/// Update: A reader objected to this post in such manner that I thought it best to give it an emphasis by updating this post: scroll down for the fireworks. ///
This seems to be the time of throwing away doctrine and morality in favor of some sort of “unity.” So, let’s use this idea of all-important “unity” as the tool of discernment as to whether Medjugorje brings us together, regardless of Jesus being the living Truth, Love Incarnate.
I’ve been on pilgrimages to Marian shrines, some days in Guadalupe and some weeks multiple times in Fatima. I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes for two full years. At those places, I saw zero adversity, zero competition, zero rivalry among those apparition sites. How could there be? This is about Jesus’ good mom who speaks to us of Jesus.
But then, in a whole different universe, Medjugorje comes along, bringing a spirit of division, I’m sure you’ve heard it, a spirit of (hyperventilating) we’re better than any other apparition because that was then and this is now and only we can say something valid to anyone and everyone and no one can judge us not even the Church because we are more relevant because it’s all ongoing and the Church was then but this is now and we’re just the thing to save the world (hyperventilating).
Sure, I’ve heard those at Guadalupe and Fatima and Lourdes make this or that even fierce judgment about Medjugorje when provoked to make a judgment, but the criticisms (apart from convincing analyses of Medjugorje’s lack of orthodoxy with seemingly endless examples)… the criticisms are often about that very spirit of division, with people being invited to Medjugorje meetings and then, when it is found out that they like Guadalupe or Fatima or Lourdes, are attacked verbally, some having feared even physical violence against them. That kind of spirit is totally not to be seen at Guadalupe, Fatima and Lourdes. Medjugoje-esque division speaks of the diabolical, with that very word meaning to throw apart, to cause division, mocking God and man.
I took a look at the latest news-agent style message of Medjugorje. All I saw was that which is impersonal, sterile, self-congratulatory. The “visionaries” are themselves the saviors of the world, themselves the gnostic insider bearers of new revelation that makes people hate the local hierarchy precisely as the local hierarchy. Mary is redundant as she repeats herself tens of thousands of times, sounding frustrated and depressed, giving only tacit mention of Jesus, and only to put Him down in favor of her new “visionaries.”
On a personal and therefore not important level, it’s all so icily foreign to loving humble reverence before Jesus, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, that, to me, it is truly frightening. I sense the immediacy of the presence of the Evil One, an immediacy that I’ve only sensed some other significant times in my life, during exorcisms or in front of people who were clearly not with Jesus.
I realize that other people might say that they think it’s nice, that in going there they had a nice bus trip in the hills, had a nice meal at the restaurant, had a nice stroll around town. Nice! But, I just don’t buy into that at all. Not one bit. I don’t know if I’ll approve comments for this post or not.
UPDATE: A reader objected to the above post by citing one part of it and then promoting Medjugorje:
“Mary is redundant as she repeats herself tens of thousands of times, sounding frustrated and depressed, giving only tacit mention of Jesus, and only to put Him down in favor of her new “visionaries.””
Dear Father Byers
I do not recognise this description of the messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje. [I’m all ears.] Her messages are pure, simple, motherly, inspire confidence and hope and always lead to Jesus. [See my fisking of the ultra-latest “message” below…] She has brought thousands of people to know and love Him in all the Sacraments especially in the Blessed Sacrament. [And that’s why “it” says years ago that all priests do not have the gift of healing, and so the visionaries, special little things, are themselves to go and take the Holy Oil [!] and run off to anoint people saying, if I remember correctly, seven Paters, Aves and Glorias, you know, so that it’s like a parallel sacrament, fooling people that they’ve been anointed for real, which became a fad right around the world. Terrible.] Living her messages bring peace and she comes there as the Queen of Peace. When we do not live her messages …..no peace. [That’s like saying that those who die in wars were all guilty as hell. That’s just so wrong. It is exactly this emotional manipulation which is the fakery.] Her messages have a special beauty and significance because they come from the present and not the past. [Because that‘s what gives licence to those who think like you to disobey all doctrine and morality and discipline of the Church, because, you know, we modernists, we progressivists, we who are up-to-date, are entitled, special, we have beauty, we have significance, because we live toodaaayyy!!! That meany old cruel stuffy dusty Church thingy that would have us obey legitimate superiors is just old and mean and stuff like that!] She addresses us as little children and little children always have to have things repeated to them. [Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Actually, this is really annoying. I notice that this has never been the case for any other apparition. So, Mary was just a really bad teacher then right, you know, in the bad and evil past, whereas she’s updated her pedagogy since then and just unendingly says: Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. It reminds me of “The Shining” with Jack Nicholson.] There are aggressive supporters of Our Lady of Fatima [not the visionaries canonized May 13 2017…] and wicked things happen at Lourdes [Saint Bernadette is not one of them…]. Our Lady of Medjugorge constantly adds souls to the Catholic Church proving that she unites. [I once heard a poor soul say on Vatican Radio of all things: “If Mary is appearing in Medjugorje… well then, that’s the one and only reason I converted to be Catholic, because that’s, like, wow.]
But, hey! Let’s fisk the ultra-latest “message”:
“Dear children, I am calling you to pray, not to ask for but to offer sacrifice – sacrificing yourselves [which is a backhanded way of asking for sacrifice, which is just nonsensical]. I am calling you to reveal the truth and merciful love [“reveal” is a loaded term in this context. It begs the question as what truth it is that has not yet been revealed or which they have been holding back: it’s gotta be something big, and big because it’s today and today is big]. I am praying to my Son for you, for your faith which is all the more diminishing in your hearts. [So, after all these decades they are only always getting worse. Sounds like a fail. Sounds like “it” is depressed.] I am imploring Him to help you with the Divine Spirit [the Holy Spirit doesn’t merely “help” us, but kills us off to ourselves so as to live for Christ alone; if we are just “helped” then we are still in charge, still pretending to be our own saviors who just need a little “help”], as I also desire to help you with my Motherly Spirit. [Did “it” just put “itself” in parallel with the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity? And here we go with the Pelagian heresy of “just help me while I get about the business of saving myself and the world too!] My children, you must be better. [Grit your teeth! You can do it! Save yourselves and the world!] Only those who are pure, humble and filled with love sustain the world – they are saving themselves and the world. [But if they are just the ones to save the world, how is it that “it” says:] My children, my Son is the heart of the world[?]. He should be loved and prayed to, and not always betrayed anew. [Well, there’s a tantrum: betrayal all the time is too much, so just a little betrayal here and there is O.K.] Therefore, you, apostles of my love, spread the faith in the hearts of people by your example, your prayer and merciful love. [Be nice. And be apostles. Note the contrast with technical word for those officially sanctioned by our Lord or by the Church: “Apostles”. This is put in contrast with the arch-enemy successors of the Apostles, the successive local Ordinaries, the local bishops:] I am beside you, I will help you. [over against those meany old bishops] Pray for your shepherds to have all the more light, so as to be able to illuminate all those who live in darkness. [That sounds nice, but there is a context to this, that the meany old bishops reject that “it” is Mary, Mother of God, and because of this, the meany old bishops are perpetually in darkness and cannot possibly evangelize and that’s why they need such prayer.] Thank you. [=Thank you for helping to smack down any sense of ecclesial unity.]”