Reflection in January 2002

Reflection in January 2002

Reflection on the Message of January 25, 2002

Look Deeply Into Your Heart

“Dear children! At this time, while you are still looking back to the past year I call you, little children, to look deeply into your heart and to decide to be closer to God and to prayer. Little children, you are still attached to earthly things and little to spiritual life. May my call today also be an encouragement to you to decide for God and for daily conversion. You cannot be converted, little children, if you do not abandon sins and do not decide for love towards God and neighbour. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of January 25, 2002

Mary, our Mother, calls us to turn our eyes away from the past, from the past year, and to look into our own heart where God dwells. The past has passed, the future is not yet here, all that exists is today, now, this moment, which will never be repeated. It is from our “now” that depends our future. It is now that I decide or do not decide for God. It is now that I can decide for prayer, now I can open or close my heart to God. In her messages, Mary has often spoken about the heart. “Pray with the heart, fast with the heart, adore my Son with the heart, follow me with the heart…” We have physical organs: eyes to see, ears to hear, and we have a heart with which to pray. We can recite prayers without the heart; we can do so many things without the heart. Cooks can prepare meals without the heart, doctors can treat patients without heart, sellers can work in shops without the heart, employees in a bad mood can wait for their clients in their offices. All of this is like food without salt, and so everything becomes insipid and lifeless. This is why Mary, our Mother, wants to awaken our sleeping hearts.

The Little Prince tells in the tale: “Only with the heart one can see well. The essential remains hidden to our eyes.” Sometimes, it is necessary even to close our eyes to see better. It is with our heart that we can feel God, not with our intellect.

We can also approach God with our heart, not only with our intellect. When the Bible and Our Lady speak about the heart, they think neither of a bodily organ, nor of emotions, feelings of joy or sorrow, but of a spirit, which – although we do not see it with our eyes – we feel that it is at work. It is just like seeing a tree: We do not see the roots, but we know that they exist, because the tree lives from it.

Why is it so difficult to detach ourselves from the earthly things that do not satiate us, but cheat us? Saint Paul said: I do know what is good, but I do not have the strength to realise it. Poor man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body submitted to death? Praise be to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! (Cf: Rm 7:14-25)

Our Lady puts the means into our hands, and it depends on us whether we will listen to her or not. We are like a drowning man to whom someone has thrown a life raft. It depends on him, if he will catch it or not. Our Lady’s hand is extended to each one of us. Let us take it today, not tomorrow! Let us clasp at least the fringe of her robe, so that she may take us from darkness, from lack of trust, doubts and disappointments into a new life with Christ.

Our Lady’s hand is outstretched to each one of us. Let us take it today, not tomorrow! Let us catch at least the fringe of her robe, so that she may save us from darkness, from distrust and deception and take us into a new life with Christ. It is therefore necessary to reject every sin: lying, egoism, hatred, pride, blaspheme, licentiousness, drunkenness, wickedness… Without this, we cannot go forward, just as we cannot navigate on the sea in a boat, which is tied to the shore. We can row in vain. It is necessary to untie the boat. We also have to untie ourselves from all that makes us captive and trapped, so that Mary, our Mother, may take us to Christ.

Peace and good to you!

Medjugorje, January 26th, 2002
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, OFM

Reflection in February 2002

Reflection in February 2002

Reflection on the Message of February 25, 2002


“Dear children! In this time of grace, I call you to become friends of Jesus. Pray for peace in your hearts and work for your personal conversion. Little children, only in this way will you be able to become witnesses of peace and of the love of Jesus in the world. Open yourselves to prayer so that prayer becomes a need for you. Be converted, little children, and work so that as many souls as possible may come to know Jesus and His love. I am close to you and I bless you all Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of February 25, 2002

The time of Lent we now go through is a time of grace, the Blessed Virgin Mary tells us in her message. The time of grace began with the coming of Jesus Christ. In many preceding messages, Our Lady attracted our attention to this reality within us and around us. Her presence here is a grace and a gift for those who receive Her as the Mother of their lives and the Mother of their peace. Each word of hers and each message is a call of a motherly heart addressing the heart of men.

Also through this message, Mary, our Mother, wants us to become the friends of Jesus: to be strangers no longer, but friends who come to know Him better each day. Also amongst ourselves, we can become true friends for one another only if we are the friends of Jesus. We can be considered believers and Christians, we can go for Sunday Mass, we can go for confession regularly, we can live our faith more or less exteriorly without knowing Jesus and without being His friends. We can never say that we know Jesus enough. We can only seek Him and find Him, because He went first to seek us. According to St John the Apostle: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.”(1 Jn 4:10)

A most beautiful experience of the love of God and of His closeness, obtained through prayer by Saint Monica for her son, can be found in St. Augustine’s “Confessions”:

“Late have I loved You, beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you. You were in me and I was outside of myself. You were with me, and I was not with You. You called and you shouted, and You broke my deafness. You sent a lightning, you enlightened and dispersed my blindness. You spread your perfume, I breathed it in, and now I languish after You. I tasted, and I am hungry and thirsty. You touched me and I burn for Your peace. When I shall cling to You with all my being, there will be no more pain nor suffering for me, and my life shall be alive, full of You. Behold, I do not hide my wounds. You are the doctor, I am the ill one. You are merciful, I am miserable. And all my hope is only in Your great mercy, o Lord my God.” We need such experiences of the nearness of God, and Our Lady wants to lead us to these experiences, this nearness and this friendship.

It is necessary to work for conversion. But the conversion is so immense, it is not only depending on us. It is much beyond human power. Evil is stronger than man and wants to paralyse him. This is why we need God. Only Jesus Christ can save us from sin, laziness, selfishness, lies and evil. But it is expected from us to do the decisive step. We can neither change nor convert ourselves, but we can say “yes” to God. We can do a turn around in our lives, we can take the words of Jesus as Gods’ words and not human words. These words have the power to heal, to convert, to save man. Only then will we be able to say with St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”(Ga 2:20).

Thank you, Mary, our Mother, for giving us the means which can lead us to Jesus. May, through your intercession, our hearts discover more and more prayer as a need. May there be more and more of those who will, out of love of God and themselves, discover prayer not as something that has to be done but as something they can do.

Medjugorje, February 26th, 2002
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, OFM

Reflection in March 2002

Reflection in March 2002

Reflection on the Message of March 25, 2002


“Dear children! Today I call you to unite with Jesus in prayer. Open your heart to Him and give Him everything that is in it: joys, sorrows and illnesses. May this be a time of grace for you. Pray, little children, and may every moment belong to Jesus. I am with you and I intercede for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of March 25, 2002

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, calls us to unite with Jesus, and a means that She puts into our hands is prayer. Long ago, we learned in the catechism that prayer was a dialogue with God. To dialogue, you need someone, another person. You may converse with someone without grasping life itself, but remaining simply at its surface. There are conversations, which bring about movement, lift up and heal. Prayer is such a conversation, held not with just anyone, but with the God almighty. Man has the capacity to converse with God, with Jesus, because he has the spirit, as God is spirit. As God became man in Jesus, we can talk to Him humanly, because we have the Holy Spirit, because we are baptised and confirmed, because we have received these capacities, these gifts which enable us to be as close to Jesus as possible. If we ask ourselves where is Jesus, I would say: Where is He not? Wherever you look, you can meet Him. His look and His eyes watch every person with love. It is important to be conscious of this fact, in order to be able even to start our walk towards Him. He is with us always, but we have to make an effort to be with Him.

Our Mother calls us: “Open your heart to Him and give Him everything that is in it”. To share bread, property, money, even time with someone, is much easier then to receive someone under one´s roof, to introduce someone into one´s own house, to open one´s heart to someone. To allow someone to enter into the most hidden parts of one´s soul is much more difficult. Most difficult is to share the deepest depths of one´s joy, one´s sufferings, wounds and crosses of one´s life. It is possible with those who are closest to us, if it is possible at all to really do it with human beings. We are an enigma and a mystery for ourselves, we do not know ourselves until the end and completely, and other people know us even less than that. Only the One from whose hand we have come knows us and can heal us, make us well and fill the void of our soul and heart.

It is much easier to enumerate prayers then to open one´s heart. This is why it is not prayer that will help us, because prayer does not help and does not bring rest, but God in prayer. However, He cannot come into a prayer done without heart, as you cannot enter into a house whose door is locked.

The greatest suffering of man is the mistrust towards God, which provokes fear, anguish and worries about one´s own life, about the future. If I am afraid that someone will steal my property or kill me, I will try to defend myself, to protect myself, I will close and lock the door. I feel the opposite if I trust. It is the same in our relationship to God: If I trust Him, if I believe that my life with Jesus will be happy and fulfilled, if I take His words as divine and not human, if I believe that His word is truth, that He has the words of the eternal life – I will open to Him the door of my house, of my home and of my heart.

This is “a time of grace”, tells us Mary, our Mother. She motivates us not to allow our hours and days to pass without Jesus. With Jesus everything can be realised. The fundamental problem of man is that he is far away from God, that he works without Him, without contact with Him. It can often happen that we forget Him, push Him aside, or call Him maybe as an ambulance when life´s distress oppresses us. Maybe we pray five minutes or half an hour, and then we push Him aside instead of permanently being nourished with Him. Hence, God is not a fireman; He would like to become our companion on the road, our friend and saviour, yours and mine.

Let us take seriously the words conceived in the heart of our Mother, so that our days do not pass without meaning and without goal. Let us allow Jesus to rise in us also this Easter. Peace and good to you.

Medjugorje, March 26th, 2002
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, OFM

Reflection in April 2002

Reflection in April 2002

Reflection on the Message of April 25, 2002


“Dear children! Rejoice with me in this time of spring when all nature is awakening and your hearts long for change. Open yourselves, little children, and pray. Do not forget that I am with you and I desire to take you all to my Son that He may give you the gift of sincere love towards God and everything that is from Him. Open yourselves to prayer and seek a conversion of your hearts from God; everything else He sees and provides. Thank you for having responded to my call.” April 25, 2002

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, walks with us on our way through life, accompanying us with her short motherly words every month. Throughout these almost 21 years, she unceasingly confirms to us the certitude that She is with us.

We approach the month that is consecrated to the Mother of Jesus Christ. The month of May is overflowing with the springtime awakening of life in the nature which is given to us. This is why Mary, our Mother, calls us to learn from this nature, to awaken our hearts together with the awakening of nature. She already told us that our souls were like flowers. Every sin takes away the beauty of our soul, steals its smile, brings dark and negative thoughts, burdens our life, poisons human relationships, destroys love and takes away joy from the heart. Each sin is a violence against the human soul and life. Nature also does not tolerate violence. If man tries to violently change natural laws incorporated by the Creator, nature takes revenge in the form of various unknown illnesses that are escalating from day to day.

It is in the nature of man to love, to live in peace. If man does not love, he cannot be happy. When he withdraws from God, he becomes a danger to himself and to others. He starts to wither and to die spiritually. When our body becomes physically ill, it tries to get well again with all its forces and powers, and we want to help it with various medications. God has put into our spirit a desire for happiness, for peace and for love. Nobody has invented love. We discover it as a need to survive. Man can seek love in various ways and on various paths, but only God, who created the heart of man, can fill it completely and heal it. Our Lady shows us the way: Pray. She promises us her presence, companionship, collaboration – today, at the present moment.

All big things are very simple, almost incredibly simple. Jesus was born in such a simple and incredible way, in an ordinary manger. He grew up in a simple manner, and in a very simple way he chose his disciples, who were in no way extraordinary men. Our Lady comes here in a simple way through simple visionaries and talks to us in human, comprehensible, simple words. Without noise or clamour. In this message, she wants us to learn from nature. Natural beauties exist that make one marvel and be filled with something magnificent, as if he was already in front of the Most High. However, in its essence, nature is very simple. There aren’t any big factories to produce the polychromy of flowers and of meadows, the beauty of mountains and of the sea. All this is the work of the Creator. Mary also is great, but not by works done by human power, but by the hand of the Creator. This is why she cries out: “The Lord has done great things for me, holy is His Name.” (Lk 1:49)

All that happens in the souls of numerous pilgrims who visit this holy place is the work of the Creator who does not forget his children. Our Lady’s apparitions are today a confirmation of this certitude.

The final words of this message from Our Lady are evangelical; they are the words of Jesus: “seek a conversion of your hearts from God; everything else He sees and provides”. Jesus said: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all the rest shall be given to you” (Lk 12:31).

Mary, our Mother, thank you for these words of God, for your motherly words. Thank you for all those who believed in your words and opened their hearts for an encounter with God, the source of life, of love and of peace. Obtain for us the grace to discern what is precious from what is useless in our lives.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje April 26, 2002

Reflection in May 2002

Reflection in May 2002

Reflection on the Message of May 25, 2002


“Dear children! Today I call you to put prayer in the first place in your life. Pray and may prayer, little children, be a joy for you. I am with you and intercede for all of you, and you, little children, be joyful carriers of my messages. May your life with me be joy. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of May 25, 2002

Mary, our heavenly Mother, walks with us and accompanies us by her motherly words and messages, through her apparitions, for almost 21 years now. She accompanies our paths through the liturgical time of the Church and through the time in which we live. As Mother of the Church, the travelling Church, she walks with her children. Like ancient Israel, the Church is on its way out of Egyptian slavery – the slavery to devil. It crosses the Red Sea and the desert of trials and sufferings to enter into the Promised Land. Mary, our Mother, was a believer – a traveller; she was progressing on her journey of faith. She was progressing because she knew how to keep all the words and memories in her heart, as a treasure of her life. St. Luke, the Evangelist, writes about this: “But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Lk 2:51b) Mary, our Mother, our leading star and our precursor, draws today from these souvenirs and from these treasures. In his Encyclical “Redemptoris Mater”, the Holy Father wrote: “Strengthened by the presence of Christ (cf. Mt. 28:20), the Church journeys through time towards the consummation of the ages and goes to meet the Lord who comes. But on this journey… she proceeds along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary, who ‘advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and loyally persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross’.”(Redemptoris Mater 2.4) Like all of us, Mary herself had to reflect on what happened around her, what she had to face. “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19), and she discovered their meaning only at the Resurrection. To us, like to Mary, the effort of reflecting is not spared, of treasuring and of meditating on the Word of God addressed to us through the Holy Scripture and through people, through events and all that happens in us and around us.

As we did not know that she would appear, we do not know how long she is going to appear, how long she will continue to address her motherly calls to us. Many think that these apparitions have lasted too long. The visionaries usually answer: “For us, it is not long”. It cannot be long, when you are in the presence of a loving person, the one you love. It is difficult indeed to be with someone you do not love, as it is difficult to do a work we do not love. In 1985, the visionaries asked Our Lady: “Why are you with us for such a long time?” She answered with a question: “Are you bored?” Since then, they never asked this question any more. Her motherly love for her children gives her the strength to speak for such a long time and to repeat with such a perseverance almost the same words as St. Paul to the Philippians: “My brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” (Phil 3:1)

It is much safer and easier to live and to grow in faith in Her presence, she who talks to us and comes to us today. Our Mother comes today, God loves us through her today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Today, I can be closer to God through the Virgin Mary, as I can go away from Him. If I do not grow every day in faith, I will step back, and the coming back to God will become much more difficult.

“Today I call you to put prayer in the first place in your life.” There are signs, which show me that God and prayer are not at the first place in my life: difficulties to take time for prayer, distractions, a thousand reasons and excuses (which I find so easily) to postpone the meeting with God in prayer… Prayer is a source of joy and a way to joy, repeats Our Lady today also. On this path, we are not alone. With Her, Loved by God, we can and we have to be joyful on our journey of faith towards the final moment, when we shall comprehend fully the sufferings, the seeking, the crosses and the joys of our life.

As a prayer says: “Mary, people will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how they felt because of you. There are no considerations or doubts that can wipe away the experience of the presence of God.”

Mary, our Mother, I implore you: may your words find a place in the hearts of all those who receive you as their Mother, so that you may lead us to Jesus, the Saviour.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje May 26, 2002

Reflection in June 2002

Reflection in June 2002

Reflection on the Message of June 25, 2002


“Dear children! Today I pray for you and with you that the Holy Spirit may help you and increase your faith, so that you may accept even more the messages that I am giving you here in this holy place. Little children, comprehend that this is a time of grace for each of you; and with me, little children, you are secure.  I desire to lead you all on the way of holiness.  Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you.  May they be precious to you because they come from heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of June 25, 2002

In this message, Mary promises us to pray for us and with us for the strength and power from on high: the Holy Spirit. Only in the Holy Spirit can we believe in God. Without the Spirit, there is no life, no love, no trust, no unity and no common life. The question of openness to the Holy Spirit is the fundamental question of our time, of our surroundings, of the whole earth and of our life on this earth. Only in the power and the force of the Holy Spirit can we approach our Mother, the Queen of Peace, who comes to us here. We cannot possess the Holy Spirit; we can only let Him possess us. God gives Him to those who desire and seek Him. By the Spirit, we know God, ourselves and this world. It is not comfortable to call upon the Holy Spirit, because He reveals the superficiality and the shallowness of our faith to us. He reveals to us that the Spirit, of which Jesus and Mary speak, is too often unfamiliar to us. He reveals to us that peace, which they promise, is so far away from us. However, let us not pray for the gift of the Spirit if we do not want to change anything…

Wherever Mary is present, the Holy Spirit is at work. We know it by the word of the angel Gabriel: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Lk 1,35). We also know it by Jesus´ words to the apostles, when he recommended them to stay in the town until the Spirit, which was promised, descends upon them. They received the outpouring of the Spirit united in prayer with Mary, in the room of the Last Supper. With Mary, we are secure; that is Her promise given to us. Whoever loves Jesus will also love Mary, and whoever prays to Mary will be led to Jesus.

The time of the Church is the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Mary, the Mother of the Church. It is under the cross that She has become the Mother of the Church. By receiving John from the hands of Jesus, She receives each one of us. On the cross, Jesus has pronounced his words “It is accomplished”, only after having confided John to Mary and Mary to John. It is as if He wanted to tell that the maternity of Mary was in the plan of God for the salvation of the world. It is like when the head of the household gathers his children to tell them: “In my absence, listen to your mother. Do whatever she tells you.” The essence of all the messages given by Our Lady can be precisely summarized in Her words pronounced at Cana in Galilee: “Do whatever He tells you!”

Thank you, Mary, our Mother, for not giving up on us. I implore you, lead us on the way of holiness, and may Your messages show us the way and be our light in this valley of tears, so that we may live joyfully together with You, until the final goal, where You await us.

Let us pray together now, six years later, the “Prayer of Thanksgiving to the Queen of Peace” written by Fr. Slavko Barbaric at the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the apparitions:

I am sitting on Your Hill, O Mary, on the place where the scared children saw You for the first time. Today, I want to thank You.

Thank You, O Mary, for each one of Your comings.

Thank You for each message and for each single word, especially for calling us Your dear children.

Thank You, because I really can believe that we are dear to You and that You love us.

Thank You, because You told us to pray, in order to understand Your love, and then cry and jump for joy.

Thank You, because You said that we are important for You and that, without us, You can do nothing.

On Your Hill, my soul sings the song of thanksgiving to You and blesses the Lord with You, for having sent You to us.

I know that You are the humble servant of the Lord. Allow me nevertheless to praise You and to bless You.

Blessed are You, O Mary, Queen of Peace, my soul exclaims with Elisabeth, with the entire parish and all the pilgrims. Why are we so favoured, that our Mother should come to us?

I bless You with the visionaries and with their families.

I bless You with all the families that have received You and that live in peace.

I bless You with all the prayer groups in the world, because You teach us to pray.

I bless You with all those who came from near and from far to pray with us here.

I bless You with all those who went to confession and who were reconciled with the Lord; I bless You with all those who – through Your intercession – have found spiritual, psychological and physical health.

I bless You with all those who celebrate this anniversary here and in the world.

I bless You for all that the Lord shall do through You in the future.

I bless You with all those who were against and are still against Your coming, because You will show them Your tender motherly love.

With You, I pray to the Lord to pacify each heart and give peace to my people.

With You, I pray to the Lord for all those who are ill in their soul and in their body.

With You, I pray to the Lord for all those who are mourning in the war, for all the exiled, for all the invalids.

With You, I pray to the Lord for all the fallen soldiers who defend their country and all the victims of violence.

With You, I pray to the Lord, that Your Immaculate Heart may be glorified in the world. May He, through Your intercession, give peace to the world.

May the Almighty God be blessed now and forever! Amen.

(Fr. Slavko Barbaric: Follow Me With Your Heart)

Medjugorje, June 26th, 2002
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic

Reflection in July 2002

Reflection in July 2002

Reflection on the Message of July 25, 2002


“Dear children! Today I rejoice with your patron saint and call you to be open to God’s will, so that in you and through you, faith may grow in the people you meet in your everyday life. Little children, pray until prayer becomes joy for you. Ask your holy protectors to help you grow in love towards God. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of July 25, 2002

Today, Our Lady tells us that she is present with us in the celebration of St. James, the Patron saint of pilgrims and of the parish of Medjugorje, which she has chosen, in order to obtain, through her intercession, so many graces from God. It was not a coincidence that St. James was chosen as the Patron Saint of this parish, just as it is not a coincidence – as Our Lady said in one message – that the parishioners constructed a cross on the hill above Medjugorje in 1933, to mark the 1900 years since the passion of Jesus. They could not imagine that so many people would come on pilgrimage to this cross, that so many graces would be poured out precisely on that place. God has his marvellous plans that are inaccessible for us, but his hand is sure. The parishioners have built this cross with love, and God always gives more than we can give him in return.

In this message, Mary, our Mother, assures us once again of her presence, and not only hers, but also the presence of St. James and the entire heavenly court. She speaks about the unity between the Pilgrim Church that we are, and the Glorified Church that represent all those who unceasingly praise God. This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.” (CCC 956) “They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. … Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.” (CCC 2683) Saint Therese of the Child Jesus said: “I will spend my heaven in doing good on the earth!”

It is thanks to the existence of the saints and the Patron saints, friends of God, who love men, that our life has meaning and this earth is not cursed. Because they love men, they infinitely need God and thus become holy. They are a bridge between heaven and earth. We ask the saints to help us, to bring from God what we cannot obtain ourselves, to watch over us and lead us to God. They take care of us, they protect us, they set us free and heal us, they intercede for us and are always on our side. They are the only ones who know the meaning and who know how to live. Saints and Patron saints call us to be good to one another, to reconcile and to forgive. One becomes a saint in desiring with one’s whole heart to become a friend of God, in entering into dialogue with God through prayer, so that we may allow God to enter into our life and change it, as Mary teaches us for so many years now.

Holiness is the programme of our life. Only the saints were normal and healthy people, because they were the friends of God, source of life.

Mary calls us again to pray, so that we may reach joy, and more precisely God, the source of joy. Our Mother places this powerful means into our hands. All her apparitions here in Medjugorje, all her words and messages, are only means that lead to the goal, which is God. Our Lady’s apparitions here are not a goal but a means and an appeal. Why not take all that God gives us through our Mother? Let us listen to the call of her heart, which loves us, and in which there is place for every man.

Medjugorje 26.7.2002.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic

Reflection in August 2002

Reflection in August 2002

Reflection on the Message of August 25, 2002


“Dear children! Also today I am with you in prayer so that God gives you an even stronger faith. Little children, your faith is small and you are not even aware how much, despite this, you are not ready to seek the gift of faith from God. That is why I am with you, little children, to help you comprehend my messages and put them into life. Pray, pray, pray and only in faith and through prayer your soul will find peace and the world will find joy to be with God. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of August 25, 2002

Mary, Our Mother, the Queen of Peace, strengthens us in faith and security while promising us her presence. She, who was present in the most difficult moments of the life of Christ, remains forever with the Church of Christ and with all the generations of men, to this very day. She was present with the apostles in prayer, while waiting the coming of the Promise from on High, the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit. She is a believer and a pilgrim who walks with us, who prays and believes with us. With her, chosen by God, our faith is greater, our love is stronger and our hope is indestructible.

Faith is a grace and a gift. We receive it from God, and God uses men to offer to us His salvation. This is why, on this journey of faith, He has given us the Church, and within the Church, He has given us Mary – our Mother – and Himself. Our life is almost unconceivable without faith. When a child is born, it believes its parents, and that is why it can grow and develop peacefully and safely. It can freely throw itself into the lap of its parents, knowing that they will receive it and protect it.

To believe also means to know. Without faith, we cannot grow in knowledge, we cannot move freely; we have to be afraid of everything. The opposite of faith is fear, mistrust. A person, which does not believe others, has to defend itself, protect itself, has to live in permanent tension and fear to be attacked, robbed, and killed. The foundation of our life is faith and trust, first in God and then in people whom God has placed on our way. Living without faith is like building a house on the sand: that house can collapse at any moment.

Jesus asked faith of his disciples. He used to say: “Your faith has saved you”. Jesus is the one who saves, but it is as if he wanted to say: “Through your faith, you have allowed me to help you. Through your faith you have opened the door through which I can enter to bring you health and my salvation”.

In the Gospel, we see that Jesus could not do miracles for people who approached him out of interest, out of curiosity, without trust in His person. We have to ask for faith in prayer, we have to have the faith of the woman from the Gospel, who was ill for 18 years, and who approached Jesus with faith, expecting salvation and health. Many have touched Jesus, but when this woman touched Him, He felt that a power went out of Him, and only this woman was healed. She was healed because she told “Yes” to Jesus with her whole heart. She had the courage to abandon herself and to give herself to Jesus, this is why Jesus could give Himself to her.

To believe in one person means also to know this person. Without faith, this is impossible. Hence, God is a person. We can truly approach a person only with an open heart, with a heart that gives itself and which accepts the other as a gift. We can never completely know God, because He is always new, always different. God always wants to surprise us. With Him, we can never be bored. Prayer can be boring, but not God. If prayer is difficult, it is a sign that much selfishness has to die in us, so that God may break through to the first place in our lives.

Sin, which is in us, took away from us the power to do good. This is why we experience difficulties in prayer, difficulties in pardoning, in loving, in confessing our sins, in arranging our lives according to God’s commandments. This is why Mary, our Mother, reminds us, “You are not ready to seek the gift of faith from God”; because we do not know this gift and we do not feel the need for it. To grow in spiritual life means to strengthen within us the virtues of faith, of hope and of charity. Who can say: “I fully believe in God, I perfectly love God, I live in hope”? We experience that we can always grow in faith, in hope and in love more and better. We can grow to the fullness of Christ within us, because we are created in His image. This is why Our Lady comes, this is why she speaks to us not leaving us in our own tranquillity but offering us the peace of her Heart, which is abandoned to God.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, August 26th, 2002

Reflection in September 2002

Reflection in September 2002

Reflection on the Message of September 25, 2002


“Dear children! Also in this peaceless time, I call you to prayer. Little children, pray for peace so that in the world every person would feel love towards peace. Only when the soul finds peace in God, it feels content and love will begin to flow in the world. And in a special way, little children, you are called to live and witness peace – peace in your hearts and families – and, through you, peace will also begin to flow in the world. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of September 25, 2002

Also in today’s message, the Blessed Virgin Mary tells us that She walks with us, without ceasing to invite and to call human hearts and souls to God, the source of life.

Almost each one of Our Lady’s messages begins with the call to pray, to dialogue with God. Prayer is not a magic formula for the resolution of personal problems, of the problems of the family or of the world. It is an invitation to a relationship of love with God. Prayer brings us into God’s presence. Prayer would like to make our hearts humble and dependent on God. By nature, human beings are inclined to autonomy and independence, but Jesus tells us: “Truly, apart from me you can do nothing”. (Jn 15:5b) Only when, through prayer, we have become God’s friends, only when we have approached Him, He can give us everything. The fruit of this closeness is the peace that Our Lady is talking about in this message. God does not want to give us crumbs or something from Himself, but He gives us all of Himself. Before asking something from Him, we should seek the encounter with Him. Only when we have encountered Him, we posses everything: joy, peace, health, life… and then, all tragedies, sufferings, crosses and illnesses are neither awful nor dreadful anymore, but – with God – everything becomes full of meaning.

Our Lady speaks about troubled times. Troubled times are generated in troubled human hearts where God does not abide. The awareness of the fact that there is too much restlessness in us and around us, impedes us to easily believe the words of Jesus: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives.” (Jn 14:27)

“Only when the soul finds peace in God, it feels content, and love will begin to flow in the world” – Mary, our Mother tells us. Mother Teresa used to say often: “Works of love are works of peace”. Love generates peace. There is a lot of restlessness because there is not much love. Hence, God is love. Human hearts, families and the whole world need God like the parched land needs rain.

No one has loved Jesus as much as the Mother of God has. This is why She alone can best teach us how to love Him. She has not selfishly kept Jesus for Herself, but has taken Him to Her cousin Elisabeth. Each one of us is invited to receive Jesus in Holy Communion and to carry Him to our neighbours, to those whom God has placed on our way. To keep Jesus for oneself means to lose Him. It affords neither great things or works, nor sensational miracles or healings. The Mother of God was not great in proportion to human works or miracles; she became great by completely allowing God to do His will in Her and through Her. She emptied Herself completely so that God may completely dwell in Her. She renounced Her will and her desires, so that the will of God and the desires of God may be realised – in her and through Her – in us and in this world. If we want love, if we want God, then we have to embrace the way of sacrifice, the narrow and steep way that leads to life. God does not expect from us little bits of something – a bit of prayer, a bit of fasting, a bit of time, a bit of money, a bit of sacrifice – but He wants us totally, just as – in His Son Jesus – He has given us everything. Our God is a demanding God, just as Mary, our Mother, is demanding here. She is demanding towards us because she loves us, because She really cares. Not to accept her messages is much easier, but it is not better. Mary, our Mother, comes to you and to me today to tell us that this world does not hunger for richness and for money but for love, which means for God. There are many rich people who are truly poor in spirit.

Our Lady comes to us here with the abundance of the richness of Her heart, in order to give us this treasure. Let us ourselves begin to follow this motherly voice, without waiting for others to begin, because it may not happen at all.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje 26.9.2002

Reflection in October 2002

Reflection in October 2002

Reflection on the Message of October 25, 2002


“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Little children, believe that by simple prayer miracles can be worked. Through your prayer you open your heart to God and He works miracles in your life. By looking at the fruits, your heart fills with joy and gratitude to God for everything He does in your life and, through you, also to others. Pray and believe little children, God gives you graces and you do not see them. Pray and you will see them. May your day be filled with prayer and thanksgiving for everything that God gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of October 25, 2002

Once again, this message of Our Lady, as the majority of her messages, begins with a call to prayer. At this moment, she has nothing more important and more necessary to tell us. Mary, our mother, wants us to become filled with joy and gratitude as she is. It is prayer that should lead us to joy and gratitude. Our Lady knows no other path than the one that she is recommending us during all these years with such zeal. If she knew another or a different way, she certainly would not hide it from us. She is a mother that loves each one of her children and she cannot and will not mislead us. As for us, we will not be deceived by her if we listen to her and take refuge in her. This is why Saint Bernard used to pray: “Remember, o most blessed Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided.” Many have made the experience, even a tangible experience, of the power and the efficacy of prayer to God. The most powerful is the prayer of thanksgiving, which open the heart of God, beginning by opening the door of our heart, through which God can and wants to approach us.

What the Virgin Mary recommends to us, what she puts into our hands and want to put into our heart, is prayer, which may seem to us such a simple and weak means. By pure human logic and intelligence, it is difficult to believe that it can obtain something big. Our Lady’s language here is very simple, it is not wise in the eyes of the world. Saint Paul said already: “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Co 1:20b-21.25) And Jesus exclaims in the Holy Spirit: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Lk 10:21) Truly, only the little ones recognise God, they recognise the motherly presence here in Medjugorje. We know from the Gospel that Jesus himself could not help those who approached him full of themselves, with mountains of their haughtiness. God himself found no space to approach them and offer them his salvation. Through our prayer, we create ourselves space for God, and without this space, he is unable to enter into our lives.

Saint Theresa of Avila used to say: God waits for our decisions, in order to do everything in our lives himself. God is patient; he waits for us all our life. He waits for us with nothing else but his love, to give us himself and to enrich us with himself. He waits for every human heart, he waits for each family to receive him as a dear guest and friend, to open to him the door of their houses as Zaccheus did. Then a new life happened, a full life in his heart, which became grateful, able to forgive and to share. We can do little with our human powers. It is impossible to become holy with human strength, it is impossible to forgive, to love, to share one’s time and one’s heart with others. Very often the real problem in our life is not to be able or not to be able to forgive something to someone, but the real problem is our NO to forgiveness and to the freedom that comes. The problem is also in the fact that maybe we have not allowed God to forgive us and we have not had the experience of his forgiveness.

Let us allow to Mary, our Mother, to lead us to her Son Jesus, so that we may become joyful and grateful to God, that we may become people who see and recognise God in their lives and in every person that God has put on our path.

Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje October 26, 2002