July 28, 2005, Thursday
Before the apparition today, the community gathered in the Bedroom and sang hymns for 30 minutes before starting the Rosary in anticipation of Our Lady’s coming. Though yesterday’s apparition was shorter than normal, today’s was longer than normal. It’s always a surprise to have Our Lady stay longer than what you are expecting. There is always the desire when with Our Lady to bring to Her not only your own needs, but the needs of your loved ones, and those you have promised to pray for. It is a privilege to be before Our Lady, but with that privilege there is a responsibility to use this gift not only for self, but for others. To make all these intentions known to Our Lady usually takes up all the time in a normal apparition. So when Our Lady stays a minute or two longer, it gives one the opportunity to really enter more deeply into an awareness of our Mother before us. We are able to drink in Her presence and open our hearts to share our love with Her.
Marija’s description of the apparition of July 28, 2005: “Our Lady pray over us and She blessed us. She prayed for a long time. For tomorrow: Same time, same place.”
Another special grace was given in the apparition today. Our Lady looked at everyone, scanned everyone’s faces in the room during the apparition. Our Lady does this only occasionally, not often. It is a sign that She sees us individually, knows our faces—our identity, that we are not just a face in a crowd. She has done this quite a few times while visiting the community at Caritas, not only in the intimate meetings with just the community, but also at the large gatherings of pilgrims as well. To ponder that Our Lady takes the time to look at each face in an apparition fills the heart with joy and wonder.
Whatever animals are present at the Rosary, they all go up with the children to Our Lady’s statue as we seek Her blessing over them at the time She is appearing on the earth. It also teaches our children to seek the blessing of God upon everything and to be grateful for all the gifts God gives. The horses are used to herd up the cows, to inspect the fence line, as well as for Sunday afternoon rides in these Southern mountains. In 1994, when the community gave up television, the children approached our founder and asked if they could get horses. He had horses before and trained them for years, but when he married, he got out of it because of the expense. He told the children we had no money for horses but that they could begin praying for this intention every day. However, he told them that they would have to be responsible for remembering to do this themselves. They diligently prayed for an entire year without having any sign from God that He was hearing their prayers. We would see them go off and pray, or at times, see them kneeling by the edge of the Field praying their Hail Mary’s. After a year went by, they met a man who said he wanted to give them a horse. After that, horses began arriving at Caritas in various ways. Finally, the founder gathered the children together and told them to stop praying for horses, and start praying for how we were going to feed them! The children were amazed not only that God answered their prayer, but how he answered their prayer—with more abundance than what they could ever have dreamed.