Visionary Jakov Colo speaks to pilgrims in Medjugorje, Thursday evening, August 20, 2009.
Prayer is a gift from the Lord, and I can tell you, it is a gift that the Lord desires to give to every one of us. I have discovered that we simply have to ask; every single day we have to ask our Lord for this gift, and then to accept it. We have to transform our prayer into joy, because none of us are capable to pray if we feel like we are obliged to pray. It has never happened, here in Medjugorje, that Our Lady has said you have to pray. She always invites us. But it is us that need to feel within our hearts the joy of prayer, peace in prayer, and then to transform prayer into joy. The prayer simply has to be transformed into our daily food. Prayer becomes the answer to what we’re looking for. Many of you come here to Medjugorje. Most of the time we, the visionaries, encounter you, you usually would ask a question and you desire some answer from us, but we cannot give you answers. We can only give the testimony of what we are supposed to do to receive the answers. As I said before, to pray, and to have faith. And the Lord will do it for us when He thinks it’s the right time to do it. We are not supposed to be like those who say, “I have been praying for six months but nothing happened.” This is not faith. We always have to persist and continue in our prayers, and we have to believe. Why? Let us just think a little. Who can know us better but the Lord? Who would know better what we need in every single moment of our life but the Lord? That is just enough to open our hearts toward Him and to grant Him our lives.
What Our Lady asks from us very often is to pray in our families, to put the Lord in the very first place, and to have time for the Lord in our families. Our Lady says “There is nothing that can unite the family like when you pray together,” to pray together with our children, to be an example to our children. We parents have to understand we are responsible, because every child is a gift of God, a gift that we have to help to grow, and everything starts when they are born. As our late Father Slavko used to say, “You parents are supposed to put the seeds of faith in your children.” Everything starts from the family, and we do have a great responsibility. Often times we give to our children many things, many things that very often are not important. For example, we buy them new cell phones, new computers, new cars, and we see our children very joyful in that moment, but that is a joy that will pass. The true joy and true peace comes only from the Lord, and this is what we have to teach our children. I believe that there is nothing more beautiful for a parent but to see his own child pray. When your child comes and asks you to pray together with him. When you see your child going to Holy Mass, and coming back from Mass joyful, that is the most beautiful thing.
Our Lady asked us for fasting. Tomorrow is Friday. This is especially for Italians.(Laughter) Those who always rebel the most are Italian. Very often they say why fasting, it’s enough to give up food. Sometimes I feel bad, because many people come and ask what should we do, what must we do? Our Lady said once, “Dear children, with prayer and fasting, you can achieve anything, you can even stop wars.” We know what we are supposed to do, but we have to ask ourselves am I doing that? For there is one very important thing in fasting: we are supposed to do it in silence with love. It is not the way that everyone should know that we fasted, and once we learn to fast with peace and love in silence, then we will finally start to thank the Lord for that, for everything He granted us. Even for that little slice of bread we find on our table every single day. Let us think for a little while. How many people in the world are starving and dying out of hunger? How many children are dying? How many children suffer because they are hungry?
And how much do we thank the Lord, because very often we always ask for more and more. We are never content and we never thank the Lord for what we already have. In fact in one of Her messages Our Lady said, “…you work, you do many things, but without blessing…” We have to remember without God’s blessing nothing works. As I said before many times we call ourselves Christians and many times it just ends in words, because very often we have our neighbors who are in a bad position and we barely even notice them. How many sick people are in hospitals and no one goes to see them? How many orphanages for abandoned children? How many times do we go to find them? In order to be Christian we have to be able to shake a hand with a person, to smile, and to recognize our brother in every person, because before the Lord we are all the same, we are all children of the Lord.
What Our Lady also invites us to do is to convert. Very often I try to explain this to pilgrims, that in Medjugorje you are not supposed to come in the first place to see the visionaries. As you can see we are normal people just like every other person. We are not holy, although many times you insist that we have to touch your rosary or you have to touch us. This is supposed to be done by a priest. We are trying to be holy, as every single person is supposed to do, just as Our Lady always invites us to holiness. In Medjugorje you don’t come to experience the signs, because you can see that many people will look in the sun for like a half hour, and during that half hour it is during the Holy Mass. We do not realize what simply is the greatest miracle for every Christian, that if we talk about signs, what are signs? I believe that every single one of us is a sign of the Lord. Every neighbor of yours is a sign. It is just enough to ask, do we see that sign?
In Medjugorje one comes for one reason, and that is our conversion, to change our lives here, to start a new life, a new life together with our Lord and Our Lady. But the most important thing is to bring that prayer into our families, into our communities, and remember one thing. The true pilgrimage starts when you go back home. That’s when you will be able to realize what you received in Medjugorje. Will you continue what you received in Medjugorje? Because I am so sure, no one will leave Medjugorje with empty hands. Our Lady gives something to everybody, but it’s enough that we start living that and continue to live that. And many times Our Lady said, “I desire you all to be my apostles on earth,” but to be apostles of Our Lady is not only to talk, because when we talk we are all the best. We have to witness with our own life, to talk with our own life, to be an example through our life to others, so that others may recognize God in us; so that they can see the way God works through every one of us.
We all know that this world is in need of peace, and Our Lady has come to Medjugorje as Queen of Peace. How many wars are going on in the world today? War is not only when we use weapons. We have the war with our young people. How many drug addicts, how many young people are destroyed by drugs? How many abortions in the world? How many families are destroyed? It is all war, but Our Lady says, “With prayer and fasting, we can even stop wars.” So what we have to do is open our hearts, put our lives in the hands of the Lord, and to start to pray. And the Lord will do the rest.
At the end, I would like to share with you a message that I love a lot. It is a message that really represents such immense motherly love. Our Lady said, “Dear children, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry out of joy.” Let us all ask today, how much do I love Our Lady? How much do I thank my Mother for everything She gave me? How many times I could do something with my life but my heart wasn’t ready for it? In the same moment let us thank the Lord, that we do have this possibility. Many times I have pilgrims ask me, “Jakov, are you afraid of dying?” And I always respond, “Yes.” Many tell me, “You have seen Our Lady and you are afraid of dying?” I said, “If I knew that I would go straight to Heaven I would die right now.” But even I have to earn Heaven.(For more about Heaven, see the Heaven section of Medjugorje.com) In fact every morning when I wake up, my first prayer is to thank the Lord, because that new day is always a great gift for me; because I see it as a gift and that I was granted another day to earn Heaven. I will pray for all of you, for all people who are sick, for all your intentions. And I would kindly ask all of you to pray for us, visionaries, as well, for Medjugorje, so that we may always remain united in prayer. That is the most important thing. Thank You.