DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 2, 1998     vol. 9, no. 172

THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE & SECTION TWO
    INTRODUCTION
          All that our Blessed Mother imparted to the visionaries at La Salette in 1846 took effect almost immediately with the famine, the droughts, the growing disregard for God's laws and love. The illustration by master painter Sigismund Goetze perfectly depicts the plight of man and the plight of Jesus the Son of Man. They reflect the secrets imparted to a French peasant girl by a weeping, beautiful Lady who "appeared out of nowhere" high in the French Alps on an autumn afternoon in 1846 and have had significant repercussions pertaining to our times in respect to the apostasy in Holy Mother Church, the chastisemnet, the antichrist, and more. All that Our Lady foretold to Melanie Mathieu regarding the secrets have come to pass, leading one to take very seriously those elements the Blessed Mother speaks concerning these times and how, today she is again weeping and imploring all her children to comply before it's too late. In this fourteenth installment, we vividly see all walks of life and how they have ignored Our Lady's call to come closer to her Divine Son. The question remains, are we in that tableau too, or are we there with Christ at the pillar, willing to be scourged, derided and ignored for the love of Him and for one another? No matter the age, Our Lady has been imparting the same message: "Pray! Pray! Pray!" It is only through constant prayer, taken as a bouquet in loving, motherly intercession before the Throne of God, that the hearts of mankind will eventually be softened and all her little ones brought into accord with the Will of God. This continuing in-depth series on the grace-filled mystical phenomena of Our Lady's appearances through the ages and the meaning of her messages will open eyes and hearts because she is the mother of us all and her words of wisdom and warnings must be taken seriously...very seriously!

The Aftermath of La Salette

Illustrating the plight of man in the shadow of the Son of Man

     In this installment we shall examine the aftermath of all the Blessed Mother of God imparted at La Salette and how so much still goes unheeded as illustrated in a special painting. Almost immediately after the apparition at La Salette in 1846 some of those things Our Lady imparted to the visionaries began to unfold. It was a time of liberalism when many disregarded the authority of the Church, many discarded the virtues of charity and purity, and crept closer to the ways of the world, the flesh and the devil. It was a time when Jesus was more and more forsaken, despised and rejected by men.

      An eighteenth century painting by artist Sigismund Goetze, available from SIGNS OF THE TIMES, (109 Executive Dr. Suite D, Sterling, VA 20166) so clearly depicts this. The master painter based his rendition on Saint Paul's passage in Acts 17:22-31 when he addressed the citizens of Athens, center of culture at the apex of Greece's impace. There, he related the following, " Men of Athens, I see that in every respect you are extremely religious. For as I was going about and observing objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: 'To the Unknown God.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, that I proclaim to you. God, Who made the world and all that is in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples built by hands; neither is He served by human hands as though He were in need of anything, since it is He Who gives to all men life and breath and all things. And from one man He has created the whole human race and made them live all over the face of the earth, determining their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands; that they should seek God, and perhaps grope after Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being, as indeed some of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. If therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to imagine that the Divinity is like to gold or silver or stone, to an image graven by human art and thought. The times of this ignorance God has, it is true, overlooked, but now He calls upon all men everywhere to repent; inasmuch as He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world with justice by a Man Whom He has appointed, and Whom He has guaranteed to all by raising Him from the dead." Just as Our Lady prophesied at La Salette, so this painting illustrates what was happening. In this Athen-like setting we see a marble pillar where is inscribed at the base of the 'altar' Votum Deo Ignoto which means "To the Unknown God!" To this pillar, this altar is bound the suffering Christ, stripped to the waist as He was at the Scourging at the pillar. Behind Him, hovering above is the Angel of the Passion who holds aloft the chalice of suffering to remind all of His Passion, especially in our modern times when the world passes by without giving Him a glance, giving only lip service while many mock Him.




     The question penetrates the soul, "Are we also there mocking the Son of God, giving Him only lip service while in our actions we pass Him by in favor of temporal things?" Are we like the young damsel in a low bodice in the lower left side of the painting who, in scant attire, tempts with immodesty, flirting and teasing? Or are we like the man directly behind her who has only lust on his mind? What about the scientist behind the amorous couple? Are we like him who looks to the test-tube for all his answers, much as modern genetic engineering relies on scientific wisdom today, ignoring the real Answer - the Seat of Wisdom - just a few feet away? Could we, in this age of "fanaticism" in sports and our obsession with gambling, be like the jockey at the top who checks the paper for the latest results, wagering his hard earned wages on frivolous things and, whipped into a frenzy, seeks the colosseums of modern gladiators while He ignores the Ultimate Victor an arm's length away?


     Maybe we are personified in the poor mother who slinks beneath the altar, providing lactate nourishment to her unhealthy child as she wallows in the misery she feels she has been saddled with. Rather than turning her head to acknowledge the Savior and offer all to Him and seek comfort thus gaining great graces in her suffering, she curses her misfortune and continues to suffer without rhyme or reason.

     Then there is the newsboy in the lower right corner of the painting who is hawking the scandals of the day - sins that mock God's Law by glorifying the Seven Deadly sins so prevalent today in our print and electronic media as well as the Hollywood agenda. Do we imitate him in subscribing to this drivel, by contributing to the coffers of satan's legions? Perhaps we might see a part of ourselves in the worker just behind the newsboy. He carries his pick ax to the mines and fields, so intent on his work that he has forgotten Who it is Who provides for him and his family, who furnishes the fruits of the fields to allow him to harvest an abundant crop. Our Lady warned at La Salette that there would be famine and drought, yet he goes about his chores oblivious to the warning, much as we do today when Our Lady comes in unprecedented numbers to bring our attention back to her Divine Son.


     In the upper right hand corner of the painting, in the shadows of the giant marble pillars rising to the sky, a politician stands above the masses, shouting platitudes to the frenzied mob. Could we be like him who speaks from both sides of the mouth, who compromises everything to please man - even to the extent of selling his soul - while ignoring the Will of God? Or could we be like those crowding around him, hanging on every word, mesmerized by the slick manner and hollow promises man spouts and which bring nothing but heartache if we do not look to the Sacred Heart? To the left of the crowd are a few solitude nuns who are so far back and so wrapped in the routine of their daily lives that they've truly forgotten the purpose of their vocation - to serve God and to offer all to their Suffering Savior as His brides. But like marriage, they begin to take their duties and their spouse - in their case, Jesus Christ, for granted. Have we done this at times? In the foreground, just below the nuns and at the edge of the altar is a top-hatted businessman who is so engrossed with his profession and the desire to get ahead that he lowers his head without looking to Heaven for assistance. How many times do we all become "workaholics" and ignore the blessings and signs God gives us to help us in our daily lives? Next to the businessman is the soldier, so intent on killing and hating the enemy that he has become callous to anyone bleeding and suffering as Our Lord is, as the military man, decked out in medals, further plots in his mind the overthrow of others to build up the spoils of war. Are we like this soldier in our prejudices and hate for others, no matter if they are our enemy? Next to the soldier is a judge, so intent on the letter of the law that he has lost sight of the Spirit of the God's Law and given in to pride, greed, and power through bribery and graft. Do we judge others without just cause? Do we set ourselves up as the authority and use our position to influence others to our will rather than the Divine Will? Next to the judge is a bon-vivant imbibing a brew in an attempt to forget his troubles. By drowning his sorrows in artificial means, he becomes more and more addicted to his habit which blurs his vision of his ultimate goal - Jesus Christ. How many of us use various addictions as a crutch to get through life where all we need do is rely totally on Jesus for all our needs? To his left is a cleric adorned in his fine robes with a pompous pharisee-like countenance. He has become so enveloped in his status as an ecclesiast that he too has lost sight of his vocation and his charge by Christ to "Feed My sheep." Like many bishops and priests today, he is lost in his ivory tower and oblivious to the needs of the people who look to the priests and bishops for guidance and leadership in Holy Mother Church. Of all people, Christ expects more of those who have been given much and He has promised His graces and Heavenly rewards if they but use the talents given to them and follow His commands as shepherds of men. Just below the cleric, in front of the imbiber, and behind the woman, is a gentleman biting into an apple, symbolizing man's fall from grace. It is a reminder that if we are not obedient to all God asks we, too, will be banished from Paradise. In front of him is an eighteenth century nurse who is the only one who looks to our Suffering Lord. Because she has devoted her life to helping others in her profession she is sensitive to Christ's plight and looks to Him with love. That is the key, for love is why He is there, why He suffers so, why He permits man of his own free will to ignore Him, and why He gave His very life for the salvation of all. The nurse recognizes this and yet she shudders at both the misery He is in and in utter dismay at the oblivious demeanor of all those around her who pass Him by in their tunnelvision. Hopefully we, like the caring nurse, can recognize in all and in Christ's mission, the total love that Christ commands in John 13: 34, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: that as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." If we follow Jesus' charge to love one another then we will not be numbered among those in the painting who have ignored the Son of God and their fellow man.

     This was the scenario Our Lady spoke of in her prophesies to the visionaries at La Salette, specifically Melanie Matthieu Calvat in the mid eighteenth century, but the scenario, except for the attire, is no different then as it is today and that's why God is sending His very Own Mother in unprecedented numbers in unprecedented ways to remind us over and over how we need to rekindle that love for her Divine Son and recognize Him in all we meet - all members of God's family. If we do as she asks, then the omens of La Salette can be mitigated and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart will become a reality sooner. That Immaculate Heart is such because Mary is the Mother of God and was conceived free of sin - the Immaculate Conception.


September 2, 1998       volume 9, no. 172
THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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