SOME SNIPPETTS • 02
ST GEMMA GALGANI
Gemma Galgani was only 25 years old when she died of TB on Holy Saturday, 1903. The Italian mystic was canonized on May 2, 1940. This stained-glass window of St Gemma is located in the Oasis of Peace chapel, Medjugorje, next to the family home of the visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti. In this photograph the window appears to be suspended in mid-air, but in reality the effect is produced by a reflection projected onto another window. I never realised at the time when this photo was taken its significance as a ‘floating’ image. I later discovered that one of St Gemma’s attributes was being to able to levitate, or float above the ground.
LOOK AT THE CROSS!
On July 3rd 1981, it was Sunday, in the early morning, we could no longer see the Cross on Krizevac. Instead we saw a light, and before that light Our Lady came. We knelt. We wept. And she stood before us. Do you understand it was she who stood before us and said to us, “Dear children, look at my Son upon the Cross. Contemplate on His passion and death and learn from Him.” We were shocked and we were able to see the Cross afterwards, and a light came streaming from the left hand side of the Cross, flowing to fill the sky with the word MIR, meaning PEACE – the content of the Incarnation, the content of the Cross, the content of Love and Peace; Peace between God and man, Peace between men, Peace in the heart, in the marriage, in the world; Peace on earth and in heaven; everything Peace, because God is Peace, the Prince of Peace – and Our Lady said to us, “Look at the Cross.”
• by Fr Jozo Zovko OFM
THE VISIBLE PRAYERS
Anyone who has travelled to Medjugorje will know of the strong witness given to the Rosary by pilgrims who carry their beads in a variety of visible ways… around the neck… held in the hand when out walking… wrapped around the wrist… sometimes as a fashion accessory… held up for blessing… attached to bags… But I’m guessing that when pilgrims return home, most times the beads are then confined to a pocket or purse and only taken out when prayed upon. That’s what I usually do. In Medjugorje, it’s different. No one feels ‘uncomfortable’ about being seen carrying rosary beads.
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Come, Holy Spirit, come in our cities, in our homes,
in our families, in our glances, in our hearts.
Without you, we read books and do not become wise.
Without you, we dialogue much and do not come closer to one another.
Without you, reality consists in dry events, facts and numbers.
Without you, our life falls apart into a succession of meaningless days.
Without you, there is no fidelity.
Without you, our thoughts become delirious.
Without you, technology destroys us.
Without you, churches become museums.
Without you, prayer is just babbling.
Without you, our smile becomes petrified.
Without you, our environment becomes a desert.
Come, Holy spirit, our emptiness cries after your fullness!
Come, Spirit Creator, make your dwelling in our world!
Fr Ljubo Kurtovic OFM
THE WALK OF LIFE
Walking the steep and rocky ascent up Mt Krizevac is as life itself, a journey never identical. Some pilgrims walk the path to the left, some prefer the right side, some take the middle line while others prefer to criss-cross the bouldered track. But no walk is ever the same or repeated. Each trek is unique, even for those who are carried – and yet all are heading in the same direction to arrive at the same destination, alone or together, in front or behind, each in their own time. We make our own journey but share the same desire – to reach the summit where someone very special is waiting with a welcome to fill every heart with joy. Krizevac is our pilgrimage, our life.
YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow, with its possible adversaries, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds – but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This leaves only one day – Today. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities – Yesterday and Tomorrow – that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives us mad – it is remorse or bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.
Fr Danko Perutina OFM
CHAPEL WINDOW DEDICATION
Unless anyone knows differently, this is the first and only stained glass window in the UK that is dedicated to Medjugorje and Our Lady Queen of Peace.
The window, 114cm x 46cm in size, is housed in a private chapel and was commissioned around 25 years ago by Major Rice, of Exhurst Manor, Staplehurst. Sadly, Major Rice died some 12 months after the window was designed and manufactured by Keith and Judy Hill of The Stained Glass Workshop Ltd.
Major Rice gave full instructions as to what was to be included in the design, including the scapular and lambs at the youthful Mary’s feet. As to Mary’s facial expression, Major Rice stated that this was to be left to ‘Divine Guidance’. When the window was completed he was very pleased with the outcome.
Major Rice had been to Medjugorje several times and was a parishoner and member of the PCC at All Saints, Staplehurst. He regularly contributed ‘Marian’ articles to the parish magazine, urging readers to follow her teachings. These are now held at the Kent County Archive in Maidstone.
• Thanks to Roy Barclay of All Saints, and also to Keith & Judy Hill from The Stained Glass Workshop Ltd for permission to use their copyright images.
PERFECT LIKE THE FATHER
It would do us well, today, to think of our enemy – I think all of us have one – someone who has hurt us or wants to hurt us. The Mafia’s prayer is: “You’ll pay me back.” The Christian prayer is: “Lord, give them your blessing, and teach me to love them.” Let us think of one enemy, and pray for them. May the Lord to give us the grace to love them.
Pope Francis, August 28, 2018
FICTION TRIUMPHED BY TRUTH
Thirty-seven years ago the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark first appeared on cinema screens. Starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the movie became a huge success and grossed millions of dollars worldwide.
Remarkably, just 12 days later, June 24, 1981, the “Ark of the Covenant”, Our Lady Queen of Peace, first appeared in Medjugorje, bearing the Infant Jesus in her arms.
SEDUCTION – GOOD AND BAD
God seduces when we desire to carry our cross.
satan seduces when we desire to lay down our cross.
You have seduced me, Yaweh, and I have let myself be seduced.
Jeremiah 20 : 7
Jesus turned and said to Peter: Get behind me, Satan!
You are an obstacle in my path,
because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.
Matthew 16 : 23
STEPPING OUT OF THE VALLEY
The hills are the invitation to exodus, to step out of the valley of our everyday thoughts and observations. We climb the hill so that we will step out of ourselves. In prayer, observations and meditations on the Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain, we will experience a different perspective and way of thinking. So we will, by gazing at Jesus, recognise ourselves and allow him to mould and change our hearts.
Fr Marinko Sakota, parish priest, Medjugorje
THE HEAT IS ON
The summer heat in Medjugore and now back home in the UK is challenging, to say the least, and it can be difficult to find a cool and shady spot to settle and be quiet. Sometimes it must be like this for Jesus when he tries to find a restful place in our heart that is often unbearable with the heat generated by our hurried and busy lives. But there is a heartfelt heat that Jesus welcomes – a burning desire to love and be loved. A sacred heart.
PRAYER CANNOT BE REPEATED
Do not allow Satan to deceive you into thinking you can repeat prayer. Prayer cannot be repeated. A mother cannot repeat her child. A spring cannot repeat its water. The sun cannot repeat its rays, and the human heart cannot repeat prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who prays within us, and each Hail Mary is always a new grace, a new gift and a new strength.
Fr Jozo Zovko OFM
NO PEACE WITHOUT PEACEFUL PEOPLE
The man of peace sows peace around himself; he is peaceful always and in every circumstance, because peace is part of his being. We will never have peace structures without peacemakers, peaceful people. Too often in the past we have been under the illusion that structural mechanisms and processes would ensure a world of peace with no need for peacemakers.
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
How does the Spirit of God manifest itself through us? Often we think that to witness means to speak up in defense of God. This idea can make us very self-conscious. We wonder where and how we can make God the topic of our conversations and how to convince our families, friends, neighbours, and colleagues of God's presence in their lives. But this explicit missionary endeavour often comes from an insecure heart and, therefore, easily creates divisions.
The way God's Spirit manifests itself most convincingly is through its fruits: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). These fruits speak for themselves. It is therefore always better to raise the question “How can I grow in the Spirit?” than the question “How can I make others believe in the Spirit?”
A very poor man was begging along a path in India. In his miserable little pouch he had only a handful of wheat to survive. His hope suddenly ignited when he heard the sound of a chariot galloping in his direction. Riding in the chariot was a king dressed in gold and adorned in jewellery. As the king stopped the chariot in front of him, the poor man thought: “My chance has come!” But to his surprise the king asked him instead, “What do you have to give me?” The poor man grabbed his pouch and took out one grain of wheat for the king. The king thanked the man and rode off in his chariot. At the end of the day, as the poor man was counting his grains of wheat, he noticed that one grain was gold. Only then did he understand and say to himself, “Oh how I wish I had given the king the whole lot!” In the Kingdom of God, we truly have what we give away and we lose what we keep for ourselves.
As told by Sr Emmanuel of the Community of Beatitudes, Medjugorje,
adapted from the parable of the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore
photo courtesy of FotoĐANI
“Sometimes, seeing all this turmoil in the world and in the Church, I wonder if there was no Medjugorje what the state of the Church today would be? You see, when a man has a blood or kidney disease, then he goes to the hospital where he is attached to a machine that cleanses his blood. For me, Medjugorje is like this – a type of dialysis machine. Those who are weak in faith, the heart, they come here, are cleansed, purified, and are able to return home renewed. I do not think we should even ask why this happens. It's important that everything is kept simple and we follow this example and call: the life of the parish, the holy mass, confession and conversion.”
Fr Glenn Sudano CFR
The Joyful Mysteries: The formative years of Jesus with his mother Mary.
The Mysteries of Light: The formative years of the apostles with their teacher Jesus.
The Sorrowful Mysteries: A period of suffering and separation from Jesus.
The Glorious Mysteries: Time of promised togetherness with His disciples and mother Mary.
Ever taken notice of the white cord worn by the Franciscans at Medjugorje. It has three distinct knots. They represent the Franciscan vows of poverty, chastity and obedience that the friars take when joining the Order.
After giving an inspiring talk to an english-speaking pilgrimage group visiting Medjugorje, the priest invited questions from the pilgrims.
One woman asked the Franciscan, “Father, what do you think about Hell?”
Smiling, he replied, “I never think about it. I focus on the direction I want to head for.”