Ok, my second post is kind of a rather sharp one for me as it was one of the decising factors for me in making my final decisions to enter into the True Church.
When one takes a look at all of the major and most of the monor "Marian Apparitions" exhibited in the Roman Church over the last one thousand years what would you say the major point of all of these "revalations" consists in? Surprising enough, 9 out of 10 apparitions are an exhortation to the RC Church to "Pray, pray, pray!"
At first glance when you read of these many appearances of the Virgin Mother to the world it doesnt seem to juimp out at you. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20, its like watching one of those 3-D movies with those nifty little glasses, everything jumps off of the screen straight at you.
The RC Church seems (to me) to be obsessed with apparitions and visions and miricles these days. It is sad in the light of the warning of St. John of the Cross and his teaching regarding visions and the like when he says:
"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."
Now, I am not saying that all of these visions were demonicly inspiried or that they are all the work of the devil, but what I am saying is when one takes a look at the results of all of these visions, one sees what the RC Church has replaced with Faith. It seems to me that it just could be said that the reason that many of your "other religions", protestants in particular here, do not seem to understand the honor and veneration that we attribute to the Virgin Mother and the Saints, they jump right at the visions and the apparitions when they attempt to disprove the "Catholic claim of superiority."
There is, to me at least a part of me that says that if the Roman church had kept the orthodox faith then they would have kept the rich traditions of prayer that the Orthodox Church holds so dear. I have seen many of the "new inventions" of the "prayer life" of the RC's and it as well forced me to see the "issues" (I refrain from my orignal choice of word: evil, because I am trying to keep my personal thoughts out of posts such as this although there is some that I can not deny that will obviously come out in my writing) with this "new springtime" that the RC Church is experiencing. I tie this in with their apparitions and their visions because if I may draw a direcr correlation between prayer, the abscence thereof, the apparitions, the call to prayer by the Virgin Mother, the choice of prayer in the RC church and their "answers" to therequest of the Virgin Mother, the apparition that I can not get out of my head at this point is Fatima. "Prayer and Penance" was the point of this message and the sad part is that this message was repeated and repeated. I am not even going to bother going into the "Third Secret Mess" because it detracts from my point, but am I making sense here? Thoughts and ideas are more than welcome, good or bad, throw the book at me.