Section 2: Giving Rise To A Need For Discernment
The Word Of God Vs. The Lady Of Fatima's Words
As the body of Christ, the early Church lived according to God's word in the power of the Holy Spirit. We can see in Scripture that anything which interfered with the Spirit or the Word was immediately and strongly dealt with. According to God's plan, the Church of any century is the fulfillment of His intention to gather a people to Himself who will fulfill the three-fold desire of the Triune God: a family of adopted sons for the Father, a many-membered body for the Son and a temple of living stones for the Holy Spirit. This has always been God's desire, and through the centuries, some have continued to live as the early Church, according to His word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
How did God determine to bring about His plan? By giving us ONE Savior who would fill us with ONE Spirit to lead us to the ONE Father according to the ONE Word which contains the ONE plan of God, all working in unity to bring about His eternal purposes. A change or distortion in belief concerning any of the four is bound to cause changes and distortions in belief about the others. In our study of Marian practices in the Catholic Church, one fact became apparent to us. The word of God has been changed through additions of meaning, unscriptural assumptions, and distortion of God's facts. As a necessary result, the roles of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are weakened. Mary is unscripturally presented, for example, as "the divine Mother,"(1) the "Hope of Sinners,"(2) and "the most faithful comfortress of sinners"(3), when, in God's facts, God is our Father (John 20:17; Romans 8:17), Jesus is our Hope (Romans 15:12; Colossians 1:27), and the Holy Spirit our Comforter (John 14:18; Acts 9:31). This distortion of Scripture in Mariology is quite clear in most cases, but because of the intricate structure of teaching built around Marian devotion over the centuries, and because of the sentimental factor at its very core, many Catholics, even those who know Scripture, cannot look it right in the eye and call it distortion. In contrast, these same people have no problem with identifying occult or cultic teaching in the light of God's word; they see the deletions and additions, make their conclusions, and turn away from them.
In our first booklet, "Ask For The Ancient Paths," we showed that the Lamb of God is the beginning, the center and the soon completion of God's plan, a plan beginning in "eternity past" and ending in "eternity future." The Virgin Mary's part in that plan was to bring the Savior into the world so He could restore man to a position where the Father's plan could be completed. Jesus was to die, be buried, raised from the dead and be glorified as the Lamb who would prosper God's plan (Isaiah 53:10-11). Then Jesus was to send the Holy Spirit to empower believers to preach the gospel of reconciliation to God through His shed blood, while awaiting His return. When the Lamb of God returns, He will judge the world and manifest God's kingdom in a visible way. Scripture clearly relates this plan, and we can see that every person portrayed in Scripture either advanced or tried to deter God's purposes. Mary cooperated in His plan in a wonderful way, but her role went no further than giving birth, and being a good mother, to the Savior. Indeed, all generations call her blessed among women. She was twice-blessed, as Jesus' mother and as one of His first disciples as a member of the early Church.
(1) The Complete Ascetical Works of St. Alphonse de Liquori, 22 vols. (n.p. , vol. 7-8: The Glories Of Mary, 4th reprint rev., trans., ed. Rev. Eugene Grimm, C.SS.R., 1931, p. 123, citing Par an. fid. p I, c. 18.
(2) Grimm, citing Serm. 194, E.B. app., p. 120.
(3) Grimm, p. 130.