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www.medjugorje.ws » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace » Echo of Mary Queen of Peace 214 (March-April 2011)

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Message of 25
January 2011:
“Dear children! Also today I am with
you and I am looking at you and blessing
you, and I am not losing hope that this
world will change for the good and that
peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy
will begin to reign in the world because
you have opened yourselves to my call and
to God’s love. The Holy Spirit is changing
a multitude of those who have said ‘yes’.
Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you
for having responded to my call”.
Under Mary’s gaze
I feel Mary’s gaze on me, on all of us, on
the whole world. She looks at us, blesses us
and nourishes the hope that this world will
change for the better and that peace will
reign in the hearts of men. Her gaze focuses
on us with pleasure and She gives us Her
blessing and transmits Her hope to us. Her
words console us, but they seem to contain
something that is not said, something veiled,
although not fully concealed; as though the
Mother were speaking of a mission that is
The hope regarding the evolution of the
world towards good, the peace that will
reign in the hearts of men, the joy that will
reign throughout the world because we
have opened up to Her call and to God’s
love, everything speaks of the triumph of
the Kingdom and it would appear that it is
now a triumph that is close to hand. All of
this should make us rejoice fully, yet there is
something that mitigates this joy. Perhaps it
is Mary’s act of taking leave from us which,
although veiled, seems to emerge from Her
words; perhaps it is the fear of the onset of the
time of harvesting (Mt 13,30); perhaps it is
also just a sense of agitation owing to the new
aspects of this phenomenon that transcend our
forecasts and above all, our direct control; we
do not know what it is but perhaps we mustn’t
refl ect on this because it is beyond our control
and surpasses our knowledge. What our duty
is, what we must do, is publicly manifest
that which, for almost thirty years, we have
received and learnt from Her. Jesus too started
His public work after approximately the same
number of years. Is this similarity in terms
of timeframe a simple coincidence or is it
another sign that the time of the revelation
of the sons of God has come (cfr Rm 8, 19)?
Of course, if we had been more attentive,
humbler, more diligent, we would have been
able to shorten the days remaining until the
return of Christ, but now let us not lose more
time recriminating. Mary makes a positive
judgement, perhaps more positive than what
many of us deserve, but now, let’s roll up our
sleeves and quickly prepare ourselves so as
not to be taken by surprise.
“The time is now near”, the entire Message
seems to tell us and another sign seems to
be contained in the last two phrases: that
about the action of the Spirit and that which
concludes the Message. The Holy Spirit is
changing a multitude of those who said
yes. Among them there are certainly those
who opened themselves up to His call and
to God’s love, that is, who welcomed Mary
and Jesus, Her Messages, and Her beloved
Son, Love incarnate. The Holy Spirit will
gather up their yes and graft it onto Mary’s
Fiat “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord: let it
be done onto me according to your word” (Lk
1, 38) and onto Jesus’ yes “Behold, I have
come, oh God, to do your will” (Jews 10, 7).
Does this intervention by the Spirit not
remind us of that promised by Jesus by way of
consolation of the disciples lost and saddened
due to his announcement that he was about to
leave them (John 16, 1-11)? Is it not the same
thing that Mary seems to be doing with us
today? And again: doesn’t the thanksgiving
for having answered Her call, preceded by
that “And so I wish to tell you” not sound
more like an “adieu” rather than “see you
In any case, whether or not Her Messages
from Medjugorje cease or continue, we will
all always be under Her loving and maternal
gaze, which will accompany us until the end
of time and for eternity! Peace and joy in
Jesus and Mary.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
Message of 25
February 2011:
“Dear children! Nature is awakening and
on the trees the fi rst buds are seen which
will bring most beautiful fl owers and fruit.
I desire that you also, little children, work
on your conversion and that you be those
who witness with their life, so that your
example may be a sign and an incentive
for conversion to others. I am with you
and before my Son Jesus I intercede for
your conversion. Thank you for having
responded to my call”.
Bearing witness
with our lives
In his goodness and wisdom, God reveals
himself to man. With events and words, he
reveals Himself and his plan of benevolence,
which has been pre-established from eternity
in Christ, in favour of humanity. Through the
grace of the Holy Spirit, this plan consists
of enabling the participation of all men in
divine life, as his adoptive sons in his only
Son (Compendium to the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, thesis 6).
Created in God’s image and likeness (Gen
1, 27) Adam and Eve live in Eden in His
presence, they can speak to Him. Separation
is the consequence of the fi rst sin, of the
allurement to become like Him, without Him,
actually, against Him, listening to another
voice besides His. Original sin expresses
man’s desire, ably spurred on by the snake, to
do without God and the consequence is that
man is hunted out of Eden: man can no longer
cohabitate with God. But God does not forgo
His Plan, and given that man can no longer
lift himself up to God, it is God who makes
himself man! Now it is no longer man who
becomes like Him, but He, God, who rises
us up to Him in Christ, if man welcomes
this action of grace, if he allows himself to
convert to Him.
Mary calls us towards this conversion,
expressing the desire for our conversion to
bloom, like the blooming of the buds that
are already appearing on the trees. It is this
conversion that will bring forth a beautiful
fl ower and fruit: the life of Jesus in man. The
Tree of life, denied to man so that he might
live forever (Gen 3, 22-24), is now Jesus who
offers himself to us as the Food of eternal
Life: is this not what occurs in the Most
Holy Eucharist? I desire that you also, little
children, work on your conversion and that
you be those who witness with their life.
First and foremost, Mary urges us to convert,
and therefore to bear witness with our lives. It
is not about changing something in our lives;
it is not suffi cient to do some “good deed”,
it is not suffi cient to correct some detail. It
is not even suffi cient to radically change our
life if such a change is only our work that
March - April 2011 - Year 27 # 3-4 - Echo of Mary, Via Cremona, 28 - 46100 Mantova - Italy.
www.ecodimaria.net - A translation of the original Italian: Eco di Maria
«God forbid that I should boast
except in the cross
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom the world has been
crucifi ed to me,
and I to the world».
(Gal 6,14)
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does not leave space for the action of the
Holy Spirit. We must not fall into the age-old
temptation and replicate original sin. We must
make space for Jesus within ourselves, allow
ourselves to be inhabited by Him, because it is
this habitation that generates true conversion
and makes our lives holy and therefore gives
some value to our testimony; this is how we
can be a sign of exhortation to others to
convert. “As You, Father, are in Me, and I in
You; that they also may be one in us, that the
world may believe that You sent Me…..I in
them, and You in Me; that they may be made
perfect in one, and that the world may know
that You have sent Me, and have loved them
as You have loved Me” (John 17, 21b, 23).
“I give you a new commandment: that you
might love one another. As I have loved you,
so love one another”, says Jesus, and he
adds: “By this all will know that you are my
disciples: if you have love for one another”
(John 13, 34-35). It is certainly diffi cult,
actually impossible, to experience this love,
but what is impossible for man is possible for
God. Mary is with us and before Her Son
Jesus she intercedes for our conversion;
who prevents us from hoping and trying to
abandon ourselves to Love?
(Truth and lies)
What we are experiencing today is not the
triumph of evil. What is happening in our
families, in our cities, in the world, is not only
evil, it does not indicate the triumph of evil,
but rather, it unveils and reveals the struggle
between good and evil, between God and
Mammon, between Truth and lies. A struggle
that is ever more open, ever more “global”
and so ever nearer to its epilogue, to its end,
which cannot be unknown for us Christians.
We know that the Kingdom of God will
triumph and this certainty illuminates our
minds and our hearts and this faith allows
us to fearlessly take sides: “And do not fear
those who kill the body but cannot kill the
soul. But rather fear Him who is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell” Jesus
says to us (Mt 10, 28), these words call us to
appeal to all “men of good will”, that is, to
all people whose will is directed towards the
Truth, Peace, Justice…towards respect for
all those values that are at the basis of civil
cohabitation, the foundation of the common
The Truth is not the personal prerogative
of some man, or this or that political alliance:
in both cases it would be a partial truth and
therefore it would not be the Truth. We
believers in Christ Jesus should know well
that the Truth is Him and Him alone, Jesus,
the Christ and that in Him we can direct
ourselves towards It, while outside of Him
we lose ourselves in our little, convenient but
insignifi cant truths.
But my appeal is not directed solely
towards Christians, because even those who
do not recognise Jesus as the Son of God,
even those who actually do not believe in
God, have something within themselves that
calls them towards the Truth and that leads
them to question themselves about it. Do you
remember the dramatic conversation between
Why evil?
by Francesco Cavagna
Many, actually very many people ask
themselves: “Why does evil exist in the
world?”. This is a more than legitimate
question that has always led to discussions
between atheists and believers; how can
a good and omnipotent God cause or fail
to prevent the unjust suffering of so many
innocent people?
Atheists seem to strongly believe in their
reasons and often, for those who have come
to know the love of God, it is not easy to fi nd
well-founded arguments. It is true that the
problem with evil is that it is and it remains a
mystery, but we have a duty to seek answers
to the thirst for justice and truth that everyone
carries within themselves.
First of all, we need to distinguish between
evil and suffering. Evil is the cause, suffering
is the consequence. It is a fact that some men
deliberately choose to commit evil, damaging
themselves and others. Now, so as not to fall
into the temptation of dividing the world
into good and evil, everyone will recognise
that sometimes we are led to make negative
choices and unfortunately sometimes we do
things that we then regret. I think it is necessary
to call this “evil” by its name, condemning it
and distancing ourselves from it, because by
creating continuous justifi cations, we risk
falling into a sort of relativism that ignores the
real weight of all of our actions
before God.
Now suffering is always
caused by evil and man
causes evil. God did not create
suffering, he does not want it,
it is here that the keystone lies,
because God led it back to
good, he consecrated it, making
it an instrument of expiation
and salvation. Yes, Jesus
Christ decided to conquer evil
“from within”, he conquered it
through his death on the cross
and his Resurrection.
A crucifi x is present in
many areas of our lives, it has now become
a somewhat customary image for us, which
passes before our eyes without even touching
us. Yet, if we were to go back and refl ect, we
would discover how that image of the Man
God hanging from the wood of the cross, is
an eloquent answer to the question of evil!
But only if we fi rmly believe that He is
risen and if we carry the signs of this hope
that is reality in our lives! It therefore truly
is a great annunciation of hope entrusted to
us Christians: those who have encountered
Christ are those who can give an illuminated
answer to the questions of the world.
It is not a question of fi nding whatever
philosophical reasons about the origin of evil
(evil has no meaning, it is not logical, it is
not rational), but of looking beyond. And this
interior step should be taken countless times,
because suffering always involves us.
The key lies within us. Suffering can lead
us to rebellion, to accusing God of being
unjust, or it may become a tool of good, of a
good that goes well beyond death.
The key lies within us, it all depends on our
soul’s answer; and everything becomes clear
for those who enter into God’s logic, from
free love that is ready to risk, ready to lose
everything, to losing our loved one so as to
set him free. Yes, love respecting the freedom
of others…only in love do we fi nd answers,
only those who love us can fully understand!
In his omnipotence God may cancel out all
evil, he may force every man to be good, but
the Lord continues to allow every man to
freely choose life or death. If every negative
answer has its own sad repercussion, then
we believe that every YES
said, according to God, has a
priceless value, it is like a new
beginning in the history of
Love changes the way we
look. And therefore questions
remain. Why does God not
use his omnipotence to re-
establish justice in this world
in an instant? Why is he so
obstinate in leaving us free? We
cannot come up with any easy
theoretical answers. But those
who live in love understand
in their souls that the action
of God-Love is upright, he awaits the free
collaboration of men to bring about his plan
of salvation.
Jesus and Pilate (John 18, 37-38) in which
the Roman Procurator is just one step away
from the truth, but renounces it due to his
own scepticism? His question “What is the
truth?” still resounds today, and still today it
induces us to “wash our hands”, withdraw, it
makes us lean towards convenient choices!
The Truth calls upon everyone, it calls
every person, whatever their role in society.
Every man, from the smallest to the greatest,
is called to choose between Truth and lies;
he cannot remain neutral or indifferent, he
cannot limit himself to looking, he must take
sides, so as not to make judgements without
being competent to do so, so as not to impose
his own truth, but to serve the Truth, and this
must be done regardless of all interests or
personal advantage. It is in overcoming the
interests of the individual that the pathway
for the common Good is built, that is, for the
good of all and of each person; this is a duty
for each man and, in particular, when man
holds public offi ce!
The Truth is not a manifesto; it cannot
only be announced and not promoted. The
Truth must be desired, sought, loved and
honoured. The Truth is not a fl ag, it is not a
principle; it is not a characteristic of life but
a fundamental need for Life: “For this I was
born and for this I came into the world: to
bear witness to the truth” Jesus says (loc.
cit.) And Saint Giuseppe Moscati echoes
him in a letter dated 17 October 1922: “Love
the truth, show yourself as you are, without
pretence, without fear and without regard. If
the truth costs you persecution, accept it; and
if it costs you torment, put up with it. If you
should sacrifi ce yourself and your life for the
truth, be strong in sacrifi ce”.
Nuccio Quattrocchi
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Echo 214
The generations
will call
him blessed
“Straight to sainthood”
recited the banners in Saint
Peter’s Square on the day
of the funeral of John Paul
II. Straight to sainthood,
because a man like this, a priest like this, a
pope like this, has never been known to our
generation, loved, appreciated and admired
for a holiness of life that does not need offi cial
proclamations to be such.
John Paul II was already a saint when he
was living on earth. But God wanted that not
only our generation, but that all generations
can call him blessed (cfr Lk 1, 48). For this
reason, on the 1
of May next, the Church
will celebrate the beatifi cation of Karol
Wojtyla, just six years after his death, making
the date coincide with the second Sunday of
Easter, called the Sunday of Divine Mercy, by
the Polish pope, and on the eve of which his
earthly life came to an end.
The Vatican commission had to work
very hard to examine an immense amount
of documents and listen to many witnesses,
to analyse a pontifi cate that lasted almost 27
years and the entire life of a person who left
his mark on the ecclesiastical history of the
century, and not only, as is reported by
the press. One of the matters that has been
reported is that John Paul II’s coffi n will be
moved from the Vatican Grottos to the upper
Basilica of Saint Peter’s and positioned in
one of the side altars.
Human procedures always involve
bureaucracy, but they are necessary here on
earth to give body to what the Holy Spirit
fulfi ls in men who give themselves in a
very special way to His work, leaving all
selfi shness and self-reliance behind, to donate
themselves as a living, holy and pleasing
sacrifi ce to God (Rm 12,1). If we need the
testimony of a miracle that occurred through
the intercession of a man to establish a trial
for beatifi cation, then we should bear in mind
that the miracle is the entire existence of he
who fully accepted Christ’s cross, as it was
presented to him. John Paul II did this.
He did not refuse the burden of a Church
to be renewed and rejuvenated; he did not
fear putting the gaze of the Virgin Mary at
the centre, and with Her, the woman who
collaborates in the redemption; he did not feel
uneasy with the domineering or with political
totalitarianism; he did not deny God physical
suffering, which consumed him to the point
of death – like an Easter lamb – united with
his Christ…
All generations will call him blessed,
because the All Powerful has done great
things within him. The Lord did this in
John Paul II. Great things. No more words
are needed. Many words will be uttered…
In prayer however, we can unite ourselves
intimately with the pope who wrote important
pages of our history, including our personal
history. Let us pray that he might obtain for
each of us the same determination to fulfi l
God’s will, as it is presented to us each day,
with humble obedience and generosity. Then
we will be blessed, like him, because the
Almighty will know how to do great things
in us, if we give ourselves to him.
in a full world
by Editorial staff
Our frenetic lifestyle, the rhythms that
society imposes on us, the things to do and
think about, often occupy not only people’s
days but also their discourse. People want
more time, for themselves and for those dear
to them, for their interests or for a greater
contact with creation… But Christians have a
need that is more than that of others: to have
the time necessary to cultivate a living contact
with the Lord through space for prayer that
guarantees them a dialogue with the Source
of his good.
They cannot shirk from this, because the
right relationship with their spiritual life
is an essential condition for experiencing
everything peacefully, departing from the
right point of view, that of God.
How exactly? It is right and reasonable
to ask ourselves this, given that outside of
“external agents” that assault our time, there
are also interior “enemies” – distraction,
laziness, superfi ciality…- that attract our
attention and distract us from our intention.
A beautiful text by Jean Lafrance - Learning
to pray according to Sister Elizabeth of the
Trinity – may help us to understand what to do
in order to succeed in living with continuous
inner recollection, constantly remaining
united with God, even when we are occupied
by other things. Let us take a look at a few
extracts from it together.
A movement that leads us to the heart
“There is an inner movement in the
spirituality of Elizabeth, a Carmelite nun from
the early twentieth century, that makes souls
adhere perfectly to God; it is a movement
of returning to the centre of ourselves. We
must come down into our own heart and
recollect….Elizabeth writes: “We must make
our whole being the unity of all things, with
inner silence, recollect all powers to occupy
them solely in the exercise of love, and have
that simple eye that enables God’s light to
irradiate us. A soul that enters into discussions
with its I, that deals with its own sensitivity,
that follows a useless thought or whatever
desire, that soul disperses its strength…How
essential this beautiful unity with the soul is,
that wants to live the life of the blessed down
here, that is, of simple beings, spirits!”
The vehicles of the inner journey
How can we reach a similar recollection
when the duty of our status obliges us to be
True peace is a value that is not conquered
with a struggle, but with prayer. It is a gift
of God’s love and, from his Heart it arrives
directly at man.
Through various initiatives, the Queen
of Peace Community (a Polish association
established a few years ago) has set itself the
goal of creating a chain of hearts that might
embrace the entire Earth through the prayer of
adoration, to bring peace to the whole world.
For this reason, a prayer centre was established
in Jerusalem, which is not only of ecumenical
value, but that goes beyond any religious
division. And here, in the same spirit, the idea to
form twelve places of prayer came about – of
dispersed, to deal with so many problems and
different concrete situations; and how can
we implement unity among everything that
fi ghts us in daily life or leads us to live on the
surface of ourselves?
Let us immediately say that contemplative
life can be experienced in the full world, in the
fullest human paste…But there are means that
we cannot exclude, if we wish to experience
intimacy with God in the core of our hearts.
“Recollection” in the sense intended by Sr.
Elizabeth is one of the essential means for
being united with God. It does not necessarily
mean withdrawing into a cell or speaking as
little as possible: it is in fact a fundamental
form of behaviour for man’s heart to fi nd
rest only in God, so that external noise and
the internal noise of sensitivity never manage
to distract man from this unity and his being
with God. And so it is possible to see men
who have numerous contacts with their
brothers and who have many commitments,
but remain turned towards God, and their
action is so purifi ed that it no longer distracts
them from God. These men know the value
of exterior silence because it is the condition
of interior silence. “It is not a question of
external separation from exterior things,
but of a solitude of the spirit” the Carmelite
writes. We must avoid the opposition between
exteriority and interiority. Our contemporaries
are quite mistrusting of the expression
“interior life”, and they are right, because it is
often a synonym of escape, for this reason it
is preferable to speak of “spiritual life” (…).
Silence that purifi es love
This inner silence must extend to the whole
being, it has to do with the spirit above all,
in the sense that it causes useless thoughts to
go silent, along with the subtle reasoning that
weakens the will and dries out love. It calms
the imagination, attenuating emotions, sadness
and the vain noise of thoughts; it purifi es the
memory, imposing silence on the past with its
regrets and bitterness…Silence in the anxiety
of the heart, in the pains of the soul, silence
of abandonment. The man who stabilizes
himself in the midst of this interior silence
forgets himself, he no longer complains, he no
longer consoles himself: he is detached from
himself (…).
The “movement of recollection”, therefore,
is decisive for prayer, because it establishes
the soul in intimacy with God, simplifying
it to the extent that it remains silent even as
it prays. In a single act that many times does
without words, it adores, it offers itself to God
and it fi nds rest in him. It is the silence of
A crown of twelve Stars
Perpetual Adoration – for the intention of peace
throughout the world. Twelve, like the stars in
the crown of the Most Blessed Virgin…
Another centre was established a short time
afterwards in Kazakhstan. Recalling the words
of Pope John Paul II who used to say: “Asia is
our common duty for the third millennium”, we
welcomed the invitation of the metropolitan of
the archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana
with great joy and interest. It was he who
with great hospitality opened up the door of
the bishop’s see to us, along with his priestly
heart. We will leave the duty to decide on the
other places that will enter the Crown up to
Divine Providence, vigilantly listening out to
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Mary generates
a new people
As we all know, this year marks the thirtieth
anniversary of the apparitions of the Queen
of Peace in Medjugorje. During this lengthy
period, the Lord gave us his Mother to live
with Her, and through Her, a new and living
relationship with the Triune God. We will
never be grateful enough and aware enough
of the gift of being regenerated in faith by a
Mother who is perfect and integral in grace
and in nature. All of God’s omnipotence fl ows
through this perfection, which is capable of
enabling us to go from death to life.
If welcomed with sincerity of heart and
mind, the entire Medjugorje event leads to
a radical change, because welcoming Mary
into our hearts means also welcoming God’s
life which pulsates in the spirit. In fact, the
experience of many people who underwent
inner rebirth in Medjugorje bears witness to
the fact that man is truly born when he feels
God, when he experiences his infi nite love.
The occasion of this anniversary offers us
the possibility of taking a closer look at the
action of the Holy Spirit during this era. In
reality, what is being generated through the
Virgin Mary is a new people, that the biblical
prophecies defi ne as the “remnant”, as
expressed by the prophet Zephaniah: “But I
will leave within you the meek and humble.
The remnant of Israel will trust in the name
of the LORD. They will do no wrong; they
will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not
be found in their mouths. They will eat and
lie down and no one will make them afraid.”
(Zeph 3,12).
According to the prophet, those who truly
trust in the name of the Lord are those who
walk with a living faith. All the rest is a false
faith that is well camoufl aged under subtle
devotionism consisting of spiritless practices
of piety.
The Virgin Mary knows that the risk for
us Christians is this, in fact, through the
message to Mirjana dated 2
February 2011,
the Virgin warns us against such behaviour:
“….your lips pronounce countless words, but
your spirit does not feel anything”.
Usually those who are empty in spirit feel
the need to multiply words in prayer, almost
in an attempt to force God with prayer. Those
on the other hand who perceive the life of
God in spirit, always seek silence more,
so as to grasp that life and experience it in
The Queen of Peace did not come to guide
her children through a system of prayers, but
to prepare a population of redeemed people
who might “know and love” the true God.
A population ready to choose God above all
else, washing its clothes in the blood of the
If we want to be living members of the new
people, we must learn to pray to the Holy
Spirit so that he might help us to recognise
all the forms of lies that dwell in our souls.
Praying for this means being ready to pass
through the crucible of trial.
From reading the bible we know that when
God wants to renew a people or a soul, he puts
them to the test. He strips them of everything.
He must take everything away from them! In
this nakedness, God allows all false security
to crumble, but also all false faith, built on
forms of religiousness.
Mary is the immaculate one who wants to
lead us to profound cleanliness on all levels,
beginning from our relationship with God and
therefore from the mistaken image of Him
that we have contrived. Again in the message
given to Mirjana, Our Lady opens our eyes
regarding a form of behaviour that we often
adopt as regards God: “Wandering in the
shadows, you also imagine God according
to your own way of thinking and not how he
truly is in his Love”.
This leads us to adore the image of God
that we have built and to replace the image
of the living God. It is a subtle idolatry that
all prophets have reported. We must on the
other hand have the courage to denounce
that idolatry in our spirit and rediscover the
true face of God through Christ’s cross. Until
such time as man adores the image of God
that has been created in his spirit, he will
“feel” nothing if not emptiness, and God will
eternally be far away.
When do we wander in the shadows within
ourselves? When faith, understood as a living
and trusting relationship with God, is lacking.
If, as souls, we have offered our life to God
through Mary, giving him everything, then
the trials that God allows will be based on
our rebirth as new creatures.
Through my sincere and unconditional
offering, God takes situations to hand, along
with problems, passages in faith and he leads
me to his rest; which is not the absence of
suffering, but that ability to transform all
crosses into resurrection. Although he is
suffering, on the cross Jesus rests in the
love of the Father, and in that repose, he
transforms stupidity into wisdom, weakness
into strength. Christ wanted this experience
to be accessible to every man, and so it is
important to give him our life through Mary,
so that we might not live by theories but by
I think that every one of us wishes to
experience interior renewal, a rebirth from
the depths, to run like Saint Paul towards
the destination, towards God’s infi nite love
and in that love, immerse all of humanity
so that it might be saved and become God’s
people, that reigns with Christ throughout
the universe. For Saint Paul however, the
destination is not an idea or an ideal, it is a
living meeting with the living God.
Antonio Gacioppo
recognise what the Lord calls us to do.
The fi rst place is already there: Jerusalem,
where the entire altarpiece – the so-called
triptych – and not only the monstrance was
offered (the story of this event was published
in issue 204 of the Echo of Mary). The second
place is Oziornoje, the Small Asian
Medjugorje, where the Marian Year
announced on 12
September 2010
is still underway.
And now the time has come
Yes, it’s
Medjugorje’s turn, the place where
the Holy Spirit inspired the founder
of the Association with the idea
of Perpetual Adoration; and the
occasion seems to have been suggested by the
Heavens themselves: the thirtieth anniversary
of Mary’s presence among us…
We wish to honour and give thanks to God
the Father for the presence of Mary among us
in a concrete and visible manner, so that a trace
of ours might remain, having a monstrance
forged in the form of the Woman dressed in….
amber and diamonds, the Woman of Jerusalem,
the Queen of Peace…We want this to be a gift
from the pilgrims from all over the world, not
only Poles, because Mary came for everyone.
The various structures that make up the
Parish of Medjugorje will certainly be extended
and the future will reveal where the most
suitable site for the perennial exhibition of the
monstrance should be. For now, we joyfully
welcome the willingness of the Franciscan
fathers to accept this votive offering, and in
the words of Abraham, we trust that: “God
will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt
offering” (Gen 22, 8).
As it was at that time for the triptych of
Jerusalem, we would ask everyone to pray for
this work so that – as the artist M. Drapikowski
points out (the creator of the amber dress and
the Votive Offering of the Nation to Our Lady
of Czestochowa) – not only the material work
(although it is beautiful) but especially the
prayer of an ever greater number of people
might be drawn to Medjugorje and to other
The main element in the work of the Crown
will be the monstrance, which will be identical
to the one already in Jerusalem. As for the
individual sites that it will be destined for, we
propose that some element that is characteristic
of each place be taken into consideration.
Therefore, in the case of Oziornoje, it is a net
with fi sh; we are still contemplating what it
should be for Medjugorje.
All the people linked to Medjugorje are
invited to come together to build this work of
art spiritually, through prayer, and materially,
by lodging their donation to the account of the
Communità Regina della Pace,
ul. Kaszubska 6 lok 1, 26-600 Radom;
For PLN: 80 9115 0002 0010 0006 4060 0001
For EUR: PL 53 9115 0002 0010 0006 4060 0002
For US$: PL 26 9115 0002 0010 0006 4060 0003
For further information:
To all of you, we say from the heart: May
God reward you!
Ewa Jurasz (director of the Echo of Mary in Poland)
background image
Reflections of light
Mary’s land
by Stefania Consoli
my place?
The preparations are feverishly underway.
Medjugorje is getting ready to celebrate an
important event, the thirty-year anniversary of
the apparitions. This is a signifi cant number
of years, if we think of the duration of Marian
apparitions in the past centuries. This event is
therefore unprecedented, it involves everyone,
those who will have to welcome the enormous
fl ow of pilgrims expected and those who are
planning their journey from all parts of the
world, and are perhaps already setting out.
Medjugorje will be “packed”. But if each
of us takes responsibility for our own behaviour
and treats that blessed
place like a great open-air
shrine – without pointing
out differences between
the various sites, if each of
us respects the sacredness
of the grace present in
Medjugorje, wherever we
are – there will be a more
recollected atmosphere,
that is less rowdy and
distracting. It will be a
positive thing for everyone.
This is fundamental, it is not optional.
Because God’s voice should be listened to in
silence. Because prayer is a whisper within the
soul. Because immersion in Mary’s heart is an
intimate movement, it is discreet and it cannot
come about if we experience our pilgrimage
running from one place to the next and, if
rather than remaining quiet so as to be able to
listen better, we continue to fi ll the air with our
discourse and chatter. Often with futility.
It is a great gift to be able to experience
this time of grace with Mary, who has already
reserved a place especially for those who go to
Medjugorje. Like in a banquet, while awaiting
the invitees, we position the name of each guest
on the table near their dish… “Where is my
place?” we should ask Her as soon as we get
to Her. And then we should remain in silence to
understand the answer within ourselves.
Where is my place in your plan, Mary? Why
have you called me here, what are you thinking
for me? These are the questions that we should
take with us in our baggage to Medjugorje.
We do not go there to participate in
something that happens on the outside. We
are not there to do things or to feel enthusiastic
because we feel well in that place. We are
not there because we need favours from God
or graces that might solve the problems that
we brought with us from home. We go to
Medjugorje to be able to better identify our
place in God’s plan: “Dear Children! Today I
invite you to open yourselves to God by means
of prayer…..each one of you is important in my
plan of salvation…..pray and do that which the
Holy Spirit inspires you”. (25
May 1993) “…
Dear children, you are forgetting, that you are
all important…I beseech you, begin to change
through prayer and you will know what you
need to do” (Message 24
April 1986).
These are very
eloquent words from the
Mother who invited us
to Medjugorje. The only
thing that we should truly
do once we are with Her,
is pray to the Holy Spirit,
who will communicate
the duty that the Heavens
have assigned to each of
us, as occurred in Nazareth
when Mary listened to the
words of the Angel who spoke to Her of Her
It is not only others who “make History”.
God creates every man so that he might be an
original protagonist of facts and situations that
have an infl uence on everyone’s life and remain
like an imprint on the terrain of time that passes
and history is made, experience comes about
for the benefi t of each generation. It is not only
others who must become holy. It is a shared fate;
it is a calling that is written in our baptism.
Holiness is not something optional, to be
chosen or declined; holiness is the essential
condition for being able to enter into Paradise. And
so we must not waste the grace that Medjugorje
offers us when it comes to understanding the
pathway that leads us to our personal holiness.
Let us prepare our journey carefully, not only
our suitcases, not only the appointments and the
schedule of our pilgrimage, but above all our
hearts, that they might be ready to understand
what the Lord wants from us, and to answer with
Mary: “Behold, let it be done onto me according
to the Word”.
It creeps into your life when perhaps you’re
expecting it the least, like a seed that having
fallen to the ploughed earth, starts its hidden
process of germination. It is the seed of the
desire for a more real and cleaner life; for a life
that is not only subject to the ferrous laws of
precariousness and that is free to draw the water
to quench its thirst from the Heavens, along with
the food to feed it, the air to allow it to breathe:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
you may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God” (Rm 12, 2).
It enters your thoughts and makes them fertile,
pushing you to imagine possible a journey
towards that land visited by millions of people
within a few years and that has unfailingly
produced peace, serenity, and a desire for good.
It is the desire for a meeting with He who can
confi rm us in love, making us feel like desired
and awaited children.
The proposal comes sooner or later, like
rain onto a seed nestled between the clods,
and it makes it open up. The desire takes form
and transforms itself into a veritable invitation:
“Come to meet me in Medjugorje, come to
me!”. How this proposal progresses within us is
a secret that we all know, but what really counts
is whether or not the invitation is seriously
You book the trip and Medjugorje becomes
a decided stop-off, an appointment that leaves
much to the imagination, because the stories
that you have heard and admired before now are
numerous, but above all because in your soul
you begin to create an anxious awaiting that we
cannot even defi ne, because it is only the fruit of
the spirit that urges us to set out from within.
By now the seed has reached the deeper
layers of our being, it has put down roots there
before you
Standing before you Lord, like crystals
obscured by shadows of sin, allowing ourselves
to be purifi ed in our thoughts and in our
expectations, in our desires and in our plans, in
our fears and in our uncertainties, in mistrust and
in the will of faith, love and justice. Lord, may
your presence penetrate the thickened layers of
our old man, to shatter the obstinacy and pride
that act as a shield to grace, to the point that it
often bounces off us.
Standing before you Lord, to enable the
power of your love, the rays of your warmth,
to melt the ice of our rebellion, of defence and
resistance, to make space for you, to allow you to
clean up the foundations of our existence.
Standing before you Lord, immobile in
adoration, free from all scum of wounded
humanity, of human illness. Only in this way will
we be able to refl ect your light, far away, like
lights positioned on the top of a mountain.
The mountain of faith and fi delity, certain that
in our immobility offered to you, open to your
action, we can be effective apostles, announcers
of your Kingdom, tools of conversion for those
who are far away and of salvation for those who
are near.
Standing before you, Lord, with the heart
of lambs to crush the wolves of our display of
effi ciency, of our need to do things in your place,
because deep down we do not believe that You
are the one who moves all things, if we allow
You to do things. Like crystals, still before you to
refl ect your omnipotence and your glory. Only in
this manner will we be able to reach the extreme
confi nes of the universe that awaits to see your
saving face.
Lord, you pass through us, through our limbs
that are given, through our life that is offered. Use
us, Lord, without us…what a paradox! This is the
foolishness of a cross that always saves: apparent
uselessness, folly for men, failure in our eyes yet
at the same time a mysterious work of God that is
infi nitely released.
Keep us Lord, still before you, obedient and
calm, because like crystals you purify us and you
use us, apostles in contemplation of your action
in the world that awaits you. Let it be so.
background image
a remedy for the spirit
by the Editorial staff
Words, words, words…often empty and
superfi cial chatter. This is what makes men
feel important in a society that focuses on
appearance, on the affi rmation of others, on
being winners at all costs.
But in Medjugorje Our Lady proposes a
very different pathway with respect to the
ostentatious and well-articulated discourse that
aim at satisfying our vanity and pride: fasting.
Fasting, giving up an excess of words through
silence; fasting, giving up self-suffi ciency,
through a form of prayer that puts us into the
right relationship of dependency on God and
on his grace; fasting, giving up food, to purify
those excesses that disorderly passions often
push us to choose, in order to fi ll the sense of
emptiness and uselessness that fl oats around in
the air.
A week of fasting, silence and prayer has
been organized in Medjugorje for years
to attain this aim, to help people to enter into
themselves and fi nd a space that is appropriate
for meeting God, a tidy space, that is harmonious
and above all silent, so that the Word incarnate
might communicate with the soul and its
discourse of salvation and peace.
“God’s kingdom is established in a heart
that knows how to experience concealment”,
says Anna Fasano, the organiser of the week
of fasting in Medjugorje for Italians. “Only
those who are capable of remaining in silence
can bear witness to the living presence of Jesus
in their lives, as Mary did, without any great
to come to know ourselves
in truth
Although the invitation to fast is constant in
Medjugorje (weekly), it is generally especially
foreseen and advised by the Church during the
Lenten period, a strong time, in particular for
our soul, which, by fasting, has the possibility
of feeling less suffocated by material things
and as such, has more time to “cleanse itself”
and prepare itself for the great event of Easter.
In a report to priests in 1988, Father Slavko
dealt with the subject of fasting in a very
concrete manner, highlighting its benefi cial
effects for inner life and in coming to an ever-
truer knowledge of ourselves, with a view to
establishing a healthy relationship with God.
It strips us
“Be serious and watchful in your prayers”
(1 Pt 4,7). When we start fasting we also start
to pray well, and vice-versa. If our prayer
becomes a personal meeting with the Lord,
then many things are solved. To those who
say that they are more agitated when they fast,
I would give an ironic answer: you are not
agitated because you are fasting, fasting shows
you that you are agitated! On many occasions
we eat, drink and smoke, to suffocate, to hide;
when we fast and pray everything comes ot.
We are totally infl uenced by food, to the
extent that depriving ourselves of it reveals the
concealed disorder or passions that lie within
us. Food, lots of food, acts like a drug, that is,
it camoufl ages our weakness. Therefore fasting
causes our defects to emerge, it strip us, and
this is a positive thing. By fasting I discover
myself for what I am. Before a little diffi culty,
I contest, I attack, and I am impatient: it is
already a good step for me to discover what I
am. And so it is easy to discover that we depend
on food more than food depends on us.
Fasting and prayer are like two legs for
spiritual life. There is the risk of us falling
asleep after having eaten abundantly, or of
at least feeling heavy and drowsy, our ideas
are no longer clear; but with fasting, faith is
reawakened, and we start to experience this
“waiting for the Lord”. With the help of a light
body, our soul can keep watch over and feel
the Lord”.
(Fr. Slavko – from a report to the priests)
proclamations, without too much uproar. For
this reason I believe that this appointment in
Medjugorje, which allows us to experience the
gift of fasting together, is a valid form of help
in re-establishing contact with our depths, and
remaining there as adorers of the Word in Spirit
and truth”.
“Dear children, fast and pray with the heart!”
Mary invited us in Medjugorje (20
1984), and over the years she has repeated the
same words many times. We however are weak
and inconstant…In the beginning many of us
“took off in fourth gear” but then, as we know,
enthusiasm lessens and we quickly abandon
our good intentions. This is why the initiative,
which is guided by brother Danko Perutina,
aims to create an atmosphere of communion
between the participants, so that everyone might
be an example to and urge on others. Sharing
the same commitment in fact, we reciprocally
transmit strength of will to each other, to face
the fatigue of renunciation and to coherently
experience the choice of fasting.
“Mary asks us to experience our adhesion
to her messages with facts, not with words”
continues Anna Fasano, “if after thirty years,
Medjugorje is fi nally starting to make news
through the Mass Media (there is always,
nevertheless, the risk of emphasising it too
much and generalising the true sense of the
apparitions), the most reliable testimony will
be the people capable of praying in silence and
with a sobriety of life that is such that it makes
the true Good News visible”.
Regarding this, Father Slavko commented:
“Mary invites us to pray and fast lovingly. Love
for God and men is the only true motivation
for prayer and fasting. From a biblical point of
view, no other motivation is satisfactory…”.
For love and with love, therefore, from the
to the 5
of May, a meeting will take place,
entitled: “My soul longs, yes, even faints for the
courts of the LORD; for a day in your courts is
better than a thousand” (Psalm 83).
A title and an invocation together, that
expresses the deepest desire to belong to God
forever, preferring his home to one thousand
other refuges that the world proposes to us.
A week in his courts to discover the power of
fasting, immersed in silence and articulated
by prayer and experiencing the dimension of
eternity today, on earth.
Info: Anna Fasano - mobile 3355780090
e-mail: liveloveuniversal@libero.it
We’ve published short comments from
the participants in the previous editions of
the seminar in Medjugorje, as a testimony
that God is capable of doing great things
in those who entrust themselves to Him:
Maria Rita: “For me this seminar
meant succeeding in fi nally opening a
crack for Jesus in the little stone door of
my heart…”
Mafalda: “Fasting from the world,
hunger and thirst for you, my Lord! A
hunger that is satisfi ed. Thank you Mary
for having called us”.
Francesco: “Here where prayers fl ow
forth like rivers, where solitude doesn’t
exist, my thoughts go to all the powerful of
the earth with a cry: peace, peace, peace!”
Anareja: “During this seminar I
understood that God made me good like
all other men, because man is made in
God’s image. I understood that Jesus is
love and that the most important thing is
to become love”.
Maria: “Why did you come?” my
mother asked me six years ago when my
sister and I went to fi nd her in Canada.
We hadn’t seen her in 50 years. I was six
and my sister was two when she left. We
stayed with her for just a few days, it was
all very formal. “Don’t hug me” she said
to me when we left – I wanted to forgive
her. I came to Medjugorje to have that
hug. I had it. I experienced great love”.
and now it is ready to come out…
Once you arrive in Medjugorje it suddenly
starts to bloom and transform, as though by
enchantment, into an authentic promise. A
promise of peace and forgiveness. A promise
of truth and justice. A promise of healing. A
promise that will soon be translated into life
for the pilgrim, who knows how to open his
hands and welcome what the Queen of Peace
has decided to give him, so that his life might
be transformed completely:
“….you are not conscious of how God loves you
with such a great love because He permits me to
be with you so I can instruct you and help you
to fi nd the way of peace. This way, however, you
cannot discover if you do not pray. Therefore,
dear children, forsake everything and consecrate
your time to God and God will bestow gifts
upon you and bless you. Little children, don’t
forget that your life is fl eeting like a spring
fl ower, which today is wondrously beautiful, but
tomorrow has vanished. Therefore, pray in such
a way that your prayer, your surrender to God,
may become like a road sign. That way, your
witness will not only have value for yourselves
but for all eternity”. (Message 25
What is the kingdom of God like? And to
what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard
seed, which a man took and put in his garden;
and it grew and became a large tree, and the
birds of the air nested in its branches.” (Lk 13,
18-19). Grace does this. It is up to us however
to become a powerful tree in will and in faith,
where many others will be able to fi nd shelter
and nourishment. It is up to us and our yes.
background image
I am your mother…
My own testimony about Medjugorje
cannot but require a total emptying of myself
and my thoughts, to experience a maternal
presence that does not try to possess you,
but surrounds you lovingly, to give itself and
make itself known.
I am a mother, I’m of a good age, and I was
also a daughter and I know how sometimes
in calling your children you must ensure that
you are heard insistently, especially when
giving advice or an exhortation that may lead
them to refl ect.
For me, the calling came not to increase my
faith in the Mother of Jesus, which has been
well-rooted in my heart since the time I was a
child, but through a true, almost physical and
embracing encounter with a love that was
exclusive in a fi rst instance, that I then see,
in reality, as an immense embrace for all the
children who have fl ocked to experience that
blessed land.
The fi rst calling came to me in ’82: a
postcard “Do you want to come to Medjugorje
with us?” I ask myself: “How can you ask a
mother of so many children to leave home?”,
and then I didn’t know what it was. But having
come to know the event, I understand that
that was only the fi rst calling, that is repeated
in the invitation to frequent the Roman group
of the Queen of Peace, guided by Lilli and
Father Amorth.
Then comes the departure for the
pilgrimage, repeated several times after that,
to come to a true, personal knowledge of She
who has been beside you throughout your
whole life, so as to silently insert you into
God’s plan. How much resistance! But fi nally
she reveals herself to you: “I am here for you,
to be accepted beyond devotion, as a person,
as the child of Nazareth who conceived Jesus,
but you too. I am your mother and, if you
want, I will bring you Home”.
Leda Motta
Like a crash
I don’t know what urged me to go to
Medjugorje. I remember well what I no
longer wanted to experience in life, what
led me to accept any invitation to go to
a place that then radically changed the
course of my years.
Emptiness, nonsense, the cold greyness
of an existence aimed at seeking happiness
in places and situations where selfi shness
reigns, because in certain environments,
happiness is only sought to feel a little
better, to gratify our own needs and not
because it is the fruit of a healthy, authentic
life, rooted in the truth.
Leaving an abyss behind, to take a
leap into the unknown, into the abyss of
a dimension that you didn’t know before
and that now stands before you without
you even having sought it. A “blind” jump,
trusting out of intuition, or out of despair.
You go there without illusions, because
life has eaten them all up on you, those
times when you believed that friends may
have been veiled behind the mask of simple
acquaintances. But that wasn’t the case.
Betrayal or a minimal benefi t took the
upper hand in the majority of cases.
You go there and that’s it. Whatever
happens, happens. After all, you’ve
nothing to lose, you tell yourself.
Then the impact comes. As strong as a
crash, in your heart.
Medjugorje is not a joke. Medjugorje
is grace in its purest state, that shatters
every possible barrier and explodes
within your soul. It is God’s life that
passes through the veins of a Mother who
welcomes you and changes your existence in
an instant. Because you feel that She is alive,
clinging to your fast-beating chest, moved,
confused and perhaps embarrassed because
She is clean, immaculate, and you on the
other hand have carried around a clump of
sins that now weigh down on you and make
you feel ashamed.
But the burden of sin soon passes in
Medjugorje, because you feel that someone
is literally pushing you to “come clean” in
a confession box that seems to have been
built specifi cally for you,
at that moment.
Your eyes suddenly
start to lose the “scales”
that covered them and
your sight returns to
innocence. You see
things for the fi rst time
and you look at them
with the gaze of a child,
thoughtlessly, without
neither before nor after…
You feel as though you are being reborn.
A new chance. A new opportunity.
Everything to start over. But now you’re no
longer alone. Now She’s there, Mary. She
who came into my dusty life like the wind,
bringing with her some fresh spring air.
No, I don’t know what pushed me to go
there. But now I know what I must do. I
must bloom.
Tania di Bigio
Grace goes before us
This phrase, that I listened to during a
spiritual retreat a few years ago, marked out
the route of my life, of my inner journey
and of my marriage. Over the past years, in
fact, when cancer was at home in my body,
when I repeated these words to myself I
found solace in understanding that when
God permits suffering in our lives, He is
present, He goes before us with his grace,
which is translated into moral strength,
inner strength, hope and trust. I also
understood that such grace acts especially
when suffering is offered to God through
Christ’s sacrifi ce in Mass, and completed
by the offering of life to Jesus through the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I was fi rst diagnosed with breast cancer
in 1999, this was followed by a surgical
intervention and radiotherapy; a year later the
same procedure for my other breast. Given
the strong doses of chemotherapy I had to
undergo, other organs were completely
compromised and therefore subsequently
removed. In short, it is a battle against the
disease that is still ongoing today.
But what I would like to underline here is
not so much a succession of clinical events,
but rather, what they meant for me on a
spiritual level, beginning from the discovery
of the true value of marriage in God, in the
highest aspects of this sacrament.
What was initially a single fl esh with my
husband – and which, for physiological
reasons, is now no longer possible – has
been transformed into a union in God. I
experienced this especially when I was on
the operating table, or during those check-
ups in sophisticated machinery that reads
your cells. Like the time when my husband
was waiting for me in the waiting room,
praying, united with my prayer, and I had
the clear sensation that Mary was physically
beside me, with her loving and comforting
Being transformed in Spirit, even in
situations that leave no choice humanly –
especially as spouses in Christ – I believe
means welcoming God’s will as it is
presented to us moment by moment, because
it is preceded by his grace!
And so I make a prayer my own: “Holy
Spirit, give me the gift of a vital relationship
with the three Persons of the Most Blessed
Trinity and grant me the grace of living this
relationship responsibly….”
I am convinced,
in fact, that entering into an ever more living
and solid relationship with God is the only
way to never give in to despair; a relationship
that is nourished on profound, spontaneous
prayer that reaches the Heart of Jesus and his
Mother. Only in this way can we repeat our
“here I am”, in the tiredness of everyday life,
while the crosses will no longer crush us, but
rather, they will be lifted up to the Father.
The pathway that Mary points out to
us in Medjugorje is that of holiness.
trials on this pathway are therefore “precious
pearls”, because if they are experienced with
trust and abandonment, they open up interior
spaces within us, that only God knows and
where He Himself wishes to dwell.
Let every trial, every cross be an occasion
of grace for everyone, to the advantage of
many souls who wish to be transformed in
love, for eternity. For this I pray, for this I
offer myself. I know that the Lord rarely
transforms sick cells into healthy cells, but I
am certain that God continuously transforms
us into new creatures.
Maria R.
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
Villanova M., 19 march 2011
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Our readers write…
Father Stanislao from Pula (Croatia): “May
the Queen of Peace reward you abundantly. In
the Echo I often fi nd uplifting information and
examples. Be brave!”
Maria Calcagno from Uruguay: “Heartfelt
thanks. The Echo is like fresh water for the soul.
May the Lord fi ll you with blessings”.
Carla Bucciarelli from Italy: “Thank you
for your work”. The Echo that I download from
the Internet is of great help to me in remaining
in Medjugorje…When I read it my heart is
encouraged and I set out on my journey once again!
I am sending you a little contribution, which is all
I can afford to send, never leave us. Thank you”
R. Evans from Manjimup (Australia): “Thank
you for the copies of the Echo that you send me.
I am sending you a small contribution that might
help you to continue!”
Louise M. Dunn from Stanford (U.S.A.):
“Your writings are marvellous and stimulating
from a spiritual point of view. I am sending you a
small contribution…”.
How to understand each other
“Now the whole earth had one language” (Gen 11, 1) At one time, men understood each other because they
spoke a single language: they used God’s “language” which is one language, because God spoke in them. Their
words were formed in God and God “translated” them into His unique language, for everyone to understand. But
then they rebelled against God and they no longer listened to His word, and so they built the “tower” in Babylon
in opposition to their Lord. And then they no longer understood each other: everyone spoke a language that was
incomprehensible to the other…
This is how things are today also. Today too we do not always understand each other, without perhaps knowing
the reason why, because we use our own language, which is different from His. Today too God enables us to
understand – with the facts of life – that the more we allow Him to speak within us, the more our words are
comprehensible to our brother. Today too our speaking risks becoming a form of speaking among the deaf, if not
among hostile people.
Mary and Joseph are examples of this. No dialogues between them are reported in the Gospel, only their
conversation with the Angel. And from these conversations with the Angel, that is, with God, a perfect
comprehension comes forth between the spouses, who do not even need to speak to each other; a great communion
between the two, that overcomes all possible misunderstandings, along with all trials.
And so, let the Lord be our “interpreter”. Let us speak to him. Let us speak to Him about others and about
ourselves; about their needs and ours. And so relations with our neighbour will not be our own, but His. And they
will be marvellous and comprehensible relations, because God has an accessible and marvellous way of relating
to us! Let’s try. Perhaps we will experience a new language that we will understand together; a new beauty in our
relations with others, that we probably didn’t know before. Perhaps there will no longer be misunderstandings,
divisions. Let Mary and Joseph be an example and a form of help for us. Let us invoke them!
God’s “measuring stick”
Can you tell me what “measuring stick” God uses when judging men’s behaviour? Certainly the one that Jesus
revealed one day to the people who were near Him: “for the same measure that you see, it will be measured back
to you” (Luke 6, 38).
This “measure” that Jesus speaks of, mostly has to do with the little things that we do, those that are less
striking, those everyday things, those that others do not always see and perhaps we don’t see them either, because
the Spirit examines the depths, he does not neglect what is hidden and small.
In saying this, Jesus does not impose a burden on us, he offers us a gift. It is not a threat from Jesus in fact, but
a form of encouragement that reveals a secret: for love of man, God’s heart assesses our actions, using our same
“measure”, without imposing His.
Does this not perhaps reveal His immense goodness? Does this not tell us that His humility extends to the
point that the Creator bends down to using the same measures of the creature to save it? And so, if we receive an
insult or an offence from those who stand beside us and we forgive it, if we use mercy unreservedly, God will
forgive us unreservedly, he will adopt limitless mercy with us, even for the greatest sins.
This is what Jesus reveals to us: if we do not refuse the sufferings life offers us (those of every day, even the
smallest ones) and if we use mercy with those who procure those sufferings for us, (we know that our punishment
often passes through those who stand beside us), then every fault of ours is forgiven, for our joy and that of
others, because where there is forgiveness, it is there that joy builds its home. Otherwise, our shortcoming
Jesus was very concerned with ensuring that the importance of what he was saying was understood. And so
he told the parable of that man who, despite the fact that he had been forgiven for an enormous debt that he had
with his employer, did not use clemency towards a man similar to him who owed him very little. The parable
concludes with the employer coming to know of this behaviour and throwing the man who was forgiven in
prison, until such time as he paid off all of his debt. And what’s more, when teaching his friends the “Our Father”,
with the words: …forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…he reminds us once
again of the “measure” that God uses as regards man.
And so, thank you Jesus because you have revealed God’s “measure” to us, for our salvation. Thank you
because you have taught us to use the “measuring stick” of compassion and mercy, like You. Thank you because
you gave us Mary, Mother of Compassion and Mercy.
by Pietro Squassabia
“God loves a cheerful giver”, writes Saint Paul
to the Corinthians (2 Cor 9, 7). It is true, the Lord’s
love is bestowed on those who share their goods with
others, in the certainty that they will never be lacking
anything because they know that God himself will see
to fi lling the granaries of their lives in the manners and
times that He knows.
It is this fullness of love that we invoke on all of
those who have given to the Echo during this time,
because only through your offerings has this
magazine managed to continue its existence.
The signifi cant increase in postal charges that we
informed you of last year unfortunately remains
defi nitive and therefore the costs of dispatch have
quadrupled with respect to past years. This urges us to
continue our appeal to your generosity, also because
in many parts of the world that are much poorer than
our western countries, the Echo brightens up the lives
of many, who nevertheless cannot support it fi nancially
for obvious reasons.
These readers however always send us letters
confi rming their pleasure and above all guaranteeing
their prayers for all those who act as tools of Providence
in their place. In this way, the good becomes “circular”,
in the sense that, those who do not have the fi nancial
means, offer their spiritual contribution for those
who can afford to send a contribution to the Echo.
In particular, the missionaries express their thanks
because the Echo helps them in their apostolate, and
therefore they commit to celebrating the Eucharist for
the magazine’s benefactors and send them all their
special blessing.
We would also remind you that the Echo is
published on a website from which you can
download its full version. We would therefore invite
those who can, to do so; so as to enable us to make
some savings on printing and postal expenses.
It is not always easy to hold out our hand to ask for
fi nancial aid, especially in this period of general crisis.
But we do so with humility and simplicity, as Saint
Francis did, in the awareness that for our part there
must always be a responsible heart at the service of
this magazine, a heart that is free from any interest, a
heart willing to sacrifi ce, so that the Echo, so desired
by Mary, might continue to “circulate” and reach
its children scattered throughout the world. To her
we entrust the future steps and all the needs of this
little, but always eagerly awaited magazine. Heartfelt
The Echo team