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Thursday, December 18, 2014

On Apparitions

These quotes are lifted directly from the linked website. Please go to that website and read the whole thing. It is well worth your time:

In his "Ascent of Mt. Camel", St. John says:
"I am appalled at what happens in these days-namely, when some soul with the very smallest experience of meditation, if it be conscious of certain locutions of this kind in some state of recollections, at once christens them all as coming from God, and assumes that this is the case, saying: 'God said to me . . . '; 'God answered me . . . ', whereas it is not so at all, but as we have said, it is for the most part they who are saying it to themselves."
And in Book 2, Chapter 11 of the same work, he warns of diabolical illusion, especially when the soul is gullible and doesn't even consider the possibility of such illusion:
"There is always ground for fear that they proceed from the devil rather than from God; for the devil has more influence in that which is exterior and corporeal . . . As they are so palpable and so material they excite the senses greatly and the soul is led to consider them the more important, the more they are felt. It runs after them and abandons the secure guidance of faith, thinking that the light they give is a guide and means to that which it desires, union with God. Thus the soul, the more it makes of such things, the more it strays from the perfect way and means, i.e., the faith. Besides, when the soul perceives itself subject to these extraordinary visitations, self-esteem very frequently enters in, and it thinks itself to be something in the eyes of God, which is contrary to humility. The devil also knows too well how to insinuate into the soul a secret, and sometimes open, self-satisfaction. For this end he frequently presents to the eyes the forms of saints, and most beautiful limits; he causes voices well-dissembled to strike the ear, and delicious odours the smell; he produces sweetness in the mouth, and thrills of pleasure in the sense of touch; and all to make us long for such things that he may lead us astray into much evil. For this reason, then, we must always reject and disregard these representations and sensations."
In Book 2, Chapter 16, he summarises his warnings; and it is interesting to note that the refusal to accept these apparitions is the proper attitude even in the case where they are truly from God, for as he explains, this is the way to test that they really are divine:
"I say, therefore, with respect to all these impressions and imaginary visions, and others of whatever kind they may be, which present themselves under forms or images, whether false as coming from the devil, or known to be true as coming from God, that the understanding is not to perplex itself about them, nor feed itself upon them; the soul must not willingly accept them, nor rest upon them, in order that it may be detached, naked, pure, and sincerely simple, which is the condition of the divine union."

Stop fixating on Fatima, Lourdes, Akita.
Start fixating on the Catechism, the writings of the saints and doctors of the Church.

Follow the advice of the doctors of the Church.
Learn doctrine, avoid apparitions, even those approved by the Church.


Eufrosnia D said...

Today I read this post of yours and once again I am a little troubled by your conclusions.

As you are surely aware, the standard set by St. John of the Cross was what was (and is been) used by the Church to approve apparitions like Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima etc. The Church by giving her approval also implies that the messages contain nothing contradictory to what the Church teaches.

So it is only in recent times that many have gone over the deep end, not because of their attachment to Our Lady of Lourdes or Our Lady of Fatima but because of their obsession with the likes of Medjugorje that have no Church approval.

To group Fatima, Lourdes and even Akita (which has approval from the local Bishop) in the same vein is just plain dishonesty. You are using the writing of St. John of the Cross to try and undermine a Catholic reality i.e. The Blessed Virgin Mary has helped Christians and guided them by appearing to them and advising them in such a special way.

The message of Our Lady of Fatima for an example is very important for our day. Her call to do penance and pray the rosary is rarely heard today. It is so rarely heard that many might even conclude (erroneously) that penance is no longer necessary or that the Rosary is not necessary.

We cannot also forget the approved apparition of Jesus that gave us the Sacred Heart devotion and the subsequent devastation of the Church France because none of them obeyed the wishes of Christ.

Anyway, I would think you should encourage the faithful to indeed be attached to carrying out the commands of the approved apparitions like Fatima, Lourdes and even Akita (for there too we have approval by the local Bishop). Instead, you seem to group all apparitions in the same boat as Medjugorje and undermine the Catholic reality that Christ and his Blessed Mother does appear at times and give guidance by reminding us of the truths of the faith that we have come to neglect.

So I find your post deeply disturbing.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

The Rosary is not necessary for salvation. Only the sacraments are necessary for salvation.

The Rosary is a great private devotion, but none of the Fathers of the Church prayed it, nor did any Catholic for the first thousand years of the Church. Most of the Doctors of the Church did not pray it.

Indeed, the current form of the Hail Mary has only been around a couple of hundred years.

If you read St. John of the Cross carefully, you will find he did not like ANY apparition, approved or not. He felt a Catholic's time was much better spent studying the doctrines of the Church and staying close to the sacraments, the sole source of salvation. I agree with the Doctor of the Church.

hunt said...

Thank you for your article about marian apparitions especially your deconstruction of the Fatima prophecies. I am a pre - Vatican II catholic and ever since I was a child , I have always had an instinctive deslike of private revelations, mainly because of the language which is either hysterical or sentimentally sugary and quite unlike the language used in the New Testament or by the Church Fathers.
I was so relieved and felt justified when I read the warnings of St. John of the Cross against private revelations, especially when he says that God is pleased when we reject private revelations as it indicates a mature soul who walks by faith rather than sight.
I have one major quibble with you when you said that the sacraments are all we need for salvation. It is the faith we need, that is we need to believe in all the dogmas of the Catholic faith to be saved, which is the faith Catholics were taught before Vatican II .
The dogmas ( Bishop Ott wrote a list of all of them) include that we need to be baptised by water to be saved, we need to profess explicit faith to be saved and we need to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved. This is confirmed in the infallible creed of Saint Athanasius.
These dogmas of the faith were denied at Vatican II and are denied by the FSSPX , the CMRI and the SSPV.
I have been defending the doctrine of EENS to all and sundry and it appears that I am considered the heretic, despite the fact that the doctrine of EENS was infallibly defined by three popes, and in the Syallabus of Errors, Pope Pius IX condemned the idea that anyone outside the Catholic Church could be saved.
The Japanese Catholics were without priests, the Mass and the sacraments (except for baptism) for 200 years but they kept the faith. My Irish ancestors were denied priests, the Mass and the sacraments for almost 400 years because of Protestant persecutions but they didn't lose the faith.
At the time of the Arian heresy, the Catholic faith was almost destroyed worldwide, except for the refusal of one bishop, Saint Athanasius to deny the dogmas of the faith, the faith which Our Lord Jesus Christ taught to the apostles and which had been zealously maintained uncorrupted by holy men, until Vatican II.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Sacraments impart the grace of faith, so it's the same thing, in that sense.

Baptism, for instance, imparts and makes us part of the One Faith of the Church.

Ott's book is nice and all, but VC II is Magisterial. The Fathers have always acknowledged three forms of baptism: water, blood, and faith. Baptism of faith means that we follow the natural law written on our hearts even when we don't fully know or understand its origin.

So, a pagan who was killed for refusing to steal would have demonstrated a baptism of faith which led to a baptism of blood - dying for the natural law, which is a reflection of the Divine Law. Objectively, that merits him heaven.

hunt said...

Vatican II was pastoral. No council can backtrack previously defined infallible beliefs. The infallible bull of Florence , Cantate Domino, anathemised both baptism of desire and baptism of blood. Our Lord was very specific about both baptism and faith being need for salvation and that is why he told the apostles to go to all nations to baptise and preach the gospel.
If you really want to know the truth, I would recommend the following books.
' While the Eyes of the Great are Elsewhere'
by William Biersach.
'Liberalism is a Sin' by Dom Felix Sarda e A Salvany.
The Church of the Parables' by Joseph Prachensky. SJ.
It never ceases to amaze me , how successfully they have managed to destroy the faith in 50 years .And the number of people who claim to be Catholics but are quite happy to claim that Our Lord Jesus Christ lied about salvation and will give more credibility to the teachings of a mere man, (it doesn't matter who) than those of Jesus Christ .
Finally , in the epistle to the Galations, St .Paul confirms that the apostles have already received all the divine instruction from Jesus Christ who never uttered words baptism of desire or invincible ignorance ( these concepts entered Church doctrine through St. Thomas Aquinas) and anathematised anybody who dares to preach another gospel.
I won't argue about it with you.I have realised that the majority of ' Catholics' don't want to accept the truth. I can only point you in the right direction and pray that God guides you to the truth.


hunt said...

Also people seem to have no conception of the gravity of original sin any more, and why the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord was necessary to redeem us. Another good book, which explains beautifully the whole Catholic doctrine of redemption is Saint Anthanasius' book ' On the Incarnation'. Apart from Biersach's book, the other books are virtually free on the internet. The Feenyite FAQ by Charles Coulombe is good and is on the internet. 'Sentimental Theology ' by Fariq Maluf is good also and on the internet.
We confess 'one baptism ' for the remission of sins.
I am a living witness that all Catholics, apart from those catechised by the heretical Baltimore Catechism, believed in the doctrine of EENS before Vatican II.
I was catechised by the Penny Catechism which can be found on the internet and does not mention BoD. I hope you don't mind all this but I'm only concerned with your salvation.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Whatever. Magisterium cannot be set against Magisterum. CCC was promulgated by an Apostolic Constitution, the highest expression of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. It provides for the three kinds of baptism, in accordance with the ancient teaching of the Church.

If you think a Magisterial document says something else, you have misread the

hunt said...

I give up. The Most Infallible Teacher is Our Lord Jesus Christ, God Incarnate. As you say Magisterium can't be set against Magisterium, and in the bull Cantate Domino of 1492 infallibly condemned BoD and BoB.
But as you said 'whatever' . It is obviously of no great importance to you.
Goodbye and Good Luck.