It was Saint John of the Cross, pretty strict when it came to mysticism, who once said, “I am appalled at what happens in these days — namely, when a soul with the very smallest experience of meditation, if it be conscious of certain locutions in some state of recollection, at once christens them all as coming from God, and assumes that this is the case, saying, ‘God said to me…’ ‘God answered me…,’ whereas it is not so at all, but, as we have said, it is for the most part they who are saying it to themselves.”
Saint Teresa of Avila, another Carmelite, warned that false locutions have no actual effect, while real ones cause great freedom of stress and turmoil. She said that the “understanding” could create words that are fantastic and indistinct, and having no real effect.
But Saint Teresa certainly believed that God spoke to her, and so have other saints. Just one’s own “subconscious” speaking? In many cases, yes; falsity is rampant. But angels do talk to us — Heaven speaks — as does the devil. Though they already classify it as psychological, and perhaps it is, we were perhaps reminded of how a diabolical voice can operate in the way of the shooter this week at the naval yard in Washington (9/16/13). He often complained of voices in his head telling him what to do, and many criminals, particularly on “death row,” have asserted the same. “Voices” figured into the infamous slaying of John Lennon. Women who have killed their children have even claimed they were directed to.
All of the above constitute why one must be cautious with mysticism without throwing the baby away with the bathwater.
The Bible — including a vast majority of the Old Testament — is filled with those who said they were spoken to by the Lord: Much of the Pentateuch is a long-running locution received and recorded by Moses.
But locutions are curious; probably, we all have had them. But just as probably, they are awfully hard to cleave from normal patterns of thoughts.
We often hear what we want to hear; and we often hear in accordance with preconceptions.
In short, we talk to ourselves.
Has this factored into Catholic prophecy?
It is interesting how very many such locutions in our time have the same theme and often the same terminology. This can be seen two ways: as confirmation that the messages are true, since they coincide so closely, or as an indication of simple subconscious imitation.
In all likelihood, both occur.
Some even have the Blessed Mother discussing politics (this is particularly suspect).
Often, we hear what we want to.
But we are not to despise the prophetic and we believe that God does indeed send us thoughts: It is like ticker-tape: a constant chatter in the way of our internal dialogue, some coming from our own understanding (as Saint Teresa called it), some from angels; some from devils.
It’s our chore, in thought, in life, to sort it all out.
Particularly interesting, in mysticism, is how frequently locutions accompany cases — often very convincing cases — of weeping statues.
One example comes from Michigan, where, we are informed, and have noted before, a middle-aged married woman of Iraqi (Chaldean Catholic) descent in late August 2008 discovered that an 8-x-10-inch picture of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in her home showed signs of oil flowing down the front.
This picture was a copy of the upper half of a statue of Our Lady of the Cape, a particular form of devotion that French Catholics from Quebec, Canada, have had to Mary since the 1700s, notes a site explaining these locutions, which we will present below for us to sort out, as examples of “hearing” voices.
“When this woman brought it to a more prominent place of honor in her home, the picture began to give off oil in fairly great amounts,” says a site devoted to it. “A plastic platter was placed under the picture to collect the oozing oil and a clear plastic case was put around the picture for protection, to keep people visiting the home of this woman from directly touching it. In April of 2009 a wooden crucifix about 8-9 inches tall was brought to her home and placed on top of the plastic encasement housing the picture. The cross began to ooze much oil, and under it another plastic platter had to be placed to catch all the oil. Around May of the same year a framed picture of Christ scourged, crowned with thorns and rapped in the red cloak of a fool, was hanged on a wall near the picture and the wooden cross giving off oil. Oil began to flow from the picture and began staining the wall. The picture was taken down and placed on the table where the picture of Mary and the wooden cross are displayed. It soon began to flow with much oil. A plastic flat platter had to be put under the picture to catch the runoff oil, and was placed inside a plastic enclosure. A few days later a ceramic thin statue, about one foot tall, of the Madonna holding the Christ Child was placed on the table with the two pictures and cross. It too began to give oil abundantly. And a plastic platter had to be placed under it, and was placed in a plastic enclosure. Later a statue of St. Joseph holding the Christ child was placed on this table and it too began to flow with oil, and a plastic container was put under the statue to collect the oil. Up until now, more than three hundred pounds of oil have been collected and stored in glass jars. These containers are stored in cardboard boxes and stacked in the pantry of this woman’s house.
“A sample of this oil was sent to a chemistry lab for analysis, it is reported, and the tests revealed that it is similar to olive oil, but the lab could not identify what exactly it is. It is less viscous than olive oil and has a pleasant smell. During May of 2010, we are further informed by the site, a wooden carving of the face of Jesus and another small wooden cross were placed on the same table, where all the sacramental are placed, began to ooze oil. They were placed in plastic platters to collect the oil. One amazing detail about this is that for all of the time this oil has flowed down the front of the picture of Our Lady of the Cape, there is no sign of the picture disintegrating. The oil is not making the picture breakup, crack or fall apart. And while the oil flows down from the top of the picture, there is not the slightest bit of oil on the back of the picture. The back is ‘bone dry.’
“During this time,” it further states, “starting in September 2008, the woman began to experience locutions, that is, experiences of Mother Mary speaking to her. These are locutions heard not inside her mind or spirit but exteriorly, in the living room of her condominium home. The Blessed Virgin Mary speaks to her in the early hours of the morning, between 2:30 and 5:00 a.m. The language Mary speaks in is a contemporary dialect of the Aramaic language which Jesus spoke. The woman records the messages in a small spiral notebook by transliterating what the Virgin Mary speaks to her, using Arabic alphabet. The woman understands Arabic and the Aramaic dialect which the Virgin Mary uses to speak with her. She is assisted by two seasoned priests and a seminary graduate-certified spiritual director to help her understand the meaning and implications of the messages which Mary speaks to her. These messages are then accurately translated into English to make them accessible to the whole world. They are being published with the approval of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since September of 2008 until now, the Blessed Virgin Mary has given this woman over seventy messages and has appeared to her two times. The ecclesiastical authority (the diocesan bishop) is aware of these happenings, and as of date, has not made a judgment regarding the authenticity of the private revelation contained in these messages and apparitions and the oozing of hundreds of pounds of oil from these sacramentals. It is important to note, however, that many spiritual and physical healings have taken place among some of the thousands of people, who have come quietly to pray and bless themselves with the oil that is flowing from the picture of Virgin Mary and the other sacramentals. The identity of the visionary and the two priests and the spiritual director who are assisting her, will not be revealed for the time being, in order to guard their privacy, until a future date when it becomes necessary that their identities be revealed.”
And so we discern (quoting the website).
In this case, the repeated theme — so often seen in alleged current locutions — is that Jesus is about to return.
“The 21st Message Apparition on Wednesday 6/19/2013 at 3:05 A.M. (The 140th Message): The Visionary was praying in front of the icon when a light shone like lightening and illuminated the room. Then a halo of light appeared which began to expand until the blessed Virgin Mary emerged from it and stood in the air, at about two feet above the floor. She was dressed in white and blue. A very pleasant fragrance filled the room, while the seer was kneeling with tears in her eyes. The Virgin Mary said:
“’My esteemed daughter, I am aware of your difficulties and pains. Have I not told you that I am with you? You are saving and helping many people. My children, who are the children of the Truth, have I not said that the coming of my Son is near? His coming is dependent on you, human beings, because you are blocking and delaying His coming. Many people are not with my Son; they are busy with the things that are going to remain on this earth. They are following after evil.”
“The Virgin Mary (allegedly) continued, ‘My children, if you want to live a new life, show your love to my Son. He wants to bestow peace to every heart and to every life that longs for Him, life and peace in the Kingdom of Heaven that has no end. Come to my Son with all your difficulties; He will give you peace. Come to my Son without fear; come and offer Him your body and mind to enable Him to help you in body, mind and soul. Come to my Son with joy; my Son is the Truth. Come close to Him , come close to Him , come close to Him.’”
Just a meditation?
With this set of messages, there is a twist: that mankind is delaying His Coming. We have not seen it said that way before.
The Virgin Mary (allegedly) continued, “I beg and beseech from all of you to come close to Him and to listen to Him. Come and return to Him so that He will give you rest; He is among you. Open the doors of your hearts to enable Him to return to your hearts. The coming of my Son will be for the salvation of this world. But when are you going to awake, O people, from your deep sleep? Do not allow the things of this earth to seduce you and forget my Son. Pray for the new Pope; he is facing many difficulties.” The light dimmed and the Virgin Mary disappeared.
Just repetitions of the many locutions since the 1980s, or a different way of verbiage?
For your contemplation.
The 23rd Apparition on Friday 7/19/2013 at 4:10 A.M. (The 144th Message): “The seer was praying in front of the icon when a light shone and illuminated the room. The usual halo of light appeared and continued to expand until the Virgin Mary emerged and stood above the floor. The Virgin Mary was dressed in white and blue and a very pleasant fragrance filled the room” (again, this is from the website).
The Virgin Mary said, “My esteemed daughter, am I not saying ‘return to my Son’? Clear your path and come to my Son. My children, my Son is your salvation. My Son will relieve you from all difficulties. My Son will relieve you from every fear. Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, fear is of the evil one. The happiness of the human being is what keeps fear from entering into the hearts. There is no place for fear in the heart where my Son resides.”
The Virgin Mary continued, “The words of my Son are Life. Anyone who listens to His words will see a pure life and will find healing and strength. The road of difficulties has arrived. Return to my Son. My Son is with you, don’t be afraid. My Son is filled with love. Come and return to my Son. He is a Righteous Person; He is a Righteous God. He can not and will not forsake you. My children, He is with you; He is with you to help you and bless you. Wake up from your fears and come out to the light of the sun so that my Son will be with you. The coming of my Son depends on you, O human beings.”
And lastly, in the recent messages: “My esteemed daughter, your pains and sufferings are increasing. You are saving many souls with these sufferings. My children, my Son is coming for the salvation of this world. Every human being will see Jesus in a manner that is in accordance with one’s disposition towards Him. Every human being will be punished according to his deeds. The Vision of my Son will be in a different manner. It will be neither in the manner that He is seen in the Holy Church nor in the manner that His disciples saw Him. He will give strength to every person that is weak. And every person who is lonely will have my Son as his friend. He is a true Friend. He is the Savior. Be aware of my Son’s presence. My Son is Help, Peace and Happiness, these are here, with my Son. You will know what is the cause of the difficulties of this time. You will realize that this thing is not due to my Son’s cruelty. It is rather something that is intended to bring you closer to my Son. All your prayers are answered by my Son, but sometimes many of these answers include bitterness and sadness that are meant for the good of humanity.
Your happiness in this world will come to an end, it does not satisfy you. But the great happiness is in the Kingdom of Heaven which has no end.”