M E D I T A T I O N
ORDER IN LIFE
The words of the Queen of Peace about the good and making efforts for the good are no more to be understood so lightly. The content and meaning of the word "good" is today so diversely interpreted that it is a real skill to convince others that something is good, or that something is bad. It is all the more difficult to find a consensus on what is useful and what is not useful. The request of Our Lady's messages for us to put God in the first place we formally consider good and useful. But then, our every day Christian life not infrequently contradicts the validity of that expression. And if a man deliberates out of convenience and usefulness, it is difficult for him to put his hand in the fire for the real duty of a believer. We are faced immediately, that is, with the question, what will be of us? What will be of our friends? What about our career? What about our current interests? Married men and woman ask in that case what will be of their partners or their offspring? We do not know, namely, what kind of consequences putting God in the first place will have. How and in what manner will that change our life?
If we look into Sacred Scripture a little, several examples come to mind as a possible solution. And after that much of it will be only partly said to us. But nevertheless. . .for the apostles the decision to put Jesus in the first place consisted in leaving everything behind and following after him and also living like him. On such decisions rested the announcement and spreading of the gospel. And there were also others. For Zacchaeus, for example, compensation of damages to injured people and giving half of his possessions to the poor is a fruit of the decision to put Jesus in the first place. For the woman in public sin the fruit of the decision to put Jesus in the first place was to give up sin.
From the example of these biblical personalities Our Lady invites us to put God in the first place. That will help us to understand that putting God in the first place does not mean making a mess of life, but putting order in life.
Fr. Ivan landeka
N E W S
MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF FR. IVAN LANDEKA
The Christmas and New Year holidays were not spent in Medjugorje by Fr. Ivan Landeka, pastor of Medjugorje, but in far away Canada and the United States. At the invitation of Croatian missionaries over there he visited the principal Croatian centers of prayer which in addition to preserving the faith, also preserve the culture and customs of our people in those distant countries. On the way to the United States Fr. Ivan Landeka also visited the Croatians who are currently arrested at the tribunal in the Haag. Upon his return, among other things, Fr. Ivan also said this:
"In jails in the West it is practically a rule that priests conduct regular pastoral care for prisoners and look after their practice of faith. Since Croatian prisoners in the UN prison at the Haag have not had that care, I obtained approval from the prison authorities to visit them for Christmas and to celebrate Holy Mass with them. The Bishop of Roterdam had some time before expressed the need for a priest to be more involved with their spiritual care. And that not only for Catholics, but also for members of other faiths. Entrance to the jail was without difficulties and the prison personnel were very humane. The prisoners all awaited me in a group and were festively dressed up. The fact that they were altogether was not an everyday occasion. They were in a good mood. I had the opportunity to converse with each one individually and offer the chance for holy confession to those who felt the need for that. After that followed the Christmas Holy Mass. We sang Christmas songs and the prisoners divided reading of the prayers of the faithful among themselves. At the end I blessed the food, and a ham which they relished on Christmas day itself. They were grateful for my visit and wished Christmas and New Year greetings to everyone and thanked all who are praying for them, who are taking an interest in them, and giving support to their families. Finally in the prison hospital I had a chance also to visit the wounded prisoner, Vlatko Kupreskic. He was a little surprised at my visit, but very happy over it. He is recovering well from his injuries and should soon leave the hospital to join all the others.
FASTING AND PRAYER SEMINARS
As for several years in a row so far, in preparation for the greatest Christian feast of Easter, five fasting and prayer seminars will be conducted in the "Domus Pacis" house of prayer. The first one begins March 2, 1998 and the others finish before Easter itself.
Our Holy Father John Paul II in his encyclical The Gospel of Life calls us: " . . .to return to fasting and prayer in courage and humility. . ." and Our Lady also in her messages has so many times invited us to fasting and prayer. Once she even said: ". . .by prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped. . ." Therefore, we invite all those who wish to enter more profoundly into the mystery of Christ's redemption to participate in these seminars because they are indeed a rich experience. The organizer and leader of the seminars is Fr. Slavko Barbaric.
COMPACT DISKS FOR OUR RADIO
In Press Bulletin # 79 we requested help from you for our radio station by sending us CD's with music from your countries. We have already received some and for that we want to express our heartfelt thanks. For the approaching Easter feast days we do not have enough suitable music and so we are hereby making a request for CD's with Easter music. Our wish is to greet you on the air waves of our radio station when you come to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje. We thank you heartily in advance.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira ( Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: +387-88-651-444.
Last Modified 01/28/98