. Science, country, affections, works, become discouraging things [which are] served with wretched service, if you take away from yourselves that agent which makes you perfect in your sentiments and in your labors: union with God.
What is more admirable than a scientist, a jurist, a governor, a father, a husband, a son, an artist, a soldier—who are really Christians, and who are sincerely sons of God? Oh, do not fear! They will never know how to betray and do harm. From them will come only actions worthy of every blessing.
From what does the world weep, now? From its society cut off from God. Here is the cause of your world's undoing, of your national ruin, of so much weeping in families, and of so much shame even in families.
As inhabitants of this globe—who come from only a single stock and from only one Creator—you hate each other among yourselves. As citizens of a single Fatherland you are hostile among yourselves—as if you were of a different race. As relatives and spouses you are egotistical and unfaithful. And why? Because you have forgotten God, Who does not crush you under the avalanche of your copious human laws and human instruction, but [Who] summarizes all His law and His perfect instruction in these words only: "Love God with your whole self and your neighbor as yourself" [Mt 22:35-40]. This is the summary of the whole Divine Law and the font of every good of earth and beyond the earth. But you do not put it into practice. And from that come the chastisements which strike you.
Maria—you who love the Divine Light more than yourself, and feel you are happy the more it penetrates into you—today I want you to know the supernatural meaning of a phrase that you say, but do not understand well.
As the Pater [Our Father] should be said with supernatural reference—and foolish would he be who said it while applying to it only a human meaning and human request—so the Ave Maria [Hail Mary] should be said, not with your mind fixed on the Earth and on your flesh—which is dust that will return to dust—but should be said with your spirit lifted toward Heaven, beyond life, beyond the Earth. It is where Most Holy Mary, My Mother and yours, lives in body and soul after having lived on Earth with Her soul always soaring into Heaven.
The Pater [Our Father] is the prayer to your Father. The Ave [Hail Mary] is the prayer to your Mother.
The first part of the Our Father is praise of God. The first part of the Hail Mary is praise to Mary.
The second part of the Our Father is a request—to the Father—for all your needs as sons of God, in your temporary stop on Earth, but destined for Heaven. The second part of the Hail Mary is a request—of your Mother—for your needs as mortals and as immortals in your spirit.
Your Mother should be invoked like your Father. You should not think that She is without Mercy and Power and cannot help you in your battles, in your pains, and in your needs and temptations.
One must know how to pray. And one must know how to pray in moments of peace, in order to invoke help in the hours of struggle.
He is a fool who says: "When the time comes I will do it." Do you know if you will be able to do it then? If God will give you time to do it? Necessities, misfortunes, and even death, often come like a sudden lightning flash. Death is sometimes like a thunderbolt that strikes unexpectedly.
The Mercy of God is infinite. But it is said in the words of the Law: "Do not tempt the Lord your God" [Deut 6:16]. And, truly, you do tempt Him when you lead a life completely [and only] human, without thinking of what awaits you in the Beyond, in which you will be judged for your actions.
In the Hail Mary it is said:"Pray for us now and in the hour of death." Here, Maria. Let us read together these words which many, too many, say with their mind lifted by only one degree from the mud of Earth. With their heart they worry about the unknown only at their last moment.—a moment which makes them fear because they are not sufficiently "sons of God". If they were [truly "sons of God"], and perfectly so, death would cause no fear.
Death is the last trial. And it merits all your attention, so that it becomes a "death in the Lord". For you, a death in the Lord merits every pardon, gives eternal life in the Lord, and with its power annuls the consequences of even a culpable existence. So you have done well up till now to invoke My Mother and yours for that hour, and in that hour [of your physical death]. But know how to pray better. Not just from fear of that hour, but for so many other hours in which true death looms over you.
I have already explained to you many times, Maria, what that true death is. It is that of the spirit. And you all kill [your spirit] so often, if not always by your direct will, certainly through indifference toward that most select part of yourselves: the soul.
In the Our Father I instructed you to say: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil [one]". In the Hail Mary I make you say: "Pray for us now and in the hour of death."
Now: this is the present, which lasts but a moment of eternity. It is the life of the flesh waylaid by sickness, accidents, by the very course of time itself which brings you to the "mouth" of your life as men, and sends you into eternity.
"In the hour of death": that hour which stops your heart, and that hour—always threatening—which paralyzes your spirit and leads it to death.
I want you to think of this true, eternal death, when you invoke Most Holy Mary. From the first death you will rise again if you have died in Christ. But from the second you will never rise again.
Do not cause the infernal Enemy, the fascinating Serpent, the roaring Lion who always prowls around you to knock you down—do not cause him to seize hold of you like sure prey. So that even though you are now alive, you are already of those dead in spirit.
Mary is the Conqueress of Satan, and [just] the gleam of Her smile suffices to put him to flight. Against the snares of Satan and the weakness and appetites of the flesh, call on Mary.
If you invoke Her for that sleep from which you immediately awake, or about heavenly peace or infernal damnation—both these latter two being eternal—why should you not invoke Her [about] this atrocious sleep which brings death: the death of the fallen spirit—a sleep which, if not conquered, extinguishes you in the arms of Satan?
When death prowls around your spirit, let these invocations, made to Mary with the fullness of their significance, rise up as a defense.
Every time the hour of spiritual death looms over you, pray to the universal Mother: for all Her poor children; for the spirit of these Her poor children; for that spirit made and given to creatures by that same God Who had created and chosen Her for His Spouse and Mother. [Pray for that spirit] made and given in order to make [these creatures] Her children, and subjects of His eternal Kingdom.
Upon all of you there is the most pure and beloved Blood. That Blood which came from Her Immaculate Heart, and which has been the Seed for the Flower born of the love of God with the Virgin, and of Her perfect obedience to the Divine Will. It is the Seed of Me, the Word, become flesh in order to be Master and Redeemer, whence to be able to wash you in His Blood, wholly poured out for you all. And upon all of you there is also all the weeping of Mary, [both] My Mother and yours: another washing of [Her] co-redemption.
Through Her nature as Mother of the Savior, She has the power of salvation. Invoke Her with true faith and She will save you: now, and at the hour of death.
— NOTES —
1.-Maria Valtorta, Quadernetti (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 2006): 49-53.