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Proper context necessary to comprehend special revelations

 

One of the main criteria in discerning the reported special revelations (sometimes also called ďprivate revelationsĒ) is whether or not they conform to the official teachings of the Church and are helpful to the advancement of Our Lordís work of human salvation as explained by those teachings.  Thus, if the reported revelations contradict or attempt to alter any of the authentic teachings of the Church or offer us a new way of human salvation foreign to that of Christ, God the Son Who became incarnate, and of His cross, i.e., the way of self-denial and sacrifice, they should be promptly suspected and discarded as false, vain, and harmful deviations from the true way, endangering our salvation rather than helping it.

 

In using the above criterion for considering reports of special revelations or, in fact, for discerning anything that concerns religion, it is necessary, first of all, that we recognize and totally accept the divine origin and authority of the traditional, official teachings of the Church.  We need to understand that, even though the members of the Church on earth still suffer from their weakness and imperfection, as they are still on their pilgrimage of penance and sanctification, Christ, the Head of the Church and the infinitely holy God the Son, sustains the Church with His own Life, and the Holy Spirit constantly dwells in the Church, sanctifying her members and protecting the Church as a whole from falling into errors and dysfunction.

 

For all discernments concerning religion, it is also important that we have a correct general understanding of the contents of the teachings of the Church (the Catechism of the Catholic Church is an excellent source), especially in this age of widespread ignorance and indifferentism concerning the revealed truths from God, which actually is a major cause of the spiritual crisis we are facing today.  If we subscribe to some distorted, diluted or unclear versions of the religious truths, a correct discernment will be impossible.  In that case our judgment can be quite arbitrary, swayed by our personal whims and prejudices, accepting falsehood as truth, rejecting truth as falsehood, or, even if we positively recognize the truths, still failing to appreciate their significance and failing to act properly upon them.

 

For example, if we have a superficial and incorrect belief regarding the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, thinking that Our Lordís presence in the Blessed Sacrament is merely spiritual and symbolic, and if we remain in that error, it will be impossible for us to grasp the true significance of the miracles of the Eucharistic species turning into visible flesh and blood, and the urgent lessons contained in the miraculous signs that God wills to impart to us will be all lost.

 

We may also feel that we, who live in this modern, scientific age, should behave like grown-ups even in spiritual matters, and do not need our motherís help any more.  Arenít we mature enough to be more assertive with our own know-howís and preferences?  Besides, isnít Christ the only Savior?  Wouldnít we be behind the times to still pray the rosary? . . .  But, on the other hand, didnít Our Lord say that unless we become (humble and simple) like children, we could not enter His Kingdom in Heaven?  Didnít all the Saints have an ardent love for the Blessed Mother and a childlike reliance on her, seeking her help and intercession at all times?  Could it have been that they were less mature than others?  Also, Christ established the Church to continue His work of human salvation until the end of the world.  The Church is His Mystical Body as well as His Family and His Kingdom.  It is an organic, living entity, in which all parts or members are interdependent, functioning together for the good of the whole as well as each individual member, instead of being a collection of independent parts (like a heap of sand or a crowd of people in street) or only partially interdependent individuals (as in a business company, a labor union, or a school).  In the Family and Kingdom of Christ, we are true children of God, created and sustained by Him and receiving the supernatural life from Himself, and true brothers and sisters to each other.  Each member has a uniquely important function, as each member of an orchestra is assigned an important role, and each memberís role is to be totally tuned to the Will of God, Who is the Infinite Goodness and the Infinite Love.  Among all the members, the motherís role is especially important and indispensable for all the children in the Heavenly Family.  Ignoring and rejecting her and her role is unnatural and can be an act of ingratitude to God Who not only gave us the Savior through Mary but also gave us Mary as our Mother who will intercede for us before the Lord, nurture us spiritually with the graces from the Lord, and help us learn how to love and please Him.  If we truly love Jesus, it will be impossible not to love His Mother and all the rest of His Family as well.

 

Also, if we believe, like some of our Protestant brethren, that our salvation depends on our faith alone and that our salvation becomes a certain fait accompli as soon as we say Yes to accepting Jesus as our Savior, we are forgetting the fact that our salvation is actually a lifelong task aimed at a greater sanctity and closer union with God that can only be attained through difficult struggles with our own self-centeredness, the world, and the devil.  In that case, all the messages and signs that repeatedly exhort us to work on reforming our lives and leading a life of constant prayers and reparations may seem to lose their relevance and urgency.  If we believe that our salvation is all accomplished already, we may not feel that we need any help from the Blessed Mother, other saints and angels in Heaven, or other members of the Church on earth, or even need the graces for our sanctification continuing to flow through the Sacraments in the Church.  But, in the Apostlesí Creed, do we not profess our faith in the Communion of the Saints as well as in the Church?  Didnít Christ teach that we should remain connected to Him, as branches are connected to the vine, in order to bear fruit and that every tree that does not bear good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire?  Doesnít the concept of ďbearing fruitĒ already indicate that our salvation is a work cut out for our time on earth?

 

Also if we are preoccupied with advancing our well-being in this world only, ignoring the supernatural destiny that God has conferred on us, which is our sanctification and eternal union with God, we are unlikely to appreciate the true contents of the miraculous signs and the messages.  Our minds filled with secular concerns will easily miss the supernatural significance of the messages intended for our eternal life.

 

On the other hand, those who have minds and hearts firmly and humbly rooted in the Church teachings do have the necessary context to clearly comprehend the messages and signs in special revelations and apply them productively to their spiritual lives bringing forth fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold or even hundredfold.

 

However, because the vast majority of the people in the world are still too busy with the things of this world and turning their deaf ears to the heavenly urgings and warnings and because those who do recognize the Lordís voice and the Blessed Motherís are responding in such feeble and changeable ways, the bloody tears of the Blessed Mother do not stop flowing; neither does the Precious Blood of Our Lord.  When Our Lord was suffering on the Cross, most of His followers ran away or kept a ďsafeĒ distance from Him.  Only His Mother, His beloved disciple John, Mary Magdalene, and a few other holy women stayed with Him until the end despite the obvious dangers and the reproaching eyes.  They were offering up their sorrows, sufferings, and prayers together with Christís to the Heavenly Father for their salvation and those of their fellow humans.  Christ and His Mother are still looking for more people who will be faithful to Them and to Their cause until the end.  All the graces necessary to save the whole human race were already earned by Our Lord on the Cross, but the work of drawing more people to the Lord, His teachings and His graces so that redemption and sanctification may be accomplished in all the members of Christís Mystical Body still remains.

 

Sang M. Lee

Maryís Touch By Mail

September 8, 2002
Solemnity of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary




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