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This tombstone was carved by the sons and father of the child’s family. They did not pay someone else to cover and fill the grave in with dirt, but shoved it in themselves, the last kind act they can do for the bodily remains of their loved one. Society has lost the real life of value and memory making, and love has gone cold.

The following is an excerpt from the booklet Judge With Right Judgment, by a Friend of Medjugorje, in which he explains the richness that a cemetery adds to our way of life and what society has lost in leaving the “family cemetery” behind.

“Aside from Our Lady’s apparitions here, one of the things that make us the richest is our own cemetery. Our 6th son died in my wife’s womb at four months. My wife gave birth to him two days after he had died. John Jacob’s tombstone marks his grave at the end of the Rosary Trail, leading from our home to the Field. Our 7th child, but 1st daughter, was conceived just before John Jacob would have been born. Her big brother’s death allowed her to be. Everyday on the way back from Rosary in the Field, we pray three Hail Mary’s for his intercession. As well as the rest of us, speaks his name everyday at the end of these Hail Mary’s. “John Jacob, pray for us.” He is actively a part of our family. He is not forgotten. He gave his life and his sister lives.

Environmentalists have led Christendom into saving the Earth and space by fostering and promoting cremation, a movement origined not from the Church but through radical environmentalism, scheming a plan for churches to make money by building a “columbarium” (a columbarium is a small building where the ashes of cremated bodies are stored). Nothing about this plan reflects Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus’ burial is the model to follow. Some would say that the Church allows cremation, and yes, it does, but the Church also requires confession only once a year. Is that enough? The Church requires us to fast twice a year, not even on bread and water, but with one regular meal and two small meals. Is that what Heaven is showing us?

Society’s structure does not permit this remembrance. Cemeteries are commercial ventures to make money, with quick visits
devoid of contemplation, and as time goes by become more and more infrequent. Those that formally walked the earth are not part of one’s life schedule, and loved ones in time are only remembered more and more faintly, rather than becoming part of the lives of those who were left behind. It is the result of a world created without God. If my wife dies before me, remarriage will not be a part of my life’s equation. I will continue on with my relationship with her and, in a way, experience more harmony than we could ever achieve on earth. I have a special relationship with Our Lady. She is in Heaven. Why could I not continue one with my wife? Daily, in our own cemetery, I still could discuss the family, address situations everyday, she helping the family from Heaven and I from earth. Remember at the beginning of Our Lady’s apparitions, Ivanka’s mother, who had just died two months before, appeared with Our Lady and told Ivanka to help her grandmother and that she was proud of her (Ivanka)! Why did Our Lady allow this? She wants to establish a live connection between Heaven and us! This tells us that loved ones are not closed off, enjoying Heaven at the expense of forgetting us on earth. No, they are interested in helping grandmother! We can benefit greatly by remembering our loved ones as our own saints and advocates. Our structure is a life created with God. We are not in and out of a world, sometimes with and sometimes without God. Our cemetery was part of building our house. We planned it with the house—our whole world with God, with the thought of Heaven and our connection with it. It is not strange to us that cemeteries have to do with life and are a major part of a thriving community. We are rich, rich in a way of life, shown to us by Our Lady.”

A procession by a horse-drawn carriage to our cemetery. These memories are marked into our children’s lives and offer lessons of spring, summer, fall, and the closing of life in the winter. All these feelings are evoked in the peace of the cemetery.

Peace in grief and comfort in prayer. Our cemetery is not a place of empty sorrow, but the joy of talking to loved ones each day, continuing their presence in the family. St. Therese said she wished to spend her Heaven in doing good upon the Earth. Do you doubt your loved ones cannot intercede and enact through their prayers actions of grace on Earth? If so, you are very poor. This is why we feel our cemetery is one of our greatest treasures. The sorrow we feel is tempered by the continued presence of the loved ones in our family and community.

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