33 phenomenal years of grace

TimeOfGrace_72_3988TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014

 

By: Crown of Stars Blog

Ivanka Ivankovic was the first of the six visionaries to see Our Lady at when the Medjugorje phenomenon began 33 years ago on June 24, 1981.

Ivanka lives a discreet, almost private life, close to the village of Medjugorje.

This is a transcript of a talk she gave to young pilgrims visiting Medjugorje for a recent Youth Festival.

• I would like to greet you all with the most beautiful of greetings: Praised be Jesus and Mary. I am so pleased to be here with you today and even more pleased that you are ready to hear the message of Our Lady.

For all these years I have been asking God the very same question: Why did you choose me? I know that I was given a great grace and also I know that at the same time I was given a great responsibility.

I have accepted this as a gift but at the same time I have been praying all the time that God gives me strength to fulfil all the assignments he has for me.

I lived with my family at Mostar at that time and as always, after school, I used to come to Medjugorje. This is what happened that day on June 24, 1981 when I saw Our Lady for the first time.

On that day, like every day, I was outside the village with Mirjana and we were waiting for other friends to come. I do not how long we were waiting but we got tired of that and then we started walking towards the houses.

While we were walking towards the village I was really forced by something to look towards the hill and then I saw Our Lady. I said to Mirjana, “Mirjana, I see Our Lady on the hill” but Mirjana said, “Don’t tell me these foolish things.”

I followed Mirjana who was walking back to the village and then we met Milka, the sister of the visionary Marija. Milka saw that something was wrong with me and she asked me what happened, and I told the girls to come back with me, that I had seen Our Lady. We went back and then all three of us saw Our Lady. Vicka also came to us and then two boys, the two Ivans. The apparition kept calling us but none of us dared to climb the hill.

Our Lady was four or five hundred metres away from us. She kept calling us and emotions we felt in our heart were huge. We felt all kinds of emotions in our heart and none of us dared to get closer to her.

Whoever we told that we saw Our Lady that evening, they did not believe us. They told us not to tell such things. That night was the longest night in my life. I was only 15 and I questioned myself the entire night whether what I saw was true or not.

So the next day at the same hour we went back together to the apparition hill. Before we saw Our Lady we saw the light, three times, and when we finally got to her, I cannot describe that moment of meeting with Our Lady because we felt so much love, felt so secure, so much happiness in our hearts.

When we came to her we saw this most beautiful person, maybe 19 or 20 years of age. She had a crown of stars, white veil, greyish dress, and she was standing on a cloud She had the most beautiful blue eyes and long black hair.

I knew that it was the Blessed Mother You see, two months before that day my mother had passed away. Because I knew in my heart that this was the Blessed Virgin Mary I asked her, “Mother, where is my mother?” And she said, “Do not worry, my child, your mother is with me.”

Our Lady told us, “Do not worry. I’ll pray with you always. I’ll come again tomorrow.”

The word spread very quickly so that on the third day people started following us because they saw something was happening with us, so they gave us holy water to bless the apparition. On that third day when Our Lady came, Vicka blessed her and she said, “If you come from God, stay. But if you do not come from God, please leave us.” And then Our Lady smiled back at us and said, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.”

On that day Our Lady gave the first public message, which was the message of peace. As the days passed by Our Lady asked us to convert, to fast, to do some penance, to pray and go to confession and attend Holy Mass. These are the main messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje.

From 1981 until 1985 I received the apparitions on a daily basis. During that period Our Lady dictated to me her biography. I wrote everything down. She also told me the future of the world and the future of our Church. When I have permission from Our Lady, this will be published.
On the 7th May, 1985, I had the last daily apparition and that was the longest apparition that I have ever had because Our Lady stayed with me one hour.

On that day Our Lady gave me the final and tenth secret and I was told that I would not have the apparitions on a daily basis anymore, but Our Lady promised me that she was going to appear to me once a year on June 25.

From 1985 to today I received the apparition once every year on June 25. But at that last daily apparition I was given the greatest gift, not just for myself but for the entire world. And because every single human being is asking is there a life after this life on earth, I am standing before you here today, I am standing before the entire world and I can easily answer that question. Yes, there is a life after this life, because by God and Our Lady I was given this great grace, that I was able to see my late mother during that apparition time and my mom told me: “My dear child, I’m proud of you.”

For 28 years Our Lady has been telling us which road we need to take in our life. She is showing us the way and we have to decide which road we are going to take in our life.

Our Lady has given a different mission to each one of us visionaries. My mission is to pray for families. So every day I pray for families.

The last apparition I had was this year on June 25 and that apparition lasted ten minutes and Our Lady spoke to me about the tenth secret and she advised for all of us to become apostles of peace and to pray for peace. Our Lady ended her message with “Peace, peace, peace.”

Let us be reminded in prayer. Let us pray for each other. Our Lady wants us to be be in peace, not to be afraid, to know that she is there for us all of the time.

Finally, when you leave Medjugorje I would like you to take peace and love from Medjugorje back to your home and to your country. Thank you all for everything.

• Ivanka will receive her annual apparition tomorrow, June 25.

source: crownofstars.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-first-of-visionaries-to-see-our-lady.html

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Arthur McCluskey


On Saturday, I received a phone call from Wayne Weible. He informed me that Arthur McCluskey, founder of St Joseph & the Helpers Charity died unexpectedly at his home in Ireland at the early age of 67.

Arthur was an amazing man and friend. We are going to miss him. Medjugorje was Arthur’s second home, because of his conversion and healing in Medjugorje. Due to this healing he was inspired to start St. Joseph and the Helpers Charity in 2005.   

His Charity has raised considerable funds and completed many projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina. If you have traveled to Medjugorje with Wayne Weible, you have visited one of the orphanages which was one of the projects of St. Joseph and the Helpers. 

If you would like to make a donation to Arthur’s charity in memory of Arthur, you can do so at http://medjugorjeweible.com/Charities.htm 

I know this would make Arthur very happy. He was a hard working man, always trying to raise money for his organization.
 If you would like to read his book,  My Healing from Gambling and Alcoholism in Medjugorje,  which includes his remarkable witness story it can be downloaded at the charity’s website: http://www.helperscharity.com/  
Arthur’s funeral is due to take place on Wednesday.
May he rest in peace. 

Our Lady of Medjugorje Message, Jan 25, 2011 with Reflection by Sister Isabel Bettwy

 

January 25, 2011

Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God’s love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said “yes.” Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call.

A Little Reflection

It’s been almost thirty years since Our Lady in Medjugorje began to ask for our conversion through prayer, penance, fasting, repentance and reconciliation. Little do we realize what will happen as we listen and follow her requests. In this message, Our Lady tells us that the Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said “yes.” Conversion begins with each individual. Our Lady has told us the peace will come through personal conversion, not through the negotiating tables. Sometimes we wonder if our prayers are doing anything to bring peace to the world. We may not give up hope. Our Lady has not given up hope! We can be instruments for joy! What an encouragement from Our Lady. Let us press on and go deeper with the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to use us to begin a reign of joy in the world.

Source: http://www.mercifulmotherassociation.org/monthly%20message.htm

Testimony of Christiane Claessens, who followed group from Lausanne, Switzerland on their pilgrimage to Medjugorje date: 13.01.2011.

“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn 20, 29)

Christianne Claessens – the first witness of healing of woman from Switzerland Joelle Beuret – Devanthery in Medjugorje, in October 2010, as she describes the pilgrimage and all of the events. On Saturday, October 16, 2010, forty six people, mostly from the parish of St. Frances de Sales and St. Therese, began their private pilgrimage to Medjugorje. It was our twentieth private pilgrimage that was taking place at the time when we remembered twentieth anniversary of forming the prayer group of Queen of Peace. For our group, that was a wonderful opportunity to thank the Lord, since Mary took each one of us by our hand, and guided us despite all of the difficulties that we had throughout these last twenty years. Indeed, Satan cannot stand Virgin Mary and he therefore hates all of the prayer groups that she desires to be founded in every single parish. Through God’s grace, we remained faithful and we used to gather every Monday for prayer, meditation of Christ’s life, all accompanied with the messages that Mary gave and is still giving every month in Medjugorje. We spent two days in the bus praying and introducing ourselves to the events that were taking place in Medjugorje since 1981 up to today. It was Sunday evening, around 8 p.m. when we arrived to Medjugorje. On Monday, October 18, even though it was raining, with great joy in our hearts, we climbed the slippery pathway that leads to the Hill of Apparitions. We were all helping one another. Joelle, completely blind 50 years old woman was amongst pilgrims, together with her daughter Vinciane, as well as their modest and cheerful friend Claudia, who followed Joelle everywhere with such love and gentleness. Joelle was so happy, she seemed as she was floating over rocky pathways. As she arrived to the site of Apparitions, right under the Statue of Our Lady, she said beautiful prayer full of love and trust to Heavenly Mother. The whole group stayed for around twenty minutes in silence on the Hill, and descended together so they would meet again in the church around 5 p.m. for the evening prayer programme. That is where Joelle felt something strange, she felt as there was a hand choking her, and it was exactly once she had received Holy Communion, she heard some criticising voice telling her: “You wanted to have a child, you got your daughter. You asked for a job, you got one. It is enough now, are you finally going to shut up? When it is cold, you have nice, warm apartment, when you are hungry, you always have something to eat, when it is snows, you always have warm clothes, are you finally going to stop now and forever, it is really enough!” Joelle seemed to be very disturbed and she spoke to Fr. Fabian in that same evening. He told her that it is only God in the host and He wants us only good, and that could not be coming from God. He told her to pray to God, to pray to Him that she is able to fulfil His will. That seemed to calm her down. On the following day, October 19, we decided to pray the Way of the Cross, all the way to the top of the Cross Mountain. Elderly people and Joelle prayed the Way of the Cross with Fr. Olivier down in the valley, while the rest of the group in light rain, and in steeper and more difficult pathway than the previous day, climbed their way to the top of the mountain. We stopped and prayed before every station, we prayed long and for all of our intentions. Luc suggested to us that we unite ourselves in the prayer with that smaller group of our pilgrims who could not come and climb with us. In a special way that we present this Way of the Cross for Joelle, to pray special graces for her, why not even to pray for healing, for nothing is impossible to our God. It was very intensive Way of the Cross; it was a profound prayer in which we meditated upon Christ’s suffering that he presented for all of our sins. Prayer lasted from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Again, we all met in the church at 5 for evening prayer programme. That is where the great miracle took place. In the moment when Joelle received Holy Eucharist, she was able to see priest with his white alb. She was all surprised, she looked up and saw lamps, high ceiling of the church, stained glass windows… As if she was thrown out of her black covering, she was not feeling good at all, and she said to Claudia who stood next to her: “Please take me out of here, I am not feeling good.” As they walked out of the church, she said: “I can see the light!” They continued their way to the Sacristy and Fr. Olivier was on his way out, asking them: “What are two of you doing here?” Joelle only replied, saying: “I can see!” He was deeply touched with what happened and suggested to two of them to go back to the church, the third part of the Rosary was just finishing in the church. As people were coming out of the church, we all surrounded Joelle. Our priest, as a true and genuine sheppard suggested to her to thank the Lord, so they went together towards the steps in front of the main Alter, they knelt down and thanked God for that great gift he had just given to her. That gesture reminded us of the Gospel extract where Jesus healed ten lepers and only one came back to thank Him. Afterwards, we went towards the Statue of Our Lady so we would thank Her as well for Her intercession. At the end, we came back to our pension. Couple of women from Italy and some pilgrims from Plymouth told us that they were behind Joelle as she was receiving Holy Communion and they could all strongly smell the scent of roses radiating from her. Joelle told us how that scent followed her for days and she can still smell it. Vinciane, who was at the Mass, came back to pension in the mean time and did not know anything about the grace her mother had received. We also need to emphasise that Joelle had never seen her daughter since she had been blind for the last forty-two years. Fr. Olivier, full of joy, ran back to pension and invited all of the people to come down to the lobby because he wants to share good news with them. When Joelle came in, all of the pilgrims were already gathered. Joelle walked in, saw her daughter and told her: “You washed your hair?” Vinciane, without noticing anything different, just said: “I did”, and asked “Why is that that we all had to come down here?” Joelle said: “Can’t you see any change on me?” Vinciane looked again, and said: “No” “Look better”, her mom told her, and Vinciane shouted with joy: “You can see!” It was really a breathtaking moment. They ran to one another and remained in each other’s arms for about five minutes. Vinciane told us afterwards that she constantly prayed that her mom receives her sight back and she even said to Mary that she is not planning to leave until her mom is able to see again! What a wonderful faith! Mary hears weeps and cries of her children. The whole group was so happy and praised the Lord and His Mother with their prayer and song. Although it was already around 10 p.m., we all went towards the Blue Cross, together with Joelle, to the place where Our Lady appears regularly to Ivan and Mirjana. I cannot hide the profound joy we all feel, joy for having received such a precious sign that Mary gave to us for our twentieth anniversary of our prayer group. That is indeed a sign that she gives to us, Our Mother, sign that helps to us to persevere in the future. Mary is leading us, she is strengthening us, holding us by our hands, she loves us and she wants her messages to be spread through the prayer groups that we are to form. Whenever we go on pilgrimage to Medjugorje, we are going to Mary’s school and through that school she is going to lead us to Her Son Jesus. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt 19,26) Christiane Claessens

Mary’s school: to do everything with the heart

1. To pray the Rosary every day

2. To read the Holy Bible at least 5 minutes every day

3. To confess once a month

4. Holy Mass every Sunday, and if possible throughout the weekdays

5. To fast on bread and water twice a week, Wednesdays and Fridays This school of Mary is way to holiness.

 It is the golden essence of all prayer groups of Mary, Queen of Peace. Source:http://medjugorje.hr/en/

Our Lady’s Message on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, 2010…..Very important, listen to the words as you read it.

“Dear children! I look at you and I see in your heart death without hope, restlessness and hunger. There is no prayer or trust in God, that is why the Most High permits me to bring you hope and joy. Open yourselves. Open your hearts to God’s mercy and He will give you everything you need and will fill your hearts with peace, because He is peace and your hope. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

The Pope’s Haunting echo of Medjugorje

On October 11, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI speaking of Europe and the West said  “that with tremendous scientific, social and cultural progress”   (Europe and the West, nevertheless)  “had grown to believe that they can exist without God’..thinking himself the architect of his own nature and destiny” 

In October of 1981  “Our Lady”  the Queen of Peace at Medjugorje said “The West has made civilization progress, but without God, as if they were their own creators.”  

  The Pope’s remarkably similar sentiment of Our Lady’s warning back in 1981 was offered to the Catholic faithful on  Tuesday and it grew out of Pope Benedict’s alarm of the state of Christianity in Europe today. 

Pope Benedict XVI  revealed  his most significant  initiative yet to try and  revive Christianity by announcing the creation of a Vatican office for re-evangelizing Europe and other traditionally Christian regions where the faith is falling by the wayside. Benedict has made reviving Europe’s Christian roots a priority of his papacy and has concentrated his foreign travels on the continent.

Less than a year ago Cardinal Schonborn came to Washington D.C. to talk about “Christian roots” and the state of Christianity in Western countries as well saying  “Europe was now the least religious region in the world”.  Cardinal Schonborn suggested that  the creation of the European Union has been Christianity’s clear villain and called out the E.U for “ignoring its Christian roots”, failing to mention Christianity in its constitution, and referring to Christianity as a “foreign element”. Cardinal Schonborn did not mince any words when he said the Europen Union  was wrong when members of the  E.U. said European values were superior to Christian values.

He  attributed the fact that Europe is the least religious region in the world to the rise of the culture of consumerism and said the culture of consumerism has led to an alarming fall in birthrates and begs the question “Is Europe Dying”.

Haunting echo of a Medjugorje message 

In Tuesday’s decree, Pope Benedict XVI lamented that with  “tremendous scientific, social and cultural progress over the past century, parts of the world that once had strong Christian roots had grown to believe that they can exist without God’” “While some greeted this as a freedom, they soon realized the interior desert that is born when man — thinking himself the architect of his own nature and destiny — finds himself lacking that which is fundamental to everything,”

The Popes word’s strongly call to mind the words spoken by Our Lady of Medjugorje in  October of 1981.    The Queen Peace said then, to the six young visionaries of Medjugorje,  –  The Russian people will be the people who will glorify God the most. The West has made civilization progress, but without God, as if they were their own creators.”

Interestingly just two weeks ago the Holy See  petitioned the faithful to visit shrines and he talked of “Historic times”   He encouraged the faithful to pilgrim to holy sites saying “In these historic moments in which we are called, with greater force if possible, to evangelise our world, the riches offered to us by the pilgrimage to shrines should be highlighted. First of all, for its great ability to summon and bring together a growing number of pilgrims and religious tourists, some of whom are in complicated human and spiritual situations, somewhat distant from living the faith and with a weak ecclesial affiliation. Christ speaks to all of them with love and hope.”

Pope Benedict XVI is very concerned about the very roots of Christian belief in Western societies  and he seems to be in  a real hurry to reverse the course. Is he looking to Our Lady for help?  Perhaps the Catholic faithful and the world will know the answer to this question soon as the Vatican’s investigation of the apparitions at Medjugorje move swiftly towards a final resolution  

Editors note: 

The quote about “The Russia people will come to Glorify God the most .. the west has made civilization progress, but without God as if they are their own creator etc. has been quoted in many places…., Ministryvalues.com follows very closely the remarkable surge of Christianity (Russian Orthodox – a very marian religion) Medvedev converted, Putin wares a cross, and the Russian Government just made a State holiday the date when Chsitianity was adopted in Russia. Very interesting events occurring in Russia and if you follow Medjugorje I recommend you understand what is going on there. We see perfectly well the potential of Our Lady’s words coming to pass if you look at the trends in Christianity in the West vs Russia. One thing we also find interesting at ministryvalues.com is that in thirty years of messages there have been only two direct references to specific “places” Russia in 1981 and Fatima
Monthly Message, August 25, 1991 
“Dear Children! Today also I invite you to prayer, now as never before when my plan has begun to be realized. Satan is strong and wants to sweep away plans of peace and joy and make you think that my Son is not strong in his decisions. Therefore, I call all of you, dear children to pray and fast still more firmly. I invite you to realize through the secrets I began in Fatima may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realized. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, reportedly believed that Medjugorje is the continuation of Fatima. Thisrd secert of Fatima “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted”

Russia had very much to do with Fatima .. Medjugoje is the “fulfillment” of Fatima .. why should we doubt Our Lady’s words about Russia and its connection to Medjugorje

stay tuned 

Working Towards World Peace

By Father Kevin Divine

Christmas came.  Not a card sent out.  Easter.  No different.  However, as we recently celebrated the Anniversary of the “First Appearance of Mary” here, I found my Mind flooded with Images fashioned over my frequent Pilgrimages to this Village of Medjugorje.  They found their way onto paper, and, here they are –as  long overdue GREETINGS!
~                                                     ‡¬´                                                   
On the morning of the Anniversary this late June, I joined others to stand outside our Parish Church – to greet the thousands of young people who were completing their four hour trek on foot in their joyful “Peace March”.  Leading their Procession was a life size statue of the GOSPA, Mary, the Queen of Peace. Waving the Flag of his own Nation, each youngster  represented his corner of the world – as far south as Australia, as far north as Denmark – from every language, every ideology –  Iraq,  Mainland China, the Gipsy Nation, the Ukraine,  Indonesia. My Joy was to salute the Stars and Stripes as the American Flag stood proudly among the others.
      
I remembered how on my first meeting with one of the Visionaries in June of ’86, I had  introduced  myself simply:  “I am a Catholic Priest, a Chaplain in the United States Army. I have experienced the Horrors of War especially in my 18 months in the Jungles of Vietnam. ~                                                  Now I wish to live only for Peace, and, I understand, Mary is here with a Message of Peace!” Now as I knelt with all the Young People of the World before Her Eucharistic Son, I felt the Truth of a simple phrase: “When one man dreams a Dream, it remains a Dream. When we all Dream together, The DREAM IS REALITY”
     
 On my first visit here in ’86, I quickly abandoned my plans to spend most of my time on the enchanting beaches an hour away. It was not only the tranquility of the village and the power of the religious ceremonies. It was principally the warmth of the People, especially the locals.  Impressed by the adults, I was hypnotized by the little ones. How in the blistering heat of a jammed Church, the eighteen month old would curl up in her dad’s arms and drift off into sleep with the smile of an Angel. “Babies don’t cry here!” I would whisper in amazement. “You can spellbind the Adult with music and ceremony – but not the Infant!”    
      
The Teenagers.  Just as remarkable! Fifty thousand of them gathered here in early August for our annual Youth Festival.  Every Tongue and Nation – the Flags of sixty nine independent countries flown – but no language barrier – for each communicates with the language of the heart.  Sweltering in blazing temperatures of 100+, soaking in the pouring rain, they stood there in the open field – mesmerized by every speaker, belting out every song, caught up in each Liturgy, swinging and swaying to their style music while remaining silent and contemplative throughout the Sacred Celebration of the Mass. Their energy never faltered: On the final evening, after a four hour Solemn Liturgy, most of them clustered together in front of the Church, where they sang and danced till two in the morning. Then, instead of heading back to their Pensions , by the thousands they climbed the formidable peaks to the top of Krizevak Mountain – to greet the morning sun and enjoy a choice spot to participate in the closing Mass at 5 AM beneath the massive Cross of Stone! (Miracle of miracles, Not a single empty soda can nor plastic sandwich bag left behind anywhere in the village.)

The Adults! By the thousands, they flood in – to fast, to listen – to sing,  to pray. They climb the mountains and pack the Church. (For the first time in my life, I often stand at the microphone and warn people: “It’s too crowded here.  Wait outside! “ )From  early morning till late at night, Prayers and Hymns reverberate in Praise of Jesus and His Mother. On a summer day, to meet a young woman whose feet are blistered from her pilgrimage on foot from a village twenty miles away, to follow twelve blind Pilgrims down the mountain, each one confidently holding the hand of a friend – each one unable to see with the eyes of their body, but with the eyes of their soul focused on a richer vision of reality.  Observing a family, unable to get into the overcrowded Church, heads bowed in reverence, as the young mother cuddles her twelve month old daughter  to keep her warm in the freezing Winter rain. Insane?  Perhaps – but an Insanity springing from their Love of the Mass!  Everywhere, a gentle smile, a warm greeting, a friendly touch.  In the poetic words of one Irishman: “The PEACE here is so thick you can slice it with a Knife!”
       
Medjugorje, in the words of an eminent Marian Theologian, Rene Laurentan, is the “Confessional of the World.”  In Advent, to see twenty local Franciscans sitting around the walls of the Church, each with forty five Penitents standing, even kneeling, on the wintery marble, for their “Time with the Priest.”  In August, to find young people in massive lines, silently preparing to open their hearts to their new found Savior.
       
It is my greatest Privilege. – for hours each evening – to join Priests of every language –In welcoming the Penitent into the embrace of the Lord. I’m especially privileged, in the quiet of winter, to serve as the one Priest always available whose native tongue is English. Apparently there is no one in our world who doesn’t know how to communicate the basics in English. The Heart makes up for what the tongue can only stammer. What a Thrill for me, when on a lonely winter night a stranger begins: I’ve travelled thousands of miles. I don’t even know why I am here – but – I need to talk! I have no reason to live!” But there is a spark of Faith left in him. Its flicker grows into a flame of Hope. Then it miraculously bursts into the blazing Fire of Love. The Prodigal has returned Home to the warmth of the Heavenly Father’s Embrace.
    
Often after hours in the Box, I stumble out, amazed and in awe at the merciful touch of the Savior. I don’t know why I have come! the Penitent may begin, but as the story of his life unfolds, it becomes  so clear: “ Through the Margins of the World I have fled, but always, with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace, in strong pursuit, the Hound of Heaven! Is my gloom after all shade of His Hand outstretched caressingly?” …  I am He whom Thou seekest! Rise, Clasp my Hand and Come!
     
The Almighty reveals Himself in Mercy and Compassion. To absolve is a more powerful act than creating a Universe. Not a Day goes by that I do not experience His explosive Power in the Sacrament of Reconciliation!

      In the mountains of Vietnam, the soldiers walked single file through the Jungle thickness. Their Leader – the one in front- was known as the “Point Man.” He was the most experienced, the bravest. Obviously the most endangered  – for he would be the First to draw the guerilla’s fire or to stumble  onto a land mine. His courage strengthened those who followed. On many a soldiers’ helmet was emblazoned the words: “CHRIST is my POINT MAN.”

     Christ truly is OUR POINT MAN. Leaping from Heaven, He came among us to lead. He has taken on all the Powers of Hell in fierce Combat. His mangled body on the Cross reveals the extent of His suffering. He spared no Pain, no Sacrifice, to lead us to Eternal Life. Years ago, Jesus Christ revealed Himself ‡¬´                                                   in the open field as the tired young soldiers tossed aside their rifles to celebrate Mass with me.  Today, here in Medjugorje,  Jesus Christ again reveals Himself.  During evening Holy Hour, on the outdoor Altar before tens of thousands kneeling under the open sky He appears, from His golden perch in the Monstrance, as the Bread of Life. “The PEACE here is so thick, you can slice it with a Knife!”

‡¬´                                                  Forgive me – but, as the Huge Host glimmers in its whiteness, illuminated in the darkness of night – I picture the Host as a Gigantic Pizza – to be sliced – for each Pilgrim to carry home. Is the Image not Reality?  Christ is the Bread of Life. When we receive Him in the Host, it is not We who consume Him. Like fire, it is Jesus who consumes us. The Prince of Peace transforms us into Sons and Daughters of Peace. As we return Home – to every corner of the World – Our Human Family is enriched by our experience here. Our Dream of Peace is a Dream we have all Dreamed  together – and – That DREAM IS REALITY!  …For, We have encountered CHRIST and CHRIST is OUR PEACE!

‡¬´                                                      On my final day in my Home Parish in Manhattan, after I had blessed thousands of American Flags erected in the Park a few blocks away, I offered Mass in our Good Shepherd Church overflowing with the Relatives and Friends of Our Fallen Heroes.  Then a brief Prayer in our Memorial Garden – before I rushed to JFK Airport for a late night flight to Medjugorje – I arrived in time to offer the Memorial Mass in English on the Anniversary itself (September 11, 2006) – with Pilgrims gathered from all over the World.  Ground Zero has always held a Sacred Place in my Heart as I Pray and Sacrifice for  Peace!
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My Emotions are crystallized in the words of a young Australian girl who lived here in the village. “The Sunday after the Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center” Suzy describes  her  experience   “ I gathered my Sunday School Class in my Home Parish in Melbourne. Though only four or five years old, each was well aware of the Terrorist Attack. As always, our youngsters began Class with a Prayer; then instead of a Gospel Reading, I reminded them of the tragic events they had witnessed on television. Each then went off alone for fifteen minutes of silent meditation. When we reassembled, one five year old immediately spoke out: ‘Suzy, when I shut my eyes, I found myself in the  Village of Nazareth. I was standing at a window outside the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I could see into the Living Room. Mother Mary was sitting there all alone. She had a large cloth stretched over her lap. It was torn and burnt and falling apart. It was a Flag of the United States of America. Mary was patching it together again!’ “ My strongest Conviction is that here in Medjugorje, Mother Mary has a “Flag of the Whole World” stretched over Her lap – torn and burnt and falling apart. She, the Gospa, the Queen of Peace is patching it together again! She is not alone! In all parts of the World, WE ARE HELPING HER!

Source: http://www.ihs312.org/articles/yes-it-is-true.html