October 14, 2009

Sign of Jonah

In a way this is a continuation of my post from the other day.

I continue to be astonished as how easily some people can be taken in. People that are completely faithful Catholics see an outline on a glass window or a slice of bread and think it's the Lord or the Virgin Mary. Not even a "hah, what a coincidence" kind of way, they REALLY believe it! Some look for signs and it's not that there are not any, it's just that it's not what they think.

Vincenzohas some really interesting info on Medjugorge. I think this, and any unapproved apparitions or manifestations, are fine instances where the "hermaneutic of suspicion" should be applied. It's not just for Scripture scholars! (I had to throw that in there because my guided scholarly Bible study method in years past was: 1)disprove 2)refute 3)discard)

Anything, anyone, who does, says, writes or believes anything that is contrary to the Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium of the Church does not speak with authority even when they claim they do. Anyone can claim to speak with authority, some of them even have the clothes and the credentials, and some sound pretty convincing but: ask questions; check the answers.

Medjugorge, quite frankly, creeps me out and reminds me a lot of the young misguided girls of the Salem witch trials. Maybe history will prove me wrong. Maybe one day the official authority of the Vatican will approve them. On that day, I'll admit I was wrong. Until that day comes, if it comes, be really careful with this stuff. Keep in mind these visions are not approved by the Vatican.

The video on Vincenzo's page has an English soundtrack. In the video, one of the 'seers' claims she flinched in reaction to fingers going towards her face during the "ecstasy" because she was afraid the Virgin was going to DROP(!) the Infant Jesus. Ok, I believe that Mary and Joseph had to change the Infant Jesus' poopy diapers, but I'm confident that God would have prevented His Son being dropped on His head just as easily as He could have stopped the Crucifixion if stopping it were His plan. If God wanted His Son to be as dumb as the rest of us, He could allow His Son to be dropped on His head. But, history proves Jesus was smarter than anyone so there you have it.

There are, however, some signs I believe in because they are approved. For instance; the sign of Jonah is as relevant today as it ever was: "Repent or be destroyed" Period.


Blogger Angela M. said...

Mega-forgery. Hmph.

October 14, 2009 7:25 PM  
Blogger ArchAngel's Advocate said...

It is also official Church teaching that no one is required to believe in private revelations, including Guadalupe, Lourdes, or Fatima; the Church only states that a revelation is consistent with the Revelation that is Jesus Christ as revealed to the Church through the Apostles and perpetuated through their Successors.

October 14, 2009 8:33 PM  
Blogger nazareth priest said...

Cathy_of_Alex: Thank you for this post.
I was taken in by M. in the late 1980's until I read E.M. Jones' articles in the former "Fidelity" and then his book.
We have the scary Necedah "shrine" in our Diocese, which does, in fact, have links with other phony apparitions (some of the spin-offs of M.), and let me tell you, once you are "on your own" (i.e.outside of the legitimate authority of the local Bishop ) things get nasty...real nasty.
The clincher for me was the disobedience of the Franciscan priests involved (and that is another complicated, Byzantine-type of affair--not the Byzantine rite, but an adjective meaning complex and confusing) as well as the disrespect, disobedience and lying of the seers (which is documented and not hearsay).
Something is supposed to be coming from the Vatican on all of this soon; not too soon, in my humble opinion!

October 14, 2009 10:08 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

AA: Thanks for that reminder. You've had a lot of great reminders lately! :-)

Father NP: I agree.

Oh no, did Angel Baby just "hmph"?! Did you cross your arms and purse your lips at the same time? Now I'm scared.

October 15, 2009 9:06 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I have been so "back and forth" about M. I have friends who've been there. Two recently in the last 2 months. I know a dear Msgr. who is 90 and was there in 1988. Now I am so confused as to know what to say or say to them if anything. I have been "cautious" about it, and then to hear them talk, it ends up sounding "legit" and I see how "defensive" they are and then go back to just 'being silent' in their presence if it's brought up. Now I'm going to be working with one friend and she's just returned from her trip there. She was there in '88 with the Msgr. I mentioned above. He's very dear, and a good, holy man. She's a good friend. Do I just remain silent? I have another friend who's being "drawn" to M. now, too. Where is all the information that is valid? When will the Vatican finally make a statement? What about well-meaning friends and people I love saying what a good place it is and what occurred that's helped them when there? Silence is sometimes just the best way to go, but then I get to feeling guilty for not "speaking up"... I feel like Winnie the Pooh - "Oh bother!" But I know this is no fairy tale or "children's classic."

October 19, 2009 3:06 PM  
Blogger Adoro said...

I've never really been a fan of "M". I have many many friends who are into it and have been there several times, have told me I should go, etc.

Many of these friends have experienced real conversions there...lasting ones.

That's awesome. But in my opinion it wasn't because of the alleged apparitions, but rather, because of the "retreat-type" experience that took them out of their comfort zone, put them into contact with God, provided the sacraments and basically they simply responded to Grace. Real Grace.

As we know, God acts everywhere. The problem is that they associate that grace with the apparitions and the visionaries and the location...not with Our Lord Himself.

The whole thing saddens me and scares me. I do realize that the Church could declare at some time in the future that there was SOMETHING authentic about M, but more and more I fear that there is not. And it's going to hurt a LOT of people. I fear that some of those people are going to be so distraught that they are going to lose their minds and leave the Church, thinking the Church is wrong and M is right.

There is going to be schizm. This is my fear.

If not schizm, then at the very least a serious hit to the faith of good Catholics who were truly seeking holiness and love Mary. I fear it will affect legitimate devotion to Mary.


God help our Church! God help those souls, anywhere, with regard to ANY private revelation and prevent them from being mislead!

If the focus of Faith is not in Christ, it is not authentic. Period.

Mary points to Jesus...never to herself.

As it seems to me, M tends to make Mary the focus. Not Jesus. He always comes across as secondary in some way, as far as I can tell.

October 20, 2009 9:40 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Great points. I agree that the "getting away" aspects of traveling to Medjugorge probably provide a lot of what people experience as a positive about the place.

I 100% agree that Mary always points to Jesus. Great point.

October 21, 2009 11:27 AM  

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