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
"I must wish to be like Jesus"
I have good news for you. You have come here wishing to find something, but far more than you wish awaits you here, provided that you open your hearts God always offers us far more than we expect. The problem is that we are not open and come still worried about something, we want to retain something for ourselves, we come with our own plans. And God, as it were, is left with no room to manoeuvre within us. That is why I am telling you today first of all long for the Kingdom of God. What does that mean ? Above all, ask for any bitterness, any worry about things, about your families and everything that harasses you to be removed from you. If you are able to remove everything, then you are able to let God work within yourselves and you will attain the divine love and, through that, everything else will be granted to you.
At this point I will tell you about my experience. We Christians say many prayers, but, unfortunately , do not pray. We are people who say many prayers, not knowing what to ask God or what we should ask for. In my prayer, however, I must know what I want. What I ask for should become, first of all, the wish to become what the Gospel says. I must wish to be like Jesus. Read the Gospel, agree with every word in the Gospel. When your wishes become the wishes of Jesus Christ, then they will be met, then you will be able to obtain what Jesus Christ has promised. Something else I have learned here. We Christians ask God, ‘I want this, I want that”; however, we are incapable of receiving. It happens to us exactly as it happened to the eldest son of the parable, the one who stayed at home whilst the prodigal one had gone away. The eldest was at home, but, nevertheless, did not know how to take what was his own, he was incapable of making use of what he possessed. The most important thing in prayer is knowing how to receive, but unfortunately, we do not want to receive. We say, ‘Our Father, Thy Kingdom come.. ‘, but do not want his Kingdom. We say, ‘Thy will be done .. ‘, instead, we want to do our own will. We say, ‘Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive ... ‘, but do not want to forgive. Therefore, we do not want to receive. When we pray in such a way as to do in practice what we say in words, then we will be able to receive all the graces. They will all be at our disposal. Whereas, if we do not put into practice the words of the Gospel, the ones contained in the Our Father, we will not be in a position to receive anything at all. There, you can see now how easy it is to succeed in obtaining. We only need to accept with simplicity the very simple words we say in our daily prayers or what we hear at Mass.
And if you want to know how one gets to moving mountains with the prayer of faith, you must set off with concrete steps, you must live those words more and more. You see, something terrible can happen the word can be taken away from our heart and then it cannot produce fruit. There are people, Jesus explains, who listen to the word, but who allow themselves to be robbed straight away of it by satan, like a seed fallen on the road and taken away by the birds. Let us be careful. If we go to church and we listen to the Word of the Lord, but do not live it, we have allowed satan to rob us; that is something terrible. If we do not receive this word addressed to us by the priest, by our father, by our mother, how can we possibly obtain fruit, if we have not even planted the divine Word ? I now beg you to apply yourselves to receive with simplicity and humility every Word of God, day by day, and allow it to grow.
I want to remind you of the message given by Our Lady on Monday Thursday 1984, “Today I will disclose to you a spiritual secret. If you want to become stronger than evil, pray enough in the morning, read a passage in the Gospel and plant the divine Word in your hearts. Later on, during the day, often remember that Word, long for it and allow it to grow in the evening you will be stronger than in the morning.” In real terms, if you are impatient, find a word that heals your impatience. Are you the sort of person who often bears bitterness ? Find the word that teaches you to forgive. Let it grow during the day and in this way you will practise a continuous resurrection, during the day. If this continuous process of growth is not in us, we cannot progress in the Gospel. Today we have seen so many Christians, but when we see a Christian after ten years, do we see in him more of a Christian or the same as before ? More of a saint or the same ? Often, the same. If, during the lapse of ten years, a Christian has not grown, if he has not become more saintly, this is a tragedy for Christianity. So the message loses strength. I therefore invite you to welcome the divine word this evening.
Try and find some silence, put all these words into your hearts and decide to pray every day, as Our Lady tells us. Every morning plant the divine word that heals, let it grow during the day, then you will understand that you will have received today far more than you had wished for. You will then slowly enter into friendship with God and your neighbour and you will live in love.
Then you will not need to ask for so many things any more. They will be offered to you, but you will find them already obtained. Christ will come towards you, he will be all for you.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 2nd August 1985)