Joe – England
Medjugorje is a really good place to go if you’re having doubts of faith and you want to see something which, in a very black or white way, will show you there is something that God is doing, or to put yourself in an environment where your faith is being lifted up by many people around you.
It’s a very special place where God is giving the grace of the apparitions of Our Lady. It seems that He’s also giving the grace for a lot of answers to prayer here as well.
Mirjana said the other day that it’s not bad to be skeptical, but I’d say come with an open heart. Look at the pictures of the children having apparitions, and think for yourself if that looks real to you because to me, I find that very convincing.
It’s one of those things that is quite easy to judge from afar, but when you’re up close, in the midst of everything, that’s the best way to make your decision.
Hearing Mirjana’s testimony was the highlight for me of being here. You get another insight into what the whole thing is about. The way she talks about the importance of love that Our Lady communicated with her, living out what seems like basic aspects of faith like prayer and fasting and Mass and confession, because the messages came directly to her, you can just see when somebody really means something, when somebody really understands something, so that they can say the same words as somebody else, but it enters into you and you’re convinced by them. I had that feeling.
I think Mirjana is great. She’s really funny and quick witted and also very normal and down to earth. She doesn’t seem like, “Oh, I’m so pious.” She’s very real. It shows that Our Lady chooses normal people.
It’s sometimes quite mysterious the way God works. God gives a message to Our Lady to bring to earth that we then pray back to Our Lady and She then prays back to God who originally initiated the whole thing. It just seems to be the way that God wants us to participate in His life, by using His Blessed Mother. It’s sometimes hard to put your finger on exactly why God would do anything, but I think it’s very clear that He is working like this, and it’s the way that He wants to reveal His messages and the way that He wants us to receive answers to prayer.
It’s quite powerful going around and seeing all the people reverencing the sites of the apparitions and coming here and saying there’s more to life than just what we see in front of us. Every person honoring a site of an apparition is honoring the fact that God is real and that God wants to interact with us.
As with many places of pilgrimage, having a week where you’ve gone to confession, you’ve fasted, you’re praying much more than you usually would, it really opens you up. Many people, including myself, find that doing those things gives God the space to act. It really fills you up to be able to get a fresh perspective for when you go back among your friends.
It’s really powerful to see so many people so reverent and so filled with faith like this. You really do feel part of the one Body of Christ when you’re all together giving glory to God and having similar experiences of God’s presence and God’s way of reaching us like He has here. It really leaves its mark on the heart.