Having been a legionary during secondary school, I had always had a special connection with the Virgin Mary. We prayed the rosary in every meeting and were told to pray it as much as we could etc. but it was nowhere close to what I have experienced in Medjugorje.

medj_8A few days before heading to Medjugorje, I was excited to see what I was going to get out from this place but I did not have a great deal of expectations. My knowledge about this place was minimal, where I did not even know much about the visionaries or that apparitions are still ongoing. I thought it was just another place where the Virgin Mary has once appeared. However, since the first day of my arrival, everything has gone so smoothly and I thought it must have been my calling to come here.

As soon as I arrived, the group leader handed me a name tag with a message from our Lady, she said “Dear children, through love you will achieve everything, even what you think is impossible.” Immediately after that, I felt like our Lady had already answered my prayer. At that moment, I was buzzing with anticipation of what our Lady wanted me to do for her and to humbly take from this place.

For the first few days of pilgrimage, the evening programs were not the most ideal thing I have ever imagined. To be honest, I think I have fallen asleep in most of the rosary sessions. However, my thoughts and feelings towards prayers and rosary were completely overturned on the night where our Lady’s apparition took place in the Apparition Hill. I felt like praying with heart is the most essential thing to do, praying rosary is just like communicating with our Lady whilst holding the rosary is just like holding our Lady’s hand. Having prayed with heart, we could truly be our Lady’s extended hand to help those who has not known God and God’s love. Even solely thinking of how joyful and happy our Lady would be when we pray our rosary, everything is just worth it. At that moment, in my mind, the one mission in my life is to live like our Lady so that I could go to heaven. (I even secretly wished that I could die right after the minute I did my confession!)

The eleven days were life changing, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. God is giving all of us everything we are and everything we have, it might be difficult for us to realise what he has done for us as there is too much going on in our lives and we have always ignored the simplest thing that gives us true joy. Medjugorje, I think, it’s a place where you find peace, joy, purity and love. With zero distraction, it’s a place where you could completely connect with God, where you could feel the presence of God through the help of our Lady. After the pilgrimage, I feel that I have a deeper connection with our Lady. I would never have thought that our heavenly mother loves us so much before I went there, she once said “If you knew how much I love you, you’d cry for joy.”

There is one thing that is vital for any of us, we do not necessarily have to tell people what God’s love is or spread the messages of our Lady by words as it is hard for people who has never experienced to understand. Instead, we apostles, should walk and live the way like Jesus did, so people could see and understand God’s love through each and every one of us. The Queen of Peace once said, “An impure heart cannot do correct and just things; it is not an example of the beauty of God’s love to those who surround it and to those who have not come to know that love.” “My children, do not forget that you are not in this world only for yourselves, and that I am not calling you here only for your sake.”

My first ever experience in Medjugorje was magnificent, it is like experiencing Heaven on Earth. I am so blessed to have this invitation from our Lady, and I thank God for that.

Hilarie Lai
June A 2018

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