The most important message Mary of Medjugorje has ever given us is:
“Live my messages.”
“That’s all that really matters,” said a holy friend of mine, who lives and breathes Mary’s five main messages of daily prayer from the heart (especially the rosary), fasting on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays, frequent Bible reading, attendance at Mass, and monthly Confession. “People want to read about the latest Medjugorje news, figure out the future, learn what the visionaries are doing,” he continued, “and they can fool themselves into thinking that they’re following Our Lady’s messages.”
The question for all of us is, “Are we living the Medjugorje messages, or are we just reading about them?”
What is most important for our lives and for our future remains so simple, and yet so hard to do.
Our Lady is asking us to pray three hours a day, and on April 24, 1984, she said:
“. . . Pray as much as you can, pray however you can, but pray more always. Each of you could pray even four hours a day. But I know that many do not understand, because they think only of living for their work.”
To follow through with what Mary is asking takes a radical life change of career, priorities, hobbies, scheduling, of removing the television and extraneous activity from our lives–anything counterproductive to prayer. To pray that many hours of the day means to rearrange our days–to live in the world, much like a vowed religious.
In Medjugorje the church is packed–wall to wall–evening after evening, for three hours of consecutive prayer a day. Is this possible elsewhere in the world? Of course it is. But almost nowhere else have people grasped Mary’s messages with the heart, as they have in Medjugorje.
I thought of three hours of daily prayer as extravagant, until I heard that Pope John Paul II prayed at least that much each day. Three hours a day? With his schedule? So what was my excuse again?
The above message of April 24, 1984 even proved a shock for the Franciscan priest, Fr. Vlasic, who questioned Our Lady through the visionaries regarding her request, saying, “If we tell the people to pray for four hours, they will turn away.”
Our Lady answered: “Even you do not understand. It is hardly a sixth of your day.”
On November 20, 1988, she said, “May your life be prayer. May your work be offered as a prayer, and may everything that you do bring you towards me. . .”
Mary has told us that “prayer is the only way to save the human race,” (July 30, 1987), and she stresses, in repeated and varied ways, the serious of her coming and her requests.
“I have come to call the world to conversion for the last time. Afterwards, I will not appear any more on this earth.” (May 2, 1982)
“. . .accept with seriousness and live the messages for your soul not to be sad when I will not be with you anymore . . . little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. . .” (December 25, 1989)
Our Lady has told us we will not receive these messages forever. Perhaps they will cease very soon. We have only now to live them out.
By Christine Watkins, author of Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession.