“Medjugorje Has Restored My Faith in God”

“Medjugorje Has Restored My Faith in God”

About a year ago I was asked if I would like to accompany a group a pilgrimage from Burma to Medjugorje. I heard so much about this place; Father Wayne, who came here last year, was speaking so beautifully about it. As soon as I was asked I said yes.


October 15, 2008

Fr. Peter Foley

Fr. Peter Foley at Saint James Church Medjugorje – October 8, 2008

Fr. Peter Foley from South Africa
Saint James Church, Medjugorje
October 8, 2008

About a year ago I was asked if I would like to accompany a group a pilgrimage from Burma to Medjugorje. I heard so much about this place; Father Wayne, who came here last year, was speaking so beautifully about it. As soon as I was asked I said yes.

I’ll have to get permission from my superiors but yes I will go. And I was also told that an anonymous donor would pay for my entire trip to Medjugorje. Today, I still do not know who that donor is but I am eternally grateful for the generosity of that donor. They knew something about me. Even now in Medjugorje I’m accumulating so many Hail Mary’s to say for a number of free things that I’m getting— and just because I’m a priest. At least this will keep me praying the rosary as Fr. Jozo tells me pray the rosary with so many Hail Mary’s to do.

Initially at a basic level my reason for accepting to come was one of curiosity. To see this apparition thing sounds very shallow. Yes, I must admit that I am a mild skeptic. I am not one of those people who chase after this or that apparition of Our Lady. I’m like a rock wall like St. Peter, strong and sturdy, his faith, consistent. Well how wrong I was. Yes my faith is at times strong and steady, but St. Thomas the doubting one has become my new best friend. For a good reason he struggled his way to faith, he struggled his way to faith. His profession of faith, “My Lord and my God,” was only given three years after having been chosen as an apostle, after Jesus told him to follow Him, three years afterwards and only after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus’ words to Thomas at this point, “Thomas you are happy. You’re a happy man because you can see. But I tell you even more happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.

 All this brings me back to today’s Gospel. Lord, teach us how to pray like you and like John. Teach us how to pray. Pray just using these words, Jesus said—four or five statements: that your kingdom might come, give me my daily bread, what I need for today, help me to forgive others, and help me not to give into temptation. No long elaborate techniques of prayer. Jesus was a very practical man. Similarly, Medjugorje is a school of prayer. Today, no fancy techniques; the Rosary, pray to My Mother, meet Me in the Eucharist. I died for you. Get out My words to you in the Bible, fast, reflect on what I am trying to give to you. And untangle yourselves from all of the things that you tie your lives up with. And monthly confession that all you might feel and see that I do love and forgive you.

In a sense, Medjugorje has restored my faith in God, how I see Him, yet very, very profound. You know as priests, all of these priests here, all good men, all of us God has called us. But we priests can become too professional. We can become very complicated in expressing and teaching our Catholic faith, at all levels. But it is so simple: “I love you and you love Me.” That’s the basis of our faith. “I love you and you love Me, let us meet more often in prayer.” I also, while here, made a determined effort to seek my own healing in notably one confession. Confession, I’ve rediscovered the gift of confessing myself. Saving grace for sin that is forgiven. I’ve also heard many confessions of others and what an honor and privilege. What an honor to be a little part of God’s wonderful graces in this. Father, help me to make a good confession. Father, I find all this praying in Medjugorje overwhelming. To see all these people praying is overwhelming. Shouldn’t I be feeling guilty about something? These are all rightful and fully expressions of faith. Your faith is alive and active. Don’t doubt yourself. You are asking the right questions. Better to have the right questions than the wrong answers. As Jesus said to Thomas, even more happy are you who do not see things immediately yet struggle to believe. And to that donor who paid for my trip here, you have no idea how you have deepened my faith in the One that I follow and love. Our Lady is doing wonders in bringing millions to Her Son through Her messages of hope and encouragement. Our Mother of Peace, pray for us.

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