Dear Family of Mary - The Youth Festival in Medjugorje

The Youth Festival in Medjugorje!!!      
 (c) Mary TV 2014

August 4, 2014
St. John Vianney

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear Children!  The reason that I am with you, my mission, is to help you for 'good' to win, even though this does not seem possible to you now. I know that you do not understand many things as I also did not understand everything, everything that my Son explained to me while He was growing up alongside me - but I believed Him and followed Him. I ask this of you also, to believe me and to follow me. However, my children, to follow me means to love my Son above everything, to love Him in every person without making differences. For you to be able to do this, I call you anew to renunciation, prayer and fasting. I am calling you for the Eucharist to be the life of your soul. I am calling you to be my apostles of light who will spread love and mercy through the world. My children, your life is only a blink in contrast to eternal life. And when you come before my Son, in your hearts He will see how much love you had. In order to spread love in the right way, I am asking my Son, through love, to grant you unity through Him, unity among you, unity between you and your shepherds. Through them my Son always gives Himself to you anew and renews your soul. Do not forget this. Thank you."  (August 2, 2014)

As the Youth Festival continues, the incredible energy of the young people who are thirsty for the love of Jesus and Mary seems to be growing each day. Yesterday, Mary TV was able to stream the Evening Program, and the incredible dramatization of Jesus' life that was produced by the Cenacolo Community! That program was so powerful. The love for Jesus and Mary that exuded enveloped all who watched.

I want to quote Fr. Kevin Devine's homily for Sunday at English Mass, because he speaks very eloquently about the festival. I couldn't say it any better:

Well over twenty years ago I was here on pilgrimage and I was sitting outside by that statue of St. Leopold the Confessor, and a fellow about 30 years old came just to chat. He explained that he had been here all summer working on a video. And along with him there were massive amounts of teenagers. There were free trips, paid for by a donor, and the teenagers could come here for a whole week. And he lamented that he watched them carefully, and too many of them slept all day and partied all night. And he said they were good kids. And all they needed was a little organization.

So he said he went to Fr. Slavko and Fr. Slavko said that was a great idea. And he knew who was going to organize it. "You"! And this gentleman said that ever since he ran with the idea, his whole life around him seemed to be disintegrating. One simple illustration. He lent his automobile to a good friend. It was totaled and the insurance company refused to reimburse. He simply said that his whole life seemed to be disintegrating since he got the idea. And he had a sense that there was an evil power trying to keep him from implementing it.  


As we have all watched this week, I am convinced it is not an evil power that is working, it is that an alarm rang in the depths of hell, a five alarm fire, and every demon reported to battle station immediately with the orders that they had to stop this idea. Because we have all experienced the incredible grace and mercy and compassion of God as one day unfolds after another. That idea moved forward and now we have these massive thousands upon thousands of young people coming. And the demons in their attempt to interfere, they are born losers!!!

St. Paul puts it so simply in his letter read today, "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor power, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:37-39) So the battle between any force of evil and the power of Christ, it's no contest.

Our Great Holy Father, Saint John Paul II puts it so strongly, "The boundary that has been set for evil is ultimately Divine Mercy." And it is here more than ever that we appreciate and celebrate Divine Mercy. There is a prayer that we recite throughout the summer that kind of captures it. "Almighty God, you manifest your almighty power above all in pardoning and showing mercy." Here the Gospel we have just shared seems to be lived out so magnificently. There is a vast crowd, and Christ's heart is moved by pity. And the vast crowd is captured in the opening words of Isaiah: "If you are thirsty, come to the water to drink. Receive grain and eat. I will renew you..." Yes the renewal that takes place here!

The energy of the young people...I have tried to watch them throughout the day and by evening after the final ceremony, I grab a quick supper and drag myself to my room, trying to get some rest. However the young people, they gather all around, singing and shouting, "Alleluia, Alabare, Praise the Lord!!" They join hands and dance and sing and they are one party, celebrating without any drugs at all except the miracle of the Eucharist, the Body and the Blood of Christ, which they eat and drink every evening at the celebration of Holy Mass.  


Our present Holy Father, Pope Francis, puts it in very clear words, in his first true Encyclical, the New Evangelization. He tells us that the Church must be a place of mercy, freely given, where everyone can feel welcome, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel. The fundamental reality is the encounter with Christ, with His mercy and His love. And then we respond by loving our brothers and sisters as He has loved us."

I marvel at the harmony that we have experienced this week. Forgive me, because it is my favorite city in all of Western Europe, I won't mention its name, but a few summers ago it exploded in violence, burning and looting. And that went on for a number of days until 16,000 police officers were brought in from all over the nation, and finally with 16,000 working every night, order was restored. Here I would estimate that our massive police force has been augmented from 9 to at least 16. And the main problem we experience is around midnight, the young people after all of the ceremonies gather in front of the church and they sing and they dance, and celebrate the enthusiasm they are experiencing, until about 1:00 am the leaders say that the Friars are being kept up by the drums and clapping of hands. You have to disperse and go back to your pensions. Yes, the incredible enthusiasm is hard to control, it just explodes in waves.  


And at the opening night, the flag ceremony introduced the countries present. And again last night there was a procession with the flags. I spent 30 years as a military chaplain. It is true that the soldier above all fears and hates war. He and his companions suffer the most horrible effects of war. And so as the flags were carried last night behind the image of the Virgin Mary, I found all sorts of images going through my mind. What a joy to see the Ukrainian flag! But I remember how just a few days ago, a jet liner carrying 300 was shot out of the air at 30,000 feet and all perished. The Syrian flag was there last night. And if I got it right, this new terrorist group, ISIS, has decreed that it has parceled off part of Syria and declared that anyone who is a Christian will either renounce their faith, or get out of there while they still can. Then from my own childhood, I thought of the past, of Pearl Harbor and then of Hiroshima, and the annihilation of millions in that nuclear explosion. I worked for years with families from the World Trade Center. I was down there. What a tragedy the introduction of terrorism to our modern world. But last night, 60 or 70 flags, all carried by representatives of that flag, marched together in the shape of a heart, circling the area and returning with the Gospa, the Queen of Peace, to kneel at the foot of the Eucharist to pay our reverence led by the Gospa to Jesus Christ Her Son, who is the Prince of Peace.  


Medjugorje is called the confessional of the world. And I can never forget the simple teaching of the great theologian, Thomas of Aquinas. He asks, "Which is the greater act of power, to forgive one mortal sin, or to create a whole new universe?" His response? "In most ways it is a greater act of power to forgive one mortal sin than to create a whole new world, because a child of the human family is restored to be once more a child of God." There is a prayer that we often offer during the summer time, a prayer at the opening of Mass, in which we pray, "Almighty God, you manifest your mighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy." And here, especially, in the confessional of the world, we encounter the mercy and compassion of our Savior who gave his life for us. It's that simple.

And whether it is a confession, as one young woman put it after years of degradation, "I feel permeated to the core with evil..." or if, as one priest put it, we are just dusting the wings of angels, with a simple absolution after the simplest of confessions...there is the explosive power of absolution!! I am not a theologian, nonetheless, what I have figured out is that Thomas speaks of one mortal sin forgiven as a greater act than creating a whole world, and in my little brain I say to myself that in the confessional there is only one absolution. We don't have a special absolution for serious sins and a little one for venial sins. No, when anyone enters the confessional, there is an explosive power unleashed that is greater than creating the whole universe. And the number of priests and penitents who are elbow to elbow, lines stretching forever, simply has transformed this village into the confessional of the world, where the almighty power of Mercy and compassion in Christ is so evident.

In the words of today's scripture, "You shall delight in rich fare. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits issued to David." And so we will continue our celebration of the mercy and compassion of the all-powerful Christ over whom evil has no power. Evil has been totally crushed.

Thank you, Fr. Kevin.  Well said!!  I encourage all of you to stay tuned to Mary TV today and tomorrow as the Youth Festival continues. Every day there is something new added to our streaming. You can just keep a window open for Mary TV as you work. It will fill your day with the power of God's love. www.marytv.tv

In jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2014

PS. Last day of our Novena for priests in honor of Our Lady's Birthday, Aug. 5.

Finally, we pray for an increase in love for our shepherds, in our hearts, in the hearts of our families, and in the whole world. We pray that, at this difficult time, the name of Jesus may be glorified under their guidance. We pray that we may extend the joy of love and support to our shepherds, just as Jesus has asked them to extend it to us! (August 2 and July 2, 2013)
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be...

Let us pray: O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priests. Give them a deep faith, a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of their priestly life.
In their loneliness, comfort them. In their sorrows, strengthen them. In their frustrations, point out to them that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show them that they are needed by the Church; they are needed by souls; they are needed for the work of redemption. Amen.

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
Be connected!

No comments: