Time reveals and time heals. One has to hang a hat — and rosary beads — on that.
Time reveals the truth in life, whether religion, philosophy, politics, theology, jurisprudence, reportage, personal matters, or scientific theories.
It is also true of Christian mystics, the majority of whom are difficult to discern, which is why we never “judge” seers, locutionists, stigmatics, or healers by name, unless the Church has ruled, or unless there is obvious transgression.
In a recent “special report,” where we discuss such matters in greater detail, several seers and dream recipients who have claimed prophecies about this coming autumn were placed in what we call a “suspense account” (in other words, set aside for now). Laymen are not at the summit of the hierarchal Church.
But the proliferation of seers themselves can be a “sign of the times.”
Back just before and then after the great Black Death in Europe, noted a famous mystical theologian named Aldophe Tanquerey, “Saint Bonaventure complained of hearing to ‘satiety’ prophecies dealing with the Church’s troubles and the end of the world. At the end of the fourteenth century, during the great Western Schism, ‘seers arose on all sides,’ and their visions gained such an influence and a circulation as had been unknown before. In some of the gravest sermons, reliance was put upon these predictions.”
Added Father Tanqueray, “Religious and hermits swarmed over the country, and while commenting on the Apocalypse, they announced from the pulpit or in public places revolutions in the temporal and spiritual governments, to be followed by the end of the world. Peasants and young girls alike fell to prophesying. In the Fifth Lateran Council in 1516, Leo X was obliged to publish a Bull by which public prophecies by preachers were prohibited.”
A good number were young women. Many foresaw the end of the world, the ruin of Rome, a pseudopontifex, or the Antichrist. One female mystic, Saint Bridget of Sweden, did end up being the “real deal,” as they say in the military. Most were question marks.
And so it has been in our tumultuous time. While not as numerous as in the late 1980s and early 1990s, seers and locutionists remain in appreciable numbers, and overall, during the past four decades, it has been an explosion.
We have seen literally hundreds of seers and locutionists come and go.
We have met dozens and dozens of them.
We always try to maintain an open if cautious mind. They and other manifestations of the supernatural are reported here as much or more than anywhere in cyberspace. For if nothing else, one can discern, in the mystical pulse, an indication of something coming. More importantly, we often can gain spiritual lessons.
At the time of the Black Death, and before that, during the fall of Rome, was what we now see in our own era: a tempus muliebre. Our major concern is always that evil not ensnare, including in the way of seers, our viewers/readers.
Tricky, is the devil! A superintelligence. Smarter than all homo sapiens.
Our only chance, at truth, is the Holy Spirit.
When we’re asked to evaluate a mystic, our standard response is “no comment” (unless there is Church guidance to quote). When a controversy erupts, we try to present both sides. To paraphrase a hackneyed slogan: we report, you determine.
What of the most dramatic predictions?
These are particularly challenging. If we simply cannot evaluate them, even privately, we relegate them to that suspense account. We do tend to look at the major approved apparitions and their predictions or secrets for guidance, comparing what they have predicted with what is currently said.
The vast majority of time, what the approved apparitions have foreseen were events well within the laws of nature or the behavior of humanity (as opposed to massive unprecedented supernatural spectacles). Guadalupe? A revelation that Juan Diego’s uncle would be healed of plague. Fatima? The rise of Communism, the end of one war, the beginning of another, and a “great sign” that ended up being an extraordinary (but not paranormal) display of the Northern Lights. Lourdes? Healing and a new dogma. Miraculous Medal? Massacre of the Commune (1870). Cuapa, Nicaragua? A nuclear war, if no repentance. Maria Esperanza, of Betania? Terrorism in New York. Kibeho, in Rwanda? A horrible genocide.
All were within the laws of nature, but we don’t know what is in the secrets of places such as Medjugorje or Garabandal. There certainly can be “great miracles.” That occurred with the sun at Fátima, and occurs to this day at alleged apparition spots. Saint Faustina saw a day when there would be an incredible sign in the sky. There are the prophecies, from an earlier century, of “three days darkness” (though this has never come from an approved message). The Lord parted the Red Sea. Wasn’t that against all laws of nature (though this involved no seer)?
He foresaw His own Death, His Resurrection, the destruction of the Temple, and much more. (Arguably, He also predicted the destruction of Pompeii and fall of Rome, as His most proximate predictions).
Protestants take many liberties, not only with prophetic dreams, visions, and “words,” but with extrication of certain parts of the Bible to fit what they feel will occur. In the current “special report,” we report a number of particularly spectacular claims, shared by more than one Evangelical, many having to do with great and terrible events — a “second wave” of covid, civil war, foreign conflict, massive quakes, the “day the earth stood still” — this fall.
One is cautious with such matters — places them in that suspense account — knowing that it could simply be an iteration or elaboration of what medical experts have been predicting (as far as a “second wave”). Yet, we will continue to report them, for consideration.
Here’s that “deal”: we’ll find out in autumn if what they foresaw occurs or whether, as Scripture puts it (when a prediction is wrong), the prophets have been “presumptuous” (inserting their own ideas).
“A revelation may be unwittingly altered by the seer himself [or herself] when he [or she] attempts to explain, or, still oftener, by those to whom he dictates his revelations,” said Tanquerey (a very esteemed churchman).
Right now, the pressing question — and prayer urgency — is not a second wave but the ongoing continuation and expansion of the first wave. No fake news, this. Look simply at the flooded emergency rooms. Will there even be a second wave — or, when we look back, will it have been a single epidemiological “tsunami”?
Time will reveal. Time will heal. The best refuge is wherever you pray deepest; the true and proved refuge is Christ.
Yes, much will happen in the near future, especially from the 2020s through the mid-2030s — if you will excuse a personal perhaps presumptuous notion (which we first posited in the early 1992). Of course, the 2020s have now arrived — with gusto.
As far as mysticism: despite numerous and sometimes grave shortcomings since the 1980s and 1990s, even diabolism — and looking at the large panorama, since the Middle Ages — there is a crucial quintessence to draw from. There are kernels of truth. There is correct mystical flavor. We will continue to report them, always assuming the best at first.
We recall the reported words of a Pope who said when it comes to mysticism, when it comes to miracles, it is “better to believe than not to believe,” for if we believe and something is true, we have benefited from not falling into the realm of the overly skeptical (who believe in too little, and therefore lose spiritual vibrance), while if we believe and it doesn’t turn out to be true, we will be graced — unless we are ensnared — as if it were.
That’s our take. That’s our discernment. That’s our motto.
The rest is “for your discernment,” as we say.