Continuing Appearances of Mary, Mother of Jesus

Mary has appeared in many countries. This photo was taken in Egypt during one of her appearances there in the 1960s.

This is information about the apparitions of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that began in June 1981 at Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. There were six young people who first saw Mary. She has appeared several times to each of them but particularly to Mirjana who has had visitations in both her native country and in Sterrett, Alabama, USA. Our Lady has been appearing every single day to one or more of the visionaries for 28 years. This is well over 12,820 apparitions. Our Lady said on April 4, 1985, “I wish to keep on giving you messages as it has never been in history from the beginning of the world.” Our Lady said on May 2, 1982, “I have come to call the world to conversion for the last time. Afterwards I will not appear any more on this earth.”

This is information which Mirjana gave to Father Tomislav Vlasic on November 5, 1983 about the secrets of Fatima and the chastisement to come:

There will be three warnings in the form of events on earth before a visible sign is given to mankind. After the admonitions, a visible sign will appear on the site of the apparitions in Medjugorje for all the people to see. The sign will be given as a testimony to the apparitions and in order to call people back to faith.

After the first admonition, the others will follow in a rather short time. Thus, people will have some time for conversion. That interval will be a period of grace and conversion. After the visible sign appears, those who are still alive will have little time for conversion. For that reason, the Blessed Virgin invites us to urgent conversion and reconciliation.

The ninth and tenth secrets are serious. They concern chastisement for the sins of the world. Punishment is inevitable, for we cannot expect the whole world to be converted. The punishment can be diminished by prayer and penance, but it cannot be eliminated. Mirjana says that one of the evils that threatened the world, the one contained in the seventh secret, has been averted thanks to prayer and fasting. According to Mirjana, the events predicted by the Blessed Virgin are near. By virtue of this experience, Mirjana proclaims to the world: “Convert as quickly as possible. Open your hearts to God.” That is why the Blessed Virgin continues to encourage prayer and fasting: “You have forgotten that through prayer and fasting you can avert wars and suspend the laws of nature.”

The invitation to prayer and penance is meant to avert evil and war, but most of all to save souls.

The following is Our Lady of Medjugorje’s October 2, 2012 monthly message through Mirjana:

“Dear children; I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that He may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that He may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience His Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you.”

The most important message is always: “Dear children! Today I invite you to conversion. This is the most important message that I have given you here…”

For additional information you can go to the Caritas website: http://www.medjugorje.com/index.html

Expectations

Desert

If our expectations are too rigid, we may miss opportunities that come into our lives. It is better to have no expectation of the blessings that we might receive, but be open to all possibilities.

There is a story about a man who considered himself a true believer, of having a great faith. He relied on God to provide all his needs. One day a terrible storm was forecast and people were warned to go to higher ground because of the danger of being flooded. However, the man ignored the warning because he knew that God would provide for his needs. A car came by his house with neighbors who offered to take him with them to a safe place, but the man refused because God would provide all his needs. The rain came and began to flood the area. A boat with authorities came by and told the man he should evacuate, but the man stood his ground because God would provide. As the water got deeper, the man went up to the roof. A helicopter flew over and, seeing him on the roof, the people inside told him to grab the lifeline and they would pull him up, but the man refused because God would provide. Finally the water swept over the house and the man drowned. When he got to heaven he met God and indignantly asked, “I had great faith that you would provide what I needed and you let me drown. How could you do that?” God answered, “I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter, but you refused them all.”

Sometimes the blessings we receive are either smaller or greater than what we could have imagined, and sometimes they are disguised as difficulties that will lead us to something better.

There is another story of a man who bought a beautiful stallion at a very good price. His neighbors came and congratulated him on his good fortune. He replied, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” One day the stallion managed to escape the corral and ran off. The neighbors all voiced their regrets at this difficult loss. But again he remarked, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” A few days later the stallion came back with three lovely mares and, of course, the neighbors all exclaimed what good luck that was. But the man only replied, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” As his son was riding one of the mares, she bolted causing the young man to fall and break his leg. At which the neighbors again voiced their dismay at the turn of events. But the man only answered, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” Because there was much trouble in the area, the king ordered all young men to join in a great war, but the man’s son couldn’t go because he had a broken leg. When the neighbor’s came to congratulate him on his good fortune they heard the same reply – – and so it goes on.

Whether a situation is good or bad depends upon our outlook, the way we perceive it. The situation, in itself, is neither good nor bad, it just “is.” Only our attitude determines its rightness or wrongness. Even those who commit a crime believe it to be a good thing for them, though it may appear to be bad to everyone else. A rain storm may be beneficial to a farmer who needs water for his crops, but detrimental to an outdoor celebration.

There is a saying, “Expect nothing and never be disappointed.” Frustration is a result of expectations not met, and anger is the result of an overload of frustration that is acted out as violence. These are conflicting energies that exist between the ego’s longing for worldly things and the soul’s longing for peace within. When ego and soul are in agreement, there is no agitation, no frustration, no anger – there is only peace within.

To expect nothing is to be accepting of all circumstances, all situations – with the knowledge that we have the ability to refuse from people that which does not serve our greater good, or to accept from them that which does. Refusing what does not serve us is illustrated by the story of the Buddha in “About Bullying,” another blog available here.

Self Repair

SelfRepair

When all is well it is impossible to know that something needs fixing – it isn’t until the dishwasher leaks, or the lamp won’t turn on, that we know some repair is required. It’s the same way with the energy we hold inside ourselves. There is no way to know it is out of balance until we encounter a situation that informs us of a need to change. This comes as stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, disappointment and a host of other negative emotions. Unless these emotions are recognized for what they are, and released, they will continue to be a source of upset. The repair that is needed is a change in the way the problems are thought about. When we consider the problem as a wake-up call to make an internal change rather than as a source of annoyance, we can go about the work of transforming a stumbling block into a stepping stone. This is done by consciously feeling the negative energy, recognizing it as our own creation, and lovingly accepting it as a need within. That need is always one of love – it is a part of our selves that isn’t loved and is in deep need of it. So we give it love. When we love those parts of ourselves that aren’t very lovable, the negative energy is neutralized with positive energy, causing it to lessen. Once we have recognized the anger, hurt, frustration, etc. that is part of our selves and have given it love, we can lovingly release it with a big sigh of relief. Depending upon the strength of the negative energy it may take several attempts to completely dissolve it. With each successive encounter we have that brings up the same old emotions, the strength of the energy should not be as powerful and be more easily released. This is also learning to love self by recognizing our self worth – the value inherent within ourselves. It is not an egotistical love or a feeling of superiority, it is a humble recognition of who we are as spirits of light, as children of God.

Also see: Pain Release

About Bullying

This is a subject that has been getting a lot of press lately, and for good reasons. It is a subject that needs to be understood in order to be properly addressed. There are several dynamics at work, so to begin let me say that, since everything in creation is composed of energy, it is basically the negative energy of bullying that has to be neutralized with positive energy. Let me illustrate with my own first experience of the way this works.

A neighbor’s child was having difficulty relating to his peers so his mother, angered by her son’s treatment, arrived at my friend’s home with a list of complaints. When she finished shouting, I calmly said to her, “You’re right,” and then continued to agree with some of her arguments. I was surprised, back then, that this immediately had a calming effect on the irate parent and we were able to discuss solutions to the problem. What I didn’t understand at that time was that, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”(Proverbs 15:1) Since then I have found many instances when this is true.

So how does this relate to bullying? First of all consider the bully who is the source of the negative energy. This may come from anger, jealousy, intolerance, egotism, or possibly wanting to be liked by peers. These all stem from an inner need, whatever it happens to be, and is negative energy that will be acted out in a negative way to satisfy that need. It is the manifestation of a soul whose energy is not in harmonious balance and requires change. But that change can only come from inside that person. Nothing outside that person can make that change. That person has to recognize the need to change and implement it on their own. They can be encouraged to do good, shown good example, taught to use different manners of behavior, or even punished, but unless they are willing to change themselves, change will not be forthcoming.

So what are we left with? The only thing we can change is ourselves. I’ll say it again – the only thing we can change is ourselves. If we are not willing to do that, we’re back at square one and the negative energy has won. It will grow into more hurt feelings, more anger, more conflict, and more acting out – possibly even leading to destructive actions because negative energy feeds on more negative energy and grows stronger.

What is the answer? The answer is always LOVE – – but it is a little complicated.

I’ll relate a story about the Buddha which has appeared in different forms but essentially has the points that I want to make. The story goes something like this: there was a highly educated man who saw the Buddha and began to hurl insults at him. The Buddha sat calmly and didn’t reply. When the man asked how he could stay so calm without answering his taunts the Buddha asked him a question – “If food is presented to a person and that person refuses the food, to whom does the food belong?” The obvious answer given by the educated man was that the food belonged to the giver. He then understood that the insults he had hurled at the Buddha belonged only to himself because they had not been accepted by the Buddha.

This story illustrates the following dynamics:
First – we can only give what we have. The educated man had only animosity and pride to give. The Buddha had understanding , compassion, tolerance, and love to give.
Second – we have the ability to make choices, not only about what we give but also about what we receive. The Buddha had no need for the negative energy so he chose not to receive it. In this way the negative energy was not supported and it could no longer continue.
Third – the Buddha understood that the educated man felt diminished in the presence of the Buddha and required a way to feel more powerful, but the Buddha possessed self-love and had no karmic need for the “food” that was being offered.

How do we make this lesson useful for ourselves?

Let’s first consider the person being bullied. It has been said that if we could see the actions that brought on such circumstances, we would not be so upset by them. This is because karma is playing out in order to balance an unbalanced energy. Whatever has been sown – regardless of the time frame – will be reaped. The only way karma can be balanced is through grace – the use of energetically positive virtues such as tolerance, patience, humility, love etc. Those who are bullied, but do not have the awareness of a Buddha, probably have encountered a situation in which they have been given the opportunity to learn a needed lesson. They can choose an action which will satisfy that karma and bring grace, or one that will create another encounter of the same sort. By expressing additional negative energy toward the bully, thereby “feeding” the negative energy, the negative energy will become stronger and escalate the tension leading to additional confrontations. But by understanding that the bully is in need of compassion, tolerance and love, the person who is being bullied can release their karma by offering a hand of friendship, or by responding in a way to let the bully know his remarks have no effect, or by calmly walking away.

It is necessary to understand that negative energy feeds on more negative energy and cannot survive without it. To stop a bully’s taunts it is wise not to react in an unconscious manner by absorbing the energy into self. It is better to consciously respond, rather than to unconsciously react with more negative words and/or actions. A kind response shows that the negative energy is not doing its job because it has not been accepted.

If the bully gets physical it requires some action, but only after a conscious response is given such as, “I understand you want to fight but I think it would be a lot nicer to be friends.” If this doesn’t work it may require intervention by proper authorities such as teachers, parents or police. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” the stick being the strength within, in the form of self-worth, or the strength without, in the form of a higher authority.

Most importantly, it is necessary to understand that we are all beings of light, children of God, regardless of outer appearances or actions. When we are able to connect fully with that idea it is easier to love ourselves and to love others in the same way. Self-love is a feeling of self-worth and has nothing to do with ego or self-aggrandizement. It is recognizing, in all humility and love, that we are temples of God who is our innate spiritual being. Once this is achieved it becomes a power within us – the rod and staff that supports us, the strength that protects us.

These ideas may not come easily in the beginning, but the effort to use love instead of fear is well worth the time and trouble. Peace of mind is possible only when it is found inside one’s heart and then given to all who need it. These are lessons from the Masters down through the ages – love your neighbor – do unto others as you would have them do unto you – do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Wake Up People!

Don’t you understand that, in whatever circumstance you find yourself, it is of your own creation? You are reaping whatever you have sown. Only you are responsible for the life you have, and you will continue to have, until you make the necessary changes – to your attitudes, your desires, your dislikes, your habits, your way of being. It is only through sowing the seeds of tolerance, respect, humility, patience, forgiveness, acceptance and LOVE that you can reap happiness, contentment, peace and joy. Expecting different results when trying to change things outside yourself without making any changes inside yourself just doesn’t work. It has to begin with a change of mind, of attitude, of heart. Learn to sit quietly without distractions, look within and listen to the small, still voice that is calling you to awaken. If you want things to change, the change has to come from within. It is up to you to choose, not only the kind of life you have now, but the quality of life that will be yours in the future. Change your mind and change your world.