GLORY, GLORY, ALLELUIA! 
GIVE US STRENGTH FOR ALL OUR LIFE!
 
 
A reflection on the Glory Song at Medjugorje 
by Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.,  June 1989 
 
From my first visits to Medjugorje, and especially at Easter time, the Church of St. James would resound with the melody of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."  Americans in the congregation for the Croatian Evening Mass would belt out the chorus, "Glory, glory, alleluia!"  What would make the Battle Hymn so popular here in Medjugorje?  It puzzled me.  Yet it was uplifting to hear the roof of the church raised as people of all languages sang out, "Glory, glory, alleluia." 
 
Then one day I heard that this was Mary's favorite song in Medjugorje.  What, the Queen of Peace having a battle hymn as her favorite song?  I did not understand.  More than that it began to deeply bother me.  True peace has never come about by power or arms.  People dominate and oppress one another with war or worldly power.  The way to true peace, a gift of God, is humility, truth, reconciliation and love. 
 
The light dawned when I got a copy of the "Croat-English Prayer Book" by Peter Rodgers in England.  I wanted to sing the verses along with the people of Medjugorje.  I found the hymn and was delighted to discover that the people were singing a beautiful hymn of Christian gathering, Eucharistic love and glorious Resurrection.  A new song had been written to an old familiar tune.  Here is Mary's 'favorite' song at Medjugorje: 
 
"IN YOUR NAME, O CHRIST" 
 
In your name, O Christ, we are gathered here today, 
O Yes, we believe that you are always here with us. 
Without your love and mercy we'd be sorrowful and forlorn.
Give us strength for all our life.
  
Glory, Glory, Alleluia, Glory, Glory, Alleluia,
Glory, Glory, Alleluia, Give us strength for all our life.
 
Christ by the Eucharistic banquet of your love
Thru which it is your wish to be with us eternally,
Stay with us and bless us and protect us every day.
Give us strength for all our life. 
 
Glory, Glory, Alleluia, Glory, Glory, Alleluia,
Glory, Glory, Alleluia, Give us strength for all our life.
 
In your glorious Resurrection, O Christ, we do believe,
An Easter morning too for us one day will surely come,
But we know that we must suffer till the dawning of that day.
Give us strength for all our life. 
 
Glory, Glory, Alleluia, Glory, Glory, Alleluia,
Glory, Glory, Alleluia, Give us strength for all our life.

 
It is a glorious hymn of faith in Jesus' presence in our gathering, of love in His self-giving in the Eucharist, and of hope ln the Easter rising for us one day.  Now it became a prayer for me to sing out with my whole heart, "Give us strength for all our life."  Yes, Lord Jesus, I need strength to remain in the awareness of Your actual presence with me now and unto that coming of the Easter morning for me one day.
 
Let us reflect a moment on why this hymn might be Mary's "favorite."  Mary calls us to a living faith.  While many in the parish were coming to Mass during the week Our Lady asked in February 1984 that the parish have one night a week when everyone would make an effort to come to Mass.  The pastor chose Thursday and on March 1st Mary began her weekly Thursday messages, saying, "Thank you for having responded tonight.  I wish you to always be with my Son and me in ever greater numbers."
 
We respond in the first stanza, "In your name, O Christ, we are gathered here today."  It is a gathering of living faith.  "O yes, we believe that you are always here with us."  Mary has come for so long as a sign of God's love for us.  "I desire that each one of you discovers the joy and the love which is found only in God and which only God can give." [5/25/89]  Thus we prayer, "Without your love and mercy we'd be sorrowful and forlorn. Give us strength for all our life."
 
The very center of our gathering in Christ is the Holy Eucharist.  "I wish your Mass to be an experience of God," [5/16/85]  Mary tells us, "I wish to call you to a living of the Holy Mass...  Jesus gives you His graces in the Mass.  Therefore, consciously live the Holy Mass and let your coming to it be a joyful one." [4/3/86]  "Let the Holy Mass be your life." [4/25/88]  Thus in song we continue, "Christ by the Eucharistic banquet of your love through which it is your wish to be with us eternally, stay with us."
 
Mary teaches us, "When you go to Mass, your trip from home to church should be a time of preparation for Mass.  You should also receive Holy Communion with an open and pure heart, with purity of heart, and with openness.  Do not leave the church without an appropriate act of thanksgiving." [10/84]  "I wish that the Holy Mass be for you the gift of the day.  Attend it, wish it to begin.  Jesus gives Himself to you during the Mass." [3/30/84]  So we pray singing, "Stay with us and bless us and protect us every day. Give us strength for all our life."
 
Our Lady comes as God's messenger.  "Dear children, I want you to comprehend that God has chosen each one of you, in order to use you in His great plan for the salvation of mankind.  You are not able to comprehend how great your role is in God's design." [1/25/87]  "All the earthly things are not important for you, ... only Heaven is that for which it is necessary to strive." [11/6/86]  "I love you, dear children, with a special love and I desire to bring you all to heaven unto God." [11/27/86] 
 
We sing what is to be our whole life's longing, "In your glorious Resurrection, O Christ, we do believe, an Easter morning too for us one day will surely come."  For this we must heed our Mother, "Without holiness you cannot live.  Therefore, with love overcome every sin and with love overcome all the difficulties which are coming to you." [7/10/86]  Further she directs us, "Give witness by your life, sacrifice your lives for the salvation of the world. I am with you... do not be afraid." [2/25/88] 
 
Our prayer-song continues, "But we know that we must suffer till the dawning of that day. Give us strength for all our life." "Glory, Glory, Alleluia! Give us strength for all our life." Amen! Alleluia!
  
 


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