Sunday, October 2, 2016

Review: My Heart Will Triumph

Most books I review I consider special, and have many of my underlines in them (or my weird comments in the margins).  They teach me or make me happy or speak of things in a way clearer than I’ve seen before, and so I recommend them.  This book is not like those.  It has no in-depth looks at Christian doctrine, it didn’t teach me much, nor did it have (as you might expect) any great promotion of “messages from God”.  This book is special because as I read it, it made me shed tears of joy.
Having been to Medjugorje in 1987 and seen Mirjana and the other visionaries there, this book brought back all the memories of those most special, life-changing days of my life.  This book tells the story of events in a village of communist Croatia starting in 1981, but in truth, this book is largely an autobiography of Mirjana Soldo, a most common woman, to whom the Mother of God chooses to appear --- and tell her about the current state of the world, and its future.  Mirjana notes that when she and the others saw future events they were scared, but “if we who know the future don’t let fear darken our lives, then why should anyone else?”  She tells us to pray, and trust in God.  This is a beautiful book of hope, and a call to prayer and fasting for the world. 
Hearing so many scary things about our country these days, we all need to read the uplifting words of this book to find peace.  You don’t have to travel half way around the world, as I did, to feel the blessings being bestowed in a small village there, nor to recognize the importance of the events unfolding there.   
 Read this book to find hope in YOUR heart.  The world needs this hope.
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Some of Mirjana’s simple but important words:
Living on Earth, one is usually attached to earthly things --- which is completely normal --- but when you come to know heaven, you look at the world in a different way.  You understand that life on Earth is only temporary and death is not an end.
The devil will try to convince you that following God only leads to suffering, and that living according to the teachings of Jesus will rob you of your freedom, but, I do not want to give the devil any importance.  He only has as much power as we give him, and we can only give it to him through our free will.
“You cannot consider yourself a true believer,” Our Lady said, “if you do not see Jesus Christ in every person you meet.”
We can only make a difference with our prayers and example, and only if we have love in our hearts.
Our Lady does not want us to go around preaching to others.  She wants us to talk, but with our lives, not our mouths.  She asks believers to live as examples of people who know God’s love.
Regarding the terrible war which raged for years in all of Yugoslavia, Mirjana notes that Our Lady said to pray:  Prayer had the power to change everything.  And of its impact on herself Mirjana said, this war was the beginning of one of the most intense inner struggles I’ve ever experienced:  to forgive the seemingly unforgiveable. 
And finally, I very much like these words of Mirjana:
Nothing should prevent us from seeing Jesus in other people – not differences in race, religion, politics, or trivial things like the way someone dresses or what they do for a living.  Our Lady asks us to see Jesus in everyone.  In the homeless man begging for spare change.  In the Muslim and the Serb.  In the atheist who doesn’t believe in Jesus and the Christian who doesn’t understand Him.  In the newborn baby and in the unborn baby.  In your priest, in your bishop, and in the pope.  In those who have hurt you and those you have hurt.  In the thief.  In the drug addict.  In the worst sinner you know.  And, perhaps most importantly, in yourself.  See Jesus in everyone.
As human beings, we make all sorts of excuses to circumvent the commandment of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Forgive but don’t forget, some say.  Or the Croatian proverb, The wolf changes his fur but never his temperament.
True love, however, has no conditions.

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