Medjugorje Red Book
Pray with Your Heart
Other languages: English, Italiano
Date: November 7, 2006
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 third of the four volumes of sermons and discourses given by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Tomislav Vlasic during 1984 - 1987 in Medjugorje, and contains discourses given from July to December 1985.
Not all chapters of this book are yet included
To consecrate oneself to the Cross.
I can tell you of many experiences.
First of all, as far as the messages of Our Lady are concerned, it is quite clear that the events of Medjugorje are facts. Our Lady has appeared, the Woman clad in the sun, fighting against satan.
From the beginning of July to the end of August almost all messages have been a warning of satan's presence and we, here in Medjugorje, have experienced just this. It is not a question of items of news from a newspaper, but a question of real happenings, after which we were able to experience satan's attacks, his real presence. For Her part, Our Lady teaches us to face this problem, how to fight it and She always points out to us the weapons - prayer, penance, inner spiritual life - by which we are able to face the problem of satan's presence. We have, in fact, lived through one of satan's revelations, not so much in the sense of a new revelation, but in the sense that, through these messages, Our Lady has made us rediscover satan's presence.
And we have opened our eyes and seen him and learned something very, very important, in my opinion, for the whole Church, since through these warnings of Our Lady we have discovered satan's presence, really hidden in civilisation which has denied satan's presence, just as it has denied God's presence.
The other experiences are more those of spiritual dynamics. Whenever I can, I work in Medjugorje mainly with those groups formed by Our Lady - the prayer groups. I cannot talk now about the messages given to the prayer groups, but what I can say is that a profound plan on the part of Our Lady and of God is involved whereby people grow in a very healthy way and the fruits of this spiritual path are there already to be seen ; at the same time a vital revelation has become clear to us. For instance, during all this period of time we have been experiencing what happens to people who have practised yoga when they enter the Medjugorje area. They all suffer from some sort of breakdown, that is, they all feel some considerable distress. By following, for instance, those who practise yoga, I have personally discovered many limitations.
We have discovered what Jesus Christ means in the face of yoga. We have also discovered why these people, as they enter the area where a strong grace is present, experience inner distress.
First of all, we have discovered that yoga is a human technique ; it is a human kind of wisdom and brings people up to a certain limit, where people stop and stay, without going any further.
Another problem we have discovered is this - people following the yoga techniques open themselves and become totally open, the total opening being such as to allow beings to enter. There is even the possibility that eveil beings may enter, but it is usually the case of the guru, the master, the one who directs the person.
The limitation of yoga is the human limit, whereby, with the aid of a technique my body can be made to reach silence, but it will not go any further.
As St. John has pointed to Jesus Christ, similarly, yoga's point of arrival can only be that human limit, after which the open person ought to make room for Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ alone. These ailments come because these people have not actually met the living God who leads us to total enlightment and salvation.
What we have recently experienced is mainly this - on the one hand we have discovered that those who live a spiritual technique strive to get some sort of concentration, silence, to attain a calm attitude. On the other hand, in these days, it has also become clear to us that we are given certain disturbances, temptations, because - as we have found out through the visionaries - God allows these very disturbances, these very temptations, in order to bring us to total purification.
So there you have a spritual path, the one of yoga, following human foot-prints and reaching the human limit, whereas we, in our opening up to faith, go beyond human limits.
It is God who allows even misfortunes, who allows even trials, through which we are able to go beyond.
This I have learned : yoga gives us silence. Christ gives us peace. Peace which goes beyond silence. This confirms what Our Lady told us through jelena in 1983 - that She indeed has come to purify all the world movements and to lead us to Jesus Christ. This is one of our experiences. As far as Medjugorje is concerned, I see this as being of paramount importance, namely, that those priests who have lived this experience of Medjugorje themselves may help those who have been in the East looking for salvation, and bring the to Jesus Christ, without denying certain values of yoga, of oriental human wisdom, but setting out as priests with these people, just like Jesus Christ used to do with the Apostles, in order to bring them to total enlightment.
How sad I am ! Indeed I am sad, we are too few here in Medjugorje to help people coming from every part of the world in search of God. Many are those who write to me on the very issue of the spiritual level of yoga asking for help, asking to be guided, and I cannot do anything, since I am so committed in the parish ...
In this spiritual field alone, experts are needed who live interiorly these messages of Our Lady in order to enlighten those who, somehow, have got lost, who have lost their way, who have not fully found God. This is connected with something else ; some people have been to India searching for yoga, whilst the whole of the West lives yoga - the Oriental live according to techniques, whereas the Western Christians live the yoga of pleasure : they smoke, drink, eat, enjoy themselves, they want a pleasant Christianity. People in the East look directly for a spiritual path, whereas in the West, those who believe in Christ say they believe in Jesus Christ, but at the same time , look for Christ in pleasure. I have discovered the medieval asceticism - indeed these days I have understood that I can deepen my relationship with God in prayer, only to the degree in which I mortify myself, just as Jesus explained to us yesterday, in the Gospel. He openly started telling the Apostles what one has to bear in mind, "He who is prepared to lose his life will gain it."
The meaning of penance, the meaning of fasting is just this. Particularly during the last few months, Our Lady and also Jesus have been asking through Jelena - particularly some group members - to consecrate themselves to the Cross. Our Lady's last message is also indeed a call to the consecration to the Cross, the kind of consecration whereby Jesus wishes there were people willing to consecrate everything, ready to really offer everything to God.
In my opinion we shall reach once more a spiritual depth along this path. Why have many monasteries remained empty ? As I see it, they have, because they have lost mystical prayer and I turn, mystical prayer has been lost because we have lost the meaning of fasting and deep prayer.
Now, with these experiences, we are making our way towards a spiritual, mystical life from which many a vocation will stem.
.. I know we are strong when we are close to God and that we can solve problems to the degree in which we are close to God, but as so many Christians are far from prayer, they are also far from God.
We have learned to live, to have our own lives in God, to feel that when we are closer to God, we are really closer to life, we are more complete.
But since we are not quite so close to God through prayer, we are not even able to choose God's means, to choose God's weapons against evil.
Let us start praying, let us learn prayer and we shall, day by day, discover within ourselves a greater strength, a brighter light. Every day we shall have more life.
If we manage to discover exactly what Our Lady teaches us and if that becomes tangible for us, a true experience, then we will also be able to bring salvation to the whole world.
It is useless to bring Our Lady's messages to the world as we would bring the messages of newspapaers or books, because Bibles and the most beautiful written works are to be found everywhere, but these are lifeless without us. Without a deep and serious commitment through conversion, Our Lady's word has no meaning.
I would like to invite everyone to live this deep reality, through daily prayer, through conversion.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - 16th September 1985)