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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 174 (March-April 2004)

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“Not my will, but Thine, be done!”
(Lk 22.42)
Our Lady’s message, 25 January 2004:
Dear Children, also today I call you
to pray. In particular, my Children, pray
for all those who haven’t come to know
God’s love. Pray that their hearts may
open and draw close to my heart and to
the Heart of my Son Jesus, so that we
can transform them into people of peace
and love. Thank you for responding to
my call.
Men of Peace and Love
“A new century, a new millennium are
opening in the light of Christ. But not
everyone can see this light. Ours is the
wonderful and demanding task of becoming
its reflection,”
says the Pope in his
document, Novo Millennio Ineunte (nr.
54); and Mary tells us precisely how to
become this reflection of Christ’s light:
Dear Children, also today I invite you
to pray.
How unlike our own methods is Mary’s
call! Can prayer resolve man’s problems?
The heartfelt prayer of a righteous man
works very powerfully
(Jm 5:16), and Mary
insists on asking us to pray: not to unload,
but to bear responsibility with wisdom; not
to expect from a distant God the solutions
of our problems, but to draw from Him
the necessary light.
Praying is letting God reach down to
us, so that a vital and concrete relationship
is formed and day by day it transforms
our life and the life of others. This
transformation doesn’t only reach out to
those who are physically near us, but to
all those whom we meet in Christ, even if
they should be distant in terms of space
and time.
Pray, my Children, in particular for
all those who haven’t come to know
God’s love
. Prayer is the channel which
allows God’s love to flow, and today we
are called to allow this love to reach all
those who haven’t known It. Who could
they be? Those who haven’t heard speak
about God (and these are a minority), and
those who have more or less consciously
refused His Love (certainly the majority,
but perhaps we too are amongst them).
Pray, that their hearts may open
and draw close to my Heart and to the
Heart of my Son, Jesus
. Pray: not to ask
for some sort of a grace or heavenly favour,
but to ask for an open heart and surrender
to God which Mary so desires from us.
Pray: for a real and total conversion which
shortens the distance between the heart of
men and the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
thereby allowing Them to transform us
into men of peace and love
“Our world is entering the new
millennium burdened by the contradictions
of an economic, cultural and technological
progress which offers immense possibilities
to a fortunate few, while leaving millions of
others not only on the margins of progress
but in living conditions far below the
minimum demanded by human dignity.”
(NMI, 50) In this scenario, so realistically
described by the Holy Father, it is
extremely necessary and urgent that we
be men of peace and love. Reciting
prayers or participating in prayer vigils
isn’t enough! We must become reflections
of Christ’s light in today’s world, and let
ourselves be transformed by Him. We
must let Him live in us so that
can transform our saying and doing into
Be men of peace and love so His Love
and Peace might reach out to every man,
every woman, every living creature! Be
men of peace and love to witness that
Christ is alive and present in today’s world!
Witness that He is ever willing to dry every
tear, heal every wound! Tell everyone, more
with one’s life than with words, that God
bends down over those who make
themselves little and needy, that He
embraces the victim, but He doesn’t spurn
the persecutor!
Let us hand over our lives to Mary so
peace and love may triumph in the world.
Peace and joy in Jesus and Mary.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
Our Lady’s message, 25 February 2004:
Dear Children, today also, as never
before, I call you to open your hearts
up to my messages. Dear Children, be
those who draw souls to God and not
those who distance them. I am with you
and love you all with a special love. This
is a time of penance and conversion.
From the depths of my heart, I call you
to be mine with all your heart and then
you will see that your God is great,
because He will give you an abundance
of blessings and peace. Thank you for
responding to my call.
As Never Before
“As it was in the days of Noah, so will it
be in the days of the Son of man. They ate,
they drank, they married, they were given in
marriage, until the day when Noah entered
the ark, and the flood came and destroyed
them all. Likewise as it was in the days of
Lot – they ate, they drank, they bought, they
sold, they planted, they built, but on the day
when Lot went out from Sodom fire and
brimstone rained from heaven and destroyed
them all – so will it be on the day when the
Son of man is revealed.”
(Lk 17:26-30). And:
“Those Galileans whose blood Pilate had
mingled with their sacrifices, were not worse
sinners than all the others; and those
eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell
and killed were not worse offenders than all
the other inhabitants of Jerusalem. But
unless you repent,”
says the Lord, “you will
all likewise perish.”
(Lk 13:1-5)
Being immersed in daily chores, we risk
being overrun and killed by them. “Unless
you believe that I am he, you will die in your
says the Lord (Jn 8:24). To believe in
Jesus doesn’t mean knowing who He is, for
even Satan knows better than us who He is.
Believing in Him means to live with Him, and
by His word.
Mary invites us to this encounter with
the Lord, and her call today is more
impassioned than ever: “Today, as never
before, I call you to open your hearts up to
my messages.”
Mary, our Ark of the
Covenant, waits for us still. The doors of her
Heart are always open, but will we always be
given the chance of crossing their threshold?
Today we are still in time: “you are mine”
but what about tomorrow? “This is time of
penance and conversion”
: a favourable time
to mend one’s ways and return to the Father’s
house (Lk 15:11-32). Repent and turn from
all your transgressions.. Cast away from you
all the transgressions, and make yourselves
a new heart and a new spirit.. Repent, and
(Ez 18: 30-32).
We too, as never before, desire accepting
your call, Mother. With all our heart we desire
belonging to you
: wholly thine, Mary, without
reserving anything for ourselves. May the
March-April 2004, Yr 20 # 2 - Echo of Mary, Casella Postale 27, I-31030 Bessica Treviso, Italy.
Ph/fax 0423-470331 - E-mail: info@ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
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Holy Spirit pervade us completely, transform
us entirely, renew us totally, orient
everything in us for the praise and glory of
God. Obtain for us the grace of knowing
how to offer our own lives
, joyfully and
simply. Obtain for us the Lord’s embrace,
an embrace so tight that we disappear in Him
and thus become one with Him: that the
Father might see only one Son before Him.
O Mother, it is not out of desire for
personal glory that we pray such, but that
we might remain in the presence of the Father
and do what is pleasing to Him (Jn 8:29). You
also ask us to be those who draw souls to
God and not those who distance them
. How
can we possibly be so if Christ does not abide
in us? You are with us and you love us all
with a special love,
and this intensifies our
hope. Obtain for us the forgiveness of our
sins, so our mistrust might be transformed
into faith, our every expectation into hope,
our life into love (cf. Jn 15:13).
From the depths of Mary’s heart come
an invitation and a promise: be mine with all
your heart and you will see that your God is
great, because He will give you an abundance
of blessings and peace.
We are witness
already to this promise, and we give you
thanks for your work of salvation.
John Paul II :
During Lent let us
think of the children
“The evocative rite of the imposition of
ashes marks the beginning of the holy season
of Lent, when the Liturgy once more calls the
faithful to radical conversion and trust in
God’s mercy.” Thus begins the Holy Father’s
message which he wrote for Lent. He chose
the ever-important theme of children:
Whoever receives one such child in my name
receives me’
, because: “Today Jesus
continues to call them to himself and to set
them as an example to all those who wish to
be his disciples. Jesus’ words call upon us to
see how children are treated
in our families, in civil
society, and in the Church
They are also an incentive to
rediscover the simplicity and
trust which believers must
cultivate in imitation of the
Son of God, who shared the
lot of the little ones and the
Jesus had a particular
love for cildren because of
‘their simplicity, their joy of
life, their spontaneity, and their
faith filled with wonder.’ For
this reason he wishes the
community to open its arms
and heart to them, even as he did: ‘Whoever
receives one such child in my name receives
(Mt 18:5).
Alongside children Jesus sets
the ‘very least of the brethren’: the suffering,
the needy, the hungry and thirsty, strangers,
the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. In
welcoming them and loving them, or in
treating them with indifference and contempt,
we show our attitude towards Him, for it is in
them that the Lord is particularly present.
In the years of his public life Jesus often
insisted that only those who become like
children will enter the Kingdom of
. In his teaching, young children
become a striking image of the disciple who
is called to follow the divine Master with
childlike docility: ‘Whoever humbles himself
like this child, he is the greatest in the
Kingdom of Heaven’
(Mt 18:4)
. ‘To become’
one of the least and ‘to receive’ the little
: these are two aspects of a single
teaching which the Lord repeats to His
disciples in our time. Only the one who
makes himself one of the ‘least’ is able to
receive with love the ‘least’ of our brothers
and sisters.
Many believers strive faithfully to follow
these teachings of the Lord. Here I would
mention those parents who make every effort
to pass on to their children those human and
religious values that give true meaning to
life.. and all those committed to caring for
underprivileged children and those who
alleviate the sufferings of children and their
families resulting from war and violence,
inadequate food and water, forced
immigration and the many forms of injustice
present in the world.
Together with such great generosity,
however, a word must be said about the
selfishness of those who do not ‘receive’
children. There are young people who have
been profoundly hurt by the violence of
: sexual abuse, forced prostitution,
involvement in the sale and use of drugs;
children forced to work or enlisted for
combat; young children scarred forever by
the break-up of the family; little ones caught
up in the obscene trafficking of organs and
persons. What too of the tragedy of AIDS
and its devastating consequences in Africa?
It is said that millions of persons are now
afflicted by this scourge, many of whom were
infected from birth. Humanity cannot close
its eyes in the face of so appalling a tragedy!
What evil have these children done to
merit such suffering? From a human
standpoint it is not easy, indeed it may be
impossible, to answer this disturbing question.
Only faith can make us begin to understand
so profound an abyss of suffering. By
becoming ‘obedient unto death,
even death on a Cross’
(Phil 2:8)
Jesus took human suffering
upon Himself and illuminated
it with the radiant light of His
resurrection. By His death, He
conquered death once for all. ..
Let us set out with trust on
our Lenten journey,”concludes
John Paul II, “sustained by a
more fervent prayer, by
penance and concern for those
in need. In particular, may this
Lent be a time of ever greater
concern for the needs of
children, in our own families
and in society as a whole: for they are the
future of humanity.
With childlike simplicity let us turn to God
and call Him, as Jesus taught us in the Lord’s
Prayer: ‘Abba’ (Father/Pa). Our Father! Let us
repeat this prayer often during Lent
; let us
repeat it with deep emotion. By calling God ‘Our
Father,’ we will better realize that we are His
children and feel that we are brothers and sisters
of one another. Thus it will be easier for us to
open our hearts to the little ones, following Jesus’
invitation: ‘Whoever receives one such child in
my name receives me’.”
Fasting, fruit of Love
I’m no great ascetic. Like many I’m
weak when faced with the Lenten fast or the
twice-weekly fast on bread and water which
the Queen of Peace asks at Medjugorje, and
I wonder if I’ll ever be capable, and feel
The proposal to fast in our day and age
certainly has a different value to what it had
in the past.
Certain severities of the past aren’t
thinkable today, probably because we’re all
weaker, and because we think that bodily
penance ought to be accompanied by a
greater attention to man’s interior and spiritual
dimension, according to God’s request made
through the prophet Isaiah (Is 58:1-10).
This doesn’t mean it’s worth less, or that
fasting in general or the fast asked by the
Queen of Peace at Medjugorje isn’t possible;
otherwise she wouldn’t have asked. We have
also seen that when the Holy Father asks the
faithful to fast - on certain special occasions
– the response to his request is very positive.
Also for us, in our days, fasting has its
values, such as the need for the essential in
today’s frenzied consumerism, or the care
and respect of the body which is often
overfed, or the need for greater freedom for
the spirit so bound by worldly things, or being
able to share in the lot of the poor, forced to
fast because of misery. But more than this,
fasting is really possible
. Perhaps we have
all experienced this, for if a person really wants
something, he can do it.
There are some things to remember.
The fast proposed by the Queen of Peace
is not compulsory; it is an “ardent invitation”
to voluntarily unite oneself to the sufferings
and to the death of Jesus on the cross for the
salvation of mankind, and to check hatred
and violence, sin and death. Neither the Lord,
nor the Blessed Virgin, will look with disdain
upon us if we do not fast, because the problem
isn’t not having fasted; it is, rather, a case of
spiritual immaturity. It means we still haven’t
matured within our minds the need to unite
ourselves to the Cross of Christ, because we
aren’t sufficiently aware of the gravity of sin
present in the world.
Therefore, fasting is not fruit of a brief
voluntary effort that makes us sad. It has its
times and ways, and in the tradition of the
First Testament (Dt 9:9-18) and in Jesus’ time
(Mt 4:1-2)
they were well-known, just as they
were in Christian ascetical practice (Acts
13:3), and which we should re-discover if we
wish to live well. Otherwise, our fast and our
righteousness are not much different to that
of the Pharisees to whom Jesus said: “When
you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the
hypocrites do so that men know they are
fasting… When you fast, anoint your head
and wash your face… and your Father who
sees all that is done in secret will reward
(Mt 6:16-18).
Fasting is a gift of grace which comes
with new life in Christ, which we receive with
our Baptism. It is an expression of “life
according to the Spirit,” operated by the new
creature generated in us that makes the old
man and all his needs and pretences die so
that the new man is born, and this new man is
able to live not by bread alone, but by every
word which comes from the mouth of God.
In another passage of the Bible the
Pharisees reproach Jesus’ disciples for not
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fasting. Jesus responds that it isn’t the right
moment; that they are still in the stage when
one feels the need to have the “Groom”
(Jesus) near them and to enjoy the feast of
the kingdom which is to come. He says that
afterwards they will know what it is to bear
the cross (the Groom will be removed from
them), and then they will fast. It is as if Jesus
is telling us that to fast one must be made
ready, and that there are different degrees to
it. The Lord adds: “No one sews a piece of
unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.. And
nobody puts new wine into old wineskins..
but new wine into new skins.” (Mk 2:18-22).
Fasting is part of the new life as a
Christian and is fruit of love. If you have
still not matured, you cannot pretend to give
what you don’t have. You can’t pretend to
jump two metres if you’re still not able to
jump 20 cm. You can fast when you know
how to love, for it is only through truly loving
that you can sacrifice yourself for a loved
one. You can love when you have truly
understood the love of Jesus Christ who
allowed Himself to be crucified for you, and
when you have true love for your brothers
and sisters. But this takes pure love, not
“commercial love” whereby one gives
according to what one receives; and not even
a love that is afraid of God is pure love.
The Gospel tells us of a Pharisee who
fasts twice weekly and lives according to the
Law, but he isn’t “justified” before God
because he uses the fast to brag about his
merits, and to treat others with disdain (Lk
18:9-14). God doesn’t need our sacrifices. We
need them as they help us open ourselves
up to Him and to His Life in us. God doesn’t
impose anything on us; He doesn’t control
us. Therefore, he who fasts must do it out of
love, not out of fear of not pleasing God, or
of losing His favours and grace.
God knows how to wait, and He loves and
respects those who still aren’t able to fast.
Then again, the Church - which reflects God’s
merciful countenance - demands very little
of us officially: only twice a year are we
obliged to fast (Ash Wednesday and Good
Friday), but at the same time she never tires
of asking her children to choose a life which
is sober and detached from worldly things.
Therefore, fasting is a gift of Grace. It is
for this reason that there can’t be fast without
prayer. This Grace doesn’t come from
ourselves, but is a gift that we must ask for
insistently in prayer. If it were possible,
fasting without prayer would only be a
biological fact: there are plenty who make lots
of sacrifices to become slimmer and to keep
fit, but this has nothing to do with Christian
fasting, for even an atheist can do this type
of fast.
Christian fasting demands that it be
accompanied by prayer; not only because
through this we obtain from the Lord the
strength to renounce food, but especially
because it expresses the love which urges us
to fast. The exercise of meditating on Christ’s
Passion is enough to lessen our appetite. If
we contemplate on Mary’s sorrows, and like
her we take upon ourselves the ruin that
Satan causes in souls, in families and in the
world, we see how our hunger takes second
place, because other things become more
important, and we become aware of an inner
freedom that dilates the heart, and though
we stay without food, we feel well and at
the scourging. Victim of man’s over-bearing
arrogance, He accepts the blows which tear
His flesh away.
In the third sorrowful mystery we
contemplate the defenceless hands of
Jesus before His offenders
A storm of other hands thunder down
upon Him: pushing, slapping, stripping…
Mad hands, violent hands, restless hands.
Hands of pagans, deceived by their own
ignorance. But what is all this din for the
Lamb on His way to the slaughter? He can
make no objection; this is the hour of
meekness. He doesn’t try to defend
Himself; He doesn’t use His hands to
offend, and not even to remove the twisted
crown of thorns, so cruelly placed on His
head, as if it could kill His holy thoughts.
His hands are inert, surrendered, disarmed;
yet still so steeped in passion.
In the fourth sorrowful mystery we
contemplate the hands of the carpenter
from Nazareth carrying the Cross
His hands knew the feel of wood; He
could tell a tree by the texture and colour
of its bark and pulp. The smell of it would
tell Him whether it was a maple, a walnut,
an ash, or else. An expert carpenter; he
learnt the trade from His father, Joseph.
Who knows which tree the Cross, now
oppressing His shoulders, belonged to!
Perhaps Jesus had understood. For us it
was an unknown tree, planted by an
unknown person, destined to become the
banner and throne of a King, whose Name
would resound from one end of the earth
to the other. Upon that wood was placed a
plaque with His initials: I.N.R.I. (Jesus of
Nazareth, King of the Jews)
“When I shall be raised above the
ground, I will draw everyone to me,” He
had said one day, but now this has become
harsh reality. A voice whispers in His heart:
one more step, you’ve nearly made it; hold
on to this blessed wood which sprouted
from the earth for You, Son of David. Your
hands suffer for the hardness of the wood,
and Your Heart for the hardness of hearts.
As a tree trunk ripped out of the ground,
let Yourself be consumed for their sake
and the warmth of Your Love will save
He has reached the top. It is nearly over.
In the fifth sorrowful mystery we
contemplate the hands of Jesus nailed to
the Cross
Stretched out, bleeding, nailed to the
Cross… It is done. Man, in his arrogance,
has managed to immobilize God, and he
hasn’t understood that God-Jesus was
born to give him freedom. Yet man did not
want to understand it that day when he
thought his thirst for power was being
threatened; threatened by the One whose
only proposal was to don the weapons of
humility: No, we can’t run the risk. There’s
no time to lose.. We must stop those hands!
And man still doesn’t understand. Poor
man, still he doesn’t know that all
mankind is being lifted up to the Father
by those open Hands of the High Priest,
by the Immolated Lamb, the spotless
Lamb. With His blood He washes our sin;
and Mary, directly beneath Him, receives
every drop.
Stefania Consoli
peace with ourselves and with others.
That’s another important point “the
others”: for when you feel closer to God’s
Heart, and you become aware of the
sentiments of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, you
want to do something for the others, as they
become more important than yourself, your
worries and your needs. You feel that you
want to do something, even everything,
especially for those who are dearest to you
or who suffer the most. And even in this case,
the Word of the Lord comes to our aid: “This
kind of demon can only be driven out by
prayer and fasting.”
Take courage then! Let us ask the Lord,
through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, for the grace of Christian fast, and it
will be granted to us (cf. Mt 7:7-11).
Fr. Nicolino Mori
The Sorrowful Mysteries
His Hands Steeped in
Hands nailed to the cross, wounded
and contracted as they agonize in
indescribable pain as the nails pierce His
Hands of a God, wanted by Him to
bless, to caress, to heal, to show the way.
Christ’s consecrated hands, anointed by
the Father to serve the Priest who would
bring it salvation and redemption. He alone
can throw back the doors of the Kingdom,
through His own sacrifice at a wooden
altar: a wooden cross driven into the ground
atop Calvary.
In the first sorrowful mystery we
contemplate Jesus’ hands joined together,
imploring as He prays
He had just used His hands to fulfil a
solemn gesture, one which would go down
in perennial memory. He had broken the
bread, blessed it and shared it out amongst
His table companions, who were starving
for love and truth. Yet, before consecrating
the supper, those same hands had washed
and dried their feet: an extremely humble
gesture of submission and service.
The cold night air has made His hands
cold; they are clasped as He implores: “My
Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass
by me!”
(Mt 26:39).
In the dark, long night in Gethsemane,
His hands are steeped in pain and passion,
suffered for the sake of all humanity, of
every single person of all times, from the
very beginning to the very end.
His surrender is His victory: In the second
sorrowful mystery we contemplate how
God gives up His hands to men so they
can be tied to a pillar
With simple gestures of blessing, His
hands had freed so many from their
illnesses, unclean spirits and from sin. They
had opened the eyes of the blind, and the
ears of the deaf, granting freedom and
dignity. They absolved adulteresses,
condemned those who accused, writing
their sins in the sand.
With His hands now bound together and
tied to a pillar, the Lamb offers His back for
Echo 174
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“Extraordinary” gifts
by Fr. TomislavVlasic
If you wish to
advance in the
it is important
that you keep in mind
what is essential to
your journey, and to
its unfolding. Each of
us has been created
in the image and
likeness of God, and
it is this particular
identity of ours that the Lord desires
maturing so we can enter into a living
relationship with Him. We are similar to a
flower bud which, irrigated with the Grace
of God’s Love, develops according to His
plans. Each of us grows and matures at his
own rate, to his own degree, but the
important thing is that we know how to
journey with security towards the essential
so that our lives (and God’s plans for our
lives) reach fulfilment.
In a spiritual journey it often
happens that people place importance
on extraordinary experiences
. What is
extraordinary for man, however, is not
necessarily extraordinary for God. And,
indeed, an extraordinary experience does
not imply that one will automatically go to
heaven. Instead, it can even be an obstacle.
Thus, we must be careful not to allow what
we think is extraordinary to dim what is
extraordinary for God; and keep in mind
that for God the most extraordinary thing
is the life of the Holy Trinity in us.
Giving ourselves over to extraordinary
experiences can easily turn faith into “cheap
” Chasing after extraordinary
experiences is a bit like donning a spiritual
mask which hides immature and unfulfilled
people, and even people who don’t really
desire converting. And this is all very risky.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, St.
Paul writes to tell us of “the excellent way.”
the Way of God’s Love, of a Love which is
greater than any human love. And whilst it is
made up of many “extraordinary things,” we
can’t forget that divine love is pure harmony,
perfection, omnipotence. Paul writes: “Love
is patient and kind, love is not jealous or
boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love
does not insist on its own way; it is not
irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at
wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears
all things, believes all things, hopes all
things, endures all things. Love never ends”
(1 Co 13:4-8).
In St. Paul’s description of love we see
a harmonious and fulfilled person, one who
is immersed in God’s Spirit. All these
expressions of love are nothing more than
the fruits of the Holy Spirit which in us
become grace. I recall an experience which
was very meaningful for me. Jelena was little
at the time, and she had had an encounter
with Our Lady. In an inner vision, Jelena saw
a flower. All its petals were fresh, sound and
intact; the flower was beautiful. Our Lady
then said to her:
“See, when a soul is like
this flower, when all the virtues within the
soul are fresh, sound and intact, Satan
cannot pick that flower; no one can, because
that flower belongs entirely to Jesus.”
If a person allows God to be the only
essential “thing” within his soul, then God
is free to direct any experience according to
need and to the rhythm and mission of the
individual. The person need only remain
open, like Mary, to accept all that God grants,
and take part in His initiative by allowing God
to promote in him His will and action.
Instead, concentrating too much on
extraordinary experiences (according to
human criteria)
it easily happens that our
faculties get locked into that direction and
we use them to satisfy our desires. It thus
happens that Satan steals into our ego and
he bites at the flower of our life, removing
from it freshness and harmony, and
making it wither. Holy Scripture helps
us understand even better
. In St. Peter’s
second letter we read: “His divine power
has granted to us all things that pertain to
life and godliness, through the knowledge
of Him who called us to His own glory and
excellence, by which He has granted to us
His precious and very great promises, that
through these you may escape from the
corruption that is in the world because of
passion, and become partakers of the divine
God, then, has foreseen that each of us
should enter to take part in His divine nature.
St. Peter, continues: “For this very reason
make every effort to supplement your faith
with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and
knowledge with self-control, and self-
control with steadfastness, and steadfastness
with godliness, and godliness with brotherly
affection, and brotherly affection with love.
For if these things are yours and abound,
they keep you from being ineffective or
unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ. For whoever lacks these things is
blind and shortsighted and has forgotten
that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be ever more zealous to
confirm your call and election, for if you do
this you will never fall; so there will be richly
provided for you an entrance into the eternal
kingdom of our Lord.”
(2 Pt 3-11)
What is extraordinary? The Resurrection
of Jesus Christ is extraordinary, and His
Ascension, through which He took up to the
Father our human nature. Extraordinary is the
Assumption into Heaven of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, which immersed Her - body and
soul - into the life of the Holy Trinity.
This is the way for us all to take. On this
way, our greatest ideal is Mary Most Holy. In
the Gospel, in apparitions, and in mystical
experiences, Mary’s manifestations are never
“extraordinary” contrary to what men would
expect, but are marked by simplicity, and she
is ever humble and obedient. At the heart of
her manifestations there is always God, and
Mary is forever His servant.
Our Lady desires introducing us into an
ever more complete relationship with God,
so that we too might have the fullness of life,
that same fullness which one day made her
chant: “My soul magnifies the Lord…” It is
very important that our spirituality should
take on this simple and vital characteristic
so that our prayer can become life, and our
life can be prayer, and so that through both
we are led to communion with God. If we
live this way, day by day will unfold before
us true miracles, and we will understand that
there is nothing more extraordinary than a
God who has decided to live within every
man’s heart.
News from the blessed land
Fr Ljubo: Our Lady was
here before me!
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic substituted Fr.
Slavko in his various tasks, including
commenting the monthly message and
encountering pilgrims who visit the Shrine.
From a recording of one these meetings
(thanks to Alberto Bonifacio)
, we have made
a summary of the most important points,
which help us understand the presence of
Mary, today, amongst her children.
“Our Lady came here long before I did
... in fact, She came over 22 years ago.
And of course Medjugorje today is quite
different to what it was then. Our Lady,
however, has remained the same, just as
her motherly love has remained the same..
also her words have remained the same.
But we can, and must change and improve.
Seeing Our Lady wouldn’t mean
we’d believe more
The visionaries see Our Lady as a three-
dimensional person. They can touch her,
feel her, speak to her, just the way we do
with each other. Seeing Our Lady with
the eyes is certainly a grace, a great gift,
but when the visionaries asked the Gospa
why she doesn’t appear to everyone, she
replied with a biblical passage: “Happy are
those who will believe without having
(Jn 20:29). We might think that seeing
Her would make us believe more, but faith
isn’t given through the eyes. It is received
by the heart and spirit. One can meet,
experience and even love Our Lady more
deeply without seeing her with the eyes.
In Medjugorje Our Lady doesn’t
reveal anything new
She doesn’t satisfy our curiosity; she
doesn’t foretell the future; she doesn’t
frighten us. She simply calls us. Medjugorje
today is a striking sign that God is seeking
man, because man needs God. Medjugorje
is the voice of the God of Eden who says to
Adam: “Where are you? Man, why do you
hide from me? Why are you afraid of me?”
Thus we must not expect to learn something
new here; but we ought to begin to live by
what we already know.
Some say that Christianity today is in
crisis. This isn’t true. Not Christianity, but
Christians are in crisis. Christianity is not
an ideology, it is a Person. And to those
who say that Christianity has aged and has
nothing to say to this world, I say that in
reality Christianity hasn’t been discovered
yet; its strength - Jesus’ strength - hasn’t
been discovered yet. Jesus repeats to all
Christians what He said to Philip: “I’ve been
with you for so long, and you still don’t
know me!” Our Lady came here so
Christians could come to know Jesus
better, because it is through knowing Him
better that we can know ourselves better.
God and Our Lady have come to look
for us because They love us
Generally, we pray to God, but I would
dare say that God also prays, or beseeches
us. Through Our Lady, here today, God
urges us to believe in Him and to love Him,
because just as we need God’s Love, He too
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needs our love, our heart and our trust.
If some of Our Lady’s messages aren’t
attractive, it’s because she came here to
disturb us, to make us move onto the way
of salvation and of life; and the way she
shows us isn’t an easy wide tarred road,
but is stoney, rough and narrow.
Our Lady’s apparitions: not an
invention, not a fantasy
The Bible shows us how our faith is
founded on apparitions. The Bible is full
of apparitions, visions, revelations… The
only difference between Lourdes, Fatima
and Medjugorje is that Mary is appearing
here today. I don’t know where she’ll
appear tomorrow. I think, in fact, that a
Mother cannot remain silent and immobile.
Our Lady was assumed into Heaven, but
that doesn’t mean she “retired.” The love
that she has for each of us urges her to
come amongst us and speak to us.
God gave us everything
He asks for everything
The enthusiasm of the early
days, and even the first years of
the apparitions was very intense,
which is only natural. It’s easy to
be enthusiastic for a day, a week,
or even a month or year, but we
must grow and mature, and make
every effort to fight the battle. Life
is a long battle. Spiritual life in
particular demands great effort: we
must fight if we wish to remain on
the way that leads us to God. For
this battle Our Lady gives us
efficacious instruments which we
must know how to use… Even if
we read all Our Lady’s messages,
but if we don’t pay heed to them
what good would they bring us?
The messages are a little repetitive
One often hears this being said, and
it’s true. I, too, was tempted to ask Our
Lady for something else, something
sensational, or something new, but then I
understood that the problem wasn’t the
message, but me and my selfish heart. I
wanted Our Lady to resolve what I was
supposed to resolve. Messages are like
signals that show the way, but if we sit
back, resting up against one of the road
signs we’ll never reach our destination. No
one can substitute us, no one can live for
us, no one can suffer or die for us. Each
of us is called to respond personally to
God, and to say to Him “yes” or “no.”
God wants everything from us;
He is very demanding
God wants everything from us, because
He gave everything to us. He gave us all of
Himself, all His love, and His life, and from
us He wants everything. How does one meet
God? All it takes is to desire meeting Him.
Once a disciple went to his spiritual guide
and asked: “How can I meet God? I’ve read
many books, and I’ve been round the world,
but I didn’t find Him.” His guide led him to
a river and pushed his head under water,
holding it firmly down. The youth tried in
vain to free himself. When the guide let go
he asked: “What was your greatest desire
whilst you were under water?” to which the
youth replied, “Air.” The guide responded:
“When your desire for God is as great, you
will surely meet Him.”
We cannot deceive our soul. Our soul
seeks God because it came out of the hands
and heart of God, and when it can’t perceive
His presence it emits signs of nervousness
and bewilderment. You only need to
acknowledge these signs, for our soul cries
out within us; and when a soul is
undernourished it seeks its food, and its food
is God.
Our Lady asks of us strong faith
She calls us to a faith which is not
autosuggestion, because faith means
opening the door to someone, it means
opening the door of our heart. Fear is
contrary to faith. At times even amongst
believers we find someone who fears the
past, the future, sickness, the number 13,
a black cat, etc. This happens when faith
is weak. A weakening faith makes room
for superstition, and this makes Christians
look totally ridiculous.
If I am not close to God, I will
be afraid of everything. But if your
God is all powerful, what should
you fear? Everything is in His
hands: every moment of history, the
entire universe, including your life
and your death.
However, as St. Augustine
says: “God created us without us,
but He doesn’t want to save us
without us,”
without our “yes.”
Many people, upon coming to
Medjugorje, say they find peace
and are able to pray better, and the
problem begins when they return
home; but Our Lady is always the
same, whether you are in Africa,
America, Italy, or Medjugorje. You
see, we are the ones who change:
maybe we stay with God five or ten
minutes, or an hour, but then we leave Him
in the church while we go back to living out
our daily lives.
Why pray? God needs my heart
Prayer is nourishment for our faith.
The more I pray, the more I believe. The
two things go together. Prayer is only a
means, not the scope. Praying for the sake
of praying doesn’t make sense, because
God doesn’t need my prayer. God needs
my heart, my life; He needs me. It is easier
to give God one’s prayer than one’s heart.
Prayer is an instrument which tills and
aerates the soil. If prayer is absent from
my life, then there is no space in it for
God to enter. God knows how to wait,
and when He meets me He doesn’t ask:
“What have you done? Why did you sin?
Where have you been?”, but rather: “Do
you believe in Me? Do you love Me?” God
isn’t interested in our sins, but in us!
Mary approaches us with great respect
She doesn’t force us; she doesn’t insist,
and she never says: “you must”, but: “I bow
down before your freedom.” If we think it
is better to sin, we can sin. No one can force
us not to sin, no one can impede us. In each
sin there is a reality which we find attractive,
or promising. No sin is ugly on the exterior,
but it gives you little and in the end it takes
everything from you, catching you in a net
from which you can be freed only through
God’s Grace.
Medjugorje: world’s confessional
Our Lady calls us, above all, to
confession. In fact, it is said that Medjugorje
is the world’s confessional. Today,
confession is going through a period of crisis
because people have lost the awareness of
sin, so they think that if God doesn’t exist,
sin doesn’t exist either.
Sin is a spiritual reality which influences
our relationships, our very life. We see its
consequences, but we can’t see how it is
the cause of our nervousness and
restlessness which sin provokes. That’s
why confessionals are empty and
psychiatric clinics are full, because
neglecting man’s spirit and heart means to
neglect his whole person.
Our soul is like a glass pane. When the
sun shines on the glass pane all its stains
become evident. The same happens with
our soul and heart when God’s light (grace)
shines on it. That is why the greatest saints
always felt they were the biggest sinners.
Theirs wasn’t an act of humility, but the
plain truth, as they had a much better vision
of themselves.
Our Lady speaks to us in a simple way,
as a mother would
Mary loves us, and she suffers with
us. She suffers when I suffer, and she is
sorrowed if I do not take her seriously,
when I don’t pay heed to her, or when I
distance myself from her. Her messages
may seem simple and even banal, but she
didn’t come to give us intellectual or
theological lessons. She came to speak to
us with simple words, with the words of
a mother. In a family where the children
are on the right way, parents don’t need
to speak, to repeat, to counsel. Instead,
when the children take a wrong way
parents never tire of correcting them. The
same happens in the world: if everything
is okay, there is no need of Our Lady’s
apparitions. They are, therefore, a sign of
our times, a sign that God wants to tell us
something. Through Our Lady’s
apparitions God is bowing down over us
even before we turn to Him. St. John the
apostle says: “Not we have loved God, but
God has loved us”
(1 Jn 4:10).
With Jesus in Her arms
Sr. Emmanuel reports how Our Lady
appeared to Mirjana (on the 2nd Jan.) with
the Child Jesus in Her arms. “Our Lady has
always appeared with the Child Jesus in her
arms on the night of Christmas. For the first
time, after 22 years, she has appeared with
the Child Jesus in her arms on a day which is
not Christmas Day.
Mary held Jesus out in front of herself so
His gaze could embrace all those present.
When Mirjana came to herself again after the
ecstasy, she was moved by the event and
wrote the message down immediately: ‘Today
I bring you my Son, your God. Open your
hearts so that you can receive Him and carry
Him with you. Receive the happiness and
peace that He offers you. Thank you for
responding to my call.’ ”
* She had given him a kidney. On the
4th February, the brother of the visionary
Marija, Andrija Pavlovic, returned to the Lord.
He was 47 years old. Marija and husband Pa-
olo arrived from Italy for the funeral. In 1988
Marija saved his life by donating him one of
her kidneys.
Sr. Emmanuel
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A Fresh Clear Spring
The cold air bites into your skin when
you get out of the car after arriving in the
village of Herzegovina; with your heart full
of expectation. The bora - that strong
gusty wind of the Balkans - blows away
every particle of dust, making the air clear,
dry and glistening. Just one breath and you
realize that you have reached the spring of
something that gushes out, limpid and
chaste. Not the weather conditions,
however, create this sensation. No, it is
the certainty in one’s heart that the Heart
of the Mother, most pure and
Immaculate, here in Medjugorje, is
. Her Heart is a spring which pours
out its water; it is fresh spring water,
gushing impetuously; it mitigates every
scorching heart and every parching thirst.
Having to live in the relentless
mechanism of society which produces and
consumes in a frenzy, one gets the
sensation of being caught up in a whirlpool
by the many things which require our
attention, time and energy. In return we
feel poisoned by life, which is ever so
demanding and polluted. We busy ourselves
to follow goals that make us age
precociously, devoiding us of vitality and
life’s true meaning. We rush “to get it all
done” and then we realize that perhaps
many things weren’t necessary, but were
imposed on us by a system which lives
only for appearances and consumption.
That is why it is so important to
come here to this precious Spring of
.. to be fortified and cleansed. We
must allow it to cleanse us of all that steals
its way into the folds of our being and spirit
and which burdens and suffocates us.
Particularly now at the end of winter
there aren’t many pilgrims about, and
Medjugorje can be enjoyed all the more.
There is calm and silence, children going
to school and returning home, men
repairing roofs, women busy with their
daily chores, and smoking chimneys: a
sign that inside there is a fire, around which
the family moves and rests. There is the
strong odour of dried meat, cheeks turned
red by the cold, souvenir shops closed,
the deafening sound of a hammer. All these
things whisper to our heart: it is here that
Mary lives:
in the ordinariness and
simplicity of a normal life. She doesn’t
want to be seen with the eyes, but desires
living in us, looking with our eyes, speaking
with our tongue, praying with our heart.
She came from Heaven to make our
lives more beautiful, by filling them with
Love, by bringing us the Grace of which
Mary is full
, which would make us
immaculate like her. It is only in this inner
transparency which she donates to us that
we can live without feeling anxious and
whilst still bearing the sufferings which
often accompany life. The Mother teaches
us to lift ourselves with naturalness above
our human condition and to face everything
with a spirit that knows how to look
beyond, with a mind that comprehends
beyond reason, with a body that though it
is destined to perish knows it will one day
be assumed into eternity, just as she was.
Mary, assumed into heaven, is present
today on the earth.
I climb the hill to go and thank her and
to return the embrace she made me feel on
my arrival. As companions I have only the
stones, trampled on by a multitude of people
over these years of apparitions. There is no
need to pray, or to think.. The air I breathe
is my prayer; the sun which warms me as I
walk is my thought. I simply keep on
climbing as I go to meet my Queen who
awaits me.
A statue indicates the place where the
Virgin appeared on many occasions.
Around her there are two.. three.. four
people, immersed in secret conversation
with their Mother. Rosary beads slip slowly
through their fingers. I choose a stone to
sit on, and fall happily into Mary’s embrace
A list of names begins to slowly and
silently unfold before me, bringing to mind
the needs, sorrows and desires of many,
known and unknown. I offer them to
Mary while remaining silent. It is then that
from the Spring – in which I have placed
my heart – Grace begins to gush forth.
Irrepressible, like a river in flood, it rushes
through my soul and begins to flow out in
all directions.
Beauty cannot be restrained; it spreads
out on its own. Inebriated by its purity, I
remain a little longer in this heavenly
embrace, and discover how I, too, can
become a fountain of peace and blessing.
Stefania Consoli
Gospa’s ‘voice’ via Radio
Radio Mir Medjugorje has begun
transmitting live via satellite. The prayer and
liturgical programme can now be heard by
friends of the Gospa in Europe, the near East
and Africa. Radio Mir Medjugorje is fruit of
Our Lady’s apparitions
, and is at the service
of the faithful, of the Church, of society and
of the numerous pilgrims. It has so far offered
consolation and hope to the many who are
isolated, poor, or who have suffered the
consequences of the war which recently
devastated our regions.
Every evening (at 5 pm) the radio
transmits live from St. James the evening
programme (Rosary, Mass, Adoration).
radio is not financed by organizations (state
or other) but lives on God’s providence and
on what friends of the Gospa generously
donate. So far the radio has survived thus.
Transmission via satellite (a service
requested of us by pilgrims) obviously entails
many more costs. For this reason we are for
the first time asking for help to support this
project. Only with your help will we be able
to reach you and your continent. Donate to:
Informativni centar MiR Medjugorje,
Zagrebacka banka BH, D.D. Mostar,
Swift: ZABA BA 22 , 7100-48-06-027746
When donating please supply your full
name (or name of the institution). We thank
you in advance for donations, even the smallest,
and for your support. We entrust you to the
prayers and intercession of the Queen of Peace.
Fr. Mario Knezovic, ofm (Director)
How to find us: Satellite HOT BIRD 6,
Position: 13 E, Transponder No. 90, Reception
frequency: 12 520 MHz, Polarization: Y
(vertical), Symbol rate: 27 500, FEC 3/4
“Return to your initial fervour”
Importance of the Heart
in Mary’s Messages
(Part II)
As at Fatima, also at Medjugorje, Our
Lady urges us to Consecrate ourselves to
Her Immaculate Heart,
attributing a decisive
value to this spiritual passage, almost as
though it were a compulsory way upon
which we receive the fullness of the special
graces God is offering to the world in this
time: “Consecrate yourselves to my
Immaculate Heart. Surrender yourselves
completely to me and I will protect you and
pray to the Holy Spirit to pour forth (His
gifts) upon you…”
(Message 2/8/83); “I
desire that every family should consecrate
itself every day to the Heart of Jesus and to
my Immaculate Heart”
(19/10/83); “Lift up
fervent supplications to my Heart and the
Heart of my Son, and you will receive every
grace. Consecrate yourselves to us”
But what is the meaning, in full, of this
special consecration so important to Mary?
(And to which some no doubt object, asking
if anything can possibly be added to the
fundamental baptismal consecration saying
that it is the source and beginning of every
perfect grace.)
Our Lady herself, gives us the answer:
“In particular, my Children, I would like to
bring you closer to the Heart of Jesus. Thus,
my Children, I am calling you today to pray
to my beloved Son, that all your hearts may
be His. I also invite you to consecrate
yourselves to my Immaculate Heart. I desire
that you consecrate yourselves as
individuals, as families and as Parishes, so
that all might belong to God through my
(25/10/1988); “I invite all those who
have said ‘yes’ to me to renew their
consecration to my Son Jesus, to His Heart,
and to me, so that we might use you even
more effectively as instruments of peace in
this world without peace.”
Our Lady, in fact, offers herself in this
time in a special way to the Most High: “I am
aflame with love and I suffer for each of you”
(20/11/1984). Mary offers herself so that each
of her children might ever more intimately
partake of the same Life that sets her motherly
Heart so aflame with divine love, and so that
all might be fully associated to the great
mission of hers which is to be co-redeemers,
so that the Life of the Son might be re-
generated in the souls of our brothers and
sisters and in the entire universe. “I am your
mother, and I desire for your hearts to be
similar to my Heart”
(25/11/1994); “Dear
Children, help my Heart to triumph in a
world of sin”
Mary, the only creature perfectly
united to the Heart of the Son, never ceases
to “consecrate herself to God, that we too
may be consecrated in Truth” (cf. Jn 17:19),
beseeching the Father to make each of her
children true companions of the Lamb (cf.
Rev 14:4), and in His Heart they are perfectly
united to His regal offering for the salvation
of all creation: “… people who at the moment
of Jesus’ sacrifice at the altar are ready to
join Him and become with Him a sacrifice
for the world’s salvation”
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This same meaning can be read in the
well-known prayers of consecration to the
of Jesus and Mary, which Jelena
received as a child when the prayer group
was first formed: “.. through your Heart,
make all men love one another.. oh good
Jesus, make us open our hearts up to You at
least in the moment when we remember Your
Passion suffered for us.. may the flame of your
Heart, o Mary, descend upon all mankind...
impress in our hearts true love”
This helps us understand the profound
meaning of the great Marian apparitions at
the end of the millennium at Lourdes and
Fatima, and of the extraordinarily long
presence of the Queen of Peace in the world
at the present time. In fact, in a message given
to the visionary Mirjana, Our Lady said that
even after the apparitions [which would be
the last ones granted to the world: “..then, I
will not appear anymore in the world; these
are my last apparitions
(02/05/1982)] she
would continue to remain with us with her
Heart: “Consecrate your heart to God and
make of it the abode of God! May God live
in it forever! My eyes and my Heart will be
here even when I appear no longer”
In her Heart, however, is present the
entire heavenly Church. The real and
physical presence of Mary (of whom the
Council proclaims: “..in heaven Mary is
glorified body and soul .. she is the image
and the beginning of the Church whose
conclusion is set for a time in the future, with
the Lord’s return”) is surely a sign of the
“new heavens and new earth” (Rev 21:1) and
a sign of the transfiguration of the world
foretold by Scripture (2 Pt 3:13; Rev 2:1-27),
which for divine disposition, will have its
realization in the triumph of the Immaculate
Heart of the Mother, as was revealed at
The meaning of this special
consecration, to which Our Lady continues
to invite us, is thus seen more clearly. She
wants to attract us to her Immaculate Heart
so that our communion with the heavenly
Church is alive and total; so we can commune
with the new Jerusalem that in her and through
her already “comes down out of heaven from
God, and is adorned for her Spouse” (Rev
21:2) and is already present in the Heart of
Mary who appears to us, so that also our
hearts might be “dwellings of God amongst
men” (Rev 21:3).
Thus, a new and great horizon opens
before us helping us to see the value of
Mary’s call to offer one’s life through her
Immaculate Heart for the world’s salvation: a
cornerstone of the message of all her
apparitions. It is a call to open oneself and
receive in full God’s pure Love, and to be
fully united - within the Mother’s Heart - to
the only Love present in the heavenly
Jerusalem, in a live and definite communion
with the Church of the angels and saints.
In this time the inhabitants of Heaven
wish to be united to us and live in us; they
desire us to totally partake of the life and
glory of God which they already enjoy, for
the long-awaited fulfilment of “the mystery
of His will, according to His purpose which
he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness
of time, to unite all things in Him, things in
heaven and things on earth” (Eph 1:10).
Giuseppe Ferraro
In her messages Our Lady has
always stressed the importance
of Lent as a favourable time of
Grace and conversion. In
particular, to the Prayer Group,
through Jelena, She said:
“Make a firm decision to do
something particular this Lent.
I would like to give you some
ideas. During this time try every day to
correct a bad habit, by not committing one
of your most frequent weaknesses or
shortcomings, such as a quick-temper,
impatience, laziness, gossiping, dis-
obedience, refusal of disagreeable people.
If you are unable to put up with someone
who is proud, you must try to approach that
person. Show him that humility is worth more
than pride. Every day, then, meditate upon
yourselves, and within your hearts try to find
what needs changing, the weak point to
overcome, the bad habits to eliminate. You
must make every effort to do this. You must
sincerely desire that this Lent be spent in
love. That way you will be closer to me and
to the heavenly Father. You will be happier,
and also those around you will be happier.”
The Battle in the Desert
teaches man to love
by Jelena Vasilj
The desert has long been traditionally
meaningful for Christians. From as far back
as the first centuries in Egypt, Syria and
Palestine, and later in Asia Minor, and then
in Italy, France and in Ireland the Church has
given us great men and women, lovers of the
desert. From the beginning they have been
known as anchorites (or anachorets), a word
of Greek origin which means a person who
withdraws from the world for religious
reasons, to a secluded place such as a desert.
When we feel our spiritual lives are being
threatened, we feel the need to withdraw into
an inner desert. Yet, when we are in the desert
(far from where we think the danger is) we are
surprised to find that we are in the middle of
the battle. Actually, the “fathers of the desert”
chose the desert not to escape from what
they couldn’t stand out of their own
weakness, but to be immersed in the real
Instead, our battle is often camouflaged,
and takes the form of fake combat, which is
only a sign of our lack of will to fight our
real enemies: the powers of evil St. Paul calls
them. If the Fathers chose the desert it was
because it offers no forms of consolation,
which would otherwise slow down, if not
completely halt, our spiritual growth.
What is this true battle which a person
feels it needs to face once it has finally
become aware of the need to raise itself to
the high peaks of spiritual life?
St. Augustine
comes to our aid with these beautiful words:
“Meanwhile, my brothers, it is difficult that
we can succeed in living without
disagreements. We are called to live in
harmony; we have been commanded to be at
peace with everyone. All of us must make
every effort and engage all our energies to
attempt to reach, in the end, the more complete
peace; yet we argue especially with the ones
upon whom we pour our kindness. When
there is one who errs, you want to lead him
back to the straight way; he offers resistance,
and you argue. At times, when one is tired of
the fight, one says: who makes me do this, to
keep on putting up with those who oppose
me and who render bad for good? I want to
help them, but they want to get lost. I spend
my life arguing, I’m never at peace, and
furthermore I make enemies of the very ones
who ought to be friends, if they took into
account the care I have for them. Why should
I put up with all this? I want to withdraw
from it all; stay on my own, take care only of
myself and invoke my God.
Yes, seek refuge within yourself, and you
will find the fight within yourself as well. If
you have begun to follow God, in you there
will be the fight. Which fight? The flesh has
contrary desires to those of the spirit, and
the spirit contrary desires to those of the flesh
(cf. Gal 5:17). Now here you are, all alone,
alone with yourself; you don’t have to put
up with anybody, but you see in your limbs
another law which contrasts the law of your
spirit, which tends to enslave you to the law
of the sin that is in your limbs. So lift up your
voice, and amid the fight that is within you,
cy out to God, that He might put you at peace
with yourself…”
St. Augustine is right when he says: If
you have begun to follow God, in you there
will be the fight.
It must be present. However,
if I fight alone against the others, it means
that in my spiritual life I am still finding excuses
so as not to face the real battle which is within
me. This, of course, isn’t to justify the way
others behave, but he who follows the way
of holiness must examine his own love which
is never to be offended.
This is why he must go into himself and
look at how he is before his God. A person
might gain from being near others who are
holy, but this doesn’t mean that he is growing
in holiness. The call of the desert is thus an
invitation to view one’s inner house, not to
view the conversion of others, but to view
especially one’s own, because if a person
doesn’t understand he is sick and never goes
to the doctor, he has little chance of being
healed. There is the risk of closing up into
oneself, but this risk disappears when the
reason behind the desire to “journey” is love,
since this journey of the heart is a road which
leads to (the love of) neighbour. However, it
must not be undertaken out of curiosity. If
this were the case the soul would only lose
itself in the illusion that it were “open.” Such
a soul might be open, but it would also be
empty, because its curiosity for others’
business would only make it lose time.
The scope of the desert is therefore
perfect love. It is founded on the courage not
to entrust oneself to the numerous “crutches”
of the spiritual life which permit one to face
the difficulties in loving: these are the
excesses and attachments to many things and
even to people that we turn to in order to be
comforted - almost as if they were drugs.
Attach yourself, therefore, to Grace.
We must have the courage to seek comfort in
Jesus and to be His outstretched arms for the
others. So with our hearts and souls open
up to life
, let us ask Mary for the grace of
being in love with God’s will, and that we
may be servants for the realization of God’s
project of love, conceived in the eternity of
His Son, for the sake of mankind, and which
He desires fulfilling through our love.
* *
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Our Readers Write…
Sr. Maria Luisa, Israel: Echo is a prize
from Our Heavenly Mother, because this land
of Jesus, at war and under attack, is almost a
desert, and our hearts are wounded. We trust
in the Blessed Virgin’s love, and in the power
she received from the Eternal Father to defeat
the devil who roams the world trying to
destroy it..
Theresa B C Kapilikisha, Zambia: Echo
is a wealth of information and a source of
encouragement for my poor faith. It is a big
inspiration to me. God bless you.
Ebere C. M. Onweh, Nigeria: I really
enjoy reading your Echo and Our Lady’s
wonderful messages. I share them with
community members (who thirst for more
inspiring articles).
Fr. Mathew M. sj, Kerala, India: Thank
you for sending me the Echo. I (use it to)
write (also) in Malayan to further spread the
messages of the Queen of Peace to the people
here. I offer a Holy Mass for your intentions.
J. & D. Ryan, Australia: May Our Lord
and His Blessed Mother bring you many
blessings. We have been married 54 years.
We have been receiving Echo for years and
look forward to reading it.
E. O’Sullivan, South Australia: Your
newsletter is a blessing. May Our Blessed
Mother bless you all!
B. Kelleher, England: A thousand “thank
you’s” for the Echo: a mini retreat six times a
year. Enclosed is my contribution.. God bless.
Chief S. U. Awazie, Nigeria: I am writing
to thank you for the blessing of God which
reaches me and my family through your
publication. We distribute them amongst
friends who benefite from it.
Paula Kuemper, Canada: I look forward
to receiving the Echo of Mary. It is very
enlightening. Please keep up the good work.
Maria Zeollo, England: Dear Friends, it
is with much affection that I send my little
donation to thank you for the Echo.
H. Pastorino, Uruguay: May Our Lord
bless you through the intercession of Mary,
Queen of Peace for your Echo!
Sr. Juanita Borbon, Costa Rica: Thank
you so much for all the news you give us on
our Queen . I don’t know how I always
receive it, but I do, and I am so grateful. May
I ask for a prayer for our street children…
Julia Zimmermann Llosa, Peru:
Beloved, thank you for sending Echo!
Reading it does me so much good and the
articles are always interesting. I make copies
and send them to friends who give them out
at prisons and hospitals. May Jesus bless
you for your wonderful work and may He
multiply it..
M. Isabel Badilla, Argentina: Heartfelt
thanks for sending me the Echo. I’ve been
receiving it for seven years for our prayer
group. We are enriched by Echo. We are
collecting donations to send you. We are
poor, but we are happy to do it for Our Lady
who helps us so much. I have always loved
Mary, even as a little child. I called our prayer
group “Mary Queen of Peace” since she
comes to our house through your paper.
Susana Cappa, Argentina: I’ve been
receiving Echo for several years, and it is
always a great joy when it arrives. I
photocopy it and give it to friends and
acquaintances. Thank you for all you do for
the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother.
Asuncion Peña, Barcelona, Spain: Thank
you for your Echo. It is so rich in content and
news about dear Medjugorje. I receive it so
gladly and read it with profit. When I can I
share it with others. May the Lord Jesus fill
you with His best graces, and give you the
strength to carry on with this great work which
was begun by dear Fr. Angelo.
Fr. Domenico, Mexico: Thank you so
much for the Echo you’ve been sending over
the years to our mission.. and for serving the
Queen of Peace, that the Triumph of Her
Immaculate Heart and the promise of peace
for humanity made at Fatima might be fulfilled.
Our mission was built in 1987 and
dedicated to the Queen of Peace. At the
entrance is a beautiful image of Our Lady of
Medjugorje with the writing “MIR” on it. The
image is inspiration for all who enter our house
who inevitably ask what “mir” means. I wait
for that question to tell them about the
apparitions of Our Lady at Medjugorje.
Echo reaches various people in the 33
communities of our parish. The ministers of
the Word share it with the people. The Legion
of Mary awaits it anxiously to be recharged
in the spirit and carry on with their apostolate.
I read it with great interest and devotion and
I assure you that your paper arrives as far as
here and it touches hearts. Thank you for
being precious instruments in the hands of
Mary who comes to offer us Jesus’ peace.
Genevieve Gamel, France: It is with great
joy that I read your paper which teaches us
and fortifies us in the faith.
Sr. M. Anne Lea, France: Thank you for
the wonderful reading in Echo. It does us so
much good and day after day it renews in us
the desire to follow Christ with the help of
His Mother.
Chantal Delevet, France: Together with
my donation, I send my deepest gratitude for
your holy and wonderful publication.
Echo is recorded on cassette for the blind,
who can thus nourish their souls by listening
to the voice of our translator who generously
provides this service. Their letters, at times
very moving, show us how our publication
in audio version
is anxiously awaited and
meditated upon; and it is often read at
gatherings. “I hope that reading this might
inspire some other apostles to do the same
for the other language editions of Echo,”
writes our translator Yvonne.
Marie: I’m 85 years old, and I can no
longer read Echo, but I pass around the
cassettes to others with sight impairment.
Monique: Since 1988 my husband and I
have been going on an annual pilgrimage to
Medjugorje. Listening to your cassettes helps
us to experience that blessed land all year
Fr. Francesco: By chance, while paying
a visit, I came across your cassettes and I
immediately made a copy to take with me. I
would like to receive several of these to share
amongst the blind residents of the House
where I am chaplain.
* *
Emanuelita Rossi Candiago, Argentina,
writes to give thanks for the packets of Echo
in Italian and Spanish which she shares with
her family, friends, students and former
students who eagerly receive it. “Thank you
also for the blessed rosary beads and the
holy images which you recently sent us. I
handed them out at my catechism class. The
children were so eager to have one, but quite
a few were left empty-handed. I don’t suppose
you have any more? The problem is that I
don’t think anyone will ever be able to
donate.. the middle class doesn’t exist
anymore.. many are poor.”
**(Rosary beads can be mailed to Emanuelita
R. Candiago, CC 12 (Ortiz de Rosas y 118),
1980 Brandsen Bs.As., Argentina)
**More Requests for Rosary beads, medals,
holy images: 1. Moses Ekene, 6 Nimota St.,
Sari Iganmu, Orile, Lagos, Nigeria. 2. “For
abandoned children and youth”: Director,
Jose R. D. Castrillon, Carrera 33 C n 35-40
Piso 2, Barrio La Primavera, Cali, Colombia. 3.
Mrs Theresia A. Missanga, Au-Olmee
Mission, P.O. Box 5858, Asmara, Eritrea
Marian Conference Scotland: 21-23 May
2004. Main speaker Kathleen Martin.
48 hours of thanksgiving with Milona de
Rambures (von Hapsburg) for the 23 years
with Our Lady, 9-11 July 2004.
Youth Festival Scotland: 1-4 July 2004.
Contact Craig Lodge, Dalmally, Argyll,
Scotland. 01838 200216
Anniversary of
Fr. Angelo’s death
It was the 3rd March 2000
when Fr. Angelo Mutti passed
on to eternal life.
Twenty years ago he began to spread the
messages of Our Lady by duplicating a single
type-written page for friends and parishioners
who asked him for news of Medjugorje. With
time it grew in quality and quantity and was
being distributed to all corners of the earth.
If Echo speaks in many languages it is
because Fr. Angelo always wrote in the
language of love which is universal and easily
translated into other languages.
A humble instrument in Mary’s hands,
this dear priest from Mantua always blessed
the publication so that hearts might be
opened, not by the written words, but by the
Grace which was impressed on the paper.
He continues to bless it from Heaven;
and we continue to invoke that blessing of
his, so that our work for the Echo might
always be carried out with his same spirit of
dedication and service.
The Echo team.
Echo is a free publication. Donations are
gratefully accepted; without them we
cannot continue to spread the Message to
Mary’s little children around the world.
Make personal cheques payable to “Echo of
Mary Association” and mail to same at: Ca-
sella Postale 27, I-31030 Bessica Treviso, Italy.
The Lord isn’t tired of us, for He continues to
send us His Mother. Let us return to Him with
little, but concrete steps. Our words, then, will
be powerful. May the Lord bless us.
7 March 2004