M E D I T A T I O N
Even as far back as the beginning of Genesis, it says that it's not good for us to be alone. On this earth we aren't only individuals, we are, at the same time, community. When we think about this today, we can single out three types of communities which we all belong to; family, nation, and the human race. Only when we become good members to these three can we say that we have matured into a truly human person. Our Lady has nothing against this. She, to a greater or lesser extent, actually speaks about this continuously. To know how to be an individual and at the same time to be a benign member of the community means to know what we are, in essence. We cannot learn this incidentally. We begin to know our essence, understanding it and living it, only if we know how to pray alone. Our Lady heralds this way of life to us.
N E W S
THE VISIT OF THE BISHOP FROM UGANDA
More and more often in Medjugorje we meet up with bishops, who come to this shrine as pilgrims. Recently, John Baptist Odama, director of the youngest diocese in Uganda, and himself, a bishop only a couple of months, stayed a week at the Marian shrine.This is what he had to say during his stay:
The first time I heard about the happenings here was in 1990. At the time I was in California in America. A friend of mine spoke to me about Medjugorje, showed me some books, pictures and a film.. The whole family were enthralled with Medjugorje. Then recently I received a letter from the Cardinal of Kampale who had paid a visit to Medjugorje. He offered me the possibility of going on pilgrimmage to Medjugorje in October promising that some one else would see to the costs. Now I know who that was: Joe Roy, the pilot, who was the first to bring the news to Uganda about Medjugorje, and has already helped to bring numerous bishops and even more priests. I immediately replied that I wished to go. After this I prepared myself for my coming here. I read different books and saw another film about Medjugorje in the family home of Joe Roy in London. On my arrival at Medjugorje, the first thing that surprised me was the welcome of the people with whom we stayed. I'm glad that it wasn't a big impersonal hotel. In families it is different. It is possible to meet people, to speak with them, to pray, to eat, in this way you receive the true spirit of Medjugorje. Furthermore, the fact that all the pilgrims whom I met here, are particularly aware of the magnanimity of whats happening here, really impressed me.The people are really attentive and are prepared to be continually so. Everyone is open to that something big which truly is offered here.. I saw great interest for spiritual matters. I see deep devotion to the Holy Mass and at the time of Mass.
When we started out for Krizevac it started to rain and afterwards to hail. At one point I thought it was better to return, because it seemed pointles to go on. However, something urged me onwards. I thought that Iwouldn't be able to get to the top, I felt a heaviness, because I hadn't gone anywhere on foot for so long. We didn't want to turn back, and to go on was so hard. At one moment I prayed for strength, so that I wouldn't give up. I have to admit that when, completely wet, we arrived beneath the cross on Krizevac, all at once every heaviness and tiredness left me. I felt as light as a bird. This experience was very important for me. This is how it is in life too. Often we feel that we can't go on, that it's too difficult, but when we succumb to the will of God, everything goes well.
The rosary on Podbrdo also impressed me deeply. It's as if that multitude of people, who prayed with us inspired me with good thoughts. The people to be lead. If the priest prays, the people will pray. It was very beautiful when, after having prayed the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, everyone knelt at the apparition site and once again prayed the creed, 7 Our Fathers, Hail Mary's and Glory Be's. I felt united to the whole Church, who prays with Mary and goes on living as Mary did.
I think that here the people really responded. In whatever direction you turn, you see individuals and groups, praying, reading Scripture, and Meditating. Here it's so natural to pray, so much so, that those who don't pray look strange. Really, in other places, it's the opposite. I want to use this opportunity to thank the Croatian people in a special way, who with their response, help all of us who come here. With pride, I must say that I always pray for the Croation people and I have often urged my followers to pray for the same intention. From now on I will do it even moreso.
And, to conclude I wish to say that the first thing that I will say to Bishops is that Medjugorje isn't contrary to what the Lord teaches, and what he wants of us. I will tell them not to be afraid to come here. As regards the apparitions, they are a gift from God. I was present at Maria, the visionary's, apparition. We prayed a rosary together. All at once a silence began. I believe that Our Lady came then. I didn't see anything, but I felt Our Lady's presence and through her God's presence. Mary is just a means. Through Our Lady, God calls us to Himself. That is her mission because she gave birth to Christ. That which I saw, has to be true. It would be good if every bishop could come and experience what Mary is doing here. Also, I will tell all bishops that I've just realised what we have to do, and most importantly, we must pray. From my heart I truly prayed that God makes me and my priests capable of spreading His Word to all humanity.
THE PRAYER - EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR
As we have already announced in the Press Bulletin No. 50., a prayer/educative seminar will be held for prayer group, caritas group and pilgrim group leaders, linked with Medjugorje, in the hotel "Sunce" in Neum. (from the 24th to the 28th of February 1997).Once again we would ask those intending to participate at the seminar to complete your booking before the end of December, at the latest. Booking can be completed through fax at +387 88 651 444, addressed to the "Informativni Centar".
Simultaneous translation will be organised for all language groups. The cost of accomodation, transport and seminar is 275 DEM per person in a double room.There is an additional sum of 40 DEM for those requesting a single room.Payment can be made to the organiser of the seminar on arrival at the hotel.There is also the possibility of organising transport from the airport in Split to hotel "Sunce" in Neum. All who require transport on the 24th of February can give notice about the time of their arrival to Udruzi "Medjugorje-Mir" Split, by the end of December at the latest, at the fax no.+385 21 36 13 54. On the final day, transport will be arranged form Neum to Medjugorje. It will be necessary to bring a radio with headphones for simultaneous translation. (For 15 DEM a radio with headphones can be purchased on the premises). The programme of the seminar is included in No. 50 of the Press Bulletin. Neum is situated on the main Split / Dubrovnik road about 130 km south of Split.
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 11/20/96