On the Way to Salvation

Reprinted with kind permission Dr. Brian Miller, St. Joseph Publications: SHE WENT IN HASTE TO THE MOUNTAIN by Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, O.F.M., CAP.

Those who believe in Garabandal, accepting the series of events that occurred there as coming from God through the Blessed Mother, will consider Garabandal as a new mystery of salvation or rather, a new and exceptional manifestation of the great mystery of salvation. That this is new and exceptional seems obvious, but not everyone fully understands the meaning of “mystery” and “salvation.” Just what are we dealing with here?

The long process of divine intervention on behalf of a creature so favored by God as the human being—drawing him out of the bad state into which he had fallen and placing him on the right road toward his final goal—constitutes salvation history. It is not a history easy to understand. To comprehend it in its true dimension and meaning, it is not enough to have high intelligence and a capability for good judgment, since the information that comes forth can be just as confusing as it is clear. And so our way through it is always between the light and the darkness: light that is sometimes marvelously bright, and darkness sometimes the blackest. Likewise in going through salvation history we continually encounter the mystery of God. And once more we find here the certain and enlightening truth of Scripture: “My ways are not your ways, nor My thoughts your thoughts; as the sky is above the earth, so…”

The history or mystery of salvation has its official chapters that give the theme or the key to understanding the material, and which make up the Bible, the only writing known and approved with complete authority. But there also have come out, and continue to come out, complementary chapters. Without these, the official writings of sacred scripture would be very difficult for most people to understand and consequently the unfolding of salvation history would not be recognized as a living reality.

We would do well to consider as one of these complementary chapters of the last times, what is being written—in lines not always clear and precise—by the “events” of Garabandal. Did not official revelation close with the death of the last apostle, St. John? While this is true, the history of salvation did not conclude with it, and the march of this mystery continues involving all people “for the rise or for the fall” (Lk 2:34) “even until the consummation comes” (Mt 13:39-49; 24:29-31). Just as God has intervened by actions and words of salvation from the beginning, so will He intervene until the end through Himself or through others: through His prophets, through His own Son,[Beginning of the Epistle to the Hebrews.] through the Blessed Mother. “I will be with you all days even until the end of time” (Mt 28:20).

It is the Blessed Mother whom He has sent to act at Garabandal, especially in the early days that we are now describing. But it appears immediately clear that her action—it could not be otherwise—is immersed in the general dynamics of “Salvation which comes to us from God” (Lk 1:77-79). We are facing a new manifestation of the great mystery of salvation that He has shown from the beginning to aid His human creatures.

The Mother of God and of all mankind has appeared again among us to repeat one more time in her own name and on behalf of Him Who sent her, Salus populi, ego sum; de quacumque tribulatione clamaverint ad me, ego exaudiam—“I am the salvation of the people; in whatever tribulation they call out to me I will hear them.” (Introit of the votive Mass Pro quacumque necessitate)

News of the events soon began to spread out into the surrounding areas, and many who were undergoing trials carried them to Garabandal. I have no evidence that the Virgin performed any obvious miracle at the time to free from physical or material tribulation, those coming for aid. But there are innumerable persons who give revealing testimony that they did not go to her in vain, and that she certainly heard.

There were many mysterious answers given by the Virgin to questions arising from those tortured in the most hidden areas of their conscience.[One example among a thousand: The Talavera brothers, who owned a hairdressing salon in Astillero (Santander), told, with full knowledge of the matter, about what happened to a man from Aguilar de Campoo. He had gone up to Garabandal during the summer of 1961. While seeing Conchita in ecstasy, he had mentally petitioned the Virgin for an answer to something that was really bothering him. The ecstasy ended, and none of the girls came to give him any message. Somewhat hurt, he returned home. A month passed and he again felt the desire to visit Garabandal. There he was able to witness an ecstasy of Mari Loli that affected him. After the trance, the man had lost himself among the anonymous spectators (he did not know any of the visionaries personally) when the girl went up to him, and told him on behalf of the Virgin words which were the exact response to what he had requested a month earlier, only mentally, and in front of another of the girls! This man was ready to swear that he absolutely had not spoken with anyone about his most secret petition.

The Virgin was coming to assist, not to entertain. On August 31, among the many things that the girls were told to ask the Virgin, one was whether it was good for the people to ask questions of her. She answered yes, but that she was not going to answer pointless questions. On more than one occasion, questions of this type were made by people without understanding and without good intentions.]

And what peace, consolation of soul,[Father José Ramôn Garcia de la Riva, who personally experienced many of the little wonders of Garabandal, mentions in his Memorias: “One day I placed a white metal crucifix on the little table where Loli had arranged the articles to present to the Virgin. Since Loli didn’t see this, she sought all day to learn who the owner was. She questioned one of my friends about this. During the night I was seated in Conchita’s kitchen when Loli arrived, in ecstasy, accompanied by her father and other people. She knelt down, presented the crucifix she held in her hand to be kissed, and stayed quietly in front of me. She wanted to give me something, but because of my near-sightedness and being more intent on looking at her face than at her hands, I didn’t notice it until Ceferino said to me, ‘Look, she’s giving you a crucifix.’ It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life! It was the metal crucifix that I had left in her house in the morning, without her seeing it, and which had so intrigued her throughout the day.”]and security went out toward the countless participants of those almost daily ecstasies that some considered an excess that could not be justified, or ridiculed as a game that could not be accepted as coming from God. Those who desired to approach God with simplicity of heart (Wis 1:1) found at Garabandal what they sought. . . . .

Reprinted with kind permission Dr. Brian Miller, St. Joseph Publications: SHE WENT IN HASTE TO THE MOUNTAIN by Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, O.F.M., CAP.

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