Mary, Medjugorje, Mass Impact. Grace Pouring Out...

God is With Us. Setting the Stage for a Mass Impact.

This week has historically been a big week of grace in my life.  June 21 marks Summer Solstice, the day of great light, the longest day of the year. It was on that day my wife and I began dating in 1996, and on that same day we were married a year later.  On June 24 we celebrate the Feast of my confirmation namesake, St. John the Baptist. As the sunlight begins to decrease, so John asks us to decrease that God might increase in us. And on this date of June 24, 1991, I found myself in a little village behind the then Iron Curtain where, ten years earlier to the day, Mary purportedly began appearing to six village children.*  Over those ten years numerous books and television programs showcased the miraculous things that were happening in Medjugorje.

My personal circumstances of going to Medjugorje coincided with a good amount of trouble, heart breaking things going on with siblings and friends, exacerbated by my front-row view of a spiritually searching world as communications director of an international organization.

All I had head-learned in my Catholic faith was becoming real, particularly that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12).  Yet, in the midst of this bleakness my soul was becoming attuned to an inexplicable, deepening love for Mary, perhaps even more, her love for me. She was simply there.  And I was blessed by a number of spiritually astute friends who were opening my eyes to understand her God-given role to combat the devil (Gen. 3:15), particularly in these days, particularly through encounter with Her Son.

The story of how Medjugorje "happened" for me was miraculous enough, but for another time. While there, I was joined by a multitude from every nation, each drawn for their own reasons, but all united beyond words like a close-knit family. That alone was miraculous. I met with the visionaries- those whom Mary communicated with every day. I witnessed numerous instances of miraculous, physical healing, including a little child who came blind but, after prayer, could see. Many, perhaps everyone, shared a sense of spiritual healing.

Looking up one evening at  Mont Krizevac, or "Cross Mountain," I observed with all present the mysterious, bright light that consumed the cross.  I observed and gazed upon the "dancing sun," that should have left me blind. The burdens that seemed so heavy only days earlier all seemed to dissipate.  One evening, gazing out from the top of that mountain, I was acutely aware of an all-consuming peace that blanketed the place.  I couldn't help but think: "The Mother of God is appearing here, inviting us to pray from the heart, to know her Son... and I'm worried about what?"

Whether one believes Mary is appearing there or not is of little interest to me.  There's nothing she's saying that has not already been emphasized by our Church. She's calling us to pray from the heart, to believe and know God is with us, to turn from our sins and prepare our hearts for Him.

There's so much more to share, but nothing that wouldn't require a lot more ink. The bottom line is that we are living in spiritually perilous times. Satan is competing for our souls, causing us to be distracted, if not lost, by so many lesser things. But more importantly, the gates of heaven are open and God's grace is being poured out.  God is calling us to Himself.  He wants so much more than our empty actions. He wants our hearts. He wants to awaken us to His indwelling Spirit.  And He gives us His Mother to help lead us there.

The great thing in all this is to tell you that you don't have to go overseas to experience all this.  His full, real power and presence is awaiting us... likely within miles of where you're reading this.  He's inviting us to more than a moment, but a movement.  He is really here, and He's waiting for you.

Find out more at Mass Impact.
*On the Church and Medjugorje: Many books and programs have showcased the miracles taking place at Medjugorje. Scholar Dr. Mark Miravalle's well articulated summary concludes: "Is Medjugorje real? According to the Church's own criteria, the spiritual fruits superabundant throughout the world, and the saintly witnesses and discernments of Pope John Paul II and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, I believe the only proper theological response is 'yes.'"