This book is the first of the four volumes of sermons and discourses given by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Tomislav Vlasic during 1984 - 1987 in Medjugorje, and contains talks given from Easter until December 1984.
All chapters of this book are now included
When pilgrims come here they always want to know what the visionaries see, what Our Lady says and what is happening. Now I am acting as an interpreter of Our Lady’s question. She nearly always asks: “What is happening in your hearts ?” I am telling you this so that you can understand the importance of what is happening in your hearts. If all the messages we hear do not find an answer in our hearts we are here only out of curiosity, for tourism. I want to meditate with you now about what is happening within us.
During this month, the last one of three years’ apparitions (which began on 24th25th June, 1981) , Our Lady has repeatedly said : “Pray, pray, pray”. We cannot understand the message without prayer ; spoken and written words are empty without prayer, without an inner attitude; it is only through this inner attitude to prayer that light comes to us, by which we can really feel what God wants at this moment.
From the beginning of the apparitions Our Lady has constantly said : “Christians who do not pray are no longer believers “. I can tell you from my experience of these three years that Christians who do not pray at all are no longer Christians; those who pray only a little are only a little Christian and those who pray enough, well, are good Christians.
In order, therefore, to live prayer and to truly deepen it we need to look at certain elements which can help us. If you wish to accept this message of prayer, as I hope you do, I will explain these to you. First of all we must dedicate time to God. What does this mean ? Last year, when Our Lady said in a message to Jelena : “I would be very happy if all families started praying each morning and evening for at least half an hour.” Many of the people I said this to, looked at me almost as if to say that there is no time. I thought about this. Three weeks ago, in a message, Our Lady told the parishoners : ”You could all pray even four hours a day”. I replied, saying that if I tell this to the people they will turn away. Through the visionary , Our Lady replied : ”Not even you understand, it is only a sixth of your day.” I said that I understand that she wants us to pray continuously and I saw that she was satisfied. After meditating on what Our Lady had said during this period, I understood that she wants us to pray twentyfour hours a day. Now I will explain : six weeks ago, and American here told me that Our Lady is right when she tells us to stop watching television because our children look at pornographic films.
I replied that this is not one of the gravest sins but that, for me, it is that television has become like a god in your homes deciding how families spend their free time. This is the god you adore. If you want to understand prayer, put the television set in a corner and put God at the centre of your homes. It is God Who must put order in your family and Who must decide your routine.
I have given you this picture to explain how many of the things in your families, in your worries have become your god, and I have discovered a real and serious sickness amongst Christians : we need to eat and when we lose our appetites we think we are ill, we need to sleep and if someone cannot sleep we say that person is ill, Christians who do not feel the need to pray and must make an effort to do so, for me, are sick and when Our Lady says that she wants us to pray more she brings us exactly to this.
Once, I believe it was February of this year, Our Lady told Jelena :”When I say : pray, pray, pray, do not understand it as meaning only an increase in the number of your prayers, I want to bring you to a deep desire for God, a continuous desire for God.” Here I have discovered what Our Lady wishes : that, by means of prayer, by seeking God, we reach an attitude of a continuous desire for God. Here is an example : two people in love with each other think of each other all the time, write letters, dream : they are always united. When there is true faith in us, we are united to God. I need to be there ; I am tired without God, I need to rest in prayer; I have many serious problems, I need to go to God and tell Him what is happening to me; when I am full of joy I go to God to share my joy with Him. This is the attitude to which Our Lady wants to bring all of us, but, instead, we pray in fragments I pray for five minutes and that time is dedicated to God but the rest of the time is for my material welfare. Whilst our prayers are so partitioned, we cannot reach real Christianity, we cannot reach a real life with God.
On Holy Thursday, through Jelena, I asked Our Lady : ‘How was Jesus able to pray every night, what method did He use ?’. She replied : ”He had a great desire for God and for the salvation of souls”. He had a great desire for God: I think we can only reach this attitude to prayer if we reawaken this desire for God, we need to start to search for Him, to rediscover Him. In this age, we have really thrown God into a corner preferring machines, science and everything else and we have forgotten God. Now we must rediscover Him, live Him and we can only do this through prayer. Often people ask me how they can pray, how they can find peace in prayer. This is my answer, if you will accept it. It is simple : you have the Rosary, you have the Gospel. Your priests will tell you everything else in church . The Rosary and the Gospel. It is only necessary to dedicate enough time to God. Put order in your families but see that there is time for God in your daily routine; make a note of it, make a programme : this is time for God in my family, and do not let anyone take it away from you. Then ask Jesus to be the guide of your family and do not worry about your problems. Start to talk to God, to read the Gospel and to pray. Soon you will discover how that inner peace comes, because the peace Our Lady speaks of is not in concentration, but in a happiness which comes from God, because we really found Him, because we have spoken to Him.
On Holy Thursday, Our Lady gave another message which will help you to understand better what I have said : ”Today I am going to reveal a spiritual secret to you. If you want to be stronger than evil, than trials, create an active conscience for yourselves.” It was the first time in my life I had heard this expression ‘active conscience’. She said : ”pray sufficiently in the morning, read a page of the Gospel and root the Divine Word in your hearts and remember it during the day, live by it, particularly in your trials and, by evening, you will have become stronger”. This message, too, speaks to us of continuous prayer. When I say ‘continuous’ , it may seem to you impossible; but I say to you it is possible if you will allow God to enter into the routine of your lives.
Another message, which I hope will help you to live prayer, was given this Spring. Our Lady told the visionary ,” If you want to be very happy, lead a simple, humble life, pray a great deal and do not delve into your problems but leave God to solve them.” My advice is not to analyse life too much, do not tire yourselves, let God guide your life and I advise you to thoroughly clear out your homes because they are complicated with too many things, so that you have no time either for God or yourselves; we have all made our lives too complicated. Give to the poor and you will be able to pray, because it is my own experience that when my room is in disorder and too cluttered I cannot meditate or be recollected in prayer, so we must give everything and open our hearts.
I want to add something else : people come here because they are in need, we see them running up to the priests to tell them of headaches, ill husbands, daughters .... but few say, when they come here for the first time, that they need to be converted. I tell you to seek first of all to be converted because Jesus said: “Look first of all for the Kingdom of God and all the rest will be given to you”. I am telling you this because Our Lady has never given a formula to the questions put by people through the visionaries, she has only said, “The most important thing is to believe, that is to open oneself to God, to pray and to fast”.
I advise you to set out on the road to your conversion and to go ahead with your priests to deepen your faith, to open yourselves to God and you will understand the messages and accept the graces.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 1/6/84)
Powered by www.medjugorje.ws