The Apparition that we will cover next week will the Church approved Apparition in Knock, Ireland. It was a silent Apparition and did not only include Mary, but also St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and a Lamb on an altar with a Cross behind the altar.
The Apparition took place after the parish priest had done 100 days of masses for the souls of those people that weren't able to receive their last rights, or what we call now Anointing of the Sick. The vision is seen as a way of God telling those in Knock that the prayers have been heard. It is important to note that the Church teaches that, "God is bound to the Sacraments, but not by them." Meaning He is bound to them because He has said that He will do what He says He will do and God ALWAYS keeps up His end of the covenant, it's part of Who God IS to keep His Word.
He is not bound by them means that God can save people even if they do not receive the Sacraments, because again, He is God and can do anything He wishes to do.
Another way of stating the above would be, "God's Mercy flows through the Sacraments, but not only through the Sacraments but through all of His redemptive Creation."
After not writing here for a couple weeks I'm probably a little over due. I've been doing my first teaching series and since I'm so green in the parish and the job I need to give myself some time to adjust.
The series is about Marian Apparitions. The first series was about how a reported sitting becomes and approved apparition. Out of the around 1,500 reported only less than 20 have become approved! There is a three step process: 1) Examine the content of the message, 2) the means by which the message was transmitted, and 3) the character of the spiritual fruit displayed in the life of those influenced by the message.
I will leave you the same as my oldest son has been ending his nightly prayers.
If you have any questions, comment below.
There are times when even I wonder why seminary is so expensive. I mean really look at how much it costs to educate our future priests and you will get a sticker shock. But, then there are moments like today that remind me that the cost is totally worth it. I'll briefly explain below.
I was in the parish Bible study and we were talking about Heaven, hell, and Purgatory when someone asked about limbo. So in a very kind and pastoral way I explained what I believed to be the Church teaching. I was in seminary for three years and have a masters in theology, but by NOOO means claim to know all of the depth of the Church's teaching. And believe it or not even though the Church is 2,000 plus years old it still hasn't gotten around to answering every question. Probably having to do with being guided by the Holy Spirit. Anyway, so after the class I went over to chat with Fr. Dave about what I said during class for some clarification. He quickly went to the Catechism, which duh, would have been a great place to go. But, the answers there weren't crystal clear. Then, Father was able to crystallize an answer for me to be able to take back to the group that is consoling. Having educated priests really helps us as parishioners because not only do they remind us of the sources that the Church has at it's disposal, like the Catechism, but they are also able to crystallize or explain in simpler terms than the sometimes heady wording of the Church's writing. I can only hope that I am able to relay that crystallization in an understandable way. Please pray for me, but more importantly pray for those in seminary. God bless you.