A priest’s response to Medjugorje

Dear B… Where do I start? Perhaps a very sincere thank you for the wonderful invitation to accompany your group to Medjugorje.

I had my doubts to begin with, wondering if I would be able to cope with the journey and the heat. But Our Lady saw me through. It was such a revelation to me, about myself and the faith of so many people, young and not so young.

When I got back home I was tired, but felt so renewed and affirmed. I just could not believe that God and Our Lady could use this broken instrument in so many ways. I kept wondering: ‘Is this really me?’ as the Lord enabled me to find words to speak to so many different people and address their problems.

I am now facing, once again, the reality of daily life and am trying, with Our Lady’s help, to build on what she gave me in Medjugorje.

I look forward to the reunion and with God’s help further pilgrimages. Many, many thanks. I have received so much from the pilgrimage. You are all in my daily prayers and I hope to offer Mass weekly for all the group and all those who celebrated Confession with me.

Yours sincerely, Fr Brendan

Visiting Medjugorje with an open mind…

• by Fr Brendan O’Malley

Mary’s mission is to lead people to God; to lead people to conversion; to lead people to prayer. “Pray, pray, pray” is one of her constant calls.

On November 25, 2008, her message was: “Dear children, I call you to pray, pray, pray, until prayer becomes life for you.”

In her message of December 25, 2005, Mary said: “Today, in my arms, I bring you the Child Jesus, the King of Peace, to bless you with his peace. Little children, in a special way today I call you to be carriers of peace in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call.” reminding us of the importance of saying ‘thank you’.

How often do we forget to say ‘thank you’ to God; to each other; thank you for the call to be people of prayer, people of peace?

When we realise how unworthy we are of God’s gifts and graciousness to us, not in spite of our sinfulness, but with all our ‘baggage’, then one’s motivating force can only be one of thanksgiving.

As a cynic who has been ‘converted’ I suggest that unless one has ‘tasted’ what I would call the ‘Medjugorje experience’, one should not be so ready to criticise and write it off. Why are people so ready to condemn? Why are people so fearful and dismissive? That is their privilege. But why not taste and see? To visit Medjugorje with an open mind is to experience God at work in his people, sending his love and healing through the Virgin Mary.

Mary calls us to conversion, prayer and love. Mary enables people to be healed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Healing. As a priest who has spent many hours celebrating the Sacrament with people from all walks of life, people young and old, I can affirm that God is
doing great things in people’s lives, and what is even more wonderful, he has as a result done great things in my own life. I have had my priesthood affirmed and I have been healed of a great burden.

No one should criticise or deny this place of pilgrimage and renewal. No one should object to this place of prayer and peace. God is truly at work. How envious satan must be to see so many people, young and old, in prayer, penance and devotion, finding peace, purpose, and a God of love and compassion. Medjugorje is a place of hope and a new beginning.

Our Lady invites us to pray, pray, pray. I pray before God to give you the gift of faith. Only in faith will you discover the gift of life that God has given you!

May I ask all people to rejoice and to thank God for the wonderful gifts that he gives each day to his people through the Medjugorje experience, through Mary our Mother, whose mission is one of sheer love, leading us to God. Alleluia!

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