The Pieta Prayer Book  (a classic) Many find this the most powerful little compilation of prayers they own. There are the fifteen prayers as revealed to St. Bridget. There is an ancient prayer to the Virgin. There are beautiful prayers to Jesus. There is a prayer to the Eternal Father to obtain all the graces of the world's Masses. There is a novena to the Sacred Heart. There is Divine Mercy, prayer for priests. CLICK HERE


By Michael H. Brown

So often, we're met with the issue of discernment. It's important because we're the Mystical Body of Christ, and it was mysticism -- miracles, and especially His Resurrection -- that affirmed Christ as the Savior.

As a journalist, my job is often to go into gray areas and try to recover what otherwise may be lost. There are so many revelations that are imperfect, as all prophecy (except that from Christ) is imperfect (see 1 Corinthians 13:9), and so we consider the fact that there are always problems because humans are involved. 

Yet it is also crucial to be careful. The most well-intentioned can be deceived. We have all seen that occur. While the Pope is very open to mysticism -- and has warmly greeted dozens of seers, at least at public sessions -- in virtually every case something wrong can be spotted if one searches for the negative. This can even and perhaps especially occur with the most striking phenomena. We're concerned because while we report on such cases and always take an initially positive view (unless we have reason not to), we urge great caution. Back in the 16th century was a Franciscan nun in Cordova, Spain, who as the famous theologian the Very Reverend Adolphe Tanqueray said, "aided by the devil," simulated "all the mystical phenomena of ecstasy, levitation, stigmata, revelations, and prophecies reportedly fulfilled. Thinking herself at the point of death, she made a confession which she later retracted, was exorcised, and moved to another convent."

Even the most well-intentioned can be deceived, and from time to time we all are!

We are indeed all susceptible, and yet we are called as the Mystical Body to take the good out of a situation. Apparitions. Locutions. The discernment is always difficult. There has been controversy over everything from Lourdes (where demonic voices, trying to contaminate the revelation, came from the cave) to Medjugorje. I see this too with near-death experiences. In one case we've reported, a man seemed to have a feeling that he had existed in heaven before earth. This is contrary, at least on the surface, to Catholic teaching. But when I queried him at length, this person said that he does not actually believe he existed before conception, because he had no conscious recollection, but that he was trying to convey the feeling of sensing that he always existed in the Mind of God (which is more difficult to argue with). In eternity, there is no "before" or "after" and so there is really no pre-existence.

Whew! So difficult. But Scripture urges us to seek gifts of the Spirit -- especially prophecy -- and the supernatural is at the very foundation of our faith. We are the mystical body of Christ. We are told to prophesy -- not to despise it. And so -- through fasting and prayer -- we continue. It's important. Crucial! It was when they demystified the Church that the pews emptied.

But this warning: there is tremendous deception out there right now and no matter how holy something or someone seems at first, only through humility and fasting and prayer -- long prayer, many hours -- will you discern it. We urge that you not visit any alleged mystic, even if such a mystic is a religious, and especially not allow the laying on of hands, without much previous prayer and fasting and Scripture reading.

Only prayer brings the Holy Spirit, and only the Holy Spirit knows the full truth.

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