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
In this period God and Our Lady want people who are ready to offer everything
Welcome. I really wish that you may receive all the graces God and Our Lady are offering you here.
... When I see you pilgrims, a majority of you prefers to listen with your ears, rather then with your hearts. But I do beg you to set about listening with your hearts. One can only listen with one's heart if one is immersed in prayer, if there really is total abandonment to God, if we have time to pray, if we do not listen to the visionaries, but listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us. When I say this, it is important to know that Our Lady does not speak only to the visionaries, but also to each one of us, although in a different way.
In a message of 1984 Our Lady told the prayer group, through Jelena, that in every prayer one must listen to God's voice, one must try to understand it. If we, therefore, pray this way and, after prayer, we have not seen anybody, we have not heard anybody, then most probably our prayer was not genuine. If prayer is - as it must be - the dialogue with God, then we must look at Him with our souls, we must listen to Him, we must be in tune with Him, with His Word, with His messages.
Please acquire an attitude of inner listening; I am telling you this, as otherwise, you will not understand Medjugorje. You would like to listen to the messages and the explanation of what is happening here; I cannot tell you what is going on whilst your hearts are closed.
Now, when thinking about Medjugorje, they all think of the six visionaries - that is not enough. When I now look at Medjugorje, visionaries are for me just one of the signs of Our Lady's presence here, but there are other various deeper gifts in and around Medjugorje, and connected with Medjugorje all over the world. Many gifts are still hidden, but are growing. God is preparing them for future events.
This you will never understand unless you acquire an inner listening, unless you pray with your hearts, unless you are abandoned to God.
Moreover, those amongst you who pray in groups according to Our Lady's intentions will not discover the gifts unless you have started listening with your hearts. Many people come and ask me how they can form a prayer group, but the actual formation of a prayer group in its exterior structure is not important; what is important is an inner opening to God, an inner path. The groups guided by Our Lady here in Medjugorje are different from other groups, only because here we can hear Our Lady's voice guiding the groups and not because the girls and boys are different from the others. The difference between them and the others consists only in the fact that Our Lady's voice can be heard, and Our Lady simply explains the steps to be taken.
If you want to form prayer groups, seek first of all to bring people to prayer, to a desire to reach out for God and to live Our Lady's messages; the Holy Spirit will give you the words and you will be enlightened as to how to go ahead. I cannot tell you how to go ahead with a group.
There are several groups here as well as sub-groups. Both last month and this month I have joined several small groups in prayer and we have realised that there is no need for a programme for prayer; sometimes we have been praying for hours without a programme, just staying with God, since for him who loves God, for him who believes in God with all his heart, when his heart is opened, there is always something to say, to sing, to exchange with God, to listen to ...
Prayer and the formation of prayer groups depends on inner formation and, as a group progresses in spiritual life, the Holy Spirit enlightens its people as to how they can walk, go forward. It is important to emphasize that prayer groups are not made up according to human techniques, but according to God's will.
If prayer groups are formed with an attitude of meeting God, of living God, of living God's Word, then it will be the Holy Spirit to guide them through those responsible; light will be given; it is God who will take care of them.
In order to reach this inner listening - in the messages given to the prayer groups in the last few months - there is another typical message, besides prayer, which was given also to the Parish before the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross - i.e. to be consecrated to the Cross.
In several messages Our Lady has been looking for people prepared to sacrifice their lives to God; She has been looking for people ready to offer everything to God, so that, through their sufferings, the world and the souls may be saved.
Do not forget - when you are ready to offer your lives, to offer everything, then you are ready to pray, then the opening of the heart takes place.
Remember the Gospel of the Sunday before last - that young man placed himself before Jesus and asked Him what he had to do in order to acheive eternal life. Jesus replied that hae had to follow the commandments. But the man wanted his life to be perfect and so Jesus told him to forsake everything. The Gospel says that he was rich and he left in sadness, but Jesus too, was sad.
We must understand that if we wish to be completely ready at God's service, we must make voluntary sacrifices.
When I heard this message, I started purifying my room by removing from it all superfluous things and it took me about a week to do so. I have not yet managed to get rid of many of the superfluous things, but I am still in the process of emptying my room of useless things. Start emptying yourselves as well in this period and you will see how much time you have to spare, how much time is used up in a superfluous way, how much time you tend to spend in front of the television, how many hours are spent uselessly, how many things are in your rooms, in your houses, while people are dying of starvation.
All this is important to notice, for when we will have emptied our lives of all superfluous things, of all our needs, then we shall be able to go forward, like that young man who was called to a perfect life.
It is most important - I would say mainly for priests - to return to those spiritual exercises done at the time when people were seeking penance entirely of their own will, when they were seeking sacrifices to offer God. It seems to me that , at this monent in history, we have forgotten those sacrifices, so much so that educational teaching does not know sacrifices. They say sacrifices have to be avoided or removed, instead of being accepted with good will and offered to God entirely of one's own free will in order to save others.
In this period, God and Our Lady want people who are ready to offer everything. However, he who has decided to offer everything must beware of two things; Firstly, he must repeat the offer every day and during his life seek those sacrifices to offer to God; secondly, he must make sure if he really has consecrated himself as a victim, he must be aware of the fact that Jesus is seriously accepting this consecration and already starting to make plans for him.
After this he must make sure he does not escape from those crosses Our Lord will give him. You must, however, be conscious of the fact that, for all the crosses Our Lord gives you, you will be rewarded a hundred times, here on earth itself with blessedness of the heart.
If you so live your future you will bring no fear of chastisements, of difficulties; your only aim will be to meet Jesus, to meet God, to be united with Him and to live for the whole of eternity.
To end, I would like to emphasize that you must listen with your hearts and not with your earsl in order to enter the depth of prayer you must sacrifice your own selves, you must sacrifice yourselves and offer yourselves as victims to God. With the offer we make (to) God, we become more open to listening to Our Lord's and Our Lady's messages.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - 16th October 1985)