Our Lady of Medjugorje has appeared to six visionaries since 1981, telling us God exists, and that we need to return to a life of prayer. She has told them these will be her last apparitions on Earth.
This blog is here to help you live a the full, holy, and enriching life Our Lady says God wants us to live, by providing you with reviews of books related to the apparitions and messages.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Here is the March 23rd reflection from one of my favorite Medjugorje-themed books: Medjugorje Day by Day, by Richard J. Beyer:
Renounce those things
which are hurting you
which are hurting you
During Lent of 1990 Our Lady spoke of attachments:
Dear children, I invite you to surrender to God. In this season of Lent, I ask you to especially renounce those things to which you are attached but which are hurting you and your spiritual life. Therefore, little children, decide completely for God, and do not allow Satan into your life through those things that hurt both you and your spiritual life.
Little children, God is offering himself totally to you, but you can discover and recognize him only in prayer. Therefore, make a decision for prayer! (MM 2-25-90).
St. Paul also warns of worldly attachments:
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 3:17-20).
Reflection: St. Paul criticizes the self-indulgent Christians of his day, for although they claim allegiance to Christ, they ignore his model of servanthood and sacrifice. THey seem to satisfy their own desires even before thinking about the needs of others; to their detriment, they are "set upon the things of this world."
Our Lady of Medjugorje points to the same danger: "I ask you to especially renounce," she says, "those things to which you are attached, but which are hurting you and your spiritual life."
Application: Today, take the time to identify those attachments or addictions that hurt you spiritually. They could include alcohol, drugs, shopping, television, status seeking, power games, manipulation of others, and materialism in many forms. After you identify your own harmful attachments, isolate one and consciously work on moderating or even eliminating it for one week. At the same time, pray to the Blessed Mother for the special grace you will need; she will generously provide it.
[Note from Erik: This is, bar-none, my favorite Medjugorje-related book. Each daily reflection takes no more than a couple of minutes to read and, therefore, provides an easy way to enrich your life and live the messages Our Lady has given to us for the past 30 years. You can read the cover and a few pages, and purchase your copy from Amazon by clicking the image to the left.]
Sunday, March 20, 2011
You're probably used to receiving the monthly message for us, from Our Lady of Medjugorje, as given through the visionary Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo. What you may not know is that in 1982, when Our Lady gave the last of her daily apparitions to Mirjana, she imparted upon her the last of 10 secrets and promised Mirjana she would appear to her March 18th of every year.
Here is this year's annual message:
"Dear children! I am with you in the name of the greatest Love, in the name of dear God, who has come close to you through my Son and has shown you real love. I desire to lead you on the way of God. I desire to teach you real love so that others may see it in you, that you may see it in others, that you may be a brother to them and that others may see a merciful brother in you. My children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. With motherly love, I will show you what I expect of each of you, what I expect of my apostles. Set out with me. Thank you."
- Message from Our Lady to Mirjana, March 18, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Here is the March 6th reflection of Medjugorje, Day by Day, by Richard J. Beyer:
The season of Lent has always been a time repentance, conversion, and penance - a time for turning back to the Lord, renouncing sin, and beginning anew. This is the call of Our Lady today:
Be converted! It will be too late when the sign comes. Beforehand, several warnings will be given to the world. Have people hurry to be converted. I need your prayers and your penance.
My heart is burning with love for you. It suffices for you to be converted. To ask questions is unimportant. Be converted. Hurry to proclaim it. Tell everyone it is my wish, and that I do not cease repeating it. Be converted, be converted. It is not difficult for me to suffer for you. I beg you, be converted.
I will pray to my Son to spare you the punishment. Be converted without delay. You do not know the plans of God; you will not be able to know them. You will not know what God will send, nor what he will do. I ask you only to be converted. That is what I wish.
Be converted! Be ready for everything, but be converted. That is all I wish to say to you. Renounce everything else. All that is part of conversion. Good bye, and may peace be with you (LJM 4-25-83).
Our Lady's message is echoed in the Acts of the Apostles:
In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus (Acts 3:18-20).
Reflection: During this Lenten season, let us take the Blessed Mother seriously and seek conversion in renewed prayer, penance, and works of love. This will bring us great joy at Easter and a confirmation of the Gospa's words today: "My heart is burning with love for you."
Application: During Lent, set aside extra time for prayer and works of charity. Be active in the special Lenten devotions of your local parish. Go the extra mile for Our Lord and Our Lady.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Why do you pray to Mary?
Have you gone through life as a Catholic and always done this, without thinking about why?
Have you ever engaged with someone who asked you why you pray to Mary and not Jesus / God directly? Have you not had the answers when they did so?
I actually experienced the latter recently. One of my wife's friends noticed a relatively large statuette of the Blessed Mother in our living room. She - a Christian but not a Catholic - asked why Mary was so important to our faith. I posed my usual "She is a saint" (understanding saints are available as intercessors for us before God), but when confronted with the friend's challenge that what we do is Mary worship, I was a little taken aback, mostly because I had no idea how to counter that.
While I've been devoted to the Blessed Mother for several years, and pray the rosary often, I asked myself why Mary was so revered above all other saints. I think I reasoned it was because she was Jesus' mom. Not exactly good scriptural background there, which my wife's friend was seeking.
Thankfully my wife, apparently with incredible intuition, had purchased for me several months before Hail, Holy Queen, by Scott Hahn, which I had not yet read but just finished.
Hahn (no relation) :), a Catholic apologist, is great at challenging questions like the ones posed above. And in this book he nails it by giving sound evidence of how Mary - like Jesus - is important to us because she, like her Son, was foretold in the Old Testament.
You might be saying "Huh?"
That's okay, because there aren't any obvious foretellings of a powerful Savior mother in the Old Testament. But that's what makes Hahn's book so great.
His breakdown of The Bible reveals that just as Jesus is the new Adam, Mary is the new Eve. The mistakes Adam makes in Genesis, Jesus reverses. The mistakes Eve makes, Mary redeems.
While Adam brought death to humanity by eating of the apple in Eden, Jesus brings new life by dying on the cross. While Eve is seduced by the devil's temptations, Mary becomes the pure creature of God who conquers Satan.
But the parallels don't stop at the obvious Adam and Eve references.
Hahn reveals many New Testament passages about Mary (most notably in Revelation) which are paralleled by events throughout the Old Testament, even showing us Mary herself is the new Ark of the Covenant (Word of God). Considering Our Lady of Medjugorje has told us she is here to bring us messages from God, it makes perfect sense.
And Hahn shows us that during Jesus' time, the role of a queen mother was a powerful place in nobility. Queen mothers were not merely figureheads in kingdoms of the day, but instead sat at the right hand of their king sons, and yielded tremendous influence and power. He gives great examples of this.
Read this book to gain a sound foundation of why Mary is important to our faith and to more fully understand her role for God and us.
And it doesn't hurt you will have something to say to those who challenge your devotion to Our Blessed Mother. It's always good to know why something is so important to you, right?. I've found reading this book has even helped me pray my rosaries with more understanding of what I'm doing, confidence and conviction.
You can read the cover, table of contents, and a few pages of the book at Amazon.com by clicking the image of the book to the left (clicking the link does not put the book into a shopping cart). Used softcover copies are selling for as little as $6 and change at the time of this post, and the Kindle edition is $9.99.
Enjoy the book, share it with others, and comment on it afterward either here or my Facebook page!
Medjugorje Book Reviews
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
"Dear children; My motherly heart suffers tremendously as I look at my children who persistently put what is human before what is of God; at my children who, despite everything that surrounds them and despite all the signs that are sent to them, think that they can walk without my Son. They cannot! They are walking to eternal perdition. That is why I am gathering you, who are ready to open your heart to me, you who are ready to be apostles of my love, to help me; so that by living God's love you may be an example to those who do not know it. May fasting and prayer give you strength in that and I bless you with motherly blessing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Thank you."
Our Lady was very sad.
- Message from Our Lady to Mirjana, March 2nd, 2011