Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back from Medjugorje

When my fellow pilgrim saw that I had written a post about Medjugorje he almost broke down in tears, crying, 'No! We're going to lose our reputation and entire readership!' Hence the addition of a postscript emphasising our belief that what the Magisterium says goes. When I got there and experienced my first English Mass I could understand why though - the depression hit hard and not only did I refuse to receive communion in the aisle but I seriously doubted that Our Lady could grant daily apparitions to a place where the liturgy was not so much abused as slaughtered.

I vowed never to attend another English Mass for as long as we were there so we attended the Croatian Triduum (except the Good Friday liturgy as I didn't expect the 3:00 slot to be given to the English - that was the worst liturgy of the entire 9 days - it was so bad I didn't receive Communion again - and the veneration of the crucifix was omitted because they only booked the church for an hour! Did I actually fulfill my obligation?

Anyway, I decided to fast on that first day in reparation and received a beautiful experience at the hands of an amazing priest and my faith in Medjugorje was once again restored. The Croation Masses were out of this world, while I didn't understand a word there was Missa de Angelis on Maundy Thursday. It was in Croation but I joined in in Latin. The words of Institution were in Latin as was the Pater Noster. It was basically as Vatican II wanted Mass said only versus populum. At the Easter Vigil there were so many people we couldn't all gather around the Holy Fire but a priest explained to us what was happening outside, with the church in darkness, then just as he finished speaking the first 'Lumen Christi' rang out (in Croatian). The Paschal Candle (unfortunately oil) was carried by the youngest priest I have ever seen who placed it in the stand and went to the ambo to sing the Exultet. I was in tears! Again I didn't understand the words but I have never heard it chanted so beautifully in my life. We have been practicing it during Lent at the seminary and so to hear that familiar chant but in a new language was an indescribable experience. Our Lady also granted us a miracle as we sat in church waiting for the Vigil to begin. Twenty minutes before Mass we were suddenly hit with an overpowering scent of roses - Our Lady was very near to us. Later we discovered that 20 minutes before every Croatian Mass there is a pause in the Holy Rosary because it is at that point that Our Lady ebters the church to prepare for Mass.

During the Octave we went back to the English Masses as we had a child with us who was fed up with all the foreign Masses we were attending. Another miracle occurred! A number of American and Irish groups had arrived just after Easter all led by Trad priests who said the Masses. The music was still awful, if we didn't have happy clappy music we were tortured with the most horrific rendition of 'Faith of our Fathers' I have ever heard. However, that was forgiven by the way the priests said Mass and their incredible homilies which I have never heard before and may never hear again.

On the last day my brother in Christ and I met a couple and their 9 year old boy who wants to be a priest. Please pray for him and for all vocations as this is something Medjugorje has a habit of producing.

All in all we had a wonderful pilgrimage and prayed for you all. Please keep us and our vocations in your prayers.

God Bless

7 comments:

bernadette said...

You won`t lose your entire reputation and leadership. No more than Peter the apostle lost his when he denied Jesus. He even got promoted for it. I have one thought: an attachment to the thought that "The liturgy is not how I want it to be" can sometimes make the Holy Spirit back off. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always that, whether the music is happy clappy, whether its in Latin, whether the priest is wonderfully engaging or not, whether you`ve got a headache and feel ill. Our Lady at Medjugorje only asks one thing: that we open our hearts to what God is trying to do in each of us on our daily walk. Conversion. I am certain she blessed you both and gave you grace for the future. I do not believe when we get to heaven that God will ask for a list of the number of times we heard perfect liturgies. But he might want to know how much we offered of ourselves during the imperfect ones we did attend.

Mac McLernon said...

'No! We're going to lose our reputation and entire readership!' Hence the addition of a postscript emphasising our belief that what the Magisterium says goes.

To be fair, the Magisterium hasn't said one way or the other.

Personally I am sceptical, because of the very secular way of life of the visionaries (in the reports I've read.) However, a lot of devout and good people have gone there in good faith, and all their prayers are bound to have some effect. So I wouldn't sneer at anyone who went, or make fun of their experiences.

I will reserve judgement until the Church makes a decision. Until then, there are so many other places to visit where Our Lady definitely appeared...

Orthfully Catholic said...

Thank you for your kind words and prayers.
I realise it is a terrible thing to say, 'The liturgy is not how I want it to be' but I think it should at least be as the Church wants it to be!

Andrew said...

Would you recommend a pilgrimage there? I'm personally sceptical but I know very holy women who went there and were edified.

bernadette said...

Is it possible to be certain that Our Lady isn`t "definitely" appearing at Medjugorje, while at the same time subjecting yourself to the authority of the Magisterium ? Slightly confused thinking here...

In the many many times I havre been and got to know the visionaries, I have not seen one scrap of evidence of secualr life-styles. I think we have to be careful about setting ourselves up as judge and jury, don`t we, whilst at the same time being open with discernment to what God may be doing. I think if we examine the fruits, the answers are there.

Orthfully Catholic said...

Medjugorje is, in my opinion, a wonderful place of great conversion. I loved it! I will accept whatever the Church decides. But the fruits are just so tremendous. I had to wait over an hour for confession! Mac I respect your opinion precisely because you don't mock. Medjugorje has helped me immensely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting on this....I too find the whole thing very confusing and what I tend to do is if I get to the point of being anxious about it just try to exercise greater discipline over my thoughts and stop putting my mind to it. I do hope however that the Church will pronounce sooner rather than later but of course we need to be patient.