Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A message of good counsel...

The reaction from of a couple of people I was in touch with yesterday when I raised the subject of Our Lady’s latest Medjugorje message was one of surprise.

It was the opening sentence that seemed to disturb them, because it mentioned that Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart bleeds as she looks at her children in sin and sinful habits.

I’m not a mother but I know that the hearts of all mothers bleed for their children at times. It seems to be the mother’s lot – not that fathers are incapable of suffering such extreme sorrow expressed in this way, or lack deep compassion for their children.

Didn’t I cause grief and heartache for my own mother at times?

And what about all the mothers whose children have died – especially as a consequence of war? Do their hearts not bleed also?

I’m always hearing of mothers who hope and pray constantly for their children to return to faith and the Sacraments. The separation, like Our Lady, can cause their hearts to bleed.

So I view Our Lady’s opening words in her latest message, not just as a statement about her own intense sorrow, but also as a shared sorrow with all parents, especially mothers, concerned for their children walking a wrong path in life.

She wants all mothers to be mothers of hope, as she is; mothers of joy, as she is; mothers who know that the love of God is unconditional, and in turn set no conditions on loving their own children, painful though it can be at times. Love can even make our hearts bleed. But Our Lady promises us balm when we respond to her call for healing heart and soul.

Yesterday was the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Who can say that her latest message is not one of good counsel?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The calls keep coming...


These days, I don’t get many telephone calls, maybe because I don’t possess a mobile phone. Any calls I do receive are on my house phone, plus messages left on answerphone. These calls and the left messages are generally invites to respond to surveys and sales pitches. I always ignore them and never respond.

Our Lady makes frequent calls through her Medjugorje messages. She made another call yesterday in her latest message to Marija. She also reminded me that God has also been trying to contact me. Do I always respond to these calls? Does anyone?

Perhaps that’s why Our Lady is so regular with her messages from Medjugorje, constantly calling us to herself and to Jesus. They seek a response – and Our Lady, ever the mother who waits in hope, always says thank you in anticipation for the time I do finally get round to responding.

She also reminds me that time is short. For me personally that isn’t about there not being enough hours in the day to complete everything I want to. No, at my late stage in life I know exactly what she means when she says, “Little children, life is short.” Many friends and relatives left this life unexpectedly at a much younger age than I am at now.

So the message is more than clear to me; make good use of what time is left; don’t waste time getting sidetracked; keep the lamp filled with oil; and at times when I feel pretty useless and don’t seem to be achieving much, there is always prayer.

So much can be achieved for the good through prayer – for others and oneself. Prayer is never a waste of time. It is making good use of time – whether we have years to live or just a single day left in our short life.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Medjugorje message, April 25, 2016


Dear children! My Immaculate Heart bleeds as I look at you in sin and sinful habits.

I am calling you: return to God and to prayer that it may be good for you on earth.

God is calling you through me for your hearts to be hope and joy for all those who are far away.

May my call be for you a balm for the soul and heart so that you may glorify God, the Creator, who loves you and is calling you to eternity.

Little children, life is short; you, make good use of this time and do what is good.

Thank you for having responded to my call.


All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
John 1 : 4-5

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The most beautiful...


Hervé Reynaud has an interesting item on his website Cher Gospa, pointing out the similarity of a lyric in the Prince song, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, to words in one of Our Lady’s messages from Medjugorje.

On Thursday, June 21, 1984, the Medjugorje locutionist Jelena Vasilij received a locution from the Blessed Mother containing these words:

If you knew how much I love you, you would cry with joy.

The declaration is probably the most remembered line of all the Medjugorje messages and appears on prayer cards and other devotional items pilgrims bring back home from Medjugorje to give to friends and family.

In light of the recent death of Prince it is uncanny that his own declaration of love speaks about crying tears of joy when night falls before his last day. The song is from Prince’s album The Gold Experience and was released as a single in February 1994 – the month he married Mayte Garcia.

Could you be
The most beautiful girl in the world
It’s plain to see
You're the reason that God made a girl
When the day turns into the last day of all time
I can say, I hope you are in these arms of mine
And when the night falls before that day I will cry
I will cry tears of joy
’Cause after you all one can do is die


Lyrics © Universal Publishing Group

Precious offerings


Moses spoke to the whole community of the sons of Israel. “This” he said “is what Yaweh has commanded. Set aside a contribution for Yaweh out of your possessions. Let us all give willingly and bring this contribution for Yaweh: gold, silver and bronze; purple stuffs, of violet shade and red, crimson stuffs, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red and fine leather, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the chrism and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and gems to be set in ephod and pectoral.”
Exodus 35 : 4-9

Friday, April 22, 2016

A true believer...

Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day for Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, a Roman colony and the principal city of that particular district of Macedonia. After a few days in this city we went along the river outside the gates as it was the sabbath and this was a customary place for prayer. We sat down and preached to the women who had come to the
meeting.
One of these women was called Lydia, a devout woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptised she sent us an invitation: “If you really think me a true believer in the Lord” she said, “come and stay with us”, and she would take no refusal.
Acts 16 11-15

Thursday, April 21, 2016

RIP Prince

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain


Paths to Jesus


From time to time in the messages given at Medjugorje, Our Lady speaks of her desire to lead us to Jesus. She knows the path, she knows where to find him, she points the way.

In today’s Gospel
(John 13 : 16-20) Jesus alludes to his eventual betrayal by Judas, one of the apostles. He quotes the words of Isaiah, saying, “Someone at this table rebels against me.”

Judas also knew the path to bring people to Jesus. He knew where to find him at Gethsemane, but the route he chose lead others to find ‘Rabbi’ was the way paved with silver and swords instead.


Thou shalt know him when he comes
Not by any din of drums
Nor by the vantage of his airs
Nor by anything he wears
Neither by his crown
Nor his gown
For his presence known shall be
by the holy harmony
that his coming makes in thee.

source unknown

Dear children! I am with you and I bless you all with my motherly blessing. Especially today when God gives you abundant graces, pray and seek God through me. God gives you great graces, that is why, little children make good use of this time of grace and come closer to my heart so that I can lead you to my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, June 25, 2001

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Perpetual Help


To take someone’s offered hands is a sure sign of belief and trust in that person.

When we were children, it was natural for our parents to extend their hands to us, to lead us, to lift us, to give to us, to receive from us. As infants, where would we be without the hands of a mother or father being our hands in the formative stage of life?

In the above image – detail from the icon depicting the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour – the Blessed Mother offers her right hand to the infant Jesus.

He trusts her in his moment of uncertainty when faced with a premonition of his passion and death to come.

Mary’s left hand succours him, is underneath him in support. Yet she does not grip the child’s two hands. He is free to let go. Mary’s right hand, like the left, is there only to support the child.

But her help, comfort and support is always there, when called upon. It is perpetual.

Dear children, today I extend my hands towards you. Do not be afraid to accept them. They desire to give you love and peace and to help you in salvation. Therefore, my children, receive them... Medjugorje message, March 18, 2008

It’s wonderful to know that the Blessed Mother’s hands are the same hands that support and comfort the infant Jesus. So why should we be afraid to accept them?

Medjugorje today (1)




A new blog feature to direct visitors to sources of information and snippets on Medjugorje. News and information items welcome. Send HERE.

Check the sidebar for latest snippets or go to the PAST POSTS page for earlier information.

WEEK 14-20 April, 2016

CALL FOR BAN ON ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION
• Representatives from the Medjugorje parish along with the parish office have signed a petition calling for a halt to illegal construction in the area and for improvement in overall infrastructure and amenities. The petition was presented to local government officers last month.

ECUMENICAL PILGRIMAGE
The Emeritus Archibishop of Mechlen, Monsignor André Leonard, has extended an invitation to anyone wanting to join him on an inter-faith pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The pilgrimage is under the auspices of MARANATHA, an international ecumenical prayer movement for healing of humanity. The date of the pilgrimage is October 1-8. More details HERE.

BIKERS RIDE TO MEDJUGORJE
• The annual bikers pilgrimage to Medjugorje is scheduled for for the weekend May 13-15. It’s the seventh succesive year that bikers have gathered at Medjugorje for prayer and to have their motocycles blesed. The event is organised by the Brotno Motor Club.

POPE APPOINTS MEDJUGORJE FRANCISCAN AS A ‘MISSIONARY OF MERCY’
Pope Francis recently named 730 priests from around the world to serve as “Missionaries of Mercy”. Four of the priests are from Bosnia Herzegovina, including one Franciscan currently assisting at Medjugorje, Fr Ivan Landeka. Fr Ivan was born in the same year, 1981, that the apparitions first began at Medjugorje.

FRENCH CONNECTION
• A very popular and comprehensive French-language website dedicated to Medjugorje is CHERE-GOSPA, published by Hervé Reynaud. It’s regularly updated and also has a FaceBook page

MEDJUGORJE DOMAIN AUCTION
• Interesting auction going on HERE for the medjugorjetoday.tv domain. Seven bidders so far and top bid has reached $415. Auction ends on April 15. Auction has ended. Winning bid was £415.

BARI STARS IN MEDJUGORJE
The first team squad and officials of the Italian football club Bari visited Medjugorje this week. Details and photos HERE.

IN BELGIUM AND NETHERLANDS
• Gert Smets and his family have just returned home to Belgium after spending Easter in Medjugorje. Gert is behind the very popular Dutch-language Medjugorje blog Bedevaart.net. Check out his latest gallery of photos and other posts.

BOOK LAUNCH AT MEDJUGORJEFounder of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow was in Medjugorje this week to promote his book, ‘The Shed that Fed a Million Children’. The Mary’s Meals organisation is a “fruit” of Medjugorje. Details at the parish website.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weeping in this vale of tears...


Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this, our exile,
show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

The sun weeps...


We hear much about the spinning sun, the miracle of the sun, the dancing sun and other solar phenomena at Medjugorje, but has anyone witnessed the miracle of “the crying sun”?

Pope Francis did today. It moved him to tears. He saw the phenomenon in Lesbos, the Greek island where he met with stranded mirgrants.

He revealed this to the group of journalists travelling back to Rome on the papal plane. Responding to questions put to him by the journalists, Pope Francis held up a collection of drawings given to him by children at the refugee camp and said:

“After what I saw, what you saw, in that refugee camp, I felt like crying. I brought some drawings with me to show you. What do children want? Peace. It’s true they follow educational courses in the camp but what have these children seen… Here is a drawing of a little boy drowning. They have this image in their hearts.

“Today was really enough to move one to tears. One child drew a weeping sun. If the sun is able to cry then a tear or two would probably do us good.”

Twelve were chosen


In an incredible gesture of solidarity with migrants, Pope Francis journeyed today to meet with some of the people stranded on the Greek island of “Limbo” (Lesbos) – and then returned to Rome on the papal plane accompanied by a group of Syrian refugees of the Muslim faith. Twelve were chosen.

Jesus said to the Twelve, “What about you, do you want to go away too?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who shall we go to?” (Today’s Gospel reading: John 6 : 67-68)

Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11 : 28)

The blessings continue


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who instigated the latest Medjugorje Commission study, celebrates his 89th birthday today (April 16). It is also the day St Bernadette of Lourdes died 137 years ago.

It is claimed that Cardinal Raztzinger once visted Medjugorje. Certainly he met with the late Fr Slavko Barbaric, the Franciscan priest associated with the Medjugorje phenomenon.

The picture above shows Fr Slavko conducting an interview withe Cardinal. Fr Slavko is recording the conversation. The tape’s red light is on. Whatever happened to the tape?

According to the monthly “Nasa ognjista” XXI (1991) No 10, Fr Slavko Barbaric met with Cardinal Ratzinger in Linz, Austria, during a meeting of more then 300 priests who discussed their experiences of confessions in Medjugorje.

Later, Fr Slavko had a longer conversation with Cardinal Ratzinger about Medjugorje. Could the picture above be of that meeting?

According to Fr Slavko, the Cardinal told him: “The Church does not want to repress anything that is bringing good spiritual fruits”. Concerning the apparitions, he underlined that “at present he cannot say either yes or no. The Commission of the Bishop’s Conference will continue with its work”.

Cardinal Ratzinger was also quoted on Medjugorje in another publication that same year. Neue Bildpost (September 8, 1991) reported the Cardinal as saying he would strive to declare Medjugorje a place of pilgrimage and prayer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Love letters... straight from the heart


Such is life that not everyone will read the Joy is Love exhortation issued by Pope Francis last weekend – a document described by the head of the US bishops’ conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, as a “love letter to families”.

It will bypass many people, despite the wide media coverage it has received around the world. Dare I say that there was more attention and interest in the meltdown of Jordan Speith and the surprise victory of Britain’s Danny Willett at the US Masters on Sunday than the ‘love letter’ sent out from Rome.

It’s not easy conveying the Gospel message, the Good News and the simple truth of God’s unconditional love. To do so, we have to live the message.

Our Lady’s exhortations from Medjugorje are also love letters, invitations to live the messages she has been sending out these past 35 years. Regretably, many remain unopened, often classed as ‘junk mail’ and dismissed. Some Christians find her language intolerable and ask, “How can anyone accept it?”

Deaf ears are turned to her teaching and exhortations, just as many will turn deaf ears and close their hearts to the exhortation of Pope Francis in his role in leading Mother Church, the pope who seeks “a happy Church with the face of a mother”.

But what’s new? Even the imprisoned John the Baptist wasn’t absolutely sure if Jesus was the expected Messiah. He sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus: “Are you for real?” The answer Jesus gave to be delivered back to John was clear. God loves his people – and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor.

Mary never tires of telling her children she loves them. Her messages, – “messages from Jesus Christ” as one Franciscan priest pastoring at Medjugorje once described them – are all that is contained in her heart.

In one one particular Medjugorje message (January 25, 1999) Our Lady appealed for families to place the Bible in a visible place in the home, to reflect on it and discover how much God loves his people.

Commenting on this part of the message, the late Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM said:

Mary already expressed this same wish in two previous messages. I consider this advice to be very practical, because the Bible is after all for us all the word of the God who loves us. The Bible is his letter to us, and in this letter he is telling us constantly that he loves us, that he wishes to lead us, that he is our God, that we may trust in him, and that he is our way, our truth, our light and our life. And he quite naturally wants us also to read his letter that he wrote to us out of his love for us. And it then follows that when we love God, we will also come to loving his letter to us. When we love his word, it will also remain in our hearts. So if we listen to Mary, we will read and also reflect on his letter to us every day.

In his Joy of Love exhortation, Pope Francis also directs us to the heart of the Blessed Mother to hear God’s message of love.

The treasury of Mary’s heart also contains the experiences of every family, which she cherishes. For this reason, she can help us understand the meaning of these experiences and to hear the message God wishes to communicate through the life of our families.

Dear children! At this time, in a special way I call you: ‘pray with the heart’. Little children, you speak much and pray little. Read and meditate on Sacred Scripture, and may the words written in it be life for you. I encourage and love you, so that in God you may find your peace and the joy of living. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, February 25, 2012

Friday, April 08, 2016

Prophetic words of Medjugorje message...


On October 8, 2013, the Holy See Press office announced that Pope Francis had convened the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.”

Today, the Vatican published the eagerly-awaited post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the family, drawing together almost three years of consultations with Catholics from around the world.

The 200-page document is entitled “The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia)

On July 2, 2013, just three months before the first official announcement that referred to the extraordinary synod, Our Lady spoke to the Medjugorje seer Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo. She ended her message with these prophetic words:


Dear children, extend THE JOY OF LOVE and support to your shepherds, just as my Son has asked them to extend it to you.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Medjugorje... a sacramental phenomenon


With Easter Sunday celebrated at one of its earliest times of the year, the total of Holy Communions distributed at Medjugorje for March was the highest ever recorded for that month in the 32 years the parish has published statistics – 114,000 – an increase of 31% on the corresponding month for 2015.

While the Vatican has still to make any pronouncement on the outcome of its Commission study relating to the Medjugorje phenomenon, the growth in the number of pilgrims availing of the Sacraments at Medjugorje continues, as previous March dates for Easter indicate.

YearMonthCommunions
2016March 27114,000
2013March 31102,500
2008March 2399,000
2005March 2781,000
2011March 3145,000

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Medjugorje... the Gospel message...


The name “Medjugorje Messages” is not the most appropriate, because if you go to the New Testament you will find them all. They are not “Medjugorje Messages”. They are messages from Jesus Christ. And if you want to now what is happening in Medjugorje, just open the bible and you will find out everything. Everything is there. The messages in Medjugorje were here before Our Lady appeared. She just dramatised them in the lives of the priests, the visionaries, the parishoners, as well as in your own lives.
Fr Svetozar Kraljevic, May 5, 1986

Praying for peace and healing

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday


I didn’t sleep too good last night. I kept waking, and my thoughts were occupied with trying to identify a figure in one of the Stations of the Cross that I had been studying the last few days. Around 3:30am I awoke again and started pondering once more on who the person might be. I had clues from some of the other figures in the scene. Eventually I arrived at a name. A quick check on the internet confirmed I was on the right track and the person was in fact St Marie Therese Haze.

I must confess I hadn’t heard of her before. My knowledge of saints is scant. St Marie Therese was the founder of the the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross of Liége. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in April 1991.

Shortly before the inaugration ceremony for the new congregation in 1833, Jeanne, as she was known then, had a vision. She saw a large black cross surmounted by a white crown, clearly outlined in the summer sky. She understood its wordless message and adopted it as the emblem of her congregation. Ever since, the Daughters of the Cross have worn this simple cross and surmounted crown. For many years it was fashioned from ebony and ivory but in more recent times made from silvered metal.

This account of the emblem reminded me of the time the Medjugorje seer Marija Pavolic had a vision of a dark cross. It occured on Podbrdo on the third day of the Medjugorje phenomenon, June 26, 1981, the feast day of the Sacred Heart.

Marija was ahead of the group making its way down the hill after they had met with Our Lady. Suddenly she felt herself pushed to the side of the hill at the place known locally as ‘Lokventina’ and Our Lady appeared to her again, this time in front of a dark cross. The Virgin’s expression was sad and she said: “Peace, peace, peace! Let there be peace between God and man. Let peace be restored.” Ever since then, the spot on what is now known as Apparition Hill has been marked with a large wooden cross.

This morning I went walking. It’s a bright sunny day. I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Afterwards my thoughts turned once again to St Marie Therese, the simplicity of the black cross motif and its connection to the vision given to Marija Pavlovic. I thought how it would be nice to have such a cross to wear to remind me that the Cross is the greatest sign of God’s merciful love for the world and his creation, his Divine Mercy, his Sacred Heart.

Completing my stroll and walking up the path to my house, I took out my set of keys to open the front door, and as I put the key into the lock my attention was drawn to the key fob – a silver metal cross with a crown-cut stone in the centre – “this simple cross and surmounted crown”!

I can’t recall how I obtained this key fob, who gave it to me, or even if I may have bought it myself. I know it has been attached to my set of keys for quite a few years, and if I have ever taken notice of it during that time it was never in connection with the St Marie Therese or the Daughters of the Cross.

Should I be surprised? Should I ever doubt that God reveals his wonderful mercy in so many varied ways?