Monday, December 5, 2011

A cautionary tale to apparition chasers

This morning's Office of Readings contains commentary from St. John of the Cross.   What he says might be relevant to those who are ever looking for the next apparition of Jesus or Mary, and eagerly checking the relevant websites for the next "message". 

It is true that apparitions --especially those that have received the Church's approval as worthy of belief--can be a great aid to faith. Personally, whenever I have those depressive/doubtful feelings about God's existence, my first and easiest line of defense is to remember the miracle of the sun at Fatima. That usually nips my problem in the bud without need to go running to apologetics manuals to remind myself why we know God exists. 

However, when people make an apparition the main focus and source of their faith, or view the seers as some kind of holy mediums who foretell the future--that's dangerous. St. John of the Cross was no stranger to signs and visions. He received quite a few of them. So he is eminently qualified when he cautions  us to dwell on these least of  signs in preference to the greatest, which is Jesus Himself. 

Here's some highlights. Read the whole thing by choosing Office of Readings on the widget to the right, and scrolling down to the second reading:

By giving us, as he did, his Son, his only Word, he has in that one Word said everything. There is no need for any further revelation...

 ...Therefore, anyone who wished to question God or to seek some new vision or revelation from him would commit an offense, for instead of focusing his eyes entirely on Christ he would be desiring something other than Christ, or beyond him.

God could then answer: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear him.
 In my Word I have already said everything. Fix your eyes on him alone for in him I have revealed all and in him you will find more than you could ever ask for or desire.