I've just returned from a summer retreat in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, with five peaceful days spent in the Marian shrine of Medjugorje. Each time I visit this town, I am stunned into silence by the profound and extraordinary peace that pervades the place, a peace so profound and so penetrating that it silences all doubts. An energy this holy cannot be based upon a lie. Still, I spent some time reviewing the many criticisms and accusations about the alleged apparitions still taking place here, and there are signs of contradiction and causes of concern, intermixed with lies and slanders and deliberate obfuscations. Clearly the Blessed Mother, if she is indeed appearing here (as I truly believe) has decided not to make it easy for anyone to reach a judgement about the place - not without considerable prayer and discernment.
Which is why I'm with Cardinal Schonborn on this one. If you haven't been here yourself and you haven't subjected the Shrine to your own personal prayerful, interior discernment, then no amount of rational analysis of the pros and cons will do you any good. This is the classic kind of case spoken of by St. Ignatius in The Spiritual Exercises. When you are faced with an issue or a problem in which the negative and the positive seem to be weighed almost equally, then you must resort to a careful discernment of spirits, and ask you self when considering the negative and the positive, which gives you the greater peace. Always go with the peace was the advice given by this great 16th century saint. And the peace of Medjugorje is simply too overwhelming to ignore, it pours into the atmosphere from such a profound source of sacredness and imbues the air with grace and holiness.
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