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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 189 (September-October 2006)

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Our Lady’s message, 25 July 2006:
“Dear Children, at this time do not
think only of rest for the body but, m
y
Children, seek time also for the soul. In
silence may the Holy Spirit speak to you,
and may you permit Him to convert and
change you. I am with you and before
God I intercede for each of you. Thank
you for responding to my call.”
Give time to the Soul
Christ in us is the mystery of salvation
hidden for centuries and generations, but
now manifested to his saints, says St. Paul
(cf. Col 1:26-27)
as he acknowledges having
received the grace to preach to the gentiles
the infinite riches of Christ, and to make all
men see what is the plan of the mystery
hidden for ages in God (Eph 3:8-9).
With the coming of Christ; with His
Life, Death and Resurrection, the
Revelation of God, Creator and Father,
came to an end. We know all we need to
know for our salvation. What else is
missing? “Unless one is born anew, he
cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn 3:3),
says Jesus to Nicodemus, adding: “Unless
one is born of water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn 3:5).
Now, as then, it is not enough to know.
One must let himself be helped by Wisdom,
opening his heart to the action of God’s
Spirit, so that man’s actions are a reflection
of the grace of God.
There is the risk of seeking refuge in a
personal god, made to our own image –
and this would be idolizing; and there is
also the risk of extrapolating the Word and
the Sacraments from the Spirit which
generates them, and once again this would
be to substitute God with an idol. These
are two aspects of the nature of man born
of the flesh (cf. Jn 3:6). Do we really mean
it when we pronounce the words: “Thy
kingdom come, Thy will be done”? Is
prayer for us talking with God, or is it a
list of needs that we present to Him? When
we call Him our Father do we also intend
desiring to be His children? Talking to God
is not like talking to another person, not
even a very important person. He is
infinitely much more. Unless we are willing
to trust Him with everything we have, we
are likely not to give Him anything.
“At this time, do not think only of
rest for the body but, my Children,
seek time also for the soul,” urges Mary.
This time right now for the northern
hemisphere is time for summer vacations,
and particularly in the wealthier countries
ever more time is dedicated to the body
and to appearance, and ever less time to
the life of the soul, and to the inner
encounter with God. Our God is a jealous
God (cf. Ex 20:5); also time is His gift, and
to Him we ought to orient, dedicate and
offer it. This doesn’t mean time would no
longer be ours, but when offered up to the
Creator of time, it does not go wasted, but
is put to good use – for our own benefit
and that of others. Through the help of
God we are also enabled to live our time to
the full.
In silence may the Holy Spirit
speak to you, and may you permit Him
to convert and change you,” Mary’s
message continues. Our Lady points out
that for conversion, we need to create
silence so we can hear the promptings of
the Holy Spirit, and this requires prayerful
listening. We also need to allow the Holy
Spirit to break down our barriers so He
can work conversion in us, and this
requires surrender to God.
May it not be that we accuse God of
our lack of response to His Love! We alone
are responsible when we impede Him from
reaching us. We alone are responsible
when we refuse Him, and when we prefer
a plate of beans over our birthright (cf. Gen
25:29-34).
“The time is fulfilled, and the
kingdom of God is at hand; repent and
believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15).
Nuccio Quattrocchi
Our Lady’s message, 25 August 2006:
“Dear Children, Again today I call
you to pray, pray, pray. Only in prayer will
you be close to me and my Son and will
you see how short this life is. In your heart
a desire for Heaven will be born. Joy will
begin to rule in your heart and prayer
will begin to flow like a river. In your words
there will only be thanksgiving to God for
having created you, and the desire for
holiness will become a reality for you.
Thank you for responding to my call.”
Desire for Heaven
The human creature is an expression
of God’s Love. If only man would keep
this in mind, it would help him from losing
the dignity with which he was created! The
relationship between God and man does not
concern the Creator and His creatures
alone, but involves all of creation which
awaits with eager longing for the revealing
of the children of God (Rm 8:19). When a
person is revealed as a child of God he
frees not only himself, but the “world”
which surrounds him from its bondage to
decay (cf. Rm 8:21). How real this rings
today; for it is clear to all how nature suffers
the detrimental effects of this failed
revealing of the children of God.
Man was made in the image of God;
and through Christ we have become
children of God. It is for this that Mary
was given to us as Mother by Jesus as He
was dying on the Cross. The children of
God needed to be generated. For this reason
Mary untiringly visits us and calls us:
Dear Children, Again today I call you
to pray, pray, pray.”
Prayer opens the soul to God’s Love;
making us able to receive the sacramental
graces, and to bring His Love to the world.
So prayer cannot be reduced to something
mechanical or automatic, but must move
the heart of the person saying it and the
Person receiving it. Our prayer must call
down the Church - triumphant, militant and
suffering Church. It must invest and
involve the entire universe; it must place
man in the bosom of God.
Only in prayer will you be close to
me and my Son.” Therefore, outside of
prayer we will not be close to them, but
will remain distant, closed up in our egos
and our problems, and unable to harvest
the true greatness and beauty of life. Close
to Them we shall see how brief this life
is, that is, we shall have the wisdom to re-
dimension those expectations and hopes
which are founded exclusively on man and
human science, and we shall understand
how time is a gift of the Lord. We will
“Young people, I invite you to seek the
Lord every day, for all He desires is
that you be truly happy. The recital of
the Rosary can help you to learn the
art of prayer with the same simplicity
and depth of Mary.” Benedict XVI
Sept.-Oct. 2006 - Echo of Mary Ass., Admin. Bessica, PO Box 47, I-31037 Loria (TV), Italy. Yr 22 #5
Ph/fax 0423-470331 - E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net- A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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stop expecting from the world that which
can be found in God alone.
“In our hearts will be born the
desire for heaven.” Then, everything will
be put back in its proper place, according
to God’s design. “Joy will begin to rule
in your heart and prayer will begin to
flow like a river.” In God everything is
natural, because our nature is divine. When
everything in our lives is oriented to God,
the peace and joy that come from the living
waters of His presence in us is stronger
than life’s ups and downs. Our prayer,
then, will be words of praise and
thanksgiving. “In your words there will
only be thanksgiving to God for having
created you, and the desire for holiness
will become a reality for you.” Holiness
is life in God, and if we – in every
circumstance – are able to always praise
and thank God, then we are already in Him,
and sustained by His holiness and grace.
Thank you, Mary, for your words of life
and grace, and for your humble and
tangible presence in this blessed land; for
the warm embrace in which you hold us
when we contemplate your messages.
N.Q.
Pope Contemplates
Holy Face of Christ
“Your face, Lord, I seek. Hide not your
face from me” are the words of a psalm
that express the profound yearning in every
man to see God, face to face, already here
on the earth; a yearning to know the
Unknowable, to discern the Unfathomable.
And guess what? The eternal God, out of
love for His beloved creatures, took a
human face.
The Lord didn’t want to remain
anonymous, but wanted to be seen, and not
only by those of his time. Through some
mysterious event the image of Jesus has
remained impressed on a cloth, as in a
photograph, to be seen by people through-
out the course of centuries. One
immediately thinks of the Holy Shroud of
Turin which was his burial cloth and in
which is impressed his mortal
body and the signs of his
Passion. But there also exists in
Italy, at Manoppello in the
province of Chieti, a cloth on
which is impressed the Lord’s
face. This image corresponds
precisely to the marks on the
Holy Shroud of Turin, however
the expression is that of a living
man, with open eyes.
Authentic veil of Veronica
It is said that a woman by
the name of Veronica wiped the
face of Christ on His way up Calvary,
resulting in an image of the divine face
being impressed on the linen cloth. In the
year 1300, the first holy year, the Veil of
Veronica was exposed for veneration by
pilgrims in the Basilica of St. Peter in
Rome, but for unknown reasons the Veil
went missing; then, after a series of
donations it ended up in the convent of the
Capuchin Friars of Manoppello, a little
town in the Appennines of Abruzzo.
Scientific research
Scientific research confirms the
authenticity of the relic. Recent exams by
high definition digital photographs and by
ultra-violet rays confirm that in the fibres
of the Veil there is no presence of colour,
which means that it has not been painted
or dyed; and other sophisticated techniques
have shown how the image on the Veil is
the same on both sides of the cloth, as in a
slide.
500 years of devotion
Exactly 500 years ago, in 1506, an
unknown pilgrim brought the precious
linen or byssus to Manoppello. It was soon
placed by the Capuchins in a case above
the main altar. Today the faithful celebrate
with gratitude the 500
th
anniversary of this
precious relic and the grace given to all
who venerate it.
Heinrich Pfeiffer, professor of
iconography and history of Christian art
at the Gregorian university, affirms that
even in the early centuries the Veil was
considered not a human work of art. He
also affirms that this sacred image was
the model for the later representations of
the Holy Face, including the portraits
painted in the Roman catacombs during
the IV century. The German nun, Sr.
Blandina Paschalis, expert iconographer,
has proved the truth of her assertion that
the face of the Holy Shroud and that of
Manoppello match perfectly.
Pope: “pilgrim amongst pilgrims”
Pope Benedict XVI paid a private visit
to the Shrine of Manoppello to pay homage
to the holy relic, following an invitation by
the Archbishop of Chieti, Mons. Bruno
Forte, on the occasion of the fifth
centennial celebrations. Sr. Ana Simic, our
representative, was present: “Simon Peter
who was following .. went into the tomb ..
and saw the linen cloths on the ground,
and the cloth that had been over his head”
(Jn 20:6-7). Today, the Peter of our times
came to see and venerate the linen cloth
that was on the head
of his Teacher and
Lord. This present day event of
grace called to mind that
episode of the Gospel and has
renewed our love for that
Christ of the inscrutable Face,
who alone revealed his total
love that conquered death. The
beautiful refrain sung by the
assembly (translated, goes
something like): “Oh Holy
Face of Jesus, beauty that has
ravished my heart, impress
yourself in me so that when you
look at me You will see
Yourself.”
It was beautiful, edifying and very
moving to see the Holy Father fix his eyes
on those of Christ. It was the gaze of
someone in love; that of a true disciple for
his Teacher. His remaining in prayer before
the holy Face, so loved and sought after,
was a message for us all, and an invitation
to contemplate and to hold our gaze on
Jesus. Pope Benedict confirmed his
brethren in the faith through his
contemplation. It was assuring to see that
his words were confirmed by his deeds.”
Who seeks his face?
“Those who meet Jesus, who let
themselves be attracted by him and are
prepared to follow him even to the point
of sacrificing their lives, personally
experience, as he did on the Cross, that
only the grain of wheat that falls into the
earth and dies, bears much fruit,” said the
Pope in the Shrine at Manoppello. “This is
the path of Christ, the way of total love
that overcomes death,” and those who
take this way, “live in God already on this
earth, attracted and transformed by the
radiance of his Face.”
His death, we add, was not able to
cancel the traces of Christ on the earth,
traces that after 2000 years still speak to
us of Him. They tell us of His humanity;
they reveal to us His face of love and
goodness so that we too can try to be
similar to Him.
It was very encouraging to see a Pope
kneel before a relic, to confirm that
popular devotions are not fruit of legends
or fantasy, but are rooted in the history of
the pilgrim Church who continually seeks
His face to adore; a Church that wants to
find Him and adore Him. “In order to enter
into communion with Christ and to
contemplate his Face, to recognize the
Lord’s Face in the faces of the brethren
and in daily events, we require ‘clean hands
and a pure heart.’ Clean hands, that is, a
life illumined by the truth of love that
overcomes indifference, doubt, falsehood
and selfishness; and pure hearts are
essential too, hearts enraptured by divine
beauty,” said the Holy Father.
“Seeking the Face of Jesus must be the
longing of all of us Christians,” he
concluded.
Stefania Consoli
Families Meet in Spain
We had the joy of being visited by the
Holy Father! He came to prepare us for
the prayer vigil that was to be held on the
9th July during the fifth World Meeting
of Families at Valencia, city of the Arts
and Sciences. Spanish families were invited
to pray the rosary in the plaza. The wonder
of this Rosary, prayed together by so
many simple folk who wanted to place
their lives in the hands and heart of Mary,
was indeed moving.
The entire meeting marked a moment
of exceptional grace able to transform
persons, cities and nations; and we give
thanks to God for having honoured us with
this visit by the Holy Father in a country
like ours, which today is so much in need
of grace and transformation. Our people
bear within them the seed of God’s love,
but today it is being suffocated! Let us
pray that this wave of grace tied to the
visit of the Holy Father may change many
hearts in Spain!
The Pope became more familiar to us
as we listened to his talk, so clear,
profound and serene. He reminded us
parents that “each generation, all
parenthood and every family has its origin
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in God, who is Father, Son and Holy
Spirit.” Thus we understood the holiness
of our mission: the family as a small
tabernacle where God is made present
through the love expressed by the spouses
for each other and for their children. When
the spouses let themselves be loved by God
and they correspond to this love, the quality
of love in that house is lifted up, because
they will tend to love not with one’s limited
human love, but with the love of God.
The Pope also reminded us that: “Faith
is not merely a cultural heritage, but the
constant working of the grace of God who
calls, together with our human freedom,
which can respond or not to his call.” And
whether one responds or not, Christian
parents are all the same called to give a
credible witness of their Christian faith and
hope, so that God’s call and the good news
of Christ will reach their children with the
utmost clarity and authenticity.
A cafè to promote vocations!
My husband Oscar and I had the
opportunity to run a “vocational café”
(Café Vocation.com) as a part of this
Meeting for Families. The coffee house is
a relaxed place with live music and free
internet access; a place where one can
meditate on one’s calling in life, or in other
words, on the plan that God has for each
of us in this life, or in different words again,
on one’s happiness.
Next to the area where the café was
located, we set up a chapel, and in the
chapel the Most Blessed Sacrament was
perpetually exposed, in the certainty that
He would know best how to illuminate the
thirsting hearts of the thousands of youth
that visited the café. Many priests listened
to confessions for hours, as well as giving
counsel to those who perhaps for the first
time were inquiring into their life’s calling.
Now we must pray that they might find
the answer.
The many hours spent working on this
project were compensated by the presence
of grace: the chapel of adoration was
always full; and people had to line up to
confess. Seeds were being planted; the
thirst for God was re-awakening. There
were even some conversions, such as with
the sound technician. At our first meeting
we didn’t get a good impression of him...
and it turned out that he didn’t either of us
(he confessed this to us later). It so
happened that when we explained to him
that the groups couldn’t play for more than
20 minutes because there had to be space
for testimonies, and that the volume could
not be very high because people in the café
had to be able to hear each other talk, he
thought he’d not accept the job.
A man who had been far from God for
many years returned to God because of
his work in this café! He rediscovered the
joy of feeling loved by the Lord. The most
moving thing was the look on his face: in
the beginning it was rather lifeless and
tense, as though life had worn him out. At
the end of the week he seemed
transfigured, full of love and the joy of
God. Without a doubt, all the work and
effort put into organizing the café was
worth it just for this soul!
Georgina Trias, Translator, Spanish Echo
News from the Blessed Land
Mladifest - Youth Festival
beyond capacity, and the sun setting in its
glory! Each holy Mass is so priceless; it
truly makes up for whatever discomfort
one might have experienced to get here,
including voyages of 20 and 25 hours. And
what joy and what strength to see how
everyone around you is participating in a
living liturgy of salvation: not passively,
but by allowing oneself to be moulded and
transformed by God’s grace which is
given freely; by the heavenly gift of a God
who abides in our midst and who reveals
Himself in the face and voice of the brother
or sister next to you.
What joy and what strength to relive
the most discreet and the greatest miracle
of Christian life: God who descends from
heaven into the bread on the altar around
which are gathered today 30,000 youth.
Then, from the alter He descends even
lower to visit us: He descends amongst
us, and disappears in our midst. Carried by
the hands of the priests He walks on the
gravel, amongst the benches, the sweat, and
the tiredness of the people to reach each
one singularly and visit each one
personally, and to touch each one there
where he most needs to be touched by
God’s love.
And it is as though prayer is rising
from a single body. Each soul the Lord
encounters is lifted up in prayer, and
receives His blessing.
“Come sanctifying Bread. Come and
transfigure us. Come and live in us; come
and transform us; come and make us holy.
Come now in this brother in front of me;
come and fill that gaze so full of desire;
come with your seal to protect forever the
hope shining on that face… Come in this
sister, come and dwell in her. Come in this
friend; come so he can take You back with
him. Come and accept the renewed
offering of my life…”
The awe and gratitude shines on faces;
and joy explodes into a song of
thanksgiving that rises up to heaven as one
voice. Jesus is with us to sing the praises
of the Father, happy to be here amongst
His beloved creatures.
What joy and what strength… Yes, it is
so: joy gives strength! It is vital strength
that cannot be contained but must be
shared; it is courage for the future; it
disperses doubt and defeats the burden of
fear and indifference.
Without a doubt holy Mass is the most
important part of every day, and the most
appreciated, even if not everyone is aware
of this. I think only in heaven will we fully
comprehend the salvific value of every
prayer offered up round the Eucharistic
sacrifice of the altar. Only in heaven shall
we know what ample spiritual realities are
moved and healed because of this prayer.
Here then are the young people who
now return, each to his own reality. Here
they are, as they leave and are dispersed.
With their prayer they will remain united
and strengthened, and be spiritually
sustained by each other. Each has his own
dose of daily difficulties to deal with,
One Body
A song, warm and rhythmical, rises
from their joyful hearts, as also their minds
and bodies praise the King. In dozens of
different languages and prayers, with
hundreds of different colours and
thousands of voices, there is something
new and unique going on in Medjugorje.
It cannot go unnoticed by anyone, but
rather, the life it brings urges you to come
and be part of this one body, which is the
springtime of the Church, and the mystical
body of Christ.
It is the Youth Festival… in its 17th
year! Each year, though, is new, with new
grace, new people, new prayer and new
enthusiasm. Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path, is this year’s
theme. Young people – of different extract
and from different countries - came in
response to an irresistible call. All young
people have in them an authentic seed of
goodness, as well as a desire for the truth,
generating an inner quest in their souls.
Young people have the capacity to
recognize what is real and authentic, and
are thus able to leave everything for it: sell
everything and depart, and offer
themselves
So here they are singing and praising
the Lord amongst these barren hills and
trodden stones. Here they are adoring
Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of
the Altar. A chosen people, they are true
Christians who live the faith, who know
how to see in that piece of bread the
Saviour, the Redeemer of mankind. And
they are ready to adore Him and give
everything to testify that He is God, true
God, the only God.
God is the centre; He alone the motor,
the source and the purpose of so much
joy. They know this and are ready to
witness, and this alone endows this
gathering with something that goes beyond
passing enthusiasm… Jesus too is present,
and He gathers all together under His Name,
and they become one body, His Body.
The very first evening the 50 nations
represented were presented one by one,
each one cheering and happy to be here.
When Br. Jean Paul, practically the only
pilgrim present at Medjugorje from
Lebanon, came to the microphone, loud
applause filled the entire plaza.
The void created by the absence of
Lebanese pilgrims was greatly felt, because
a group of pilgrims from Lebanon have
been attending for some years. “We didn’t
forget you, dear people of Lebanon,” said
Fr. Marijo at the beginning of Mass. “We
had set aside a frequency for you (for the
simultaneous translations). Your flag is
flying along with the others. If this year
the frequency destined for you is unused,
there is nonetheless another frequency that
can reach you because it knows no barriers.
It is the frequency of prayer, and of love.”
What joy and what strength come from
participating at holy Mass – the plaza full
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Echo 189
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including many other young people who
do not know and do not accept this God
who is so humble and so immanent. Each
has the desire and the certainty, however,
that he is a child and a witness of Mary
for these times.
F.C.
Now over to them
Susanna, 25 years old:
This is the third time I have come to
Medjugorje. The first time friends had
brought me. It was a wonderful
experience, and I discovered a new
dimension of the faith. I think if Mass at
our parishes were accompanied by singing
like this, and with the same degree of
enthusiasm, people would live Mass in a
much better way.
This time the pilgrimage wasn’t a group
experience. I came on my own, and I’m
living it on a more intimate
level. Being here has
awakened in me a desire to
know more, to seek more
profoundly and to find some
answers to my life that I
know only God can give.
Christopher, 20:
This is my sixth time at
Medjugorje. Coming here
means getting away from the
world, and being given a
spiritual overhaul. Each
time I go back home the smile on my
face lasts about a month… so
Medjugorje is something that leaves its
mark.
Each year is a different experience;
something that makes you want to come
back. I don’t think I have as much fun as
I have here in any other place. It’s so neat
to see so many others of my own age all
here together to witness that Our Lady
appears, and to rejoice in her real presence
which touches the heart. This is
Medjugorje.
Anna Delia, 23:
This festival has helped me overcome
definitely my sense of solitude. I have never
felt this comfortable in the crowds at
concerts; crowds always made me feel
lonely… but not this time! I met people
who have truly given so much!
Just like every other believer, I knew
that we had to work to build the good in
the world… and here I saw the commit-
ment of so many others, and I felt called to
give my participation. I have finally
understood that it is possible.
I had fun taking photos, but even this
was not without meaning. I saw and
understood how beautiful the human
person is, in all his various expressions –
of joy, inward attention, even sadness. I
noticed a particular sweetness in the
persons that I have never seen anywhere
else. One wouldn’t think that guys “like
this” could actually exist. My only fear is
not being able to pray again the way I have
prayed here.
Giacomo, 16:
I didn’t know anything about this place,
and when I read the messages of Our Lady
I didn’t believe them. I thought they were
all alike, so I came here to Medjugorje
without expectations; and I found
something fantastic. Today in the western
world, to pray is almost a crime, instead
here I feel the desire to pray, and after
having prayed five rosaries with the others
I still feel like praying more, on my own.
Here I seem to be my real self and to enter
into communion with the others. It is like
taking off your heavy armour and being
truly free; and things take on meaning.
All this recharges you for your return
to Italy, and you face life in a new way,
knowing that everything you do is not an
end to itself, but can have a spiritual
meaning. To be able to tell others about
this place it isn’t enough to visit the
visionaries, know the messages, or hear
certain testimonies. Here there is an
atmosphere, something that goes beyond
and involves your whole self. It can’t be
explained; besides,
there is nothing more
complex than under-
standing the faith.
I will surely return
and try to bring others
back with me, because
it isn’t easy to transmit
all this with just words.
Yes, I hope to make this
place known, also and
especially for those
who derided me when I
said I was coming here.
I would like to be able to pull those people
out of what they call life but in reality is
mere survival. I am grateful to Mary for
having brought me here at 16 years of age.
Fr. William, 27:
This event at Medjugorje is always an
intense moment of interior life also for us
priests. We need to return to the essential,
that is, to Jesus in the Eucharist and in the
Word. We should always do this, but these
(extra occasions) are always very special.
Here, Our Lady calls also the young people
to the essential, to build up a life according
to the heart of God and the Gospel.
For the civilization of love to be born
young people need to see that there are
persons who want it, others like them.
Today, the response of the world weakens
this enthusiasm, and discourages. To
experience the Church alive gives a
shaking to your faith.
This type of
encouragement is able to awaken
surprising resources of enthusiasm and
generosity within young people. The
motto we chose for our little group in this
pilgrimage is precisely: “As long as there
is Christ there is hope.”
Alex, 20:
This is my first time at Medjugorje. If
I had to say why I came, I think it’d be to
find the truth. Last year I went to Cologne,
and I think the atmosphere is similar, but
here there is more spirituality. You can tell
it’s a blessed land. The best moment was
night adoration. I don’t have the right
words to say what I felt, but I got to the
church when it was nearly dawn; I was
tired and sleepy, but then I began to pray
and I felt something inside of me, and the
tiredness left me instantly. It was a
beautiful experience.
Francesca, 21:
The first time I came here it was
because the pilgrimage was the prize for a
literary contest. Today I am here for the
fourth time. This time confession was so
different for me, thanks particularly to the
preparation our parish priest gave us. I
understood what it meant and how to
prepare for this sacrament. I hope that the
group that has formed with this pilgrimage
might continue to get together for
community prayer. We are already
organizing when to come again, and we
want to bring new people with us.
AND:
Barbara, Stefania, Carla
: The days
here have allowed us to see how the voice
of Christ is really present in the depths of
hearts, and how His word is unique and a
certainty for your life. Together with
thousands of young people we have
contemplated the face of Mary, she, who
from heaven keeps us close in her loving
embrace and calls us her children
Alex: Medjugorje is able to touch the
heart of anyone who visits this blessed
land. Here, the voices of Mary and Jesus
are louder and clearer. Each person here
is given something precious to carry in his
or her heart and transmit to others, to keep
it and make it multiply in one’s own life.
Fr. Vincenzo: To come back to
Medjugorje, to the source of my priestly
vocation is to fall back into the arms of
Mary, Queen of Peace. She takes care of
the true needs of her dear children. To be
here amongst so many young people who
desire life, truth and a healthy prospect
helps you rediscover how only God can
fulfil one’s expectations. Young people are
the hope and the future, and here you can
see how their hearts are touched by the
superabundant joy for a church called to
be the good of the world. It is both
fascinating and contagious to see how so
many youth respond with joy. Their
testimony reminds us of Mary’s “yes” to
the will of God.
Silvia: Thanks to this pilgrimage I have
discovered the value of prayer, especially
what Our Lady calls prayer with the heart,
which is to simply and sincerely dialogue
with Mary and Jesus, and thus be able to
offer up with joy each little gesture of daily
living which at the same time abounds in
such grace that we are often unable to see
it. Thank you Mary!!
Message to Mirjana, 2 Sept. 2006:
I gather you under my motherly mantle
to help you come to know the love of
God and His greatness. My Children,
God is great; His works are great. My
Children, do not deceive yourselves
that without Him you can take even a
single step. Go and witness to His love.
I am with you. I thank you.
4
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An Interview with
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic:
Talking about the Festival…
by Alex Borlini
How did the
Festival first
begin? What was
its aim?
This festival began
17 years ago when
Fr. Slavko began to
help a group of
young people
u n d e r s t a n d
Medjugorje, also
through the help of songs and personal
testimonies. I wasn’t here then, so I can’t
tell you more about that. It was certainly a
group of young people who had been
touched by Medjugorje and by Our Lady’s
presence and by her messages. So,
gradually, this festival, this international
meeting grew.
What form of publicity was used?
Publicity is spontaneous. It’s a miracle
that the young people come. We do not do
any form of propaganda. A young person
comes for the festival and goes home and
tells others about it. We do not publicize
the festival on the television or radio.
How has it evolved over the 17 years?
The numbers of participants have
increased. The format has remained more
or less the same. At the first festival there
were about 100 youth from 4 or 5 different
nations. In this festival people from 42
different nations have registered, and it is
calculated that 30,000 people are present,
and that is without counting those who
have not registered, particularly for Mass
which is the core part of the day.
Confessions can be heard in 19 languages
and the Mass is translated into 15.
Have you encountered any difficulties?
Even the organization is practically
spontaneous… a miracle. It has been held
for many years and some things are run-
of-the-mill. The Cenacolo Community
helps us with its day of witnessing and
especially the recital based on the Gospel
that the youth prepare every 2 years. Then
there are testimonies of conversion
experienced at Medjugorje, or in one’s life
as a Christian: by nuns, lay people, priests,
youth.
What do you think the young people who
come here seek?
We have noticed that the young people
at Medjugorje appreciate Adoration the
most, especially when held late evening
with the silence of the night, and the songs
and meditations that help them descend a
bit more deeply into their hearts. This is
so even though some of the songs are
rather noisy.
What can you advise the young people
who come to the festival?
To let themselves be guided; to
surrender to Our Lady – she will lead them
to safety, to Jesus. For me this is a miracle.
I am just a servant of God’s work. It is
Our Lady who organizes the Festival, and
she also uses us, her children, to help in
this organization.
What would you like to tell those who
haven’t come here yet?
To come, at least out of curiosity. And
to see. There are many who come out of
curiosity; this too can be a good beginning.
One’s attitude then changes into something
more profound and more serious – it
happens within the soul. Unfortunately,
there are many prejudices about
Medjugorje, and much ignorance and a lot
of wrong things are said about Medjugorje.
Apart from the great gift of Mary’s
daily presence at Medjugorje, are you
aware of any special signs or miracles?
At the beginning of the apparitions,
during the first months, there were many
visible signs, because the visionaries asked
Our Lady to do something so the people
could believe them. Besides this, as a priest
in the confessional I am a witness to
miracles that cannot be seen with the eyes.
The events of the people who confess here
are miracles that cannot be documented.
It is written in their hearts.
Can you tell us something about your
life?
I was born in 1969 and I came to
Medjugorje for the first time as a pilgrim
in 1983. It is thanks to Our Lady that I
became a monk. I am not a visionary; I
have not seen Our Lady. However, she can
be “seen” in a way that is even better than
the way the visionaries see her. The
visionaries see with their eyes, but in
prayer one can encounter her even more
profoundly. Many pilgrims err when they
seek from the visionaries that which the
visionaries cannot give them. The
visionaries are not the ones who push the
buttons. They are merely witnesses, and
recount what they hear and see, simply,
and with their humanity.
Did you always believe in the
apparitions?
When I was 14 I came with my mother
on pilgrimage to Medjugorje; we walked
50 km. My faith grew gradually; I didn’t
immediately believe. I don’t tell pilgrims
that they have converted, but that they have
been reawakened. One then begins a
journey, and has all his life to grow and
convert. The important thing is to be
reawakened, and not be asleep or even
comatose.
What would you like to tell priests who
still doubt?
I do not try to convince anyone.
What would you advise them?
To come here at least out of curiosity.
I first have to convince myself. There is
no need to believe in Medjugorje. There is
need to believe in the Gospel. Medjugorje
is Gospel. Our Lady here has said nothing
new. She has added nothing to the Gospel.
All her messages are Gospel, only that they
are told with simplicity, in a motherly way.
I always say that Medjugorje is not the
purpose, but a means that God gives us.
One can come close to God even without
Medjugorje. But why not use all the means
God gives us? I see Medjugorje not as a
phenomenon or something sensational, but
as a person called the Virgin Mary. One
cannot know the Virgin Mary by talking
about her, but only if we go down on our
knees, and humbly do as she says.
I, too, meet some priests (that make
me) shake my head: I see a wall around
them. It also takes grace to understand
Medjugorje. For me Medjugorje is not a
problem but a mystery. All God’s works
are mysteries; and this mystery provokes
priests and also the Church. For sure, just
as Jesus was a stumbling block, so is
Medjugorje a stumbling block for many.
For me, to be against Medjugorje is a sign
of spiritual death. Being neutral is honest.
To not know something and be against it is
inadmissible. Remaining silent when you
don’t know something is honest.
What is the situation from a canonical
point of view, with regards to the Holy
See?
John Paul II said many times (in
particular to many bishops) that he was in
favour of Medjugorje, but he, too, had to
respect the Church and her structure. For
as long as the apparitions are underway,
the Church will not proclaim herself. The
Church does well not to say anything; but
she also speaks with her silence. If there
were something heretical or strange that
led people away from the Gospel the
Church would not waste time to speak up.
She has spoken up in many cases which
involved strange phenomena.
The Church is prudent and does well
to remain silent. The Church will speak
when the apparitions are finished.
(However), I am sure of one thing: that
it is not important that I be alive or dead.
The Church proclaims a saint after the
death of that person, but he or she was a
saint also before. I don’t see the urgency
for a Vatican decree; it is urgent, instead,
that I convert. This is important.
Message given to Ivan, 8 Sept.
2006:
“Dear Children, In these years that I
have been with you I have sown the
seed. I desire, my Children, that you
grow from this seed to become my
flowers. Be my flowers, spread the
messages, pray for peace, pray
together with your Mother for peace.
Thank you, my Children, for
responding to my call!”
5
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Mirjana to the Youth:
Our Lady Counts on You!
“It is a great honour for me to be here
with you young people. I want so much
to find the right words to tell you how
much our blessed Mother loves you! On
the 2nd of each month I receive Our Lady’s
apparition and I pray with her for non-
believers; or as she calls them: those who
haven’t yet known God’s love. She asks
us, especially from you young people who
are the future of the world, to especially
pray for these people, because it is due to
their unbelief, or ignorance, that there are
so many negative events in the world. Our
Lady asks us to love them, and not to judge
them; she asks us only to pray, and give
them the example. When we pray for
them, we pray for ourselves, for our own
future and that of our children.
Many pilgrims here at Medjugorje think
we visionaries are privileged and that God
listens more readily to our prayer. This
couldn’t be more false! Our Bl. Mother
does not prefer some children over others.
We are all her children, and each of us
have different missions: we visionaries to
give the messages, you, chosen as Our
Lady’s apostles, to take these messages
to the world. This is what Our Lady told
me in her message of 2nd January 2006:
“Dear Children, I have called you. Open
your hearts; allow me to enter, so I can
make you my apostles.” So we all have
the same importance for our Mother.
As I look at you all my heart is filled
with joy. I see flags from Croatia, Italy,
Austria, Slovakia… it is so wonderful, but
I think we are all gathered here under one
flag: the flag of our Blessed Mother. We
came to her, bringing our weaknesses,
sadness, and desires; our gratitude.
Let me tell you about an experience of
mine. One day I was going up Mt Krizevac;
you know it’s not an easy climb. In front
there was a small group of Italians; six of
these were carrying up a disabled person
on a stretcher. I was behind them, and I
noticed how happy they were. A while later
a group of Americans arrived, and without
many words (all they said was “change!”)
they took this young Italian on their
shoulders and continued carrying him up.
A little later, a group of Germans arrived,
and without many words, they took this
young man on their own shoulders and
continued to carry him up. So that young
man was carried up Mt. Krizevac by the
hands of people from all over the world! It
is this that our Mother desires of us, for
our hands to be united hands.”
Editor
Message to Mirjana, 2 August 2006
Dear Children, in these restless times I come
to you to show you the way that leads to
peace. I love you with immense love, and I
desire that you too love one another, and
that you see in everyone, my Son, who is
immense Love. The way to peace passes
only through love. Give your hand to me,
to your Mother, and allow me to guide you.
I am the Queen of Peace. Thank you.
Vicka’s Smile
by Francesco Cavagna
I remember well the first time I came
to Medjugorje. It was in 1997 and I was
14 years old. That pilgrimage marked a
turning point in my life. It gave my life a
definite direction. The journey, of course,
is gradual, but at different moments I have
been asked to give my response to God,
and in total freedom I renewed my “yes”
each time.
I was a boy at the time, and when I
first came here to this blessed land I had
no particular expectations or biased
opinions of any type. As I look back I think
I was simply led here by Our Lady. She
took me by the hand and led me towards
the God of Love. Till then I knew God
only by hearsay, but I was soon to be
seduced by Him.
The experience at Medjugorje that
touched me the most was the talk by
Vicka, and her unforgettable smile. I
remember it as though it were yesterday.
There was something profoundly
authentic in her smile that drew me
,
arousing in me something I can now name:
desire for God. Many are the pilgrims that
experience this when they listen to Vicka’s
testimony, and through her simple witness
she continues to express a joy that goes
way beyond human joy. Her smile reveals
the reality of heaven.
I recall that when she had finished
speaking, everyone moved towards her,
wanting to greet her and shake her hand. I
stood back for a moment, then I joined
the crowd. Vicka took their hands and
smiled at each person, and when it was
my turn she looked into my eyes with love,
smiled and greeted me. It was special,
however, I also know that God’s love for
each of us is unique. Though he sees the
whole universe and loves all creation, He
also loves each person as though there
were no other.
A Miracle called Love
Each of us yearns to be unique and
special in the eyes of someone, because
God impressed deep in our hearts the desire
to be loved. A soul begins to convert when
it ceases to seek the attention of others,
and when it opens up to the special love
that God has for each of us and chooses
the Supreme Good: “My God, and my
Everything.” Isn’t this perhaps the greatest
miracle of Medjugorje? Twenty-five years
later - even though many things have
changed - this unique and precious miracle
is still repeated: people discover that they
are loved by God and decide to believe in
it and to follow the crucified love of the
Triune God.
This love is revealed to us when we see
it embodied in our neighbour, in those
who know how to communicate it
gratuitously with their own life. These are
real apostles, authentic witnesses that Our
Lady is calling for these times. And we
are all called to become bearers of grace.
Mary calls each of us without distinction.
It is a natural movement
where the rule is written
within us: when we are
filled with God’s love, we
can (and must) communi-
cate it to others.
Importance of a Smile
I know that each person who offers
himself totally to God inevitably bears
within himself this joy which must flow
out onto others; this interior smile that is
reflected outwards in ways and shades that
vary. It is the smile of those who have
experienced God’s Love and know how
to live for Him every day. It is the smile of
those who surrender themselves totally,
who have total trust in the One who desires
our good. I don’t mean a superficial smile,
but the smile of those who, upon
encountering suffering, know how to bring
hope, who don’t flee from sorrow, but
share in another’s suffering because they
know it is merely a means and that it will
pass.
This smile shines on the faces of those
who have encountered the Risen One after
experiencing suffering, the cross and
death, and thus become bearers of the
good news for all those they meet. It is
the humble smile of those who expect
nothing for themselves, and it is for this
reason that they are free to give, and to
give unconditionally. It is the smile of those
who experience daily that there is more
joy in giving than in receiving; of those who
renounce self and live for God and
neighbour. This smile is not founded on
material joy, it does not depend on passing
emotions, but is solid because it comes
from a heart that knows it is loved, and
because it is founded on the “rock” of
incorruptible and eternal love.
Transmitters of Joy
Back from Medjugorje I kept the
memory of this smile in my heart. It
accompanied me when I returned to school
and was immersed in my daily routine.
There was a new desire within my heart
that made me reject the idea that my life
could continue as before. The fullness of
the joy and the true life that I had
discovered had to be donated and
communicated, and I felt the grace of God
within me that was changing my thoughts
and my gaze, that also touched the people
I came into contact with.
I feel certain that it is this smile that
shines in every authentic witness of God.
I am certain that each person, even the
least sensitive, is able to recognize the
authenticity of this smile. It is the same
smile I found on the faces of the brothers
and sisters of the Kraljice Mira Community
into which the Lord has called me. It is
the smile I have promised to always have
on my face, for I feel it is an integral part
of my vocation. It is this smile that I wish
to donate to the world, to each person, in
whatever situation, so as to announce
without shame: “The Lord loves you! Let
yourself be loved.”
6
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Translators of Echo at
Medjugorje
United in Offering of Self
This is the fifth consecutive year that
translators and close collaborators of the
Echo of Mary from various nations have
met at Medjugorje in the House of the
Kraljice Mira Community to grow in
spiritual communion and to share their
experiences. From sixteen different
countries we were drawn by the special
grace of this jubilee year which marks
twenty-five years of Mary’s presence.
It is a powerful grace that penetrates
and transforms, that doesn’t let you depart
without having changed you, because this
grace brings down the light of God which
shines in your darkest corners, allowing
you to see where the worldly spirit and
your own egoism have taken hold and
impede you from walking in the truth and
full light. It is a grace which provokes you
and calls you to change direction. It exhorts
you to straighten up your path to walk
towards the essential, and
this essential is the
encounter with Jesus, who
is love incarnated,
immolated lamb, living
Word of the Father.
Once again Mary used
the pastoral experience of
Fr. Tomislav Vlasic to help
the participants of the
retreat to advance along this path. The path
was not new, but this time the decision to
journey along it together was even more
intense and meaningful. We of the family
of Echo felt called to offer our life to
Jesus through Mary for the salvation of
the world. We understood that only if we
live the offering of self in communion with
each other, can the Echo be an authentic
vessel of Mary’s thought without
orchestration or manipulation. Only if we
let ourselves be stripped of our egos to let
God act in us are we able to transmit His
love directly, without mediation or external
interests.
Through prayer, singing, conversation
and celebration of the Eucharist, we felt we
were one heart and one soul, despite the
profound cultural and linguistic
differences. We understood that only
opening ourselves up without reserve to
the action of God in us, can He break down
our inner and outer barriers and make us
the living Church: one heart that beats in
the same Body.
It is with this food that we wish to
nourish Echo; not with nice words born
of theories, but with the wisdom born of
complete donation to Mary who continues
to call us here from Medjugorje. The call
is to be leaven amid our own people, not a
mass without form or substance. The call
is to be a grain of wheat that is able to die
under the earth from which we come to
bear fruit in due time according to the
designs of the Father. It is not for us to
know when or what; we must only offer
ourselves and remain united in the Heart
of the Virgin; to be brothers and sisters able
to love one another with the Trinitarian
Love, with the love that never ceases to
flow, with the Love that generates and re-
generates untiringly, with the Love that
purifies, lifts up and introduces (us) into
the risen life. We are called to be brothers
and sisters able to give one’s life for each
other to sustain all those who await benefit
from the Echo. The way is long and
narrow, but also beautiful because it takes
us to the heart of the Trinitarian Mystery.
This experience of the Easter Passover day
by day leads to the freedom that is born of
dying to self. We of the Echo journey along
this path together, but we would like to
explain it to you who read us. Therefore,
from now on we shall publish a column
to explain the foundations of this call,
and try to trace out the journey for those
who wish to undertake it.
May our Blessed Mother bless our new
year of activity and everything it brings.
Stefania Consoli
Mary calls her children to offer
themselves completely
This was our first time at the retreat for
Echo in the Kraljice Mira Community
house. We participated as
collaborators of the Hungarian
edition of Echo. This year for the
fifth time representatives of
various nations gathered together
to reflect on the mission of the
Echo. In Hungary on the 13
th
of
every month we pray before the
Blessed Sacrament in the Holy
Family Parish Church of
Budapest so that Echo might transmit the
graces of Medjugorje ever more
effectively. At the end of Adoration 3,000
copies of Echo are distributed amongst the
faithful.
At the retreat we came to see how
Echo is a fraternity united by the
unanimous decision to respond to the call
to enter and become part of God’s love, and
that this is the meaning of our life. We
would like to proclaim this path to our
Hungarian brothers and sisters. The
essence of this call is that through the total
donation of one’s own life (in union with
the fraternity) we experience amongst
ourselves the love of God, making us able
to share it with others. This is possible only
if we hand over our lives to Our Lady
sincerely and completely.
It is with gratitude that we remember
the days spent here; they have given new
strength to our mission. With the help of
our Heavenly Mother we would like to
become living members ready to serve the
fraternal communion amid the Hungarian
people.
Anikò e Kinga
My impression: I think whoever
comes to Medjugorje is particularly aware
of Mary’s presence. This year at the
international retreat held in the KM House,
I saw in the gazes, behaviour, and words
of those present a note of novelty,
tenderness, simplicity, and playfulness, like
that of a sweet breeze gently brushing your
face. It seems to me that these might be
Mary’s own qualities, and that perhaps she
had distributed them amongst the children
who had come here to encounter her.
Pietro Squassabia
Impossible Height
Just as at previous meetings for the
Echo of Mary translators and close
collaborators, held every year at
Medjugorje, once again this year we
climbed Mount Krizevac and meditated the
Way of the Cross. I knew from the
beginning that this year I would not do
this climb because of my failing health and
back problems. I did want, however, to
accompany my friends to the foot of the
mount and join in their prayer before the
climb. I had thought that at the most I
would make my way – with the help of a
strong stick – to the first, then maybe even
the second station where Jesus takes the
cross upon himself. In the back of my
mind there was the hope that I might make
it to the third station to meditate on the
Lord’s first fall. I knew that I would not
even attempt to make it to the fourth station
where the beautiful bronze plaque depicts
the encounter between the Lord and His
mother.
The memory of the steep climb, the
rough, sharp rocks, and the difficulty of
finding a foothold was still fresh in my
mind. I had decided that after those first
few stations I’d go back down, and that
even if the descent is more difficult than
the climb, other pilgrims on their way back
down would surely have offered me their
help.
The climb began. As I started off with
my group I was quickly joined by one of
the priests of the Community: Fr. Lino. He
firmly took my hand into his and I
immediately felt the effectiveness of his
strong support.
“We adore you Christ and we bless you,
because by your Holy Cross you have
redeemed the world.” We prayed for our
peoples; our nations, so that Christ’s
redemption could conquer in our life and
in that of our fellow countrymen. The
group remained united, and we advanced
with more or less difficulty. My priest
friend firmly held my hand and we reached
the second, then the third
station. Here I sat down; I was
tired and feeling the heat. “I’m
staying here now; I’m not
going any further,” I said. ”You
will make it,” was the response
I heard as that strong hand took
mine and encouraged me to
continue. We continued the
climb, and each time I felt I should stop
he encouraged me with the same words:
”You will make it!” How did he know?
The peak cannot be seen during the
climb; only bushes, trees, and rocks – the
same ones used by the faithful of the area
over many years, and now by millions of
pilgrims over the last 25 years since the
apparitions. The earth is red, the rocks are
rugged, and there are many loose stones
that make the climb more difficult. Looking
upwards in search of the peak makes your
head spin; better to keep your eyes on the
track in search of a suitable foothold.
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing
cause you fear; God alone suffices!” At
each bronze plaque to mark the stations,
7
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Echo is distributed freely. It fully
relies on readers’ donations. Thank
you for helping us to help Mary call
her children around the world.
How to donate:
1. Personal cheques payable to “Echo of
Mary.”
See address below.
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3. If convenient by bank transfer into one
of our accounts. Specify payment for Echo
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in favour of MPS New York, Acc. no.
544778865, for Further Credit: Ass. Eco di
Maria, Acc. no. 33753011
the group stopped for a brief meditation –
offered by one of the members of the
Community, followed by the refrain of a
song, like the one sung to the words of
St. Teresa of Avila (Nada te turbe). The
wonderful view: St James with its twin
spires, the cultivated plain so pretty amid
the surrounding hills, and the wonderful
hue of the Medjugorje sky, speaks of God’s
Love. His caress is also felt in the gentle
breeze and the feeling of family, and the
memory of the way He suffered so terribly
out of love for us, each of us. And here I
was, being taken up this way by a priest
friend. How could it be? I felt no pain in
my back, yet at home I often feel sharp
pain, making me go stiff as I wait for the
pain to stop. Yet on the Via Crucis of
Medjugorje I had no pain! And what to
say of my arthritic knees? How could I
have made that climb?
We reached the concrete cross, which
the inhabitants of Medjugorje built in 1933
to honour the death of Jesus 1900 years
previously. I felt deep gratitude, and
wonder. We remained on the peak to pray
in silence for 15 minutes. Each of us has
something to say to the One whom our
heart seeks: words of gratitude, friends and
situations to commend, the offering of
oneself. What a gift altruistic friendship is!
It wasn’t easy for Fr. Lino; I understood
that it was hard on him. “Piano, piano!”
he urged me to go more slowly, and in my
egocentricity I thought he was worried for
me; but then I understood that he felt the
burden: “Sweden is heavy” was his
comment. I carried up my nation; and the
spiritual situation of Sweden isn’t easy. I
understood that he had helped me carry
my burden. The way Jesus does. I also
believe that he wasn’t totally alone, but that
the entire “Kraljice Mira Community”
(Queen of Peace Community) had carried
us all even before we arrived, and during
the retreat, and even on our journey back
home. This Via Crucis on the mountain –
the ascent and descent – that I would not
have been able to do on my own, was a
very intense moment in which I strongly
experienced the generous love of others;
of those who live in the wake of Jesus.
Christina Agnani
(Translator for Echo, Swedish edition)
Seeking the Heart
(simple thoughts)
Maybe we tend to say: I’ve been able
to do this or that, or: this work is mine,
revealing a note of self-satisfaction, or even
pride. So I ask: how will we see our life
when it nears its end? I think we’ll have a
serene and luminous recollection of what
God has done in our lives and in the lives
of others, and for us this will certainly be
reason for joy and peace. Perhaps we shall
have a distant and even indifferent
recollection of what we will have done on
our own; and we may also regret not
having the ability and possibility of doing
what we were once able to do. God,
however, does not so much seek our doing
– for in an instant He can create the
universe – but He seeks our heart, for it is
there that He finds His delight.
Jesus also seeks our heart so He can
abide there with the Father: “If anyone
loves me… my Father will love him, and
we shall come to him and make our home
with him” (Jn 14:23). How consoling and
how sweet are these words of the Lord!
There is no doubt that He truly loves us.
They show how much He seeks out our
friendship and our heart!
Our Lady has often shown us how
the heart counts more than our doing.
During the Annunciation, the Angel did not
ask Mary to do many things, but to open
her heart to the Lord. When she gave her
consent she generated the Son, and thus
became the Mother of God. At the wedding
feast of Cana, Mary didn’t do many things;
she only revealed her concern for others
to her Son, and when she told the servants:
“do as he says,” (Jn 2:15) Jesus worked
the miracle and turned water into wine.
And what wine! And what abundance!
Mary knows perfectly well that our
life is sterile if Jesus does not live in
us; she knows that all our action is useless
if He is not with us. Perhaps it is for this
at Medjugorje that she speaks to the heart,
and teaches prayer with the heart, for she
wants to mould our hearts, and make them
ready to receive the Lord. She knows, in
fact, that Jesus is the humble One, and
that He does not enter a heart by force, or
oblige a soul to receive Him.
Mary also knows that it is difficult
for us to open our hearts to Jesus, and
for this she comes to our aid. She also
knows that Jesus seeks out all hearts,
without distinction: the strong ones and
weak ones, for He is Love. She also
knows that Jesus has a preference for
those hearts which are formed by her,
prepared and adorned by her, because she
knows His tastes; she knows how He likes
hearts to be. He loves to see in man the
beauty of the Mother, and be able to
perceive her scent.
So let us accept Mary’s invitation
to open the heart, and with her
powerful help Jesus will come to dwell
in us. If we do this, our work will bear
fruit because it will be blessed by the Father
who will see in our works the ways of His
Son; He will see that our actions are a little
similar to the ways of Jesus, and He will
see in us a little of His own Son, and He
will be pleased. We will thus be given
wings to fly to the help of others and to
contemplate heaven; we will be given a
keen eye to see the needs of our brethren
and to help them; and also to clearly discern
good from evil.
Our “doing” will thus bear fruit,
perhaps a hundred-fold, and we will do
wondrous things because it will no longer
be our own doing, but that of Jesus acting
in us. And we will understand the words
of the psalm: “If the Lord does not build
the house, in vain the masons toil” (Ps
127). We can therefore say, along with the
bride in Song of Songs: “I sleep, but my
heart is awake” because the Groom, Jesus,
never sleeps, but ever watches and works
in us, even while we sleep.
Pietro Squassabia
NEW postal ADDRESS:
Echo of Mary Assoc., Admin. Bessica,
P.O. Box 47, I-31037 LORIA (TV), Italy.
Ph/fax: Italy +39 (0)423-470331
ECHO ON LINE: www.ecodimaria.net
e-mail: info@ecodimaria.net
Prayer Programme at Medjugorje,
winter schedule: Starting 11 September
2006 the winter schedule of the prayer
programme will begin. The prayer of the
Rosary in the Parish church begins at
5pm, Holy Mass at 6pm, followed by the
usual prayer programme according to the
day of the week. Eucharistic adoration
on Wednesdays and Saturdays begins at
9pm. Rosary on Podbrdo and the Way of
the Cross on Krizevac begin at 2pm.
This photo (a detail of which was
published in Echo no. 187, p. 6) was shown
in Italy for the first time on the television
program Excalibur. 7.11.02. Vicka said she
recognized Our Lady in the figure of the girl
behind her.
12 Sept. 2006, Holy Name of Mary
God bless you and keep you.
May his Holy Face shine over you,
and may He give you his infinite mercy.
May God’s gaze be upon you,
and may He give you peace.
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