Testing The Spirit - The Criteria of Discernment
In 1882, Christ revealed to the stigmatist, Marie Julie Jahenny of La Fraudais, France that:
"During the time of the approach of the punishments announced at La Salette, an unlimited amount of FALSE REVELATIONS will arise from hell like a swarm of flies; a last attempt of Satan to choke and destroy the belief in the TRUE REVELATIONS by false ones."
A perpetual argument employed by souls snared by false apparitions, mystics or cults, goes something like, "It cannot be false because of the fruits. People are praying more and sinning less, and even giving up drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. There are many miracles and everything feels so good and holy, what would Satan gain by making people pray more, sin less?"
Christ's words to Marie Julie Jahenny reveal the primary reason for false apparitions, often described as "salt from Heaven" [true] and "sugar from Hell" [false]. Whenever Heaven delivers a true message to the world, e.g. Lourdes, Satan attempts to drown God's salt in the sugar of demonic apparitions. In Lourdes there were over 50 purported apparitions of the Virgin Mary to children other than Saint Bernadette. All of these visitations proved to be Satanic, though in every case these children actually saw a form they thought to be God's Mother. Though demonically inspired their ecstasy was not interrupted when pins were stuck in them, light was passed over their eyes, etc. Had Satan's scheme succeeded, all these apparitions - including Saint Bernadette's - would have been condemned by the Church. Perhaps, we might never have intimately met the "Immaculate Conception". Thank God, the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, did not mix sugar and salt, nor expel the good with the bad.
Without a doubt, every demonic apparition is intrinsically evil and harmful. And yet, while God permits them as tests of discernment, faith and obedience, they may also provide evidence of the invisible world's reality to unbelievers. Their danger emerges when the mystically untrained and undiscerning - most all of mankind - embrace such lies over the Spirit-guided counsel of the Church (1 Timothy 3:15). Often the deceived become stronger in the faith, when they recognize how easily fallen angels can fool men, and learn to follow our Shepherd on earth safely home to the Father. Mysteriously, falling prey to the guiles of a false apparition, many souls have been given the grace of awakening, i.e. realizing that no one can disobey the Church and serve GOD, man lacks the wit to overpower and outsmart Satan's hordes on his own, and no apparition true or false can provide a soul more Grace and Wisdom than the Precious Blood of Christ received in the Most Holy Eucharist. Anchored in Christ's Blood no one will wander into curious realms of deceit. Content with "He Who can neither deceive nor be deceived" we shall truly become one. There is no greater truth than the Blood of Christ. God-loving souls need nothing but GOD.
GOD's revelations strengthen humility, obedience, patience and conformity to His Holy Will. The Devil's revelations beget pride, presumption and disobedience to GOD's Church on earth. A sure sign of a demonically-inspired seer is their seeking self-profit, glory and power over GOD's.
Piety, prayer and good works are not lone criteria for authenticating heavenly revelations. Satan will tolerate good to ultimately sew evil. A sign of true love for GOD is bearing long-lasting fruits and living orthodox, obedient lives respectful to all, especially those in authority.
From The Imitation of Christ (Book 3, Pg 160):
"You so easily follow the suggestions of your enemy, the devil, who does not care whether his deceits are true or false..."
Today, when someone announces the Virgin Mary is appearing standing on a rock, many uncautious souls imprudently run to venerate the rock. While their piety, prayer, virtue, etc. may seem to evidence fruits, these - in and of themselves - do not prove the vision of divine origin. In fact, till the Holy Catholic Church proves otherwise, vision-chasers may actually - and more often than not - be bowing down to a demon. What is the effect of unwitting prayers to Satan? Just look at the holocaust that followed the condemned apparitions in Medjugorje. "WAR is a punishment for sin." - Our Lady of Fatima, 1917.
CAN YOU PUBLISH AN UN-APPROVED APPARITION
Publishers often post the following disclaimer inside their books.
"Since the abolition of Canon 1399 and 2318 of the former Canonical Code by Pope Paul VI in AAS 58 (1966), publications about new appearances, revelations, prophecies, miracles, etc., have been allowed to be distributed and read by the faithful without the express permission of the Church, providing that they contain nothing which contravenes faith or morals. This means no imprimatur is necessary."
While a book may not require an Imprimatur it is not true (nor never has been) that books on unapproved apparitions may be distributed. On October 23, 1995, the Vatican reaffirmed in the official journal of the Holy See, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, that circulation of books on unapproved apparitions are forbidden. Therein, the Church wrote:
"The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that -- after the relevant censures were lifted -- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.
It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: `The Pastors of the Church have the right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful, which touch upon faith or morals, be submitted to their judgment'.
Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgment of the diocesan Bishop, and , in particular cases, to the judgment of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."
The following is paraphrased from Catholic Replies by James J. Drummey (The Wanderer: July 30, 1998).
The writings of the Popes are published in a variety of forms: Apostolic Letters, Briefs, Bulls, Constitutions, Decrees, Decretals, Encyclicals, etc. They acquire their force by publication in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official journal of the Apostolic See. Since these writings are the official pronouncements of the Magisterium or teaching office of the Church, Catholics are not free to disregard them. In the case of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the Second Vatican Council stated, a "religious submission of will and of mind must be shown in a special way to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking Ex Cathedra [i.e., infallibly]".
Now, these Catholic bookstores, Marian Centers, and publishers are violating the law of the Church, per the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, by promoting books and tapes in favor of Medjugorje, and refusing to have any opposing point of view in their stores.
To make an even greater sin, they even refuse to have approved private revelation of Our Lady in their stores with the proper Imprimatur, as in the case of The Miracle of Damascus by this author. Why? Because this author made it very clear in the book, that he would not have published the book if the local bishop had not only approved the seer but also his interpretation of the story of the apparition. That being the case, acceptance of a book on the true Virgin Mary had to be suppressed in order to protect the money and customer base created by the millions of dollars in the Medjugorje deception.
Booklets, leaflets, pamphlets, films, or books may not be used to promote an apparition or miracle that is under an interdiction of any kind. Contrary to what many will tell you, the abrogation of Canon Laws 1399 and 2318 do not permit the publication of apparitions unless no action or decision has been made by the local bishop. Any action that has been taken by the bishop must be obeyed. It matters not if he is a good or bad bishop, just as it does not matter if the seer is good or bad. God can use good or bad.
The promoters of un-approved apparitions and private revelations, appeal to two false conclusions from past Pope's statements, and in both cases they take statements out of context. As the Vatican has already clarified in their Nov. 1996 statement, "The interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI is absolutely groundless."
WHAT ABOUT POPE URGAN VIII?
And regarding Pope Urban VIII, this also is taken out of context. He was referring to a private revelation that was under investigation but no conclusion was reached yet, for as he said, "and if it should prove to be false". The question you should ask is "prove to be false" by whom? By the promoters, the sheep, the bishop of the mystic, or by Rome.
The doctrine of the Church is "to the judgment of the diocesan Bishop". Of course, there must be a period of time before the diocesan Bishop comes to a conclusion, and during this period of time one is not held responsible for a false belief. If, however, you continue to believe in a mystic that the local Bishop has "proved to be false", will you still "receive all the blessings as if it were to be true"? No! Because then you have violated the Fourth Commandment. "Honor your Father and your Mother" because no one can have God for their Father without having the Church for their Mother.
"But, Lord, I believed with all my heart." (Matt. 7:21=24) "Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day,
`Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?' And then will I profess unto them, `I never knew you, depart from me, you that work iniquity.' Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock."
The important thing about this statement of Christ is that the person was surprised, he thought he was doing the will of God, and he thought that the power he had to perform miracles and give prophesies was also from God. But this power was not from God. Christ goes on to say what the rules are. "He who hears my word" means all his words. Read HIS WORDS in Matt. 18:17 which states, "And if he will not hear them [witnesses or the facts] tell the church. And if he will not hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican."
THE LOCAL BISHOP
"We are of God. [the bishops] He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6)
When John wrote his three Epistles he was over 100 years old and all the other apostles had already been martyred. Where he says "we" he means the descendants of the apostles, the bishops.
When you say, "What if the bishop is a bad bishop?", you are saying that God has no power over His creatures. This powerless God of yours, can give prophesies and miracles to a mystic, but has no power over the very bishop that he commands us to obey to influence him to make the proper judgment. Therefore, you become your own bishops and your own Church. Then when you go up to heaven, He will say what? When you say I would rather believe in God than man, what you are really saying is I would rather believe in the mystic than the Church, and this is a Gnostic heresy.
Can a bishop make a mistake? Yes! But if you obey him, you are not sinning; but if you disobey him, you are, even if he made a mistake. However, I know of no private revelation in the 2000 year history of the Church that was condemned by a local bishop and later found to be true. I do know of private revelations that were approved by the local bishop and then found to be false. In fact one Pope lamented on his death bed that he almost brought the Church into its ruin by following a false mystic. That Pope was Urban VIII.
Experience with those who follow false apparitions will show that no amount of argument will convince them that they are wrong, since they get their information directly from "Heaven". These followers of false mystics are so brain-washed that: if the local Bishop condemns the apparitions, they say he is corrupt; if the Doctrine of the Faith condemns the apparition, they say the Doctrine is outdated; and even if the Holy Father condemns the apparition, (which has never happened in history) they will say that he is a false pope. They will only believe the message, nothing else.
It is the bishop and not us, or even a saint (as the Cure De Ares discovered), that God gave the gift of discernment. In Matthew 18: 17 Christ teaches us to take all questions to the Church, and then He threatens us with: "And if he will not hear them, tell the Church. And if you will not hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you bind on earth "
(Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Pages 289, 290) "By virtue of Divine right the bishops possess an ordinary power of government over their dioceses. In regard to the relation between the Papal powers the Vatican Council declared: `This power of the Pope in no way derogates from the ordinary and immediate power of Episcopal jurisdiction by which bishops who have been set by the Holy Ghost to succeed and hold the place of the Apostles feed and govern each his own flock as true pastors; but rather, this authority is asserted, strengthened and vindicated by the Supreme and Universal Pastor."
Ordinary power refers to the authority of the bishop coming from his office. Even if you believe your bishop to be bad, whatever his decision on an apparition in his See is, it is bound in Heaven. You have an obligation of obedience to his decision. Saint Iranaeus, taught by Saint John, the Apostle, says, "Anything done without the bishop is from the Devil."
I learned from the Vatican and the true seers that obedience is the key to knowing a true apparition from a false one. Listen to what St. Margaret Mary says:
"The greatest adversary of Jesus is Satan. Jesus warned me to be on guard and said my greatest defense was obedience. `Don't believe easily,' He said, `in every inspiration, and don't be too sure of it. Satan is furiously bent on deceiving you. So don't do anything without the approval of those who are guiding you. As long as you have the sanction of obedience, he can never delude you. He is completely powerless over those who obey.'
"Perhaps this explains the great power Satan is wielding today, especially within the Church. Where disobedience is rampant. Satan has a field day. On the other hand, `he is completely powerless over those who obey.'"
No message from Heaven will ever violate the Fourth Commandment of God. No message from Heaven will ever condone or advocate disobedience. Listen to the words of the Virgin Mary to Mary of Agreda, Book Four, Page 421:
"Many times, in the effort to avoid humiliation at the hands of the immediate superior, the subject appeals to the higher authority and thus asks for exemptions from those who have only a general information and cannot know or understand his particular needs or danger. It cannot be denied, that this is still a kind of obedience; but it is also certain, that it is a shift for greater liberty, diminishes the reward and incurs danger; since without doubt it is more meritorious to obey and subject oneself to the inferior authority, to those in a lower condition, and to those less favorably disposed to one's own views and inclinations."
And Our Mother, Mary, finished by saying,
"Look upon them [superiors] with reverence, as taking the place of Christ, and your merit will be abundant; follow my footsteps, my example and my doctrine, and you will be perfect in all things."
And maybe you will listen to the wisdom of Padre Pio: "Without obedience there is no virtue, without virtue there is no love, without love there is no God, without God there is no salvation." (Padre Pio)
Even the bible places obedience as the test of the true from the false spirits. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. BY THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD KNOWN: --- HE WHO IS NOT OF GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR." (1 John 4:1-6)
Obedience holds the most important of all tests in a private revelation, even though it is not the first thing looked at. The capacity of one to understand obedience, background, holiness, and humility are looked at first. Satan is not capable of obedience because that implies obeying a mere creature. This was the test that saved Sister Josefa Menendez from being fooled by the appearance of Satan as Our Lord. Her spiritual director ordered her to renew her vows at any and every appearance of Our Lord.
(THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE, Page 129)
Whenever it was not Christ, "The arch-enemy was not able to endure such acts of faith and love, and his crafty wiles failed in the face of them." Even when the Virgin Mary appeared to her she would say--Page 131: "If you are the Mother of Jesus, allow me to renew before you the vow of virginity that I have made"
And again Our Lord told her--Page 414: "Seek Me in your Superiors. Listen to their words AS IF THEIR WORDS FELL FROM MY LIPS; I AM IN THEM FOR YOUR GUIDANCE."
"I want you always to obey and I, myself, will obey." (THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE, by TAN)
Amazing, isn't it? God will obey the human that He placed in authority. But can it be any other way? If God did not obey, He would contradict His own words, "Whatever you bind on earth, I will bind in Heaven." How would we know if it was really God, or the father of lies. John told us how to know.
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits ... he who is not of God does not listen to us [the bishops]. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:1-6)
What the layman might call a miracle is not always an act of God. Some are faked miracles done by auto-suggestion, magic, or outright fraud. Some are done by devils, and believe it or not, it is HARD TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. Both those done by God and those done by demons look and act like angels. In fact, they both are.
Every miracle of God is a sign. No miracle is without a salvation meaning. Sometimes it is a testimony to the truth which is being given in an apparition. In fact, no apparition with a message has ever been given by God without supporting that message with an irrefutable miracle.
Sometimes a miracle is a testimony for the saintliness of a person, such as an uncorrupt body or miracles after the death of a Saint. No miracle is given by God without a reason. That reason must be for the eternal salvation of the person or persons involved. It never has a purely physical reason.
Miracles testify to the truth.
This is what is taught by the First Vatican Council in the three essential elements of a miracle. The first being its function as a sign, a sign intended to assist reason in adhering to faith by proving, through external evidence, the credibility of revelation. Therefore, the Church always looks first to the divine intention which is the cause of the event.
Only God can perform a miraculous healing. Some types of healings are a sure sign of the work of God. These are expressed in Christ's own words as an answer to a question of John the Baptist that can be deemed a test of Christ's Spirit. Christ said His works were His proof.
"Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them." (Luke 7:22)
If any of these kinds of cures can be proved, it is from God. However, healings are very difficult to prove, even true ones. There are hundreds of cures reported on Madeira Island over the grave of Charles Von Hapsburg. But because these people have not taken the time to report to doctors, very few can be declared true healings. Even in Lourdes, of the thousands of cures each year, only a handful are documented as miracles. Healings must be beyond the possibility of nature. They must be a permanent cure. They must be documented before and after by doctors with proof: such as X-rays.
Healings made by God are always done quietly and with dignity. Satanic cures are done by autosuggestion, hypnotism, emotion and hyperactivity's of natural processes. Often demons can fake a cure by causing fake symptoms of an illness and then faking a cure. They can cause a person, who could not walk, to walk in two ways: one is if the reason for not walking was mental, and second, demons can invisibly hold up someone so that they seem to walk. But this will not last. Another way demons can cure is by autosuggestion --- suggesting to the sick person that they are cured and the person feels cured. In the long run the sickness becomes apparent again and often death results because the sick person discontinues the normal medical treatments.
So, it is essential that the cures be long term and well documented. Satan can even fake bringing someone back from the dead by possessing the dead body. It is said that this is what the Antichrist will do.
Demons CANNOT really perform a miracle, but there are things they can do that will seem like miracles to the layman. A good rule of thumb is that demons can do anything that man or nature can do, except that they can do it invisibly and instantly. If something can be done by man or nature, Satan can do the same without you seeing him and at a thousand times the speed. We will emphasize again for the sake of our friends, demons cannot perform a true miracle in any sense of the word. Laymen, however, will see the following things as miracles:
A perfect example of the appearance of a miracle is levitation. Satan can lift people or things off the ground into the air or cause them to travel at great speeds. He does this by simply lifting them up with his invisible angels. This phenomena is a good illustration of where we get information about the power of demons. This power is recorded in Scripture (Matt. 4:5) and is documented in thousands of Exorcisms.
Demons can produce true ecstasies so that the seer is completely oblivious of sound, light, or feelings. They can make the seer stiff as a board and/or so heavy that no one can lift or move the seer. This is done by Satan in the same way a hypnotist can do it, except faster and invisible.
Satan can make a true apparition. He has appeared as the Virgin Mary, as Christ, as saints, angels and relatives. Satan appeared to Padre Pio as Christ, to Sister Josefa Menendez as Christ and Mary, and to countless other saints and false mystics.
LOCUTIONS, VISIONS, VOICES:
Satan can bring about locutions, visions, and voices. Not only do we know this from the oracles of old and from false apparitions, but we have thousands of cases documented in Exorcisms.
MOVE OR RAISE THINGS:
He can move statues, furniture, and even mountains. He can cause fire to come down from heaven.
HALOS OR AURAS:
He can cause a glow or luminous rays to be seen around a seer or objects. He can change a picture or negative to have these same halos or auras of light to appear on them.
He can produce a stigmata [as you will see in the chapter on the history of false apparitions], however, this will be by natural but invisible means. They cannot be instantly cured.
Satan can simulate odors of roses or incense. Any chemist can do the same, and no one would see them do it. This is especially easy since all trace will be gone.
He can help his seer to have a prolonged fast; however, tests will prove that the body is not properly sustained as in the case of Theresa Neumann, who showed no physical signs of fasting, and in fact, remained plump.
SIGNS IN THE SKY:
Demons can show great signs in the sky, like fire to come down from heaven. It is said that the Antichrist will be able to do this very thing. (Apoc. 13:13) St. Augustine says,
"When fire fell from heaven and wiped out, in one sweep, all the large household and the numerous flocks of holy Job, and a whirlwind rushed down and overthrew his house and slew his children, those were no illusions; and yet they were the work of Satan, to whom God had given this power."
(CITY OF GOD, Book XX, Chapter 19)
St. Hippolytus, in speaking of the future Antichrist, said that he will be able to walk on the waves of the sea, turn day into night, and direct the course of the sun at will. Why then should Satan not be able to make the sun spin and change colors? But these are usually illusions and not real like Fatima. The difference is that not all will see it, and the effects will not be the same. At Fatima, everyone saw it, even those who did not believe [even communists in surrounding towns miles away]. The after effects were hundreds of cures, the ground dry after weeks of rain, and real graces of conversion.
Satan and demons can change brass to gold. This is called Alchemy and has been practiced throughout the ages. The reason Satan can do it is that the pure science of Chemistry can do it.
It is no longer being done by chemists because the cost is higher than the cost of real gold.
The method of the Alchemists was a medieval magic using what they called the "Philosopher's Stone". This magical art was practiced in Egypt and China. Hermes Trismegistus is regarded as its founder. Robert of Chester describes the successful making of gold in the presence of the son of the Caliph Yazid I, 682 A.D.
Although we, at the center, have seen over 400 miracles of God and Satan, including levitation of man and object, not one of us have ever seen metal turn to real gold. We have seen rosaries that the owners claimed turned to gold, but investigation showed them all to be brass.
In the Roman ritual, common miracles of Satan are speaking in an unknown language, understanding someone who speaks it, revealing hidden secrets of people, things, or places. Since God promises not only to forgive sins in confession but to forget them, if someone were to reveal a sin from the past that was forgiven in confession, it is absolutely demonic.
Satan can fake tears on a statue, but it will not be real tears, which even a chemist cannot reproduce. The tears that Satan can cause will be proved to be nothing but water. He cannot even produce water out of nothing; however, he can cause water to condense out of the air and onto a statue, since this can also be done by man. He cannot produce blood on a statue or picture, unless it is done when no one is looking, in which case he could bring it to the room from somewhere else. He could use a leech as he did on a statue in Portugal. Investigation by the Church showed leech saliva in the blood.
THINGS ONLY GOD CAN DO
Only God can create matter out of nothing, such as the changing of water into wine at the marriage feast of Cana, or the multiplication of the bread and fishes. This would also hold for cures that require instantaneous growth of destroyed tissue such as cancer, or the quick closing of a wound such as a stigmata.
By the same criteria as above, only God can multiply matter, since it requires creation. Any instantaneous and permanent cure, scientifically tested, objectively diagnosed and measured, showing the condition of the body both before and after the cure, can only be from God.
The best of these are organic lesions [hernia, cancer, toxication, parasites, and the like], or the organ shows a congenital malformation, or again it is in a state of degeneration or gradual disintegration. Some processes of tissue degeneration are irreversible and therefore incurable. The cure of a blind child, who was born with no pupils in her eyes, is beyond the power of Satan since it is beyond the power of nature. Done by the prayers of Padre Pio. She is still living and she still has no pupils.
A supernatural light given to a soul to understand mysteries of God from imaginary images, as happened with Joseph (Gen. 40:41) and with Daniel (Dan. 1:24), is the highest form of miracle. Neither the demons nor the angels can infuse this supernatural light into the understanding, since they can only cause images and fantasies in the imagination. See Chapters XIV, XV in CITY OF GOD, Book 1.
Satan can fake bilocation by carrying his seer someplace quickly, but only God can allow someone to be in two places at the same time, as in the case of Padre Pio and Mary Agreda.
SEEKING THE SUPERNATURAL
The greatest of all mystics, St. John of the Cross, says:
"(God's) --- displeasure at the quest for revelations and locutions, even though He sometimes answers them, lies in the illicitness of transcending the natural boundaries God has established for the governing of creatures. He has fixed natural and rational limits by which man is to be ruled. A desire to transcend them, hence, is unlawful, and to desire to investigate and arrive at knowledge in a supernatural way is to go beyond the natural limits. It is unlawful, consequently, and God who is offended by everything illicit is displeased.
"The devil is most pleased when he sees that a man desires to admit revelation. For then he has an excellent opportunity to inject errors and disparage faith. As I have declared, a man desiring these apprehensions becomes coarse in his faith and even exposes himself to many temptations and improprieties." (The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, II, 21, 1).
Any person who seeks a spiritual chrism or supernatural phenomena will not get one from God. The primary condition for a true apparition or miracle is that man free himself from any desire for supernatural phenomena, such as visions, locutions, revelations; and that he gives them all up in order to remain in the pure faith which St. John of the Cross calls the "night of faith" or the "dark night", and which is what really sanctifies. St. John of the Cross says,
"The Devil rejoices greatly when a soul seeks after revelations and is ready to accept them; for such conduct furnishes him with many opportunities of insinuating delusions, and derogation from faith as much as he possibly can; for such a soul becomes rough and rude, and falls frequently into many temptations and unseemly habits."
MIRACLES DO NOT PRODUCE GRACE
A phenomenon or marvel may have no natural explanation. It is not for that reason to be assumed from God. It could be attributed to satanic forces, that can exercise powers over nature and mind, and can create many illusions. A special chapter will be given to satanic miracles.
Apparitions, locutions, ecstasies, etc. do not give grace of themselves; and therefore, they do not sanctify, do not justify, and do not [of themselves] make a person better. Only grace does that; and the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not give grace. Balaam was a prophet (Num 23:24) but received no grace from it. Moses brought water from a rock (Num. 20:13) but was punished as a result of it. The miracle of the manna (Num. 11:6) was the object of blasphemy for those who ate it.
"The grace of divine visions, revelations and raptures," wrote Mary of Agreda, "although they are operations of the Holy Spirit, must be distinguished from justifying grace and from virtues, which sanctify and perfect the soul in their operations."
NO NEW DOCTRINE
God cannot contradict God; therefore, look for contradictions. No new doctrine can come from an apparition or any other kind of private revelation. All faith, the complete deposit of faith, was completed and sealed with the death of the last Apostle. One must never guide his life and actions on private revelation. Private revelation must always conform to Divine revelation [the Bible and Tradition].
No mystical manifestation can teach anything that is contrary to Catholic doctrine and tradition and worship. Any revelation that endorses, approves or condones hedtrodox changes and innovation in faith or worship which are in conflict with the continuing tradition and magisterium of the Church or are even of a doubtful and unproved authenticity and orthodoxy must be rejected.
"Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (Gal. 1:8)
For all revelations contrary to faith or morals must be absolutely rejected, even if this is in a single point or a single word, according to St. Theresa of Avila.
If a mystical phenomena should serve to confirm or endorse some movement which is questionable, or should confirm some leader, who pretends a false magisterial authority, it would have to be considered spurious or diabolical. There are already many schismatic or heretical sects or cults which are founded upon alleged private apparitions or miracles.
Fidelity belongs to all the teachings of the Church. Listen to the words of Our Lady to Mary Agreda in Book Four [Coronation], Page 442:
"I desire also that you hold in great veneration the councils of the Church and all such gatherings, and whatever is resolved and established by them; for the Holy Spirit assists at these councils and He fulfills his promise, that He will be with those who gather together in His name (Matt 8:20). Hence what is thus ordained and commanded must be obeyed. Although in our times, no visible signs of the assistance of the Holy Spirit occur in such councils, yet He does not fail to govern them invisibly; for signs and wonders are not any more so necessary as in the FIRST BEGINNINGS OF THE CHURCH." (What if an apparition condemns a Council????)
(2 Thess. 2:7-12; Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:18; 1 Tim. 4:1-4; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; 2 Pet. 3:3; 1 John 4:1 2 John 4 and 7)
To sum up, miracles are the test of doctrine, and doctrine is the test of miracles.
Can an apparition be true if it advocates not listening to the Church, "which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and mainstay of the truth."???? (1 Tim. 3:15)
If the Church investigates, and we do not accept that investigation, what does the Bible say of us? "Appeal to the Church, but if he refuse to hear EVEN THE CHURCH, let him be to you as the heathen and the publican. Amen I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven." (Matt. 18:17-18)
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. BY THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD KNOWN: --- HE WHO IS NOT OF GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR."
(1 John 4:1-6) Who is us? The Bishops!
No true apparition of God can contradict another true apparition of God. One example of this would be the description of Heaven. The Apostle Paul, Padre Pio, Mary Agreda, Anne Catherine Emmerich, and countless others were allowed by God to see the third Heaven. Not one of these was able, with human words, to describe any aspect of it. If any apparition or vision claimed to be able to describe Heaven, it would be false.
By harmony we also mean that it must fit into place in the Christian system and into the Christian history in a logical way, without unnecessary repetition, or unneeded revelation.
No miracle of God is without an economic reason. Miracles and wonders of God are not multiplied without necessity. Nor is there ever a single word given in an apparition that is not for the sanctification of the soul. Nothing, absolutely nothing, comes from God without the salvation of the soul as its end. All words or actions done without this end are to be rejected as from illusion or from demons. Jesus said,
"But let your speech be 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no;' and whatever is beyond these comes from the evil one." (Matt. 5:37) "Every IDLE WORD that man shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment." (Matt. 12:36)
God does not conform to the whims of man. Bernadette of Lourdes was told to ask the Virgin Mary to make the wild roses bloom, and as Bernadette tells it,
"She smiled when I told her that you wanted a miracle. She smiled again when I asked that she make the wild roses bloom." The Virgin did not enter into this kind of POINTLESS CONVERSATION.
The devil sometimes appeared to St. Catherine of Bologna as Christ and demanded of her, under the appearance of perfection, the most impossible things, in order to drive her to despair. This too is a sin against economy. If a message was to request something that was too difficult for the average person in their station of life; excessive prayer, fasting, etc., it must be rejected as false.
THE LOCAL BISHOP
ONLY the local bishop, who has unlimited geographical jurisdiction on matters of the supernatural, can make the final judgment of the Church as to what spirit a supernatural phenomena comes from: one's own spirit, God's Spirit, or a Demonic Spirit. A bishop from another area has no authority whatsoever.
Every validly consecrated bishop receives his authority and power (John 20:21-23; Luke 22:19-20) through an apostolic succession of bishops that can be traced all the way back to the twelve Apostles who received their authority and power from Christ, Himself.
(2 Cor.5:20; Acts 1:24-26; 14:22; 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:1; Titus 1:5; Mk. 16:15-16; Jn. 16:13-14; 20:21-23; 14:16,17,26; Mt. 18:17; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 3:7; Is. 22:22: Lk. 10:16; Eph. 4:11-12; Heb. 13:7; 1 John 4:6)
Encyclical "Stais comnitum" of Leo XII-1896 (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, Page 289)
"This power of the Pope in no way derogates from the ordinary and immediate power of Episcopal jurisdiction by which bishops, who have been sent by the Holy Spirit to succeed and take the place of the Apostles, feed and govern each his own flock as true pastors; but rather, this authority is asserted, strengthened and vindicated by the Supreme and Universal Pastor."
According to this declaration the Episcopal power is:
"An ordinary power, that is, it is associated with the Episcopal office; an immediate power, that is it is not practiced at the order of a superior, but in the bishop's own name. Thus bishops are not delegated (agents) and so are not vicars (representatives) of the pope, but they are independent pastors of the flocks entrusted to them, even though they are subordinate to the pope. A power appointed by God for the Apostles (on the ground of divine ordinance, whether in the immediate commission of Christ, or on the direction of the Holy Spirit --- Acts 20, 26) have passed on their pastoral office to the bishops. The bishops are the successors of the Apostles, not in such a manner that an individual bishop is a successor of an individual Apostle, but that the bishops in their totality are successors of the College of Apostles.
"This is a true pastoral power, as it embraces all the ecclesiastical powers to the exercise of the office, the power to legislate, to judge and to punish. It is a power which is limited locally and materially, since it extends only to a definite segment of the Church, and is circumscribed by the Papal power which is superior to it. Matters of causae maiores (universal importance), touching the welfare of the whole Church, are reserved to the Holy Fathers." (Dr. Ott)
No one would dare to say that the Holy Spirit has the power to bring about an apparition but does not have the power to direct the very man, the local bishop, whom God placed over the area to protect it from error.
ROME AND PRIVATE REVELATION
Contrary to the erroneous belief of many, Rome never ever interferes with the decision of a local bishop in matters of private revelation. Sometimes a local bishop will ask help of Rome, but in such cases only the Nuncio of the local area will become involved. We went to the Vatican and spoke to the Holy Father's closest friend regarding this. He told us that there is not even a department in the Vatican to handle such cases. [The Nuncio is the Vatican Ambassador.]
It is true that the Holy Father could overturn a Bishop's decision on matters of faith and morals, but only if the matter was of universal importance. If Rome is silent on an appeal to the Holy Father, it is because he leaves the matter to the local Bishop; and the matter is closed. (Silence is affirmation - St. Thomas More)
The fact is that Rome never has, and never will, overturn the decision of a local bishop on matters of private revelation. [Regarding Medjugorje, we went to Rome and asked on film. See our second film. We also have a written statement from the Vatican.]
Rome has only informally endorsed three Marian apparitions: Fatima, Lourdes, and Guadalupe; and these, only after the local bishop investigated and approved the miracles.
We also found out in the Vatican that there are many words attributed to the Holy Father that he never said regarding some active apparitions.
THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH
Babylon is the symbol of the Church of Satan, and the word means "confusion". This confusion came about when Nemrod tried to build the tower of Babel and God confused their languages. That is why demon means "to divide". The Kingdom of God, the Church, is the end of that confusion, as expressed by St. Augustine,
"He sent the Holy Spirit He had promised; and the greatest and most unmistakable sign of the Spirit's coming to those who believed was that every one of them spoke in the languages of all nations; thus signifying that the UNITY of the Catholic Church would exist among all nations and would thus speak all languages."
Paul teaches, "We are many; but we are one loaf, and one body." (1 Cor. 10:17) Thus, he who is in the unity of Christ's Body, that is, the body which the faithful habitually take when they communicate at the altar in the state of grace, and therefore become members of that same body, can claim to be Christ's children.
Any apparitions or visions or voices that speak of pluralism [that all religions are the same in the eyes of God or have the means of salvation] or that do not draw people to the truth and to the Body of Christ (the Catholic Church) are not from God.
God knows all things, past, present, and future. If He, or one of His messengers, declares that something will happen, it will. If it does not, or does not exactly when promised, it is not of God.
"If you say to yourselves, 'How can we recognize an oracle which the Lord has spoken?' Know that, even though a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if his oracle is not fulfilled or verified, it is an oracle which the Lord did not speak." (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)
Some will say that God can change His mind if He wishes [as He did with Jonas and the Whale]. But this does not hold water, since God did not tell Jonas WHEN He would destroy the City of Ninive, and in fact, the following generation it was totally destroyed as He promised and without further warnings.
WHY DID ROME CONDEMN VASSULA RYDEN?
Rome always leaves private revelation to the pastoral discernment of the local bishop; however, Vassula Ryden is not a Catholic, and therefore she has no bishop. It became important for the Vatican to let bishops know that it was not OK for them to allow her into their Churches to receive the Sacraments.
One should look at is a seer's background. Is the person from a good family or a family prone to superstition and magic? Is the seer free of mental pathological conditions, balanced and calm mentally and emotionally, self-possessed and dispassionate, not given to exaggeration, inordinate imagination, passion, or impetuosity?
All this is important; however, it is not important that the person be holy or even religious prior to a private revelation. Balaam, a very sinful man, gave four oracles from God (Num. 23:24), but was far from holy. The seer must, however, be Catholic, since no miracle has ever taken place outside the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit cannot be found outside the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. A Catholic seer can perform a miracle on a non-Catholic, but this is only done to prompt the person into the Kingdom. A miracle of God can happen to a non-Catholic place (a church, an icon, a statue), but not to a non-Catholic person.
A seer does not need to be holy before the private revelation. By infused knowledge, Mary Agreda in Book One, Page 476, states that,
"---revelations and visions are not dependent upon the sanctity and perfection of those, that are thus favored, but upon the Divine Will. God concedes them according to weight and measure for the ends which He wishes to attain in his Church (Wisdom 11:21). God can without doubt grant great and the most exalted visions to those, who are less holy, and only inferior revelations to those, who are of exalted sanctity. The gift of prophecy and the other gifts freely given He can give to those even, who are not saints; which have nothing to do with moral virtues."
A seer, however, who sees Christ or Mary cannot remain the same AFTER an apparition. No one could remain earthly after seeing the Mother of God. No one could have anything on their mind except Heaven after a true apparition or vision. If the private revelation is inner-locution, one could be excused for not becoming more holy, since no vision of the heavenly is seen. Once, however, Heaven is seen or touched, the earthly things should become abhorrent to the seer.
Holiness is a complete love for the heavenly and a hatred for anything of this earth. Let us hear the words of Our Lord to Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, "WIFE, MOTHER AND MYSTIC", Page 44:
"He who wishes to taste My delights must despise the world, and expect to be despised by it in turn ... Love, then, to meet with contempt, for love of contempt is the true foundation of virtue."
The essence of holiness consists in conforming to the Divine Will, loving God above all things, and despising the things of this world.
The main indicator of sanctity (holiness) is a deep and true humility. To reach high into sanctity you must fall deep into humility. Humility is the opposite of pride and therefore the opposite of Satan. Satan cannot be humble and neither can a seer of Satan, even one who does not know that Satan is the object of the vision. The humble will always submit their revelations to their spiritual directors and will always obey their lawful superiors.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi often doubted whether it was the good or evil spirit that spoke to her. God told her the most important of all discernment an individual can use. Page 44:
"You must know,: said Jesus to her, "that when I speak to you I produce in you tenderness, peace, compunction; above all, HUMILITY. Know well, my daughter, that no matter how much he desires to love me, if a man enter not the straight path of humility he will keep on stumbling. Man has within himself a dust that settles round his heart; it is called self-love ... Man is full of pride, and I have nothing to do with the proud. Only the humble find favor in My sight...
"I make My abode in humble souls that are full of simplicity. The more lowly and uncultured they are, the more I take pleasure in them. As to these wise and learned professors whose heads are full of the fumes of pride, I put them down from their seats, and you, yourself, shall soon learn where I send them."
False mysticism, instead of humbling man and glorifying Christ, tends rather to clothe man in divine attributes which of right belong to God.
TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Since Satan is a liar from the beginning, honesty is a very important virtue in a seer. Honesty is a major test, since the spirit of Satan cannot be honest in anything that does not ultimately bring about a lie. He can tell truths if the end result is a lie. His lies are hidden in truths so that the elect cannot recognize them. Therefore, any lie at all will cause us to discount the miracle or vision.
In all cases of true visions, seers practice heroic virtue AFTER an apparition or vision from God. St. Theresa of Avila founded thirty convents by her own hard work, in spite of the hundreds of visions. Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and St. Bridget never neglected their families, in spite of the many visions. False quietism leaves to Christ alone the salvation of the world, excluding and neglecting man's co-operation. Naturalism, of course, would also be wrong since it places its faith in the social and human action, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
A true apparition, after the initial wonderment and even fear, will result in a true, deep peace, joy, and security. Diabolical visions, on the other hand, bring joy at first, but then bring restlessness, moroseness, sadness, and discouragement. A true vision will strengthen virtue, whereas false visions will beget pride, presumption and disobedience.
THE GREATEST MIRACLE IN THE WORLD
The book "THE IMITATION OF CHRIST" says that if you travel the world over looking for miracles, you would not find a greater miracle than the Mass. Therefore, any seer who puts more importance in a miracle than in the Mass would be a false seer. At Fatima God sent an angel to instill devotion in the children to the Body and Blood of Christ before the messages were given by His Mother. Our Lady's own words to Mary Agreda--TRANSFIXION, Page 428,
"I wish you also to ponder, what a horrible crime it is in the eyes of the Lord, in mine, and in those of all the saints, that men should despise and neglect the frequent reception of the holy Communion, and that they should approach it without preparation and fervent devotion."
And Mary Agreda, inspired by the Holy Spirit, spoke of the main reason for the wounded heart of Mary.
"Mary foresaw also the ingratitude of mortals in regard to this ineffable Sacrament, [the Mass] established for their benefit, and She resolved to atone, with all the powers of her being, for our shameless and ungrateful behavior. She took upon Herself the duty of rendering thanks to the eternal Father and to His divine Son for this extraordinary and wonderful benefit to the human race. This earnest desire dwelled in Her soul during Her whole life and many times did She shed tears of blood welling forth from Her purest heart in order to satisfy for our shameful and torpid forgetfulness."
So, to me the Mass is greater than even a pilgrimage to Fatima. Unfortunately, just like the charismatic movement, people say, I get more out of the pilgrimage. God puts more into the Mass.
A sacramental is very effective against demons. Sacramentals are blessed items such as holy water, rosaries, crucifixes, relics, statues, icons, etc. However, it is the blessing that is effective and not the thing. So, any rosary, water, crucifix or statue that does not have the priest's special blessing is useless against demons. Keep this in mind when you see fake seers or even witches wearing crucifixes or crosses around their necks. A crucifix without a priest's blessing is useless against demons. Mary is not a priest. A priest takes the place of Christ. Mary does not take the place of Christ. Mary cannot give a priest's blessing to a sacramental.
Mirna, the Church-approved seer of Our Lady of Soufanieh, has never taken any money, even though she has two children she lives in total poverty. Any seer who makes money of any kind out of an apparition or miracle would have to be suspect, for this would not be Christ-like, and would be steeling for you cannot sell the work of the Holy Spirit. Greed for money is the badge of the false prophet.
(2 Peter 2:3, 1 Tim. 6:5-10)
If you see expensive clothes, makeup, fingernail polish, jewelry, fancy hairdos or any other preoccupation with looks, you can suspect the devil. If the clothes are indecent or pompous, forget it. There are times when one should dress better as laid down by St. Francis de Sales in INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, but this is infrequent.
"One should dress according to his condition, so that the wise and the good may have no reason to complain that you do too much or young people say that you do too little."
"The attire of the body and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, show what he is." (Eccle. 19:27)
And in my opinion, a woman seer who has seen the Virgin Mary (who is never without a veil over Her head), and then prays or attends Mass without a veil, we would wonder about. A veil says that you are in the presence of God or that you are a bride of Christ. Any seer who does not want to imitate her Mother, would seem at least foolish. (1 Cor. 11:4-5; 11:13)
Love is often confused with hugging and kissing. Love [as Christ taught] is an action, an action of mercy. The works of mercy are: to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to visit the imprisoned, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick, to bury the dead, to admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, to pray for the living and the dead. Our love is to admonish the sinner, even ourselves, to instruct the ignorant, and to counsel the doubtful. I would rather have the fruit of the Holy Spirit than have the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Paul says that if you had all the gifts of the Holy Spirit but did not have love, (the fruit of the Holy Spirit) you have nothing. Therefore, if a seer is not led to some or all of these acts of love, then no grace is being received.
TYPES OF MIRACLES
Miracles come from GOD. Satan works "lying wonders". Only God can create matter out of nothing, such as the changing of water into wine at the marriage feast of Cana, or the multiplication of the bread and fishes. This would also hold for cures that require instantaneous growth of destroyed tissue such as cancer, or the quick closing of a wound such as a stigmata. By the same criteria as above, only God can multiply matter, since it requires creation. Any instantaneous and permanent cure, scientifically tested, objectively diagnosed and measured, showing the condition of the body both before and after the cure, can only be from God. The best of these are organic lesions [hernia, cancer, toxication, parasites, and the like], or the organ shows a congenital malformation, or again it is in a state of degeneration or gradual disintegration. Some processes of tissue degeneration are irreversible and therefore incurable. The cure of a blind child, who was born with no pupils in her eyes, is beyond the power of Satan since it is beyond the power of nature. Done by the prayers of Padre Pio. She is still living and she still has no pupils. A supernatural light given to a soul to understand mysteries of God from imaginary images, as happened with Joseph (Gen. 40:41) and with Daniel (Dan. 1:24), is the highest form of miracle. Neither the demons nor the angels can infuse this supernatural light into the understanding, since they can only cause images and fantasies in the imagination. See Chapters XIV, XV in CITY OF GOD, Book 1.
THINGS GOD WOULD NEVER DO
But there are things that God would never do. This is pure logic.
A lie is a lie is a lie, and God will never lie for any reason, no matter what the justification. Therefore, it is wise to compare all messages with the deposit of faith, with the Bible, and with Church- accepted private revelations. God will not contradict Himself, His Church, or one of His saints.
God will never ever speak a single word, Himself, or through one of His messengers, that is not for the salvation of souls. Useless words, prolonged miracles, useless miracles, or idle conversation will never come from God.
Study the Bible or true apparitions and you will not find one word that does not have supernatural meanings very, very useful for the salvation of souls. Never is God concerned with worldly things. (Matt. 12:36)
Satan appeared to Sister Josefa Menendez disguised as Our Lord, but: " the very EXCESS of this infernal craft made clear who he really was, for this was not the first time he had attempted to pose as an angel of light." (Page 397, THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE - TAN) It was by the excess in words and actions that Sister Josepha Menendez recognized him.
God will never take away man's free will. A worldwide, continuous, visible miracle would be an example of taking away man's free will, because it would not allow disbelief.
Anything irreverent or undignified like showing off power, or causing a seer to run after Him, or fall on one's face, or howl like a dog, or make animal cries, or strange howling, or make sudden or awkward or ungainly movements such as convulsions, jumping, running, dancing, falls, could not be from God.
God would never do anything without a salvation reason. God will never ever condone the breaking of any commandment, and that goes also for the Fourth Commandment, which demands that we obey our superiors, especially our lawful Bishops.
TRUE BUT FALSE
True revelations can be misinterpreted, sometimes even by the seers themselves. Sometimes private revelations might be altered or modified unwittingly by the seer, or even more so by those who record or edit the revelations conveyed by the seers. There is evidence that the revelations of Catherine Emmerich, Mary of Agreda, and Marie Lataste were not perfectly transcribed and edited.
True revelations can also be interpreted wrong by those who promote the messages. Very often these overzealous people exaggerate or add words or meanings to the apparitions that are not there. And as we said before, Satan always tries to add his own confusion to the real messages. Uncautious promoters or believers mix up everything together. This is primarily done by mixing up messages from a false vision with the messages of a true one and coming up with a different meaning altogether [a meaning acceptable to Satan].
Friends and relatives of a seer can totally destroy the works of God, especially if they are in authority over the seer, as in the case of parents. Usually these relatives do not have the grace needed to carry out the will of the messages.
TRUTH BY ASSOCIATION
One of the greatest and most common tricks of false miracles is to associate themselves with true ones. They know that we love Fatima and Padre Pio, so they make it appear that the messages or the seer is also devoted to Fatima and Padre Pio. They may have a picture taken with the Pope or Padre Pio and claim, falsely, that they have their support. The next major way they attempt to look truthful is to drown the false with the truth. When we analyze messages or statements by a seer or the writers of false miracles, we automatically expect that 99% of what they say will be true doctrine and true holiness. The 99% is the bait for that 1% that will put you in Hell. There are so many false apparitions today, that we find it hard to find any Catholic who does not believe in at least one of them. Satan, in order to lead everyone astray, has found a new trick in the Twentieth Century. Every false miracle will support at least one other false miracle. Some apparitions have almost no other reason but to support another one that is losing its following. Since Heaven will never ever contradict its Kingdom on Earth, any apparition that says a condemned apparition is true is not from God.
We have seen this twice with our own eyes. Miracles that were truly of God (but without any messages or mystics) had a false mystic come along after the miracle and say that the reason for the miracle was this or that. The facts were in both cases that the Church investigated the miracles and found them to be supernatural, but not the mystics. The uncautious writers, however, have mixed them both up, claiming that the mystics have Church approval, which is not true. Maria Esperanza is trying to buy the Holy Spirit with lies. She is not part of the true apparitions of Our Lady in the trees or part of the miracle of the Host.
Satan and his demons know what is happening all over the world. They know what has happened without any forgetfulness. Anything God has done [in the form of miracles, messages, prophecies, etc.] that man has seen, Satan has seen it also.
Satan uses all this information to attempt to understand what God is planning, and then he tries to thwart God's plans. He does this primarily by aping. He always does his miracles exactly the same way as God, except for one thing, his pride does not allow him to be simple; and therefore, his miracles are always exaggerated: they are bigger and longer; there are more of them; and they always have more words.
There is a certain economy to "more", in that it tends to drown out a true revelation, simply by its volume. We have said aping, which means acting the same. But Satan will act the same in order to get the opposite result. To understand the opposite result, let us first look at God's reasons.
MIRACLES BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTH
All mystical theologians say that "miracles are signs to support truth". Thomas Aquinas teaches that we must all believe the same in matters of faith. "In devotion--diversity; in faith--unity; in all other things--love."
If this unity of faith was not so important, God would, since He could, perform some miracles outside the Catholic Church. The mere fact that He does not, is a sign in itself.
We have studied over four hundred private revelations that have been approved by the Church. One thing can be said for every one of them, they all have the message of unity in faith. God founded one faith, one kingdom, one Body of Christ, and He supports this unity throughout the ages with miracles.
That being the case, Satan's main object in false miracles is disunity. Divide and conquer is the plan. The results of every false miracle we have studied is disunity. They all talk obedience but practice disobedience; they talk humility but practice pride; they talk Catholic but create a cult.
The history of false miracles will show divisions in religious orders, divisions in families, and separations from the Body of Christ, the Church.
All of this is done with the outward signs of holiness, extreme holiness: praying the rosary ten times a day, fasting more that the saints, sacrifices greater than prudence, etc. These extremes are what fool most people, and therefore they say, "But look at the fruits."
If Satan can get you to believe one point in matters of religion and morals different from what Christ taught through His Church, you are excommunicated ipso-facto, and you are no longer a member of the Body of Christ, you no longer share in the Communion of Saints, you are divided from the unity of believers. Satan has won.
SATAN'S MASTER PLAN
It is not hard for us to see the evolution of devotion brought about by private revelation. The Scapular, the Rosary, the Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart, the Immaculate Conception, the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary on the Miraculous Metal, the Divine Mercy, all fit together like a grand master building up of devotion.
There is also an evolution of knowledge, from the early Doctors of the Church, like Augustine explaining the mysteries of the Bible, down through Thomas Aquinas, Kempis, Catherine Emmerich, Sister Mary Agreda.
Coupled with these are hundreds of private revelations warning of future chastisements, of future wars, of a final victory of Mary, a period of peace, etc.
Keeping God's work in mind, let us look at Satan's plans. First and foremost, Satan wants to destroy God's Kingdom [the Church] because it is the power of the Church that keeps Satan chained [restricted]. The very first cults in the first century were developed by Satan with false miracles for the primary purpose of destroying the Church.
The Church is God's Kingdom because it is ONE as Christ is one (1 Cor. 10:17; John 17:11). It is VISIBLE (Mt. 5:14). It is HOLY (Mt. 7:15-20). It is CATHOLIC-universal (Mk. 16:15-16). And it is APOSTOLIC (Eph. 2:19-20).
From the time of Luther, the oneness, the holiness, the universality, and the apostolic succession of the priesthood have been attacked. As a result, we now have approximately 27,000 Christian religions claiming to be the Word of God, in other words claiming to be the Body of Christ, therefore claiming to be the Christ. These religions cannot be holy, since they do not have apostolic succession; therefore, do not have the Body of Christ in them.
The French Revolution gave to the state the right to decide the religion of its people, and from that day to this the Kingdom of God has been persecuted by governments all over the world. From the intellectualism of the French Revolution came Communism. This intellectualism has destroyed thousands of church and convent buildings and caused the execution of hundreds of thousands of priests and nuns right to our own day. The Kingdom survives these outside attacks by the demons.
But the Kingdom is attacked from within also, by liberal theologians, who give to themselves the charisma of infallibility; by traditionalists, who claim to be holier than God's Kingdom; and by seers, who claim to be the voice of God on earth instead of the Holy Father.
All of these things have the same goal-- dividing the unity of Christ's Body. But there is an even greater plan coming in the future by Satan. There are over three hundred false apparitions about to get together into one so-called voice from Heaven. They are about to declare all together that the Pope is not the Pope. You will see a good man being declared the Antichrist by these false apparitions. You will see this also as you read on.
There are over 400 approved apparitions of the saints and the Bible that speak of a good and holy man who is to come and reunite the Kingdom of God on earth. When this man appears, these false apparitions will unite into one voice and declare that he is the Antichrist.
Since we know that the Antichrist cannot come in our lifetime, our children's lifetime, and probably our children's children's lifetime, any apparition that claims knowledge of the Antichrist being alive is false. There must come first a chastisement from God, then a period of peace on earth in which there is only one Church in the whole world. Then out of this world-wide Kingdom will come the Antichrist, who will overthrow a large part of it. After his death will come the end of the world and the second coming of Christ. The period from the death of the Antichrist to the second coming of Christ no one will ever know.
One thing we do know is that anyone claiming the second coming of Christ before the Antichrist is false. [FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA, Page 485]
Likewise, anyone claiming the Antichrist is here before the peace of Christ comes is also false.
Whether from outside in governments and false religions, or from inside with liberals, conservatives, or false voices from Heaven, the plan is the same-- the destruction of the unity of the Body of Christ.
DISCERNMENT MADE SIMPLE
There are common traits of the true and the false. This is not a summary, nor can it be applied to every case. But it will be helpful if you do not have time to review all the documents of a reported apparition or message or reported miracle worker. There are some things that are a sure mark of the false, whether fraud or demonic. Keep in mind that even those that are purely fraud have demonic influence, since all sin has demonic influence.
Regarding the seer and the followers of the seer, do not judge "fruits" by the amount of prayer, fasting, masses, confessions, or even the turning away from sin. All of these things occur in every false apparition. Look instead for the virtues of chastity, poverty, obedience, simplicity, trust in God, faith in the Church, and a charity towards those in authority and those who do not believe.
A false seer does things to draw attention to himself rather than God. A false seer often claims to control the time and place of an apparition. Most false seers become the leader of the group. The false seer always profits in some way from the phenomena. The false seer seeks or needs the attention from people, or the love of people, or the approval of people. A true seer enters into absolutely no idle conversation. All conversation of a true seer is for the salvation of souls, everything else is from the devil.
Any message that is not in conformity with the Holy Bible and the Holy Tradition is false. Any message that is contrary to messages already approved by the Church is false. Any message that suggests leaving everything up to God is false. Any message that suggests leaving everything up to man is false. Any message that condones more than one Church is false. Any message that threatens punishment to those who do not believe in it is false. Any message that gives to itself the authority that belongs to the local Bishop is false.
Any miracle that does not have a salvation meaning is false. Any miracle that is done outside the Church is false. Any miracle that has a purely physical meaning is false. Any miracle that is exaggerated, presumptuous, controlled by the seer, or attributed to the actions or rituals of the seer is false.
Any apparition, miracle, or seer that causes disunity among families, communities, or the Church is false. Any message or seer that approves of discrimination is false.
By the same token, but the opposite effect, any message or seer that approves of or condones or simply remains silent about any sin is false.