Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cardinal Arinze Cautions on Private Revelations

There is typically much excitement about alleged apparitions and private revelations, especially concerning those that have not been approved by the Church. This excitement persists even when the bishops in whose dioceses the visions or messages are alleged to have occurred issue warnings to the faithful.

There is also, sadly, a tendency for believers of any particular "message" to be critical of other Catholics who express disinterest or disbelief. Cardinal Arinze explains: "The Church never imposes belief in a private revelation, even when such private revelation is approved by the Church as coming from heaven--like Lourdes and Fatima, these are certain that they come from heaven, but even then the Church does not impose them as objects of Catholic faith."

Some Catholics are willing to go to great inconvenience and expense to follow an alleged "seer"; and their spiritual hunger is not likely to be left unfulfilled by our loving God who seeks closer union with all of us. This could be the reason for good fruits from unapproved apparitions, rather than a testimony to the truth of a particular alleged revelation. Since God turns everything to good for those who love Him and seek a closer relationship with Him, why would He not respond favorably to those desires?

Meanwhile, back at our home parishes, how often is Jesus left alone in the Most Blessed Sacrament? As Saint Jean Vianney once said, "Everyone is ready to run after the latest novelty...but as for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, he is deserted and forsaken." When asked about going on pilgrimage to an alleged unapproved "revelation" site, Cardinal Arinze said, "Oh yes, I go on pilgrimage, but you know where I go on pilgrimage?--the chapel where we have the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle--where we are not guessing--where we are SURE!--that's my pilgrimage!


Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests, and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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