Carl – Wisconsin
This is my first time here. My uncle, Fr. Tim was the chaplain going along on the pilgrimage. He invited me so how can you say no?
I knew quite a bit about Medjugorje because my family talks about it quite a bit. Everyone in my family besides me has read the book My Heart Will Triumph. I’m working on it now.
Growing up, I was very Catholic. I come from a family that’s soon to have two priests. My cousin just entered the seminary. I grew up very strong in the faith.
After I transferred to public school, I struggled with the faith, especially in college. It wasn’t until this past year that I really started to get back into it.
I wasn’t feeling satisfied with where my life was going. There was something missing. I knew going back to my roots, I knew finding God, would bring the peace that I was looking for. I just didn’t have the strength at the time to really dive back into it. There were a lot of distractions.
I felt like I was always very vocal about my faith. Throughout college, if anyone asked me, I was immediately telling them, “Yes, I absolutely believe this.” I would stand up for my faith, but I felt like I would go in and out of truly being in it. It’s the consistency I was looking for, staying true to the faith and living it even when things got tough, when I’m feeling good and when I’m feeling bad.
I was a bit of a troublemaker in college. There were several moments in my life where I put myself in dangerous situations where who knows what could have happened. I’m so happy I didn’t die. I feel like the example of my family, spending more time with my family, and distancing myself from situations and friends of mine that weren’t great people to be around all helped me. It was the example that my family set, and my family’s prayers.
I was trying to find the deeper meaning. It probably was realizing I’m 23. I’ve always had a strong feeling and vocation towards having a family. I knew that for me to find the type of girl that I was looking for, I would have to fully dive back into my faith because she would want nothing to do with me living the way I was. I really wanted to get my life moving, and I knew deep down that I couldn’t go the direction that I was looking for in the long-term without completely diving back into my faith.
I had a gut feeling that being invited to Medjugorje was absolutely part of God’s plan. It just worked out with the way my life is going. It’s like, wow this is God’s plan because this is definitely the next step that I needed to take.
I’ve been feeling a lot of grace. It’s amazing being around a ton of people who really are searching for the same thing.
Today after Mass was over, I just had to walk out because I was bawling. I was losing it. I felt a connection, and it was very loving. It was after Communion.
Our guide, Miki, said the other day how yeah, you pray it, but you’ve really got to believe it as well.
After Communion I just remember thinking, “Wow, I do believe.” I’ve always had great reverence for the Eucharist, but I can’t just go through the motions. I think it’s because of all the grace that we’ve been given lately. It got me pretty emotional.
I wasn’t going to say anything about that moment. Tough guys don’t cry.
I’ve noticed the more I feel these things, the more I want to step away by myself.
Yesterday, I just felt like going for a walk with the intention of going shopping, and I ended up walking over by Apparition Hill. I saw what looked like a huge blue rosary in the sky. I don’t know what it was. It looked like those things where you light a candle and a lantern goes up in the sky.
I saw it up on the side of the hill. I kept looking around like, “Is anyone else seeing this?” I thought, “Just in case, I’m going to go up there.”
When I got up there, I could see it was floating away. I decided, “While I’m up here, I have my rosary, I might as well pray.” Then I sat down on a rock up there and prayed the Rosary. I could kind of see it floating around up there, and by the end of the Rosary it was gone.
I think it was a physical thing. At first I thought it was supernatural. I still don’t understand how it was floating. Even if it was just a balloon, it got me up there to pray the Rosary.
I wanted to keep going up there, but I looked at the time and it was time to go to Mass. Mass is more important than if it was anything so then I went to Mass.
I feel like I do so many good things, but there’s always something in my head that says, “Well, you still did this.” That’s been slowly dissipating as the trip’s been going on, less and less of, “I’m not doing enough,” and more of “Jesus, I trust in You. I’m going to give it my all. Do what You want with me.”