My parish priest told me about Medjugorje. He handed me two boxes full of Medjugorje books and the messages, and he handed me a rosary from Apparition Hill.

That was one of the first points of my conversion back into the faith three years ago.

That was the first time I’d heard that Mary was still appearing. He told me about all the miracles and the beautiful things Our Lady was doing here.

I’ve been at Benedictine college for the last three and a half years, and I have been dying to go to Medjugorje.

We’re told a lot about Mary, we’re told a lot about Jesus, but one of the things that we lack is encounter. This is a really beautiful place of authentic encounter. Don’t make a judgement on it before you come. Just have your hearts open. I promise that it’s worth coming here.

The desires that you have on your heart are good and holy and beautiful, and this is a beautiful place for Our Lady to sort those out and show you the path that She has for you. 

I’m transitioning into full-time ministry. I just got done with school. I was coming in with just, “Lord, Blessed Mother, I will go wherever you want me to go.” There was a radical openness. 

At the beginning of the week, a priest from Ireland came up to me, and he was like, “Just get lost. You don’t have to do what the group is doing. Go and be in silence. Go get lost.”

Some of the advice that these priests gave me was definitely life-changing. If I didn’t come here, He would have found another way to give me this advice, this foundation, but there was such crucial advice that needed to be given to me that Our Lady had prepared.

One of the lessons was learning how to adventure. Our Lady wants us to live well. Learning how to live well, learning to take down the boundaries, to take down the walls, to open our hearts to Her love, letting Her turn our stony hearts into flesh. 

I love the pace here. That’s something I’m going to take back home, that pace, that peace.

Seeing these signs around us that are Our Lord trying to nudge us, I don’t think they’re just happening here. They are happening all around the world, but we’re moving too quickly. We miss them in our daily lives.

I would say the pace is a grace, a grace to just slow down, to just see, to wipe the scales from your eyes, to wipe the weariness from your eyes and your heart and let Our Lady guide you.

The pace is right now. I’m here right now with these people. The reality is He is in the present moment. It’s been beautiful to slow down and reflect on that as I’ve been here.

We’re always running around and doing a lot of things. We’re doing the church thing and checking the boxes. We’re running from place to place. But living a Christian life is not an obligation.

For me, it was rediscovering that first love. I’ve encountered here an authentic love, a love that cancels out all fear, all insecurities. And there’s a new confidence in whose I am and in who I was made to be. There’s a solid foundation.

We say, “God is love. Our Lady loves you.” But before I got here, that was actually just in my head and not my heart. That became a reality, but it took me slowing down. It took me tuning myself to this pace.

This is a great place to allow Our Lady to sit next to you and let Her examine your heart and pick out those things, maybe thorns, maybe pricks, whatever it may be, things that I didn’t even know were there. Slowing down and letting Her sit with me in silence. That’s what I’m taking away. 

Come and see. Make a judgement on your own, not based upon what you read or hear. It’s just a theory until it’s tested then it becomes knowledge. We need to test this. Come here. Let Our Lady encounter you. 

If it’s true, great. Your heart is going to know it. If you don’t believe, that’s your choice, but just be open to either. She’ll show you.