An ironic concept, I am 6500 miles from home in a country emerging from
50 years of communism and the heaviest fighting on European soil since
WWII, and I am filled with the most peace and love I have ever
I sit and absorb the spirituality in this beautiful church of St. James
in Medjugorje. Its simple,
good people, torn apart through generations of violence and brutality,
seek consolation and closeness to the only enduring entity in their lives,
God. Perhaps they pray that
they may forgive their enemies, or that they themselves can seek a start
on the road to peace in their country.
In this Shrine of Peace, I am a pilgrim among thousands of pilgrims.
Am I any different? No,
but I am uniquely myself, a child of the Heavenly Father, and I can speak
to Him through my heart, and He will listen.
I can talk of and to the Blessed Mother and know that she will pray
for me. I can clearly sense
her presence here in this faith-filled little village where she continues
to appear with her messages of love and concern.
I glance around at all the people as they sit or stand ever so still, so
quietly, seemingly lost in prayer or self-atonement.
At any time of the day or night, pilgrims here in the village
remain in prayer or meditation, in the church, courtyard, confessional, on
Apparition Hill or Cross Mountain, somewhere in this holy place they are
attuned to God. And I am one
of them, sharing a special and spiritual time in my life.
I am so blessed to be here. If
only people understood what is here.
If only they could come. If
only I could tell them.
Has Medjugorje changed me? Perhaps
it instead intensified me. It
deepened my faith, expanded my thoughts, sharpened my awareness, and
enabled me to sense the important things in my life. This tiny village of
faith gave me these precious memories to cherish:
beautiful intermingling of all the many languages in response to the
prayers of the rosary
uplifting refrains of Ave Maria and Alleluia between the decades of the rosary
ceasing of prayers and the silence for a moment during the rosary when
the parishioners drop to their knees at exactly 6:40 in the evening,
when Our Lady appears to the visionaries
lessening of the chatter and movement of birds near the rafters of the
church at this time
many priests in the courtyard and on the benches sitting with their
open books in recitation of prayers
lovely, giving quality and the gentle smiles of these humble village
rapture in the face of Vicka
maternal compassion of the Blessed Mother
surge of sentiments, my rush of tears, at moving moments
All these impressions of Medjugorje, and more, I will carry in the
vest-pocket of my heart, removing and relishing them at will, to bolster
and replenish my faith. For
God has overwhelmed me with His grace in Medjugorje.
I know that He is a living God who has called to us with the
tenderness of His Mother, the Queen of Peace.
…and so, dear reader, if you are still with me, we have taken a side
trip on our journey of life. I
have sought to give you a glimpse of Medjugorje with
its sights and sounds and spirituality to take with you as you continue on
your journey. If you looked
behind the scenes you saw a little of myself also and know that I wish
each of you true peace and joy and love always.
May the Spirit of Peace and the love of God be with you,