This book is the second of the four volumes of sermons and discourses given by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Tomislav Vlasic during 1984 - 1987 in Medjugorje, and contains discourses given from January to June 1985.
30 Chapters of this book are now completed
.. I would like you to be conscious again today of Our Lady being close to you like a mother helping us to say our 'yes' with all our heart, as She said in yesterday's message (22nd March): "You cannot belong to Our Lord entirely and you cannot live this feast fully if you are not reconciled."
Let us be reconciled with Our Lord and with our fellow men so that we may celebrate today's feast.
It was fortyfive months yesterday evening since Our Lady first appeared to the visionaries. And today it is fortyfive months since She began speaking to them. An unbelievable story during these months.
While seeing and living a little this story, in this situation, I can now say that I understand what believing in God really means, what listening to Our Lord's Word means, what is means when Our Lady says: "Abandon yourselves to Our Lord" : what it means 'to be reconciled', but also what it means when we are all very far from God. When you start along the path of peace, of radical love, you can understand what Our Lady once said: "You do not know yet how to love."
And this is the same thing we discover here and it is also a motivation to go in a deeper and more radical way with Our Blessed Virgin.
I am now going to say something about yesterday's message ...
Our Lady usually speaks every Thursday, but sometimes She gives Her messages on another day. Yesterday I was present at the time of the apparition: only Marija and Jacov were there. Ivan had gone to Makarska for an exam and had not yet returned. Vicka is ill. Ivanka was at home.
These two were in the presbytery. I prayed with them. The apparition lasted almost three minutes. After the apparition they write all that they had seen or all that happened in a copybook.
Marija needed ten minutes to write everything down and said to me: 'This evening there is a message.' And this message contains all that Our Lady has been saying during these months. She said: "Today I am inviting you to confession even if you have been only a few days ago. I would like you to be able to live my feast in your hearts. But you cannot live it if you do not abandon yourselves wholly to Our Lord. I am inviting you, therefore, to be reconciled to the Lord."
At the beginning of these fortyfive months the first words were: 'Pray, be converted, recite the Creed and seven Our Father's.' Now you can see all praying, all prayers and fasting as an invitation to be reconciled to Our Lord.
Being reconciled to Our Lord, therefore, means renewing our state of mind, changing our lives and that of all mankind. You know that the first sin was disobedience to Our Lord. Man became alienated from God and the whole of creation was against man.
Being reconciled to the Our Lord in the core of our souls, in our hearts, means finding Paradise again. And hoe can we find Paradise again ? What is the meaning of reconciliation with God ?
The first thing is this; let yourselves be guided by the Lord, be trusting.
Man's first sin was this; not to trust in God and to think, if I do something different to what Our Lord tells me, I will be happy. Trusting in the Lord means to let ourselves be guided and to believe in His Word, to believe that the road Our Lord leads us along is the safest for man and for all mankind. And when one puts one's trust in the Lord, then peace can grow, this abandonment can grow, love can also grow.
Being reconciled in God then means also accepting the plan of my life which the Almighty Father has planned for me, the plan Our Lady wants us to discover. Our problem is always that we want to live our own lives, our own plans and sometimes, more often than not, outside Our Lord's plans.
Therefore, letting myself be guided and having trust in Our Lord means accepting the plan of my life coming from Our Lord, but discovered in my heart. For this reason again we must fast and pray.
Fasting purifies us in the depths of our souls and of our hearts and in this way we can discover the love of Our Lord for us.
In this way also the sick discover that this is the path for the acceptance of God's will. They discover that even in suffering the Lord leads us and is not far from us; even in suffering problems make sense. Without this trust in Our Lord, without praying and fasting you cannot see and you cannot accept this wonderful plan Our Lord has in mind for us.
If we want to see Our Lady's life in the light of today's feast, we can say that Our Lady, as a girl of the chosen people, knew all God's promises and let herself be guided. We are all certain that She did not know on the day of the Annunciation that the day of Calvary would follow; She was not aware of the difficulties and problems, but this was not important. Our Lady had prepared Herself and was ready at the moment of the Annunciation to accept the plan coming from beyond.
God's plan was for Her to become the Mother, the Virgin Mother. Her plan was, if I may say so, another one. But in her innermost self She was ready to accept this plan from God.
This is for me, the greatest feast: Our Lady prepared herself for the Annunciation and when She said: 'Yes', She had no idea what was in store for Her; something very different was in store for Her; even the nativity in Bethlehem, the death and the Resurrection. Our Blessed Virgin did not know this plan, but She went ahead step by step.
Reconciliation means this: accepting, saying: 'yes', and going onward together with Our Lady.
These apparitions have been lasting for fortyfive months. They are like a preparation. Our Lady wants to prepare us. She wants to educate us. You can express it in a theological thought: Our Lady is setting out with this Church, in this world, in these circumstances, on a new journey. She accompanies, invites and wants us all to become a real Church, believing in God, growing in love, peace and reconciliation.
With regard to prayer groups, I can say: Our Lady asks for prayer and we must pray either in groups, in our families or alone. From what we see with the prayer group She is leading with a certain method, through Jelena; She is asking for certain stages in prayer: for prayer alone, for prayer as a group and praying in couples.
She asks also for a third and fourth thing; for instance, it is a good thing to select someone in the group for a week, to meet each other, to pray a little together and then to discuss things over a cup of coffee; to be a little together so as to got to know each other. When members of a group are well acquainted, the group then grows, it can give mutual help.
Another thing is this: when you come together to pray, if in the group there is trouble, if something is bothering you, even a member of the group, then you must say so from the start, almost like a confession. Because, She explained, through Jelena, if you have not forgiven, if you have not said that a person is troubling you, you cannot love that person. And if you do not love, it means that you are selfcentred, you are closed and others, therefore, cannot love you. This is the first step in prayer in the group.
The second one is this: reading the Word and saying what this means to me.
The third stage is seeking the blessing, which means praying.
When we are acquainted, when we know our difficulties, we can also pray together. But I must tell you that you have to be very patient with yourselves and with the others in your groups, in your communities and in your families in the same way as Our Lady is with us.
At first She asked for the Creed and seven Our Father's and then, step by step, She asked for a Rosary, then the whole Rosary and a second day of fasting.
Therefore, if some of you cannot pray as Our Lady asks this does not mean you need not begin; if some of you cannot fast, this does not mean you need not begin.
Fasting and praying are part of Christian life and are means of reconciliation, of feeling what is happening in our hearts: they are an invitation to walk together with the Blessed Virgin.
(Fr. Slavko Barbaric 25th March, 1985)
Powered by www.medjugorje.ws