Before I came on this journey, there was always a distance between God the Father and me. I had placed the barriers between us, feeling very unworthy to be in the presence of God the Father. I put angels, saints, Mary, others, between God and me. I had always needed a go-between, never a direct contact. But through this experience, I am now able to rest my head on the heart of God the Father, and He can caress me, and love me, and I Him. It is an incredible oneness between us. I am forever grateful that God was patient with me, and waited for me to return. The feeling inside my heart and soul is so pure. I feel greatly blessed. And I thank God for each grace extended to my lowly soul.
I pray each of you reading this will return to the loving embrace of our God, He loves you more than you know. And He is patient, always waiting for you.
In the 9:00 a.m. conference Padre Jozo spoke of Bible passages, connecting them with each of us. He spoke of the widow in the temple, she knew how to enter the temple, and how to give and receive. He prayed that we may learn how to give. Then he contemplated the vine dresser, the one who intervened for not cutting down the barren fig tree.
We are the vine dresser, asking not to be cut down, but given the opportunity to flourish with proper tending. He spoke of the cleaning of the temple by Jesus.... and the word of God.... offering ourselves in the chalice and uniting ourselves with Him. That seed for the soul was planted today in each of us. He posed a question to us, "Today for me is like....." and we could respond. Various people responded from the group, but not everyone.
Then to chapel, and lunch. At the 4:00 p.m. conference Padre Jozo spoke on the importance of the Bible. He said Our Lady has only two requests we must do each day, to pray the rosary, and read the Bible. He shared that the Bible only recently became available in this communist region. In 1978 they began publishing it again, but the communist government made you sign your name with your request for a Bible. Then it had to be ordered, and one had to wait weeks for it. It was not easy to get one.
Padre Jozo said the Bible is the Word of God. It is a source of communication between God and man. It is how God speaks to us. He also shared that the Bible should be kept in a place of honor in our homes, not on a shelf collecting dust and seldom opened. It should be read and honored in the family. The Bible is the open hand of God reaching out to us through His beloved Son, Jesus.
Padre Jozo had each of us take our Bibles, and hold it in our arms, like a baby. We were to contemplate the hand of God that we held in our arms. Then he had us open the Bible, opening the hand of God. We were to rest our cheek on the open palm of God. We closed our eyes as God held our face in His hand, the hand that created each one of us. Then we were to kiss the Bible, kiss the hand of our Creator. Just as the priest does each time he reads the Gospel. We need to kiss the Bible in front of our children, and explain that we cherish the gift of the Word of God so much, that we kiss it tenderly. The Bible has an entirely new perspective for me now. I cherish it, and before I sit to write any of these words to you all, I read the Word of God first. My Bible is my companion, and I treasure it. Perhaps you will also after reading this...
There was a great gift to each of us today from Padre Jozo. He had a photographer come and we all went outside and had pictures taken with him!! My other dream!! It came true for me today~~ and I was so very happy! I have a picture of him with the entire group of 50 of us, and one of the people from the USA with him, and one of him with a great group from Ireland, and my absolute favorite, one of me and Padre Jozo, with my hand on his heart, and me in his arms!! It is my favorite treasure from this entire journey! What a gift it was for me! Thank you Blessed Mother and Jesus!
In the 9:00 p.m. session each of us spoke of how our day went. I said I had lots of cleaning of the temple (my house) to do when I got home, as Jesus cleared the temple. Then as I wept, I shared with him that I was feeling alone and lonely. I was the only one at this retreat that was not affiliated with a group. I longed for someone to connect with. Somewhere to fit in. Again I wept, sorrowing tears of loneliness. It was at this point Padre Jozo gave me a mission. He said I must share this with my prayer groups when I get home. I take his direction very seriously. This is the reason I am writing to each of you. This is the reason I have shared my soul with you and my journey. This is what I am directed to do, and I pray that God is pleased with my weak effort.
During the recitation of the Glorious Mysteries at 6:00 p.m., I led the 4th decade and it gave me great joy to be part of this with Padre Jozo.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the 1st day of Lent. I went to sleep praying in thanksgiving to God for each grace and blessing that I received, and I still wasn't even in Medjugorje yet!! All this was preparation for that holy place.......
(End of Part 10)