Last night Ivan Dragicevic from Medjugorje was speaking at St. Mary Mother of God parish in Middletown, NJ. We began with mass and an inspiring homily by Fr. Jeff Kegley, who was surrounded by area priests, and deacons, who have come to be a part of this special evening. The Church was so full it looked as though it were a Christmas mass. For those of you who do not know about Medjugorje, Ivan or the other visionaries can learn more at the links below.
This was a special treat for some of the people from our bible study that went with me. I have been fortunate over the years to be invited to a number of Ivan’s apparitions, here in the U.S., and in Medjugorje, and each time is special and memorable. Last night was no exception.
During the apparition you cannot see Mary, you cannot hear Ivan speaking to her, even though, you see his facial expressions and mouth move. I close my eyes and I can feel her presence. My heart flutters then beats rapidly as she enters. This period of time during the apparition is special for each person present. There are Graces and blessings beyond measure, I am grateful and overjoyed to be invited again.
After the apparition Ivan spoke about many things, and I will share some. He told us that Mary often talks about the collapse of family, the collapse of morality, and the importance of peace. That we should all be praying for peace and that peace is the starting point. Peace and prayer are the foundation and without prayer we have no peace, forgiveness, love or hope. Prayer feeds and cleanses our souls. Our families should be family chapels that pray together. Vocations come from family prayer and without it, we lose our priestly vocations. She says, we are in a crisis of faith and it is a real danger. The world today, wishes to go into the future alone without God.
Ivan said that he is approached often by priests and bishops who say to him, we have the church, the Sacraments, the bible, why is Mary coming for so long and not saying anything new? His response, “yes”, we have the church, the Sacraments, the bible, but… are we living it? He then reminds us of our earthly mother’s and how they are always repeating themselves to us, saying, do this, do that, to not forget this, nor forget that. They never tire of repeating themselves and leading us on the right path. This is what Mary does for her children. She never gets tired of leading us and she repeats herself until we listen. Until we live what she is asking, she will not tell us anything new.
Today we hear so much talk about recession in the world, but Mary says, today’s world is in a spiritual recession. For her to be able to work through us to fight evil and sin, we need to make Holy mass the center of our lives, with visits to adoration and monthly confession. She reminds us that Jesus gives himself each day in the Holy Mass so go to him. We are the lungs of the Church, we are the living Church. She would like us to read scripture as a family, because by reading it Jesus will be born a new in our hearts. She also says we not only need to forgive others, we need to forgive ourselves, and to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Without these things we cannot be healed spiritually, emotionally, and physically. She wishes to lift us up as we fall. She is not here to criticize or punish, she is here as our mother and she brings hope.
Her words of wisdom to us, if you wish to pray better you need to pray more. There is a Grace given in prayer. The problem is not time, the problem is love. You make time for things you love, if you do not have love, you do not have time. Prayer dispels fear. When you learn to love yourself as God loves you, you will come to love others and fulfill Jesus’ commandment (John 13:34) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.