Before we even began to pray about building The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages or other major plans, a great amount of prayer went into “first” trying to understand what our community’s mission was and what was it that Our Lady wanted for us. After months passed into years and still praying, one day during a severe rain storm on the spot where Our Lady appeared in the Field Thanksgiving Day, a parable and its understanding was given in an instant. It was written down. It speaks of the Church and what we now understand our role here to be in Our Lady’s plans.
Once in a village there was a very old church. There was a law stating there could be only one church designated on the site where the church stood. This posed a great problem because the old church was in a bad state of decline. The old church could not be torn down and rebuilt because there would be no place to worship during its construction. Therefore, it was renovated age after age. But there came a time when the very structure itself became so decayed that it became impossible to make it sound. Nevertheless, there was no choice but to continually try to make it sound. New beams would be brought in only to be contaminated by rotted beams attached to them. However, a few beams, by nature’s own design, were very hard and were able to resist the rot. New stones throughout the ages were also laid, some next to stones which were crumbling and the new stones also became contaminated and crumbled. However, by nature’s own design, some stones were very hard and able to resist the rot even though next to the contaminated beams and stones and these stones gave some continued strength to the structure.
Some who went to worship in the church were struck from falling beams or crumbling stones. Some were injured to the point of saying they would not come back. And, indeed, they and many others left the church. Those who remained faithful prayed to God and asked, “What are we to do, Lord? Our own church is falling down upon us. We have continually worked to strengthen it but the church cannot be rebuilt. There is so much decay.” The people were distraught, sad, and in grief at seeing their centuries-old church going to ruin. Their suffering and tears moved God’s mercy and a great light shone into the hearts of a few of them. They met and told the others, “God has given a plan to give us a new church. A great light shone into our hearts and revealed it.” Great wonderment of how this could come about swept through those gathered. The enlightened group answered, “We are to build a foundation around the existing church. By building around and over the existing church, the original structure would be left in tact so that all can continue to worship while a new, strong church can be built on this same site around it. Once finished, we will be able to retrieve the good stones and beams from the old church and build altars and decorate the inside of the new church.”
Indeed, they did as God revealed and a beautiful church rose up around the old one. The bad material was cast away. The good beams and stones were kept making beautiful altars and architectural features on the inside. All marveled because this was the same church, new, rebuilt from the outside, and yet the same old church, devoid of the rot.
This parable speaks of the one, true, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church; of the impossibility of leaving it once you have learned this truth; of the crisis it faces with its need of rebirth, and yet too many priests and nuns, who are represented by the beams and stones, stand in the way of rebirth from the inside because of their disobedience to the faith and to its doctrine. New beams and stones being brought in represent men and women entering the novitiate, who are contaminated in the seminaries and convents by bad teaching or by those “beams” and “stones” who are already in the Church structure and are disobedient. However, some existing priests, nuns, and new novices are able to resist this contamination, by “nature’s own design” which is by their own and others’ prayers. This gives them the strength to be pure and true to the faith, thereby, resisting contamination and giving continued strength to the Church. Those who were struck by those falling “beams” and “stones” are those who have left the Church because they were led astray by those who teach and pervert doctrines or those who went to other faiths because those who are in the Church structure teach a watered-down Christianity. The faithful are those who recognize the great treasure of the sacraments and the Catholic faith. They are in anguish over the ill reverence and lack of respect for the Eucharist and many other abuses. The faithful are frustrated because they know the cure for the Church but because of those who entrenched themselves in positions of authority, the faithful are prevented from implementing a plan. They are at a loss as to what can be done about so many abuses and bad teachings, not only in the Church, but also in the Catholic schools, religious orders, etc. In their suffering, they cry out to God - “What can be done? Our Church is being destroyed from within.” God answered their prayers, giving them a special light in their hearts, which is Our Lady’s coming to Medjugorje to not only rebuild the Church, but to save the world through a second Pentecost.
It will be done just as in St. Francis’ time, through the faithful laity. They will rebuild the Church, through Our Lady’s plans, from the outside and yet remain obedient and true to the one, true Church. Just as St. Francis’ mission started from the outside, absorbing the Church and changing it, Our Lady’s plans will also be the same, by building over it. The saints will be those priests and nuns who are in the Church structure, who under obedience, suffer greatly, while their community, order, and diocese go astray. Yet they must remain faithful to their vows, while satan inflicts untold sufferings upon them, by pulling his master stroke of disobedience through obedience. They represent the retrieved hard stones and beams which will adorn the renewed Church as altars and architectural features. God’s justice will cast away the bad beams and stones. All will rejoice because God answered the cries of the faithful and rose up a strong renewed Church through Our Lady.
We know what is said here is very strong, but anyone in a spirit of prayer will recognize its truth and reality. If you do not, pray, God will soon show you first hand through experiencing it yourself. We cannot speak of any other elements in the Church or what their missions are, but we have discerned this is our mission. It was divinely given. Just as a message given from Mary in Medjugorje except heard and seen from within the heart, crisp and unmistaken, and radiating with peace. God’s voice, strong yet gentle, given in the midst of a raging storm, just as a storm faces society today and the Church as well. It was given after years of deep prayer, seeking, asking for Our Lady to show what She wanted of us here. Our Lady has shown us, here at Caritas, the way to go about it. We feel this parable is a gift from Our Lady for us to understand that She wishes us to work from the outside structure while remaining totally obedient to the doctrines and magisterium of the Catholic Church and to the Holy Father, and by doing so Our Lady can protect Her mission here from satan stopping it… for the Church itself gives us the right as a lay community to do what our community does and stay faithful Catholics and yet remain faithful to what Our Lady has taught us.