For 41 years we have been under the loving gaze of Our Heavenly Mother. “When I first knelt before Our Lady at her first apparition and looked into her eyes, I saw her immense love for us. I felt loved, accepted and protected. This is very difficult to describe, it can only be felt and experienced with the heart “– testifies the visionary Jakov Cholo. With this gaze, Our Lady looks at each one of us.
Each of her apparitions on earth leaves behind a trace of heaven. This is the case in all the places in the world where she appeared. Father Slavko Barbaric used to say, “All the graces we receive in Medjugorje are for the sole reason – that Our Lady appears.“
She thanks God for still allowing her to come. She counts on us, as a mother with children she can count on to help her, “Little children, peace is disturbed and Satan wants peacelessness. That is why, may your prayer be even stronger so that every unclean spirit of division and war may be stilled.“
In prayer, she teaches us to build a strong friendship with Jesus. She said, “When true friendship with God is realized, no storm can destroy it.” Friendship grows by getting to know Jesus in prayer and by reading Holy Scriptures. When we trust in Jesus, the unclean spirits will cease. This is still the case today.
A soldier who is at war in Ukraine testified, ” All of a sudden the enemy attacked us. The shooting began. There were only a few soldiers and we had nothing to defend with. It was terrifying, it looked like this was our end. We began to pray out loud. Already after several Hail Marys, the weapons miraculously died down. I will never forget the power of silence in which I realized that God is stronger than all the weapons.“
Today, when evil is so strong and noisy, Our Lady encourages us that prayer is more powerful. Evil is noisy and love is silent. If love is silent, it does not mean that it does not exist. It is only waiting for our cooperation. When we pray, love triumphs. To pray is to love, ” There is no love without prayer because love is prayer – forgiveness is love. Remember, for I tell you that love will triumph,” says Our Heavenly Mother.
What Mary tells us helps us also to live. With her help, we find in silence and prayer the peace of the Lord who fights for us. Mary of the Gospel is our example. She was always by Jesus’ side, always in hope. She didn’t say much, but she was always there when and as needed. She is our eternal inspiration. Even today she encourages us on the path of holiness, “Be builders of peace and carriers of joy of the Risen One in you and around you, for the good to win in every man”.
May these words be a resolve for us to work on ourselves in every moment, as we see in the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
He left us a prayer that has accompanied us for centuries:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.