Sunday, June 18, 2006

Modern Supernatural phenomena

I'm going to go out on a limb here and risk having it chopped off.

I want to begin by stating that I have a great devotion to Our Lady, the Rosary, and a couple of (Church approved) apparitions, including the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy. The idea that Our Lord died on the cross for us, and that He, as God, "volunteered", as it were, to come and suffer the most humiliating death, knowing that a portion of humanity would STILL reject Him, is mind boggling. The idea that we all have until the final moments of our lives to turn to Him and accept His great love for us, and that, no matter what we have ever done, that Jesus is still ready to embrace us with His love, is hard for the human mind to comprehend.

For the past few years, I have experienced a lot of inner conflict regarding some modern "apparitions". At first, I was thrilled that Our Lady could still possibly appear in these modern, post Vatican II times, when many of us in the Church have literally been told "these things don't happen any more". But they do, or at least they can, I'm convinced of that.

But having experienced first hand the unreserved enthusiasm that some have for several ongoing "apparitions", I have begun to exercise caution. There are some, who, in an effort to strengthen their faith, ingest copious amounts of "prophesies" each day from "visionaries" that are unapproved, and in some cases, specifically disapproved by the local bishop where the so-called visions take place.

In a letter from the Secretary of the Doctrinal Congregation, Archbishop Bertone, to a French bishop in 1996, it was pointed out that while individual people are free to travel to Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia, where it is reported that the Virgin has been appearing to 6 children (now adults) since 1981, such pilgrimages "are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentication of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church."

In light of this, it saddens me that my own parish has decided to commemorate the anniversary of the happenings at Medjugorje, which takes place on June 24, instead of a parish-wide celebration the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is on June 23rd. To me, this gives the faithful the distinct impression that the goings on in the former Yugoslavia are indeed presently sanctioned by the Church, which they are not.

I believe that some of these modern paranormal phenomena are distracting people from Truth and that, indeed, may be their intended supernatural purpose.


mk said...

I honestly totally agree .... except that JPII supported them strongly against the doesnt the pope trump the bishop. and 2) some ofthese apparitions fortold again and again the deep deep sin of the clergy. and 3) i VERY sad about paul's song, his age, the death of his first wife which robbed him of that dream and his bad second marriage. very sadoh iremember the 3) in the OT Balam's donkey speaks to him when God gets deparate....even an Ass can talk to us so why not Mary and the nutso people who "hear" her?? Like Balam's donkey those why abuse and ride and beat into the ground and dismiss often have a way of finding their "voice." True or false the apperaritions afford those who speak about them a "voice." Not everone can mutely follow with no voice. Just some thoughts, NOT theology. I also am reminded about esus saying that even the rocks and stones will cry out.....and also I think it is Jeramiah that GOd said "open thy mouth for the mute...those who cannot speak for themselves....and then there is this "the best laid plans of mice and men." Nutso people tend to upset the apple cart of those at the top of the food chain. God's will?

Staying in Balance said...

Interesting thoughts. I think you are right, really. I think that God can use situations like unapproved apparitions for good. Its hard sometimes, for me to get past people who are so tied into that type of spiritualty that they become almost abusive to those who don't follow it. Also, after receiving tons of such "messages" via email from a neighbor, it started to undermine my mental health. I just have to stay away from reading too much of it, and trust in God.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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