Chat with other believers about Medjugorje.

Moderators: TimHaley, MedjAdmin, Management

User avatar
By MedjAdmin
#223467
As you probably know, I brought two self-proclaimed atheists to Medjugorje for our upcoming film, Apparition Hill.

They were both delightful people, and we had many wonderful conversations during our trip. They decided on their own to join us in praying the rosary and everything else on the trip, so that they could get the full experience before deciding what they felt.

One of them, Pete from the UK, has decided to return to Medjugorje in October. I'm looking forward to seeing him again soon. He will be with our group, and then we'll have some extra days with him afterwards.

Pete kept a blog before, during and after his experience with us in Medjugorje, and I thought I'd share it here so you can see what Medjugorje is like to a person who doesn't believe in God:

https://ipetestarr.wordpress.com/
#223469
hi sean,

nice work ... i read through some of his blog posts .. seems like a nice guy.

did he post a kind of summary of his whole experience? .. i could not find that. He was very active at Medjugorje. lots of posts and photos - a worthy participant.
#223470
ministryvalues wrote:did he post a kind of summary of his whole experience? .. i could not find that. He was very active at Medjugorje. lots of posts and photos - a worthy participant.
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your reply and kind words. I have not summarised my whole experience, it is a work in progress and that is certainly a great idea - I will make sure I do that when I'm ready! I've done a lot of thinking but not pulled it all together into a conclusion - it is for this reason that I'm returning to finish the job! I will certainly be recording my experiences along similar lines to that of the ApparitionHill trip!

I think that my attitude did change a bit before, during and after the experience. Immediately before the experience I became quite interested in some utilitarian benefits of religion (not specifically Catholicism although it's as good an example as any) and whilst I don't think that those benefits require religion per se, I don't see an obvious secular equivalent. I think I go into this a bit in my blog - if I don't, then I must have a draft post somewhere that has not been published!

As for mind shift during and after the trip - well, I can't really say right now but given time 'the truth will out' as they say!

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Pete
#223480
bluecross wrote:Hi, Pete, seems to me that you experienced love in a way that you hadn’t before.
I'm not really sure how you arrive at that conclusion! I'm pretty sure I didn't but there were certainly many beautiful moments - but I've come to expect that from people :)
bluecross wrote:The group experience is always special for first time pilgrims. It throws up a lot of challenges and we discover much about ourselves and others. But the love is there as seen in the may instances of bonding the group experienced.
I agree - although I'm a shared experience person and was not surprised at the intensity of the experience. I think more people should do it - be it wild camping, charity work or pilgrimages! Whatever floats your boat!
bluecross wrote:That’s the message of Medjugorje: Love.

Enjoy your next trip, Pete. Every pilgrimage is different with new experiences.
There were certainly a lot of lovely people there! For me, to be thrown in with a bunch of strangers, in unfamiliar territory- both geographically & spiritually was great fun and very satisfying. I enjoyed having a break from my work and family - I enjoyed company and moments of quiet, peaceful contemplation: both equally valuable experiences but the latter difficult to fit in sometimes!

It was nice to be able to debunk some of the bad press and general misunderstanding of atheism too!

I will follow up on your suggested reading from Fr Svet soon.

Thank you.
#223483
leo daly wrote:Welcome to our forum Pete, hopefully you'll learn lots of things.
No doubt, but I hope you can learn from me too. It's very important that open discourse exists - especially between different world views. That was certainly my experience in Medugorje.

Thanks for your welcome!
#223484
Hi Pete,

If I may, please allow me to share with you some of my "practical" reasons for my attachment to Medjugorje (I will spare you the religious/spiritual aspects for now:)

One of the things that I like about Medjugorje is that it can make intellectuals look down right dull. Intellectuals can't be bothered with it. Their minds are made up. You can't get "elites" to look under the hood with any open minded rigor. They are curiously mute.

Six people say they peer into eternity, the after life, and speak with the mother of Christ. The whole world can watch them do it. It seems preposterous of course but the visionaries narrative has endured for over 30 years resulting a unique spiritual movement.

I don't have answer. I find it uniquely fascinating. It's a great mystery.

The most vocal critics are often the least inquisitive - The ones who shout that Medjugorje is a money making hoax are almost always the least informed. After all these years there is not a single shred of evidence that points to fraud.

You may want to check out a book by Randall Sullivan. He is a former Rolling Stone Contributing editor, raised by atheist and had been a committed agnostic until he stumbled into Medjugorje. The book is titled "The Miracle Detective"
http://www.amazon.com/The-Miracle-Detec ... 0802141951 There are a number of people on this forum (if you check out "books") who really liked this book.
#223488
Thanks Stephen,
ministryvalues wrote:I will spare you the religious/spiritual aspects for now:)
I appreciate you letting me acclimatise before laying on the heavy stuff :) I'm jesting of course, as life long amateur student of philosophy of religion married to a Catholic wife I'm both robust & tolerant enough to be able to handle it! In fact, I think that there are grounds for agreement on Medugorje being conducive to contemplative and spiritual experience - we may have to work on some definitions a bit but I do not deny transcendant experiences. I'm not convinced that there is anything unique about Medugorje in this regard but a place with a lot of rocks and not too many distractions is a good place to gather your thoughts.

I think that there have been some very serious attempts to both confirm and discredit the visionaries claims, much which comes from Catholic commentators of course. I think it's interesting that you don't think that there is a shred of evidence suggesting fraud - there are plenty of claims made to this effect but the extent to which you are persuaded by this is up to the individual.

I don't have the answer either and agree that maintaining a 34 year hoax between six people would be a remarkable achievement in itself! In any event, my intent is to approach my next visit with as open a mind and heart as I can and see what happens. Wish me luck, or pray for me if you think it could help :)

I will look up the book you have suggested and if I get a copy will feed back on it

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Pete
#223497
Hi Pete,

By now you must be eager to bite into a tuna pizza at Colombo's. :)

I have a question or perhaps a topic of discussion for you. I know you called yourself an atheist in your entry video, but I'm wondering if perhaps your beliefs are (or were) more those of an agnostic.

From Grammarist.com:

Agnostic vs. atheist - An atheist lacks faith in God, believes there is no god, or lacks awareness of gods. An agnostic either believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a god or is noncommittal on the issue. The difference may seem small, but atheism and agnosticism are actually vastly different worldviews. To claim there is no point in trying to prove or disprove God’s existence (as many philosophers have done) is to acknowledge the limits of human perception. To take the bold stance that there definitely is no god (as a few philosophers have done) implies that human perception is not so limited and that we can make such claims about the universe. These positions (as well as the position that God does exist) give rise to fundamentally disparate philosophies.
#223498
Obviously the trip has stirred some big questions in your mind -- questions that you'll hopefully be able to answer now on this second trip.

If you still aren't able to answer those questions after this trip, I will definitely have to start calling you an agnostic. :)
#223500
MedjAdmin wrote:By now you must be eager to bite into a tuna pizza at Colombo's. :)
I really am, and I don't intend to go thirsty whilst I'm eating it either :o

I'm not sure about that definition of atheism, it's hard to take seriously a language authority that uses a non-word in its web url (grammarist).

If we get too bogged down by the use of words then we spend all our time defining them - a simple definition of atheism that works for me is this - An atheist is someone that does not take as true the claim that there is a god or gods. As I explained during the filming, when you think about it, this does not tell you much about what I do think. It is not a belief system and there is no governing literature defining what it is to be one!

I've no argument with the agnostic definition, the fact that I cannot prove the absence of god(s) does not make me an agnostic. It is very hard, maybe impossible to prove the absence of something but, in my view, the absence of evidence IS evidence of absence!* So, no, I would not describe myself as agnostic :-)

The trip was certainly very thought provoking and has certainly provoked some questions that require some serious consideration and an answer. The specific challenge was, if I'm not mistaken, 'Medugorje: Truth or Hoax'. Before we're through I will have declared where I stand on both counts!

Pete

* Safe Harbour: the absence of evidence for the existence of any god(s) is my view and I realise that most, if not all the members of this forum will not agree. Whilst I'm happy to share my reasons for thinking the way I do I recognise and respect the fact that this is a forum for believers and I would not want to wear out the kind welcome shown :-)
#223501
Welcome to the forum Pete. I will follow your blog with interest!

my story is similar to yours in that I married a devout Catholic and I myself when we married was leaning towards being atheist.

I went to medjugorje twice, more for my husband than anything else. It took me a long time and much agonising to accept medjugorje as the real deal. Even now having swung over to being a practicing Catholic and bypassef my husband in this I still falter sometimes.

I'm not sure that you will be able to answer whether it's a hoax or not by the end of your second visit. that see like a tall order for someone who is an atheist.

whatever you decide you are welcome here. best of luck on your next trip
#223503
Hi Pete,

My thought with this particular forum post was that it could get our Colombo's conversation going a little early, minus the pizza and beer of course.

As I recall, our conversations there were usually quite cordial despite all the different views and opinions, and I'm sure that the forum members here will afford you the same "Medjugorje hospitality." In my opinion, your views are representative of a good portion of the population, and they would probably be shared by many members of this forum had they never discovered Medjugorje.

So, are you bringing your swimsuit? You were always the first one in the water and I'm curious if you can handle the autumn chill. :)

Sean
#223504
Welcome, Pete!

I haven't had the opportunity to visit Medjugorje myself just yet, so please share your experiences and have a wonderful second trip!
#223506
special agent mama,

Thank you for your welcome and for sharing your story. I think that I should qualify my comment claiming to 'answer' the Truth or Hoax thing - I agree it's a tall order. When I say 'answer' I mean to say that I hope to be able to have arrived at my own conclusions that, at the very least, I can explain with the courage of my own convictions what I mean. Establishing a position on 'the truth' is much easier than whether it is a hoax and I am not arrogant enough to think that my conclusions will be especially persuasive to anyone else!

I'm touched by your kind words.

Thank you.
#223507
MedjAdmin wrote:My thought with this particular forum post was that it could get our Colombo's conversation going a little early, minus the pizza and beer of course.
Speak for yourself - I'm having one now.
MedjAdmin wrote:As I recall, our conversations there were usually quite cordial despite all the different views and opinions, and I'm sure that the forum members here will afford you the same "Medjugorje hospitality."
You're too modest. I think that all the conversations were respectful and constructive. There were a couple of rogue outside elements but that was not a dynamic introduced by the group at all. You chose well young padawan...
MedjAdmin wrote:So, are you bringing your swimsuit? You were always the first one in the water and I'm curious if you can handle the autumn chill. :)
For sure, you provide the yacht and I'll jump off it - might attempt to avoid a belly flop this time though...
#223508
Francis86 wrote:Welcome, Pete! I haven't had the opportunity to visit Medjugorje myself just yet, so please share your experiences and have a wonderful second trip!
Thank you. I will take you along with me in spirit and attempt to capture a sense of it in my blog also - just in case the whole spiritual tourism thing doesn't work out :-)
#223510
PeteStarr wrote:You chose well young padawan...
Image

Haha, sorry, this was just too perfect as a reply to your Yoda quote.

The force is strong in you, Pete. You know that all Franciscan priests are also Jedis, right?
#223511
LOL! I wasn't expecting you to align yourself with the guy whose prepared to murder his son for his beliefs. Wait a minute... that sounds familiar! Seems I have to play Luke to your Vader and talk you back to the [en]light[ened] side!

'On a plate, handed it to me he has' :)

~~~~
[Edit: on re-reading this it occurs to me it may seem a bit obnoxious - please PM me if you think so and I'll calibrate future posts accordingly!]
Last edited by PeteStarr on Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
#223512
"You know that all Franciscan priests are also Jedis, right?"

Maybe, but did you know Fr Svet is actually Uncle Fester from the Adam's family. Seriously no, that is not right, he is a great man. But each time I see him I can see the unfortunate resemblance. I was nicknamed Monster from year 5 to when I left school in year 10. A few years later, some of my second cousins wanted me to play a game called Monsters, and guess who the monster had to be. That was without telling them about my school nickname

Cheers
Leo.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 36
your prayers are needed

sad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dpqM-y29L0

"Dear children, The will and the love[…]

The pope

Maryh you got it right on the confessional your on[…]