A DRAMATIC ALLEGED MESSAGE
It was a thunderclap, for those who have followed messages from the apparition in Bosnia-Hercegovina of Medjugorje for the past three decades.
Since 1981, those missives largely have been comprised of monthly spiritual encouragement: general exhortations toward faith, prayer, and love. Advice. Occasionally -- as during the early 1990s, when Bosnia was at war -- they carried a tone of unusual gravity. They have periodically alluded to the influence of Satan in the world. In the very first couple of years, very sobering language was used:
"I have come to call the world to conversion for the last time" (May 2, 1982).
"The peace of the world is in danger" (1981).
"This unfaithful world walking in darkness" (June 5, 1986).
"You must warn the bishop very soon, and the Pope, with respect to the urgent and the great importance of the message for all of mankind" (December 26, 1983).
"You cannot imagine what is going to happen nor what the Eternal Father will send to earth" (June 24, 1983).
"A great struggle is about to unfold, a struggle between my Son and Satan. Human souls are at stake." (August 2, 1981).
"It is the hour of the power of darkness."
"The present hour is the hour of Satan" (unspecified early year). "The hour has come when the demon is authorized to act with all his force and power."
"My children, I would like this time to be the time of decision" (August 19, 1988).
Those were the early years (we'll say "alleged," pending Church review, to which we will be obedient).
It was an hour of decision, those messages said. So did many other reputed and in some cases Church-sanctioned apparitions elsewhere (see: The Final Hour).
But the latest message (August 25, 2015) seemed to take matters to a more intense level. Said the Queen of Peace, as deciphered at this place: "The world is in a moment of trial, because it forgot and abandoned God."
"A moment of trial."
"Forgot and abandoned God!"
It seemed -- from these latest words, as opposed to those earlier -- that the choices before mankind may be over and now the world was being "tried."
That sounded more like an announcement of the result of bad decisions as opposed to a test of choice -- although still, an "hour" given for mankind to choose between the world, the devil, and Almighty God.
We are, Mary was saying ("Gospa," or Our lady, as she is called by those who believe there), in a time of trial and perhaps one might infer incipient tribulation that will rapidly grow more so.
A trial can be a "test" that God sends to separate the wheat from the chaff -- and a test can entail confusion, disorientation, and suffering, all of which are certainly present in the world, and in a way that just recently has become more intense and even sudden.
The dictionary tells us that a trial means a number of things, among them "a formal meeting in a court in which evidence about crimes, disagreements, is presented to a judge and often a jury so that decisions can be made according to the law; a test of the quality, value, or usefulness of something; a test of someone's ability to do something that is used to see if he or she should join a team, perform in a play, etcetera," according to Merriam-Webster, while secondary definitions include:
"A test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation; broadly: a source of vexation or annoyance."
Trials and tribulations can mean troubles which cause suffering. We are "put to the test" (Luke 4:12). For the faithful, a test is something in which to rejoice -- with the fruit being more endurance and patience, more Godliness, and closeness with Jesus, when the test is passed (and past; 1 Peter 1: 6-7). It can involve disease and injuries, financial hardship, worries and fears; and it is in our personal lives, not just in news events.
The vexation -- in the world -- is all to blatant. It appears to be a separation process -- wheat and chaff, sheep and goats.
One is tested by "fire." Gold should be the result.
Meanwhile the word "moment" usually means a very short time but can also mean this present time. The latest message went beyond the general tone of an "hour," in short, to one using a much smaller time-frame.
They weren't all monthly messages, in those earlier years, occurring frequently to the six youngsters and several locutionists -- who somehow relayed profound verbiage despite a paucity of education and virtually no knowledge of historic apparitions (for the nation at the time was under Communism, the seers even taken into custody at one point, as was the local pastor).
It is a fascinating circumstance. They are fascinating words.
We will obey whatever the Church discerns.
For now, one can exercise individual devotion there. And interesting it is, the way the words capture the drama of the human moment -- and the precariousness of it (for the messages there also involve warnings and chastisements for the world).
Have we passed a point of no return? Has an outcome been decided -- and a period of unusual "trying" set in motion? Or does a tribunal still evaluate the world?
Perhaps, as pointed out by blogger Bernard Gallagher of England, it
hearkens to striking and perhaps startlingly similar verbiage in Isaiah
(17: 9-11), whereby the Lord condemned various forms of idolatry and
fertility cults. To wit (for your own discernment):
"...you have forgotten the God of your salvation and failed to keep remembrance the Rock of your strength. For you are planting plants for Adonis, you put in sprigs of foreign gods, you make them flower the same day as you plant them, as soon as it is light your seedlings blossom, but all that you pick will vanish on the day of trouble, and the evil will be incurable."
[Footnote: As Gallagher further points out, "Gardens of Adonis are considered 'out of season' or 'short-lived.' Wiki states that 'by this, Adonis the unfruitful seducer of goddesses was the antitheses of useful agriculture and the union of marriage."].