M E D I T A T I O N
THE FACE OF LOVE
Does love have a face or a way of expressing itself? The answer is easy, isn't it ? Love is beauty, goodness, it's constructive each description is better than the next. But, does love have a face?
Parents who demonstrate love to their children, and show love among themselves are an expression of love. Even if they don't believe in God; in that case, the love that they are showing is human love. And this human love is expressed on a day-to day level, but without being rooted in God. It is founded upon itself, a world of it's own. Since the creation of the world this face of love has been in existence.
Parents who demonstrate love to their children and each other and who do believe in God on the other hand, show the divine face of love too. The stronger their belief, the more this love is evident. (This of course goes for all other levels of human life and relationships too.) Divine love made it possible for this world to exist and it is this love which ensures that the world grows towards that end. This end is salvation or the kingdom of God.
The Queen of Peace is not like an unfeeling adviser giving out unusual counsel, but rather one who has experienced in her own life, the divine and the human face of love. And she united them so well in her life that love within her became a most beautiful jewel. That's why she can invite us to leave all our egoism behind us for loves sake. This is possible only if we live God's love. And she does this not to nullify us as individuals, but rather to fulfill us and to eventually lead us to our God. When we do this, there is no power which can destroy us. We are then capable of solving all life's difficulties in love and to be an example of what that love actually means to others.
So, when someone tells us that they love us, let us look at the face of that love. After that everything should be much clearer.
fra. Miljenko Stojic
N E W S
THE NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
Throughout the month of September in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 114,000 Holy Communions were distributed and 2732 priests from both at home and abroad concelebrated at Holy Mass. This averages at about 91 priests daily.
The following are just some of the countries from which these pilgrims came: Spain, France, Ireland, England, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, America, Germany Italy Portugal, Poland Belgium, the Netherlands, and of course Croatia.
THE VISIT OF THE AFRICAN ARCHBISHOP
We have already met many pilgrims from the African country of Gabon in Medjugorje in these past years. In September this year, the pilgrimage group from the capital city of Liberville, was accompanied by Mons. Andre Fernand Anguile. He remained the entire week in Medjugorje. Speaking about his own country and his home he had this to say about Medjugorje.
"People from my diocese have often come to me after having been in Medjugorje. They related to me their experiences, and they brought books and newspaper articles. Last year, some pilgrims invited me to accompany them. However, I didn't really want to go because I knew that Medjugorje has not received full recognition. This year I have come with this group, but I was completely aware that I was coming as a private individual. I wanted to see for myself what is happening here. I know of the many good fruits of Medjugorje. Those who had been here, after returning home become testimonies of faith on all levels. And that's what's most needed at this moment.
The first thing that deeply impresses me is the spirit of prayer here in Medjugorje. I see pilgrims from the whole world here The evening program alone is enough to show how much and how deeply people pray here. Those inside the church and those who cannot enter (because there is no more space) still pray ardently and devotedly. I see all the priests here confessing for hours and who pray more devotedly than they would normally. But the thing that really delighted me was the sight of so many young people praying and confessing. Here it's not difficult to feel the presence of God and the workings of grace in action, that's why it's so easy to believe in the presence of Mary. I listened to the testimony of the visionaries and I prayed with Ivan at the time of apparition. They radiate peace and joy. They speak very simply and their ideas on prayer really impressed me. We recommended ourselves to their prayer and asked them to ask Our Lady to intercede for Gabon, for all peoples and for the Church. The overall impression which I have at the moment is really good. People come here and really pray. You can feel the spirit and presence of Our Lady.
To the question; "what would you now recommend to the faithful, bishops and priests?" Mons. Anguile replied, "Our Lady's apparitions are a good sign for our times. She wants to prepare us for the third millennium through Medjugorje and we must do as she says. If we're obedient, all will be well and the world will have hope. It's good that Our Lady has appeared here and that the priests, the visionaries and the parish community have managed to remain faithful to her. You have become an example to many. Here great good is being done. Please remember me in your prayers and I promise to remember all of you also. When I return home I will tell people that I have been to Medjugorje and I will call all the laity to pray and fast more, and to allow Mary to lead us all into this new time."
PRAYER AND FASTING SEMINARS
In the house of prayer "Domus Pacis", in Medjugorje, as a preparation for Christmas, some seminars on "Prayer and Fasting" will be held during Advent. Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II in his encyclical "The Gospel of life", invites us to "return to prayer and fasting in courage and humility .." and Our lady herself in so many messages called us to fasting and prayer. She once said"with fasting and prayer even wars can be avoided"For this reason we would like to invite any of you who are interested in preparing in an even deeper way for the anniversary of Christ's birth, to participate in these seminars. They are a very rich experience and a fitting opportunity for this. The organizer and spiritual guide of the seminar is Fr. Slavko Barbaric. There are free places left for two of the seminars; (a) from the 7th to the 12th of December and (b) from the 15th to the 21st of December. All information is available at the following phone number 387 88 651 333.
A N N O U N C E M E N T S
We would like to let all pilgrimage groups and individuals who visit Medjugorje know that the daily evening service program will now commence at 5p.m. and end at 8p.m. for the wintertime(i.e. at 1700 the rosary will begin, at 18.00, the holy mass and afterwards the blessings, prayers and the third part of the rosary).
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place from 9p.m. until 10p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Prayer before the Cross takes place every Friday after the evening mass. Every Sunday at 3 p.m. in the afternoon the rosary will be prayed on Apparition Hill, and on Fridays at the same hour, the way of the Cross will be prayed on Mt. Krizevac. Every day an hour before the Mass begins, there are confessors available for the sacrament of reconciliation.
Holy Mass for the different language groups are held throughout the morning, according to previous arrangement. All information to do with the prayer program of the shrine can be obtained from the information office at the no. +387 88 651 988 between the hours of 8a.m. and 5 p.m. We would also like to ask all organizers of pilgrim groups to let their groups know about the information office which gives access to necessary information. The Office is now situated in front of the Parish House and not in the Parish Office!
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 10/08/97