Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Musings On Medjugorge

Interesting photo of a spear of light piercing the chest of one of the Medjugorge visionaries.
Click here for more interesting photos. I love the word interesting. It's so...non judgmental!

Studying Medjugorge has been a true odyssey. If I've learned one thing from my research it's that you can't delve into this without being personally effected. I have watched videos of the sun moving, the visionaries in states of ecstasy, and read medical reports and psychological assessments. I've wandered into stories of other apparitions, such as the one in Eastern Oregon, of which I had no knowledge, but also found myself re introduced to the controversy surrounding Christina Gallagher in Ireland. It seems that wherever Mary goes, controversy is sure to follow.

I did find some things very useful in my own analysis and questions about the site. My first question is why hasn't the Vatican stated it's opinion on Medjugorge one way or the other. The reason for this seems to be the same reason they have been reluctant to deal with Padre Pio. The Vatican Commission for Causes of the Saints only deals in medical miracles. They don't get into issues of personal mysticism or paranormal behavior. Padre Pio's personal talents are of no concern to the commission, only recognizable medical miracles which have happened after his death. He may have been a saint on earth, but they don't care. Their job is to prove he's operating from heaven--now. The same sort of reasoning is happening with the visionaries of Medjugorge. They happen to still be alive and some of them are still having visions. This still having visions thing doesn't fit with officially approved Marian shrines.

The Vatican is essentially caught between a rock and hard place. Yes, there is tons of fraud surrounding the phenomenon of Medjugorge, but there are also tons of personal conversions and reported healings. As one Bosnian bishop stated early on in the phenomenon, there have been more conversions in one year at Medjugorge than in the past forty years of all our sermonizing.

I suspect for some clerical types, this is more truth than they want to admit. For me it's the only truth that really counts. In some respects I can see Benedict's recent trip to Lourdes as bowing the this truth. Exposure to Marian sites convert more people than exposure to Papal encyclicals---especially some Papal encyclicals.

The Mary of Medjugorge speaks of conversion in Catholic terms and stresses prayer, fasting, penance, and the Eucharist. These are all Catholic rituals and prayer systems which foster and enhance her main message which is one of personal conversion to the Love taught by her son. In other traditions one gets the same message, but expressed in different terms regarding ritual.

The Roman Catholic's trip to the confessional, is somewhat the same as the Native American's trip to the sweat lodge. In both cases the idea is to face your deficiencies in your spiritual path. Personally, I prefer the sweat lodge because it's both personal and communal, fully recognizing that my own Church would say, "that's nice, but your sins weren't forgiven." I don't repeat them either, and that's basically the whole idea of conversion.

One of the things I find interesting about Marian apparitions, is that Mary seems to appear mostly to teenage women. I've often wondered if that's not a connection she makes because her first intersection with beings of light happened as a young teen age woman. I've also wondered if she ever made the mistake of talking about Gabriel's visit with temple authorities, because it seems to me the purity of her messages start to get diverted when the visionaries are subjected to the foibles of clerical spiritual advisers.

Medjugorge is exhibit A for the phenomenon. It is most likely for this reason that the Vatican has come down with a vengeance on the Franciscan priests who were the original mentors for the six visionaries. Too often it seems the message gets lost amongst all the interpreters and all of their personal agendas. This is not to imply the individual Franciscans the Vatican has censured didn't deserve it. So did Fr. Maciel even if the Legionaires can't admit it.

I've written in a previous post (now lost in cyberspace) that when I first started hearing from a light being I call Michael, one of the first things I was asked to do was to research and learn as much about quantum physics as I could. The reason for this is that the messages I was getting about his/her reality made no sense to me. I had enough of a biological and scientific vocabulary to have useful words, but no useful knowledge behind the words. The fact was I hadn't studied any physics or genetics for thirty years and my understanding of the words Michael was using was almost useless.

Bringing myself up to date meant letting go of spiritual metaphors which were too locked in to the Catholic piety of my youth. Believe me it was hard to let go of childish understandings of the myths surrounding guardian angels. It was hard because part and parcel with the myths surrounding guardian angels were the equally ingrained myths about demons and the devil.

These childhood metaphors for the battle between good and evil might make sense in a religious context but they were hugely detrimental to my understanding of the science behind the myths. More than that however, they were hugely detrimental to my understanding of the power of free choice and what it means in terms of the observer effect spoken of in quantum physics. In other words, the religious metaphor encourages a sort of victimized dependence, while the scientific understanding encourages empowered self responsibility.

Over the years I have come to understand that this notion of conversion to love and empowered self responsibility is crucial to the understanding of who we are as individuals and what our effect is on our environment.

In Medjugorge, one is exposed to a huge energy matrix which fosters conversion and so people experience profound conversions. The matrix which was laid in place by Mary is now self supporting and getting larger. I suspect if we had the ability, we would find that the actual physics of the site has changed. It's now some sort of higher energy portal. I hate to keep using New Age terminology, but it seems they've almost cornered the market on the quantum physics vocabulary. Just because it's New Age doesn't mean it's wrong.

The energy of Medjugorge is a very good thing, just as is Fatima, and Lourdes, and all the other places in which this Marian energy has appeared. It's also not surprising that narcissistic manipulators are taking advantage of the phenomenon. There is always the process of seeking a balance while new energy is stabilized. Eventually the fraud and commercialization will reach a zenith and then recede. In the meantime the fruits of conversion and healing will continue.

A last personal note. As I was reading the personal experiences of assorted visionaries with their sudden new found fame, I was sincerely glad that neither I nor the other assorted psychics and spiritual people I am closely associated with were tempted to seek explanations or validation outside of our group. This is probably why most of us actually practice different religions while combining for specific requests or tasks. In this way we stay under the radar, and while the people who have experienced healing may belong to a particular religion, they can't claim what happens as a product of their own particular religious bent. On the other hand neither can any of us.

I was kind of chuckling as I wrote that last sentence because in the interests of self disclosure, I have to admit I was kind of taken aback when I realized I was working side by side with a Mormon, and a pentecostal. Native American healers are just as baffled by the fact that their own energy beings are truly seen to be working with white Christians. As Mary emphatically states in some of the Medjugorge messages, the Divine Love embodied in her son is truly non denominational, and so apparently are a lot of the other disembodied forces working with other spiritualities.

From where I write, it looks like we're all being driven to the same understanding. This understanding seems to be that none of us has a real clue, except the certain knowledge everything really meaningful has to do with a conversion to practicing unconditional love. This is the unconditional love as Jesus taught it, and just as He and His mother lived it. Once you've done that, the rules of Newtonian physics no longer control all aspects of your existence. The quantum door opens, 'miracles' happen, and your old world view can no longer contain your experiences.

That's why I find the Marian appearances so wonderful, the Vatican can claim they aren't relevant to believers because they are private revelations, but in so doing they are missing out on some very important universal facts. One of them is that we are not alone in this universe.


  1. ... "we're all being driven to the same understanding..... everything really meaningful has to do with a conversion to practicing unconditional love."

    Got it nailed Colleen... we are driven to that same understanding of practicing unconditional love. That does change everything and it is like Jesus and His Mother. There is no turning back once one has reached the point of being driven there by who we call the Holy Spirit, the very love of God for us personally that caused that conversion. It changes the heart, the mind, the sight, the hearing.

    Colleen, may I have your email address? I have some music I composed that I'd like to send to you.

  2. I found your email address and sent the music.

  3. Butterfly, I see that the line I was going to highlight struck you, too: "From where I write, it looks like we're all being driven to the same understanding. This understanding seems to be that none of us has a real clue, except the certain knowledge everything really meaningful has to do with a conversion to practicing unconditional love."

    Imagine the kind of spiritual energy that would be released in the world if the major world religions made that their focal point (and it already is), rather than what divides us.

    After years of studying the varieties of religious experience, William James came to the same conclusion: at the very core, it's about practical compassion, even though there may be many different manifestations of spiritual awareness.

  4. This has struck us Bill - it's the common thread that unites us - It is in Jesus' teachings - and as you say in all the world's religions. If only the focus, and it would take DISCIPLINE for those with phobias and other issues that is preventing them from "conversion to practicing unconditional love."

    Yes, imagine the world without the divisiveness, with divisiveness replaced with conversion to Jesus' teaching of and practice of unconditional love.

  5. Unconditional love is very hard to put into practice. It runs counter to everything we're taught and our enculuration. It runs counter the way our brains become wired.

    In one sense conversion can be considered a process by which our brains are rewired. It's a point I didn't get into about Medjugorge, but it's true.

    We don't change our points of view unless new neural pathways are laid down in our brains. Any one who experiences the kinds of conversions which people have described to me have truly been born again in a neural sense.

    I'd like to see a study done with PET scans on people before and after their conversion experiences. I suspect the data would be very interesting.

  6. As I was reading all of the posts on Medjugorge something was tickling the back of my consciousness. I tried several times to write and nothing felt right. Until today. I was called in on my day off today, and about 1/2 way through the day I understood ...

    The Marian experience is about mysticism. Those who are touched by Mary are being guided away from the orthodox fundamentalism of the RCC into the mystical side of catholicism.

    Which explains why there is so much confusion and fear of the Marian experience. Mysticism is a threat to the "orthodoxy" because it makes their role of "go between to God" unnecessary. Mysticism is also a more "liberal", loving compassionate experience where doctrines such as "one true church" no longer make any sense.

    I wonder what would happen, if a miracle occurred and B16 had a conversion from orthodoxy to mystic?

    I wonder what would be possible if the RCC did nothing more than gave up the "one true church" doctrine?

  7. It would probably be as profound as if traditional protestant christianity gave up on the doctrine of "youre going to hell if you dont ..."

  8. Carl, your insight was very accurate. When I talk about the rebooting of neural pathways, I'm talking a serious change in one's world view. It's sort of analagoud from making the leap from DOS to Windows Vista. It's huge and it changes everything in how you view reality.

    Someone once told me DOS stood for Dumb Operating System. Having worked with it, I can agree. It's way black and white, dot dash, right wrong. I understand that DOS still is the basis of Windows, but the flexibility is like going from a Crayola box of two crayons to one of 244.

    Marian conversions are all about going to a bigger box of Crayons. The trick is to keep using all the new crayons. I think both Benedict and JP II saw something they couldn't articulate in Marian belief. They couldn't articulate it because there really is no language in which to express it.

    It's like angels, you know their truth when you experience them. Mary certainly did. Quantum thinking says her understanding is still operative, and so is the understanding of Jesus. Our Sacramentality, in it's essence, is grounded in that eternal truth whether we speak of it that way or not. The Church says it's supernatural, I say it's really quantum. Supernatural is a synonym for a quantum reality.

    As my Native friends might say, Put that in your Peace Pipe and smoke it.

    By the way, I have been gifted a pipe, but I've never smoked it. Serious shit that pipe, it's like accepting ordination, except I never chose it. Serious stuff indeed.

  9. Congratulation Colleen. Being gifted a pipe is quite an honor, a sacred and a rare blessing. I am excited for you.

    I have many friends who carry pipe. They are all extraordinarily perceptive very authentic, accepting, non-judgmental, definitely ecclectic, but above all else, passionately committed to their paths. (that sounds a bit like you colleen?)

    I have shared medicine wheel ceremony with them for 11 years, tended fire for the ceremony and lodges for 9 of the 11 years. I share the pipe with them in the lodge whenever I can. I find the pipe ceremony every bit as sacred and meaningful as communion. My perception is that the pipe ceremony and communion are more alike than they are different.

    Isnt in amazing how easy it is to have harmonious interfaith relations when we give up archaic concepts like "one true church" and "going to hell if you dont do it our way" attitudes? Perhaps that is what terrifies the pope and his minions ... they might have to admit that we all have more in common than we have differences.

    Thanks for sharing about the pipe. This has been a challenging week and reading about you being gifted with pipe boosted my spirits. I laughed when you said you didnt choose it. Those who carry pipe NEVER choose it. Pipe always chooses them.

  10. I know Carl. Being gifted with a pipe is truly a huge responsibility. I take it very seriously, which is why I haven't smoked it yet. I think that's coming when I go to New Mexico. Once I smoke it, I think it means a commitment for me on a very profound level--not tribal exactly, but far more catholic. (small c)

    Pipe ceremonies are very much like communion, except maybe more personal as well as communal. It depends on the pipe ceremony.

    It's always amazing to me to watch the men who are fire keepers for sweat lodges. You could say it's akin to being an altar boy, but it's a lot more work, and it's a lot harder, and unlike altar boys the ceremony doesn't proceed without a firekeeper. In many respects it's their effort which makes the ceremony go.

    Most of the time I sit to the left of our lodge keeper and do most of the water pouring on the rocks. Harry's great because he admits he needs two 'sit besides' and so we two women do a lot in his ceremonies.

    It's really frustrating to know you can be a significant ceremonial participant in one tradition--a concelebrant if you will--and be allowed nothing in your own tradition. Catholicism sure has a long way to go.

    And to think we've been at it for two millenia. Awfully slow learning curve.

    You know what's really funny Carl. Not only did I not choose to be a pipe carrier, I didn't choose to communicate with Michael the AA either.

    Sometimes I wonder if I have some kind of neon sign on my head that's visible to everyone but me.

  11. When I read your comment, I had a flashback to a far side cartoon. Two deer are standing in the woods talking, one has a set of concentric cirles on its chest right over the heart. The other saying "bummer of a birthmark!"

    You didnt (consciously) choose either, but you were chosen (soul choice). Initially, I didnt (consciously) choose to tend fire, nor to do what I do now, but I was chosen (soul choice). As I did, you could have said no, but you chose to say yes.

    Yes colleen, you do have a radiance, an aura around you that is like the balls you have in your photo. The good news is that not everyone can see it. Only those of us who are truly on the path of enlightenment see it.

    When you smoke it, it will be an expression of the heart commitment you have already made. That was my greatest lesson from tending fire. It wasnt the doing, it was the being, reaching the point where the action became a natural expression of what was in the heart. In my opinion, you are already there.