I look at the shell on my desk. All around it, books, a computer, pencils, a few letters... In this world of things, the shell seems to be a link with another world, a world in which life grows, a world which is not as quiet as my bedroom but which is much more interesting and without which nothing is possible. Whereas without my books and all the rest, everything is still possible.
My thoughts keep wandering. All that we posess will remain dead if we do not integrate it to the life which surrounds us. Of course it takes an effort, but it bears fruits. Even the shell was more beautiful in the sea than it is on my desk.
Christianity certainly does not consist in escaping life. Such a christianity would be a synonym of weakness. Being a Christian means to participate in the construction of this world using all our strength and all the gifts that God has given us. That's what Our Lady says in Medjugorje. Even the Gospel tells us something similar in the" talents' parable". We must simply be in these modern times shells resplendishing with beauty.
COMMENTS OF THE BISHOP OF VIENNA ON MEDJUGORJE
Msgr. Christian Werner, bishop of Vienna, recently visited the Austrian soldiers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and also came to Medjugorje. As far as we know, it is the fifth bishop who visited Medjugorje this year. It should be said that during the last fifteen years, Medjugorje has been visited by approximately 100 bishops and 10 cardinals. After his visit, Msgr. Werner gave his impressions on this place of pilgrimage to the journalist of the above mentioned newspaper:
"The day I spent in Medjugorje was a very quiet day. Therefore, my encounter with small groups was more intense. It is interesting to point out that the soldiers who were accompanying me bought rosaries instead of postcards. In Medjugorje, I experienced silence. We sat outside next to the church which overlooks the square. Although we only stayed there a couple of hours, we felt that this place had something splendid and very special. For me as well as for the soldiers it's been something really wonderful. After praying, we went to a little restaurant where we met very friendly people. They spoke several languages and immediately spoke to us. I told the soldiers what a great number of conversions had taken place here. People can have different opinions on the fact that there are apparitions or not. What matters is that thousands of people go to confession and pray on the mountains. And also there is the fact that so many young people come. I saw Franciscans passing by accompanied by new groups of young people.What we lived only gives an idea of what happens here during important feasts. It really is a place of great grace and life.
"Oase des Friedens" (Oasis of Peace), Vienna - July 1996
On July 21st, in front of the church of Medjugorje, the orchestra of young people from the city of Essen (Germany) gave a concert to benefit the children whose fathers died defending their homeland during the war in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This concert was only one of many others given during the last three weeks, in several areas of Croatia.
Impressed by the sufferings caused by the war, by which children were hurt in a special way, this group of young musicians gave a series of concerts in Croatia and Germany last year as well. All earnings will be used to help the children of the Croatian soldiers who died during the war.
A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
We seize this opportunity to inform the Medjugorje pilgrims of the quite recent publication of a spiritual guide :"Follow me with the heart" written by Father Slavko Barbaric. The guide "Follow me with the heart" will give the essential information to the Medjugorje pilgrims, it will help them approach the different places of prayer (church, Apparition Hill and Krizevac) in the most suitable way and most of all it will help them to begin praying.
"Follow me with the heart" is already available in Croatian and in English, all other international languages are still in the process of being translated. You can find the spiritual guide in the Franciscan's bookshop or at the shrine's information office.
A N N O U N C E M E N T S
Because so many young people have shown an interest in becoming a guide in the shrine of Mary Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, the pilgrims' Guides Association of the parish of Medjugorje has organized an informative and educational session between August 19 and August 22, 1996. This session will be followed by an examination. All those who pass it, will have the opportunity to become members of the Guides Association and thereby will automatically be able to work with pilgrims in the shrine. All the people who wish to work as guides in the sanctuary have to know and learn some subjects to be able to give authentic information to the pilgrims they work with.
All people interested must register at the shrine's information office by August 15, 1996.
Published by : INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira
(Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace),
88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: 00387 88 651 444.
Director: fra Miljenko Stojic.
You can receive the latest issue of the Press Bulletin at any time on your own fax machine in the tone
mode by dialing the Robofax in our Information Center at +387-88-65-15-55.
Published every other Wednesday.
Last Modified 07/31/96