Reflection in January 2003

Reflection in January 2003

Reflection on the Message of January 25, 2003

PRAY FOR PEACE

“Dear children! With this message I call you anew to pray for peace. Particularly now when peace is in crisis, you be those who pray and bear witness to peace. Little children, be peace in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of January 25, 2003

The Blessed Virgin Mary calls her children again; she calls all those who want to hear her motherly voice and respond to the voice of peace. The call is given in love and leaves us freedom to accept it. In Our Lady’s motherly voice there is no intimidation, no threatening, no pessimism, no fear and no panic. Her voice and her words come from a heart that is pacified in God. She sees well the situation of the world, but she is not in despair because of it. She also sees well the crisis of the world, of men, of the family, of youth and of old people, but she also sees well the possibility of these same men to reach peace and to witness the peace that she gives us, and to which she invites us. Mary, our Mother, wishes to lead us to the experience of a heart full of peace that we can obtain through abandonment to God, without effort and without tension. This is what the psalmist speaks about: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.” (Ps 131)

We have to develop trust and exercise ourselves in trust in the Almighty who wants to give us this experience. Such an experience of trust and peacefulness is a treasure from which one can live and which can be given to others. I believe that each one of us has had the experience of an encounter with an aggressive person, but also with a person whose heart is pacified. We run away from those who are aggressive, we avoid them because they bring trouble and threaten our peace. On the contrary, we are ennobled by an encounter with a person whose heart is pacified, a person who makes no offence, utters no calumny, does not attack, has no hatred in the heart. We can feel that such an encounter make us take part in the peace of that person. The most frequent cause of peacelessness and tension is mistrust, which engenders a feeling of being threatened. Ladislaus Boros says in connection to this: “True Christianity knows the power of meekness, knows holiness of character, and the power of abandonment. A new strength enters into the world where those, who bear witness in their blood tremble in pain and still persevere without being revolted and without perverting their suffering by hatred, desire of vengeance or vanity. It is a great delight to encounter a truly meek person. She can set her seal on the entire life of another.”

These are fruits of faith and of trust that the Holy Spirit produces in us. Faith bestows on our life relaxation and peace. To believe in someone means to have the possibility to come to know this person. If I do not trust someone, I cannot come to know this person, because I am closed. It is the same with our relationship to God. If I do not believe what Jesus tells me in the Gospel, I will never be able to make the experience of what He promises me by his word.

Words of Our Lady’s message, just as the Gospel, may seem distant, idealistic and impossible to be put into practice in our lives. Our Lady’s message reminds me of Jesus’ words: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5,48) At first sight, it is an almost impossible demand. The Gospel really demands from humans what is impossible for human strength. This impossible demand of the Gospel would like to lead us not to rely on ourselves but on God. Only then shall we have peace. If we try to put these demands into practice by our own strength, we shall be defeated and frustrated. Women in Africa usually carry loads on their head, and if they keep them in a good balance, they can walk many kilometres with them. If loads are not in a good balance, they will hurt their back after only a few meters. In the same way, we have to understand well the Gospel, which does not support loads, according to the words of St. John: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 Jn 5,3). Let us rely on God. May He become more important for us then we are important for ourselves. Let us allow Him to take initiative in our lives, because it is more important what He does in us then what we do ourselves. Let us allow His love to touch us, so that His peace may come into our lives, our words, our encounters and our deeds.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, January 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in February 2003

Reflection in February 2003

Reflection on the Message of February 25, 2003

PEACE IS A PRECIOUS GIFT FROM GOD

“Dear children! Also today I call you to pray and fast for peace. As I have already said and now repeat to you, little children, only with prayer and fasting can wars also be stopped. Peace is a precious gift from God. Seek, pray and you will receive it. Speak about peace and carry peace in your hearts. Nurture it like a flower which is in need of water, tenderness and light. Be those who carry peace to others. I am with you and intercede for all of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of February 25, 2003

Our Lady’s words, just as her love for us, her children, remain unchanged. As in the last message, she calls us also today to prayer and fasting for peace. She presented herself here as Queen of Peace who brings and gives us peace. Many have experienced it in their hearts. They took this peace into their daily life. Although in her messages she addresses herself to everyone, saying “dear children”, as a mother she speaks to each one individually, to each heart. Starting with the individual, peace spreads into the family and from the family into the people and into the whole society. It is important to answer to this call personally. Everything starts with the individual. We should not expect and wait for others to be converted, to become better, to believe, but it is important to turn ma heart personally to the Mother who leads us to Jesus – the King of Peace. She sees well how much men are threatened, how much peace is threatened in human hearts. She knows well that peacelessness and hatred come from a troubled heart. She offers us a remedy for this and such heart.

Our Lady has neither revealed something new here, nor has she brought something unknown. Our Lady addresses us the same invitation as the Prophets in the Old Testament: conversion of hearts, faith, fasting and prayer. According to the witness of the visionaries, Our Lady has invited us all to peace, to fasting and prayer, to conversion and a strong faith. From the beginning of the apparitions to August 14, 1984, people were fasting one day a week. On the vigil of the Assumption 1984, through the visionary Ivan, she gave us this message: “I would like the people to pray along with me these days. And to pray as much as possible! And to fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays, and every day to pray at least one Rosary: the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.”

There are many other messages in which Our Lady invited us to fast: On September 20, 1984, Our Lady invited us: “Dear children! Today I call on you to begin fasting with the heart. There are many people who are fasting, but only because everyone else is fasting. It has become a custom which no one wants to stop.” On September 26, 1985: “Dear children! … 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.” On September 4, 1986: “Dear children! Today again I am calling you to prayer and fasting. You know, dear children, that with your help I am able to accomplish everything and force Satan not to be seducing to evil and to remove himself from this place. … Therefore, dear children, my call to you is that your day would be only prayer and complete surrender to God…”

In the message of July 25, 1991, Our Lady said: “Dear Children! … At this time peace is being threatened in a special way, and I am seeking from you to renew fasting and prayer in your families. Dear children, I desire you to grasp the seriousness of the situation and that much of what will happen depends on your prayers and you are praying a little bit. Dear children, I am with you and I am inviting you to begin to pray and fast seriously as in the first days of my coming…”

In the message of April 25, 1992, she told us: “Dear children! Today also I invite you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped…”

We need to recall Our Lady’s words, but even more to take them to our heart and put them into practice in our lives. It happens that we forget the words, but if we take them seriously, they will lead us to the source, to Jesus, from whom Mary takes and brings the desired peace of heart and soul.

The Blessed Virgin Mary invites us often to fasting, but even more often to prayer. Fasting is a prayer of the body. Fasting cannot go by itself. It is always linked to prayer, to almsgiving and works of charity. Jesus himself speaks about the power of fasting (cf. Mk 9,29). In her messages, Our Lady says that through prayer and fasting war also can be stopped. Our Holy Father John-Paul II also invited and keeps inviting all Christians to prayer and fasting for peace in the world. This is the only way for overcoming difficult and deep crisis in the world: through fasting to obtain the conversion of hearts, and to stop the wars that are begotten in human hearts. Thos who pray are more useful for the world then those who fight, and if things are bad in the world or become worse and worse, it is because there are more warriors than those who pray. Let us become warriors in Our Lady’s school of prayer and of love, so that – from day to day – we may come closer to God, belong more to God, and with us also this world.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje February 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in March 2003

Reflection in March 2003

Reflection on the Message of March 25, 2003

DO NOT LOSE HOPE

“Dear children! Also today I call you to pray for peace. Pray with the heart, little children, and do not lose hope because God loves His creatures. He desires to save you, one by one, through my coming here. I call you to the way of holiness. Pray, and in prayer you are open to God’s will; in this way, in everything you do, you realize God’s plan in you and through you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of March 25, 2003

Also in this message, the Blessed Virgin Mary tells us: “Pray with the heart and do not lose hope”. It may happen that we lose hope, that we have the impression that God does not hear, as if he withdrew from this world and from his creatures. But can God forget what he has created?

In Our Lady’s words, we can feel an indestructible hope in spite of all the menaces of war, catastrophes and dark prognostics that fill the newspapers. Mary tells us that we are also responsible for peace. Peace does not come without our implication. Surely it is more easy to remember God when we are struck by a hardship or a calamity. War threat and threat against life itself awaken us from spiritual sleep and we remember that there is someone who is absolute, almighty and not threatened as we are. This is why we have to find again the foundations and the source of our life, the rock on which we shall build our life and this world, and on which we shall lean.

In Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter “At the beginning of the new millennium”, we can also feel hope in spite of all that does not awaken any hope in a better future.

In Jesus Christ, our God lived on this earth and had the body, just as us, walked on the paths of our life. Jesus and Mary were not spared from suffering, cross, sorrows and joys of life. We can either give in to despair or cling to faith. Discouragement or faith. We can lean on God, on the world of God, without any other support, just like St. Peter when he jumped into the water counting on the world of Jesus, who said, “Come!” (cf. Mt 14,29) He believed in Jesus. Faith and hope are vary close, almost identical.

This is what Peguy writes: “I am not surprised, says God, that people believe in me. It is enough for them to look at my creatures and they will believe. Love also does not surprise me, because it is a gain for them if they love one another, it us useful for them. But hope, hope amazes me.”

Great saints were not tempted directly against faith or against charity. Jesus himself in the garden of Gethsemane was tempted against hope. Little Teresa from Lisieux, on her deathbed, was also tempted against hope when the devil told her: “My dear, do you really think that there is something after death?” The Cure of Ars, who packed several times his luggage to run away from Ars, has not done it because he was losing faith or love, but because he saw no hope at all.

There is one means to make us learn to hope, the same that Jesus used when he was tempted against hope or provoked to be unfaithful from the will of the Father, which was often so rigid: he spent night in prayer. The source of hope is prayer, and prayer demands from us to be awake. In order to practice hope, we have to become permanently available as Mary, who expressed it through her YES to the will of God. Through her yes, God has done great things. A human yes open the door to God so that he may enter into this world and save it. Today also, Mary pronounces this yes through her coming here, inviting us on the path of holiness.

Our Holy Father invites us on the path of holiness. In his letter “Novo Millennio Ineunte” (31), he says: “It would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity.” In his Speech on the Mountain, Jesus says: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5,48). As if he wanted to tell us: be happy as your heavenly Father is happy. In the words of Mary, our Mother, let us hear the echo of the words of Jesus, and let us allow her to lead us to him.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, March 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in April 2003

Reflection in April 2003

Reflection on the Message of April 25, 2003

DECIDE ALSO TODAY FOR GOD

“Dear children! I call you also today to open yourselves to prayer. In the foregone time of Lent you have realized how small you are and how small your faith is. Little children, decide also today for God, that in you and through you He may change the hearts of people, and also your hearts. Be joyful carriers of the risen Jesus in this peaceless world, which yearns for God and for everything that is from God. I am with you, little children, and I love you with a special love. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of April 25, 2003

In her messages, the Blessed Virgin Mary often mentions the word “today”, now, the present moment. She wants to say to us that yesterday is gone, that tomorrow has not arrived yet, that there is only today, now. Now I can decide for God and for prayer, now I can become believer or unbeliever. How many people live split up between yesterday and tomorrow, without living today, never being present to themselves in this time that God gives us. The majority of the messages of Our Lady start with: ” I call you also today”. Nothing has changed in the force, the love, the challenge of her calls and her messages. She remains the same, because she does not need any change. Let us ask ourselves how much we have changed or how much we remained unchanged. Because, the one does not advance on the way of faith moves back undoubtedly. The spiritual life is neither ease, nor comfort, but a permanent combat on the paths of faith, according to the words of Job: “Isn’t human life on earth a combat?” (Cf. Jb 7,1a) How much combat to ensure the material existence, how much more of it than on the spiritual way of faith in God! Jesus himself invites us and says: ” Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Mt 26,41)

The time of Lent was a gift and an occasion to see ourselves in truth in front of God. In this message, Our Lady calls us to this same truth. In front of God, we are always small and only creatures, dependent in everything on our Creator. It is a grace to recognize and realise how much we are small and how much our faith is small. Nobody can say: “I believe in God hundred percent, I cannot believe more”, “I love God so much that I cannot love him more”. We always discover spaces within us where we did not allow yet God to enter.

Our Lady invites us to make a decision: “Decide Also Today for God”. Each one of us is responsible for his life and decisions. Mary can call us maternally, but she cannot do it in our place. She did all that she could. She can love us, but cannot live our life in our place, nor die in our place. She does not take away from us the freedom of our decision, just like God the Father did not take away from her the freedom of her decision when he sent the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. In her freedom, Marie could say: “It is too difficult for me, it is beyond my forces and my capacities” Freely, she pronounced her “yes” to God. Today, she speaks and gives witness that she was not mistaken, and this is why she knows that we will not make a mistake if we decide for God. According to words of Sainte Therese of Avila, “God awaits our decision for to do then everything himself in us”. Without our decision, he cannot, he does not want to act against our free will. If we allow it, God can change our hearts and the hearts of the others in us and through us. We cannot do it. We cannot convert anybody by our efforts to convince, our preaching and our fine words, intelligent and human. It is the work of God. What we can do, it is to prepare the ground in our heart for him, it is to create space for God within us. Then only, the Risen One will have place to enter into this peaceless world, which yearns for God and for everything that is from God. In his Confessions, St. Augustin confirms it: “You encourage it to seek joy by praising you, because you created us for you and our heart is without peace as long as it does not rest in you”. (Confessions I,1)

Mary gives us the promise to be and remain with us. She came to us and she continues to come with a heart full of a motherly love, to give it to all those who wish to open and receive her love. Let us allow her to lead us. Let us not be afraid, like she was not afraid to give her life to God.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje April 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in May 2003

Reflection in May 2003

Reflection on the Message of May 25, 2003

PRAY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Renew your personal prayer, and in a special way pray to the Holy Spirit to help you pray with the heart. I intercede for all of you, little children, and call all of you to conversion. If you convert, all those around you will also be renewed and prayer will be a joy for them. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of May 25, 2003

All along these years of apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary tells us with the same love and with the same exigency (or better insistence?): “Today I call you to prayer.” Into these few words, she has put her heart and all her love for us, her children. She aspires after our conversion; she desires it, so that we may be happy. She is neither predicting the future nor satisfying our human curiosity; she distinctly tells us what God wants of us today. Through her, God tells us what is most important – he tells us everything – because she gave birth to Christ, the Word of God.

“Renew your personal prayer.” Mary speaks to each heart individually. She does not address herself to the crowds, but to the individual, to the person, by name and first name. To you and to me. She knows well that the world can be changed only while beginning with the individual. Nothing will happen if we wait until the others change, until they become better, until they start to pray, to forgive, and to live their life and their faith more consciously and with more responsibility. It is much easier to change and to overcome others then oneself.

Prayer is a means that helps us to change ourselves. If our prayer does not change us, we should change our prayer and our manner to pray. The prayer has no meaning in itself if it does not transform us, if – through prayer – our heart is not growing, is not coming closer to God. This is why Our Lady tells us: “Pray to the Holy Spirit.” In the Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul tells us: “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rm 8,26)

A prayer says: “Come, Holy Spirit, come in our cities, in our homes, in our families, in our glances, in our hearts. Without you, we read books and do not become wise. Without you, we dialogue much and do not come closer to one another. Without you, reality consists in dry events, facts and numbers. Without you, our life falls apart into a succession of meaningless days. Without you, there is no fidelity. Without you, our thoughts become delirious. Without you, technology destroys us. Without you, churches become museums. Without you, prayer is just babbling. Without you, our smile becomes petrified. Without you, our environment becomes a desert. Come, Holy Spirit, our emptiness cries after your fullness! Come, Spirit Creator, make your dwelling in our world!”

We could and should continue to pray and to invoke the Holy Spirit to come, to descend on all the spaces of our life where He has not come yet. We need Him to come down and enter into our families, where there is incomprehension, ill treatment, exploitation and accusation. We need Him to come where there is hatred, blasphemy, drunkenness and immorality, where people are captive, bound by sin and despaired.

“If you convert, all those around you will also be renewed.” It is impossible that those around us remain unchanged, if we are on the way of conversion. This is why Gospa told us in the message of the last month: “Decide for God, that in you and through you He may change the hearts of people.”

For all these reasons, God sends us Mary, our Mother. Wherever she appears, the presence of the Holy Spirit ignites and flowers. Many people made this experience in Medjugorje, coming on pilgrimage with an open and contrite heart, with the desire to come closer to Jesus through Mary. Where there is Mary, there also is the Holy Spirit. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. We know it with certainty through the word of the angel Gabriel: “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Almighty will overshadow you.” (Lk 1,35) We also know it through the word of Jesus to the apostles, namely to remain in town waiting for the descent of the Spirit that was promised. Indeed, they received the Spirit, in the Last Supper room, united in prayer with Mary.

May the Pentecost that is approaching be not spiritless – without the Spirit of God whom God wants to give us through Mary.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje May 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in June 2003

Reflection in June 2003

Reflection on the Message of June 25, 2003

RENEW MY MESSAGES EVEN MORE, WITH NEW ENTHUSIASM AND JOY

“Dear children! Also today, I call you with great joy to live my messages. I am with you and I thank you for putting into life what I am saying to you. I call you to renew my messages even more, with new enthusiasm and joy. May prayer be your daily practice. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of June 25, 2003

The Gospel is the Joyful News. Joy resounds in all its pages, because God has decided to visit and save his people. At the Visitation to Elizabeth, Mary cried out: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!” (Lk 1,46) At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel greets Mary with the words: “Hail (rejoice), full of grace… Do not be afraid, Mary: for you have found favour with God.” (Lk 1,28.30)

Today, Mary, Queen of Peace, speaks to us with great joy, and she wants us also to be joyful. To live her messages means to be led to true joy. To follow the voice of the Mother means to find a home and safety. To obey to her voice means to become more joyful, liberated and redeemed; friends of God, to whom Mary guides us. Her messages are like signposts on the road, so that we do not get lost. We need these signals to find an unknown place. However, if we remain still, we will never arrive. We have to start walking and to keep on walking. The way will perhaps not always be paved or straight, but it is important to walk. On the way, we will stumble, fall, bleed… but it is the goal that counts, God, the source of life, for whom our heart languishes.

Mary knows the way better than us; she knows Jesus better than we know him. The purpose of her messages is to make us join with and meet Jesus. Mary wants us to be joyful. Our joy is also her joy, just as our sufferings are also her sufferings.

Mary thanks us, whereas it is us who should thank her for her presence, her proximity, her patience. She loves us with a disinterested love, as if she was asking us: “May I love you? Will you allow me to lead you to life, to joy?”

Mary knows well the human heart. She knows that it glows easily, and that its enthusiasm disappears even more easily. This is why she told us: ‘Renew the enthusiasm of the first days of my coming’, and today, she tells us: “Renew my messages even more, with new enthusiasm and joy”. The first days and the first years of her coming were full of enthusiasm, of joy, of readiness to suffer and to give all for Our Lady and for God. However, narrow and selfish human interests enter easily into this small corner of Heaven that Mary offers to us here; interests that darken the eyes of our hearts, which, then, cannot recognize any more the Heaven that came to us, and that continues to come here, to Medjugorje, through Mary.

What occurs here is a gift from Heaven, a visitation of grace, which can remain fruitless for us if we do not receive it with a humble and open heart. We receive Mary in so far as we love our neighbours, in so far as the strength to support daily crosses grows in us. We receive Mary in so far as we are able to forgive more easily, to raise ourselves above the earthly dirt towards which our weakness attracts us, towards which this world draws us, offering much, but finally taking away everything.

Mary does not threaten us when she says: “A time will come when I will no longer be with you in this way”. The nearness of her heart, and of her soul means time of grace. This is why Mary, Queen of Peace, today, on this 22nd anniversary of her apparitions, attracted so many hearts and such crowds, who are hungry and thirsty for God. Mary knows to whom she is coming, but all the pilgrims, who came today and who came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje during all these years, also know to whom they are coming to. In Mary, they recognized their Mother, the Mother of the Saviour (like Elisabeth did), and they were not mistaken.

Today, Mary wants to awaken all the hearts that are asleep. She can do it and she wants to do it. She is doing it today. Let us help her, so that she can help us. Let us approach her by our daily prayer; because without prayer we cannot be close to her Heart and to the Heart of her Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Let us allow her to lead us to joy and peace – to Jesus. Let us allow her that.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje 26.6.2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in July 2003

Reflection in July 2003

Reflection on the Message of July 25, 2003

ONLY IN THIS WAY EACH OF YOU WILL DISCOVER PEACE

“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Little children, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you. Only in this way each of you will discover peace in the heart and your soul will be content. You will feel the need to witness to others the love that you feel in your heart and life. I am with you and intercede before God for all of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of July 25, 2003

Gospa, Queen of Peace and Mother of all men, is perseverant as all the mothers who want that their children walk on the right path into life. Mary, our Mother, does not want to remove from us the weight of the responsibility, of a personal and free choice of God, as she was never deprived from the free decision when she said to the angel: “Let it be done to me according to your word”. Mary, just like Jesus, treats us with much patience. While addressing herself to us, she never offends our freedom. In the Gospel, Jesus speaks in the form of parables, so that each one may freely and without any pressure decide for the Kingdom of God. Our Lady could appear without problem to all, but she wants to leave intact our freedom and our choice of God, who comes so close to us here through her. Today – as much as in the Gospels – we can despise this grace, leave it unused. God gives Himself to us completely freely and so simply. The messages of Our Lady, given during these 22 years of grace, speak precisely in favour of this simplicity.

Mary calls us also today, putting between our hands the same means: prayer. The means is always the same, but God is never the same. He never repeats himself. With Him, one is never bored. Only when we follow Him, we discover how little we know Him, how little we know ourselves. Prayer always leads to joy, more precisely to God who is the source of joy.

“Only in this way each of you will discover peace”, tells us Mary. There is no other way or other means to approach God. This is precisely the means, which appears most difficult today, and which one escapes mostly, finding thousand reasons and excuses. In front of oneself and of God, we can always recognize to oneself and to God how little we pray. We pray much less then our soul needs. As for our body, we can easily feel when it needs food. Our soul is hidden within us, and it is thus easier for us to neglect it. It arrives thus that it cries and shouts, and we forget and neglect it. Our body needs hygiene and bathing, and it is the same way with our soul. Only the One Who created it and Who knows it best can bathe it. We do not know ourselves enough, the others know us even less; God alone is the One who knows and who scrutinises the secrets of our hearts. If we neglect ourselves, we discover consequences: nervousness, dissatisfaction, restlessness, tension, incapacity to forgive and to live in joy. We ask then ourselves from where all can that may come? The reason is in the malnutrition and the negligence of our soul. Our Lady does not talk about possible negative consequences, but her words show us the way to God, all the positive, good and holy for which human heart yearns.

“You will feel the need to witness to others the love that you feel in your heart”, tells us Mary. The meaning of our seeking of God and of our coming closer to God is not to remain next to Him, which would be a spiritual selfishness. The meaning and the goal of our life is to carry God to others, to testify that He is a living God, and not a remote and hidden god. This is what Mary, our Mother, does during all these years. This is what she did after the encounter with the angel Gabriel: she carried Jesus to her cousin Elisabeth and was thus the first missionary of the love of God and of His Kingdom.

We are neither alone nor abandoned, ensures us Mary, our Mother. She is our intercessor and our advocate. No one who sought her intercession was ever forsaken. Let us entrust ourselves to her, let us entrust to her our families, in order to remain on the path of life.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, July 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in August 2003

Reflection in August 2003

Reflection on the Message of August 25, 2003

GIVE THANKS TO GOD

Dear children! Also today I call you to give thanks to God in your heart for all the graces which He gives you, also through the signs and colors that are in nature. God wants to draw you closer to Himself and moves you to give Him glory and thanks. Therefore, little children, I call you anew to pray, pray, pray and do not forget that I am with you. I intercede before God for each of you until your joy in Him is complete. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of August 25, 2003

In this message, Mary, our Mother, invites us to pray in thanksgiving for all that God has given us, and continues to give us. Whatever he has created is for us and because of us. The Book of Genesis tells us: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” (Gen 1:28b-29) God created man because of his immense love. He marked the human heart by the seal of his spirit and of his love in the most perfect way. All the other creatures are only signs of the presence of God, and a human being is the image of God. This is why the human heart does not find peace as long as it does not rest in God; this is why human beings can be pacified only by God alone. For human beings, God is a question impossible to circumvent, because He is the answer to the questions, which we ask: “To whom do I belong and to whom do I go?” Nobody and nothing can choke in us this desire, this hunger and this thirst for God. History shows us that God cannot be eliminated from the heart and the intelligence of men of all the generations. Human beings seek God in various manners and address themselves to different sources, which can be false and poisoned. With Mary, we are sure that we will find the healthy source, God Himself. She promises her intercession until our joy does not become perfect in God.

Like God looked with mercy at the humility of His maidservant Mary, He looks with mercy at each person, he loves each person. Mary invites us to look first at what surrounds us, the marvellous works of God, which themselves – without the Creator – could neither come into existence nor be. From created things and from creatures we can deduce the existence of the Creator. If the creatures can be so beautiful and so perfect, how much more is their Creator? To despise what God has created means to despise the Creator Himself. The world, which surrounds us, each person, and ourselves, are the work of the hands of the Creator and of His love. This world is God’s world and all the universe breathes the breath of life of the living God. All that we are, all that we see and what we have does not belong to us, but to God. This earth is not ours but God’s, it is his work. This is why human beings must unceasingly study this marvellous world and its laws, which he did not scrutinize yet completely. The human being, because he is a foreigner on this earth and because the earth is not his work, must examine and learn to know its laws.

A Slovak writer wrote a novel, “To Whom Belongs the Sun?”, which tells the story of a boy from a very poor family. However, he did not know that they were poor, because they lived happily. He discovered his poverty at school, when the others started to call him poor. Then, the boy asked his mother: “Why do people say that we are poor?” He received this explanation: “Because this house does not belong to us, because these things here and these things there are not ours…” The boy remained stunned. He did not know it. At the end, he raised the last, the decisive question: “And the sun, to whom does it belong?” The answer of his mother delighted him deeply: “The sun belongs to the good God.” This was the revelation of the fatherhood of God, which, thereafter, carried him during his whole life.

Let us begin to give thanks to God. Let us learn how to pray while giving thanks, not only for all that is beautiful and good in our life, but also for what is difficult, painful, and even incomprehensible, knowing that God turns everything into good for those who love Him.

Let us learn with Mary and pray with Mary.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, August 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in September 2003

Reflection in September 2003

Reflection on the Message of September 25, 2003

I DESIRE TO LEAD YOU TO THE HEART OF MY SON JESUS

“Dear children! Also today I call you to come closer to my heart. Only in this way, will you comprehend the gift of my presence here among you. I desire, little children, to lead you to the heart of my Son Jesus; but you resist and do not desire to open your hearts to prayer. Again, little children, I call you not to be deaf but to comprehend my call, which is salvation for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of September 25, 2003

Mary, our Mother, invites also today her children who have ears to hear her call. She isn’t calling us yesterday or tomorrow, but today, at this moment, which is the most important moment of our life. We can stop neither life nor time. Time goes towards its end, or rather towards its new beginning. Our Mother wants that we start to prepare ourselves for our eternity. Our future and our eternity depend on our decision today. The “today” of God resounds in the whole Bible until our days, until our “today” here through Marie.

Our Mother draws us to her immaculate, holy and maternal Heart. It is the heart that loved Jesus, which believed in Jesus, and with this same heart she loves each one of us. How many times, as today, she already said: “I desire, little children, to lead you to the heart of my Son Jesus”. The path that leads to Jesus is the path of faith and of prayer, to which Mary invites us.

Mary knows well the desires and the aspirations of the human heart. We cannot mislead our heart while proposing to it dead things, food and drink, comfort and pleasure. We need another food, the food that God offers to us. We need God’s love and His word. Today still, human beings are hungry for God, hungry for true and pure love, seek them more than things. Nothing less than God can satisfy human beings or fill their vacuum, release them from restlessness, slavery, fear and sin.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for: The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.” (CCC 27)

It is not only man who desires God; today, in a very special way through Marie in this very place, God desires man. God wants to make man happy, content, filled, but he won’t do it by force or with a stick, but with love, to which we are invited to open our doors in full freedom.

The heart of God was pierced. The sword of pain pierced the heart and the soul of Mary. The heart of Jesus and the heart of Mary do not cease bleeding and suffering because of our sins: our blasphemy, our deafness, our blindness, our resistances and our refusal to receive them. Despite everything, God calls, because he cannot keep silent seeing his creature – human being – going astray.

God did not withdraw himself from man; let us not withdraw from God, because thus, we would withdraw from ourselves and from life.

May the desire of Mary, expressed in one of her messages: “I wish that my heart, the heart of Jesus and your heart one heart of love!” (July 25, 1999) be carried out in the world and in our families in us and through us.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, September 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)

Reflection in October 2003

Reflection in October 2003

Reflection on the Message of October 25, 2003

WITH MARY, ON THE WAY OF CONVERSION AND HOLINESS

“Dear children! I call you anew to consecrate yourselves to my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus. I desire, little children, to lead you all on the way of conversion and holiness. Only in this way, through you, we can lead all the more souls on the way of salvation. Do not delay, little children, but say with all your heart: “I want to help Jesus and Mary that all the more brothers and sisters may come to know the way of holiness.” In this way, you will feel the contentment of being friends of Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of October 25, 2003

Today also, in this message, Mary, our Mother, pours out her heart full of love through these simple words. It is almost impossible to express in the words all that Mary, as a Mother, feels towards us who are her children. She wants us to be holy, which means happy, normal and healthy people. Only this is worth to be, only for that to fight with all our strength.

The desire and the prayer of Jesus and Mary are addressed to us, here and now, through Our Lady’s message. I would dare to say that Our Lady implores each one of us to begin finally to believe that God wants our good, that He loves us. God does not love only the good ones and the holy ones, but also wicked people. The problem is that all do not respond to this love. Without love, human life on earth is difficult and almost impossible – not only without the love of God, but also without human love, without human warmth, comprehension and goodness. We could not live if we had not received this love from our very birth in so many ways and in so many occasions. Love is the ground, the soil on which we can lean our life. It is the fundamental condition of life for all.

Every human being asks: “Does God love me?” If it is true that He loves me, and if I allow this truth to enter into my heart, into my thoughts, into my feelings, if I allow it to overwhelm my whole life, then my life becomes different and more beautiful. Unfortunately, there are so many negative experiences, so many experiences of evil and wickedness, which tell us the opposite and put on trial our faith in the love of God, in the love that was proved to us by Jesus and His own life. Jesus himself experienced infernal wickedness, but He did not refrain from men or from His love for men. God did not spare His own Son Jesus in order to convince us that we are loved. He allowed Himself to be crucified so that we may realize what God is ready to do for us. As for us, we should answer to the truth of this event with trust. If we respond with faith to the love of Jesus, we become eternal and indestructible.

St Paul says: “The Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Ga 2,20) Jesus loved us all with a human heart, not with a plastic heart, but with a heart that feels suffering, pain and joy, that feels all that we feel. There is no human feeling that Jesus did not feel; he felt them all, except sin.

In the heart of Mary, the desire to take us on the way of conversion and holiness does not vanish. Since the moment when – through the apostle John – Jesus entrusted each one of us to her, “Woman, behold your son!”, Mary is a Mother who does not give up, who is not afraid of such a heavy and responsible task: to lead us on the way of holiness towards God, towards life, and not just any life, but life in fullness.

“Do not delay”, Mary warns us, because a waste of time is also a loss of grace. Jesus and Mary need us, they need you and me, so that the others also, all of them, may reach life, may reach God. The one who has made the experience of the love of God cannot remain passive and uninterested in all those who have not yet made this experience. The love of God cannot be kept for oneself; one cannot take pleasure in it alone. It wants to be given to all, so that all may experience it, seek it and desire it with the whole heart. Each Christian is a missionary there where he lives, for people whom he meets and who surround him. Let us not become weary and let us not stop on the way on which calls us Mary, our Mother.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, October 26, 2003

Eucharistic Adoration

Every 4th Friday of the month
Place: Chinese Martyrs’ Catholic Church, 2755 Denison Street, Markham, ON, L3S 2J3, Canada
Time: 8:35-9:35pm (Holy Mass at 8pm)
ALL are welcome!!!

(Medjugorje Eucharistic Adoration with prayer & sharing is also held on every Friday, except 1st Friday. ALL are welcome.)