"Dear children! In this time of grace I am calling all of you to open yourselves and to live the commandments which God has given you, that they may lead you through the Sacraments on the way of conversion. The world and worldly temptations are testing you, but you, little children, look at God's creatures which He has given to you in beauty and humility and, little children, love God above everything and He will lead you on the way of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call. "
"Dear children, great are the works that the Heavenly Father has done in me, as He does in all those who love Him tenderly and who faithfully and devoutly serve Him. My children, the Heavenly Father loves you, and it is through His love that I am here with you. He is speaking to you. Why do you not desire to see the signs? Everything is easier alongside Him. Also, pain lived with Him is easier because faith exists. Faith helps in the pain, and pain without faith leads to despair. Pain lived and offered to God raises up. Did my Son not redeem the world through His painful sacrifice? As His mother I was with Him in the pain and suffering, as I am with all of you. My children, I am with you in life, in suffering, in pain, in joy and in love. Therefore, have hope. It is hope that makes you comprehend that life is there. My children, I am speaking to you, my voice is speaking to your soul, my heart is speaking to your heart. Oh, apostles of my love, how much my motherly heart loves you. How many things I desire to teach you. How my motherly heart desires that you be complete, and you can be complete only when your soul, body and love are united within you. I implore you as my children, pray much for the Church and her servants - your shepherds; that the Church may be such as my Son desires - clear as spring water and full of love. Thank you. "
Featured article from March's Spirit of Medjugorje
To Jesus through Mary
By Sr. Emmanuel
Janet, an Irish pilgrim full of joy,
told me her story:
"I was a cradle Catholic. I went to Mass every Sunday, but only out of habit. My husband was not a Catholic – in fact he was a Hindu, but we both decided that we wanted to bring our three children up as Catholics – that is, I always took them to Mass on Sundays and sent them to Catholic schools, etc. I thought that this was all I was obliged to do. I never prayed with them or taught them about God! The reality was that I was practicing my faith superficially, not living it with my heart. In addition to this, a Christian man told me that Jesus is not present in the host, and that to believe in the Real Presence was ridiculous, so I ended up doubting. During Mass I was thinking of everything but God and was looking forward to the end because I was bored.
Church in Siroki-Brijeg
"I have a very good friend who had often been to
Medjugorje. She kept pleading with me, 'Come with me
to Medjugorje!' Finally, despite great protest in my heart,
I said yes. We were a group of six friends. As far as I was
concerned, I was going for a girly week in the sun, to enjoy
nature and lots of chatting amongst friends. I didn't think
prayer would be on my agenda. It was May 1997.
"The first days went as planned. I enjoyed the food, fresh air, sunshine and even going to daily Mass. I thought, 'This is good!' On the third day, we went off with John, our Irish guide, in an old ratty van to a Mass being celebrated by Fr. Jozo at Siroki-Brijeg, where 30 Franciscan priests were martyred during World War II. It was a huge church that filled up quickly as I remained outside in the sunshine, chatting with friends. Mass was about to begin and the church was packed. All the benches were full and the aisles so crowded that it was impossible to move. It was then that the most surprising thing happened!
"A man, whom I had never met before, took my hand very gently and walked me through the crowds. I didn't feel as though we were pushing; it was as if the space opened up and we walked gently through. He took me to the altar steps and placed me right in front of the priest who was about to start the Mass. Then he suddenly disappeared. I had the best spot there! I had a most surreal but calm feeling, as though it was all normal.
"I remember nothing of the Mass until the priest elevated the Host at the Consecration. The Host became huge to my eyes and Christ, Our Lord, appeared alive in the Host. He was looking up. From that moment on, my whole life changed. I probably never stopped crying for the time I remained in Medjugorje.
"When I returned home, I got into the habit of going to daily Mass. I drew all my strength and my joy from there. Jesus became my essential food. My Hindu husband listened respectfully to my testimony, and in spite of the great change which had taken place in me, he did not seem shaken. Moreover, I have never tried to convince him to share my faith, and equally, he has allowed me to practice my faith freely. I prayed a lot for him. Several years later, as I was getting ready to go to Mass one day, he simply said to me, 'I am coming with you!' To make a long story short, he is now a baptized Catholic and we are united in the same faith.
"I wish so often that I could start my life again, so that I could spend all my younger years with Jesus! How I regret losing time, and how ashamed I am that I didn't always believe! But now, I do not let a single day go by without thanking God for revealing Himself to me. I pray daily for lukewarm Catholics that Mary, our Mother, may touch many, many souls and bring them to the living Jesus!"
Let me add that seeing the joy that radiates from Janet told me more about Jesus than her conversion story!
Children of Medjugorje, www.childrenofmedjugorje.com, October 2012 report.
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