DEATH in my immediate family would come, I was certain, but I had always emotionally shelved the scenario as being, wishfully, yet many years into the future.
And then my Dad succumbed to cancer, so belatedly diagnosed, and two years later, my younger brother, who had always looked up to me as ever-present and supportive “kuya,” also died all too suddenly- he left for work early Monday morning and by 5 p.m. the same day, he was lifeless.
Though their deaths were deeply painful, I survived them without the rural sobs of grief- there was more of acceptance and, above all if not because of it, faith that they crossed the veil under the mantle of Divine Mercy.
I am a late bloomer in serious Catholicism and by God’s grace, now keep stronger faith in Jesus Christ’s resurrection and life everlasting -- for us all. It’s this faith that I would like to share with others, especially in our times of biblical tribulations and as we are, mystics warn, caught in a rush towards trials unprecedented in mankind’s history.
In this regard, I am sharing what the Blessed Mother said in Medjugorje on July 25, 2000: “Dear children! Do not forget that you are here on earth on the way to eternity and that your home is in heaven. That is why, little children, be open to God’s love and leave egoism and sin. May your joy be only in discovering God in daily prayer. That is why, make good use of this time and pray, pray, pray; and God is near to you in prayer and through prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Four months before his death in the same year, Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM, a devotee of the Medjugorje apparitions, wrote:
“Do not forget that you are here on earth on the way to eternity and that your home is Heaven. It is a truth of our lives that we are pilgrims here on earth. We know from where we have come. God has created us out of love and we also know where we are going -- to our eternal home.
“This life here on earth is really only an introduction and a preparation for eternal life. That is why it is important for us to remain on this path, that we keep the right conditions on this path which is Jesus Christ, and the conditions are what He said about Himself: ‘I am the way, the truth, the light and life.’
“Without light we cannot see, without truth we take wrong paths, and without the life that He gives, we are dead. For the path here on earth it is important that we retain inner freedom and that we do not get stuck to anything or anybody, and here there are many dangers that people close themselves and then hang onto themselves or onto other people, other ideologies and the material. All this hinders the path toward our eternal home.
“When we remain really conscious that we are on this path, that our life here on earth will someday come to an end, and that death is only a transition, then it will be much simpler to remain on the right path. Then it will become much easier to forgive, to love, to be merciful, to be good, because we know that everything is transitory, but when we forget this, then we will lose ourselves somewhere.
“Everyone who hates, who is selfish, who is dependent has already lost himself and will not be able to keep going. That is why so many people today are really empty internally or sad or depressed and no longer can find the purpose of life, because they do not wish to take the path that Jesus has shown us.
“When Mary asks us to fast and to fast with bread and water, She is trying to awaken us and make us conscious of and help us to cross that bridge, because over the centuries and throughout the history of the Church it was always the pilgrims who over weeks, months or even years passed from town to town as pilgrims.
“Pilgrims are those who travel to places where God showed Himself, and on these pilgrimages the people could only take food that lasted, and that was bread and along with it also water. So when we hear that we are supposed to fast with bread and water for two days, then we may deduce from this that Mary’s intention is, in this fashion, to make us freer and so that we also behave like the pilgrims that we are.
“In this Jubilee Year (2000) and in all the years since the beginning of these apparitions, the Pope has often spoken about all of us being pilgrims and then called all Christians to visit holy places and especially the Holy Land and Rome in this Jubilee Year. Mary, as the one who comes to Medjugorje every day, is in a manner of speaking, also a pilgrim and through Her being a pilgrim, She has also moved many people to knowingly become pilgrims, and we must again be grateful for these 19 years and one month of Her presence here (in Medjugorje), and that many people by way of Her presence have really accepted this way of the pilgrim because they have accepted the path of our faith. And we must really remain conscious that our eternal home is in Heaven.” (End of quote.)
Meanwhile, more prophecies that are to happen soon are being given. Our Blessed Mother told mystic Gisella Cardia last April 14 as follows:
“My dear children, thank you for having welcomed me into your hearts. Beloved children, I would like you to ask yourselves where are you going and which path you have taken; I fear that it may be the most comfortable one that the devil is showing you. Sometimes, I see many of my children being apathetic in prayer, yet I am with you, I suffer when I see that you have chosen the ways of the world that will lead nowhere.
“My beloveds, what is about to happen will come suddenly, and what are you doing in the meantime? Pray, my children, pray so as not to be caught unprepared. I want to give you a precious suggestion: go and speak of my Son — do not waver, but trust your Mother. Do not be afraid of anything, because I will be among you in order to protect you.
“Soon Christianity will no longer be professed, but a new religion will be imposed, where Christ will no longer be at the center; pay attention and be prudent. Now I leave you with my Maternal blessing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”