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I have been re-reading Morris West’s “The Clowns of God,” 1981. The story is about a vision given to a Pope Gregory of the imminent end of the world and the Church’s response to that vision. One of the things West talks about is the Church’s need for ‘evidence’ or ‘verification’ of the reality or truth of a vision.

This, of course, makes me think of Medjugorje.

The visions have gone on so long that many disbelieve for that reason. Pope Francis himself, has been said to comment that ‘Our Lady does not drop in periodically and leave messages like a postman.’ The sun dancing and rosaries that turn to gold are insufficient as verifiable evidence.

Our Lady has told us that when she stops visiting Medjugorje, she will no longer appear anywhere in the world. She has also promised an indelible sign that her visits have been real.

But she also brings an apocalyptic message – when she stops her visits, the world as we know it, will come to an end. Like most of the people in West’s book, no one (aside from the devoted believing few) pays any attention to her message. Most pooh pooh the message and declare the messenger insane. (We know the Medjugorje visionaries are not insane.)

1981 was the time of the cold war when anyone could press the red button and destroy the earth. Everyone was worried about that. We have lived with that threat for so long, we are no longer concerned about it – despite the fact that the possibility remains very real. Our Lady is trying very hard to get us to change from our self-absorbed lives and turn back to God. Instead, we continue to pursue lives bent on pleasure rather than faith; privilege rather than responsibility; emotion rather than reason. We are truly headed for self-destruction if we don’t change our ways. It is so sad how few listen, believe and act.

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