2/17/18

Medjugorje: Fr. Slavko 's Prayer


God, our Father, we thank you that you sent us your Son Jesus who lived amongst us as a child and as an adult, and who gave his life for our salvation. With Mary, at the beginning of this Advent, we turn to you, merciful Father, and ask you to give us all the grace needed so our hearts may be prepared to accept your Son, Jesus Christ – as you prepared Mary’s heart for the coming of your Son.

Free us from our pride, our selfishness, our fear and distrust so that, like Mary, we open ourselves completely for you and your Son, so that our hearts can become a living place for your Son. We ask you for the the grace of a good confession, so that every confession becomes a meeting for us with your mercy and your love. Give us the grace of recognising where we have sinned, of being sincerely repentant. Cleanse us and heal all the wounds of our sins.

Bless also the confessors and fill their hearts with love and peace, so that they may all become a merciful extension of your love. Along with Mary, we ask you that we may decide, without delay, for conversion and for the path to holiness.

Free us from all bad habits that have enslaved us, that block us from deciding for the path to salvation. Father, we give you our past and our future, and ask you for the strength to do your will today. Fill our hearts, our families and our prayer groups with the spirit of prayer so that we may meet you in prayer and that through every meeting in prayer we may grow in holiness. On behalf of all those entangled in lack of faith, in distrust, in dependencies, in bad habits, and who cannot respond to your Word, we ask for your grace to free them.

Mary, we thank you that you are with us; we thank you for your prayer and intercession. Accompany us in this time of preparation so, like you, we may accept Jesus and remain loyal to Him so that some day we may reach heaven, through Christ, our Lord, Amen.

2/12/18

LOOKING FOR A SIGN?


"[The Pharisees] were looking for some heavenly sign from Him as a test. With a sigh from the depths of His spirit He said, 'Why does this age seek a sign? I assure you, no such sign will be given it!' " -Mark 8:11-12

Do you need a sign from God to believe in His power and love? Well, then, despite not giving the Pharisees of His time a sign, the Lord is about to give the world an incredible sign, one that's not easily missed. In two days, hundreds of millions of Catholics worldwide will be walking around with an ashen sign of the cross drawn on their foreheads. No one will be able to avoid this sign. The only question is: Will people of "this age" who are seeking a sign (Mk 8:12) be so "blinded by the god of" this age (2 Cor 4:4), the secular culture which denies the power of God, that they miss the sign paraded in front of them all day?

In "this age," many people have signs on their bodies. People are walking advertisements as they take pride in wearing clothes and shoes with the brand name displayed for all to see. Others wear "body art" in which tattoos cover nearly every exposed inch of skin. Still others use their bodies to glorify God (1 Cor 6:20) as signs for righteousness and evangelization by wearing crosses or medals, dressing modestly, and wearing a cheerful face as a "sign" of a heart that loves God (Sir 13:25).

The oldies song says, "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign." As Lent begins, Jesus sends to the world walking signs bearing His message of crucified love on their foreheads. Disciples of Christ, be signposts who lead the world to Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, use me as Your sign so that those who don't know You might be able to "read the signs of the times" (Mt 16:3).

2/10/18

President Trump Praises God During National Prayer Breakfast - ENN 2018-...


President Trump tells more than 3,000 people gathered at the 2018 National Prayer Breakfast, “America stands with all people suffering oppression and religious persecution.” White House Correspondent Mark Irons reports.

2/3/18

Siroki Brijeg -- The Martyred Franciscans


The 8th Days of the Martyred Franciscans about to begin


On Sunday, February 4, the 8th Days of the Martyred Franciscans shall begin, all on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of 66 martyred Franciscans by the Yugoslavian Communist Regime.

This event is organised by Vice-postulation of the martyrdom procedure “Fr. Leo Petrovic and 65 brothers”, led by Fr. Miljenko Stojic. Radio Siroki Brijeg shall broadcast the programme live on radio and Internet as well (radiosirokibrijeg.com).

The programme in the first three days shall begin with the Rosary and mediation at 5.30 pm, followed by the Holy Mass for the Dead at 6 pm. The main celebrants this year are: Fr. Antonio Sakota, Fr. Domagoj Simic and Fr. Ivan Matic. All three are currently involved in leading YouFra and OFS in their communities, or have done so in the last years.

The Thirty Franciscan Martyrs of Siroki Brijeg



The  Franciscan Martyrs of Široki Brijeg
Thousands of pilgrims visit the Franciscan Monastery in Široki Brijeg every year, about one hour distant from Međjugorje.

 On 7th February 1945 the Communist soldiers arrived and said “God is dead, there is no God, there is no Pope, there is no Church, there is no need of you, you also go out in the world and work.” The communists forgot that the Franciscans were working, most of the Franciscans were teaching in the adjoining school. Some of the Franciscans were famous professors and had written books. The communists asked them to remove their habits. The Franciscans refused. One angry soldier took the Crucifix and threw it on the floor. He said, “you can now choose either life or death.” Each of the Franciscans knelt down, embraced the Crucifix and said, “You are my God and my All.” The thirty Franciscans were taken out and slaughtered and their bodies burned in a nearby cave where their remains lay for many years. Today they are buried inside the Franciscan church.

 In our Gospel today Jesus said, “if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven.” The thirty Franciscan martyrs of Široki Brijeg are a powerful example of declaring oneself in the presence of others for Jesus. They lived something else Jesus also said in the Gospel, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.”

Witnessing to Jesus and following God’s way helps others who are lacking courage to follow Jesus. One of the soldiers in the firing squad at Široki Brijeg later said, “Since I was a child, in my family, I had always heard from my mother that God exists. To the contrary, Stalin, Lenin, Tito had always asserted and taught each one of us: there is no God. God does not exist! But when I stood in front of the martyrs of Široki Brijeg and I saw how those friars faced death, praying and blessing their persecutors, asking God forgive the faults of their executioners, it was then that I recalled to my mind the words of my mother and I thought that my mother was right: God exists!” That soldier converted and now he has a son a priest and a daughter a nun. As I said, witnessing to Jesus and following God’s way also helps others in the crowd who are lacking the courage to follow Jesus.

2/2/18

Our Lady's Message Given to Mirjana Soldo on February 2, 2018

Our Lady's Message for the World February 2, 2018
Our Lady's Message For the World Given to Mirjana Soldo on February 2, 2018


"Dear children, you whom my Son loves, you whom I love with an immeasurable motherly love, do not permit for selfishness, for self love, to rule the world. Do not permit for love and goodness to be hidden. You who are loved, who have come to know the love of my Son, remember that to be loved means to love.
My children, have faith. When you have faith you are happy and are spreading peace; your soul trembles with joy. My Son is in such a soul. When you are giving yourself for the faith, when you are giving yourself for love, when you are doing good to your neighbor, my Son smiles in your soul.
Apostles of my love, I am turning to you as a mother. I am gathering you around myself and I desire to lead you on the way of love and faith, on the way which leads to the light of the world.
I am here for the sake of love, for the sake of faith, because with my motherly blessing I desire to give you hope and strength on your way - because the way which leads to my Son is not easy. It is full of renunciation, giving, sacrifice, forgiveness and much, much love. But this way leads to peace and happiness.
Video of Apparition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87SGGlo8RwE


1/25/18

Medjugorje: Our Lady's message to Marija of January 25, 2018

“Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer, so that the Holy Spirit, through prayer, may descend upon you and give you conversion. Open your hearts and read the Sacred Scripture, that through the testimonies you also may be closer to God. Above everything, little children, seek God and the things of God and leave earthly ones to the earth, because Satan is attracting you to the dust and sin. You are called to holiness and created for Heaven; therefore, seek Heaven and the things of Heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


1/22/18

Actor Jim Caviezel "Paul, Apostle of Christ" | SLS18


Wow. Just wow.
The Catholic ministry for college students FOCUS recently had their SLS conference near Chicago, and one of the surprise speakers was actor Jim Caviezel, who’s famous for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s 2004 film The Passion of the Christ.
And he gave one of the most inspiring speeches about the Christian life we’ve seen in a long time.
Although the video title is “Jim Caviezel Promotes ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ”, referring to his upcoming movie, he mostly just talks about the need for Christians to unashamedly be faithful to Christ, and in the strongest terms.
It’s hard to do justice to the talk in a summary, so we highly recommend you just watch the whole thing.

1/20/18

Speaker Ryan's Remarks at the March for Life



Published on Jan 19, 2018

“Can we just thank God for giving us a pro-life president back in the White House? What a crowd. This is so exciting. It is so exciting to see so many young people here today. Your energy is so infectious!

1/19/18

Trump Speaks To Pro-Life Supporters - Full Speech


President Donald Trump speaks to pro-life supporters who will be marching in Washington, DC later today. This is the 45th annual March For Life. Trump plans to address the group via video.

1/18/18

President Ronald Reagan Speaks on Abortion 1984


Reagan's wording is from his "Address to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention",
delivered 30 January 1984 @ Sheraton Washington Hotel, Washington, D.C.
President Ronald Reagan

Emancipation Proclamation of Preborn Children January 14, 1988
NOW THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death, and I do proclaim, ordain, and declare that I will take care that the Constitution and laws of the United States are faithfully executed for the protection of America's unborn children. Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God. I also proclaim Sunday, January 17, 1988, as a national Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in their homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life they enjoy and to reaffirm their commitment to the dignity of every human being and sanctity of every human life.

1/16/18

Dolores O'Riordan


Dolores O'Riordan singing Ave Maria in duet with Luciano Pavarotti at a concert for the Children of Bosnia in 1995
January 15, 2018 Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish rock band The Cranberries, died suddenly on Monday. She was 46.

Never Give Up On Prayer For the Departed

In her August 13 apparition at Fatima the Virgin said, “pray, pray much, and sacrifice for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them.”.
A personal experience described below clearly demonstrates the Immense Mercy of God, the immense Power of Prayer and the need for perseverance and faith.

Never Give Up On Prayer
In 1992 my mother-in-law committed suicide. Two years later her husband also committed suicide. Neither of them were Catholic and on account of the circumstances of their deaths our family was greatly concerned about their salvation. The catechism tells us: "God in His almighty Providence can bring good from the consequences of evil" (cc312)

As a result of these tragedies I began to pray the rosary and to go to daily Mass. Three years later I made a pilgrimage and on my return, while attending a novena the priest said we could receive a plenary indulgence if we attended the whole novena. That summer I offered plenary indulgences for both deceased in-laws. I continued to pray for them because I realised no prayer is every wasted. Also I had learned from Fr Corapi about anticipatory prayers. God is outside of time and He knows what we will do before we do it. This meant that the prayers and Masses I offered for my in-laws could have been applied to them at the time of their deaths, and helped to save them.

On reading more I realized that a Plenary Indulgence is not easily obtained. To obtain such indulgence one must have no attachment at all to sin, however small the sin may be. This is not an easy thing. I then suggested to my husband we have a series of Gregorian Masses said for his parents in case they were still in Purgatory. The Masses were schedule to begin on October 1 (Feast of St Therese) and finish on 30 October

I asked for a sign of their salvation to be given to me once the Masses were completed. October 30 came and I waited for the sign. It did not come. October 31 came and no sign. I was then sure I would get the sign on All Saints Day (November 1). It never came. The next day - All Souls Day - would be perfect. No sign again. Now I started to really get worried. Could they be in Hell? I was distressed. I had so hoped that God would apply all the prayers and Masses ahead of time to help them at their last moments. I continued to pray but it took one more month.

A Month Later - Sign
On the First Saturday of December I woke up at 3.30am and felt I needed to go to Adoration. I could not get out of bed. I woke up again at 4.30am. This time I got up and went to Adoration. I had this really strong urge - hard to explain - to pray for in laws at Mass that morning. After Mass I was supposed to pray at an abortion clinic, but something told me I had to go home instead. On the way home I stopped to put Holy Water on the graves of my in-laws, as I knew this helped the Holy Souls. This was not easy as the cemetery was covered in snow. But I did, and wiped all the snow off, sprinkled Holy Water on the graves and prayed some more for them.

On arriving at home there was a package on the doorstep. I gave it to my son because I could see a stuffed animal toy in the bag and assumed it was from his girlfriend. He looked and said: "This is for you. It's flowers."

When I opened it up I began to sob. There in the package were a dozen white roses! I had asked to two white roses for my sign, but our God is a truly generous God and He gives us more than we ever ask for! The card with the flowers said: "I am just the messenger", and it was signed "John R." Also in the package was a rose pin attached to a St Therese prayer and a stuffed doggy toy.

Circumstances of the Sign
I called John to thank him. He said he was truly just the messenger. He explained to me that he had been woken up at 3am that morning and felt he was floating. He kept getting the message: "Get June white roses" He tried to pray but he could not. He said the Holy Spirit would not let up on him about the roses until he finally got them. When I told him the whole story about the white roses being a sign, he could not contain himself and had to hang up the phone.

My father-in-law loved dogs and a few days later I discovered a photo in which he had a dog that looked exactly like the stuffed toy, spots and all. As for the St Therese card the Gregorian Masses started on her Feast Day and my mother-in-law loved red roses. In my heart I believe the roses, the dog, the card and pin were all part of the message from Heaven that my two in-laws were now in that wonderful place.

The Lesson
Never, never give up on praying for your loved one, even after their deaths! Please pray every day for the Souls in Purgatory. My in-laws were not Catholic. Maybe we were the only ones praying for them. How many non-Catholics there must be in Purgatory because they have no one to pray for them! How many non-Catholics must be lost because they have no one to pray for them, either before or after their deaths!
Source Spirit Digest

1/8/18

Catholics must go out to “this pagan world

Actor Jim Caviezel, Catholics Are Born To Risk Their Reputations


Catholics must go out to “this pagan world” and risk their names and their reputations to defeat evil, said the actor Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's film The Passion of Christ.

Talking to 8000 college students in Chicago on on January 3, Caviezel prompted them to be “proud warriors” and to be ready to fight, sacrifice and suffer.

He invited his public to set themselves “apart from this corrupt generation”, adding, “You weren’t made to fit in. You were born to stand out.”
VIDEO  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=e9z-dMQjRBE

1/2/18

Medjugorje: January 2, 2018, Message Given through Mirjana

Dear children, when love is beginning to disappear on earth, when the way of salvation is not being found, I, the mother, am coming to help you to come to know true faith – living and profound – so as to help you to truly love. As a mother, I am longing for your mutual love, goodness, and purity. My desire is that you be just and that you love each other. My children, be joyful in your soul, be pure, be children. My Son used to say that he loves to be among pure hearts, because pure hearts are always young and joyful. My Son said to you to forgive and to love each other. I know that this is not always easy. Suffering makes you grow in spirit. For you to spiritually grow all the more, you must sincerely and truly forgive and love. Many of my children on earth do not know my Son, they do not love Him; but you who do love my Son, you who carry Him in your heart, pray, pray and in praying feel my Son beside you. May your soul breathe in His spirit. I am among you and am speaking about little and great things. I will not grow tired speaking to you about my Son – the true love. Therefore, my children, open your hearts to me. Permit me to lead you as a mother. Be apostles of the love of my Son and of me. As a mother I implore you not to forget those whom my Son has called to lead you. Carry them in your heart and pray for them. Thank you.”
Video of Apparition  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=PpYUbVUNwvE

12/27/17

Priests are the Bridge


Medjugorje Visionary: “Priests are the bridge to the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”



im

“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
-Our Lady of Fatima
On a day after the Medjugorje visionary, Mirjana, received her once a month apparition, she shared with pilgrims the following words, translated immediately into spoken English, by pilgrim guide, Miki Musa:
“If anyone is really privileged for Our Lady, we can speak about our priests, because she never said what they should do. She always talks about what we should do for them. They do not need you to judge and criticize them; they need your prayers and your love, because God will judge them as they were as priests, but God will judge you the way you treated your priests.
Our Lady says if you lose respect toward your priests, you will lose respect for your Church and for your God, as well. [In] the same way, during every second of the month apparition, she always says something about the importance of priests. For example, when she gives us her blessing, she says, “I am giving you my motherly blessing, but the greatest blessing you can receive on earth is the blessing that comes from your priests. When they bless you, it is my Son, Himself, blessing you.”
She also says, “Do not forget to pray for your shepherds. Their priestly hands are blessed by my Son.” That is why I am kindly asking of you, when you go back to your parishes, show to the others how we should respect our priests. If your priest is not doing [things] the way you think he should, do not judge him around. Take the rosary and pray to dear God for him. That would be the way to help him, and not to judge, because in this world that we live in, people judge and criticize so much, but there is so little love, and Our Lady desires that what we [all] may be seen through love and not to take into our own hands what only Our Heavenly Father, God, is supposed to do.
I’m sorry I cannot share with you more of what is supposed to happen [in the future], but I can tell you one thing. We have this time we are living in right now, and we have the time of the triumph of Our Lady’s heart. Between these two times, there is a bridge, and that bridge is our priests. That is why Our Lady insists so much that we pray for them, because that bridge needs to be strong enough for every one of us to cross it–because Our Lady said, “Alongside them [the priests], I will triumph,” which means that without priests, there is no triumph of Our Lady’s heart.
Just as in her message yesterday, Our Lady said not to judge our priests and not to forget that our Heavenly Father chose them. It is one thing for me to say what she said, but the expression of her face tells much more. I would say that she meant, “How do you dare to judge, because God is the one who is supposed to do it.” How can we take into our own hands what only God Himself is supposed to do? Because if God invited the priests, God will be the judge. Who are we to do it?

12/26/17

Patrick Latta Bob Sawyer Medjugorje


Published on Apr 24, 2015



Patrick Latta incredible interview on the fruits of Medjugorje

Medjugorje: Our Lady's Annual Apparition to JAKOV

ANNUAL APPARITION TO JAKOV ON DECEMBER 25TH 2017

date: 25.12.2017.
At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 2:07 pm and lasted 10 minutes. Afterwards Jakov transmitted the message:
Dear children,
Today, on this day of grace, I am calling you to ask the Lord for the gift of faith. My children, decide for God and begin to live and to believe in that what God is calling you to. To believe, my children, means to surrender your lives into God's hands - the hands of the Lord who created you and who loves you immeasurably.  Do not be believers only in words but live and witness your faith through works and through your personal example. Speak with God as with your Father.  Open  and surrender  your hearts to Him and you will see how your hearts are changing and how your life will marvel at God's works in your life.  My children, there is no life without God and that is why, as your mother,  I intercede before, and pray to, my Son to renew your hearts and to fill your life with immeasurable love. Thank you for having responed to my call.

12/25/17

Medjugorje: Our Lady's message of December 25, 2017

“Dear children! Today I am bringing to you my Son Jesus for Him to give you His peace and blessing. I am calling all of you, little children, to live and witness the graces and the gifts which you have received. Do not be afraid. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to be joyful witnesses and people of peace and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


 Prayer to the Holy Spirit
  Come, O Most Holy Spirit, come to us today. We need your love, because we desire to go on the new way to return to the Father, to take the step to the Father. O Come, Holy Spirit, You who makes all things new. Today grant a miracle in us and through us. Change our hearts. Take from us our hearts of stone and give us a new heart, a heart that knows how to love, how to pray, how to forgive. A heart that knows how to embrace the cross and recognize the will of God and carry it to the end. Come, O Most Holy Spirit, You who are our peace, come fill us with peace. You who are love, fill us with love and blessing and salvation. We are not here accidentally. We have been called, that we may be able to recognize our call and our mission. We ask You to come O Most Holy Spirit, that our masks may melt away, that our true face may be revealed before You. Come, O Most Holy Spirit, may a miracle happen today: the beginning of our conversion, the beginning of our true devotion. Come, O Most Holy Spirit pour out Your grace and Your strength on Your Church and convert us. Sanctify us. Change us. Come, O Most Holy Spirit, we are the Church united together in prayer with the Mother. As the disciples at the very beginning, united together with Her in prayer for the gift of Your Spirit, for the gift of love, that we may be freed from selfishness and hatred, that we may be freed from every evil, and that we may start to love, that we may start to forgive and to pray, that we may start to fast. Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come bless us. Come, change us. You who are prayer, come and anoint us with prayer that we may become the Church that believes in the power of prayer. Come, Most Holy Spirit, renew prayer in us, that we may become the renewers of family prayer.Come, O Most Holy Spirit, come heal us, come bless us, come convert us. O You who anoints with Your Peace, with Your Joy, with Your Love. Come anoint us.  Fr. Jozo

Madonna and Child

This is the Madonna and Child I painted for Noel, 2017


I like to paint Jesus as a happy baby and here he is smiling and playing with his toe, something babies love to do.      He is such a joy to all of us.     Merry Christmas everyone.     

12/21/17

You Just Need to Start


STRANGER’S WORDS LEAD MEDJUGORJE PILGRIM HOME TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH


The following is the true story of a recent Tekton pilgrim, who traveled to Medjugorje, followed by retreat with Fr. Zlatko Sudac, from Nov. 28th to Dec. 8th, 2017.
“You just need to start.”
“Excuse me?” Sheila asked, turning to the man who had spoken to her out of nowhere.
“You just need to start,” the shopkeeper repeated, and returned to his work.
Sheila’s arms prickled with goosebumps and she stared at the man as he organized souvenirs on a nearby shelf. Start what? she wondered. She sensed that the man’s words were no accident. They were meant for her, and they held a deep meaning. Now, she just had to figure out what that meaning might be.
The question continued to plague her as she went about her day in Medjugorje. It was only her second day in the town, and she still felt slightly out of her element. A fallen-away Catholic, in a place that was distinctly Catholic. Crucifixes were everywhere, and paintings and statues of Mary and Jesus decorated nearly every wall. Looking at the schedule for the next eight days read like a total immersion in Catholicism – daily Mass, countless Rosaries, opportunities for Confession, and visits with priests, religious and supposed visionaries.
The following morning, Sheila stood at the foot of Cross Mountain. She had made up her mind before the pilgrimage began that she would not climb its rocky slopes. Plagued with knee problems – and with surgery scheduled for less than a month away – walking short distances on flat surfaces was difficult. There was absolutely no way her knees could withstand the strenuous and steep ascent of Cross Mountain.
But the shopkeeper’s words continued to play through her mind: “You just need to start.” She had prayed and prayed, attempting to decipher why the man, a complete stranger, had been led to say those words to her. She watched as one of her fellow pilgrims began the ascent, her heart beating hard in her chest. There was no way she could do this.
All things are possible with Christ,” the words came, unbidden, into her mind.  She took a deep breath, stepped onto the trail, and followed the shopkeeper’s advice.

CROSS MOUNTAIN

Sheila had been raised Catholic, but left the Church when she was 19, and she’d never looked back. Disturbed by a faith that seemed to be filled with people who made her feel judged and found wanting, where the judges themselves were hypocrites, she had gone to seek greener pastures. Pastures where Christians steeped themselves in the Bible, and where going to church was an experience in being fed, with vibrant pastors who set their congregations on fire for God’s Word and His will in their lives. She’d never experienced that within the Catholic Church, and found that her faith came alive when surrounded by such vibrant believers.
Her brother had hounded her for years to return to the Church, but she wanted no part of it. Every night before going to bed, she asked God, “Lord, was I pleasing to you today?” and as long as she felt the answer to that question was yes, she knew she was exactly where she was meant to be.
When her brother told her she needed to go to Medjugorje, and on retreat with Fr. Zlatko Sudac, she resisted. Her knee surgery was scheduled for a month after the retreat! She could barely walk around the grocery store, let alone walk around the town of Medjugorje. She had a daughter and grandchildren to care for at home, not to mention all of the help that she provided to her brother and his family. How could she possibly leave for ten days, handicapped and needed at home? Not only that, did she even want to go to this explicitly Catholic place, when she had been perfectly happy apart from the Church for more than thirty years? And would she feel strange, excluded, out of place, as the only non-Catholic among so many devout Catholics?
Nonetheless, when her brother offered to send her on the pilgrimage and retreat she was willing to pray about it. She’d seen the effect Medjugorje had had on her brother decades before, completely changing his life. She’d seen the changes within her mother as well, when she went more recently. And she couldn’t deny the draw of being on retreat with Fr. Sudac, a priest who had received the stigmata. She’d heard stories of his passion, commitment, and love for Christ, and she had heard that healing graces flowed abundantly at his retreats. While Sheila had accepted the medical crosses she bore, she couldn’t deny her deep desire for healing – whether spiritual or physical – if that was God’s will for her.
She prayed about it, and woke one morning with the certainty that she was meant to go to Medjugorje. Her brother booked the trip, Sheila packed her bags, and took the first step on an incredible journey.

FINDING MARY

There’s so much peace here, Sheila thought as she walked the streets of Medjugorje. Everyone was friendly, smiling, joyful even. Just imagine if you could just take this place and make the whole world so peaceful, she thought.
What was different? Where did the peace and joy come from? Sheila looked around and saw people with their rosary beads, praying together or quietly to themselves as they walked the city streets. She saw pilgrims kneeling in prayer before statues and images of the Blessed Mother. Swept up in the tide of everyone else’s prayer, she found herself praying the Rosary for the first time since childhood, and she noticed something truly remarkable within herself.
Peace.
Prayer was nothing new to Sheila. She prayed all the time, and yet her prayers had never brought the profound peace that she
experienced while praying the Rosary. And the peace didn’t end with the final Amen, but continued into the minutes and hours that followed.
This peace was the peace of Christ, but why could she feel it more strongly here, in Medjugorje, than she had felt it back home in Indianapolis? Why was it stronger when praying the Rosary than during a powerful sermon at church? Why did the people here exude such peace and joy, when many of the devout Christians she knew still struggled against doubts and anxiety?
The realization slowly dawned: It was Mary. Mary, the Blessed Mother, called “the Queen of Peace,” who brought Christ into the world and continued to bring Christ into the lives of people throughout the world. Sheila realized that it is Mary’s entire mission – loving her Son and helping others to know him and love him. Mary truly is the Queen of Peace, bringing Christ who is Peace to the people in Medjugorje!
A mother can talk to a mother, and suddenly Sheila found herself conversing with Mary as a mother – her mother and Christ’s mother, seeking her help, her advice, her intercession. Laying her worries at Mary’s feet and asking her to place them at the feet of her Son. Having done so, Sheila was blessed with a peace and a joy unlike anything she could remember ever experiencing in her life.

COMING HOME

One of her new Medjugorje friends continued to push Sheila to go to Confession, but she resisted. God knew her sins, and she had asked his forgiveness. Why did she have to confess to a man? Finally, she caved, and went to speak with the priest who had befriended her over the last few days. He took one look at her face and said, “Let’s go get coffee.” They walked to a nearby coffee shop and the world melted away as Sheila shared her story – the judgement and hypocrisy that had caused her to leave the Church, the lack of devotion and scriptural commitment that had kept her away, her longing to be fed in a church service which no Catholic Mass seemed to meet. For three and a half hours they talked, completely unaware of the time, the people coming and going, or the scheduled activities that they missed. Sheila sobbed as she laid it all out before this man of
God and, while he didn’t answer her every disagreement and skepticism, she left with the sure knowledge of one thing: it was time to come home to the Catholic Church.
The next day, the group left Medjugorje and traveled to the Island of Krk, for a three-day retreat with Fr. Zlatko Sudac. When Father began speaking that evening, Sheila was stunned. She had seen peace, joy, and a remarkable love of Christ in many people in the town of Medjugorje, but Fr. Sudac… his love for Christ seemed to emanate from every pore. Truly, this priest has the authority of God speaking through him, Sheila thought.
The days of retreat continued to build upon the previous days of pilgrimage. Medjugorje had a hugeimpact on her, but the effect of Fr. Sudac’s retreat was nothing less than profound. Sheila finally went to Confession, and felt “clean.” She witnessed a priest, in the midst of a vocational crisis, return from a brief conversation with Fr. Sudac filled with new joy. She felt the overwhelming influence of the Holy Spirit at work among each and every one of the retreat participants, and she experienced the joy of knowing that she was exactly where God wanted her to be.
By the end of the pilgrimage, Sheila fully understood the words of that shopkeeper. “You just need to start,” he said. The next morning, she had accepted those words as a sign that she was meant to climb Cross Mountain, against all odds. Miraculously, she had climbed to the fifth station – a feat she never thought she could accomplish – and made it safely back down. But with that first start, she had also opened her heart to many other starts – believing in the love, intercessory power, and Queenship of the Blessed Mother; offering forgiveness to those who had made her feel judged in the past; coming home to the Catholic Church; and recognizing that her desire to be “fed” at church was met, not through the words of a pastor, but through the Bread of Life who offers Himself to us at every Mass in the Eucharistic Feast.
To learn more, or to register for an upcoming Medjugorje pilgrimage and Father Sudac retreat, visit ourMedjugorje page.
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12/17/17

Fr. Jozo's Prayer to the Holy Spirit





Fr. Jozo's Prayer to the Holy Spirit in Siroki Brijeg October 3, 2000

Come, O Most Holy Spirit, come to us today. We need your love, because we desire to go on the new way to return to the Father, to take the step to the Father. O Come, Holy Spirit, You who makes all things new. Today grant a miracle in us and through us. Change our hearts. Take from us our hearts of stone and give us a new heart, a heart that knows how to love, how to pray, how to forgive. A heart that knows how to embrace the cross and recognize the will of God and carry it to the end. Come, O Most Holy Spirit, You who are our peace, come fill us with peace. You who are love, fill us with love and blessing and salvation. We are not here accidentally. We have been called, that we may be able to recognize our call and our mission. We ask You to come O Most Holy Spirit, that our masks may melt away, that our true face may be revealed before You. Come, O Most Holy Spirit, may a miracle happen today: the beginning of our conversion, the beginning of our true devotion. Come, O Most Holy Spirit pour out Your grace and Your strength on Your Church and convert us. Sanctify us. Change us. Come, O Most Holy Spirit, we are the Church united together in prayer with the Mother. As the disciples at the very beginning, united together with Her in prayer for the gift of Your Spirit, for the gift of love, that we may be freed from selfishness and hatred, that we may be freed from every evil, and that we may start to love, that we may start to forgive and to pray, that we may start to fast. Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come bless us. Come, change us. You who are prayer, come and anoint us with prayer that we may become the Church that believes in the power of prayer. Come, Most Holy Spirit, renew prayer in us, that we may become the renewers of family prayer.Come, O Most Holy Spirit, come heal us, come bless us, come convert us. O You who anoints with Your Peace, with Your Joy, with Your Love. Come anoint us.

In the last message O Blessed Mother, You say, that the one who prays, lives joy and peace and love. O Blessed Mother, here is the Church in prayer, here is the Church who desires to renew itself in prayer, firm in prayer, come to fall in love with prayer. O grant that these days may be the renewal of our prayer, of our faith through prayer, of our love through prayer, of a Christian life in prayer. Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come, pour Yourself out upon us. The Church united together with the Mother is praying to you, You who make all things new. Grant that this Church may become new. It may become a Church of prayer, a holy Church, a sign amongst nations, your city on the hillside, your light on the way, Your Self. Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come and pour Yourself out upon us. Our Father who art in Heaven....Hail Mary, full of grace...Mother and Queen of Peace - pray for us. Mother of the Church - pray for us. Mother and Queen of the family - pray for us. Consolation of the Sorrowful - pray for us, help of Christians - pray for us, help of the sick - pray for us, gate of heaven - pray for us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd - Mary, did you know?

12/12/17

Our Lady Calls

MOTHER CALLS


A month ago, for no particular reason, I felt a deep urgency to write a series of articles on Medjugorje to counter long-standing falsehoods, distortions, and outright lies (see Related Reading below). The response has been remarkable, including hostility and derision from “good Catholics” who continue to call anyone who follows Medjugorje deceived, naive, unstable, and my favourite: “apparition chasers.”
Well, earlier this week, a Vatican representative issued a statement to encourage the faithful to feel free to “chase” one more apparition site: Medjugorje. Archbishop Hoser, appointed by Pope Francis as his envoy to look after the cares and needs of pilgrims going to Medjugorje, announced:
The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited, and need not be done in secret… Today, dioceses and other institutions can organize official pilgrimages. It’s no longer a problem… The decree of the former episcopal conference of what used to be Yugoslavia, which, before the Balkan war, advised against pilgrimages in Medjugorje organized by bishops, is no longer relevant. —Aleitia, December 7th, 2017
In essence, the Vatican is endorsing Medjugorje as a shrine like Fatima or Lourdes where the faithful may encounter the “charism of Mary.”  It is not an explicit endorsement yet of the alleged apparitions to the seers. But as Archbishop Hoser confirmed, the report of the Ruini Commission is “positive.” It would seem so, according to a leak to Vatican Insider that revealed that the original apparitions have been overwhelmingly confirmed to be “supernatural”. However, “this decision will have to be made by the pope. The file is now at the Secretariat of State. I believe the final decision will be made,” said Archbishop Hoser. [1] He confirmed this in another interview with Italian publication Il Giornale, that devotion to Our Lady at Medjugorje is distinct from endorsement, at this time, of the apparitions:
We need to distinguish between worship and apparitions. If a bishop wants to organise a prayer pilgrimage to Medjugorje to pray to Our Lady, he can do it without problem. But if it is organised pilgrimages to go there for the apparitions, we cannot, there is no authorisation to do it… Because the problem of the visionaries is not yet solved. They are working at the Vatican. The document is with the Secretariat of State and must be awaited. —themedjugorjewitness.org
Sadly, even this has not stopped some Medjugorje detractors, locked in their fading arguments, to continue to judge and rail against anyone who speaks positive of Medjugorje or desires to go so. So, I am writing to say: don’t be intimidated any longer. Don’t feel you have to cower or apologize for celebrating and supporting one of the greatest hotbeds of conversions and vocations in the past century.
In a delightful conversation with Wayne Wieble last night, one of the original English speaking promoters of Our Lady’s messages, he said that parish records in Medjugorje indicate that over 7000 priests have received their vocation there (Archbishop Hoser cites a lesser number of 610 documented for sure, calling the Bosnian village “fertile grounds for religious vocations”.) I have met many of these priests in my travels, and they are often the most solid, balanced clergy I know in the Church. No, don’t be bullied, brothers and sisters. You are not unstable, emotional, gullible, or desperate if you feel a call to Medjugorje. If God is sending His mother there, don’t be ashamed to greet her. The Vatican is all but encouraging believers to do so. It’s hard to imagine, if Pope Francis or the Commission or Archbishop Hoser felt any concern that this was a demonic deception, that they would now permit “official church-organized pilgrimages” into the lion’s mouth. Mother calls. And by this, I mean Mother Church too.

THE SUPREME APPARITION CHASER
It is well known that St. John Paul II, while pope, wanted to go there. Mirjana Soldo, one of the six seers, recounts this testimony of a close friend of the late pontiff:
After the apparition, a man who had been a close friend of Pope John Paul II approached me. He asked me not to share his identity— and he was in luck because I’m an expert at keeping secrets. The man told me that John Paul had always wanted to come to Međugorje, but as the pope, he was never able to. So, one day, the man joked with the pope, saying, “If you never make it to Međugorje, then I’ll go and bring your shoes there. It will be as if you were able to set foot on that holy ground.” After John Paul II passed away, the man felt a calling to do exactly that. After the apparition, the man gave them to me, and I think about the Holy Father every time I look at them.My Heart Will Triumph (pp. 306-307), Catholic Shop, Kindle Edition 
St. John Paul the Great, or St. John Paul the Apparition Chaser? Yes, I think you get the point. This kind of condescension and belittling of those who want to be near the Blessed Mother has absolutely no place in the Body of Christ. So, for the first time in my ministry, I am going to encourage others freely: if you feel called to go to Medjugorje (or Lourdes, or Fatima, or Guadalupe, etc.), then go. Don’t go to look for signs and wonders. Rather, go to pray, to detoxify from social media, to confess your sins, to gaze upon the Eucharistic face of Jesus, to climb a mountain in penance, and breathe the air of thousands of other Catholics who are seeking their God. Yes, you can do this in your own parish, and should. But if God is inviting souls to Medjugorje to encounter the Mother, who am I to tell them not to go?
Pope Francis recently asked an Albanian cardinal to give his blessing to the faithful present in Medjugorje. —Archbishop Hoser, Aleitia, December 7th, 2017