The Catholic Defender: Medjugorje and Intercessory Prayer
On 12/20/21 on the Deepertruth Radio Show "Eucharistic Miracles" with Dr. Gregory Thompson, Cathy Schoonveld of Missouri informed us about a 90 foot Statue of Mary that was built in honor of Our Lady in Montana on a mountain range. I loved the picture and I place it here.
Lately I have had a number of concerns people have made over the years that have clogged the mind of some in regards to what is being reported coming from Medjugorje. As a Catholic Journalist who seeks truth in all what Our Lady has been reported to have said any where in the world since 40 A.D., sometimes I feel the need to search just a little deeper.
Today, I want to look at one of the criticisms that is being heralded as truth coming from Medjugorje. Some are claiming that Medjugorje is a fraud and false, even demonic because they seem to believe that this "demon" is telling the seers that there is no intercessory prayer? Just looking at this with just a keen incite here, for 40 years, the report coming from Our Lady, not a demon, has encouraged the Rosary hundreds of times. Think about that one for a moment. The Rosary itself is a prayer of intercession. You can't pray a morsel of it without praying something that is intercessory. But, because this falls beyond the pail, I'll look at any of the background messages there are to reflect on the question of intercessory prayer.
Because there have been somewhere between 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 pilgrims that have traveled to Medjugorje, you have primarily Catholics, some Protestants, other Religions, clergy, politicians, media, all kinds of people from the devout to the curious. Even those who are diabolically against God and His Church. So, is it any wonder that there will be misinformation, that there might be misunderstanding, that there might be the possibility of false reporting even with an agenda. When I went there, I felt it was possible that the visions were true. My mind was one of simply being curious as I was already a strong Catholic going there.
So, instinctively when anyone tells me that Medjugorje is saying Mother Mary is telling the world we do not need intercessory prayer, I can't help but to respond? Well, red flags begin to pop up as this makes no sense especially from what the Catholic Church has taught from the beginning. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 states, "First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth." Not to go far off the subject, what does Mother Mary say about reading the Bible?
On October 18, 1984, Our Lady is reported to have told the children of Medjugorje, "Today I call on you to read the Bible every day in your homes and let it be in a visible place so as always to encourage you to read it and to pray." On February 14, 1985 she is reported to have said, "Every family must pray family prayer and read the Bible!" June 25, 1991 again she states, "Pray and read the Sacred Scriptures so that through my coming you discover the message in the Sacred Scriptures for you." August 25, 1993, she states, "Read Sacred Scripture, live it, and pray to understand the signs of the times." If people would simply do as what is being reported at Medjugorje on reading the Sacred Scripture, that would help out the Church immensely.
So, when I refer to any of the messages reported to have come from Our Lady, I am planted to regard them from a Biblical perspective. Now, to the question about intercessory prayer. November 25, 2021, it is reported that Our Lady stated, “Dear children! I am with you in this time of mercy and I am calling all of you to be carriers of peace and love in this world where, through me, little children, God is calling you to be prayer and love, and an expression of Heaven here on earth. May your hearts be filled with joy and faith in God; that, little children, you may have complete trust in His holy will. That is why I am with you, because He, the Most High, is sending me among you to encourage you to the hope; and you will be peacemakers in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”
I can't help seeing intercessory prayer all over this message? We are from the Gospel called to be "carriers of peace and love in this world". We are being called to "BE prayer and love" for the world. Folks, you and I are called to be an "expression of Heaven here on earth". Hebrews 12:1-2 states, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God." November 25, 2021 is not too far from Christmas, I think it is interesting that from the reported message, Our Lady is wanting our hearts to be "filled with joy and faith in God", Something that Hebrews speaks to referring "for the sake of the joy that lay before Him He endured the cross."
On December 25, 1991, it is reported that Our Lady says, "Therefore, dear children, put God in the first place in your families so that He may give you peace and may protect you not only from war, but also in peace protect you from every satanic attack." During this time I was in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield (August 2 - January 17, 1991) and getting ready for Operation Desert Storm, the Gulf War (January 17, 1991 to February 28, 1991). I remember this message as it was a blessing sent as I sat in the deep sand near the Iraqi boarder prepared for war.
On October 25, 2021, it is reported that Mother Mary said, “Dear children! Return to prayer because who prays is not afraid of the future; who prays is open to life and respects the life of others; who prays, little children, feels the freedom of the children of God and in joy of heart serves for the good for his brother-man. Because God is love and freedom, therefore, little children, when they want to put you in bonds and to use you, it is not from God. Because God loves and gives His peace to every creature; and that is why He sent me to you to help you to grow in holiness. Thank you for having responded to my call. ” These messages have a foundation to the call of prayer which is so Biblical and simple that a child can understand them. Isn't that the way that a mother would want to teach her children.
On April 25, 2001, it is reported that Mother Mary said, "Dear children! Also today, I call you to prayer. Little children, prayer works miracles. When you are tired and sick and you do not know the meaning of your life, take the Rosary and pray; pray until prayer becomes for you a joyful meeting with your Savior. I am with you, little children, and I intercede and pray for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." On October 8, 1984, it is reported that Our Lady said, "Dear children! Let all the prayers you say in your homes in the evening be for the conversion of sinners because the world is in great sin. Every evening pray the rosary." Wow, Our Lady is being reported that she will "INTERCEDE and PRAY for you"! In baseball terms, that is a "grand slam home run", in tennis terms that is "game, set, and match", and in boxing this is a total "knock out"!
Oh yes, the naysayers sitting in the nose bleed upper-deck with their peanut gallery opinions? Well, nobody is required to believe in Medjugorje or any other Marian apparitions. These are considered "private revelations", so they have the pure freedom not to recognize or give any stock in them. But for those who do believe, what are some of the good fruit we are witnessing coming from Medjugorje?
Columnist Writer, Joyce Coronel writing for The Catholic Sun, July 17, 2012 had this to say:
Every day there were long lines for confession, where priests heard penitents tell their sins in more than a dozen languages, some I’d never even heard of before. Masses were jammed and reverent. Every night at 10 p.m. the amphitheater was packed with over 15,000 pilgrims who came to adore the Eucharist.
Even with such an enormous crowd, there was utter silence as the King of Kings was venerated. We knelt there in the gravel and I felt myself overcome with emotion. In the midst of such a huge crowd, packed with the sick and infirm, pilgrims of every age, and religious sisters from around the world dressed in their various habits, it seemed I was just a tiny speck, entirely insignificant in this vast sea of faithful.
It was then that I felt the Lord whisper a word of love to me that I — I who am so undeserving — am indeed precious to Him. A love beyond understanding filled my heart as tears streamed down my cheeks, so that even now as I write these words, I am brought back to that moment of profound peace. Our God loves us in spite of ourselves.
I saw fellow pilgrims climb barefoot up a 1,700-foot peak, praying the Stations of the Cross, oblivious to the sharp rocks they trod. One man was missing a leg and was making the climb using metal crutches.
I met a pediatrician and her dentist husband, who met during the Bosnian war in the 1990s when they both worked to save the children coming out of the refugee camps. They are sponsoring one of the dozens of kids who live in Medjugorje’s orphanages. I listened to former drug addicts who live in a community dedicated to helping men and women break free from the bondage of addiction. Theresa Burke, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry that helps women wounded by abortion, received her inspiration from Medjugorje.
The message of Medjugorje is simple. It’s a call to conversion: Pray the rosary daily from the heart. Fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays or perform some other penitential act. Read the Bible. Receive the Eucharist frequently and go to confession monthly.
If more Catholics lived that way, we would surely have more peace, stronger families and an increase in vocations. I’m all for that.
I agree wholeheartedly with Joyce Coronel in her observation, I too have witnessed such things and I thank God that I have the freedom to believe in what is taking place to be legitimate. This may not touch the hearts of the peanut gallery, great and small, but to you who have a deep love for the faith, God's expression of love is found here and the Catholic Church is open for you to seek it. Next question: I will respond to the false accusation that Mary at Medjugorje is calling all Religions equal. Expect that soon and I will base my findings strictly on what is reported from Our Lady, not the peanut gallery.