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 want to tell you the last messages and about the situation we are in. You know many other things from the television, from books and newspaper articles. The apparitions go on happening every day with Vicka, Marija, Ivanka, Jacov and Ivan.
Mirjana has not seen these daily apparitions since Christmas 1982. Then there was one again on her birthday and on the day after, the feast of St. Joseph. She wrote to me, because she had the vision at Sarajevo, and said that Our Lady gave her some new details about the secrets (See the end of this chapter)
Everything is still secret for us.
Our Lady spoke about those who do not believe, the atheists. She said to Mirjana: "They are my children too and I suffer much because of them. If they only know what would happen to them if they are not converted. Mirjana, pray for them." Through Mirjana, Our Lady invites us to pray for those who do not believe. One could say that at Fatima, Our Lady announced atheism and said: fight against atheism.
Our Lady invites us to pray and to fast for those who do not believe. When we talk about atheism, we do not say we believe, but, in practice, are we not sometimes quite near those who do not believe, quite near atheism ?
Mirjana also wrote that Our Lady took the Rosary from her hand and said: "This is how to pray. Tell everyone that the Rosary is not just an ornament in the house."
So: pray. And Mirjana told me that some things are very near. But what does 'near' mean for prophets ? One never knows. A thousand years are like a day and a day like a thousand years. We must be careful and not think of dates, of days. Conversion is always urgent. It is dangerous to wait.
About Vicka, Our Lady ended by telling her the story of her life in Nazareth on the 10th April, it was Wednesday. On Thursday she told Vicka the date when it can be published and on Friday the name of the priest to whom Vicka must hand everything over.
Vicka did not tell me anything else, but she can tell the priest whom Our Lady named and he, on the day named by Our Lady, will tell everyone. We shall see what is written in those exercise books, the text which Our Lady dictated to Vicka.
Vicka said that the last thing was the introduction to the text. She explained why she had told the story of her life, it was in answer to all the questions.
On Wednesday 17th, Our Lady started telling Vicka the future, the future of the world. After the vision, Vicka writes everything but cannot say anything. The situation is this; as from 11th April, the visionaries see the apparitions in the priests' house, not in the chapel and they do not lead the prayers in church any more. Every evening one of them does the reading, or the psalm so that the pilgrims can see him or her.
As you know, our Bishop is still rather opposed to the apparitions. We have been asked to do these things. They are formal things. The statue, made according to the description of the visions, is now in the chapel, at first it was in the church. For us who believe, it is not very important who leads the prayer. The visionaries suffer because they are witnesses to these things. Our Lady needs these witnesses. Now, we have appealed to Rome because we must go on until the Commission has decided. And we are going on. At this time our Bishops are gathered together for the Episcopal Conference. I have no detailed news yet. They have discussed Medjugorje.
The Archbishop Franic seemed to me to be pleased when he came back. He spoke as a witness. Our Bishop also spoke. He is suffering for this and searching. His change of opinion shows that he is searching. At the beginning he said in front of the whole Parish: 'If it were only one visionary, we could say: what does he want ? But I have spoken to all six and I can see that they are sincere, they are telling the truth. Let us wait.'
Afterwards, he said it was all the work of the devil. So many people said that the devil has never asked us to pray, to fast and to submit to the Lord. And he stopped. Afterwards, he said the visions were hallucinations, but the doctors said it was not possible, they were not hallucinations. He dropped this theory too. Now he says there is some manipulation. But I believe he will soon drop this theory too. I am convinced that one day these theories will become arguments for the authenticity of the visions.
It is like when St. Thomas said: Until I have ... I will not believe. You know the story. St. Thomas did not want to believe that Jesus was risen. But he suffered ....
I will tell you something. A Vicar General of one of the Italian Cardinals came in the name of his Cardinal. When he had seen everything, how we speak, how we explain the messages, who the visionaries are ... (I think has also confessed a little... ) he said to me: 'Father, I feel that you are manipulating the whole thing, now you must tell me how it's done !' Can you imagine ?
You also know of Prof. Joyeux's research. All this research cannot be the last word concerning the apparitions. By a process of elimination, the doctors can say that it is not a case of hallucination, that is not this or that. They will never be able to say that they see Our Lady. They can say: 'We don't know how to explain it.'
There are many strange things. On Palm Sunday, one person said to me: 'I saw a film sequence, the dance of the sun, for ten minutes.' One person has taken film with an American system. A Professor of physics and mathematics commented: 'Inexplicable !' when he watched the phenomenon of the sun.
And the visionaries say that these are the signs of Her presence, they are a sort of advance sign of the great sign which Our Lady is to leave on the hill. We do not know when.
The messages. Yesterday 18th April, Our Lady said: "Dear children, today I thank you for opening your hearts. I feel very joyful for every heart that opens to God, above all those of the Parish (all hearts then, also those in the Parish). Rejoice with me. In all your prayers, pray for the opening of hearts which are gripped by sin. I wish for this. God wishes it through me. I thank you because you have answered my call."
Just a few thoughts. Our Lady thanks all those who have opened their hearts, but at the same time, she also invites all those who are still burdened with sin, to prayer. At the same time she wishes to fill our hearts and oblige us to pray for the others. It is very important when she says: "The Lord wishes it, through me."
If you read the interview with Archbishop Franic before Christmas, you will have found that, after Vatican II, mariology is once again at the heart of the Church. The Church will be renewed through Mary.
With the conception of Jesus, Mary was the first special bearer of the Holy Spirit; Mary is the Mother of the Church. She was the first Church, the first to believe in Jesus personally. The Jews believed in a Messiah, Mary believed in Jesus. And where there is belief in Jesus, there is belief in the Church. Beneath the Cross, Mary is the Mother of the Church and of all of us.
And theologically speaking, the renewal of the Church will happen through Our Lady who calls upon us to open our hearts and give thanks for every heart that opens and to pray that other hearts may open.
The message of last Thursday (11th April) was : "Dear children, during this time, I want you to pray for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. The Lord will give you more trials, difficulties and problems; but these are to strengthen your faith. Thank you for answering my call."
It is therefore important during this period after Easter to pray to the Holy Spirit. The Episcopal Conference is being held now and I believe that it is also for this reason that Our Lady has invited us to pray for light from the Holy Spirit. We do this: every evening we pray for all the intentions of the pilgrims, for the sick, of parents and relations, but when She gives us the messages, then we pray chiefly for those intentions.
Now, until next Thursday, we shall be praying for all those who are still bound in sin.
On Maundy Thursday, she said: "Dear children, thank you because you have begun to think of the glory of God in your hearts."
To think of the glory of God what does that mean ? It means searching for peace. The glory of God is not in the air, the glory of God is in us. If we search for peace, reconciliation and try to love everyone, to forgive; this is the glory of God.
And she said something else. She thought she would not give any more messages; this was the situation when our Bishop sent these new rules. But it is very important when she says: "The Parish has acted, and so I will give you more messages." Here Our Lady demonstrates a very important point; the importance of the people of God as a people; the Church has all the hierarchy, but no one will be able to say: I was the one who saved everything. No one.
For example, a month and a half after the visions had started, the Parish priest was imprisoned, and the other priests and the nuns were within the parish, surrounded, the church was closed and cordoned off. No one could do anything, and the people of God came and prayed around the cordons, outside the closed church. And then it was opened again.
We must see our duty, yours, mine; we ask for the renewal of the Church. The Pope, bishops and priests can be, and are, servants when people act. Each one of us is very important.
I believe that Our Lady leaves all these problems on purpose so that the people of God, who hear her maternal voice and follow her instructions through all the difficulties, can be seen.
So far we have no hierarchy to protect us with its jurisdiction, but we have many bishops and archbishops who can speak as witnesses, and it is testimony which will take us forward, not discussion.
Every cross, every difficulty is significant.
On the 28th March She said: "Dear children, today I ask you to pray, pray, pray. In prayer you will find a deeper joy and solution to every situation which seems insoluble. I thank you because you have moved forward in prayer. Every one of you brings joy to my heart. I thank those who have encouraged prayer in their families. I thank you for having answered my call."
One very important thing. When She says: "Pray and in prayer you will find a deeper joy and the solution to every difficult situation" , I think that you will all want to ask the question: what prayer ? How does one pray ?
Perhaps one just makes the sign of the cross and says a Hail Mary to someone at the margin of our lives ? Well, if one just says the Hail Mary or the Our Father sometimes, one cannot feel that deeper joy, but if we take time, if we listen, if we read, if we pray, then we shall feel that deeper joy. Each one of us wants that joy, no one wants to throw it away. We are still searching for it; it is characteristic of mankind.
We must ask ourselves if we want the means to achieve this joy. Our Lady asks us to say the Creed and seven Our Father's, to recite the whole Rosary, read the Bible, go to confession and fast. All this is an exercise of preparation for joy, for love, for peace, for reconciliation. We must accept all that Our Lady asks as preparation of our hearts for what the Lord will give us.
In another message through Jelena She said: "I am saved, but I wish you to be saved too." That is why she invites us to prayer and fasting.
It is a programme for the whole of life and many of those who have been here have really begun with prayer and fasting. Every day we experience many graces; for instance, there are so many young people who never used to go to confession, who never prayed, and who come and are converted. The greatest grace does not consist in miracles, healing in the physical sense, but in moral healing, healing of the heart. And these are the fruits which will bring recognition by the Church.
In this sense, Medjugorje, as an event, depends on all of us, but in a positive sense if we go on doing all we are doing, praying, fasting and bearing witness.
(Fr. Slavko Barbaric 10th April, 1985)
(18th and 19th March 1985)
Mirjana Dragicevic, who is studying at Sarajevo, had another meeting with Our Lady this year on the day of her twentieth birthday. The vision lasted 15 minutes. This is Mirjana's description of both meetings: 'There were many of us. We went to wait for her at four o'clock in the afternoon. We all prayed for fifteen minutes and she was with us for fifteen minutes. She greeted me as usual with the words "Jesus be praised !" and I answered her greeting. She wished me a happy birthday and then we began to talk. First of all, she said how unhappy she was about the nonbelievers. Her actual words were: "They are my children and I suffer for them because they do not know what awaits them if they are not converted to God. And so Mirjana, pray for them." Then we all prayed together (She led the prayer) and said two Our Father's and two Glory be's for the nonbelievers.
Immediately afterwards, she deplored the greed existing in the world and also in Medjugorje. She said: "Woe betide those who are ready to take everything from those who come here (to pay homage to Her), and blessed are those who give." We prayed for this too, saying two Our Father's and two Glory Be's. I prayed to be able to say Hail Mary's to her like this, and she smiled. Then we talked of the secrets, and I told her that I had a great many (about thirty) questions for Her. She smiled and told me not to worry about the questions because when I came to answer them I would know the answers. She will give me this gift because to reply now would take too much time.
I asked her about Ivan... She said that the priests must be with us to help us because She has given us a heavy burden to bear and the priests' suspicions are hurtful to her. Then we recited the 'Salve Regina' together with the others.
I forgot something. When She blessed all the objects and I had taken them back, she asked me to give her the Rosary. She took it and started to pray saying "This is the way to pray with the Rosary, you must tell everyone." She said that one should not leave the Rosary about the house like an ornament as many people do.
On 19th March, she appeared again. The apparition lasted seven minutes. There were four of us. I spoke to Her about the secrets and we prayed. There was nothing else important to say. On both days She blessed us.
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