Friday, December 25, 2009
MY CHRISTMAS WISH 2009
(The above Christmas photo was taken in St. John's Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur.)
Just now I read again the book entitled "Medjugorje? What They Think!" which I brought home with me from Medjugorje. As I was flipping through the pages, I came across the interview with Rita Falsetto who went to Medjugorje as a volunteer for eight years. Fr. Dario Dodig spoke to her in 2001, a few days before she left. In response to Father Dario's question, "What would you say about your experience of Medjugorje as a result of your stay here?", she said:
When I first came here, it was more to support the humanitarian aid. As I began to work with Father Slavko I began to pray more, to attend the evening programme, the rosary, Podbrdo, Krizevac. As time passed by, my spiritual life was opening up, and getting progressively better. I was learning more about my Catholic faith. I was learning a lot from Fr. Slavko basically by watching him, observing him, being here during his Adorations and in general just praying more. Fr. Slavko, as we all know, lived everything he spoke about the messages of Our Lady. He lived fasting, prayer, conversion; he was a living example of how to live the messages of our Lady. Through that, I felt myself getting to know God and Our Lady and the beautiful traditions of the Catholic faith. (Excerpted from page 76 of the book: Medjugorje? What They Think!)
Next, I was reading the interview with Stephen and Wende Paliakas who spent 10 months in Medjugorje as volunteers in Mother's Village.
Stephen: At first my family thought I was crazy, "Why don't you go and get a job and start to earn some money to pay the bills?" However, we were persistent, we felt called in our hearts to do this and when they understood eventually they became supportive of us, but initially they thought we were nuts!
Wende: The only time in America we heard about Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina was during the war, so many people in their heads thought that the war was still raging. Many people thought we were coming to a dangerous place. Instead, we were coming to a place that was full of peace. When we go home we will make sure they understand this is a place of peace. We will try to get them to come as well.
Stephen: This is the safest place in the world!
Wende: It is protected by Our Lady!
(Excerpted from page 86 of the book: Medjugorje? What They Think!)
Then there is Melinda Dumitrescu, a violinist from Romania who decided to live permanently in Medjugorje. According to her:
Living in this way, abandoning oneself to God, is madness in the eyes of the world. I don't live like this because otherwise I wouldn't have anything else to do! This way of life involves swimming against the stream. Why? Because of whom? For what reason? I carry Jesus and Mary in my heart, and "the world" does not know them. I live this kind of life purely for Them.
By renouncing a career in music, I renounced many comforts, including that of obtaining the passport of another country when the opportunity was available to me. Now when I am invited somewhere, I always have to undergo many procedures in order to obtain a visa. In order to continue to play here in this parish, I need a residence permit. God will provide. It will please me greatly if it was possible to arrange that those who desire to put their lives at the service of this parish as volunteers, could receive all the necessary documentation. I know that I am not the only one here with this kind of problem. There are many volunteers in Medjugorje who want to do something worthwhile but they all encounter the same problem. One never knows when the law is going to change, and this is so in other places besides Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Living in Medjugorje on a permanent basis is not at all the same as coming here on a pilgrimage, which can lift some to the seventh heaven! Rather it is a laborious daily journey through the desert where we have to seek the source of life and the meaning of our existence. Every day is full of both of joy and tears, happiness and suffering. I know that God's reward is great. (Excerpted from pages 294-295 of the book: Medjugorje? What They Think!)
I really envy them very much especially Melinda Dumitrescu who decided to stay in Medjugorje on a permanent basis. I suppose they must have spent the most beautiful and memorable moments of their lives there. How lucky they are! Be it joy or tears, happiness or suffering, everything about Medjugorje is simply beautiful. When I came back from Medjugorje more than two years ago, I was so desperate to go there again to the extent that I even wrote to the University of Sarajevo to inquire about the Ph.D. programs of this university. I only wanted to be as close to Medjugorje as possible. But circumstances just don't allow me to further my studies there.
Tonight I prayed to Our Lady that I may be given the chance to go to Medjugorje again as a volunteer this time and stay there for many, many years. Maybe I can teach English in Mother's Village like what Wende did. I can even teach French. This is my Christmas wish. It is indeed a beautiful dream and I entrust this dream in the hands of Our Lady.
On this beautiful Christmas Day, I would like to wish all my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and relatives a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.