Thursday, July 21, 2011

Medjugorje: let's be careful out there

"Mary, pray for us, and soften the hearts of unbelievers."

I saw this Medjugorje-related post on Facebook and truly pray that it refers to unbelievers in Christ, rather than those of us who have serious doubts about the apparitions of Our Lady to some kids in Yugoslavia.

For those from Mars, a bit o' background: ;-)

On June 24, 1981, six children in the town of Medjugorje, Yugoslavia (today, Bosnia-Herzegovina), began to experience phenomena which they alleged to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This apparition had a message of peace for the world, as well as a call to conversion, prayer and fasting. It also entrusted to the children secret messages about events to be fulfilled in the future. These "secrets," confided individually to different visionaries, have not been revealed to the public. The apparitions themselves have continued almost daily since 1981, with some of the now young adults continuing to experience them regularly (those who have not yet received all the secrets intended for them) and others not. Originally they occurred on a hilltop near the town where a large Cross commemorating the Redemption exists. They have since occurred in many other places, including the parish church, St. James, and wherever the visionaries happen to be located at the time of the apparition. (compliments of EWTN)

Here's what scares me and prompts me to pray:

There are some people—the visionaries of course, but thousands of pilgrims—who Truly Believe in the Medjugorje apparitions. I have heard and spoken to many, many good folk who have traveled there, returning with (and I don't doubt their testimony, by the way) Rosaries that have been turned into gold, healings (both physical, and perhaps, spiritual...perhaps) and a myriad of "miracles."

I put "miracles in quotes because I'm not sure from whence these "miracles" derive. Hence, my prayers.

I'm afraid for people who have put all their faith in Medjugorje.

I'm afraid that, if—and this is a very plausible "if"—the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, receives and reports the revelation that the "apparitions" at Medjugorje are either not real at all, or, perhaps worse, the work of demonic activity (don't HIT me! It's possible!)? I fear the loss of faith in the Church of Jesus Christ...something even the most devoted Medjugorje pilgrim, I would hope, find appalling. At least, Our Lady would.

Queen of Peace, pray for us.