M E D I T A T I O N
When all the celebrations are over, everything reverts back into the "everyday". The lights are turned off, there are no more pleasantries, all thats left are the obligations of our calling. This is our time for strength and decision. Whoever carries the true spirit of celebration within, won't lose himself in these days. Because that person will know that constancy and goodness will bring forth that which, when all is said and done, makes us content with ourselves. And, is there anything in this whole wide world more beautiful than this?
The God in which we believe invites us to have an everyday life that isn't some sort of "grey area". He is reaching out His hand and asking us if we'll go with him. Everything within us and around us would change if we did. Well then......shall we go with Him?
N E W S
Throughout these fifteen years, a large number of the faithful who came on pilgrimmage to Medjugorje have testified to miraculous healings either of the body or of the soul. They see them as fruits of prayer, and either they themselves or members of their families describe them as events which were totally unexpected. Up to the present about 400 have been reported to the Parish Office. As to their "supernatural nature" i.e.not being able to explain the healing from a medical point of view, doctors from both Croatia and abroad are still investigating. Some of these healings have attracted great attention throughout the world because of the miraculous and un-explainable way in which they were healed.
One of these is certainly the healing of Rita Klaus. During these days, Rita was on pilgrimmage in Medjugorje. She is known throughout the world because of her healing from Multiple Sclerosis, from which she had been suffering 26 years. Ten years ago at the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Peace she was healed. Since then, she comes on pilgrimmage every year to thank Our Lady. Even though whe works a lot, she has time for everyone. Her evenings are filled with prayer, she leads group meetings and testifies about her faith, and talks about prayer and penance. She constantly emphsises that in prayer, we shouldn't so much concentrate on what we desire, but rather what God desires of us.
Rita shared these thoughts with us on her last trip to Medjugorje. "Many wish to speak with me and I want to be at their disposal as much as possible. Because at the seminars that I participate in, many people come. The love of God, and His mercy never cease to amaze me.
I studied theology and philosophy. When, because of illness, I had to leave community life, I asked: God, why all that study and effort and when I must now leave the community?"
Nothing was coincidence. Faith in God gives me the strength to bridge all the torrents which get in my way. Working with people, I was able to teach many to pray the rosary, and with my testimony, I was able to bring them closer to the faith. When people begin to pray, then big things happen. It's only then that they understand that it's really possible to find God in your heart. With our life and example, we can really help people see that God is a reality which makes man happy and makes him truly human, and Mary is a mother who worries about and looks after her children" Rita shared with us on her last visit to Medjugorje.
THE MEDJUGORJE PILGRIM CONFERENCE
From the 21st until the 23rd of October the German Medjugorje pilgrim Conference took place in Augsburg for pilgrims from both Germany and parts of Austria. The event took place at the request of the Parish Office in Medjugorje with the aim of uniting those involved in pilgrimages to Medjugorje, prayer groups and those spreading Our Lady's messages, and to get to know each other better and to learn from each others experiences.
The gathering commenced with a greeting and talk by Fr. Ivan Landeka, Parish Priest of Medjugorje who presented the main themes of Medjugorje phenomena and "spirituality",based on statements from the seminars in '94, '95, and '96. Fr. Landeka emphasised that Medjugorje exists in a part of the Catholic church whose historical experiences differed from those of the Church in the West. The Church of the Croatian people, especially that of Bosnia Hercegovina, was partially isolated from many of the spiritual and theological trends and spared abortive efforts of change. Because of this , the divisions that exist within the Church of the West are unknown there. Speaking about Our Lady's messages, Fr. Ivan said they do not introduce anything new, but rather are founded upon the Gospel, and that we must take care of them, protect them, and not mix them up with other phenomena.
A talk by Dirka Grothuesa followed. Fr. Dirka is a priest who from very early on began to come to Medjugorje to help out with the pilgrims.
On the second day, those present, introduced themselves to one another. They spoke about their work, how they came together and in what way they helped, and continue to help the oppressed population of Croatia and Bosnia Hercegovina.Having spoken about their prayer groups,they noted that how the prayer groups really had taken shape,on their original return journey from Medjugorje in the coaches. They meet weekly or monthly so that they can pray together just as they do in Medjugorje.
Dietrich von Stockhausen, the German priest who has spent an entire year in Medjugorje already, lectured about Pope John Paul II's encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae" (The Gospel of Life) pointing out the similarities between Our Lady's messages and certain parts of it.
On the final day of the seminar, Fr. Leonard Orec spoke about the activities of the humanitarian society,"Medjugorje-Mir", conveying statistics of the truly immense help and sacrifices of the friends of Medjugorje to the more oppressed members of our population.
On all three days of the seminar all present participated in the celebration of the Eucharist and prayer, just as in Medjugorje.
A similar seminar was held at the end of October in Medjugorje for the group leaders of the French speaking areas.
All the seminars demonstrate the usefulness of these community gatherings as an all-out effort to help the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje seeking peace and their way to God.
Next Year we will hold these seminars on a national level. We would ask the respective language groups, who havn't so far organised, to do so and we will offer our help and co-operation, as well as partial participation. It would be useful to hold meetings on a national level, throughout the Autumn, so that in the Spring time we could all meet up at the annual seminar which is organised by the Information Centre "MIR"- Medjugorje.
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 01/14/97