PopeWatch: Miracle









John Allen at Crux gives a possible insight into the current pontificate:

By nature I’m not inclined to look for supernatural explanations of things, and I’m often skeptical when they’re floated. Yet in keeping with the Sherlock Holmes dictum that after you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, this seems to me one case in which a mystical account is required.

To put the point differently, Francis himself appears convinced there’s a mystical subtext to the kind of pope he’s become.

Here’s an insider account I provide in the book that makes the point.

“Over Christmas 2013, a veteran Latin American cardinal who has known Bergoglio for decades made an appointment to see his old friend in the Santa Marta, the hotel on Vatican grounds where the pope has chosen to reside. (He lives in Room 201, a slightly larger room than the one he stayed in during the conclave that elected him, giving the pontiff enough space to receive guests comfortably).

“The cardinal, who didn’t wish to be named, said he looked at Francis and, referring to the exuberance and spontaneity that are now hallmarks of his public image, said to him point-blank: ‘You are not the same man I knew in Buenos Aires. What’s happened to you’?

“According to the cardinal, this was Francis’ answer:

“ ‘On the night of my election, I had an experience of the closeness of God that gave me a great sense of interior freedom and peace,’ the cardinal quoted the pope as saying, ‘and that sense has never left me.’ ”

In other words, Francis believes he experienced a miracle.

Go here to read the rest.  A pope assuming that God is guiding him would not be unusual in the history of the Church.  The problem of course is that most popes have assumed that, including good popes who are successful in leading the Church, and bad popes who lead the Church from disaster to disaster.  When a pope assumes that he is merely following the hand of God, it tends to make him impervious to either mere human advice or criticism.

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  1. I hope and pray Pope Francis has a grounded holy spiritual director.

    “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

  2. “I hope and pray Pope Francis has a grounded holy spiritual director.”

    Indeed. When I first started receiving spiritual direction years ago, my first director noted that if I had any special inspirations, I was to bring them up in direction in order to discern if they were genuine and to foster humility.

    Of course, since this Pope is so humble, perhaps he skipped that step.

  3. God is eternal. He is all perfect, all knowing, and all good. God does not err. He does not “change His mind.” God set objective truth and revealed it through appropriate means.

    Fallen man, with Satan’s push, changes with the times.

  4. He may be mistaking closeness consolation from God for agreement by God in his key ideas. It doesn’t follow.
    The Council of Trent is saying that you cannot have ABSOLUTE certitude of even sanctifying grace…but you can have moral certitude of it otherwise the whole Church would be in radical scrupulosity.
    Session Six
    Chapter IX
    ” For even as no pious person ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, even so each one, when he regards himself, and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension touching his own grace; seeing that no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.”

    That by the way is partly based on Ecclesiastes 9:1 ” yet man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love, or hatred.”

  5. Philip,
    You’re welcome. It is a severe idea in Trent and in Ecclesiastes but with a silver lining….it inclines one to flee to God like a child.

  6. Phillip: “Of course, since this Pope is so humble, perhaps he skipped that step.”
    You jest, of course. Pope Francis is, in my humble opinion: mean…mean…mean.

  7. cpola,

    Not sure what you mean. The link is long. What Sister Faustina did was to present her private revelation to her director. The correct thing to do.

    He may not have understood it as can be the case.

  8. What am saying is that spiritual phenomena can be from the good angels or can be from the evil angels. So how do we know where the miracle of the change in behavior of the present papacy come from? Is it of God or of evil?
    Muhammed said an angel spoke to him in a cave in Arabia. How do we go about knowing where this angel came from? Was it a holy angel or an evil angel?
    Sr. Faustina said someone claiming to be Jesus spoke to her. Was it really Jesus or was it an impostor?
    Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani had his doubts and therefore placed this dubious devotion under ban.
    The link I posted may be long. But with patience you will come to accept that all Catholics are best advised to stay away from this private devotion.

  9. Christians need to remember the story of Pentecost.

    The Holy Spirit descends upon the Apostles, they become emboldened and rush to witness to the truth of the risen Christ. Many people hear them and believe, but some call them drunks. How does Peter reply? “We can’t be drunk, because it is only nine o’clock in the morning“.

    This is proof, and none better exists, that the Holy Spirit will not protect a Pope from the mangled sound bite. Peter probably met Luke during Paul’s three-year house arrest in Rome, and he surely insisted that his quote be added to Acts as a mark of self-depreciation. We can be assured that he was acting under the influence of the Holy Spirit when he did so.

  10. “The link I posted may be long. But with patience you will come to accept that all Catholics are best advised to stay away from this private devotion.”

    I have no problem with staying away from private devotions. My point was, that hopefully this Pope has submitted his private revelations to his director.

  11. I thought that this blog entry was about the Roman Pontiff, not Sister Faustina.

    I read some of the objections, then stopped. so Cardinal Ottaviani had objections. The good Cardinal wasn’t in interwar Poland talking to Sister Faustina, I’m sure.

    The Church authorities went after St. Ignatius and his spiritual
    Exercises, too.

    I do not pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet – the Divine mercy hour is 3PM and I usually have a pile of work (I try to pray the Angelus at noon) but I see nothing wrong with it and nether criticize nor condemn those who do. They are very likely better Christians than I am.

  12. cpola.

    Divine Mercy fact from personal experience.

    On my second year as healthcare aid to the infirm in Nursing Home environment I prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for one of my residents at her death bed. At the conclusion of the prayer she gave up the ghost. In fifteen years of service to the elderly I have had two additional experiences exactly the same as aforementioned. One was with an disappointed son who, prodded by his atheist wife, gave up the Holy Catholic Church and became atheist himself. ( the mans brother told me his disposition. ) The one son was disappointed because mom hadn’t died yet. He would not kneel down with his brother and pray at his mothers death bed. Instead he stayed in the common area of our home and ran his affairs on his laptop. Finally I convinced him to stay in the mothers room while the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed. This was day ten of her suffering. The man finally agreed. At 3pm we started the prayer…devotion! At 3:09pm she died. At the very end of the conclusion prayer.

    THE DEVIL DOES NOT COOPERATE in these obvious moments of Grace.

    The family asked me to participate in the funeral Mass. The atheist sat directly in front of the ambo while I read from the Gospel. His tears wouldn’t stop.

    Gods timing is perfect. She died at the very moment that could impact the fall away Catholic. The Graces are abundant and always to bring families together…especially Gods Holy Family.

    I’ll keep practicing this heavenly devotion. You might want to start cpola.
    Peace and Gods blessings for all of us.

  13. Phillip:: “On my second year as healthcare aid to the infirm in Nursing Home environment I prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for one of my residents at her death bed. At the conclusion of the prayer she gave up the ghost.”
    what does that prove?
    The point is that image is not the image of Jesus of Nazareth. The image revealed in that private devotion is the image prophesied in Revelation 13. Check the Bible; Check the links.
    We are living in strange times; and we presently have a strange pontiff in Rome. We need prayers; but not that of this dubious private devotion.

  14. Phillip- beautiful story. I believe you. I have devotion to the same Chaplet. It is traditionally commemorated the week after Easter Sunday. We are all free to believe private revelation. And I chose to believe this one.

    My story relates to the Rosary- my Athiest uncle, who sadly gave up his Faith when he migrated from Lebanon to a France in the 1960’s, passed away in tragic circumstances 6 years ago- he fell through a second story window whilst cleaning it. My family, especially my mother (his sister) were devastated. I recall the night as particularly horrible, because of the way my other uncle (also an Athiest), broke the news to my mother- very point-blank. My mother was inconsolable. He was a favoured brother- beautiful heart, intelligent, a practising GP, loved his family.

    At the same moment that my late uncle fell, my grandmother (his mother) suffered a stroke and went into a coma. This son of hers that fell, was always her favourite. Completely unaware of the news about her son (since she was paralysed and being cared for 24/7 in a special home), it’s as though she sensed something. The timing was unexplainable.

    But, As you can imagine, that night was horrible. Dealing with 2 tragedies.

    My mother flew to France to bury her brother, and unfortunately my grandmother passed away in her absence.

    The beautiful thing through all of this is that my grandmother used to recite the Holy Rosary in the morning, and at night. Everyday without fail. She was uneducated, illiterate but hardworking and loved and feared God.

    The grandchildren gathered around her bed to pray the Holy Rosary on her last night on earth, but my brother and I and our spouses and children were rushing to get to her bedside because of traffic on the roads. We made it at the last decade. We said the final decade and her soul departed her body with a deep breath. It’s like she waited for us, motionless in a coma, but fully aware of us praying and waited till we were all there.

    I pray that God heard the 100’s and 100’s of Rosary that she prayed for her children, and grandchildren, and that my uncle, her beloved son, somehow had a conversion before his fall. Only God knows. But I believe my late grandmothers Rosaries, did not fall deaf on Gods ears- for her favourite son. The timing of their death is still unexplainable to human logic.

  15. cpola asks; “What does that prove?”

    It proves that your unbelief in this devotion is only hindering the conversions of souls aimlessly jumping from sin to sin. It proves that your unbelief in this devotion is hindering the advance of faith charity and hope in a world in such great need. It proves that regardless of the miracles attributed to St. Faustina and her elevation to Sainthood, some God fearing good Catholics like yourself still will doubt a beautiful and proven devotion. To those folks I pray for Gods heavenly light to dispel the doubt.
    cpola. “Jesus I Trust in You.”
    Try it. “Jesus I Trust in You.”
    One more time cpola…..don’t be scared…”Jesus I Trust in You.”

    Dubious devotion? Nice try.

  16. The difficulty is that such experiences may well be ineffable, like Pascal’s “Night of Fire” that reduced the master of French prose to stammering incoherence or that led St Thomas Aquinas to lay aside his pen, with the words, “I can write no more,” or the learned Tauler, driven beyond all the ordinary resources of imagery, to speak of “the Abyss which is unknown and has no name . . . more beloved than all that we can know.”

  17. Phillip show me one single mark of the Passion of Christ Jesus on this image and then we can talk.
    BTW dont quote the images that were tampered with subsequently; I am talking about the original image as revealed to Sr Faustina.

  18. Perhaps the Pope and some of his cardinals should realize that, rather than changing doctrine according to what they perceive as their personal lights, they should humble themselves in the face of doctrine based on the clear words of Jesus and on Holy Scripture, doctrine which is unchangeable; a la the Ignatian Exercises (1548; no. 365) “We should always be prepared so as never to err to believe that what I see as white is black, if Holy Mother Church defines it thus.” Ask those who would alter doctrine “Who died and made you God?” Guy McClung, San Antonio

  19. cpola-
    you make a big jump from “it can be questionable” to “so reject them all as a matter of course.”
    Marian Apparitions could be something else trying to screw with us; that is why they get examined and then judged as acceptable.
    Please stop trying to force everyone else to reject what you reject, especially when all you can offer as an authority are random webpages– Satan is just as able to attack by slandering things as satanic as he is by presenting them as holy.
    It bugs you? Fine, then don’t pray it. I have an instinctive dislike of the icons for our Lady of Guadalupe, so I don’t involve myself in it or have icons from it. (When I finally heard the story, and found out her appearance was to speak clearly to folks who’d followed the Aztec gods, that reaction started making sense.)
    But if you want to invoke authority, then you’ll have to actually find authority, not “it’s on the internet.”
    Sort of like the annual “meat broth” arguments, it’s likely that the root of the problem is old information:
    Full Question

    Why did the Church ban the Divine Mercy devotion from 1959 to 1978?

    Because of faulty translations from the original Polish, St. Faustina Kowalska’s writings were considered doctrinally suspect, and so the Holy See suppressed the Divine Mercy devotion arising from those writings for about twenty years. Once the translations were corrected, the ban was lifted. The reversal of the suppression depended heavily upon the work of the Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow (Poland); the same year that the suppression was lifted (1978), that cardinal was elected pope and took the name John Paul II.

  20. cpola asks for signs of Christ passion on the image “before we can talk.”

    Very good. Don’t speak.

    If the Bible was a picture book we might be able to talk, but let’s assume you don’t need pictures for a moment.
    St. Thomas doubted too. Unless I can touch the wounds of Christ I will not believe…so your in good company.
    I like pictures too but what I find fulfilling is the countless hours of scrutiny that Divine Mercy Diary was subject too prior to moving forward with Church approvals. Even more fulfilling are the beautiful words shared between creator and created. Then the icing on the cake. Our participation in this devotion.

    If you can get beyond your doubts I believe you will be better for having believed.

    “Blessed are those who haven’t seen but believed.”

    Peace cpola.

  21. Foxifier: ‘Why did the Church ban the Divine Mercy devotion from 1959 to 1978? Answer Because of faulty translations from the original Polish, St. Faustina Kowalska’s writings were considered doctrinally suspect, and so the Holy See suppressed the Divine Mercy devotion arising from those writings for about twenty years. Once the translations were corrected, the ban was lifted”.
    What faulty translations? Corrected by whom?
    It took the Sacred Heart devotion close to 500 years or more to become part of the Catholic Church public liturgy. In the case of the devotion revealed to Sr. Faustina it took a mere 22 years (from 1978 to 2000) for it to become part of public worship.
    Now ask yourself: why the rush?
    Who was pushing this devotion from the very top?
    When did the RCC stop allowing private devotions to spread gradually from bottom up?
    Why would anybody start a novena for a private devotion during the Holy Week of the Easter Triduum?
    Questions, questions, questions begging for answers.

  22. cpola-
    If you don’t know, then you should not be going on long rants against it.
    Your personal doubts do not bind anybody else, and especially not when you are so ignorant on the topic that you couldn’t be bothered to inform yourself by reading the rest of the paragraph, then maybe doing some research from reputable sites with some sort of verifiable authority.
    The work to correct the bad translations was, largely, done by the guy who would be responsible for such things– the archbishop of her area.
    Do you have any actual arguments to make, or only vague allusions to things you feel could possibly be questionable?
    You are the one who is begging the question– you assume the conclusions you personally hold, ignore the licit authorities on the subject, and expect others to disprove your shifting standards. That isn’t how it works.
    You have made quite large claims, backed up by what amounts to anonymous rumor and outdated information. They were easily countered by a quick search and a link to the valid teaching authority of the Church.
    If you can link to a similar authority, then do so. It will be rather hard, what with her being a saint and all, with the (OPTIONAL) devotion being praised as a tool.

  23. “Feeling God’s closeness and direction in life … now that must be tragic to PW.”
    Nope, that would be magnificent. The problem of course is that many a great disaster has come about from people confident they were following God’s will, and being sadly mistaken judging from the consequences of their actions, and not a few of these people were popes.

  24. @Mary De Voe on Monday, March 9, A.D. 2015 at 7:52am: Possession by the Great Angel of Light, Lucifer, is not a miracle, but possession. Following St. Paul’s counsel and the words of the LORD You will know them by their fruits this is the prudent approach to Pope Francis or any other shepherd or prophet.
    In the upper room, there was another spirit present and it and not the Holy Spirit, entered Judas.
    ‘The spirit in me,’ says Pope Francis ‘test it!’

  25. Kmbold.

    “Are you a priest or a deacon?”

    Neither. The Gospel Reading was given by Father. I participated in the reading of one of St. Pauls writings. I do not recall which letter however I do remember it was one of St. Pauls.

  26. Ezabelle.

    Your grandmother and her son, the uncle whom had “given up his faith” became an atheist, both passed away within days of each other? The events were interestingly close in time and there’s the great faith and brokenhearted ( assuming here ) grandmother having been tirelessly praying her rosaries for souls. It wouldn’t be going out on a limb, would it, to also assume her prayers included a conversion for your uncle, her son?

    If her state in life was already fragile and she had this life ending health event, without knowing her fallen away son had just died, I wouldn’t be surprised at the least if in some unfathomable way mercy was working for the uncles soul at the love and faith of a mother who would do anything for the soul of her lost boy.

    Please forgive my imagination since our ways are so beneath His ways, and coincidence vs. godincidence is unknown. Your description of your grandmother is very familiar and I spend much time with souls like her.
    Faithful prayer warriors that love God and have practiced the art of prayer for seventy or eighty years.

    Why they have each encountered events at the same time we will not know, but we do know God loves and God is merciful. Thanks for your story. I believe it.

  27. Ezabelle.

    The gathering of her children and grandchildren at your grandmas death bed and finishing the rosary…signal grace. The mother of God promised faithful devotee’s who pray her Holy Rosary 15 promises. At grandmas last breath the final signal grace was given…for you. Her loved ones.

  28. On more…

    The fifteen promises of Mary to Christians who recite the Rosary;
    #1) Whoever shall faithfully serve me by recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

    This was given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan. Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes, D.D., Archbishop of New York
    from the Pieta prayer booklet. Dated material.

    The faithful who pray to love God and thus love neighbor will love to pray.

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