Steeped in prayer. Have you ever been steeped in prayer? I have.
In 1991 I had the opportunity to go to Medjagorie, where six young children had been visited by our Blessed Mother, and were seeing Mary every Thursday evening since 1983. On the occasions of these apparitions, our lady would visit with the children and then impart a message for the world.
These messages became a way of life for those who believed.
When I showed up, the little town of Medjagorie was the most peaceful place I had ever set foot.
It was a long flight out of Newark, landed in Dubrovnik, and rode in a van for a few hours up the mountain. We arrived at our guest house after dark, met some other pilgrims from the Philippines, Chicago, Boston, New York, talked for an hour and then to bed. Early rise, eastern European breakfast. Mass was at St. James in English at 9:00 am and that’s what we all did every day. After breakfast and mass, we met with our tour guide, she was great and she picked up quickly what things we were interested in. She had some pull and got us in to some fun things. There were 300 priests there from all over the world, and the week was designed for them. We got the chance to sit in with many priests and four of the visionaries. They told amazing stories of what it was like when Mary appeared to them. They said many things in common, such as they all said that the Lady was the most beautiful person they had ever seen. When she was in their midst they said it felt like heaven. It was starting to become quite amazing, quite surprising at what I was feeling.
One day as I was walking home from Apparition Hill or Cross Mountain, I was looking at a barn door and a cross appeared on it. At first I thought that it was nailed to the door, but it wasn’t, then I looked away and there was another cross, wherever I let my eyes fix on something a gold cross appeared in front of it.
I couldn’t believe it, I just bounced home like I was in another world. I slept well that night and when I did wake in the morning, I was praying the Our Father. I completely forgot about the crosses until I got up and there was one on the door. Again, wherever I focused my eyes there appeared a see through gold cross. I became used to seeing everything that way. It sounds scary or really weird but it was neither. This was a time where I only felt peace, there was no fear or negative emotion at all.
In some of the early messages from The Blessed Mother, she asked for all to pray more, to pray with the heart. To pray especially the Rosary. To receive the sacraments regularly, to go to mass every day. To go to confession monthly, to pray every day three rosaries. The Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious mysteries, and to not fall asleep until you had.
These came to me as if from God. They were a command that could not be refused. I did everything that Mary said to do in her messages. I fasted Wednesdays and Fridays for more than four years, I didn’t read any book but the bible for eight years. I went to mass every day for more than ten years without missing a day. I prayed with my whole heart three rosaries a day, the fifteen prayers of St. Bridget, and assorted others, filling much of my day.
I was steeped in prayer!! I have never been happier than I was for those wonderful years.
One day about six months after I had come home from Medjagorie, I looked at something and realized there was no cross there. I was so sad, then I was troubled. Was I doing something wrong? Then I felt nothing but gratitude as I realized the cross was a great gift from a great friend. The greatest gift the world has ever known. Deacon Bob