Thus says the Lord God! They shall know a prophet has been among them. - Ezekial 2:5
Last week I finally talked to a priest friend of mine. It had been well over a year. We didn't discuss why that happened or why I never returned calls. I realized I didn't need to except to say, 'sorry it took me so long to get back to you.'
Whenever we do talk, we are on the phone for at least an hour, if not more. Last Sunday was like that.
I was a bit surprised that my friend seemed to be into private revelations - although not deeply. He rejected most of those I also find questionable and spurious. E.g. the M. Eugenia Ravasio messages, Luisa Piccarreta revelations, as well as others. Yet he mentioned how wonderful the book, In Sinu Jesu is. I mentioned that I knew the author - he had forgotten that. He preferred to think of it as written by an 'Anonymous Benedictine Monk.' It's more romantic I suppose. He mentioned the Bishops plan for a Eucharistic renewal seems to be almost based upon or inspired by that book. No doubt, many priests, including the bishops here, have read, and do use the book. I know the late Bishop Sirba did so. Fr. Mark's book is a spiritual best seller. I've read it, I've also read the blog posts published by Fr. Mark, posted long before the book was conceived. The meditations are edifying, and they are based upon his locutions. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but it had been difficult for me to believe.
We are more than sated with contempt... - Ps 123
Over he years, after encounters with dubious mystics and their very loaded 'locutions' tainted by politics and bigotry, I just find it odd that so many in the Church are attracted to private revelations and seem to some extent guided by them. Inspired is one thing, guided another. I recall Fr. Gobi and how many priests are still a part of his movement, based upon his private revelations - some of which are absurd in retrospect. In my opinion, his messages became part of the many distorted messages now in circulation concerning the Fatima secret - which has been distorted over the years.
I pointed out the 'Locutions to the World' series, at one time promoted by Monsignor Esseff, and how these achieved a certain amount of credibility for clerics and I suspect, cloistered religious - just because they were made available through Esseff, who also happened to be the spiritual director of the anonymous seer.
A prophet is not without honor except in his native place... - Mark 6
When Nienstedt was here, another renewal program was launched based upon Matthew Kelly's 'Rediscover Catholicism' book, a kind of prototype for his Dynamic Catholic Institute, with the mission of "re-energizing the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism." Kelly's spiritual mission is pretty much founded upon his private revelations from God the Father - which are based upon locutions from God the Father. Not a few young priests and seminarians were perhaps formed by Kelly's locutions. Fr. Mark Goring CC, was deeply influenced by Matthew Kelly's private revelations, as I'm sure not a few clerics in my archdiocese were, as well. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, especially since mystics throughout the history of the Church have contributed theological insights, the development of doctrine and liturgical practice, as well as the introduction of numerous devotions, eventually approved by the Church. So, I may protest too much.
It just seems strange to me that so many priests and religious are so deeply influenced by private revelations and assorted alleged apparitions and pop-up mystics. It makes me wonder if this in itself is part of a weakening of faith and fidelity to the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him, not to mention, Vatican II? Or is it filling a vacuum of authentic spirituality and prophetic leadership created by a stagnant, divided hierarchy and its bureaucracy?
I just don't know.