ON THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH,
SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
To repent is not just to acknowledge that I have done wrong; it is to turn my back on the wrong and start incarnating the Gospel. On this hinges the future of Christianity in the world today. The world does not believe what Christ taught because we do not incarnate it.
—Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Kiss of Christ
GOD sends His people prophets, not because the Word Made Flesh is not sufficient, but because our reason, darkened by sin, and our faith, wounded by doubt, at times need the special light that Heaven gives in order to exhort us to “repent and believe the Good News.” Mark 1:15 As the Baroness said, the world does not believe because Christians do not seem to believe either.
THE LITTLE STONES
There was a moment when the Pharisees wanted Jesus to rebuke His disciples for crying out: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” as He entered Jerusalem. But Jesus responded:
I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out. (Luke 19:40)
So what happens when His disciples do not cry out the Gospel? What happens when His Apostles, for fear of the authorities, flee the Garden of Gethsemane or sell His good Name for thirty pieces of silver (or to retain their charitable tax status)? cf. Counting the Cost Then God raises up the stones to speak out—like the centurion: “Truly, this was the Son of God!… cf. Matt 27:54 or His Mother, to witness with Him at the foot of the Cross through her presence. Indeed, in our days when vast portions of the clergy and laity have fallen silent in clearly enunciating and defending the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus, the Lord has sent prophets in their stead: the little stones of obscure seers, visionaries, and mystics—chief among them, Our Blessed Mother.
CASTING OUT THE STONES
The day after writing Turn On the Headlights, in which is affirmed the Church’s teaching on the place of private revelation in her life, and the popes’ exhortations to listen more carefully to prophecy in these times of confusion, a message was publicized from Latin American seer and stigmatic, Luz de Maria Bonilla.
Great deceivers have gone through My Son’s People and the multitudes have followed and follow them; the prophets sent by the House of the Father are rejected. And those who have voluntarily given themselves over to the service of My Son use that power which has been given to them for accompanying and instructing the faithful People, in order to become persecutors of the faithful children of My Son’s Church.
How My Heart grieves for those who, shielding themselves with “zeal” for the Father’s House, want to silence the voice of the instruments that the House of the Father sends to His People, so that with words full of Truth, and going from place to place, they might fulfill the mission of every true child of the Church of My Son… —Our Lady to Luz de Maria, March 18th, 2017; translated by Peter Bannister M.Th.; her writings from 2009 on have just received the Imprimatur from Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara of Esteli, Nicaragua
This indictment from Our Lady comes on the heels of vociferous public attacks in Catholic media and the blogosphere on the phenomenon of Medjugorje (which the Vatican has not ruled on after thirty years, and has determinedly kept open, even removing jurisdiction on the alleged apparitions from the local bishop), as well as other bishops reversing the decisions of previous bishops on approved apparitions of Our Lady, thereby silencing the message of those apparition sites.
Regarding Medjugorje, I have recounted the story of a renowned journalist who witnessed first hand a powerful smear campaign, funded by a billionaire, against the alleged apparitions—falsehoods that the journalist says, until this day, comprise about “90% of the anti-Medjugorje material out there” (see On Medjugorje). Indeed, I have seen many of these lies perpetuated and repeated that often amount to little more than pettiness and unsubstantiated gossip. From my perspective as a former television journalist, they rarely stand the test of objectivity let alone Christian charity.
A SPIRITUAL BATTLE
But this should not surprise us. Satan knows well the power of the Word of God, whether it comes through the Public Revelation of the Church, or the “private revelation” given through those little stones that compliments and calls us back to it. Christ’s Word has the power to change, transform, and renew believers; to gather them like an army to topple Satan’s kingdom; and to bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, which the Blessed Mother eagerly anticipates through her constant messages, particularly since Fatima, one hundred years ago.
Those who wish to say such intellectually dishonest things like, “Oh, the prayer and sacramental life of Medjugorje are fine, but the seers’ messages are demonic deceptions,” ought to reconsider. I have heard many stories of people coming to conversion precisely through reading the messages of Medjugorje that, if authentic, also constitute the “word of God.” to be differentiated from the “deposit of faith” or Public Revelation of the Church.
One such case is that of Fr. Donald Calloway. He was a rebellious youth who had zero understanding of Catholicism. Then one night, he picked up a book of the messages of Medjugorje. As he read them, something began to change him. He sensed Our Lady’s presence, was physically healed and transformed overnight from years of drug abuse, and infused with a basic understanding of Catholic truths. To this day, his preaching apostolate and faithfulness to Christ’s Church are an incredible testament to the power of God’s Word—both in Sacred Tradition and in prophetic revelations.
As a footnote, Fr. Don—and myself—will abide by whatever final decision the Vatican may make in regards to Medjugorje.
THE POWER OF PROPHECY
St. Paul knew well the power of what we call “private revelation”—which is really not “private” at all when God intends it for the entire body of Christ or the world. Paul’s journey in Christianity began when he started receiving “private” revelations, first in his conversion, and then when he “was caught up to the third heaven.” 2 Cor 12:2 Thus, he taught that during “the assembly”—presumably Mass itselfcf. 1 Cor 14:23, 26—prophecy should be welcomed, proclaimed, and heard so that if…
…an unbeliever or uninstructed person should come in, he will be convinced by everyone and judged by everyone, and the secrets of his heart will be disclosed, and so he will fall down and worship God, declaring, “God is really in your midst.” (1 Cor 14:24-25)
I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God. —an early message allegedly from Our Lady of Medjugorje
God’s voice cannot be silenced. We will come to know in these times, one way or another, that He exists. For every little stone that is crushed, muzzled, or cast into the Sea of Doubt and Modernity, God raises up another. Indeed, the Scriptures testify that:
‘It will come to pass in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.’ (Acts 2:17)
In the Book of Revelation (which is essentially one long prophetic revelation), God’s last resort before He purifies the world is not another papal document, but the word and witness of prophets:
I will commission my two witnesses to prophesy for those twelve hundred and sixty days, wearing sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3)
If the word has not converted, it will be blood that converts. —POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II, from poem Stanislaw
And so, St. Paul urged the Church not only to heed the prophetic word of God, but also to stand firm upon the Word of God revealed in Jesus Christ, and passed on through Tradition. Indeed, after warning about the coming deceptions of the Antichrist, St. Paul gives the antidote:
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours. (2 Thess 2:15)
And thus I will continue, as I have done from the very beginning of this writing apostolate, to draw from the fount of God’s Word coming to us, both through Sacred Tradition, and the little stones crying out to us in these times….
May St. Joseph, who guided and protected Mary and Baby Jesus through the private revelations of an angel… pray for us.
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|2.||⇡||cf. Counting the Cost|
|3.||⇡||cf. Matt 27:54|
|4.||⇡||to be differentiated from the “deposit of faith” or Public Revelation of the Church.|
|5.||⇡||2 Cor 12:2|
|6.||⇡||cf. 1 Cor 14:23, 26|