Medjugorje, the world and the young

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I received this newsletter about a conversation between Sr. Emmanuel and Fr. Donald Calloway in my mailbox yesterday. I think what Fr. Don mentioned about our world today are true, so I thought to share this with everyone.

Fr. Don Calloway in Medjugorje
Many know about the wonderful conversion of Don Calloway from delinquency to priesthood. He is now posted in Steubenville, as the vocations director for his community, Marians of the Immaculate Conception. At the beginning of June, Fr. Don was visiting Medjugorje. He answered a few of my questions:

Sr. Em: When you go on mission, how do you find the people of God today?

Fr. Don: Everywhere I see that the family is very much under attack and many people are indifferent to the Faith. I can’t even imagine what is happening in the heart of Our Lady, seeing the young generation growing up knowing almost nothing about the faith.

In my travelling and speaking, I assume that nobody knows anything about the faith. I start from the basics, lay the foundation and then build on that. So many of them are not getting this from their parish. Some of the convents I have been to are so New Age, feminist, ecological, more concerned with trees or whatever. It is unbelievable. I got kicked out of a Catholic High school in the Carribean because they were promoting contraception and I was preaching against it.

I think that in many ways the people who need the message of Medjugorje the most are the priests, because often the way that they are preaching is not communicating the solid stuff. The people are just like sheep without a shepherd. They don’t know where to go so they are going to anyone who is calling out to them. It is bad in the parishes, in the schools, the Catholic universities, in the diocese, in the chancelleries, etc. The smoke of Satan has crept in to so many areas.

SE: Do you mean that Our Lady failed in Medjugorje? After 25 years we should see the world be converted and be reconciled. Such was the plan she expressed from the very beginning. Has this plan failed?

FD: I think we have failed her; we have ignored her requests. She is saying ‘I need your prayers, I need your sacrifices.’ Fasting is an example. Yes, it is difficult, but it seems that we reject this part of the message. Then we have wars and all kinds of problems in the family, the diocese, convents, parishes, and still nobody is fasting, or so few. I think that the influence of the world is so strong that the sacrificial element of living the Gospel is too difficult for most people. We want instant. Everything has to be now.

I think we are failing Our Lady in a certain sense. I think that we are trying to come up with our own ways to make things better, but they are human ways. They are not ways of sacrifice. The Mother of the Prophets is ignored. The world hates prophets and tries to silence them. You can almost see Our Lady, the Mother of Prophets, crying. It is the same for the priests. When the priests want to preach the Gospel powerfully, almost immediately they are taken away from their parish and put out in the country where they have a parish of ten people. The persecution is great. The evil is strong. I think that Jesus and Mary are looking for victim souls. They want victim souls, people who continue the sacrifice of Christ for the world. There are so few people who offer themselves for this.

SE: Have you found places which give you hope for the future?

FD: Actually yes, within the belly of the beast so to speak. In the United States there is a new generation of priests coming ! They are zealous, they are on fire, many of them have had some kind of conversion experience. Most of them have struggled with something, but through John Paul II, through a World Youth Day, through a Marian apparition, they come back to the faith and live an intimate relationship with Jesus and Mary. Now the seminaries in the US are being filled up with these zealous men. There is a whole new generation coming in, what I call the John Paul II Generation. They were formed by that holy man and now they are going to be the ones who are taking the lead. I think Our Lady is secretly forming this army that the world can’t see, and if the world could see it they would hate it. At some point, they are going to be the ones to lead the charge for the battle.

SE: Father, your community is very involved in the Divine Mercy as revealed to Sr. Faustina. Can you explain how Medjugorje is connected with Divine Mercy ?

FD: Divine Mercy and the events of Medjugorje both really came upon the scene about the same time. You can think about Faustina whose work began in the 30s but was banned for many years. Only with the Pontificate of John Paul II did it become approved, and then it started strong and went everywhere. In the same way, at the beginning of the Pontificate of JP II, Medjugorje starts.

These realities are, in my opinion, the two crucial elements of the New Evangelization. You have to tell the people things that will shake them up. This takes a revelation, something out of the ordinary. Medjugorje and the Divine Mercy is the ‘one-two punch’ for the spiritual life today! That is basically what I tell people: The Rosary and the Chaplet of Mercy. God is offering us these things from heaven.

SE: The merciful Christ speaks of a time of mercy and the Queen of Peace speaks of a time of grace. These two words, mercy and grace, have the same root in Croatian!

FD: The Holy Spirit is definitely doing something through the New Evengelization. The whole world is ready to be re-evangelized. When you want to make something grow in the field, you put manure on it. Within the last fifty years that is what has happened in the Church: it has been stinky, it has been a mess. But when the new springtime comes it will be beautiful!

SE: Our Lady is gathering a people willing to be dedicated to her, just like the Lord, Who changed the world with twelve men. This He can do again ! Fruitfulness does not depend upon numbers but on holiness. Then there is hope.

FD: Exactly! As the vocations director for our community (MIC), I see that we are getting good vocations. They are part of the new generation. They want orthodoxy, they want faithfulness, they are open to Medjugorje, because they have seen the fruit. God is at work, we just have to wait and trust.

© Children of Medjugorje 2006

Which sentence(s) captured you? For me, it is the "John Paul II Generation". Notice that he said that the John Paul II Generation is the generation of young men (and women as well) who are zealous and on fire, who want orthodoxy and faithfulness. If you've not realized it to this point, WE are the John Paul II Generation!

Let us pray for more vocations, and at the same time pray that we will be always zealous and on fire for Christ!


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