Islamic Virgin Mary and Jesus.
On the Fourth Sunday of Advent ...
Days before Christmas.
I came across an interesting article on Hasan Shushud, a Sufi mystic. I don't know a lot about Sufism, but I know it is the mystical dimension of Islam, and of great interest to Christian contemplatives. I've read a few stories and met religious people who are attracted to aspects of the spirituality, but I've never been attracted to such 'ways'.
What is so interesting in this story is how closely it echoes the events at Medjugorje. I'm just taking it at face value. With all the troubles in the world and the Church - the message of peace is so needed in our time.
Today's Gospel of the Visitation, as well as the Collect - which is in fact the Rosary prayer - we glimpse the meaning of the whole, as it were - we glimpse the meaning of Christmas. Providentially, the announcement that Bl. Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized next year fits right in with what I've been trying to articulate. It fits in with the purported messages of Our Lady at Medjugorje.
Mother Teresa's holiness - her contemplative union with God - seems to me to be perfectly suited to our times. In fact, much is being made of her 'dark night' and doing so much for God without any consolation, without any spiritual experiences or sensible experience of faith. That is a trait so much in keeping with the greatest saint of modern times, St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Little Therese was Mother Teresa's patron - and she did pretty much what Therese said she would do if she hadn't been called to Carmel. She would sit at the table of sinners and unbelievers, go into the brothels to demonstrate and tell of God's mercy. Catholic theologians do a disservice to Christians in acting as if this 'living on faith alone' is somehow not THE WAY of perfection. It animated Teresa as perfectly as it animated the Blessed Virgin who journeyed 'today' to visit Elizabeth. Teresa of Calcutta lived the mystery of the Visitation, anticipating the changes in the Church and religious life, as well as the spirituality flowing from the phenomenon of Medjugore.
And she was poor - and her daughters remain poor, detached - never fundraising, renouncing private ownership - sharing the life of the poor ... praying the rosary as they go.
The purported messages from Medjugorje emphasize a similar way of prayer in ordinary, daily life. It emphasizes the way of peace and accompanying one another, no matter our religion, no matter our station in life, or our 'worthiness', in seeking the Kingdom of Heaven. I'm not a Medjugorje devotee, but the essential message seems to me to be played out right now - especially during the pontificate of Pope Francis who calls us to go out to the peripheries - as Our Lady did in her journey to Elizabeth, and her journey to Bethlehem, and her journey to Egypt and back again to Nazareth - until finally, she climbed Golgatha, to accompany her son unto death.
Long introduction to the story that caught my attention today - the Fourth Sunday in Advent.
Click the source after the section I've reprinted below. It doesn't mean I am promoting the apparitions or that anyone has to believe it. I was simply impressed by this particular story - which coincided with a few things I've been thinking about - as noted above. Otherwise, I await the decision of the Church. That said, I don't think the contempt, scorn or condemnations coming from lay people against those involved in Medjugorje is pleasing to God, and is probably something that repels most people may be searching for God.
A long and decisive apparition predicted
With Medjugorje celebrating the 30th anniversary of the apparitions this year, Hasan Shushud’s prediction of a long apparition has also come true. So has his prediction that peace would be a main topic of the apparition:
“You will see that Mary will suffer, wait, hope and continue to call for a long time, as she is inviting to the way of peace. During this period Satan will get the opportunity for his plans of godlessness, chaos, suffering, death”, Hasan Shushud told Inger Jensen.
In recent years, the Virgin Mary’s suffering and waiting have been particularly expressed in messages passed on by visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo.
“Mary needs a firm, truthful “yes!” to her plan, and this will not be given at the beginning. Therefore, Mary will be forced to take up a stand-by position. During the period when Mary suffers rejection, earthquakes the like of which have never been seen before will occur. Storms more violent than ever. Thunderstorms. Flooding. Fatal, contagious diseases. And egoism, materialism and violence will pervert societies”, Hasan Shushud continued.
“If Mary and her plans are accepted quickly, the suffering will be short-lived. If, however, Rome does not meet Mary with the needed firm, truthful acceptance when God grants to Rome the time and freedom to choose, then God once more will have offered peace, joy and love in vain, and mankind will feel the consequences of Satan’s plans”, Inger Jensen recounts Hasan Shushud’s words from 1980. - Source