[Fr. Pablo is the Medjugorje chaplain for the Spanish-speaking pilgrims]
God has a plan to rescue His creatures and unite them with Him; to open our spiritual eyes that have been closed from original sin. The sin of the world, our own sins, make new wounds.
Here – in Medjugorje – it appears that Her plan is working to open our spiritual eyes so we can see Jesus, that we can find renewed life in Him here in this world, truly find the way to have light; the light of the Holy Spirit that illuminates and helps us live our earthly lives without getting lost in so many deceptions.
We need to die to ourselves, to not believe that we know everything. To come to Medjugorje is not to say, “I’m ‘Medjugoriano’ or I’m Marian. I pray the Rosary and guide it in my parish.” No. We don’t know how. The Virgin Mary reminds us in many of Her messages to pray with the eyes and the heart and the ears of the Holy Spirit and that is a path that unfolds and takes us through life. This is a journey. There’s not a final point of arrival. It’s a journey of your whole life that is transforming us and allowing us to be reborn.
That journey is for all of us. Independent of one saying, “I received the sacrament of Baptism where I received the Holy Spirit.” Yes, but I have to let it transform me. Here, the Virgin Mary is helping us live the sacraments with heart, to live the word of God with heart and allow the graces that God gives us through the Church to transform us.
Medjugorje is like a safe house of the Virgin Mary, in times of darkness and major confusion and major blindness, even when the faith has become too rational and we have lost our way. Here it appears as though a port of refuge where the Virgin Mary has anchored her Immaculate Heart, like the Arc. Here the heart is quieted so that we can shelter; where we can be quenched; where we can learn to nourish ourselves with the food that Jesus has left us.
She’s educating us in a methodology, one more diverse than how we’re educated by the world and worldly things. Then someone can return to the beautiful and marvelous world that God created, enjoying it from a new perspective.
Our Lady says “prayer will be your joy”; the Rosary transforms into joy of the soul when someone can truly learn to pray with heart and feel Her presence in prayer.
The Virgin Mary has helped me. She has rescued me. She has shown me to feel Jesus when I haven’t felt Him. And to feel Her.
Sometimes we can pray many Hail Marys and be as hard as a cork, but regardless, within that hardness, sometimes the heart can feel a presence, feel peace, and there one finds Her. But you have to foster the situation. There are things that don’t help, that we often do out of habit and that we need to give up.
If we go right now to get a coffee and we sit down to hear each other and speak calmly, how She tells us in one message—I always say this because it has helped me a lot—let the heart pronounce each word…
If I don’t try that, and we drink the coffee quickly, we won’t connect with each other. That situation won’t help us to meet each other.
And this is something else I tell people because it’s some advice that I’ve learned. Whenever you learn to ride a bike, you don’t take a class to learn how to achieve balance. You get on top of the bike and try it out, without knowing how to balance. One day you surprise yourself when you achieve balance. You don’t even know how you did it. The same way, we should try to pronounce each word in prayer with the heart, taking the time it takes to do this.
Our encounter with God in our heart was natural, but it was broken through sin. We have to try to pronounce the words with heart. One day, we will surprise ourselves feeling the presence of Jesus in our hearts. We don’t know how or when, but if we don’t give the minimum, it certainly won’t happen.
Sometimes it’s not that important to do long meditations, five pages of meditations, but instead to be aware that I’m speaking to my Mother that’s listening, that’s picking up each Hail Mary as a rose in Her hand, and that She’s interested in what’s happening in my heart and that I need to be with Her. And that’s what I need to say, “Help me to be with You in this Rosary. I need to feel You even if it’s just one Hail Mary. Give me peace. Bring me to Jesus. Help me to feel Him in my heart, that this Rosary gives me peace to feel the presence of Jesus and grows my faith.”
She says to pray until prayer transforms into joy. It can never transform into joy saying it like this [praying rapidly], “HailMaryfullofgracetheLordiswithyou.” That is torturous.
A speedy 20 minute Mass (zoom zoom zoom zoom) can never be a joy, not the joy of Jesus, if we don’t have time to enjoy Jesus. We can’t believe that we’re better than Peter and Judas and the ones who were at His side. Because Judas didn’t open his heart to feel Him as a friend, and he betrayed Him.
It’s not so easy to pray with the heart because we’re not prepared. The world prepares us to have a hard heart, selfish, closed, materialistic, but not to have the time to say things from the soul.
The message that marked my life was to pray with the heart because that is what most worried me. At the beginning I would obsess. It would torture me, like, “What does that mean? How do I pray with the heart?”
One can ask oneself: How do you listen to a melody that you like? You sit down and listen. You let the notes reach your heart. It’s easier, right? It’s the same. We meet face-to-face and like that we create an image of our encounter, to feel that there is a presence in front of us, convinced that it’s there, that it’s listening. We have to put our faith into practice, She is there listening, looking at me, picking up each word. Because like this Our Mother here’s one “I love you” from Her child, because it is being felt. We have to learn to love the Virgin Mary, to love Her, her personality… her personality is hidden in Her Messages. We have to fall in love with Jesus, with his personality…his personality is hidden in the Bible.
Of course we have to put into practice our faith concretely. Are you listening?How are you going to be there? How is it that You can hear me with so many in the world? And You can hear me and listen to us all at once, but You’re going to take my Hail Mary right now in Your hands.
At that moment the theological meaning of the Immaculate Heart does not matter so much for me to say that to Our Lady, what She wants is for me to learn to feel her as my Mother, who looks at me with her merciful eyes, who listens to me, who prays for me, and that makes me be reborn from above.
Our Lady’s Message on August 25, 1997
“Dear children! God gives me this time as a gift to you, so that I may instruct and lead you on the path of salvation. Dear children, now you do not comprehend this grace, but soon a time will come when you will lament for these messages. That is why, little children, live all of the words which I have given you through this time of grace and renew prayer, until prayer becomes a joy for you. Especially, I call all those who have consecrated themselves to my Immaculate Heart to become an example to others. I call all priests and religious brothers and sisters to pray the rosary and to teach others to pray. The rosary, little children, is especially dear to me. Through the rosary open your heart to me and I am able to help you. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”OUR Lady queen of Peace