(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2017
J.M.J.

January 18, 2017
 
Dear Family of Mary!
 
We have made together a new commitment to pray for peace. This year, 2017, will be a year of prayer for peace! There seems to be a new urgency to pray for peace as Our Lady asked us in the December 25, 2016 message through Jakov. Thank you to all who have sensed this call and are joining in our commitment to place a great value on peace, and to pray for it!
 
Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM, wrote a series of reflections on Our Lady’s messages which were compiled in 1995 into a book called, “Mother! Lead Us to Peace!!” He wrote on the messages from 1990 to 1994, a time of great unrest and war in Bosnia. His words are poignant and powerful.
 
His final reflection is on the December 25, 1994 message. I will begin sharing his words today:
 
December 25, 1994 “Dear children! Today I rejoice with you and I am praying with you for peace: peace in your hearts, peace in your families, peace in your desires, peace in the whole world. May the King of Peace bless you today and give your peace. I bless you and I carry each one of you in my heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

[The war had been raging since 1991, but was starting to ease up.] At the moment there are fewer battles and just before Christmas another “peace agreement” was signed between Moslems and Serbs. This will hopefully last for a while but still the situation remains very tense everywhere. We still hope the New Year 1995 will bring us a bit closer to…
 
PEACE
Again peace is the last message Our Lady has given us for 1994. In fact, she AGAIN mentions peace seven times! It should be of interest to us all that in the message of July 1990 she also mentioned peace seven times. Shortly after the July 1990 message the crisis in the Gulf erupted leading to international tensions. Also shortly afterwards the first signs of serious problems arose here when the Serbs in south-central Croatia and western Bosnia/Hercegovina first put up their barricades. It was right after another message a few months later, in December of 1990, in which Mary also mentioned peace seven times that the war in the Gulf took its most serious turn. So now AGAIN Our Lady says so urgently that she is praying for peace with us and here she has specifically mentioned peace on four different levels. For 13 years and 6 months Mary has been praying for peace and has been asking us to pray for peace with her. This message is again a very strong impulse for all those who hear it to pray and fast for peace. We must really find the path to peace with Mary and then put it into reality. This call is nothing less than urgent! Putting it into reality is not easy but still hope exists. Hope is certainly justified and it has its place in life when Mary prays for it.
 
PEACE IN YOUR HEARTS
This is the first condition that we need in order to lead to peace in the families and then in the whole world.   Peace in the heart is in actuality an inner-strength with which one carries one’s own cross in life. It is a strength that makes us active in doing good and fighting against all evil and sin. This peace is the biblical peace that contains all spiritual, physical and mental well-being. This freedom only God can give us and as Jesus says: “I give peace.” For us to open ourselves up to this peace we must first trust but then also try to work on it. Our prayers, our fasting, our Confessions and our attending Masses help us to find peace because through these we encounter the King of Peace and it is He who gives us the peace. So, it is only with God’s graces through prayer that we can overcome whatever it is in our hearts that is blocking us from peace. This peace does not mean that we must remain quiet but rather that we become active. To truly get involved means to first of all do so in the family and then in the community as well as among friends so that they too will open themselves up to God’s peace. This peace is also possible when one suffers, when one is sick and this peace does not exclude tears. It is therefore, as mentioned already, an inner-strength with which we must confront evil and sin by opening ourselves only to goodness. We must then also continue seeking the conditions with which we can find the best manner in which to do further good. It is especially important that Mary is praying for… (to be continued)
 
It is sobering to know that Fr. Slavko was speaking about peace, even during the war in Bosnia. His faith had not faltered. And it is very important to me that Fr. Slavko defines peace in the heart as an “inner-strength with which one carries one’s own cross in life.” This understanding is crucial. Peace comes not from our circumstances, but from our faith, trust, and reliance on God to help us carry on in those circumstances.
 
May we grow in our faith, in our total surrender to Jesus, so that we can carry our crosses with His peace.
 
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2017

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My add: I believe we should also pray for peace in our Church as we hear about Cardinals against Cardinals, Bishops against Bishops, priests against priests! We don’t need or want a schism! May God’s Will be done and Peace reign in our hearts and in the Catholic Church!

Deacon John

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