Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Search of the Virgin Mary

In just a few weeks, my family and I will embark on a journey that millions before us have made. We will be on a quest to see the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. To some, this may sound strange and to others not so much. Let me explain…

The journey will take us to a small village called Medjugorje in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslavia. Since 1981 people of all faiths from countries around the world have been trekking there to worship, pray, give thanks, seek enlightenment and discernment or just to experience something holy, mystical, and divine. Perhaps, even be touched in some way by the Blessed Mary or God.

The story goes that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to six children revealing ten secrets to them regarding events to take place in our world. The children have not shared these secrets with anyone. Three of the six continue to receive daily apparitions of Mary and the others only at certain times during the year. Of course, the six are now all adults. Some travel and share their experiences of Mary and her communications to them. Media from around the world have interviewed them and been to the apparition site. Books have been written with accounts of the children and the parish priest, Father Yozo who was even imprisoned by the communists for this.

I realize that for many people these events and Mary’s continued visitations to these six faithful are farfetched and unbelievable. Perhaps others think it a shear hoax, the biggest scam imaginable. Still others don’t acknowledge Mary as the mother of Jesus Christ and this journey to them probably is seen as ridiculous and pure folly.

Though there are many people that don’t understand this, or are repelled by it, there are the countless others who either believe in Mary or at least have an open heart and mind to the possibility of something spiritual taking place in Medjugorje.

Are we all being duped?

I guess we will see.

But I don’t believe so.

We are travelling with a dear friend and one of my patients, Father Roy Oggero. Father Roy has been to Medjugorje several times and his experiences, I trust, are real.

But I’m not attempting to convince or convert anyone—simply to advise you of my journey
I am going to see for myself.

Not to prove or disprove anything.

Just to be open and experience whatever may be there for me.

Of course, my mind races with questions like:
Will I and others be cured-partially-fully, of our health complaints?
Will I or anyone in our group see the Virgin Mary individually or collectively?
Will we have an internal feeling, a knowing, that she is present?
Will the prayer petitions that we carry to the site be granted?
Will miracles happen at home for those we carry in petition while we are still there?
Will there be some tangible sign that the Virgin Mary or God visits Medjugorje?
Will I feel different, act differently or be different in some way?
There are about a hundred more questions rolling around in my mind. Perhaps some will be answered.

I’ve joked with patients that when I return, I may look like Charlton Heston playing Moses in the movie, The Ten Commandments. After God spoke with him his hair turned completely white and his face glowed. Of course, I’m joking about this, but I do harbor the hope that I will find Mary and experience something divine, powerful and eternal.

I just don’t want my hair to turn white! But hey, it would be a small price to pay.

Those I’ve spoken with who have made this journey before have been enriched and blessed in some way.

We will stay in Medjugorje for several days. Miracles have been said to occur there.

Apparition Hill is the original site where Mary appeared to the children and where all the spiritual sojourners hike in the hope to see Mary and have a divine experience. I am sure I will hike this hill many times. Of course, there will be lots of time for prayer and reflection.

While in Medjugorje, we may even have an opportunity to visit and talk with one of the six and maybe Father Yozo, the parish priest who was imprisoned.

We will be taking prayer requests and petitions to leave at the site to be prayed over.

I already have a long list of friends, family and patients, of course, to carry with me.

If you would like to add a name to my list with a specific or non-specific petition, I encourage you to do so. I will be honored to carry your wishes.
For me, this trip is especially exciting because I will be on a spiritual journey travelling with family and a great friend, Father Roy Oggero and even a few of my fellow medical missionary compadres.

I sincerely ask for your prayers and positive energy for all of us travelling to Medjugorje. Rest assured, every person on my mailing list will be included in prayer even if you don’t ask—prayers for your health, happiness and wonderful blessings to be showered upon you. I look forward to reporting my experiences to you and letting you know if I actually found the Virgin Mary.

Dr. Rick Barrett

P.S. I must receive all petitions by October 8th. Send all prayer requests to me at or mail all sealed requests to my office at:
Dr. Richard F. Barrett
2853 Dulles Avenue
Missouri City, TX 77459
Attention: Prayer Request

Want more information to see where we will be? Go to

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Heart of a Giver

This morning, I watched an extremely touching story of parents who donated the heart of their thirteen year old daughter, Taylor. Taylor was tragically killed in a skiing accident. Not only did they want to use their daughter's heart to save a life...but they wanted to meet the recipient of the heart...and they did.

My words can't do this story justice. I think you need to watch the video. Be sure to have Kleenex close by!

The parents truly exemplify the love and sacrifice of a true giver. They are great role models and truly bring life to the title of my book, "Give to Live".

Donating an organ may not be the thing a person wants to do or can do, but there is something that each of us can give, a way for each of us to serve humanity today.

Thank you for all you do recognized and unrecognized. It is giving people like you and the people you surround yourself with that will create a world of love and kindness.

Dr. Rick Barrett

P.S. Check out the website Taylor's Gift Foundation her parents created to encourage organ donations:

Don't forget to share these messages and this affirmation with every one you know. We can never stop giving!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back In The Saddle...UH...Cockpit Again!

I flew a plane!! Dare I say it? It's really hard to believe, but here we go...

It's been 30 years since I piloted a small plane! Flying the small craft is not what is so amazing; it's that 30 years have gone by since I sat behind the controls.

Let me bring you up to speed. Like most guys, I've always loved anything that goes fast, sounds powerful, is powerful, is bright and shiny (especially red) and smells like gasoline and oil.

In the water,

on the ground

or in the air.

It's all good!

Sound familiar? Probably you know someone like this. Maybe it's you!

Mechanical things are wonderful. I've tinkered with just about everything, even rebuilding engines. I've driven just about anything with an engine from lawn mowers to bulldozers and road graders, to Ferraris and Lamborghinis and a whole lot in between.

I like speed. Especially if there is an engine involved. Planes fascinate me. As a kid, I always loved going to air shows(I still do). So when I was about 19 years old, I pursued flying.

I thought and dreamed that I might like to be an airline pilot one day. But eventually the idea of being stuck in a small room(cockpit) with a couple of other guys hour after hour, day after day, month after month...for years slowly began to play in my head like a bad Rod Serling episode of The Twilight Zone.

So, I joined the Navy (besides I couldn't fly in the Air force with bad vision). Okay, so maybe that wasn't so smart. (There were some good times in there.) I was a SEABEE and got to tinker on some really cool heavy equipment...diesel engines (though they didn't go really fast).

Where was I...oh yeah...

So, I interrupted my flying lessons, I was thisss close (You can't see it, but I'm holding my fingers really close together, like the size of a hair.) to getting my private pilot's license! Actually just a mere night flight and one cross country trip from completion.

I've always regretted not finishing and for all these years, I've longed to go back to it. Every time I see a plane in the sky. Perhaps now I will.

Well, why did I stop? You know how it is. Priorities--girls, cars,money, time, girls, cars, money, time...uh, oh, starting to sound like a Twilight Zone episode again.

Anyway, fast forward a few years. How I got back in the air was at the invitation of a patient, fellow Rotarian, and friend, Dana, who owns a flight school in Sugar Land, Texas. graciously asked Mary and me to "go up" in one of his planes. I think he said, "Would you be interested in taking a plane up on Saturday?"

Of course, I intelligently replied, "No, I don't think so...duh!" He got my drift.

So, some how we picked one of the hottest Saturdays in a record heat month(August) in Texas to fly a small plane with no air conditioning!! (That's worth two exclamation points.) I believe it was 100+ with a heat index of 110. Did I say it was hot? Now I know what a crawfish feels like in the boil.

We finally got some cold air at 3500 feet...87 degrees!

As we were cruising over some beautiful countryside, Dana asked me if I wanted to take over the controls...another, "Oh, duh!" moment. I took the yoke and proceeded to do some hard banking, loop dloops, and barrel was all coming back. (Well, that was running through my head anyway.)

No, I kept her steady and on course. He let me have her for a while, not too short, not too long...just enough to give me the bug again. I suspect Dana wants me to take lessons again.

All in all it was a great time. We all survived. My wife had it the worst though, she was in the back seat with less room than a Volkswagen full of circus clowns. And did I mention it was hot? I think Dana picked the smallest plane in his fleet. Back on the ground, Mary kissed the ground, hugged Dana and told me, "Next time you sit in the back!" We had a blast though. Well worthwhile and Dana runs a top notch operation. I think everyone should learn to fly.

Then there will be more room for me on the ground. Did I tell you I love driving cars? There are a few lessons in this story (not just flying lessons).

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Live life to the fullest!

Pursue your dreams and passions...even just once!

Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today! (I think
someone said that before me.)

Don't spend all your time watching movies about other people living.

Live your bucket list now! (While you can ambulate reasonably

Live more, love more, and give more... for tomorrow may never come.

Live in the present, live in the now, live in the moment!

Don't wait 30 years!

Dr. Rick Barrett
Author of Give to Live; The Real Secret to Manifesting Life's

P.S. The only thing missing (besides air conditioning) was a killer sound system playing Pink Floyd's song, Learning to Fly!