|Cross on Mt. Križevac overlooking Medjugorje|
compelled by the strength of Fr. Gabrielle Amorth’s words – words that condemned our apathy toward Medjugorje. (See these other articles for an overview of Medjugorje, St. John Paul II’s position, and a reflection on the transitory gift of Medjugorje). Fr. Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of Rome for 20 years, casting out
demons in the often unseen battle of Good vs. Evil. For him to make the following remarks, he
must understand something that often escapes us.
interview with Radio Maria, Fr. Amorth spoke these words in light of a reported
message of Our Lady given on August 25, 2011:
“Dear children! Today I call
you to pray and fast for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan.
Here I began with this parish and invited the entire world. Many have
responded, but there is an enormous number of those who do not want to hear or
accept my call. Therefore, you who have said ‘yes’, be strong and resolute.
Thank you for having responded to my call.”
“How bitter, how bitter was the last message of Our Lady of
Medjugorje, on August 25:‘Many have responded, but there is an enormous number of those
who do not want to hear or accept my call.’Now look here; it is very sour, this balance. After more than
thirty years! More than thirty years! Now if it is the pagans who don’t listen
to Our Lady’s words, then that I can understand. But be you a Christian, it is
not forgivable. Be you a Christian!Even priests and bishops don’t even want to hear about it. It
is not that they went there and then made their decision fairly after seeing
things for themselves, no! They don’t even want to hear it being spoken about!”
wants to destroy my plan.”
“Our struggle is not against
flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world
forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the
words remind us that we are in a deadly spiritual battle with Satan, who “comes
only to steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10). Fr. Amorth’s wisdom and insight fighting spiritual battles assuredly enables him to recognize and distinguish between the work of God and that of Satan. His
strong belief in the happenings in Medjugorje, therefore, guide me amid the lies and false reports often circulated (even by major news sites!) citing the Vatican has disproven
the apparitions and declared them to have been a fraud. Remember when reading these reports that:
“Pope Francis has not given his word yet on Medjugorje, therefore no declaration, even from a “Vatican insider”, holds any authority. They are simply personal opinions. Beware of falling into the trap of agitation! The announcement will be given on the official Vatican websites.” Sister Emmanuel
“The Gospel is so clear, it tells us how to discern! By the fruits you will know the tree! It has been 30 years … [and] Medjugorje has given
us fruits that are ultimately exquisite! Confession, conversion, vocations,
graces of every kind! For more than 30 years!”
Amorth’s experience at combatting the father of lies, makes his understanding of
Medjugorje as “a great fortress against
Satan” particularly compelling. I believe we must carefully reflect on Father’s
words. And perhaps consider more deeply the reports of graces God
has given us for over 34 years! For Father says
“In the Old Testament God sent prophets to warn of the betrayals
of the Jewish people. Now, here, to warn of the betrayal of the Christian
people, also the priests, God sends us His Mother! It has been 30 years! Is it
possible that people still do not hear? And as for those people who believe
themselves to be intelligent by saying they wait until the Church approves?
They are fools!”
imagery reminds us of the great prophecy God spoke regarding the woman who
would crush the head of Satan. Saying to
Adam and Eve in the garden:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between
your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his
heel.” (Gen 3:15).
as attacks on the family increase daily and more and more people seem to be losing their faith. As world gets ever darker, we can become discouraged and overwhelmed. Yet, in the midst of this darkness, let us keep in mind that conversions and healings are being reported daily from people who have journeyed to or embraced the messages of
miracles! And how incredibly each of these accounts of conversion, vocation and healing attest to Mary’s power over Satan and her ability to crush his plans!
change the world in one fell swoop, but through individuals! Look at Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Jesus, His Twelve Apostles, St. Francis of Assisi, etc. God seeks to transform each of us! And then, watch with joy how we witness and become another Christ to each other through the smallest acts of love and through our prayers! In God’s goodness, humility and patience, He is at work changing the world, one person at a time. One person who impacts those around them – and so on and so on.
live the Eucharist?
messages, which lead us into ever deeper faith and closeness to God, so we will become her apostles?
marriages, our children, our families, our homes, our relationships, our
country… even the entire world and universe!
alcohol, it is a tremendous victory of God!
divorce proclaims that God’s love triumphs!
power of forgiveness over anger and hatred!
hell rages because a soul refuses to listen to the one “who accuses us night and day”
Rev 12:10, but, instead, listens and trusts in God’s mercy!
all of heaven rejoices at the great triumph of life over the forces of death!
is an annihilation of Satan’s plans!
participates in Holy Mass or adores the Blessed Sacrament…
changing each one of us!
heaven rejoices, while the demons rage!
A place where the parish has a 3-hour program of prayer every day! Where more confessions take place than any
other place in the world! A place of
untold numbers of conversions and healings!
to discredit them. We need only think
about what took place regarding St. Faustina and the messages Jesus gave her on
His Divine Mercy, (which were condemned for a time until Pope St. John Paul II
rescued them) or the terrible lies people made up against St. Padre
Pio (who endured great testing, censure and trials through the hands of the Church) to name a few.
Although there has been no denunciations, there are recent reports of restrictions taking place in Medjugorje. I see these restrictions as a necessary step in the Church’s process of discernment. Through trial and testing, the humility and the obedience of the reported visionaries and pilgrims will be determined. However, Satan will have a field day spinning these restrictions into condemnations, for he has
been particularly adept at spreading falsehoods that undermine the acceptance
of Medjugorje in our world. So much so, that many do not
even wish to consider or pay any attention to the thousands of reports that
attest to the good fruits coming from Medjugorje. This is what Father Amorth is so strongly lamenting!
“All this multitude shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle belongs to the LORD, who shall deliver you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17: 46-47).
on His Holy Word as a family, we grow closer to Christ. The Holy Word of God is not merely a book, but a Person! The Divine Person Who brought the entire
universe into existence still speaks, teaches, heals and guides us to
all Truth if we listen to His Word: “When I found your words I
devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart!” (Jer.
meditate on Jesus’ entire life (!) – from the Incarnation, life and death, Resurrection and Ascension, to the outpouring of His Spirit and the
raising to heavenly glory of Mary, (who goes before us in glory). How deeply we fall in love with Christ when we
are led to Him and see Him through the eyes and the heart of His Mother! She aids us
with her prayers, so that we are able to: “treasure all these things and ponder them in our hearts”
(see Lk 2: 19).
self in the Eucharist to feed and nourish us for the journey unto eternal life
– “For My Body is true food and my Blood is true drink….anyone who eats
this bread will live forever! (Jn 6:55, 51, 58). Jesus died to give us
this ability to be united to Him body and soul – and to remain with us
always! How wonderful to live in union with so great a Gift?! May we unite ourselves deeply to the Eternal Sacrament of God’s Love.
Month: Each time we repent and go to confession, we become more humble, more aware of God’s mercy! Through the
priest in confession, Jesus, HIMSELF, speaks words of infinite power,
healing and forgiveness. He strengthens and challenges us by His Mercy, saying: “Neither
do I condemn you, go and sin no more!” (Jn. 8:11).
only be cast out by prayer and fasting” (Mk 9:29; Mt. 17: 21). How difficult it is to fast! And yet, how vital it is if we are to be able to cast out these demons that seek to destroy us! May we strive to fast on bread and water; but most importantly, let us fast from our sins, which weaken us and make us susceptible to the Enemy’s snares.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but mine, says the Lord” (2 Chron. 20:15).