Sunday, November 10, 2013

In the last days ...

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 Khrapovitsky
Consider 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.



  1. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I agree with what you are saying but I also would like to add that there are people claiming to be receiving messages from heaven that speak to repentance and change of sinful behavior. Some messages are a guide to spiritual development and growth in holiness. As long as the message does not conflict with Church teachings I think some of these messages are very valuable. So, let's not "throw out the baby with the bath water".

  2. So what do you make of Fr Gobbi and his " Marian priests"?

  3. He began the Marian Movement of Priests - I've known many excellent priests who are involved with the movement. I know excellent priests involved in the Charismatic Renewal and other movements. Several who are convinced the apparitions at you know where are true as well.

    I've attended cenacles where Fr. Gobbi spoke. One was at old St. Ambrose in St. Paul.

  4. My impression of Fr Gobbi was always that he was sincere and zealous for souls. He used to speak often at a pilgrimage site of apparitions in Marienfried, Germany I used to frequent. Its still one of my favorite places.

  5. Without doubt Fr. Gobbi is sincere. I think he must be a very faithful priest.

    I've read bits about Marienfried - what is the status on that?


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