The cardinal of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic, said that the Holy See will make an official statement about the supposed apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. These sightings of Mary have been happening since 1981 to six people. The news story is seen here. This is a welcomed and necessary pastoral development.
In danger, in distress, in uncertainty, think of Mary, call upon Mary. She never leaves your lips, she never departs from your heart; and so that you may obtain the help of her prayers, never forget the example of her life. If you follow her, you cannot falter; if you pray to her, you cannot despair; if you think of her, you cannot err. If she sustains you, you will not stumble; if she protects you, you have nothing to fear; if she guides you, you will flag; if she is favorable to you, you will attain your goal….
(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Hom. II super Missus est, 17: PL 183, 70-71.)
Until recently I really didn’t pay too much attention to
“new apparitions” of the Blessed Mother. I had all I can do to maintain what
knew or to explore what I wanted what I felt I needed to know about some of the
trends in Marian devotion. One more apparition of the BVM, even if current and seemingly
well-practiced, is not always interesting to me because of a perception that
yet another devotion to the Virgin Mary is creeping its way onto my plate
without ecclesial approval. Skepticism may be from the devil. I have raised the question about the truthfulness of this appearance of the BVM. But as Providence
would have, the apparitions of Mary from Medjugorje have found me. A few people
have written to me in the past suggesting that I have misread the situation
(perhaps I have) in a place like Medjugorje. Now I have a friend, a Franciscan
sister, keeping me informed on Marian visits. It’s all helpful, indeed and I
appreciate the feedback.
Reading the Catholic news services this morning I
noticed an article saying that the Bosnian cardinal, Vinko Puljic, thinks
someone at the Holy See (the pope?) is going issue a directive on Medjugorje’s claim
on the BVM making frequent visits there since the early 1980s. It is only speculation
at this point that the Holy See will say anything soon, but I do think he’s right in asking for such a directive to
appear for pastoral reasons. A little more guidance from the Holy See would be
extremely helpful. An evaluation of what has happened and what is happening
could set the record straight and help direct a reasonable pastoral response.
Throwing clichés and acidic words around on matters of doctrine, people
involved and spiritual practice is tantamount to spiritual malpractice. Plus,
fidelity to the teaching office of the Catholic Church is essential for true
Catholics. I just hope the Holy See takes Cardinal Puljic’s suggestion.
O God, Whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation, grant we beseech Thee, that meditating on these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
I want to recommend Ruth Rees’s The Rosary in Space and Time which is an accessible and exceptional look into the most important devotional prayers we have: the Rosary. She explores the biblical, liturgical, and practical dimensions of the rosary. A convert from Judaism and a professional actress and writer, Rees brings us (me) to a deeper appreciation of this compendium of the Gospels.