"Dear children! Also today I call you to conversion. You are concerned too much about material things and little about spiritual ones. Open your hearts and start again to work more on your personal conversion. Decide everyday to dedicate time to God and to prayer until prayer becomes a joyful meeting with God for you. Only in this way will your life have meaning and with joy you will contemplate eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call." April 25, 2000
In the message of April 25th Our Lady directly calls for conversion. And not only that, she calls us to conversion in a completely concrete question. We are witnesses, namely, that material values are all the more quickly pressing into the background of the spiritual content of life. Those who have become dependent on the material hold that such a development is a completely normal process. Yet, there is an ever greater number of those who are experiencing the disturbing balance between the material and the spiritual uncomfortably and are regretting that condition. Among these latter are also we Christians. But, among us then again there is an ever greater number of those who are quite at peace with this condition. Our Lady is siding with Sacred Scripture which constantly calls us to conversion on all levels of life, and that in a very sensitive question of human existence - that is, of the material and the spiritual. On the correct evaluation of the one and the other depends the quality of religious, community and social life.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON THE VISIONARIES
As we have already written in Bulletins 90 and 109, scientific medical research was carried out on the visionaries of Medjugorje in 1998. Research that was already carried out on the one hand by a French group of experts in 1984 and on the other hand by an Italian group in 1985, was repeated on a still greater scale. The group of experts has promulgated two Protocols, one on April 23, 1998 and the other on December 12, 1998. We published them in the Press Bulletin. Recently under the title Vidioci iz Međugorja (The Visionaries of Medjugorje - A Psycho-physiological Research) the results produced in the research were published in a special book, for now only in Italian. The head of the research group, Dr. Andreas Resch, professor of theology at the Alphonsianum Papal University in Rome and an expert in the field limits of science briefly condensed the results:
“The personnel submitted to the research were subjected to the various tests with full freedom and sincere collaboration. The results of this psychological-diagnostic research show that:
After 17 years of apparitional experiences the personnel do not exhibit any kind of pathological symptoms, like trance interference, disassociative interference and loss of reality interference.
All the personnel subjected to testing, however, did exhibit symptoms that could be related to stress reactions provoked by increased exogenous and endogenous stimulation as a consequence of daily life routine.
From their personal answers it can be concluded that the initial and subsequent altered state of consciousness occurs due to their unordinary experiences, which they called and understood as a vision/apparition of the Mother of God and still understand it that way also now.
All the psychiatric and psychological investigations which were used for the description of personal characteristics of the individual personnel cannot be published for reasons of protecting the privacy of the data. The psycho-physical investigation was carried out on four states of consciousness:
The purpose of these investigations was to establish whether the ecstatic/apparitional state which the Italian work group measured in 1985 is also present today or are changes shown. In addition it was desired to investigate potential coincidence/divergence with other states off consciousness such as guided visualization or hypnosis. The investigation carried out demonstrate that the ecstatic phenomenology can be compared to the one from 1985 with somewhat less intensity.
Hypnotic returning to the ecstatic state did not produce the phenomenology of spontaneous ecstasy and therefore it cannot be said that the spontaneous ecstatic state of apparitions were not states of hypnotic trance.”
The book Vidioci iz Medugorja (The Visionaries of Medjugorje) was published by Resch Verlag Publishing House of Innsbruck.
MAY IN MEDJUGORJE
In May there are more and more pilgrims in Medjugorje each day. Except for the seasonal celebrations, May is the month that many choose for pilgrimage to the Queen of Peace, since it is the month of special devotion toward the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this Jubilee year everything seems alive. There really are a lot of pilgrims from home and abroad. During pilgrimage to Medjugorje they pay special attention to the sacrament of reconciliation. Every evening several thousand faithful come for both the evening prayer program and for adoration. And even though those gathered in prayer are literally from all parts of the world, one feels that they understand each other.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION IN MEDJUGORJE
In the parish of Medjugorje it has already become traditional for children to receive First Holy Communion on the first Sunday of May. So also this year 84 boys and girls received their First Holy Communion on May 7th. On that day in parish communities a really special atmosphere prevails since the children are carrying within themselves the breath of life and joy. It is well felt also by those who on their vicinity. This year in Medjugorje a lot of local and foreign pilgrims joined in the celebration of the First Communicants and their parents.
FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH
Throughout the Great Jubilee every First Friday of the month an evening liturgical program is dedicated to the sick. The parish church of St. James for the evening Holy Mass this First Friday was filled with a great number of faithful among whom were also present a considerable number of the infirm. At the end of Holy Mass the priests distributed an anointing for the sick to all who wished the blessed oil.
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
At the “Domus Pacis” House of Prayer in the past two weeks two prayer seminars were held. From May 2 - 4th, there were about 40 youth from Novi Travnik at the seminar. The seminar was conducted by Fr. Branimir Musa, and the organizer was the organization “Help” that works for the prevention and the fight against addiction. In the same house from May 5 - 7th the Salesian Fathers from Žepče organized a spiritual renewal for 30 youth from central Bosnia.
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 05/17/2000