29 Oct 2016

30th October 2016 - Mary's Meals: Interview with Milona Von Habsburg - 31st Sunday in Ordinary time Year C

On this weeks programme Milona Von Habsburg shares some of her life story with John. Milona describes a profound  conversion experience she had in Medjugorje when she was 25 and how it changed both her relationship with God and how she lives her life now.
Resources and reflections on this weeks gospel are included here on the blog post as well as our weekly listing of other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Interview with Milona Von Habsburg

On this weeks programme John has an interview with Milona Von Habsburg. Milona describes the fruits of living in the presence of God which grows from putting the Lord first in one's life and living the messages of Medjurgorje.

As the name would suggest Milona is a member of the former Imperial family of Habsburgs, to be precise Archduchess Monika-Ilona "Milona" Maria Carolina Stephanie Elisabeth Immacolata Benedicta Dominica is the eldest daughter of Archduke Joseph Arpád Benedikt Ferdinand Franz Maria Gabriel, a member of the Hungarian Palatine branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Milona is the niece of Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of the last Emperor Charles I of Austria and IV of Hungary.

She shares her story of visiting Medjugorje in the 1980's and recalls that her father had taken their family to other apparition sites in Europe, like Fatima, but they had not made that big or deep an impression on her. But, when she and her relatives went to Medjugorje on a three-day pilgrimage when she was in her 20s, the effect of that brief visit on her was profound, even life-changing.
“I myself was privileged to have a personal encounter: After a long and tiring climb uphill, I looked down at the valley beneath me—and a presence came around me and covered me like a mantle. It felt like two eyes were looking deeply into me, into my very soul, and for the first time, I saw my entire life, and what it amounted to. There was no judgment at all, just total truth. Then, I was asked questions about how I lived my life thus far, and why I had fallen so short of what God wanted. At that point, I felt the great desire to give my whole life back to Him!’’ 
“After that unforgettable encounter, when I went back to the place where my family was staying, I felt so content—but, they were shocked at my appearance, because I looked completely transformed—not the same face and eyes at all. In fact, my mother was so moved at the sight of the ‘new me’ that she prayed, begging, ‘Yes, you can have her, but please give us some more time with her before you take her!’”

“And, right after that day, my faith became the most important aspect of my life. I couldn’t live without daily Mass! I ran to Confession, desperately needing to instantly get rid of what separated me from The One.”

In fact, it prompted her to eventually give up her high-flying and pampered life in Geneva to become a volunteer in Medjugorje, performing humble tasks like interpreting for Father Slavko and the six young Marian visionaries—Ivan, Ivanka, Jackov, Marija, Mirjana and Vicka—living there.  

In recent years Milona started working for Mary's Meals, an organisation whose vision it is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need, share with those who lack even the most basic things.  Going to press 1,187,104 children receive Mary's meals every school day. €14.50 feeds a child for a whole school year because it is all local produce cooked by local volunteers. You can read more about this great organisation and donate to Mary's meals at their website HERE

For countess who gave it all up, Medjugorje is in the heart

Gospel - Luke 19:1-10

"He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’"

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
The Path of Life

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 3; 31st week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

October 31st - Bl Dominic Collins
November 1st - Solemnity of All Saints
November 2nd - Commemoration of All Souls
November 3rd - St Malachy
November 4th - St Charles Borremeo (First Friday)
November 5th - St Martin de Porres (First Saturday)

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