Today August 18, 2010 Medjugorje visionary Ivan gave a talk to several thousand pilgrims. Ivan has come a long way from the shy 16 year old boy who ran away when he first saw Our Lady. He speaks with confidence and ease as he relays what he feels is the most important things for pilgrims to understand about Our Lady and Her messages. Though the message is not always easy to live, he encourages everyone to answer the call of Our Lady, to accept this responsibility, so that we may experience the peace that comes from fulfilling Her call.
“Today, my dear friends in Christ I would like to greet all of you deeply from my heart. My desire is to share Our Lady’s messages given to us these 29 years. I hope you will understand that it is difficult to explain all the messages Our Lady has given over the years. I will talk about some of Her main messages.
“For the last 29 years Our Lady is coming to the world, and She is bringing us joyful news. She is coming as a Mother for all of us, and She brings hope to this tired world. She invites all of us to come to Her. As Jesus says in the Gospel, ‘Come to Me all of you who are weary and I will give you strength.’
“We come to Medjugorje to be with our Mother, to give Her our needs, wishes, and intentions. We come to our Mother with our problems, with our troubles and give them to Her. We come to our Mother, to sit in Her lap and ask for Her protection. We come to Mother Mary to ask for Her prayers, to ask Her to intercede for all our intentions to Her Son Jesus. Yes, Mother prays for all of us and intercedes for all of us before Her Son Jesus. Today, we have to decide to follow Her and take the path that leads to Her Son Jesus.
“Twenty-nine years ago Our Lady knocked on the door of my heart. She chose me to be an instrument in Her hands. She chose me to be an instrument in God’s hands. For me and my life and for my family, it was certainly a great gift, but, at the same time, a great responsibility. I know that God has given me much, and He asks much of me. To each one that is given a lot, much is expected in return.
“It is not easy, these 29 years, to be with Our Lady, to talk to Her everyday and be in the Light of Heaven, and then return back to this earth and continue to live here. Everyday I need a few hours after the apparition to come back to the reality of this world.
“Today, I would especially like to speak about the main messages Our Lady has given during these 29 years: Peace, conversion, praying with the heart, penance and fasting, a firm faith, love, forgiveness, the Eucharist, and hope. These things are Her invitation to follow a path to holiness. Our Lady is leading us through all these messages. She keeps Her messages simple to understand and teaches us how to live them.
“In 1981, I was just a child. I was 16 years old. Her coming was a great surprise to us. Before that first day, I couldn’t imagine that Our Lady would appear to anyone. The six of us were very excited when She appeared to us. She came as the Queen of Peace. She said, ‘I am coming to you dear children, because My Son sent Me to help you. Dear children, peace, peace, peace, only peace. Peace must reign in the world. Dear children, peace must reign between man and God and between all men. Dear children, this world and mankind is in a dangerous time, it would have destroyed itself.’ This is one of the first messages She gave us and the whole world. That second day we recognized Mother in Our Lady, and we are still with Mother today.
“What is Our Lady’s greatest desire? Peace is Our Lady’s greatest desire. Mother is sent to us by the King of Peace. Who, then, would know peace better than Our Lady, Our Mother, in what ways peace is needed in this tired world? She knows peace is needed for tired mankind. Oh, how much peace is needed in tired families, the youth, and the tired Church. Mother comes as the Mother of the Church. She comes because She wants to help us and encourage us, to console us, and to point out the wrong paths we have been taking. She comes to lead us to all good things. She comes to bring us medicine, Her Words, to heal us. She comes to give us love, and to bring Her gentleness and Her Motherly warmth. She comes to lead us to Her Son. Only through Her Son will we find peace.
“In one message Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, today more than ever mankind is falling into a difficult situation.’ Man is so far from God and prayer, and the biggest crisis is the crisis of no faith. ‘Dear children, mankind looks toward the future, but, without faith and without God. Dear children, today’s world cannot give you peace.’ You will soon become disappointed in what the world offers. You must decide for Jesus, put Him in the first place in your life and go toward the future with Him. ‘Dear children, today there is no prayer in your families.’ Parents no longer pray with their children. Families spend very little time together and there is no love amongst them anymore. Fidelity is gone in the family. There are so many broken and tired families. Our morals are gone, and Mother comes to invite us to peace. ‘Dear children, return to prayer in your families.’ In this way, the family can experience the Living Word of God.
“Mother comes to bring us from darkness into the light. Our Lady brings us hope, and She says, ‘Dear children, do not talk about peace, but, start living peace. Do not talk about prayer, but start living prayer. Dear children, in today’s world there are too many words. I invite you to stop talking and start working toward peace.’ She wants us to work on ourselves and our family life. ‘Dear children, only with prayer, and love for your families can your family be healed.’ In today’s world and in today’s families, it is important to pray because Our Lady tells us the world is spiritually sick! This is the diagnosis of Our Mother. We cannot have a physical healing before we have a spiritual healing. We must heal ourselves in a spiritual way through prayer. Today this world is not in a recession, it is in Spiritual Recession.
“Our Lady invites us to wake up from our spiritual coma which leads us to spiritual death. She wants to strengthen us in our faith through prayer. She wants to lift us from this sinful world. She worries about our salvation. She says, ‘Dear children, I am with you. I come to bring you peace. Dear children, I need you, I need you! Decide for good, dear children, and fight against sin and evil.’
“Mother speaks simply. She invites us with Her words, and She never tires. I repeat my testimony many times, and I speak about Our Lady’s messages. I am not tired. I am not tired because I see Our Lady everyday, and She is not tired. She continues to invite us to pray.
“Like many of you mothers here today who continue to encourage your children to be good, to study, to work hard, and to listen. You repeat it thousands and thousands of times, and I hope you are not tired. How many of you have had to encourage your children only one time and there was never a need to repeat it? Mothers have to repeat their direction to their children many times so they will remember it. Our Lady continues to repeat Her messages to us.
“ She comes as a Mother of hope. She brings hope to families and to the Church. Our Lady says, ‘Dear children, if you are strong, then the Church will be strong, but, if you are weak, the Church will be weak.’ You are the laymen of the Church. ‘Dear children, there is no healthy Church without healthy families.’ Our Lady invites us to family prayer and to renew prayer in the family. Our Lady invites us to attend Holy Mass and to make it the center of our lives. Attending Holy Mass is having an encounter with the Living Jesus. She wants us to open our hearts to Him.
“Our Lady invites us to monthly confession. She wants us to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in front of the Cross. In a special way, Our Lady invites priests throughout the world to start Adoration in front of the Cross in their parishes.
“Our Lady invites us to pray the Rosary with our families and to read Holy Scripture in our families. In one message Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, place the Bible in a visible place in your homes.’ Read the Holy Bible, and Jesus will be born in your hearts. Forgive and love one another. Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry tears of joy.’
“The important message from Our Lady is the invitation to pray with the heart. To pray, pray, pray. Do not pray with your lips, do not pray mechanically, do not pray out of tradition, do not pray and look at your watch, and do not wait for the end of prayer. Our Lady wants us to decide for prayer, to find time for prayer and we must find time for God. Praying with the heart means to pray with love and out of love for Jesus. Pray with all your being so your prayer becomes an encounter with Jesus. In this way, prayer becomes a conversation with Jesus, and you can rest in prayer with Jesus. Praying with the heart is joyful, and you will not be anxious about the future. Our Lady says, ‘Dear children, if you want to attend the school of prayer you must know there is no vacation.’ We must be in the school of prayer everyday. ‘Dear children, if you want to pray better, pray more.’ Prayer is a personal decision and a grace for those who pray more.
“Today, we complain that we do not have enough time for prayer. We always blame time as the problem. Our Lady clearly says, ‘Dear children, do not say you do not have time. Time is not a problem, dear children. The problem is love. Because, dear children, if you love something you will always have time for it.’
“Our Lady invites us to pray, and She shows us the way to joyful prayer. I hope you respond to Our Lady’s messages and become witnesses of Her love. I hope a seed has been planted in your hearts during these days in Medjugorje. I hope this seed finds good soil and bears good fruit. I hope your pilgrimage to Medjugorje is the beginning of your spiritual renewal. Take this spiritual renewal back to your homes and share it with your families.
“You will be a sign, pointing to Our Lady’s presence, and you will bring Her into your families. Decide for peace and decide for God. With God, we will have peace. God bless you.”