Interview with Father Tommy Lane
By Michael K. Jones


Father Tommy LSS, DD, is an Irish priest who is a Scripture scholar with a doctorate in Biblical Theology.

Q. Could you tell us a little about the religious event, which has had the most impact on your life?

A: I find it difficult to say what had most impact on my life. Being interviewed now just after seeing Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ I would say this has been the greatest impact on my life in recent months. Good retreats have had very positive impacts on my life. Listening to people who are obviously deeply moved by the Spirit and called by God is very uplifting. There are so many things that I could mention. Naturally my Ordination to the Priesthood is the pivotal event that has changed my life ever since and for which I am eternally grateful. When all is said and done, we have to say that for each of us the greatest event in our lives is our baptism.

Q. One of the apparitions not yet approved by the Catholic Church is Medjugorje. Do you believe in the events taking place there?

A: Yes I believe in the apparitions in Medjugorje. The children, who are no longer children now, were tested in every way, and it is obvious that they are receiving heavenly visitations.

Q. How did you first hear about Medjugorje?

A: I first heard about Medjugorje from my mother. She was reading a religious periodical in the early 1980's and there was an article in it about the apparitions and she drew my attention to it.

Q. Have you visited Medjugorje and what do you feel about these apparitions?

A: I have visited Medjugorje on a number of occasions; in fact since I began going again in recent years I like to go at least once every year. I believe these apparitions are a source of enormous grace for the world. When the apparitions have been going on daily for so many years I think we have to stop and take notice. Each time I go to Medjugorje I receive a new grace. That is why I enjoy going on pilgrimage there so much.

Q. The Medjugorje apparitions have lasted many years now, why do you think Our Lady is still visiting and giving messages in Medjugorje?

A: We are so slow to learn and our world has wandered so far from God now that Our Lady needs to keep coming to us because otherwise we may never learn the message. Also it is not just a message, it is a whole way of living and we see that way of living in the parish in Medjugorje. Because Our Lady has been coming for so many years we see the way St James' Parish has been transformed and we can understand why Our Lady has been coming for so long. She is teaching the world how we as individuals should live and how a parish should be!

Q. Our Lady of Medjugorje tells us that we need to live Her messages, how do live messages?

A: We live the messages by not just simply reading them in a book but by writing them on our hearts. We live the messages by allowing them to influence the decisions we make and to guide us in making choices. We compare our lives against the messages and we see where we fall short. No one ever likes to change but if we are really to live the messages we will need to change how we live. But the change will be very worthwhile and Jesus and Mary will reward us.

Q. What do you think are the most important messages Our Lady is trying to tell the world?

A: Those who have studied the messages of Medjugorje for a long time say there are five main points to Our Lady's messages and I see no reason to say otherwise. The five main points are:

1. If possible participate at Mass every day but if not then a few times a week.
2. Pray with the heart every day, especially the Rosary.
3. Monthly confession.
4. Read the Bible every day and keep it in a prominent place in your home to remind you.
5. Fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Q. The Medjugorje visionaries say they are receiving secrets about coming warning signs and chastisements. Do you feel we should be concerned about the coming chastisements?

A: Yes and no. Yes we should be concerned but we have to go on living each day the way God has called us to, as a mother, father, wife, husband, son, daughter, priest, or religious without being distracted by any secrets about warnings. If we are living as we ought to then we have nothing to fear, not even death. If we are living as we ought Our Lady said we will not even notice passing from this life to the next.

Q. What is a chastisement?

A: A chastisement is a punishment from God. This punishment could take place due to natural/human means or by direct intervention by God. What I mean is this. When Our Lady appeared in Fatima during the First World War she predicted an even worse war during the Papacy of Pope Pius XII if people did not turn from sin. Perhaps not many in the world now or even then would view the Second World War as punishment for sin. But in Fatima that was precisely the way Our Lady looked at it. So from that point of view maybe the chastisement could come through human means. On the other hand it could be a direct intervention by God that clearly could not be misinterpreted so that it would be clearly seen as a divine punishment. We will only know if and when it happens.

Q. Please tell us what aspects of the Medjugorje apparitions interest you the most?

A: It is very difficult for me to choose one aspect above another. I find the whole message so helpful and inspiring. It is fascinating that so many people's lives have changed for the better by going on pilgrimage to this shrine. So many people find a huge sense of peace there and also feel the presence of Our Lady strongly. Some people say they feel the presence of Our Lady so strongly there that they could nearly touch her. I remember during one pilgrimage I was on a few years ago a lady in our group said to me, "It is beautiful here, it is like stepping off the world." One big difference between going on pilgrimage to Medjugorje and to other shrines such as Lourdes or Fatima which I also like and find very beautiful is that the apparitions are still ongoing in Medjugorje at the time of this interview. That makes a pilgrimage to Medjugorje so very special.

Q. We know that miracles happen. If a person receives a miracle in their lives should they keep it to themselves, or should they share their story for witness and testimony?

A: I think it probably depends on each person whether they should reveal the miracle or keep it to themselves. If God is calling them to make it public they should ask God for the grace to make it public. When I went to Medjugorje I was already happy about its authenticity because of the positive reports and anecdotes. So I did not need a major miracle to convince me. I went as a believer in Our Lady's presence there and not looking for proofs.

Q. The Scriptures tell us, "Blessed are those who have not seen and believe." Is it okay if some of us need to see to believe, like Thomas who doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead?

A: Yes I think it is. We are all different and we all have a different path to God within the same Church as One Body around the Lord. So if some need a miracle or sign that is OK. After all, the Scriptures you have just quoted were Jesus' words to Thomas after he demanded a sign and Jesus gave him the sign he needed, he showed him his wounds. But the sign is not important in itself, any sign is merely to lead us to faith and it is faith and living our faith that is important. After the sign Jesus gave, Thomas went on to profess his faith, "My Lord and my God", and after that to preach about Jesus.

Q. What do you think is the best thing we can do to change ourselves leading us to a closer Spiritual life?

A: I think we won't get very far in the spiritual life without prayer and without humility. I believe we are called to spend a long time in prayer each day, not just a few minutes morning and evening. Without spending a long time in prayer we won't get far in the spiritual life. Humility is also important because to advance spiritually we need to be aware of how we really are before God and this involves being humble. To answer your question simply, living the messages of Medjugorje leads us to a closer spiritual life.

Q. The Scripture tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, can you tell us what this means and if we follow the path of interior life what will we find?

A: It takes a lifetime to follow the interior path to the Kingdom of Heaven within. It takes a whole life to live the first commandment, to love God above all else. If we are really honest aren't we all still working on living that commandment as best we can. There is a lot of emphasis now on the externals, on what we own and possess. But they will never give us the happiness we crave. It is only in God that we will find the peace we seek. That is why we pursue the spiritual life so that we may find the peace that only God can give. When we find that peace then we are on the way to the Kingdom of Heaven within.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview about Medjugorje?

A: I think we have covered the most important points.

Q. What is your hope for this world?

A: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every parish were as prayerful as St James’ Parish in Medjugorje?

Father Tommy has two website, if you would like to visit his sites please click on the links below.

Father Tommy's Medjugorje Website: MedjugorjeMessage.com

Father Tommy's Bible Prayer & Homily Website: Bible Prayer Homily Resources

If you would like to write Medjugorje USA