The State of Virginity

The State of Virginity
I should like you to be free of all worries. The unmarried man is busy with the Lord's affairs, concerned with pleasing the Lord; but the married man is busy with this world's demands and occupied with pleasing his wife. This means he is divided. The virgin - indeed, any unmarried woman - is concerned with things of the Lord, in pursuit of holiness in body and spirit. The married woman, on the other hand, has the cares of this world to absorb her and concerned with pleasing her husband. I am going into this with you for your own good. I have no desire to place restrictions on you, but I do want to promote what is good, what will help you to devote yourselves entirely to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ARE THE MEDJUGORJE APPARITIONS AUTHENTIC?

My story of Medjugorje actually began way back in the year 2007. A friend of mine who is a priest invited me to visit this place in one of his emails. When I first heard of his invitation I thought that it must be a joke that he should invite me to visit such a place. What am I going to do there? I must admit that although I was baptized at the age of eleven, I didn't really focus much on religion. Time could be one of the limiting factors. I didn't have the time to pray. I have never stopped studying since the day I started schooling at the age of seven. After having completed my STPM I started with the LL.B. followed by a degree in TESL and then an MA in English Literature. Maybe the invitation came at the right time. I had just submitted my MA thesis a few weeks earlier and was wondering what I should do for my Ph.D. thesis. I had more time to think and do some research on Medjugorje during this interval. I pondered for weeks whether I should visit this distant land. I suppose it was God's will that I accidentally bumped into Randall Sullivan's "The Miracle Detective" in one of the bookshops. I found this book very interesting. I read this book over and over again. I also read about Medjugorje online. I began to understand Medjugore more than I ever did. But still why should I go there?

One day, I prayed to the Mother of God asking her to help me make up my mind about Medjugorje. That night, I held her statue on my bed and talked to her for awhile before I put it back on the altar and went to sleep. Whether it was a coincidence or not, I felt a strong electric jolt running through every nerve of my body. I was so scared. I thought I was going to die. I started praying and calling out to Our Lady telling her that "I want to live". After some time, the electric jolt stopped. For a few days I kept thinking about what happened that night wondering what it meant. I have never had such an experience before. I did read about Rita Claus' case before but I didn't really pay any particular attention to it. When I reread "The Miracle Detective" again I began to wonder whether the electric jolt that she experienced before her healing could be the same as what I experienced that night. Was it a message from Our Lady that she has invited me to Medjugorje? Well, I made up my mind at that very instant. Yes, I would go to Medjugorje. It was already April 2007 and I was only left with less than 2 months to prepare for this journey. I looked forward to go to Medjugorje with great excitement. I began to love Medjugorje.

It was about 11.30 pm when I boarded the plane at the KLIA Airport. The German guy beside me was very friendly and he had so much to talk about. When the plane finally took off I suddenly felt tears in my eyes. Yes, I was going to Medjugorje after all. I didn't want the German guy to see me crying as I myself didn't know how those tears got to be there. I looked out of the window and told the German guy that I wanted to see the plane take off. My new German friend told me that he couldn't sleep during the flight and could talk all night. I enjoyed his company very much. And he always offered me his food even though I couldn't finish mine. It was a wonderful flight and I enjoyed every moment of it including the transits in Frankfurt and Munich as well. The flight attendants were very friendly. The Germans are very courteous people.

I arrived at Sarajevo after 9.00 pm. It was already dark. On the way to Medjugorje the roads were very dark. There were no lights. It will take some time for this country to recover after the war. It was already past midnight when I arrived at Medjugorje. The first thing I saw was St' James Church in the dark.

In Medjugorje I attended mass twice daily at St' James Church. English mass is at 10 am on weekdays and 12 noon on Sundays. Croatian rosary is at 6.00 pm followed by Croatian mass at 7.00 pm. The days I spent in Medjugorje were full of excitement. There were so many things to see and to do. I just couldn't have enough time to do all the things that I wanted to do there. I didn't even have enough time to do my shopping. And Medjugorje is truly a shopper's paradise!

Many of you would probably heard of the Risen Christ statue and about the liquid that oozes out from Christ's knee. I saw it with my own eyes. Unexplainable, isn't it? We took turns that day to collect this liquid which is believed to have healing properties. The guy before me had already collected a small bottle of liquid and yet when it was my turn I could see more liquid oozing from Christ's knee. I used a tissue paper to absorb as much of the liquid as I can and now this tissue paper is in my Bible.

I climbed Podbrdo Hill once on a Sunday together with the other pilgrims whilst sayng the rosary. When I arrived at the top of the hill some pilgrims were praying for a woman who was sick as she was kneeling down in front of the statue of Our Lady. I prayed together with them. My eyes were filled with tears even though I wasn't feeling sad at that moment. Although many people have contested the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions, I couldn't help feeling the intense presence of Our Lady in our midst right there on Podbrdo Hill that day. And it is probably this feeling that brings the pilgrims to Medjugorje year after year. They could feel her presence there. And it is this feeling that matters most irrespective of what people may say about the apparitions.

I managed to climb Krizevac mountain twice during my stay in Medjugorje. During the first climb the weather was fine. There were lots of pilgrims on the mountain that day. I scribbled my name and the date on the lower part of the cross. I said the rosary together with the other pilgrims. I intended to climb Krizevac Mountain again before I left Medjugorje and during this second climb the weather wasn't so good. When I reached the summit there was not a soul to be seen. I saw Father Slavko's memorial and the image of this Croatian priest suddenly flashed so vividly in my mind that I couldn't help feeling that he was alive. A sense of great calm and peace descended upon me. He was there. I knew he was. I could feel his presence. Although I have never seen seen him before I have read a lot about him and my heart is always full of admiration for him. And it was indeed a great privilege that I got the chance to be alone with him on Mount Krizevac that day. I talked to him for a long long time.

After my conversation with Father Slavko, I knelt in front of the Krizevac Cross and said the rosary. There was peace and calm everywhere on Mount Krizevac at that moment. And in the midst of this great calm and peace I got my message - the message that would change my life. I descended Mount Krizevac a much different person. And my life would not be the same again. I was born again that day.

If circumstances would allow it, I would love to stay in Medjugorje forever. Truly this is a place of love and grace, a place of deep conversion, a place where heaven touches the earth. The Mother of God has invited me there to get closer to Her and to Her Son. When I returned from Medjugorje I started saying the rosary every night and I can pray for hours, something I seldom did in the past. I have since learnt to say the Croatian rosary. It has been more than two years since I last said my rosary in English. I prefer to pray in Croatian and French now. Croatian is a beautiful language. I can even sing some Croatian songs now. Gospa majka moja, Kraljica mira ... And I've brought Medjugorje home with me.

My journey to this small distant village between two mountains will always remain as one of the most memorable events in my life. Truly Medjugoje has changed my views and perceptions about life. Because of Medjugorje, I live my life all over again. I cried the day I left Medjugorje knowing that I will miss this place all my life.

So after my journey to Medjugorje, what do I think of the apparitions? Are they authentic? Is the Gospa still appearing in Medjugorje today? One cannot deny the fact that the miraculous healings of Daniel Setka, Jozo Vasilj, Rita Claus, Diana Basile and Charlene Vance did in fact occur and they are real miracles of Medjugorje. These cannot be contested. Where does the liquid that oozes from the Risen Christ statue come from? No one can explain the mystery of this weeping statue. Is it a miracle? What else can it be? Something is really going on in Medjugorje. What about the electric jolt that I experienced the day I prayed to the Gospa asking her whether I should go to Medjugorje? Was it merely a coincidence? It has never happened before nor has it ever happened again after that night. My experience on Mount Krizevac ... I will not comment further on it here ... all I can say is I've promised to consecrate my virginity to the Lord that day. The wedding photo in my blog was taken in a ceremony to consecrate my virginity to the Lord 9 months after I returned from Medjugorje. One of the special graces of Medjugorje is when you leave this place your heart and life are changed forever.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story and how nice that you were so blessed by our Mother. Please walk in humility in Her name and our Lord's. Please remember His meekness and allow Him to guide you again in humility and grace.

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  2. Hi, I too was deeply moved by your story. Can you post any more photos of your ceremony? was it in a church? in medugorge? you look so radiant on your wedding day!

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