MAILBAG: ARTICLE ON ALLEGED MYSTIC'S CALL FOR MORE DEVOTION FOR 'GOD THE FATHER' ELICITS VIEWS PRO AND CON
As Catholics we long have acknowledged "God the Father." Everyone prays the Lord's Prayer, which starts with, "Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name..." That's the most important prayer in the entirety of Christendom -- taught by Jesus Himself, the Son.
Our very Creed begins with the words, "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty." We also say the Gloria Patris, which starts with, "Glory be to the Father..."
In the Divine Mercy revelations of Saint Faustina Kowalska is a prayer with the potent words, "Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One."
So is this enough?
Perhaps. But perhaps not. In our view it would not hurt and might greatly help (in this time of urgent supplication) to add more acknowledgement of Him -- perhaps, a lot more. Honor. Devotion. Worship.
Intense worship of the Father.
Can our Church not at least set aside a special week in His Honor, or even declare a Jubilee Year based on devotion to Him?
Is it "radical," a call for devotion to God the Father, with a special feast day and churches dedicated to Him?
Yes and no. It is definitely: controversial.
Recent articles about an alleged mystic named Mother Eugenia Rosario who had a bishop's strong formal approval (but nonetheless warrants further careful discernment) and called for new devotions to God the Father generated plenty of mail, on both ends of the spectrum. The previous article is linked at the end of this one. Some of that mail:
"Thanks so much for this article," wrote Ted Quigley of South Burlington, Vermont. "For several years I have had this urge to directly address the Father and try to honor and glorify him more than I do. I backed off kind of quickly because I did not want to bypass Jesus so to speak. So this is a very special article and thanks again."
Wrote Cynthia Morningstar of Hopkinton, Massachusetts: "The following is a quote from your article about a nun who received messages from God. 'For this feast, I would like a special Mass and Office. It is not difficult to find the texts in the Holy Scriptures. If you prefer to offer Me this special devotion on a Sunday, I choose the first Sunday of August. If you prefer a weekday, I would like it to be always the seventh day of that same month.' Does anyone really think this sounds like God? Would he really ask us what we 'prefer'? Am I missing something? When God speaks in the Bible He is very direct, precise and demanding. Seeing as He is unchanging, these words do not sound the least bit like Him."
Counters Richard McCallum, "Mother Angelica has a statue of God the Father based upon this revelation at her place in Alabama. It is life-sized and was created by my mother, Anna May McCallum. We have celebrated this feast each year in Minnesota."
Asked Irvin Kloska, "Is there a copy of the picture of God the Father? It would be good if you posted it. [The revelation says] 'I also desire that every family prominently display the picture I will later show to My little daughter.'"
[Yes, there are versions; at the bottom is one.]
Said Larry Landolfi, "It was with great interest I read your main article on the God the Father Devotion. This is something Iíve been very devoted to for fifteen-plus years. Iím sure you must have in your hands the booklet 'The Father Speaks To His Children.' My favorite part of the whole book is on page 28 and reads: 'I make you a promise which will have an eternal effect. It is this: call Me by the Name of Father, with confidence and love, and you will receive everything from this Father, with love and mercy.' As someone who has trouble sleeping all my life, when I wake up in the middle of the night and feel it might be 'another long night,' I simply say in my mind, 'Father. Sleep. Father. Sleep. etcetera.' Nineteen out of twenty times Iím fast asleep."
Said Maree Triffett, "I have
been following with interest your articles on the revelations of God the
Father to Mother Eugenia. The members of the diocesan enquiry into the
revelations of God the Father to Mother Eugenia Ravasio included the
Bishop of Grenobleís Vicar General, Monsignor Emilio Guerry, a theologian,
as well as the Jesuit brothers, Fathers Alberto and Augusto Valencin, who
ranked among the foremost authorities in the field of philosophy and
theology and were experts in evaluating such cases; two doctors of
medicine, one of whom was a psychiatrist. The enquiry started in 1935 and
lasted ten years. It is thus interesting to read the following article by
Monsignor Emilio Guerry published in 1940. May the Father bless your
efforts to make Him, known, loved and honored."
But worried another viewer, who wanted his name shielded: "Since you asked in the editorial the question 'what do YOU think...,' well... Deception. 'All those who call Me by the Name of Father, even if only once, will not perish, but will be sure of their eternal life among the chosen ones.' A bunch of this stuff sounds too much like channeling the Ascended Masters. Also this statement is too much like the Protestant Sinner's Prayer, that many look on as a magical get-out-of-hell-free card, by which they can go forth and 'sin boldly' per Martin Luther.
"Ostensibly the main point to the apparitions is establishing a feast dedicated to God The Father... Quoting the editorial: 'Only the Father has no feast of His own which would draw the attention of the Christian people to His Person. This is the reason,' wrote the bishop, 'why a fairly extensive survey of the faithful has shown that, in the various social classes and even among many priests and religious, 'the Father is unknown, no one prays to Him, no one thinks of Him.' The survey reveals, rather surprisingly, that a large number of Christians remain distant from the Father because they see Him as a terrifying judge. They prefer to turn to Christ's humanity. And how many ask Jesus to protect them from the Father's anger! A special feast would thus have the effect of re-establishing order in the spirituality of many Christians and, secondly, of leading them back to the Divine Son's instruction.'
"However, in my opinion the feast request is 'misdirection.' The core message is, 'God is not an angry Father, don't be afraid of him.' 'Do not think of Me as that frightening old man whom men depict in their pictures and books! No, no, I am neither younger nor older than My Son and My Holy Spirit. Because of this I would like everybody, from the youngest to the oldest, to call Me by the familiar name of Father and Friend.' I'd also remind you the in the Course in Miracles, it is stated that 'God is Pure Spirit and therefore cannot punish,' so that might raise a few red flags re: the Mother Eugenia messages.
"So, how about some 'dueling apparitions'.... in these excerpts from the apparitions at Akita, Japan. August 3, 1973: 'Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with My Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for sinners and ingrates.' 'In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With My Son I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father's anger. I desire this also from your community... that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men.'"
We're not sure the revelations said anything about God not punishing. But: for your discernment -- and that of our Church fathers.
[see also: Church-approved message to nun claimed request from God]
[resources: The Lion's Roar: Prayers for the Remnant]
[Adds Maree: "Saint John Paul II had a
great devotion to God the Father. So it is very significant that his
beatification resulted from the healing of a nun who was a member of an
order founded by Monsignor Emile Guerry (who was Vicar General of Grenoble
and on the commission investigating God the Father's message to Mother
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