Sometimes my mind goes to odd places. But sometimes those places are ones with good memories. For instance, this morning (early morning – couldn’t sleep) I ran across a site I have probably seen before, but never really looked at much. The site is The Spirit of Medjugorje. As I saw the images of the village of Medjugorje (Croatia) at the top of the website, I was swept away in memories of my trip (pilgrimage) there in 1994 (you can find basic info on Medjugorje here or at Wayne Weibel’s site. Wayne led the 1994 trip I went on, and has written numerous books about Medjugorje, including Medjugorje The Message,
which I highly recommend).
Taking the sudden recollection of my experiences in Medjugorje as a Christ-incidence and hint, I poked around the site a bit. A few articles caught my eye, but the one that snagged me, because of the passing of my Wife’s Mother, whose care I was responsible for, about a year ago, was Praying For Grandma. And then my mind, after reading the article, went to a prayer known to me as The Glory Be:
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
and ever shall be,
world without end.
And as I thought of The Glory Be I was reminded that for God, there is no time, and that what we consider past, present and future, to God is now … and always will be now. And that reminder made what Fr. Alar said about Saint Faustina seem very plausible to me. And I found some comfort in that. And I guess that’s why I ended up at that site in the first place.
It may seem odd my bringing up Medjugorje here. But that’s where my mind went. And Medjugorje is, in my experience, a place of miracles – large and small. It is a place of supernatural peace. It is a place where I have never felt so close to God. It is a place to which I would dearly love to return – and drag, kicking and screaming if need be, everyone I love with me. And that would include Revo readers too. And just to give a taste of why I say all that, let me tell you about a small Medjugorje miracle that took place as I was traveling back home. First though, a little background.
I went to Medjugorje in 1994 with a group of about 60. One of the people on my trip was a young elementary school teacher named Mary Lou. Some years earlier, while the war was still ongoing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, her family heard about Medjugorje and became resolved to take Mary Lou’s sister there. Her sister had some type of degenerative disease (the name of which I can’t remember) for which there is no treatment. Her sister had done the doctor tour looking for help, and there simply was none medically to be had. Her prognosis was a steady loss of muscular and brain function, going from walking to a wheelchair, to bedridden, to a miserable death. In 1994 Mary Lou’s sister was already wheelchair bound, so her family was desperate for a miracle.
Back then, as I said, the area was war torn, so it was not easy to get to Medjugorje, much less get there with someone in a wheelchair. But Mary Lou’s family did it.
Overlooking the village of Medjugorje is Mount Krizevac or Cross Mountain. In 1933 the Medjugorje villagers built the 16 ton cross, carrying all the materials to build it up the mountain by hand.
One thing that pilgrims do is climb Mt. Krizevac, usually praying the Stations of the Cross at various points along the way. Now, Mt. Krizevac is 1770 feet tall, and the trail up is rough and steep, and pretty much just like this picture
nearly all the way up to the top.
So when Mary Lou’s family finally got to Medjugorje, wheelchair and all, her sister wanted to do what all the others on pilgrimage did – climb Mt. Krizevac. And this could have been a problem. But fortunately, there was a small group of others on pilgrimage in the village, and they agreed to carry her up the mountain, in her wheelchair, for a prayer service to be held at the top.
So they did that. And then they held the prayer service. And during that service, Mary Lou’s sister was healed … completely healed.
After the service she walked down that mountain, and remains healed to this day.
They carried the empty wheelchair down behind her.
Now it so happens that one of the people who witnessed this miraculous healing was a nun. She, much to her dismay, had to leave the village just after everyone came down the mountain after the prayer service and healing. You might wonder how on earth I know that. Well, I’ll tell you. But first, back to 1994.
During the week in Medjugorje Mary Lou had told me about her family’s trip there a few years earlier, and how her sister was healed miraculously (and yes she still is, and yes her doctors were utterly confused and amazed).
On the return home from Medjugorje, our group had a short stopover between flights in Frankfurt Germany – around 90 minutes. So we were all waiting around in this huge German airport. I was sitting in a row of chairs, tired, but feeling more vibrant and alive than I ever had in my life. Suddenly a nun walks over and takes the seat one over from mine. We exchanged some pleasantries, and then got around to the usual traveling questions as to where are you going or coming from. I had no sooner let her know that I was returning from a place she probably had never heard of called Medjugorje, than her eyes lit up. She then proceeded to tell me that she had been to Medjugorje just a few years before and then recounted how she saw a young girl carried up a steep rugged mountain called Cross Mountain in her wheelchair, was healed during a prayer service at the mountain’s top, and then walked down that mountain after the service. She then said that she had to leave shortly thereafter, but had always wondered about that girl’s story and how that young girl was doing. She hoped that she was well, and prayed for her often.
Well, my jaw just about hit the floor, I was so stunned. I mean, what are the chances of that happening, pretty much at random, in a German airport during a 90 minute layover. So I looked over to where Mary Lou was sitting in the row of seats behind me. got her attention, waved her over, and said, there is someone here you need to meet. Words cannot truly express all the incredulous looks, amazement, happiness, crying and joy that ensued, as the nun and Mary Lou caught up over Mary Lou’s sister. That discussion took awhile, so I excused myself and went to get a coke. When I returned the nun was gone as her flight was called. Mary Lou and I talked a bit about how wonderful all that was with the nun. But in truth, after spending a week in Medjugorje, such a Christ-incidence was but another in a long list of such things. And then, not too long after, our group got on the flight back to the states.
And that is the small Medjugorje miracle I wanted to tell you all about. About meeting that nun in a large German airport during a short layover between flights. And for me, with time and reflection, the most miraculous part is this. It shows God is a part of our lives every minute of every day. He knows us, He cares about us. And sometimes He acts in our lives in a way that we take as coincidence. But it’s not. It’s a Christ-incidence. And if you don’t believe that, there’s a nun, I’m sure, who’d like to have a word.