Our Lady is greatly respected by the Muslims. In their bible, the Koran, over a page is dedicated to Her. It was not by chance that the place where She chose to appear in Portugal in 1917 was named Fatima. Fatima was the name of Mohammed’s daughter! Yet the Virgin Mary is placed by Mohammed himself as the greatest woman ever to live, even above his own daughter, Fatima. Yet, Jesus is only a prophet to them. Attempts to convert them to Christianity and tell them about Christ have met with little success throughout the centuries. Yet telling them of Mary is a door to conversion for them because Mary is already part of their religion which has the highest esteem for Her as a woman.
Many Muslims have been converted to Christianity and baptized in St. James Church in Medjugorje; Marija, the visionary, has even been Godmother to some. They came to believe in Our Lady and Her apparitions and through that belief, accepted what She said and placed their confidence in Her and She led them to Jesus, Her Son. She, whom the moon represents, stood in front of Jesus, whom the sun represents, only to draw these souls, and hopefully many more in the future, to Herself. Once they were close enough to Her, the moon, She moved aside and then the light of the sun shone upon them and Jesus captured their hearts.
On May 10, 1994, we, at Caritas, went to the Field where Our Lady appeared to Marija on November 24, 1988. For the past six years since that apparition, we have gone out daily and prayed the Rosary. We always pause at 11:40 a.m. (Central Standard Time) for five minutes while Our Lady appears upon the earth in Medjugorje. On this particular day, a solar eclipse of the moon over the sun took place. How could anyone think it was nothing other than by God’s design that this eclipse would be at its peak at around 11:40 a.m., the time of the apparition. Moreover, it is dangerous to look at the eclipse but at that moment, (11:40 a.m.), a cloud of such precise thickness came over us and allowed us to view the moon, which visually was in front of the sun, for ten minutes without squinting our eyes. Our Lady has said:
“…God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your life…” March 25, 1990
A Caritas Community member walked home afterwards and opened the Bible for a passage upon which to meditate for that day as he is accustomed to doing at noon every day. It read:
“It was now around midday and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon with an eclipse of the sun. The curtain in the Sanctuary was torn in two.” Luke 23:44-45
The curtain, torn in two, signified the point in history when the Old and New Covenants were separated and a new time, the new covenant, was ushered in. Our Lady says:
“…Thus, only thus, shall you be able to discern the signs of this time. I am with you, and I guide you into a new time, a time which God gives you as grace, so that you may get to know Him more…” January 25, 1993
Who dares to question the signs God is granting today, the signs with which God desire to reach us – the signs of the times. A ‘new time’, as Our Lady calls it, would mean an end of the present time. It cannot be otherwise, for when there is a beginning of a new time, there will certainly be an end of the present era of time. What is it? We cannot know, but Our Lady tells us at the end of the above message, “…so that you may get to know Him (God) more…” Repeatedly, many come to know God in times of crisis. The Church flourished and grew from times of persecution and suffering. Nothing shakes faith awake better than suddenly finding out you have cancer or your child is dying. So, too, with all types of suffering; one cries out and wants God. What do the Scriptures tell us? Jesus, in deep conversation with His Apostles, responds to their question:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish, distraught at the roaring of the sea and the waves. Men will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the earth. The powers in the Heavens will be shaken. After that, men will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and glory. When these things begin to happen, stand erect and hold your heads high, for your deliverance is near at hand.
“Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. You observe them when they are budding, and know for yourselves that summer is near. Likewise when you see all the things happening of which I speak, know that the reign of God is near. Let me tell you this: the present generation will not pass away until all this takes place. The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass. Be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares. The great day will suddenly close in on you like a trap. The day I speak of will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth. So be on the watch. Pray constantly for the strength to escape whatever is in prospect and to stand secure before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:25-36
Our Lady tells us:
“…Prepare yourself to look at Jesus ‘eye to eye’…” March 17, 1989
The signs in the sun and the moon, the tearing of the curtain, the separation of time, Our Lady’s messages – how much more do we need? Still more? In July, God will speak to us through nature in an every increasingly stronger way. A comet, discovered in March of 1993, is destined to hit Jupiter in what looks more and more on or at least near Our Lady’s message day of July 25, 1994. Its importance? Eugene Shoemaker, one of the astronomers who discovered it, says it may create a cataclysm so powerful it would rival the impact suspected of wiping out the dinosaurs on earth – an impact of matter from space that scientists theorize caused clouds and dust to cool or suffocate the earth causing extinction of several plants and animal life ages ago. Scientists say it could release as much as a billion megatons of TNT. This is far more powerful than all the nuclear bombs on the earth simultaneously detonating. It may be as much force as two billion times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Moreover, there are up to twenty-one more succeeding the first comet which has broken off, following as pearls on a string. It is expected to cause as much energy force as the sun gives Jupiter in a month. Each of the impacts will punch a hole through the atmosphere, causing inrushing material which will shoot back, ejecting into space. Scientists are speculating it could cause a new dust ring around Jupiter (lasting up to one thousand years), as well as create new materials (chemical species) being emanated into the atmosphere that scientists have seldom or never seen. It is not expected to have any impact upon the earth or be detectable.
While scientists may be all frantically guessing at all sorts of theories, we, as Christians and especially children of Mary, have been told, guided, warned, and shown what all these things mean for us. We need no theories. The truth of the Scriptures, telling us of signs in the stars, and Our Lady, telling us of a new time, are enough. Our Lady tells us prayer is the only way.
“…Prayer is the only way to save the human race.” July 30, 1987
It is our obligation and duty to help Her. Signs are from God, not natural occurrences; but they are for nonbelievers and the weak in faith, to encourage them. Those who stay looking for them will only live a superficial conversion. Yes, they are nice to see and realize God’s mightiness, but to run around taking pictures and seeking only signs are an indication that your conversion is superficial or you are not converted at all. For instance, many take pictures during the consecration at Mass with the motivation and hope of capturing a miracle picture. In the process they lose the miracle of grace available at that moment. Our Lady says:
“When you are in the room of the apparitions or at the church, you should not preoccupy yourselves with taking pictures. Rather, you should use the time to pray to Jesus, especially in those moments of particular grace during the apparitions.” January 1984
Signs are important, but, as with all things, there must be a balance. They are signals for you to convert, to change through love or fear, but to change. To remain where you are and live for one sign to the next is to stagnate. Your conversion, changing your life, will be the biggest sign for others. We are to be like the stars in the night, who are silent, but speak everything by their brightness. Our witness should shine, our life be light for others, not with words, but by our example. Just as the shining stars which are silent, but say all.
In regards to signs, move on and grow by these actions of God and in your heart. Let these signs foster and strengthen your love for Him.
It is important to understand while there may be plenty of the physical signs which are invitations to believe and easy to read, there are also spiritual signs which tell us what is to come, which often are hard to read. Never in history has man turned from God, having known Him, and then continued business as usual. In century after century untold numbers of God’s people have turned away from Him, suffered for it, and turned back. History is a prophecy for the future. The spiritual evidence of the past is the sign for our future. Jesus said people could read the physical signs but not the spiritual which are the most important:
“When you see a cloud rising in the West, you say immediately that rain is coming – and so it does. When the wind blows from the South, you say it is going to be hot – and so it is. You hypocrites! If you can interpret the portents of earth and sky, why can you not interpret the present time?” Luke 12:54-56
We have no excuse not to convert, not to pray, not to accept everything Our Lady is leading us to. Let this moment be an impulse to get on your knees and call out to Our Lady to help you, to save you.
Source: "Caritas Newsletter" – January/May 1994 by a Friend of Medjugorje