Joe – Family Part 4

I heard about Medjugorje from my wife who is involved in a prayer group. I learned basic things about Medjugorje, the messages; she would read them to me. She would share what the prayer group had been talking about.

I personally haven’t read any of the books, but now I will, now that I’ve been here. 

Like many other pilgrims, I expected to see something. Even though I was like, “It’s okay if I don’t see anything,” really I wanted to see something. I was expecting that, but if I didn’t see anything that’s fine.

But the most important thing that I really expected was to find some peace in my life, find some direction in my life, and a bit of a transformation. 

Being raised Catholic, that is one concept that I always thought, was always taught, that conversion was just a one time thing. You’re moving from this to that and then it’s over. Through this trip, I’ve experienced that conversion is an ongoing process. I embrace that. I love that. 

This trip has really taught me a lot. 

I was really struggling with praying from the heart. There were moments where I felt like I was, but most of the time, it was falling back to the same old way of praying, which is just saying your prayers, but you’re not really saying them or meaning them. You’re not embracing them. 

Being here has helped me to understand what it means to pray from the heart. 

Now when I pray the Rosary, I can feel that presence, more so because Mary has helped me to see it. That’s been the biggest takeaway here. Now I feel empowered. 

Another wonderful experience with this whole trip has been being with my family, being with my boys, watching them grow, seeing their experience, their faith grow and deepen. It was so awesome to witness. I’m just so proud of them and so happy for them. 

I know this is a hard thing for people to do, but you have to have an openness towards life. Once you think you know it all, you’re closing all these doors. It’s going to become harder for you to enjoy and really experience things. 

I use the word experience a whole lot because it appears often with Mary’s messages: experience my love, experience praying from the heart. It’s the experience of it. You have to be open in order for that experience to come so that you can embrace it. 

If I had to say one thing to people it’s you have to keep your heart open and not close it off and not think that you know everything. I used to think that way. 

God is everywhere and very strong here. There’s a very strong presence here. Allow yourself to just experience it, and whatever happens happens.