New Year’s Eve Is A Time to Look Back

 

December 31, 2010, A.D.

Our Lady of Medjugorje teaches us how to look back, so to better move forward.
 

It seems to be the way of the culture to always be moving ahead. In our hustle and bustle world, giving time to reflection is not high up on people’s priority lists. If we are looking back, is it towards the right things? New Year’s resolutions usually come about through some reflection—when we decide on something we want to change in our lives. But are we choosing to change those things that Our Lady would have us change? In other words, is holiness our first aim in life, and do our choice of New Year’s resolutions reflect that aim? Our Lady of Medjugorje cautions us to reflect on the right things when looking at our past.

 

January 25, 2002

“Dear children! At this time while you are still looking back to the past year I call you, little children, to look deeply into your heart and to decide to be closer to God and to prayer. Little children, you are still attached to earthly things and little to spiritual life. May my call today also be an encouragement to you to decide for God and for daily conversion. You cannot be converted, little children, if you do not abandon sins and do not decide for love towards God and neighbor. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 

We are then, “to look deeply into our hearts” when looking into our past and reflect on where we are attached to earthly things, what are the sins we have not abandoned, and where have we failed in loving God and neighbor. We may have put on a few extra pounds that we would like to shed in 2011, but if there is unforgiveness in our hearts, or other sins, what would Our Lady like for us to correct first? We are led to the answer through the messages She has been giving in Medjugorje over the past nearly 30 years.

 

This brings us to how the Caritas Community celebrates the passing of the old year and the ringing in the New Year. It is a tradition our founder, A Friend of Medjugorje, began early in the development of the community, through what he learned through reading Our Lady’s Medjugorje messages, and it is something everyone in the community looks forward to as the year draws to a close. The Community usually attends Mass for the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, on New Year’s Eve. Coming home from Mass, the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages has been decorated with balloons and candlelight and a scrumptious meal has been prepared. A beautiful altar has been arranged with a statue of Our Lady as the center point, and laid out among 30 or more tables are the photo albums of the community dating back to before there was a community, with just our founder’s family to the present day, more than 25 years of history. Having 250+ albums, it is a major feat to have all of this arranged for New Year’s Eve. Though we aren’t always able to have the photo albums displayed, the community will usually have some of their history displayed on walls and tables for the purpose of reflecting on where we have been, so we can have a greater vision of where we are going. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and several weeks into the New Year the albums are out and the displays are left up to give everyone a chance to reflect, remember and share the memories of our history and Our Lady of Medjugorje’s involvement with it from the beginning.
 

 

The evening goes by quickly, and as the time heads towards midnight, the lights are dimmed and everyone comes together before Our Lady’s statue. Kneeling down, we pray a Rosary that will end just as the New Year comes in. Before the Rosary begins, our founder will offer a prayer to Our Lady with the request that She would speak to us through Her messages throughout this special Rosary. We all pray that Her words from Medjugorje will be guidance for the New Year. A message is then randomly chosen from Words from HeavenÆ before each decade, with a final message picked at the end. These messages will then make up the first novena the community prays in the New Year, starting from this night and carrying on for the next eight days for Our Lady’s intentions for Caritas’ community and mission for the New Year. Right at midnight, a special song that we play every New Year’s Eve is played while we individually wish each other a Happy New Year. It is a joyous song to our Heavenly Father and is the perfect ending/beginning of the old/new year.
 

 

On New Year’s Day, the community again gathers together for a day of retreat. The retreat consists of each member, from the youngest to the oldest, taking their place behind the microphone and sharing with everyone their greatest joys and lessons of the past year. Several days before New Year’s many of the members begin reflecting upon what those joys and lessons were. It is always a day filled with laughter and tears as everyone recounts the most meaningful moments of the year for themselves, individually, as well as special moments shared in community. The spiritual lessons that each member shares from their own spiritual walk, is a great encouragement, in that we see that God truly is most powerful in our weaknesses. Looking thoughtfully at the past year, “looking deeply into our hearts,” as Our Lady advises above, helps us to discern the resolutions Our Lady would like us to make for the New Year. Our Lady of Medjugorje said:
 

April 15, 1984

“…Do not say that the Holy Year has ended and that there is no need to pray. On the contrary, double your prayers because the Holy Year is just another step ahead.”

 

 

Altar of Our Lady for New Year's Eve

The altar of Our Lady from last year’s New Year’s Eve community celebration. On the back wall behind the picture is a timeline of Caritas’ mission and community’s development. It is always amazing how much happens in a year’s time in Our Lady’s mission here—and also how much the joys and blessings outnumber the sorrows and difficulties. That is a lesson in itself.

 

Caritas Community children on New Years Eve

Two of the community’s joys, Victoria and Andrew, pose on a special beach chair that was in the presence of Our Lady in Her apparitions to Medjugorje visionary, Marija, in August 2003 when she was with us in the community in Florida for a week. At the beginning of the week, Our Lady gave a special message to the Caritas Community:

August 9, 2003

“Because it is your vacation, I will come whenever you pray.”

It was an incredible week in which there were times we spent three hours preparing for Our Lady to come with flowers, petitions, etc. The chair was part of how we adorned the statue of Our Lady, as can be seen in the picture below with the blue flower vase sitting on it. The chair was brought out for New Year’s Eve, 2009, along with many other special items from past apparitions of Our Lady with the community.

The altar and beach house

 

Caritas Community looking at photos

From New Year’s Eve, 2008, Caritas community members are making their way around the tables where more than 250+ photo albums are displayed on tables situated around the auditorium in the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages. Not having the opportunity to see all the pictures very often, community members’ study all the years of their history, always learning something new, and remembering things that haven’t been thought of in years. There are plenty of laughs to share, as well as wonder, and tears in reflecting on so many blessings and memories over the years.

Caritas Community looking at photos

 

Caritas children giving testimony

From New Year’s 2007, the smaller children always need a little moral support when they approach the microphone to share their best joy and lesson. The adults, on the other hand, to stay under their allotted time, usually have to eliminate some of the joys and lessons from their lists. Although, generally speaking, there are one or two major lessons each member can name for the year, the joys go on and on. It is always a joy to hear from a community member a joy that didn’t make your own list only because you had not remembered it.

Caritas Community member giving testimony

 

The Altar with Relics

New Year’s 2008, the community made a special altar with more than 100 Vatican registered relics of saints and special religious articles associated with Jesus’ birth and passion that have been given to the mission over the past 20+ years. It was before these sacred holy relics that we prayed our first Rosary of the year, at midnight. It was a New Year’s to remember as we asked for the intercession of these saints who had lived in other times of history, but through our prayers to them, collaborated with us for the success of Our Lady’s plans through Medjugorje.

26 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Is A Time to Look Back”

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  1. Carlos Bernardo Romero Fresned

    Bendito sea Dios Todopoderoso y Eterno y Bendita la Madre de Nuestro Senor Jesucristo, quien durante estos anos nos permite vivir a distancia, del amor de Nuestro Senor Jesucristo y de su Santisima Madre y recibir sus indicaciones para lograr llegar a su Gloria. Gracias a todos los que colaboran para que lleguen estos Mensajes.

  2. There is so much strength in praying together. And such a privilege to be a part of these apparitions of Mary in Medjugorje that are happening now. I am with you in spirit and am renewing my consecration of myself and all that it entails once again. Thank you dear Blessed Mother Mary for your intercession. On our behalf. How we are in need of the Peace that ” surpasses all understanding” in our hearts homes and in our land of America.

  3. Jeanie Lubitsky

    I am trying to access the novena that will be said for the next nine days. I wish to pass this on to those of us who will not be in attendance July 1 – 5 in the hope that our prayers can be united with all that are there. To the Glory of God and in obedience to the Blessed Mother of God Mary.

  4. Beata Magadla Sibetta

    Thanks our Blessed Mother Mary for your apparitions. I feel connected to Her more especially when you remain obedient to Her Son”s will and do what She asks of you. I really feel Her presence in my life especially, when you consecrate your entire family, and all you do to Her and ask Her to guide and walk with you. Our Mother, fights battles for you and protects you from the enemy. If only, all Catholics and Christians could know how powerful Our Mother is and the role She plays in our lives, this place would be a wonderful place for all to live in with so much PEACE in our hearts. Mother Mary continue to pray with us and for us. Amen

  5. Thank you my ever loving mother, to protect me & my family, country from violence etc. Thank you, thank you Mama for the blessed healing from RC UTI, and Vagina Infections. Please pray for me and all the sick people to Lord and pardon my sins. Thank you and God bless all. Joyes, Bahrain

  6. sophia patricia

    Mama Mary, Help me pray for peace in my heart in our trouble mind. Thank you for your divine love and this opportunity to listen from Medjugorje. thank you.

  7. Thank you mother Mary! and thanks my friends! Yes mother I used to pray for peace of the world and for peace of our families. Please Bless our families mother and pray for the none believers in our society. Mother I want to come to Medjugorje soon. Please pray for my intention. i am a member of the universal society of Holy Rosary. We were praying continuously. Pray for us Mother! we love you so much! Praise be the Lord!

  8. Thank you Mother Mary. Thank you. Please do take me soon for am in need of you. Each beat I say listen to me. Look after the world so sad. Heal my patient whom I visit and my family husband and all. Thank you Mother Mary.

  9. It is good to read the messages that Our Blessed Lady says. We should all of us, everywhere, put our lives and hearts into the hands of Our Lady and never look back. Amen.

  10. I pray for peace, in my heart first, to be able to give it to my relatives, to my small surroundings and country and may this peace make us vote for the abolition of law in favor of abortion. Dear Gospa, do not allow Uruguayans to be murderers of newborn children! Mir,Mir,Mir in our troubled minds!

  11. Trine Berthelsen

    Thank you fore remember me, mother. Thank you for giving me the oppotunity to those the peace of yours. And be patient ones again, while I those to be selfish and make selfdefense ones again… Help me.. Thanks… Mother.

  12. Florence Richards

    I am blessed to be able to get this email concerning Our Lady. At 40 an hour time I knelt and said some decades of the Rosary. I have a picture of Her in my bedroom. May the peace of Our Lady come to all of us. Amen

  13. Marybeth Albert

    Thank you for the AMAZING pictures! Although I am thousands of miles away I feel so connected to all that is happening in Medjugorie thanks to this wonderful website. God Bless You All and Thank You.

  14. Roberta Vasquez

    Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be in prayer at the exact time Our Lady is appearing. I feel blessed beyond words. This is my fourth time being in Alabama for the apparitions. I feel that everyone that goes was chosen by Our Blessed Mother.

  15. peter patrick glancy campbe

    as i see my children die through ill health here in scotland cancer and addiction playing a big part in it all , my one and only love of 56 yrs in marrage betty my wife now suffering dementia , with her care home now trying to destroy what peace we have by her home visits being questioned , by there policy of there laws ? please keep our suffering in your prayers ? hoping to be with you all this week in medugorje ? satan is now very much trying to destroy mankind in all ways possible ? but our love for jesus and family …will endure know matter what this suffering godless world throws at us …praise the lord …www.petercampbell.faithweb.com scotspeter channel

  16. Dear prayer group head IVAN,Please pray for my Daughter Shirlee shril in America CT attended bio tech jobs interview in US and waiting for placement. IVAN please pray for my daughter to be placed immediately by her MEDJUGORJE MOTHER MERCY.we will come to MEDJUGORJE FOR THANKSGIVING AND GET THE BLESSINGS. JOSEPH SHRIL DEVOTEE FROM INDIA

  17. Mary Ann C Golden

    Oh how I long to go back there.3 times is not enough.I stayed with Mirjana and she is so delightful and LOVES our Lady so much.

  18. Anne-Marie Barrilleaux

    God bless you all at this Christmas season and throughout the New Year. My husband and I are looking forward to spending some time at Caritas during the 5 days of prayer in March. Thank you for all that you do.

  19. God bless all of you, Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas season and a happy, healthy new year. I have been offering my masses for your community and the finishing of Our Lady’s tabernacle. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

  20. Dear Caritas of Birmingham, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!! Let the prayer flows from your/our harts to the whole world like a river and let there be peace …

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