|I witnessed this beautiful monstrance being given to the parish of Medjugorje on the Reported 30th Anniversary of Mary's apparitions|
On the reported 30th Anniversary of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, I was privileged to travel to Medjugorje.
Some of the most beautiful sights of my pilgrimage to Medjugorje were to see Masses being offered continuously from 5am – 6pm in various languages throughout the day,
to witness hundreds of priests concelebrating the evening Mass,
thousands attending a Holy Hour every night,
countless numbers going to confession in every language to about 70 different priests at any given time (St. John Paul II is quoted as calling Medjugorje: “The Confessional of the World”), and
and the faith of tens of thousands of people praying the Rosary,
the Stations of the Cross and performing great acts of penance each day.
Many refer to this place as an oasis of peace and a school of Mary. I can attest that extraordinary faith is being manifested in Medjugorje! Knowing this, what has been the impetus of such a dynamic and living faith? Surely, all this is happening, through an extraordinary grace of God.
Six reported visionaries attest that this grace is because the Blessed Mother began appearing to them on June 24, 1981. Since then, they report, that Mary has told them that the God has sent her to remind the world that He exists, and that the world is in great need of conversion, and that we must repent and believe again in His Word and His existence.
She has told them, they report, that we must turn back to God. As a means of doing so, she invites all to live five main messages of peace and conversion: prayer with the heart (particularly the Rosary), living the Eucharist (consisting of daily Mass if possible and adoration), penance (going to at least monthly confession), Scripture reading (preferably as a family) and fasting (preferably on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays). Based on these reports, Mary, known as the Queen of Peace, has come to lead us back into union with her Son and to pray for and live peace through living these five main messages.
If this is really occurring -- which millions have provided concurring testimonies that it is – then it must be truly important!
IF God is willing to send Mary to the world everyday, it must be truly vital for us and therefore, it must be important for us to listen.
And so I have had to ask myself, isn’t it important that I pay attention to what the reported messages of Mary are asking me to do?
A couple years ago, I began to ponder more deeply the great lengths Mary has taken to reach her children. I began to think about how long and how ardently she has pleaded with us to repent, and so, I began to examine them more deeply and ask myself how was I living the messages? -- The messages I believed Mary comes down from heaven to proclaim! And heartbrokenly, I had to admit how little I had thought of them and how weakly I was living many of them… I recognized how many excuses I used to not fast as Mary asked (on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays)... how little I truly prayed with the heart…and how seldom my family and I pray the Scriptures together, etc.
A few years later, I can say that I have become more committed to living the messages, but still have a long way to go. Truthfully, none of us can live the messages perfectly, but perhaps we can take them more seriously and make a commitment to strive to live them more fully each day.
To help us, I’m excited to share a beautiful interview with Vicka. She gives us wonderful insights into how to live the messages and to truly pray with the heart. For we are not called to live these messages by our own strength, but through the graces being offered by Our Mother and Her Son, Who love us more than we can ever imagine. Enjoy!