Medjugorje Fade

Mary at PodbrdoThe Catholic Herald thinks pilgrimages to the Herzegovinian town have fallen off by half in recent months.

A Vatican investigation has been completed, and the word will soon be out, so we hear. Has Pope Francis tipped his hand in the soon-to-be-announced thumbs up or down  on the apparitions?

Pope Francis joked about “visionaries who can tell us exactly what message Our Lady will be sending at 4 o’clock this afternoon.”

That sounds like Pope Francis. Other critics of the visionaries point out how few (maybe none) have entered religious life, unlike Fatima and Lourdes. Guadalupe stories seem to conflict about a wife for Juan Diego, and whether or not there may have been sex involved.

The disdain for a sacrament may be attributable to the Tridentine era of the Church, but what of the new era and any new depths to be found in the Blessed Mother accompanying earthbound believers?

Sante Frigo, married to a Medjugorje pilgrim guide told the New York Times:

Whatever the verdict turns out to be, this wait is creating a state of uncertainty for the pilgrims, and that affects the season. From the point of view of the pilgrimage supply chain it’s been a catastrophe.

Mmm, yes.

I suppose some might say the world is in worse shape today than during a world war or monarchy upheavals or the conquest and subjugation of a continent or two, so thirty-plus ears of messages are a wake-up call for us. American Catholic Republicans have had to endure not one bad election, but two, and now a pope who doesn’t align with their views. The cafeteria has been turned upside-down and shaken.

On a more real note, I’m not necessarily disinclined to disbelieve the Medjugorje Six. Saint Ignatius speaks of the value of colloquy, in which we have a dialogue with Jesus, Mary, or possibly a saint.

One spiritual director I read said that at first it seems an artificial conversation. And it is–in practicing we’re just talking to ourselves. After a while, though, the conversation turns up material we wouldn’t have thought up on our own. Is it a deeper aspect of our minds? Could be that. Could also be that God uses our nature, including our minds, to gently communicate with us.

In that sense, I wonder if the so-called visionaries are just well-practiced in a form of colloquy. So, perhaps the messages for the individuals involved–which is my best guess.

Speaking for myself, I have enough challenges in cooperating with God’s grace in my life. If the Blessed Mother were going to speak to me, chances are it would be about casting my vision to my own life. I wouldn’t presume to send messages out to anyone else.

As for my own Marian spirituality on apparitions, Guadalupe and Lourdes are quite enough. Fatima and its secrets? Keep them, please.

Image credit.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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