Medjugorje Blue Book
Abandon Yourselves Totally to Me
Other languages: English, Italiano
Date: November 7, 2006 , Last update March 1, 2008
Author: Dr. Fra Slavko Barbarić, OFM , Fra Tomislav Vlašić, OFM
Category: Early Medjugorje Reflections Books , Books , Priests of Medjugorje
Content of the article
This book is the second of the four volumes of sermons and discourses given by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Tomislav Vlasic during 1984 - 1987 in Medjugorje, and contains discourses given from January to June 1985.
30 Chapters of this book are now completed
Many stop at Easter and do not live the Resurrection
This day is very beautiful for me. You too can realise that apparitions are necessary. The Church needs apparitions. One stage in Jesus' life ended a short time ago. Now we cannot drive people forward without apparitions. The Resurrected Christ appeared. This is one of the stages in Christian life without which you cannot go forward.
The Apostles could not go on without Jesus' apparitions. It is a stage in the life of the Church that must take its course. After the apparitions comes the Holy Spirit. These are stages we must follow in our spiritual life. I think you have understood this.
Because the Apostles could understand certain truths only after Jesus had risen and appeared to them, this apparition gave them a new sensitivity and they could see what their physical eyes had not been able to perceive previously. At last the Holy Spirit came to make them understand the truth, the whole truth.
We must follow this same path just as the Apostles did. Therefore, we must not wonder at the apparitions in the Church. They are required because the Church must always walk this same path as the Apostles did. Which is the same path the primitive Church walked.
We call this day Emmaus' day and people usually go to visit other people. People have changed the day after Easter into a day devoted to visits while the Christian truth is quite different. When Jesus rose He became our fellow traveller and we must carry on living with Him.
Yesterday is a day which reminds us of the Resurrection. It is the first day of the Resurrection. Today we must walk with Jesus. We prepare ourselves for Easter during Lent, but very few remember that after Easter we must walk forty days to live the Resurrection, to reach the third stage.
In my opinion we must live these forty days with the same intensity as during Lent, but with joy. Then, if we go forward with Jesus, with joy, we will enter the third stage, the one of the Holy Spirit.
Most Christians stop at Easter and do not live the Resurrection. When a seed germinates and sprouts it produces grass; from the grain comes the grass with the strength to bear new fruit. Most Christians see the light and then fade away. These forty days should be used to open the door to life and be filled with the strength coming from the Risen Christ. In this way the strength of the Risen Christ will be manifested and in the third stage we will be ready to proclaim the Risen Christ, as we heard in today's liturgy. What has happened ? Some people wanted to dismiss the Resurrection. They were paid to do so, the soldiers were bribed. Jesus says to the woman "go and announce it." Look, if we have understood the Resurrection we must go and announce it. And what if we are not yet ready ? The Apostles were also not ready. They withdrew to pray for nine days during those forty days and to live a true godlike life so that they might be able to announce the Good News.
Do this and you will be overflowing with the grace of the Risen Christ. During these last days I have come to understand certain things necessary in order to help live Jesus' Resurrection. The first thing is to have the sin which is in us totally destroyed. As long as there is even a shade of sin we cannot live the Resurrection.
As long as there is sin inside us and we have not lived the Resurrection within and have not experienced the divine love, we are not in a position to accept it. Therefore, the sin will be destroyed in proportion to how we are able to live the Good Friday and to this extent will we be able to live Jesus Christ's Resurrection.
I will give you a picture: if you look at a bloodsoaked person dead on the road, it is a terrible sight. So you see, when someone kills another and experiences this feeling, it is something horrible. But if they do not feel anything, even if the one who is going to be killed tells him that he loves him with all his heart, he does not understand and that is why he kills.
Now you can realise how the hardness of our hearts is in the same proportion to the sin which kills Him. To the same extent that my heart lives the sin, my heart kills Jesus; it cannot feel His Resurrection, it cannot mourn Good Friday, nor rejoice at the moment of the Resurrection.
This is, therefore, the picture following the death of Jesus. 'Rocks opened up, split and the heart of man still remained hard.' So you see: we must now continue along this path if we want to live Jesus' Resurrection during these forty days.
At the same time we must go on living our Good Friday. The Cross destroys sin; if we accept it with love we approach Jesus' Resurrection.
This negative side of the destruction of the sin which is in ourselves is in the same proportion to our acceptance of Jesus rising from the dead. At the same time we must be aware that the measure by which we can live and experience the Resurrection is the same measure by which we proclaim Jesus Christ.
Today I spoke to people and said to those who came: 'You are happy.' I felt this in my heart. Now, after the Resurrection we are happy because Jesus is walking in this world, no longer in a human body, but in His resurrected body and he can enter even through a closed door, he can reach us everywhere.
As a matter of fact, consider the Gospel after the Resurrection. He goes to Galilee, he meets the Apostles on the sea, He meets them everywhere on the roads, and, if you want to understand the days after the Resurrection, these are the days when Jesus is everywhere. He is the friend who accompanies you everywhere and when you are in difficulties, you will know that he can enter your hearts through difficulties, even the difficulty of death. And this is the peace, the root of peace. Now glorified Jesus offers us this grace; to enter inside ourselves even if there are difficult obstacles. He who lives in faith does not undergo a crisis; he may have trials. It is very important to understand this attitude. People who stand firm in their faith only on the basis of exterior concepts, of exterior studies, always lag; they get lost when detail is lacking. But the foundation of faith cannot be justified by exterior reasoning. The basis of faith is a total abandonment to God carrying us through difficulties and through the Cross (which is also foolish for unbelievers, according to S. Paul), carrying us also beyond the concept that the Blessed Virgin did conceive. And this cannot be justified by human reasoning. And when people have found this abandonment they find the interior light that enlightens and they never lag behind. When trails, not crises, come, they feel very sure that God's hand will lead them forward whatever the situation.
Now I should like you to be the messenger of this inward strength, of this inward certainty, so that those who believe in the apparitions may be staunch to faith and not to human reasoning. Otherwise, if you base yourselves on human reasoning you will be like St. Peter when he walked on the water and began to sink ... while Jesus taught to have faith, because with human reasoning we cannot walk on water, but with the strength of faith we can walk even on air, not only on water.
This is very important, because the messages you have heard from Medjugorje are the messages you know by heart, by now. If I say to you: 'pray', you have already learnt it by heart, but that is too late.
Therefore, I often tell the pilgrims: those who want to follow Our Lady must go beyond the messages. The messages are the call, they are the arrows, they are the words that carry us forward. They bind us to live the Gospel just like the Blessed Virgin lived it. I want, now, to finish with this message of peace which comes from lived faith.
There are some people who say to me: 'I would like to have faith and peace in God' and I always say to them: 'accept it'. 'But how can I accept it ? I always want it more and more.... '. I replied: 'If you want to have more faith, go forward.' The town beyond the mountain cannot be seen from the opposite side. We must walk on, and then the horizon widens.
The faith Jesus speaks of is not a fixed idea, but rather a pilgrimage together with God. A person grows by living the messages, by taking the Gospel as a basis, following it and by opening up more and more to faith. Faith then increases inside the person. This also happens when you speak of peace and love.
Today I spoke to a person who asked me how he could love his enemies. I said to him: 'It is very easy. First of all you must love yourself in Jesus Christ. You must discover Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, who loves you. You must experience divine love and when you have truly experienced this you are saved, you are filled, you become like an overflowing cup.'
Then no effort is required, everything goes by itself, even love towards your enemies.
It does not matter to the sun if there are clouds. The sun shines all the same and our task is to live the strength of love, of light, of the peace which is in Jesus Christ.
Then we can understand what Jesus wanted: to bring the Gospel to others. We must understand that we must not bring people just words, messages, but life. Now if there is life inside me I can carry it. If there is the redemption inside me, if all my wounds have healed, it is not difficult for me to love my enemies. Indeed, I need to love and I have the strength to love them, to embrace them.
So set forth on the path of the Resurrection. It is very easy. I say so because a lot of people ask: how can I get there ? It is the same as when a child says : I would like to become a friar but I could never bring myself to go into the pulpit and preach. The child must walk, must set out and take the first steps.
Results are lacking only because people do not set out, do not start day by day taking the first small steps that the Church has shown them ; the steps of daily prayer and of Holy Communion. The small simple steps in order to bring us to live the Sacraments. I will try to follow you with my daily prayer, but if you open your hearts to Jesus you will not be lacking in graces.
Question : Actually, what does it mean to open our hearts ? Not to offer resistance, not to set limits to what is requested of us ?
Answer : Yes, in broad terms it is that. But for every question which is asked, for every subject, there must be a very wide answer. No one can receive the answer on a theoretical level.
To open ourselves means to set out, to be alert and to accept every divine word. If you want to have and answer to this opening .... You will always get it through silence and prayer. Namely, the capacity to grasp in silence what God says to us in our hearts. Without this there is something lacking about this 'opening'.
On one hand, there is the opening towards silence, towards a very deep peace in which we can hear the Holy Spirit, the Gospel and on the other hand our opening goes forward towards our neighbour. If I feel a certain tension towards someone, I cannot be completely open. If I do not love one of you I cannot be open. If I am aggressive because I have seen something on television, I am already closed. One has to be very open towards God and open to one's neighbour and then our opening of love is complete, our opening towards God is complete.
If you want to experience this, read the passages of St. Matthew, Ch 56,7, throughout your lifetime, for you will find this sufficient for your whole life.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 8th April, 1985)