M E D I T A T I O N
OUR EVERYDAY THINKING
A few months ago I read the first issue of a magazine called "Informative News". I didn't like it, but is that really important and do I really have to like it? After all, maybe they don't like me either!
What caught my attention was that in the introduction they said that they will not be concerned either with politics or the presentation of anyone's thinking, but only with the investigation of truth and ethics. I liked that but the rest of the articles weren't that way, and I remained skeptical. The following issues confirmed that I was right.
The total falsehood of the magazine was exposed by a recent article named "Ethics of the Trojan Horse". I will quote just one sentence that was highlighted from the text in large print: "Many professors think that the subject of ethics introduced in middle schools two years ago is just an attempt of the Ministry of Education to sneak in obligatory religious education for "atheists" through the back door." First of all, I doubt that "many professors" said that, and then I wonder, aren't atheists really allowed at least to be ethical, if not religious, and is no one really allowed to teach them that?
Such a way of thinking, sad to say, is not just a characteristic of this magazine. It is trying to penetrate throughout all the means of social communication. Being disconnected from God the Creator of whom Our Lady speaks in her message has established itself as the measure of all things. Therefore, it shows itself to be international. As if that is supposed to mean that it likes all men and that it approaches them with love and the feeling of universal brotherhood. However, if the laws of God do not direct man or at least the laws of ethics which are deduced from human nature (let's not forget that God also created that), will man really be able to love his neighbor and walk this earth with dignity?
Let's not deceive ourselves nor let ourselves be deceived. Let's take a look at our everyday thinking. Which way is it going?
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
In the month of April in the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 91,000 Holy Communions were distributed and 2,351 priests from home and abroad concelebrated at Holy Mass, that is 78 daily.
MEDJUGORJE IN LIGHT OF THE POPE'S VISIT TO SARAJEVO
The Pope has come and gone from Sarajevo, and he did not visit Medjugorje as many had hoped he would due to the Pope's obvious goodwill toward the events in the parish of Medjugorje. We remember that the Croatian president, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, immediately preceding the Pope's coming to Sarajevo testified before an assembly of politicians and priests that Pope John Paul II in their last conversation said that on the occasion of his visit to Sarajevo he wanted also to visit Medjugorje. The local bishop Dr. Ratko Peric was also present for this testimony and did not say a word at that.
What the Pope said behind the scenes to the assembled church leaders in Sarajevo is not known and most likely will not be known. What is known is his question about who is the provincial of the Franciscan Province in which the parish of Medjugorje is located. Also known is his mentioning the name of Medjugorje with a smile on the occasion of his arrival in Sarajevo, at the supper in the Catholic School of Theology and at his departure from Sarajevo. In general no great stir came from all that.
Spirits were upset only after the usual papal general audience on the Wednesday immediately after the Sarajevo visit. According to reports of the news agencies, the Pope on that occasion among other things said: "In the course of the war pilgrimages of the faithful to the Marian shrine in Bosnia-Hercegovina did not stop as also not in other parts of the world, especially in Loreto, in order to request the Mother of Nations and the Queen of Peace to intervene in that suffering region." These words of the Pope were interpreted by many as his indirect recognition of the Medjugorje events.
It is difficult to say what the Church will undertake regarding the Medjugorje events in the near and distant future. Since the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia no more exists, there is no longer a commission which was established by it with the charge of accompanying the events in the parish of Medjugorje. The Church therefore will, to be sure, have to do something. Medjugorje in the meantime will proceed on its course and that sentence of Sacred Scripture which says a tree will be known by its fruits will be realized.
PROPOSAL OF ARCHBISHOP FRANE FRANIC
The events in the parish of Medjugorje have penetrated all the pores of church life. One of those who at first opposed them, and after that came personally and being convinced of what is happening there began to spread it with all his heart, is the retired Archbishop of Split, Frane Franic. He was one of the outstanding personalities at the Vatican II Council. Together with 500 other bishops he dedicated himself to the condemnation of Marxist atheism, even though the Council had in principal taken the position not to pronounce a condemnation, but only positively to expose Christian doctrine. This undertaking of his was an act of great personal courage, since he was coming from Croatia which communist Yugoslavia had occupied. The Council at the end of its session on its pastoral constitution "The Church in the Modern World" no. 21 proclaimed the condemnation of Marxist atheism as the most radical atheism that has appeared in the history of mankind.
For all his merits he received an award from his native Split - Dalmatia regional officials for his life's work. On that occasion a long conversation entitled "Communism Destroys Everything Good" was published in the Croatian daily Slobodna Dalmacija (April 19, 1997). He answered the following question also: "Although you have received an award for your life's work, your ideas even today have aroused quite a bit of caution in ecclesiastical and civil public opinion. One of those proposals also is that on the occasion of the Great Jubilee (Jubilee 2000 - op. P.B.) our Churches organize the closing celebration in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje." His answer was: "Yes. I wrote that in The Church in the World (a Croatian theological magazine - op. P.B.) in order that in 2001 our bishops with the approval of the Holy See, and Pope John Paul II is for that, could organize a thanksgiving celebration to Our Lady in Medjugorje for all the gifts we have received, and especially for the gift of freedom for it does not come from just anything, but can be only the work of God through Our Lady's intercession.
The Croatian bishops have not yet responded anything publicly to the fore mentioned proposal. To be sure that would be a great event not only for the Church in Croatia, but also for the universal Church.
MISSIONARY TRAVELS OF FR. SLAVKO BARBARIC
At the invitation of Medjugorje pilgrims, friends, and benefactors of Medjugorje Fr. Slavko Barbaric at the end of April visited a few parishes in central Italy and San Marino. A large number of faithful participated in the seven meetings that he conducted in the three days. In that part of Italy a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary "The Pilgrim Madonna" travels to the seven parishes and remains in each parish for one year. The pastor of one of those parishes, Don Alceo, together with his faithful wanted the beginning of the pilgrimage of Our Lady's statue in his parish to be marked with a special spiritual preparation. Therefore a prayer program identical to the evening program in Medjugorje was held in the parish church as well as in all the other area churches. A procession with Our Lady's statue started the program. On the mountain above one of these parishes is a large cross and Our Lady's image that lights up at night and illuminates the way for those who climb the mountain in prayer. After the evening program the faithful climbed the mountain praying just as they do on the Medjugorje mountains. Also among the pilgrims was Carmelo Puzzolo who gave his testimony at the foot of the cross. In the parish of this great artist and friend of Medjugorje are installed stations of the cross identical to those on Cross Mountain since they are the work of the same master. A large number of faithful assembled for the devotion of the Way of the Cross. It looked as if they were praying on Medjugorje's Cross Mountain. The Medjugorje prayer program was held in the parish church. In San Marino Fr. Slavko met for community prayer with Medjugorje pilgrims and benefactors of which during this war there was really very many from this kind of small country.
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 05/07/97