This book is the second of the four volumes of sermons and discourses given by Fr. Slavko Barbaric and Fr. Tomislav Vlasic during 1984 - 1987 in Medjugorje, and contains discourses given from January to June 1985.
30 Chapters of this book are now completed
I meet two types of pilgrims those who want to hear the news, and the arguments for and against; others who wish to move on and understand the messages more deeply.
We could really start off by dividing the pilgrims into those who want news and those who want to delve deeper.
It seems to me to be a waste of time to speak of the news and of the arguments for those who have already come and declared that they have felt faith within them. It really means wasting time and moving continuously backwards.
If I have discovered God along my path I have nothing to contest. If I am established on my path, if I have discovered a deeper meaning of the Gospel and the Gospel means something to me, I feel closer to God, so I have nothing to call into question. All I have to do is to go quickly forward in deepening my spiritual life. Lately, following Our Lady's messages, we have seen that people do not know the messages peace, prayer, fasting, sacramental life but they do not really know what peace means, they are not able to follow the right path.
This is why I wish to remind you of some of the messages. I cannot remember the exact words by heart, but I remember their content and can stress the points which Our Lady spoke to us about.
I asked a question at the beginning of Lent to be able to set myself a pattern for Lent and lead the group. I was speaking about fasting and penance and I got an indirect reply. Our Lady said: "Live honestly, sincerely, in humility and love. This road leads to me." You must understand this aspect of penance, the interior aspect, if you wish to find the spirit of Our Lady: humility, love, sincerity and prayer. And if you wish to understand the messages in depth move along this path; humility, sincerity, honesty, love of our neighbour, love of God, these are the fundamental attitudes. If you wish to go deeper onto these aspects, these attitudes, then it is necessary to live an interior silence. Without interior silence you cannot go deeper into these aspects.
So we have discovered that interior silence is necessary to move forward in our spiritual life silence will make us keenly sensitive to these messages and discover them even in our innermost feelings, in our thoughts; so that we may find interior freedom and feel humble, find love and be completely free. As we move along this path, this silence moves along with us and draws closer to us.
This is why Our Lady is for ever guiding us to discover this silence and feel in it complete liberty of prayer and action, where satan is not allowed to enter.
When Our Lady was speaking to us of satan's temptations (She spoke of them for one and half months), She warned us of the strong temptations and trails to which certain people, even the whole Parish, were exposed. However, She gave us the weapons to fight with, saying: fervent prayer, humility and love of our neighbour will not permit satan to come anywhere near us.
So this is the way of preventing temptations and it is very important. If you walk along this path towards depth you will continuously be discovering new shades of humility, of sincerity and of these fundamental attitudes, and in this way satan cannot come near you; he is unable to do anything; all he can do is to linger around as he lingered around Jesus Christ. But Jesus sent him away: go away, I live in another sphere where you cannot enter.
Jesus Christ's attitude during His trials shows us the way to live through Lent in our hearts. Jesus loved God beyond his daily bread because He lived according to the Divine Word. So for Jesus to live in God is far more important than to eat bread after fasting for forty days. Can you see how strong He was, how united He was to God !
During other temptations satan invited Him to jump off the Temple, just for fun. Jesus does not accept because He feels confirmed in God. He enjoys God, so not other forms of entertainment are necessary for Him.
The third temptation: all men wish to become powerful and strong, but Jesus does not. He obeys only the Father and submits Himself to the Father, even when satan offers Him the whole world. He does not accept anything. Can you see how united Jesus is to God ? When a person is united to God satan cannot do anything.
We have an example of this right here in Medjugorje to confirm what Our Lady told us: One day Our Lady said to a small prayer group: "Follow my message tomorrow. Accept everything that happens tomorrow with love. All the obstacles. Accept everything with love so that tomorrow may be a day of love."
So they all tried to put Her words into practice and to do everything with love: to study, to work, to overcome difficulties. And when evening came Our Lady appeared to Jelena and smiling, said: "Dear children, You cannot imagine how satan flew from you today."
When we are in a complete state of grace, when we love and it is impossible to love without humility, sincerity and honesty when we live this way, then satan cannot draw anywhere near us.
In order to progress in our spiritual life, it is necessary to enter into a very subtle silence, thus discovering how to proceed during the day and at night, to discover at what point we have stopped.
What has greatly struck me deep in my heart, in these last few weeks, is Our Lady's blessing. I particularly remember well the blessing given on the 29th December, 1984. It was the anniversary of the apparitions to Jelena. We had not realised this, but Our Lady told us to recite the prayer to Our Mother of Goodness, Mercy and Love, with very special devotion. In the evening She said: "Today is the feast of the Mother of Goodness, Mercy and Love" and She gave us Her blessing. She then added: "So far I have never given it to anybody", and I know that the whole group felt radically changed. I remember this very well. I had arrived tired and burdened with difficulties, but I returned home reassured.
I discovered how blessing and grace work. Though afterwards, we discovered how easily we lose our graces.
While Our Lady was bestowing Her blessing on us, She said: "Accept it, do not let go of it as before." We discovered it is easy to lose. It can be lost.
After a good confession we enter a state of deep spirituality and we must prolong this, continue it. And yet, after hardly a day, we realise we are once again in the wrong path. It is necessary to live inside our hearts. In a message delivered through Jelena, She said: "I can give you my blessing, but I cannot give it to you unless you want it." So I understood that we can receive Grace, God is willing to give it to us if we are willing to accept it and to carry it within us, living in grace and practising it.
We must accept it with joy expressed through thanksgiving: where can I place this wondrous gift ? What can I do with this money ? it is a project worth thinking about.
So when we receive a grace, or a blessing, we must accept it as we would a precious pearl, protecting it and safeguarding it as an investment. This is the way we should accept a grace. If we are ready to accept it in this way, then it will be plentiful because God is bounteous.
At the beginning of Lent I was asking several questions and the answers came in a message delivered through Jelena: "Love one another. Love one another. Jesus easily moves people if you love one another."
Then we were given a message which particularly struck me. We have innumerable problems here in Medjugorje, many contentions are raised regarding this Parish and many of the arguments brought forward are hardly convincing. Our Lady said to us: "At this moment I am present in every family because I love you. Do likewise and the world will be changed." So the explanation is simple: the world can change only through love and not through arguments.
Our Lady said: "I am present in every family", likewise we can be present in every person, in every living creature if we love and if we open our hearts entirely to God. So you can see how we can influence every living person, we can change.
We may not be able to reach a highranking person in the Church to argue with him, but we can love. This is very important. Nobody can tell you in so many words what you have to do.
You must discover this in your soul, within your group. You must exchange your experiences with the members of your group, feel these experiences in your heart as you pray.
A strong element which I felt last Saturday while Our Lady was explaining to the group how we ought to live the Sorrowful Mysteries during Lent was this: meditation. Meditation in the sense that I must discover within me a path which I must follow.
So I understood: in the measure that I am able to reflect in my prayers, praying every day the Our Father, the Hail Mary, with new fervour, a new meditation, so I am proceeding forward.
If I do not discover these aspects in prayer I cannot proceed spiritually: my 'Our Father' is at a standstill. It is valid, but I do not move forward. I do not deepen my spiritual life.
So through our prayers we must reflect. I hope you have understood that you cannot recite the Rosary without contemplating the mysteries this internal contemplation is better than our prayers our spiritual intention is better.
(Fr. Tomislav Vlasic 2nd March, 1985)