November 25, 2011 A.D.
What Happened on November 25, 1988
Beginning on January 25, 1987, Our Lady had begun giving Medjugorje visionary Marija a monthly message that was directed to the whole world. From 1984 until 1987, Marija had been chosen by Our Lady to receive a weekly message for the parish of Medjugorje every Thursday evening. These messages were given for the purpose of guiding the parish into the spiritual life. In January, 1987, Our Lady suddenly announced that the Thursday messages would no longer continue, as now it was time to bring Her messages and plans for the salvation of the world to a new level. When Marija came to stay in our founder’s home, she was present for three of Our Lady’s monthly messages, November 1988 through January 1989. It was, of course, very moving to have Our Lady speak to the world from your own home. These three monthly messages have particular meaning to the Caritas community because they significantly influenced the way of life Our Lady established here through our founder.
The apparition took place at 10:40 a.m. in the Bedroom. The message Our Lady gave:
This was not the first time Our Lady had mentioned finding a time during the day for a personal encounter with God. Reading this in other messages, our founder had already been trying to establish a specific time every day that he could devote himself to quiet prayer and contemplation. He was a father of, soon to be, four children. He had his own thriving business. He had already started Caritas of Birmingham. Life was full and it was difficult finding a specific daily time to commit to prayer because often he was interrupted with family or business concerns. When Our Lady gave the above message in his home, he became determined to live this message. He tried different hours of the day, becoming increasingly frustrated because at every point of the day he found the time wasn’t always conducive to prayer. At 6:00 a.m., he found that though he could pray, he was leaving the full responsibility of the household to his wife including getting the children up, dressed, serving breakfast and out the door for school. It caused a great deal of un-peace for everyone and he knew he couldn’t convenience himself at the cost of neglecting his own responsibilities at home. He tried 12:00 noon, but there were always interruptions from his work. He tried at night, after dinner and the children were in bed, but found he was too tired after putting in a full day’s work, to be concentrated in prayer. It was after all these efforts that the Holy Spirit finally enlightened him. A question presented itself in his thoughts. Why not just deny yourself an hour of sleep each day and get up earlier in the morning before its time to start getting the kids out of bed? He began rising a little before 5:00 a.m. every morning and praying for an hour and was never interrupted by distractions in the quiet predawn. He never had to worry about missing his prayer time because of an interruption and found that his mind was clear of worries first thing in the morning so that he could give his full attention to God. 5:00 a.m. prayer was the perfect fit for his busy life.
This eventually became “the way” of the community as different people began to come following the call of Our Lady. No matter what the workload the community is carrying with the mission, we never miss 5:00 a.m. prayer. It was primarily through the November 25, 1988 message given in his home that gave this inspiration to our founder. It was only years later that he discovered that Jesus himself, as well as Our Lady, and consequently many of the saints in imitation of them, arose early in the morning for prayer.