Children of Medjugorje Newsletter June 2014

June 15 2014,
Feast of the Holy Trinity!
Dear children of Medjugorje, praised be Jesus and Mary!

1. On June 2, 2014, Mirjana received her monthly apparition at the Blue Cross, in the presence of a huge crowd! After the apparition she gave the following message:
"Dear children, I call you all and accept you as my children. I am praying that you may accept me and love me as a mother. I have united all of you in my heart, I have descended among you and I bless you. I know that you desire consolation and hope from me because I love you and intercede for you. I ask of you to unite with me in my Son and to be my apostles. For you to be able to do so, I am calling you, anew, to love. There is no love without prayer - there is no prayer without forgiveness; because love is prayer - forgiveness is love. My children, God created you to love and you love so as to forgive. Every prayer that comes out of love unites you with my Son and the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit illuminates you and makes you my apostles - apostles who will do everything they do in the name of the Lord. They will pray with their works and not just with words, because they love my Son and comprehend the way of truth which leads to eternal life. Pray for your shepherds that they may always lead you with a pure heart on the way of truth and love - the way of my Son. Thank you."

2. On June 13th we celebrated a great Franciscan saint who is very dear to the Croatian people, even though he is Portuguese: Saint Antony of Padua. 20 minutes from Medjugorje there is a beautiful sanctuary dedicated to him, and every year thousands of Croatians go there from far away, often walking barefoot. To further exemplify how popular this saint is with the people, few are the families who do not have an "Ante" or "Anthony" among their sons. Even Vicka is one of them, her only son is named Ante!  

Saint Antony received many charisms from God, one of which was preaching in the Holy Spirit. When he spoke, hearts opened to God like flowers to the sun. Saint Francis of Assisi therefore entrusted him with preaching, and teaching his brothers. One of my favorite anecdotes from his life goes like this: One day Saint Anthony was preaching, and a passerby began to listen to him. The man had committed very grave sins and had been making fun of God, but when he heard Anthony's words of grace, his heart was touched and he could feel the incredible love Jesus had for him. Seeing himself loved so much, he began to sob like a little child, and his tears became even more abundant when he thought about all the harm he had done to Jesus with his sins. He then decided to change his life, to follow Jesus with all his heart, and to go to confession.

Upon entering Saint Anthony's confessional, his crying prevented him from uttering a single word. So Anthony suggested that he go back home, write his sins on a piece of paper, then come back to the confessional, and he did. Anthony slowly read the impressive list of sins while the man could only nod as a sign of acquiesce. He still hadn't recover his voice, so strong was the emotion that had seized him. Finally Anthony reassured his penitent and encouraged him to change his life and to live with Jesus according to the Gospel. Then he gave him a penance and the absolution from all of his sins. The man had made peace with God! Anthony carefully folded the paper where the terrible list of sins were written and gave it back to the forgiven sinner who left unburdened and joyful. 
When the man arrived home, he wanted to burn the paper. He unfolded it and to his surprise, he found the paper completely blank! His sins had totally disappeared! Gone! God was caught in the middle of a delicate act of mercy! It is then that the man realized even more the grace of his confession: when God sees that we come to Him with a real contrition, the desire not to sin any more, and the decision to change our ways, He rejoices so much that not only does He forgive us our sins, but He forgets them! They no longer exist! They are washed in the blood of the Lamb and God becomes amnesic of our evil deeds. 
If we have sincere contrition, even the debt caused by the sin is erased, either partly or totally, according to the depth of our repentance. In other words, the pain from having wounded Jesus, The one we love, spares us purgatory, either completely, or partly. Our desert fathers even claimed that the gift of tears is the greatest gift that we can expect from the Holy Spirit. It is a burning love, a most blessed burn because it opens wide the gates of Heaven!   
3. Our Lady invites us! She knows that the root of our spiritual illnesses is that we actually love Jesus too little. This is the real cause of the disharmony we feel within ourselves and with others! The one who loves Him is so happy, so free! This is why Mary offers us a sure way to grow in the love of Christ. She recommends that we stand in front of the cross and adore her son, and to adore Him with all our hearts, for a long time! We can then contemplate his sores, his wounds, and how much He suffered to save us. Little by little our hearts begin to feel compassion for Him and we start to hate our sins that struck Him to death. We desire to change the direction of our life. Genuine contrition emerges within us. Furthermore, with our eyes focused on his open heart, we are able to receive what sprang from this heart.  The wound inflicted by the lance 2000 years ago never closed. Water, blood, and the Holy Spirit sprang from this heart, and continue to flow in a stream that never dries out.  This Heart is the wellspring of a whole river of love!  If we are with Mary as we contemplate Him, then we receive an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  I would say even a shower with the Holy Spirit!  

The Holy Spirit gives us his light, a light of his very own, all made of love.  He reveals to us how we have sinned, how we have forsaken Jesus, in what way we have betrayed him, denied him... The good things we could have done and didn't, etc.  However, the Holy Spirit does not give us this light in order to accuse us!  The accuser is called Satan, let us make no mistake about that!  As for the Holy Spirit, He gives us a light of love that drives us to throw ourselves into the arms of Jesus and let ourselves be covered with his infinite mercy.  There, love is born, grows and reaches its fullness.

4. The novena before the 33rd Anniversary of the Apparitions starts today June 16th. So many graces are awaiting us! 33 is a very special number! Jesus was 33 years old when his heart opened to let mercy flow. One of the nicest gifts we can offer the Gospa is living her message, "I expect you to unite yourselves to me in my Son and to be my apostles...to be able to do this, I invite you again to love. There is no love without prayer - there is no prayer without forgiveness, because love is prayer - forgiveness is love. My Children God created you to love."  Each day of the novena let's take time with merciful Jesus, and let us begin a conversation with Him that comes from the heart.He is waiting for us there, with his Mother. You can also join in with the parish, which will pray 2 mysteries every day at 4 p.m. on Apparition Hill.

Dear Gospa, we send you a huge thank you for your 33 years of apparitions, for your motherly love that has no bound, for your patience, your mother's tenderness, your teachings, your blessings, your mercy, your protection, your miracles, and for your maternal mantle with which you cover all those who follow your school with all their hearts!
 Sister Emmanuel +

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