The Great Lesson of a Video Game

I've never liked video games, but I have little nephews who love them, so I've played with them many times. That's why I know how they work and the tactics to follow if you want to get to the end. 

Even though I don't like them, the Lord has used them to explain to me how He acts in my life. 

One day, I went to the chapel to pray as I do every day, and when I started, after concentrating and trying to make silence in me, I felt like I was in a video game. "I'm so distracted, let's start over," was my first thought. I started again, closed my eyes, and again, there I was, inside the video game. I felt that there was someone near me and when I looked closer I realized that it was Jesus, and next to Him, Our Lady. 

In video games, sometimes you can play in a group. Each person is a different character who has specific abilities and powers. The goal is very simple: to fight against the enemies and reach the highest level possible. The key to winning is having a good team.

The game seemed simple: I had walk around and recognize the place. Then it started to get complicated when the first enemies appeared. Their attack was always directed against me. As in many games, the strategy is beating the other team by attacking the weaker players. In this particular game, I soon understood that I was that "weak player," and although I tried to defend myself I couldn't. I didn't have any power. The only thing I could do was to run. After trying to run for a long time, one of the people chasing me caught up to me, and when he was about to attack me, one of my teammates appeared immediately and stood between me and my enemy. He was bigger than me and received all the attacks that were coming for me. With each attack, my life went down very quickly, but his life, on the other hand, never went down.

As you might have guessed, that partner was Jesus. What a relief it was to know that He was on my team! He defended me so that my life would not be taken away. All He asked of me was to stay by His side.

In the spiritual life there are many struggles, falls, and difficult moments, but if we stay with the Lord, Who is the source of life, we will have that life in abundance that He wants to give us, especially through the Eucharist. With his Body and Blood, you recharge all the life that has been taken from you, as well as the forces that so often wear out. Only in Him and with Him can we live. Little by little I understood what Jesus wanted to explain to me with all this, but there was still more to come. 

In the game, there are often ambushes or traps you can easily fall into if you don’t know the game. That is what happened to me. I went into some kind of abandoned house and it turned out to be a terrible attack. There were enemies everywhere, and it was impossible to get out. Jesus, my teammate, faced all the attacks—and there were many—but I couldn't find my way out. Just then another member of the team appeared who had not come into play until then, at least visibly: the Virgin Mary. When She appeared, a great light shone from Her that lit up the whole house and all the enemies disappeared instantly. She had so much power that no enemy could face Her. 

She is the best ally we can have in the spiritual life. She is your Mother, and if you seek Her, She is always there. Her intercession is very powerful. Any temptations or struggles that you have, if you bear them along with Mary, will not defeat you. Many saints have said that the devil flees before Her. That's what happened in the video game: all the enemies disappeared. What a team! Jesus, who with His infinite life fought so that I would not be killed, and the Virgin Mary, who defeated the most powerful enemies with her power. 

The game continued. Some situations repeated themselves, and I learned to look for Mary and call upon Her and to take refuge in Jesus in the face of attacks, so that level was soon completed. The next step was to move to the next level. We arrived at a huge door. I naturally thought that Jesus or Mary would open it, but that was not the case. 

They looked at me as if they were saying, “Now it is your turn.” But I didn't have any power. They kept looking at me, and Jesus finally said, "I cannot do this for you," and Our Lady added, “The limit of my power is this door.” I looked in my pockets and found many keys. I understood then that there are many levels. We were only on the first one, and even though I had no power, I had the keys that allowed me to open the doors of each level. “Those keys are your will.”

Through this, Jesus explained to me the quote, “The God who created you without you will not save you without you.” It is true that it is the Lord who directs our spiritual life and who defends us in combat. It is also true that the Virgin Mary is our refuge in every attack and the defense before the Evil One, and that with Jesus and Mary the victory is sure. Yet both She and Jesus are always waiting for my yes.

The most powerful weapon that I have is my will. Without it, I cannot advance in the spiritual life. We have seen that Jesus’ role—his presence—is crucial, and the help of Our Mother is necessary. But it is also necessary that I put my entire will into the spiritual combat in union with Jesus and Mary and enlist in their army. Only then will they be able to act in me to win the battle ahead.

- Mayra Rodríguez, HM Ecuador