It was very upsetting when my priest would not speak to me or acknowledge my presence if we happened to meet...
In Medjugorje I had an experience that seemed to me to be a very great miracle. It was a miracle of reconciliation, of the changing and healing of hearts and I find this a more amazing thing than physical healing or material signs.
The story began many years ago when I was living in a different part of the country. My parish was large and lively, I enjoyed playing my part in it and regarded it as a great privilege. Unfortunately there was a major problem in that I did not get on at all well with the parish priest, which made the work I was doing more and more difficult. Eventually things came to a head and I was excluded completely from any participation in parish life or activities. I continued to go to Mass, of course, that could not be prevented, but my priest would not speak to me or acknowledge my presence if we happened to meet. It was very upsetting and things were difficult for quite a long time. I bided my time, determined to let God sort this situation out, and shortly before I moved away we did have something of a reconciliation. At least we were speaking!
In September this year I went to Medjugorje and on the second day I was there I was walking alone behind St James church when I happened to fall into conversation with another solitary lady. As we exchanged details she told me that a relative of hers who was a priest in the part of the country where I was living previously was with her in Medjugorje, she asked if I knew him, and gave me the name of my old parish priest.
I admit that as I left her I felt very shaken by this news. It was obvious that this had not been a chance meeting, there were far too many people in Medjugorje for this meeting of two complete strangers not to have been engineered by the Lord and the only reason that I could think of is that he wanted the priest and I to meet.
The following morning after the English mass we did meet. I had left the church by the side door and as I stood outside I saw him approaching and to my surprise, instead of the trepidation and doubts I had expected to feel I felt a surge of pure joy and delight at seeing him. Even more surprisingly, from the expression on his face as he caught sight of me he felt the same! We ran into each others arms and hugged. “I can't believe this,” he exclaimed, “but I'm really pleased to see you!” There was nothing feigned or forced about this, the reconciliation was heartfelt and joyful and it did not come from us, it came from God, our loving Father, who wants only love between his children.
Later I thought that this is what it will be like when we get to Heaven. We will see all these people that we did not get on with on earth and find ourselves crying out from the heart, “I’m so pleased to see you!”
• This testimony was given by a “Grateful Pilgrim”