M E D I T A T I O N
PRAY SO TO BECOME SENSITIVE TO GOD'S WORD
The message of Our Lady that stirs us to prayer so that we would become sensitive to God's word is a continuation of her message to read Sacred Scripture, to live it and keep it in a visible place in our home. The word of God contained in the Bible is the subject of the daily liturgical life of the Church. At the celebration of the sacraments reading and listening to Sacred Scripture is indispensable. Nothing significant can take place in the life of the Church without Sacred Scripture. It is not some kind of obligatory burden, ordinary reading or handbook. For the life of the Church it represents much more. Sacred Scripture is the Constitution of the life, the activity, and the proclamation of the Church. Our Lady recommends it for reading and living so that we would get to know Jesus Christ, the history of salvation and thus accustom ourselves to its meaning not only for the life of faith, but also for social and interpersonal life.
I said that Sacred Scripture is the Constitution of Christian behavior. Accordingly one should remember that it is important not only to accept its worth, but to accept and appreciate its demands. Man is inclined to look for loop holes in the law and the weak spots of constitutional regulations. He seems to himself to be more important than the generally binding regulation, and puts his personal advantage before observation of the law. All of us already know well the consequences of taking justice into our own hands. Man is in the greatest temptation to sin when he appropriates the right of taking the law into his own hands. And surely also then when it has obviously been done.
Interpreting and breaking up Sacred Scripture we hold correctly that there are less important and very important places. But it isn't so easy to be sure that we have recognized those very important ones. We are inclined to proclaim that some things also in Sacred Scripture are not so important and to think that we understand them better than those who recorded and wrote them down. There is a subsequent great temptation and we are not allowed to think that by interpreting individual things we are not pouring grit into our own mill. Pouring grit into our own mill is usually a bad solution in all forms of human activity and surely in spiritual activity. Spirituality is one of the most sensitive areas of a human being and mistakes made there provoke immeasurable harm in personal and community life.
Pray, therefore, Our Lady exhorts. Incoherence in prayer, work, communication with people, affairs, no longer makes any sense. Get to work on God's word! Prayer will certainly help you in sensitivity to God's word.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF HOLY COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of January in the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 21000 Holy Communions were distributed and there were 661 concelebrations by priests from home and abroad, that is, 21 priests daily.
We will enumerate some of the countries from which pilgrims visited Medjugorje during the month of December: Poland, Italy, France, Korea, United States and, of course, Croatia.
LETTER TO THE HOLY FATHER
In January the following letter was delivered to the Holy Father:
Medjugorje, January 1, 1998 Feast of the Divine Maternity of Mary
HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
From the heart of Bosnia-Hercegovina, from the Parish of Medjugorje, here where not one bomb fell during the dramatic years of the war, we Franciscans send You this message of peace and joy for Your Apostolic Ministry. We do not wish to sadden You with bad news but to give You joy with the promise that we have made to the Queen of Peace, who for more than sixteen years is appearing in this place that has become an international center of prayer and conversion, visited by millions of pilgrims, hundreds of bishops and tens of thousands of priests.
Your Holiness, this is our promise to You: With the approach of the Great Jubilee the Parish of Medjugorje wishes to support the Holy Father by a special daily prayer for Your universal ministry with this intention: that John Paul II may open the Holy Doors at Christmas 1999.
Our Lady in her messages from the very beginning called us to pray in a special way for the Holy Father, because She has a special plan for You, Holy Father. Today we are more conscious than ever of that great spiritual battle that we in Bosnia-Hercegovina have lived through in the war, which can be won only with the weapons of the gospel to which Our Lady calls us: prayer, fasting, conversion of heart, sacramental life, the rosary, consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. . .
Conscious of our pastoral responsibility, which is increased by the apparitions that have attracted millions of pilgrims, we feel the responsibility to petition the pilgrims who come here to pray in a special way for You, Holy Father. We truly think that this inspiration comes from the Queen of Peace who requests that we put Medjugorje at the spiritual service of Your Holiness through prayer until the grace of prayer of the many hearts that have obtained it here shall be poured out on the whole world as a contribution of Medjugorje in support of John Paul II, the Marian Pope, so You may finish the task that God has entrusted to You.
Your Holiness requested the faithful in Poland, on Your last pastoral visit, to implore God on bended knee for the grace to finish that which Cardinal Wyszynski, of blessed memory, prophesied to You: "You must lead the Church into the third millennium". The parish of Medjugorje has accepted Your invitation addressed to Poland and desires to spread it to all pilgrims that Providence has not ceased to lead to the Queen of Peace. We wish that, in the Franciscans who work in this blessed parish, they recognize the desire to support Your Holiness in these years of preparation for the Great Jubilee. We wish to make a contribution with the prayer of the Most Holy Virgin for the intention that She has for Her Pope "Totus Tuus".
May Your Holiness accept our humble gift.
The Friars and pilgrims of Medjugorje
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 02/11/98