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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 193 (May-June 2007)

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Our Lady's message of 25 March 2007
"Dear Children, I desire thanking
you with all my heart for your Lenten
renunciations. I desire urging you to
continue to live fasting with an open
heart. By fasting and renunciation, my
Children, you will be stronger in the
faith. In God you will fi nd true peace
through daily prayer. I am with you, and
I am not tired. I desire bringing you all
with me to Heaven, therefore, decide
every day for holiness. Thank you for
responding to my call."
Fast with an Open Heart
At the beginning of the f ifth week
of Len
t, Mary opens her message with a
clear and explicit note of gratitude: Dear
Children, I desire thanking you for your
Lenten renunciations.
The time of Lent
is a time of special grace; it is a time of
liberation from everything that weighs down
on the wings of the faith, and on our hearts,
making us close up within ourselves. Lent is
a time of purifi cation, conversion and return
to the Father.
Our human nature, marked by sin, leads
us to dissipation, dispersion, and failure,
and not only if we leave the Father's house,
but also if we live and work there (cf. Lk
15:11-32). Simple respect of the law doesn't
guarantee integrity; instead, we must let
ourselves be touched by his Love, and let
it penetrate and be absorbed by our beings
till it is Christ-Love who lives in us (cf Jn
17:26).
To fast is to renounce everything that
doesn't help lift us up to God; everything
- big or small that tends to put ourselves in
God's place or in our neighbour's place. The
prophet Isaiah, after listing the contradictions
of a merely exterior and formal fast, says:
"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose
the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs
of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke? Is it not to share
your bread with the hungry, and bring the
homeless poor into your house; when you
see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide
yourself from your own fl esh?"
(Is 58:6-7).
Is it not this, the fast with an open heart
that Mary asks of us? Is it not sobriety in our
eating habits, and in our lives? combined
with a certain austerity in our behaviour,
and purity of thought? Is it not care for the
substance rather than for the appearance?
and living the beatitudes, and fl eeing from
what displeases God? (cf. Lk 6:20-26).
"My Children, through fasting and
renunciation, you will be stronger in the
faith," says our Blessed Mother. While
the goods of this world (or rather what the
world considers to be goods) are pursued
through hoarding, if not more or less
illegal appropriation, faith grows through
renunciation, and emptying of self. Faith is
removing ourselves from the centre, to put
God in the centre. Faith is emptying self to
allow God to fi ll us. When I am weak, it is
then that I am strong
(2 Cor 12,10).
Our faith allows God to possess us, and
the stronger our faith is, the fuller is God's
possession, the more is the fullness of the
Spirit in us, which we perceive as a soave
and profound peace: that peace that the
world cannot give.
In God you will find true peace
through daily prayer. Pray always, without
ever tiring not just as a duty, but as a
response to God's Love. Even as we work,
we can keep our hearts open to God,
invoking Him with merely a sigh of love,
by saying or thinking His Name: Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus... or that of Mary; or with brief
invocations to the Holy Spirit. Speak to Him,
or listen... always with an open heart. Mary
is with us, and she is not tired
. So how
could we tire of Her? Let us decide every
day for holiness, and She will bring us
with her to Heaven
. It is her desire; how
could it not also be ours? Let us heed the
calls of our heavenly Mother, and through
her intercession, we shall rise at Easter, and
every day, in Christ our Lord.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
Mother
of the Eucharist
Our Lady's message, 25 April 2007:
"Dear Children, also today I call you
anew to conversion. Open your hearts.
This is a time of grace; while I am with
you, take advantage of it. Say: `This is the
time for my soul.' I am with you and I
love you with immeasurable love. Thank
you for responding to my call."
Time for My Soul
In those days John the Baptist appeared,
preaching in the desert of Judea, saying:
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand!"
(Mt 3:1). Jesus also calls us to
conversion with similar words at Mt 4:17
and Mk 1:15. The conversion to which
Mary repeatedly calls us is inner conversion,
conversion of the heart. Her call to open our
hearts
is necessary for our salvation.
It is not a question of believing that God
exists (Satan knows this too, but he certainly
did not convert); and even believing in God
is not suffi cient if it doesn't change our life;
and we can even be pious and "religious"
without being converted.
Conversion is fer vent desire to
contemplate in Christ the Face of God, to
discover in every heart at least one heartbeat
of His own divine Heart, and in every gaze a
spark of the Fire of the Holy Spirit.
But conversion is above all a work of the
grace of God who makes our hearts return
to Him. The strength to begin anew is given
us by God. The human heart is converted
by looking upon Him whom our sins have
pierced (cf. CCC 1432).
Conversion is fruit of the encounter with
Jesus Christ: God who became Man for our
sake. Conversion is life in Christ; journeying
along the roads of our life alongside Him,
bearing our cross with love and for love's
sake. All of us, converted or not, shall fi nd
ourselves sooner or later at the decisive
crossroads, where we shall be asked to
choose Jesus or eternal death. The Galilean
victims of Pilate killed in the Temple, or
those that died beneath the fallen walls of
the tower of Siloam were not, Jesus tells us,
more sinners than anyone else, but He adds:
"if you do not convert you will all perish as
they did"
(Lk 13:1-5).
We cannot convert after our death!
"This is the time for my soul," Mary invites
us to say to ourselves. Our own lifetime is
the only time in which we express our desire
to be saved. Not only, but this time of ours
is also blessed in a special way by God. It is
time of grace because Mary is with us; it is
a time of grace for as long as she is with us.
Let us profi t by it then, take advantage of it,
and earnestly pray from the heart for God's
grace. Today it will be easier for us because
May-June 2007 - Echo of Mary, Admin. Bessica, P.O. Box 47, I-31037 Loria (TV), Italy. Yr 23 # 3
Ph/fax +39 0423-470331 - www.ecodimaria.net- A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
193
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of Mary's presence: she will assist, protect
and lead us to the wedding feast that is
ready. The King is in a hurry to replace those
who declined his invitation, and sends out
his servants to summon everyone, bad and
good alike, to present themselves in wedding
garments (Mt 22:1-14). The parable speaks
of servants giving wedding garments to the
invited; whilst for us it is Mary who weaves
and gives us the prescribed garment with
love so great its depth, height and breadth
cannot be measured!
May each of us heed her call, and
dedicate time to the soul (both Benedict
XVI and Our Lady continue to urge us to
read the Word of God), and in prayer let us
ask for the strength and capacity to entrust
ourselves and our lives to the Father without
reserve and without fear, but rather with
joyful trust as she and her Son did.
N.Q.
Benedict
XVI
to Youth:
"Do not be satisfi ed!"
Young people were a priority in the mind
of his "beloved predecessor," and also in
Benedict
XVI
's heart young people occupy
a privileged place. He often addresses to
them words of Truth, which like the rays of
the sun, disperse the fog of ideas imposed
upon them by the world. Young people in
their tender years - like fl owers that have
just blossomed, so fragile and delicate - are
exposed to the aggression of a system that
challenges, provokes and strips them, and
denies them the answers to even their most
basic questions. "Dear young friends, how
important it is today to not merely let
oneself be taken here and there in life;
not to be satisfi ed with what everyone else
thinks and says and does..."
said the Pope
to nearly 50,000 young people gathered in
Rome for the World Youth Day (this year
celebrated on a diocesan level).
The bewilderment often seen in the eyes
of the young - though it may be covered up
by an ostentatious and false security - is
clearly fruit of an absence: the absence of
Jesus Christ, because when Jesus is present
many questions find their answers, and
above all, His Love impedes other poisonous
"loves" to pollute sensitive young souls.
"What does it actually mean to follow
Christ?", the Pope asked in his homily. "It
is an interior change of life," he replied. "It
requires me no longer to be withdrawn into
myself, considering my own fulfi lment the
main reason for my life. It requires me to
give myself freely to Another - for truth,
for love, for God who, in Jesus Christ, goes
before me and shows me the way. It is a
question of the fundamental decision no
longer to consider usefulness and gain, my
career and success as the ultimate goals of
my life, but instead to recognize truth and
love as authentic criteria. It is a question of
choosing between living only for myself or
giving myself - for what is greater. And let us
understand properly that truth and love are
not abstract values; in Jesus Christ they
have become a person
. By following him,
I enter into the service of truth and love. By
losing myself I fi nd myself."
(Editor)
Holy Father Turns 80
Pope Benedict XVI turned 80 last 16
April, the day after the fi rst Sunday after
Easter which became the Sunday of Divine
Mercy under John Paul II to fulfi l a request
that Jesus asked of the Polish nun St. Faustina
Kowalska. And it was precisely in the sign
of Mercy
that Benedict XVI celebrated his
birthday, as he revisited the eight decades of
his own life in the light of God's goodness,
in a sun-lit St. Peter's Square. "In these
days illumined in particular by the light of
divine mercy, a coincidence occurs that is
signifi cant to me: I can look back over 80
years of life," he said.
With emotion and gratitude the Holy
Father spoke of his life lived in the shadow
of love of those to whom God entrusted
him, and more recently of St. Peter.. "
`Come and hear, all you who fear God, and
I will tell what he has done for me'
(65:16).
I have always considered it a great gift of
Divine Mercy to have been granted birth
and rebirth, so to speak, on the same day, in
the sign of the beginning of Easter. Thus, I
was born as a member of my own family
and of the great family of God on the same
day," said the Pope who was baptized the
day of his birth.
At a time when the family is seriously
threatened by the mentality of this century -
ever more oriented towards non-commitment
in everything - the Pope is grateful for
having been given to experience the love
of a family. "I have been able to experience
what "family" means; I have been able to
experience what "fatherhood" means, so
that the words about God as Father were
made understandable to me from within; on
the basis of human experience, access was
opened to me to the great and benevolent
Father who is in Heaven.
"I thank God for enabling me to have
a profound experience of the meaning of
motherly goodness, ever open to anyone
who seeks shelter and in this very way able
to give me freedom. I thank God for my
sister and my brother, who with their help
have been close to me faithfully throughout
my life. I thank God for the companions I
have met on my way and for the advisers
and friends he has given to me.
"As I continued on my path through life,
I encountered a new and demanding gift:
the call to the priestly ministry... With the
increasing burden of responsibility, the Lord
has also brought new assistance to my life. I
repeatedly see with grateful joy how large is
the multitude of those who support me with
their prayers; with their faith and love they
help me carry out my ministry; I see that
they are indulgent with my shortcomings
and also recognize in Peter's shadow the
benefi cial light of Jesus Christ."
Expressions of affection from all over
the world crowned this day of festivity
which also included a concert of classical
music in his honour, which clearly fi lled him
with happiness. Pope Benedict, in fact, has
a passion for music and enjoys playing his
piano which went with him to the Vatican.
"As I look back in life I thank God for
having placed music in my life: a companion
for the journey which has always given
me consolation and joy... I also thank
the people who since my early childhood
helped me to love this fount of inspiration
and serenity."
And on the same note the Holy Father
expressed his acknowledgement for "those
who unite music to prayer in the harmonious
praise of God and of His works. These
(people) help us to glorify the world's
Creator and Redeemer."
Ed.
World Congress on Mercy
From 2 - 6 April 2008, the fi rst World
Congress on Mercy will be held in the
Vatican, announced Cardinal Schnborn. He
said the opening date of the congress was
chosen to coincide with the 3rd anniversary
of the death of John Paul II who often called
on the faithful to become "witnesses of
mercy." In 2002, talking of Divine Mercy JP
II said: "Apart from the mercy of God there
is no other source of hope for humanity."
St Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938),
known as the "apostle of Divine mercy," was
canonized by John Paul II on 30 April 2000.
Card. Schnborn said: "Many believers took
it as a sign that John Paul II died on the vigil
of the Sunday of Divine Mercy."
The congress will be an interreligious
event: "... a bridge to other religions, but
also to agnostics and atheists." Orthodox
Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow is enthusiastic
about it, said Rev Chocholski, secretary
general of the congress. (Website I World
Congress of Mercy: www.dsfi .fr/wacom )
WORDS FROM BENEDICT XVI
Divine Mercy Sunday
"God's mercy accompanies us daily.
To be able to perceive his mercy it suffi ces
to have a heart that is alert. We are
excessively inclined to notice only the daily
effort that has been imposed upon us as
children of Adam. If, however, we open our
heart, then as well as immersing ourselves in
it, we can be constantly aware of how good
God is to us; how he thinks of us precisely
in little things, thus helping us to achieve
important ones."
Hell Exists and is Eternal
"God's mercy and love are great, but
those who reject him should know that hell
exists and is eternal,
" said Pope Benedict
XVI. "Only God's love can change from
within the existence of the person and,
consequently, the existence of every society,
because only his infi nite love liberates from
sin, the root of every evil," he said.
"Christ came to tell us that he desires
all of us in heaven; and that hell, which
isn't spoken about much in our time, exists
and is eternal for those who close their
hearts to his love,
" Benedict XVI said. The
church reminds people of heaven and hell in
order to stress that "there is a responsibility
before God, that there is a judgement, that
human life can either turn out right or come
to disaster." The Pope emphasized that
God also offers mercy and forgiveness for
sinners. God represents justice, but he is
fi rst of all love, he said. "If he hates sin, it
is because he loves each person infi nitely."
(25 March 2007)
2
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Our Lady of the Pillar patron of Spain
"You haven't heard of Nuestra Seora
Del Pilar!? But she's the Patron of all
Hispanic Peoples! .. So, tomorrow we shall
take you there." It was during my visit to
Madrid at the beginning of spring that I
thus came to know of this story which
is both fascinating and important. It is
important because the shrine came to be
after an apparition of Mary 40 years after
Christ's death (40 AD), that is, while she
was still alive.
Mary's fi rst apparition
Tradition has it that St. James the Greater
(son of Zebedee, brother of John, senior in
age to James, the brother (read cousin)
of the Lord) was in Caesarea Augusta
(present-day Saragossa) evangelizing, but
the Apostle was feeling disheartened by
the failure of his mission and was about
to return to Palestine when one night, on
the banks of the river Ebro whilst in deep
prayer, he received a visitation by the
Virgin Mary. She appeared before him in
body and soul, being carried by Angels on
a column/pillar.
Most important Marian Shrine
The apostle built the fi rst chapel of what
was to become one of the most important
Marian Shrines in the world: the Basilica/
Cathedral of the Pilar
(pillar). What has
a pillar got to do with it? This also was
carried to Saragossa by the Angels. The
Blessed Virgin stood on top of it and asked
the Angels to allocate it, thus indicating
to James (known as Santiago: Sant Iago
= Saint James) where he should build the
temple. Mary was taken back by the Angels.
One of them, however, by divine will was
to remain as custodian of the holy location
from which copious graces began to fl ow.
The pillar remained in place as proof of her
visitation and as a pledge of her protection
over Spain.
Kissing the pilar
For centuries, rivers of pilgrims have
continued to visit the Shrine of Saragossa.
Many have desired kissing the alabaster
pillar used as a base for the image of the
Blessed Virgin. The value is not in the object;
it is the faith with which one approaches it
that makes it precious.
Woytjla, the pilgrim
In November of 1987 John Paul II was
extremely happy to make a pilgrimage to
the land of Spain where he was much loved.
In particular his pilgrimage took him to the
Basilica of Saragossa. On that occasion
he said: "Today I have fulfi lled my desire
to kneel, as a devoted son of Mary, before
her holy pillar... The Christians of Spain
have seen in this pilar a clear analogy with
the pillar that guides the journeying of the
people of Israel towards the promised Land
(cf. Nm 14:14), that accompanies the new
Israel, the Church, in her pilgrimage towards
the promised Land, Christ the Lord. Our
Lady of the Pillar is a radiant beacon... The
Pilar is considered a symbol of the Spaniard's
strong faith, and is also an indication of the
journey that leads to knowledge of Christ
through apostolic predication."
Hispanidad Day
The feast day of Our Lady of Pilar
is 12 October, a national feast day called
hispanidad day (also known as Columbus
Day) celebrated by Hispanics the world
round. Under the Catholic King of Aragon
and his wife Isabella, devotion to Our Lady
of the Pillar took on national importance;
and Christopher Columbus, in his travels,
spread the devotion to other lands. We
know, in fact, that one of his ships was
named Santa Maria; and in a surprising
coincidence, the date he discovered America
was precisely the feast day of the Pilar: 12
October.
The great miracle
In 1640, 19 year old Miguel Juan
Pellicer fell off the cart he was driving,
and the wheel ran over his right leg beneath
the knee. The wound was such that it was
necessary to amputate the leg. The young
man, a devotee of the Virgen of Pilar, had
entrusted himself to her intercession, and
after the operation, had remained a certain
period of time at the shrine to beg for alms,
given that he was no longer able to work
and did not want to go home to be a burden
on his poor parents at Calanda. Whilst here,
he used the oil from the votive lamps of the
shrine when this was changed to rub on
his wounds, even though the doctor had
advised against it.
However, the miracle happened after
he had returned home to live with his
parents. One night, after he had entrusted
himself to the Virgin, he fell asleep, but
he was woken by his parents who for fi rst
had noticed what appeared to be two feet
poking out from the end of the bed. What
an incredible surprise for them all: Miguel
had two legs again! Not only, for his wasn't
just a new leg, but was the very same leg
that had been amputated two and a half
years previously, bearing the scars of old
wounds including the surgical removal of
a cyst. The case had obviously stirred up a
lot of attention, and a board, which was set
up to study it, asked that the amputated leg
which had been buried in the cemetery of
the hospital be exhumed, however, the leg
was no longer there.
News of the great miracle quickly
spread throughout Spain, and motivated
the construction of the present-day basilica
over the original chapel. It is visited by
thousands of pilgrims from every social
class. Here, where the Patroness of Spain
has been present for two thousand years,
they fi nd consolation, love and blessings.
S.C.
Woman clothed in the Sun
simple thoughts by Pietro Squassabia
On summer nights we can observe the
moths as they are attracted to the light, and
are often trapped by it. We too, are attracted
by the lights of the world and are often
transformed by them. True light, however,
comes only from God. Jesus Christ is the
true light; He is the Light. And it is to this
light that our souls feel drawn, that our souls
yearn to bathe in.
We are all called to become light. The
woman clothed in the Sun did just that (Rev
12:1): she let herself be so attracted by the
Sun that she was completely absorbed and
transformed by it. The Sun is Jesus, who
came as a rising sun (Lk 1:79). This sun
shines always, and though it appears to die
on the day of Passion, when darkness came
over the whole land
(Lk 23:44), it is not so,
for darkness can never defeat the light.
Who is this woman clothed in the
Sun? Mary, Mother of the Church is the
Woman clothed in the Sun; the Woman who
by the Sun was made totally pure and holy,
all alight with the fi re of love. Her Lord made
her like that. Mary is not the Sun, but she
shines like the Sun because she let herself
be lit up completely by the Sun. It is for
this that to see Mary is to see Jesus; and to
speak to Mary is to speak to Jesus, and for
the same reason, when Mary comes (to us)
she brings us Jesus. She always points us to
Jesus. Her greatness is in this. She is totally
on fi re with Jesus and with His love, to the
point of becoming another Jesus.
How could we not be stunned by such
a creature that possesses the beauty of
Jesus, that is, of God! What a gift you have
given us, Jesus, in Mary. Blessed be the
Cross from which you said: "Behold you
son," and as you indicated John you meant
all of us. How can we thank you for giving
us such a Mother? Perhaps the best way of
saying thank you, is by making ourselves
completely available for You, by entrusting
ourselves entirely to You, as she did.
We praise you, Mary, for the way you
bear the Light. We praise you because you
always offer us Jesus, who is the Light. How
could we fear the darkness of the night with
a similar splendour! Mary, make us always
able to receive the Light so we can become a
little like you, for you are the most beautiful
example of what Jesus' transforming love
can do. That way, we too will look a little
like Him and be able to transmit the Light
to others, to our brethren; and then perhaps
we will experience the splendour of Paradise
already on this earth.
q
3
Echo 193
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Be Holy as I am Holy!
"Be Holy as I am Holy!" : mere advice,
or a command? Is being holy something we
can do on our own? We, expert in all that is
technical; can we make ourselves become
holy? The idea of making oneself holy is
illusory. The Lord desired sharing this gift
with us. Holiness is such a precious gift,
and without it, it is impossible to enjoy the
eternal goods of Paradise. God wants his
children with him, He wants them to be
eternally happy. For this reason He sent His
Son who let His heart be pierced so we could
receive the Holy Spirit.
It is the Spirit that makes us holy, and
this is the secret. To receive the Holy Spirit
doesn't take any particular ability, but just
an open heart, and the willingness to receive
His vital breath. He helps us to prefer virtue
over vice by educating our will and purifying
our heart. This is the only way we can hope
to become holy, that the way to Paradise can
be opened for us.
Gift already granted
We received the gift without cost at
our baptism. We don't need to "procure"
the Spirit. He already lives in us. However,
we have a great responsibility in the use of
our freedom by which we can choose God
and allow Him to act in us or prefer
other types of spirits. But we know where
these others spirits will lead us. There are
heaps of spirits, that come from below and
that lead us downwards by awakening in us
bass appetites, such as hunger for power,
supremacy, control, money, pleasure, self-
satisfaction. All these spirits are at the service
of our ego, ready to satisfy our every selfi sh
thirst. However, they distance us from the
living water that gushes forth from the Truth,
from the side of Christ that was opened by
the lance, and which is continuously opened
on every altar so that we can receive His own
holy and immaculate life.
"Unless a man is born from above, he
cannot see the kingdom of God," Jesus
told Nicodemus (Jn 3:3), but faced with
the Pharisee's bewilderment, He adds: "...
unless a man is born through water and the
Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
This re-birth in us came by virtue of our
baptism, but to stay alive in God without
falling into the trap of sin that keeps us held
"down", we need to "choose" God's Spirit,
to decide for God.
Resolute decision
At Medjugorje, Our Lady has told us
many times to "decide for God; place God
fi rst" which means to let Him be part of
our day-to-day living; allow His thoughts
to penetrate ours and guide them towards
concrete choices. With the many options that
come in a day we will know which ones to
prefer, and with time the Will of God will
take the place of ours as we allow God to
take hold of the helm.
Haven't we begun the day by placing it in
God's hands, and found ourselves obstinately
wanting to do something and not being able
to, so that in the end we have to give up the
initiative, and then discover that the end
result is just right, and the way undertaken...
unthinkable? These "inspirations" might be
silent for the mind, but for the ears of the
soul and the intelligence of the heart they
are loud and clear, and they are fundamental
for directing our steps towards divine
Wisdom. To be aware of them, however, we
need to silence the other voices that crowd
our minds: the voices of our human logic
and reasoning, of our worries and fears, or
uncertainty, and of our pride and arrogance
which make us always want the last word.
There are also holy words that need silencing
words picked up perhaps from a book, or a
philosopher, or even our own charismas (real
or presumed) that stop being
gifts when we use them for
our own purposes, and
instead become disastrous
for everyone.
Brave the void
We need to create
inner silence, and have the
courage to face the void
where there are no words
or interior discussions;
and overcome the fear of the lack of sounds
(today's society bombards us with noises, and
many prefer to let themselves be deafened
by this noise rather than feel the sting of
solitude). If we create the right conditions,
through prayer, the Spirit will speak to us,
but not with human words. His whisper is
"as light as the breeze," the prophet Elijah
tells us. So let's fi ght the temptation to try
interpreting it, and let our spirit free to
receive the impulses and act consequently...
or in other words, simply obey.
To do this, however, we must be docile,
which means willing to change our plans
if necessary to adhere to a different will.
We also need to fulfi l the act with facts by
using our faculties generously and with trust,
without calculating what we might gain. It's
like handing over a blank cheque to the Holy
Spirit, and in exchange you receive a good
that you still cannot see, though you know
you will receive it. God doesn't leave us in
a void, or abandon us to fumble in the dark
and we must believe this! He will come
with the promised good, but only when we
shall be ready to receive it. So it is necessary
that we begin by investing in God's time,
which we know "isn't our time," and wait.
And in the meantime we will learn patience.
Patience is fundamental in the journey of
holiness.
Dare to be holy
It is fundamental that we audaciously
follow God's requests, which at times might
seem to surpass our strength and disposition
("Love each other as I have loved you,
forgive your enemies..." How many
situations in our life that seem impossible!)
It is then that we must invoke the gifts of
the Holy Spirit because without His power
certain things are beyond us.
Divine power will respond promptly,
but God wants us to take the fi rst step, that
is, to exercise our will as a type of starter
engine for the action of the Holy Spirit.
This act of will, in all appearance a loss,
purifi es our heart and qualifi es us for new
steps ahead.
Self-entrustment helps avoid failure
At this point, let us suppose we have
done what we were meant to do, but with
zero results. We can now be discouraged by
it all, and we can decide to take the human
roads the wider ones where our human
justice fi nds plenty of room for expression.
But this is what the world does. What is
being asked of us, instead?
The remedy comes from the act of
unreserved self-donation to God. This is
the capacity of putting ourselves aside
and accepting to be losers, defeated and
humiliated. It also means to surrender up
the temptation to concentrate on
the humiliation we have received
by feeling sorry for ourselves, or
think we have been victimized. In
fact, these are like swamps with
quicksand that draw us down
into the spirals of self-pity and
depression.
Self-donation, on the other
hand, means to let it all go: both
the idea of the good fruits, and
the idea of poor results. Our only
response is to adore God, and
acknowledge His goodness and His lordship
and His love in our life. Here then, we have
the space where God's Spirit can now act.
In our nothingness His everything will be
made manifest, and that which only a short
while ago seemed opaque and worthless,
will suddenly acquire a new light that will
light up future horizons.
Consecrated to the All Fair (Tota
Pulchra)
If Jesus is in us, and if we allow Him
to act freely in us through His Holy Spirit,
we will begin to live out the Beatitudes (the
articles of the Chart of holiness), and they
will be woven into our day-to-day lives.
Be holy for I am holy! This will be easy
if we become wise, by consecrating our
entire day to Jesus and His holy Mother.
Consecrating oneself means to make holy
our every thought, action and reaction. The
act of consecration that we make must not be
just a prayer we recite, but the expression of
our will to sacrifi ce our own way of facing
the day. This is the meaning of holy: sacrifi ce
something to God so He can use it, in the
certainty that our sacrifi ce will not remain
fruitless. At the end of our life we will be
able to present to the Father in heaven a
basket overfl owing with fruits: abundant
holiness to thank Him for the gift of the
Spirit - who is holy and makes us holy.
Stefania Consoli
Message to Mirjana, 2 April 2007:
"Dear Children, don't be hard-
hearted towards the mercy of God,
who has been pouring out upon you for
so much of your time. In this special time
of prayer, permit me to transform you.
Help me, so my Son may resurrect in
all hearts, and so my heart may triumph.
Thank you."
Our Lady added, "Do not forget that
your Pastors need your prayers."
4
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Together with SR. HALINA let's take
a look at the little and big events of that
small village in Herzegovina where with
motherly patience and faithfulness and
after nearly 26 years Our Lady continues
to visit her children. Her children are those
who live in Medjugorje, those who visit as
pilgrims and also those whose pilgrimages
are spiritual because they are unable to
come here physically. Sr. Halina is a young
religious from the Czech Republic and a
member of the Kraljice Mira Community
based in Medjugorje.
Before and After Easter
Preparing for Lent
Medjugorje is more tranquil and quieter
in this Lenten season as parishioners and
pilgrims (not great crowds, but there are
some) take the time to look into their hearts
and seek personal conversion.
The particularly signifi cant time spent
preparing for the most important Mass of
the year (of the Resurrection) is indeed
important as it leads us out of the shadows of
death into the light of the life. So of course,
around the church people can be seen lining
up for confession
. It is notable that on the
faces of the penitents after their "encounter
with the just and merciful God" one can see
a renewed desire for God and a new joy born
out of trust and gratitude. "... open your
heart to God's mercy in this Lenten time. The
Heavenly Father desires delivering each of
you from the slavery of sin..."
(message of
25.2. 2007).
Evening Holy Mass is lived as a "breath
that blows away the ashes, lighting up the
fi re of divine life that desires running freely
in those with open hearts" with the help of
the readings and the Eucharist.
Many are the people who climb Krizevac
(the hill of the Cross) to pray and meditate
on the mystery of our salvation in a climate
of penance, and the people are notably more
serious, more silent and more immersed
in their contemplation. One can also see
in them a countenance of greater peace
and strength. "The two things for which I
reprehended my disciples were: fear and
sadness"
(anonymous mystic).
There are quite a few people who choose
to climb Krizevac in the early morning, a
time when nature is very suggestive with
its play of shadow and lights which seems
to invite us to lift our souls and hearts up,
encouraged by the awakening of creation as
the shadows of the night are dispersed by
the rays of the rising sun which bring their
light and warmth.
"Was it not necessary that the Messiah
should suffer all these things and enter into
His glory?"
(Lk 24:26)
18/03 annual apparition to Mirjana
This is defi nitely a very important event
for Mirjana and is often accompanied by
tears of joy, but also suffering. More than a
thousand pilgrims gathered round her this
year for the annual apparition of Our Lady
who promised Mirjana - on the day of her
last daily apparition - that she would come to
her each year on her birthday. This year, on
the occasion, Our Lady gave the following
message:
"Dear Children! I come to you as a
Mother with gifts. I come with love and
mercy.
Dear children, mine is a big heart.
In it, I desire all of your hearts, purifi ed by
fasting and prayer. I desire that, through
love, our hearts may triumph together. I
desire that through this triumph you may
see the real Truth, the real Way and the
real Life. I desire that you may see my Son.
Thank you."
Our Lady concluded with the precious
gift of her blessing, however, she emphasized
that it is only Her Motherly blessing and She
asked for daily prayers for those of whom
She said: "My Son has chosen and blessed."
Mirjana clarifi ed that she thought Our Lady
was referring to priests.
Annunciation of the Lord
After many days of intense rain a lovely
warm sun is fi nally able to shine on the hill
of our heavenly Mother, quickly drying
up the muddy path and making the climb
up easier for pilgrims on the day of the
Annunciation (26 March).
Mary's role as Mother is very clear at
Medjugorje. As the humble servant of the
Lord, the most important thing of her life is
and has always been God. Her sole aim is
to lead us to the Lord, and this is the reason
behind the atmosphere of peace here at
Medjugorje. The peace that the "Queen
of Peace" brings us can be expressed with
Psalm 131, which also gives us an image
of Our Lady's humility and desire to serve
God.
"Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my
eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great
things, nor with things too sublime for me.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul
like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on
its mother's lap, so is my soul within me."
Ever more pilgrims!
With Easter drawing close, the number
of pilgrims coming to Medjugorje grows
with every passing day, as though it were a
Jerusalem of our times. The parish church
can no longer contain the multitude of
people within its walls...
Holy Week
The way the monks of Medjugorje
generously remain available at the service of
the faithful and the pilgrims is truly worthy
of our admiration and gratitude. This place
has become a great confessional for broken
and humbled hearts endowed with sincere
repentance. Holy Masses are celebrated
continually for the crowds of people so
that everyone might have the chance to
participate with dignity in the life of our
Saviour.
"Offer your life at the foot of the cross,
as Mary did, and you will become a servant
of every man, a servant of love, a priest
for mankind."
These words from an Italian
hymn express well the present atmosphere
of Medjugorje.
Easter
"Wake up from your sleep, rise from
the dead, and Christ will shine on you"
(Eph 5:14)
Behold the power of the Risen Lord who
calls us, who calls us every day in every
situation of our daily lives. Behold the great
and Holy night...
The joy of Easter rings out in hearts and
every tongue sings "Regina Coeli laetare"
Queen of Heaven, rejoice! The Paschal
joy will accompany us for the fi fty days of
the Easter liturgy.
St. James Parish Announces:
The Summer Prayer Programme
schedule in Medjugorje began on May 1st.
The Rosary in the Parish Church begins at
6.00 pm; Holy Mass at 7.00 pm, followed
by the Prayer Programme according to the
day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on
Wednesdays and Saturdays is at 10.00 pm.
Both the Rosary on Podbrdo and the Way of
the Cross on Krizevac begin at 4.00 pm.
The First Aid Station of the Order of
Malta from Cologne (Germany) and their
associated volunteers resumed their annual
service in Medjugorje on the 1st May. They
will be at the service of the pilgrims and the
parishioners until 1 November 2007. The
Order of Malta invites any volunteers who
wish to be involved in this service to contact
them.
http://www.malteser.de
5
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Fr. Jozo: On your altar
place the Bible!
W h e n we r e a d
the Bible, the Spirit
and life of God enter
and act within us with
greater strength. The
reading of the Word
of God is one of the
foundations of the
spiritual life. Without
this foundation our
life will have fragile,
weak bases, and it will
be a useless, fruitless
life. Our Lady has already asked us many
times to place the Bible in a visible place
in our homes. That "visible place" is the
"family altar" in the living room where the
family reunites every day to relax, converse
and watch TV. We need to add to this list of
activities a new one: a Christian family must
have an "altar" around which it can gather
together every day to listen to the Word of
God and pray together as a family.
On that little table in your sitting room,
put fi rst of all a Cross: the Crucifi x, the
Teacher of love, from whom was born the
family as a Sacrament. The Cross teaches us
what love is. It says to us that love is giving
one's life for the others, sacrifi cing oneself
for the others; it says that love is forgiving
everyone, especially our enemies. Love
means to respond to the Father with the
Lord's words: "... not as I want, but as You
want!" (cf. Mt 26:39).
Next to the Crucifi x place a statue or
image of the Mother, the Blessed Virgin
Mary. "Behold your mother!" (Jn 19:27)
is the testament that continues throughout
history and into the future, because it
concerns each of us. We need to take the
Mother into our own homes, as without
her we cannot defeat the crafty enemy. And
together with Her the family will fi nd the
shortest way to God.
On your family altar place also the
family Bible, the Word of God. Each time you
take it from the altar you will be able to hear
the voice of the Father, just as the Disciples
heard Him on Mount Tabor: "This is my
beloved Son; listen to Him" (Mt 17:5).
On your altar keep your family Rosary
to be used by whomever leads the prayer.
On the altar place also some blessed water,
and bless your home and the family at least
once a week. We do it on a regular basis of a
Saturday, at the end of the week.
Place on your altar also your prayer
book and a candle. Light the candle when
you read the Bible
, for it is light for our path
in our faith journey.
To gather together each day around your
family altar is an important practice. Soon the
entire family will become aware of a strength
that keeps the family united and at peace.
This altar, even after you have died, will
remain as a sign for your children, and they
will hold it as an unforgettable experience
and certainty. They will always be able to
say to themselves that they know where their
parents received strength and found peace.
They will know that they too can follow in
the footsteps of their fathers.
(from a registration)
PRIESTS -
12th int'l seminar for priests
in Medjugorje 2-7 July 2007 with theme:
With Mary in the Upper Room waiting for
the Holy Spirit.
The preacher will be Fr.
Raniero Cantalamessa
. Subscriptions can
be sent to Marija Dugandzic at the email
address: seminar.marija@medjugorje.hr
or by fax +387 36 651 999.
Priests are invited to book their own
lodgings with families of Medjugorje,
and to inform us upon subscription of
the name, surname and phone number of
the hosting family. Those priests who are
unable to organize a lodging can ask us to
help them and should mention this in their
subscription. Cost of the seminar is to be
covered by fi ve Mass intentions.
A Late Vocation
Sr. Rita Marie Sofka, USA
In 1991 my father asked me to see a
video of MEDJUGORJE. I always loved
Our Blessed Mother and it was fascinating
to hear that she was appearing in this
country, and at the same time it bewildered
me that no priest I knew had ever spoken
about it. My father told me that it was a
protestant man who made the tape. That
evening there was a bad storm and I could
not drive back to my home, so I spent the
night at my parent's house. During the
night I really felt Our Lady's presence in
the room.
In 1993, after working 26 years, I got
laid off from the company. They gave me
a year off with a year's salary. The Sunday
after when I noticed that my parish priest
needed help I volunteered. The priest fi rst
asked me to come to daily Mass; then to
accompany him to visit the sick; then he
made me a minister of the Eucharist. He
later asked me to teach catechism to the
Confi rmation class, and the next thing, to be
a coordinator for Adoration. I signed up for
my hour, but then I kept going, and staying
longer: two hours, three hours, four hours...
My friends wondered what I was doing in
there, but I felt drawn to the Lord.
At the beginning of 1994 after a
pilgrimage in Venezuela during which I
experienced many extraordinary graces, I
joined two Rosary Cenacles, one of which
was a Medjugorje prayer group. In the
meantime I had started working again, but I
was much more interested by now in all that
was spiritual; my whole life was changing,
my interests were changing...
One night after a dinner with friends I
began to ask myself what it was that God
really wanted of me. In the months that
followed I had a lot of signs about religious
vocation, and I felt the Lord might have
been calling me, but this made me angry at
fi rst because I was 49 by then and I didn't
think anyone would take me. On my 50th
birthday, at adoration, I asked the Lord that
if it was true that He was calling me to the
religious life to give me one more sign.
That same evening I received my sign, and
YOUTH
- 18th international youth meeting
in Medjugorje 1-6 August 2007. Theme: As
I have loved you, so you should love one
another.
The Blessed Mother said on 25
March 2005: "Dear Children, today I call
you to love. My Children, love each other
with God's love. The Risen Jesus will be with
you and you will be his witnesses."
Married Couples
- 8th int'l seminar for
married couples, in Medjugorje 31 Oct - 3
Nov. 2007. Theme: Dialogue in the Family
"Dear Children, I beg you: begin to change
life in the family. May the family be a
harmonious fl ower which I desire giving to
Jesus."
Send subscriptions to same address
as above. Number of participants limited to
space. Please book latest by end Sept.
Seminars / Meetings at Medjugorje
a couple of weeks later, after I had said
yes to Jesus, I was offered a pilgrimage to
Medjugorje.
Whilst here I had the opportunity of
speaking to Fr. Slavko Barbaric; I told him
about feeling called to the religious life but
that I felt I was too old. He encouraged me
and gave me precious indications as to how
to fi nd the right community. He said: "If
you were dating three men and you wanted
to decide which man to marry, what would
you do?" I said: "I would spend time with
each of them to see if we were compatible."
He said: "With religious life it is the same.
There are three kinds of communities:
totally apostolic: they work out in the
world; totally contemplative: they pray all
the time; and the combination of the two.
So, where do you think you would go?" I
said: "The last one. I love people, and I love
the Lord." He said: "Then go back, visit the
communities that are contemplative and
apostolic. As you visit them, you will see if
you have something in common spiritually,
if you have this charisma. When you go to
the right one, peace will come over you."
Then, back in the US I learnt of a group
of Sisters whom I visited, but I soon realized
they were very New Age: they wore blue
jeans and didn't lead a community life.
Instead, I knew that I wanted to be in a
habit, pray the Rosary, go to Adoration,
and follow the Pope
. So it was when I got
to visit the Sisters of Life in New York that I
knew it was the right community. It was just
like Fr. Slavko said: the minute I entered the
door I felt this peace come over me.
My vocation is a gift. Our Blessed
Mother planted the seed; she truly guided
me to a right vocation. Sisters of Life
take a fourth vow: to protect life from
conception to natural death. We pray four
and a half hours a day. By our fasting and
our sacrifi ces, we can save babies. I always
wanted to be a mother, to have children. In
our community, we take care of pregnant
mothers, so I have babies around me all
the time! It is a spiritual motherhood!
Everybody has his own vocation. Marriage
is beautiful. But I found so much happiness
as a religious!
(Excerpt from Mir Information Centre
Me ugorje www.medjugorje.hr )
6
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Beyond Death
by Stefania Caterina
It may seem strange to ask why we
offer up our lives, what it is that urges
us to undertake this journey
. Starting
from my own experience I can say that the
donation of self begins with a sincere desire
to no longer live for self, but for God. The
true reason that urges a Christian to offer
himself as a "living sacrifi ce, holy and
pleasing to God"
(cf. Rm 12:1), should be
to allow God to live and act in and through
him. Without this fundamental decision
for God, the offering of self remains vague
and unfruitful. Our Lady at Medjugorje has
called us numerous times in her messages
to place God fi rst, and I believe this means
that God ought to govern our lives and be
the sole fount of our being and doing. "He
must grow and I must diminish"
(Jn 3:30).
We offer ourselves so we can belong to
God, be in God, and be purifi ed of every
egoism and rebellion, the sad inheritance
of the original sin.
We offer our lives to be transformed.
Freed of every attachment and every
aversion, stripped of ourselves and our
ambitions, we become new creatures who
trustingly surrender themselves to God.
The Lord needs new creatures to make his
new people, that is, the Church that lives
according to his divine laws of love and
that proclaim his salvation to the peoples.
God can mould us only if we are pure. In
fact I think it is impossible to proclaim his
salvation when we are attached to ourselves
and full of ideas and projects of our own.
We would risk turning the Lord's vineyard
where we have been called to work into
a sad stage of our own vanity.
Freed of egoism, we feel desirous to
place ourselves at God's disposal, for his
plans. It couldn't be any other way, because
he who loves desires offering himself and
offering his life to others.
We offer ourselves as a witness to life.
How? By making manifest in ourselves the
life that we received: "something... that we
have heard, and seen with our own eyes,
watched and touched with our hands..."

(1 Jn 1).
In the foot steps of the Apostles we too
become witnesses and heralds of the Word
of life. With generosity we offer the wealth
that God pours out; we become men and
women of faith, hope and love. This probes
consciences, and calls to life all those who
are tired and discouraged. Our proclamation
becomes credible in the amount that we
manage to witness life lived authentically.
I think our society is overfl owing with false
announcements and empty promises, and
badly needs an authentic witness of the
truth. The sincere offering of oneself is what
makes us credible.
There is an even more profound
reason that urges us to offer our lives.
We offer ourselves so we can participate
in the work of Redemption
. When we
fully receive Jesus Christ in us and offer
ourselves wholly to Him, we become His
living members. He calls us to share with
Him, on our crosses, the pain and sorrow of
the world; to lift up to the Father the cry of
humanity. He also calls us to make manifest
the power of the Resurrection. This way we
become light of Christ, the paschal light that
divides every darkness and defeats death.
Jesus wants us close to His Heart; He
wants to count on us; He wants to trust in
us. He calls us to work for the good and
the salvation of many, to lift up our gazes
beyond the barriers of the earthly life; He
wants to introduce us into the mystery of
salvation. He can do this only if we offer
Him our lives and leave Him free to act
in us..
It is His love that gives us the strength
to offer ourselves, and we can do nothing
without Him
. If we offer ourselves with
sincerity and trust, then our love for God
and for our neighbour will grow. Our
self offering, then, helps us to enter into
communion amongst ourselves and with
the Church. Through becoming one with
God, we become one body. Nothing, not
even death, can break our communion with
Christ and in Christ.
When we offer ourselves we already
taste here on the earth the sweetness of
the beatifi c life.
Our lives take on deeper
meaning and dignity. We are living creatures
even when our daily existence includes
pain, sorrow or death, because we have the
capacity to go beyond death.
Personally I am infi nitely grateful to
God for having showed me this journey,
for having called me to undertake it,
and for having given me the strength to
respond.. I cannot see for myself any other
possibility of fulfi lling my life beyond this
vocation of self-donation. My task is to
respond to the call which has infi nite and
unexpected turns to it, just as God's love
is infi nite and surprising; as His ways are
many and surprising, but of them lead to
true happiness.
(End part 4. To be continued)
"OFFER YOUR LIVES!"
"To love is so simple, but those who know the secret are rare indeed, even amon-
gst religious. Love is real only when there is oblivion of self. Too often people
love but themselves through those whom they think they love."
Gaston Courtois
A Fragile Body
by Ana Glasnovic
It was pleasing to God to mould me
into a frail and delicate vase "to reveal the
richness of his glory and his mercy"
to his
people (cf. Rm 9:23). When I started to
experience physical pain, and the fragility
of my body became more apparent, I didn't
want to accept it; I couldn't see how it fi tted
into the meaning of my life. I fi rst reacted
with fear and reluctance. When despair
grips at your heart you see suffering as an
enemy or a thief who has come to steal what
is most precious to you: your health. Thus,
suffering is not accepted and becomes an
unbearable burden that gradually crushes
you. I knew that God loved me infi nitely,
and He alone could help me in this situation
which from a human point of view was
hopeless. The diffi cult condition into which
I was plummeted made me pray ever more
fervently in the hope that God would heal
me and free me of this burden.
Time passed, but my health was not
improving. I was caught by a strange fear; I
thought that God had forsaken me. However,
God never forgets us, and neither does He
pay heed to our egoistic prayers and desires.
I later understood that God had hidden
Himself from me for a while so that my faith,
hope and love could be strengthened. God is
a good father, and in His goodness He grants
us much more that what we think, but we
refuse it or aren't able to comprehend it.
It was thus that I could not comprehend
God's plan for me until I submitted to His
will. When I had completely given in I was
overcome by a great peace, and then the
Lord gave me a clear response. It happened
like this: One day I was in my room praying
with the Bible
(I have always found much
consolation in its pages). I opened it and
my gaze fell on chapter 11 of the Gospel
according to John. I was amazed as I read:
"Lord, the one you love is sick. When
Jesus heard this he said: `This sickness is
not to end in death, but is for the glory of
God, that the Son of God may be glorifi ed
through it' "
(Jn 11:3-4). Though I knew this
Gospel passage referred to the death and
resurrection of Lazarus, at that moment I
knew with certainty that those same words
were being addressed to me.
An indescribable happiness came over
me, and I could feel how Jesus' words
had really opened up the sepulchres that
were within me: the sepulchres of fear,
resistance, anger, vane expectations and
impatience. Freed of these chains my soul
was lifted up to God and felt fulfi lled and
appeased, for "Your love for me has been
so great; you have rescued me from the
depths of Sheol"
(Ps 86:13). Thank you Lord
because for me you have done much more
than what I asked. You have healed my soul
and you have prepared for me a body to be
an altar worthy of You, and on this altar,
next to Your sacrifi ce, You will offer also
mine. "You wanted neither sacrifi ce nor
offering; a body instead you have prepared
for me"
(Heb 10:5). When God reveals
His plan of salvation for us, it is then that
we comprehend how much our body in
all its sickness, weakness, sinfulness and
limitations is created for the glorifi cation
7
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ECHO can be read / downloaded
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Gospa's Messenger
I wonder if you realize how far ECHO
travels. Almost unexplainably, it reaches
far away lands. It is read in Oceania, in the
Americas, in Asia, Africa and Europe. It is
read in many countries of the fi ve continents,
and for this it is translated into many
languages. There are at least 16 language
editions, but we know that it is also used by
missionaries in various parts of the world to
deliver homilies or refl ections written or
verbal - in local dialects.
So Mary's messages reach many parts of
the world by means of this little instrument.
Thus, as a messenger of Mary it carries her
motherly words to lands that thirst for words
of life. Perhaps Mary rejoices over this little
paper that brings to numerous of her children
her words of hope, consolation and trust, and
that manifests to many the sentiments of her
Motherly Heart.
This work is possible also thanks to
you, to your prayers and the support you give
to this messenger. Let us also remember in
our prayers Sister Stefania who works hard
and with love as editor of our Echo.
Perhaps our Blessed Mother will thank
us for helping her a little in the realization
of Her plan in the world.
May Mary bless us and keep us!
Pietro Squassabia
of God. To accept suffering means to free
ourselves of our egoistic wil
l so we can be
united to God's will which gives meaning
to our suffering. Being united to the divine
will always leads to authentic peace and joy
which make us happy even when we have
to embrace our cross and come face to face
with suffering. Suffering can be defeated
only after our desire to be freed of it is
destroyed. Then, suffering isn't a negative
loss, but an immeasurable gain.
r
ABBA' . . . PAPA
In a message for the prayer group in
March 1985, Our Lady expressed the
need to pray with meaning and not with
superficiality when we pray the Lord's
Prayer.
"This evening, try to place yourself
closer to the Father when you pray to Him,"
saying that it is to Him that we must yearn
every day; and for whom our heart must
thirst every day. "Remember that prayer
is not really prayer until your heart is
happy."
We hope the following refl ection might
help.
OUR
do I make my faith manifest in my
daily living?
FATHER
God has given Himself to me as
Father; He has taken me as His child.
WHO ART IN HEAVEN
my heavenly
Father loves me much more than the best
earthly father could ever be capable of.
HALLOWED BY THY NAME
- am I
proud of His Name, do my deeds glorify
His Name?
THY KINGDOM COME
am I ready to
renounce my "kingdom" which passes, and
accept the justice of God's kingdom which
does not pass?
THY WILL BE DONE
in my life now. Help
me to believe and trust that YOU know better
and act for the best.
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
is my
heart open and willing to respect and serve
God as the angels in Heaven do?
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
we especially need from the Father bread
for our souls, and to understand that our
daily bread can't be given us without
prayer.
FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS
WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS
AGAINST US
am I holding a grudge, am
I waiting for the other to change fi rst? Father,
we are not good, we are not faithful. Help us
not to judge, help us to forgive.
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
- Father, deliver us from the great trials.
Father, we are weak. Father, may we not be
lead to perdition through our trials!
DELIVER US FROM EVIL
- May we be
able to see the good in our trials; may they
help us take a step forward in life.
AMEN Be it so! Thy will be done.
In the Mail Box
We have asked those readers who receive
a single copy directly from us to confi rm
their interest, out of a need to begin a long-
awaited control of our database (which
contains thousands of names). Our thanks
to everyone for taking the time to respond,
and please bear with us if you had already
recently confi rmed.
Maria Vaglio, Italy: I am 81 years
old and have trouble walking, but I always
manage to get to the post offi ce twice a year
to send you my donation. I've been totally
deaf for the last 14 years and at times this
puts me down, but your paper helps me a
lot, and is very important for me.
Sr. Rosanna, Turin: It is a great pleasure
for me to receive the ECHO. I have no
money to send you, but I will not fail to offer
sacrifi ces and prayers. Forgive me for this,
but I felt the need to write to say thank you
because Echo is a great help to me.

Noemi, Udine: Thank you for your work.
Each time I receive ECHO is like going on
pilgrimage once again to Medjugorje. I read
it and re-read it and fi nd it so consoling. My
donation is on its way.

Fr. G. Grasso, Brindisi: I understand the
economical problems, however, I continue to
need to receive the paper edition of ECHO. I
assure you that I contribute with a donation
a couple of times a year, and above all, by
praying for you.
Maria Cavallini, Pisa: Dear ECHO, ...
I've lost both my parents; I live with my 13
year old cat. I'm 39. With all my heart I ask
you to continue sending me your ECHO.
I NEVER throw it away because it is so
beautiful and teaches me so much...

Sr. Dalila, missionary in Cameroon: I
wish to thank you for having sent me ECHO
for so many years. I had the chance to live
in Medjugorje for three years, so to receive
your paper is very important to me. When I
read it I feel closer to that blessed land and
to Our Lady in particular.
Teresa O'Farrell, Argentina: The Echo
of Mary is fabulous. I read it and re-read it,
pray with it, and then I pass it on to others. I
get it from a friend. Congratulations.
"Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, express
conversion in relation to self, to God and
to others. Means of obtaining forgiveness
of sins include: efforts at reconciliation
with one's neighbour, tears of repentance,
concern for the salvation of one's neigh-
bour, the intercession of the saints, and
the practice of charity `which covers a
multitude of sins"
(CCC 1434-5).
The Lord bless thee and keep thee! May he
show his face to thee and have mercy on
thee! May he turn his countenance to thee
and give thee peace!
Italy, 8 May 2007 - Our Lady of Pompei
"From your throne of mercy, where
you are seated as Queen, turn, O Mary,
your compassionate gaze upon us, upon
our families... May you take pity on us
amidst the trials and tribulations which
make bitter our lives. Behold, O Mother,
how many dangers in body and soul, and
how many calamities and affl ictions press
upon us... O Blessed Rosary of Mary,
sweet Chain linking us to God
, bond
of love uniting us with the Angels, tower
of salvaiton against the attacks of hell,
sure harbour in the common shipwreck,
we shall never leave your side. You shall
be our comfort in the hour of agony; to
you the last kiss of life as it slowly fades
away..."
(Bartolo Longo, from the petition to the
Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei)
8