The UNITED KINGDOM
Below are responses to Totus2us podcasts given by Brits whose Christian names begin with L.
"I'm always struck by the prayer 'Totus Tuus - all is yours', and just entrusting myself to Our Lady, really truly believing that when I give myself to her, she gives me to Christ, she draws me closer to Christ."
"For me I think the closer I have got to Our Lady, the more I’ve understood my own faith and the closer I've got to the Church and the closer I have got to Jesus. I think the more and more we get to know her, she can only ever direct us towards her son, she can only ever shine more and more light on that. So we need to have a devotion to Our Lady if we're going to understand ourselves and the Church and Jesus."
"I was really blessed to first go to Paray-le-Monial in 2009, and I've been several times after. A really special place and I think because of this grace of Jesus appearing to St Margaret Mary Alacoque and revealing his heart of love, a heart of fire burning for the love of all souls. I've finished praying a novena to the Sacred Heart today, and I suppose asking for that grace to be able to surrender to the love of Jesus, for him to break down the walls of our hearts so we can love like him."
"I think Mary is beyond my understanding of how wonderful her femininity and motherhood is, and what a privilege it is to be aware even in the slightest of how humble she is in terms of leading us to God and the fact that she always enriches and guides us to the most precious thing we can obtain in this life which is knowing Jesus, and growing into the fullness of life with him. So I think Mother Mary is nurturing. Amen."
"I think Mary is the personification for us women to aspire to be really - a mother, a wife a daughter, a niece - a true inspiration in all our actions."
"Mary is someone who is very, very real and very approachable, which is so soothing and so enjoyable to have her by my side, overlooking me throughout my life."
St John Paul II, We Love You
Lawrence speaks about the great qualities of John Paul II and how the message he was giving was so wonderfully clear and beautiful that it made it very much easier to follow the teachings of Our Lord. His JPII quote is -
"The future starts today, not tomorrow."
For his Word on the Street, Lawrence chose Ezekiel 47:
Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows there will be large numbers of fish because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh so where the river flows everything will live.
"I love this passage because it is one of the most extraordinary literary passages ever written. For a start I think it is immensely powerful but also it describes what happens when the Holy Spirit comes: the river flows from the altar at the temple, so it is something that comes out of the place of sacrifice. I think of that as being prophetic of the death of Jesus and what comes out of that .. it brings immense hope."
"After the pizza, we had some games and met each other, and then I had the opportunity to ask questions. Now throughout High School I'd had all these questions building up, constantly building up, and I'd never had the right people to ask them to, but the parish priest was there and this youth worker was there, and I just knew I could trust them with my questions. So I asked them a lot of questions around suffering, around like 'why do bad things happen to good people?' and that kind of stuff because those were the things that really effected me the most. And they gave answers and they were good answers, like fully to the book answers. But it wasn't the answers that they gave me that kept me coming back, it was the fact that I was able to talk about what I thought and what I believed without being judged. And so the next week I went back, and the next week and the next week, and we kept going to these youth Masses followed by youth groups. And in that I just found, I just found truth. You know when you know something is true and you just can't deny it because it just hits you in your heart. And that's what it was like with God and me, like He just hit me in my heart and I just couldn't deny Him and I haven't been able to since."
"If we offer our prayers through Mary's most pure and immaculate heart, first she will purify our prayers and make them holy, and then she will offer them to her son, and as her son obeying his mother, Jesus is really gonna listen to those prayers when given through Mary's immaculate heart. I think it's just so important to know the importance of the twin hearts - the Immaculate Heart and Sacred Heart and how beautiful they can be when used together: to know Jesus' Sacred Heart and to use Mary's Immaculate Heart for our prayers."
"A few years ago, as I was growing in my faith journey, I began to have a bit of a problem with Mary. Not in my heart, I knew that I loved Mary. But intellectually, I was studying about Jesus and it was all about Jesus, and I thought where does Mary fit in? I started to question it: why am I praying to Mary? Why not go straight to the main man? .. There's an old priest who's a very spiritual man in my diocese .. and I just asked him this question, 'Why Mary? What's the point? Why don't we just go to Jesus?' And he said 'The more we come to know Mary, the more we come to know Jesus.' And he said 'The more we come to know Jesus, the more we will understand Mary.' We take them together. When we come to know Jesus we'll come to understand Mary, because we can't separate them because it's through Mary that Jesus came into the world. And it's through Mary now, through God's plan, through God's desire, that we come to the Lord, that we come to know Jesus, that we come to know God. And it's been that way through history too."
In Man for Others, Father Lee Marshall gives his vocation story
"It was the following August (2007) that I took the leap of faith and left my career, my job, put my house on the market and just left it all behind and went to seminary. And I’ve never, ever, once looked back since then. … I've never doubted my vocation because I knew that it came from Our Lady's intercession, I knew that it had always come from that initial prayer which I'd made on that bus to Medjugorje, of asking Our Lady to help me to open my heart to the Lord. And I knew that that was the way that she answered that prayer - by helping me see that God created me to be far more than I was. He created me not to be an accountant, He created me to be a priest of Jesus Christ and I am so grateful to her for showing me that path, for showing me the Lord.
So I never doubted in all that time in seminary that I had a vocation, and then I was ordained in the Cathedral in Sheffield in 2013 and it was the happiest day of my life. It was truly the most beautiful anointing and the greatest gift that God could ever give me was the gift of the priesthood. It's a pure gift. It's just incredible to be a priest and this last year has been truly blessed. Just the doors that the Lord has opened, the people that He has put in my path, the healing that He has worked through my hands, the preaching, the beautiful Masses I've been so blessed to celebrate, especially here with Youth 2000 at Walsingham. .. So the Lord has done amazing things in this last year and I'm just so excited as to what the future will be. What He will do in my life and what He will do in the Church. It's a great time now to be a Catholic in this country, it's such an exciting time. The shoots of renewal, the shoots of what the Lord is doing is so fresh and there's something amazing growing, something amazing beginning and it's such a blessing to be part of it."
"Mary is an inspiration. She is very easy to pray to and she is always there to listen to us."
"I have put my trust in Our Lady for years and years and years. I have been in very troubled spots in the world, I’ve been in desperate situations and I’ve always prayed to her and she’s always helped me."
"Mary means to me hope that I'll always be with Jesus because I know she's always praying for me that I'll always be with Jesus."
"Mary is someone who really knows the struggles I can go through and she is always there to listen."
"To me Mary is a shining light, like a woman that you would look to for trust and power, and she teaches you how to respect other people and how to look after your own mother."
"I have a great devotion to our Blessed Lady. I’ve been to Lourdes many times and last Saturday I went to Tre Fontane where her recent apparition took place in 1947 as Our Lady of the Revelation. Again she says 'Pray. Pray for the conversion of sinners, pray for peace in the world.' So it's a very inspiring place, a very simple place. But the person who saw Our Blessed Lady, he was converted through that apparition: somebody who'd wanted to kill Pope Pius XII, he was a communist and a Seventh Day Adventist, and he became a Catholic through Our Lady's apparition."
"I love my vocation, I love being a priest, I love being a missionary. And I see mission not only oversees but at home, particularly now in this politically correct society where people are rejecting so many things. I think it's important to stand up for the Gospel values and help people encounter Jesus and, if it's the will of God and the grace of God, accept Him and be his disciple."
"I had a conversion from Our Lady 8 years ago in Medjugorje. I had been recently bereaved and I had gone there not really as a pilgrimage but more as a healing. And I felt Our Lady reach out to me in Medjugorje on that particular time. It was a shock to me because I had never really thought too much about Our Lady at the time, but I felt the presence of Our Lady. On going back to Scotland, I felt totally transformed, it was a conversion if you like. And from there I've been back several times but I personally feel that Our Lady drew me to Our Lord her Son in the Divine Mercy, and my faith has deepened through Our Lady and led me so much to her Son in His Divine Mercy, especially here in Poland."
"To me Mary is a wonderful mother figure who is always part of my life and who I turn to regularly, in fact almost every hour, to share whatever is going on in my life with."
For Word on the Street Lisa chose the beginning of Matthew's Gospel & the lineage of Jesus.
"For me it’s a huge reminder that nothing prevents God's will and that nothing in our past goes to waste in God's plan to bring us into eternity with Him. .. It reminds me that I can't use the sins of my past as an obstacle to God, because through His Mercy, He loves me as I am."
"Mary is the greatest mother I will ever have, and she holds me and blesses me in all that I do and say."
"Mary has a very special place for all of us, for all humanity. Without Mary, we’d never have Jesus and that's why she is blessed above all humanity, chosen to be the Mother of Lord Jesus Christ. Now that is something else!"
"Mary means to me like a mother figure, so if I feel upset I'll pray to her about how I'm feeling because she was Jesus' mother as well, so she's probably gone through the same stages with him as well."
For Word on the Street, Louise chose Luke 22, 40-44 - Then he withdrew from them, about a stone's throw away, and knelt down and prayed. "Father," he said "if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine." Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him strength. In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
"The prayer that Jesus says in the Garden of Gethsemane makes the whole crucifixion and resurrection so much more amazing and the whole concept of grace is so much bigger."
"Just recently I've developed a relationship with Our Lady. Before I kind of had the idea that she was a bit of a Catholic extra, perhaps. But I've just really come to know her as the mother of Christ and, through praying the rosary especially, she has really taught me how to have a deeper relationship with her son. I can come to her with different things and always have a conversation like a motherly-daughter conversation and for me this is a really beautiful step in my prayer life."
"Mary, you have never let us down. We thank you, Mary, and we ask you to keep us faithful to our vocation."
"Our Lady is a great intercessor. Whenever I feel sad and despair and I feel I don't deserve mercy, I can always go to Our Lady because I know she knows how to plead my case to God. And I know that she sees how little and pathetic we can sometimes be and yet that doesn't stop her from wanting to implore Our Lord with all the love and the devotion of a mother."
"Mary means everything to me. As a child growing up in north east of England, I lived by the sea. So the image of Mary, Star of the Sea, made a lot of sense to me. Also the image of like lighthouse, Mary guiding the ships into the harbour to safety. I just love those two images of Mary, they've been with me throughout my life. She has been that guiding light throughout my life, in good times and in bad. And that light has never wavered; I may have wavered, but she has never wavered. So she is my star, she is the star, she is the only star. What more can I say? Only that I love her dearly."
Sister Luke is in the Carmel at Notting Hill in London.
For Word on the Street, Lydia chose Matthew 13, 44-45 - The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field…
"It's amazing when you do come across the kingdom of heaven and sometimes you do have to go and sell everything you own in order to be ready to receive that pearl."