"We need an intervention from heaven!" - Papal envoy to Medjugorje
I've questioned the authenticity of the apparitions, I've wondered why they go on and on, and I wonder about the secrets. I've noted the communications seemed banal and ordinary, and not 'like' other messages from Heaven. I've also had fun with some of the repetitive sayings, as well as the seers' personalities, and so on. More deeply, I've always listened with an open heart, respectfully observing, and pondering the events and messages.
I've heard from and followed the paper trail of well meaning people - priests, religious and laity - who condemn the seers and the events, while anticipating the judgment of the Church they judge the entire phenomenon to be a Satanic fraud. Oftentimes with great vehemence, absent of respect, and devoid of charity.
There were many times I was convinced the apparitions were true simply because of the witness of those who have visited Medjugorje. I've often been deeply impressed by their obvious faith and devotion, as well as the change in their lives once they returned from Medjugorje. I've know people who have entered religious life and the priesthood, sensing a call to do so after their experience there.
Lately I like to say that 'I don't need to be right' and 'they don't need me to defend them'. So that means I don't really care what those who oppose the events at Medjugorje have to say about it. It's their problem, but it's also one reason I don't read people who dedicate their blogs to condemning Medjugorje - by whose authority do they speak? In a sense, they are like the 'Fatimists' who reinterpret the Secret of Fatima, rejecting the Magisterial interpretation of the secret. So many say their concern is for the salvation of souls, but it might well be that the people who follow Medjugorje are closer to heaven than the rest of us. How much penance do I do? How much prayer? How many good works have I done? How have I been an instrument of peace and reconciliation and healing?
Today the Church has taken 'custody' of the shrine. That has never been more obvious than today, since Archbishop Henryk Hoser, special Papal envoy to Medjugorje, has arrived on the scene. His concern is for the pastoral care of the pilgrims, not to discern the authenticity of the apparitions. So far everything he has witnessed and experienced has been positive. Today I came across the Archbishop's homily, which affirmed the good spirit he has encountered there.
“Let us pray for peace because the destructive forces are immense, the arms race is on the rise, people are torn apart, families are torn apart, societies are torn apart. We need an intervention from heaven! And the presence of the Blessed Virgin is this type of intervention. It is an initiative of God. And so, I would like to encourage and comfort you as a special envoy of the Pope.
“Protect the world with peace through conversion of the heart; the greatest miracle of Medjugorje is the confessions here. The sacrament of forgiveness and mercy. It is a sacrament of the Resurrection. I thank all the priests who come to confess here, about fifty today, in the service of the people. - Finish reading here.
It seems to me, this is the essence of the message of Medjugorje: "peace through conversion of the heart." Morbid curiosity about the secrets and future calamities is not what Our Lady calls us to. Again, I'll leave this quote from the Archbishop's homily:
“We are witnesses of what saves life. We are witnesses of what saves the world. The Franciscan friars said that there are pilgrims who come from more than 80 countries from around the world. This call can spread to the ends of the Earth as Christ said by sending his apostles.
“Mary is with us and shares in our suffering and pain. She helps us, helps to bring us to repentance and to feel its spiritual presence. We call her, especially here, the Queen of Peace and invoke this title when we pray the litany of the Blessed Mother." - Archbishop Hoser