DAILY CATHOLIC - Wednesday, November 26, 1997 volume 8, no. 39
AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS
The Relevance of Private Revelation
Installment Forty Eight
Private revelations, imparted to thousands over the centuries, have never been proposed to the faithful as articles of faith. When the Church approves them, it merely states that they contain nothing contrary to faith or morals. The La Salette, Lourdes, Knock, Fatima, Banneaux, Akita and Betania apparitions are an example of this. Yet Garabandal, San Damiano, Medjugorje, Ecuador and numerous places in the United States as well as other apparitions sites around the world too numerous to mention, are also Private Revelation even though they have not yet been officially approved by the Church. Most probably, because of the plethora of apparitions and the time involved to investigate and prove without a shadow of doubt that they are authentic, few of these will be approved. Yet that does not mean they are not worthy of respect and notice for the message coming out of all of these places is the same. It is the Gospel message. There is nothing new. The same holds true for the countless messages from visionaries, locutionists and prophets. Prophecies are predictions of future events that could not have been known by natural means. This does not mean specifics or dates, but rather causes and effects that will definitely affect us. In the last ten years prophecies have increased a hundred-fold and not all are of God, but when we begin to judge we have stifled the Spirit and must discern carefully adhering to Saint Paul's wise words in 1 Thessalonians 5. Throughout the ages, for the benefit of men and confirmation of faith, God raised up prophets. Generally speaking, the gift of prophecy is a sure sign that the possessor is a messenger of God. However, again, we must always discern carefully and look at the fruits.
&bnsp;We must listen and learn through proper discernment for there have always been and are false prophets. In this present day, the evil one is doing all he can to confuse the faithful. How do we know if something is of God or not? There are various discernment processes to go by, but the best gauge to use is: Are the messages in line with Sacred Scripture and the Traditions and Teaching of Holy Mother Church? If they are, how can that not be of God? Surely satan would not bring others closer to Jesus by imitating Our Lord's Blessed Mother. If you study the majority of messages from the apparition sites mentioned earlier and from the many messages from locution messengers and prophets, you'll see their content is strikingly similar. Though their styles may be vastly different, the content is basically the same, for the messages are based on Sacred Scripture. Why? Because we need to return to the basics. And nothing is more basic than what God laid down.
Throughout the centuries God sent prophets to foretell various events and facts concerning the promised Savior. There were stylistic differences in the messages. Amos wasn't as polished as Isaiah for example, yet the content and intent were the same. Ezekiel foresaw the coming of the Savior and how His kingdom would have no end; Daniel predicted the exact time of the Redeemer's birth; Isaiah prophesied that this God-Man would be born of a virgin; and Jeremiah augured how the Messiah would die patiently and willingly like a lamb for our sins. That was the Old Testament. In the New Testament God has sent His Mother, Mother of His Church to modern-day prophets in order to help all God's children return to Him through Divine Revelation.
NEXT WEEK: God's very special Messenger: Mary, Mother of the Church
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.
November 26, 1997 volume 8, no. 39   DAILY CATHOLIC - Age of Marian Apparitions