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
Prayer is a dialogue with God
The principal message Our Lady is sending to the world at this time is peace. Our Lady's peace is a fruit which comes as a result of a meeting with God'. She says: "He who meets God finds a joy from which peace comes."
To reach this peace, Our Lady asks us for prayer. At the beginning, she said: "Start to recite at least seven Our Father's, Hail Mary's, Glory Be's and the Creed. Fast on Fridays on bread and water." Since then she has always urged us forward towards more prayer. On 14th August this year, she said: "At this time, I wish for people to pray as much as possible with me. Recite at least one entire rosary: the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries: fast properly on Wednesdays and Fridays."
You can see that Our Lady is always urging us onwards to prayer and fasting.
She has emphasised the need for the conversion of the world. In all her messages we can see this call to people to become closer to God. She has also stressed what she said at Fatima: "a monthly confession." During this time, Our Lady has continued to repeat these messages and to urge us on, through the visionaries.
Last Thursday's messages was this: "Dear Children, you do not know how many gifts God is sending you through me. God is giving you great grace. You do not understand this. So pray to the Holy Spirit that he may illuminate you. If you knew how much grace God is offering you, you would pray continuously. Thank you for answering my call."
On Thursday of the previous week she said: "Dear Children, now that you have finished your work in the fields, renew the spirit of prayer. Let prayer come first."
So you can see that Our Lady is continuing to call us and urge us onwards in our spiritual life.
This summer something interesting took place for Mirjana, who had finished the daily apparitions on 25th December 1982. While she was praying at the beginning of August, she heard Our Lady's voice in her heart letting her know that she would have an apparition on 25th August. On that day, after she had started to pray Our Lady appeared to her and remained with her for eighteen minutes. Our Lady told her: "I will come again on 13th September to talk to you about the secrets." On that day she appeared again and told Mirjana the day on which she must hand over details of the first secrets to the priest, and they talked about these secrets. Mirjana cannot tell us anything about this this but from her behaviour we can learn much. First of all, Mirjana has taken a very serious attitude to the future and when one of the Fathers remarked that considering she had seen Our Lady and knew the future she seemed very happy. She replied: 'It is not really like that: when I remember, it only takes a word to make me cry all day.' From this we can see the background; and she also says that Our Lady is very sad because there are so many unfaithful in the world. The Father asked her: 'Which unfaithful ? Those who go to Church but do not practice or those who do not know God ?' She replied: 'They are both the same.' But how can they be the same when one person has not entered into the Faith ? Mirjana replied: 'Our Lady says: "All adults have the capacity to know that God exists. The sin of the world consists in the fact that they are not interested in God. The cities and villages are full of churches and mosques but people do not go to ask how they must live. The sin of the world lies in this, that there is no interest for God." '
The visionary tells us about the seventh secret which has been diminished but not totally removed. Our Lady told us: "Do not ask for all the secrets to be removed because God has His plan. You must be converted and live your Faith." So from this we see that we must assume a serious attitude to the future. But Mirjana also said that it is necessary to announce hope to the world and at the same time reality that is, the seriousness of the events that lie before us.
This is what has been happening here during the last few months. I will begin to talk to you now about Our Lady's message: "The sin of the world lies in this, that it does not search for God, it is not interested in God." I would like to tell you all, those who just hear the messages and those of you who are following them and proceeding, that we cannot understand these messages unless we do really progress. This is because the apparitions have been continuing for so long that unless we follow their path, it is not possible to understand them. If I reread a message given to the prayer group it really shakes us: "Dear Children, you must understand that you have to pray. Prayer is not a trifle. Prayer is a dialogue with God. You must hear the voice of God in every prayer. It is not possible to live without prayer. Prayer is life." This message was given to Jelena on 10th September, 1984.
On 20th October, 1984 she said: "When you pray, you must pray more. Prayer is a dialogue with God. Prayer means understanding God. Prayer is necessary because after it, everything will become clear. Prayer is for knowing happiness. Prayer is for learning to cry. Prayer is for learning to blossom. Prayer is not a trifle. Prayer really is a dialogue with God."
We cannot understand these messages well because they lead to prayer and fasting and it is necessary to enter into the depth of them. We have forgotten how to fast: it is only an obligation twice a year: those who do not do it, or do not feel well, it does not matter .... We must rediscover it and discover depth in prayer and then all these messages will help us go forwards in a deeper way. This message of Our Lady to the prayer group is the centre of prayer because prayer means the Resurrection of a person when everything changes and after true prayer our life must alter. When I say 'go forward' I will explain to you what I told the people here last Thursday, because we have begun a long preparation for Christmas. I have seen many Christians who behave in their prayer like people in front of the door of the Church knocking, knocking and calling out for the door to be opened to them, but they do not want to receive and do not want to enter. They spend their whole life knocking and calling for the door to be opened to them but behave as though they were saying: 'I will come to Your side, Jesus, if you will come out of the Church to keep me company in this life by giving me good health, some happiness on this earth and other things for this life.' Only those few who enter into Church really feel full of the grace of God. Those who abandon themselves to God and live for Him are interested only in Him. To cry for God, to fight and suffer for Him, and ask: 'Our Lady, help me so that Jesus will not suffer any more through my fault and will not suffer in the world ... ' Those who enter into relationship with God, into the Heart of God are concerned only with Him.
The only possible behaviour for people who enter into the Church of Jesus is to praise God, thank Him continuously and to pray for His Kingdom. Everything else will be given to us only if we are inside, in the Heart of God, in the Heart of Our Lady, then we will receive all else. This is why our prayers are not granted: we do not want to enter into possession of Our Lord. Only those who start to live for God will possess Our Lord. These people do not ask to be given this and that every day, but offer themselves to live for God. When I tell you to enter into possession, I am telling you to live in the depth of your heart: it is by living these messages in the depth of our being that we can understand Our Lady's message. It is only in this way that we can help Our Lady so that the messages may win. Our Lady has said many times this year, particularly in July and August: "Satan wants to destroy my plans. Help me by prayer so that I may win." Only if these messages are accepted can Our Lady win and from this we can learn the basis of the veneration to the Madonna. The Blessed Virgin opened Her heart to receive the message of the Annunciation from Heaven. She made It grow within, giving birth to It and give It to the world. Every message from Heaven must follow this course of incarnation in each one of us and each of us must be mother and life of the Word. If we live these messages in the depth of our hearts then we will bring salvation to the world. We had a beautiful passage from the Gospel last Thursday when Jesus told the publicans and pharisees that anybody would leave ninetynine sheep to look for the missing one ... and said it is a greater joy for one sinner who repents than for many righteous ones ... This is also very sad because God offers us everything but we reject Him. I do not believe that we accept seriously the reality of the Divine weeping and that of Our Lady. On 24th April, 1984, I believe, Our Lady said, through Jelena: "Several times, in the face of criticism and your sins I have come back to you in tears. I could not say anything. I am your Mother, I do not wish to offend you ... What I shall do in you depends on you." It is a very special grace that Our Lady wants to give us, as she has told us. Our Lady said: "We must make Jesus rejoice", exactly that: "Make Him happy", by going into the depth of things and not remaining on the surface in a superficial way.
I believe one of the ways by which we can measure our path on the pilgrimage of conversion is prayer, the quality of prayer in the sense of seeking God. When I tell you these things, I feel within myself that we must pray a great deal more, discover prayer, not just the seven Our father's, but to pray until we are reborn within. Our Lady said, through Marija, in the latest message: "If you knew the gifts God is offering you, you would pray continuously !" here, Our Lady is not just asking for some prayers but is stressing the fundamental aspect of prayer. We do not even know how to recite the rosary any more. It has become like an expresso coffee: 'in this mystery we think about the Resurrection, Our Father Who art in Heaven ...' We cannot make progress in this way and are unable to hear what Jesus is telling us and cannot meditate on how the Resurrection is taking place within us. We must leave space and time in our lives so that we can put into practice what God tells us and let grace grow within us. Little by little, you will discover new horizons if you start to search for God and salvation. I want to tell you about an experience of mine, something that strikes me when I see people, Christians amongst them, standing outside the Church. We has been reading the Gospel of Saint Luke which tells us how people came to the door of Heaven and knocked. God replied that He did not know them; these people asked why He did not know them because they had eaten with Him, they had .... but God answered that he did not know them and told them to go away. After this, I started to pray but was not able to do so; at the end of the day, I felt like crying because so many things had carried me right and left; I had not managed to come close to people as God tells us to do. Ultimately, I really understood that it is not God who rejects us but we who go astray because we are not really interested. I am distracted because there are many things which are of greater value to me and so I am far from God. We must continue to enter into the depth of spiritual life, to really go to the core of it, means entering the Divine Heart through the Consecration to the Virgin Mary, to the Immaculate Heart and to the Heart of Jesus. We must feel and live the Divine Heart, this is the reason for which I want to urge you onwards to this Consecration, but it is only possible by prayer, fasting and loving one another. Remember, with only a minimum of prayer we enter into a minimum of Christian life, but with a maximum of prayer we enter a deep spirituality. I will leave you now so you are able to start out and go forward.
Make a good, heartfelt confession.
Yesterday, an Italian pilgrim asked me why it was necessary to fast and that it should be enough to give up sin. I replied that, from my experience, people usually confess sins of word but only a few confess sins of deed: theft, slander, ills done to others and so on. If we go to the depth of the matter: who does really confess what is hidden inside each of us ? We do not even see it. We will realise it when we start to fast and to do penance, little by little we will discover it. We have so much to discover: the value of fasting, of prayer, the face of the demon who is everywhere. He manifests himself in many different ways and we do not even see him, we go on as usual and he is pleased because we do not notice him.
Prayer, fasting and everything Our Lady tells us, are the means for making progress and putting these messages into practice and the means, too, for our happiness and contentment.
I urge you, therefore, to make a good confession and receive Holy Communion.
.... Increase your prayers: let your face speak to everyone, may your faces speak of Our Lady, and peace.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 10th November 1984)