In a recent message during an apparition at Medjugorje,
upon which the Church continues (apparently; no one is sure) to deliberate, the
Blessed Mother said, "My
children, my words are neither old nor new, they are eternal. Therefore, I
invite you, my children, to observe well the signs of the times -- to 'gather
the shattered crosses' and to be apostles of the revelation."
language. What are the "shattered crosses"?
Just two weeks
earlier, in a monthly message that the parish remains permitted to release
publicly, she told another seer, "Dear children! My Immaculate Heart bleeds as I look at you in sin and
sinful habits. I am calling you: return to God and to prayer that it may be good
for you on earth. God is calling you through me for your hearts to be hope and
joy for all those who are far away."
are strong words in alleged apparitions that for decades now have borne
distinction for their prudence, understatement, and circumspection. We'll use
the adjective alleged pending final judgment. They come, such allocutions, these
appearances, when the "signs of the times" continue -- as they have now
for those decades -- to rise around us, slowly, but with resolve, still trending
upward, now not quite as slowly.
of these signs are in society -- heterosexual promiscuity, homosexual marriage,
wanton materialism, abortion, the robotic sterility of materialism, of
technology -- and others are in the sways, the vicissitudes, of nature: the
nasty floods in one place, the desiccation in others, the somewhat mysterious
(perhaps one day to be seen as more ominous than mysterious) quakes in places
like Kentucky, as well as the perturbations on the international stage and for
sure the political one.
Much sways around us! But words of
"gather the shattered crosses," "be apostles of the revelation." Which
revelation? The overall revelation of Jesus? Or her messages, considered
"private revelations" -- so much in
dispute, so hotly and emotionally and sometimes unfairly disputed?
Is it the
revelation of the "signs of the times"?
Would she mean by this the signs in society or weather or in
reported supernatural wonders -- so frequent, from weeping statues to remarkable
cures, these days?
Perhaps all of the above.
will the Pope rule on Medjugorje? No one, including some who have had fairly
close proximity, seems to know. A commission has handed a congregation a report
and the congregation has handed him the report and while the Holy Father has
voiced dislike for certain ways the situation at Medjugorje has been handled,
fairly scoffing at timed, daily appearances, he
has indicated no final, official discernment.
Is it telling that the most
prominent hierarchical supporter of Medjugorje (now that Saint John Paul II is
gone), Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna (or at least the most prominent
vocal supporter) was picked by the Pope recently
to deliver the Holy Father's anxiously awaited exhortation on the family synod?
Does that not speak of an affinity? Can the Pope so respect the Cardinal in his
discernment of how to handle the delicate issues of family and statements about
Communion for the divorced but not on this matter? (The Cardinal has had at
least two of the seers appear in the Vienna cathedral.)
Yet no one knows how Pope
Francis will rule, or even if he will. There will still be disputes. Everyone in
society these days is disputing everything.
Such rancor! The thunder
in the weather echoes the loud discourse below. But perhaps one day soon, the
thunder will be much louder.