The most popular posts on this blog — far and away the most popular — relate to Maria Divine Mercy. Her messages, which prophesy cataclysm and suggest Francis is an anti-pope, are quite an online phenomenon.
Many respondents agree with me, and some have asked me to promote their own critiques of the MDM messages. On the one hand, I’m not sure any apostolate which is primarily reactionary is very fruitful. But on the other hand, these people are faithful and charitable, and who am I to discourage their works? So here are two blogs which may be of interest to devotees and critics of MDM:
- Maria Divine Mercy: True or False? Our mission: Unmasking demonic deception.
- Refuting Maria Divine Mercy. Illustrating how the messages of Maria Divine Mercy are simply false.
Many other respondents disagree with me, and to their credit, the greater part are respectful about it. Some have asked that I pray a daily prayer that Maria Divine Mercy recommends to priests discerning her messages:
My Lord, open my eyes. Allow me to see the enemy and close my heart to deceit. I surrender all to You, dear Jesus. I trust in Your Mercy. Amen.
It’s not a bad prayer. It’s simple enough to pray each day, and so I have indeed included it in my daily prayers, with a small addition:
My Lord, open my eyes. Allow me to see the enemy and close my heart to deceit. I surrender all to You, dear Jesus, Son of the Living God, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. I trust in Your Mercy. Amen.
The modification clarifies who exactly I’m praying to, which is a detail exorcists advise. I remain very dubious of the MDM thing. It may be authentic, it may be a human fraud, or it may be something more nefarious.
Apart from all that, I have been asked to correct an error in one of my previous posts. I quoted a warning against private revlations from St John of the Cross, one of the Church’s great mystics. From The Ascent of Mt Carmel, Bk II, Ch 11. (objectionable content in bold):
It is clear, then, that these sensual apprehensions and visions cannot be a means to union, since they bear no proportion to God; and this was one of the reasons why Christ desired that the Magdalene and Saint Thomas should not touch Him. And so the devil rejoices greatly when a soul desires to receive revelations, and when he sees it inclined to them, for he has then a great occasion and opportunity to insinuate errors and, in so far as he is able, to derogate from faith; for, as I have said, he renders the soul that desires them very gross, and at times even leads it into many temptations and unseemly ways.
This is Edgar Allison Peers’ rendering (1962), which is generally recognised as the twentieth century’s definitive translation. But as one eagle eyed reader has pointed out, our Lord did not discourage St Thomas from touching him.
Here is an older translation, by David Lewis (1896):
It is now clear that these visions and apprehensions of sense cannot be the means of the divine union, for they bear no proportion to God. And this is one of the reasons why Christ would not suffer Mary Magdalene to touch Him, and yet allowed it, as the better and more perfect course, to St. Thomas. 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 derogating 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.
It seems the error was the translator’s, not the author’s.
A reader with better Spanish than me has confirmed that the error is St John’s, not the translator’s. I imagine David Lewis corrected a perceived error, where E. Allison Peers was faithful to the original text.
It reminds me of the translation of a point in St Josemaría Escrivá’s Camino, which related an unidentified priest’s “butter tragedy” — shorthand for the ascetical struggle in little things. The first Irish editions of The Way rendered this the “marmalade tragedy,” since the translators imagined this might be better understood by Irish readers.
The more faithful translation was only provided when the “holy man of God” was identified as Fr William Doyle, an Irish Jesuit! If the “butter tragedy” originated in Ireland, it should be recalled as such in Ireland!