I had heard many personal stories about other pilgrim's trips to Medjugorje. I was told that Medjugorje is a holy place, it will change you, you will receive direction, graces, maybe even a miracle or two. I can confirm this.
The Lord lead me on a road of discovery beginning in Fatima, where he illuminated my heart to His presence in my soul. Then to Garabandal, Spain, where He opened me to the power of the Eucharist. Arriving in Lourdes, France, I felt the presence of Mary and Joseph, letting me know I am being searched for and will be found if I allow it to happen through the true presence of their son.
I reflect on an earlier entry, ”I have been asking the Lord to reach into my heart and rip it wide open so that all that should not be there empty’s out and all that will be left is His love.” This prayer was answered uniquely and beautifully in a way that I could never have imagined.
Medjugorje is holy ground. My last night, sitting with new friends that felt like old friends, I was told, with certainty, that nothing in Medjugorje is chance. Everything happens for His reasons. I was looking across the table at the face in front of me as a joy-filled new friend told us that the smell of roses was wafting from our table. I understood with clarity why I needed to understand the Eucharist. I needed to accept our Lord’s presence and his desire for me to hold onto Him like a mast on a ship and prepare for journeys to destinations unknown. Mary, in her abundant love for her children guided me to mass, apartition hill, cross mountain, an adventurous taxi ride, finding a beautiful restaurant on the edge of town, having a Holy Man bless me while placing relics of St. Faustina and St. John Paul II on my head, receiving the gift of an interior vision of a golden tether from my heart to a prayer I had left under my sleeping St. Joseph, running down a dirt path to adoration, lighting of the candles, the crucifix, a giant rain storm while descending cross mountain and finally to that table. She sent Diedra over to say that all of that was her gift to her pilgrims. A gentle kiss from a loving mother.
Diedra sat down with us, and as she told us, the smell of roses coming from our table was intensifying I knew then that immersing myself in deep prayer made a profound impact on my soul and introduction to many other prayers will allow me to become a dedicated servant to our Lord.
”Who shall find a strong woman? Far away, and from the furthest parts is her price.” Proverbs 31:10
How can I share the most sacred and intimate moments of grace and wisdom being showered down upon me in a way that others can understand? The words that ring loudly in my heart are ’pure love.’
My heart was ripped open, and an inexplicable force filled every part of it and allowed me to be at my most vulnerable with courage, to embrace with gratitude, to accept with humility, to give with passion, and to pray with fervent desire to receive wisdom, and the painful ability to let go of what is not mine. I am filled with joy and want to call out to the world,’God Loves You!’
My warrior cry is, ”Pick up your rosary and pray, never set it down.” I will pray ceaselessly for our priests and Bishops, for others, for the prayer requests, and conversion of the world. Filling myself with God is filling myself with love; there is no better way to live.
My taxi driver picked me up at 3:00 am to drive to the airport in Croatia. Staring out of the side view mirror, watching the last place I stood, where I lept with joyful exuberance as a way of reaching out for one last hopeful moment of experiencing grace, slowly fade away was more challenging than I could have imagined. Over the years, I have learned to detach myself from that which I have no control over or is unobtainable. I wept soft, gentle tears when I could no longer see the place I had to say goodbye to a moment in time that will set in motion the discovery of whom God created me to be. As I crossed the border into Croatia, I felt even deeper the knowledge that I had made friends, richly, and abundantly spiritual friends. I had a community that I was quickly a part of, and I had received the gift of a friendship that was a mirror of my soul and made an indelible mark in my heart. I had to say goodbye and trust that the will of God is in play, and through prayer and service to our Lord, all will be revealed.
A poignant song came on the sound system while I sat in the airport waiting for my flight to go home. The doors that have held back words I have wanted to say, feelings I have wanted to express broke open, there was no strength, my soul was defenseless to the melody, and the words; I sobbed uncontrollably. I could feel the people around me looking at me, and I desperately tried to contain the wild torrent of emotions pouring out of me. I felt deeply embarrassed. However, it was necessary. It meant I am capable of receiving the mystery of God, and I can now live out my mission in complete trust that our Lord will reveal what is possible and provide the grace to pray and know that He will continue to fill my life with more wonderous stops on the long and winding road.
”Do not be cowardly in your soul.” Sirach 7:9
After the tears were wiped away and per the prompting of a hilarious friend, ”crying in the airport come on man, get it together” I got it together. I boarded the plane, buckled myself in and looked up from my seat to be given a final kiss:
When you give in to our Lord the gifts of his love will never cease to bring joy to your heart.