Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by garabandal, Mar 23, 2020.
Fr. Richard Heilman posted on FB again regarding tomorrow
Interesting, for years whenever I speculate about dates I’ve felt like the answer is Wednesday to what I’m waiting for...which is a bit vague, lol. Maybe it’s tomorrow.
It’s awesome to hear of large families, I hope I get to have one one day. I have only one brother (Protestant family) and have always wanted a sister.
I am very fond of Mark and his writings. He was so helpful to me as I made my conversion (from lukewarm) several gears back. Not to dispute but felt compelled to give a differing opinion on Mark and his great work.
Agreed, he's very edifying to me. But no need to apologize for your opinion. I've never understood why some feel so compelled to offer their approval or disapproval on each and every of the various Catholic speakers, seers, priests, etc. To me it's clear that God created each one of us uniquely each with our own unique charisms. So it makes perfect sense that God would send different types and styles of people to speak to us, because some speak to the type of charism we have, and others speak to the charisms others have. The ones that don't speak to me, I just simply pass by. The ones that do speak to me, I listen to and ponder. To me, that shows God's Love, that He's trying to get through to each one of us, not via some one size fits all solution
I read and listened to him constantly some years ago and sent him money. I just dont read him any more. Nothing against him at all.
See, that's what puzzles me. Why answer when someone mentions him or anything else that doesn't interest you? Answering in a negative just starts a controversy and we're not called to do that, we're called to be peacemakers and spreaders of Christ's Love. I see many people post all kinds of things every day that don't interest me or speak to me so I just skip on by them and move on with my life
Now if it's something that contrary to our Faith, then we're called to speak up and defend Truth, but opinions and personal preferences aren't Truth, just simply our opinions and personal preferences
Yes, he has my interest piqued into wondering what it is he is expecting to happen today
One of my favorite psalms. Thank you for posting.
I look at it differently, FP, as this is a discussion forum. Granted, not all posts are edifying. But each one of us brings different gifts and different viewpoints.
To me, it’s sharing.
I have been thinking about this issue. I don’t think opinions and feelings can be avoided. We all have them and as friends we can share them. Not every post has to be about dogma. Just my opinion and feeling, of course
It’s okay to become disenchanted with some Catholic writers. Or with someone who has extreme views.
Not sure what so bad about saying Marks writings are long. I haven’t been able to get through one. But I have nothing against his apostolate. Seems to be nice guy.
But those that say they are having visions and/or prophesy that is different story. If you say you are touched by Gods graces...most likely you are not.
Charlie is perfect example...he tricked a lot of people. And if no one said anything. He would still have a following that would be distracting to the real word of God.
it’s all a balance...this is a forum. You come here and say God is talking to you. Expect some backlash.
Private Revelations and the Discernment of Spirits
Authored By: Fr. William G. Most
St. John of the Cross, a Doctor of the Church and one of the greatest of mystic theologians, who had had so many special favors himself, is very severe with persons who desire to be the recipients of visions and revelations. He never wearies of repeating that the proximate means of union with God in this life is the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. True growth consists in intensified love, which is founded on faith and hope. Now although St. John encourages everyone to aim at infused contemplation, even though relatively few attain it, he strongly reproves anyone who desires to be the recipient of a vision or revelation. They desire to see; faith holds on without seeing.
St. Teresa of Avila, who herself had an abundance of visions, takes a similar stand. She admits that great profit can be had from such things when they are genuine and are received in the proper spirit. Yet she says (Interior Castle 6. 9): "I will only warn you that, when you learn or hear that God is granting souls these graces, you must never beg or desire Him to lead you by this road. Even if you think it is a very good one... there are certain reasons why such a course is not wise."
She then goes on at length to explain her reasons: First, such a desire shows a lack of humility; second, one thereby leaves self open to "great peril because the devil has only to see a door left a bit ajar to enter"; third, the danger of auto-suggestion: "When a person has a great desire for something, he convinces himself that he is seeing or hearing what he desires." Fourth, it is presumption for one to want to choose his own path, as only the Lord knows which path is best for us. Fifth, very heavy trials usually go with these favors: could we be sure of being able to bear them? Sixth, "you may well find that the very thing from which you had expected gain will bring you loss."
She then adds that there are also other reasons, and continues with some wholesome advice that one can become very holy without this sort of thing: "There are many holy people who have never known what it is to receive a favor of this sort, and there are others who receive such favors even though they are not holy." We think of the frightening words of Our Lord in Mt. 7.22-23. Speaking of the last day, He said: "Many will say to me on that day: "Lord , Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out devils in your name, and work many miracles in your name? And then I will tell them: I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of iniquity." St. Teresa adds: "It is true that to have these favors must be a very great help towards attaining a high degree of perfection in the virtues; but one who has attained the virtues at the cost of his own work has earned much more merit."
It is, then, a sad mistake to center one's spiritual life about recounting and hoping for special revelations. Yes, we do well to follow those that have been approved by the Church, such as Lourdes and Fatima (the the Church does not require belief in any private revelation). But even there, they should not be the center of our spiritual lives except in so far as they are an exhortation to what the Gospel already calls for. Thus the three requests of Fatima are all just repetitions of what general theology provides: 1) Penance: which in the Gospel sense, means moral reform and reparation for sin; 2) Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: this is merely the natural conclusion of learning what our Father's plan is, of His approach to us in which He has given her an all-pervading role; and 3) The Rosary, consisting mostly of lines from the Gospel, plus prayers composed by the Church.
Apparitions and the Spiritual Life
Since there is today so great a number of alleged apparitions of Our Lady, and since so many become so attached to them as to almost center their spiritual lives about them, it is good to consider some principles about visions and revelations.
First, these things are definitely not part of the core of the spiritual life. St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor, is very hard on these things. He goes so far as to tell souls that if a vision comes, they should at first not accept, to hold off and consider its authenticity only if it comes again. The reason he gives is this: faith holds on without seeing proof; those who want visions want to see, not to believe without seeing (cf. Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ages of the Spiritual Life II, 575-88 and Poulain, The Graces of Interior Prayer, 299-399).
Authority of the Church
We distinguish two kinds of actions by the local bishops of places of alleged apparitions:
1) a decision that it is or is not authentic. Since the Church herself has no providential protection in the area of private revelations, the bishop could be in error. We are not obliged to believe him, or even the Pope himself in such a case.
2) an order to all not to go in pilgrimage to the place of the supposed visions. This is a different matter, it is an exercise of authority, which the local bishop does have. Therefore if there are violations of this order, and yet visions seem to continue, we may be absolutely certain that the visions are false. Our Lady or the Saints will never appear to promote disobedience. Even if there seem to be benefits to the devotion of people, we must still obey. And we need to recall how demanding the Church is of proof for alleged miracles. At Lourdes, after thousands of seeming miracles, the Church has checked and approved only a little over 60 cases since the start of that shrine.
The objection will be raised: The Church was so slow in approving Fatima, and so people lost so many graces while waiting. We reply: They lost nothing at all. Visions are not like sacraments, which produce their effect by their own power (that is, the power of Christ working through them) in those who do not place an obstacle. One of the most approved series of visions are those of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary. On one occasion, He had told her to do something, but her Superior did not approve. When He came again, she asked Him about this, and He replied: "Therefore not only do I desire that you should do what your Superior commands, but also that you should do nothing of all that I order without their consent. I love obedience, and without it no one can please me" (Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary # 47).
We can understand this: He Himself redeemed the world precisely by obedience (Cf. Rom 5:19). Without obedience His sacrifice would have been empty externalism, the kind God reproved in the ancient Jews in Isaiah 29:13: "This people honors me with their lips, but heir heart is far from me." Lumen gentium # 3 says "by His obedience He brought about redemption." So there is no grace to be had by disobeying. To wait will not entail any loss at all; rather, God's favor will be upon those who obey.
If the local bishop does not approve, it is not good to say: let us wait for Rome to speak. Normally Rome respects the local bishop, and is highly unlikely to reverse his decision. Even if Rome did reverse it, we would have no guarantee, for, as we said, the providential protection promised to the Church does not cover private revelations.
PRINCIPLES FOR DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS
What kind of Spirit is at work when someone receives a vision, a revelation, or a more routine favor? To determine this is called the discernment of spirits. It is of great importance to find the right answer. It is evident that there can be three sources: good spirit, evil spirit, auto-suggestion.
Five causes of error in revelations
(1) Faulty interpretation of visions by the recipient.
St. John of the Cross warns about this in Ascent of Mount Carmel II. 19. Thus St. Joan of Arc in prison had a revelation that she would be delivered by a great victory--it was her martyrdom, which she did not suspect.
Prophecies of punishment, and promises of special favors should be considered as conditional. E.g., the Scapular promise should not be taken to refer to mere physical wearing of the Scapular: it must be, as Pius XII said, the outward sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that is really lived. If it is used this way then even if the vision of St. Simon Stock might not be true, the promise will be fulfilled, as we explained earlier.
2. Visions of the life and death of Christ, or other historic scenes, must be understood to be approximate only.
Thus some saw Jesus with three nails, some with four. Blessed Veronica of Binasco saw the whole life of Christ, and so did St. Frances of Rome and Catherine Emmerich. The Bollandists, Jesuit experts in studying the lives of the Saints, tell us there are many historical errors in these.
NOTE: Pope John XXIII, ordered The Poem of the Man God put on the index, on Dec. 16, 1960. The Index is now abolished, but Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter of Jan 31, 1985 wrote:..."The Index of forbidden books keeps all of its moral authority and therefore the distribution and recommendation of the work is considered improper when its condemnation was not made lightly but with the most serious motivation of neutralizing the harm which such publication could inflict on the more unwary faithful." So the Pontifical Imprimatur claimed for it is bogus.
3. Human action may mingle with the divine action.
St. Catherine Labouré foretold many events correctly, but failed on others. It is especially easy for this to happen with ideas that appeal to our own desires or fit with preconceived ideas. Benedict XIV (Heroic Virtue III. 14. p. 404) said: "The revelations of some holy women canonized by the Apostolic See whose saying and writings in rapture and derived from rapture are filled with errors."
4. A true revelation may later be altered involuntarily by the recipient.
This happens especially with intellectual locutions which need to be translated into words. Again, God may seem to promise a cure without saying if it is total or partial, sudden or slow, or even physical or moral. Again if a revelation is received in an instant, but it takes long to write it all down. St. Bridget admits such a thing in her own case.
5. Secretaries may alter without intending to do so.
The accuracy of the text is disputed in the works of Mary of Agreda, Catherine Emmerich, and Mary Lataste. It has been shown that 32 passages from the latter have been taken word for word from St. Thomas' Summa Theologiae.
Similarly, compilers sometimes modify them. The first edition of Catherine Emmerich had St. James the Elder present at the death of the Blessed Virgin. When it was seen that this was incompatible with Acts of Apostles, it was dropped from later editions.
Five Causes of False Revelations
1. Pure bad faith, fakery.
Magdalen of the Cross was a Franciscan of Cordova, born in 1487, who entered a convent at age of 17. From the age of 5 the devil appeared to her as various Saints, led her to desire to be considered a saint. At 13 he said who he was, offered an agreement: he would spread her reputation for holiness, and give her at least 30 years of pleasures. She agreed, and it all came true--ecstasies, levitation, prophecies, simulated stigmata. At door of death she confessed. Exorcism was needed.
2. Overactive imagination.
We said above that human faculties may mingle with the divine action. Someone may imagine a saint is near him. He may imagine intellectual locutions. Cf. St. John of Cross, Ascent II. 29. St. Teresa said (Interior Castle 6.6) that if one has once had a real vision, he will recognize the deception.
Hallucinations can come from excess in abstinence, fasting, and vigils.
3. Illusion in thinking one remembers things that never happened.
Some may imagine they have had visions. Some invent stories and convince themselves--in good faith. Some relate trips to far lands where they have never been. The line between imagination and reality is dim in young children--something similar can happen later too. This is not rare. If a spiritual director finds his advice has little effect, there is reason for seeing illusion. Some make false charges in courts in this way.
4. The Devil may give false visions or revelations.
We saw this in the case of Magdalen of the Cross.
5. Predictions by falsifiers.
Some make these at first for their own amusement, then find they have a tiger by the tail. St. Bonaventure (De profectu religiosorum III. 76) said he was fed up with such things, on the troubles of the Church and the end of the world. During the great Western Schism at end of 14th century, there were many holy mortified men who had false revelations, and even thought they would be the pope. At fifth Lateran Council in 1516 Leo X had to publish an order prohibiting preachers from giving public prophecies. There were many during the French Revolution, clear and in detail on the past, vague on the future.
In 19th century there was an epidemic of prophecy especially on "the great Pope and the great King" inspired by the 17th century commentary on the Apocalypse by Ven. Holzhauser. Pius IX in an Allocution of April 9, 1872 said: "I do not give much belief to prophecies, because those especially that have come recently do
See more here...
Excellent timely posts.
Does anyone know if Desmond Birch has commented in recent months on issues relating to Catholic prophecy? I heard (maybe mistakenly) that he may be in the process of writing another book?
Charlie Johnston publishes or reprints Birch's writings on his site.
Check it out to find the original source
BrianK is in touch with Desmond Birch on Facebook. I do remember that Brian mentioned Birch is writing another book.
Maybe PM to Brian.
Separate names with a comma.