Our trip to Medjugorje

Cross Mountain

Cross Mountain

 

Well I’m home recovering from another lung surgery. I’m a horrible patient because I don’t listen to anyone. It’s not fun recovering. It’s actually rather boring because I’m not supposed to do anything. But I’m familiar with the drill and decided to use this time to write about my trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina in February.

First, I need to be honest by telling everyone that I was insecure about talking to people about my trip. The trip sounded crazy. I was going to a small farming town in Bosnia where the Virgin Mary has been appearing to a few residents for the past 33 years. I was worried about what people would think of me for going to Bosnia. Not only was I going to this war-torn country, but also the reason why I was going to this country was because the Virgin Mary appeared to six kids there on June 24, 1981. I remember telling my oncologist I was going to Bosnia to “get cured”. His eyes got big and he asked, “What medicine are you trying to get?” I explained I wasn’t going for medical care, but for spiritual care. I went to Medjugorje to get cured.

This trip was not a vacation. At no point was I drinking out of a coconut or lying on a beach listening to the waves lap onto shore. Janie called this trip a spiritual battle. This trip was full of tears and prayers and more tears and more prayers. The trip allowed me to deal with two years of fear, pain, and loss.

While in Medjugorje, we developed a routine that would consist of going to church in the morning and the evening. In between church services, we would go on hikes to different spiritual sites and pray. The hiking trails were different than any hiking trails I’ve been on in the US. The trails weren’t made of dirt, but were made up completely of rock. Janie and I met at a wilderness school and have lots of hiking experience and were looking forward to these trips not thinking it would be that challenging. The funny thing was we got lost twice within the first five minutes of our first day of hiking. The destination of each hike ended at a place of prayer. I often prayed and reflected on Mary and how she helplessly watched her son suffer. I thought about how it is similar to the way my family and many friends who helplessly watch me suffer. It pains me to see helplessness and sadness in the eyes of people I love. Especially since I’m the source of the pain and sadness. All I want to do is help people and it hurts that I can’t even help the people I’m closest to. Knowing that I’m helpless was the reason I truly turned over my troubles to God. I can’t explain the feeling I had while I was over there. It is best described as a calming feeling. It became clearer when I returned.

Upon returning home, I was thrown back into the roller coaster of medical appointments and the uncertainties that accompany the appointments. I thought I was feeling rundown because of the emotional stress of everything. What I now realize is that while in Medjugorje, I didn’t have any distractions. While I was there my life was strictly focused on prayer, God, Jesus and Mary. Since being home, my life is full of daily distractions that keep me from focusing on prayer and meditation. However, some distractions aren’t bad like fixing dinner and helping Katie with homework.  Those things are necessary for a healthy functioning family. I believe it is impossible for me to have the same state of mind here as I did in Bosnia.  After experiencing the power of prayer and meditation, I realize the importance of incorporating daily prayer and meditation into my life.

I truly did not know what to expect going there, but I now know it was what I needed. I had such a wonderful experience I am going back in August. It will be interesting to see if I will be able to experience the same intimacy level in August compared to February. We were alone in February and in August we will be part of the summer masses.

 

Blue Cross at the base of Apparition Hill

Blue Cross at the base of Apparition Hill

 

Hiking up Cross Mountain

Hiking up Cross Mountain

Statue of the Risen Christ

Statue of the Risen Christ

 

Special thank you to Dragan and his family for being excellent hosts. Hope to see you soon.

Our wonderful hosts

Our wonderful hosts

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4 Responses to Our trip to Medjugorje

  1. James Driscoll says:

    Weino, Please don’t forget that you are also the source of hope and inspiration. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you are helping people in ways you can’t imagine. Keep up the good work!

  2. Gail Norris says:

    I agree with James D., you are truly an inspiration to me. Your faith is a testament considering all you have been through. I love the saying, “be still and know that I’m God” it is a great thought when you need meditation. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us and never forget we are praying for you and your family.

  3. Clarissa says:

    Hi Kevin! I am Gustavo Nouer’s wife and we didn’t met in person. We read your blog and I am sure your strength and your beautiful words inspire many people, including myself. Everyone has difficulties in life and you are an example to us.
    Since we heard your diagnosis (we were on a trip in a beautiful beach in Brazil and I remember Gustavo’s sadness in that day) we sent good vibes and prayers for you and your family every night.
    Wish you all the best!

  4. mark says:

    What a trip!! This is a spiritual battle that I am sure you will win. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.
    Mark Nugent

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