The reflection of Medjugorje Message, July 25, 1998

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Medjugorje Message, July 25, 1998 [O]

Dear children! Today, little children, I invite you, through prayer, to be with Jesus, so that through a personal experience of prayer you may be able to discover the beauty of God's creatures. You cannot speak or witness about prayer, if you do not pray. That is why, little children, in the silence of the heart, remain with Jesus, so that He may change and transform you with His love. This, little children, is a time of grace for you. Make good use of it for your personal conversion, because when you have God, you have everything. Thank you for having responded to my call.

I greet all of you who, with love, accept and are then also ready to follow the messages that are given to us by the Mother of God. Before we say anything about the most recent message, let us again think back to the message on the 17th anniversary and which was one of the shortest messages that Mary has ever given us. In that message she asked nothing of us, but rather merely thanked us for living the messages, gave us her motherly blessing, and then promised us that she would bring each of us to Jesus. The spirit of gratitude is an important topic in Mary's messages, because she, with only few exceptions, says in each message, "Thank you for having responded to my call". However, in the message of the 17th anniversary, she said, "Thank you for living my messages". We may not forget that gratitude is a condition for peace, and being grateful means to really believe in God as our Lord of life and to recognize all the other gifts that He has given each of us. Being able to thank means to see what He has given us, and to always recognize what is good. Gratitude is both the most beautiful fruit of faith as it is also the foundation of faith. We may also not forget that where gratitude ends, that is where sin begins. Gratitude is also the golden rule for any education. If we wish to protect those around us from depression and all other negative feelings, then all we have to see, recognize and be grateful with words for all that is good in them. It is also so important for our attitude in prayer that we remain grateful, because only a humble person can be grateful, something that a proud or selfish person can never be. That is because everything that one does or has done for them is for them the duty that the other person has to do for them. Mary wishes to teach us a humble attitude and that then means one of gratitude. Her prayer, "My soul praises the greatness of the Lord" is a wonderful example for how one is meant to think of, perceive and be grateful for the past. So I again wish to say that we should ask the Lord that He may give us a new eye for all the good in us and around us, in the people with whom we live, and also in that which God does for us. That is the grace that we really need if we ever wish to have peace. The one who only sees the negative cannot make progress as a person or as a Christian. Mary's motherly blessing means for us Mary's presence, her love, her company, her protection, and all that she has been doing for us during this time. It is important for us to know about her motherly blessing because when we do there will never be a situation in which we are alone. She is loyal and she accompanies us, and even more so we know from that message that she carries each of us to Jesus.

At the moment it is simply too hot here in Medjugorje, but not even the heat has lessened or stopped the stream of pilgrims coming here. This is because we have many pilgrims here from all over the world. We are now preparing for the 9th International Youth Prayer Festival that we hold each year from July 30 to August 6. This year its theme will be, "Come Holy Spirit", so the same theme that the Holy Father offered all of us for this year. This so that we may think, speak about and pray more to the Holy Spirit, so that we may become more conscious that it is the Holy Spirit that leads the Church as well as each of us. As far as we know there will be many youth here from all over the world. Moreover, I now invite all of those who will be reading these reflections to pray, in this time, especially for youth who have decided to come here to spend a week in prayer and reflection. Starting on Tuesday the 21st, Vicka is again experiencing a pause in her apparitions for 45 days, that will continue until September 5 or 6. Jacov is in Italy with his family, and Marija, her husband and children will be here during the Festival. Mirjana and Ivanka are also here in Medjugorje. Each of them, in their own way, gives testimony to what they have learned. Ivanka continues to live very quietly and secluded from the crowds along with her husband and three children. Recently we also continued with the research concerning the visionaries, and this time Mirjana and Ivanka too partook in parts of the study. I also wish to mention that the Secretary of the Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote and published a letter on the 17th anniversary in response to a question posed by the Bishop from the Island of La Reunion. In the letter, he states very clearly that the opinion of Bishop Peric of Mostar is his own personal opinion, and that it is not that of the Vatican. The Church considers the Declaration of Zadar on April 10, 1991, as being official. In that Declaration he said clearly that the Church remains open as to the supernatural nature of the apparitions, that the commission will have to continue its work, and that on a private level all pilgrimages are permitted. The messages with which Mary has been leading us for 17 years and 2 months speak of prayer. She first says...

TODAY ... I INVITE YOU, THROUGH PRAYER, TO BE WITH JESUS

This is the central purpose of prayer -- to be with Jesus. In order to be with someone, and in this case also with Jesus, we must first decide to take time for it. Whoever does not take the time for it will be unable to meet with the other person or with Jesus. It is the case that Mary constantly insists on prayer, because prayer is the first condition for something to happen in our lives, and so this means to take the time to be with Jesus. The Rosary may be the easiest as well as the simplest way to be with Jesus -- in joy, in sorrow and in glory. But not only with Jesus but also with Mary. The first three Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary bring Mary into the center -- when she receives the Holy Spirit, when she conceives, and when she carries Him to Elisabeth. Then in the last two Glorious Mysteries, Mary is also at the center of things when she is taken up into Heaven and made Queen of Heaven. So throughout the Prayer of the Rosary we meet with Jesus, but also when we read the Bible, when we go to Holy Mass, and when we go to Confession. All these are times to again meet and to be with Jesus. And these prayers must become personal for otherwise the simple danger arises, like it already has among so many Christians who do not take the necessary time for prayer, or who only pray because the others are praying, or who pray without the decision to really pray personally. Mary says...

SO THAT THROUGH A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF PRAYER YOU MAY BE ABLE TO DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF GOD'S CREATURES

...and she knows that what God has created is beautiful. She urgently wants of us to also recognize this beauty, and therefore she wants prayer to become our daily fair. She teaches us and here speaks of one of the first fruits or results of prayer. If we are with Jesus in the word with which everything was created, then we will immediately discover the beauty of all of His creation. This word allows us also to think of our vacation time. Vacation is a time when we put aside our work, when we go further away, and when we become pilgrims. In the hectic of every day we easily become blind for all that is beautiful, and especially toward nature and for everything that God created. But, when we discover the beauty of creation, we will then also discover all that is beautiful in our lives as well as that in the lives of the others, and then finally in all of creation. It is very important for us humans to first learn to see what is good and positive, and with this then one also discovers gratitude. The one who discovers the beauty of God's creation can also be grateful. This does not cause a lack of any sorrows or pains, but rather that one always knows that there is also goodness and beauty. Mary then continues to speak about prayer, and in saying that...

YOU CANNOT SPEAK OR WITNESS ABOUT PRAYER IF YOU DO NOT PRAY

...she also tells us that we are meant to speak with others about prayer and about our discoveries in prayer. So that we are able to do this, the one condition is that we pray and do so personally. When someone does not pray then he is not able to speak about it nor give a testimony of it. It is certainly not by chance that Mary speaks in this message about personal prayer because this Sunday, July 26, we heard in the Gospel that Jesus goes and prays and when the Apostles saw Him they also yearned to do the same, and they then asked Him to teach them how to pray. Upon their request, Jesus then recites the beautiful prayer that we call the Lord's Prayer. So, in that case too, the example is the most important means with which to move the others. One must be very grateful for all the many people who have, by way of Medjugorje, rediscovered prayer, received graces and the example of those many who have responded to the messages and who really take time for prayer in their lives. This message contains something really important when it comes to prayer. Mary says...

THAT IS WHY ... IN THE SILENCE OF THE HEART

All of us are in great danger of living too hectically. All of us are surrounded by so very much information, by so many vehicles of technology, by so papers, so much radio and TV, and so forth, that the danger quickly arises that we lose our inner silence. And to think about this a bit further, it is here that our pride, our superficial needs, and our dependencies all together crush our peace, and that then inside our heart and soul it simply becomes too loud. Once we have lost this inner silence then we can hardly meet and listen to God. Here we can think of the prophet Elias' experience when he arrived on the mountain having first wandered through the desert with bread and water. In the storm, the rain, the hale, the lightening and the earthquake, he was unable to see or meet God. But when he arrived where there was silence, Elias threw himself onto his knees and met God. Becoming silent is one of the conditions that we need to hear God. God is not loud, God does not scream, God offers himself, but always in silence. He allows us to come to Him, He allows us this in freedom, and He does not force Himself upon us. That is why it is so important for us to take the time for prayer, and through this prayer to slowly but surely find one's way to inner silence. In this silence we will then also meet Jesus, and in particular His love for us. Mary tells us to...

REMAIN WITH JESUS

in this silence...

SO THAT HE MAY CHANGE AND TRANSFORM YOU

and the others...

WITH HIS LOVE

Here we may also start thinking of the Feast that we will celebrate on August 6, the Transfiguration of Jesus. Praying with Him up on Mount Tabor were the three Apostles, and they saw Him, they experienced His face when it was in light, and they also heard the Father's voice in silence say, "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him." This then also happened in prayer. So, when Mary speaks of Jesus' love that can transform and change us, she speaks of the love that is also our strongest means to train others. So without the love that is already given us by God, no training will ever be successful. Only love gives us people the strength and the needed impulse to transform and change ourselves. There is an expression about love, and that is that someone whom one loves one also becomes similar to and also the other way around. Mary knows this and that is why she also says it. Since August 2, 1987, Mary prays with Mirjana for non-believers, and this means for all those who have yet experienced God's love. Only when love is poured into our hearts will we be ready and have the strength to allow ourselves to be transformed and changed. As long as we remain without the experience of God's love for us, it is not only going to be difficult but nearly impossible for us to make progress on a daily basis in becoming more and more similar to God the Creator, the Father, and the source of all life and of all peace. That is why it should be emphasized that our first and last prayer intention should be that we pray in love. But so that there is no great misunderstanding, one should also say that today much runs among people that is done in the name of love. But it is not true love that is sold as such among the people. The only love that can transform and change our lives is the love that Jesus has for each of us, and also the love that inspired Him to suffer for each of us, and then also to die for each of us. That is the love that remains loyal, the love that is taught in truth. That is the love that strengthens people and then transforms and changes them. From this sentence in this message we should again find the courage to decide for this transformation and change. If we have tried it already several times and perhaps think that it does not work or that it is not worth it, then we must again realize that it is afterall possible because God's love for us is such that it can transform and change us. Many people today live in discouragement and have therefore lost the purpose of life. It is normal that when one does not believe in this love that can transform and change us, that because the way it is when one is discouraged it is not pleasant, one must then loose the meaning of life. How many people, families and communities in the world are today living with wounded relationships and are suffering due to a lack of love? Such situations discourage people's hearts, and they falsely start thinking that it is impossible, but God never gives up. He knows us and He loves us and he believes, one could say, in the strength of His love. And it is here in Međugorje, one can really say, that many people have discovered God's love for them, and they have thereupon found the courage and the strength to allow their lives to be transformed and changed into new people. And when Mary speaks about these things, she can also again say...

THIS ... IS A TIME OF GRACE FOR YOU

...and because she is our mother she also advises us to...

MAKE GOOD USE OF IT FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONVERSION

She then ends her message with...

BECAUSE WHEN YOU HAVE GOD, YOU HAVE EVERYTHING

Conversion means nothing else but a freedom from the world, from ourselves, from other people, and primarily a new proximity to God. This then distances us from sin, from everything that hinders us from accepting God -- the God who loves us. Conversion means more than just a distancing of ourselves from sin, from all that is negative and ugly, but it is also the recognition of everything beautiful that there is in ourselves and in everything around us. God is the fullness of our lives, God is the fullness of joy and of peace. All really who have God do then really have everything. Today, in this world that offers so much, a result is often that the people who have it all have lost the meaning of life or live in darkness, because they do not have God. The one who has God has everything, and so Mary has once again spoken to us and has again called us to decide for prayer, so that in prayer we may meet Jesus, and that we may then in silence accept God's love for us that is ready and able to transform and change us. And so at the end of these thoughts about this latest message we should once again pray...

God, Our Father, we thank You that You have created us and the whole world, and we, along with Mary and in the name of Your Son, Jesus, ask of You to send us Your Holy Spirit, to free our hearts from everything that hinders us from meeting Your Son Jesus in prayer so that we can be with Him. Open our eyes for all that is beautiful of your creatures, and forgive us that we so often have been blind for Your creatures, for our lives and for the lives of others, and due to this have lost our joy for life. Open our eyes that we may see You in every flower, in every plant and animal, so that we may praise and give You glory for Your power and Your love toward all that You have created. Especially, O Father, free us from everything that pulls us out of the silence of the heart, so that hearts may become silent and we become capable to meet with Your Son. Reveal to us Your love and through Your love transform and change us. We bring to You all that is wounded, all that has remained crippled inside us, and now expose ourselves to Your love so that It will heal us and give a new chance to grow more like You. We believe that this is possible because You are our Almighty God. Father, we especially recommend to You now all the young who will be coming here for the International Youth Prayer Festival. We believe that You are calling every person, and we believe that Your love for everyone is able to transform every heart, heal every fear and wound in every family and in every community. Give us the grace that we come to understand this time as being one of grace and that we make good use of it for our personal conversion. O Father, free our hearts so that You may have the first place in our hearts and that Your love for us may fill our lives so that we may have You and that we then know what it is that our heart needs. We thank You that we may speak to You and awaken in our hearts a deep yearning to once again be with You. With the intercession of Mary, and through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Fra Slavko , Medjugorje

July 27, 1998

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For God to live in your hearts, you must love.