Training in Our Lady's School!
(c)Josip Zubac, 2012
February 21, 2013
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! I thank you for all the prayers. Thank you for all the sacrifices. I wish to tell you, dear children, to renew the messages which I am giving you. Especially live the fast, because by fasting you will achieve and cause me the joy of the whole plan, which God is planning here in Medjugorje, being fulfilled. Thank you for having responded to my call."(September 26, 1985)
Fasting is an important part of Lent. Our Lady has been firm and consistent in her call to fasting. From the very beginning of the Apparitions, she has asked for fasting. She has told us that fasting will bring about the plan of God in Medjugorje! It must be important. But it seems that this call has been difficult for many of us. Fr. Slavko spoke well about fasting in his talk to pilgrims in 1997:
Collaboration with Our Lady is very important.
I am sorry when the people say, "Oh I am sorry she is asking us 150 Hail Marys, confessions, two days of fasting, etc." When you forget why, it is almost impossible to do. But we know why. She wants us to be people of peace, of love and freedom. It will be normal for us to do it.
Especially fasting! Fasting, you know, for many people is the big problem. But really with fasting you can discover its importance on the physical level, mental level and spiritual level.
For the physical level, I see Our Lady like a mother who wasn't home for a long time, and the children found the mountain of chocolates in the house. And with both hands they were eating the chocolate....imagine! A wonderful picture of the children, yah! The mother came suddenly in and said, "Stop, leave everything with the hands, and only take one piece...it is enough for you today."
We are suffocating in the material things. We are continuously in the situation of original sin. Read again the story of Eve. What she saw was seducing for the eyes, and she took it. I am sure if she had said to God, "Look, my Lord, I was hungry and I saw it and I took it and I have eaten. It would not have been a problem. But it was seducing. This is what we are doing now with ourselves. You know how beautiful are the designs of the chocolates and other things...you see and you have to taste...(It is not nice to speak of these things on a Friday, but I have to tell you these things)...And how often, because it is beautiful for our eyes, we develop the appetite, yah? We didn't ask our body, our stomach, our kitchen, "Do you need more?" We just put in more and more...and we are damaging the health.
And it is very important to understand life. I do not want to simplify the things in life. But for example, look, if you have a beautiful painting, if you are too close to this painting, you only see a little. Even if it is very beautiful, you don't know why it is there because you do not see the collective reality. But what if you see a black spot? There are shadows in every painting. If you see a shadow you say, "What is this?" To see the whole picture, you have to go back a little bit. Then you see why the black spot is there, why the shadow is there. You see everything. If we are too close to the material things, we do not see, we only see something. And after that we do not know why it is there. Why health, why sickness, why anything?
She wants to help us to create this inner freedom. It goes with fasting. Begin this with children. Not giving them bread on Friday and Wednesday, but telling them to take only what they really need. And the superficial things, leave until tomorrow. Everything belongs to you, but wait 24 hours. Waiting, you know...this is like inner training.
So many people, especially young people, are nervous. They lose their nerves. Why? They didn't lose their nerves. They lost inner freedom. They have no time to wait. Be sure of this, Our Lady is the last one who wants to see you with cramps in your stomach. But she is loving us. She knows what we need. She is a good trainer. A trainer, you know what a trainer is, the man at the sports clubs. If he doesn't have the courage to ask the young men to do the very heavy training, he might as well stop everything. He will never have good results. But if he wants good results, he has to have courage to ask for effort. This is the way in the school of Our Lady. (Fr. Slavko Barbaric, talk to pilgrims in April 1997 in Medjugorje. "Fruit of Medjugorje, Episode 54.)
Fr. Slavko was not afraid to speak about the realities of our lives. He was not afraid to challenge us in the areas we most like to hide. Like Our Lady, he was a good trainer, one who had the courage to ask a lot of his team. We are Our Lady's team. She is asking a lot of us. But not to punish us. No! She wants to train us into people who are interiorly free, able to wait, able to set our needs aside for the good of others, people who can love and believe, pray and sacrifice. Her training method is embedded in her messages. If we live her messages we will become spiritually and physically and mentally fit! We will be healthy and capable of being apostles of her messages. This Lent, may we have the courage to answer our Mother's call, and submit to her training!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2013
PS. Don't forget to watch "Tea with Rosie" for this week. Franjo shares a beautiful story about the very first days of the apparitions!! And "Fruit of Medjugorje" will air at 8:00 pm EST!!