…about the apparition of Our Lady at La Salette is being asked of Yr Obdt. Svt. over at the Register.
For those interested, Jacques Maritain tells his story in chapter 3 of his Notebooks
It is approved. It is not required to believe in it. It has chilling prophecies. In the end, everything points back to: Prayer, Penance, good works, sacrifices.
Though I generally tend to accept apparitions that the Church has judged “worthy of belief,” La Salette has been a sticking point with me as well. Not so much for the reason the reader gives, although I can see how the idea of our merciful Savior being a wrathful Judge prior to Judgment Day could be debated.
I was more bothered by the fact that the children did not live exemplary lives afterward, as with the seers of most valid apparitions. Also, the way the apparition started speaking in high French but then, realizing the children did not understand her, switched to country “patois.” That seems very strange, since in other apparitions Our Lady spoke the language of the seer. I’m pretty sure she spoke patois to St. Bernadette, Nahuatl to St. Juan Diego, etc. Our heavenly Mother would not make such a mistake and, if the seeming language confusion was somehow deliberate, I don’t see what it accomplished. Heavenly apparitions don’t do frivolous things; there is a point to what they do and say and they make that point.
I’m not saying I totally reject La Salette, mind you. I’m just doubtful about that particular private revelation, though good arguments could probably convince me to accept it. At any rate, I accept (with human faith, of course,) Guadalupe, Ocotlan, Siluvia, the Miraculous Medal, Green Scapular, Lourdes, Our Lady of Good Help, Pontmain, Knock, Fatima, Beauraing, Banneaux, Zeitoun, Cuapa, and the approved apparitions of Kibeho. That list is not exhaustive and it’s just the Marian apparitions; I’ll leave out the list of Our Lord’s apparitions so this post doesn’t get too long. Anyway, I think I have plenty of other private revelations to learn about, even without La Salette.
Our Lady of Lourdes also switched from standard French to patois to accomodate Bernadette.
I don’t remember reading that; maybe some popular accounts don’t mention it? Interesting. I wonder what the point of that could be?
Even if the patois matter is answered, though, there are still some odd things about La Salette. Like when the apparition said, “I gave you six days to work, I kept the seventh for myself, and no one wishes to grant it to me. This is what weighs down the arm of my Son so much.”
*Mary* gave us six days to work and kept the seventh for herself? Um, no; God did that. Why would she speak as though she were the Creator when she isn’t? One could argue that she was prophesying, but then why didn’t she precede it with “Thus saith the Lord…”?
We would probably have to fall back on the “seers can misunderstand/misremember” private revelations thing to make any sense of it. Maybe she did say that God said it but the seers forgot.
I had a similar thing when I first heard of “Our Lady Akita” as it seemed well too “scary”, for lack of a better word, to me. The one message being
“If men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the Bishops and the priests.”