Drawing Heaven- The painting of a Child

This is simply amazing!
This video was featured on CNN of a young girl with incredible drawing talent. Please click read more below.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 January 2010 )
source-medjugorje net


A reflection by Sr. Isabel

In the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church, we are in "Ordinary Time." Ordinary time — Our Lady invites us to use it well and to focus on our personal prayer. In many places the winter weather keeps people at home more than in the summer time when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. This is an excellent opportunity to read the Scriptures more, to pray the Rosary, to go to daily Mass and to spend time with the Lord in praise and intercession. If we get into the habit of praying daily, at a specific time and for a certain period of time, when the summer weather comes, we will continue to do so, knowing the fruits of our prayer.
Our faith will grow and deepen and we will bear witness to it by the very lives we live. “See how these Christians love one another” from the Acts of the Apostles, should be heard in our neighborhoods and cities today. Our Lady promises to be with us and to inspire us. She is a wonderful mother who desires us to draw closer to her Son, Jesus. If we ask her, she will be with us in our prayer time. The Holy Spirit will be our guide, if we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow Him to change us. Let us praise God and thank Him for His deep love and mercy.


Our Lady's Medjugorje message of Janurary 25, 2010

Dear children! May this time be a time of personal prayer for you, so that the seed of faith may grow in your hearts; and may it grow into a joyful witness to others. I am with you and I desire to inspire you all: grow and rejoice in the Lord who has created you. Thank you for having responded to my call. January 25, 2010

Sing songs of Praise and Rejoice in the Lord.

Video Songs of 20th Festival of Youth Medjugorje

21 songs from the Medjugorje Youth Festival Mladifest


Saint Bernadette Soubirous,- Her Body after 122 years.

Saint Bernadette's Body after 122 years.

This is amazing!

The thing to remember is that the poor sisters of those days were buried in a pine box and in no way embalmed like today .St. Bernadette's Body after 122 years. This is one of the 200+ miracle facts of incorruptible bodies that can only be traced to most of the declared saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
These are the pictures of St.. Bernadette who died 122 years ago in Lourdes , France and was buried; her body was only discovered 30 years ago.. After church officials decided to examine it they discovered her body is still fresh unt il today and if you ever go to Lourdes , France you can see her in the church in Lourdes . Her body isn't decomposing because during her lifetime, the Mother of Jesus would always appear to her and give messages and advice to all mankind on the right way to live on this earth. Many miracles have taken place in this place of Lourdes and still do until today.
Scientists have wondered about this because it defies the laws of nature and instead of expecting a foul smell of a dead body, a fragrance of flowers can be experienced when the glass of coffin is opened. Some say they experience the fragrance by just going near the coffin. You can visit the Church of Lourdes , France to verify yourself the authenticity of this truly wonderful experience and see for yourself a living miracle of our times...Incorrupt bodies of the Saints http://overcomeproblems.com/incorruptibles.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbIrkdDtd-E Video-Song of Bernadette Souirous


Gospa came with Legions of Angels

On January 2nd Mirjana received her monthly apparition at her home. After the apparition, she shared the following message:

“Dear children! Today I am calling you to, with complete trust and love, set out with me, because I desire to acquaint you with my Son. Do not be afraid, my children, I am here with you, I am next to you. I am showing you the way to forgive yourselves, to forgive others, and, with sincere repentance of heart, to kneel before the Father. Make everything die in you that hinder you from loving and saving - that you may be with Him and in Him. Decide for a new beginning, a beginning of sincere love of God Himself. Thank you.”

On the evening of December 31, 2009, Marija asked the Blessed Mother for a special favor explaining that the next day, the feast of the Mother of God and the first day of the year, many pilgrims requested that they attend the apparition at her home the following day; but because her chapel is very small, she was sad not to be able to offer this opportunity to all who asked. So she asked the Blessed Mother for a change in location to make it easier for more people to attend. She suggested that instead of coming at 5:40, to Marija’s chapel, Our Lady would appear in the evening on Apparition Hill so that everyone could attend. The Gospa replied that she would do both on the first of the year, come to the chapel at 5:40 and come to Apparition Hill in the evening.

So, on the Evening of January 1st, we were all on Podbrdo, praying our rosaries under the pouring rain, with our feet in the mud and our hearts in joy. The apparition lasted quite a while, and Marija told us, "The Gospa came today very happy, with legions of Angels!" She looked at all of us and smiled at us saying, ‘You are my joy, you are my hope!’ Then she urged us to live the messages that she has given us.” This is how we started the year 2010 with Her and with Her Heavenly army of Angels. We’ll definitely need them this year! And we entrusted all of you to Her motherly care... Children of Medjugorje, Praised be Jesus and Mary!


No, new wine is poured into new skins.

"No, new wine is poured into new skins." —Mark 2:22

Before we accepted Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God by His terms, we had an old nature, an "old self" (Eph 4:22). "We lived at the level of the flesh" (Eph 2:3); we had "old skins" (Lk 5:37), that is, an old fleshly nature.

When we accepted Jesus, we laid "aside [our] former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through illusion and desire, and [acquired] a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. We "put on that new" skin, the new nature in Christ.

If you try to dabble in Christianity without radically changing your life, beware! The Holy Spirit will not only see right through you; He will "burst" right through you. The abundant, new wine of the Spirit "will spill out and you will lose what little spiritual life you thought you had. In fact, you will lose your taste for the things of God. You will say, " I find the old wine better.That is to say, you will prefer your old lifestyle of sin to the life in the Spirit you tried to dabble in.

The same principle applies to the new wine of Jesus' eucharistic cup. If you receive the new wine of the Eucharist unworthily, that is, with old skin, you may be drinking a judgment on yourself (1 Cor 11:29) and might even be bringing illness upon yourself. Jesus' plan is not to just add a little flavor and richness to the old wine; rather, His new wine is so rich and explosive that our old skins can't begin to contain it. His plan is good; it is for our welfare, not for our destruction. Receive your new skin today! Receive the rich new wine of life in the Spirit.-Father, I am totally Yours. Do with me what You will.

Cardinal Shonborn's response to bishop's criticism

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cardinal’s TV response to bishop’s criticism
In a recent interview with the Austrian TV station ORF2, cardinal Shönborn spoke about Medjugorje and the reaction to his visit by Msgr Ratko Peric, the Ordinary of the Mostar Diocese.“The Church is entitled to the last judgment but one thing is for sure: People are experiencing there the help, closeness, and protection of the Mother of God in a special way. And certainly they would not make pilgrimages there for 28 years if there wasn’t anything there.

This doesn’t already mean that I am anticipating the decision of the Church but I’m saying distinctly there are fruits there. Good fruits or you could also say there can be no smoke without a fire and in Medjugorje there obviously is a fire.”Regarding the public criticism by bishop Ratko Peric: “Of course we can be of different opinion regarding things that have not been ultimately decided yet, and I respect him (the bishop) as fellow brother. I am united with him in prayer and I also believe that we can both confidently await the decision of the Church and can entrust ourselves to this decision with confidence, without polemics.
”Regarding the bishop’s criticism that the cardinal had not announced himself:“Of course I could have tried to pay him a visit in Mostar. It is not absolutely necessary and before me there have been many bishops in Medjugorje. We know that he has a somewhat different opinion here. I want to avoid polemics. For me it is not about being proved correct against him, but I certainly have not violated the right that is also the right of a bishop and cardinal.”• The programme Orientierung in which cardinal Schöenborn gave his interview was transmitted on ORF2, Sunday, January 10, 2010. Posted by pilgrim at 6:27 PM http://www.crownofstars.blogspot.com/


The Cross of Jesus still stands in Haiti.

Photo of the Church that was destroyed in Haiti
and we see the cross of OUR LORD still standing.
Please pray for Haiti, the dead, there families, and all who are suffering there.
Thank You, Maggie



Holy Spirit, My Light, My Love, My Strenght

Come Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, My Light, my Love, my Strength, be with me now and always
In all my doubts, anxieties and trials
Come Holy Spirit
In hours of loneliness, weariness and grief,
Come Holy Spirit
In times of spirtual darkness,
Come Holy Spirit
In failure, in loss and in disappointment,
Come Holy Spirit
When other fail me, when I fail myself,
Come Holy Spirit
When I am ill, unable to work, depressed,Come Holy Spirit
Now and forever, and in all things,
Come Holy Spirit

The Prodigo Son


A beautiful song with pictures from Medjugorje.
Also, pictures of Patrick & Nancy Latta's, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart retreat home of prayer.
click on photo to enlarge


I want to return to Medjugorje, says Cardinal Schonborn

“I want to return to Medjugorje,” says Cardinal
by admin on January 8, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010“I want to return to Medjugorje,” says Cardinal In an interview given to kath.net Cardinal Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, has made more comment about his time spent in Medjugorje recently .
He said that it was rather unusual for a Cardinal to visit Medjugorje as a pilgrim but has since discovered that several other cardinals and bishops had been there, but in a very “private” way.
He added that Medjugorje is now one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the world to travel to.
The cardinal also confirmed that Medjugorje had played an important part for many young priests on their personal path to the priesthood.
He referred to the annual Youth Festival at Medjugorje and said that, other than Taize, there is no other place that gathers so many young people and that this reflects the global importance of the phenomenon.
Cardinal Schönborn revealed that he had listened to Confessions for two and a half hours in Medjugorje, and that many of the penitents had not received the Sacrament for 20 or 30 years.
“How does this tree bear such fruit?” the cardinal asked.
He went on to speak about the phenomena of apparitions around the world and said that apparitions have their own language, that they provide simple uncomplicated messages which can get to the heart of the Christian message. He said that in Medjugorje the messages have a distinguishing feature with Our Lady’s call to peace and revealing herself as the Queen of Peace.
The cardinal confirmed again that the official position of the Church is as the Zadar declaration of 1991 made by the Yugoslav bishops’ conference. He said that this declaration has been confirmed at least twice and an ideal guideline to keep to.
On the question of the Church providing a definitive ruling when the phenomena are completed the cardinal said that there are many Marian apparition sites where an ecclesiastical verdict is not pronounced but still pilgrimages take place. He also stressed that `official’ pilgrimages to Medjugorje (pilgrimages organized at diocesan level) cannot take place but support will be given to the spiritual needs of pilgrims who go there.
*The cardinal also pointed out the deep level of prayer witnessed at Medjugorje and that the pilgrims show an incredible desire to return. He said that he could only explain that the closeness of Our Lady is good for the people and that he definitely wants to return to Medjugorje.
When asked if Medjugorje was a place of grace the cardinal said, To doubt that grace flows from Medjugorje, it would be necessary to close our eyes and the evidence was very obvious that graces spring from Medjugorje.
*As to the messages and locutions cardinal Schönborn said that when Rome investigated the claims of Sr. Faustina, who received daily messages from Jesus, it was very critical but the phenomena stood the test of time. He emphasised that the Church is always very cautious in this respect and it is a good thing.
He then added it was also very important that the fruits are not hampered and he was particularly impressed by the amount of good works resulting from the Medjugorje. He specifically mentioned the Cenacolo Community and Mother Village founded by the late Fr Slavko Barbaric.
He spoke about Medjugorje in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the “sensus fidelium”, the faith of the people. He said that the messages play an important role for pilgrims to stay “connected” to Medjugorje and that without the initial momentum there would be no Medjugorje today, but he did not want to speculate “recognition” and that for him as a bishop it is important that nothing in the messages is contrary to faith. He added that in this time Our Lady manifests herself as Queen of Peace and that is the theme of the messages from Medjugorje, peace with the emphasis on conversion, because when we are peace with each other we are peace with God.
The cardinal was asked that in the light of people’s lives changing at Medjugorje is there anything he does differently since his vist. The cardinal responded by saying that if there was, he would not say, but he knows through a long association with Lourdes that a close union with the Mother can lead to God. He stressed the pastoral care of Our Lady in bringing people to her Son and how her words can touch hearts and get people to say “Yes”.
When asked if he would report his impressions to the Holy See, the cardinal stated he went on pilgrimage for personal reasons but he does not conceal his attitude to Medjugorje from his brothers, which has deepened since his visit. He confirmed that he has spoken with many bishops and will continue to do so and that this was part of the Church view and judgment. He added that as a visiting Cardinal to Medjugorje it brought consolation to the people who were there on New Year’s Eve.


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.

MOVEMENTS OF THE SPIRIT" Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee." —Luke 4:14

Jesus inaugurated His public ministry by proclaiming: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me."In the Spirit, Jesus preached, prophesied, taught, healed, and delivered many people from the evil one. He called us, His followers, to do the same. He even promised that we would do greater works than He did (Jn 14:12).

Many Christians in our secular humanistic culture doubt whether they can have such power in the Spirit. They don't see great conversions, healings, and deliverances. Their experiences, or lack of experiences, seem to prove the Bible wrong. Yet what if our experiences, not the Bible, are wrong and woefully limited?

Before Jesus manifested such great power in the Spirit, the Spirit had already performed two other works in His life. At the River Jordan, the Spirit descended on Jesus (Mk 1:10) and cried out in His heart, "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6). Then, affirmed as the beloved, favored Son of God, Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:1). To receive the power of the Spirit, we must first go with the Spirit into the waters of our own "Jordan River" to receive our baptism or renew it.

Then, we must go into the desert. There we will know deeply the Father's personal love for us. Then we will receive the power of the Spirit to be like Jesus. This Sunday, on the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, receive the first movement of the Spirit. Father, in a deeper way give me the Holy Spirit, the only true Christmas Spirit.

New Video of Cardinal Schonborn in Medjugorje

Put your feet up, and open your hearts to receive much joy love when you watch this video. It’s a must, especially for anyone who has never been to Medjugorje. http://www.crownofstars.blogspot.com/ Cardinal Schönborn in Medjugorje...
And just look at all those priests! So many!

Thank You Bernard for posting this.


Cardinal Schonborn has defended his decision to visit Medjugorje.

Mostar bishop laments cardinal’s Medjugorje visit By Anna Arco 4 January 2009
Cardinal Schönborn visited the hillside in Medjugorje where the Virgin Mary was alleged to appear (CNS photo)
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has defended his decision to visit Medjugorje after he was criticised by the local bishop. The Archbishop of Vienna said that his visit to the Bosnian town was an attempt to "de-dramatise" the "Medjugorje phenomenon".
Cardinal Schönborn said the unusual goings-on in Medjugorje - the alleged Marian apparitions which were first reported in the 1980s - had taken a secondary place in Medjugorje, which he described as "a school of normal Christian life".

He said: "[Medjugorje] is about faith in Christ, prayer, the Eucharist, about lived love of neighbour, about the essentials of Christianity and the strengthening of Christian daily life." The cardinal, who leads the Austrian bishops' conference and is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said he did not intend to make a decision ahead of the universal Church and make a pronouncement on the supernatural aspects of the reported Marian apparitions in Medjugorje.

He said he wanted to stick to the guidelines set up by the 1991 Zadar Declaration, the last formal statement about the apparitions, which forbids official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, and which he described as "wise and directing". He said he had come to Medjugorje to see the "tree" that had borne such fruits as Cenacolo, a community which helps to rehabilitate drug users, and Mary's Meals, which helps feed starving children around the world. He made his comments to the Austrian Church's official newswire Kathweb.com four days after he paid a private visit to Medjugorje.

He celebrated Midnight Mass in St James's Church in Medjugorje as well as meeting Franciscans and hearing confessions. He also visited the hillside where the Virgin Mary is alleged to appear, with Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, one of the six reported visionaries. On Saturday, Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno issued a statement heavily criticising Cardinal Schönborn, in which he said the cardinal's visit contributed new suffering to the local Church and did not contribute to "peace and unity [that is] so necessary".
Bishop Peric said Cardinal Schönborn's public appearance at Medjugorje gave "some believers the erroneous impression that the cardinal's presence acknowledged the authenticity of the Medjugorje 'apparitions'". He said the cardinal had not notified either the diocese or the parish that he planned to make a visit to the place where six children witnessed the alleged apparitions. Bishop Peric also said he was surprised by Cardinal Schönborn's visit. The bishop said: "I understand that the cardinal of the Holy Roman Church enjoys the right to profess and preach the Gospel throughout the Catholic Church. But with regard to public appearances outside their own diocese there exists also among bishops a certain ecclesiastical code of conduct; the bishop or cardinal who intends to come to another diocese and appear publicly, announces himself in first instance to the local bishop, which is encouraged also by ecclesiastical prudence. I hold that such ecclesiastical prudence and such a rule should have been especially applied in this case."

During his homily at St James's Church, the cardinal is reported to have said: "These days, we have all come to Medjugorje to be especially close to the mother of the Lord. To be more exact, we have to say that we have come here because we know that the mother of the Lord wants to be close to us. "With her, we want to begin the New Year. And the first thing that moves me when I think about the manger and the shepherds is that there were no angels present. Although here there is an angel at the nativity set, but in the gospel there are no angels waiting there. They were on the field with the shepherds... an entire host of angels. But Mary and Joseph only heard about it. The shepherds told them. "We also didn't see the Gospa. But there are people here who told about it. And we trust that the Mother of God really is close to us. Belief comes from hearing. And it impresses me that first, in the gospel of today, there is talk about hearing. We have to listen to the good news first. We have two ears, two eyes, and only one mouth. That means we have to listen much, watch much, and then talk also. And what are we supposed to say? We are supposed to report what we have seen and heard
The world needs a new evangelisation and that is only possible through people for whom it is impossible to keep silent about what they have seen and heard," he said. In 1981 six children reported seeing the Virgin Mary on a hillside outside the town of Medjugorje. Since the first sighting, she has reportedly appeared to the seers over 40,000 times and has conveyed hundreds of messages to them. The Vatican has not ruled definitively on the apparitions. Over 30 million pilgrims have visited the site and several hundred thousand visitors come annually from the British Isles. Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, the papal preacher, cancelled a retreat he was scheduled to give in 2007 at Medjugorje after he was told he did not have the diocesan bishop's permission to appear there officially.


Interview with Cardinal Schonborn 1-4-2010


From Vecernji List daily newspaper for Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The position of the Church and Medjugorje

Monday, January 04, 2010
Cardinal Schornborn, The fruits of Medjugorje are Good.
The position of the Church and Medjugorje
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), reiterates Church position on Medjugorje...Nothing has changed...No decision until “apparitions” have ceased...1991 Zadar declaration still stands...Supernatural not confirmed and not excluded...Pilgrimages allowed but not at diocesan level...Pilgrims to be supported at pastoral level in Medjugorje...

Cardinal Dr Christopher Schönborn came to Medjugorje on Monday, December 28, 2009 on his private visit and stayed until January 2, 2010. During his stay in Medjugorje, he gave couple of statements to the press members. In his conversation with Max Domej, a representative of Austrian media, the cardinal was asked what has made him come to Medjugorje. Amongst other things he said:“I know about Medjugorje for many years, not personally because I have never been here before, but in our Diocese and even farther, I do experience fruits of Medjugorje. I always used to say what Jesus has said in the Gospel: “You will recognise the tree by its fruits.” When I see the fruits of Medjugorje back at home I can only say that the tree is surely good.

Speaking, furthermore, about Medjugorje in the Church, the Cardinal added: “Supreme authority in the Church is the Holy See, the Holy Father and his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that is the highest authority in all of the issues of faith and morality. Supreme authority of the Church gave us clear guidelines, not directly from Holy Father himself, but from Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith that had clearly confirmed what the bishops from Yugoslavia once said, and that undoubtedly is applicable in Medjugorje. I have always repeated that. Those texts are very much known. There are three elements that are valid still today, and I can place my visit to Medjugorje within those guidelines. In that sense, my visit is not something that is unusual at all. The Holy See, in accordance with the Statement of Bishops from 1991, says the following:“First: Non constat de supernaturalitatae. That is the expression that is rarely used, and means that supernaturality of the events has not been confirmed, and that is classical formulation of the church doctrine. It is not said that supernaturality was excluded, but has not, or still is not finally confirmed, and all because of one simple reason that I fully support. I am the member of the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith, and it is understandable that I support that if we were to discuss it. Namely, as long as the phenomenon is still ongoing, it is normal that the final decision of the Church is not going to take place yet, because something like that was never done in the past before. Both in Lourdes and Fatima, the events first ceased and than the Church made its decision about that; its final decision. Sooner or later that will take place here as well, but until then we leave the Mother of God with freedom of choice.“Second: no official pilgrimages are to be organised, which means that I can not organise pilgrimage of my diocese to Medjugorje. That is logically related to what was mentioned in the previous point. So, there is no official recognition yet, but in that formulation it is also said that supernaturality is not excluded. The Church has clearly said it is not excluded. It is not confirmed, but it is not excluded.“Third thing that church doctrine clearly states is also in accordance to the statement of Yugoslavian Bishops, that the faithful journeying to Medjugorje require attention and pastoral care. That means that indeed pastoral care of pilgrims needs to exist, and that is the matter that many are trying to serve. Gebesaktion Wien, amongst others, who take care of pilgrims, follow them and help them even after pilgrimages. I think in that way, Medjugorje can continue well on their journey, with full trust that the Church, Mother and Teacher, in this case, is going to continue to monitor their journey.

I would advise for patience. The Mother of God is so patient with us that for nearly 29 years here, in a very direct way, she is showing Her closeness and care for the parish of Medjugorje and numerous pilgrims. We can peacefully wait and have patience! Twenty nine years is a long period of time for us, but not such a long period to our God!”• source: Medjugorje parish website
Posted by pilgrim at 12:25 AM


Our Lady's message of January 2, to Mirjana. Decide for a new beginning.

Dear children, Today I am calling you to, with complete trust and love, set out with me, because I desire to acquaint you with my Son. Do not be afraid, my children, I am here with you, I am next to you. I am showing you the way to forgive yourselves, to forgive others, and, with sincere repentance of heart, to kneel before the Father.

Make everything die in you that hinders you from loving and saving – that you may be with him and in him. Decide for a new beginning, a beginning of sincere love of God himself. Thank you. January 2, 2010

Saint James Church Medjugorje New Years Eve

This year as well as in previous years, more than ten thousand young people came to Medjugorje for New Year’s Eve from all over the world. Holy Mass of Thanksgiving for previous year took place at 6 p.m. and Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic was the main celebrant. Live Nativity scene followed and members of Cenacolo community recited parts from Gospel, sang and performed the events from Bethlehem. Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament followed from 10 to 11 p.m. and was led by Fr. Miljenko Steko .Holy Mass began at 11.15 p.m. in Latin language and Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Dr. Christopher Schonborn was the main celebrant, while Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovinan Franciscan Province, concelebrated along with 120 priests. International Choir and Orchestra accompanied the whole programme with their music and singing." Look at all the Priests. " http://medjugorje.s3.novenaweb.info/en/


Cardinal Schonborn's Homily

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cardinal Schonborn celebrates New Year's Eve Mass in Medjugorje
December 31, 2009 – Thousands of people from all over the world chose to shun traditional New Year’s Eve revelries and instead sought a holy experience in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina.Throngs of pilgrims converged on St. James Church and the surrounding area to take part in an historic New Year’s Eve Mass celebrated by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the archbishop of Vienna and an esteemed member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith .Cardinal Schonborn has been in Medjugorje since December 28 on what was originally thought to be a private visit. The cardinal has surprised the faithful, however, by making his visit very public. During his talk in St. James Church on December 30, 2009, he went so far as to call Medjugorje a - “superpower of mercy.
”During his homily at the New Year’s Eve Mass, Cardinal Schonborn said the following:“Dear brothers and sisters here in the Church and on the squares in front of the church and in the yellow hall. We are all conscious of the fact that it is a big privilege to not have to celebrate the New Year with champagne.” The crowd laughed, and the Cardinal added “Maybe later,” which was followed by laughter and clapping. He continued: “But now we are allowed to celebrate the beginning of the New Year with Mary and Joseph and with the child that is lying in the manger and with the shepherds. These days, we have all come to Medjugorje to be especially close to the mother of the Lord. To be more exact, we have to say that we have come here because we know that the mother of the Lord wants to be close to us. “With her, we want to begin the New Year. And the first thing that moves me when I think about the manger and the shepherds is that there were no angels present. Although here there is an angel at the nativity set, but in the gospel there are no angels waiting there. They were on the field with the shepherds… an entire host of angels. But Mary and Joseph only heard about it. The shepherds told them. “We also didn’t see the Gospa. But there are people here who told about it. And we trust that the Mother of God really is close to us. Belief comes from hearing. And it impresses me that first, in the gospel of today, there is talk about hearing. We have to listen to the good news first. We have two ears, two eyes, and only one mouth. That means we have to listen much, watch much, and then talk also. And what are we supposed to say? We are supposed to report what we have seen and heard. The world needs a new evangelization and that is only possible through people for whom it is impossible to keep silent about what they have seen and heard. “We all have received the faith. And through baptism we all have received the task to pass on the faith. The shepherds related what they were told. And from there it went on. The gospel, the good news was told and those who told it were believable. Those who heard also saw that the word and life harmonize, that what the witnesses saw is also true in their life. “How can we be witnesses of the good news? First, by looking to Mary. Mary kept all that happened in her heart and pondered it. Brothers and sisters, what we need most in this time is prayer. I’m saying this with a sadness of some sorts. I know that I’m praying not enough. I know that prayer is life. Without the living relationship with God our life becomes dry end empty. “What does the Mother of God tell us all the time? Pray. Take yourself time for prayer. Is that a good resolution for the New Year? For us priests and deacons. For us all. Time for prayer. It gives so much strength and so much joy. So much clarity. Let us ask Mary that she helps us to pray more. When we pray our word is also filled with life. And then our testimony is credible.” "I want to tell you something about what the Apostle Paul told us. The Year of Paul is already over, we are now in the Year of Priests. But the word of the Apostle Paul was so strong because it was filled with life. In the reading of today he talks about God sending his Son so that we can become sons. The daughters are not excluded here. Daughters and sons are meant together. But Paul says we are called to become sons, not slaves. Like Jesus is Son of God we are supposed to be allowed to call God Father. In the beginning of this year the Apostle Paul tells us: You are sons and not slaves. "I believe Medjugorje is a place where a lot of people confess. Confession is deliverance from the slavery of sin. Nothing makes us less free than sin. God wants us as sons: Freedom of the children of God. And for that he gifted us with the sacrament of reconciliation. We are to have a new relationship with God, to be allowed to call him Abba. Jesus invited us to that in a way that we trust Him, that we trust God. There is so much fear of God in us (or, "we are so afraid of God"). The cardinal went on to say "Jesus, I trust in you," in Croatian and Polish, and then continued "Pope John Paul II left us this message: Trust in the mercy of God. Trust in the mercy of Jesus."Trust can be heroic sometimes, if life becomes difficult. If a marriage becomes a burden, if an illness oppresses us, if we don't know what becomes of our work; then to say Jesus I Trust in You; that can be heroic. Trust; that really is an act of faith. And again we look to Mary. Who has made and gave this act of trust, of faith, more than Mary? Jesus I Trust in You. That is to be our program in the coming year. "It is almost midnight and it is cracking," the cardinal said as he pointed towards the firecrackers going off outside. "But we are not cracking, we are praying. We are not cracking but we are singing. "And a last word: The shepherd returned, praised God, praised him for what they heard and saw. We, too, will return home. In order that we can become witnesses of the gospel, we have to praise God first. The shepherds praised God for what they have seen and heard. I hope that we can all drive home, travel home after these days here and praise God for what we have seen and heard. Then people will also believe us when we tell, then our word will be credible. "Now it is almost midnight. It is exactly the right moment to profess our faith. With this faith we are going into the New Year. God bless this year."
Posted by Judith at 12:52 PM

Video: Cardinal Schonborn Celebrates Vigil Mass in Medjugorje.

The video above, courtesy of Piero, shows the Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God in its entirety. The main celebrant is Cardinal Christoph Scönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, visiting Medjugorje for the first time. The opening procession is very joyful. posted by pilgrim