Saturday, May 30, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 116)


Garabandal's First Winter
From my schooldays a passage from a play still remains etched in my mind:

In winter God disposes
that mysteries be fulfilled,
and seeds take root,
and grow strong under the ground,
to develop in such a way
as to bring forth fruit later on.

It appears that God also had His winter plans
for Garabandal . . . Under the frigid inclemency of the wintry season, He aimed to give silent root to the many things that He had sown. In this way, through a period of tests and week after week of lethargy, He protected and favored the slow germination that would bring forth the most luscious fruits. The appearance of the meadows in winter is bleak; but that is the time when mysteries are accomplished in the womb of mother earth.
With October 18th, 1961 began the first winter in the history of the great events of Garabandal, a winter which goes beyond the simple meteorological extent.
The icy wind of disillusion from October 18th had cut down and scattered many enthusiasts and well-wishers of Garabandal. And now the publication of a new «Nota» from the bishop of Santander arrived with telling effect.

From Warning
to Discredit

The chief Apostolic Administrator of the diocese,
Bishop Doroteo Fernández, with a precipitation that we are not able to explain and which history will judge, immediately made the feeling of the Commission his own, and spread it to the four winds through a «Nota Oficial» published in the Boletín del Obispado in November:
Most beloved sons:

It has been some time since you were told
what our attitude must be in the face of the public rumors that attribute to the Most Holy Virgin certain marvelous events, especially revelations, apparitions, oral locutions, and other more or less extraordinary signs.

We (1) would like to see in all of you the
highest discretion and prudence with which the Church judges the supernaturalness of such phenomena. Powerful is the Lord, Who gives us revelation when it pleases Him to manifest Himself, and speaks to us when it is in accordance with His goodness. But it would be a great lack of wisdom in us to accept every wind of human opinion as coming from the Lord. When God wishes to speak, He does it in terms that are clear and unequivocal. When He wishes to tell us something, His words do not allow tergiversation (evasion) or obscurity. And it is the Church founded by Jesus Christ — not by public opinion, and much less by any particular person — that is competent to judge definitively on such allegedly supernatural events. Let no one arrogate and attribute to himself functions and powers which God has not entrusted to him, for such a one would be a usurper and an intruder.

In what concerns the events that have been
happening at San Sebastián de Garabandal, a town in our diocese, you should be told that in the fulfillment of our pastoral duty and to avoid the unfounded and bold interpretations of those who venture to give a definitive judgment where the Church does not believe it still prudent to do so; also to guide souls, we have to come to declare the following:

1. It is clear that the above-mentioned apparitions,
visions, locutions and revelations up to now cannot be presented or held to have a serious foundation for truth and authenticity.

2. Priests should absolutely abstain from whatever would contribute to create confusion among the Christian people. Thus they should cautiously avoid, as far as it depends on them, the organization of visits or pilgrimages to the place referred to.

3. Priests should instruct the faithful with
wisdom and charity concerning the true feeling of the Church in these matters. They should make them understand that our faith does not require such aids of supposed revelations and miracles to maintain it.

We believe that God has revealed Himself to
us and that the Church teaches us: in this category belong the clear and authentic miracles of Jesus Christ. He gives them to us as a proof of His doctrine, to which there is nothing more to add. If He — by Himself, or by means of His Most Holy Mother — wishes to speak to us, we should be attentive in listening to His words and saying like Samuel: “Speak Lord, your servant hears."

4. Priests likewise should instruct the faithful
that the best disposition for hearing the voice of God is a perfect, complete and humble submission to the teachings of the Church; and that no one can hear with fruit the voice of God in heaven if he rejects with pride the doctrine of Mother Church, who welcomes us and sanctifies us on this earth.

5. As for you beloved faithful, do not allow
yourselves to be seduced by any wind of doctrine. Hear with submission and trust the teachings of your priests, placed at your side to be teachers of the truth in the Church.

I know that you have been impatiently waiting, and that confusion has burdened many minds in the face of the events that have recently occurred. I would wish to bring to your conscience the peace and tranquility that is the basic foundation of a calm and rational judgment. Let no one take away the precious gift of peace that rests in God and “do not be alarmed, either by the spirit, or by words, or by writing," as St. Paul said to the Thessalonians.

Having these our sentiments, most dearly
beloved sons, let us hope that the Virgin, whom we hail under the title of Sedes Sapientiae — Seat of Wisdom — will enlighten us to know everything that is useful for the glory of her Son and our salvation.

Apostolic Administrator

1. The use of the word we in place of I is what could be called an authoritarian plural or a royal plural. Up until recently it was the standard form used, almost obligatory, in documents from the ecclesiastical hierarchies. I point this out, since readers may wonder at the use of the expression.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 115)

“They began to look toward the Pines—since the Vision was coming from there.”

On the following day, on a detailed photograph of the Pines and its surroundings, Conchita pointed out with her finger all the places where I had been and what I had been thinking there! I can assure you that she was not mistaken in anything.»(42)
Not everyone was given grace like Fr. Ramón to throw off so quickly the darkness of disillusion. While he was in the village having those ineffable experiences, the tremendous multitude was descending in hellish conditions down the difficult trails from Garabandal.

«When things ended at the Pines, my friends
insisted on returning immediately and in a hurry to Santander, without staying longer in the village » — María Herrero tells us — «And so I missed something that would have been marvelous to see.
As the girls came down from the Pines with the Civil Guard protecting them from the crowds, they suddenly went into ecstasy on arriving at the Cuadro. Turning around, they began to look toward the Pines — since the Vision was coming from there — and going backwards, they went down to the village. I believe it all ended in front of the church doors. I was told that it was a real marvel.»


Conchita recorded the episode:

After reading it, (the message) we went
down toward the village.
And at the calleja, in the place that is called the Cuadro, the Virgin appeared to us.
And the Virgin said to me, Now Fr. Ramón María Andreu is having doubts.
And I was very surprised.
And she told me where he had begun to doubt, and what he had thought, and
Returning now to the report of María Herrero:
«I came down with the crowd, and like many others was part displeased and part stunned. I didn't hear, as on going up, the groups reciting the rosary or singing hymns.
When coming down from the village, I began to feel more afraid. An avalanche of people was coming down in a rush, full speed, sliding in the mud and pushing. So that nothing would be missing, a tempest was unleashed like I've never seen. Thunder roared, rumbling through the valleys; and lightening flashed without ceasing, blinding us with light. How many times I invoked St. Michael!
As I was slipping and losing my balance, and feared that the people were going to trample on me, I sat down on the ground at the side of the road, overwhelmed with terror. Two men, whose faces I wasn't able to recognize in the dark, each took one of my arms, and so I was able to get to Cossío. I don't know who they were; but with all my heart I say, May God repay them! I had to make the last kilometer barefoot over that quagmire of loose stones; I had torn my shoes and had to throw them away. Nevertheless, believe it a miracle or not, I didn't suffer the least injury to my feet; they remained as unharmed as if I'd been walking on top of a carpet.
When I found myself finally in my quarters at Santander at a very late hour of the night, I wept inconsolably. It seemed that Garabandal was finished forever.
I couldn't doubt the truth of the apparitions that I had witnessed; I'd have let myself die to defend them. What then happened on that disheartening October 18th? Had we let the Virgin down, and would she never return? Very probably! The thought tortured me, and thus that night was for me a real dark night, perhaps the only one with regard to Garabandal.»


The general thinking and fear that October 18th
would be the death of Garabandal came to such a point that two days later, on October 20th Jacinta was heard to say in ecstasy, «No one believes us anymore, do you know? . . . So you can perform a very great miracle in order that many will believe again.» The response of the Virgin was to smile and say, «They will believe.»(43)

* * *

Dr. Ortiz expressed in a few words his experiences
on that 18th of October in Garabandal:
«In spite of the climate that existed — so conducive to suggestion, since the majority of the people, under illusions, were hoping for a great miracle — I could not discover a single case of such suggestion. This is a very important fact, if one takes into account that some of my colleagues, together with members of the Commission, were maintaining that this dealt with the phenomena of group suggestion.
Many of those who had gone up to the village, when a miracle did not take place — as they had imagined it would, although it had never been foretold by the girls — left completely discouraged and even in bad moods. A woman of the village, Angelita, Maximina's sister-in-law, heard a visitor shouting with indignation:

The girls to the butcher! And their parents
with them!
Here, here — answered the woman — You are the one that should be burned! What telegram was sent for you to come here!»

* * *

María Herrero, whose report we have used so
much to give a description of that unforgettable day, ended her account like this:
«I cannot tell anything further with accuracy; but I am sure that the 18th of October was full of interesting episodes that are more or less unexplainable. But no one can doubt one thing: that the angels of the Lord watched over each one of us so that, as a psalm says, our feet would not be dashed against the stones of the roads . . . I believe everyone returned safely to his home. I at least have not known of any accident. And that seems to me to be a very great miracle.
Everything about that day has remained deeply imprinted in my memory, giving the picture of a day of disillusion and of penance, a rather pale picture of what the day of the Warning (44) could be, since everything in the atmosphere seemed there to test us. It really was a day of purification. Never has anything struck me with such fear of the Lord as what happened on that day.»

* * * * *

It is certain that October 18th, 1961, so long
awaited, then coming with a sign so different from what was expected, is one of the stellar moments in the great mystery of Garabandal. A key date! A day that goes back to Mount Sinai. (Exodus 19: 16)
On it came the first public warning from heaven through Garabandal.
With this began a purification in the ranks of the followers, the first pruning of numerous easy enthusiasts.

October 18th, 1961 as it was in Garabandal calls to mind the writing of an ancient prophet of Israel:

Sound the trumpet in Sion,
Sound an alarm on My holy mountain.
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
Because the day of the Lord is coming,
Because it is nigh at hand . . .
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of whirlwinds and blackness . . . (Joel 2: 1-2)

42. Fr. Ramón has told about his personal experiences on October 18th at different times with the inclusion of different details. Here is what he told the editor of the French edition of Conchita’s diary as recorded on tape:

«After that»-—he said several years later, during a conference
at Palma de Mallorca—«I remained for several days with a terrible impression, like a sleepwalker . . . At the time when I felt myself the most alone in all my life, I was in fact totally known, even to my most hidden thoughts; all of my thoughts had been very easily known to the girls by means of the mysterious person that they claimed to see.»

43. On a lesser scale, during the apparitions of Lourdes, a
similar disbelief occurred when the spectators saw Bernadette Soubirous, in one of her trances, begin to eat grass and to wash in the mud. Almost all thought that she was disturbed.
44. The Warning is one of the great prophetic predictions of Garabandal, one of the sealed books of this extraordinary history. We will speak about it when it comes time; now we are still recounting 1961, the first year of the events.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 114)

Conchita knew the priest’s secret thoughts.

Darkness Descends
Upon Many Minds

The attentive silence that had accompanied the reading of the message was broken almost as soon as the paper containing it was put away. A murmur rippled through the crowd as the message was transmitted to those who had not heard it well, and then . . . On seeing that everything indicated that that was all, a gale of disappointment more frigid than the storm swept over the crowd, and somber darkness deluged many hearts. What they had so much hoped for had not happened. And this message alone was not worth all this trouble.(38) Garabandal was a failure. It was finished. How stupid we had been to come up to this place!

Certainly only the publication of the message had been announced for that October 18th, and the imagination of spectacular prodigies was strictly the people's idea. But what might have happened if everyone had abided exactly by the instructions of the Apparition? What might have happened without the most prudent urgings of the Commission that forced Fr. Valentín and the girls to proceed in a way not in accordance with the directions received? It is not for men to impose their standards on God.

No one plays games with the Almighty.

Oh, you men who ridicule humble compliance and docility, and think yourselves to be more intelligent than the Virgin! How you burden yourselves with ideas that you consider prudent!

The descent from the Pines, made under the lash of the rain and tempest wind, accompanied with bitter disillusion, was even harsher than the ascent. What María Herrero describes must have been felt by all the three thousand present:
«Confused and in a foul mood, I went down that hill of mud, stones and ruts without seeing anything, helping as I could any person in difficulty, under a rain that came back relentlessly.»


One of those who most felt the effects of the test on that night was Father Ramón María Andreu. He had been favored more than others, and so he was also tested more.

For a long time he made his way from one spot to the next — through the water that gushed down the hill in torrents everywhere — amid the crowd going up and down; he was drifting like a shipwreck:(39)
«Suddenly, violently, an intense bitterness swept over me. It was a mixture of painful impressions and depressing feelings. It seemed that everything had come apart. As if everything had collapsed on me. I had just gone into a moral desert. The past swarmed over me . . . All that remained clear and definite was the death of my poor brother Father Luis a little more than two months before.

Afterwards, with what had happened at the Pines, my state of mental agony got worse. I believe that never during my whole life have I known such desolation . . . I felt a violent desire to go away. Far away! To America! And I said to myself, What are you doing here? These girls are nothing more than poor sick children. And all this is a pathetic comedy of backward villagers.

I stopped for a few minutes. Looking up, I searched the heavens. I would have cried out for the production of the great miracle that the girls had certainly never predicted for that October 18th. Nothing was happening . . . And my disillusion was complete.

I changed locations, and again I remained stationary for a length of time and I cannot recall. I was as if unconscious; I was only aware of the continual footsteps of the crowd about me, who passed around me on one side or the other; the flashlights came and went in the darkness . . . Suddenly someone flashed a beam of light in my face. A friend(40) who was coming down had just recognized me and wanted to give me his impression right away, This is marvelous . . . It's astounding . . .

I let him speak, answering in my mind, You'll understand later! His enthusiasm hurt me; it almost made me angry.

We went down to the village together. I think that I had stayed on the side of the hill at least an hour, seeing flashlights going up and down like a nightmare.

I sheltered myself for a while in a house so as not to get wet. But I felt so discouraged that everything was bothering me. Because of this I went outside and directed my steps to the house where they were waiting for me. I had a need for familiar faces in order not to feel so desolate . . . A little after that Loli's sister Amaliuca, somewhat younger than she, arrived.

Signaling to me and two other persons,(41) she said, Loli says that you should come. You . . . you . . . and you . . .

I had no desire or intention to go. Finally I decided, thinking, Well, to visit the sick is still a work of mercy. I assure you that though I went, it was with the idea of saying a final goodbye to her and this whole thing.

We came to Ceferino's house and we went upstairs. There were about a dozen people there. Loli, in the midst of them, appeared happy — I would say almost joyful. I looked for a place and began thinking about the inconsistency of that young girl and the näivety of those surrounding her . . .

Then she came toward me and said smiling, Sit down.

She pointed to some kind of hamper. Like a robot I obeyed and she came over to sit beside me. I believe that I will never in my life forget the confidential conversation that followed . . .

There is one among you who doesn't believe . . . Do you know who he is?
— Yes, I know. Do you know too?
Certainly. The Virgin told me.
— When?
A little while ago, when we were coming down from the Pines.
— Well, tell us who it is.
No, I don't dare. If it were one of the other two . . .
— It is I all right. I don't believe in anything.

An understanding smile shone in Loli's childlike eyes:

The Virgin told us, “Father doubts everything, and suffers much. Call him and tell him not to doubt anymore — that it is really I, the Virgin, who is appearing here. And in order for him to believe better, tell him: When you went up, you went up in joy; when you came down, you came down in sorrow."

I was astounded, staring at the girl.
She added, She spoke much about you to Conchita.

I got up. I saw in a confused way that the time for farewells had not yet come . . . I took the arms of my two friends who looked at me without comprehending and asked me, Hey, what's this she said? What's going on?

I pushed them toward the door, saying, Let's go right now to Conchita's house!

In spite of the lateness of the hour, Aniceta welcomed us.

— Can I be with Conchita?
She is already in bed; but you can go up if you want.

I went up with my two friends. Conchita was in bed with her cousin Luciuca, a year younger than she. As soon as she saw me, without waiting for me to speak, she said with a smile:

Are you happy? Or are you still sad?
— I hardly know. Loli told me that the Virgin talked at length to you about me.
At least for a quarter of an hour.
— And what did she say?
I don't know what I can say.
— Then I will be the same as I was before.

Conchita smiled. Well, there is something I can say. When you went up, you went up with joy; when you came down, you came down in sorrow . . . She told me everything that you were thinking . . . And the locations where you were thinking those things. And that you were thinking, “Now I'm going to America." And at another location you were thinking, “I don't want to know more about so-and-so or about so-and-so.” And you were suffering much. She told me to say this to you and to advise you that all this has happened so that in the future, remembering all this, you won't doubt again.

As anyone might surmise, I was speechless.

38. «All those who came that day expected to see a great miracle, like the miracle of the sun at Fatima. It was not that way, but a general message, that today has much importance. At least, I so understand it and believe it.» (Juan Alvarez Seco)

39. It seems that the test had already begun before the reading of the message, when the multitude was gathering around the Pines:

«Midway in that painful ascent, I felt myself truly lost. In the night, in the middle of that mountain covered with shadows, a tremendous pain came into my soul, an unsupportable feeling of solitude and a conviction of the ridiculousness that all this represented.» (Fr. Ramón)

40. This was one of the Fontanedas, the family from Aguilar de Campoo with whom Fr. Ramón had come so many times.
41. These men were Mr. Fontaneda and Mr. Fontibre, friends of Fr. Ramón, from Aguilar de Campoo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 113)

A Call to Salvation

It was not possible for the mass of expectant people
hearing these words on that stormy night in Garabandal to understand immediately the full scope of that very short and childlike message . . . And so almost everyone was disappointed.
«After hearing the message that the people passed from group to group (and one can imagine the changes and losses that such a transmission was going to introduce!), I was extremely disillusioned» — María Herrero admitted — «What was this worth? It appeared so puerile! Nevertheless I knew the girls well enough to know that they were not making it up and were not lying . . . I was confused and irritated.»


No wonder. The same would probably have happened
to me. But now I feel myself obligated to proclaim that, by means of those four young girls —seen in all their littleness and insignificance — that same One speaks to mankind Who from the beginning had come speaking words that do not pass away although heaven and earth pass away. (Mark 13:31)
God does not communicate with man ordinarily by saying sensational things but rather by saying what is necessary for salvation.
He accommodates himself to the condition and character of the instrument that He chooses. Just as in former times He spoke to us in the rough and raw language of the hagiographers and prophets, He can very well speak to us now in the childlike language of four unlearned and poorly educated girls.(32)
If the presentation of the message appears childlike, that is not important; the only thing that matters is the content. And this has to be meditated upon to be understood. The true Word of God is not ordinarily clear initially . . . but it does reveal itself ultimately to the person who ponders over it again and again in mediation.
With meekness receive the engrafted word, that is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if a man be only a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man looking at his face in a mirror.
For he saw himself and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was. (James 1:21-24)
We know that the reaction of many of the people in Garabandal on that night was an angry disappointment . . . so much trouble . . . such a long wait . . . Only to hear that?
Nevertheless that was a new proclamation of what has been from the beginning. Something we need to hear, although we do not like hearing it. Men like things that are exhilarating, not things that are essential . . . And what entertains will always be better accepted among men, in the beginning at least, than what obligates . . .
The overwhelming simplicity of the Garabandal message places it on the same plane as the other messages of salvation.

The Jewish crowds were waiting for Jesus of Nazareth to show himself as a prophet mighty in work and word. (Luke 24: 19) Yet when He started His public life He came forth with no more than this: The time is accomplished and the kingdom of God is at hand. Do penance, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1: 15) Could anything be simpler? Yet that was the seed that would renew the world.
The expectations of the people who had witnessed the multiplication of bread must have been even greater than those of the pilgrims who had gone up to Garabandal. They had there the all powerful King who could be the solution to all their problems! Jesus escaped from them, and in the synagogue at Capernaum on the following day spoke out: You seek me not because you have seen miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Labor not for food that perishes, but for that which endures for life everlasting, which the Son of Man will give you. (John 6: 26-27) This offered nothing sensational or encouraging, but caused a disillusion and disenchantment that ultimately changed into hostility and hate, resulting in complete alienation from the Man Whom they had previously admired and followed with great zeal. After this many of His disciples withdrew; and walked no more with Him. (John 6: 67)
People expected a lot from Simon Peter too, who showed himself as the head of Christ's followers. Throngs of Jews had gathered in front of the Cenacle, attracted by the marvels of Pentecost and converted by the words of the fisherman from Bethsaida. What shall we do, men and brethren? But Peter said to them: Do penance and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ. (Act. 2: 37-38) This also was not a very stirring response.
And we, who are so easily given to confuse the important with what is elaborate and complicated, are also easily upset by the supreme simplicity of God.
Such simplicity comes one way or another to oblige us to something that costs: the labor of submission and searching; because behind that simplicity there is much to discover and much to receive.
Rereading carefully now, line by line, the contents of that proclamation of October 18th, 1961:
It is necessary to make many sacrifices, to do much penance.

Six simple words in the original Spanish, come
at the time of the new spirituality (which actually is a very old lack of spirituality) that now had eroded the Church and has already succeeded in reigning in wide sections.(33) These words place us once again before the incomprehensible mystery of the cross. For the word of the cross, to those that perish, is foolishness,; but to those that are saved, that is to us, it is the power of God. (Cor. 1: 18)
Opposing the present development of one's own personality(34) is placed the former Deny oneself for Christ! And against the current planned destruction of every inconvenient moral obligation, comes forth the statement: Take up your cross each day. (Luke 9: 23)All the real or pretended rights of the human being and all the privileges of his liberty cannot abolish these eternal words: Enter in at the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. How narrow is the gate and straight the way that leads to life. And few there are who find it! (Matt. 7: 13-14)
It is necessary to visit the Blessed Sacrament.

As within the Catholic Church — through noncatholic and anti-catholic influence — a grave crisis of doctrine and practice foments in regard to the Eucharistic reality, God gives us a solution with a short simple phrase from His mother's message. She calls our attention to something that is truly essential in all Christian living: a very personal — not only community — contact with the Savior.

The words of Jesus: I am with you all days until the end
of time (Matt. 28: 20) carry more than the subtle and symbolic meanings that theologians of intellectualism, but not of common sense attribute to them.(35)
Christians live with more than just the memory and the words of the one who died for us many years ago. He is still truly living and present in our midst at every moment, aiding us in the face of demands so often superhuman against our faith. It is necessary to visit the Blessed Sacrament very often!
But first we must be very good.

How well this is known.

How well it is forgotten!

Nothing could be older; nothing newer. In the
face of the present coronation of all human values (even to the point of holding up dissipation as virtue), the burying of the doctrine of original sin, and teaching programs hostile to God, there comes this very plain ‘We must be very good.'
In this period of darkness, these enlightening words remind us that we were not born good, but are called to become that way by daily effort. If we do not fight against the appetites of our flesh, we will be drawn fatally toward ruin. The flesh lusts against the spirit; and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another . . . Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh . . . If you live according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. (Gal. 5: 16-17; Rom. 8: 13)
It is true that God has loved us from the beginning. And it is true that God continues to love us, even as we are, in spite of what we are. But it is also true that He loves us with the expectation and the requirement that we stop being what we are to become what He wants us to be. And He wants us to become images and likenesses of His Son made man. (Rom. 8: 29) We alone among all the creatures of the universe have a destiny of change. We are creatures called to become different from what we are, that is, to progress into new beings.
Looking on life with a Christian mentality, this obligation of basic change from within is the grand task of the human being.
And so this requirement for change (of mind, spirit, style of living and acting) has always been the first chapter in every faithful proclamation of the message of salvation.
This was the way Christ began;(36) this was the way the apostles started out; and this was the way that St. Paul, standing in the Areopagus at Athens, called out his great announcement of salvation to the world of the gentiles.(37)

The obligation we have to become better, to become very good as the girls said at Garabandal, should motivate all our actions.
And if we do not do this, a punishment will come upon us.

God will wait a long time, but not forever. Now He respects our position of freedom; but let no one dream that it will end without punishment! In the end, the reckoning . . . And to each one what he deserves. Infinite mercy gives eternal happiness; infinite justice . . . eternal pain.
But God does not have to wait until the end of time to punish. His justice has inflicted punishments on the world in the past, and there will be more punishments in the future. It is stated to us in this message, gravely and definitely, that the world is heading toward one.
Already the cup is filling up; and if we do not change . . .

The mysterious cup symbolizes the patience of
God looking down on the disobedience of His creatures. When the last drop of our sins fills the vessel, the workings of justice will be set in motion. Garabandal points to the time of destiny mentioned in the last book of the Bible, the book that tells of the consummation of the world:
And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, dressed in pure and white linen, with golden cinctures fastened around their waists.And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden cups filled with the wrath of God Who lives forever and ever . . .
The seventh angel poured out his cup into the air, and a voice shouted from the sanctuary, "The end has come."
Then there were bolts of lightening and peals of thunder and a great earthquake, such as never has been seen since men were upon the earth. (Apocalypse 15: 6-7; 16: 17-18)
The girls spoke about the cup, hardly understanding what it meant. During the explanations of the message that the Virgin gave them as the summer went by, she showed them a great cup into which drops of dark fluid, resembling blood, were spilling. When the Virgin spoke of the cup and the chastisement that was drawing near, her expression darkened and she noticeably lowered her voice.

Thus on that night of October 18th, Garabandal began to reveal itself in its great scope as a prophetic warning. We are now proceeding toward a time of extremely grave decisions on the part of God.

As the consequences will be terrible for many,
He mercifully warns us so that we might find a way of avoiding these consequences. And there is only one way, the way that Christ proclaimed in the Gospel: If you do not do penance, you will all perish likewise. (Luke 13: 1-5)

From now on, a gigantic counterplay of mercy
and justice on a divine scale will forever hover on the faraway horizon, predicted by the astounding story of Garabandal.

32. The word hagiographers is used in theological terminology to designate those who wrote the various books of Sacred Scripture under the inspiration of God. Also the more general term prophets is applied to them in the biblical sense to indicate persons who speak to men in the name of God.

For a proper understanding of what is being said in this text, it should be made clear that the Word of God that comes to us by means of the hagiographers or prophets of the bible is not being ranked with the words that come through the girls at Garabandal. The Word of God can be present in the one case as in the other; but there is a great difference as to the guarantee of the origin and the obligation of accepting it. Above all, there should be complete respect for official and public revelation; but those who show an open disrespect for all private revelation do not show the greatest respect for the Word of God, since it is the same God who speaks both through Sacred Scripture and through private revelation.

33. I do not say that such religious fads have obtained dominion over the Church, but they have obtained dominion over many in the Church. This can be observed by the way many clergy and non-clergy alike talk today. And it can be easily detected in the atmosphere that pervades the seminaries.
34. There is a cult of one’s person that goes along perfectly and even is part of the tradition of True Christianity. But there is also a cult of self-love, which is basically pagan and which is opposed to the evangelical counsels. The latter has permeated the heart and actions, the mentality and speech of many Christians.

35. I cannot speak badly of all theologians; among other reasons, because of the words of St. Francis of Assisi, You should honor and reverence all theologians and those who administer to you the most holy and divine words, since they administer life and spirit to you. But there are theologians and theologians. If today all are administering spirit and life, it is hard to see it. I am afraid that neither the Church nor the faithful have any reason to thank some of these theologians.
36. In his first preaching came forth the repeated demand to do penance and to believe . . . as has been indicated.
Many have lessened this do penance, confusing it with doing penances. This is not the same. Considering the original Greek terms of the Evangelists, we should recognize that to do penance is a complete process of renovation and change of soul from the inside. This process goes through three stages:
1. Breaking away from past sins and giving them up by means of repentance.
2. Expiation of past sins through the practice or acceptance of painful and difficult things.
3. Replacing the regretted past with a new and better life.

37. And God, having closed His Eyes at the time of ignorance, now
declares unto men, that all should everywhere do penance.
Because He has appointed a day wherein He will judge the world with justice, by the Man Whom He has appointed; giving faith to all, by raising Him up from the dead. (Acts 17: 30-31)

Monday, May 25, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 112)

“I distinguished clearly the childlike voice of Conchita reading the message.”

Many then believed that the hoped-for miracle
was going to be produced . . . But there was nothing! There was only what had been foretold, something that was not very exciting.
The girls gave Father Valentín the little paper on which the message was written,(31) since according to the Virgin's instructions, he was to be the one who should say it at the Pines at ten thirty at night.
But Father Valentín read it to himself, and after he read it, he gave it to us to read; and we four read it together . . .
This was not exactly what they had been told to do. The pastor, Father Valentín Marichalar, who was embarrassed by the childishness of the message,did not have the courage to make the proclamation that was asked of him. Was it perhaps out of human respect? Did he have a fear of being ridiculous? I do not think that his actions on that night did him any honor. But who can judge?
The reading by the four girls was not exactly a good proclamation; the words of the message came out from their lips hurriedly, not pronounced correctly and with a schoolgirl cadence . . . Nevertheless, from that moment on, those who were really looking for a word from heaven as an exhortation or warning knew where to find it.
«I distinguished clearly» — said María Herrero «the childlike voice of Conchita reading the message . . . Afterwards, because the girls were not heard well, two men repeated the reading in a loud voice.»

• • •

And thus what had to be known at the time was
adequately proclaimed. Into the night at Garabandal — into the night of the world — flowed out words which, though they were very simple, were very much to the point. If because of their simplicity and lack of sensationalism, many would not pay attention to them, others who sought to be sons of the light would find in them material to nourish the highest meditation:

It is necessary to
make many sacrifices,
to do much penance,
It is necessary to visit the
Blessed Sacrament;
But first we must be very good.
And if we do not do this
a punishment will come upon us.
Already the cup is filling up;
and if we do not change,
a very great punishment
will come upon us.

31. This was signed by the four girls. Under her name, each one put her age: «Conchita González, 12 years. María Dolores Mazón, 12 years. Jacinta González, 12 years. Mari Cruz González, 11 years».

Saturday, May 23, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 111)

“You can tell the people on the 18th of October.”

H Hour

Before the middle of the afternoon many began to
take positions to assure themselves an advantageous place for the probable scene of the event. But there was a difference of opinion as to the location: some said that it would be at the Pines; others, that it would be in the calleja; and finally others, (they appeared to be the best informed) that it would be at the church.
Conchita, in speaking in her diary of the apparition of July 4th — the third apparition of the Virgin Mary — writes:
The Virgin was smiling as usual.
The first thing that she said to us was: Do you know what the writing that the Angel is carrying beneath him means?
And we exclaimed together: No, we don’t know!
And she said, It tells a message that I am going to tell you so that you can tell the people on the 18th of October.
And she told it to us.
And it is the following . . .
Later she explained what the message meant and how we had to say it.
She indicated to us that we had to say it at the door of the church . . .
And that on October 18 we should tell it to Fr. Valentín, so that he could say it at the Pines at 10:30 at night.
The Virgin told us to do it this way;
but the Commission . . .
We are accustomed to repeat frequently the proverb Man proposes but God disposes. On that key day at Garabandal this was reversed. Heaven proposed and earth disposed . . . And thus the thing came about. When we attempt to revise God’s designs, the results are never brilliant.
We do not know which members of the Commission were there — the weather was too inclement for all of them to come, though it was their duty — but surely one who was not missing was Father Francisco Odriozola, the man who had been acting as the motivating force of the group. Considering that they did not believe, it is not surprising that the Commission members felt a great distaste for these things and a desire to end them as soon as possible.
The night came down and they did not know what might happen to the great multitude, in total darkness, over such roads, and under the worst weather conditions. Why do you fear, men of little faith? the Lord could have said to them, too. Perhaps a prudence too human did not leave room in them for the matter of confidence in God and complete acceptance of what He has planned — something that is always decisive in the works of the spirit. Though they did not comprehend these things, why could they not have adhered exactly to what could some way be coming from above, and accept that mysterious challenge with all its conditions, behind which there could well be the sign that was sought?

The Commission said:
as there were many people,
and it was raining much,
and there was nowhere to shelter
the people,
it would be better to say the
message at 8:30 or 9:00.

It got dark quickly, not only because in the middle of October the days are noticeably short, but also because the sky was completely overcast. As it became dark, restlessness, if not actual impatience, began increasing in the tremendous multitude. What was going to happen there? Was there going to be something, or were they wasting their time? Few knew of the definite instructions from above that the girls had received months previously; on the other hand, almost all were aware that the affairs of Garabandal were accustomed to happen in the dark . . . The waiting was going to become for many hard to tolerate; not all had the best spirit.
At 8 o'clock, Father Valentín was no longer able to resist further pressure from the Commission, and went in search of the girls so as to perform the matter — not according to the instructions that the girls had received — but according to the directions given by the Commission. What should have occurred at the door of the church was forbidden (such was the way to better emphasize that the official ecclesiastic element had nothing to see in this) and everyone went rapidly to the Pines.(29)
The rumor spread immediately throughout the crowds: To the Pines! To the Pines! And the masses began to move toward them — many were already there — under a terrible downpour.
«We marched» — María Herrero tells us — «stumbling in the dark, swimming in a sort of flood of mud, stones and branches that was streaming down from the Pines. We fell, we rolled down sometimes, we climbed up on all fours, holding with our hands onto the big rocks on the ground or onto the bushes on the banks. Many were on the verge of giving up . . . And in spite of so many falls and stumbles, I know of no one who broke a bone or hurt himself in the least. Doesn't that seem astounding?»


Meanwhile Father Valentín got together with the
girls. It seems that at least Conchita offered him some resistance, since she was not conformed to doing things in this manner, but he obliged her to leave her home to go read the message.
Let us hear the witness again:

«I have to admit that I finished the ascent in a
rather bad mood. Between the fear that the unruly crowd caused me, the annoyance that they gave me along the way, questioning and questioning without ceasing, and the irritation of not finding a place there that I liked, I was appreciably upset. Finally I got situated behind the Pines, some 70 meters from them on the slope to the right; the crowd prevented me from getting closer. Everything was not badly seen, since there were many flashlights.
Later the fragile silhouettes of the four girls(30) suddenly appeared in the distance with the throng that surrounded them, protected by several pairs of guards on horseback.
While I was up on the hill, the icy rain that had drenched and almost blinded us stopped falling; the black, low-lying clouds began to be swept away by the wind, and the moon appeared. The pale light then illuminated the Pines and the group of guards, girls, priests, etc. that was below my point of observation. I have to admit that this had an immediate effect on me . . .»


29. This brings to mind a passage from Scripture (I Samuel 13:7- 14). The prophet Samuel has given King Saul instructions from God that were very precise as to the right time for himself and his city. Before engaging in combat with the Philistines, well known for their superiority in war, he was to wait in Gilgal for seven days until Samuel himself came to offer a holocaust to appease the Lord. But Saul did not wait till the seven days were up; on seeing that Samuel was not coming, and that his army was being demoralized, and that the Philistines could attack at any moment, he sought what was necessary for the sacrifice and offered up the holocaust himself.
Just as he was completing the offering of the holocaust, Samuel arrived, and Saul went forth to meet him and saluted him. And Samuel said to him: What have you done?
The justifications of Saul were futile; the prophet spoke: You have done foolishly, and have not kept the commandments of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. And if you had done this, the Lord would now have established your kingdom over Israel forever; but now your kingdom will not endure. And because he did not faithfully follow the ordinances of God, the reprobation of Saul began.

30. Thus, as is lost in a sea of humanity, under a dark sky,
unsupported before the magnitude of the events, the girls were truly a picture of weakness. What strength could those girls have who in normal circumstances would impress no one?

But the foolish things of the world had God chosen,
that He may confound the wise.
And the weak things of the world has God chosen,
that He may confound the strong.
And the base things of the world,
and the things that are contemptible,
has God chosen, and things that are not,
that He might bring to naught, things that are;
that no flesh should glory in his sight.
(Cor. 1: 27-29)

Friday, May 22, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 110)


Waiting for Heaven

The upcoming report of the way it was will illustrate
better than any general description what the climate was in the village during those hours of anticipation on that memorable day. The description is from the same witness.

«On arriving in the village next to Ceferino's
house, I put down my umbrella, and raising my eyes, I saw Loli behind a window on the upstairs floor. She was watching everything with that look of hers, so transparent, so pure. She did not seem to be much surprised by the crowds that were continuing to come. (I'm sure that she had never before seen such a crowd assembled together.) She must have been sitting; later I learned that she was suffering from an inflammation of her knee. I couldn't speak with her, since at the time I didn't have sufficient friendship with the girls, and even less with their parents, who were not inclined to conversations and confidences . . . and especially on that day when they had to defend her from the assault of countless inquisitive people.
A little later I met Elena García Conde from Oviedo who said to me, I am impressed. I spoke earlier with Loli and she suddenly exclaimed, “OH! IF THEY KNEW WHO WAS HERE AMONG THEM TODAY!" She said this in an exceptional manner! Please ask her whom she is talking about.
I intended to approach Loli; but there was no way. Her father, who has always been a good protection, was an even better one on that day.
Fortunately I was able to locate Father Valentín; he was going from one place to the next quite agitated and nervous; he seemed to be sunk in a sea of confusion. On one of his passes by I went up to him, and after the greetings he said, Heavens! I don't know what's going to happen here . . . I am really afraid of all these people. And they aren't going to like the message!
— Oh! Then you know the message?

— Yes, since yesterday afternoon . . . Conchita
told it to me.

— And what does it say? What does it say?

— You must wait. They have to read it this
evening. But I don't know . . . To me it appears . . . I don't know . . . It seems infantile, as from a little child. I am very worried, because of the people, who will expect . . . I don't know what.

I used the occasion to question him about Loli.
To whom could the girl be referring with those puzzling words?
He was surprised for a moment; he kept silent for a few seconds, as if thinking, and then said to me, I don't know, but it could be ST. JOSEPH,(23) since today is Wednesday . . .
Then I was the surprised one since I didn't know why I had thought that the mysterious personage whom Loli was speaking about could well have been either Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the very well-known and venerated Capuchin with the stigmata,(24) or John XXIII, who was still alive and at the peak of his popularity. They could have been supernaturally present at Garabandal by the gift of bilocation.(25) What relief that would have given for what was about to happen there!»

Doña María's reflections on the reason for Loli's words are no surprise: the atmosphere was such as to bring out the most extraordinary suppositions.
Learning that St. Joseph was there did not cause enough sentiment,(26) it seems to me, and there was less enthusiasm than if it had been voiced that Padre Pio or John XXIII were present. Nevertheless, thinking about it closely today, I believe that the special presence of the Glorious Patriarch on that day in Garabandal had to give it a new dimension of grandeur.
This would lead one to believe that what was occurring there had a significance truly ecumenical. It was the entire church that was involved. At the time nothing could have been more normal than the presence of the one who has been declared by the supreme hierarchy as the first Patron or Protector of the Universal Church.(27)
During those October days, in the church at Garabandal — just as in all the other religious edifices throughout Spain — after the daily rosary there resounded the beseeching words of a prayer:

To you, Blessed St. Joseph, we seek aid in
our tribulation, and having implored
the help of your most holy spouse, we
confidently seek also your intercession.

Turn your eyes compassionately on the

inheritance that Jesus Christ has acquired
with his blood.

Remove from us every stain of error and


Our most Powerful Protector, assist us

with your aid from heaven in this struggle
against the powers of darkness.

And as in former times you protected the

Child Jesus from imminent danger to his
life, so now defend the Holy Church of God
from the snares of our enemies and from
every adversity.

Who could say that this prayer, commanded
many years ago during the pontificate of the foresighted Leo XIII, has not reached its full significance in the time of Garabandal? The hour comes, overriding two epochs of the Church: the period of the monolithic, secure Council of Trent of the Counter reformation; and at least for the moment, the insecure, agitated and confused period that has followed Vatican II.(28) This hour of Garabandal could well be a preview of salvation against the gravest dangers that surround us . . . And at the time, the
presence there of OUR MOST POWERFUL PROTECTOR IN THIS STRUGGLE AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS would have a most definite reason and significance.

• • •

«The weather continued to worsen, and the
people sheltered themselves as well as they could in the houses and under the porch roofs. It should be recognized that the residents of the village tolerated the people as well as they could. And they had to exercise no small amount of charity and patience, since the crowds invaded everything, walked on the cultivated fields, and trampled on many plants. In spite of the considerable loss that all this entailed, I didn't hear
anyone complain, nor were incidents aroused. We can learn from this.
Heaven seemed to rage against us. A horrible cold began to join with the constant hard rain that culminated in a hailstorm, and then converted into slush toward 5 or 6 in the afternoon. Although I found refuge in a house where they gave me food, I wasn't able to put out of my mind the turbulent atmosphere of the streets and trails in which various languages could be heard, although naturally predominantly Spanish. (I believe that only among the religious was there a majority of foreigners.)
The comportment of the public wasn't uniform. There were many women who acted badly: they drank, they were dissipated, without a spirit of prayer . . . and some even were laughing at what could happen, giving it no importance or attributing it to the devil. The men generally showed more respect; and also the youth, who were there in great numbers.
The spectacle was certainly unusual; and it was easy to see that those who had come with good faith were happy, enthusiastic, with the greatest hopes; they prayed and they didn't care much about the inclemencies of the weather. And probably many of them hadn't even eaten . . .
Squads of mounted police guards were stationed in front of each of the visionaries' homes, preventing the entrance of the countless inquisitive people who sought at all costs to know, speak to, and kiss the girls, the real protagonists of this international convention. The only house which I was able to enter was that of Jacinta, whose mother Maria recognized me, and was helpful with a courtesy that I will never be able to forget.»

23. Among the days of the week, Thursday is the day given to the Eucharist; Saturday is dedicated to the Virgin; Wednesday is considered a day especially consecrated to St. Joseph. October 18th in 1961 actually fell on Wednesday.

24. This famous man of God died on September 23rd, 1968,
after having for 50 years borne visibly the stigmata of Christ impressed on his body.

His spiritual influence on souls has been enormous. The
process for his beatification and canonization has been undertaken. Today no one doubts his extraordinary sanctity; but during his lifetime he experienced an almost incredible misunderstanding and persecution from many people, even from those whom it would have been least expected. No less than four unfavorable declarations against him came out at various times from the Holy Office — the highest ecclesiastical authority. [Now Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Ed.]

25. The astounding miracle of one person being in two different places at the same time.

26. The reason for this was not that St. Joseph is of lesser importance, since he has always occupied the number one place in the ranks of the saints; but rather that everything that was expected on that day had to be sensational. And more than a new apparition, in a place so accustomed to apparitions, the unexpected presence of living people who were much talked about at the time would have surely caused a sensation.
27. This declaration or proclamation was made by the Pope of the Immaculate Conception, Pius IX, on the solemn feastday of December 8th, 1870.
28. Let me make this clear. I do not wish to speak derogatorily of Vatican II, nor can I speak that way. What was sought was a true updating of the Church and the conciliary documents tend in that direction for anyone who correctly understands them and tries to live them.

But it would be blind or näive not to recognize how the life
of the Catholic Church has been affected by the situations that have been brought about under the pretext of implementing Vatican II. Has not Paul VI himself spoken to us about self-destruction?

Because we have the faith, we are sure that the Church will
overcome all crises; but it is undeniable that in our time the Church is in the middle of a tremendous whirlwind.
At the time that the events that we are narrating were happening in Garabandal, final preparations for the Second Vatican Council were taking place; and just one year later, on October 11th, 1962, its inauguration was solemnly celebrated.