Therese Joy's Journey - Part 11

Therese Joy's Journey - Part 11

And the story continues............. Wednesday, 2-28-01, Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent. A day of fasting, bread, water and hot tea. I will abstain from my wonderful cup of coffee during Lent. Ahhhh, I miss the taste of coffee! But to deny myself, is a sacrifice that I offer to God. Also, I will honor Our Lady, and every Wednesday and Friday  I will have only bread, water and hot tea.  Such a small sacrifice when I contemplate the sacrifice of Our Lord. Ever since arriving at the Holy Family Institute, I ate only the three meals offered, no snacking in between.

  We began the day as usual, 7:00 a.m. rosary in the chapel, with Adoration and Litany to Our Lady. Then to our fasting breakfast. It was interesting that fasting was not required, it was our individual decision.

     Padre Jozo had several speaking engagements to attend to, so he bid us farewell, and we went to the monastery at Siroke Brieg. If one wanted a ride, you could catch one, or if you prefered you could hike there. I was a hiker. A large part of our group did the hike. At the end of the uphill climb many of us were exhausted.

At the monastery we were met by Father Michael from Ireland! It was delightful to see him again. As we gathered in a small chapel, he led us in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. Then he gave an absolutely wonderful talk on the prodigal son who asked for, then squandered his inheritance. The son then returned to his father humbly and only asked to be his servant. Instead the father welcomed him back by presenting him with a fine robe, a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.

     Father Michael spoke about the Hebrew words for "missing the target", becoming totally twisted and returning to the beginning. It was a moving lecture that left us deep in thought. He then offered us confession.

  I went to him for confession and he listened so patiently as I poured my heart and soul out to him. What a cleansing! So many tears spilled down my cheeks. Tears of shame and guilt, then tears of joy for mercy and forgiveness. I walked out with a new heart that was grateful for this gift of God- to be reconciled to His heart!

  I took one more walk to the bunker. It was different to be there with the whole group as opposed to the other day when I went with just my two Irish friends. By now, it was raining a steady downpour and we decided to take a bus ride back to the house. Then we had a fasting lunch, followed by free time until 4:00 p.m.

  At 4:00 p.m. we met again with Padre Jozo in the conference room. At this time we were instructed to open our paper and write a letter to Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. We were to begin, "Dear Mother". I share with you my letter:

  Dear Mother,

The peace in my heart is the peace you have brought to me, and I thank you. Let me always give honor to your Immaculate Heart and to the Most Sacred Heart of your Son, Jesus. I thank you for this call to your beloved Medjugorje and your faithful servant, Padre Jozo.

  Thank you for each grace and blessing you have bestowed upon my humble heart. I thank you for each miracle here sharing in your love.

  I thank you for the courage and strength to keep my steadfast spirit and may it continue the rest of my days, until I can be in your warm embrace, and my eyes can join with the others who have been graced to see your Immaculate image.

     Dearest Mother, thank you for the gift of this heart that feels so deeply and adores you so greatly in union with your Son, Our Lord. Thank you for taking your lowly servant and guiding her on this path to your Son, my Savior and Redeemer.

  I cherish each moment of heartfelt preparation to meet the heart of you, in Medjugorje. My forgiveness today has created a clean heart with which to greet you with and I thank your beloved Son for the gift of Himself to forgive my deep indiscretions.

  May my clean heart please you and bring glory and praise to your Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of your Son Jesus.

    Please intercede for me to God Our Father for strength to keep my fidelity to you and grow in love and prayer closer, ever closer to our loving creator God.

  Your Daughter,
Therese Joy

    We were not asked to share these letters with Padre Jozo. He spoke to us of our love for her and her love for us. How blessed we are to be graced with her messages for us.

  He had two flowers in his hand. One of the flowers he passed to each of us, so we could contemplate the perfection of creation by God. How beautifully and wonderfully the flower was made. He said the stem bud that the flower itself came from was the chalice. Each petal was one of us. We could not give life to the flower, only God can.

  Then, he passed out the second flower and instructed each of us to take one petal from it and contemplate the perfection in that one petal we held in our hands, to look at its brilliant color and distinct edges. Then Padre Jozo told us to try to place each of our petals back into the flower. Well, it was chaos! A total mess!

  Only God can create in total harmony. Man can attempt to recreate, but will only produce chaos. It was a powerful lecture again. How blessed I was to be there and drink in that marvelous opportunity to become closer to God.

      Then we went to chapel at 6:00 p.m. for rosary, followed by Mass. I knelt before Padre Jozo as  he put the ashes on my forehead, and reminded me of the next life. To receive the ashes and Communion from him was a great gift I shall treasure all my days........

Therese Joy

(End of Part 11)

Continue to Part 12