MARY, OUR MOTHER

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 5/8/2013


Deacon Lee Marshall
(c)Mary TV 2013
Deacon Lee Marshall shares his conversion story in Medjugorje!


J.M.J.
May 8, 2013

Dear Family of Mary!

"...My children, do not deviate from the way on which I am leading you. Do not recklessly walk into perdition. May prayer and fasting strengthen you so that you can live as the Heavenly Father would desire; that you may be my apostles of faith and love; that your life may bless those whom you meet; that you may be one with the Heavenly Father and my Son..." (May 2, 2013)

Our Lady is leading us in these days. She has come to us to guide us on the path that the Heavenly Father desires us to follow. This path is uniquely planned for each of us, according to our call. And if we follow that path, live that life we are called to live, we will help many others to find their own paths to the Father. This is a wonderful prospect!

I want to share the transcription of the testimony of Deacon Lee Marshall, given on the "Fruit of Medugorje" Episode 66 on May 6, 2013. ( www.marytv.tv ) Deacon Lee shares about how Our Lady of Medjugorje helped him to find the path God had laid out for him! We can learn a lot from his experience!

Deacon Lee Marshall: Fruit of Medjugorje Episode 66 - May 6, 2013

My name is Lee Marshall, I am a deacon, and God willing, in a few weeks, on the 13th of July, 2013, I am going to be ordained a priest. I came to Medjugorje for the first time on the 31st of December 2005, so I stayed for the New Year in 2006. Now this is my 12th visit (2013) so I have returned so many times to this beautiful place. When I came here for the New Year in 2006, I left a different person compared to the person I came as. I came as a man who needed healing, as a man who always believed in God but I never really experienced God. I left Medjugorje as a new person. And also for the first time in my life, I felt called to be a priest.

When I came to Medjugorje, I had just been promoted at work to the finance director of the company. I was a finance accountant. My whole life had been moving towards this ambition, the ambition to be a finance director, of being rich, of having my own house, a good salary, security, I suppose being married with a lovely wife and family. That was everything that I had ever desired. And I had fulfilled the first part of my plan by becoming the finance director. So that was the beginning of a big career as far as I was concerned.

I had just received a big salary. I was working in London and Hong Kong. The company had 350 people working for them, and they were involved in some big architectural projects, so it was an exciting time in my life.

But I came to Medjugorje, following my parent's experience. They had a big conversion in Medjugorje, and I was curious to experience what they had experienced. But I was also very frightened, I think. So I came out for that New Year, curious, but also realizing that I needed something more in my life. The job that I was doing left me empty, but I didn't really realize this at the time. I was searching for so much more than the riches that the world was giving me. That is the context of why I came here.

And over the week that I came here, my life was changed. After my Baptism, that week in 2006 was the most significant moment in my life. Though I had always believed in God I had never experienced God. And for the first time, in that week, I realized not only that God exists, but that God loved me. I was a beloved child of God. And I really felt that love, the peace, and the joy of God in my heart, and it really changed me.

Through my work, I had become quite a hard character. I was in a job that was demanding and put me in situations where I came into conflict often, and so in order to cope with that job I had become quite hard in my heart, and hard towards the people. And I discovered in Medjugorje that I wasn't that hard person. I discovered that actually I could relate to people and be happy around people and receive and give love to other people. So it was a real watershed in my life.

I also discovered the Catholic Church. I had always been, thanks to my parents, a Catholic and had gone to church, but I lived with many contradictions in my life, and I wasn't really following the faith. But in Medjugorje I discovered the beauty of the Church, and the beauty of this faith that we have.

So my story really began when over the first few days I experienced the love of God and I was just floating, floating around the place! I was so happy and joyful with everybody! And then after about 3 or 4 days I bought a painting of the Crucified Christ. It is a lovely painting and I still have it on my wall. But as soon as I bought this painting, all this peace that I had received while in Medjugorje left me. I was quite upset, I felt really anxious, and I realized that it was somehow connected with this painting that I bought.

I bought the painting because I thought it would look good on my wall. I thought it would look nice in my room that the colors would go...I bought it for very superficial reasons. And through buying this painting I realized that God wanted more than this superficial relationship that I had with Him. And so in an attempt to try to get back this peace that I had had for the past few days, I decided to go to confession.

I remember it was a cold winter night, and I was queuing up outside the confessional, and while I was waiting for confession I suddenly became aware of where this anxiety was coming from. I had this niggling feeling that God wanted me to be a priest! So I stood there waiting for confession thinking that there was absolutely no way I was going to be a priest. Why would I want to be a priest? I've got a good job, I have a nice car, I have this exciting career ahead of me. All I want is to meet that special girl and settle down and have a family. Why would God want me to be a priest?? This is a stupid idea! That was how I felt. All this just welled up in me before I went to confession!

I won't share the details of my confession, but I came out of confession a changed man. I came out of confession for the first time in my life, open to the idea of becoming a priest. But I remember walking away from that confession just wondering where did all that come from? I am 28 years old, I have never thought about that before. So I just dismissed it.

But I enjoyed the rest of my pilgrimage, I found that peace again. And I went home a happy man, but also very confused as well although I didn't realize it at the time. I went to my new job, that I had just gotten, as a finance director, and I realized I just couldn't do the job. It made no sense to me. I couldn't give myself to it because it just lacked meaning for me.

So straight away I booked another pilgrimage to Medjugorje and I came back a few months later. And in that same year I came back 4 times! Each time I tried to find out what God wanted me to do with my life. Did God want me to be a priest? Did I want to be a priest? Could I be a priest? Could I live a life of celibacy? Could I offer anything to the priesthood? All these questions were going round in my mind, and I remember that about in September of that year, nine months after my initial visit to Medjugorje, I got so impatient, so fed up with trying to discern what God wanted me to do, that I just decided I was going to forget about this priesthood business and get on with my life.

I spent a couple of months doing that. I didn't think about becoming a priest at all, and things were going well for me. I totally forgot about the idea. And then I came back to Medjugorje, and the moment the bus pulled into Medjugorje, I felt this overwhelming desire to be a priest, and it just seemed to come from nowhere. And I remember I spent most of the week just sitting by Fr. Slavko's grave in the cemetery, just asking him to pray for me, and really discerning in that week whether God wanted me to be a priest. And in that 4th trip that I made in that first year, I decided that I was going to go for it, and go to the seminary to apply for the priesthood.

So I went home and put my house on the market, and I told everyone at work that I was leaving work to try to become a Catholic priest. This was an incredible experience. I sent an email to 350 people, most of whom didn't even know I was Catholic, to tell them I was leaving work to become a Catholic priest. As you can imagine, I got some very interesting responses. I got some beautiful responses as well. About 100 people were emailing me and wanting to talk to me about the faith. That was a really blessed time in my life.

That was my journey into seminary. And it all came from Medjugorje. It came like a bolt out of the blue. I had had no idea that this was what God had planned for me. It was a beautiful experience, and I owe everything to Mary, Our Lady, Queen of Peace, in Medjugorje. I owe her my life, I think, because up to that point I was just existing, I wasn't living.

I would like to finish by sharing two quotations. The first one is from Blessed John Henry Newman. And it is something that has become important to me over the last few years. I will just give the beginning of the quotation. It starts: "God has created me to do Him some definite service."

God has created ME to do HIM some definite service!

And if you think about it, God has created each of us uniquely and individually in His image. Everybody is different and He has created each of us for a very specific purpose, to do some service for God. And I have discovered that that service in my life is to serve Him as a priest. And what an incredible life that is. And now I look back and try to imagine living my life in any other way but the way God has created me to do, and it just fills me with sadness. And I think of all the other people who don't ask God what He has created them for, who He has created them to be, and it is really sad. I think that is part of the message of Medjugorje, that call to conversion which is a call to become who we are meant to be, it is a call to become children of God.

And the second quotation is from St. Catherine of Siena. She said that if we are who we are meant to be we will set the whole world ablaze, we will set the whole world on fire. If we become the person we are meant to be we will set the world on fire. And I have discovered that in these last 7 years since coming to Medjugorje. And what is ahead of me, God willing, in a few months as a priest, is to set the world ablaze with my life. And I have seen it with so many others. That opportunity is there for all of us if we just open our hearts to Our Lady of Medjugorje, she will work miracles in our lives, and through our lives we will set the world on fire. We will convert the world. And I am just so grateful that I answered that call to come to Medjugorje in 2006, and I am grateful for all those amazing blessings I have received in those 7 years since then, and hopefully I will receive in the future and pass on to other people! Thank you for listening to my testimony and God bless!

Deacon Lee has chosen not to deviate on the way that Our Lady is leading him. He struggled with that way, and prayed and discerned, but in the end he chose to follow Our Lady's lead, and become the person God created him to be. And now he will help Our Lady to set the world ablaze! This is indeed the miracle of Medjugorje. We go to Medjugorje to find out about Our Lady, and we end up finding out about ourselves! We find out who we are, and what God has created us to be and do! It is incredible! We are given the gift of ourselves, the persons God has made us to be. In that discovery there is incredible peace and joy!

Thank you, Mother Mary, for coming to Medjugorje to introduce us to the plan of God for each of us! Thank you for leading us on that way. Don't stop for a moment!!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013

 

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 "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"   
Blessed John Paul II  -
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