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
It is necessary to understand a pilgrimage
The last messages, as those at the beginning, are :"Pray, be converted and fast".
As I said to the other group, the apparitions at Medjugorje cannot be understood in the same way as those of Lourdes and Fatima which were of limited number over a short period of time. here at Medjugorje they follow a certain path which has lasted, up to now, for three years and three months. In order to understand the messages of Our Lady here, it is necessary to follow this path. When I tell people 'to pray' they understand 'prayer' in a general sense, but when one speaks of prayer here, it means a whole pilgrimage followed by people and along which Our Lady explains and urges us to live the message. Our Lady's message is, therefore, this whole pilgrimage.
The situation, as I see it t present, is this: the messages should be set forth in detail so that the pilgrims who come here can be nourished by them. I see the following levels: one of people who come for the first and second time because they feel attracted by Our Lady and who need to receive the general messages in order to be pushed towards prayer, fasting and conversion. Then there are people who have been here several times and who have already started our on the path of the messages: they have gone along part of the way but they need to be nourished by other messages, not new messages but an explanation of what Our Lady told this Parish in order to drive us onwards. In this second group there are, without doubt, priests, monks and nuns who need to, and feel they must, live their pilgrimage at a much deeper level. It is at this level that I believe we have now entered, a time in which we must give this nourishment to the people.
Looking at the books which you also have in Italy (those of Lauren tin, Rupcic), they are all for people who have yet to start out on the pilgrimage of the messages: they are the story of the apparitions. Up to now, there is no book written on a deep spiritual level in order to help those who have set out on the path of the messages. It seems to me that we have reached a time when something must be done at this level to help people who are progressing in their spiritual life, moved by the happenings at Medjugorje.
As I said earlier, there is always a danger that people go round in circles; they pray and fast in a group, in a parish, in a family but always remain the same, they do not progress or grow spiritually. This is why it seems important to me to give people nourishment; all pilgrims should have the means of growing and for the understanding of all the Gospel in a better sense. The programme remains the same: prayer, fasting and conversion, but my prayer today must not remain the same as yesterday's : if I go forward, my prayer will become better than today's; something will change. We really must go forward by means of prayer, fasting and attempting to be converted: we will make progress little by little if we do what Our Lady tells us.
The second step to take, in my opinion, is to open the Gospel and to put it into practice as it is written. Read the chapters of Saint Matthew 567; it is sufficient to read it and to act on it. In the Church and in the spiritual life of Christians there is a danger of a sort of diplomacy between the supernatural and the natural, which can be especially seen after the Vatican Council: I can be an ordinary person with two cars and a villa and a house and I can also go to church. So my life in church is something apart from my daily life. I am playing a game between Heaven and Earth. But for people who want to live completely for God, the last stage consists in leaving everything to live for god alone, as it did for Saint Francis.
We have been through a certain crisis in the Priesthood, and it still exists. There is a great deal of talk about celibacy in the West which is a problem because it is a law of the Church. Those who have started out on the way to a deeper spiritual life feel a real need to leave wife or husband, a real need to leave everything their villas, their money, to leave everything to live for God. if we are not capable of being crazy as Saint Francis was, we cannot go forward. Human logic and prudence are not the same as Divine prudence and often the prudence we use in our spiritual life more of a sophism : a diplomacy between the material and the supernatural. If a woman plans to have a child, for example, she realises what she will have to suffer, what can happen to the child, how naughty children can be ... and if she weighs all this up by human prudence she will never bring a child into the world. Love does not know tactics or sophist prudence. Love is total, love moves us forward because we love. If we want to love God with our whole heart when we are before Him, then this is the second step. Young people, especially, must be aware if there is something which is a stumbling block to them; to be able to live for God with a completely open heart, it is necessary to remove anything which interferes with this. This is what I see as the second step.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 6th October 1984)