Wednesday, August 04, 2010

False visionaries...

Get a lot of attention, don't they.
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No, that wasn't a question - just a reaction to yesterday's post.  Viewing some Bayside videos on YouTube last night - yes, I was going to post one just to be funny - I decided this type of spiritual junk food is not comedic at all - sadly, it is very serious, and even poisonous.  Oddly enough, if you watch and read these things, they kind of begin to make sense after awhile... pinch me now!  What I noticed however, is how these things incorporate all the old 'prophecies' and conspiracy theories and present them in a novel way.  For instance, I had no idea that Bayside started lining itself up with Garabandal in Spain.  In fact in one video, the narrator was saying the same stuff a certain local hospital chaplain used to tell his hearers in a Twin Cities parish.  Obviously these things infect spiritual groups like a virus.
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Corruption threatens to permeates just about everything in the Church - which is why we have a Magisterium and a Pope - to ensure that Catholic Doctrine remains untainted.  It takes time, but in the end the truth comes out.  Not just regarding spurious apparitions, but as regards religious groups and foundations, theological movements, proposed social innovations, and so on. 
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If not for the teaching authority in the Catholic Church, we Catholics would splinter into factions and cults just like the Protestants do - nearly every day.  Ted Haggard founding a church in his garage isn't so much different than a group of dissenters leaving a local parish and forming their own Catholic church in a community center.  The big difference is that faithful Catholics know these people 'left THE Church.
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When it comes to foolish debates over unapproved private revelations such as Medjugorje, Vassula Ryden, Mirjana whatever her name is, or the Get Us Out of Here mystic, even though local ordinaries, along with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warn and condemn such novelties, human nature still wants to break away, separate, and form some sort of exclusive and/or remnant cult.
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Have nothing to do with them.  I say this because I've seen a lot foolishness over the years... a lot!
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Strangely enough I got an email from a stranger, suggesting he would like to see me paint something our Lord told the disciples, "I saw Satan fall like lightening from the sky."  I thought about what that means.  Not every fall is that spectacular.  Not everyone gets national attention like Anne Rice.  She's a celebrity, and as the psalmist says, human nature 'prizes the worthless'.  Satan's fall was spectacular obviously - something I wouldn't want to document beyond what our Lord taught. 
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We've all seen big falls - the example of Fr. Francis Mary Stone (Dave) and Fr. Cutie leaving the priesthood to get married, immediately comes to mind - and these two were among the 'good' guys.  Then there were the bad guys - bishops and priests falling from grace due to whatever part they played in the sex scandal - around the world no less.
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I've seen monks and nuns leave their respective monasteries - in some cases because they just weren't happy there, in other instance to reform the order, because God told them to - only to come to nothing.  Others left losing their faith and morals in the process.  I've had other friends leave the Church for another sect all together, renouncing the Catholic faith.  I've seen people chase after apparitions and the newest locutionist yet never progressing in authentic faith, much less develop a spiritual life.  Just because one is spiritual or religious does not mean one has faith.
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Anyway - this is why I tend to be so critical and hesitant to jump on board with all the novelties which come along, or believing every locutionist - especially when they promote themselves as this or that.  Same with the authorities on new theologies and curriculums... many of whom claim to be on the inside track, and love to name drop for their approval ratings to skyrocket.  Religious people can also make a lot of money speaking tours and conferences - but even the best and brightest have to be scrutinized these days.  I'm reminded of what St. John said regarding another vice:
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"... Who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? [Rev. 17:4]  By the fact she is seated on that large beast with the seven heads and seven crowns, it is signified that there is hardly anyone of high rank or low, saint or sinner, who does not drink of her wine, subjecting his heart somewhat.  For as is pointed out there, all the kings of the earth were inebriated with the wine of her prostitution. [Rev. 17:2]  She reaches out to all states, even to the supreme and illustrious state of the sanctuary and divine priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place, as Daniel asserts [Dn. 9:27], and she hardly leaves a strong man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice...  As a result it is said that all the kings of the earth were inebriated by this wine, since so few will be found, no matter how holy, who have not been somewhat ravished and perplexed by this drink..."  - St. John of the Cross, Ascent, Bk. III, Ch. 22:4
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I may be wrong to appropriate this excerpt from St. John, but somehow it seems to fit with what I'm trying to say.

14 comments:

  1. I think you are right we all WOULD probably splinter if it wasnt for the construct of the Church.

    Things like this DO threaten that stability to a point... hopefully it gets reeled in before it gets too out of hand.

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  2. You have no idea how timely this is for us! We sit nearly every Mass by a lovely woman who is extremely devout. However, she believes every single instance of the Blessed Virgin's alleged appearances, and has been to Medjugorje. When I mentioned that so far the Church has NOT approved Medjugorje as legitimate she got quite riled and said all the naysayers were working for Satan!

    Oh dear. I asked her to just consider who benefits from the 'apparitions'. St. Bernadette, the Fatima seers, and others lived in relative obscurity and poverty. The apparitions did nothing for them materially, yet the Medjugorje 'seers' are wealthy and worldly. Right there is a huge disconnect, a wrong chord, and it is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of objections.

    This lady hasn't been too eager to chat with us since and that is sad, but points out the truth that the Holy Spirit is NOT at work there, as Medjugorge is causing rifts and divisions. The Spirit never works against the Church. Sr. Joan and her ilk would be wise to take notice!

    I am with the commenters who have said that the Blessed Sacrament should be enough miracle and appearance for any of the faithful!

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  3. "Not every fall is that spectacular."

    I bet he fell hard like a rock and without an ounce of fanfare,(Maybe there was some demonic giggling from the sidelines as they wouldn't even be a support to each other)
    The most humiliating
    part would have been the absence of fanfare not the fall.

    *****

    I trust my church's investigations and directions. If your not appoved then I walk away and I never post from those sources - intentionally anyway.
    ***
    Which brings me to another question, is it sinful to post about dreams and such?
    I have such anxiety about this stuff as I want to avoid sin and disobedience at all costs but I want to share things that I think God is saying to us.. (us, it's not about me)

    I want my church to love me back! Who wouldn't want to remain in good standing with it?

    I wish I never would have hung out with the Charasmatics, all they did was confuse me.

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  4. +JMJ+

    Belinda, I love your posts about your dreams. You never state that they are private revelation (which is different from that "still, small voice" all of us receive); and even when they're also especially meaningful to you, you don't present them as things which must also be meaningful to others. You let your dreams be just your dreams.

    PS--I wish I had never hung out with Charismatics, either, but I know some who are lovely people when they're not babbling in "tongues."

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  5. Terry, correction, it's Fr. Francis Mary Stone now called David and not Fr. John Mary Stone.

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  6. Thanks Fr. Gary - I didn't check - I'll fix it.

    Belinda - it will only be a sin if you pound on the heavy eyemakeup and get a TV show. Kidding - you are just fine - don't worry.

    I passed through the Charismatic fire too. La, la,la!

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  7. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Medjugorje Rocks!

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  8. Well I'm going to have to add my name to those who wish that they had never hung out with the charismatics.
    Lovely though they all were.
    Back then I would never have imagined where my journey was taking me, and that I would end up here. Preferring the life of quiet, faithful obedience.
    Yes, these days I try to stay away from whatever is "the latest thing".
    I can't afford to lose any more time on that stuff.

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  9. I love my blogger buddies.

    *****
    Clare sounds just like me.

    I was with the Charasmatics for ten years and one day - when a cross arrived at my house with my name on it I woke up and realized, HEY, I never see you people in the confession line!

    ******

    Miss E. even though I'm not a Charasmatic any longer I still babble and on occassion drool.

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  10. I think it's perfectly ok to share dreams, experiences, prayers requested and answered, personal observances during study,etc. I think it gives hope and encouragement to both those who are new to the fath plus those who may be in a dry spell and feel that God is far away.

    I jokingly call my insights "the Gospel according to Sara," one to inject a bit of humor, and two to gently point out to others that this is just MY experiences, and not supported by the Church in any way. People will often ask me how I pray, how I pray the Office, how I read Lectio Divina, how I can quiet my racing mind so that I can attempt contemplation, etc. I have my ways of doing things, and that's what I tell others. I can teach you what I do, but in the end it is up to you to find your own path.

    I do be lieve that there is some fruit to Medjugorge--if it brings one person back to the church, if it encrouages one person to pick up Grandma's rosary and try to learn it, if it encourages one person to go to Confession after 5 or 10 or 50 years, if it helps a discouraged priest regain his hope, then it will all have been worth it.

    Sara

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  11. Oops, forgot Sara, - love her too.

    She's going to adopt me.

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  12. I actually credit the Charismatics for helping me to be more discerning and skeptical as regards spiritual phenomena. Interestingly enough, the Medjugorje apparitions attracted the charismatics first - in essence - its a charismatic apparition/event.

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  13. Terry, I was just re-reading my collection of articles on all the "spin-offs" of Medjugorje...Theresa Lopez, Jim Jennings, the Conyers, Ga lady, there are many more...
    Good grief!
    This phenomena has more outgrowths than a metastasized cancer (forgive me, here, anyone who believes in M.).
    The "untold story"...esp. Christina Gallagher in Ireland (with "Prayer houses" in the USA), the Vassula Ryden connection, all of it.
    Ghastly.
    Why do I say this?
    Because it deflects people from the solid teachings found in our Catholic Faith, the teachings of our Holy Father Pope Benedict, the timely (and acc'd to P. Benedict) message of Fatima...
    All because of the absolute anarchy within the Church today regarding the Sacred Liturgy, Faith and Morals.
    Just read about what is going on in Milwaukee re: the new translations (not to mention the horrid undermining on sites like "Pray Tell"...gremlins, all of them).
    I'm all for discourse and discussion; but there is none of it regarding Catholic identity and proper ecclesial obedience and spirituality in many places.
    Sorry for the downer. I'm really quite a sanguine person...really!

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  14. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Here is what throws me for a loop: there was a very good priest (in my opinion) at the parish. He was dedicated and orthodox, big into the rosary and authentic Marian devotion such as St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion.

    Thing is, he was in the MMP and a big Fr. Gobi fan. He would have cenacles periodically and talk about how it's the largest movement in the history of the Church or something along those lines. Until I read some things very recently, I had no idea there was any controversy at all surrounding MMP and Fr. Gobi. This priest at our parish was so into it that I just figured it was one more thing that good orthodox Catholics take part in, assuming they are able.

    The point being that to know now that the Church hasn't exactly given its stamp of approval to MMP or Fr. Gobi, that good people in the Church (priests and laymen) have serious problems with it all and so forth in light of the fact that this priest at the parish was so orthodox causes confusion and makes me wonder how he could promote something like MMP if he holds orthodoxy in such high regard.

    Does that make any sense?

    It doesn't make me think he's a lousy priest, and I don't know what he knows about the criticisms regarding MMP (though I have reason to believe he is aware of them somewhat and has defended MMP against them), but it certainly is troubling.

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