I first came to Medjugorje when I was 15 or 16, about that age, now I’ve just turned 20. I grew-up Catholic, my family was really strict in their faith, but I was hanging around guys who weren’t really into their faith at all, I kind of struggled. I was at a Catholic school and at that stage we had the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR’s). The year before I’d first gone to Medjugorje the friars served as Irish-school chaplains, and during this time I connected with the RE (Religious Education) department of our school and they gave me a little background on Medjugorje and they invited me along. I thought I might as well go, I might as well give it a try, I’d been into my faith, but I never thought It’d go any further than what it was.
So I went to Medjugorje with the school and it was an absolutely beautiful experience. Whenever, I’m back home, you don’t see what you see in Medjugorje. Every person you walked past here, there’s a smile on their face. When we came we were with the Friars of the Renewal, and before we came out I thought there was going to be a lot of prayer a lot of worship, etc. But, when I came, it was completely different. There was a lot of games and singing, a lot of good joking and banter.
The real key to my conversion in Medjugorje was confessions. I went to confession with Father Colombo, CFR, and I had my first ever proper confession. I always went down the list and said I cursed here and there, using back words. But when I went to Father Colombo for the first time, I really opened my heart to what could come, to what I could get from the Lord. It changed me completely, I was able to be more vulnerable with the Lord and trust him completely.
When I came home from Medjugorje I would go to the prayer room at my school with the Blessed Sacrament. I would go there and just pray for more and more, asking the Lord just to bless me and give me more strength. It continued like that for my last two years of school.
I began teaching myself guitar, then I met up with Father Colombo who is himself a fantastic worship leader. He taught me everything I know, and I’ve come such a long way to be where I am today. I’ve done mission work and played worship music in Lebanon, Belgium, and Medjugorje. I am so blessed to have Father Colombo, he’s been such a stepping stone in my faith. He’s a spiritual leader and has played such an important role in how I’ve matured in years past.
One thing I’ve learned in the last few years, especially through Medjugorje, is that so many people focus on the divinity of Christ. They look at his miracles, like turning water into wine, healing people, and bringing people back from the dead. But as we can see from the passion as a whole, especially the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked God the Father to take that cup away from him. He was afraid to go through what he was going to go through – that’s where we see so much the human side of Jesus. You know, think of that fact that he actually walked on this earth like I am right now. Our Lord, our savior, he was born as a baby in the stable of muck, with lots of animals and dirt – that shows us that he came to earth as a person. We can’t forget the meaning that Jesus came as a man. That’s how I connect so much to the fact that he was a person, that allows me to have a connection with him.
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