“Keep making the
swap with Our Lady. She’ll take care of everything. I made the swap about my job last week. Today I got a
promotion. Wahoooooo! It works!” After reading this note from my friend
Christine, I wrote back to her and asked, “Did I miss something?
What is the swap?”
Christine wrote back and told me
that the swap is giving your troubles, worries and intentions to Our
Heavenly Mother, while you pray for Her intentions—the conversion of
unbelievers, peace in the world, priests, youth, healing of the sick, etc.
Christine told me that she had three swaps taken care of in two days. “I can’t believe how
fast She handles things,” Christine said. “Sister Emmanuel taught this to me.
It’s so easy and it works!”
I was intrigued and
wanted to know more. So I wrote to Children of Medjugorje, the
organization with which Sister Emmanuel is affiliated, and asked how I could
learn more about the swap. I was informed of Sister’s audio tape, True
Consecration to Mary, and
immediately ordered it.
reveals on the tape how the idea of the swap originated. She was with
Ivan’s prayer group on the mountain one night when Our Lady’s message was, “Dear
children, give Me all your worries, all your problems. Then your heart will be
free to pray. And pray for My intentions.” As Sister reflected on this message,
she thought Our Lady was suggesting that we make a trade with Her. We give Her
our worries and we pick up Her worries. A similar message was given to Mirjana
in March of 1991 when Our Lady said to her, “Help Me, and I will pray to My Son
for you.” The idea of a swap is hardly a new one
though. Over six hundred years ago, Jesus said to St. Catherine of Sienna, “You
take care of My business; I’ll handle yours.”
Sister Emmanuel tried the swap
herself and said it worked perfectly. Soon after, Sister met a man named Albert
who came to Medjugorje and had a conversion. On his last day there, he was very
dejected and Sister asked him why. He said that he was sad because he would not
be able to live the message Our Lady gave about praying in the family. His wife,
at home in France, was an atheist, and had even threatened him when he left for
Medjugorje. He also had hoped to return to Medjugorje but said he would have to
save for many years for that. Sister Emmanuel suggested to Albert, “Let’s make a
deal with Our Lady.” So Albert did. He said, “I give You my wife, and I wish You
all the best. And I will pray for Your intentions instead of worrying about my
wife.” Three months later Albert was back in Medjugorje, but this time his wife
was with him! He said, “She forced me to come to Medjugorje. That deal works
tremendously.” Albert said that now he had a new problem though—his wife prays
so much that he can’t keep up with her!
In further explaining
the swap, Sister Emmanuel said that Mary, in the role of Our
Heavenly Mother, wants to help you, to make your life peaceful and joyful. She
wants to take all the pressures and crosses in your life, to pick up your
problems and all those things that prevent you from being peaceful with God and
with other people. Mary knows much better than you do how to take care of your
problems. After all, She has been a Mother for a very long time! So once She
picks up that problem, you will be free of it.
Instead of your heart
being focused on a problem which will obsess you all the time, you will be able
to open up your heart to the whole world. For instance, if you are praying for
the conversion of one of your children, and make the swap
with her, then instead of your heart being focused on your child alone, your
heart will become like Her Motherly heart, taking care of all the children of
God. You enlarge your heart to the dimensions of God’s heart! But it is not as
if you have stopped praying for your own intention either, because your
intention will be included in Our Lady’s intentions.
If you think about it, almost every
intention that you pray for can be included in any one of Our Lady’s intentions.
Perhaps you are praying for a friend who is very ill. Our Lady’s intentions
include prayers for the sick, so when you pray for Her intentions for the sick,
you are praying for your friend as well. Or maybe you are praying for your
teenagers. Our Lady’s intentions include prayers for young people. The list goes
Sister Emmanuel says that when you
enlarge your heart to the dimensions of God’s heart, you feel the love of God
penetrate you in a new way, a deep and strong way. You become like Mother Teresa
whose heart was open to the whole world. Everybody you meet becomes very dear to
you because you have God’s heart in your heart instead of being focused on your
own problems. Not only does this freedom alleviate you of your worries, but it
also frees you up for deeper prayer of adoration, contrition and thanksgiving.
It frees you up to listen to what God wants to say to you, too. That is an
important part of prayer often overlooked.
The visionaries say that Our Lady is
so beautiful because She loves, and She would love you to trust her with your
problem. Don’t’ be surprised if your problem is solved in a way different than
what you had planned, though, because She and Her Son always know what is best.
As my friend Christine says,
“Imagine if we were all praying for Blessed Mother’s intentions instead of
worrying about our own problems! Imagine what could be accomplished!” We could
change the world!