.INTRODUCTION TO MEDJUGORJE AND THOSE WHO FALSIFY THE TRUTH ABOUT FATIMA:
The entire universe is resounding with the echo of Divine Logos: “Mercy-Mercy-Mercy” and of His Mother who is asking for reparation from her children for the sins of others, asking penance from those who love God for those who are steeped in sin. Our Lord and Our Lady are asking for love, mercy, compassion, and sacrifice for sinners while some schismatic (and non-schismatic) ultra-conservatives are calling for their heads, calling for punishment, divine retribution, and chastisement. The pope is correct, they don’t get it. But neither do ultra-liberals who make excuses for sins, condone them, militantly embrace them and refuse to ask for forgiveness – they don’t get it either.
The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ – His representative on earth. As such, he is expected to mirror the wishes, will, and desires of his King. And it is the King’s will, at this special moment of human history, that Mercy be the theme of His Church, that mercy be showered over all the earth at every time and place from the rising of the sun until its setting. Jesus, Himself, revealed to Saint Faustina that this gift of Mercy is His last gift to the Church before He returns in glory as the world’s judge.
How do we know we are entering the end times, the time preceding the parousia when Christ will return in glory to judge the living and the dead? One complex and difficult way is the study of sacred scripture especially eschatological literature. A more simple approach is the fact that Jesus promised to be with His Church until the end of time:
“Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matt 28:20)
And that the Holy Trinity would reveal to the Church all that was going to happen:
“I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you” (John 16: 12-13).
Then, years after His Ascension, Jesus appeared to Saint John on the island of Patmos and He has continued to appear to His saints at special times throughout history.
“And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. And his head and his hairs were white, as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire, And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two edged sword: and his face was as the sun shineth in his power.”
“And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last, And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell. Write therefore the things which thou hast seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter” (Revelation 1: 12-19).
In the 20th century Jesus revealed Himself to a highly regarded Polish saint, Saint Faustina Kowalska, a poor Polish nun to whom He appeared prior to World War II. Among other things, He confided to her His love for humanity and His desire to bless the world with an outpouring of Divine Mercy before His final coming as “Just Judge”. He also confided His special love for the nation of Poland from which He said would come the “spark” that would prepare the world for His Second Coming.
Among other things, He revealed to Saint Faustina the meaning of His eschatological statement in the Gospel of Matthew about a “sign” in the heavens that would be given humanity prior to His final coming (Mt 24:30). He told her it would be the final sign, a sign of mercy intended to beckon all humanity to repentance before the Great Day of Final Judgment:
“Write this (He said): Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort:
“All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day” (Divine Mercy Diary, 83).
Until that time, between now and then, He desires Mercy, especially mercy for the greatest sinners. Thus, He further revealed to Saint Faustina that those who have the most right to His mercy are the most grievous sinners:
“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. … Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask” (Diary of Saint Faustina Para 1146).
Jesus has a
“…special compassion for the worst sinners, because they are most in need of His mercy.”
Pope Francis is keenly aware of God’s mercy and of His desire to extend it everywhere, especially toward hardened sinners. He is acting accordingly and as the Vicar of Christ, he expects Catholic clergy and laity to do the same. God wants forgiveness, mercy and compassion, not judgment, severity and legalism.
The Hour of Mercy is a time to pronounce, to pronounce the good news, not to renounce.
With this Message of Mercy, along with the necessity of obedience, ingrained in mind it is much easier to unravel the confusion coming from both the extreme left and the right wing spectra of the Church concerning apparitions pertaining to the Virgin Mary.
First, it must be recognized that Satan has a special hatred for the Virgin Mary, an enmity placed between them by God the Father, Himself.
“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” (Gen. 3:15).
As she is favored above all others by the Father (Luke. 1:28), she is hated above all others by Satan (Gen 3:15). She is hated because she, like Jesus, is obedient unto death as evidenced by her willingness to give her life to accomplish the will of the Father, to give her life on account of a potential false accusation of adultery pertaining to her conception of Jesus without Joseph being the father. Mary is the first disciple of Jesus, and like Jesus, her Divine Son, Mary is obedient unto death (Luke 1:38). She is hated because she is the Mother of the Divine Logos who is the way and the life and the truth, while Satan is a murder and a liar from the beginning. She is the Mother of all those baptized into the truth, while he is the Father of all those who are liars, very clever liars (John 8:44). He hates her so immensely that he vomits a river of filth from his lying and perverse mouth to carry her away to oblivion drowned under a nefarious tidal wave of calumniation and deception (Revelation 12: 13-15).
How do we know that Mary is the Woman hated by Satan as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Both scripture and reason proclaim her to be the Woman. Jesus Himself, refers to his mother as “woman” in at least two places in scripture. First at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:4), and then, most distinctly and clearly, He calls Her “Woman” with His dying breath on Mt. Calvary:
“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother” (John 19: 26-27).
Reason also proclaims that the Virgin Mary is the Woman spoken of in Genesis 3:15. In the Apocalypse she is depicted as the “woman clothed with the sun” and at war with Satan (Revelation 12: 1-4). In these passages, the woman is presented as the Mother of Jesus as the one giving birth to the savior. Who is this but Mary?
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered….And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne”
What human being rules all nations from the throne of God? If the answer is Jesus Christ, then clearly the woman who gave Him birth, is His mother, the Virgin Mary.
The woman is not and cannot be the Church as some claim. The Church is not the Mother of Christ – The Church is the Bride of Christ. Nor is the Church Israel; Israel is not the Mother of the Son of God – Israel rejected, and to this day rejects, the Son of God. Nor is Israel the Bride of Christ; Israel rejected Christ when He came with nuptial promises as the Divine Groom to wed her (Mark 2:19). Moreover, the woman depicted in Revelation is referred to as a great “sign”, signum magna.
When requested by God to ask for a sign, the Prophet Isaiah informs us that King Ahaz refused; so God himself provided a sign: a Virgin giving birth to God-Emmanuel (which means God is with us) as the savior of the world.
“And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:10-14).
Revelation 12 is a corollary to Isaiah 7. Both reveal the mystery of the incarnation and speak of a woman giving birth to the savior of the world as a “sign” provided by God.
“A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
The woman depicted in Revelation 12 is the Mother of God. The Mother of God is a “virgin” (as revealed by Isaiah), but Israel according to her own prophets is a “whore” and thus cannot be the woman revealed in Revelation 12. It is, according to Isaiah, a virgin that gave birth to God’s son, not an adulterous. But Hosea tells us, Israel is an adulterous:
“Judge your mother, judge her: because she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her put away her fornications from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts. Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born: and I will make her as a wilderness, and will set her as a land that none can pass through, and will kill her with drought” (Hosea 2: 2-5).
Other passages in the Old Testament that refer to the restoration of the marriage covenant between God and Israel are references to the New Testament Church, the New Israel with whom Christ established a “new and everlasting covenant” forfeited by all those members of espoused Israel who refused to accept Him when He called them to marital union, called them to be one with Him as members of His mystical body, the Church, the New Israel. The New Israel is the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 21: 9-11; Ephesians 5:32). Thus, when the Old Testament speaks of a renewed covenant, it is clear that the reference is to Church, as in Hosea 2:16-18, the passage adroitly speaks of a future day and of a new covenant while also depicting Jesus as a Prince of Peace who espouses the New Israel not by the “works” of the old law but by “faith” of the new law (Hosea 2:18-20).
“And in that day (a day to come) I will make (future) a covenant with them (another covenant-thus a new covenant), with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the air, and with the creeping things of the earth: and I will destroy the bow, and the sword, and war out of the land: and I will make them sleep secure. And I will espouse thee to me for ever: and I will espouse thee to me in justice, and judgment, and in mercy, and in commiserations. And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord” (Hosea 2: 18-20).
The New Israel are those faithful members of Old Israel who accepted Christ as the promised Messiah and all of the gentiles who have been joined to Him as a result of the many Israelite who rejected Him (Romans 11:17-24).
Mary is the Mother of New Israel, Mother of the Church
The Prince of Darkness harbors a mysterious acroamatic enmity (an enmity ordained by God Himself) for the Woman clothed with the sun, the Woman clothed in light who is Mother of Christ, the Woman who gave Christ His body, which He took from her flesh (He is Flesh of her flesh, Bone of her bone) in the temple of her maternal womb – the tabernacle of the Glory of God, Jesus Christ. The fact is, it was the Virgin Mary who gave God His human body – the body that suffered and died for the salvation of the world!
Take a moment and contemplate that divine-human mystery, that singular grace that no prophet, saint, angel or martyr has ever, or will ever, emulate: The Holy Trinity synapsed with humanity in the womb of the Virgin Mary; Divinity and humanity co-existed in the Sacred Womb of the Virgin Mary. God not only became man in her womb, God took his human flesh within the walls of that womb from the body and blood of Mary herself! The body that would suffer and die for humanity is mingeled with the flesh of Mary. She is the Mother of both His physical body and of His mystical body, the Church; She is thus Mother of all the children of God, the rest of her seed as revealed in John 19: 26-27 and Revelation 12:17, which also reveals that the dragon or Satan
“…was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, (those) who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Clearly, Satan hates the woman and her children depicted here as “the rest of her seed”. What does the text mean by the “rest of her seed”? Ostensibly the text is hearkening back to Genesis 3:15 wherein God states that he will create enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of Satan:
“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed.”
In Genesis, the seed refers to Christ. The rest of her seed spoken of in Revelation are those borne of the Holy Spirit who make up the members of the Body of Christ having Mary as their mystical or spiritual Mother. They are referred to as the rest of Her seed because Jesus as depicted in Revelation 12: 4-5 is the first seed and the others are his brothers and sisters, the “rest of her seed” that make up the one Body of Christ, the sons and daughters of the Woman who is the Mother of all the children of God, the Mother of the Church, His mystical body, of which He is the Head. Naturally as Mother of Jesus, she is also mother of His body, His Church.
Jesus came forth from the Woman who had the dragon at her feet ready to devour Him at his birth through the evil designs of Herod who ordered the death of all male children under two years of age in order to assure the slaughter Christ (Matthew 2:16). Herod failed and so did Satan. They failed because Christ is Son of God the Father who was caught up to heaven to sit on the throne of the Almighty safe from the ravenous claws of the serpent:
“And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.”
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne” (Revelation 12: 4-5).
Consequently, Satan makes war with those left behind, the woman and the rest of her seed, her human sons and daughters who make up the Body of Christ her Divine Son.
Since Satan hates the woman and her seed, we should expect anything pertaining to her, especially special visits to earth to guide and nourish her children, to be surrounded with confusion, lies, deceit, forgeries and above all else, by hatred and disobedience. And this is exactly what is found, especially on the ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative fringes. Although polar opposites, what they share in common is an affinity for disobedience and a perversion of God’s mercy, which is either (1) forgotten, shrouded in false piety or turned into an occasion for callousness and hardness toward sinners, a wish for their punishment and chastisement rather than love, mercy and compassion as flow from the Heart of Jesus to rescue them from hell as Our Lady requested at Fatima or (2) an excessive tolerance leading to a false notion of love resulting in acceptance and even justification of sin.
Continued: Medjugorje Part Two: “Knowledge about “Fruits” Necessary to Evaluate Medjugorje and Other Apparitions”