This world has its future but under one condition – it has to go back to God.
Ivan, the Medjugorje visionary, speaking to a group of pilgrims on Tuesday, August 12, 2008. Ivan just returned from the United States where he and his wife welcomed into their family their 4th child, a son born the end of July.
August 12, 2008
Dear friends in Christ, at the beginning of this meeting, I would like to greet you all from the bottom of my heart. My wish is that during this short time that we are going to spend together, during this meeting, I share with you the most important things, the things that Our Lady has been inviting us to in the last 27 years. I would like to bring the messages closer to you so that we can understand them better and live the messages. Twenty-seven years ago, Our Lady knocked on the door of my heart. She has chosen me to be Her instrument, an instrument in Her hands and in the hands of God. For me and for my wife, for my family, this for sure has been a great gift, but it is also a great responsibility. I know that God has granted me a lot. I also know that He is asking a lot of me. You know that the one who is given a lot from God, God is looking for a lot from him. It is not easy and it is not simple to be with Our Lady everyday and speaking to Her everyday for 5 or 10 minutes and then after that meeting with Our Lady, come back to the world and live here on the earth. Everyday after the meeting with Our Lady, I need a few hours to come back to the reality of this world. If you could only see Our Lady just for one second, not more than a second, just a second, I don’t know whether your life here on this earth would be interesting to you anymore.
What is the most important that Our Lady has been calling us and inviting us to in all these years? Our Lady has given us many messages, but the most important messages to which Our Lady has been guiding us are the messages of peace, conversion, prayer with the heart, penance and fasting, firm faith, love, forgiveness, the Eucharist, and the message of hope. These messages that I have just mentioned, these are the most important messages, the central messages through which Our Lady has been guiding us. Our Lady, in all these years, has been simplifying these messages to us in order for us to understand them better and to live them better.
At the very beginning of the apparitions back in 1981, Our Lady introduced Herself as the Queen of Peace. The first words She spoke were, “Dear children, I’m coming because my Son is sending me here to help you. Dear children, peace, peace, peace. Peace must reign. Peace must reign throughout the world. Dear children, peace must reign between God and man and among people themselves. Dear children, this world, this mankind, is in great danger and it is in danger to destroy itself.” Those were the first words, the first messages that through us, Our Lady has directed to the world. The Mother has been coming from the King of Peace. Who can know better than the Mother how much peace today’s tired world is in need of? How much peace today’s tired families and young people of today need? How much peace today’s Church is in need of? And the Mother has been coming to us. She has been coming to us because She wants to help us. She wants to encourage us all and She wants to console us. Mother has been coming to us because She wants to point to us the things that are not good so that we can fix what is not good. She has been coming to us and She has been extending Her hands. And She has been guiding us to peace, to Her Son. In one of Her messages, Our Lady said: “Dear children, today more than ever, this world, this humanity is going through difficult moments and difficult crisis.” And the biggest crisis, the greatest one, is the crisis of faith in God, because people distance themselves from God. “Dear children, today’s world, today’s mankind, want to go towards the future without God. Dear children, prayer is not present anymore in your families.” Parents do not pray anymore together with their children. Parents do not have time for their children. Children do not have time for their parents. Mother doesn’t have time for the father, and the father doesn’t have time for the mother. There is no more faithfulness in marriages. There is no more love in families. There is a fall of morality happening. There are so many broken and tired families. There are so many abortions happening today, and the Mother is shedding Her tears because of that.
The Mother has been coming to us. She wants to take us out of this darkness to the light and towards hope. The Mother has been coming as the Mother of Hope. And Our Lady says, “Dear children, if there is no peace in man’s heart, if man is not at peace with himself, if there is no peace in families, dear children, then there can’t be peace in the world. That is why I have been inviting you.” Do not talk about peace, but start living peace. Do not talk about prayer, but start living prayer. “Dear children, only with bringing prayer into your families and bringing peace back into your families, only in that way, your family can be spiritually healed. Today’s world and today’s family are in need of spiritual healing. Today’s world, dear children, is spiritually sick.” And the Mother has been coming to us. She has been bringing us a cure, a divine medicine, a medicine for us and for our pain. She wants to heal our pain, to put bandages on our wounds with so much love, with so much tenderness and Motherly work. The Mother has been coming to us. She wants to lift this sinful mankind up. She has been coming to us because She is worried about our salvation. Our Lady says, “Dear children, I am with you. I come in your midst because I want to bring peace back, but dear children, I need you. With you, I can realize peace. That is why, dear children, decide for good and fight against evil and against sin.”
The Mother has been speaking in a simple way. So many times She has been repeating to us and She doesn’t get tired at all. Like me, in all these years, I have repeated so many times this, what I have just said to you, and I am not tired yet, because I can see that Our Lady, every day, at all, does not get tired of inviting and calling us again and again. Like all of you mothers present here, how many times did you say to your children, behave yourself, be good, study, work, be obedient, don’t do this, that is not good – thousands and thousands of times you have repeated this to your children. Isn’t it so? Are you tired yet? Is there a mother here that can say that she has only had to say something once to her children and never, ever have to repeat it again? No, there isn’t such a mother, because mothers need to repeat. A mother has to repeat so that her children will not forget. It is the same with Our Lady. In all these years, She has been repeating so that Her children do not forget. Our Lady has not come to us to bring us fear, to criticize us, to talk to us about the end of the world, or the second coming of Jesus. Our Lady has been bringing hope – hope in families, hope in the Church. Our Lady said, “Dear children, if you are strong, the Church will be strong too. If you are weak, the Church will be weak too. You are the living Church. You are the lungs of the Church. That is why, dear children, I have been inviting you – bring the prayer back into the families, pray in your families. May your families become the living Church in which people pray, in which people live the word of Christ. Dear children, there is no living Church without the living family.” That is why Our Lady says, “Dear children, this world, this humanity has its future but under one condition – it has to go back to God. It has to go back to prayer.” The world has to place God in the very first place and together with Him, we can walk towards the future.
Ivan, with a translator, about to begin his talk to a group of English-speaking pilgrims in the yellow building behind St. James Church. To the left of Ivan is a picture of Our Lady that Ivan has explained most resembles Our Lady than any other picture he has seen, though it still doesn’t come close to capturing Our Lady and Her beauty. To the right is a picture of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
In a special way, Our Lady has been inviting us to the Holy Mass, the Holy Mass as the very center of our lives. In one of Her messages She says, “Dear children, if tomorrow you have to make a decision whether to come to me, to meet me or go to Holy Mass, children, do not come to me, go to Holy Mass.” Because to go to Holy Mass means to go to meet with Jesus who is giving Himself to us in the Holy Mass to surrender ourselves to Him, to open ourselves to Him, to talk to Him, and to receive Him. In a special way, Our Lady has been calling us to monthly Confession, to adore the Blessed Sacrament, and to venerate the Holy Cross. In a special way, Our Lady has been inviting all priests to start adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in their own parishes. Our Lady has been inviting us to prayer of the Rosary in our families, to read the Holy Scripture in our families. In one of Her messages, Our Lady says, “Dear children, let the Bible be in a visible place in your family home. Read Holy Scripture. Forgive one another. Love one another.” The Mother has been carrying all of us in Her heart. So beautiful and beautifully She has said in one of Her messages, “Dear children, if you only knew how much I love you, you would cry out of joy.” That is how great the love of the Mother is.
But for sure, one of the most important messages Our Lady has been inviting us to a lot is prayer with the heart. So many times Our Lady has repeated, “pray, pray, pray, dear children.” Don’t pray just with words, don’t pray mechanically, don’t pray because it is tradition, don’t pray and look at your watch, waiting for the moment when the prayer is over. To pray with the heart means to pray out of love and with love, to pray with your whole being, so that the prayers we say can truly become a meeting with Jesus, a conversation with Jesus, so that when we end the prayer with the heart we may be filled with joy and happiness. Our Lady said, “Dear children, let prayer become joy for you. Dear children, the one who prays should not be afraid of the future.” That is why we have to decide for prayer, to be enrolled in the school of prayer, to study every day. Our Lady asks of us to pray every day for three hours, not three hours at once, not to pray the Rosary for three hours. When Our Lady asks of us to pray for three hours, She asks that the Holy Mass be included in those three hours, that we read Holy Scripture, that we pray the Rosary, that we pray in the family, that we talk to each other in our families, do good things, and help people and one another. And that is what Our Lady has been asking of us. Once there was a pilgrim who came here to Medjugorje. Then that pilgrim heard somewhere that Our Lady was asking of us to pray for three hours and then she came to me and said to me, “I can’t believe that Our Lady is asking of us to pray for three hours a day. She can’t do that, She can’t ask for that.” I tried to explain to her, but somehow she could not understand. Then the next year she came back. And when she came back, she asked the same question again, “Is Our Lady still asking of us to pray three hours a day?” Then I said to her, “You are a bit late. Our Lady is not asking for three hours, Our Lady is now asking for 24 hours a day.” And do you know what that pilgrim said? She said, “OK, OK, then I will stick to three hours.” You see that sometimes we are somehow selfish when it comes to prayer. Our Lady is not asking of us something that we cannot accept and cannot live. She is giving to us as much as we can receive and accept. Our Lady said, “Dear children, if you want to attend this school of prayer, then you have to know that in that school there are no weekends and there is no rest. You have to attend the school of prayer every single day. And, dear children, if you want to pray better, then you always have to pray more because praying more is always a personal decision, and to pray better is grace, grace given to those who pray more.” Very often, now-a-days, we say we do not have time to pray. We don’t have time to go to Mass. We don’t have time for our children, for our family. Time is always a problem. And Our Lady says, “No, dear children, time is not the problem. The problem is in love, because, dear children, if a man loves or likes something, he will always find time for that. But if a man doesn’t like or love something, he will never, ever find time for that.” That is why Our Lady has been inviting us so much to prayer. And that is why throughout all these years, Our Lady has been waking us up from this spiritual coma. She wants us to be stronger in our faith and in prayer.
This evening, during apparition time, I am going to recommend each one of you, all your needs, your families, all the sick people, and the parishes that you are coming from. I believe and I hope that we will respond to Our Lady’s call, that we will accept Her messages, and that we will become co-creators of one better and more beautiful world, the world which is worthy of children of God. May your coming here be a beginning for you, a beginning of your spiritual renewal, so that when you return home you can continue with that spiritual renewal that you started here, together with your families, with your friends, in your parishes. You try to become a new light, the lantern in your family and the lantern in your parish. Become a living sign and let us pray together with the Queen of Peace for peace in the whole world. Let us decide for God. Only in God can be find the true and only peace. Let it be so. Thank you and may God bless you.