A lot of people will be led astray - 'even the elect, if that were possible.'
Christ said that.
I keep it in mind when I consider things such as the Medjugorje phenomena, the problem of sexual abuse amongst clergy, locutionists, Christian celebrities, road shows, self appointed-self promoting lay evangelists who fall away, visionary sisters, Catholic sexologists ... on and on.
I've written about it before, it is a spiritual malady which is very dangerous. It is what the Orthodox spiritual writers called 'prelest'. It seems to me the problem could even be widespread in our day - or maybe not ...
Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called prelest, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest. - Metropolitan Anthony KhrapovitskyConsider this precaution in light of all the heavenly messages and inspirations pious people seem to be receiving now days. Consider the many locus sancti locutionists in many parts of the world today. As in Fr. Gobbi's case, some may even have a large following. Most of these people claim Christ or Our Lady speaks to them. Often the words they receive accord with other approved private revelations - at least in tone. The locutionists write down what they hear and sometimes publish the 'messages' without any official approval. An exception would be in the case of someone with a spiritual director who may authorize the person to publish their messages - yet such 'permissions' do not have the same authority as Church approval.