Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
April/May 2003 — Issue #69
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This is Annie's section
Are you ready for spring? We are feeling it in the air and seeing it as the flowers begin to bloom. It was funny that all winter the woods and forest seemed to be asleep; it was so quiet outside. As I went from the house to the office, there were many days when the stillness was so intense. It reminded me of the stillness of the soul when you get into a deep quiet time with God. Then one morning as I opened the door, I was bombarded with noise, activity, and life-as if during the night a silent alarm had awakened nature. The birds were chirping, and even the wild turkey were letting us hear their call. Listening to nature awaken after a long sleep, I am stunned at the amount of noise that had been absent until the perfect time. Later in the week there were robins, blue jays, and cardinals in the front yard. For a few days I was so uplifted and taken by the way everything came to life. Then I went down. I'm sure there will be many times in the months to come when I will ride this roller-coaster of grief. Sometimes you're up and sometimes you're not.
I put off beginning this letter. It's been difficult to tell you that I'm not feeling uplifted or upbeat all the time. At times I feel so out of touch with life, even when life is teeming around me. It's difficult for me to open my feelings because so many times I'm misunderstood. I don't know how many people have told me that Byron is with me, as if I didn't know. Or that he is still alive. Then I remember how difficult it is to find the words to say to someone after the death of a loved one. And the words said are just a way to communicate their sympathy and caring. And yes, I do need to hear it over and over. I appreciate the thought that gives life to the words of comfort. I appreciate the love and caring that underlies each word.
I don't for one minute doubt the validity of Mother Mary's message. I fully believe in life and that life is not hindered, nor ends, with death. One day I realized I would feel this way if Byron had gone to another planet, the space station, or a remote place on earth where I couldn't see, touch, or hear his voice.
So many times Mother Mary has told me to be who I am, to stay honest with myself and you. That in itself is a reoccurring lesson in my life. I can go into denial real fast, go brain dead, not feeling or thinking, simply existing, when my mind wants to avoid something. So I'm relearning old lessons: the lesson of staying on task, staying in the present, and to accept whatever life throws my way. Most of all to remember that all the strength and courage I need or we need is within us. I'm getting up, and when I'm not brain dead, I choose to have a happy, healthy, wealthy life, to be peaceful and to love.
It seems most difficult to remain committed to joy and happiness in the midst of sorrow. It would seem most difficult to live from a standpoint of love when you are seeped in fear. Most importantly for all of us right now, it may be most difficult to be filled with peace in this climate of war. But these are the very times we need, for our own sake and for the sake of the world, to stand fast in our belief that this world can be lived in joy, love, and peace. It is not impossible; if I can remember to believe in joy when my heart is sad, then anyone can. There has been no special gift given to me above what anyone else has within them.
There is a tendency in humanity to want someone else in the world to have it easier, because it seems this is the only way a lot of people can have faith in the goodness of God. What I have learned is that we are one. Remember that Jesus said, "The things I do, ye shall also, and greater things than these." It is within our make-up to be loving, peaceful, and joyful. This is what I believe, not as an abstraction, but as reality. I'm experiencing it now. Many people are surprised that I would feel so much sorrow when I've had Mother Mary's presence in my life. One has nothing to do with the other, because I'm no different from anyone else. I may just be more vocal about my life situations. And-that is the hardest part of this whole thing-to let you know how I'm really feeling, what is really happening in my life, and not sugarcoat my experiences to seem to be all when I'm not.
Being vocal doesn't mean I'm hopeless; it just means that I am following Mother Mary's direction to tell people the truth of what is happening in my life. There have been the notes and phone calls that say thank you for being so open with your life. If in some small way it helps one person, then it is worth the discomfort. We are in a time when we need to keep our faith, not just as a religion, but as an experience in our lives. So many times people describe a person's faith as Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. To me, my faith is in the things I hope and pray for. My faith is in God's Truth and Love. It is a deep-seated belief that God only gives good. When we make a muck of life through wrong or misguided choices, it is not God's will, but our choice. What I've experienced is that even if I make a muck of things, when I released the situation into God's care, it works out in amazing ways.
Please help me stand firm in the faith that peace is possible on earth and that all of mankind can learn to live peacefully together. Help me to visualize not only peace, but joy and love in this time of dissention and turmoil. Join me in prayer and then release the request for peace to God so that He can work out how it will come about without our interference.
There is a movement on the West Coast to join our hearts and minds in peace by placing a light in the window of your home until we have peace. The light can be a candle, lamp, or Christmas lights, whatever you choose. I have a lamp in my window; for me it symbolizes my prayer for peace in all parts of the world.
Most importantly is my heartfelt thank you for allowing me to ramble my way though this letter and for your continued support. We can make a difference if we will follow our guidance, which to me is my gut instinct, and do what each of us is led to do to promote peace. I pray all is well in your world. All my love, dear friends, until next time.
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come to you today with a heart filled with hope. Do not despair; your prayers are heard. Keep praying. Do not waver; stay in an attitude of prayer. Concentrate on peace above all. When is a light most welcomed and appears to be the brightest? When you are in the darkest place. Today on earth it seems that you have been thrown into the darkest of dark times, with war and terrorism on all sides. Yet I would have you remember that you cannot be in darkness, because you are filled with the light. I would have you hold your light up to peace in every thought, in every word, in every deed. Remain hopeful and let your concentration be for a peaceful world. Be strong in your faith in God. These are the things to think on, concentrate on, and pray for.
What you concentrate on becomes concentrated. It can become so concentrated it will appear to be solid and firm in essence, when in fact it is not. Remember that darkness cannot live in light, and that hope erases despair. You are truly the light of the world. The world is dependent on your faith, your hope, and most assuredly on your light of peace. When you gather to pray, are your thoughts and words on peace or on the events of war? When you end your day, do you end it in prayers or in news reports about war? When you talk to friends and loved ones, are you promoting hope, or do you relate news of fear and war? I am not saying that you should be uninformed about the events in the world. I am asking you to watch where your thoughts and focus are lingering. My children, the important words are lingering and concentration.
Stay focused on prayer and on hope for a world that lives in companionship and in compassion. Prayer is as much an act as it is an attitude; it is as much a request as it is a stillness; it is as much a feeling of compassion as it is a belief. Prayer keeps you hopeful. It works to change you, and through you it can and will change world events. Humanity is at a crossroads. Humanity can continue to choose to create violence, it can choose to create war, or it can choose to create peace. Peace is more than the cessation of war. Peace is the ability to live serenely in the midst of violence. Peace is a choice, it is a decision, it is an attitude, it is a cause.
Pray, my children, that humanity will choose peace, not only as a cessation of war, but a cessation of wickedness, a cessation of angry prejudices. Above all keep yourself from voicing or feeling or thinking of a single person or a group of people as your enemy. When you designate a person or nation as your enemy, you are at war. The danger in this kind of thinking is that you continue to see humanity as fragmented and not as whole. In order to have peace on earth as you dream of it, it must begin within you.
It begins with you being at peace with all people and in all circumstances. Peace is not something to be achieved but something to be lived. Too often people think of peace as an accomplishment, like completing a task. Peace is a process, one that takes your interest, your commitment, and your belief. So I request that you not only pray for peace but live in peace.
Living in peace means that you will settle your differences with individuals, with other races, other nations, and within yourself. You will be at peace with your past and the people who affected your life in the past; you will be at peace with your life today and you will be at peace with your future. It also means you will continuously look for the similarities between you and others. It means you will choose peace each day and more often if necessary. It could mean you choose peace each hour.
Do not think that what you do, how you live, or what you think is inconsequential. It is not. You each are a part of humanity, and humanity can only change from within, one person at a time. What you do today, what you think, your attitude toward life is important, dear ones. You are the light of life for humanity. Let your light shine through a clear lens. Keep a clear lens by doing as I have requested and becoming peaceful in all areas of your life, with all people, and with all nations.
Stay in an attitude of prayer but also in an attitude of hope. Hope is uplifting and looks forward to good results. Hope keeps your mind on the light and not the darkness; it helps you to focus on the good in every situation and not on what is wrong. Hope looks forward to good, without thought of anything else. Hope encourages you, gives you the ability to aspire and to dream of peace.
Most of all, believe in peace and in the power of prayer. Believe that what you ask for is given to you. Believe that despite the war, despite the rumblings of terrorism, despite the interference of one nation towards another, peace is attainable. Believe that peace is attainable now, not in some distant future, but today. I would not have you to look at world events as a hopeless cause, for as long as you can maintain hope in your hearts, as long as you can aspire to and live for peace and in peace, it is here now.
Do not enter into the conflict with opinions or discussions. Instead stay out of the conflict, in thought, word, and deed. Keep believing in prayer and the answers to your prayers. Believe so in peace that it is the way you react to all events. You individually, as a part of humanity, have the responsibility to react to situations and people in peace. You are the cornerstone of world peace, each of you. World peace cannot be achieved until you bring it into fruition in your life and in your dealings with life.
Pray for peace, not for the ceasing of a war, but for inner peace to reach each person who makes up humanity. Pray without telling God how to answer your prayers. Let God work out the ways to bring peace to each individual person. Allow God the free hand to bless humanity with His own self, with His Love and Peace. You are the light of the world and you are the hope of the world. Take seriously your position in the world. Never for a minute think that what you do or how you think or how you pray is not important. You are important. You are the only way peace will come to earth. For this reason I am hopeful and know that you will listen to my request. I am loving each of you, for truly you are peacemakers and peacekeepers.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
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Original date: May 11, 2003
Last updated: May 11, 2003