Wednesday, August 24, 2011

These Days of Grace

 It was early 1982 or 1983 when I first hear about Our Blessed Mother appearing in Medjugorge.  Having been brought up in a devout Catholic home, and having a strong devotion to Our Lady, I eagerly devoured any reading material that was available on the subject.  For me, the thought of Our Holy Mother appearing now, just as she had in Fatima and Lourdes was more than exciting, it was pure divine grace. I wanted to know why she was coming to us now and I wanted to know everything she had to say.

Soon afterwards, around 1989, my parents and a wonderful group of their friends went to a Marian Conference in Notre Dame to hear different speakers share their personal testimonies and experiences about Medjugorge. Being very moved by this whole experience, one of their friends suggested that they should try to organize a conference like this one in California. This October will mark the 21st Medjugorge Peace Conference to be held in Irvine, California. It looks like Our Lady approved! 

In May of 2006, I was called to a make a pilgrimage to Medjugorge with one of my daughters. I say that I was called to make this pilgrimage, because that is exactly what happens to all of us that go to Medjugorge, we are called by Our Lady.

If you have ever spoken to anyone that has made the journey to Medjugorge, they have probably told you that it is a grueling trip. It took us 22 hours to get there, with three connector flights, one of which we barely made. Needless to say, when we finally landed in Sarajevo I gave Jesus one big “thank you Lord”!  

 We were met at the airport by a man that held up a simple sign that said “Heaven, this way”. Since he spoke no English, we could only hope that he was there for us. We loaded ourselves into the bus, pulled out our rosary beads and began to pray them out loud. All the pilgrims in the bus did the same. We were heaven bound! 

 Like so many of us that have ups and downs in our lives, my pilgrimage  to Medjugorge was a much needed answer to a prayer for inner peace. And, shortly after our arrival in this quaint little mountain town, we took a hike up to Apparition Mountain where we just sat for awhile taking everything in. As I sat there, my mind filled with the faces of many people I had meant throughout my life, some of whom I had not thought of in years. I immediately offered them up to the Blessed Mother in prayer, as if handing them to her here, at the site of her first appearance to the visionaries, and then I let them go into her care. It was then that a peace came over me, and I heard something say, “this time is for you”. This time of prayer and of peace was for me and would remain with me for the rest of my life to reflect upon in good times and bad.  I was receiving an undeserved gift of grace for which I would be forever grateful! And, like all God given gifts, it was meant to be shared with others.

Still today, Our Lady is appearing in Medjugorge. And, she is still saying to each one of us that our time of grace is now while she is still among us! She asks us all to live her massages. What are these messages? She asks us return to a life of prayer, to be reconciled with God and with each other, to fast and to read the Sacred Scripture, letting it be a part of our everyday lives. In perfect obedience to God the Father, Our Lady is always leading us one way, and that way is toward her son, Jesus Christ.

"Dear children! Today on this great day which you have given to me, I desire to bless all of you and to say: these days while I am with you are days of grace. I desire to teach you and help you to walk the way of holiness. There are many people who do not desire to understand my messages and to accept with seriousness what I am saying. But you I therefore call and ask that by your lives and by your daily living you witness my presence. If you pray, God will help you to discover the true reason for my coming. Therefore, little children, pray and read the Sacred Scriptures so that through my coming you discover the message in Sacred Scripture for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM,June 25,1991


jek said...

I remember that trip and the one I made before. It is for sure a "calling" to those that actually go and respond. I oftern think of both my trips, sometimes with joy and sometimes with sadness, as I feel that perhaps I missed the point or because I often feel home sick, so badly wanting that life style that those back in the hamlet of Medjugorje seem to have figured out. I often (almost daily) think about a picture I took on my first trip there in 2001 in Mostar, of a bombed out building. When developed, a clear picture of Our Lady was next to the building. I know she was speaking to me, sometimes I think I think I know what she was trying to say, others times I am not so sure. I believe graces come from that special place, even if they are hard to see years after a pilgrimage. Good reflection, brought tears to my eyes.

Daily Grace said...

The point is never missed, sometimes it is just put on a shelve for a wee bit of time. But once Our Lady has you, she has you!!!!!Have you ever thought about sharing that picture? Remember that all that is given to us is gift to be shared with others!

God be with you!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thank you Daily Grace for this wonderful post.

You may be interested in this website. Click Medjugorge on the column on the left.

God bless.

Abbey's Road said...

Grace, this was the most beautiful post, and extremely moving! My daughter and I have made a pact that we will make the trip together. When? I don't know yet. I know that I am so drawn to the Blessed Mother through her many messages of peace and advice to come to conversion, bring others with you, fast and read the Word of God. Oh, I just don't have the words to express how much I enjoyed reading this. You have made my day. Well, actually, you are 2nd, the first is the message to Marijana from Our Lady which is also posted on my blog.

Peace, Love & Joy,
Abbey ♥

Daily Grace said...

Thank you Victor, your comment lead me to this one. God bless

Daily Grace said...

Abbey, I can't wait to hear from you after you travel to Medjugorje! God bless you my friend!

Colleen said...

Thank you for sharing! God bless!

Mary N. said...

I first heard about Medjugorje in the early eighties too. Unfortunately, I had entered my rebellious teenage years and was skipping Church regularly. Still, I was interested in Medjugorje and became even more interested after my mom went on a pilgrimage there in the late eighties. She brought me back a pair of simple wooden Rosary beads that I absolutely treasured and kept on my bedpost where they were always close at hand at night. I can't say I made it through a full Rosary back then but I always prayed my Hail Mary's at night and I have no doubt that Our Lady obtained great graces for me. And still does! Thanks for sharing your story with us! I love reading about Medjugorje!

Daily Grace said...

Mary, I have a pair of those wooden rosary beads from Medjugorje too! They are my favorite!

God bless

Michael said...

DG - loved this post. Embarrassingly, I have only begun to learn about Medjugorge over the past few years. I had heard about it, sure, but it wasnt until someone in my church told me the whole story with passion that I started to read and learn more. I hope to make it there someday - your post has inspired me to keep that dream alive.
God Bless you!

Anonymous said...

God sure did inspire you on this.
It is a beautiful article. I can see St. James church and smell the fresh air. Well done

noreen said...

Hi Daily Grace,

I was called to Medjugorje in the late 1990's and it was a transforming experience for me. I traveled there by myself and a couple of friends met me there a few days later. It was one of the most blessed experiences of my life.

Daily Grace said...

Hi Noreen,

Medjugorje is a transforming experience for sure!Sometimes the fruit of the visitation take a while to start manifesting itself for each of us, but once Our Lady has us...she has us!

God bless!