Troubling locutions and private revelations.
A friend sent me a link - or several links - to a Monsignor Esseff, who is an esteemed priest who also happens to be the spiritual director for a soul who receives locutions from Our Lord and Our Lady...
His credentials: Monsignor John Esseff, diocesan priest and exorcist for the diocese of Scranton, PA. ordained in 1953, says Padre Pio was his spiritual director, and later on, he was Mother Teresa's spiritual director.
Evidently Monsignor Esseff will be speaking at the minor seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota this year, and from that, as well as other indications, such as his involvement with the Institute of Priestly Formation, I gather he is highly regarded by bishops, priests and lay people alike. I had never heard of him or the locutions before this.
An initial skim of the documents forwarded to me and a brief look at the content of the messages on the website, noting especially the ties to the Fatima messages and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I was left with a favorable impression. However, today I read some of the locutions more closely and I have to admit I can't get into them.
For instance, there are specific messages of the Pope going to Jerusalem and being killed. True - I still think the Third Secret of Fatima has yet to be completed and that a Pope could still be martyred - but I find it troubling to come across so specific a revelation. Likewise there are warnings against Russia and the world allowing it to regain power, and disclosing Russia's hatred of America... those locutions in particular sound as if God has chosen sides and America is on God's side.
I find locutions and purported messages such as these very troubling and unsettling - not in the desired way either - meaning to shake up my conscience and move me to deeper repentance. They seem to me to be a distraction and a means of inciting unhealthy, even morbid curiosity. I know many priests still have devotion to the Marian Movement of Priests and Fr. Gobbi (now deceased), but many of Fr. Gobbi's predictions and locutions were rather suspect to me - not that I believe he was lying, but it seems that a lot may have been the product of his imagination and personal meditation. Is that bad? Not necessarily, since God speaks to us in that manner. Though I can't recall verbatim, some of his millennial predictions never came to pass - and that sort of upsets the whole bundle - for me at least. Locutions have to be discerned on the premise that "whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver." There is so much discernment required, it is beyond my capability and interest.
Since Medjugorje and the onset of the Charismatic Movement within the Church, locutions seem to fly all over the place, and they always come off as sounding like former revelations from other mystics in 19th - 20th century literature, and/or pious meditations by the saints or a meditation one comes across in devotional books. Since the words of Monsignor Esseff's mystic speak so directly and without affectation to what is going on in the Middle East, perhaps these locutions are different? I don't know. Yet I have to ask, have any locutions in modern times ever averted disaster or war? Have locutions in modern times changed religious people? We do not even listen to and obey our superiors, the Holy Father and the Teaching Magisterium.
"If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."
BTW - I don't despise private revelations, I just find them confusing.
Jesus and Mary on Israel, Jerusalem, and the End Times
Locutions to the World
Institute for Priestly Formation