Medjugorje Grey Book
Open Your Hearts to MARY Queen of Peace
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 first of the four volumes of sermons and discourses given by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Tomislav Vlasic during 1984 - 1987 in Medjugorje, and contains talks given from Easter until December 1984.
All chapters of this book are now included
Your task is to accept Divine peace, to live it and to spread it
... I would like to bring you to a spiritual level in life where you will be able to accept the message and put it into practice. In the middle of July this year, through Marija, Our Lady said: “Dear children, at this time Satan wants to obstruct all my plans: pray that he will not succeed. I will pray to My Son so that during the trials you will be able to feel the victory of God.” This message was repeated yesterday evening, too, in another way : “Dear children, Satan continues to impede my plans. Pray, for this reason, pray. Abandon yourselves to God in your prayer and pray with your heart.”
I would like to continue to meditate with you on these messages, telling you of my experiences here with people. The central message here, of which the visionaries speak, is peace. The visionaries tell us that the peace Our Lady calls us to is an inner, spiritual peace from which all other peace and wellbeing come.
Jelena tells us that Our Lady said: “The only attitude of the Christian towards the future is hope of salvation. Those who think only of war, evil, punishment, are not doing the right thing.“ Our Lady said : “If you think about evil, punishment, war, you are on the road towards them. Your task is to accept Divine Peace, to live it and to spread it.”
I must stop here and we must go to listen to today’s reading because the texts of today’s liturgy refer to this peace. What I want to say to you, what I feel in my heart, is this : do not ask a lot of questions. There are always people asking questions, asking for spiritual advisers everywhere, asking for specialist priests, always asking questions and never listening to what we say and never listening within themselves. It is useless to behave like this, useless I repeat, and this is why I want to emphasise what I have experienced here. Many people come here looking for priests to talk to, talk, talk. It seems that the mass is of no use to these people. Jesus speaks us so clearly in the Mass and in the Gospel but people do not understand or do not want to understand. The priest speaks clearly but people do not understand and after Mass ask the same question to which the answer has been given during Mass. For this reason, I now want to bring you to a correct attitude.
You have seen today in the liturgy: Elijah, the prophet, who worked many wonderful miracles ran away weighed down by the burden of life, he lay down and said: ‘Lord, I have had enough, take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.’ He was desolate, with no more hope left. But God gave him the strength to go to the Holy mountain, Sinai. What happened there ? Elijah sought a mighty God of thunder and earthquakes but instead God came in peace. The Bible tells us that a deep silence fell and a gentle breeze came and God said: “Go back and anoint kings and prophets.” We can see how everything changed when Elijah was led by God.
You can see what happened in the Gospel: the Apostles in the boat were full of fear because of the wind and the rough sea. Peter fell into the deep water and cried out. He sank because he had not believed. Here in the Gospel we see the reason for their lack of faith : the Apostles looked on Jesus as if he were a ghost something unreal. This is our problem, too, the reason we do not have peace or strength and why miracles do not happen: we accept Jesus as something ghostlike, but Jesus is here where we live. We say that perhaps the apparitions are real, but who of us can say that the world of tomorrow can be saved without peace ? Who of you Christians can say that we can go forward in the Church without conversion, fasting or prayer ? No one. But we continue to carry on as before, our same old lives because we only accept Jesus Christ as a ghost, something unreal. If you want peace, you must accept Jesus with certainty, accept every word of the Gospel with certainty. Jesus is my Lord. he must enter my life. I will only obtain the peace spoken of in the Gospel and by Our Lady if I accept Jesus Christ fully, with clarity . ‘I know who You are and I know that I live every day for You. I throw myself before You like Peter after he was saved.’ If we Christians do not recognise this, if, in our Mass and in our prayer, this does not happen, then we shall not be like the Apostles when they knelt down before Him saying: ‘Truly You are Our Saviour because you have the power to control even the sea and the wind.’ If, in our daily prayer and in our liturgy, we arrive at this attitude to peace, we are Christians and we belong to God. This peace does not come from heaven by itself, you can see this clearly in the Gospel. Peter said : ‘If it is you Lord tell me to go and I will walk on the water.’ Jesus replied : “Go” and Peter started to walk. So when God tells us : “Go on to the sea, go” we must really go.
In today’s Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul tells us that he was ready to be cursed and to lose everything, if this were possible for God. When God told Moses to strike the rock with his stick to bring forth water, it was necessary to strike. If you want to understand and reach the dynamics of peace you must keep all the Commandments, even if this means striking the rock by prayer and fasting. Even if it means throwing ourselves into the sea, we must do so. You can see that if we are to reach a really deep peace, we must keep the Commandments. it is useless to come into this Church to ask if it is true that Our Lady has appeared . It is of no use to know if she has appeared or not. Perhaps a Committee will discuss this question in ten or twenty years time; it is useless to discuss it because it is of no value to confirm whether Our Lady has appeared or not the value consists in whether we accept her messages, if we put them into practice and obtain the gift of the Redemption.
A few days ago, and Italian actress who did not want to give her name told me her story : her marriage was broken, she was desolate and lost, and so set out here on a pilgrimage. She was burnt out inside, everything was in ashes. Afterwards her life became orderly again and her marriage was saved, she was together with her husband again and all was well. She was given an award and invited to dinner to receive it. It was a Friday and while everyone ate, she just had bread and water. The cook came up to her and told her she was offending him as he had prepared everything in her honour. She told him she was a Catholic and was fasting on bread and water. He bowed and thanked her. Recently, she brought me some money but I told her I did not need any. She gave me her rings, too, but I told her I give everything to the poor and she told me I could do so, if I wished, with her offerings. I asked her what I could give to her but she said she needed nothing because she had received everything and from now on had only one task to give to others because she had received everything.
Look at this experience which brings us to inner life. If we allow God to change our lives, everything will become easy, our life will receive the peace from which gifts of joy, gratitude, thanksgiving and love are born. When you come here, I want to bring you to this attitude. If you come here only to hear the latest news it is useless: tomorrow you will be worse than today, because the human heart hardens after hearing and not accepting. For this reason, I want to call you to silence today, but to a silence which comes after a dialogue with God, after reconciliation with Him and from which you can go to God in depth so as to have the peace from which all solutions come, our Redemption.
I want to bring you to prayer; without prayer you cannot come to this attitude. Elijah spent forty days in prayer and fasting and arrived at this inner peace. Do you know how long St. Paul prayed to reach that experience of being ready, of being anathemized, in order to save his people ? Do you know how long a saint takes to arrive at this peace ? Here, now, we feel a call towards this deep peace which comes from God: we can only reach it if we pray, pray, pray. I ask you this because I want to call you to be fervent Christians. Yesterday I told you I have seen many Christian atheists who do not pray; they do certain Christian acts but their lives are something else. I have seen good Christians, those who go to Mass, say some Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s and in whose families all is well and they are in harmony with others. These are good Christians. But I do not want to call you to this attitude. I want you to become alive, fervent Christians who feel responsibility for saving the world, for the salvation of others. Can you understand me ? You must be first.
Yesterday I read an interview with a German sportsman who had won two gold and two silver medals in the U.S.A. and who trains every day for six hours because he wants to be the first. If we want to arrive at the peace of the Apostles when they threw themselves before Our Lord :’Truly You are the Lord’, if we want to move the world we must be fervent Christians. The Christian who just says a few short prayers during the day is not such a fervent Christian; he cannot support himself and even less support others in the depth of his heart. The Christian must be a messenger of salvation, should be truly full of peace and of salvation. He must be capable of solving his problems by prayer, feeling what God wants, not running everywhere asking questions. God speaks so simply in the Gospel; we must chatter less, ask fewer questions and put ourselves before God, listen to the Gospel and pray.
Last week, an office worker told me that at first he felt like hitting me. He explained that, at the beginning, I had said that Our Lady had asked for a minimum of seven Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s and the Creed every day. Now he could not understand a Christian who does not recite four or five rosaries every day. Think of it; the same man only three years ago said the rosary only after Confession when he was told to do so by the priest !
Yesterday, we heard the message : “Dear children, Satan is continuing to impede my plans: pray.” Now, if you feel united with God and with Our Lady and if you feel responsible for the Kingdom of God, then you must pray, you must pray more, put God in the first place in your family every day, before television and entertainments. You cannot accept life or a day without God, but this is what you are doing if you do not pray.
Yesterday, a Czechoslovakian here told me :’It is necessary to open our eyes with God every morning. People do not practice religion or their faith. It is necessary every morning to open our eyes with God and in the evening to close them with God.’ Do you understand ? We must be with God, live with God, we must really be centred on Divine Grace.
I want to conclude as I did yesterday. On 23rd April, 1984 Our Lady said: “There is no need to give items of news to people. People know what they have to do. When they are here they feel happy and content. Go home and continue in the same way. Tell people that this place is a place of prayer. Tell people to pray.”
I am repeating this message to you. Your talk is useless if you do not start to pray and fast in your families. It is useless: you will be destroyed by the rhythm of life in your cities if you do not organise your inner selves, your inner lives, your homes, your families by a Divine, Godly rhythm. Only if you plan this inner rhythm will you be stronger than that of the cities which drags you along and destroys you.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 12th August 1984)