Cloistered nun, Sister Franca in Medjugorje
Date: November 6, 2006 , Originally published September, 2002
Category: Communities , Testimonies , Spiritual Life
"Thank you for responding to my call!" Mary always thanks. This had struck me, but only now do I comprehend!
Whatever the circumstances that bring us to Medjugorje, we are called. As a cloistered nun it was due to health problems that I was able to come (with due permission, of course). Providence saw that I found hospitality at the contemplative Community, Kraljice Mira (Queen of Peace, Wholly Thine...); and it is with immense gratitude that I ask myself why is this granted me, that the Mother of my Lord should call me.
I have always been very devoted to Mary, and she has always made me feel loved. Maybe that's why I didn't feeltthe need to seek more; but the sensation of being in a dark tunnel when my life and my religious vocation were at risk made me entrust myself, and my health in particular, to Our Lady.
I had vaguely heard of Medjugorje, but I had no particular interest, even though I was a little curious since it was clearly such an important event for today's world. Once in Medjugorje, I felt immediately the warmth of Mary's tender and loving embrace which filled me with light and peace and joy. In His light we see the light. The experience gave new life to my life, light for my journey, and eyes to see my brethren; and then I realized that truly Medjugorje is Mary's house, a privileged place and a holy place where one can encounter the Mother of Jesus. And, of course, she lovingly leads us to her Son. For the one and only centre of everything is Eucharistic Jesus. Everything revolves around Him, the Lamb Sacrificed and Risen.
How much indifference in our society, for all its centuries of Christianity! Even in our churches and religious houses there are conditions of mediocrity amid tepid routines and fruitless prayer. Yet, despite the many worldly calls, the thirst for spirituality is still alive beneath the layers of ash.
Medjugorje is a centre of spirituality, where you are able to experience silent prayer rising from the heart. Here, it is easy to turn inwards and discover that sacred place deep in your heart where you find that God knows you better than you know yourself, and you discover the image of God which He impressed upon the heart of each of us. In the encounter with Jesus and Mary, and in the light of the Word, it is easy to see the reflection of our own existence; and when our fragile humanity meets the power of God's love it is projected into the infinite spaces of God's plan of salvation. In the light of the Holy Spirit you feel the need to be light, and thus the sacrament of Confession becomes the place for conversion and grace for a new journey.
Many are those who become instruments after this experience, as St. Francis loved to call himself - instruments which draw many others to the freedom of being God's Children who are enslaved and oppressed by their sins and closed up in their tombs of human fragility. At Medjugorje, Jesus and Mary call us to purify our hearts, so that in all our relationships God's love is able to reach out and touch those with whom we come into contact. Medjugorje has become a symbol for the living Church, where all are brothers and sisters because they are all children of the same Father and Mother. And if Medjugorje is their Home, it is also clear that its boundaries reach out far beyond those territorial limits, to include all those who respond to the call of the Mother.
Mary is a Mother who distributes most generously amongst her children all that she receives in heaven; but she also seeks and asks for helpers. When I was moved to pray for all the women who do not have the chance to experience Medjugorje within their hearts, I also wondered why; and perhaps this opportunity to witness is already an answer.
Mary, a young woman, desires crossing the ocean of time and institutes to freshen up the antique Orders who are keepers of the treasure called tradition; and though old, are able to offer fruits of love and show the world that Jesus is Lord. With her presence and her messages (they contain an incredible transforming power) Mary is the new guide for everyone's faith journey.
Not only the millions of Medjugorje pilgrims, but also those who only get to read her messages, are led by Mary through the darkness of this time to the Light that never sets and to the Peace that lasts forever.
"My Children, understand the import-ance of my coming, and the gravity of the situation. I desire saving all souls and leading them to God. Let's pray, then, so that all that I have begun might be realized."
.. "My Children, in this your time God grants great graces, but you don't know how to use them. You care for all the rest, but so little for your soul and your spiritual life. Wake up, and say "yes" to God with all your might. Decide for conversion and for holiness. I am with you my Children, and I call you to the perfection of soul of in everything you do..."
The fact that we are consecrated doesn't mean we are converted. Every day His love demands new responses of love, of faith, and of hope. Every day is time for conversion.