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Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Sunday, 30-Jul-2006 20:52 Email | Share | | Bookmark

"Gratitude" by John Slobodnik
"Love & Gratitude" Crystal of Water
View all 6 photos...
I love to dance and I am grateful. Today, I merge both sentiments by joining in the dance of gratitude.

I am grateful for God, the source of EVERYTHING, for EVERYTHING that He has given to me in my life, especially the love.

I am grateful that God has His Hand upon us and all that we do. As St. Augustine said, "Our hearts were made for you, O Lord, and will not rest until they rest in You."

I am grateful that, in spite of long years spent engrossed in studies and in work to the neglect of our spiritual development, we reordered our priorities when God sent Our Blessed Mother to us. With her prayerful heart, she always leads her children to Her Risen Son within the community of the Church.

I am grateful that Our Blessed Mother did exactly that and we were spiritually transformed.

I am grateful for the Eucharistic Christ who invites me to intimately unite with Him, joining myself with his serenity, joy, and harmony.

I am grateful for the pleasure of being alone with God in The Blessed Sacrament: "I look at God, looking at me!"

I am grateful for Terry, the best companion on this INCREDIBLE journey called life, for his ability to love so fully, in turn making me feel loved, cherished and needed; for making me feel like a queen even if I'm in grungy, baggy sweats and no makeup; for whipping up a meal that rivals any on a night on the town; and for how he's always there for me, even in the middle of night when I just want to snuggle or warm my popsicle toes.

I am grateful that, in a world where many do not know why they are here, I know what I was put on this earth to do: to know, love and serve God.

I am grateful that I have eyes of wonder to see that everything in my life is God's miracle.

I am grateful for the miracle of this life that God has personally given me.

I am grateful for the gift of miracles, large and small.

I am grateful for inspiration, insight and wisdom gained from my grandmothers and grandfather, my parents and siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins, teachers, mentors, and friends, for the closeness I have with them, and for their health and happiness in this world and the next.

I am grateful for my siblings, for our shared history and memories of Pahoa, at the beach house in Kapoho, and traveling across America, and for their goodness.

I am grateful for family: my immediate family; my adopted family (Sue, Samara, Jonathan, Austin, Makena, Alana, and Jeremy) that has brought such sweetness and joy in life; and my extended family.

I am grateful for our many friendships that feel like 'ohana (family), often in spite of time and space separations.

I am grateful for my spiritual friendships, new and old, with saints who teach me how to stop, listen, and be still in order to hear, obey and yield to God's Will. (Silent contains the same letters as the word listen)

I am grateful most recently for the mystical saints, including St. Gertrude the Great, St. Francis Xavier, St. Catherine, St. Hildegard, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Padre Pio, who have inspired me with their strong, robust and vibrant, almost fierce faith.

I am grateful for my hardworking guardian angel and God's angels, as well as the holy souls in purgatory, who pray for me, just as I pray for them.

I am grateful I was born and raised with so much ALOHA in Hawaii in the United States of America with its freedoms, rights and privileges.

I am so grateful for my ability to laugh in the face of tears, to love openly, and to live with kindness as my motivation.

I am grateful to those who have made room for me in their lives and who now occupy huge spaces in my heart.

I am grateful for the blessings I've received and the strength and courage I have to keep myself open to receiving them.

I am grateful for my church family in the suburbs and in the mountains, our dedicated priests, my spiritual family, and most of all, the tabernacle where He dwells and the Mass where Heaven is on Earth.

I am grateful for the clarity that I have been granted about the direction of my life, knowing what my joys and passions are, and pursuing them.

I am grateful for my co-workers, for our joint efforts to serve others well; for their ability to motivate me; for their kindnesses, support, honesty and loyalty.

I am grateful that my co-workers have gifts that I don't have. Together, we are doing something beautiful for God. In turn, in Him, with Him and through Him, our work becomes our GIFT that we give others.

I am grateful that I am making a life by what I give, instead of just making a living by what I get.

I am grateful for Sue's friendship, heart, and unrelenting love and support; for her "I love you"s, hugs, and sisterly love of Terry and me; for our shared love of the kids and grandkids; and for our mutual love of glasses of fine wine.

I am grateful for 'Oli and Freddy, for their gentle licks, enthusiastic welcome homes, and overflowing (and sometimes overwhelming) affection.

I am grateful for my education which I see in hindsight was God's curriculum.

I am grateful for books that satisfy my inquisitive mind; for my insatiable appetite for learning; and for the vast opportunities out there for me to keep learning!

I am grateful for our bicycles and where they take us: the seashore, the food destinations, to mountain tops.

I am grateful for our travels and adventures up and down my home states, across the country, and around the world, most especially, Medjugorje.

I am grateful for my commitment to honesty. It brought me Home to the Church. The Truth does set one free!

I am grateful for my faith that has seen me through in the most lonesome, frightening, places and times.

I am grateful that I am a positive thinker which comes from my confidence and trust in God.

I am grateful for oceans, seas, waterfalls, lakes, streams, ponds, pools, misters and sprinklers.

I am grateful for our wrap-around walking deck with Adirondack chairs, rocker, and footstool.

I am grateful for the support I get daily from strangers around the world.

I am grateful for my good health and five intact senses, especially my sight. I'm also grateful for my humidity-induced rheumatoid arthritic pains which I offer up for the Holy Souls; when the pains subside with drier weather, I am truly appreciative of the times when I am not pain-stricken.

I am grateful for these creature comforts: our homes, soaking baths, clean sheets and fresh bath towels, refrigeration and ice water dispensers; hot water dispenser; central air conditioning and heat and movie theaters.

I am grateful for a drawer filled with clean underwear and socks.

I am grateful for breakfasts and joy of breaking fasts; for leftovers and takeout; for Terry's cooking; and for fine dining, especially at the Arte Cafe. .

I am grateful for tuna sandwiches with thick slices of Maui onion, a mound of BBQ potato chips and a generous slice of kosher dill on the side.

I am grateful for wasabi, chili peppers and catsup; coffee and tea; seaweed; sushi and water.

I am grateful for fresh strawberry pie in the early summer, fresh peach pie in the summer, pumpkin pie in the fall and apple pie in the winter.

I am so grateful for my ability to listen to, honor and trust the Holy Spirit who speaks and guides me through my "intuition."

I am grateful for the God-given ability to stay focused, work hard and achieve work goals in order to help others.

I am grateful for being taught early in life that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I am grateful for flowers, plants, gardens, vineyards, large swaths of green, and forests.

I am grateful for Big Bear with its beautiful lake, four seasons, book stores, glistening snow, our wonderful neighbors, fresh air, blue skies, our church in the pines, and the new friendships we keep making everywhere we go.

I am grateful for my childhood, for being a Girl Scout, for being a swimmer and a lifesaver, and for caring teachers.

I am grateful for the best grandmother ever who taught me to pray and who loved me as every child should be loved. She was the closest approximation to Our Blessed Mother, Mary, in my life.

I am grateful for an affectionate father who lived an extraordinary life and taught me to never, never, never give up. He knew defeats were only temporary, and he'd get up and dance in the face of tragedy.

I am grateful for the lessons learned during and after losing people I loved dearly: my grandparents, my father, our dearest aunt and uncle, our dearest friends Wayne and Beulah, and Happy and Lucky, our Shelties. I especially learned that every day is a sacred gift to be savored and lived with God in it.

I am grateful for the joy that writing gives me, for my two hands to type out my thoughts, and this computer.

I am grateful that the older I get, the better I am able to fearlessly speak my mind, yet remain soft-hearted.

I am grateful for friends, acquaintances and strangers to smile at and who smile back at me.

I am grateful for my job history, and especially my present job of 23 years.

I am grateful for patients who tell me I make a difference in their lives, acknowledge my heart, love and caring with their hearts, love, hugs, love-infused notes, uplifting cards and sweet gifts.

I am grateful for the technology at work that save eyes and lives.

I am grateful for old friends who can always pick up where we left off.

I am grateful for wit and humor, laughter, dancing, and singing.

I am grateful for the Internet that has allowed me to learn, connect and grow at an astounding rate.

I am grateful for my iPod, filled with favorite prayers, music, photos and audiobooks.

I am grateful for this time to list the things I am grateful for in my life and the chance to appreciate them afresh and even more.

I am grateful that I am able to fill this list with these gratefulnesses.

I am grateful that YOU are here. May you be inspired to spend time putting your gratefulness into words, so you can keep referring to them and adding more to your list. I know I will be doing exactly that!

Saturday, 29-Jul-2006 03:36 Email | Share | | Bookmark
TESTIMONY: Beautiful - she took the words right out of my mouth

Ave Maria!
I came across this beautiful testimony written by an anonymous convert using the pseudonym, Ave Maria! which was written in reply to anti-Medjugorje distortions of truth. It was buried in Gerald Augustinus' comment section. I'm bringing to light here with gratitude.

She expresses my sentiments exactly and more eloquently than I could ever begin to say. Like her, I consider it important to wait for a firm and final Magisterial decision on Medjugorje. I am grateful that I kept an open mind about the whole thing, overcame my moderated skepticism and went to Medjugorje. Our conversions there would never have happened had we closed our hearts and minds.

Whether the Magisterium/Commission decides firmly for or against Medjugorje, I will be okay with either decision. I know and accept that God works in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways. If I had rejected Medjugorje and it turns out that it has genuine merit, I would have been infinitely poorer for it. Conversely, if deemed unmerited, my faith would not be endangered as I am infinitely richer spiritually, having gained my life beyond this world through Our Lord and Our Lady. By practicing Our Lady's five stones that I learned in Medjugorje -- the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Scripture, Prayer and Fasting -- my faith has been unshakeably strengthened on a daily basis.

Ever since our Medjugorje experience, the most authentic of all of my life's experiences, all I want to do is keep my eyes set on being right with God and on pleasing Him. Every day has been authentically beautiful ever since.

Thank you, Ave Maria, for taking the words right out of my mouth!

"I have been to Medjugorje and it was the cause of my conversion some 12 years ago and I have not been a lukewarm nor idle convert at all. I will comment on the 'luxurious mansions' first. I have seen where three of the visionaries live and they are very modest homes (I noticed some repairs needed and toys in the yard, etc) that are like a middle class American home. Nothing ostentatious about them at all.

I can not say that Our Lady is currently appearing at Medjugorje. But I can attest to some things: IT IS A HOLY PLACE! How could it not be with Masses offered all day long every day. With a long line of confessionals outdoors and long lines of souls waiting at each one for the sacrament. Rosaries going continuously. Adoration ongoing and reverent and fervent. The sacramental power is AWESOME! So of course that makes it a holy place. And Our Lady is present wherever Holy Masses are offered so she is there at the least in that sense.

The townspeople touch the heart when one witnesses their piety and devotion and the church and the outside of the church are packed every day for prayer, for Mass, for adoration, for the love of God.

And I will tell you what I do know. There are 'lights' in my pictures. I have the same 'light' from a picture I took at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and also at a holy friary I once visited. I have five pictures of a beautiful statue of Our Lady in St. James Church and in each picture, Our Lady is different. Some with eyes closed, some with eyes open, looking up, looking down, etc. I did see the sun spin and so did those I was walking with. I did smell Our Lady's roses and my rosary turned gold. Are any of those things proof? No. But I know what happened to me and I consider it a gift.

I live in a place that is a liturgical desert and I like to cast my memory on that pilgrimage and the peace of it lives within my heart. those gifts remain with me.

I will go by what the Church decides and so far the Vatican says we may go there and the case is open and will be reviewed. The Franciscans are NOT in schism! Would the bishop be there for confirmation if they were?

And I do not know for certain that this next part is so as I have been looking into all this but I am told that the bishop was not to publicly comment on the events and he did so. On the face of it and if he has ecclesial authority as he claimed, then obedience is the best part of valor and is imperative. I am told that he does not have that authority while events are in the hands of a commission. I do not know which is the true case.

But what I do know is that Medjugorje is a holy place where the faith is lived out in a fullness that I certainly never experience as a parish community here in the desert. And many others do not have that fullness either and will travel halfway around the world to experience it.

Ave Maria!

~ Source

Friday, 28-Jul-2006 18:29 Email | Share | | Bookmark
10 Lepers - VIDEOS: Bosnia - Medj 2006 Photos are forthcoming.

Kindness: Nedjo's wife Mirijana (Mica) and her assistant.
10 Lepers
June 25, 2006, Medjugorje: Thanking Jesus on Cross Mountain
View all 5 photos...

Credit: >> James C. Christensen

"As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?“ Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” ~ Luke 17:12 - 19 >> Powerpoint Presentation of the 10 Lepers

This time last year we made a firm commitment to return to Medjugorje. Parables had taken on new and personal meaning for us and in particular, we reflected on and had taken to heart the parable of the ten lepers. Jesus had healed ten lepers and only one came back to thank Him. We wondered, "What were the excuses for those who did not thank Him?" Did they mean to thank Him later? Or did they get caught up with the busy-ness of their lives? Or were they complete ingrates?

My husband and I were truly foreigners in Bosnia that summer in 2004. Believers without a religion, we had taken a leap of faith when we responded to a quiet and gentle call, landing in a Catholic pilgrimage site called Medjugorje. Uncatechized pagans (or at least, unknowingly, heretics), we were totally unaware of our fallen human nature. Although we did not know it then, unbaptized, we had "leperous" sores on our souls which would have eventually lead to our religious isolation and spiritual deaths. In spite of us being areligious, making us outcasts of the religious sort, Mary, the Queen of Peace, led us to her Son on Cross Mountain. On that mountain at the foot of a Cross, He touched us and we were converted.

We returned home and "showed ourselves to the priests" at the local parish and began the year-long RCIA process. Plain and simple, that conversion on that faraway mountain lead to our baptisms, when God in Three Persons cleansed, healed and welcomed us into His Body and His Family. Not only were we "cured" interiorly, He offered us the ultimate gift of eternal life, as well as the foretastes of that life in the Eucharistic Mass. Made aware of the worldly attachments of materialism, personal glory, and ego that lead us away from God, we embraced the path that detaches from them, choosing to serve without seeking earthly rewards. What a liberating gift this is!

Ever since, our hearts have been overflowing with thankfulness and every day we celebrate our new lives as full members of God's community. Yet how easy it is to become self-absorbed with our unanticipated good fortune. How easy to not acknowledge the Giver. How easy to not see the Giver for the gift!

Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit who continually helps us to see with new spiritual eyes. We had fully identified with the foreigner -- the Samaritan leper -- who ran back to Jesus to express his thanks. We intended to do as he did: run back with great joy and give thanks. Nothing was going to stop us from returning to Medjugorje to trudge up that mountain to place ourselves at the foot of the Cross and give our deepest thanks to God for His healing touch and to Mary, the Queen of Peace, for leading us to Him.

CREDIT: Ten Lepers Healed by Brian Kershisnik (1962- ) Oil on panel, 1997 Loaned by Brent and Bonnie Jean Beesley >> Source. The healing of ten lepers and the acknowledging thankful return of one Samaritan provides the clarity of following a faithful path. The other nine lepers gleefully tear off for home. One returns to spend time with Jesus. The Samaritan of different traditions and culture doubles back, and receives a blessing besides a healing. The grateful leper is transformed in faithful spirit as well as in body.

Within the year, two major family events came up which "threatened" to interfere with our plans. But leave it to the Holy Family, as they made certain that these events did not conflict with our first commitment. Our families accommodated our rock-solid plans without fuss or complaint. We made it back on time for the 25th Anniversary of Our Lady's Apparitions, June 25, 2006, to personally say thanks, just as planned.

Dawn: We made it back!

Needless to say, this has been an event-filled time for us. Within a one month's time, we have been to Hawaii for a family wedding on my husband's side of the family, then to Medjugorje for our thanksgiving, then to San Francisco for a family reunion on my side of the family and finally to our cabin up in the mountains for our yearly summer retreat.

Whew! This jam-packed schedule also explains why I have not gotten 'round to posting my Medj photos.

Self-employment has its benefits, but a downside is that when I am gone, the work piles high and deep in my absence. Since my return I've been working hard at whittling down that mountain of work. Bear with me. I will keep my promise to do post our pictures. I just need to find the time. I will.

For now, maybe the three pictures posted here and the following will help to suffice. Just now, signing on, this link to a Yahoo! video about a Bosnian bridge jumper (that leads to a video on Bosnian coffee and much more if you let the video run) caught my eye:

>> VIDEO: Leap of faith: "There's a little fear for every jump," explains a Bosnian bridge jumper. Watch his daring dive.

The link had earlier lead me to this bunch of reviews of Medjugorje that I enjoyed very much as it allowed me a quick "revisit" there. Perhaps you'll enjoy them and even write a review yourself:

>> Yahoo! Travel: Latest reviews of Medjugorje

There is only one negative review in the bunch by a Canadian. I can't begin to imagine his/her experience, as during both pilgrimages to Medjugorje, we have found the villagers, without exception, kinder, friendlier and more helpful than anywhere else that we've been in the world with the exception of the friendly folks on the island of Molokai in Hawaii with whom they are on par.

In front of the home of Nedjo Brecic. Kindness personified: his wife Mica who welcomed us into her home, fed us and gave us drink. Here, with her able assistant.

God bless the fine and loving folks in Medjugorje. They live their faith with such beauty, generosity and grace. It is no wonder that Our Lady chose Medjugorje.

Wednesday, 12-Jul-2006 04:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
So Hot...You Could Fry An Egg? Beating the Medjugorje Heat

An 'eggs'-aggeration? So hot, you could fry an egg!

We just got back from a week up in the local Southern California mountains, recuperating from the scorching temperatures of Medjugorje during the anniversary week. We will never again take the coolness of the alpine forests for granted. We all return from Medjugorje stories with stories to tell. I thought I'd share this one with you:

So how hot was it in Medjugorje? I'm not exaggerating when I say it was very, very HOT. With temps as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit, it was so swelteringly hot that it begged the question, "Was it hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk?" I always wondered about this one--is it really true?

Ana's daughter Tihana set out to find the answer. Ahh, that 'splains the broken egg shells that we came across just outside Nedjo's house where we were staying. Since there are no sidewalks up on that road to Apparition Hill, Tihana cracked the egg right on the roadway's asphalt black top. Being black, now that had to be even hotter than any concrete sidewalk, right?!

So what was the answer? Despite the heat wave, the egg did not fry. Although it certainly felt blisteringly hot enough to do so, it ended up just being an unfried mess and Tihana took a pass on eating the final product. Since, I've learned that according to The American Egg Board, eggs need to reach between 144 and 158 degrees before they are considered "cooked." THANK GOD, it was not THAT hot and Tehana empirically de-bunked that summer myth. So much for that oft-said ‘eggs’aggeration.

So, now we're back to the flatlands where it is hot, but not terrifically as in Medjugorje. THANK GOD for air conditioning which I will not be taking for granted anytime soon. Which leads me into this:

Checking the mail, I was delighted to receive the latest issue of The Spirit of Medjugorje newsletter from our wonderful friend, June Klins. Filled with all sorts of interesting articles about Medjugorje, every issue is special and this one was personally so as June published my IIPG post on our visit to Kravice Falls which is linked here: June 25, 2006 Issue).

Thanks to Ana who made the taxi arrangements for us, we found the best way to beat the heat of summer in Medjugorje and connect with God in nature. And that is Kravice Falls. We recommend a trip out there HIGHLY!

At the end of the article, the reader is directed to my old fotoblog site for more pictures of Kravice Falls (also known as Kravica Falls). I invite you to vicariously bask in the cooling effects of the falls. May it be a welcome respite from these torrid summer days. To get to them, click on the link below:

>> Kravice Falls, near Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina

Enjoy! And stay cool!

Sunday, 2-Jul-2006 12:48 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Back from the 25th Anniversary Pilgrimage - Medjugorje, B-H

Making the petition lei, the day before departure.
Done and ready to go to Medjugorje!
Petition lei presented to Our Lady at Apparition Hill...
View all 11 photos...
Greetings to IIPG!

It is in the wee hours of the morning, Sunday. Yesterday afternoon, we returned to our home and were joyously greeted by our dogs who missed us almost as much as we missed them. After unpacking, all four of us took what we thought was to be a short nap. Well, seven hours later, it is now the next day.

After a deep, restorative sleep, I am up and at 'em to wrap up my trip's TO DO list. The first priority of our pilgrimage was to personally thank Our Lady for leading us to her Son. The second priority was to be there for ALL of you, especially those who wish so much to be there. And so the last item on that list is to touch bases with ALL of you in this prayer group.

If you want to be in heaven on earth come to Medjugorje...

For those of you wanted to be there, I brought you there in my heart, mind, soul and prayers. To those who sent me your petitions to Our Lady, know that on the first night there your petitions were carried to her in the form of a very colorful orange, gold, and yellow lei under a clear, starry sky. They were presented to Our Lady on Apparition Hill where Our Lady appeared to the visionary Ivan that night.

Your petitions then traveled up that rocky, winding path to Cross Mountain in the coolness of the night so they could be at the foot of the Cross at sunrise when Our Lady greets the day. They were presented to her at her feet, so she could lift them up to her Son for us.

IIPG petition lei with 180 prayer requests, Apparition Hill, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina

They made yet another climb up to Apparition Hill during the week where our group's (wonderful) Fr. Javier Virgen from Saints Peter and Paul Church in Salt Lake City, UT spotted us with the lei (bright as it was, who could miss it?) and prayed for them (and you). We were in close proximity to Our Lady's white statue. Often Our Lady appears in the company of angels, often three in number. Knowing what dog lovers we are, I think that morning she sent them to us in the form of dogs, as three sweet frolicking dogs joined us in prayer.

At the 25th Anniversary Mass, your petitions were presented in the presence of hundreds (500+) of concelebrating priests, the visionaries, and the hundreds of thousands of religious and faithful pilgrims (as many as 250,000). When two or more are gathered in His Name, there He is... This was the ultimate case of "OR MORE" who were there, not only in body, but very much in spirit. (Pictures to come)

We also spent time paying our respects to Nedjo Brecic, our IIPG founder, at his grave site, which is a very peaceful place. Vicka the visionary is his sister-in-law; Vicka said that he is with Our Lady soon after he died, which makes him a saint. I thanked Nedjo for all of us for bringing us together as an International Internet Prayer Group (IIPG) and asked him to keep praying for all of us.

We stayed at Nedjo Brecic's (and his dear wife Mirijana's and four children's) house that Our Lady has personally visited with the original prayer group, from which IIPG is descended, thanks to Nedjo. Every night in our room with a view of the Cross on Cross Mountain, the bright, eye-catching petition lei was a gentle reminder to keep ALL of you in IIPG in my prayers.

Our Lady's message of June 25, 2006 is your assurance that she heard every one of your prayer petitions. Kindly reread each word knowing that you were there with her.

Ana of medjugorje.org, our charming and vivacious leader, with Tihana, who read to us the June 25, 2006 message from Our Lady

Read it as Ana did for her precious daughter Tihana Maria by substituting YOUR OWN NAME for "children":

    "Dear (YOUR OWN NAME)! With great joy in my heart I thank you for all the prayers that, in these days, you offered for my intentions. Know, little children, that you will not regret it, neither you nor your children. God will reward you with great graces and you will earn eternal life. I am near you and thank all those who, through these years, have accepted my messages, have poured them into their life and decided for holiness and peace. Thank you for having responded to my call."

After our last Mass at St. James Church, I dropped off the petition lei in the basket at the new Information Desk. It will then be given to one of the visionaries to be presented to Our Lady once again. She'll probably say, "Oh, it's all of you, again." But being the good mother, she will smile and once again present them to her Son. Ask and ye shall receive. WE HAVE ASKED! I have no doubt that He will answer each petition, according to His Plan. Our Lady and Our Lord know what is best for us. The point is that we have humbled ourselves to ask for their help.

I hope those who were there in body will post here on this thread, especially those in Ana & Steve Shawl's pilgrimage group. You are such a fine, loving and Spirit-filled group that is "decided to holiness and peace." And with so many from our own IIPG! It was such a treat to meet these lovely people in three dimensions. Truth be told, we never met a single stranger there, only dear brothers and sisters in Christ with an abiding, deep love for Our Lady. That alone was a GREAT GRACE. I look forward to reuniting with each one of them again in Heaven or sooner, God willing.

Thank you, Ana, once again, and please forward our thanks to Steve and Colleen who made the travel arrangements and to the beautiful ladies at the house who fed us and tended to us and to Snezjana, who is the best tour guide ever who continually radiates love for the mission given to her. You and Steve are truly gifts sent by God and Our Lady. You made us feel right at home. I hang on every word of your stories, particularly yours and Steve's love story. Sigh!

Especially, thank you for arranging our very special time spent in prayer with Our Lady and that glorious sidetrip to the "Pearl of the Adriatic" -- stunningly beautiful Dubrovnik, that ancient walled city. George Bernard Shaw wrote: “If you want to see heaven on earth come to Dubrovnik.” He was not exaggerating.

Daytripping: Dubrovnik, Croatia

We prayed hard... and we played hard. What a blast we had at the Cafe Pizzeria, right below Vicka's old house. The perfect combination of ice cold draft beer and those delicious, thin-crusted hot pizzas with Fr. Javier's blessed chili peppers was the perfect remedy for that sweltering June heat. Ever notice that those in hot climes eat chilis that cause them to sweat and cool off faster? Well, God thought best not to place that bubble of air-conditioning over us, I suspect so we could REALLY appreciate the salutary effects of chilis and fermented hops! Cheers to those memories that will last forever! Videmo se oped (See you again) to gracious Gordana and her generous husband.

Mary Lou, Phil, Terry, and Yours Truly, Peace: "Cheers!"

Well, that's it for now. Our laundry awaits us. From the sacred to the mundane... I will post pics at my website as soon as possible. Folks on the 25th Anniversary Pilgrimage, if you don't have a site, send me your favorites, I'll be happy to post them to share with the rest of the gang.

A blessed Sunday to you, and pray for the unbelievers. I apologize for the length of this email. I don't post often, but when the Spirit moves me, I write. So please put up with me.

With a heart overflowing with gratitude,
DMF/ Peace Pilgrim

P.S. Stay tuned. As soon as time permits, I'll be back.

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

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