" CerebrumVacantism "

The confusion seems to never end and Bishop Williamson sure seems to enjoy it way too much.

In his new series, yes, a new series of torture(!) known as Eleison Comments #445, His Excellency is adding more and more confusion to Catholic tradition/resistance.

Bishop Williamson at his new Eleison Comments 445:

"And if the NOM had in all those years made them lose the faith, how would they have come to Catholic Tradition? "

Surreal! The Novus Ordo people who have come to the Faith 
(Catholicism-Tradition) have done so despite their false beliefs, not because of them. Bishop Williamson unfortunately implies this is because of the "good left in the Newreligion".

"Depending on how a celebrant uses the options in the NOM, not all the elements that can nourish faith are necessarily eliminated from it, 
especially if the Consecration is valid, a possibility which nobody who knows his sacramental theology can deny. "

The elements that might nourish the faith (e.g Rosary, Novena, Grace, Good Will, etc.) are NOT derived from the cancer (Conciliar Church) but from the healthy body (Catholic Church) through her channel of graces!!! 

Should we credit the Greek Orthodox church if one of them decides to convert to Catholicism? Should we credit the Protestant church if one of them decides to convert to Catholicism?

God can grant the necessary grace for conversion to a Novus Ordo, Schismatic, Protestant, Buddhist, Atheist... But that does not mean their "elements" were the ones "nourishing" their good will, quite the contrary. The Novus Ordo converts find Catholicism/Tradition through their genuine catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Rosary; so to credit the "elements" of the Novus Ordo instead of the Holy and Merciful Mother of God bear an insult, to say the least. Other converts receive their grace of conversion due to their good will not the mistakes of their heretical/schismatical/pagan beliefs.

 His Excellency has gone as far as inventing a new word to describe his thesis: "Ecclesiavacantism"(?!).  According to him, those who affirm the Novus Ordo has absolutely nothing Catholic left "in" it, should be called "ecclesiavacantists": 

"However, given the weakness of human nature and so the risk of encouraging Catholics to go with the new and easy religion by the least word said in favour of its central rite of worship, why say a word in favour of any feature of the Newchurch? For at least two reasons. Secondly, to ward off potentially pharisaical scorn of any believers outside of the Traditional movement, and firstly to ward off what is coming to be called “ecclesiavacantism,”(?!?!) namely the idea that the Newchurch has nothing Catholic left in it whatsoever."

Why the disproportioned concern to "ward off potentially pharisaical scorn of any believers outside of the Traditional movement"?? Is it not Tradition just a name we were forced to 'add' because of the Conciliarists but that in reality it is nothing less than Catholicism itself? And if that is so, is it pharisaical to say outside Tradition (Catholicism) there are no believers and no salvation?? Now, am I denying that some people or groups may go overboard towards some Novus Ordo individuals? Far from it, but as Cicero says: "Abusus non tollit usum", "The abuse does not eliminate the usage" . We should still univocally use the condemnations of their beliefs despite some abuses from the pharisaical ones, whoever they might be.

Or should we stop condemning Protestantism because some go as far as saying they couldn't even have a valid Baptism? Should we stop condemning Paganism because some go as far as saying they don't have a soul, etc.? Again, "abusus non tollit usum".

The "Newchurch" has absolutely nothing Catholic “in” it, despite what Bishop Williamson implies; whatever is Catholic (individuals, devotions, teachings, sacraments...) belong to the Catholic Church! Not the "Newchurch”!  A parasite or a cancer (e.g., Conciliar church, Newchurch) cannot be credited for being somewhat good because they are attached [infiltrated] to something good (Catholic Church), they are strange bodies, not part of it. To say otherwise would be to succumb to Vatican II ecclesiology.

So, instead of inventing insipid words such as “Ecclesiavacantism”, we should be more worried with something plaguing Tradition which could be called: “CerebrumVacantism”.


Eucharistic Miracle at the Novus Ordo Mass?

It is beyond belief that Traditional Catholics around the globe find themselves arguing on a subject one could never have imagined in a million years: "Miracles at the Novus Ordo mass."  (God help us!)

But since this unfortunate and sad event has become a public reality and caused way too many strives, I think it is worthwhile trying to bring some plain common sense to the table, including the one [partially] used by Bishop Williamson when he warns about people thinking the Novus Ordo is good just because this lady is attending it. But first things first.

Let's pay close attention to some statements Bishop Williamson has given at this video conference... Starting with

"Archbishop Lefebvre would publicly say 'stay away' from
 the New Mass”; (…) "but I am going to stick my neck out in a long way (…)” 

 Bishop Williamson

So, here we notice His Excellency will consciously oppose Archbishop Lefebvre.

Followed by “I would say that under certain circumstances, like those you [the lady who inquired] mentionedexceptionallyif you are not going to scandalize(…)”.  The “golden rule” is: “Do whatever you need to nourish your faith, and if to nourish your faith(…) you need to attend a decent Society Mass, [or] just like she [the lady who inquired] spoke about a decent Novus Ordo mass(…) it’s case by case, it’s my opinion”. 

“If you are not to scandalize anybody [by going to the new mass], because they [the people] see you’re catholic, you stick to the true faith; and then they see you at the new mass, the conclusion that many will draw is that the new Mass is 'ok'' because you're going to [the new mass], you gotta be careful with that."
(1:54 to 2:20)

"There are cases where even the Novus Ordo mass can be attended with the affect of building one's faith instead of losing it, that's almost heresy in tradition...but that's what I think."
(20:26 to 20:45)

Now, allow me to draw two points:

1) It is tragic enough to have Bishop Williamson giving his approval for this lady to attend a "decent Novus Ordo mass" if she thinks she can "nourish her faith in it "; particularly but not limited to, because she lives around a Resistance territory and has stated she goes to a traditional Mass on Sundays. I make this point just to prevent those naysayers who are desperately trying to portray a very "hard situation" where "an old and pious lady in tears could have been isolated on this remote location where all she had was this old Novus Ordo priest coming around every ten years, etc...", or by implying she could be in "invincible ignorance" as some websites have tried to do. Well, that is most definitely not the case since she has mentioned she goes to traditional Mass on Sundays, so it is not really worth dwelling on this illusionary conjecture. But even if this was case, the bishop knows he should have done it privately, not publicly, as he also acknowledged in the video conference:  

"The wise thing would probably be to say it in private to this or that person but here I am saying in public, that may be foolish." Bishop Williamson (minute 22:52)

2) Now, to add insult to injury: If a poor lady, a "nobody", has to be careful not to scandalize people by her attendance at the Novus Ordo mass, how in the world could God not scandalize every human being on this planet by His own attendance in flash(!) (Eucharistic Miracle) at this very same New Mass?!?!?!?! Again, if people are going to think the new mass is good because this poor lady is attending it, how PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL wouldn't they think the New Mass is if God Himself is attending it in a extraordinary, wonderful, miraculous manner?!?!?!

The other thing the naysayers have desperately tried to do was to justify this nonsense by shifting the problem to one regarding valid consecrations within the Novus Ordo, this has absolutely nothing to do with it. A valid consecration may occur in the Novus Ordo mass, or for that matter even at orthodox schismatic masses,  but the reason is just because it might happen they fulfill the requirements laid down by the Church: Proper Form, Matter and Intention to do what the Church does! That doesn't mean God, who is Order Himself, would put his stamp of approval upon a disordered (not God centered) and intrinsically evil rite of mass; a bastard mass.

   St. Thomas Aquinas and the Church, pardon my pleonasm, have said God may use “wicked men to perform miracles" [Summa II, II, q.178, art.2], but  NEVER to confirm their false doctrine (ibid).

Now, how can a tremendous miracle, such as the “Eucharist Miracle”, be performed at the Novus Ordo Parish, with a Novus Ordo Priest, during a Novus Ordo Mass, and not be perceived as a "confirmation of their false doctrine"???  It is mind boggling. 
[Read first paragraph of point #2 again]

God can only take good from evil if such evil ends it up as a foolish mean [or converted], not when the foolish is [not converted] and perceived at the end as "approved, promoted, confirmed, gifted, special, extraordinary..", otherwise God would be encouraging souls of embracing errors which would most definitely harm them. If the Parish, after the alleged “miracle”, would have started to be persecuted by the Diocesan Bishop for rejecting Communion in the hand, the new mass, new sacraments, Vatican II, etc., we could at least be sympathetic to it until the Catholic Church (not the Conciliar) were to give her permission / approval to believe in it. God cannot contradict Himself and work in a disorderly manner, my dear readers! "C'est impossible", would say the Archbishop. But since the Church and her legitimate authorities have been taken by the modernists, we are stuck! Simple as that! However, let’s not despair since miracles of this nature are not necessarily for our salvation. Keep the true Faith, the miracles of Our Lord and the legitimate miracles of Our lady and the true Saints.

If some traditionalists are willing to argue, however, whether or not the New Mass teaches a false doctrine, or if a Eucharistic Miracle wouldn't necessary imply at least a great danger to be perceived by many as an approval... Then their mind are like a cart off the railroad, there is not much one can do other than pray, to paraphrase Bishop Williamson.

Also, whoever has mentioned "Caiphas prophesing" as if this would prove God may also use the Novus Ordo Mass (as portrayed by Bishop Williamson), has to be very disingenuous for bringing that up. It is true Caiphas prophesied  but "he confirmed a TRUE DOCTRINE": The doctrine of the death of Our Lord. This is in perfect harmony with what St. Thomas said it is a possibility; "a wicked high priest" (Not a pagan, a heretic or schismatic mind youwho God has forced him to "confirm a true doctrine"! The "happy death!" He most definitely didn't look special nor has he made an impression for such a miracle of prophecy, instead he looked like a fool who was forced to announce the salvation of mankind.  I heard people bringing it up the "argument" of the cloak of St. Juan of Guadalupe as well... Excuse me?! What does that have to do with "eucharistic miracle" of the Novus Ordo Church in Buenos Aires??? The cloak of St. Juan of Guadalupe was (is) a Catholic Miracle performed way before the modernists  have taken our buildings, and having it as hostage at the modernist's hands, it will not validate the Novus Ordo.  The same would apply to any other CATHOLIC miracle in which the modernists have their hands on. Or are we supposed to think St. Januarius, and his liquified blood, is very pleased with Francis?! Or are we bound to believe such specific event is legit?!?! Oh please!

I'll give the readers another fittingly analogy: God can use a prostitute (wicked) to bring about a true doctrine (e.g doctrine of Hell, conversion by Charity..), but God most definitely could NOT have used an illicit and immoral mean (brothel) to even remotely be perceived as approved by God.
Does that mean God could not work miracle in brothels then? Well, if the poor women would have given a testimony of  the true doctrine (conversion, etc..), if the doors of the business had been closed, if their neon lights had ceased to blink at night, etc.; again, we could at least be sympathetic to such a "miracle", although we could still not publish as such, since this is strictly the job of the Catholic Church and her legitimate authorities, not of any bishop running on a supplied jurisdiction.

My emphasis on the necessity of the approval of the Church from her lawful authorities seems to be necessary because people are completely disregarding it. And just to show how strict and serious this "business" is, here's a perfect example: In 1904, 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Saint Pius X, of blessed and glorious memory, received in Rome around 200 hundred doctors from St. Luke Society. Pius X was initially thinking about invoking some cures which have taken place in Lourdes but  he "hesitated and aborted the idea of declaring some of these miracles from Lourdes (!)". The reason why was because although "the team of doctors had already given their recognitionthey had not been canonically approved". He also stated to Dr. Boissarie in a private audience that "The word miracle should not be imprudently uttered because we live in times which more than ever may evoke a suggestion..."
(O milagre de Lourdes, Yves Chiron - O local do Milagre pg. 109)

"A saintly Pope waiting for the 'proper canonical approval' of the Church from which he is the head...". Maybe we should learn a finger or two of his humility and prudence.

I rest my case.

According to Catholic theology, not only God, but also Satan, can bring about unexplainable phenomena. The Vatican’s theologians therefore scrutinise all testimonies to eliminate the possibility that Satan has been involved in the mysterious circumstances. Only then can the Church regard a healing as a miracle. (Artist: Michael Pacher, ‘Saint Augustine and the Devil, painted between 1471 and 1475)


Private Revelation - St. John of the Cross

Here are some excerpts of chapter XI:

 2. "And it must be known that, although all these things may happen to the bodily senses in the way of God, "we must never” rely upon them or accept them, but must always fly from them, without trying to ascertain whether they be good or evil;(...)" 

 3. "So he that esteems such things errs greatly and exposes himself to great peril of being deceived; in any case he will have within himself a complete impediment to the attainment of spirituality. For, as we have said, between spiritual things and all these bodily things there exists no kind of proportion whatever. And thus it may “always" be supposed that such things as these are more likely to be of the devil than of God; (…)" 

 4. “(…) they very easily become the means whereby error and presumption and vanity grow in the soul; since, as they are so palpable and material, they stir the senses greatly, and it appears to the judgment of the soul that they are of greater importance because they are more readily felt. Thus the soul goes after them, abandoning faith and thinking that the light which it receives from them is the guide and means to its desired goal, which is union with God. But the more attention it pays to such things, the farther it strays from the true way and means, which are faith." 

 5. "And, besides all this, when the soul sees that such extraordinary things happen to it, it is often visited, insidiously and secretly by a certain complacency, so that it thinks itself to be of some importance in the eyes of God; which is contrary to humility. The devil, too, knows how to insinuate into the soul a secret satisfaction with itself, which at times becomes very evident; wherefore he frequently represents these objects to the senses, setting before the eyes figures of saints and most beauteous lights; and before the ears words very much dissembled; and representing also sweetest perfumes, delicious tastes (281) and things delectable to the touch; to the end that, by producing desires for such things, he may "lead the soul into much evil". These representations and feelings, therefore, “must always be rejected”; for, even though some of them be of God, He is not offended by their rejection, nor is the effect and fruit which He desires to produce in the soul by means of them any the less surely received because the soul rejects them and desires them not.

 7. The soul, then, must never presume to desire to receive them, even though, as I say, they be of God; for, if it desire to receive them, there follow six inconveniences. 
 1. The first is that faith grows gradually less (…) 
 2. Secondly, if they be not rejected, they are a hindrance to the spirit (…) 
 3. Thirdly, the soul becomes attached to these things and advances not to true resignation and detachment of spirit. 
4. Fourthly, it begins to lose the effect of them and the inward spirituality which they cause it (…) 
 5. Fifthly, the soul begins to lose the favours of God, because it accepts them as though they belonged to it and profits not by them as it should. 
 6. Sixthly, a readiness to accept them opens the door to the devil that he may deceive the soul by other things like to them (…) 

 8. It is always well, then, that the soul should reject these things, and close its eyes to them, whencesoever they come. For, unless it does so, it will prepare the way for those things that come from the devil, and will give him such influence that, not only will his visions come in place of God’s, but his visions will begin to increase, and those of God to cease, in such manner that the devil will have all the power and God will have none. So it has happened to many incautious and ignorant souls, who rely on these things to such an extent that many of them have found it hard to return to God in purity of faith; and many have been unable to return, so securely has the devil rooted himself in them; for which reason it is well to resist and reject them all. For, by the rejection of evil visions, the errors of the devil are avoided, and by the rejection of good visions no hindrance is offered to faith and the spirit harvests the fruit of them

 12. It is clear, then, that these sensual apprehensions and visions cannot be a means to union, since they bear no proportion to God; and this was one of the reasons why Christ desired that the Magdalene and Saint Thomas should not touch Him. And so the devil rejoices greatly when a soul desires to receive revelations, and when he sees it inclined to them, for he has then a great occasion and opportunity to insinuate errors and, in so far as he is able, to derogate from faith; for, as I have said, he renders the soul that desires them very gross, and at times even leads it into many temptations and unseemly ways.


 Consequently: (22) All this shows clearly the error of imprudent directors who, impelled by curiosity, are concerned with souls favored by visions and revelations.(23) This curiosity is a deformation of the spirit which casts the soul into illusion and trouble, and turns it away from humility through vain complacency in extraordinary ways. The Ascent, 22. Ibid., Bk. III, chaps. 9, 12 / Bk II, chap. 22
 St. John of the Cross and excepts from The Ascent of Mount Carmel


And to top it off, just in case one feels inclined to believe something of this nature or someone with these powers, remember:

 Private revelations may not be published without the approbation of ecclesiastical authority. 
6. Cf. the decree of Urban VIII, March 13, 1625, which was confirmed by Clement IX, May 23, 1668.

Divine Revelations and Visions - Three Ages of the Interior Life, Garrigou-Lagrance

Divine Revelations and Visions (Part VI, Chap. 54)

Divine revelations manifest supernaturally a hidden truth by means of a vision, a word, or only a prophetic instinct; they presuppose the gift of prophecy. They are called public if they have been made by the prophets, Christ, or the apostles, and are proposed to all by the Church, which preserves them in Scripture and tradition. They are called private when they are directed only to the particular benefit of certain persons. Private revelations, no matter what their importance, do not belong to the deposit of Catholic faith. However, some may draw attention to a certain form of worship of a nature to interest all the faithful, for example, the devotion to the Sacred Heart. After examining the reasons which motivate this worship, the Church may promote it and establish it without judging infallibly about the divine origin of the private revelation which gave rise to this movement of prayer. These private revelations will remain the object of pious belief, as will the supernatural origin of exceptional favors which occasionally accompany them, such as the stigmata of a particular servant of God.(1)


Those who receive divine revelations, recognized as such, should
most certainly, after prudent and authoritative judgment, incline
respectfully before this supernatural manifestation.(2) St. Margaret Mary followed this rule in regard to devotion to the Sacred Heart; so also did St. Bernadette in respect to the revelations she received at Lourdes, after favorable examination by diocesan authority.

According to certain theologians, a person who receives a private divine revelation with the certitude of its divine origin, like St. Joan of Arc, should believe in it with divine theological faith, for, in their opinion, the revelation contains the formal motive of infused faith, the authority of God revealing.(3)

According to other theologians, and their opinion seems more exact, anyone who receives a certain private revelation should adhere to it immediately, not through divine faith but by prophetic light. This supernatural certitude may last or, on the contrary, give way to a moral certitude when the prophetic illumination disappears; but this illumination may return in order to restore the first certitude. (4)

When the Church approves private revelations made to the saints, she simply declares that they contain nothing contrary to Scripture and to Catholic teaching and that they may be proposed as probable to the pious belief of the faithful.(5) Private revelations may not be published without the approbation of ecclesiastical authority.(6)

Even in revelations approved as probable by the Church, some
error may slip in; for the saints themselves may attribute to the Holy Ghost what proceeds from themselves, or may falsely interpret the meaning of a divine revelation, or interpret it in too materialistic a manner, as, for example, the disciples interpreted Christ's remark about St. John to mean that the latter would not die.(7)

The explanation of this possibility of error lies in the fact that there are many degrees in prophetic light, from the simple, supernatural instinct to perfect revelation. When there is only prophetic instinct, the meaning of things revealed and even the divine origin of the revelation may remain unknown.(8) Thus it was that Caiphas prophesied, without being aware of it, when he said, "that it was expedient that one man should die for the people." (9)

One of the signs of the divine origin of a revelation is the humility and simplicity with which the favored soul receives it and, without excessive attachment to it, communicates it briefly to its spiritual director, whom it obeys perfectly as the minister of Jesus Christ.(10)The gift of prophecy may, it is true, be found in those who do not possess these qualities, but such an exception is rare.

Before regulating its conduct, at least indirectly, by a private
revelation, a soul that is truly enlightened by God will always consult its director or some other learned and discreet person who will examine the matter from the point of view of faith, theology, and supernatural prudence. St. Teresa insists particularly on this point(11) This is especially necessary since the soul may easily go astray in the interpretation of revelations, either because it considers them too literally and according to habits tainted with egoism, or because they are sometimes conditional.(12) A learned, prudent, and virtuous confessor, however, has graces of state which make him avoid error, especially when he prays humbly, fervently, and assiduously for these graces. He himself then receives the inspirations of the gift of counsel that he may see clearly and judge rightly.

What should be thought of the desire for revelations? St. John of the Cross, who often invites interior souls to desire humbly, but confidently and ardently, the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith and the divine union resulting therefrom, strongly reproves the desire for revelations. On this point he is in complete accord with St. Vincent Ferrer,(13) and shows that the soul desiring revelations is vain; that by this curiosity it gives the devil the opportunity to lead it astray; (14) that this inclination takes away the purity of faith, (15) produces a hindrance for the spirit,(16) denotes a lack of humility,(17) and exposes it to many errors.(18) To ask for revelations shows also a lack of respect toward Christ, because the fullness of revelation has been given in the Gospel.(19) God sometimes grants these extraordinary favors to weak souls,(20) or again to strong souls that have an exceptional mission to accomplish in the midst of great difficulties; but to desire them is at least a venial sin, even when the soul has a good end in view.(21) They are of value only because of the humility and love of God which they awaken in the soul. (22) All this shows clearly the error of imprudent directors who, impelled by curiosity, are concerned with souls favored by visions and revelations.(23) This curiosity is a deformation of the spirit which casts the soul into illusion and trouble, and turns it away from humility through vain complacency in extraordinary ways.

Finally, St. John of the Cross insists strongly on the fact that the desire for revelations turns the soul away from infused contemplation. He says: "The soul imagines that something great has taken place, that God Himself has spoken, when in reality there is very little, or nothing, or less than nothing. In truth, of what use is that which is void of humility, charity, mortification, holy simplicity, silence, etc.? This is why I affirm that these illusions offer a great obstacle to divine union, for if the soul makes much of them, this fact alone drives it very far from the abyss of faith. . . . The Holy Ghost enlightens the recollected intellect according to the measure of its recollection. The most perfect recollection is that which takes place in faith. . . . Infused charity is in proportion to the purity of the soul in a perfect faith: the more intense such charity is, the more the Holy Ghost enlightens the soul and communicates His gifts to it." (24) No words could more strongly condemn the desire for revelations and make the soul long for that perfect spirit of faith, which is found in infused contemplation and which leads to almost continual intimate union with God.

As we have pointed out several times, it is, therefore, a serious error, rather frequently committed, to confound the desire for revelations with a desire for infused contemplation. Not only is the former blameworthy, but it also turns the soul away from infused contemplation, which is highly desirable. St. John of the Cross thus gives us the loftiest commentary on St. Thomas' words: "Sanctifying grace is much nobler than gratia gratis data." (25) In other words, sanctifying grace (with charity and the seven gifts connected with it) is far superior to the charisms, and even to prophecy, the highest of all. This statement puts clearly before us the whole scope of St. Paul's teaching on the eminence of charity.(26)

However, at this point in our study we must distinguish two kinds of private revelations: (I) revelations properly so called reveal secrets about God or His works; (2) revelations improperly so called give a greater understanding of supernatural truths already known by faith.(27)

1) Revelations manifesting secrets to us are much more subject to illusion. Without doubt God sometimes reveals to the living the time that remains to them on this earth, the trials that they will undergo, what will happen to a nation, to a certain person. But the devil can easily counterfeit these things and, to gain credence for his lies, he begins by nourishing the spirit with likely things or even with partial truths.(28) St. John of the Cross says: "It is almost impossible to escape his wiles if the soul does not immediately get rid of them, because the spirit of evil knows well how to assume the appearance of truth and give this appearance credit." (29) "In order to be perfect there is, therefore, no reason to desire these extraordinary supernatural things. . . . The soul must prudently guard itself against all these communications if it wishes, in purity and without illusions, to reach divine union by the night of faith." (30) No words could make a clearer distinction between these extraordinary supernatural things and infused contemplation, and more effectively show that infused contemplation is normal in the perfect.

2) Revelations improperly so called, which give us a greater understanding of revealed truths, are associated with infused contemplation, especially if they concern God Himself and do not stop at particular things, but profoundly penetrate His wisdom, infinite goodness, or omnipotence. In The Ascent of Mount Carmel St. John of the Cross says on this subject: "This profound loving knowledge is, moreover, accessible only to a soul in union with God. Such knowledge is this union itself, for it has its origin precisely in a certain contact of the soul with the Divinity. Consequently it is God Himself who is felt and tasted, though He is not perceived manifestly in full light, as He is in glory; but the touch is so strong and so profound, by reason of the knowledge and attraction, that it penetrates the substance of the soul. It is impossible for the devil to interfere in this and to deceive by imitation, for nothing is comparable to it, or approaches it in enjoyment and delights. These touches savor of the divine essence and of eternal life, and the devil cannot counterfeit such lofty things. . . . In regard to the other perceptions, we said that the soul should abstract itself from them, but this duty ceases in the case of this lofty loving knowledge, since it is the manifestation of that union to which we are trying to conduct the soul. All that we have taught previously on the subject of despoliation and of complete detachment was directed toward this union; and the divine favors which result from it are the fruit of humility, of the desire to suffer for the love of God, with resignation and disinterestedness as to all reward." (31)


Divine revelations sometimes take the form of visions and at other
times of words. Supernatural visions are either sensible, imaginary,
or intellectual.

Sensible or corporal visions of our Savior, the Blessed Virgin, or the saints, are sometimes granted to beginners to detach them from worldly things. If the vision is common to a great number of persons, it is a sign that the apparition is exterior, without any certainty thereby that it is of divine origin.(32) If it is individual, the dispositions of the witness who declares that he has had it must be attentively examined and great prudence must be exercised.
The director will be able to recognize whether these apparitions are graces of God, by their conformity to the teaching of the Church and by the fruits which they leave in the soul. The soul itself should be very faithful in reaping the fruits of sanctity which God proposes by granting it these favors. Those who are favored with apparitions of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and the saints should render to the persons represented the honors due them, even though the apparition should be the result of an illusion of the imagination or of the devil, for as St. Teresa says: "Although a painter may be a wicked man, honor should none the less be paid to a portrait of Christ done by him." (33) These apparitions must never be desired or asked of God.

Imaginary visions are produced in the imagination by God or by the angels when a person is either awake or asleep. According to the Gospel, St. Joseph was on several occasions supernaturally instructed in a dream. Although the divine origin of a dream may be difficult to discern, ordinarily when the soul seeks God sincerely, He makes Himself felt either by a feeling of profound peace, or by events that confirm the vision; thus in a dream a sinner may be warned of the urgent necessity of conversion.

Imaginary visions are subject to the illusions of the imagination and of the devil.(34) We have three signs, however, by which to discern whether they are of divine origin: (I) when they cannot be produced or dismissed at will, but come suddenly and last but a short time; (2) when they leave the soul in great peace; (3) when they produce fruits of virtue, a great humility and perseverance in good.(35)

A divine imaginary vision, granted while a person is awake, is almost always accompanied by at least partial ecstasy (for example, the momentary loss of sight) so that the soul may distinguish the interior apparition from external impressions; (36) there is ecstasy also because a soul enraptured and united to God loses contact with external things.(37) No perfect imaginary vision occurs without an intellectual vision, which makes the soul see and penetrate its meaning: (38) for example, the former may concern the sacred humanity of Christ; the second, His divinity.(39)

Imaginary visions should not be desired or asked of God any more than sensible visions; they are in no way necessary to holiness.(40) The perfect spirit of faith and infused contemplation are of superior order and prepare the soul more immediately for divine union.(41)

An intellectual vision is the certain manifestation of an object to the intellect without any actual dependence on sensible images. It is brought about either by acquired ideas supernaturally coordinated or modified, or by infused ideas, which are sometimes of angelic order.(42) It requires, besides, an infused light, that of the gift of wisdom or of prophecy. It may refer to God, spirits, or material things, like the purely spiritual knowledge of the angels. The intellectual vision is at times obscure and indistinct, that is, it manifests with certitude the presence of the object without any detail as to its intimate nature. Thus St. Teresa often felt our Lord Jesus Christ near her for several days.(43) At other times the intellectual vision is clear and distinct; it is then more rapid and is a sort of intuition of divine truths or of created things in God.(44) It cannot be translated into human language.(45)

Intellectual visions, especially those caused by infused ideas, are free from the illusions of the imagination and of the devil; but at times what is only an over-excitement of the imagination or a suggestion of the devil (46) may be taken for an intellectual vision. The divine origin of these favors may be recognized from the effects they produce: deep peace, holy joy, profound humility, unshakable attachment to virtue.(47)

St. John of the Cross says: "By the very fact that this knowledge is communicated suddenly, independently of the will, it is useless for the soul to desire it . . . ; it ought simply to allow God to act when and how He wills. . . . These favors are not given to a soul which is attached to any good; they are the effect of a special love which God bears toward the soul which strives for Him in detachment and disinterested love." (48)

The loftiest intellectual visions, since they are inferior to the beatific vision, cannot attain the divine essence sicuti est, but only "by a certain manner of representation" due to infused ideas, as St. Teresa says.(49) In the opinion of a number of authors, (50) the intellectual visions that often accompany the transforming union are the equivalent of a special revelation that gives the soul the certitude of being in the state of grace and of predestination. St. John of the Cross even says, as we have seen: "In my opinion, the soul can never be placed in possession of this state [the transforming union] without at the same time being confirmed in grace." (51)


1. Cf. M. J. Congar, O.P., "La credibilite des revelations privees" (La Vie spirituelle, October I, 1937, suppl., pp. [29J-[49J: "As ecclesiastical authority is an essentially paternal and family authority,- for the Church does not only govern us, it begets us in Christ - it is, in the last analysis, under the influence of filial piety that we adhere, by human faith commanded by obedience, to what the Church tells us about the formal and positive element in some very rare cases of private revelations."
2. Cf. Benedict XIV, De servorum Dei beatificatione, Bk. III, ch. ult., no. 12. See also C. De Lugo, S.J., De fide, disp. I, sect. 11.
3. Such is the opinion of Cardinal Gotti, O.P., Theot. schol. dogm., I, tract. 9, q. I, dub. 3, par. 2. It should be remarked on this subject that when an attempt was made to obtain a denial of her divine mission from St. Joan of Arc, she replied that she had to believe in it as she believed in the mystery of the redemption; and several times she appealed to the pope, as the supreme judge in these matters.
4. The Carmelites of Salamanca (De fide, disp. I, dub. IV, no. 104, III ) quote St. Thomas and his principal interpreters in favor of this opinion. They also point out that a number of these revelations bear on temporal matters (for example, the proximate date of the end of a war), which have not a sufficient bond with the first object of theological faith to be believed on divine faith.
However, several of these theologians admit that adherence to a certain private revelation on the part of the person receiving it, may proceed either from prophetic light or from faith which is mentioned among the graces gratis datae (I Cor. 12:4-10).
5. Benedict XIV, op. cit., II, chap. 32, no. II.
6. Cf. the decree of Urban VIII, March 13, 1625, which was confirmed by Clement IX, May 23, 1668.
7. John 21:23.
8. St. Thomas, IIa IIae, q. 173, a.4.
9. John 18: 14.
10. Cf. Cardinal Bona, De discretione spirituum, chap. 20.
11. The Interior Castle, sixth mansion, chap. 3.
12. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chaps. 19-20.
13. St. Vincent Ferrer, Treatise on the Spiritual Life, chap. 13.
14. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chap. II.
15. Ibid.
16. Ibid., chap. 16.
17. Ibid., chaps. 16, 17.
18. Ibid., chaps. 21, 27.
19. Ibid., chaps. 19, 22. Under the Old Law it was otherwise, for the plenitude
of revelation had not yet been given.
20. For example, to convert them; thus the young Israelite Alphonse Ratisbonne, at the age of twenty and still far from the Catholic Church, received while visiting the church of St. Andrea delle Frate in Rome as a sight-seer a vision of the Blessed Virgin which was the beginning of his conversion.
21. The Ascent, Bk. II, chap. 21.
22. Ibid., Bk. III, chaps. 9, 12.
23. Ibid., Bk. II, chap. 22.
24. Ibid., Bk. II, chap. 29.
25. See Ia IIae, q. III, a.4.
26. Cf. I Cor. 13.
27. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chap. 25.
28. lbid., chap. 27.
29. Ibid.
30. Ibid.
31. Bk. II, chap. 26.
32. St. Thomas, Ia, Q.51, a.2.
33. The Interior Castle, sixth mansion, chap. 9. Signs of respect should, however, be given only conditionally if the soul thinks that perhaps the devil wishes in this way to make himself adored under the figure of Christ.
34. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chap. 16.
35. The Interior Castle, sixth mansion, chap. 9.
36. Summa, IIa IIae, q.173, a.3.
37. The Interior Castle, loco cit.
38. St. Thomas, De veritate, q.12, a.12.
39. St. Teresa, Life, chap. 29.
40. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chaps. 16, 17; The Interior Castle,
loco cit.
41. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chap. 8.
42 Summa, IIa IIae, q.173, a.2 ad 2um; De veritate, q. 12, a. 12.
43. Life, chap. 27.

44. The Interior Castle, sixth mansion, chap. 10; The Ascent of Mount
, Bk. II, chaps. 22, 24.
45. The Interior Castle, loc. cit.
46. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. II, chap. 24.
47. Ibid.
48. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, loco cit.
49. The Interior Castle, seventh mansion, chap. I.
50. Philip of the Blessed Trinity, Theol. myst. Prooem., a.8; Scaramelli, Dir.
., tr. II, chap. 22, no. 258; Meynard, O.P.., La Vie interieure, Vol. II, no.
51. A Spiritual Canticle, st. 22.

What should we make of the book The Poem of the Man God by Maria Valtorta? (by the Dominicans of Avrillé)

To answer to questions which were asked of us about Maria Valtorta, we publish here a text coming from Le Sel de la terre n° 7 (doctrinal review of the Dominicans of Avrillé).

For more details, you can consult the book of Fr Herrbach: “Des visions sur l’Évangile” on the website:http://www.clovis-diffusion.com/
Maria Valtorta died in 1961 “in an incomprehensible physical isolation” (in an insane asylum).
Her principal work The Poem of the Man God, which was written in the years from 1943 to 1947, took up 10,000 pages of note-books.
Her confessor Father Migliorini, claims to have been received in audience with Pope Pius XII alongside Father Berti, in February 1948 and the Pope is supposed to have said to them to publish this work, adding ” Whoever reads it, will understand“.  This oral authorisation of the Pope seems very unlikely: The Pope could only have given the authorisation of the work if he had read it and been assured of its orthodoxy; but how would the Pope have found the time to read these 10,000 pages?  This authorisation appears even less credible when the Holy Office forbade the work definitively (with no possible correction) one year later in February 1949.  The first four volumes were however published without Imprimatur from 1956 to 1959.  On the 16th of December 1959, the edited books were put on The Index [Editor: The Index of Forbidden Books].   The Osservatore Romano (official newspaper of the Vatican) published the placement on The Index accompanied with an article justifying the condemnation.  Here are some extracts:
“The four Gospels present us with a Jesus humble and full of reserve; His speaking is sober, incisive but supremely efficacious.  On the contrary in this sort of romantic History [Editor:  i.e. The Poem of the Man God], Jesus is excessively loquacious and resembles a man of propaganda, always ready to proclaim Himself the Messiah and Son of God, and to give out lessons of theology, using the same terms that a professor of theology would use today. 
In the Gospel narratives, we admire the humility and the silence of the Mother of Jesus.  On the contrary for the author of this work, the most blessed Virgin Mary with the talkativeness of a modern lawyer, is always present everywhere and always ready to give lessons of Marian theology, perfectly up to date with the latest current studies of specialists on the matter…
Some scenes are rather indecent and make us think of scenes from a modern novel.  We will only give a few examples, such as the confession made to Mary by a certain Aglae, a woman of ill-repute (1st volume, p.790 and after1);  the not very edifying narrative from pages 887 and onwards in the first volume;  a ballet executed in an immodest fashion before Pilate at the pretorium (volume 4, p. 75) etc…
To finish let us point out another strange and imprecise affirmation where it is said of the Madonna, “You, all the time that you will be on this earth, you will be the second after Peter, in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. [It is we who underline, says the review]”
Here are some examples of the errors and improprieties of this book
  • Our Lord thinks that words tire now and we must have recourse to visions… of Maria Valtorta;  
  • The tree of life in the terrestrial paradise is only a symbol;  
  • The sin of Adam and Eve consisted in the use of marriage in a spirit of lust;  
  • Saint Anne gave birth without pain;  
  • Our Lady brags of her humility and her calm;  
  • She says that she redeemed women through her maternity;  
  • She said that she saw God at her creation;  
  • Satan became flesh in the form of Judas. 
One can note numerous contradictions with the Gospel, for example:
  • Our Lord is supposed to have sucked with avidity the vinegar given by the soldier; 
  • On the Cross Our Lord did not cease to cry out “Mommy!” and she replied: “Yes, my treasure, I am here”;  
  • Our Lady gets angry, cries out and becomes “almost” delirious after the death of her Son; 
  • and this is not to mention the numerous sensualities which are spread throughout the work. 
Let us finish by citing a talk by Archbishop Lefebvre at a retreat, where he expresses his reserve regarding Maria Valtorta:

“It is better for us […] not to spend too much time on the material details of the life of Our Lord. […] These books which present themselves as revelations of the Life of Our Lord, in my opinion, can be a danger, precisely because they represent Our Lord in a too concrete manner, too much in the details of His life. I am thinking of course of Maria Valtorta. And perhaps for some this reading can do good, it can bring them close to Our Lord, to try to imagine what would have been the life of the Apostles with Our Lord, the life at Nazareth, the life of Our Lord as the visits of the cities of Israel.

But there is a danger, a great danger; that is to humanize too much, to concretize too much, and to not sufficiently show the face of God, in this Life of Our Lord. This is the danger. I do not know if we should recommend so much to people the reading of these books, if they are not forewarned. I do not know if that would raise them up and make them know Our Lord, such as He was, such as He is, such as we should know Him and believe Him to be.2

Last advice : Rather than read these novels where errors abound, it would be better to read Holy Scripture with good commentary based on the Fathers of the Church3, or even good lives of the saints4.
(From Le Sel de la terre, n° 7)

  1. These references correspond to the edition published at that time in Italian. 
  2. Retreat preached in september 1986, fourth instruction. Father Emily cites, at the end of his work, a part of this testimony, as well as an extract of a letter of Archbishop Lefebvre which goes along the same lines. 
  3. For example, The Great life of Jesus Christ, by Ludolphe le Chartreux or the commentaries of Bossuet. 
  4. The lives of the Saints, except in the case of a bad biography, make us remain in the real rather than depart into the imaginary, as is the case of these “visions” . The lives of Saints have what is needed to nourish the imagination, the heart and the intelligence of all Christians, even the most simple. Even today, one can find good illustrated lives of the saints.