Sunday, March 01, 2015

Pope Francis says... Our Lady says...

We also climb the mountain of the Transfiguration and stop in contemplation of the face of Jesus in order to accept the message and translate it into our lives; because we too can be transfigured by love… In reality, love has the capacity to transfigure all. Love transforms all… Do you all believe in this? Do you believe love is capable of transfiguring all?
Pope Francis, Angelus address, Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear children! Also today I call you to pray. Pray, little children, in a special way for all those who have not come to know God’s love. Pray that their hearts may open and draw closer to my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus, so that we can transform them into people of peace and love. Thank you for having responded to my call. January 25, 2004

Little children, give time to God that he may transform you and fill you with his grace, so that you may be a grace for others. For you, little children, I am a gift of grace and love, which comes from God for this peaceless world. November 25, 2007

Little children, in the silence of your heart remain with Jesus, so that he may change and transform you with his love. July 25, 1988

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our Lady’s February message to Marija

Dear children! In this time of grace I call all of you: pray more and speak less.

In prayer seek the will of God and live it according to the commandments to which God calls you.

I am with you and am praying with you.

Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje message, February 25, 2015

ASK, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU: Matthew 7 : 7-12

The ups and the downs...

I remember one time descending Medjugorje’s Mt Krizevac on my own, in complete darkness and not able to see where I was stepping. No torchlight and no moonlight. There were more prayers said coming down then ever there were on the way up!

I didn’t fall, and to this day I’m still amazed I kept on my feet. It could only have been due to Providence and the help of a guardian angel.

A few years later I did come crashing down on my backside when I slipped at the base of Apparition Hill. How it happened was very simple. I got distracted and turned my head around to check on someone behind me, but mistakenly kept moving, and then lost my balance. I couldn’t lie down for the rest of the pilgrimage, and I still suffer with the hip injury even now, four years on.

Jesus fell three times on his walk to Calvary, so weak was he after being tortured and then having the heavy burden of the cross placed on his shoulders. The burden wasn’t of his own making. It is said that the weight of his cross represents the sins of mankind.

My physical falls (yes, there was another occasion) has similarities with the times I fall to temptation and sin. Usually when this happens it is because I’ve lost focus on what’s ahead of me and allow myself to become distracted. I haven’t, so to speak, kept up the ground work and to the straight path. I make the mistake of turning my eyes away from the one who calls me to follow him. This is not always deliberate on my part; distractions can come in so many guises and not always easy to recognise. And then there are the times when I know better, or become ‘righteous’ or right. That’s always an easy trap to fall into.

In her message below Blessed Mother warns us about following distractions without reflecting on the consequences.

Dear children! I am calling everyone of you to start living in God's love. Dear children, you are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hand of satan without reflecting. I call on each one of you to consciously decide for God and against satan. I am your Mother and, therefore, I want to lead you all to perfect holiness. I want each one of you to be happy here on earth and to be with me in Heaven. That is, dear children, the purpose of my coming here and it’s my desire. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje message, May 25, 1987

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A lasting impression...

About a year ago I lay helpless in a hospital bed after open-heart surgery.

A specialist nurse in the high dependency unit came to me with a basin of warm water and proceeded to wash my body wherever I wasn’t covered in surgical dressings and monitor cables.

I can’t remember much about the process as my body was still filled with anaesthetic and other pain-relief medication, but I do recall the tender and gentle way she washed my face and the bliss I experienced.

She was a total stranger and I didn’t catch her name. But I shall never forget the experience and will always remember the nurse as ‘Veronica’, the woman who wiped the face of Jesus as he carried his cross.

Veronica’s tenderness and goodness was rewarded with a permanent impression of the Lord’s face on her veil. The nurse’s compassion graced me with an everlasting impression of the tenderness and goodness of Jesus in the hearts of others.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Come and see...

Pope Francis says... Mary says...

Pope Francis went on to explain how in the wilderness we can listen to God’s voice and that of the tempter. And we listen to God’s voice through his words and that’s why it’s important to read the Holy Scriptures because otherwise we’re unable to resist the lure of the evil one.  The Pope said it was for this reason that he wanted to renew his advice to the faithful to read the Gospel every day and reflect on its meaning, even for just 10 minutes... 
VATICAN RADIO, reporting yesterday’s Angelus address by Pope Francis

Dear children! Today I call on you to read the Bible every day in your homes and let it be in a visible place so as always to encourage you to read it and to pray. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, October 18, 1984

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life. John 6 : 63

Turn around, Simon...

Many are the conversions that happen at Medjugorje, where pilgrims are reconciled with Jesus after long periods away from the Church and the Sacraments. For some, the conversion can be sudden and totally unexpected.

Simon of Cyrene experienced a dramatic turnaround in his life which led to him following Jesus.

Travelling in from the countryside to visit Jerusalem (probably for the Sabbath) he came across a procession of people escorting a prisoner out of the city to a place named Golgotha, where he would be crucified.

Jesus and Simon were travelling in opposite directions when the man from Cyrene was seized by the guards and put upon to shoulder the burden that had already forced Jesus to the ground. Simon was literally turned around from the direction in which he had been heading and made to follow Jesus and help bear the heavy weight of the cross.

Simon would have been less than pleased, maybe even resentful, with being commandeered in this way and tainted with the shame associated with a condemned man and his cross. But carry the cross he did.

Simon isn’t mentioned by name or by deed in today’s Gospel reading
(Matthew 25 : 31-46) but he can be identified very easily among those assembled on the right hand side of the King, those who reached out to the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers and the prisoners.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Mother’s heart is beating...

A month ago Pope Francis spoke of the reassuring sound of a mother’s heartbeat in his message given for the 49th World Communications Day.

Since 1981 countless souls have progressed through life accompanied by the Blessed Mother's Medjugorje messages; reassuring messages in their familiarity and every message serving as a reminder of her words: “I am with you”.

Their established rythmn each month are as regular as heartbeats. They can resonate and reassure our own heart, should we choose to listen and respond.

Occasionally, the beat of the heart quickens in excitement or even concern. This is not unsual, nor should we be surprised when sometimes the steady rythmn of the heart changes pace.

Occasionally, Our Lady warns or cautions, like any mother would do if she senses that her child is not aware of certain threats to its safety and peace. Mothers do this. We should not be surprised. The threat to peace is always close by. Our Lady even said in one of her messages: “Beside every oasis is the desert. ”

Like Jesus we can be driven into the desert where we are tempted to turn away from God and surrender to evil. Pope Francis speaks about this battle in his Angelus message today. 

And if it is the Holy Spirit who drives us into this wilderness among the wild beasts then we should also know that God and his angels are with us in this confrontation with evil. But temptation is not a sin. We should not fear. Our Lady has said in another message: “I am with you and unceasingly keep watch over every heart which is given to me.”

So when we read of Our Lady saying that peace is in danger, it’s not the trouble spots of the world we should be observing, but keeping a watch instead over our own heart and asking are we responding to Our Lady’s messages in the way she wants us to – or have we slacked off? Have the desert sands started to sweep over and bury our heart? Have we surrendered to temptation instead of accepting the gift of grace available to us?

Peace in the world starts in our own heart. If our heart is at war with someone, if we find ourselves in conflict, if we snipe and bicker against each other, push and shove for dominance, argue the toss all the time, then for certain we are on the slippery path that can lead to more serious conflict and maybe outright war.

Today, both sides in the conflict affecting Russia and the Ukraine have started withdrawing heavy weapons and troops from the front lines – the wilderness. Lent is with us – a time to confront the reality of evil and disarm the tempter, turn around and retreat back to the road that leads to lasting peace and not conflict.

The Mother’s heart is beating…

Dear children! Also today I call you: live your vocation in prayer. Now, as never before, Satan wants to suffocate man and his soul by his contagious wind of hatred and unrest. In many hearts there is no joy because there is no God or prayer. Hatred and war are growing from day to day. I am calling you, little children, begin anew, with enthusiasm, the walk of holiness and love; since I have come among you because of this. Together let us be love and forgiveness for all those who know and want to love only with a human love and not with that immeasurable love of God to which God calls you. Little children, may hope in a better tomorrow always be in your heart. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, January 25, 2015

More than all else, keep watch over your heart,
since here are the wellsprings of life.

Proverbs 4 : 23

Guard your heart...

Today, Pope Francis asked homeless people living near the Vatican to distribute 50,000 free prayer books to pilgrims in St Peter’s Square.

The small booklet is titled: “Guard Your Heart” and contains little instructional guides and prayers to aid the journey of conversion through Lent.

Twenty-six years ago, on February 25, 1989, Our Lady issued a message through the seer Marija Pavlovic asking that in ‘this season of grace’ (Lent) we fill our hearts with even the smallest prayers. She ended her message saying she unceasingly keeps watch over (guards) every heart which is given to her.

More than all else, keep watch over your heart,
since here are the wellsprings of life.

Proverbs 4 : 23

Dear children! Today I invite you to prayer of the heart. Throughout this season of grace I wish each of you to be united with Jesus, but without unceasing prayer you cannot experience the beauty and greatness of the grace which God is offering you. Therefore, little children, at all times fill your heart with even the smallest prayers. I am with you and unceasingly keep watch over every heart which is given to me. Thank you for having responded to my call. February 25, 1989

photo © Reuters

An encounter with Jesus...

Sometimes no words are necessary when we encounter love in our life, but for most of us these occasions can be life-changing, none more so than an encounter with Jesus.

We can encounter Jesus in the many ways his mother did on earth when we pray and meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary.

In a message given to Marija on August 14, 1986, Our Lady said: “Dear children, my call to you is that your prayer be the joy of an encounter with the Lord.”

The fourth station of the cross depicts Jesus meeting his sorrowful mother on his way to Calvary and crucifixion. It is difficult to imagine any joy in this encounter, but those who have experienced being close to a loved one during their time of dying will know that it can be a most special time of peace and joy, despite any feeling of loss and separation that may follow.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now,
and at the hour of our death.

Dear children! My call to you is that your prayer be the joy of an encounter with the Lord. I am not able to guide you as long as you yourselves do not experience joy in prayer. From day to day I desire to lead you more and more in prayer, but I do not wish to force you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

Medjugorje message, August 14, 1986