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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 213 (January-February 2011)

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Message of the 25th of November 2010:
“Dear children! I look at you and I see in
your heart, death without hope, restlessness
and hunger. There is no prayer or trust in
God, that is why the Most High permits
me to bring you hope and joy. Open
yourselves. Open your hearts to God’s
mercy and he will give you everything you
need and will fi ll your hearts with peace,
because he is peace and your hope. Thank
you for having responded to my call”.
Open your hearts
to God’s mercy
Mary’s gaze penetrates into the depths of
our hearts, into our soul, and it sees what we
are incapable of grasping: the misery of the
human heart when it remains closed within its
human nature. Death without hope indicates
the natural outlet of a life in which God is
set aside; worry and hunger indicate the
incompleteness of such a life, the emptiness
in which we struggle.
But we must be careful: Mary’s words are
not only valid for those who “live without
God”, but also for we who call ourselves
Christians, for we who “pray”, for we who
“have faith”, for we who in our hearts consider
ourselves better than many “sinners”, for us
too, and perhaps particularly for us, these are
Mary’s words! It is not suffi cient to say “Lord,
Lord” to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven,
nor to boast wonderful accomplishments
presumably in His Name; neither words nor
works are suffi cient; it is necessary to do the
Will of the Father who is in heaven (cfr Mt 7,
21-23). We, who attach too much importance
to our works and our words, struggle to
understand and accept Jesus’ teaching. But
it is suffi cient to stop for a moment and
think according to human logic and examine
“God’s logic”, as it appears in the Gospel, to
understand. Despite the successes of science
and technology, something will always be
missing from our lives, death will always
hang over us; we cannot “save” our bodies
and much less our souls “forever”, if we set
God aside. Yet, since God was made man,
since the Incarnation of Jesus, God is no
longer far from us; now God is near to us,
next to us, now he is actually in us if we want
Him.
But we refuse that meeting; we refuse to
communicate with Him, we don’t pray; we
don’t place our trust in Him. There is neither
prayer nor trust in God and so the Most
High allows me to bring you hope and
joy. God is still waiting for us, but….for
how long? Mary bursts into the shadows of
our hearts, sent by God to bring more hope
and joy (but until when)? Jesus cried on
Jerusalem, as it failed to recognise the era of
his Visit; today do we want to deny the era of
Mary’s presence among us? Do we want to
continue to glance at her Messages while our
heart remains far from them and grows tired
of hearing the “same things” repeated over
and over? Perhaps we have also tried to put
some of Mary’s invitations into practice, but
then life reabsorbed us and our condition is
now worse than what it was before. But She
is still with us and She seeks us out, She calls
us, She urges us, She waits for us.
This is the era of God’s Mercy, the last
possibility offered to humanity to save itself,
as Jesus said to us through Saint Faustina
Kowalska and as Mary repeats to us today:
Open your hearts to God’s mercy and
He will give you everything you need and
fi ll your hearts with peace because He
is your peace and your hope. God truly
gives us everything; he has already given us
everything, beyond all our claims, beyond all
expectations: he gave us Himself in Jesus.
What more do we expect? Let us not allow
our days to be consumed by nothingness, by
the apparent, by the provisional: all of this is
in the power of the enemy, the liar, he who
mortifi es (that is, kills) hope in us. Let us
raise our eyes to the Father; let us open up,
let us throw open our hearts to Him. Let the
invitation that closes this Message from Mary
be our daily commitment and Jesus will come
to us. Let us listen to this invitation from
Mary, that is so similar to the order given
a long time ago to the servants in Cana of
Galilee, let us do like they did and the water
that we offer will become wine of a divine
quality.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
Message of the 25th of December 2010:
“Dear children! Today, I and my Son
desire to give you an abundance of joy and
peace so that each of you may be a joyful
carrier and witness of peace and joy in the
places where you live. Little children, be
a blessing and be peace. Thank you for
having responded to my call.”
Carriers and witnesses
of peace and joy
The Prophet’s prayer: “Rain down, you
heavens, from above and let the skies pour
down righteousness; Let the earth open, let
them bring forth salvation, and let righteous-
ness spring up together” (Is 45, 8) and even
more so St. Jerome’s version: “Rain down
the heavens from above and let the skies pour
down Justice…” seem to be a good introduc-
tion to this Message from Mary which opens
up with the overabundant gift of joy and
peace. Heaven and earth meet, they touch,
they penetrate each other. Dear children, to-
day my Son Jesus and I wish to give you the
abundance of joy and peace.
This abundance is fullness, completeness.
Although they are so debased within the
world, so adulterated and emptied of all their
intrinsic purity and vitality, passing through
the hearts and hands of Jesus and Mary, joy
and peace are given to us in all their glory,
in all the power of their divine, immaculate,
nature. Now it is up to us to welcome them as
they are offered to us from Them; it is up to
us to preserve them in their virginity, it is up
to us to protect them from all mundane wear
and tear, from all commercialisation, from all
undue appropriation. They are not commercial
goods, they are not private assets, they do not
belong to us: we do not possess them in any
way and in any sense. They are the Breath of
the Spirit, they are the Breath of Life, they
are Drops of the Father’s Heart, that taste of
innocent Blood, that taste of the Cross.
Peace and joy that do not assure power
or human glory, or mundane successes, or
satisfaction of any kind. Peace and joy
that do not preserve us from illnesses, from
humiliation, from suffering, from betrayal.
Yet they are priceless gifts, already here, on
this earth, and not only in the after life. Peace
and joy that position us in the Father’s Heart,
that free us from all fear, that release us from
all slavery; all of this is given to us so that
each of us might be joyous carriers and
witnesses of joy in the places we live.
This is an essential clause and it does not
limit the gratuitousness of the gift, but rather,
it highlights is divine origin; every gift from
God is not for the exclusive use of one person,
but for the good of everyone. Peace and joy do
not lessen if shared, but rather, they grow; this
is the miracle of the sharing of the loaves that
January-February 2011 - Year 27 # 1-2 - Echo of Mary, Via Cremona, 28 - 46100 Mantova - Italy.
www.ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
213
Although man might forget or refuse
God, God never tires of calling each
and every man to seek him out so that he
might live and fi nd happiness. But such
a search requires all the efforts of man’s
intelligence, the rectitude of his will, and
also the testimony of others who might
guide him in his search for God…”.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church)
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was implemented many times by Jesus and
that has always been present in the history of
the Church, up to our time. What is only yours
saddens you, makes you miserable and soon
rots; what is given as a gift lives and blooms.
In this world that is so divided up into castes,
into groups of power, into clans, into feuds,
into opposing religious ideals, the divisor may
seem to be more prevalent than the God of
Love; but this is not the case. Christ’s sacrifi ce
is not in vain and Love will triumph. Let us
remain in fervent and assiduous prayer, let us
live Mary’s messages, let us carry and bear
witness to peace and joy that are gifts from
God. Children, be blessing and be peace
Mary urges us. And this is what we must be;
She will do the rest, Jesus will do it.
Peace and joy in Jesus and Mary.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
A lack of mystics
encourages spiritual aridity
One of the causes of the decline in religious
practice, especially in developed countries,
is “the weakening of mystical inspiration”.
This is what is affi rmed by Father Marcello
Stanzione, chairman of the Associazione
Milizia di San Michele Arcangelo, in an in-
terview with the daily newspaper Zenit. “The
theological science studied in universities
obviously rightly bases itself on the intellect,
which is important, actually essential – ex-
plained Father Marcello - but we must be
careful not fall into theological rationalism,
what I mean is, for example when we speak
of Angels, we shrug our shoulders and affi rm:
“Yes, Angels do exist, the Bible speaks of
them, as does catechism, but we don’t know
too much about them, in actual fact, they
aren’t that important, and so we’re not inter-
ested in them…!”
Father Marcello, who has written numer-
ous books on Angels, is also the Chairman of
the Angelology Study Centre. “It is rare – the
priest continued – to fi nd theology courses
with systematic lessons on Angels and de-
mons and this is also re-
fl ected in the preaching in
churches, where we rare-
ly hear talk of Celestial
Spirits. Mysticism on
the other hand, Father
Marcello reveals, enables
us to understand that God
is beyond our logical com-
prehension, because he ob-
2
viously goes beyond it. The lack of mystics
encourages spiritual aridity”.
“The climate of spiritual aridity – he ex-
plained therefore – causes many baptised
people and people who are educated in the
Catholic religion in some way to seek spiritu-
ality in Buddhist meditation groups, new age
phenomena, sophist or other alternative reli-
gious movements with respect to the Church
of Rome. As far as angelology is concerned,
there are very few modern Catholic authors
who deal with such themes, while in the past
there were countless works of spirituality on
Angels. When I go into a bookshop I am dis-
couraged upon seeing that the vast majority
of texts about Angels consists of non-catholic
publications”, he added.
For the Chairman of the Milizia di San
Michele Arcangelo, the mystic is important,
as a witness, because he/she “lives in a con-
tinuous union with God and he/she makes
that union not only an intellectual experi-
ence, but a profound existential experience
and therefore as Saint Paul might also repeat:
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who
lives in me” (Gal 2, 20)”.
Lastly, quoting a phrase by the Dominican
brother Antonin-Gilbert Sertillanges, Father
Marcello said that “there
is no doubt about the fact
that there is a link between
holiness and angelical ex-
istence, only that nobody
has ever become a saint
because they saw Angels,
but they saw Angels be-
cause they became a
saint!”.
The mystery of our existence
Let’s try to push our memories back.
Some episode associated with school or
pre-school….some fl ash about what we
experienced as important: everyone must be
able to list some memories, be they confused
or clear, some from the age of fi ve years,
some from the age of three…and some even
before then. We found ourselves existing
without having asked for or desired such an
existence; we breathed and had a name even
when we were still unaware.
When did we realise that we were “in
the world”? Perhaps one day we managed to
stop, refl ect and be amazed like children: “I
exist! I’m here too!”
Now let’s change direction, let’s look
towards the future. Certainly everyone will
have an idea of what they are going to do
tomorrow and perhaps in a month or a year,
but beyond that? And here we may get lost
amidst dreams and plans, but we know well
how much these might be revealed to be in
vain. And if we were to look even further
ahead? Our only certainty is that sooner or
later we will die. And then, will there be
something beyond?
Our life is a gift: the beginning and the
end of this journey escape us; they do not
belong to us. Nobody gave themselves life
alone and nobody is necessary for this world.
I realise this: everything would continue on
even without me…
Perhaps all of this is suffi cient to say that
God must exist? A God who wanted me, who
thought of me and moulded me as a unique
person, he wanted my existence as original
and unrepeatable in the history of the world?
A God who leaves me free to choose, but who
gives me the gift of understanding that this
life of mine is not fully mine and it is part of
a bigger plan?
No, there is no answer. We are once again
before the mystery: how limited is our
reasoning and how great is our freedom!
Those who decided that God mustn’t
exist will fi nd suffi cient arguments to fail to
recognise the numerous signs that send us
back to Him. Those on the other hand who
are open to meeting Him will know how to
return to be amazed countless times before
the mystery of our existence. Every new
thought, every life experience will become
for them like a ray of light that penetrates a
little deeper into that infi nite truth that will
only be revealed to us in Heaven.
Francesco Cavagna
We will
see angels
Stefano Redaelli, a re-
searcher in a space centre,
believes in angels and in his
book “Arrivano in tempo”
he recounts some stories
about them. “All you need do is want to see
them: perhaps they present themselves in the
face of a friend, or in that telephone that rings
just at the right time”, he affi rms. A physics
graduate, he has been living and working in
Warsaw since 1997, where he deals with cha-
os and the solar wind in a space research cen-
tre. In an interview with ZENIT he explains
that his scientist colleagues have never seen
an angel in their space research. “Perhaps we
need to look for angels on earth, not amidst the
clouds or the stars”, he says.
“Who are guardian angels?” Spiritual crea-
tures that accompany us in that extraordinary
and arduous journey that we call life, with a
precise duty: to show us the way, when we’ve
lost it, to offer us something to lean on, if we are
slipping, a hand to get back up, to support us.
Angels never go out of fashion, because
the soul never goes out of fashion. It may get
dusty, dirty, sick, it may wither, you can put it
away in a drawer, but it will never be outdated.
There is a thirst for illumination in our era: a
quiet thirst, hidden by gulps of life that do not
quench it. And there is a need for signs.
Angles do this: they show a light, a sign, they
act as a bridge between the heavens and the earth.
The angel rises up as a symbol of a spirituality
that we all yearn for. There are those who feel
a strange sense of fear upon
hearing the words of God, a
sense of transcendence and
distance. The angel, on the
other hand, remains easier
to accept. I don’t think that
this offends God. The angel
is a mediator between God
and man. If we are careful
and willing, the angel will lead us to God. And it
will lead God to us.
How is it possible to feel their presence?
We need to refi ne the senses of our soul: sight,
hearing, smell, taste and touch. We need to
learn once again to tune in to the world of the
spirit. Science teaches the experimental meth-
od. We believe in that which we encounter in
direct experience, in that which is measurable,
reproducible. I believe that this criterion is in
a certain way extendable to the immaterial
world.
To experience spiritual realities we need to
start up the engine of love in our hearts. “I will
reveal myself to those who love me”, we fi nd
written in the Gospel. Angels are a manifesta-
tion of God’s personal love for us. Sometimes
a very modest act of love is suffi cient to throw
open the heavens. Those who have experi-
enced it know. You can become familiar with
this type of experience.
Perhaps it is the only salvation in a world
that is sometimes dominated by an asphyxiating
materialism. If it seems that we can no longer
breathe, that we can no longer feel beyond what
is purely material, let us start loving: we’ll dis-
cover a whole new world, we’ll learn to inhabit
it, we’ll miss it. We’ll end up preferring it. We
will see angels”.
(source: Zenit)
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3
Echo 213
Luminous mysteries,
mysteries of transformation
by Stefania Consoli
“In the First Luminous Mystery we
contemplate Jesus’ baptism…”. This is how
the prayer of the “fourth rosary” commences,
that the Church proposed a few years ago for
us to refl ect on, thanks to the initiative of John
Paul II. And then it continues, going from
one event to another in Christ’s life, without
a logical consequentiality, because the events
described are positioned in times and contexts
that are quite diverse.
Yet a common guiding thread links them all
invisibly, a link that shines the same light on
all of them… Let’s try to discover it.
The journey opens with the scene of
the Jordan, as we have already seen. The
Baptism of Christ. This baptism is different
from the one that the Baptist imparted on the
penitents who implored conversion, because
in this case it was God himself who immersed
himself in those waters, only to then start out
on his messianic journey amidst the streets of
Palestine, seeking out the “lost sheep” of the
house of Israel.
What really happens during a baptism? A
transformation. From a state of sin inherited
from our origins, we move to a condition of
being redeemed, destined to perfect ourselves
with the holiness of life. Obviously this was
not the case with Jesus, innocent and stainless
lamb by nature. But by allowing himself to
be baptised in the Jordan, the Lord wanted to
say to us that anything that comes into contact
with him changes, is transformed, is no longer
like it was before…
This is how it was that day also for the
waters of the river that welcomed Jesus’ body:
they were sanctifi ed by the divine grace that
fl owed forth from him and they incurred a
profound change, becoming waters capable
of transforming those who still today allow
themselves to be bathed in the baptismal font
into new creatures, invoking the gift of the
Holy Spirit.
This fi rst luminous mystery thus proposes
an essential condition for us in our journey
of faith: the call to transform our whole being
that must allow itself to be reached by God’s
“touch” through life’s various events. A call to
continuously immerse ourselves in the water
of the Spirit who washes, purifi es and removes
those layers that cover man on the inside, who
needs to re-emerge in order to be able to fulfi l
himself completely in God’s will.
Let’s move on to the second mystery:
In Cana of Galilee, Jesus transforms simple
water into good wine for the wedding. A
transformation that foretells his omnipotence
and the power of mediation of his Mother Mary
“before time”; a transformation that comes
about to the joy of the fellow guests at that
nuptial banquet, but really also destined for us
and for the whole population: God’s epiphany
that has come to transform our lives, that are
affl icted by evil, into jubilee and exultance.
From here we start out on the mission par
excellence: in the third Luminous Mystery,
Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God and
heals the ill. Almost as if to say: if you wish
B
ENEDICT
XVI
Priests only if
united with Christ
It was the centre of attention
for a whole year. Much was
said, discussed and written about
the priesthood and the priestly
ministry. Nevertheless, it remains
a very vast subject because the
grace associated with the priest
is very deep, it is a grace that is
unleashed directly from Christ’s
priesthood that makes it topical
here, on earth.
On several occasions Pope Benedict XVI
dealt with the various themes associated
with the priesthood, highlighting that only in
total unity with Jesus the presbyter can truly
experience and express his ministry.
Last June in Rome he ordained some
presbyters. During that circumstance in some
way he traced out the fundamental features
that the priest should have in his opinion.
Below are some extracts.
“Only those who have an intimate
relationship with the Lord and who are
grasped by Him, can bring him to others, and
can be sent. It is a question of “remaining with
Him” that must always accompany the exercise
of the priestly ministry; it must be its core, also
and above all during diffi cult moments, when
it seems that the “things to do” must have the
priority. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we
must always remain with Him.
The priesthood can never represent a
way of attaining safety in life or a way of
conquering a social standing. Those who
aspire to the priesthood so as to increase
their own personal prestige and their own
power have misunderstood the meaning of
this ministry from the root. Those who wish
above all to achieve their own ambition, and
attain personal success will always be slaves
of themselves and of public opinion.
To be considered, they will have to
fl atter; they will have to say what is pleasing
to people; they will have to adapt to changes
in fashions and opinions and, thus, they will
deprive themselves of a vital relationship with
the truth, reducing themselves to condemning
tomorrow what they praised today. A man
who lives his life like this, a priest who sees
his ministry in these terms, does not truly
love God and others, but only himself and,
paradoxically, he will end up losing himself.
The sacrifi ce of Christians is being
united by Christ’s love in the unity of the
single body of Christ. The sacrifi ce consists of
coming out of ourselves, allowing ourselves
to be drawn into the communion of the single
bread, the single Body, and thus entering into
the great adventure of God’s love. And so
we must celebrate, live, and always meditate
on the Eucharist, as this school of freedom
from my “self”. (…) In this way we must
learn the Eucharist, which is the opposite
of clericalism, closure within oneself. (…)
Experiencing the Eucharist in its original
sense, in its true depth, is a school of life, it is
the safest protection against all temptation of
clericalism”.
to heal your physical, mental and spiritual
illnesses, you must change mentality, you
must transform your thoughts, your way of
looking at things, the world, yourselves…
taking on God’s look. “Dear children – Mary
repeats to us in Medjugorje – in this time of
grace, convert and put God in the fi rst place in
your lives. (25 August 2007)….Convert, dear
children, open yourselves up to God and to his
plan for each of you. (25 February 2009).
Conversion is always an essential condition
for our true healing, on the inside and on the
outside. Walking according to the laws of the
Spirit, we feel how the heart transforms day by
day and our ability to love is healed.
Let’s go a step further. Let’s climb up the
Mountain with Jesus. To Tabor to be exact. In
the third luminous mystery we contemplate the
transfi guration of Jesus before the incredulous
eyes of his disciples: “He was transfi gured
before them. His clothes became shining” (Mk
9, 3). Christ’s appearance changes, he gives us
a preview of the face that he will have after
having fulfi lled his victory over death; his
eternal face, that shines forth in glory at the
right hand side of the Father.
This time the transformation becomes even
more obvious, but what is truly surprising is
what happens in the hearts of the apostles: they
are the ones who change! Their conception of
that Master changes, the Master that they were
following from city to city: they see him in his
divine majesty, completely different from the
idea that they had of him and from the Messiah
as tradition had presented him up to then.
And by praying this mystery we must
interrogate ourselves profoundly: what
image do we have of God? What face does
“our” Jesus have? That which meets our
expectations? That which fulfi ls our human
plans, our calculations? What which fi ts
together perfectly with forms and traditions?
…or are we willing to allow ourselves to be
surprised by Him and be blinded by His grace
that opens up unexpected and completely new
horizons to us?
And to fi nd the answer we must move
on to the fi fth luminous mystery: Jesus
establishes the Eucharist, the mystery of
the highest and holiest transformation that
exists; the change of substance of bread that
admirably becomes the very body of Christ.
An incredible transformation, but not only
because a fi stful of fl our is transformed
into risen fl esh, but because by consuming
a mouthful of that bread, we ourselves are
transformed, we become part of him, entering
into profound communion with his spirit and
his very life.
It is here that our questions are answered:
God is not the fruit of an idea. God is not an
image that adapts itself to our needs, like
a frame to a picture already drawn. God is
a living reality, capable of transforming all
things for the better, if we respect him for
what he is, if we are willing to allow ourselves
to be penetrated by him and to be drawn into
that dimension in which everyone takes on a
new image, becomes transfi gured, purifi ed,
to be defi nitively risen up to the Father. God
is most pure Light, and by praying these
mysteries faithfully, his rays will be able to
reach us where we need transformation the
most and thus make us defi nitively become:
new creatures.
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4
That priest who…
What transfi guring beauty is visible in
the person of the priest when he welcomes
God’s life within himself before offering
the sacrifi ce of Christ! What spiritual peace
is transmitted by a priest who offers himself
fully to the Lord in a loving sacrifi ce together
with Jesus! What humility is visible in the
life of that priest who prays united with the
Lord, simply allowing the Holy Spirit to be
God, praying and working in him!
The eyes of faith see beyond appearances,
beyond all humanly visible gestures, beyond
all words that are said or proclaimed. The
eyes of faith see beyond the fl esh that dresses
man on earth and they spiritually understand
not only the dynamic mystery of divine
inhabitation but also that of Trinitarian
communion. The priest who offers himself
to the Lord actively, freely and consciously,
becomes a holy icon of divine goodness; he
becomes that channel of grace that mystically
strikes the heart of simple people who seek
God sincerely.
The fruit of a fullness
The priest who is “full” of God speaks by
virtue of a direct knowledge of the true God
present in him, who travels through his soul
spiritually, transforming it, enlivening it,
purifying it, and sanctifying it perfectly.
The priest allows himself to be moulded
on the inside by the mystery of divine love,
which allows itself to be seduced spiritually
by the Triune God, who enjoys hearing the
prayers of the humble, the poor, he will fi nd
the mystery of the living and working word
within himself, Jesus Christ. Only with
this interior passage will the priest acquire
the value of the true testimony of the Truth
incarnate. Otherwise within the priest there
is no living meeting with Christ the eternal
priest, from whom all priesthood originates
and without whom no priest can bear fruit.
Resting on themselves
The priest who on the other hand, remains
closed within himself, does not allow God
to act in him, to manifest himself through
his gestures: remains empty of authentic
knowledge, empty of the living Word, sterile
in his preaching, poor of divine newness,
deprived of that divine Presence that alone
strongly blesses souls. The priest who rests
on himself, on his doctrinal knowledge, on his
human habits, on his own thoughts, neglects
the spirit of the Gospel because he does not
seek out the strength of real faith from God.
Thanks to the good shepherds
I thank God for those priests who helped
me on my interior journey towards really
meeting Jesus. Thanks to those priests who
by dying to themselves, taught me great
things about faith in God and his providence,
who forced me, lovingly but fi rmly, to
look around. Thanks to those priests who
accompanied me, supporting me in my fi rst
steps and who then protected me with their
offering to God. Thanks to those priests who
went before me along the way, illuminating
the journey towards God’s Kingdom with
their faith.
I thank then all those priests who obey the
Lord’s voice and who offered themselves
within to divine will, to be joyful carriers
of Christ’s Mystery as “useless servants”. I
thank all those who gave me an example of
great abandonment into the Father’s hands,
with that ardent love and radiant peace that
are born of poorness of spirit and forgetting
oneself. I pray for all of them, so that in the
light of the living Word, they might discern
the true meaning of the succession of Christ
the Good Shepherd!
The mystery of true faith
Faith is not only believing that God exists, it
is allowing God to implement his plan of love
for us. Faith is not about thinking that God
exists, but it is about giving God’s thought
the right place within ourselves. Faith is God
within us…
And so I pray continuously so that every
priest might understand the mystery of true
faith, of the ministerial priesthood according
to Christ’s Heart: God’s freedom within them!
I pray because I know that my simple prayer
is delivered to God the Father through the
A sharing of duties
One day Jesus said to his apostles: “Seek ye fi rst the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added on to you” (Mt 6, 33). With these words the Master seems
to propose the following sharing of duties: I’ll deal with material and spiritual things,
and you deal with loving, that is, with seeking the kingdom of God… This seems to be the
agreement that God wants to establish with us, He who gave us the desire and the ability to
love. Therefore, like those who are in need, Jesus expects a commitment to love from us, and
always, because in this way we give him the possibility of working in us, and through us, in
others.
There is no neutral fi eld within the framework of the Spirit: either we “play” in God’s fi eld,
or in that of the Devil. A lack of love makes us automatically “play” in our opponent’s fi eld
and it exposes us to the risk of losing, of not doing good. Therefore, despite our weaknesses,
let us commit to loving everyone, even those who put obstacles in our way, even those who
are enraged with us, even those who never smile, even those who only think of their own
interests. In this way perhaps, we will be given the gift of peace that will dwell stably within
our hearts. In this way, perhaps, we will act like Jesus, who smiled at the “good thief” from
the cross, and redeemed him. In this way, perhaps, we will be given an overfl owing measure.
May Mary, Mother of Love, take up a place in our hearts so that Her love might become ours,
so that we might all have the centuple: Jesus.
When we love, nothing more worries us, nothing more makes us feel afraid, as Saint Francis
teaches us: not even the wolf, who becomes our brother, not even death, which becomes our
sister, not even the Devil, who is reduced to impotence. It is true: love crushes all worry, all
fear, even fear of death.
The smile
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say: rejoice” (Phil 4, 4)
A happy person smiles and brings happiness. God smiles and has given man the ability to
always smile, because he wants us to live in happiness. Certainly Jesus conquered the “good
thief” on the cross, not with discourse, but with a smile, that the man replied to, and so he
was immediately able to enter Heaven with his Lord. Yes, because only those who smile
enter Heaven, otherwise they will not enter, they will remain at the gates until they learn to
smile…
The devil never smiles, he does not know how to smile, and actually he hates smiles because
they bring good: he always impedes them because they remind him of the love and joy that he
refused forever.
Those who smile know how to thank their God, fi rst and foremost and then their neighbour.
Those who are sad and worried on the other hand, do not give thanks and always complain
with everyone, even with their Lord. This is why Satan, the accuser, always tries to make us
sad and worried, so that we might do his work: accuse God and our brothers…
When we smile Jesus is among us, he rests among us and in us. He cannot be with us
when we are in the midst of sadness and worry because we allow his place to be occupied
by the devil, who prefers such environments. Chiara Lubich (ed. Founder of the Focolare
Movement), affi rms that it is very important to smile because smiles cause the devil to fl ee
from us. Perhaps this is why the apostle Paul invites us to always be happy! And so, let us
always smile and be happy, in every situation…let Mary generate a happy heart in us, to sing,
like Her, the marvels of Her Lord and ours.
S
I M P L E
T H O U G H T S
by Pietro Squassabia
hands of Jesus the priest, and it is protected
as far as Heaven by Mary’s maternal hands:
and so it becomes true prayer!
M. Grazia Caramaschi Calati
“Prayer is not about formulae;
it involves our whole life…
and so you will pray
without ever growing tired,
if prayer does not make
do with formulae and if,
on the contrary,
you remain united with God
throughout your whole existence,
so as to make your life
an incessant prayer”.
Basil of Caesarea (homilies)
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5
Reflections of light
from
Mary’s land
by Stefania Consoli
Incarnation,
an
ordinary event
We’ve started again. The liturgical cycle
is complete and we’ve immediately recom-
menced, proposing the contemplation of the ce-
lestial mysteries of the Incarnation and the birth
of the Son of God. A rhythm that is known and
nevertheless never the same, because the grace
that accompanies the various passages of the
life of Christ is constantly new.
This spiritual intensity however, is not only
reserved for the “strong times” of the liturgi-
cal year. Ordinary days too – often apparently
similar – receive depth from the Life that we
have once again welcomed at Christmas and
that now proceeds promptly to fulfi l its Easter
mission of salvation.
What happens within us throughout all these
passages? Are we external spectators of these
events or do we allow ourselves to become in-
volved to the point of becoming protagonists?
And, given that the Eucharist is the utmost
manifestation of God on earth today, perhaps
we should ask ourselves an even more concrete
question: are we those who simply “go” to Mass
or those who “experience and celebrate” Mass?
“Dear children! I wish to call you to a living
of the Holy Mass. There are many of you who
have sensed the beauty of the Holy Mass, but
there are also those who come unwillingly. I have
chosen you, dear children, but Jesus gives you
His graces in the Mass. Therefore, consciously
live the Holy Mass and let your coming to it be
a joyful one. Come to it with love and make the
Mass your own. Thank you for having responded
to my call.” (Message of 3 April 1986)
“Dear children! I am calling you to a more
active prayer and attendance at Holy Mass. I
wish your Mass to be an experience of God...”
(Message of 16 May 1985).
Jesus’ incarnation is not an ancient event, it
is not a memory or a memorial to be celebrated
once a year. The true meaning of the Incarnation
of God is his entry into our fl esh, every day.
Inhabited by Him, by his Spirit, we should then
know how to offer Jesus our limbs so that they
might be his limbs. Eyes with which to look
with infi nite tenderness. A mouth with which to
say good, or better, to bless. Hands with which
to console, to heal, to serve…Feet with which to
embark on the journey towards the right desti-
nation, without taking the wrong road, to arrive
at the Father.
God cannot become incarnate today if we
do not make space for him within ourselves.
He needs living temples within which to posi-
tion his palpitating heart to be able to love the
world, to be able to visit those situations of
shadows that need his light to rediscover hope.
He doesn’t need walls, stones or great speeches,
Jesus wants our life within which to live and
a place in which to be able to welcome all the
souls that seek it.
We needn’t do anything special. Just allow
him to “move us” as he wishes, in total free-
dom. And to be obedient to all impulses that we
recognise as coming from him. We will be swift
in our apostolate…
If all of this has come about then we will have
truly celebrated Christmas. We will truly have
commenced the “ordinary” liturgical time if we
are capable of making our day “extraordinary”.
It is his presence that transfi gures it. Christ’s
presence changes the sign of our days, which if
they are offered to Him, become a continuous
mass, a perennial thanksgiving to the Father for
the gifts that he offers us constantly, beginning
from the precious gift of life.
Let us commit through Christ, with Christ
and in Christ, to intensely live every instant that
You do not ask me for extraordinary feats:
A snowfl ake is enough to give rise to a river.
A drop of water is enough to pierce
a hole in a stone.
A star is enough to light up the sky.
A fl ower is enough to brighten up the desert.
A smile is enough to start a friendship.
A yes is enough to give yourself
to your lover.
A tear is enough to cancel
a mountain of sins.
A piece of small change is enough
to make a treasure great.
You are an extraordinary God, Lord,
because you judge what is small
and ordinary
to be great and marvellous,
because you measure nothing
with a ruler or a scales,
but always only on the basis of silence
and the hidden heartbeat
Help me, Lord, every day
to always give you the best of me,
even if it is little, given that
you don’t ask extraordinary feats of me,
but only to do ordinary things
with an extraordinary heart.
(Anonymous)
The windowsill
of
our life
It’s still dark in the house
despite the fact that the
tepid shades of the dawn are
already colouring the sky.
Morning is breaking and is
hunting away the night with
its uncertainties nesting in
darkness. Reawakening puts
us back into contact with the
realities that we left behind yesterday, before
encountering dreams that were never dreamt,
images that were never seen…
Reeds of sunlight fi lter through from the
shutters and rest discreetly on the fl oor. It
seems almost like an annunciation: it’s time
to open the window and allow the new day to
enter the house!
A gust of fresh air collides with the still
numb body; air that frees the breath and
dilates the capacity of life throughout the
whole being. Upon fi rst impact, our sleepy
eyes contract, almost wounded by the light,
but then they adapt to the dazzle and start to
shoot around to try to understand if there is
any news…
The beginning of a morning might well
be like this. Some of you will no doubt have
experienced it. But if we notice, we might
well experience the same thing in our spirit.
In ourselves, in fact, there is an inner window
that separates the visible world from the world
that crosses the frontier into eternity…
When we pray sincerely, when we immerse
ourselves in Mary’s heart, when we allow the
sacraments to act, when we are in harmony
with creation…we approach an invisible
windowsill from where, if we look out with
trust, we can clearly see ample traces of the
Heavens.
First of all we must faithfully open the
shutters of our heart, to allow the light of
grace to enter, which offers us new life like a
dawn. Then we must accept the fact that we
are leaving behind the immobility of our fears,
the narrow rooms of selfi sh calculations, the
dark corners of hypocrisy and the falsity
with which we continuously relate to God, to
ourselves and to others…
In our depths there are wardrobes full of
habits that leave us constantly the same,
incapable of growth and change. Out of
convenience or out of fear? Out of need or
scarce trust? Who knows why. Everyone is
a mystery. But there are those who enclose
themselves every day in small little drawers
so as to keep control of their lives through
logics that guarantee continuity with a past
that is known and therefore for this reason,
apparently inoffensive…
It was Christmas just yesterday. The Sun
that rises from Above came to the earth. Did
we welcome the invitation to throw open our
being and allow His Day to enter? The one
that gives us a gift of new amazement and
joy and makes us breathe freely, forgetting
what the world imposes on us as burdens and
worry? Have we accepted to leave the “old
things” behind, things already used during
the past year, to make space for that which
will open up before our days?
“Dear children! In this time of grace,
when nature also prepares to give the most
beautiful colours of the year, I call you, little
children, to open your hearts to God the
Creator for Him to transform and mould
you in His image, so that all the good which
has fallen asleep in your hearts may awaken
to a new life and a longing towards eternity.
Thank you for having responded to my call.”
(Message, 25 February 2010).
is given to us, knowing how to fi ll it with mean-
ing, without wasting anything. Let us look with
love and compassion at that which is still lim-
ited and immature within ourselves and around
us, but without stalling too much, without al-
lowing ourselves to be withheld, because there
is no more time for the things that make us
run around ourselves and others…The time is
near and Jesus is at the centre, to whom we
must give back all things created. Let us start
from our own small little world. Let us start
from ourselves. The rest will come as a conse-
quence. And we will be the living Eucharist.
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6
B
EARING
WITNESS
It is impossible
to live without God!
Medjugorje 19 August 1995, approxi-
mately 11.40 a.m. We came out of the church
where I had accompanied my wife to Mass.
I had gone in as a spectator because I did not
believe in God…To pass the time during the
celebration I counted those present: twenty-
three people, including three children! This
fi gure remained in my mind because later
on I compared it with the number of faithful
who currently participate in Mass in Italian in
Medjugorje…
Having come out of the church, we walked
towards the sacristy where the priest, who
had just fi nished celebrating the Eucharist,
was talking to the people I met yesterday on
the boat. It started raining and to avoid get-
ting wet, we moved under the roofi ng of the
confessionals. After a few minutes of conver-
sation and thirty-fi ve years of total absence
from the Church and distance from faith, I
decided to go to confession! I informed my
wife of this decision and she looked at me
a little surprised but decidedly happy. In
fact, she was the maker and main tool of my
conversion. It certainly wasn’t something
sudden, but a journey of maturation, full of
doubts, interrogations, fears…
I don’t want to go to hell!
I believe that this journey began on the day
that thought came to my mind (or perhaps
to my heart?): “I don’t want to go to hell!”.
An exclamation that left me feeling amazed,
fearful and disorientated, because, given that
I am the victim of my own pride, I had no
intention of asking anyone for illumination or
help.
But my Mother Mary was watching over
me from Heaven, doing all she could so that
this unexpressed wish for eternal life, might
be fulfi lled through my conversion…
The shopping list
And so I entered the confession box and
began to speak with a certain hesitancy… I
was no longer familiar with this sacrament,
I had remained at the style used during be-
fore the Council, when it was an obligation
to have the shopping list! But with fatherly
sweetness, the priest helped me to free myself
from the burden of the sins that I had accumu-
lated over a lifetime, sins that I often wasn’t
even aware I had committed and others that it
pained me to even mention, I felt shame and
incredulity for having committed them…
I want to joyfully
bear witness
I thank the Queen of Peace because she
calls me every year to spend some time with
Her in Medjugorje. Like many others, I too
have received “spiritual graces” since my fi rst
pilgrimage (1997) through her maternal Heart.
In that place I feel such love and “coincidences”
occur that are signs of her living presence. She
lets me meet people from whom a beautiful
soul shines forth and others who need help and
spiritual communion.
I feel that I should joyfully bear witness to
the fact that Our Lady called me to Medjugorje
to help me grow in faith and in prayer, so that
there might be more and more prayer from the
heart, true, sincere, personal, and simple; an
impulse of love, abandonment and trust.
I feel that I should joyfully bear witness
to the fact that Our Lady gave me the grace
of deeply wanting everyone to be saved and
she called me to offer my life to Jesus through
her Immaculate Heart, for the salvation of the
world, and she helps me to offer God a love that
is ever purer.
I feel that I should joyfully bear witness
to the fact that Our lady sometimes calls me
to Medjugorje to give me new strength and a
sense of renewed inner peace…There I learnt
what adoration to the Most Blessed Sacrament
is, and love for Jesus grew within me along with
a deep desire to enter more and more into his
mystery.
During my last pilgrimage “at the last minute”
I stayed in a new guesthouse that was lovely
from a structural point of view, but I very much
missed having a place where I could retreat in
silence and meditate on what I had experienced
during the day while spending some time side by
side with the Lord. I am realising more and more
that it is very important to fi nd accommodation
where the soul, and not only the body, can rest
and savour God’s presence deeply, along with
that of his Mother, even during sleep!
Thank you Mary for taking me by the hand.
Thank you for every pilgrimage to your land
and thank you for allowing me to meet so many
of your children.
Luisa Casarotto
I’ve changed
I recently had the opportunity of spending
a few days in Medjugorje and there I left my
anxiety, my worries about my daily life, my
work and my family. Now I feel different! I
came back with the desire to recite the Rosary
with those dear to me, and I fi nd myself dealing
with the many things I have to do with an
amazing sense of calm!
I had already experienced a signifi cant meeting
with Jesus four years ago and I believed that to
be a great grace, but only this year I wanted to
go to the place where Mary had been waiting
for me for over twenty-nine years!
The air that you breathe in Medjugorje and
in every corner speaks of Her. I can imagine
her on that hill, Podbrdo, which is initially so
diffi cult to face but then so easy to reach! It is
there that the Mother awaits us to lighten our
hearts that are weighed down with burdens; it is
there that she smiles and embraces us all.
To those who ask me about Medjugorje I
say, do not delay, go there to experience it and
understand…
Venanzia Righi
The days that followed were wonderful. I
saw “miracles” everywhere. I felt like a su-
perior being, a privileged interlocutor and I
looked from above at all those whom I saw as
being far from faith, believing a similar status
to be inconceivable…I forgot that that’s how
I was for practically a lifetime!
The “right” priest
We cannot fail to see Mary’s hand in all of
this. The fundamental steps of this story are
articulated by her presence beside me during
crucial moments. The Lord answered my in-
vocation, appointing his Mother to act as my
guide, to lead me to Jesus, thus fulfi lling her
mission as a co-redeemer.
Father Carmelo, who listened to my con-
fession after many years spent in darkness,
continues to be a spiritual and affectionate
reference point for me today: we only see
each other once a year in Medjugorje, and
that meeting always fi lls me with joy and
commotion. I recognise divine intervention
in the fact that he was the one who reconciled
me with God. Meeting with the “wrong”
priest might have compromised the outcome
of my deep desire to convert.
Many years have gone by since then. Over
time, my relationship with God has grown
sweeter. I always knock on his door but I also
thank him for everything that I’ve already re-
ceived… It is impossible to live without God!
I cannot understand how I did so for such a
long time, and how it is possible that such a
large portion of humanity still lives without
Him!
The offering to Jesus through Mary
I return to Medjugorje every year, for a
whole month, and I work as a volunteer
within a community for welcoming pilgrims.
Once again it was my wife who introduced
me to a reality that defi nitively changed my
life: the offering of life, that leads you to
give yourself completely for others to Jesus,
through Mary.
This is the commitment of the members of
the community that houses me and with whom
I have a deep friendship. To see them again
and again each year also means strengthen-
ing my faith, which, at home, in everyday
life, risks growing cold. In Medjugorje on the
other hand, surrounded by their presence, and
above all “held close” in Mary’s embrace,
everything seems lighter, more harmonious
and it makes me want to be a better person
than I am.
Thank you Jesus because you remembered
me and you did so through the maternal work
of the beloved Mary!
Luciano Calati
Look at that star
All those who adore Christ, who row their boat through the waters of this world,
must turn their eyes to that star of the sea - i.e. Mary, who is close to God, the
supreme pole of the universe - and direct the course of their lives by contemplating
her example.
Whoever conducts himself in this way will not be tossed by the winds of vanity;
will not break upon the rock of adversities; nor will he be engulfed in the frenetic
whirlwinds of pleasure; instead he will reach the port of eternal rest without
incidents.
Fulbert of Chartres
(www.mariedenazareth.com)
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7
Capacious vases
in God’s hands
When we look into the intimacy of our
hearts, all of our limits and poverty often
emerge. And so we catch a glimpse of our
nakedness and we see ourselves as we really
are, needing to be grasped by a Love that is
capable of conquering all resistance.
I have gone through the life that has been
given to me up to now with a beautiful sense
of communion within my family, in sharing
fi rm friendships, with a willingness to par-
ticipate in certain Parochial Communities;
throughout this journey there has been no
lack of fatigue and diffi culties that are part
of the human soul. Together we have always
“tried”, placing all doubt, weakness, inevi-
table falls and moments of joy in the Lord’s
hands.
Despite all of this, an inner sense of
worry sometimes accompanied me, like an
open fi ssure that no human experience could
ever successfully fi ll. I often felt like a fi eld
that needs rain while waiting to bloom. How
many times I stretched out my hands, seeking
answers…
I waited and hoped and the Lord, in the
time that He knows, opened up a new road
to me, he lifted me up. I have received many
gifts throughout my lifetime, without really
deserving them; among these, certainly, the
joy of many meaningful meetings, and thus I
was able to experience the fact that our exist-
ence is made up of these meetings that unveil
Love to us that the “Timeless Eternal One”
has for his creatures.
The living experience of Medjugorje, the
presence of Mary and her Son, the Trinitarian
Love encountered through the consecrated
members of a Community, made crushed
stone in the shell of my resistance and hesi-
tation. I was able to physically touch the
fact that the Lord is alive, he
is present in man and he truly
works in our lives.
His Love invites us towards
transformation, it dilates in us
and from a small fl ame, it be-
comes a great fi re, all we need
do is trust. Our life must recov-
er its composure, but not with
our own efforts; even if our
intentions are good, we cannot do it alone.
The Lord enters us, capacious vases, and he
moulds us like clay in his hands. Welcomed
by Him, we can walk, renewed, and fear no
longer dwells in us.
We often seek out changes that might
give our present a greater meaning. The
Lord is the novelty that we are seeking, He
wants our good, he transforms us; all we
need do is lift our gaze to Heaven and pray
to God the Father that our life might become
holy and blessed.
This leads us to see others as people to
meet and to love: every life needs this. God
himself, without us even asking him, fi nds the
time for us and compensates for our fragili-
ties, our doubts, especially when we see how
wide the road is and the steps that we must
still take. Saint Paul says that “we do not
even know what it is appropriate to ask, but
the Spirit himself intercedes for us….”.
Nothing is fulfi lled yet in my life but,
with wonder, I sense that the Lord wanted
to put his peace into my heart, into all of
our souls. Every moment is a
Grace to be offered and every
meeting is a new gift to be
shared.
Mary too looks at us with
the concerned eyes of a
mother and spreads her love
out to us with open hands,
leading us to her Son. Over the
years, many people have knelt
down and prayed for me too, for my fam-
ily, my children, my friends who are dear to
me…confi rming that Jesus Christ is present
in the spirituality of our relations.
Everything is a gift and I give thanks to
the Lord also for those who have “opened”
and “broken” his Word; in many travelling
companions who go before me I can see it
incarnate, experienced and implemented.
This is such a great gift that God offers us,
so that every day we might renew our “yes”,
so that we might become witnesses, pro-
claim his Love and have a full life.
Lidio Piardi
I will not abandon you…
The messages that the Queen of Peace gives
to the visionary Mirjana every month al-
ways have a stamp of special intensity. With
just a few phrases, the Holy Virgin manages
to trace out a dense plan of spiritual life for
all of us. These are little pearls that should be
grasped with much gratitude and responsibil-
ity, because it is not suffi cient to read them and
then put them in a corner, pending the next
one, moved by an insatiable thirst for newness
and “extraordinary signs”. Mary’s invitations
should be absorbed, compared with our behav-
iour and then translated into experienced life.
Only in this way can we attribute some value
to her words. Only in this way can we attribute
some reason to her coming to earth. Only in
this way can we give thanks to the Father for
sending his Mother to educate us and to give
us back our dignity of children in fullness.
If we notice, on each occasion Mary
speaks to us about Jesus, her Son. It is in
him that we must fi nd the example to imitate
in order to bring about the plan of conversion
that the Mother proposes for us. The Word was
made fl esh for this reason, to show us that it is
possible to live here on earth doing God’s will
in everything; remaining small, gentle, sim-
ple. We cannot go on without Jesus, we read
in one message…We need to humbly accept
this fact: we need Him; nobody else can lead
us to our destination, to the realisation of those
promises of eternal happiness that our souls
are yearning for. The Kingdom of Heaven is
already a reality that is present within us, but
only if we accept a serious journey of purifi -
cation will we allow the Holy Spirit to gener-
ate it in our hearts. Only if we accept to let go
of all self-suffi ciency and hand our existence
over to Mary, will the light of life be lit within
us, that which crushes all shadows, that which
dissolves all fears…
We are not alone. She will not abandon us.
She promises us this. And so we must believe
her, without uncertainties that might slow us
down on our journey. We are not alone be-
cause our Mother is with us. We are not alone
because there are also many brothers through-
out the world who listen to these messages
and want to go forward on the pathway of
holiness proposed by Mary in Medjugorje. A
true family, God’s family…Welcoming each
other and loving each other with God’s love
is a whole other thing! The “walls of sepa-
ration” fall, confl icts are quenched; jealousy
is dissolved, along with envy and rivalry.
Because in Him there is space for everyone
and everyone occupies their own…
Communion in Jesus is the essential con-
dition for being a Church. We are not soli-
tary travellers who must only fend for them-
selves. We are called together to walk, sup-
porting one another, encouraging each other,
comforting the weak and offering our lives
as nourishment to deal with the narrow and
sometimes rather demanding passageways.
Only if we truly are Christians, that is, of
Christ; people capable of discerning the truth
within ourselves, good and evil…People capa-
ble of choosing to use our own freedom in the
best possible manner…People capable of dy-
ing to ourselves and to our own whims to obey
the will of the Father…Only in this way will
God’s family be created, as Jesus desires it!
We are not alone. She will help us. And she
will not abandon us!
Message of 2 November 2010
“Dear children; With motherly perseverance
and love I am bringing you the light of life to
destroy the darkness of death in you. Do not
reject me, my children. Stop and look within
yourselves and see how sinful you are. Be
aware of your sins and pray for forgiveness.
My children, you do not desire to accept that
you are weak and little, but you can be strong
and great by doing God’s will. Give me your
cleansed hearts that I may illuminate them
with the light of life, my Son. Thank you.
Message of 2 December 2010
“Dear children; Today I am praying here
with you that you may gather the strength to
open your hearts and thus become aware of
the mighty love of the suffering God. Through
this His love, goodness and meekness, I am
also with you. I invite you for this special
time of preparation to be a time of prayer,
penance and conversion. My children, you
need God. You cannot go forward without
my Son. When you comprehend and accept
this, what was promised to you will be real-
ized. Through the Holy Spirit the Kingdom
of Heaven will be born in your hearts. I am
leading you to this. Thank you. ”
Message of 2 January 2011
“Dear children; Today I call you to unity
(communion) in Jesus, my Son. My motherly
heart prays that you may comprehend that
you are God’s family. Through the spiritual
freedom of will, which the Heavenly Father
has given you, you are called to come to the
knowledge of the truth, good or evil. May
prayer and fasting open your hearts and help
you to discover the Heavenly Father through
my Son. In discovering the Father, your life
will be directed to carrying out God’s will
and the realization of God’s family, in the
way that my Son desires. I will not leave you
alone on this path. Thank you.”
background image
“Poste Italiane s.p.a. - Spedizione in Abbonamento Postale - D.L.
353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n° 46) art. 1, comma 2, DCB Mantova
Legal Dir. A. Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO Treviso
8
Villanova M., 25th january 2011
Echo fully relies on readers’
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To all who have been instruments
of Providence for Echo, enabling us
to continue to help Mary reach her
children, goes our heartfelt thanks,
whom we remember especially in
prayer and at Holy Mass.
If you desire a written response for
your donation, please kindly request
it. May God reward you and your
loved ones onehundredfold!
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E-mail: eco-segreteria@ecodimaria.net
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International Postal Orders.
And where convenient (within Europe)
by bank transfer :
Associazione Eco di Maria
Monte dei Paschi di Siena
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IT 45 M 01030 11506 000004754021
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Father Angelo
a message for everyone
from his Marian heart
by the Editorial staff
You start reading this book “of
memoirs” and in an instant you
fi nd yourself at the end…You
can read it in a single breath al-
though there is a whole full and
intense life in those pages. This
is the story of our dear Father
Angelo, author and father of the Echo, and above
all, a priest of the highest spiritual and moral cali-
bre.
The volume was published to mark the tenth
anniversary of Father Angelo’s death and it tells
his story through the memories of those who were
alongside him during the diffi cult moments of his
life, those who accompanied him as shepherds
and those who followed him as sheep in a faithful
fl ock.
The bishops of his dioceses speak, Father
Angelo esteemed them highly and with fi lial af-
fection, and nevertheless, with audacious sincerity
when it was a question of defending Medjugorje
and the need to “resound” the messages of the
Queen of Peace in his little newspaper, without giv-
ing in to any institutional compromise. Naturally
the “Echo-parish” inner confl ict affl icted him a lit-
tle because he felt that he was taking time away
from caring for the faithful to dedicate himself to
the “greater Parish”, that of the Echo readership: “I
have no uncertainties, let it be clear – he wrote to
Monsignor Caporello – but the Echo-parish con-
fl ict comes back time and time again. But other
times I console myself thinking that Echo takes me
away from lots of useless work, such as running af-
ter people, having to express an interest….I ensure
that spiritual nourishment is not lacking, if they
want it…I have no doubts about the work that I am
doing and it shows all the signs of being blessed,
because it always originates from nothing and fi nds
what is necessary. Interest and demand for the Echo
continue to grow…I never did anything to develop
or promote it; actually the very poorness of the
newspaper is not very attractive. This means that
the substance is valid, and so it is more and more
in demand. Is it not perhaps Mary herself who is
promoting this search in these times of darkness? If
she asks this work of me, then she will give me the
strength to deal with it!” Facts are worth more than
all words. It was the parishioners themselves who
confi rmed the goodness of the work, joyfully offer-
ing their services to dispatch and provide assistance
with the Echo. End of confl ict.
In the words of his sister, sister Chiara, a
Carmelite nun and his confi dante, to whom Father
Angelo entrusted brotherly and family thoughts but
also deeply spiritual refl ections: “He used to say to
me: the cross always accompanies those who do
good, because the spirit of the world is in contra-
diction with those who do good, with the Gospel
– writes sister Chiara. This is how it was for Jesus,
and he obviously dealt with diffi culties and misun-
derstandings with love and serenity. All of this, I
realised, refi ned his spirit, his behaviour”.
Father Angelo knew that he could count on the
praying and confi dent vocation of his sister and he
poured out his certainties and hesitations on her,
along with his joys and worries. He asked her for
“prayers in solitude” for that 8
th
December, which
was so meaningful in the furrow of his soul: he
had been born on the Feast Day of the Immaculate
Conception and on that date he had received his
First Eucharist: “And so I offered myself to She
who guided my life”, he wrote.
In the words of his “young men and women”,
those who allowed themselves to be moulded
by his inspired knowledge for years, which then
brought them close to Christ, to His Word, to liv-
ing and ardent prayer, to meditation, but also to
peaceful and joyful amusement. “I didn’t delay in
recognising his great qualities: generosity, good-
ness but also fi rmness, clear ideas and educational
goals. I rushed to get my life in order, which co-
incided with a great undertaking of responsibility
in fulfi lling my duties as a son, a student, a young
Catholic”, recalls Enzo.
In the words of his collaborators, those who in
various moments helped him to serve the Echo in
its various needs. They speak, tell stories and thank
him because each one of them felt welcomed and
valued.
And lastly, his illness also speaks, which led
him to the threshold of eternity. It speaks in letters
and notes that were dictated because his hand was
no longer capable of gripping the pen: “As long as
I can celebrate Mass…But is it right to live on the
basis of my health? There, I’ve told you everything,
the Lord continues to visit me with his graces…it is
clearer to me now that we must only await him and
that the rest is something extra. Our Lady gives me
the security of standing beside me. FIAT!”. And
then again: “….blessed be God in whose hands my
fate lies and who keeps me awake in my thoughts
of eternity”.
For this reason Monsignor Busti, the current
bishop of Mantova, writes in his presentation:
“To suffer by offering oneself is the application
of the Gospel. It is not however easy to know
how to die. Believe that we live to die and we die
to live, this is the utmost testimony that a priest
can give to his people. Here the “Creed” as a pro-
fessed word, becomes fi lled with He in Whom we
believed”.
Our readers write…
Linda Cunningha-Dominguez from
London (England): “Please accept my offer
for your postal expenses. I’m ill and unable
to work. This is why my contribution is
modest, but I know a lot of people who go
to Medjugorje thanks to the Echo and those
who cannot go there receive many benefi ts
from reading it. Thank you!”
Anurée Bétot from Saint Avit (France):
“Heartfelt thanks for your precious Echo. Thanks
to your little magazine I went to Medjugorje on
the bus for the fi rst time this year”.
Sister Edesia Rossato from Quito
(Ecuador): “Thank you for the precious
Echo that you kindly continue to send me. I
always await your bulletin as though it were
Mary herself coming to me! May the Lord
continue to shower his blessings on all the
souls that you save with your sacrifi ces that
this Marian work requires”.
Stefania Dobosova Ruzomberok from
Slovakia: “Please continue to send me the
Echo. Once I’ve fi nished reading them I
pass them on to others so that the marvellous
thoughts that are contained in them, dictated
by the Holy Spirit, might spread to others.
Given that only graces come with voluntary
offers, not only in Slovakia, I will also try to
help you fi nancially”.
Jacqueline Hiver from Saint Calais
(France): “Thank you for the new issue of the
Echo of Mary, it is vibrating with enthusiasm
and joy, theological virtue, faith, hope and
charity that the holy Virgin Mary comes to
communicate to us in Medjugorje. I like to
read and reread the various messages that
fl ow from a pure and fertile source. Thank
you for all these marvellous articles!”
Jean Wexler from Soultz (France): “I
receive the Echo of Mary with great joy.
Heartfelt thanks for your work and your
devotion. Mary and her divine Son will
compensate you one hundred fold”.
A. Breysse from the Republic of Togo:
“I always enjoy receiving the Echo of Mary
to nourish and cultivate the Marian devotion
of my faithful. I thank you in advance and
entrust you to the maternal prayers of the
Virgin Mary”.
Ayeko Ovoudougnon from Togo: “With
great respect I come to ask you to send me
the Echo for distribution in the love of Jesus
Christ, with a view to evangelisation for the
glory of God and the salvation of souls”.
Robert Courchesene from Montreal
(Canada): “I am a member of the secular
Franciscan order of the Fraternity of the Holy
Family in Montreal. I’ve distributed copies
of the Echo to members of my fraternity and
they all appreciated it! Thank you….”