Serious Theological Errors — Part V
Another example of how the devil has been impersonating the Blessed Mother for the purpose of ensnaring souls comes from the growing number of false apparition sites that have been appearing across our nation. For example, in Bayside, New York, a spiritual entity claiming to be Our Lady of the Roses started delivering messages to Veronica Lueken. These messages were usually accompanied by miraculous signs in the sky, which have been well documented with over 10,000 photographs. One of the supernatural signs written across the sky contained the words, “Jacinta 1972,” supposedly written by one of the visionaries of Fatima, from beyond the grave.
Although this apparition site produced many supernatural signs in the sky, an endless supply of messages from the Blessed Mother and nonstop Rosary vigils, after the Catholic Church conducted a careful investigation, it was determined that the supernatural phenomena and messages were not coming from God. Because the supernatural signs and wonders in the sky were not coming from God, it only leaves two other possibilities—they were coming from a human source or from the devil. After the Catholic Church conducted a careful investigation, the Bishop of Brooklyn issued a negative decree stating that the alleged visions, locutions and messages “lacked authenticity,” and they were “contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.” For more information on how the devil was able to deceive hundreds of thousands of Catholics at Bayside, New York, please visit Apparition Site Reviews.
Another example of how the devil likes impersonating the Blessed Mother for the purpose of ensnaring souls, comes from Necedah, Wisconsin. After Mary Ann Van Hoof moved to Necedah, with her mother Elizabeth Bieber, she became involved in séances and Spiritist meetings. During these meetings, a sparkling angel of light appeared to Mary Ann Van Hoof and identified herself as the Blessed Mother. Soon after, Mary Ann set up a distribution network and started disseminating the messages across the nation.
On one occasion, over 100,000 people came to Necedah to witness the “miracle of the sun” that the seer had promised. After arriving from forty states and in the presence of the news media, the multitude of bystanders began to stare at the sun. Some claimed to see the sun spin, or change colors, while others saw a cross on it. The occurrence gave birth to a multi-million dollar industry.
Although this apparition site produced many supernatural signs and wonders, an endless supply of messages from the Blessed Mother and nonstop Rosary vigils, after the Catholic Church conducted a careful investigation, is was determined that the supernatural phenomena and false prophecy was not coming from God. Because the supernatural signs and wonders were not coming from God, it only left two other possibilities—they were coming from a human source (involving witchcraft) or from the devil. For more information on how the devil was able to deceive hundreds of thousands of Catholics at Necedah, Wisconsin, please visit Apparition Site Reviews.
16. Although Saint Louis de Montfort’s increased Marian devotions may have helped a small number of people enter into an authentic relationship with Jesus, due to the serious theological errors and the risk of demonic oppression, it may be better to develop an authentic relationship with Jesus directly. You can begin this process today by understanding and accepting the Gospel message as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church sections 599–682.
One way to understand the Gospel message would be to acknowledge that all men and women are sinners. Because sin separates humanity from God, and all sin leads to death, God has issued a death penalty for all sinners. Because all men and women are sinners, every person has a choice to make: We can allow Jesus to pay the death penalty on our behalf, or we can pay the death penalty ourselves.
A longer version of the Gospel message begins with Romans 6:23, where God says, “The wages of sin is death.” In the Old Covenant, when a man sinned, he was allowed to place the penalty upon an innocent lamb. The lamb was slaughtered in the temple, and the lamb’s blood atoned for the man’s sin.
In the New Covenant, Jesus became the Lamb of God. Although Jesus lived a sinless life, he was condemned to die a violent death on the cross to make atonement for our sins. He was crucified, died and rose from the dead three days later. Now that Jesus has become the sacrificial Lamb of God, everybody still has a choice to make: You can pay the death penalty yourself, or you can allow Jesus to pay the penalty on your behalf.
To explore this meaning further, it may be helpful to imagine what it would be like to stand in front of God’s throne on the Day of Judgment. Picture what it would look like if all your sins were piled high upon your head—all the people you hurt and all your disobedient acts. Because God is perfectly holy, no form of sin, darkness or deception can ever enter his eternal presence. Although God is loving and doesn’t want to see any of his children suffer, he is also a God of justice. When we sin, our actions harm other people. Because God loves the people whom our sins have harmed, he cannot simply turn his back on them and pretend they don’t exist.
As you picture yourself standing in the heavenly courtroom awaiting judgment, ponder for a moment God’s dilemma. Your sins, no matter how small, have harmed other people. All sin is an agreement with evil. Because you have sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard of perfection, God needs to render a just verdict.
The very same people you have harmed may also be standing in the courtroom during your judgment. God cannot simply say, “Even though you hurt all these people, I’m going to ignore their pain and suffering.” Such a statement may affirm God’s love for you, but it would be in direct conflict with his perfectly holy and just nature.
It is for this reason that the penalty for sin is death. All have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of perfection, and now someone needs to pay the price. After God examines the evidence, he issues a guilty verdict and requires the penalty to be paid in full.
Picture what it would be like to be escorted to a holding cell to await your execution. Picture what it would be like to pay the death penalty for your sinful actions. The bars inside the jail cell are made of solid steel, the concrete walls are cold and dark, and there’s no window or hope of escape.
Now picture Jesus the Messiah entering your cell dressed in sparkling white clothes. As you look into his eyes, it’s apparent that he loves you very much. He reaches out his hand to take hold of your hand. He sits down next to you. Speaking in a soft voice, he draws near and says, “I will pay the penalty on your behalf. You can now go free.”
Do you want to accept the Lord’s offer? Will you allow Jesus to pay the death penalty on your behalf?
To accept the Lord’s sacrifice, all you need to do is say a simple prayer from the sincerity of a contrite heart. Dear Lord Jesus, I come before you sinful. My actions have harmed other people, and I’m truly sorry. Please forgive me. I realize that the penalty for sin is death, and I don’t want to pay the penalty myself. I accept your sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. I place all my sinful actions upon your cross and ask to be washed clean. Please transform my life through the power of your Holy Spirit. I surrender my life into your service. Please help me to become the child of God that you have intended me to be.
After you have accepted the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, you now have direct access to God’s throne room. You can enter the heavenly court anytime you want and speak directly to your Heavenly Father through prayer. You will be able to ask God questions, and after resting in the Sacred Silence and meditating on his will, you will be able to discern the Lord’s will for your life.
In order to accomplish God’s will in your life, it will be necessary to surrender your life into the Lord’s service. All you need to say to God is, I will do whatever you want from here on out. The problem with making this statement is that most people want to be their own god. Most people would rather make decisions in life based on their own personal pleasure, comfort and popularity, rather than on what’s in their soul’s best interest for all eternity.
Once you make a commitment to serve the Lord, the next step would be to pray and listen for your first assignment. This process is called contemplative prayer, and it’s described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church under sections 2709–2719. To begin this process, all you need to do is find a quiet place in your home. You may find it helpful to begin your prayer by closing your eyes and picturing a peaceful, natural setting. Maybe you could envision a beautiful meadow with tall green grass, colorful wildflowers and a flowing stream.
After you invite Jesus to join you in the natural setting, picturing what he would look like. Is he happy to see you? Can you express your love for him? Try saying the words out loud, “I love you, Jesus.” After expressing your love verbally, try communicating with Jesus using the silent language of your heart. After engaging your heart in prayer, allow yourself to feel your love for Jesus, and then direct that love to him. Other options would include falling into the Lord’s loving arms and resting in the Sacred Silence.
After you are able to establish a Spirit-filled connection with Jesus, you can begin asking the Lord questions about your life. You may want to reconfirm your desire to serve the Lord by praying, Dear Lord Jesus, I surrender my life into your service. I will do whatever you want from here on out. I am your servant and you are my Master. What do you want me to do next? What changes do you want me to make in my life?
After you ask the Lord questions about your life, you will need to sit in silence and discern the Lord’s answers. The Lord will speak to everybody differently. All you need to do is develop your own personal prayer language with Jesus. By engaging your heart in this process, the Lord will speak to you in a way that you will know what he wants you to do next. After you receive your first assignment, you will need to proceed in obedience.
It is through the three-part process of surrender, listening and obedience with you will be able to accomplish the Lord’s specific purpose and plan for your life.