My Writings. My Thoughts.
In this program I interview a young Christian, Jared, with a fascinating story. He is considering entering the Catholic Church! His story begins when, at 17 years old, he wondered what he believed about God and why. He first searched the roots of his Protestant faith, but this increased his concerns. He did not understand why some of the teachings of the founders, like Calvin and Luther, were no longer part of his denomination’s practice. Discouraged by not finding satisfactory answers, he studied some Eastern religions, only to discover in that process a thread that would lead him to the last place he expected: the Catholic Church! Now, he is devoting himself to studying the Catholic Church as the one Church founded by Our Lord. With a conviction he attributes to Our Lady, Jared hopes to enter the Catholic Church as soon as possible.
This program offers a perspective on Medjugorje. What was it like before the apparitions began, and what happened during the first few days? Several children in Medjugorje began, quite unexpectedly, to see Our Lady. She had come, she said, “to tell us that God exists, and that he loves us.” Their own families, however, did not believe them. Nevertheless, what began with 6 children has grown to touch millions. Our Lady, through this village of 400 families, has today hosted over 40 million pilgrims from around the world since 1981! Millions of hearts have been re-kindled in their faith. Three young guests on this program share their experience from a recent pilgrimmage to Medjguroje. They also encourage other young people to go to Medjugorje to renew their own faith!
In our world today, there can be found considerable skepticism, doubt and even disbelief that supernatural things, things from heaven, can occur here on earth. This also can be our reaction when we hear reports of Our Lady’s visit to Medjugorje. However, I invite listeners to consider the background to these events, and other facts, with an open mind and heart, before coming to their own conclusion. In this program I discuss when the apparitions began and what the vililage of Medjugorje was like at the time. You will also hear a little about the visionaries and the reason Our Lady is coming to us. I excerpt from a report given, at Our Lady’s request, by Fr. Tomislav Vlasic to the Pope John Paul II in 1983 or 1984. Finally, I conclude with some facts about today, for example the graciousness of the villagers despite their community being inundated with pilgrms. The villagers themselves give powerful witness to appearance of Our Lady their.
“A brother in Christ and a concerned listener to Radio Maria, recently asked me whether devotion to Our Lady was an act of worship. He wanted to understand whether attention or prayers given to Mary was an affront to Our Lord. Many people share this question, arguing that Jesus alone intercedes on our behalf with the Father. Fortunately, we have many examples in Sacred Scripture, and from the saints, that a reveal a great precedent and merit in being devoted to Mary. This program looks at Our Lady’s role in bringing her Son to us and us to her Son. We also consider here the Church’s teaching and Scripture which inform us that Mary is sinless. The Joy of Discovery here suggests how “taking Mary into our own home” (John 19: 27-29) may be a beautiful boost to loving Our Lord ever more deeply.”
For those who have heard the reports about Our Lady appearing in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina since 1981, they may wonder how to respond to this. After all, though the Church is currently investigating these reports, it has not yet made a judgment. We are therefore left to determine whether to read the messages or go there on pilgrimmage based on other criteria, not least of which is compliance with Church teachings. But what are these criteria? This program looks to Scripture for guidance. Matthew 7: 15-20 reminds us that “a good tree produces good fruit”. We also find encouragement in the same decisions faced by the Apostles when deciding whether to follow Jesus (John 1: 35 – 37). Many others as well have faced similar questions. For example, what did the people do when they first heard about the reported apparitions of Our Lady at Guadalupe, Rue de Bac, Lourdes, Fatima or elsewhere? The Church, in these cases, only makes a judgement after very careful examination, and this may take many years to complete.
“Where have all the faithful gone? Where do we sometimes go? Why have they left and how might they find a way back home? In this program, I invite listeners to rekindle the sense of wonder and awe we have in experiencing Our Lord’s splendor. I also encourage my audience to consider that the world offers us many competing “values” – people, places and things that are appealing and in place of Our Lord.
“However, as an experiment for listeners to try at home, I invite all to “turn aside” (see Ex 3: 3) with Moses and consider Our Lord in the Burning Bush. I propose six short steps for us to take there together. “