Daily Archives: July 17, 2011

Apparitions, Obedience, Medjugorje

Fra Filippo Lippi, "Madonna delle Rocce", particular.

In my eyes, one of the main keys to a proper understanding of every apparition is one simple but at the same time very difficult word: obedience. Obedience is what we saw when the Fatima apparitions were initially – as it was very natural – seen with scepticism from the local clergy and obedience is what we saw when the apparitions to St Faustina Kowalska were considered not authentic by the Vatican. Obedience is, therefore, not only an obvious element of sainthood, but the path clearly indicated by many (perhaps: all) approved apparitions. Most certainly, no approved apparition ever incited to disobedience. In fact, it has never been prescribed by the doctor that an apparition be immediately recognised as authentic, but it has always been prescribed by the Church that Her decisions in the matter be accepted and obeyed.

God doesn’t need disobedience to have His will recognised; on the contrary, he will use obedience as a way to have it recognised.

It must be clear to every sensible Catholic that no alleged apparition can ever authorise disobedience, and that the Blessed Virgin would never ever suggest disobedience to the Church. Therefore, when the bishop (well, two bishops, really) says that there is nothing supernatural happening in Medjugorje, that’s that. To say that one wants to wait for the Pope is already disobedience; there is no need for the Pope because the cleric responsible for the verdict on apparitions is not the Pope, but the bishop. “Oh, but the Pope could reverse the decision”. Well I am sorry to say that, but you’ll have to wait and hope, and obey in the meantime.

With the train of thought of the Medjugorje crowd, I could wake up one morning and say that I am the Second Son of God; I could receive a message from papi every day at 6:30 pm and give it to the adoring crowds; and these crowds would feel free and authorised to believe that I am The Second Son – even after the Bishop has said that I am no supernatural phenomenon at all – because the Pope hasn’t pronounced himself on the matter (which would, very probably, never happen). Of course I’d have God encourage people to communion, confession, and the like, and I’d have Him talk a lot about peace, understanding among the Peoples, and all that jazz. “Thank you for listening”, I’d have God say every day. It pleases the ego of the public, so it can’t be bad.

To think in this way is not devotion. No it isn’t. Superstition and rebellion, that’s what it is.

It follows from this that even if people arrived in Medjugorje and started to fly it would still not be an authentic apparition, because no authentic apparition can incite to disobedience. You have converted? Good for you! God can convert you in the middle of a dump, but a dump it will remain.

The idea that the Blessed Virgin would go against the Church is worse than unorthodox; it is diabolical.

Unsurprisingly, disobedience in matters of authenticity leads to disobedience in all other matters. A lady on twitter informed me that God leaves every person free to choose, after death, to decide whether he really, really wants to go to hell or would, rather, not choose paradise (oh, you chose the latter? you don’t say?). I kid you not. I answered to her that this is an error. The Blessed Virgin in Medjugorje said it, was her answer.

We are at this point. Basic Christianity counts for nothing, a daily fax is the new God. But hey, an army of poor deluded devils go to communion and confession, so it must be fine. With this reasoning Jansenists were fine, too.

So let us recapitulate: forget the alleged “good fruits”, because an entire orchard of poisoned fruits is clearly visible; forget the alleged healings, because they are available in quantity at every pentecostal mega-gathering; forget the number of confessions or communions, because they are available everywhere outside of Medjugorje; forget how many people get inspired or converted, because this is something Protestants manage to do every day. The key here is the matter of obedience. It can’t be that the Blessed Virgin is disobedient, this is the purest oxymoron you’ll ever encounter.

Every “follower” of Medjugorje must seriously ask himself what he would have to abandon, if he decided to obey the Bishop. If the answer is “nothing, I am completely orthodox anyway”, there is no reason whatsoever not to obey the bishop. If the answer has any other content whatsoever (cue the lady who wants to believe that one can choose between hell and heaven after death) then what keeps one linked to Medjugorje is heresy. And I would like for the rhetoric of the “good simple people who are deceived” to be abandoned once and for all. For twenty centuries, countless illiterate peasants have accepted their bishops’ decisions in matter of miracles without any problem. This is not so difficult that every person could not, after examining his conscience, have it right in five seconds; ten seconds, tops.

The bishop is responsible. The bishop has spoken. You either obey the bishop, or you make the work of the devil.

Mundabor

P.s. The comment box is closed. These are matters of elementary truth. Truth is accepted, not discussed.

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