Countdown to the 40th Anniversary: Dealing With Your Trials
Countdown to the 40th Anniversary: Dealing With Your Trials [Podcast] A Friend of Medjugorje, in this encounter, from December 2005, speaks about the crisis of faith, about the life of living the messages, and how this changes your outlook towards trials.
Thank you for joining us tonight, along with many people across the world who are joining in this retreat, as we prepare our hearts, spiritually, for the 40th Anniversary.
Tonight’s broadcast comes to us from our Five Days of Prayer that happened every December 8-12. These have happened since 1993, every single year, every December 8-12.
Interestingly enough, a Friend of Medjugorje always speaks during that period of time to pilgrims who are here, and he’s speaking about Medjugorje, but yet no two talks were ever the same. There’s a lot of context that happens with every encounter every single year, depending on what’s happening that year.
This particular encounter took place in December, 2005. That’s almost 16 years ago. The title of this talk was Dealing with Your Trials. And in today’s world, these are words which all of us are in need of hearing. So, here is a Friend of Medjugorje a December, 2005, Dealing with Your Trials.
[A FRIEND OF MEDJUGORJE]
As usual, I’m not prepared to talk, but we will anyway. I had Ruth leave a few messages, and I want to welcome everyone here.
We have this whole mission, that sprung forth from so many people that’s out there across this land that supports this mission. Even foreign countries, even people in Saudi Arabia, which, their mail gets screened, and some of it doesn’t get through to them. But I say that in the sense of the numbers don’t have to be here praying this novena to participate in what they do. And most people can’t come, of course, this time of year, but we have people all across the nation praying with us during these days, doing their holy hours, offering Mass, sacrificing, joining us. We were a little bit surprised this year, because we didn’t promote our nine days of fasting on bread and water that strongly. And we had people actually call us, because we actually were scheduled after January because Marija was here, then we had the charter, and then we went to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to with the hurricane. And we’ve been one thing after another, so it was going to be difficult for us to squeeze it in. But we had people began to call us in October asking for this annual fast. And we were actually surprised. And we were motivated by people out there across the land who says, “I want to fast and join y’all for this.” So, we quickly put together the dates, and for you who participated with us out there, there were several hundred, we know at least five to six hundred that joined us in this fast. Normally we get a thousand people. But this is something that came from the people themselves which really surprised us.
So, we here are joined in union with people across our land and praying for the reconciling of ourselves and our families and our nation back to God. And these days are serious days. And I take you back to Mirjana’s message once she received on “…this great day of prayer…” And a month later, I saw Mirjana and asked her what happened. Why did Our Lady say, in that apparition, “…this great day of prayer…”? And she said, she thought for a moment. She said, “Oh, yes.” Because I thought something happened, the Pope did something. I asked people what happened in the world events. Nothing happened. There were no great prayer movements. But Mirjana says, “Yes,” that the people who were there, fifty or so people, prayed with such fervency. And it really struck me that if fifty people pray like that, and Our Lady notes that, “…this great day of prayer…” then it’s not the numbers. It’s what’s from the heart.
And so, it’s important for us to understand that Our Lady has told us…actually, I got the message.
“…I do not need The Lord’s Prayer said a hundred or two hundred times. It is better to pray only one, but with a desire to encounter God…”
And so, we have it from Our Lady that all our prayers said from the heart, we’re wasting time. That we really need to be in a position of, coming to a tranquil heart and in peace and praying.
And so that said, never look at how many people are beside you. Elijah had no one beside him, and he stopped rain falling from Heaven for three years. Elijah had nobody beside him, and he began raining down from heaven by one prayer. So, you can do a lot, a lot more than what you can think. Everything here started from one decision, one call, and we see it rippling out all over the place. So don’t think that you’re strength and what you can do as far as having impact is a big shortfall. God can use it.
What I want to speak about today is a message that Our Lady says a little bit in a peculiar way on January 25, 2001. She says,
“…wars of your unbelief and fear [of] the future…”
It was strange that Our Lady equated that to wars. Preceding that She says,
“…Once again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped…”
We’re thinking of Iraq. But that’s not what she’s saying. She says,
“…can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear [of] the future…”
What is She saying? That we have to believe, really believe.
In the first beginning days of Medjugorje, Our Lady came over and repeated one theme, that there’s a crisis of faith. “You don’t have faith.” This crisis of faith is a lack of belief. So, Our Lady says,
“…[your] wars of…unbelief…”
I just was coming back on Southwest airlines, and in their magazine that they put out, they had in there and article about country music. And they said in this article that it’s the number one music in the nation, in the United States. It always has been. It always is. And they were just going through all these different things and people who were singing, and about the power of country music. And they went into the philosophy of why. Why does country music captivate so many people? And it says because it tells stories, and it tells stories about real life. And these stories of real life speak to us about and reach down into us about us, about us being able to relate to it. And I’ve got one that I want to play for you that’s really something of a message for us in regards to what Our Lady says about for us to believe.
Old Man Rigley lived in that white house, down the street where I grew up. Mama used to send me over with things. We struck a friendship, oh. I spent a few long summers out on his old porch swing. Said he was in a war, went in the Navy, lost his wife, lost his baby. I broke down and asked him one time, “How you keep from going crazy?” He said, “I’ll see my wife and son in just a little while.” I asked him what he meant. He looked at me and smiled and said,
I raise my hands, bow my head. I’m findin’ more and more truth with the words written in red. They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see. Oh, I believe.
A few years later, I was off to college, talking to mom on the phone one night. Gettin’ all caught up on the gossip. Ins and outs of the small-town life. She said, “Oh, by the way son…Old Man Rigley’s died.”
Later on that night, I laid there thinking back. Thought about a couple long lost summers. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. If there was ever anybody that deserved a ticket to the other side, it’d be that sweet, old man that looked me in the eye and said
I raise my hands, bow my head. I’m findin’ more and more truth with the words written in red. They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see.
I can’t quote the book, the chapter or the verse. But you can’t tell me it all ends in a slow ride in a hearse. You know I’m more and more convinced, the longer that I live, yeah, this can’t be, no, this can’t be, no this can’t be all there is.
Lord, I raise my hands, bow my head. Oh, I’m findin’ more and more truth with the words written in red. They tell me that there’s more to this than just what I can see. (Just what I can see) I believe, oh, I…I believe. I believe.
(I believe) Hmm. (I believe) I believe. (I believe) I believe. (I believe. I believe) Oh-oh. I believe. (I believe)
[A FRIEND OF MEDJUGORJE]
So, Our Lady comes in the beginning days of Medjugorje, and She says, “Faith is in crisis.” Another day, She says, “…faith [has begun] to extinguish itself…” Scary will be the world when faith goes away. And perhaps this is why Our Lady says, “…[your] fear of the future…” In other words, faith is weak. Do we even have future? So, we have to believe. Our Lady asks us to believe. To believe is to have faith.
So, Our Lady says,
“…wars of your unbelief and fear [of] the future…”
So, we have to ask ourselves, do we believe in the apparitions of Our Lady? And many people that are devoted to Medjugorje certainly say yes. But when it comes to the messages, not all of them are accepted. They accept what’s comfortable. What’s uncomfortable, I don’t have to pay attention to that. If Our Lady says something, She means it. Her words are not wasted. They’re not expressed like so many people on their cell phones…“I just landed on the plane.” “I’m getting off the tarmac.” “I’m coming up the steps.” You know, we do so much stupid conversation that means nothing. Wasted words. Every word of Our Lady is measured, just like the ingredients to bake a cake. You put 2 1/3 cups in it because that’s what it needs, not more, not less. Our Lady’s not saying any more than She needs to say, and She’s not saying less. Some theologians reject Medjugorje and says Our Lady…“She’s a chatterbox.” Because we’ve got twenty-five years of messages now. And I’ve actually read this from theologians. “The Mother of God would never come and do this.” Jesus was too, if they want to class it that way. They said in the Scriptures, “If we put into books, it will fill all the world,” just what Jesus did and said.
Our Lady has a lot She wants to do. But we should never look at Her words in unbelief, that I can pick this and not the other. All of them are to be believed. All Her words are to be accepted. And some of them, you want to say, “Gee, thanks. That’s really what we want to hear.”
One thing that’s happening right now is a great, great suffering among Her children, a suffering that many of you here can finish my sentence and identify with exactly what I’m saying. “Why am I going through this trial? Why is this so difficult? Why is this happening?” Our phones ring every day of the most serious-natured difficulties that can be imagined. Real, real suffering. I’m convinced the world and the human heart and the numbers that’s in the world, that there’s more suffering in the world than we’ve ever had before in the history of the world. It’s not that somebody hadn’t gone through that trial somewhere in history. We’ve never had it on such a large scale. People are hurting. People are suffering. People would say relief for them would be to die. Just die. There’s nothing more painful than divorce. Every day, we get calls about this. Many times, both of them been to Medjugorje, and they can’t even stay together. satan wants destruction. And what is the purpose of this suffering? What is the purpose of these trials? Who sends them? Who wants this for us?
Our Lady said, August 22, 1985…and I’m going to take some words out of this message to give you the crux of what She says. I’ll re-read it. She says,
“…I wish…” “…God wants…” “…to send you trials…”
Gee, thanks. “Gee, thanks God.” You know, here I am lower than I was yesterday, and tomorrow, I’m going lower, and next month, you’re going to be in a pit lower than that. “Thank You, God.” It’s like St. Theresa who was riding across a stream, and she flipped on her saddle upside-down. She says, “I hate to see what You do to people that You don’t love, God.”
“Dear children, today I wish to tell you that God wants to send you trials which you can overcome by prayer. God is testing you through daily chores…”
I just had somebody say that they’re going through tremendous suffering. Their husband’s left her. I won’t go into details. But this is a typical story. And yet, two years ago, they were praying to be a victim soul. And so, they get what a victim soul gets, and they’re complaining about it. Nobody wants that. But don’t pray to be a victim soul. It’s dangerous, even, to pray to be a saint. But we’re in a time of grace, and God wants to send you trials, and you say, “Well, I’ll do this for You…” I told the person, “Well, that’s pride. If you ask to be a victim soul, your pride, and God’s going to allow things to happen to humble you to show you this ain’t what you read in these books that’s so romantic.”
I know there’s people I talk to today at different places—not in this country, even—that will be saints of the Church. I’m certain they’ll be canonized. I don’t preempt the Church in saying that, but we’ve read enough, you know enough, if you read spiritual material, to know what it takes and it makes to be saints and what they are and what they do. And so, the visionaries are going to be saints. And I can tell you, you can’t even imagine the suffering. Oh, they’re smiling faces. There’s the demeanor they put on to carry their cross joyfully. But the anguish, the darkness that God didn’t illuminate them why this is happening. It’s such suffering that few people in this room will ever experience that. And yet, you can say, “Well, they don’t know what I’m going through,” or “He don’t know what I’m going through.” We hear it. We’re in tune with it, whether it be your children, your spouses, work…This is a time that Our Lady says,
“…I wish to tell you…”
She’s really there! “I’m letting you in on a secret.” Do you believe Her words, or is it unbelief?
“…I wish to tell you that God wants to send you trials…”
When you go through conversion, you say, “Oh, God. I’ll do this. Yeah, I’ll suffer for You.” And when you’re suffering for Him, “Why are You doing this, God? I didn’t know it was going to be like this. You can just ease up a little bit on this part of it. I didn’t know that. I thought I was going to be in a book somewhere and be some hero.” It’s deeper than you can imagine, and your suffering is deeper than anybody else can understand.
Why is that? Why does God want to send us trials? Why is Our Lady saying this to us? And is this happening to everybody? No, it’s happening to His children. It’s happening to those who are praying. The Godless are having fun on Friday nights. It’s a pattern that everybody that converts, everybody that begins to pray, they have a honeymoon period, and then they have darkness, or they have suffering and then they have sorrows, deep, deep grief, suffering. Why is that?
The Scriptures say, “Why are you surprised at this?” What are you surprised for? The Scriptures, quote, says,
“Do not be surprised, my child, that a trial by fire is occurring in your midst. For gold is refined by fire.”
He wants to make you gold. He wants you purified of your past. Our Lady says something that’s amazing, because we think we can pray. “I’ve been praying! I did my 54-Day Novena. [SNAPS] Where is it, God?” Somebody just told me they did the nine days of fasting and prayer and nothing happened. Well, your situation’s so complex and so difficult. How many years has it been there, and how many years did it lead up to your problem? You spent twenty years making a problem, and you want God to do it in nine days and fix it?
Our Lady appeared once and She said, after the war in Bosnia had been going on, a war that was impossible to stop…Why was it impossible? Because you had Muslims, and you had Croatians, and you had Orthodox, all enemies, living in the same neighborhood together. It wasn’t like the Civil War here, you had the North and the South, and you had some distinct lines. These people were neighbors, and they knew each other. And they had begun to kill each other. And they began to do things to each other that I can’t even mention here because of our children. Atrocities in the same neighborhood! And when I heard some of the things that took place, I said, “There’s no way this world can stop.” How is anybody going to get that out of their heart? I don’t know if I could, some of the things that took place.
But Our Lady appeared after three and a half or so years and said,
“…thank you for your prayers…this war [will end] as soon as possible…”
I read it. We were praying in the Crucifix Room in the gift shop. We had the crucifix in the top. I told everybody, “The war is over! The war in Bosnia is finished! We’ve got to let God work it out, but it’s a done deal.” I wrote that, and I got some hate mail. “You don’t even know what’s going on! How can you say that! You’re not over here in Croatia! You don’t know what we put up with! How can you say this war’s is going to…It’s not going to end!” And, “You’ve hurt this cause by telling people they can relax now, that the war’s over.” I wrote back, and I said, “I don’t apologize. You don’t believe. I believe! It said it.” “This war will end.” A.S.A.P. “…as soon as possible…” Her exact words. A.S.A.P. “…as soon as possible…” In God’s time, not your time. The decision was made. The prayers were done. It was granted. But God had to work through the problems, the complications, the neighborhoods. Everything had to be on a timetable through the free will that God could make it be ordained through the angels, working through, maybe a million different scenarios to bring peace, and it happened. Nine months later, it still hadn’t changed. But at that point, the Serbs stepped up their escalation of atrocities. And I said, “This is good!” And everybody said again, “How can you say such a thing?” I said, “Because this is what it’s going to take to end the war.” Do you call a plumber to fix a leaking faucet? No. Do you call a plumber when your pipe breaks? Yes. And Clinton, who’s not necessarily known to be so Godly, ordered U.S. fighter jets, when Serbia started doing that, to fly the airways on Bosnia, that nobody was going to enter that airspace. And for the first time, things turned, and the ground troops were able to start taking some gains. Air cover was blown apart. When we did that, everything changed. It took one year and half, and the war ended. For me, I didn’t have a problem. I knew, when the message was given, [SNAPS] It’s finished.
So, Our Lady says you can get your prayers answered. It may take ten years, but you spent twenty years getting to where you got to. So, how do you want God to fix it? It’s not at the snap of the finger. God rarely violates free will. He’s got to work through very difficult scenarios to untangle the mess you’ve made. And yes, much of it’s by innocence. We didn’t know any better. We weren’t praying enough.
But Our Lady says,
March 9, 1985
“You can receive a grace immediately, or in a month, or in ten years. I do not need The Lord’s Prayer said a hundred or two hundred times. It is better to pray only one, but with a desire to encounter God. You should do everything out of love…”
I had been working with ABC. I had been working with Martin Sheen, the actor, in California. I had been working with Rob Wallace, the main producer at 20/20. And I was trying to get somebody to fund a documentary back in the late 80s. And I still had my business. And I was doing all the work. Martin wanted to do it. The producer wanted to do it, of 20/20. Everyone wanted to do it, and they all had something of themselves in it. And I was trying to get financed. And for three months, I worked at this, and I got aggravated. I said, “That’s it.” I had been to this guy several times, and I walked out on my pool deck. I said, “God, I’m finished! Here it is, I’ve got a business to run. I’m trying to do this for You, and You’re not giving me any help. I’m finished [SNAPS] Don’t call on me to do this anymore. I’m calling him. This is it.” My wife calls me. The phone’s ringing, and the guy that’s going to finance it says, “Hey, I’m going to do it.”
“You can [get] a grace immediately, or in a month, or in ten years…”
I would have gone ten more years if I thought I was going to do it, because that’s what I was telling God. “I’m trying to do this for You.” God doesn’t need me to do anything for Him. He needs me to give up and let Him do it. And I didn’t do this. I had nothing to do with it.
I knew Marija was coming here. I felt so deep in my heart that there was something that was supposed to take place on the land next to our house. I tried to buy it for five years, doing everything I could to buy this property. Money, persuasions…Nothing worked. I’m coming back on the airplane and said, “I’ve discerned this whole thing wrong.” Our Lady had already given me a message two years before that gave big insights that something was going to happen here. But I was trying to make that happen.
So, I’m on the plane with Marija. I’m coming back. I said, “Good grief.” I said, you know, “God, I’ve just mis-discerned this whole thing. I thought You were going to do something. The message You gave through Marija two years ago. I’ve just completely mis-discerned this.” I get back. I’m wondering how all the events are going to unfold. And on my door, 6:30 the next morning, the night before Marija comes, is a contract—at 6:30 in the morning, before they go to work—saying, “Here’s the money for this field out here…” I mean, the contract for it, “…if you want to get it.”
What did I do on the plane? I gave up. I quit. I had been trying for five years. If it happened two weeks before that, you might not be out there praying because I would have thought I owned it. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter if it’s my money that bought it. The thing is, when I gave up, God acted, because He wants to see my surrender, that I can see His glory. I don’t own that place. I may be steward of it, but it’s not mine. I don’t care what’s written on a contract or what’s in a title. It belongs to you, the people who come here. And I can say this over and over and over, when I tried to make something happen, it didn’t, and when I got to the point that I gave it up, it happened. So,
“You can receive a grace immediately, or in a month, or in ten years…”
And a lot of that, I believe, God wants to give you a miracle. He wants to give you the answer, but you’re the obstacle. Our ego’s the obstacle. And why should it not be that way? And how will we not be hurt by that, because think we’ve done something to make that come about? Yet, Our Lady says, “I need you. I want you. You are important.” God doesn’t need me. He can do whatever He wants to do. But He needs me to conform in a surrendered way. And what does He want? To,
“…Accept all annoyances, all difficulties, everything, with love…”
The solution is very simple for your difficulties and trials.
But it’s first important to realize that Our Lady says one thing, on December 25, 2002. And you’ve got to hear this message in the light of, first, believing it. If you believe in the apparitions, you have to accept this. Our Lady says,
“…accept my messages…[so] that it [will] go well [for] you…”
“…Do not reject…the name of God, that you [will] not be rejected…”
We’re in rejection time. We’re in accepting time. You’ve got to decide what you’re going to do.
But on this December 25, 2002, Our Lady says no extra words and no less words that need to be said, and they’re not exaggerated. But if She says this, She means it.
“Dear children! This is a time of great graces, but also a time of great [trial]…”
“…trials…” Plural. And then, what follows is strange.
“…for all those…”
You can see your neighbors still doing what they’re doing. You can see, “Well, they’re getting away with all this. Look at them just enjoying life! They’re not praying. They’re having fun.” How come we’re getting the trials? Because Our Lady says,
“…for all those who desire to follow the way of peace…”
Is that not strange? We’re going to convert. We’re going to get close to God. Everything’s going to be nice. We’re going to be underneath Our Lady’s Mantle. We’re going to be protected. And then Our Lady says, “If you’re going to want that peace, you’re going to want that, there’s going to be great trials for you.” Seems strange. It seems to contradict our mentalities. And it’s because we don’t have the proper mentality.
Who were the holiest people, who prayed the most, and who suffered the most? Do you think the Apostles had a bed of roses to lay in? They had God, and they had satan. Peter, our first pope, “Get behind Me you satan,” Christ told him. You’re not going to be in this entry level of the imitation in the time of grace without trials and without great difficulties.
So, we see marriages breaking apart. We see families falling apart. We see things being crushed. We’re seeing people that don’t want to go on anymore. They don’t want to live anymore, but they know they have to. They don’t feel like they can endure it.
We just got a call a couple days ago from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi that said things are getting tense there because it’s getting cold, and it’s raining and people are still in tents. I knew when we were down there working that, when you see everybody helping, you see all this commotion, all this, you know, that’s not the bad thing seeing your house destroyed. It’s going to be when everything’s gone, and it’s just desolate, and you’re just sitting there. And you’re all alone. And you’re going to be suffering. Great trials.
But the purpose is purification. If you just read the last newsletter, it’s about that. Purification cleanses. If we’re stepping up to the bat to listen to Our Lady, and we’re in a world gone wrong, what’s got to happen to us before we can be used by Her? She says, “…I want to…use you in a great plan for the salvation of mankind…” And it was the saints who suffered the most. It was the apostles and the disciples of the early Church who suffered the most. You will suffer. You will hurt. And you will regret you prayed to be a saint. But, you can say, “God, I don’t have strength anymore. But Jesus, I gave You my decision, and that’s what I’m giving You is my decision, because I have nothing left in me.” This mission didn’t come like this because we just got it made. We’re doing what Our Lady said. We’re being happy. Our Lady said in the Bedroom, “Be joyful carriers of your cross.” We’ve been through the fire, and we’re going to continue to go through the fire. And just when we get out of one, we think we’re out and we’ve got some breathing room, another one’s ignited. The spiritual life is just that.
But Our Lady says, “The Almighty rewards you when you get to Heaven.” And She just gave a beautiful message just a few days ago in the Bedroom when Marija visited here. She said,
“Dear children! Also today I call you to pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes life for you…”
A 25th message is of historical significance in that it will be here until the end of time. It’s to enlighten us, as far as what the Scriptures say. It’s to give man, in this age, the guidance he needs to make it through the tribulation. Jesus says, “Pray that you can escape the tribulation.” How do you escape it? And that’s what we’re going to go into, what Our Lady says how to escape it. Doesn’t mean you won’t experience tribulation, but you’ve got to escape the downfalls of tribulation, because many people turn away from God when they start suffering. And that’s some of its purpose, to decide which way you’re going to go. It’s decision time. Are you going to turn toward God, or are you going to say, “Hey, I don’t want that,” and you’re going to go more toward the world and seek alleviation?
But this message is beautiful because our life here has become prayer. “Let your life become prayer.” We have three hours of prayer a day, as we were speaking the other day. And in this lifestyle we live, we have come into this message in a fulfillment. Yet millions, even billions, are still waiting for that message to be heard in the future.
“…Little children, at this time, in a special way, I pray before God to give you the gift of faith…”
Me and Marija were together, right after she wrote this. I told some of you the other day. She went out of our bedroom, then she goes to the bathroom as she writes the 25th message. That’s the only place she has private where we can not disturb her. So, the 25th message to the world came from where our bathroom is.
But we’re sitting in our bathroom together after this, and I’m talking to her to explain it to me, and we get to this part about, “…give…the gift of faith…” And I thought, “This is beautiful.” You know, really, actually, my first thought, Our Lady is, “…in a special way…” That no being comes close to God or enter where His throne is to the level that the Virgin Mary can enter. No angel, no person—I wrote that in Quietism—has entered into the Presence of the Trinity to the depth that Our Lady can enter into. And here it is, She says She’s praying for you…“I am praying for you in a special way before God,” and immediately my thought was, She’s prostrated in front of the Trinity, asking for me, you, for the gift of faith. Because I need to believe. I need to believe that when I’m in the midst of such a great crisis, such a great trial, everything falling apart, my whole world’s crumbling, I need to believe, and I need to have the gift of faith, because God wants to test me. He wants me to get through this. And He wants me to overcome it. “What do I need to go through that for?” Because you are the chosen ones in the time of grace, walking with Her, who are going to instruct the others after the time of grace. And there’s nobody that’s going to be able to sit there and tell you, if you’ve been through this, “Well, it’s easy for you to say. You’re not going through what I went through or what I’m going through.”
The university of Our Lady’s education to us is trial by fire, difficulties, crosses. Because why? She says, “I want you to be My apostles.” How are you going to be an apostle if you don’t learn what it means to be an apostle? How are you going to relate to somebody who just lost their child or is going through a terrible situation in their business, or their spouse has left them, unless you yourself have been conditioned through these messages to be able to help instruct them?
“[Don’t] be surprised…that a trial by fire is occurring in your midst.”
It’s a gift from God. “Gee, thanks God.”
You’re listening to Countdown to the 40th Anniversary with a Friend of Medjugorje. Broadcasting on your favorite station, Radio WAVE 24 hours.
[A FRIEND OF MEDJUGORJE]
“…Only in faith will you discover the joy of the gift of life that God has given you. Your heart will be joyful thinking of eternity…”
Sometimes, in the midst of suffering and difficulties, the only relief is to realize, one day, I’ll be on my deathbed, and I’ll be, maybe six, seven, eight breaths away from my life ending, and I can sit there and say, “Thank You God that You gave me the grace to turn all my suffering, not into bitterness, not into anger towards You, but in suffering and in atonement.” And will you regret anything you went through? In fact, you might now, but the more you go through and the more you offer to God, the more you will be grateful at that moment of your death, why? Because the joy of thinking what you’re going to receive in eternity. Gifts of God that we can’t even begin to understand. And nothing will be regretted. Not one effort, not one sacrifice, not one fasting day, not one nine-day fasting, not one suffering imposed against your will on you. All these things, you’ll be grateful for.
And so, Our Lady says get your mind off your present suffering. Think of eternity. It has purpose. And you’ll be glad for it, not now, but one day, you’ll be glad for it. And I’ve talked to some of these people who I know will be saints, and they don’t like some of the stuff they’re waddling in right now. You’d think after years and years of them already suffering, it’s gotten easier. It’s worse. It’s worse. Anguish, real anguish in their hearts. Our Lady says,
“…Be conscious of this gift that God has permitted me to be with you…I desire to give you peace, and that you carry it in your hearts and give it to others until God’s peace begins to rule the world…”
Do you know what that’s preceded by? She says, “I want to give you peace. I want you to carry it in your heart. I want you to give it to others, and then, throughout the whole world, it’ll be given.” It’s preceded by,
“…This is a time of great [grace] but also a time of great trials for all those who desire to follow the way of peace…”
So, She tells you why and what She wants of this peace, and it’s going to be tough for you to obtain peace. It may mean that you make war in your home.
Marija was sitting in our house in August, not this last trip. And she’d been here a couple weeks before the August 5th Birthday. People didn’t know she was here. It was more of a private period for her whole family. But I was sitting on the couch, and we were sitting there, and she says, out of the blue. Nobody…We weren’t saying anything. We were just sitting. The kids were playing on the floor. And she says, “There’s really peace in this house.” And I was startled. You know, here she is, she sees the Queen of Peace, and why did Marija say that? I said, “What?” Because I thought I didn’t hear what she said. She says, “There’s really peace in this home.” And naturally, I felt joy that she said that. But, you know, I was a little bit puzzled that she would say it at the same time.
But I realized, we eliminated…for years we had been fighting for peace in our home. We had to fight for it. We got rid of all things that caused unpeace. The T.V. the first. There’s never the sound of noise of any objections or news of the day in our home from T.V. because it doesn’t exist! It’s T.V. free! That one step alone brought tremendous peace to our home. We don’t listen to secular radio stations. We don’t listen to any music that’s not about God, family or our country. We screen it. We don’t take newspapers. We don’t have any magazine subscriptions going to our house, other than maybe something about cattle or something. And just eliminating those three or four items, some of them categoried that may have twenty items in it, has brought peace, that I’m so used to I didn’t even detect it that much. But Marija detected it because She’s in a five-story apartment. Right down the street is just all this noise. It’s the crowdness of Europe. She has to go to an elevator to her house and bumping into people. And she really experienced something that I really didn’t realize the level we had it.
But you can have that. And at first, you might not be used to peace. “I’m lonely. I don’t hear anything.” Some people have to turn on the radio just to have some noise in the house. A Russian professor came here once, and we were over in one of these trailers. We had the whole Community in there. And I said…And the kids were loud. It was so loud in there. And out of the blue…Well, at first I said, you know, “Sorry for all the noise in here,” because we were having to shout to talk to each other. She says, “Noise? T.V. is noise!” And we weren’t even talking about T.V. Here’s somebody from Russia, you know, had this observation.
What’s the noise in your life? What’s the unpeace in your life? And when you start getting ready to get rid of those things, do you think your spouse is going to want to, or your children are going to want to? Nope. Do you have this grand idea, “Oh, I think it’d be nice. I think I’ll go tell my husband we’re going to get rid of the T.V. Super Bowl Sunday. Saturday, I had this grand idea, let’s get rid of that.” And you walk to him, “Well, you know, we’ve got this peace, and Our Lady says this, and I know you’ve been to Medjugorje with me, and I know T.V.’s something to watch…But we’re going to have peace.” He’s going to say, “Nope.” And then your suffering starts. His aggravation starts. And a war starts. And it may take years, through an exorcism, to get that thing out of your house, because that’s what it is. A thing.
And we testify we are better for it. And those of you who enjoy our kids and our community here, that’s one of the number one choices we made besides entering into a prayer life that’s made a dramatic change in the way we live. And you may be saying in your heart, “Well, what about religious broadcasting?” Go get the book I See Far, and all that’s answered. I’m not going to go that avenue, that street. And I’m not trying to avoid it. Every single thing is answered in that book. So, don’t leave here without getting that. If you can’t afford it, take it. We’ll give it to you.
But my point is, peace is earned. Peace is fought for. The object of every war is a more perfect peace. You don’t have the right to start a war with your husband, because he’s God’s ordained order, and you’ve got to go through him to do it. Now, he’s got the authority to do it and just kick it out, and you can’t object, on the wife’s part. And if you don’t understand that avenue, I’m not going that way. Go read How to Change Your Husband. And every answer you’ve got on that objection’s in that book too.
My point, though, is peace is not going to come easy. Changes in your life don’t just happen.
We are so rooted with error. We are so rooted with the world that we suffer just converting ourself. Just to make these changes in our heart requires great suffering. Great suffering. Not some suffering, great suffering on our part. So,
“…I desire to give you [this] peace…that you carry it in your hearts and give it to others until God’s peace begins to rule the world…”
March 29, 1984
“…I am calling you to perseverance in trials…”
She wants you to make it through these trials. She wants you to obtain peace, and She wants you to be able to go bring it to others and show them. “Hey…” You think, “What does She mean, carry peace? “Here’s some peace. Here, let me get it out”…And you go off. No, you’ve got to show them how to obtain peace. You’ve got to do that. You’ve got to live through that. You’ve got to be trained, what did you go through. “I desire to give you peace, carry it to other hearts, that they give it until peace reigns in the world.” So,
“…I am calling you to perseverance in trials…”
You can’t quit. I just had a lady two days ago,
“Well, I’m just going to leave my husband.” You know. “He’s going off here. He’s off gone for three days.”
I said, “You can’t do that.”
She says, “Well, why not?”
I said, “Because even those circumstances, nobody can put asunder what God put together. You were married in the Church.”
And she says, “He says it’s all my fault. It’s all my fault.”
I said, “Well, it is.”
She says, “What?”
I said, “It’s all your fault. That’s what he’s saying. It’s all your fault. Then it’s all your fault.”
She says, “Well, how can you say that?”
I said, “Because that’s what Jesus said when He carried the Cross. ‘It’s all My fault, God. Every sin since Adam to the last man, it’s all My fault. You punish Me for that.’ You want his salvation. You had already told me that in the conversation, wife. And God’s making you his savior. Take all his faults on. I don’t care what he’s doing.”
Whatever happened to the mentality of the early Christians when somebody was about to execute them? “I forgive you,” to an enemy. “And this is your husband? And you’re not willing to do that, and you’ve had children with him? Take the fault on. Be his savior. You may be the only thing that saves him from going to hell.”
She said, “Well, nobody’s told me that advice.” She said, “I’ve been to priests. I’ve got friends. I’ve got other people counsel me. Nobody has said that.”
I said, “So, what do you make of it?”
“You’re right,” she said. “You’re right.”
I don’t wonder if I’m right. I know I’m right! Not because of me, because it’s in the message! Persevere in your trials! You’ve got to be the deliverer of peace! You’ve got to be the one to experience these things. You’ve got to atone for others’ sins, because Jesus did it for you.
Everybody’s called to be a savior, first for your spouse, first for your children, first for those around you. And you want to quit? Before all that, I said that, she says,
“Well, I don’t think God wants us to be married.”
I said, “Where did you hear that from?”
She said, “Well, I had two priests already tell me that.”
What God puts together, nobody puts asunder. God doesn’t want anybody to get a divorce.
What does “hate” mean? Think about that. Even above hate, and what we think hate means, what does it means when God says He hates? I was talking to somebody in Miami who was translating How to Change Your Husband. And they say, “Well, we can’t use this title. God doesn’t say that.” I said, “God says that in Malachi.” And God says in Malachi,
“God hates divorce.”
That’s scary. What does that mean? It means the total absence of God. The total absence of God is hell. Divorce is hell. hell. And many people think they’re going through it in the midst of it. And to save themselves from going through it anymore, they want to get out of it, is even worse. Where are your children going to be? Where are they going to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving? Who’s going to do this? Who’s going to do that? And that’s before they get a divided heart. And I know some people here are products of divorce. Some people are divorced. That’s not condemning it. But where was Jesus, when He had to stand up and say, “It’s time to stop. It’s time people become outspoken, this is going to be looked down upon. No. You stay together. You suffer.” And if you go through living martyrdom, but you save that spouse, then you gain eternity and the joy that comes with it. All you have to do is save one person to gain Heaven. The Scriptures say that. And the first place you look to is there.
And so many people are ready to get rid of their crosses, ready to put them down, thinking their going to get some alleviation from it, and it’s just going to get worse. I’m amazed at the spiritual people, even in the Medjugorje movement, that advises people to go ahead and get a divorce. “I wouldn’t do that,” or, “That’s not wrong. I understand.” Don’t listen to the issues. What’s right? What’s right is what God put together, and you don’t need anybody listening…giving advice to anybody or listening to anybody that calls for separation away. And again, you say, “Well, there’s complicated situations.” Read How to Change Your Husband. That covers a lot of ground on both sides, whether it be man or woman.
So, when God hates something, you better stay as far away from it as possible, and you better not advise it, and you better not support it, because you’re contributing to it, and you will stand in judgment for that.
Maria Valtorta says in The Poem of the Man-God, ninety-five percent of couples will work out their problems if everybody left them alone. But this starts the alignment process. One spouse starts aligning this person and this person and starts wars. And that’s what this woman was doing I talked to two days ago. She was telling all her family what her husband’s doing. They said, “Gasp! You poor thing. I can’t believe he’s doing that to you.” “He did that? He’s doing this? He’s such-and-such and such-and-such?” I said,
“You need to go to Confession.”
She says, “What? He’s the one that all over town.”
I said, “You’re disparaging him. You’re going to everybody and telling them all these things. That’s slander! You need to go confess! It’s not anybody else’s business! Let God deal with him. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. You’re not supposed to be speaking about it.”
Do you see how we’ve lost our way; we’ve lost our understanding of how to keep things together?
I said, “Besides, his bridge coming back to you is the fact that you keep these things secret for him. But it’s you who are revealing everything. Once everybody knows, what is he going to even…He’s not going to have any shame because it’s all exposed anyway. It may be shame and prick his conscience that gives him conscience, and he’ll come back. And you’re burning that bridge right now.”
So, what are we to look at our situation? How have I contributed to it? How can I fix it? Not the next person. Not the cause…Nobody’s causing your problem. They may be a problem, but they are God’s problem. And this is where Our Lady, interestingly, takes us.
February 7, 1985. I said that the world’s never experienced the trials we’re experiencing right now. Our Lady says,
“…I have stayed with you this long so I might help you along in your trials…”
July 25, 1989
“…Open yourself to God and surrender to Him all your difficulties and crosses so God may turn everything into joy…”
How’s He going to turn a divorce into joy? “How’s He going to turn, my kids are on this,” or, “my kid’s a disaster in jail, into joy?” “How’s He going to do…” I don’t know. I’m not the fixer of that, and you aren’t either. God is. You’re not going to fix your problems. And Our Lady’s very clear about that. She says, “You do something, and you give Me the problems.” And that something is prayer. You can’t untangle the miseries of the world as we see it. We’ve passed the turning point.
When Our Lady came June 24, 1981, it was at that point that God had decided to bring us ten Secrets, three admonitions, and it’s going to happen. They will happen. But is that just now decided because now we’re seeing terrorism? The World Trade Center? Hatred? The disasters we see everywhere? Now it’s going to happen? No. God had already made up His mind, preceding June 24, 1981. You think He’s just sitting around in Heaven thinking, “Oh, well, I’m just fed up. I’m going to do something.” You know, He came to Noah with a decision to purify the world of its wickedness. And then He went to Noah after that decision. And he told Noah to build an ark. And Noah worked on that ark. “Hey, God…” Twenty-four months later, it’s finished? No. Twenty-four years later, it’s still not finished. Decades and decades and decades, Noah built the ark. And the wickedness continued. And it got worse. But God’s decision for the rain and the floods came when He told Noah, or preceding that, in some timeframe, then.
What’s going to be in the world, the Katrinas and all these things that are happening, because this was decided long ago, in a time of our lifespan.
So, Our Lady’s asking us to accept our trials and give the difficulties to Her. And the world’s going to have more difficulties, and you’re going to have more difficulties.
July 10, 1986
“…Therefore, with love overcome every sin and with love overcome all the difficulties which are coming to you…”
Our Lady’s very aware of the difficulties. What is the solution? All your problems, all the difficulties, all the crosses, here’s the solution. February 29, 1988. It’s real simple.
“Dear children, give all problems and all difficulties to Jesus and pray…”
That’s it. What do you want to hold onto them for? And that’s why I said a little while ago, you can’t fix it. Only God can fix it. And for Him to fix it, He needs what? For you to give them to Him, and then you pray. You pray.
I asked Marija to ask Our Lady something for a whole year, and all She said to me was, “Pray.” I wanted more than that. I did a novena with Marija, and we came after this nine-day novena of saying all this, and Our Lady comes down, and we ask Her the question again. And She says, instead of pray, She says, “You pray…” You know, I wasn’t getting it. Three times, She’d told me that. And She did add something to that. She says, “You pray. Now is not the time.” But the “You” struck me. “You need to pray.” You want your problems fixed? You want your difficulties fixed? Give them to Jesus, and you pray. That’s the solution.
January 2, 1989. Our Lady doesn’t advise how to fix your problem, but rather, what we’re to do with them as She just did in the previous message. She says, “…Abandon…” in this message,
“…Abandon all your problems and all your difficulties to me…”
And what am I supposed to do? She says after that,
“…Live my messages [and] Pray, [and] pray [and pray]!”
It’s that simple.
All these counselors you go to, they all try to give you…You tell them the issues and they try to fix it, and they try to tell you how to fix it. It’s all bad advice. You know, I’ve heard once, we’ve heard it a thousand times, “The marriage counselors we’re going to are causing us to even divorce!” We tell people, “Don’t even go to them!” Go to the message. Learn what the early Christians did with their enemies if you think your spouse is the enemy. And they converted those people! We’ve forgotten the way.
August 7, 1989
“…Abandon to your Mother all your problems and difficulties.”
May 11, 1990. You want to be free from your difficulties? You want some relief? You want some breathing room? Even to just experience a little joy in your heart, just a little joy, how would that make you feel? This is how Our Lady says to do it.
May 11, 1990
“…I want to ask you…”
“…ask you to give me your problems and difficulties so that you are able to pray with more freedom…”
Your problems and difficulties enslave you. When you give them up, when you take them out of your heart, and “I’m not going to deal with that anymore because I can’t.” You’re free! Why are you holding on to it? I was just counseling somebody a couple weeks ago, and they had been trying to do this, and they had been having somebody call their house to create a scenario and do this and do that. And they were doing that…I said, “You’re doing everything! Let God do it! What are you trying to do?” And they were in bondage. And it took a long conversation to make them realize, just give it to God. “Free yourself from it!” And they ended up realizing, “I can’t do anything.” It’s up to God. And you know what? Peace, and they’re free.
“…difficulties so that you are able to pray with more freedom and more joy…”
So, freedom and joy come when you give your problems and difficulties to Our Lady.
“…so that your prayer becomes a prayer from the heart…release…”
Does that mean unshackle? That means unlock? Does that mean get away from? Let go?
“…release yourselves from your difficulties…”
It’s within your grasp to do that. It’s your decision. It’s your power to unshackle what you’re enslaved to.
“…release yourselves from your difficulties through prayer; and I will pray for you…”
Is that not awesome? Awesome. Just a little bit of Our Lady’s words, and the whole world would be healed from all the sufferings it’s suffering from. It doesn’t mean they’re going to go away. It doesn’t mean the problem won’t exist, but you’re free from it, and let God resolve it.
June 29, 1992
“…Give me all your problems and difficulties…”
“When you…suffer difficulties, and need something, some to me.”
Beautiful. Our Lady’s that close to us.
One time we had a need in the Community, and we all went to the chapel, and I quoted the message…Actually, I didn’t quote the message. We picked the message at random, after praying these three rosaries, and Our Lady says, “When you are in need of something, call me, and I’ll come immediately.” And we were there because we were in need of something immediately. And what do you think we felt like that? We’re in a difficulty. We’re in a deep need. And She says, that, “If you understood the gift of My coming, you would pray unceasingly.” You have the ear of the Virgin Mary right now. I went and got on an airplane. I flew all the way to Medjugorje because we had a big problem with the mission. I went there to ask Marija to ask Our Lady something, and I spent all that money and all that time going over there. And I get in there, and Marija’s sick. She’s going right into the Rosary for the apparition. It was only me, her and one other person, so it was a blessing I was there. And I went there to tell Our Lady what I needed, halfway around the world, and Marija comes out of the apparition, and she says, “Our Lady did something strange.” I said, “What?” She says, “During the apparition, She leaned over like this.” And I thought, “Wow!” And I was beside myself. I said, “What do you think that means?” She said, “It’s showing us She’s listening to us.”
But I didn’t have to do that! You can go in your bedroom. You can go in the Field. You can go to our Bedroom. And She’s got Her ear turned towards you. She says it in Her messages. Do you believe it, or do you not believe it? Maybe, at that point, I was weak in my belief. Maybe my faith was weak, because I had to get on a plane to do that, and I have it right here. Or maybe I was supposed to go there so I could tell you that story. It strengthens my faith. I know I got Our Lady’s ear, and I know I can go on my knees and really have a conversation, and I can’t go to downtown Birmingham and talk to this mayor, unless I have an appointment, and he probably won’t give me that. He’s too high and mighty. I’m nobody. But you’re somebody because you’re the child of Our Lady, and that makes you somebody.
So, we’ve got Our Lady’s ear. We’ve got problems. She tells us how to deal with it.
So, we see in this, and usually, we cover a lot of different ground, but I felt that there’s so much suffering, so many calls coming to us, so many people in the hurting mode right now, that we need to cover this ground about difficulties and trials. And when you walk with Our Lady, it increases.
There’s another song I want you to listen to we’ll end with that actually speaks about these things. And you can follow it with this because the words may be a little bit hard to hear. But don’t start reading it till the song starts.
You know, it used to be…I’ve read some things where the saints say that satan, actually, was a light bearer, and that his thing in Heaven was he was in charge of the music. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. You know, I’ve read spiritual writings that say that. But we see, he’s very active in music today, because music has a profound effect and very powerful. It speaks to the heart sometimes in ways that you can’t do in any other way. And we see music motivates people. It motivates many people to sin, but also can motivate us to good.
And so, we have the heavenly choir of angels, and sometimes the messages can be put stronger and clearer through a song, and this is one of those songs.
[SONG: “WHEN I GET WHERE I’M GOING”]
When I get where I’m going, on the far side of the sky, the first thing that I’m gonna do is spread my wings and fly. I’m gonna land beside a lion and run my fingers through his mane. Or I might find out what it’s like to ride a drop of rain.
Yeah, when I get where I’m going, there’ll be only happy tears. I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years, and I’ll leave my heart wide open. I will love and have no fear. Yeah, when I get where I’m going, don’t cry for me down here.
I’m gonna walk with my granddaddy, and he’ll match me step for step. And I’ll tell him how I’ve missed him ev’ry minute since he left. And then I’ll hug his neck.
Yeah, when I get where I’m going, there’ll be only happy tears. I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years, and I’ll leave my heart wide open. I will love and have no fear. Yeah, when I get where I’m going, don’t cry for me down here.
So much pain and so much darkness in this world we stumble through. All these questions I can’t answer, and so much work to do.
But when I get where I’m going, and I see my Maker’s Face, I’ll stand forever in the light of His amazing grace.
Yeah, when I get where I’m going. (Oh, when I get where I’m going) There’ll be only happy tears. (Hallelujah) I will love and have no fear. Ah-ah (when I get where I’m going) Yeah, when I get where I’m going.
[A FRIEND OF MEDJUGORJE]
We find, in our mission, one of the most difficult things is to love. And it’s strange, in this song, it says, “I will love and have no fear.” Because sometimes it would be easy not to love because to love means to expose yourself to injury to those who would hurt you, to know how they would treat you is not the way you’re going to have to treat them if you love them. So, you receive injuries because of that. And to love is probably one of the most difficult things, but it’s the first thing that Our Lady calls us to. We’ve had to go through fires. We’ve had to put up with things, publicly, privately, behind the scenes, in front, things you know, things you don’t know, over and over and over. And we couldn’t react the way they were acting to us. Or we can’t act in a way that persecutions…Even when we had the power, we had to be measured in our response because of the law of love. And it’s a very, very difficult thing to do, especially when you know you could straighten out a crooked road, or you could rectify things. But to be silent and to love while you’re being spit in the face is a very difficult thing to do.
So, often, we see even things brewing for us that we know we could stop. But no. We have to let that wave go on through. Let the good-willed people see through it and the bad-willed people ride that wave because they won’t. And they’re going to want to hurt you. They wanted to hurt Christ. Christ promised you’d follow Him, you’d go through the same thing, and to follow Our Lady means that.
So, To Love in the chapel is not written without a deep understanding of why those words are put there. So, we’ve been there. And if you haven’t been there, you’re going there if you follow Our Lady, not for punishment, but for the glory of God and for what this song encapsules, the joys you’ll experience and the rewards you’ll experience in Heaven. And take with you into the Bedroom this message thinking of everything you go through here in this life. Our Lady wants to put your thoughts on eternity.
So, while you’re in the Bedroom, contemplate that Our Lady was there just fresh, this very fresh, just the day after Thanksgiving here. That’s thirteen days ago? Twelve days ago? Something like that. And to be able to contemplate these words that She gave there. And Marija actually spoke to Our Lady…I saw like five exchanges going back and forth with Our Lady. So, the apparition was a long time. But being in the Bedroom, reading these words, be in there in prayer, pierce into this, where you are. And don’t leave that Bedroom without leaving every problem you’ve got there for Her. She wants it, and it’s a place you can give Her your ear.
Since we don’t have…Normally…we just had such a big thing in August, and our crowd, we knew, wouldn’t be that big, you can spend a lot more time in prayer there. So, if you want to say a whole Rosary in there, you’re going to be free to do that. Normally, you’ve got two minutes, two and half, three minutes in the Bedroom. But we’ll be able to spend more time today because of, you know, you’ll be allowed that.
So, Our Lady said, “You have a time of grace. Use that time well.” So, as you prepare to go in the Bedroom, contemplate. I know, I sleep there every night. My wife sleeps there every night. You may think we get used to it, but it’s in the middle of the night, and I’m always praying in the Bed. I’m always thinking about Our Lady.
You know, once, I was with Marija going down taking her to the airport from here, and we were saying a Rosary together, and I was looking at the billboards, you know. I was doing this and all this. And I looked at her, and she was kind of doing the same thing. And so, I said, “Aha!” I said, “Marija, what do you do if your thoughts wander while you’re saying the Rosary?” She said, “Well, they don’t.” I said, “Well, I just saw you looking at billboards.” She said, “No. I may be looking at there, but I see Our Lady, so I’m picturing Our Lady all the time.” You know, and for us, it’s that way. I’m still not used to…Even though, since 1988, Our Lady’s appeared there. That hasn’t worn off for me, that Our Lady appears over our Bed. There’s a reason She did that. There’s a statement, there’s a story She’s telling, and you never understand the things in the midst of a story. It has to end, and then ages have to pass, and then people look back in wonderment about, “Woah. Woah.”
So, just you being in the time of grace just going there, what will people see this a hundred years from now? Totally mystical. But the Apostles didn’t see it. They saw tremendous miracles, but they got used to that even.
And so, we’re in a period of twenty-five years with Our Lady, that we’re used to too much. And we will not see the depths here, now, what people a hundred years will see.
So, Our Lady said, “Use this time well,” and then we’ll be glad for it later.