Interview: Hubert Liebherr, Initiator of the “Peace March”
Other languages: English, Hrvatski
Date: July 27, 2005 , Originally published August 2, 2002
Accompanying Pilgrims – Confession in Medjugorje
Lidija Paris: And everything started somehow with Medjugorje?
Hubert Liebherr: It started with wooden houses, which Axel Weidinger and myself brought to Croatian and Bosnia.
L.P.: In your personal life, everything stated anew with the conversion that happened here, in Medjugorje, in the meadow near the church?
Hubert Liebherr: Yes! I try to continue to live this grace, to live Our Lady’s messages. But one message has hardly arrived, and there is already another one!
L.P.: Do you think that they are too numerous?
Hubert Liebherr: There are times when everything goes well, and times when I think that nothing functions for me! What had helped me personally was Our Lady’s answer given to the visionaries, when they asked Her why She had chosen them. She said that she had chosen neither the best ones nor the worst ones. When I saw that they were ordinary people, that each one of them has a character, a specificity, it helped me. They are ordinary, I am ordinary… it means that it is possible. If Our Lady had chosen some very holy people, very much advanced in spiritual life, I would have probably said that it was not my world, or that I will never make it. It helped me. There are periods when I have difficulties with prayer, but the Lord knows me and has understanding for my weaknesses. This is why I can trust Him, I can trust in His love and mercy.
With the pilgrims that I bring here, we speak every day about confession. They tell me that, after these conversations, all of them run to the confessional! To people who are used to publicity, I talk about the “profit” they can have from confession! I like to speak about what it means to receive forgiveness from God for all the things that oppress us, and that we always pay so expensively… Instead of paying the bill once for all, the bill comes back to us all over again and we keep on paying for the same thing… My biggest joy is when I see in the confessional the pilgrims, who did not go for confession for so many years. Where to go to confession if not here, in Medjugorje, where young and old, especially men, stand in line for confession! Here, this is normal. It is easier then in Germany, where you stand alone in front of the confessional. Every year, I bring about 1000 pilgrims here – by plane of by bus.
L.P.: Can you remember a beautiful experience with a pilgrim?
Hubert Liebherr: I remember an elderly man with whom I spoke about confession while coming to Medjugorje. He was a very proud man and he told me with a firm conviction that he does not need these kind of things, that he did not go for confession for 35 years, and that he does not even think of going for confession in Medjugorje. He sees to it personally with God Himself: he goes to the forest for a walk and there, he tells him all the bad things he has done. On the third day in Medjugorje, he was looking for a confessional with tears in his eyes! When you see such a big and strong man crying, then the earth is shaking! When women cry, it is only vacillating. I was near him, I helped him, because the line was long and he was completely broken. Everybody let him pass… That evening, he shared before the group that the biggest foolishness he ever did in his life was to omit confession for 35 years! He felt such a relief, as if he was liberated from a terribly heavy burden. I remember what a priest said: that the confessional was the place where tears of joy and tears of sorrow were so close to each other! This is what experienced this pilgrim. He was really relieved!
L.P.: Do you have any counsel for friends?
Hubert Liebherr: A counsel? No, I would not dare to give counsels to anyone!
L.P.: Thank you, Hubert, for this witness, which does not need any comment. May God continue to lead you in the service, that you have received from Our Lady as a vocation.
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