(St. John of God)
Dear Family of Mary!
Fr. Slavko continues his teaching on this message:
“Dear children, today I invite you to pray. Dear children, you forget that you are all important. The elderly are especially important in the family. Urge them to pray. Let young people be an example to others by their lives and let them give witness to Jesus. Dear children, I beseech you, begin to change through prayer and you will know then what you need to do. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (April 24, 1986)
Fr. Slavko Barbaric – April 26 1986 – Part Two
In this message we have an example, “The elderly are especially important in the family.” Guided by this message, I often ask myself and I ask you too, when did you last tell some elderly person in the corner in our home, or in the family: you are very important? Perhaps because we have never said this they have lost every desire in life, and all joy in it. Many of them have lived in the belief that someone is of value if they work, and after retiring they lose the meaning of living, they lose joy, and they feel of no importance.
Look at how Our Lady is educating us, how she wants to open our eyes to each other’s needs. From my words, perhaps from the words of a young person, depend the parent’s joy: and from the words of a parent depend the children’s lives. So, you see how important we are to each other, the life of another person can really depend on me, on you. If we discover these values life will change and perhaps we will have a new chance to discover and realize the nonsense of our fights, our hate, our envy, of our being closed and looking just for something for ourselves.
Our Lady said for the elderly people, “Urge them to pray.” These words must be understood in connection with the last words of this message. “Begin to change through prayer and you will know then what you need to do.” Through this message, prayer is once again a way to discover that I am important, that you are, that each one of us is. Through prayer, we can discover what we must do.
In her last but one message, she said, “Dear children, I want to guide you completely.” Why say, I don’t know what to do? I am frightened. If Our Lady tells us seriously, “I want to guide you completely,” then we must give Her our hand. I am sure that by coming here this is what you want to do.
And now a few words for the young people. Our Lady is asking a lot from you. She said, “Let young people be an example to others by their lives and let them give witness to Jesus.”
If you ask me how to give witness, I say, “Try.” How can you be an example for Jesus? By testifying. Jesus has invited us to live a life full of joy, of love for everyone, a life full of peace and a heart ready to bring peace. Jesus has invited us all to forgive when we are offended and not to be revenged; He has invited us to develop the gifts we have been given by God, and this is particularly valid for young people.
You have many possibilities of developing them. In the life of a young person, all laziness, all letting one’s self go is really a sin against the Holy Spirit. Our Lady has suggested two day’s fasting and prayer; why? Not in order to annihilate us. If a trainer wants to get the young people in his team ready, he doesn’t train them to reduce them to nothing, but to prepare them in order to have a good team for the new season. In the same way, Our Lady is asking certain things in order to prepare you young people to be able to face up to life, not to make you tired. We elderly can also be young on one condition, to be young in our spirit and soul. Someone who wants to renew his life doesn’t lose hope and even if difficulties come remains youthful.
What does Our Lady want of us? She wants to help us to open our hearts to peace, be ready to live the fullness of life; then it doesn’t matter how old we are.
We must be ready to open ourselves in prayer; as I open myself when I am with a friend, so I open myself to God. If I don’t spend time with someone, I will never open myself up; and it is the same with prayer.
Now I beseech you all to begin to change yourselves by prayer. I have already told you that Our Lady is asking for active prayer; this means that she is inviting us to be changed. If we accept the Word of God with our heart, then it will speak to us. The condition required to accept it with a new heart is prayer. If you read the messages you will realize that this is repeated in other words in every message.
But there is another important means available to us and that is fasting. It is a specialty of Our Lady. All our cookery recipes have become very complicated, but Our Lady has remained just as two thousand years ago; She has not changed the recipes of her kitchen which she is suggesting to us in our modern world where we have everything available. She says: the ideal is bread and water. But the stress is on bread.
When we come to Italy we find your specialties and, when you come to Medjugorje, you find this specialty. Why: Our Lady is not asking us for fasting because she is happy if we are hungry. This is not so. This is the chance to live on bread and it is an aspect, perhaps the first which we should discover, the Eucharistic aspect of this fasting. By living on bread for two days a week we will discover how important bread is and by discovering our daily bread we will more easily be brought to realize our Eucharistic bread. This will come to us step by step, slowly.
Fasting has its own value; it serves as a means, it serves us for our faith, for our prayer, for love and for reconciliation.
In the Beatitudes Jesus said that those who are poor of heart before God are blessed. He did not say blessed are those who do not have anything, but those who are poor of heart. We can interpret this as meaning blessed are all those who feel a need for God. This is what being poor means, that is, open.
Today, the editors of Spot (a local magazine) asked Vicka how Our Lady guides her, how she could describe Our Lady: friend, mother, unapproachable being from above? Vicka described her in the loveliest way, “Mary is Mother.”
Afterwards they asked her, “What do you lie most about this Mother?” She said, “Her exceptional goodness and tenderness. She is a Mother who loves everyone and wants us all to be saved, the whole of humanity.”
I tell you this because we must understand that everything Our Lady offers us, she offers to us as a mother who has understood and taken seriously the words of Jesus, “Here is your son.” She has kept these words in her heart. They are words which have moved Our Lady.
If someone says, “She is asking a lot, it is not possible,” we must accept. Our Lady loves us, and this is why she is inviting us, and I am sure that by coming here you will have understood and accepted her voice and will wish to continue.
I am inviting you. Our conversion will never be finished. So, be patient with yourselves. Conversion means growing in love, in peace, and in the spirit of prayer and penance.
Who of us is able to say that they have already grown enough, cannot love any more and cannot grow any further in faith? (Fr. Slavko Barbaric – 26th April 1986 – Part Two)
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!