DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY May 13, 1998 vol. 9, no. 93
THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS
To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE & SECTION TWO
GARABANDAL: For whom the Bells Toll! - Testimony to the Fruits of Garabandal part three
[ We complete the touching testimony by Father Richard Gilsdorf that was printed in Garabandal magazine back in 1990. Following is his account illustrating through word the fruits of Garabandal.]
As the crisis deepens, it becomes increasingly evident that the prophetic elements must be the solution. When nothing on earth can avail, then Heaven will intervene. And of all possible forms that intervention could take, the sequence of Warning-Miracle-conditional Chastisement seems to mirror most perfectly the mercy and justice of God.
The Warning, "a correction of the conscience of the world", an anticipation in time of our individual judgment in eternity, is surely the ultimate appeal of God's mercy. I have often noted the connection of these events with the revelation of Divine Mercy to Sister Faustina.
The great Miracle will be an out-pouring of the healing love and cleansing mercy of Christ's Heart to those who have responded to the Warning. Will the Cross of Christ, appearing in the skies and illuminating the earth, as foretold to Sister Faustina, be somehow linked to the Miracle? In this age of electronic and satellite communication, the impact of the Miracle on the world will be such that God can say: "What more could I do that I have not done?"
The Chastisement is conditional. We wonder how would it be possible that anyone could resist the persuasion of God's mercy? Yet we all have confronted the spiritual blindness, the closure of hearts and minds to the supernatural. We can only pray that the apocalyptic scenes of the "night of screams" will yet be averted. Nevertheless one understands the misgivings of Conchita. For justice as well as mercy are equally attributes of God.
As I first read the spellbinding history of Garabandal, I felt transported into a realm of goodness and innocence. The simplicity of this bless hamlet and its humble people, so childlike in faith, became for me a spiritual refuge to which I have had recourse when the smog of sophistication, the tangle of "new theology", the web of bureaucracy, the "mature" Catholics propagating their ": new church" became suffocating and terrifying.
What Mary did in this village during her visitation of four years created a rarefied atmosphere of Heaven on earth.
Here, the Mother of the Church demonstrated the genuine renewal which the Council intended for the whole world. From its inception with four little girls pilfering fruit from an apple tree, Garabandal offers us the promise of a new Garden of Eden, Paradise Regained, to be spread into every city and village where human souls have made their homes.
As the content of the Message of Garabandal unfolded, I began to marvel at the profundity, orthodoxy, and coherence of its "theology." Difficult questions were frequently posed to the children from a variety of observers for a variety of motives, some no doubt to entrap the youngsters in errors which would discredit their claims.
But always the responses were phrased in complete accord with Catholic doctrine. (This is, of course, a basic criterion for authenticity.) The children often would consult with Mary or the angel before producing answers which seemed to confirm their heavenly sources by their sublime simplicity.
What God has hidden from the learned and the clever, He has revealed to the merest children. Other questions originated from the children themselves, spontaneously seeking explanations of matters of faith. The examples are too numerous to cite here. Depending, then, on the dispositions and motivations of the questioners, the responses brought consolation, confirmation, and peace, or confusion, disquiet, and frustration.
In the latter case, these colloquies remind us of the questions posed in the Gospel to ensnare Jesus in His speech, and the stunning reversal of the schemes of His enemies by terse but clinching replies.
Modernism attempts to sap the essence of the Church of transcendence, grace, the supernatural. The best means to combat this apostasy (for it is not merely heresy or schism) is for us to make known the miracles, the prophetic messages, the heavenly visitations which have been lavished upon us. Garabandal, and the related witness of Padre Pio, is an eminent example. What could refute secularism with more finality, we might add, than the first words of Mary to the children of Fatima: "I have come from Heaven."
In conclusion, I will state that I have never doubted the authenticity of what occurred at Garabandal. The convergence of external and internal evidence is overwhelming. It was, then, with unexpected delight that I was invited to write this article. The news of the new investigation kindles a hope that soon we priests will feel more encouragement to announce this liberating Message to our long suffering and imperiled faithful.
We pray for the fulfillment of the promises of Mary; conversion of Russia, conversion of sinners, conversion of the whole world, the time of one fold and one shepherd.
Our Lady of Garabandal has sustained my priestly life all these years. With joy and gratitude I present my testimony. We are now living through a suspenseful moment, when the triumph of the Church depends on a timely revelation of the merciful intercession of the Mother who opened her heart to us, in a special way to priests, on the cobblestones and among the pines of a mountain paradise. Soon, dear Mother!
THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS