On Monday, July 8, the 24th Spiritual Retreat for the Priests began in Medjugorje with the evening Holy Mass celebrated by dr. fra Miljenko Šteko, the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province.
Fr. Miljenko in his homily quoted the famous verse of St. Augustine – “Our hearts are restless until they can find their rest in you, o Lord”.
-Međugorje has given to many this powerful experience of reconciliation and peace…the Queen of Peace. This strong voice resounds all over the world in all these years and decades. Many have responded to it and came to this little and quiet Herzegovinian place. They only found two paths on two surrounding hills, two climbs on bare rocks, with rosary beads in their hands climbing to the top, praying and celebrating Holy Mass with the heart, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Thousands of others have found the same in their own searching and hope. Something powerful is accomplished in the sacrament of reconciliation, in accepting the truth about ourselves, the truth that says that only in peace with God we can have and we can discover our own peace.
Fr. Miljenko said that all four evangelists speak to us how Jesus before His public work went to the solitude of the desert to pray and to be with His Heavenly Father. We also need to be occasionally in the silence so we would sharpen our gaze, inner hearing and spiritual senses for the realities in the hustle of the everyday life that we fail to notice due to the blindness of the lights of this world which prevent us from gazing at God and Divine. This seminar, spiritual retreat here in Medjugorje invites us to pause on our spiritual journey and to define the true goal of our lives and the way leading towards it, all through the intercession of Our Lady.
Last night, there were 257 priests concelebrating at the Holy Mass and this morning, on July 9, there were already 350 priests from 32 countries, present at the catechesis given by the Apostolic Visitor for Medjugorje, Mons. Henryk Hoser. Before the catechesis, Fr. Marinko Sakota, Medjugorje parish priest and lecturer at this retreat, greeted them all and welcomed them to Medjugorje with prayer and invocation of the Holy Spirit.
-We need to come to the conclusion – where are we today? Starting with that we would achieve some sort of the prophecy on what to expect in the future. This retreat should be accompanied by the intensive prayer, said Mons. Hoser and emphasised that this is not the retreat of those who are preaching, but the outcome depends on the participant.
Parishioners of Medjugorje hosted all priests also this year at the retreat held with the theme “Follow me! “ (Mk 10, 21) and will be continued with prayer, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and lectures. (photo)