Photo - Kaka

Kaka

I need Jesus every day of my life. Jesus tells me in the Bible that without Him I cant do anything. I have the gift and capacity today to play soccer because God gave it to me.

Photo - Ivona Škvorcová

Ivona Škvorcová

I noticed a little lump on my neck and it changed my plans and my life. We will have to remove it, exclaimed my doctor. It is just a simple operation… I spent three days in the hospital and I waited three weeks for biopsy results. I wasn’t worried at all. I was a 22-year old university student, full of energy and vitality. I didn’t expect it could be something serious. On 22 February 2006 the doctor told me: “It is positive“. I didn’t even understand what it means. Everybody in my family was shocked – I had CANCER. I was confused. I had lots of questions and fears.

Photo - Augustín Ugróczy

Augustín Ugróczy

Hi everybody, whoever you are and wherever you are – YOU ARE DISCIPLES. That’s the way I call my boys and invite them at our regular PAJTA meetings.

Photo - James Manjackal

James Manjackal

He prayed: "Father in Heaven, send your Son Jesus now to this priest suffering from kidney T.B., kidney stones and infections and restore him complete health of body and soul". Then I thought in my mind that he might have seen the hospital chart where my sicknesses were reported!

Photo - Róbert Slamka

Róbert Slamka

I am 52 years old and I am a lawyer. I have a beautiful beloved wife, Helena, and 5 beautiful children, Róbert, Jakub, Andrej, Annamária-Rút, and Lukáš.

Photo - Mudr. Silvester Krčméry CSc.

Mudr. Silvester Krčméry CSc.

If I have to be punished for what I did – i.e. for the goodness, truth, and Christ – I wouldn’t choose the smallest punishment, but the most terrible one; I would be so happy if I could die for Christ, although I know that I am not worthy of such a great grace.

Photo - MUDr. Emília Vlčková

MUDr. Emília Vlčková

I healed my daughter who had bronchitis, after antibiotics showed no effect. I had a wart and it disappeared on the following day after I had used my homoeopathic drugs.

Photo - Vlado Žák

Vlado Žák

I knew about God, but I didn't know Him. I saw God only as a strict judge. One of the predominant feelings when I thought about God was a sort of fear. Today, I know I was completely wrong.

Photo - Dominik Dobrovodský

Dominik Dobrovodský

Yes, bones were my life issue. I was born with a fracture. Since then I had several fractures during all my childhood, every time I fell down. I spent a lot of time in hospitals. I suffered a lot. But I also saw other people suffering. It was for me great life experience, great learning experience. During this experience I understood that God is always with me and He never abandons me. This attitude of praise became (and it is continuously becoming) my expression of love towards God.

Photo - Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

I am thankful to have been born 31 years ago with no arms and no legs. I won’t pretend my life is easy, but through the love of my parents, loved ones, and faith in God, I have overcome my adversity and my life is now filled with joy and purpose.

Photo - Jozef Demjan

Jozef Demjan

When I was a child I was sexually abused by an older boy. We lived in poverty. I experienced occult practices, depression, homosexuality, and suicide attempts. Only faith in Jesus Christ brought light to my life.

Photo - Marek Nikolov

Marek Nikolov

The aim of the “Jesus Heals” prayer gatherings is experiencing the fact that God is Love. He is Love that wants to give itself to other people. God wants to show us His mercy even through healing, signs, wonders, and miracles.

Photo - Rick Warren

Rick Warren

People ask me: What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

Photo - Renáta Ocilková

Renáta Ocilková

During chemotherapy I lost my menstrual cycle. After about half-a-year I asked my gynaecologist – oncologist about that. I was afraid I was going to badly react to his answer. He told me:
“It’s normal. Your menstrual cycles will never return.”

Photo - Anton Srholec

Anton Srholec

Faith and love for Jesus and for his cause filled all my heart and I was ready to offer my life for this.

Photo - Denis Blaho

Denis Blaho

I started to do fortune-telling and I said things that resulted to be truthful. I used to predict things that really happened in near future. Sometimes I read people’s thoughts. I disdained Christian religion. I had a bad opinion about believers and acquaintances who were not profound believers.

Photo - Bohuš Živčák

Bohuš Živčák

Despite persecution during the Communist era (or actually because of Communist persecution) my search of God became a continuous adventure. Pilgrimage and travelling rather than studying. When I studied at high school God came dramatically closer to me.

Photo - Veronika Barátová

Veronika Barátová

I always have wonderful memories of my return to God; still today they are pretty important. Everything happened during my university studies at times of normalizing Communism.

Photo - Oto Mádr

Oto Mádr

This epoch is not easy at all for Christians; but for big-format Christians it is a great and marvelous epoch. “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.“ In such glorious moments the Church sings to the Lord a heroic song of love and faithfulness. It is a privilege and a gift: to live just now, to love, and to fight.

Photo - Lucia Tužinská

Lucia Tužinská

My core problem was – how can I trust God again?! How can I understand Him? What has happened? What we believed in before suddenly became not valid. We needed to reevaluate our faith from the foundation.

Photo - Martin Hunčár

Martin Hunčár

My conversion does not fall under the category “extraordinary”. I know you would like to hear about the miraculous conversion of a former drug-addicted or alcohol-addicted. I was neither drug-addicted nor alcohol-addicted. Maybe this is the reason why my conversion was even more miraculous.

Photo - Dan Baumann

Dan Baumann

The beatings would start and they would be slapping in the face, hitting in the stomach, sometimes kicking. “I struggled with faith, ‘Was God with me? Did He love me? If God is good why would He allow me to go through this situation?

Photo - Dária Miezgová

Dária Miezgová

But I was also interested very much in the communist ideals as in something that surpassed the ordinary life. So I became a member of a communist party – because I was convinced and I wanted it. And in spite of the fact I went to church and believed in God. I did not feel it as a contradiction

Photo - Matúš Demko

Matúš Demko

Then I directly felt that God is a living being, close to us. Back then, God, our Lord, clearly and expressly intervened into my life. He completely changed it. I became another person.

Photo - Richard Vašečka

Richard Vašečka

My grandfather from my mother’s side had a great influence on my life. Besides that he loved me very much and spent much time with me, he became my ideal and inspiration in a faith, but also in a male character.

Photo - Branislav Škripek

Branislav Škripek

I was born and brought up as an atheist and I can confirm that I had never been told me anything about God during my first 20 years of life. It was something that was an unknown concept for me.

Photo - Sasa Patalakh

Sasa Patalakh

Drugs, sex, Ukrainian mafia, and prison…
“…the story of a young man from Ukraine freed by God…”

Photo - Ondrej Tarana OFM cap.

Ondrej Tarana OFM cap.

I was indeed horrified that I don’t know God and His Love although I was ministering in the church.

Photo - Dominic McDermott

Dominic McDermott

Hearing from God through dreams. Biblical basis, Why God would use dreams, The process ...

Photo - Štefan Esztergályos

Štefan Esztergályos

I got more and more entangled in different occult practices. I applied myself to astrology, healing (reiki) and I practiced martial arts. Instead of prayer I meditated in solitude, which pulled me many times away from the life’s reality.

Photo - Geoff and Gina Poulter

Geoff and Gina Poulter

We had decided with a great sadness that we had to go where we were being fed and leave the Catholic Church. Just as we were about to make this public statement Geoff had an open vision which simultaneously was confirmed to Gina through a word from the Lord.

Photo - P. Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap

P. Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap

Something of the kind must happen once in our lives for us to be true, convinced Christians, and overjoyed to be so.

Story - vdp. Rastislav Dluhý, C.Ss.R.
A path of a man

small_Rasto Dluhy.jpg

Redemptorist and a Roman Catholic priest. He is one of the main leaders in Slovakia, who accepted and lives fully a call of John Paul II. to a new evangelization of the world.

As a man I write these lines with a prospect of them having a meaning. I have big hopes or rather “ambitions”? As I won’t deny a typical man in me, I have a clear goal in front of me.
I want to encourage, wake up and maybe provoke men. I don’t put myself in a position of an old man – wise man, because I don’t have either age or experience for it. It gives me a certain space for errors and mistakes and also a chance for an excuse that my “right views” are only being formed.

I was thinking about the topic for a long time: male character – manhood – man – guy. What in fact is it? It runs away in front of me as mercury from a thermometer which was broken by fault. A quantity of books on this topic and a demand for them indicate a search, a need to look for a real male character.

I don’t want to be an explorer without a map

I have read somewhere that a boy, who didn’t get a father’s example, is like an explorer without a map. Therefore I tell myself, better some example than none. Here is my story. I am a first-born from six children. My father studied at an evening school, repaired a house, worked and learned to run a family and to be a father. He didn’t have it easy in conditions he found himself in. I wasn’t a boy who would be attracted by technical matters, I was rather a small philosopher, I liked to brood in our shed or barn. It caught my father short a bit, he couldn’t quite follow me. I understand him. My other brothers are more technical than me. But I am proud of it. I think that they are also glad that they have a brother who forces them to stop and think sometimes. I didn’t avoid work around the house. Well, not exactly, work in a barn, at a garden, with hogs, around heating was a normal part of our life but I can’t tell that my heart would perk up at it. It took me long time to find out where actually my heart pulls me to. I needed time and space for it and much advice from others and also patience with confusion in a search of my way.

As a child I always looked forward to my uncles Mike and Joe. I knew they liked me. One drove me on a motorbike and taught me to shoot from an air rifle and the other drove his Lada car amazingly fast. It captivated me. They showed me attention many times. I felt that they were also delighted at me.

I learned about life from my grandfather Simon who is already with the Lord. I liked his stories about honesty and about his resistance against communist ideology. Everybody around knew and respected him. I also admired his broad artistic abilities of a blacksmith, a mason, a plumber, a gardener and the like. I was hampered a bit by his hot-temper. I remember how my grandfather Joseph, whom the Lord called recently too, talked to me about how he grew up left to himself. He said that as a boy he had to cross a bumpy field road with a big wagon – hay-wagon - from a forest to home. When crossing a brook he got stuck and a wheel on a wagon broke down. He cried hopelessly but his “future father-in-law” helped him. All these stories made a deep impression on me as a boy. I needed to hear them. To find out that a way of a man is difficult but it is possible to walk on it and to mature through life’s difficulties.

About a bow and broken roof tiles

I mentioned already that my father had it tough with me because I wasn’t a typical quick-to-learn type. I wanted to mimic things from him so much but somehow I couldn’t repeat it after him. But I am thankful to him for the one: that he wanted to teach me. He always demonstrated to me how is what done. Many boys would appreciate it nowadays. However my other brothers were compensation for my father. Now I smile when I realize that my father taught us how to make a bow from an ash-tree and arrows with it. They were serious deadly weapons. Poor mother, when she found out, she went through considerable doses of fear. We built bunkers with brothers wherever it was possible and we fought with various weapons;

from a catapult through a bow to a homemade tomahawk. Because of a bunker on a roof, my father had to change broken tiles many times. I have great memories from these times and I don’t feel that either I or my brothers would become notorious rowdies. But a healthy fight stayed in us. We try not to resign in life and not to be passive.

Sometimes it is funny when we debate with my father and find out a completely different approach to things. I try to see things from an over view and to look for a meaning, I am sort of a provocateur. I think my father would say the same. So we leave the game started. I want to have a determination also into the future to present and stand for my own opinion, but to have courage to listen to other opinion too. It also needs a man’s braveness; because men don’t like to acknowledge their faults. Therefore when we sit at a table and indicate a mistake which happened, we are not always willing to admit it. Sometimes things from the life, from the past appear which we again evaluate with the father. Everybody sees it in own way of course. It is difficult for fathers to admit that they made a mistake. They are afraid to fail. I know that when once I will be also reviewing my life, I will bear my faults, sins with difficulty. And it will hurt even more, when others will remind me of them. Therefore I try to have compassion with older men. I will reveal a secret to you about our family. We are not perfect (please keep it to yourself and don’t spread it).

In a company of men

God the Father wants to raise and consecrate us men to a male character not only in our family but also outside of it. The whole burden of the task thus doesn’t rest only on father’s shoulders. It would be a too big of a burden. To lead a boy into a world of men and to help young ones to maturity – it needs also a company of men. We are not created the way to help yourselves alone with own life. I realize that I am incomplete, partial man who needs complement in many areas. I am on a way.

In years of adolescence I got into a group of boys who believed in God and at the same time they had a sense of adventure. Those relations moved me further very much. Later then when I entered a religious order of men, I wasn’t surprised, how different we were. It is possible to learn anything from my brothers Redemptorists. Contacts with brothers who grew up with me are especially precious to me. They are like my allies. More and more I regard brothers who are older than me and have years of “mature kings or wise men”. It feels good when they encourage me, trust me and entrust me with a difficult mission. Sometimes I worry but I believe in their trust and strength of their blessing. God raises me as a man through them too. Men from lay communities around Redemptorists impress me very much. What everything we went through as men on water, in mountains, at home in a village and also in a big Africa! In tears, pain, prayer and also in laughter. God, I thank them.

An old man overcomes gaps

We say that an old man is a wise man. I perceive a real old man practically as a saint. John Paul II. said that old men connected generations. “They have a charisma to overcome gaps between generations before they arise,” he wrote in a letter to families. An old man can reconcile a father with a son. He understands them because he was a son and also a father. He shows understanding and gentleness. Children’s children are their crown (comp. Proverbs 17,6). It is really the truth. I could see how my grand fathers rejoiced in us, their grand children. Sometimes I had an impression that they liked us more than their children. Their advice was gradually more general, as they were leaving us space for our own decisions. They were more like: “Abide with God and don’t leave Him! Try to get along with your siblings. Remember your family! Be honest and decent. Don’t worry, it will be all right.”

I like how Dostoevsky describes this in a character of an old man Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov: “Many were coming to an old man Zosima during those long years with a need to confess to him from the whole heart and with a desire to hear his advice and a healing word. Zosima took in to his own soul so many confidential confessions, expressions of dejection and avowals that after the first look at a face of an unknown man who came to him, he could guess why that man was coming to him, what he needed and also what misery tortured his conscience (…) All who came in to the old man for the first time for a confidential talk, entered with a fear and unease and came out from him nearly always ablaze and joyful and even the most sullen face changed to a happy one.”

A place that no one else has

John Paul II. and Benedict XVI. for example have an effect on me in this way. Their words are serious as words of old men, full of truth and hope.

I am thankful that also in our community we have old men. They make me feel calm and joyous. When one of my confreres celebrated 40 years of priesthood lately, it encouraged me very much to keep going on my way. I think that the most important thing for my manhood is to live in a friendship with God the Father.

He is always with me, even when I don’t realize it directly. I feel I am his beloved son, that his heart is good and that I have my place in it, such that nobody else can take. And I listen to his voice which will tell me…


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