Discussion in 'Marian Apparitions' started by padraig, Jun 7, 2012.
Jimmy its a question of balance, what a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater...
Someone smarter than me explained it this way in regards to private revelation. On Easter morning, the apostle John outraces Peter to the tomb of Christ but waits at the entrance. When Peter arrives, he goes in first. Before Peter declares anything, John sees the burial cloth and believes with eyes of faith.
John is the beloved apostle who represents all of the faithful of the church. We tend to arrive at the scene first whether it is Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal etc... Peter represents the Church. He is a bit slow but he is the final authority. You do not have to wait for the final declaration to believe, only obey any his final decision and use proper discernment. What a pity it would have been for John to leave the tomb ignoring the incredible sign God gave him.
In regards to our present time, the world is flooded with signs. Prudent, sober discernment of approved prophecies and credible ongoing locutions point to the Warning occurring somewhere between the next 2 minutes and the next 2 years. On a personal level this will be an event that touches us to the core of our being. Frequenting the sacraments and penance is urgent. We also have to consider our families and neighbors - there will be great confusion following the warning and the enemy is already trying to steal what the Lord sows through dubious prophets and their lies. It is also unclear how much upheaval happens before the Warning but all of the approved prophecies point to grave changes. Refusing to discern is lazy, like the virgins who fall asleep awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. See and believe - the Kingdom of God is at hand.
You recently mentioned the battle plan of Our Lady:
Again, I choose to huddle under the mantle of Our Most Beautiful and Loving Mother. Yes, sometimes she scolds us, but she also gives us a plan of action. Pray! Pray! Pray!
Pray for your priests and bishops! (So important)
Say the rosary
Go to Confession.
And with the arms of a Mother she encircles us with her love.
Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
These concrete actions can be found in all approved apparitions and Marian Devotions throughout history. Along with the Holy Eucharist and the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy, the core of Life in the Spirit is found. So what I hear you asking is, “Why consume one’s precious time in examining and pursuing unapproved and, what so often turn out to be, spurious apparitions?”
Prophecy is a gift given by God so that the Church will be called to respond more fully to the challenges of each particular time and season. St. Paul tells not to despise, but rather to discern prophecy, to keep what is good and to discard what is bad. This is especially the role of the Magisterium, but we faithful must do so also when the urgency of the message outpaces the methodical steps of Mother Church. When she completes her discernment and makes a judgment, each of us is obliged to submit. Until then, we must be prudent in reading the sign of the times.
Two examples from the New Testament come to mind. In Acts 11, Paul and Barnabas make arrangements for a collection to be taken up for Jerusalem. Why? There had been a prophecy announcing an upcoming famine (v.28), In other words, the Church responded with preparation for the sake of others. Ironically, later on when prophecies were given that Paul was to be arrested (Acts 21), everyone tried to convince him to change his plans!
My point is that the purpose of prophecy is to correct, encourage, and warn. When there is a warning of any kind, we are to respond for the sake of others. To sit around and merely speculate or calculate is pointless. To preach doom and gloom is pointless. If you see me doing that, yell at me!!! But to discern the good and prepare for the sake of others, while never growing lax in nurturing the Life in the Spirit, is always the right thing to do.
On Thursday, I'll comment, as best I can, on your reservations concerning our ability as laity to discern the authenticity of various apparitions.
Safe in the Father's Arms!
As to times and seasons. I remember talking to a Cistercian Monk about Medugorje (which of course is NOT Church approved) and he did not believe precisely because although the apparitions had started in 1981 nothing of the secrets had until then occurred..and that was was back in 2003 ..I think...so he would have more cause to complain now.
I thought about it and answered him from scripture:
2 Peter 3:8–9 :
‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’God has His own timetable and wants to bring all to repentance. If He wishes to wait and prolong the time of Mercy before the Hour Of Justice then that is his affair. Don't forget the Church approved apparitions of St Faustina regarding Divine Mercy occurred right back in the 1930's which was, what, 2 years ago and the clear implication was that the Hour of Justice was upon us.You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429)
Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)
Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).
I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)
Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)
He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” [This is] the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isaiah 55:8–9
The concept of a Warning or Illumination of Conscience is referred to by several approved Church sources: Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, St. Edmund Campion, Maria Esperanza, and most explicitly by St Faustina. Mark Mallett does and outstanding job of explaining it in http://www.markmallett.com/blog/2011/10/the-illumination-revelation/.
It is right to use approved sources as a filter for ongoing revelation but that does not mean Garabandal should be rejected out of hand because the prophecies have not arrived yet. The prophet Jeremiah was never approved in his own time and yet was a true prophet. It would have been better for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to repent when he first started speaking than to wait for the Babylonian invasion. In the same way, the prayer and fasting recommended by the seers of Medjugorje is more fruitful now than after events may or may not unfold.
We are all called to discern but unlike people who literally interpret scripture, we must develop our discernment muscles first. We are called to admonish the sinner but we all discern the best time/place to do so. There is a time to mind your own business and a time to get involved - discernment. It is no different with the signs of the times. Do not despise prophecy as St Paul says but test it according to the teachings of the Church. God gave us the minds and tools to properly test spirits and expects us to do so.
Prophecy does not appeal to everyone but some of us on the forum like to discuss these things in a healthy and rational manner hence two threads are entitled 'Signs of the Times' & 'Marian apparitions.'
Well Jimmy let me try this.
I think you would agree that Our Lady appeared at both Lourdes and Fatima, correct?
Well pilgrims came in huge numbers to both Lourdes and Fatima in the years before they were Church approved. Correct?
Surely they were wrong to do so , since by your own definition,
'.... we all have to decide whether it is better to be patient and walk closely behind Peter and John waiting for them to come out of the tomb to declare or take the chance that so called unapproved prophecies or prophets'.
...and in travelling to Lourdes and Fatima during that period they were not being, 'patient' and were 'taking a chance' on , 'unapproved prophecies or prophets'
Yet it has to be said that the lady most guilty of them doing so was Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima who encouraged people to see her appear at the Cova and even encouraged them in their myriad thousands to witness a great miracle at an unapproved site from the supposed prophets of Fatima, two of whom are Blessed.
Mary under the title of Our Lady of Lourdes was also guilty of encouraging Catholics in their millions of visiting Lourdes whilst it was still unapproved and even more guilty by drawing them in with miracles before the Church had given its approval.
But there really is such a thing as a Sensus Fidelium which was fully in action at the then unapproved sites of Lourdes and Fatima and which is equally in action today at the still unapproved site of Medugorje
Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) stated:
"In cases which concern private revelations, it is better to believe, for if you believe and it was proven true, you will be happy that you have believed because our Holy Mother Church asked it. If you believe and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if proven true, because you believed it to be true. 'Blessed are they who believed and yet have not seen' (John 20:29)."
Very true. I think that that is why a good and Holy spiritual director is an indespensible blessing. God drew me to my Catholic faith through our Lady's apparitions. Through her apparitions I was drawn to learn the Faith and defend the faith. I went from the little picture to the big picture and I am always in AWE of God's grace and His sense of humor and our Lady's patience and tenderness. I can describe my whole life as a treasure hunt. If I were not given the God-given gift of curiosity to open all the 'doors' 'boxes' or whatever you want to call it so that I could see what God had to offer I would be a poor soul indeed. I have grown rich in grace and knowledge and trust and awe of God's constant and untiring love for me. I often get sick of myself and my sin and I throw myself at His mercy in confession, or in a room alone or at my home altar. HE KNOWS OUR HEARTS. I do know this for sure. You can not love His mother too much. You simply cannot. I have such pity for the souls who do not know His Mother. One thing I learned in Ukraine is that we are pathetic when it comes to worship and veneration and adoration in this country. I have never seen such worship and adoration as I have in Ukraine and Naju, Korea.
Funnily enough after mass, yesterday morning I was quietly sitting praying. I usually like to do so for about 15 minutes before heading onto work and I spend ere.d I am very,very rarely disturbed thmy time in front of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and am very rarely disturbed there.
But yesterday an old friend Sean came up to me in a high state of excitement. His brother Gerry was a lapsed Catholic , now in his early 60's who had fallen away from the faith for about 40 years. Sean had persuaded Gerry to go with him to Medugorje a couple of months ago and Gerry was totally bowled over. He has fully returned to the sacraments and is even going to daily mass! I know from scripture thiat the angels rejoice over this and well I know myself and Sean were smiling like Cheshire cats.
Multiply the Gerry's of this world by a million and more and you can see the fruits of unapproved Marian sites right acrosss the globe and who can really question the good fruits, by which Jesus said, we will know Him.
All life is risk , it seems to me. The biggest risk being that we will either end up in heaven or end up in hell. God , though gives us the ability to discern and , yes take risks. Faith itself is a risk. we believe there is a God and a heaven , but which of us really knows?
But Jesus warned us not to waste His gifts by hiding them under a bushel for fearing to loose them. Surely heaven sending down Our Mother is a great gift not to be wasted.
13 “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. 14 For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work270 and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19 After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29 For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matthew 25:13-30). 271
I always advise people, Jimmy who have concerns about Medugorje to go there and see for themselves.
I went myself and was simply looking forward to deep week of prayer. But as it turned out I had a simply staggering set of mystical experiences. I believed before I went , I believed with great certainty when I returned.
But on a simply human level two things deeply , deeply impressed me when I was there. First when I talked to people again ,and again they poured there hearts out to me. I thought this happened to everyone, but apparently not.
The second was the long lines of people lining up to go to confession . i have never seen anything like it in my life. Apparently this is what affects priests the most who visit. People who have not been to confession for most of their lives run to the sacraments. This can only be the the work of God.
Of course the devil is present too as he is at all Marian sites. But in a great rage at what is happening and earnestly intent in ending it.
So thats what I say . Go there . See for yourself. Its as if the Gates of Heaven have opened and the veil come down.
I sometimes think of Fr. Corapi and pray for him. I think of all the wonderful edifying things he has said and give thanks for his brilliance and apostolic preaching. I don't regret one minute of listening to his preaching even though the circumstances happened like they did. I don't have time to wring my hands worrying if they are false or not. I think that our greatest prayer should be Lord, please don't let me fall into apostasy, please do not let me be duped. Then go forward. We are bound to make mistakes and kick ourselves. Look at all the visionaries Michael Brown or other famous people have endorsed through the years, and some of them turned out to be unstable people, even though they seemingly are the 'experts?' It makes me more humble and careful, but it doesn't make me paranoid and skeptical.
My sister, who used to give tours in Medj. and who was a great catalyst for my conversion got so 'distracted' by TIME Magazine making fun of weeping Icons, statues and possible stigmatas and the priest abuse scandal that she has thrown the baby out with the bath water. She is now in Apostacy in a church call Holy Wisdom Catholic Church in Olympia, WA with a woman Priest marching in gay pride parades etc. God have mercy on her soul. Instead of understanding the deception of the world and embracing the possibilities of miracles and things we might not understand, she was overwhelmed and said they must be all false and refused to be taught and instead listened to the media outrage and false accusations and refused to see the Divine big picture.
This is why in the Book of Revelation it says, "THOSE WITH THE EYES TO SEE AND THE EARS TO HEAR...." Being child like also helps and trusting in our Lord's providence for us also. My sister also used to attend the Fr. Gobbi cenacles and knew what he was saying, but NEVER took the time to read the book for it to sink into her heart TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE.
TODAY i WILL PRAY FOR THOSE IN APOSTACY.
I would say Marti's sisters case is a warning as is poor Fr Coropi,bless him. I will pray for them both. It reminds me of what scripture said about working out our salvation, 'in fear and trembling'. We none of know the minute....
I will tell you one story Jimmy in fact its the first thing happened in Med.
We got in really quite late to our lodgings in the town , I think , maybe about 2 am when there was no one really about. Nothing of course would do me but to walk straight down to the Chapel ,despite the late hour with two friends.
Anyhow we had barely got out the gates of the hostel when a car sped round the corner at quite high speed and a number of very rough looking men got out of the car and began to shout over at us. Although they were speaking a foreign tongue I have no doubt they were being very threatening and abusive. I came from Belfast and we have had our own 30 year war and we have a kind of sixth sense about such things, my impression was that these guys were armed.
So I told my friends that we were in danger and we walked quickly towards the town. I heard them shouting after us and then their car left.
Anyway it was the very last thing I expected in a pilgrim place like Medugorje. But as I was walking on praying for protection I was shown around the town in the distance, prayerfully thirteen stone pillars decked with chains. Chained to each of the pillars was a Prince of Hell ,charged by Satan to destroy the town .I was shown that only through the protection of God's holy angels was the place preserved. The chained Devils were showing how the devil was stopped from doing what he wanted too.
But I asked later about the men in the car, no one knew waht to make of it...
She wasn't interested in fighting the fight for the Church. Seriously. She was the only one in the family who went to a Catholic School her whole life. She was married in the Church and although I'm not going to lay out her sins here, she did not want to be one of those 'Jesus lovers'. We all have choices. I had something profound, mystical and wonderful happen to me as a young mother. I told my whole family and NONE believed me. Only my sweet protestant husband (now Catholic) who said with a simple faith, "Why not you? You are the nicest person I know. God likes nice people and obviously wants you to follow him closer." HE had never heard of an apparition, never prayed to a saint, never heard of weeping icons etc. It wasn't that I was a good person practicing my faith at that time, I was searching and my heart was OPEN. You can ignore the rainbow after the rainstorm and go about your business, or you can stop, admire God's miracle, give thanks and walk away happy you don't have to water the yard tonight, because it rained. We are all different. Don't be afraid. Padraig's testimony rings true as in so many testimonies, he said, "Show me". So when God takes you up on it, don't insult him by ignoring his grace. Don't ask why are you doing this to me, ask HOW can I be a better servant to you, Lord.
You know and I know that we don't have to study apparitions. It is a fact though that the Church is interested in them and they are a part of our lives as Catholics. I love the Blessed Mother more than life. WHY WOULDN'T I be interested in her apparitions? Have you read very many of Michael Brown's books?
One of the processes that we don't much understand is the 'making of saints' and the 'approval of apparitions'. It is the 'cult of the saint' that catapults the person to even be considered for an investigation. There has to be people who have been so affected, moved, cured, and inspired to BEG Rome to take a look. This takes years and money. The same is said for apparitions. EVERYTHING is unapproved until the big party at the Vatican; yet everything is not reported either.
I am happy that all that is known about me is not out there. I am satisfied that if my family who puts up with me and all my warts wants to make known after my death those things that I have written down or spoken they will be inspired to do so, otherwise they can burn it all. That is not my business. Its God's business. Look at all the wonderful stories we all share. That is a book of inspiration in itself. There are SO MANY saints being made right now!! Do not let those who have lost their way dissuade you from looking into what our Lady is saying to the world. Be at peace.
It occurs to me, Jimmy that I am using mystical graces granted to myself to confirm mystical gifts granted to others (the seerers of Medugorje). In doing this I remind myself of my little white dog. In the morning time she fiercely chases her tail in an effort to catch it! And of course she never does.
You would have to believe in me to believe in what I say about Medugorje. I have always been amazed that almost without exception folks I tell these things to do believe. But I don't want to be like my little dog chasing her tail, Please let me know if you can't believe I will fully understand and you won't at all offend me. I am seeking a way to show you such unapproved sites can be true , without chasing my tail aimlessly.
To be frank the reason why I never find difficulties in believing others is, well, I see things all the time myself.
Marti, If I hadn't seen and continually see with my own eyes I never would have believed myself. I was the complete Atheist. The original doubting Thomas. But once the door is kicked open...
As to your sister well I have sister who teaches Yoga, she flew to India and is an advanced practitioner. She hates the Church with a passion. But I believe through prayer all my family will be saved. I have such confidence in Our Mother. Have confidence yourself. Prepare to let her amaze you as she has always amazed me.
Thank you Padraig. It is hard having someone you love turn their back on the Catholic Church. Alas, it only makes me pray for her more. Only but for the grace of God, go I.....
Don't be taken in too much by by the fire works of love, which are in themselves spectacular in themselves in this poor Earth. The mystical gifts.
All things change but love remains.
Love endures forever.
Set your heart on love.
Be impressed rather in the heart of things, God Himself who is love.
Someone once asked Our Lady why she was so beautiful and she replied, perfectly,
'Because I love'.
It all comes down to love:
1John 5: 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.