12/7/19

THE WARNING-The Coming Illumination of Conscience of Souls When We Will ...


The Warning: The Coming Illumination of Conscience of Souls When We Will See Ourselves as God Sees Us

12/6/19

You Are God’s Masterpiece

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin
Posted: 
I don’t listen to classical music all the time, but sometimes I do, and while driving home recently I heard on the radio a Bach cantata that was inspired by the biblical account of Mary’s Visitation to Elizabeth. It got me thinking about how many works of art, even in the secular world, have been created by religious instinct.
Think about the glorious music inspired by religion – Handel’s Messiah, so many Mass settings of the great masters, beloved hymns of Christian devotion, and even the joyful Christmas carols we sing each year.
And what about the other works of art, paintings and sculptures? Michelangelo’s Pietà, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper come quickly to mind.
And consider the great buildings, veritable monuments to faith, that have withstood the test of time — the stunning basilicas of Rome, including St. Peter’s; Westminster Abbey in London; the Chartres Cathedral in France, and many other spectacular houses of worship around the globe, Christian and non-Christian alike. Remember how many people around the world, including secularists, were horrified by the devastating fire that ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last spring?
Now the point of this is not to praise great works of music, art and architecture. It’s to praise you, for in fact, you are God’s masterpiece, his pièce de résistance. Take all the great works of art throughout history — those that have been or ever will be — add them all together, and they’re not as valuable as your immortal soul.
You are the Divine Artist’s masterpiece because he has fashioned you in his image and likeness. “What is man that you should think of him; you have made him a little less than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,” Psalm 8 proclaims. And “man is the summit of the Creator’s work,” explains the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (#343)
Someday, all the spectacular works of art will cease to exist. The sacred music will no longer be sung; St. Peter’s Basilica will lie in ruins; and the Pietà will be a pile of dust, only to be scattered by the wind. Your soul, though, will last forever, never to die, unable to be destroyed. The only question is: Where will it reside? Where will it spend eternity? In heaven or in hell?
Something to think about: Your soul is your most valuable possession. Are you taking care of it?

12/2/19

Medjugorje: Our Lady's message to Mirjana Of December 2, 2019

"Dear children.
As I am looking at you who love my Son, my heart is being filled with tenderness. I am blessing you with a motherly blessing. With a motherly blessing, I am also blessing your shepherds -  you who speak the words of my Son, who bless with His hands and who love Him so much that you are ready to make every sacrifice for Him with joy. You are following Him, who was the first shepherd, the first missionary.

My children, apostles of my love, to live and work for others, for all those whom you love through my Son, is the joy and comfort of earthly life. If through prayer, love and sacrifice the Kingdom of God is in your hearts, then your life is joyful and bright. Among those who love my Son and who love each other through Him, words are not necessary. A gaze is sufficient for the unspoken words and unexpressed feelings to be heard. There where love reigns, time no longer counts. We are with you.

My Son knows you and loves you. Love is that which brings you to me and through that love I will come to you and speak to you of the works of salvation. I desire for all of my children to have faith and to feel my motherly love which leads them to Jesus. Therefore, you, my children, wherever you go, illuminate with love and faith as apostles of love.
Thank you."     Video  https://marytv.tv/mirjanas-apparition/

11/28/19

Documented Miracles Attributed to the Miraculous Medal

Header - Miracles of the Miraculous MedalFrom America, Europe and Asia

The United States:

Texas (1841)
From a letter written by Bishop Odin, Vicar Apostolic of Texas:
April 11, 1841
Once I had the occasion to see, in the town of Nacogdoches, how much Mary Immaculate deigns to hear those who place all their confidence in her. A lady from Maryland was given a Miraculous Medal by her confessor as she departed from her home state to go to live in Texas. As he gave it to her, he recommended she always pray: “O Mary conceived without sin, etc.” and told her that this good Mother would not permit her to die without receiving the sacraments.
She was faithful to his advice. Having been bedridden for four years, many times her friends thought her last moment had come. However, her confidence in Mary Immaculate always made her hope she would have the joy of receiving the sacraments before departing this life. As soon as she heard of our arrival, she immediately sent us a message. She received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction and died some days later full of gratitude to her Heavenly benefactress.

Louisiana (1865)
In the hospital of the Daughters of Charity in New Orleans, a nun tried to instruct a Protestant in the truths of the Faith and to dispose him to receive Baptism. However, he did not want to speak about the subject.
Miracles of the MM - image 1One day she showed him a Miraculous Medal and explained its origin to him. He seemed to pay attention, but when she offered it to him, he became annoyed and snapped angrily: “Take that away, this Virgin is just an ordinary woman.” “I will leave it on the table,” the nun replied, “I am certain that you will think about what I said.” He did not answer her, but, in order not to see the medal, he placed his bible on top of it.
Every day the nun, with the pretext of cleaning the table, made sure the medal was still there. Days passed and the sickness became increasingly worse.
One night when he was suffering acutely, he saw a marvelous light around his bed, while the rest of the room was in total darkness. Surprised, he struggled to get up in spite of his frailty and turned up the flame in the gas lamp to see if he could discover what this strange light was. He could find nothing and returned to his bed.
Moments later he noticed that the light came from the medal. He then took it into his hands and kept it there the rest of the night. As soon as the nun’s rising bell rang at 4 o’clock in the morning, he called the nurse and asked him to tell the nun that he wanted to be baptized.
They advised the chaplain immediately who exclaimed “That is impossible!” He had spoken with the sick man many times and knew how he felt about the matter.
Nonetheless, he went to him and found him perfectly disposed and receptive to him. He baptized him and gave him the sacraments, and a little while later the sick man died, praising God and the Holy Virgin for the graces he had received.

New York (1866)
A girl, some twenty years old, came to the hospital covered with the most repugnant scabs which the doctors had said were incurable. The nun, who cared for her wounds, one day told her that the Most Holy Virgin had the power to cure her and that, if she wanted to wear the medal and ask for a cure, she would obtain it. Knowing the doctors had given up, she answered roughly: “I do not believe in your Holy Virgin, nor do I want a medal.” “Very well then,” the nun answered, “in that case, keep your wounds.”
Some days later, she asked for the medal and placed it around her neck, and prepared to be baptized. Shortly thereafter she left the hospital in perfect health to the great astonishment of the doctors who had been unanimous in considering her sickness incurable.


Europe:

France (1834)
Father Bégin, an eyewitness to this cure that took place in Saint-Maur where he was chaplain, wrote a report in which he attested to the following facts:
a) that the sick person was gravely ill;
b) that she was cured on March 14, 1834; and
c) that she declared that she only used the medal and prayer.
One hundred witnesses from the nursing home signed this document.
The bishop of Châlons also added his signature to the document:
“We certify that the testimony of Father Bégin should be taken as wholly trustworthy, as well as that of the nuns and so many others who were eye witnesses and spoke according to their consciences without any other interest except that of stating the truth. Châlons, May 30, 1834 + M.S.F.V., Bishop of Châlons.”

Miracles of the MM - image 2Mrs. C.H., a 70-year-old widow, had been admitted in impoverished circumstances to the nursing home of Saint-Maur because of a bad fall that occurred on August 7, 1833. She walked with great difficulty and even with the help of a crutch needed someone’s arm for support. She also found it hard to sit and only with great difficulty was she able to rise again. It was almost impossible for her to climb stairs, as she had to hold on to whatever she could to do so. She could not bend down or kneel, and had to drag her left leg, as that was where the problem lay.
At the beginning of January, 1834, she was told of a medal that was reported to be miraculous. Described as having, on one side, Mary crushing the infernal serpent and on the reverse of the medal were depicted the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the letter “M” with a cross on top, she also heard of marvelous things that had happened to those who wore it with confidence.
From that moment she felt her heart enkindled with the consoling hope of finding some relief that the wearing of this medal promised to her, and she could not wait for the moment she would receive one. Finally, on March 6, she received the much longed-for medal as a gift from Heaven. She then went to confession in order to dispose herself to receive the favor she desired.
The following day, the first Friday of the month, after receiving Holy Communion, she started a novena to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She venerated the medal, which she wore around her neck, twenty times a day. In a short while, she obtained a happy answer to her requests. After only seven days of the novena, she felt free from the painful infirmities she had suffered so cruelly for seven months.
We cannot describe the surprise and admiration of everyone on the morning of March 14th upon seeing this woman walk about unaided when the previous evening she had been crippled. She was able to bend down, kneel, go up and down stairs. Everyone cried out: “Miracle!” and was greatly edified by such a prodigious cure. They congratulated her on such a great grace from God and Mary Most Holy.
The Mother Superior, who had taken care of her innumerable times since she had been taken ill and daily witnessed her sufferings, wanted a Te Deum to be sung by the whole community in the house chapel to celebrate solemnly this extraordinary grace. The sick lady remained cured and no longer felt the effects of her former infirmity.

Italy (1836)
Testimony of a parish priest of Bologna on February 8, 1836.
There was a young man in my parish, 27 years of age, who lived a dissolute life. In order to have fewer impediments to his excesses, he had left the family home. Sometime later he became gravely ill with pneumonia. Dr. Giovanni Pulioli, a distinguished doctor, treated him; but the illness was stronger than the medicine of the day.
The youth was left in a lamentable state, unable to move. By then he was living scandalously with a woman and had declared, from the beginning of the illness, that he would not consent to a priest being called.
My chaplain went to visit him and exhorted him to put an end to the scandal through marriage; but he failed to convince the young man. I went there and spoke with him about legitimizing the union, rather than breaking it up; but I found him to be in a state of complete religious indifferentism.
Miracles of the MM - image 3Despite my every effort to persuade him, I also failed. I then thought it better to allow him to reflect a little while and to return another day to find out his decision. In the meantime, I asked him to have recourse to the Most Holy Virgin, refuge of sinners; and, without telling him, I placed a Miraculous Medal in his pillow and departed.
I did not need to return to the house of my own accord; the sick youth himself called me through his mother with whom he had already reconciled himself. He told me that he had reasons, which were justified, for not speaking personally with the woman with whom he had been living, and requested I ask her to leave. The unfortunate woman condescended and left.
Once I had accomplished this, I told the sick youth how happy I was. When I presented the medal to him, he began to kiss it with feelings of sincere gratitude, even though the state of his health was extremely grave. He then showed signs of sincere repentance and confessed his sins, received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction, because we expected him to die at any moment. This took place on January 19, 1836.
The young man felt the greatest tranquility, which he attributed to the Most Holy Virgin. From then on he started to feel better and had totally recuperated within a few days. He still perseveres in his good resolutions and is full of love for his Heavenly benefactress whose medal he keeps as something precious, frequently kissing it with great devotion.
I myself witnessed this fact and I write not only with the young man’s approval, but at his request, so that it may serve for the greater glory of God that, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, this miracle took place. To this written testimony I have appended the medical report proving the sickness and the cure.

Belgium (1836)
Miracles of the MM - image 4On November 9, 1835, Rosalie Ducas from Jauchelette, near Jodoigne, suddenly lost her sight. She was only four and a half years old, in perfect health with no signs of illness. Any light or breeze disturbed her to the point of having to cover her face with a cloth folded in four. The pains the child suffered day and night caused everyone much grief.
At this point, a pious person brought a blessed Miraculous Medal. The mother took it and started a novena. She put another medal around the girl’s neck on June 11, 1836 at about 6 o’clock in the evening. By midnight the girl had stopped complaining. On the fourth and fifth day of the novena, her eyes opened. The parents redoubled their supplications to the Most Holy Virgin. On the ninth day in the afternoon, the girl regained her sight completely to the great surprise of the neighbors and all those who witnessed the event.
The parish priest of Jodoigne-la-Soveraine, who had given the medal to the family, went to see the girl who lived only a mile and a half away, and testified that she had recovered her sight completely. No pain whatsoever was left. These facts are known by everyone and attest to the honor we owe to the Virgin Mary.

Asia:

China (1838)
Father Perboyre told the next story on August 10, 1839. It is interesting to mention that this missionary was taken prisoner one month later out of hatred for religion. He confessed the Faith generously for a whole year amidst horrible tortures and then had the joy of receiving the martyr’s palm on September 11, 1840.
While I was on mission in the Christian community of Honan in November 1837, the Christians there presented a woman to me who had been suffering from mental confusion for eight months. They added that she ardently desired to make her confession to me even though she was incapable of doing so and implored me not to deny her this consolation that she had so much at heart.
Her unfortunate state really made the exercise of my ministry appear futile. But I heard her confession out of compassion and as she departed I gave her a Miraculous Medal so she would be under the protection of the Virgin. She did not understand the value of this holy remedy, but she soon recognized its virtue as she started to get better.
Her progress was such that she was another person after four or five days. Her mental confusion, her worries that had caused her mortal anguish—in which I had noticed a diabolical influence—gave way to common sense, tranquility and happiness.

Macau (1841)
Letter from a missionary in Macau dated August 25, 1841.
A widow who had been brought up as a pagan had only one son. One day she saw him come under the power of the devil, in other words, possessed. Everyone fled from him as he wandered through the fields making fearful cries. If someone dared to grab him, the boy would immediately throw the person to the ground.
The poor mother was full of pain and sorrow, but Divine Providence had pity on this unfortunate family. One day the boy was more tormented than ever, not knowing where he went and brutally repelling all who drew near. In his wanderings he came upon a Christian, who, animated by a lively faith and seeing that the devil tyrannically mistreated the unfortunate boy, told those who were close by to leave. He said that only he was able to calm him down, hold him and return him to his mother. This manner of speaking surprised the pagans. They warned him of the danger, but let him get on with it.
Miracles of the MM - image 5This Christian carried a Miraculous Medal and took it into his hand. Drawing near to the possessed boy, he showed it to him, ordering the devil to leave him alone and depart, which happened immediately. The boy, seeing the Christian with the medal, threw himself to the ground before this image without knowing what it was. The pagans, who had watched him from afar, were astounded.
The Christian then said to him that he should rise and follow him. In this manner he brought him to his mother’s house. As soon as the boy saw her he said: “Do not cry, I am free. The devil left as soon as he saw this medal.”
Imagine the joy of the mother upon hearing these words. She did not know whether or not she was dreaming. The Christian certified the truth of what the boy was saying and told her what had happened. He added that her son would be free forever as long as he renounced the idols and became a Christian. The boy sincerely promised to do so and both of them began removing the false gods from a sort of altar where they were kept.


Conclusion:
I hope these marvelous stories may also help you, dear reader!
The Miraculous Medal continues to multiply its prodigies even today. We know of countless other impressive stories of conversions, graces of moral regeneration, cures of attachment to vices, and infallible protection against the action of the devil. There are innumerable accounts of cures and relief procured in every kind of illness, as well as assistance to expectant mothers and of astounding protection against assault, robbery, kidnapping, accidents and other dangers. And who can count those who have found employment and resolved financial difficulties by means of this devotion? Even in our days, so lacking in true Faith, the facts that take place never cease to surprise and edify us.
MM imageWhen she revealed the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady clearly promised that “everyone who wears it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.” She did not put restrictive conditions; she said “everyone.” And then completed the phrase with: “The graces will be abundant to those who use it with confidence.”
We all need great graces, especially in these difficult and critical times. Let us turn to the Virgin Mother of God in all our needs and concerns, and ask her with a childlike confidence to answer our prayers.
Dear reader, are you not also in need of a particular grace? Or maybe someone in your family is in need of one, or one of your friends? It was for people like you that the Virgin, the best of all mothers, in her unfathomable mercy, gave the Miraculous Medal.



11/25/19

Medjugorje Message of, 25. November 2019


Message, 25. November 2019

“Dear children! May this time be a time of prayer for you. Without God you do not have peace. Therefore, little children, pray for peace in your hearts and families, so that Jesus can be born in you and give you His love and blessing.
The world is at war because hearts are full of hatred and jealousy. In the eyes, little children, peacelessness is seen because you have not permitted Jesus to be born in your lives. Seek Him, pray, and He will give Himself to you in the Child who is joy and peace.


I am with you and I pray for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

11/16/19

Archbishop Carballo in Međugorje

Archbishop Carballo in Međugorje: Let us seek for the grace from Our Lady to become a blessing to orthers

date: 11.11.2019.
Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, the Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, visited Medjugorje and radio Mir facilities during his 6th visit to this place.
''Each time I come to Medjugorje, I feel as if I am at home, in the home of my Mother. You see, all of her children are welcome here and my Herzegovinian Franciscan brothers welcomed me on each occasion as if I was one of them. I really enjoy to be here and I need to thank our Pope Francis for having chosen Archbishop Hoser as the Apostolic Visitor here and for having permitted official pilgrimages to Medjugorje”, said Msgr. Carballo and he explained the reasons for his visit this time to Medjugorje.
''I came to meet with the various communities who are here in Medjugorje, 18 new communities. What is my point? The Church has a place for all! Just like Franciscans, once they decide to follow their community, the same is for all new communities and members of the consecrated life, all under one condition, that they follow the Church and place the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the center of their lives”, said Msgr. Carballo who was the main celebrant on Saturday evening in the church of St. James. Fr. Marinko Šakota, OFM, welcomed and greeted him at the beginning of this solemn celebration, along with Fr. Miljenko Steko, OFM, the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province and 29 priests concelebrating.
Archbishop Carballo invited all to live the logics of giving, as that is God’s logics. ''I invite you and me, let us live in that logics, for God and for the others. Let us live so we would die in what we have, as only in that way we could be born to the eternal life. We came here from different parts of the world, in this place where one can feel Our Lady’s presence and she is the one who completely lived that logics, gave herself to God and to the others.''
Fr. Marinko invited him at the end to come for the Youth Festival next year again.
 ''Wherever we go to 163 countries where Franciscans serve, we find our brothers there. Thank you for making me feel at home. Let us all go home converted, holy, a bit different than we were when we came here and let us seek for that grace from Our Lady, so we would become a blessing to others. Tell everyone that Mary loves them all and there is a room for all in her heart, even for those who are mostly lost and in sorrow. Please pray for me, for the Holy Father and for the Church and peace in this world”, said Msgr. Carballo at the end of his homily. Prior to being appointed as the Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, he previously served as the General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor. (PHOTO)

11/7/19

Spanish writer María Vallejo-Nágera participates in the new documentary Medjugorje

Medjugorje Makes It To Big Screen

From Religion and Liberty:
María Vallejo-Nágera participates in the new documentary about Medjugorje made by the expert journalist Jesús García
The popular Spanish writer María Vallejo-Nágera participates in the new documentary Medjugorje , the new documentary film by Gospa Arts.
“It will be the first time in history that the big screen shows us the apparitions, its plan to implant its reign of Love in the world, and the war that the world makes to that design,” explains Jesús García, project director and author of the script along with Borja Matínez-Echevarría. Filming began in early 2019 in different phases and locations such as Madrid, Medjugorje and locations in Croatia, and is expected to be released in the spring of 2020.
[Return to www.spiritdaily.com]

11/2/19

Medjugorje: Message to Mirjana of November 2, 2019

November 2, 2019 Message to Mirjana


Despite heavy rain in Medjugorje today, November 2, 2019 (All Souls Day), Mirjana made her way to the Blue Cross at the base of Apparition Hill and experienced her monthly apparition of Our Lady.

She reported that Our Lady gave her the following message for the world.

Dear children,
My beloved Son always prayed and glorified the Heavenly Father. He always said everything to Him and trusted in His will.
This is what you, my children, should also do, because the Heavenly Father always listens to His children. One heart in one heart – love, light and life.
The Heavenly Father gave Himself through a human face, and this face is the face of my Son. You, apostles of my love, you should always carry the face of my Son in your hearts and your thoughts.

You should always think of His love and His sacrifice. You should pray to always feel His presence, because, apostles of my love, that is the way for you to help all those who do not know my Son, who have not come to know His love.
My children, read the book of the Gospel. It is always something new, it is what binds you to my Son who was born to bring the words of life to all of my children and to sacrifice Himself for all.

Apostles of my love, carried by the love for my Son, bring love and peace to all of your brothers. Judge no one. Love everyone according to the love for my Son. In this way, you will also be caring for your soul, and it [your soul] is that what is most precious, which truly belongs to you.
Thank you.  Video>>      https://marytv.tv/mirjanas-apparition/ 

10/25/19

Medjugorje: Message from Our Lady, Queen of Peace


 
(c)Mary TV 
May Prayer be a balm to your soul...


October 25, 2019

Dear Family of Mary!

The October 25, 2019 Message from Our Lady, Queen of Peace
"Dear children! Today I call you to prayer. May prayer be a balm to your soul, because the fruit of prayer is joy, giving and witnessing God to others - through your life. Little children, in complete surrender to God, He will take care of everything and will bless you; and your sacrifices will have meaning. I am with you and bless all of you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
Mary TV 

10/24/19

Jesus told his followers that we do not “belong to this world

We All Have a “Forever Home”

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin
Posted: 
A relatively new phrase making the rounds these days is “forever home.” It refers to a new permanent home that is provided for a pet, usually a cat or dog, which has been rescued from a shelter or some other facility. The forever home offers loving care and a better future for the newest member of the family.
The phrase is also used sometimes to describe the adoption of a child who has been in foster care and is welcomed by a loving family into a new, permanent “forever home.” I just read about a 17-year-old teenager who was adopted and moved to her forever home after spending 4,057 days in foster homes. What a joyous day that must have been for her and her family!
With proper information and supervision, adopting a pet from a shelter, or a child from foster care, to provide a forever home, is a good and noble thing to do. But on a spiritual level the phrase also reminds us that we all have a forever home awaiting us in the future – in heaven.
Jesus told his followers that we do not “belong to this world,” and he repeatedly instructed us to live in such a way that we are prepared for the world to come. “Our citizenship is in heaven,” St. Paul reminds us. (Phil 3:20) And in the Letter to the Hebrews we read that “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come.” (13:14)
How does the reality of our forever home affect the way we live here in our temporary shelter on earth? Three things come to mind.
First, knowing that we’re not going to be here forever helps us to establish good priorities and to have a healthy detachment from earthly ambitions and material possessions, from all the “stuff” we accumulate. Second, it motivates us to live good, holy lives, knowing that someday – who knows when – we’ll be held accountable by the Lord for all of our actions, good and bad. And third, it gives us reason to hope, even on the worst of days, for we firmly believe that “the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18)
Something to think about: Are you ready to be rescued by Jesus and taken to your beautiful, new, forever home in heaven? Are you sure?

10/22/19

Medjugorje Expectations

Medjugorje – Manifestations, Adoration, Expectations, Fruits

medjugorjie
There we were—all 7,000-plus of us—engaged in Eucharistic Adoration at the outdoor altar of St. James, the parish church in Medjugorje. At Benediction, the priest held up the Blessed Sacrament. It was huge, but it has to be, in order to be seen by worshipers at the back of the outdoor prayer area. As he held up the pie-plate sized consecrated host – Our Lord’s body, blood, soul and divinity – we chanted the Kyrie Eleison three times. That’s when it all started.
Manifestations
The demon could take it no longer. At every Christe Eleison, hair-raising, guttural growls and moaning emanated from the mouth of the one possessed by the demon. As we began praying the Divine Praises in Latin, each time we mentioned the name of Jesus or Mary, the demon continued with the growling sounds, which are hard to describe, but were something like a combination of growls and moans coming from the very depths of one’s being. I was near the very back of the assembly of pilgrims from all over the world, many rows behind the person who was suffering through this.
From my vantage point in the semi-lit area (it was nearing 10:00 p.m. local time), although I could clearly hear, I could not see exactly what was going on. It appeared, though, that those near the demonic manifestation continued praying through the incident, as did the rest of us. At the conclusion of Adoration, the crowd quickly disbanded, with people moving in all directions as they headed off the campus and back to their transportation or to accommodations for the evening. Others who have been to Medjugorje multiples times told us that this sort of occurrence is not uncommon. It certainly does speak to the fact that demons do exist, and to the fact that the consecrated hosts we consume at Mass really are the true body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
Expectations
To say Medjugorje is an interesting pilgrimage site is a profound understatement. Readers probably are aware of challenges to the authenticity of the visions and all of what’s been going on there pretty much continuously since 1981. Naysayers have raised different objections about Medjugorje, its validity, sanctity, and so on. I am not here to address or refute those objections. Many others have done, and will continue to do, a more than adequate job in all of that. No—I want to share with you my personal perspective as a pilgrim who came to Medjugorje with no expectations of outward signs, apparitions or miracles. Rather, my wife and I went there to spend a week on a retreat in prayer and adoration. We were not disappointed. As I reflect on our time there, St. Paul’s advice comes to mind:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil 4:8)
Honorable, Just, Pure, Lovely
What is honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, or excellent about Medjugorje? Even though the commercial part of the village, and the crowds that visit it, have grown, there’s still a sense of peace surrounding the place. The local people are friendly and welcoming. Priests conduct Masses, adoration and veneration of the cross with an appropriate sense of reverence and dignity shown toward the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is the only community I’ve found where many, many people carry and pray the Rosary as they are walking. Dozens of priests hear confessions in a number of different languages. We took advantage of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which occurs at the outside altar twice a week, and veneration of the cross, once a week.
On top of this, we were able to pray inside the Adoration Chapel daily during the afternoon hours. Priests celebrate Mass every day of the week in a variety of languages, and we attended the English language Mass. In the evenings, we joined with other pilgrims, praying the Rosary before the 6:00 p.m. Croatian Mass. Behind the church stands the Statue of the Risen Christ. This bronze sculpture has been weeping droplets of a liquid substance since 2001. There is no valid scientific explanation for this phenomenon. We reverenced the sculpture and obtained some of the weeping liquid ourselves.
And then there are the occasional “miracles of the sun” where the sun seems to pulse or move in the sky. A companion pilgrim from our parish pointed out one such miracle to us as we came down from Apparition Hill. But through all of this, over the years, untold numbers of pilgrims have converted or reverted to the faith. Many have found religious vocations there. Others have come away with deeper conversions in their faith. The true fruits of Medjugorje don’t come in external signs and phenomena. They reside in the changed souls of the visitors to Medjugorje.
Reflecting on the Fruits
We heard edifying, inspirational homilies during Mass each day—we had three priests in our pilgrimage cohort–what a blessing! Fr. Leon Pereira, OP, the Medjugorje Chaplain to English Speaking Pilgrims, and Father Branimir Musa from Tihaljina, a neighboring parish, gave us even more spiritual food for thought as well. Some key takeaways from all that we experienced include the fact that we all need to pray more. As St. Paul tells us, we should pray without ceasing.
Father Leon, I believe, asked us to consider key questions for our interior lives. He suggested we ask ourselves if we are living each day as if it were our last day, living and loving the Lord and one another, in the moment. Or do we fret over past incidents and worry about the future, taking our eyes off of Jesus and ignoring the needs of our fellow sojourners? Father Branimir suggested that we look forward, out to our last day here on earth. When we do come to our last day in this life, will we look back with regret over the fact that we could have prayed more, and prayed more fervently?
There’s no time like the present to make some course corrections in our lives if need be. Mary pleads with us to do so. She has been doing this not only at Medjugorje, but at Fatima and other apparition sites as well. Our Blessed Mother will intercede for us, for the graces we need to help us change our lives. Jesus wants us to come to Him, to be one with Him, but He needs our cooperation. That’s the essence of the message here: be faithful to God’s graces, cooperate with Him to grow in holiness. How? Pray the Rosary from the heart, pray with Scripture, frequent the sacraments, and fast. It’s all very much part of our Catholic faith. We just need to live it with vigor.
The Bottom Line
So, what’s the story with Medjugorje? My wife and I received immeasurable graces and blessings from our pilgrimage there. There is a saying that, if one goes to Medjugorje, it’s because Our Lady has called them to do so. She called us, and we are grateful that she did. We’d do it again, regardless of what skeptics claim, and with or without a pulsing sun.
O Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.