There are a few things in Catholic circles and well beyond as controversial as the Blessed Mother’s apparitions in world history. C.S Lewis once remarked that he left the Blessed Mother out of Mere Christianity because she was such a divisive subject. What are people afraid of if they listen to her or openly talk about her? What do they have to lose? Why are they hostile or ambivalent? Is she to be admired, but nothing more?
There are approved apparitions in Catholic history and those unapproved. To be cautious or judicious of those unapproved is healthy and wise. Time will always weed out those that are bogus. Immediately being skeptical implies negativity often before knowing the facts. There are ongoing apparitions like Medjugorje where the Blessed Mother has been appearing since June of 1981 (the Vatican has recently given approval of the first seven apparitions) in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and those approved like Fatima by the Magisterium of the Church. Then there are others like Rwanda, Our Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam, Our Lady of America, and many others approved by the local Bishop. In the authentic messages there is always a plea to an amendment of life that is not contrary to the deposit of faith in any way. So why are some people skittish about speaking about Our Lady’s messages?
Many Catholics are highly guarded or worse when it comes to these phenomena. Sometimes persons will often become pegged as a bit of a lunatic or a bit odd as fast as one gives an opinion of acceptance of what may be taking place. Minimally, people will just pay lip service, but if Our Lady speaks there is often a price to pay for social acceptance. To those who express acceptance these people are often kept at a healthy distance as they and their friends may become tainted through association. At authentic apparitions, it is a timeless message often repeated: the Rosary as a daily exercise, the Mass being the center of one’s life, Scripture reading, regular confession, adhering to the sacraments, and the timeless message of the Gospel, “Do whatever He tells you.” I can’t find a radical message in this contrary to the gospel. Yet, woe and behold if one brings these issues up in many circles, with the most virulent coming from those sects more traditional. These people will often venerate Our Lady on her feast days, but as long as she doesn’t speak, things are fine and it is business as usual. They are often unaware that Our Lady has been appointed by the Trinity to a very special role in these times. She is bringing many people back to her son, Jesus Christ. As long as the conversation publicly is political or on “safe” subjects, a person will be accepted.
Why is there often a negativity and abhorrence to what the Queen of heaven and earth is saying when the message is only meant to help humanity? What mother would not speak up if she saw her children in danger? We will name just a few apparition sites where what was foretold happened as it was written. Dozens more could easily be mentioned.
At Fatima in 1917 (approved), the Blessed Mother appeared to three young illiterate children and gave the most prescient message of the 20th Century. She said, if mankind did not amend their lives, then “Russia would spread her errors throughout the world,” and if mankind complied there would be peace in the world. Most know about the Russian communist connection, but few know that one of those errors was the Russian promotion of abortion globally starting in 1921. There were specific requests made, but there was a lack of compliance by church leaders to consecrate Russia by name. The results of not complying are felt in every living room of the world to this day. Fatima was the cornerstone of apparitions for the 20th Century. The Blessed Mother promised peace if her requests were made. 70,000 people witnessed the Miracle of Sun on October 13, 1917, yet people still doubted the authenticity of the messages immediately after the event. It was asked at Fatima “Why was the Blessed Mother here?” Her response was “So people would believe.” The question must be asked, “Do we have peace in the world?” Mankind had everything to gain and nothing to lose by complying with her requests.
In Rwanda (approved) the Blessed Mother appeared to young children in April of 1981, just two months before the apparitions of Medjugorje. Her message was again the same to a new group of people now in Africa versus those in Europe or elsewhere. Our Lady requested that they live the sacraments, repent, go to confession and attend Mass. Again, nothing too radical here that should cause a Catholic concern. She asked for fidelity to her Son. She said, “Rwanda would become a river of blood” unless the people heeded her messages. In 1994, approximately 800,000 Rwandans were hacked to death with approximately two million refugees in about 100 days. It was payback for the same type of occurrence that happened in the 1950’s where millions of Rwandans were driven into the jungle of the Congo by another tribe. Neighbors who lived side by side for two generations hacked each other to death over previous grievances and disputes. After the events, many Rwandans said, “If only we had listened.” Time and Newsweek magazine covers showed the same photo of a river of blood with dead corpses floating downstream. There is a price to pay for not listening.
At Akita, Japan, 1973, (approved), the Blessed Mother said the future church would be “Cardinal opposing cardinal, bishop against bishop, priest against priest….” If you are watching the news, the dissent of the Dubia is just the tip of the iceberg on the dissent in the Church. Many clergy in the rank and file are angry, and largely silent due to potential pushback from their bishop if they go public with their views as they watch the disintegration of doctrine.
Many more apparitions can be discussed here that are authentic with the same points being made, but the larger issue is why are there such obstructionists with a negative attitude coming from those who say they pledge fidelity to the Church?
We have been told by the Blessed Mother if the statue of Our Lady of America is processed into the Shrine of the Immaculate in Washington, D.C by the U.S. Bishops, America would be restored to purity. So why would it not be done? With the destruction and free fall of the U.S. political system well advanced in conjunction with the moral obliteration of the family, what do we have to lose to process the statue as she asked? So the question is, why do people doubt her words, thus her promises? We have seen in hindsight the destruction and confusion for a century of not abiding by the request made at Fatima and the Consecration of Russia? There are powerful evil forces at work here. Let us pray that Our Lady’s plan for peace is fulfilled.