During the Age of Marian Apparitions, which began with the first Church-approved apparition of Mary (Our Lady of Pilar) to Saint James the Apostle in 40 AD in Zaragosa, Spain and continued up to the present day, having intensified over the last two centuries, the Blessed Mother has not revealed anything new, but rather reinforced all that is contained in Public Revelation. And, throughout the time of the Age of Marian Apparitions, most private revelation has been true to the teachings of Divine Revelation. In this special time, we need to listen to and learn what God is telling us through Sacred Scripture, the Traditions, Teachings, and Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and through the special blueprint Our Lady has been charting as Queen of Prophets via her messages to thousands through private revelation to live what God is telling us.
&nbps; Though we don't have to follow private revelation, it would be wise to listen, for we can learn much from what Jesus and His Blessed Mother are asking us to live. Our Lady has been reiterating over and over to "read Sacred Scripture" - to "live it and pray to understand the signs of the times." We are all looking to the skies for the signs but they are all around us and we don't realize it. We must open the eyes of our hearts and souls to truly understand the signs God is sending and has been sending. The nineties are nothing new in respect to private revelation. There has been private revelation since the beginning of time. If we can talk to God and His chosen Heavenly messengers such as Blessed Mary, then why can't He talk to us and allow those He sends to talk to us?
God speaks to us every day through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Word, taken from Sacred Scripture. The Holy Father has asserted the importance of the Gospel, "Be Proud of the Gospel. The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people's hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love. Now, more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel."
The Gospel, of course, is part of Public Revelation - Sacred Scripture, also called Divine Revelation which is contained in both Scripture and Tradition. So many, especially non-Catholics, place more emphasis on the Bible without realizing the equal role Tradition plays in Divine Revelation. After all, the "Bible" evolved from Tradition...not Tradition from the Bible! But neither is more important than the other for God is the author of Divine Revelation. He cannot deceive or be deceived. The public revelation of truths to men by God began with Adam and Eve and ended at the death of Saint John, the beloved Apostle. It has come down to us through Holy Scripture, written down under Divine inspiration, and through Tradition, handed down orally from Apostolic times. This is Public Revelation which, as members of the True Church, we must believe!
God asks us every day to listen and learn because all these things He has given us are "signs of the times," and, by going back to basics and reading Sacred Scripture and living it, and only by praying can we understand these signs and know the course to take.
NEXT WEEK: Part Two: The role of Tradition.