Father Livio: Already last month Our Lady prepared us for Lent saying that we must awaken and renew ourselves like nature and inviting us to prayer and fasting. Today the invitation to prayer and fasting is repeated twice. The second time alongside it with the wars that can be repelled. It seems to me to be a special moment. Our Lady had already said that Satan wants war, he wants hatred ...
Marija: Here in Medjugorje with sunny days, very spring (like days), we live as in a privileged oasis: the cases of covid have disappeared here and you no longer even wear a mask. In this time of penance, of Lent, people go up to the Hills. In the Croatian people there is a particular sensitivity to fasting and renunciation in the time of Lent; more in Eastern countries, less in Western countries where there is wealth and sacrifice, fasting, prayer, etc. have been forgotten.
Turning on the radio, not only the Catholic one, you hear prayers and songs of Lent ... In this time of coronavirus this need to pray more and rebuild the spiritual life has awakened. I am praying for Italy because there is so much need. Thank God there are so many prayer groups that even during the lockdown continued on through prayer using modern means. Today I had experience with prayer groups in South Korea, from where many pilgrims came to Medjugorje ... Our Lady tells us: "Live this time of grace and be witnesses of hope because, I repeat to you little children, with prayer and fasting even wars can be rejected. ” I believe that a person who prays has great faith. At first it's a bit difficult, but then slowly we get to the point that we can no longer live without prayer. So is fasting. I remember many wonderful experiences. Today a large group from America called me saying that they offered nine days of fasting on bread and water for the intentions of Our Lady. They asked me to offer this sacrifice to Our Lady during the apparition. I did and Our Lady smiled. The most beautiful thing is what Our Lady tells us: to believe that prayer and fasting really work miracles, stop wars, change hearts, suspend natural disasters. I believe that today's invitation of Our Lady to fasting and prayer is also due to this virus that has put fear inside us. Our Lady tells us that if we return to prayer and fasting we will no longer be afraid.
Fr Livio : Can you explain which fasting Our Lady asked for throughout the year on Wednesdays and Fridays from midnight to midnight?
Marija:I want to clarify one thing because a priest said that he had heard my testimony in which I said that at midnight and one minute we put water for the spaghetti. Let me be clear: if there is no love, do not fast; if there is no desire, but a spirit of criticism, don't do it! We must do it with the heart. At the beginning Our Lady invited us to fast on bread and water on Friday and then also on Wednesday. We have made many novenas, even the forty days of Lent, novenas before the holidays, but always with much, much love ... If you begin to criticize and say that it is too difficult, give up fasting! Fasting is an invitation that Our Lady made us and if we believe in her, in her presence and in her help, fasting is a gesture of love and I know that my renunciation makes sense, because with fasting and prayer even wars can be removed ... If you cannot fast with bread and water, do some renunciation, renunciation of language, renunciation of meat, wine, smoke, telephone, games, of computers ... you know where the weak point in your life is. Get on your knees and pray, because one who prays fasts more easily, with more love and becomes even more steadfast in faith. Prayer is not simple repetition, but it becomes life. Prayer also becomes union between Christians who love, share and stay together like the first Christians ... We see this with the pilgrims who arrived in Medjugorje in the early years: we have a solid friendship more than between blood brothers and sisters , because it is a brotherhood founded on faith. So it is with so many priests, so many nuns who have had their vocation here .
Fr Livio : Once again Our Lady invites us to be witnesses of hope. It seems to mean: "You are in a situation where you can get discouraged and think that all is lost, but you must testify that instead my Immaculate Heart will triumph". It seems to me that this is the mission that Our Lady entrusts to us.
Marija:Exactly. I believe that Our Lady has prepared us throughout these years. Just today I spoke to my friend Jelena, a schoolmate, then of the prayer group and also united in the persecution suffered by communism. We have gone through very hard times, very difficult times, but strengthened by the grace that the Lord has given us with these people, these friendships, sisters and brothers in Christ, who have always supported us. We visionaries were daily in danger of life. The police frightened us, they took us to the asylum, to hospitals, they locked us up in a room like in a prison. Thank goodness, being minors, they didn't put us in a real prison like Father Jozo. I was talking to this friend about these things. Forty years have passed and it seems like four days, because in our heart there is the freshness of the presence of the Madonna in our midst. As we speak among us, it seems that Our Lady is walking with us ... The Lord has given us this grace: we have been chosen by God. Our gratitude is great. With emotion in our hearts we say: "Lord, why so much grace to me?" Even if this grace also involves pain and suffering, often not understood, called visionaries, but with those people who embraced the message of Our Lady with us, we shared prayer, sacrifices, many penances, we were on the Hills with the bora, with the cold. All this with the intention of making a sacrifice by offering it for the intentions of Our Lady, so that she presents everything to her Son Jesus for peace in the world, for peace in hearts, in families, so that wars may end,
Fr Livio: Our Lady tells us: Believe and live in faith and with faith and in this time that there is restlessness, confusion, agitation, we have so many problems, She makes us a beautiful promise: "... my Heart Immaculate does not leave any of you in restlessness if you have recourse to me ". She exhorts us to give all that disturbs and frightens us to her Mother's Heart.
Marija:What a joy when I heard these words! If I knew how many people confide in me their anxieties, fear of the future ... I say that we are in God's hands. If it is God's will, I can die of heart attack, coronavirus or something else; it may be that I have to go through an ordeal of suffering, intubated ... But if I am a person of faith I heal faster. Scientists also say it: those who have faith have that positivity in them that also stimulates healing ... Our Lady places this peace, this serenity, this hope of not being afraid of the future in our hearts. The hope that our grandparents lived, the hope that the first Christians lived even dying martyrs torn to pieces in the arenas. Even today there are Christians who die for the faith ... Our Lady from the beginning recommended making a good confession. If we truly believe in the sacrament, a new life begins with a good confession. There is a lot of confusion and confession helps us a lot. Once in the prayer group Our Lady said that even if the priest were a great sinner, his absolution is valid, it is grace. This time of Lent is not only an invitation to prayer, fasting, renunciation, little sacrifices, but also to a good confession ...
Marija and Father Livio then prayed the "Magnificat" and the Gloria
... and Father Livio concluded with the blessing.
Marija and P. Livio