24 March 2022

Pope Naaman and Fatima?

 Silly old fuddy duddy that I am, I just wish that Roman Pontiffs had more of an instinct to do just as they are told.

Why can't they simply do ad litteram what the Theotokos is reported to have asked for at Fatima, and leave it at that?

Of course, their advisers give them advice, and, of course, they themselves think about all the ecclesial and political implications of what they are proposing to do. But ...

In 4 Kingdoms (=2 Kings) 5, Naaman was a man with commendably well-developed liturgico-theological instincts: he assumed that Eliseus (Elishah) would wave his hand over the Leprous Spot and intone YHWH. 

Er ... No.

Very reverently, Naaman felt that he himself could nominate a couple of rivers in Damascus more worthy to be favoured by a spectacular exercise of Divine Power than the Jordan. (I would criticise him only for not considering the Cherwell or the Stiffkey.)

For all I know, he might even have wondered whether eight dippings ... or fourteen ... or twenty one ... would be even more devout and respectful towards the Hebrew god than a mere, grudging, seven.

"Fourteen", he might plausibly have observed, "does include seven. So I would still be fulfilling the command."

It was when he just did just what the Prophetic Voice had so boringly instructed him to do, without any attempt to nuance it or to improve upon it, that he was just healed.


Evangeline said...

Father Hunwicke, so true, so glaringly true. They can't do it, apparently, they are eternal tinkerers, who know better. On some level, they must think they know better, and since these are the same people who find the Roman Rite so outdated and offensive that is must be abolished, and who taught Jesus a thing or two by correcting his mistake on the Our Father, that they have no problem editing what Our Lady plainly asked for.
Being a cynic, and having eyes and ears to suffer the last nine years of Rome, that to just say the authentic thing and leave it at that, left no room for his particular spin to be put on it, and he must absolutely be inserted into the middle of everything, or else it's no good. And let no crisis go to waste, since a crisis is merely an opportunity to be center stage and try to control everything and spin it your way. Look at me, look at me! And look here, this is what you should care about. The man is incapable of making any statement that does not include flogging the faithful, and doing the utmost to make them feel they are miserable wretches, mostly for matters which the Lord never mentioned, like listening, caring about the environment, welcoming invasions to your shores.

Banshee said...

There is a lot of "you shall turn neither to the right nor to the left" in the OT.

Personally, I like to follow clear instructions from a trustworthy source, because I know I am a bad guesser about procedures.

Cosmos said...

I think there is, and has been for decades, some serious doubts about the benefit of giving official credence to private revelations, even one as venerable as Fatima. Older episodes can remain as nostalgic devotions (like the old mass), but we can't be actively encouraging them in the present tense!

The most influential prelates are extremely hesitant to acknowledge the miraculous episodes of the Bible (with the singular exception of the Resurrection, since you expose yourself too much if you let that one go). How much harder to entertain private revelations! No. Private revelations are for the rubes, a relic from a more superstitious age.

The more traditional prelates are personally open to private revelations, but are easily persuaded to join the opposition through horror stories involving charismatic hucksters fooling and exploiting the gullible. Downplaying ALL private revelation is the price we pay to protect the people from frauds who set up alternative magesteriums.

So what the modern Vatican official and Naaman have in common is skepticism:
- Naaman was skeptical of a prophet who doesn't seem religious enough
- The modern Vatican official in supernatural events that stray too far from the respectable "god of the gaps."

coradcorloquitur said...

Evangeline, what you say is the disturbing truth all faithful Catholics are facing today. Francis has the faults of the old, grumpy monsignori (who often drove people away from the Church with their sour dispositions) without their virtues of orthodox faith, a keen intellect, a good measure of learning, and authentic charity. An old grouch with nothing else to offer save the poisonous menu of the woke.

Ben Whitworth said...

The text of the consecration addresses our Lady as "terra del cielo" (the inverted commas are in the original). Where does this phrase come from? In Italian, at least, it is almost exclusively found in the writings of Enzo Bianchi, the founder of an ecumenical *mixed sex* monastery, who was feted by Pope Francis as recently as 2018; and in 2020 was kicked out of his own priory for what they call "abuses of power and authority".

Bianchi himself always places the phrase in inverted commas or italics, and attributes it to "a Serbian Orthodox hymn". There are recordings purporting to be of said hymn on Youtube, but they are all in Italian, and are recorded in Bianchi's monastery, or by other Italian choirs. Is the phrase really from the Serbian Orthodox tradition?

Or is it rather something to do with Wenu Mapu (Sky-land), the Olympus of the Mapuche people of Argentina - to whom the Jesuits had a mission - where gods including Nuke Mapu (similar to Pachamama) reside?

The official English translation has sensibly just replaced the phrase with "Queen of heaven".

Cherub said...

Dear Father

Oh so right! Papal varnishing of tatty requests by our Lady? So humble.

Freddy said...

Thank you father for this clear insight

Howard said...

I don't like how this is being brought out only when it will have the approval of the worldly elites. That makes it ... suspicious ... a bit too much of the praying on the street corner to be seen by men.

Also, if we're trying to align this with Fatima, I think it's too late. The errors of Russia did not originate in Russia and have never actually been confined to Russia, any more than than the errors of Albigensianism originated in or were confined to Albi. Materialism (in the sense of, as someone said, "It's the economy, stupid," with spiritual needs and realities treated as, at most, colorful figures of speech) is an export of countries closer to home than Russia. Ditto for the supremacy of the national government over all people, over all morality, and over the very nature of reality. Ditto for the idea that a paradise may be established on earth by putting the right government into power. If Russia and Ukraine were both converted into nations entirely populated by saints, those ideas would not stop spreading, any more than a China completely free of the novel coronavirus would mean the end of COVID.

As for various nations being annihilated, remember that bit about salt losing its savor? If salt is not salty, if it has lost its Final Cause, it could be said to be destroyed, and in that sense quite a few nations have been destroyed. Ours has.

It would not only be more seemly, but much more effective, for us to consecrate OURSELVES first. If we live the Gospel better, we will better be able to preach it, and then maybe Russia and the world will be converted. (Even then only with labor and with sacrifice. Conversion has NEVER been quick and easy and painless.) Maybe a good start would be repudiating Pachamama before invoking the Theotokos.

PM said...

I was reminded recently, Howard, of one of Chesterton's gems. Invited by an editor to contribute to a series on what's wrong with the world, he replied 'Dear Sir, I am.' - i.e., we should start reforming the world with ourselves and our sinful inclinations. Start there, but of course not finish there.

From Fr. Khouri said...

Cosmo, since the Church does not require belief in private revelation
who are you to denigrate those who do not accept some or even all of them?

Howard said...

@PM I am reminded of what Someone Else said about removing the plank from one's own eye before trying to remove the mote from another's.

Howard said...

Maybe you were thinking of "A Hymn for the Church Militant" (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Poems_(Chesterton,_1915)/A_Hymn_for_the_Church_Militant).

DePicchi said...

Maybe I'm a bit late, but here's another interesting and alternative take from 1P5:

"Liturgical Providence

As I was speaking with Vincenzo earlier in the day before the Consecration, he observed to me that the Lenten reading for that Friday (that is, the Friday of the Third Week of Lent) was the punishment of Moses for disobeying the explicit command of God (Num. xx. 1-13). God commands Moses to “speak” to the Rock and it will yield water. Moses, however, struck the rock twice, disobeying the simple command of God. Moses was afflicted for their sakes, says the Prophet, because they exasperated his spirit. And he distinguished with his lips (Ps. cv. 32-33).

For this Moses was punished and was not able to enter into the Promised Land.
This is notable for two reasons: we see here that God punished Moses for disobeying a simple command. The command of Our Lady to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart in union with all the bishops is a simple command to be followed, for which God can exact punishment for “simple” disobedience, as He did with Moses.

Nevertheless, we note as well that even with this disobedience, water still yielded from the rock in great abundance. Thus we see that God brought forth His promised relief, even when His servant disobeyed His direct order and was punished for it.

This Lenten reading was superseded by the Festal reading for March 25, so I didn’t notice this until Vincenzo mentioned it to me. But I thought this was particularly significant. It shows how it is not “legalistic” to demand an exact fulfillment of Fatima’s request. But it also shows that God is merciful when things go wrong and people disobey. His Providence is sovereign. [...]"

source: https://onepeterfive.com/consecration-russia-what-now/