Toronto retreat: Michael H. Brown, May 20
In our recent article on a powerful mystical book about the life of Saint Joseph, we quoted helpful comments from a priest about discerning such a revelation.
Father P. Odo Staudinger — who wrote an introduction to the book — stressed that inner locutions like those behind the revelation are “a perception of words somehow resounding within.” And as such the human intellect can be active at the same time that a vision is being regarded, he said, thereby contributing something of its own to the revelation.
A mystic may receive a legitimate impulse that then travels through the prism of personal considerations, expectations, beliefs, and elaborations.
When it is “felt,” by a seer, for example, that something major is going to happen, the visionary-locutionist-charismatic may then put his or her own spin on what it is that will happen — and more to the point, when.
Perhaps we can visualize it as God sending an extra pulse of electricity to a home where the recipient then uses it in the way he or she determines — by turning on a light with it, for example, or a television, or a computer; by using it for a stove or air conditioner.
A mystical impulse, in short, can be expressed — and manifested — in various ways.
The priest remarked that God perhaps allows an admixture of revelation with human input — and occasional error — so that we do not equate private revelations with Sacred Scripture.
But the essence — the pulse?
The presence of admixture does not mean the whole matter is automatically discarded, but that we do what the Bible says: take what seems good — get the “gist” of it — and leave the rest (unless a seer is repeatedly errant, at which point it is all wisely dismissed).
This is especially true with timing.
At one famous apparition site, a seer said that what is discussed by the Virgin Mary in four to eight minutes would take humans eight hours.
Heaven’s means of communication — and time-frames — are not ours.
“Soon” can mean different things — and “soon” can also change.
God is not to be pigeon-holed: He wears no wrist-watch and knows only the fluidity of timelessness.
The hundredth anniversary of Fatima?
This is extremely important, spiritually.
But does it mean anything as far as impending prophetic events?
That’s a much bigger question mark. For God doesn’t use human calendars — though He certainly honors our devotion on anniversaries and special days, including those tied to indulgences, dispensing Grace accordingly. He certainly honors the First Saturdays devotion that the Blessed Mother requested at Fatima, where, in this case, every word can be taken as from Mary — being, as it was, a first-tier, corporeal apparition.
Recently, we caught up with one alleged current seer from Australia, Valentina Papagna, originally from Slovenia, who says she has had full-blown apparitions of Mary since 1988. We had a “special report” detailing her incredible story a while back. We note that she does not have either Church approval or disapproval.
But she is a case in point, when it comes to the prism of “reception.”
Help us discern…
When asked why events so often said to be “imminent” or “soon” have not yet transpired — at least as far as mega-ones — Valentina told Spirit Daily, “When people set dates, God doesn’t like to be told what to do.” As for chastisements, it is more that He “permits” things, she said, to happen.
“Natural disasters will come,” she believes. “Purification is very close, for us, for the souls. If people don’t convert, there will be chastisement.”
“Lately what Our Lord is telling me is that peace in the world is very fragile,” she believes. “North Korea, China, the United States. That can lead to a major conflict, the Lord said, start the Third World War. He wants penance and sacrifice. The angel told me [that it can one day happen that] by the time you get up in the morning, you will have heard that he (the leader of North Korea) threw the bomb.”
In other words: if and when they come, matters may unfold in an instant, a blink, without build-up: unexpectedly.
This is her interpretation of the impulses she has been given. Certain other seers likewise have warned of world war, while others have said such a war will not be permitted (though there can be regional conflict). Right now, Valentina believes that “the Lord is allowing calm so people can wake up and return to God.” She thinks there will be a “warning” to mankind that will come in the midst of chaotic events. After this warning: “The Blessed Mother said the world will never be the same. For a while there will be big chaos in the world,” she says. Famine, rioting. The warning will occur in the midst of it.
For our discernment.
“Yesterday in church,” she asserts, “He said, speak to the people, tell them to wake up, for the time is now very short” — and here we are again, back to time-frames!
Days and months now go “quick, quick, quick,” says Valentina. This many have felt. Who has enough time, these days? “Things will unfold very rapidly,” Valentina says. “Blessed Mother told me, they see nothing happen, so they give up.” But, she believes, there one day will be all those “earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes” that so many alleged seers, prophets, locutionists, and recipient of “words of knowledge” have been claiming for a long period now. Things will come suddenly, she warns — “just happen.” Matters will arrive “out of the blue,” to emphasize her point.
“Our Lord said now is the time… The world has never been as it is now.”
“Look at my children, how they are dying of starvation and look at how many millionaires there are in the world and they don’t help,” she quotes the Lord as saying.
The Lord’s words? Or her opinion?
We always have to ask that of any seer.
The leader of North Korea, she says, “just wants to destroy humanity.”
“The angel told me China and right now North Korea — China you can’t trust really. When you think everything is all right, China is China, she will come, she will march everywhere, she will surprise.”
She also worries about what she sees as President Donald Trump’s impulsiveness and propensity for punishing adversaries — though that seems tempered of late.
Is this too dire — at a time when China is showing remarkable cooperation with the U.S.?
“Definitely one day they will come, they want to come,” she insists of the Chinese — unabashedly pessimistic.
And yet optimistic:
“But with all these disasters, don’t be afraid. When we’re with God, nothing matters.
“That feeling– wow. He cares what happens. He’s Our Savior. He will protect us. Such a gentleness…”
[resources: Where the Cross Stands, retreats in Toronto and New Jersey]