Mary Ann

I walked into a cafe, and I woman I know from church, I didn’t even know her name, said, “I can’t believe you’re here because we’re meeting to talk about a trip to Medjugorje. I saw your daughter at a wedding and she said that her mom should go.”

I said, “Really, my daughter thinks I should go, and you think I should go? Well, let me think about that.”

The trip was actually a month away. Within a week, I decided that it’s true, they say you’re invited and you’re being called. Certainly that was the case. 

For the first time in maybe ten or twenty years I was not teaching and could actually take a week in September. 

I was going to say the opportunity presented itself, but let me correct that. Our Lady presented the opportunity and the invitation.

I feel so much peace and joy. I’ve always been devoted to Our Lady. Being here, like a few people have said, you’re neighbors with Our Lady. I feel like that. I feel like I’m a guest at the Blessed Mother’s town. It’s incredible.

We are staying with [visionary] Ivan. We have Mass daily, we have a Rosary, and his apparition every day. 

Knowing the story, you can be skeptical, but to see this very devout man pretty much base his entire life and existence on the planet around what has happened to him at the age of 16. It’s such a gift and a blessing to be in his presence and the presence of Our Lady who is filling the chapel, speaking directly to him.

The grace and the beauty and his peace is just incredible. 

We just saw Fr. Slavko’s grave today. He was an incredible man, incredible human begin and priest and is still providing intercession for all of us. 

Make an observation about people you know that have visited Medjugorje. Are they peaceful? How are their lives being lived? Are they exhibiting joy, tranquility, love, or not? And draw your own conclusions. 

I needed to recharge. I remained devout through shutdowns, lockdowns. I found churches that had Adoration every day. They had Mass outside. I feel like a lot of people express losing faith and their spirituality is worse. For me, it was not. It was better, I would say. I had more time to devote. It was my solace. 

People are so wound up right now, very overly sensitive. Dialogue is difficult. Communication is difficult. Everybody’s got their opinion. Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. Get the vaccine. Don’t get the vaccine. People are just at each other’s throats. There’s so much friction, confusion, and chaos. I know that’s not of Our Lord. That’s of the devil himself. 

To come here, and, even Ivan when asked the question, “What do you do with family members that lost their faith?”

His response is consistently, “Pray. Don’t be judgmental. Don’t try to force. Pray and show your peace, your love. Demonstrate every day, and make it obvious that you have this peace and joy  from Our Lady, and they will then come to it.”

My takeaway is, let go the grip on the family members that are slip-sliding away and continue the prayer and trust in God. Just trust God. 

If we’re neurotic and worried, we’re undermining our trust. Easier said than done. 

Thank you to all the people that walk the walk here, that invite us pilgrims, that make it possible for us pilgrims, the tour guides, travel agencies, translators, everybody that makes it possible for us to come and experience this.