Friday, October 24, 2014

An Introduction To Father Slavko Barbarić's Book: In The School of Love

My copy of Fr. Slavko's book that I daily prayed and meditated upon at the Original Blue Cross.

With this month of October being the Month of the Rosary, I thought it fitting to publish today's post on a book that is a wonderful prayer companion during this dedicated month to Our Lady. This summer I had the privilege of making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for several weeks. It was one that afforded me the opportunity to spend many hours in quiet thought and prayer, learning from Our Lady. With my pilgrimage came many gifts, one of which was Father Slavko Barbarić's book, In The School of Love.

Today's post shares this gift with all visitors to my blog. If you are currently in Medjugorje, I respectfully encourage you to seriously consider purchasing this book, available at the Franciscan book store, adjacent to the Information Center near St. James Church. If you really want to understand part of what your pilgrimage is all about, this book will provide the answer.

People go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for many different reasons united in hope and with love for Our Lady. Whether it be for the discernment of a vocation, spiritual, emotional or physical healing, answers to life questions or the "recharging" of one's "spiritual battery," one thing is for certain, we all go there because we have been called by Our Blessed Mother who loves us, who wants to teach us how to love and in the process, invites us to enter into her "School of Love." 

Our Lady has been inviting us to become diligent students in her "School Of Love" in Medjugorje for over thirty three years. To date, over 50 million pilgrims have responded with their "yes," by making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Our Lady is the most surest and quickest way to understand and follow Jesus. With our "yes" to her invitation, pilgrims in Medjugorje become more resolute in their effort to follow Christ with a greater fidelity.

Commemorative Bolder at Cross Mountain (Križevac) - The spot where Fr. Slavko passed away in November'2000

Father Slavko Barbarić, a legend in the Medjugorje community, was a Franciscan friar who began working with pilgrims in Medjugorje in 1982, conducting numerous spiritual exercises and provided many talks about Medjugorje all over the world. His written contributions include many articles for different publications as well as books on the spirituality of Medjugorje, translated in more than 20 languages and sold in the millions. His book, In The School Of Love, was written during the Balkan War (1991-1999) which he admittedly stated was not an easy task. Faced with "hatred in action," he sometimes found it difficult to write this book, but he persevered in prayer to move forward in the writing about love, spreading love in the process. The writing of his book was one of Fr. Slavko's many invitations to all people to open themselves without any fear to Our Lady's motherly love. 

Father Slavko's book is a spiritual treasure that any reader is sure to read several times in one's lifetime. Each chapter is approximately one and a half pages and focuses on a specific message from Our Lady given to the visionary, Marija Pavlović-Lunetti. Each chapter can easily become your day's meditative reading and is especially useful for keeping the spirit of Medjugorje alive for those pilgrims who have left Medjugorje. Here is the outline of each chapter's content: 

  • Chapter Title - Intrigues the reader to discover each chapter's content.
  • Our Lady's Message - Each chapter contains one of Our Lady's messages, upon which the reader is invited to "read and listen" to what Our Lady is saying.
  • Teaching and Meditation - Following each message Fr. Slavko provides a teaching that each reader is to meditate on.
  • Passage From Scripture - Each chapter concludes with quotes from scripture, offered as spiritual food for further reflection. Father Slavko's teaching is based on and empowered by the divine content contained within scripture. It serves to recap and confirm his teaching.

There is no time limit or any other parameter placed upon the reading of each chapter. To simply follow through Fr. Slavko's chapter structure takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Certainly it could result in much more time, as it might spawn a lengthy meditation and encourage the reader to spontaneous prayer to Our Lady. One thing is for certain, this book encourages you to "pray with the heart" and 
invites each reader to become a diligent student in Our Lady's "School Of Love": the most beautiful school.

To be consecrated to Our Lady, open and devoted to Her and to be Her student is a great gift and grace. Mary is the mother of us all and she was the first one to be nourished from the spring of Divine Love. It is with this same love that Our Lady desires to lead us, Her children to that same spring of love.

The visionaries have often quoted Our Lady, "Dear Children! If you would only know how much I love, you would weep for joy!" Reading this book united with prayer will help you begin to understand Our Lady's love for us, her children. I am certain that should you decide to read this book, that well before its completion, you will be praying daily for the gift of love!

May Our Lady help you to excel in Her School of Love.

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