Saturday, September 25, 2010
In Search of the Virgin Mary
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://www.medjugorje.org/