M E D I T A T I O N
COME, LORD JESUS. . .
"Is there some great, but short prayer? A prayer of just one word?
Veni - Come!
It is the original prayer.
The original prayer of Advent - the original prayer for the Spirit". (K. Hemmerle)
We have entered the season that we call Advent. The name of the season tells a lot. It is
related to the fulfilment of an expectation, will the expectation bring forth a coming. Advent draws its meaning then only if Christmas comes after it, then also the Christmas of a believer's heart. For that new experience it is necessary to come to know that which of Christian behavior has been lost, been dimmed, and that it is necessary to get it back again.
Our life does not give clear answers to the question about Jesus Christ, what He is and who is He for us? We are, thereby, not real Christians. Because the spirit and truth of Christ has not gotten into our skin, we thus do not tell of Him in our heart and bones and every pore of our being. Therefore, the Advent season is a serious exercise that liberates us sincerely to say - Come, Lord Jesus! That exercise is in a penitential and prayerful opening up to the Lord who has truly come into the world, but not sufficiently into my personal life. In this Our Lady is a great help for us: "Dear children, I want to lead you closer to my Son!" The content of her messages and recommendations frees us from the fear of God and encourages us to be able to say with joy - COME, LORD JESUS!
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
VISIT OF AMERICAN BISHOP
As we announced in the previous Press Bulletin, the auxiliary bishop of Portland, Oregon and the pastor of St. Mary's Parish, Corvallis, Bishop Kenneth Steiner visited Medjugorje for the first time on a private visit from November 7 - 12, 1998.
Here is what he said, among other things, about his impressions of Medjugorje:
"People are hungry and have to discover the spiritual dimension in their lives, which television, secularism and materialism are killing, and many indeed have lost that dimension. By their coming to Medjugorje pilgrims discover that spiritual dimension and return home helping others also to become more aware of it. It is a real miracle what people experience here and take with them to their families and parish communities. Many cannot come here for various reasons, therefore they need witnesses that can help them find inner peace and discover God. And many only when they have returned home become aware of all that God gave them here. I can say the same thing about myself. I too have become aware that I am truly blessed by coming here. I am completely renewed by coming here. I have become more aware of Christ's presence in the sacraments, in the Church, in Sacred Scripture and in people in general.
In Medjugorje I received a new spiritual motivation. Perhaps some think that we bishops and priests do not need such renewals. They would be wrong because renewal is very necessary for us. I have met many priests who have come to Medjugorje. They have a better idea of their own priesthood. That is what I personally will take with me. I will tell people that Medjugorje is a place where people can go and be renewed in their faith. I met many people here with deep faith and fervent prayer. I understood that the people, in spite of great sufferings, have stayed faithful to God.
I have discovered God again and for me that is the proof that Our Lady is here. Indeed that is her task. People sometimes come here to look for Mary, but they find God. That is her wish, because she does not want anything for herself, but she does everything for men better to get to know her Son, Jesus. Our Lady wants to spread God's peace among men, among her own children.
I invite everyone who comes here to become an example for all people when they return home. Let them become a call to peace, prayer and conversion. Everyone that comes here has already met someone who gave him a good witness about Medjugorje and showed a change for the better in his own life. We have to be witnesses, we have to evangelize others. That is our mission: to bring people the Good News and about the God who saves. We have to bring Jesus and Our Lady to this world and help people to understand that life in God is possible and necessary for everyone in this world. We have to be witnesses to those who the Lord has sent into our lives.
I will pray for each one of you and may God bless you."
VISIT OF TWO BISHOPS FROM HAITI
Two bishops from Haiti visited in Medjugorje together with 33 pilgrims from November 16 - 23,1998: Bishop Louis Kebreau of Hinche and Bishop Joseph Lafontant, auxiliary bishop of Haiti's principal city. On the occasion of his visit Bishop Louis Kebreau also said this about his impressions:
"Many people have told us about Medjugorje. They sent us books, pictures, medals and video tapes. We both have a mutual friend in America who informed us about everything that is happening here. That friend also offered us this trip. We accepted and here we are in Medjugorje.
I am experiencing Medjugorje with faith. In the Gospel we read how Jesus came to Nazareth and did the reading in the synagogue. Many marveled at what he said, but some protested saying they knew his family, mother, father. I think it is necessary to come, to have time, to see, to experience living. That way we can get to know Medjugorje. One cannot talk lightly about Medjugorje. It is a profound experience, intimate, personal. Inner peace and reconciliation is experienced here. What is real Christian faith is easily discovered. For me this is a time of renewal. One has to come simply, to see, to meet and listen to people. One has to go on the mountains, participate in the evening program, find time for personal prayer in silence. I am having a personal experience of reconciliation with my self. In each of us there is a part that we do not know, it is that pagan part in us. Since one is dealing with inner freedom by reconciliation, one can sometimes feel the attack of Satan more strongly than usual, but strength is also received. The Virgin Mary brings with her the light that helps us to see one's way and better to understand one's task. She accompanies us on our way and wants to lead us to life in God. Medjugorje indeed opens the way for us to be able to plunge into the life of the Most Holy Trinity. Mary is doing that here. So I am grateful to her."
On the occasion of his first visit, Bishop Joseph Lafontant, among other things, said the following:
For almost ten full years I have received news about Medjugorje. It interested me more and more. And I gladly accepted being in this pilgrim group. Mainly because Bishop Louis is also here.
I often went on pilgrimage to Fatima, Lourdes and other places. Here I discover a big difference from all the other pilgrimage places. There is nothing stereotyped. Everything is different from the other places. Everyone has his own personal experience, even if he is in the midst of a lot of people. What is surprising is that everyone who comes here as a pilgrim wants to accept everything.
The final incentive for me to accept coming to Medjugorje was also the visit of the visionary Jakov Colo in September. A great number of people participated. Only then did I become aware of how many of the faithful from Haiti know about Medjugorje. He met with the faithful in two churches. During his visit there was such an evident will and desire for reconciliation with oneself and for reconciliation with others. There was a great number of people who wanted confession during those days, really more than ordinarily. I took part in both meetings. I celebrated one Mass and Bishop Louis did one mass. It was a real experience of faith. Coming here only confirmed that. This experience is necessary for everyone. It is an experience of conversion, coming back to oneself and to God just as also an experience of reconciliation with others. Our Lady helps each of her children to find himself. Our Lady wants to feel each one, to personally touch and guide each one. Yet in the depths of the soul no one feels forced to accept all this, freedom is completely respected. One Croat who lives in America told me at the airport that in the beginning he did not believe, but when he came here he found peace and from then on he believes in Our Lady's presence. Now I understand him. Here people find peace and are reconciled.
Both bishops ended their conversation with these words: May God's blessing and the protection of the Queen of Peace be with all of you."
THE TENTH INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER MEETING
The Tenth International Youth Prayer Meeting will be held from July 31 - August 6,1999.
The theme of the meeting is: "God the Father - Source of Life"
The program of the meeting is as follows:
Sat July 31:
6:00 PM Rosary
7:00 PM Mass
10:00 PM Introduction of groups and Adoration
Theme for each day
1. Sun. Aug 1 - "Mary calls: Return to the Father!"
Each group has Mass in its own language.
4:00 PM Fr. Maurizio De Sanctis, "Mary calls: Return to the Father!"
Testimonies of the visionaries
2. Mon Aug 2 - "Your life - a gift of God the Father!"
9:00 AM Morning Prayer
9:30 AM Mrs. Jo Croissant - "Your Life, A Gift from the Father!"
11.00 AM Fr. Cosimo Cavaluzzo: "Baptism - You are my Beloved Son" 4.00 PM Mrs. Jo Croissant "Accept your life as the Father's gift!"
Testimonies of the visionaries
3. Tue Aug 3 - "Cooperation with God the Father!"
9:00 AM Morning Prayer
9:30 AM Fr. Tim Deeter: "God wants you to live!"
11:00 AM Fr. Maurizio De Sanctis, "God the Father offers life through Mary!"
4:00 PM Fr. Tim Deeter: "Growing with God the Father!"
Testimonies of the visionaries
After evening mass Eucharistic Procession through the parish and silent adoration.
4. Wed Aug 4 - "The Father's love heals you!"
Sr. Elvira, foundress of "Cenacolo"community
9:00 AM Morning Prayer
9:30 AM Sr. Elvira: "Encounter of the merciful Father and the wounded son!"
11.00 AM Testimonies of young men of Sr. Elvira's community.
4.00 AM Fr. Cosimo "Confession: Encounter with the Father who forgives and heals!" Testimonies of the visionaries
10:00 PM Program by "Cenacolo" Community:
"I was wounded, but now live and glorify God!"
5. Thu Aug 5 - "Mary, the handmaid of life!"
9:00 AM Morning Prayer 9:30 AM Fr. Jozo Zovko: "Mary, the handmaid of life!"
11:00 AM Fr. Cosimo "Eucharist: the Bread of Life!"
4:00 PM Testimonies of the visionaries
8:00 PM After evening Mass Adoration till 10:00 PM
6. Fri Aug 6 - Cross Mountain - "Renewed by the Father's love, you will be His witnesses!"
3:00 AM Rosary going up Cross Mountain
5:00 AM Holy Mass on Cross Mountain
1. Things to bring along: a. ear phones and small FM radio
b. bible, umbrella.
2. Those with classical instruments (violin, flute, oboe, etc) should contact Agostino at fax no.
00387-88-651-753. He is responsible for the music. These will be given a room in "Domus Pacis." Give name and surname, address, age, experience, instrument. Wait for answer.
3. Groups participating in the Youth Prayer Meeting should not plan any other programs during the week of the youth meeting.
4. The evening program begins with the rosary at 6:00 PM.
Holy Mass is for everyone at 7:00 PM.
5. EUCHARISTIC ADORATION WILL TAKE PLACE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE YOUTH PRAYER MEETING.
6. NOTICE: DURING THE YOUTH PRAYER MEETING, FROM MONDAY TO THURSDAY THERE WILL BE NO MORNING MASSES FOR PILGRIMS. ALL PILGRIMS THEREFORE WILL CELEBRATE THE EVENING MASS TOGETHER. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION WILL BE PROVIDED.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira
( Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266
Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: +387-88-651-444.
Last Modified 12/02/98