Spiritual Warfare Forum: Medjugorje
Medjugorje QUESTION from Peter O'S on July 9, 2002 Dear Br John-Paul,
From following this site for about 2 years now I've come to the conclusion that you are not too keen on Medjugorje. I've been there twice now and i'm sure that if you are ever able to get there for a few days that you would change your mind. The greatest Miracle of Medjugorje is conversion. Just hearing about what was happening in this village was enough to get me back into the Church after about twenty years of worldly living.
I witnessed the miracle of the sun there and this miracle has stayed with me. Some days while travelling to or from work I witness this miracle and I immediately know that there is something special about this day.eg the Holy Spirit night of the Mission that our Church is running for the week.
I've have witnessed many other miracles as well,my parish Priest seems to get a bit depressed when I tell him of them. Others who are very spiritual and have not been to Medjugorje also have witness the Miracle of the sun with me.
We are living in a special time of grace it all there for those who want it and are willing to change there lives for the better.
Keep up the good work God Bless you Peter O'S
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 15, 2002 Dear Mr. O'S:
Well your observation would not really be incorrect.
I am VERY familiar with Medjugorje and in fact two of the founding members of the Legion of St. Michael went there twice and Jay Feld (the man who gave us the name of the Legion of St. Michael) saw the miracle of the sun. And I have personally experienced a minor miracle when I met with Ivan.
There is ONLY ONE bottom line to ALL apparitions and it is NOT how many blessings and miracles and good works come from it. It is the definitive judgment of the Church.
Rome has not yet made a judgment and will not until the alleged apparitions cease.
In the meantime, the local bishop's judgment is definitive at the moment. The current judgement is that nothing supernatural is taking place at Medjugorje.
That is where I take my cue as all Catholics should.
We must remember ten fundamental things about apparitions:
1) Apparitions are PRIVATE REVELATIONS. 2) As private revelations no apparition is needed for salvation.
3) Private revelations can EASILY be duplicated by the devil and thus no apparition should be totally embraced until examined and approved by the Church.
4) Even when approved, the faithful are NOT requried to believe them or to follow them, or to develop devotions from them.
5) The presence of alleged miracles, wonders, good works, changed lives, etc. are NOT, in-and-of-themselves, proof that the apparition is truly supernatural. Even Satan can appear as an angel of light and has no problem allowing positive effects if it will eventually lead some people in the wrong direction. History proves that private revelations can have positive effects and still be invalid.
6) Those who choose NOT to believe in an apparition, even if it is approved, have the right to do so according to the Church and are no less a Catholic for doing so. We must remember what Jesus said about signs and wonders: It is an evil and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign. (Matt 16:4). Apparitions may be an aid to our faith, if we need that sort of aid, but the only sign we ultimately need is the sign of Jonah, which is the death and three days later, the ressurection of Jesus Christ.
7) If an apparition inspires a person to become an on-fire Catholic and gets them off the couch-potato, then praise God, we should be happy for them. But remember, Mary ALWAYS points to her Son and not to herself. If our Blessed Mother in her love and with God's will has decided to appear to us, that is only to get us to do what we should have been doing all along -- adoring and partaking of the Eucharist, taking confession regularly, praying, and doing all that Jesus tells us to do. She comes to bring us a aid to faith and perhaps a kick in the rear, but not to go apparition-chasing or spend all our time on her appearances. She comes to admonish us to get to know her Son.
8) And further from point 7 above, we cannot know Mary's son, we cannot know Jesus, we cannot know what He wants from us unless we read and study His love letter to us -- the Bible -- and also Sacred Tradition under the guidance of the Magisterium.
9) Those who do believe and have devotions to apparitions must remember this point in #8 above and guard themselves from lacking the proper balance. If a person knows more about messages from Mary and can quote more messages from Mary than they know and can quote from the Bible, then they are out-of-line. St. Jerome says: Ignorance of Scritpures is ignorance of Christ.
10) Finanlly, if private revelations had NEVER existed anytime in the history of the Church, it would not make a difference. That is, we can live good, devoted, and sanctified Catholic lives anyway. These private revelations CAN be an aid to our faith, but it is not necessary for our faith. We have the PUBLIC Revelation of the Bible and Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium to interpret it and to instruct us as to what Jesus expects from us so that our faith may be be feed and grow. That is all we really need.
So as to avoid the usual charge that I get from many people that I am anti-apparition, I respond with NOT EVEN CLOSE. I am merely a loyal Catholic who follows the Church's teaching on this subject.
Personally, I have great aids from the private revelations. My profession name is John-Paul Ignatius Mary of our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The private revelation of Carmel and the Brown Scapular is perhaps the most famous of all. I wear a brown scapular on my Liturgical habit that goes from my shoulders to my ankles. I wear a Miraculous Medal Ring (that comes from another apparition) that is a symbol of my office. I pray the Fatima prayer during the rosary. I have a devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart. I have a devotion to the Divine Mercy. And it was St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes who inspired me toward the Catholic Church when I was only 4 and who prayed for me all through the years until I finally converted to the Catholic Church at age 38.
I am NOT anti-apparition. But I am a loyal Catholic who follows the teaching of the Church 100%.
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