M E D I T A T I O N
THE HONOR OF AN OFFICER
In the Croatian language there is an interesting word for a military officer: 'casnik'. It implies that the one who fulfills that duty must be an honorable man.
I did not look into what sense it has in other languages, but I know that the Croatian language has it right. If you are not honorable, you cannot defend the homeland.
Well, this is true not only in the military field. Even though we are not soldiers, each of us has to be a 'casnik', a person whose footsteps are directed with honor. Then our behavior will be honorable for us and for our people.
Our Lady says something like that, but only in different words. She says we should be bearers of peace. Reading also the rest of the messages she has directed to us, we recognize that this call of hers is not just a fashionable slogan, but something we have to approach with complete seriousness. Peace today is truly in danger, whether we want to admit it or not. Our Lady is telling us that it is possible to save it only if we are honorable. God offers us his hand and only waits for us to take it. An honorable man will not neglect that chance.
The world which the Queen of Peace wants to build is not a world of force, but rather a world in which it is possible for everyone to live freely. I hope that is also the world of each of us. And still something else: Our Lady's speech is always of an open and sincere heart!
Fr. Miljenko Stojic
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of June in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 143,000 Holy Communions were distributed and there were 3,504 concelebrations at Holy Mass by priests from home and abroad, that is 117 priests a day.
MISSIONARY TRAVEL OF FR. SLAVKO BARBARIC
Today there is hardly any country that is not in the grip of a religious crisis. Some feel it rather strongly, others less so. One of the countries that the crisis of faith has profoundly shaken is Holland. However, there were pilgrims who came and still come to Medjugorje. In the course of time they have become witnesses of Our Lady's messages in their own surroundings and wish to transmit them to the rest of the faithful in their country. For that purpose they invited Fr. Slavko Barbaric and the visionary Vicka Ivankovic to visit them. For three days Fr. Slavko and Vicka met with the great number of the faithful that came together for the prayer program. It is interesting how the Medjugorje spiritual movement has brought new light into the hearts of people, because ". . .only those who went to Medjugorje become ready to pray, to adore and regularly attend Holy Mass. . ." said the pastor of one of the several parishes in which the meetings were held.
On the occasion of his visit to Holland, Fr. Slavko with Vicka and some friends also visited Tihomir Blaskic, a Croatian general charged before the international tribunal at Den Haag. Of course, by his visit he did not wish to prejudice the court's decision, but he wanted to visit and spiritually comfort a man who for more than a year is waiting for trial. A prisoner is entitled to it whether he is guilty or not. Moreover Blaskic voluntarily submitted to trial, since he is convinced of his own innocence and of the right of the Croatian people to defend itself against all aggression even when the aggressors are by far superior in manpower. He was guaranteed that his trial would start in the course of two months. To the astonishment of many the agreement was not honored. That hurt the entire Croatian public, just like all the efforts on the international level that, already from the earliest armed aggression in Croatia, attempted in every possible way to equate the aggressor and the victim.
With a great evening procession of more than 1,000 Croatian soldiers along with several thousand pilgrims carrying lighted candles through the shrine of Medjugorje to the statue of Our Lady the fourth military pilgrimage to the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje came to an end.
The military pilgrimage commenced with an assembly in front of St. James' Church in order to march in a great procession to the Hill of Apparition where the rosary was prayed for peace. From the church to the Hill of Apparition the rosary was led by Fr. Ivan Bradvica. At their return from the Hill of Apparition a large number of priests were waiting to hear confessions. Before the evening celebration commenced Medjugorje pastor Fr. Ivan Landeka greeted all those present. Among the 55 priests from home and abroad that concelebrated in the eucharistic celebration were the pastor Fr. Ivan Landeka and military chaplain Fr. Miljenko Stojic. The principal celebrant was Fr. Joakim Gregov, military chaplain, sculptor, and member of the Zadar Franciscan province. Among other things he said this also in his sermon: ". . .You must guard and defend the homeland only with the help of God. So that this land may be holy, guard against everything that is evil. Begin each day in the name of God and prayer and also end it that way. You have visited this holy ground. You have recently made pilgrimage to Lourdes, and that shows how desirable and necessary prayer is for a soldier.
On this occasion the soldiers did not forget to pray for their own general Tihomir Blaskic.
SEMINAR FOR PRIESTS
At the beginning of July about 120 priests from England, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Poland, America, Spain, and Croatia met at the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje for a four day seminar. In the course of the seminar the priests together listened to lectures, meditated, prayed, celebrated common Eucharist, and visited the Medjugorje mountains. The seminar on the theme of "Priests in the School of Mary" was organized by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Don Cosimo Cavaluzzo, an Italian priest who is especially involved with and assists in the organization of various seminars.
A N N O U N C E M E N T S
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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.
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Published every other Wednesday.
Last Modified 07/16/97