Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jeremiah 29:11-14

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord.

Matthew 18:1-4

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monthly message for July

President: Arnold Ochs
Vice-President: Sister Emmanuel
Advisory Board:
Archbishop Frane Franic
Archbishop D. Peter Chung
Bishop Nicholas D'Antonio, O.F.M.
Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, O.M.I.
Bishop Donald Montrose
Fr. Daniel Ange
Ralph Martin

Dear Children of Medjugorje!

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

1 – On July 2, 2007 Mirjana Soldo received her monthly apparition at the Cenacolo Community. After the apparition, she transmitted the following message to us:

"Dear children! In the great love of God, I come to you today to lead you on the way of humility and meekness. The first station on that way, my children, is confession. Reject your pride and kneel down before my Son. Comprehend, my children, that you have nothing and you can do nothing. The only thing that is yours and what you possess is sin. Be cleansed and accept meekness and humility. My Son could have won with strength, but He chose meekness, humility and love. Follow my Son and give me your hand so that, together, we may climb the mountain* and win. Thank you!"

Again Our Lady spoke about the importance of priests and their blessing. *Our Lady referred to the spiritual climb.

2 – How to Better Live Your Pilgrimage (Follow up to the May 15th Report)
Pilgrims are flocking to Medjugorje this summer and I wish to suggest a few new pieces of advice so that everyone may profit the most from his pilgrimage.
- We should be sober in what we pack. Many pilgrims arrive in Medjugorje so loaded with earthly things that they are also over-loaded in their hearts. A pilgrimage is an ideal opportunity to experience detachment and a certain poverty that is so good for the soul! Detachment allows the soul to be fully open to grace. Think of Jesus and the Holy Family, traveling by foot three times a year to Jerusalem. They were content with little and thus experienced a great freedom (See PS).

"Open your hearts"is the constant message Our Lady gives to pilgrims in Medjugorje. We should try to be generous in what we will allow God to change in us. A pilgrimage is a special time when He speaks to our hearts, but according to the measure we offer Him out of freedom.

Absolutely avoid seeking signs and wonders. Those who seek them are not aiming at the goal and will be very upset while in Medjugorje to see that the miracles happen on the inside. They will miss the special graces Our Lady had prepared for them and return home empty.

Be excited about getting new friends, new brothers and sisters from the group! Very often, the new bonds of friendship that are created during a pilgrimage by the Lord are precious for our future. Our new found pilgrim buddies help us to live the messages upon our return home. We find that we have new supporters! Many little prayer groups and teams of charity work have been formed from being together on a pilgrimage!

3 - 600 Priests in Medjugorje!
The International Retreat for Priests was held at the beginning of July, but not with Father Raniero Cantalamessa (Vatican Preacher) as planned. In fact, in early June, the Bishop of Mostar wrote to the Franciscains that he was not giving them permission to have Fr. Cantalamessa lead the priests. Fortunately, an eminent preacher from Zagreb, Fr. Tomislav Ivacic, was able to replace Fr. Cantalamessa, and the 600 priests, having come from around the world, were able to benefit from a rich and fruitful retreat.
Fr. Cantalamessa, devastated by this turn of events, took to heart to write a few words to the priests who had been anticipating his presence at the retreat, especially since a certain number of them had signed up for the retreat knowing his great reputation as a preacher. The following letter was given to the priests present. Since the matter at hand was not confidential, some priests shared the letter with me. What profound humility is found within its contents! We recognize, in this letter, the heart of a true son of Mary, for it illustrates the message that Our Lady gave on July 2nd (cited above) as the retreat began. It seemed as though the Gospa had come to sustain her apostles and confirm that, in this conflicting and sorrowful situation for the Church, the true spiritual victory was to be found in meekness, humility and love. "Follow my Son..."

Here is the letter:
Dear brothers,
To my great sorrow I will not be with you to share the Word of God. But I believe that it is our duty, mine as well as yours, in the present circumstances, to give testimony of our serene obedience to the will of God and to the Church, certain that, in acting thus, we do that which is most pleasing to the Lord and to Mary. The Holy Spirit is in need of no one in particular, much less of the undersigned. He is able, with our humble submission, to do infinitely more than hundreds of spiritual exercises. I hope that all the scheduled exercises will still be held without my presence there and that no priest will cancel his coming because of the critical need for a replacement. I am sure that the Lord and the Blessed Mother expect from each of you, understanding, respect and prayers, and especially towards the local representatives of the Church. In this case, I am certain that the result will be a more fruitful, ecclesiastical renewal in each one's life. I will be present through my prayers, invoking on all of you the anointing and peace of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Ranairo Cantalamessa

The following testimony from the retreat, struck me: A French-speaking priest who had come to Medjugorje for the first time, told me how a man happened upon his Confessional. This man was a little confused as he explained to the priest that while in France, without any reason, he sensed a strong desire to go to Medjugorje. He barely knew where Medjugorje was and he was even less certain of why he should go there! Not able to resist this interior push to go, he got into his car and proceeded to drive, and drive and drive without a break. He made the trip non-stop. That is, more than an entire day's travel to get to Medjugorje. There, he saw the Confessional and, still being led by this interior push, he entered, not knowing why he was entering. After hearing this, the priest then suggested to him, "Well, you're here. Why not make your Confession?" He accepted. He had not been to Confession since his childhood! The priest added that the gentleman made a long and good confession, marveling at what had transpired!
Such interior promptings are not rare in Medjugorje. May those who arrive in Medjugorje, not knowing why they are there, becomw reassured. As for the Gospa, She knows why!

4 – The Power of the Tongue
A woman went to Confession to a Desert Father. She admitted to having slandered someone. Seeing her sincere repentance, the priest gave her absolution. Before dismissing her, he gave her this penance: She was to buy a chicken, pluck it on the Village Square and then come back to see him.
The woman carefully carried out her penance, came back to the priest and asked:
"Now, what must I do with the chicken?"
"Go back to the Marketplace where you plucked the chicken," He told her. "And pick up all the chicken's feathers."
"That's impossible," exclaimed the woman. "The feathers have all flown away, the wind has scattered them to the four corners of the globe!"
"That's true! Now you understand what slander can do! It can spread more quickly and farther then those feathers! The judgments, which this creates in hearts and the troubles, which arise in the consciences cannot be repaired!"
Jesus has given us a golden rule: "When your brother sins, go to him, one on one..." (Matt.18,15). Most often, the very fact of going to see a brother causes the "falsehood" that one had fabricated to dispel, and peace to be restored. Even if truly there had been sin, we certainly have other means of furthering the Kingdom than that of whispering criticism! Compassion heals the wounded heart more surely than judgment, and prayer can convert the sinner more surely than accusation!
The Gospa again speaks to us this month about Confession, as an indispensable step in walking with her and her Son, Jesus. Like God, She comes as a contradiction to our natural tendencies - to stagnate in sin - so as to draw us toward sanctity. Thankfully she contradicts us! The control of our tongue is an excellent exercise! Let us take twenty-four hours during which we will examine our words: How many were uttered in vain or have wounded Charity? How many have damaged our neighbor? How many have saddened the Holy Spirit within us? Sometimes it is a good thing, in Confession, to examine a particular point in the Gospel, let us take the one concerning the tongue! Since " the tongue speaks from the abundance of the heart, we could replace our hurtful words with praises to God and pronounce sincere blessings on our neighbor!

5 – A Change in the Parish
Fr. Lubo will soon be transferred to the Franciscan province of Zagreb. We still do not know who will replace Fr. Ivan Sesar as pastor of the parish. Let us continue to be confident in prayer!
Dearest Gospa, each of your words is a bit of Heaven flowing within us!
Please help us to choose Heaven and not mediocrity! Thank you!
Sr. Emmanuel +

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Monthly message for June

Message of June 25, 2007

"Dear children! Also today, with great joy in my heart, I call you to conversion. Little children, do not forget that you are all important in this great plan, which God leads through Medjugorje. God desires to convert the entire world and to call it to salvation and to the way towards Himself, who is the beginning and the end of every being. In a special way, little children, from the depth of my heart, I call you all to open yourselves to this great grace that God gives you through my presence here. I desire to thank each of you for the sacrifices and prayers. I am with you and I bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call." 06/2007

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