I think what Fred (and Sofia and I as well) are wondering is: Why don’t you believe in Marian apparitions, especially since you’re Catholic?
This link is very good for understanding Marian apparitions:
Yes I have read about them, but not convinced , to me too hard to believe,
but who knows, I sure don’t.
I am not denying the fact that the Virgin Mary is special and I"m sure is in heaven next to Jesus, I mean after all she is the mother of God, and she rightly deserves our honor,
but I just have a hard time believing these sitings.
I have had this and agree.
The good news is … you don’t have to.
The bad news is … you will get a lot of peer pressure to conform and accept them.
**The bad news is … you will get a lot of peer pressure to conform and accept them. **
ha ha, I’m old enough not to let peer pressure bother me.
Well, she usually appeared to people who weren’t powerful or or wealthy but to people chosen to renew faith in Christ and his Church. For instance, at Lourdes, Marie Bernard (Bernadette) was dragged before the local officials and threatened with being thrown into jail or an institution for the insane if she wouldn’t recant her visions. Why? Because the government was officially anti-Church. The same thing in Portugal and Fatima. And in Ireland the people had been persecuted for centuries because of their faith. Mary was sent as God’s gentlest messenger to remind the world that the meek will inherit the earth, not the rich and powerful. In Mexico St. Juan Diego was a simple peasant who had been born into paganism but who had embraced the faith. After the apparitions there millions were baptized and believed in Christ.
Mary always brings her Son to us in her apparitions and point to him. She is his ambassor, not his replacement. Sort of like a Secretary of State for the President. She doesn’t speak about herself for herself alone, to promote herself, but to promote faith in her intercession and in what God has asked her to do–bring people to her Son. Our Catholic faith is all of a piece. It’s not a bit of this idea and a bit of that, but rather a family relationship in which each one has a place and a function. God chose Mary before the world was created to be who she was/is and to do what he willed her to do–be the Mother of his Son and our heavenly intercessor with her Son.
There are a lot of things in the Christian faith that are mysteries and miraculous, such as the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Eucharist. We are a people who believe because God has revealed himself to us in the Church. We must believe the Church has the authority to decide matters of faith and morals, although we are not obligated to accept apparitions, only that the Church declared them “worthy of belief”. So, don’t feel pressured to accept them, but do accept that the Church has made its decisions about them and has promoted them because they increase people’s faith.
This did come-up in RCIA in November.
I gave the answer: I don’t know. If the Church says they are valid, then they have certainly validity. But I don’t think about them that much. One doesn’t have to believe in them.
I don’t think my answer went over too well with some people. But….:rolleyes:
I think this comes from being a convert. We are all supposed to have “problems” with Mary. I didn’t. Truth be told, I have always had affection for the Holy Virgin. Catholicism helped me explain the feelings of love for her in relation to my own personal life.
There is the very beautiful short episode from Loretta Young in relation to Lourdes. It hasn’t aged a bit. And its message conveys Our Lady’s love for us without being overt with the supernatural.
The story behind Our Lady of Guadaloupe is incredible. I find it hard to believe that the picture of Mary is not real, when one studies the details of it.
For instance, the aquamarine that is used in her image was not able to be replicated according to the then-known standards of paint pigmentations. Also, the bishop and another individual are reflected in Mary’s eyes in the image… as if the image was a snap-shot photograph taken at the moment the smock was presented to the bishop.
Thats fine, anything that brings people to be saved is a good thing, as long as its not deceptive,
but see I just don’t really believe in the apparations, even if the the CC promotes them.
but who am I to say,
Why do you find them hard to believe? Why are the approved apparitions harder to believe than that God became man in the Roman province of Judea around 2-3 B.C.?
I’m genuinely curious and not intending to be difficult.
I think this is because you may be confused as to what apparitions are, how they are investigated, and why the Church decides if they are “worthy of belief” (or not). It’s why I recommend Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s book, A Still Small Voice so strongly. It will answer such questions and give you a better handle on their place in our faith.
No I’m not confused. Hey I think its great if it leads someone to believe in Jesus as our Saviour, what can be better than that to make believers. I don’t need to believe in them to believe in Jesus tho.
and maybe statements like this:
**We are a people who believe because God has revealed himself to us in the Church. We must believe the Church has the authority to decide matters of faith and morals, although we are not obligated to accept apparitions, only that the Church declared them “worthy of belief”. So, don’t feel pressured to accept them, but do accept that the Church has made its decisions about them and has promoted them because they increase people’s faith. **
No I have no problem believing in Jesus and Mary was his mother.
Classy. :rolleyes: Are you normally this subtle, or do you practice with a bag of hammers and a loudspeaker?
Peer pressure, my tookus.
All well and good; I might suggest, like a couple others here, that you do some further reading and research on some of the apparitions approved by the Church, if you still have questions. Whether you choose to believe in them or not, their messages usually go far beyond “Jesus is real and Mary is his Mother” (not to belittle that statement, or your ability to believe in it faithfully). That will help “explain” them better to you, in the sense that you will at least more fully understand their messages, even if you don’t choose to believe in them.
LTS – I don’t doubt your faith. In fact, that’s why I’m so curious about why you find it hard to accept the approved Marian apparitions. In other words, since your faith is strong, I assume you have no trouble with the idea that Jesus and Mary could appear to us if they wanted to. So I wonder what it is about the approved apparitions that causes you to doubt them?
Edited to add: I won’t ask again. Don’t feel compelled to respond if you don’t want to.
And I am not questioning your faith in the least. I am just concerned that you dismiss approved apparitions as if they are somehow unbelieveable. If they were unbelieveable the Church would not have approved them.
If it’s only personal distaste for anything supernatural or it’s cultural, only you can know why that is. Since the Church does promote approved apparitions, you may want to explore your dislike–that’s up to you.
However, those of us who have no such feelings only wish you could get the benefits the apparitions have brought us, but each person has his own spirituality and way of relating to the things of God, so it’s up to you.
Why don’t I believe in the apparitions , ok, in my mind God would not show some people , a select few may I add, proff of his existance. that would not be fair to the rest of us.
Look at the rich man, wanting to send Lazarus to his family so that they can believe, and the answer was if they did not believe Moses and the prophets and the scriptures (they ahd the torah at that time) why would they believe someone raised from the dead, or something like that.
I think we need to have faith, I think when Jesus comes we all will know. I think the first siting which someone imagined as real, word spread and then there was more sitings so thats what I think.
I don’t know if I explained it well or not, Now this is just my opinion.
I understand your point of view, but the way you quote “a select few” makes me very uneasy. Many of the people who have experienced these visions and apparitions (those approved by the Church) led lives remarkable for their intensity of suffering and love for others. Indeed, we know that’s how we draw closer to God…if some folks have found the way to do that, and are thus able to see and hear our Lady’s messages to the whole world, what’s wrong with that?
As to your answer about the rich man in suffering, and his family not believing his message from beyond due to lack of faith, I would gently counter (without incrimination): Is it possible that your own lack of faith in some areas is the cause behind your inability to accept the message of some of these apparitions? If, as you reason, people should be strong in their faith and not need them, what of all those who suffer horribly and have on-one else in the world to help lead them to an example of faith? Would our Father just leave them to scrape around in their misery until they stumbled upon the answer?
** If, as you reason, people should be strong in their faith and not need them, what of all those who suffer horribly and have on-one else in the world to help lead them to an example of faith? Would our Father just leave them to scrape around in their misery until they stumbled upon the answer? **
Excuse me, if you need them to increase your faith that is fine with me.I never once said anything neg to you but to state I have lack of faith is not for you to say.
I think the bible should be handed out to these people and the Church should send more missionaries to spread the word of God, not encourage the belief in these sitings so people believe more. they need the Word of God not apparitions which probably leads them to woship Mary.
I do believe our Protestant friends are doing a much better job of spreading the Word of God around the world.
It is like the blood in the host story and the cardiac doctor finding heart muscle of the left vertricle in the host, all this stuff, is why I don’t believe, all I think are spread to encourage people to become Catholic.