Father Price from Ireland speaks of the grace of the conversions that take place here in Medjugorje:
“Good Morning. My name is Father Cathel Price; I’m from the diocese of Dublin in Ireland, the place known for all sorts of rugby’s. I ask you to pray for that diocese and for the people of Ireland at this time.
“Let us speak today about conversion. Does it ever strike you to ask the question, ‘Why does Our Lady keep saying a particular sentence?’ Our Lady repeats, “Thank you for responding to my call?” All sorts of interpretations can be put on that. Well…I’m here as She called me to be here, but, I’ve discovered there is a lot deeper meaning to it.
St. Paul said, ‘I thank you for having accepted the message that I gave you. Not as a human message but as the word of God, and that you’ve taken it to your heart.’ When Mary says, “I thank you for responding to my call.” She’s really thanking us, not just for coming here, not just with our Rosary beads to pray for all the people we want to pray for. She is thanking you for putting yourself in a position to hear Her call to receive the first grace of Medjugorje. The first real grace of Medjugorje is the grace of conversion. We come to pray, I have people say to me, ‘Our Lady has me here but I don’t know why.’ She has us here to convert, my heart, and your heart. And even if you have been here umpteen times, as I have been, every time it is a new call to conversion. Even if you are in charge of groups and you have all sorts of things to be doing, it is a call to conversion.
“When I came here to pray for my intentions for my family, and all the other things that were pressing on my heart, I felt Mary saying, ‘No please, please listen to Me. The first thing I want you to pray for here is that your heart will keep converting. Your life should be a witness to that conversion. I want you to beg for that grace. That is My first grace. After that, I will respond to all the other things that you speak of. First, I am going to help you to convert your heart.”
“There is a story told about St. Monica. Most people know about St. Monica, because she was the one whose prayer for years and years and years, converted her son, Augustine, who became the great Saint Augustine. She too, had to be converted. At some stage in her early life she was in charge of the cellar at this big house where she worked. When she would go down to the cellar to bring up the wine for the guests, she would have a private little tip pulled away for herself before she’d come back up. And, this went on and on, she was having her tip pulled away. But then one day as she was having her tip, she heard someone on the stairs of the cellar coming down, and she threw her glass away, but that was a moment of grace for her. She leapt from decay after that, because the grace of conversion comes in all sorts of strange ways. And no two people get the same grace.
“ The grace of conversion that you may receive here, it doesn’t matter if you’re here for the fiftieth time, conversion goes on for the rest of our lives. There are always parts within us that need to be touched by the Mercy and Love of God. Because that’s what conversion is all about. Conversion is the opening of our heart, so we will be able to receive the Mercy of God. God’s Mercy can overcome everything that is evil, everything that is wrong, in our lives. It can even overcome the hypocrisy that is in our lives. But, the grace of conversion that you receive is unique; it’s like your finger print. That’s why you have to beg Our Lady to experience that grace.
“So, the grace of conversion that we receive here has your finger print on it. Why does Mary draw us here to Medjugorje? Because, in God’s plan, She is mediating the words of Jesus Christ in a simple way, so we can understand them, so they speak to us. When Mary gives her messages they are always rooted in the words of Her Son, in the words of the Scriptures, the Word of God. But, Our Lady breaks it down so that we can comprehend it. She draws us here because in this time of the world’s history, remember it spans to the ends of the earth, and it spans the generations, from the time of Adam to the second coming of Christ. This is the greatest place of conversion in the whole world. And, you and I are privileged to be here. When we come to Mary to bend Her ear about the thing that’s pressing hard on us, about our family, She’s gently saying to us, ‘I didn’t call them, I called you. It’s you I want to convert’. If you convert your heart you will be like Monica praying with love, not through gritted teeth, for the people that you most detest in life. You will be praying’ ‘Lord have mercy, have mercy on us and on the whole world.’
“After we respond to the message and the call of Mary, I think you will find that these 5 steps that came to me today will help you:
1) Believe: in this extraordinary favor that Mary is about to do for us at this time.
2) Listen to Her messages: Listen to them, don’t just read them, let them speak to you. That will be the way to peace in our hearts.
3) Open your heart: Desire to open your heart even to the hidden parts, you know the areas we don’t want to see that are within all of us.
4) Hold on to Her Holy Rosary: Pray it with the heart.
5) Allow Mary to love you: Allow Her to love you today and forever.
“If we follow those five steps: Believe in the extraordinary favor, listen to Her messages and with God’s grace, open our hearts. We hold on to Her Rosary, and that we allow Her to love us today, then we will know in the depths of our heart that we are responding to Her call. And then we will understand that thanksgiving, thank you for doing this. For a moment ask Our Lady, ‘What part of my heart do I need to change so that I can respond to your call?”