M E D I T A T I O N
In the liturgical readings these days we heard about the young man who comes to Jesus and reveals his desire to Him that he wants something more out of life. To the word of Jesus: "Fulfill the commandments!" he is able to answer that he has fulfilled the commandments. Indeed, he is conscious of being in a state greater than fulfilling commandments and is seeking direction about what to do. Jesus does not lose the opportunity of indicating to him the way that is greater, but one that also makes greater demands. "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give your money to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven! Then come and follow me!" The young man was taken by surprise. That was too much for him and he goes away sad. That which he possessed was the security that promised him more.
To have and to possess can be a real obstacle. And, there exist the same kind of other real obstacles which in the same way alienate from Christian life. They can be acquired habits, or a nature that is not ennobled. They can be ways of behaving that we claim cannot be changed and therefore do not have to be changed.
But, the Christian who yearns to be a serious believer must free himself from fear of what is new. That newness is not so much something new on the outside, as it is on the inside. What is new on the inside can also create something new on the outside. And what is really new in the Christian life are the new effort and momentum to be like Jesus Christ. If a doctor today were to reject new effective forms of healing, we would consider him unreasonable in regard to his vocation and his patients.
New efforts to be Christian are necessary and possible. For all who believe in Christ that is an unavoidable task. Medjugorje is a great sign that with Our Lady it is possible to recognize what is really new and unavoidably necessary.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
CELEBRATING THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
On the feast of Our Lady's Assumption August 15, there was a truly great number of pilgrims. It is almost impossible to enumerate the countries from which they came. We can only say that they were here from every continent in the tens of thousands. The church of Medjugorje, although quite large, hardly looked it these days. Due to the different language groups Holy Masses were celebrated in eleven languages. By all means must be mentioned the stream of bare footed native pilgrims who in the early morning hours were already arriving in Medjugorje from all parts of Herceg-Bosna and southern Croatia. The multitude of pilgrims on August 15 in Medjugorje can be illustrated by the fact that a group of thirty priests were hearing confessions almost the entire day. Fr. Philip Sucic, a Franciscan missionary from Hercegovina serving in Africa, presided at the solemn evening mass along with 98 concelebrants.
On August 16, 1998 the Fund "Friends of the Talented", a foundation based in Medjugorje which aids young students, organized a Students' Day. The meeting began at 4 PM with prayer of the rosary on the Hill of Apparition. After the rosary the young people gathered in church for common confession and the evening prayer program. After the evening mass a concert of spiritual music followed. Students appearing in the concert were from the Music Academy, stipendiaries of the Fund and young men from the "Cenacle" Community [former drug addicts], and Melinda Dumitrescu, a guest performer from Romania. About 100 students participated in the meeting. For the occasion the paintings of talented artist Stjepan Perkovic were on open exhibition and available for purchase.
SEMINAR ON INNER HEALING
A seminar on inner healing was held from August 21 - 16, 1998 at the "Domus Pacis" House of Prayer in Medjugorje. The leaders of the seminar were Father John Cheriaveliyl and Sister Margarita Valappila who have special gifts in the ministry of healing. About 70 people took part in the seminar which was intended especially for those who have family problems. The impressions of the participants were powerful and we hope to have more seminars like this.
"WALL OF LOVE"
As we have already announced in previous numbers of the Press Bulletin, "Wall of Love", the mothers for peace movement, is organizing a prayer novena through the nine last Saturdays of the month. In addition, the same association organized still one more prayer meeting in Medjugorje on August 17, since the trial for the six Croatians in Den Haag began that day. The meeting began at 7:00 AM with the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain. Several hundred faithful fervently prayed that day for all those Croatians whose lives are still now making the difficult way of the cross of violence and injustice. After confessions at 1:00 PM celebration of the Eucharist followed in the church of St. James in Medjugorje. The intention of this prayer meeting was that the innocently accused Croatians in Den Haag will survive all their sufferings and that their trial will be quick and fair.
MEETING WITH BENEFACTORS
Fr. Philip Sucic, Fr. Ante Kutlesa and Fr. Stojan Zrno, the three Hercegovina Franciscans who are working as missionaries in the Republic of Congo, came back to their Franciscan community and families during their home visit this summer. Medjugorje pilgrims have given them material aid already for several years in a rows, especially for the building of churches and houses of formation. For that reason the three missionaries visited Medjugorje these days with the intention of meeting with their benefactors and thanking them for all that they have done so far.
SEMINAR FOR GUIDES
Due to the interest of so many who would like to work as guides in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, the Guides Association for pilgrims in the parish of Medjugorje has organized a seminar from August 17 - 20, 1998. At the end of the seminar examinations will be held. All who finish this seminar successfully achieve the possibility of membership in the Guides Association, and thereby also the possibility of working with pilgrim groups. This means that all who wish to work as guides in the shrine must learn and master definite knowledge in order to be able to provide reliable information to the pilgrims with whom they will work in the future.
The young applicants listened to presentations in four areas: Messages of Sacred Scripture (Fr. Miljenko Stojic), Messages of Christianity (Fr. Ivan Maric), Messages of Our Lady (Fr. Slavko Barbaric) and Tourism and Pilgrimage in the Medjugorje events (Maria Dugandzic).
We take this opportunity to request all those who bring groups to Medjugorje to use a local guide who can help them in so many ways during their stay in Medjugorje, and what is most important, these are the persons who are qualified and trained to provide reliable information and to perform their work in cooperation with the "Mir" Information Center located next to the Medjugorje parish office.
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 08/26/98