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Dr. Zoltán Kovács - THE THEOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF THE SPIRITUAL DIARY OF THE FLAME OF LOVE


Dr. Zoltán Kovács[1]
 

The Theological Examination

of the

Spiritual Diary of the Flame of Love

 

1.     Introduction

When conducting the theological examination of the messages found in the Spiritual Diary of Mrs. Kindelmann, we first of all briefly review the contents of the Spiritual Diary, along with the form in which Madame Erzsébet could have received the messages, including – based on our best knowledge – the relevant human, spiritual, moral and psychic background. After this we will examine the concept and phenomenon of the “Flame of Love” and “Blinding Satan”, and then pass on to evaluate the messages according to the relevant and official directions of the Holy See. During my work I have used the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, entitled Normæ S. Congregationis pro Doctrina Fidei de modo procedendi in iudicandis præsumptis apparitionibus ac revelationibus (issued on 25th February 1978).[2]

 

2. What Are the Contents of the Spiritual Diary?

The “Spiritual Diary of the Flame of Love” contains the private revelations received by Mrs. Károly Kindelmann, born Erzsébet Szántó (1912-1985) and from now on: Madame Erzsébet, between 1961 and 14th March 1983. Madame Erzsébet collected these messages in four volumes.[3] She attributes these messages mostly either to Jesus Christ, or to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but also mentions her guardian angel and other angels, too (conversations, warnings, awakenings; cf I/47.52; I/61; II/25.70; III/121.124.198.226), also dialogues with Satan (cf. II/50-51; III/209; III/228)[4], or  spiritual combat (cf. I/111.113; II/3.13.61.64.66.69.75.77; III/161), and finally the written summary of her own thoughts and inner struggles (cf. II/52-56)

 

3. The Form and transparency of the Messages

In most cases Madame Erzsébet received the messages in the form of an allocution (locutio cordis)[5], which appear in the context of mystical experiences, spiritual struggles, mostly in the context of prayer or contemplation.[6]

          It is very common that Mary “accompanies” the clairvoyant, or those people to whom she – in one way or another – addresses the messages. Also, in the life of Madame Erzsébet, the reception of the messages is not bound to a certain place or time.[7] Naturally, sensing the allocutios is more intense in the state of grace or in a prayerful atmosphere, but she abundantly received them also during her everyday work or while travelling (cf. II/6.19.48.108; III/127.199). The figure of Mary in Madame Erzsébet’s psyche is not a “static image”, and the Blessed Virgin talks to her as a dynamic, spiritual, life-like reality, as a “living person”[8] in a glorified state.

          The thoughts recorded in the Spiritual Diary are mostly clear and coherent, the chains of logic are traceable, the form of writing is clear, orderly and readable everywhere. This is very different from the usual written revelations of  psychopaths  

 

4. The Human, Moral and Spiritual Qualities of
Madame Erzsébet based on the Spiritual Diary

          We know that after the Easter of 1945 Madame Erzsébet raised her children as a widow, and with honest and heavy physical work she was able to provide for her family and teach her children real human and Christian values.  For her struggles she drew strength from her faith.[9]

          Madame Erzsébet “lived in the present”. The Spiritual Diary does not contain any utopian thoughts, and even the small number of “apocalyptic” -type messages or future perspectives are clean, moderate and well placed in the context of theology. Likewise the contents of the writings are not characterised by nostalgic mentioning of the past, depicting people who are already dead, or harking back to past life situations. The author of the Spiritual Diary is a child of her own time, realistically observing the mentality of her era and society. Adjusting to it she tries to create a balance between her spiritual life and “worldly life” – that is to carry out the duties of her state in life. For the dutiful fulfilling of the latter she is capable even of subordinating her own spiritual ambitions (cf. IV/22). Her sense of responsibility, willpower and freedom are penetrated by Christian morality.

          The text bears witness to the mature spiritual life of Madame Erzsébet. Her relationship to God is very living and orderly, her spirituality has definitive Carmelite characteristics.[10] The simplicity of her style of writing and the usage of words, the inaccurate usage of theological expressions and the great number of spelling mistakes can be linked to the low level of her education (she received only the first four years of elementary school)[11] . However these errors do not mean a great difficulty when judging the contents of the Diary.

          The presence of spiritual guides and confessors is conspicuous in the life of Madame Erzsébet. Among her spiritual guides we can find very well-trained priests, too.[12] She has regular confessors who know her. She can completely subordinate her will to their advice, in which I seem to discover a willingness to be obedient. This obedience also has its importance when judging the messages.[13]

          In her spiritual life one can trace both the experiences of grace through deep spiritual experiences and spiritual dryness (cf. I/69), temptations, and times of immeasurable spiritual darkness.[14] But the tendency of spiritual growth remains constant even in these times[15]. She can also live in darker, more critical, dryer spiritual periods, the experiences of which are also fruitfully built into her spiritual life[16] (e.g. she learns humility, patience, reliance on God, and accepts suffering as bearing the Cross and  co-operation with the Redeemer[17]). In these phenomena I did not encounter any deviances from normality. The spiritual life of Madame Erzsébet is not characterised by pathological extremism, even though some problematic symptoms can be found (cf. II/52-56).

          A great number of biblical references can be found in the Spiritual Diary, almost on every page. The author deeply meditated on the Word of God; from which her spiritual life draws strength.

          She also often refers to liturgical songs (cf. I/86,87,74,7,87), and even some elements of the liturgy appear in the messages (e.g. to blend in and to deepen in the presence of Christ, just like “the drop of water in the wine”; I/26 ).

          The importance of the Eucharist, attending Mass daily, adoration and visiting the Blessed Sacrament have a central role in her spiritual life (cf. I/73).

          From the point of Mariology the learning and exemplary living of the spirituality of the Magnificat cannot be omitted.[18] In the life of Madame Erzsébet  the smallness, poverty and the simple lifestyle of the lower classes, little education, the ignorance of the things of the world, the inner incentive for fulfilling duties, the proper appreciation of human life, the family and the work are all present without a doubt[19], along with living them in an exemplary way, with faith and unconditional trust in God. Her faith gave her a strong moral calibre. She even reflected on the difficulties with a thanksgiving (“eucharistic”) spirituality[20], which is also the fruit of a prayerful life and the unique spirituality of the Magnificat.[21]

          Characteristic of Madame Erzsébet is her love for the Church in all her  behaviour, evident in her obedience towards her bishop, spiritual guides and confessors[22], despite her character – as she herself confesses – which is “quite headstrong” (cf. I/26), and which she tries to fight against. Madame Erzsébet– according to the messages in the Spiritual Diary – is asked by Jesus and Mary to pass on the messages through the pastors of the Church. She has to go to them, she has to be united to them, co-operate with them and she cannot act arbitrarily[23](cf. I/47-48). The dynamism of this new spirituality also has to take place within the framework of the Church, from the national shrines, to be precise (cf. I/49). The sense of spiritual responsibility of Madame Erzsébet along with her prayers for her parish is conspicuous[24] (cf. I-103, III/236). She also has to pray for deceased priests (cf. I/114). Her need for praying for the souls of priests and vocations shall be valued as an integral part of her Church-centred behaviour (cf. I/104, III/159).

          When passing on the messages, I did not encounter the obsessive-compulsive tone of “false prophets”, according to which the content of the messages is almost “dogmatic”, unchangeable, and which they have to accomplish at all costs and where the only true interpreter can be its direct recipient. On the contrary, the behaviour of Madame Erzsébet was rather withdrawn, she does not want to attract attention because of the messages. She handles her own unworthiness with the fact that the messages are attributable to the grace of God, not her own excellence and with humility. Many times, we see a kind of “healthy” doubt, whether she is mixing her own thoughts with the supernaturally received messages (cf.II/119; III/124-125.127.183.193.213). This attitude can be considered as positive.

 

5. The Physical and Psychical State of Madame Erzsébet

Madame Erzsébet lived a disciplined life as a result of the hard, physical work she had to do in providing for her family. Many times, she writes about the strict fast she did for many days, which she takes very well (cf. I/77.81; II/55.116; III/146.170.193.239; IV/7), although in the last years of her life she was clearly ailing (cf. III/223).

          Based on the Diary we have no knowledge about any lasting drug effect, or any document-based psychological illness, which would have affected the psychical state of Madame Erzsébet during the time of receiving and writing down the messages.  In the Spiritual Diary Madame Erzsébet mentions three times seeking out a neuropath, as asked by her confessor. The first (Horánszky MD) listened to Madame Erzsébet with interest (cf. II/102-103), and had a positive attitude about her patient. We do not know his diagnosis, because the doctor – according to the Diary – informed the confessor of Madame Erzsébet in writing (cf. II/103). The second expert (Szirtes MD) received the patient with doubts and a materialist attitude, according to Madame Erzsébet. As a therapy, she took some soothing pills for a couple of days.[25] The treatment was abandoned a few days later on the advice of the doctor, because nausea appeared, as a side effect. Madame Erzsébet sought out Szirtes MD once more, when he told her to stop self-suggestion (cf. II/104). In III/221-223 she mentions seeing a third doctor, who pointed out that the nervous system of Madame Erzsébet responded very gently to the surrounding events, and takes on other peoples’ sufferings.  However he did not find any neurological changes.[26] Apart from these, we do not know about any other diagnoses or treatments.

          I have not experienced any mental anomalies that could put into doubt her credibility. The shape and characteristics of the Virgin Mary appear in the psyche of Madama Erzsébet as intact, and the ancient pattern of motherhood (which is crucial in the visualisation of the character of Mary, as mother)[27]is present without any harm. In the writings of Madame Erzsébet we encounter neither a “threatening Mary”, nor one who would use her motherly gentleness in contrast to a strict, judging God. Even if we find such elements in which Mary seems to “withhold the punishing hand of her Son” (I/92), these – based on the context – refer to the elements present in the popular piety of the era of Madame Erzsébet, in the prayers and in the practices of simple people, but which do not constitute a theologically serious error.[28] The figure of Mary appears balanced and in harmony with the characteristics found in the Church’s devotion to Mary. Madame Erzsébet does not add any strange elements.[29]

 

6. The Theological Evaluation of the Messages

6.1 Do We Have Sufficient Information?

          The factors provided so far, which can be considered as the context of the mystical phenomenon give enough ground for judging the messages. The messages themselves were also drawn up for the most part in an intelligible way, or such that in the context the clarity of their meaning becomes obvious.

          Many written testimonies and a number of still living, or deceased witnesses prove that the social, historical and personal background of the messages found in the Spiritual Diary is in harmony with the reality.[30] The members of the worldwide-spread movement, built around the messages, talk about similar spiritual experiences.[31]

 

6.2 The Concept of the Flame of Love

The concept “Flame of Love” does not appear in Revelation, but its contents and nature can be derived from a number of passages of the Scriptures, which refer to the presence of God, his love and the “bursting into flames” of the hearts of those men who meet him. Just a few examples: Moses and the burning bush (Ex 3,1-7); “I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!” (Lk, 12,49); “'Did not our hearts burn within us?” (Lk 24,32); “he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mt 3,11);For our God is a consuming fire (Heb12,29); (one like a Son of man) …his eyes like a burning flame (Rev 1,13-14 cf. 19,12).

          The messages of the Spiritual Diary take for granted the veneration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary[32], because the Flame of Love originates from the heart of Mary. The veneration of the Heart of the Blessed Virgin has a significant position in the universal Marian devotion.[33] This kind of devotion cannot be separated from the veneration of the Heart of Jesus[34], on the contrary, in recent times it draws a lot from the elements of the latter.[35]

          Autodefinitio is often part of certain messages and apparitions (e.g. in her apparitions in Lourdes, the Blessed Virgin calls herself the Immaculate Conception). The Spiritual Diary contains only one such auto-definition, when Mary calls herself “the beautiful ray of dawn” (II/100).[36] According to the messages Mary speaks about the Flame of Love in the context of her own heart. As she says, the Flame of Love of her Heart is “Jesus Christ himself”[37], the nature of which is – as I see it – best explained by Lajos Antalóczi. We are talking about grace, he says.[38] The Flame of Love is introduced by Madame Erzsébet as a grace of God. Through the pouring of the Flame of Love the recurring attacks of Satan fail. So, the Flame of love is one of the graces of God, which breaks the power of the evil spirit, and thus helps the spiritual growth of believers and strengthens them on the path toward salvation (especially in their hour of death), and after death it helps the process of purification.[39] The concept that through the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Blessed Virgin the fire of the love of God and men burns, is not a new spiritual experience, and the Spiritual Diary is not the first to write about it.[40] What is really new in the Diary is a description of the pouring out of the Flame of Love and its intensity, and the bidding prayer attached to it (cf. IV/36).

According to the Spiritual Diary, the “grace” of the Flame of Love (we shall discuss this phrase later) pours out also to those, who prepare to depart from earthly life during the time of the prayer vigils[41] Grace pours out to the dying, Satan is blinded – that is, he loses his power, and thus their souls are saved from damnation through penance starting from the grace of the Lord (I/110). It is conspicuous that the pouring out of the Flame of Love is also a great help for the souls in Purgatory – the Church suffering (cf. I/34,115; II/15-16).

In other places we can read in the Diary that the Flame of Love pours out though the Wounds of Christ (cf. I/39), which “blinds” the devil (we will talk about this in detail later), and thus many souls are set free from damnation.[42] Mary fights for souls in this process, too.[43] “Blinding” Satan results also in the liberation of souls. Accepting the Flame of Love – as a grace – is also a mission: one has to transfer it from heart to heart (cf. I/39; III/140). It also has to be taken overseas (cf. I-104). “Passing on”[44] the Flame of Love is a missionary task, because it is a real participation in the dissemination of the work of salvation (cf. I/63). For this humility is required, which is many times the fruit of being humiliated (cf. I/112). Its progress shall not be “announced”, one has to do it silently and humbly (cf. I/116-II/1) and anyone can do it. (cf. II/1).

A phrase, attributed to the Blessed Virgin, which is understandable only with a certain difficulty, is that  “since the Word incarnated, there was no movement of such a grand scale on my part, which would have come to you as I send you the Flame of Love of my Heart” (cf. I/84).[45]

The explosive pouring out of the Flame of Love to the whole world – according to another message – is the “biggest miracle” of Mary (II/18),  because it will destroy  hatred, and put out “the fire with fire”[46] (III/203). The fire of hatred will be destroyed by the even more powerful flame of love.

The spreading of the Flame of Love  - as the Diary says – will inspire people to have a deeper devotion to Mary, and that is why the Blessed Virgin “herself” asks – through Madame Erzsébet – that the competent leaders of the Church should not  hinder the pouring out of the Flame of Love (cf. II/109).

The Flame of Love knows no boundaries: it spreads to every country and nation, even to the non-baptised.[47] It is a help of grace for the members of the Church suffering and the Church militant (cf. II/120).

It is strong, but understandable phrase, which says that Mary “cannot contain in her Heart” the Flame of Love, and she desires so much for it to be poured out on many men to accept it and pass it on[48] (cf. III/129).

According to the message the Flame of Love will be disseminated on earth by self-sacrificing and prayerful souls (cf. III/204). For those, who really accept the grace offered by the outpouring of the Flame of Love, in the hour of their death Satan will be “blinded”, the dying would be filled with grace and the Flame of Love will induce repentance, helping souls to find salvation (cf. III/216).

The phrase Flame of Love in the messages of the Spiritual Diary corresponds to the main criteria of the spirituality, which begins with veneration of the Heart of Mary: it explores the spiritual depths of universal Marian devotion, and at the same time transforms us into the likeness of Christ and His Mother. From those who make contact with it, the Flame of Love calls upon them to put order in their spiritual and moral lives and to learn Marian spirituality; and above all it brings them nearer to God, and to perfection in Christian spirituality.[49]

 

6.3 “Blinding” Satan

 We find a strange phrase in the Spiritual Diary, which appears in many messages talking about  the “blinding”of Satan (cf. I/39.59.63.83.109.110; II/33.36.90.102; III/125.126.130.140.152.198.234.236). This is one of the most evident “consequences” of the outpouring of the Flame of Love. The tone is very symbolic (for further details see: 6.5) and anthropomorphic, but the content becomes clear within the context. Satan (temporarily) loses his power, his strength to lead souls to damnation, and temptations in souls lessen or cease. We are not speaking about exorcism, but about a grace, which frees the soul against the temptations of the Evil One. As an example from the Bible let us look at the scene from the book of Revelation, when the woman, robed in the Sun, was saved from “the dragon” (cf. Rev. 12,5-6) together with her son by the intervention of God. In this way grace offers protection against evil and renders it powerless against man who is tempted.[50]

The exorcisms of Jesus described in the Bible verify that Satan “suffers” from the pouring out of the graces of God, he loses his power and “abilities”. But also in the Spiritual Diary this does not come about only because of some one, new thing (praying the prayer of the Flame of Love), but rather through the whole Christian life. This is not a new reality, because the Diary itself says that for example “participating in holy communion increases the blinding of Satan on the greatest scale” (II/33). This confirms the idea that Holy Mass is the main source of winning graces. So, “blinding Satan” gives a picturesque description of the effect of grace on Satan. The Spiritual Diary  calls the “blinding” of Satan through the Flame of Love as a new gift of grace, a “new instrument” (I/37). This is helped also by accepting sufferings as a sacrifice, and also by “work offered to the glory of God in a state of grace” (cf. II/36). It is striking that the Spiritual Diary emphasises the importance of both prayer and work, so it is not a one-sidedly spiritual. She says “during the day, offer your work to the glory of God. This offering in the state of grace intensifies the blinding of Satan” (II/36).

It is a further and balanced characteristic of the messages that they do not over-emphasise the power of evil. Some strong phrases, however, may allow the conclusion about the rule of Satan in the souls, but the context makes it clear that we are not talking about generating fear. The Diary does not exaggerate the power of evil, and more importantly it does not exclude it from being always under the control of God: “Do not fear the evil, I have trampled upon it” (I/72), the work of Satan lasts only as long as  God allows it (I/90); God only allows the work of evil to try men (cf. III/230); souls are freed from sin (cf. I/63).

6.4. The Faithfulness of the Messages

Most of the messages found in the Diary can be considered as free from theological errors, even if some of them need some explanation. (For the problematic questions, see 6.6). In this chapter I will not refer to the “nature” of the Flame of Love, to its biblical references and to the blinding of Satan.

6.4.1 The Christ-centeredness of the messages

Examining the messages of the Spiritual Diary we can state that they are Christ-centred.[51] The Diary never places the person of Mary or her role in the work of salvation above the person and role of Christ. In no way does it put them on the same level. Sometimes the emotionally overheated wording seems to argue against this, but seeing the whole context, we can say with certainty that these errors are basically formal ones, not affecting the contents of the Faith.

6.4.2 The Pneumatological Dimension

The many references to the work of the Holy Spirit with theologically correct phrases is conspicuous. The prayer of Mary also had a role by her presence fifty days after the resurrection of Christ when the Holy Spirit poured out upon the praying community of the disciples (cf. Acts 1,14; 2,1-13). Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin the grace of God is still being poured out (cf. II/93). The spreading of the Flame of Love revives the faith and trust in God, which – as the Diary say – will result in a renewal not seen since the incarnation of the Word (cf. II/93-94).[52]  Indeed, according to another proclamation it is said that “the pouring out of the Flame of Love has already started” (II/100), and the spreading of which – as the messages say – is taken care by the Father himself (cf. II/101). In this the Holy Spirit plays a key role.

6.4.3. The Ecclesiological Dimension

In the Spiritual Diary we can read a lot about the triumphant, suffering  and militant Church (cf. 6.4.4.) These aspects shed light on each other and are strongly intertwined. The Flame of Love spreads in and through the members of the Church, to help its living and purifying members to reach salvation. The pouring out of grace comes from the Head of the Church.[53]

The pouring out of the Flame of Love is also the fruit of the work of Christians willingly co-operating with God’s grace and Mary. A spiritual movement has been formed, which under no circumstances shall lack the approval of the Hierarchy, or contradict the directives of the Magisterium.  This intention can be found in the Diary in many places (cf. II/37.42.93.105.115; III/130.131; IV/29.32).

According to the bidding of the Blessed Virgin, the Flame of Love shall be celebrated on the feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.[54] The lumen Christi (the light of Christ), which sheds new light on the people of God, can be a common feature between the content of the feast and the concept of the Flame of Love.[55]

All in all, we can say that the Marian character of the Spiritual Diary is not only Christ-centred, but also faithful to the Church. In this regard it completely fulfils the directives of the Second Vatican Council, which describes the right veneration of Mary in these terms.[56]

6.4.4. Eschatological Dimension

There are no excessive eschatological and apocalyptical references in the visions, except when speaking  about the souls in the Purgatory. The conditional character(revelation conditionate) of the messages can be felt[57], which includes the possibility  that the recipient of the Flame of Love will get a special grace, and if they use this grace, avoiding damnation will be easier for them (cf. I/84). Similarly to the secrets of Fatima the presence of damnation and destruction is not irrevocable: there is a way out if we make a conscious choice for our salvation. [58] Accepting and passing on the Flame of Love helps with this. A common characteristic with the other well-known visons (mostly with Fatima), is that Mary expresses her concern[59] about certain predicted catastrophes (cf. II/93) into which sin can lead man. (see more at: 6.4.11).[60]

Madame Erzsébet receives a promise that the work of saving souls continues even in Heaven, so after her death, as a glorified soul she also can continue her intercession for the salvation of souls (cf. III/227)[61]. These considerations about the state of the saints in Heaven is far from being strange.[62]

The grace of atonement, leading members of the Church militant to salvation, by praying for the suffering souls and by other ascetic practise, always benefits the whole Church.[63]

6.4.5 Doctrinal Dimension

Even if we cannot find solid expressions in the messages, from the context it becomes clear that one of the most important characteristics of baptism is the “clothing in Christ” (cf. Gal 3,27). As a consequence, we also partake in carrying the cross, and so our suffering becomes an active co-operation in the spreading of the work of salvation[64] (cf. Rom 8-17-18).

Baptism by blood, desire or water (cf. I/88) are also mentioned correctly.[65]

As mentioned earlier Holy Mass, the adoration of the Eucharist, or making visits, has a crucial role both in the life of Madame Erzsébet and in the messages (cf. I/73). The eucharistic dimension leads to an integral and true eucharistic spirituality (cf. Jn 6,53.56).

The Blood of Christ cleanses mankind from all sin[66], and keeps evil from those who bear its sign. The messages about the Most Holy Blood are also theologically correct (cf. e.g. III/139). This is joined by the veneration of the Holy Wounds, to which one of the messages contains a practice (cf. I/32): making the sign of the cross five times, while thinking of the Holy Wounds of Jesus.

 

6.4.6 Dimension of Grace

Just as supernatural messages and visions in general, the allocutios of Madame Erzsébet – according to the classical understanding of the terms – come under the category of gratia gratis data, because they are divine gifts, of which the purpose is the building up of the community of the Church and helping people to salvation.[67] The vast majority of the messages are full of  references to the grace of God. The Flame of Love itself – as we have already seen – is also a grace, and rendering the devil powerless is also a result of grace. Passing on the Flame of Love also spreads grace (about its fruits see: 6.9), but even its acceptance supposes the state of grace and a prayerful atmosphere. All the practises linked to the messages are sources of graces, and among them the most important is holy Mass (cf. I/73; II/33).

The phrases “force of grace” and “effect of grace” (I/84) along with “(the Blessed Virgin) counting on grace poured all her power into my soul” and “the grace of my Flame of Love” (III/240) are all about the fruits of grace.[68]

 

6.4.7 The Angelic and Demoniacal Dimension

Her guardian angel speaks to Madame Erzsébet very often in the messages (cf. I/47.52.61; II/52.70; II/121.124.198.202.226), and from this we get a balanced picture about the role of the guardian angel. These passages are completed with a few more about the angels (cf. I/36; II/76; IV/27).

The temptations of the devil shown in the messages are very life-like. Madame Erzsébet not only senses the depressing presence of Satan, along with his sarcastic remarks and temptations, but also the helpless writhing of the humiliated (“blinded”) Satan (cf. III-161).

I do not wish to repeat all that had been said in 6.3 about the blinding of Satan, but I have to say that the figure of the devil in the Diary of Madame Erzsébet is balanced, not exaggerated, and nor does she give the figure of evil unnecessary anthropomorphic attributes, nor over-exaggerates his power over souls – except  in some places where the power of the devil over the weakness of men comes disproportionately into the foreground because of the expressions used. The absolute power of the Redeemer, however, never gets eroded by the limited power of Satan. Regarding Madame Erzsébet we can read plenty about temptations, spiritual attacks, the temptation-like magnifying of concerns in the Spiritual Diary [69], but we do not encounter any signs – such as possession, disturbance, hallucinations, delirium – which are described in professional literature as the influence of the evil One.[70]

 

6.4.8. Pastoral Theological Dimension

Let us look at shrines, parish prayer groups, the daily routine of the life of atonement and the importance of families – as phrases which come up frequently in the Diary.

Recourse to the Blessed Virgin: “In the eight most popular shrines of the country, as well as in the heart of the country, in four churches consecrated to my name, they shall begin the prayer meetings, the passing on of my Flame of Love” (I/49). In another place she says: “Just join up with all your strength and prepare your souls for receiving the holy Flame. The shrine places will be fitting for the pilgrim souls. (I/58).

The responsibility felt for souls belonging to the parish (Madame Erzsébet uses the word “congregation” many times) along with the prayer for them is an important part of the messages.[71]

Among the messages attributed to Jesus we can find the daily routine of Madame Erzsébet, which was intended to form the ascetical discipline of her spiritual life (I/33-34): The followers of the spirituality often take up this rhythm partly or in its entirety.

Emphasising the vocation of mothers and families is also very significant. Jesus stresses the importance of the vocation of  mothers in one of his messages: mothers are called to enrich the Kingdom of God by passing on life and taking care of the religious upbringing of their children (cf. III/140). In another place Jesus says that he gives a special blessing for parents, and by every single birth a very special grace pours out on the family[72] (cf. III/155).

 

6.4.9. The Messages and the Four Marian Dogmas

We can ascertain that the messages of the Spiritual Diary are in complete accordance with the teachings of the Church stated in the Marian dogmas. About Divine Motherhood (especially about the motherhood of Mary lived towards her “children, the members of the Church; cf. II/50) we read very often (cf. I/18,25,36; II/54). The dogma of the perpetual virginity is in close connection with this, shedding light on the divine motherhood, and deepening in our understanding of it. Regarding the virginity of Mary we can find only the use of the titles (“the Blessed Virgin” etc; cf II/40,47,60).  The immaculate conception (that is freedom from all sin, completely holy and “full of grace”) comes more into the foreground, because the veneration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the basis of the Flame of Love. The Assumption is evident (even though it does not speak about the bodily-spiritual assumption), since it is a prerequisite for all Mary’s actual intercession, or mediating graces, including the struggle against Satan.  In the Communion of Saints Mary, who works for the salvation of souls – has a special “place”.[73]

No elements, which would contradict the teaching of the Church on Mary can be found in the Spiritual Diary.

6.4.10. The Question of mediatio and intercession

In Mary we experience a mediation of graces, subordinated to that of Christ (cf. RM 40).[74] This is not characteristic only of the Blessed Virgin.  There are a few strong, but – in the right context – true expressions about the spreading of the work of salvation in which every Christian has a role[75] (cf. 6.4.5).

The best known example in the Bible referring to Mary’s mediation of grace is the event of the Visitatio, recorded in the Gospel of Luke (cf. Lk 1, 39-45), in which we also see a kind of grace. The Mother of God carries the Redeemer in her womb, and at the greeting words “full of grace”  “ the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Lk 1,41).  We are talking about mediated grace  by the active participation of the Incarnate Word-carrying Mary, and which is shared with John the Baptist and his mother. We see not only the mediation of graces here, but the effect also, which is manifested in its fruits (here in joy; cf. Lk 1,41 and 44, also: Gal 5,22).  In her glorified state in Heaven, Mary still continues this mediation of graces, subordinated to that of Christ.

All in all, we can conclude that regarding intercession and mediation Madame Erzsébet – at her own level – becomes a “colleague” of Mary, and for which all the followers of the Flame of Love get a mission, everyone at their own level.[76]

 

6.4.11. Mary and compassion[77]

We often see the passion of Mary because of the faithless generations of her Son, which she allows that Madame Erzésbet should feel. This is not rare amongst the mystics.[78] The question might arise, how can the worries, pain and suffering of Mary for the souls on the road to perdition be compatible with the joy of the glorified state in Heaven.[79] The Church itself gives the answer to this: The Mother of God is the Mother of the Church. An essential part of her motherly love is worrying for her children. This is supported not only by miraculous events involving bleeding, or tear-shedding  statues or pictures [80] , but mostly in certain liturgical texts (cf. 15th September, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and other votive Marian masses[81]), along with the literary and figurative manifestations of popular religiosity.[82] Mary suffered the most under the Cross of his Son, but she expresses  her motherly concern and will through the chosen members of the Church militant[83], by making them living signposts. Madame Erzsébet has become such a living signpost through her suffering, offered to God and lived in spirit with Christ.

6.4.12 A Specific Feature of the Mary-cult: The Veneration of Our Lady of Hungary (cf. I/12)

The elements of universal Marian devotion found in the Spiritual Diary are sometimes clothed into the specific features of the traditional Hungarian Marian cult, when for example in the Diary Mary asks for atonement for Hungary. In one place we find that Mary is sad because of the sins of Hungary (cf. I/37).[84] In another places she reminds Madame Erzsébet of the offering of the country by King St. Stephen[85], which plays a key role in the veneration of Our Lady of Hungary.

This is one of the most authentic manifestations of universal Marian devotion, which – without any doctrinal errors and in accordance with the teachings of the Magisterium – has accompanied the spiritual growth of Hungarian believers for over a thousand years.[86] In the Spiritual Diary we find messages where Jesus addresses Mary as Our Lady of Hungary (cf. I/41.44.77).

6.4.13 Summary of the Systematic Part

The growing number of apparitions and messages in the 20th and 21st centuries show an obvious tendency, which is that God often calls our attention, also through the Blessed Virgin, in order that we take Divine Revelation and the Christian virtues more seriously.[87] The messages regarding the Flame of Love do not compromise the Depositum fidei[88], but by drawing strength from it they authentically show the way toward the salvation among the difficulties of this age[89], so we are right to say that the messages received by Madame Erzsébet are remarkable manifestations of private revelations of recent times, which need to be considered in their own light. They can never be part of the deposit of the faith, but they may be a help for individuals or communities to strengthen their faith and to carry out everyday apostolate through the practice of Marian spirituality.

During the theological examination of the Spiritual Diary we did not find any elements which would contradict neither the Holy Scriptures, nor the Sacred Tradition of the Church, the liturgy, the teachings of the Magisterium and the truths of faith based on the sensus fidei and crystallised in the practice of popular devotion.

 

6.5. Language. Formal and material errors, which are not a matter of faith. Strong and unusual phrases

Before starting the examination of mystical texts or messages, it is imperative to stress that such texts have always had their own language.[90] The Spiritual Diary of the Flame of Love is no exception.[91]

Let us examine a few such phrases

 

6.5.1 We can find some strongly worded messages, in which Christ or Mary show anthropomorphic characters. It might sound surprising to hear from Jesus “we both grew tired”, or “let’s eat something warm” (cf. III/146-147), but we know that experiencing and understanding the qualities of being human is not strange in the Son of God, who became human, and these phrasings want to make this palpable. These details also support the strong spiritual relationship between Christ, Mary and Madame Erzsébet.[92]

6.5.2. “Many drift into damnation against their wills” (I/64). In these lines it might seem as if sin were not the consequence of human free will and that the evil spirit could force it on people. It seems as if the text would attribute too much power to the evil spirit. In reality, the language of Madame Erzsébet is poor, so often she does not make exact theological distinctions when using different phrases. Considering the whole context of the messages we find on the contrary that the evil spirit could not lead souls into perdition without the agreement coming from the free will. Neither does the Diary state that the gift of the Flame of Love could free the souls from sin without repentance, that is by the act of the human free will.[93] Indeed, the text constantly calls for repentance and reparations.  So, the inaccuracies in the text above are not substantive.[94]

6.5.3. A few phrases in the relation to the Blessed Virgin and grace – if we take them out of context – contains a few striking expressions. “I flood them with excellent graces” (I/40); “I gave you the abundance of my graces” (II/27); “Live according to my graces” (II/36). It is also remarkable, that after the latter expression immediately comes a reference to the Holy Spirit, as the source of the grace. Or in another place: “Believe at last in my motherly power, by which I blind Satan and save the world from damnation” (III/26); somewhere else she adds: “in their dying hours they will feel the gentle light of my Flame of Love, which will start immeasurable repentance in their hearts and thus save them from damnation” (III/216). This means: the Flame of Love helps repentance, and it is through repentance that God saves us from perdition.  Thus, incorrect wording ultimately does not compromise the correctness of the messagesin themselves.

6.5.4. The Blessed Virgin, so to say, “obliges” Jesus (cf. I/34,I/97,II/37). As we already mentioned popular piety contains a great number of such elements. The spirituality of Madame Erzsébet draws from these, and no theological error is involved.

6.5.5. It might seem to be a grave error, but considering the context and the linguistic abilities of Madame Erzsébet , the message is acceptable which says: “your suffering merges with my divine powers at every moment, and this power is also given to you to redeem your soul” (IV/19), which has in fact been rephrased in a later edition. But in the context of the whole Diary it is very obvious that this is not about a division of divine power, but about the sharing in the work of redemption, which is – as referred to in baptism – fulfilled by Madame Erzsébet by working together with the Redeemer.[95] This soul-saving is made efficient by her own self-offering, and the suffering united to the suffering of Jesus. An example of this inner merging is the “heart-changing”, described in the last book of the Diary[96] (cf. IV/14.17).

 

6.5.6. Other Content Issues:

          According to a promise of Our Lord, the day of the death of Madame Erzsébet will be on her 52nd birthday (cf. III/128.217.219). Later – as the text says – Jesus himself explains it, that he really said this, but only for the spiritual growth of Madame Erzsébet. The “death” here has a spiritual sense, which means:  die to the world and to oneself (cf. III/229), meaning to give up oneself, so that Christ may live fully in them (cf. Gal 2.20).

“On Sundays, attend as many masses as you can” (I/62). This is not in accordance with the current view of the Church. It is possibly a particular directive to Madame Erzésbet.

In one of the messages Jesus says: “I was a man, too” (I/73). The phrasing is problematic, so it is corrected. Jesus Christ is a real God and man, and that is how he lives in the glorified state. Based on the context it is obvious what she intends to say (a reference that Jesus understands everything which comes from being human), but in the phrasing the  present tense should be used. Similarly: “My dear, I used to be a man, and because of my human nature I had human qualities, too. I, too, have fiath, hope and love” (III-134) Since Jesus Christ is both real God and man, the human attributes (except for sin) can be found in him.[97] So, there is no problem with living the theological virtues in the earthly life.[98]

At this very moment we do not know how to understand the saying, attributed to Mary, which says that: “this place (Máriaremete) will be the greatest shrine in the world after Lourdes” (III/199). It is also not clear what the alleged message of Jesus means, according to which after blinding Satan “the decree of the Council will come into force on a grand scale” (cf. III-196). [99]

The language had to be corrected, because the author had only very little education.[100]  A few changes in words, bad phrasings cause problems for the text. During the spiritual experiences she often encounters difficulties in expressing herself: “(the Lord) has told me previously unknown heavenly things. I cannot express them with words (III/127).

 

6.6. Doctrinally Problematic Points of the Diary

 Let us now examine a few points, which cause quite a difficulty in deciding the authenticity.

6.1.1. The Question of the Measurability of Grace in time.

Messages II/15-16 specifically say that if we pray three Hail Mary’s out of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, a soul is saved from Purgatory.[101] In the month of November even praying only one Hail Mary results in a mass freeing of souls. Even if we do not take this message literally, it is certain that it is the practice of the Church to encourage people to win graces for the souls in Purgatory, especially in November, the month of the dead.[102]

We encounter a similar problem, when – as the message says – the souls of dead priest – if we atone for them – free them from Purgatory on the eighth dayof their deaths (cf. I/114-115).

It is also difficult to understand the message, attributed to the Blessed Virgin, which says “from now on” (31. August 1963).  Any time Madame Erzsébet prays three Hail Mary’s ten souls will be freed from Purgatory (cf. II/116).

The “facilitating” of the happenings of the transcendent dimension makes one also think: is it really the number of Hail Mary’s prayed, on which the liberation of souls from Purgatory would depend?[103] Let us not forget also that Madame Erzsébet lived in an age when the Church was inclined to measure transcendent things with an immanent, or with a mathematical standard. We have only to think of the partial indulgences “measured in numbers”, which was a very common practice back then.[104]

It also cannot be proven to what degree ascetic deeds actually help the liberation of suffering souls or to what extent praying Hail Mary’s has an effect on a person’s liberation from Purgatory). But the depth and the quantity of the prayer is without doubt in direct proportion to he divine graces won by it, even if its effect cannot be measure in the way we expect it.

 

6.6.2 The Flame of Love Prayer

At the end of book IV an important notice it is indicated, that – according to the assumed bidding of the Blessed Virgin – the second half of the Hail Mary should sound as follows: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners and pour out the graces of your Flame of Love to all mankind now, and at the hour of our death. Amen” (IV/36). At this request, however, one cannot think that this would be the only correct way to pray the Ave Maria.[105] Even Madame Erzsébet herself did not dare to write this down for 21years (IV/34). I consider it a serious question, because it concerns one of the best know Marian prayers of the Church. But there is no problem providing we consider this bidding as optional, as a unique prayer only to a certain spirituality, but not compulsory for anyone in the Church, and that even though it starts from the traditional text of the Hail Mary it creates a new prayer, but it does not affect the original prayer and does not require anyone to change it, and so the matter is solved.[106] It is important that the respective communities create new forms of prayer, in which however they keep an eye on unity and the exclusion of any misunderstanding, such as the word by word interpretation and practical use of the messages received by Madame Erzsébet.

We must mark, that the praying of the Hail Mary with the addition is neither a “correction of”, nor an “addition to” the original, nor some variant of it, but a self-sufficing prayer, independent from the original Ave Maria.

 

6.7 The Opinion of the Church about the Spiritual Diary

The messages of the Spiritual Diary – along with the movement gathered around it – is more widespread abroad than in Hungary, but there are prayer groups here, too, even approved at the diocesan level as a private society for Christian believers. As far as I know, it is not forbidden anywhere. There are opinions or suggestions regarding different extracted versions of the Diary.[107] In 2009 we conducted a new and thorough investigation based on the whole original text of the Diary, on the basis of which it became publishable. In the appraisal we cannot omit those signs and spiritual fruits that accompanied the movement so far (see more at 6.9).

The messages have been presented in Rome, too. The confessor of Madame Erzsébet, Professor István Kosztolányi took the messages to Rome (17. February 1976) in order to hand them over to Pope Paul VI, and thus fulfilling the request of the Blessed Virgin (cf. IV/31). One year later, Madame Erzsébet travelled to Rome again, to give the messages to forty cardinals.[108] First she met Cardinal László Lékai, who was also in Rome at the time (cf. IV/32-33), and after this she tried to deliver the messages to the others as well.[109]

Madame Erzsébet also gives some directions about passing on the messages of the Spiritual Diary, which – of course – need some explanation: “there is no need for approval, because it will be approved in the depths of souls” (II/18-18). This is completed by the other part of the text: “we intentionally do not ask for a long inquiry, since we have already made it. This is felt by everyone, in their souls” (IV/31), that is they ask for a quick assessment, without trying to avoid the investigation of the Church. This is supported by the whole context.  The movement has come to be within the Church, and here it will spread, subject to the prelates of the Church. Madame Erzsébet wants to urge the administration to perfect it, and, as she writes: “there is no time to waste” (IV/31).

I don’t think there is any particular contradiction towards the author of the text, or its logic that some parts shall not be printed. Since private revelations are aimed at a better understanding of Revelation, they are published only as long as they serve the growth of the faithful. About the public declaration of the messages Madame Erzsébet notes: “To outsiders, we shall not talk about this” (II/39).[110]

“When passing on the Flame of Love, one does not need the core virtues” (II/29) – writes Madame Erzsébet. It is also an inaccurate expression, which – from the context – does not involve omitting traditional core virtues, and only means that we should pass on the Flame of Love in a simple way, and needs neither other instruments  nor especially other unnecessary procedures.

I would like to add here, that the first three of the four volumes conclude with handwritten notes, in which the texts are testified before God by Madame Erzsébet as written in her own hand, and she also bears witness to the accurate and faithful rendering of the messages[111], dated and signed by herself. This however is not present in the fourth volume, where we encounter the question of transubstantiation and the additions made to the Hail Mary. So, supposing that this is not missing intentionally, then maybe Madame Erzsébet did not want to testify the truth of these “messages” under oath. But it is also possible, that this clause is missing – in contrast to the other three volumes written in a few of months – because this later volume contains the messages received in the last 18 years of Madame Erzsébet’s life, and also is not yet finished. It is possible that she was not sure whether or not to write down certain messages. Such an example is the Hail Mary, which has been inserted into the Flame of Love Prayer, and which is the last entry in the Diary (14. III, 1983), but which originally is from 1962. She writes about this,saying: “I had to think about this for a long time, and did not dare write it down” (IV/34).7

6.8. Practices Related to the Flame of Love

The summit of religious practices in the Flame of Love messages is participation in Holy Mass. The fact that the Mass is described in the messages as the highest form of the outpouring of grace show a Church-centred spirituality and theological correctness. For example, in one of the messages we can read that participation in the state of grace – even though it is not compulsory – increases the “blinding” of Satan, as well as drawing an abundance of grace upon those for whom the Mass is offered (II/32-33). Of course, one has to be prepared that Satan, blinded for the duration of the Mass, will later start an even more ferocious fight for the souls of those who received this grace (cf. II/33).

Among the principles, laid down by Tanquerey – an expert on asceticism and mysticism – we can find the following: “It is not a true revelation where God asks for something impossible.”[112]  In the messages received by Madame Erzsébet I have not found any exhortation for such a practice.

Some of the messages – as we have already seen – makes the freeing of the souls from Purgatory dependent on the praying of the Hail Mary (II/15-16). In the Diary, at the bidding attributed to Mary or Jesus, we can often find exhortations to prayer, fasting, repentance, [113] along with atonement[114] and the emphasising of the importance of the First Saturdays. The required and expected ascetic practices are in complete concordance with similar ones within the Church, which are often centuries old.  Frankly, the Diary shows nothing new in this area. Likewise in this matter it shows a similarity to the ascetical practices connected to the messages of some of the best known Marian apparitions.[115]

In the Spiritual Diary we can find authentic exhortations for Christian holiness: The Lord calls upon Madame Erzsébet, and also the readers of the Diary, to a virtuous life. Its manifestations:  the Holy Mass (cf. II/33); prayer according to the tradition of the Church (stations of the Cross, Rosary; cf. I/33, I/114); examination of conscience, repentance (cf. I/33); fasting, sacrifice, vigils (cf. I/33); a correct daily routine in accordance with God’s will (cf. I/33); unconditional trust in God (cf. I/42); the practice of love (cf. I/43). [116]

The practice of prayer in unity with Jesus can be found very often in the messages: “our feet shall walk together”, which is a typical feature of the mystics. We encounter the same in the case of the saving of souls. “Have you forgotten that your sufferings merge together with my divine power at every moment, and that this power is also given to you to redeem souls?” (IV/19). For the interpretation of the strong expressions see: 6.5.5. Or about passing graces on to others: “The richness of my divinity radiates out of your soul with what you can distribute to others. That is, I made you a steward of my graces” (IV/21). So, graces come from God, they are collected within the soul, and its fruits are passed on to others.

Madame Erzsébet attributes the message to a joint exhortation from Jesus and Mary, according to which fasting on Mondays by taking only bread and water is for priests, as well as holy Mass offered for them, and which results in a mass-release of the souls of priests from Purgatory (cf. IV/28).

Marian

6.9 Valuable Signs and Spiritual Fruits

Lajos Antalóczi writes: “About the Flame of Love we have to mention that this grace is a universal gift, which also lacks any spectacles. We cannot count on these events to be considered miracles, such as we are accustomed to in other Marian apparitions. There are no spectacular events in connection with the Flame of Love. There was no healing, nor any miracle of the Sun, nor shedding of tears, etc. We can only talk about the fruits, which are experienced and bear witness to interior miracles. The miracles happened in the depths of the souls.[117]

Frequently “twelve chosen priestly souls are mentioned, who are also destined to accept and pass on the Flame of Love (cf.I/23-25.25-26.28.38.40.57; II/5.86; III/122.126; IV/24).  But from the Spiritual Diary the identity of them all is not clear, only a couple of names appear in this context.[118] The “twelve chosen priestly souls” also suffer severe temptations in the moment of the lighting of the Flame of Love, but the message encourages them not to be afraid (cf. II/8586). We have no knowledge whether or not Madame Erzsébet was in contact with all of the “chosen” priests. They are to be living signposts for the spreading of the Flame of Love, as members of the Church militant, through whom God reveals his love for the world. In the Diary twelve laymen, twelve nuns and twelve teachers are also mentioned, who are also called to accept and pass on the Flame of Love, especially by undertaking prayer and fasting offered up for the twelve priests (cf. I/25). The identity of these persons is also not revealed in the Spiritual Diary.

The authenticity of the apparitions, as well as the messages attached to them, is authenticated by the works and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and can be traced in various connected events.[119] Spreading the messages without exaggerations or misinterpretations, promoting spiritual growth, can be found already in the life of Madame Erzsébet. Also in favour of authenticity is an important factor which is that the “passing on the Flame of Love” has created a movement, which is remarkably widespread in many countries[120] without having any suspicion about any kind of obviously serious theological error. All this is definitely not just the result of the personal organising work of Madame Erzsébet.

7. Summary

Summarizing this whole examination, we can assume with a clear head that in the majority of the messages of the Spiritual Diary of the Flame of Love one can recognise the signs of the supernatural world.[121] Speaking of love as a “flame” is also supported biblically, and these expressions are not essentially criticised from a theological point of view. Even if the phrasing is sometimes confusing – as we have seen –, in most cases from the context it becomes obvious what Madame Erzsébet intended to express in writing.

Considering the faith and moral values of Mrs Kindelmann, along with her progress in ascetics, her mental and physical health, as well as the meaning and the theological nexus of the messages about the Flame of Love, we can suppose the credibility of the content of the allocutions, that is the conviction that they are very likely traceable back to real and objective graces.

The contents of the messages and the worldwide movement built around them show that the news about the Flame of Love not only won the “sympathy” of the people (placita fidelium) but they also inspired many to pray, and as the movement grows, they spread further.[122] We also have to mention the spiritual fruits, which helped growth in the love of God and in the faith of the Church in many places.

In the Flame of Love messages – apart from a few erroneous phrasings – the concepts of the teachings on the Holy Trinity, Christology, Pneumatology, Divine Grace and Mariology are correct. The spiritual manifestations of the sacred mystery of our faith nicely shed light on each other, and the novel, albeit  in Christian mysticism more-or-less already fully present concepts, (such as “Flame of Love” or “blinding Satan”) also fit into the teaching of the Church. The ascetic practices, included in some of the messages, are also in full accordance with the Catholic faith.

The quantity of problematic elements in the text is insignificant, their presence does not compromise the raison d’etre of the other parts, because one of the basic ground rules of the examination of private revelations is: “a certain revelation can be basically real, but still, false elements might be mixed into it. God… sometimes does not correct those errors and prejudices, which might be present in someone’s mind.”[123]

The exhortation of the Apostle Paul should also be before our eyes: “Do not stifle the Spirit or despise the gift of prophecy with contempt; test everything and hold on to what is good” (1Thess 5,19-21). From the texts at hand we have to choose, what can be considered as good among them, and which serve to the growth of the community of the Church.

Based on all this I conclude that this edition of the Spiritual Diary serves for the benefit of the Church, thus is worthy to be printed and published.

Budapest, on the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, A.D. 2020


 



[1] Dr. Zoltán Kovács, Mariologist, rector of the Seminary of Esztergom, teacher at the Pontifical Theological Faculty “Marianum” (Rome) and the Péter Pázmány Catholic University (Budapest); the official censor of the Spiritual Diary of the Flame of Love.

[2] Official English translation: Norms regarding the manner of proceeding in the discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations in:  http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19780225_norme-apparizioni_en.html (downloaded on 8th February 2020)

[3] When quoting the messages: (number of the volume with roman numerals, the page with arabic numerals), eg (I/63)

[4] The numbered references are based on the Hungarian critical edition of the Spiritual Diary, and mark the page numbers of the hand-written books of Madame Erzsébet.

[5] „These are inner words, coming from God for man” (SCHIAVONE, P., Locuzioni, in BORRIELLO, L. – CARUANA, E. - DEL GENIO, M. R. – SUFFI, N., (ed.), Dizionario di mistica, Città del Vaticano 1998, 758; own translation). Here we see the form of locutio not affecting the auditory senses, but which condenses in he psyche of Madame Erzsébet on the plane of mind and imagination. For the difference between these categories see more: ROYO MARÍN, A., Teologia della perfezione cristiana, Cinisello Balsamo 1987, 1070-1074

[6] „The diary of Madame Erzsébet contains various thoughts, inspirations, notices related to visions, messages and mystical experiences” ((Hierzensberger, G. – Nedomansky, O., Dizionario cronologico delle apparizioni della Madonna, Casale Monferrato 2004, 336; own translation).

[7] cf. Hierzensberger, G. – Nedomansky, O., Dizionario cronologico, 24.

[8] cf. Hierzensberger, G. – Nedomansky, O., Dizionario cronologico, 26.

[9] Cf. Begyik T., A Szeretetláng üzenete az engesztelés és a magánkinyilatkoztatások történetiségében. Tanulmány, a teológia, a vélemények és a személyes tapasztalatok tükrében, Budapest 2008, 49-51.

[10]Often we find such invocations in the messages of Jesus: “My Carmelite daughter” (I/23,29) or “My little Carmelite!” ((I/15)

[11] Cf. Izeli J. (ed.), A Szűzanya Szeplőtelen Szívének Szeretetlángja - Lelki napló – 1961-1981, Budapest 1985, 5.

[12] For example: István Kosztolányi biblical professor, translator of the Bible, Ernő Fuhrmann, papal chamberlain, Marcell Marton Carmelite. Madame Erzsébet attended many spiritual guides. They knew about each other. It often it happened that one of them sent her to the other one. For example during the illness of Fuhrmann, Kosztolányi took over the guidance of Madame Erzsébet. (Cf. Begyik T., A Szeretetláng üzenete, 89-105).

[13] This specifically can be observed  in the matter of transubstantiation (IV-23-24) and also in regard to the 40-days fasting, which undertaking – even though according to Madame Erzsébet the Lord requested it from her – was not allowed for her by her spiritual guide, because of her deteriorating health (IV/4-7, 30-31). This decision was willingly accepted by Madame Erzsébet.

[14] In this state it often happened, that Madame Erzsébet questioned the transcendent origin of the messages, and through this their validity (cf. III/172, 181,190-192,207). But with the passing of the temptations, these doubts also disappear. So, she is not sticking to the idea of her being the only valid interpreter. In her judgement this also counts as positive.

[15] In the spiritual growth of Madame Erzsébet one can trace the mystical path, the base of which is the meeting of the love of God and the men, and which leads to perfection through a constant purification and changing to the likeness of God. (Cf. Vö.: Blommestijn, H., Itinerario mistico, in Borriello, L. – Caruana, E. - Del Genio, M. R. - Suffi, N., (ed.), Dizionario di mistica, Città del Vaticano 1998, 699).

[16] In one of the messages the Lord explains the phases of the spiritual life of Madame Erzsébet: suffering, followed by strengthening grace (extasy) and after that comes the spiritual desolation. But all these do not exclusively characterise the phases (cf. III-206). The contents of the text correspond with the path of purification and integration, described by other mystic authors (cf. Tanquerey, A., A tökéletes élet, nr. 1289; González, J. L., Psicologia dei mistici. Sviluppo umano in pienezza, Città del Vaticano 2001, 162-175).

[17] A strong phrase – attributed to Christ – that “I will enhance your sufferings until martyrdom” (cf. II/79). Even though the martyium did not come true in the life of Madame Erzsébet, the physical and spiritual sufferings became definitive parts of her life.

[18] In the thanksgiving canticle of Mary the translation of the word tapeinosis as lowliness does not convey the original meaning of the word. The original Greek rather means smallness, being forgotten, abjection, being the last. Mary gives thanks to God in such a spirituality, who looks down on this state of her handmaiden (anawim), does great things for her, that is why all generations will call her blessed, because it is God, who lifts up the lowly, but sends away the rich (cf. Lk. 1,46-55). For further nuances of the word tapeinosis and their theological contents see: Valentini, A., Il Magnificat. Genere letterario. Struttura. Esegesi, Bologna 1987,139-152.

[19] Fulfilling her duties also came first for Madame Erzsébet (cf. in IV/22: she could not attend Mass, be cause she had to look after her grandchildren.)

[20] Cf. Pope John Paul II: Ecclesia de Eucharistia, in AAS 95 (2003), 433-475, n. 58.

[21] … the Church – similarly to and together with Mary – experiences with a thankful heart in the Holy Spirit the prayer, the faith and the mision of the Christian life, which all strongly belong together. (lex orandi - lex credendi - lex vivendi)» (Kovács Z., Mária és az Eucharisztia. Isten Anyja és az áldozati adományok a Lélek tüzében, in Takács G., al-., Mater Christi, Egyházmegyei Lelkipásztori Sorozat II., Pécs 2005, 22).

[22] Many times Jesus himself warns Madame Erzsébet about the unconditional obedience towards her spiritual guide, pointing out, that the spiritual father’s words come from Jesus himself (cf. III/137). The guidance of the spiritual guide come from the Lord (cf. I/02, III/143, III/235). If the spiritual guide does not allow her the fast asked by the Lord, she will not do it, because number one priority for her is the obedience toward her spiritual guide (cf. IV-5). One “message” of Jesus is very clear: “You shall not omit the command of your confessor, not even despite my divine request” (IV/6).

[23] „Please, write down my teaching co-operating with the Holy Father once again” (III/154). It is not a perverted intuition, but a strong will in Madame Erzsébet, when she tries to pass on the messages to the Holy Father. In connection with this, the Lord also promises the outpouring of  Grace (cf. III/155).

[24] One of the most obvious example of this is, that according to the messages the prayer-groups, which provide the spiritual background for the spreading of the Flame of Love shall be organised in the parishes (cf. IV/27).

[25] This can be a hindering factor when deciding credibility, but not an exclusion. This is, because the reception of the messages goes far beyond this short phase.

[26] The behaviour of Madame Erzsébet is interesting, who herself wanted to find out whether or not she became victim of a psychical disease of some sorts. “When the doctor did the first examination, I asked him to tell me, that if I have no condition then I am not a victim of some kind of hysteria, because that really troubled me. He answered, that this is out of question, because my appearance does not suggest it at all” (cf. III/222)

[27] Cf. Pinkus, L., Psicologia, in De Fiores, S. – Meo, S., (szerk.), Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia, Cinisello Balsamo 1986, 1065-1068.

[28] Even if we find an overexaggerated writing mode, such as Mary “covers” our souls from Jesus, so that he may not become sad because of us (cf. I/83), the messages do no imply that according to Madame Erzsébet Mary would work against Jesus, or would be his rival.

[29] The concepts „Flame of Love” and „blinding Satan” are new, but in their contents they are not strange to the teachings of the Christian faith. For further evaluation see 6.2-6.3-6.4.

[30] Cf. Zsoldos I., Előszó helyett, in Molnár Gy. (ed.), A mi Urunk Jézus Krisztus kínszenvedése. Az Isten szolgálójának Emmerich Anna Katalinnak látomásai alapján, Budapest 1990, 3; Begyik T., A Szűzanya titkáraként, Budapest 2003; Begyik T., A Szeretet lánghevében, Budapest 2000; Begyik T., A Szeretetláng üzenete, Budapest 2008; Pataki M. M., Találkozásom a Szeretetlánggal, Törökbálint 1997.

[31] Cf. Róna G., Ne féljetek a lángtól. A Szeretetláng útja a világban, in Keresztény Élet, 2009. február 1., XVII/5, p. 3. The author mentions the following countries, where the Flame of Love is spread: Argentina, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda, Taiwan, Togo. According to the article of Róna published in 2009, the Spiritual Diary was translated into 24 languages.

[32] Cf. Alonso, J. M., Cuore immacolato, in De Fiores, S. – Meo, S., (ed.), Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia, Cinisello Balsamo 1986, 400-401. With this form of veneration, the self-offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is related, to which the Church received the papal exhortation (cf. Paul VI, Signum magnum de Beata Virgine Maria, Matre Ecclesiæ omniumque virtutum exemplari, veneranda atque imitanda, in AAS 59 (1967), 465-475, nr. II/8).

[33] Cf. Alonso, J. M., Cuore immacolato, 407.

[34] „In the veneration of the Holy Heart of Jesus we refer to the heart of the body, which is considered by K. Rahner, as the “real symbol” of all the love, what binds Christ and men. (Pompei A., Cuore in Borriello L. - Caruana E. - Del Genio M. R. - Suffi N., szerk., Dizionario di mistica, Città del Vaticano 1998, 387; own translation).In Christian mysticism the heart itself is also a symbol: a hidden reality, which manifests in its effects and deeds, in strong relation with the supernatural dimension.

[35] Cf. Ibid, 407-408

[36] “The Blessed Virgin is the “dawn of the New Testament”, in whom in the fullness of time the word incarnated” (Kovács Z., “Íme az Úr Szolgálóleánya”, Teológiatörténeti, szisztematikus és gyakorlati áttekintés a mariológia tanulmányozásához, Budapest 2016, 90 – own translation). She forebodes and through the motherhood lives in a special way the coming of Christ into this world, who is our “Sun from on high” (Lk 1,78-79)

[37] “…together with St. Joseph, you also have to walk the dark, misty roads of Bethlehem.  With them shall my Flame of Love – who is Jesus Christ himself – look for housing”. (I/107) – own translation

[38] “The Flame of Love is a grace. It is a force, which penetrates the heart and the will. A force, which restores the values inside us; a force, which transforms us, teaches us how to love, makes us willing towards Jesus, and helps us to participate in the soul-saving work effectively and persistently completely identified with Christ. The Flame of Love helps to understand the will of the Blessed Virgin. Helps us to recognise of our situation objectively... the Flame of love is the grace or tool, which helps us to the understanding of the acts of the Blessed Virgin, and gives power to the realization of her bidding, atonement and apostolate. And its only purpose is that not even one soul should be damned. The Flame of Love is Jesus Christ working freely inside us, and though us. Antalóczi L., Jelenések, üzenetek és a jövő. A jelentősebb magánkinyilatkoztatások és üzenetek szintézise 1830-tól napjainkig, Eger 2000, 175). – own translation

[39] The phrase „the Flame of Love is Jesus Christ himself” shall be understood in the language of mysticism, mainly based on the explanation above by Lajos Antalóczi. Of course, no one is saying that the person of Jesus Christ would “originate” from the heart of Mary, and thus entitling Mary, as a source of graces.

The incarnated Word is the closest to the Heart of the Blessed Virgin, he is the origin and the meaning of her “motherhood of God”. The love of the simple, “created” heart of Mary would not be enough to procure grace as spiritual fruits of the movement in an experienceable way. In this we have to see the unique closeness of her heart to the Heart of His Holy Son and their co-operation.

[40] The flame of God’s love, as a symbol appears already at St .Augustine, true as a divine light (cf. Contra Academicos II,2,5-6; De beata vita 4,35; Confessiones II.8.16; IV.15-25; VII. 10.16-17.23; XIII.8.9) We see the love as a “flame” at St. John of the Cross (cf. Dark Night of the Soul, book II, chapter XVIII, 5), Margaret Mary Alacoque (cf. Autobiografia, cap. XI. 53) and also at St. John Eudes (Il cuore ammirabile della SS. Madre di Dio [presentazione di Francesco M. Aviano - ed.,], Casale Monferrato 1960). While St. John of the Cross uses the phrase when referring to the divine love, Margaret Mary of Alacoque talks about the flame of love coming from the Heart of Jesus, and St. John Eudes speaks about the joint veneration of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. One can find this “flame” at St. Francis of Assisi (cf. Buenaventura,, S., Leggenda Maggiore di S. Francesco d'Assisi in Opusculi Francescani, 1, nrr. 193 - 407 1161, 1164, 1165, 1169, 1230, 1234, 1235, 1288).It is also mentioned by Jozefa Menendez (cf. Invito all'amore. Il messaggio del cuor di Gesù al mondo e la sua messaggera ,Torino 1948; and Colui che parla dal fuoco, Firenze 1988).

[41] Mary urges every local Church to organise vigils for saving the “dying souls” (that is the souls of the dying), which shall not be interrupted for even a minute. This helps to save the dying from damnation (cf. I/110; II/107; III/236; IV/3).

[42] This shall not be understood as freeing from the state of damnation but as a detour from the road to damnation, as well as a liberation from Purgatory (cf. I/63).

[43] Crippling the power of Satan is the result of the mediation of graces of Mary.  In this way the Blessed Virgin “fights together” with the members of the Church battling Satan. “The apparitions… while strengthening the motherly thinking, which is exercised by the Blessed Virgin according to and for the fulfilment of the divine plan of salvation, also introduce her to us as someone, who is fighting alongside us. Perrella, S. M., Le apparizioni mariane, 145; own translation).

[44] Obviously, this cannot be understood, as if someone could be the possessor of any grace, which he can freely pass on or multiply. “Passing on the Flame of Love” shall be considered as the faithful who received this grace – similarly to the situation in Acts 1,14, when the disciples prayed together with Mary – as a “new cenacle” ask the Holy Spirit through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, that others may also receive it.

[45] If we are thinking with the concepts of theology, taking this phrase literally, the salvation, for which the incarnation of the Word happened (cf in the Nicene Creed: ho for us men, and for our salvation, … was incarnate; Denzinger, H. – Hünermann, P., Hitvallások és az Egyház Tanítóhivatalának megnyilatkozásai, ed. Örökmécs-Szent István Társulat, Bátonyterenye-Budapest 2004, n. 150) was not a bigger pouring out of grace as the incarnation itself? As I see it, the key to understand this message shall be seen without any interpretation that a huge pouring out of grace is to come, in which the Blessed Virgin has an important role. The Mother of God, as also Mother of the Church is active towards the mystical body of his Son, so in co-operation with His Son as mediator of graces she practices her mission from God in our direction, which does not fulfil in the conception of the Word of God, in giving birth of Jesus Christ into this world, in raising him and guiding him as a mother, but this motherly love so to say is completed towards the members of the Church.

[46] The fire consumed by fire, in this sense: “the fire destroyed by fire”, “blending into the other nd thus put out fire is also not a new thougt; cf. e.g. deacon Paul of Montecassino’s writing Historia Longobardorum (Liber primus, n. 26) is: „ignis ab igne perit” („fire perishes by fire”). Cf. https://www.oeaw.ac.at/gema/langobarden/lango%20paulus.htm (downloaded on 9. February 2020).

[47] The phrase “even to the non-baptised” is clearly a follow-up addition, perhaps by someone else into the Diary, but theologically it is not preposterous. Anyone can win graces and this gift does not concur with the graces of the sacraments, rather it directs towards them.

[48] This is also not new. Mary Margaret Alacoque received the following message from Jesus Christ in her vision on 27th December 1637: “My heart is so full of passionate love for the people, that it cannot contain it’s flame of Love. It shall pour out to the men through your intercession” (Autobiografia, cap. XI. 53).

[49] Cf. Alonso, J. M., Cuore, 408.

[50] Speaking to one of the exorcists, who know the messages of Madame Erzsébet, he told me that anytime he asked for the pouring out of Flame of Love of Her Immaculate Heart, the liberation of the afflicted happened surprisingly quickly and easily.

[51] This is also supported by the wording, which says that the Flame of Love of the Blessed Virgin is “Jesus Christ himself” (cf. I/107).

[52] We shall not forget that – according to one of the ancient phrases of Mariology – Mary first conceived in her heart than her womb(«prius in mente quam in utero»; Augustine, Sermo 215, 4, in PL 38, 1074; (cf. Leo the Great, Sermo 21, I, in PL 54, 191; he uses ‘ventre” instead of “corpore”; others also quote Augustine, and they sometimes use “utero” instead of “ventre”.); cf. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater enciklika, in AAS 79 (1987), 361-433 [from now on used as: RM], nr. 13). So in this line (because of the work of the Holy Spirit) the Heart of the Blessed Virgin and the Mystery of the Incarnation are related. Cf. Vö.: De Fiores S., Maria. Nuovissimo Dizionario (II), Bologna 2006, 1499.

 

[53] See the “definition” of the Flame of Love in I/107.

[54] No reference is to be found, what content shall be “added to” the official liturgy of the feast. In our understanding the fidelity to the universal Church can be seen in that that liturgy of the Church shall have absolute priority, instead of having new feast connected to spiritualities, and thus those belonging to the spirituality shall care for the grace as joined into the given feast with their prayers, on their own.

As the message says, Mary proclaims that she does not want a fest for the Flame of Love on its own, but through Madame Erzsébet she asks the Holy Father co celebrate the Flame of Love on 2nd February (cf. I/85). Thus one might say she joins the content of the Flame of Love to the feast of Presentatio Domini, which – similarly to the Annuntiatio Domini– is a feast of the Lord in its name, but in the content it is Christological and Mariological at the same time. (Cf. Paul VI, Marialis Cultus in AAS 66 (1974), 113-168, nrr. 6-7

[55] See in the Gospel of the day: “which you have made ready in the sight of the nations; a light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel” (Lk 2-31-32)

[56] Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium in AAS 57 (1965), 5-67, nr. 53.

[57] Cf. Royo Marín, A., Teologia, 1075.

[58] Cf. The Congretation for the Doctrine of Faith, The Message of Fatima in: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html (downloaded on 9th February 2020); Enchiridion Vaticanum 19 (2000) 987-989

[59] Part of Mary’s motherly love is the affectionate worry for her children, which is not incompatible with the happiness of the glorious heavenly state. She made this deep concern to be felt many times with Madame Erzsébet, too. Passing on these emotional factors, their manifestations through mystical experiences of the members of the wandering Church is not a rare thing in mysticism. (Cf Tanquerey, A., The spiritual life, nnr. 168-176) We also have to mention the worry of Mary felt over the crisis and falling apart of the families, about which she talks to Madame Erzsébet (III/140)

[60] On the one hand this does not look like, as if the cataclysm would put the hope of Easter in the background, and on the other hand – like in the case of the secrets of Fatima – the Blessed Virgin does not announce some unavoidable catastrophe, but with her message she shows us a solution, a way out: all this can be prevented by conversion. In the messages received by Madame Erzsébet, the Blessed Virgin does not give exact data about a coming disaster, but she speaks about the possibility of mass-damnation (cf. I/64,112;III/123). But it is crucial, that all this can be avoided by turning to God, in which the mentioned ascetical practises might help. So, Mary messages as a “bumper” ands she shows us her motherly concern (cf. Hierzensberger, G. – Nedomansky, O., Dizionario cronologico, 35). In the Diary conversion comes to the foreground, and the messages say in advance not to expect spectacular miracles, because the changes start in the depth of the heart (cf. I/39; I/58; I/85; I/116; II/18; II/93; III/140).

[61] Obviously, this is not an unchangeable promise of “automatic” salvation in the life of Madame Erzsébet. The recipients of apparitions or other graces never simply “waltz into” Heaven just because they were chosen, they have to act for their own salvation.

[62]Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC from now on ) nrr 956-957, in: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM (downloaded on 9th February 2020)

[63] Cf. Nitrola, A., Escatologia, Casale Monferrato 1991, 146.

[64] “ It is precisely the Church, which ceaselessly draws on the infinite resources of the Redemption, introducing it into the life of humanity, which is the dimension in which the redemptive suffering of Christ can be constantly completed by the suffering of man.” (John Paul II, Salvifici doloris Apostolic letter on the Christian meaning of Human Suffering, in AAS 76 (1984), 201-250, nr. 24). Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. (ibid, nr 19.)

[65] Even though she does not go into the content of the phrases and she does not speak about desires as a desire of those before death (cathecumens) of Christ, of the liberation from sins, of salvation and of baptism (cf. CCC 1258-1259), but it is understandable, that the text hints at these, when speaking about “desires”.

[66] Cf. Jn, 19,34;# Acts 20,28; Rom 5,9; Col 1,20; Heb 9,13-14; 10,4.19; 12,14;1Pt 1,2.19, Rev 5,9;22,14)

[67] Cf. Scheffczyk, L. – Ziegenaus, A., Die Heilswirklichung in der Gnade. Gnadenlehre, Aachen 1998, 243.

[68] Even though the “effect of grace” might sound strange, but if we do not try to over-explain it, it is easy to understand because it points to the grace and its Source (see more in 6.4.10). “…for the person assigned to me a great work awaits.  They will be the one called to bring the news of the lighting of my Flame of Love to their fellows, and to start the movement of grace. We will give them the strength to do it.” And she spoke to me a lot about the time of grace and the Spirit of Love. She said, it will be like the first Pentecost, which floods the Earth with her Holy Spirit, with the power of the Holy Spirit, and this will be a miracle, which will draw the attention of all mankind. This is all the pouring out of the effect of the grace of the Blessed Virgin (II/93). Or: My adored Jesus! The joy of my soul is so big, that I am lost for words …. My dear mother, Immaculate, Sorrowful Virgin, I thank you now, that by the graces of your Flame of Love you poured out one me such a great meritorious opportunity (II/79-80).

[69] II/62-63 seems to be a confused part, but sheds light on the difficult battles of Madame Erzsébet against the spiritual darkness (she feels herself, as if she had been “split into two”, and she attributes this to two angels, who – at first she sees so – “whisper the good” from both sides (II/62), but later she realizes that one of these inspirations is the hidden temptation of the evil spirit. The notes of Madame Erzsébet on the margins point also to this “they were horrible, deceiving temptations” (II/62), and “these were terrible temptations, and wanted to disturb the peace of my soul”(II/73). In other places she speaks about “confused voices”, which brought her spiritual darkness (II/70).

[70] Cf. Marconcini, B. – Amato, A. – Rocchetta, C. – Fiori, M., Angeli e demoni. Il dramma della storia tra il bene e male, Bologna 1991, 361-377.

[71] A few examples: “In all parishes the prayer groups must be organised with full enthusiasm and will” (IV/27; “Atone during the day for the faithless souls of the parish” (I/103); “On this day the Blessed Virgin asked me to offer our parish into the protection of her and St. Joseph, and I shall ask every day the grace of the good death for the souls” (I/79); “My bidding is, that the night prayer, through which I intend to save the dying souls [sic!] shall be organised ,that not even a minute shall remain without prayer in all of the parishes (III/236); “You shall be the atoning representative of your congregation” (III/164, cf. II/79); I went to the Lord to thank once again on behalf of our parish for the graces, which he poured on us through the love of his merciful Heart” (ibid) Indeed, Madame Erzsébet helps her parish to grow not only with her prayers, but also with physical work (cf. II/59).

[72] Based only on the context it is not about the motherhood itself, but about the mothers following the will of Christ, because the part is introduces with the message attribute to Jesus as follows: “You and all the mothers, who act in accordance with my Heart” (ibid). Mary in another place: “ I want to warm up the nests of the families” (I/92), or She (Mary) wishes every family to be a sanctuary.” (III/140).

[73] In this Madame Erzsébet will be the „colleague” of Mary in Heaven, as promised in the message III/227.

[74] „Mary, as mother of the Redeemer plays a huge role in the historical event of salvation … How could she not participate in helping people to find and approach their Redeemer…: (Scheffczyk, L. – Ziegenaus, A., Mária az üdvtörténetben. Mariológia, Budapest 2004, 312-313 – own translation).

[75] Receiving the Sacrament of Baptism made us joint-heirs of Christ (cf. Rom 8,17 and Gal 4,5), we became sharers in divine life, so we share the mission of Christ, which we can fulfil both with actio and passio.

[76] In effect, Mary's mediation is intimately linked with her motherhood. It possesses a specifically maternal character, which distinguishes it from the mediation of the other creatures who in various and always subordinate ways share in the one mediation of Christ, although her own mediation is also a shared mediation.96 In fact, while it is true that "no creature could ever be classed with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer," at the same time "the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise among creatures to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this unique source." And thus "the one goodness of God is in reality communicated diversely to his creatures." (RM 38) (source: http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031987_redemptoris-mater.html - downloaded on 15. February 2020)

[77] “Mary’s co-operation …. does not add anything to the sacrifice on the cross, but points to it as the perfect sacrifice” (Colzani, G., Maria. Mistero di grazia e di fede, Cinisello Balsamo 1996, 283; own translation).

[78] “Suffering together” with Christ and the Saints might have internal or external forms ( the most known from the latter category is getting stigmatised; cf: Diós I., Szenvedésmisztika, in Diós I. (szerk.), Magyar Katolikus Lexikon, XIII., Budapest 2008, 151). Madame Erzsébet lived this compassion in spiritual suffering.

[79] “Without denying the metaphysical aspect of God’s no-suffering”, on the psychological level we can take into consideration the silent, but real participation of the Father in the suffering of the (crucified) Son” (Perrella, S., Ecco tua Madre [Gv 19,27] La Madre di Gesù nel magistero di Giovanni Paolo II e nell'oggi della Chiesa e del mondo, Cinisello Balsamo 2007, 500; own translation).

Mary becomes also part of this suffering, which strengthens her cooperation with the Holy Trinity in the work of salvation and puts it into a new dimension: “The gaze of Jesus, filled with love, forgiveness and suffering from the cross rested gently on his Mother and the (beloved) disciple – who both represented the Church.

[80] It is important to notice that by examining the lachrymation of the pictures and statues, Mariology make is a basic principle that the statue or the picture is, that sheds tears, and not the person of Mary (cf. the lachrymations called authentic by the Church: e.g. in the cases of La Salette (1846, Banneux (1933), or Siracusa (1953);cf. Hierzensberger, G. – Nedomansky, O., Dizionario cronologico, 172-176; 249-251; 319-320 ). The Blessed Virgin makes known through these signs that she wants the people to think. By examining in the light of this we can understand the “suffering” of Mary in the messages given to Madame Erzsébet, which is now more easily attunable to the happiness of the glorified state, which excludes all suffering.

[81] Two Votiv Masses are called: “The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross (in Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, https://litpress.org/Products/GetSample/3486/9780814634868, downloaded on 15. February 2020).

[82] Cf: Bárdos L. – Werner A. (ed), Hozsanna! Teljes kottás népénekeskönyv, Szent István Társulat, Budapest 1991; nr. 67/A, 63, 72, 73.

[83] In her co-operation with Jesus and Mary Madame Ezsébet is driven by the will, that as many souls, as possible may avoid perdition: cf: I/87.88.89.103.112.114; II/18.100.107; III/130.144.164.

[84] Based on the call of the Blessed Virgin to Madame Erzsébet it is obvious, that one can improve this state by accepting grace. It is conspicuous that she makes a gift of this grace through a Hungarian woman (“I want to give you a new tool”; ibid) It is hard to make further deductions from this part.

[85] As the message of the Blessed Virgin say: “King St. Stephen has offered Hungary to me” (I/73)

[86]Cf. Kovács Z., Magna Domina Hungarorum. Dimensioni storiche, teologiche, ecumeniche e culturali, in Dissertationes ad Lauream in Pontificia Facultate Theologica "Marianum", nr.103, Roma 2008, 78.

[87] Cf. De Fiores, S., Maria, 26.

[88] Cf. Laurentin, R. Apparizioni,in De Fiores, S. – Meo, S., (ed.), Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia, Cinisello Balsamo 1986, 117; 121-122.

[89] Cf. Perrella, S. M., Le apparizioni mariane, 175.

[90] “The linguistic “scandals”, categorical transgressions, and meaningful innovations, but above all that they are really testing the dictionaries of the theologians, were causes of severe attacks for a long time…The mystic style, for a lexical and stylistic point of view is “unchaste” … First of all, the words of the mystics are “strongly penetrating. On the other hand, they are not much of spoken words, but rather conversational words. So, on their pages a young, original, festive language…is to be found. Also, in general the words of the mystics are rather spoken then written words. So, they show space and neglect, inconsistency and tortuous expression, which, in a nutshell is a characteristic of spoken words. The fourth point of view are the clandestine words, in the sense that in almost all of the cases they were not meant to be distributed, even to less, to be printed or to be read out loud at some public event. The mystics did not write to be published, they were no “official” writers, indeed, in many cases they acted against their own will of with hesitation.” (Baldini, M., Linguaggio mistico, in Borriello, L. – Caruana, E. - Del Genio, M. R. – Suffi, N., ed., Dizionario di mistica, Città del Vaticano 1998, 750-751).

[91] As I already mentioned in the introduction the Diary could not be printed in its original forms, since it is full of spelling and stylistic errors.  The text – to be sufficiently understandable – was already corrected grammatically. During this work, we continued this aim to a certain degree, sometimes correcting formal errors, so they do not compromise the understanding of the contents.

[92] The other example of the path of the unison with the Lord is the prayer, which is expressed many times in the Spiritual Diary. Its fullest form: our feet shall walk together. / Our hands shall collect together. / Our hearts shall beat together. / Our inner shall feel together. / The thought of our minds shall be one. / Our ears shall listen to the silence together. / Our eyes shall look into each other and agglutinate. / Our lips shall beg for mercy to the Eternal Father” (I/63)

[93] This is completed by another text: the soul is liberated from the effects of evil (cf. I/84). So, the text really makes a difference between sin and its effects.

[94] This formal problem is better enlightened in another place: “many – against their will – grow hating the impurity manifesting in their deeds” (III/176) So we can state that by Madame Erzsébet, the expression “against their will” refers to emotional influence.

[95] In the case of Mary, it is not based on baptism, but on the divine motherhood. Cf. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 38.

[96] As also the practice of the monks’ school in Helfta shows, the first manifestations of this so-called heart-changing can be found in the practice of mysticism in the 13th century. Cf. Alonso, J. M., Cuore immacolato, 406. Heart-changing is a mystic phenomenon, which carries a symbolic meaning: it means the acceptance of the source of renewal, sanctification, life according to the will of God, perfect self-offering and the first steps of metanoia starting in the heart (=in the whole of the human person). This phenomenon was present in the life of the following mystics: St. Catherine of Siena, St. Gertrudis, Mary Margaret Alacoque. Cf: Royo Marín, A., Teologia, 1103-1104; also Giungato, S., Cambio del cuore, in Borriello, L. – Caruana, E. - Del Genio, M. R. – Suffi, N., (ed.)  Dizionario di mistica, Città del Vaticano 1998, 259.

 

[97] Cf. Sweating drops of blood in his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Lk 22,44) because of the “drama of the clash” the two wills in him with the willingness to work together with God.

[98] Cf. Cozzoli M., Etica teologale. Fede Carità Speranza, Cinisello Balsamo 1991, 62 But this cannot be said about the glorified state, in which faith and hope are already fulfilled and love is what remains in a fulfilled form (cf. 1Cor 13,13; Heb 12,2)

[99] Regarding the passing on the Flame of Love it is possible that this is about the decree Apostolicam Actuositatem (AAS 58 [1966], 837-864), about the apostolate of lay people, but it remains a hypothesis until further researches shed light on the exact meaning of the message.

[100] She herself say that in the Diary “I am a difficult writer”; III/146, or: “I completed my bad handwriting with a typewriter, but it is still barely legible; III/182

[101] “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven…An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin (CCC 1471). Cf. Paenitentiaria Apostolica, Decree Iesu, humani generis, 16 July 1999, in Notitiæ, 36 (2000), nrr. 2 e 4.

[102] The Church differentiates even today between partial and plenary indulgences. We see that the month November allows many opportunities to win indulgence for the dead. On the eight days following the Day of the Dead, a prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father and visiting the cemetery along with taking communion in the state of grace can also win indulgence.

[103] Putting the events of transcendent and immanent dimension to “common denominator” always makes difficulties for the theological interpretations, “but the question arises: is the denial of the promises above valid after the promises made to those who celebrate the five first Saturdays, or to those who complete the novena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus?” (Antalóczi L., Jelenések, 181).

[104] Until 1968, indulgences were measured “based on time”. “They defined that a particular prayer or good deed, how many years, months or days of indulgence worth. So, one could have won indulgence for fifty, hundred, three hundred days, or for one, three or five years. This meant that with the partial indulgence the Pope pardoned as much punishment, as much in the ancient Church the confessors and pentients earned by their sufferings and self-denials done for a given time.”  (Diós I. – Szigeti K., (ed.), A búcsúk imakönyve, Budapest 1984, 18).

Based on the constitution of St. Pope Paul VI, Indulgentiarum doctrina, since 1968 the traditional rating of the Church regarding the partial indulgences has changed. «Indulgentia partialis, in posterum, his tantum verbis „indulgentia partialis” significabitur, nulla addita dierum vel annorum determinatione» (Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Indulgentiarum doctrina Sacrarum Indulgentiarum recognitio promulgatur, 1 January 1967, in AAS 59 (1967), 5-24, Normae 4).The messages in the Spiritual Diary regarding the problem at hand are always dated before 1967. That is why with similar logic we can understand the quantifying of the souls being freed from the Purgatory.

[105]  It would be possible to say it between the decades as a “closing prayer”, or attached to it (cf: John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariæ (from now on as: RVM), in AAS 95 (2002), 8-36, n. 35).

[106]In a letter, issued on 14. July 2008 by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Guadaljara G. Ramiro Valdés Sánchz, the prayer form of the movement is permitted with the new part added after the Hail Mary. In the statute of the “Flame of Love Spiritual Movement” approved In Sao Paolo on 15. August 2008 one can find: Santa María Madre de Dios, ruega por nostotros pecadores; derrama el efecto de gracia de tu Llama de Amor sobre toda la Humanidad, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén" donde así sea apobado» (4.4). That is, during the gatherings of the Movement, the Ave Maria can be prayed with the added formula, and outside the gatherings of the Movement with the permission of the local ordinary.

[107] There are some ecclesiastic remarks on the various editions of the Spiritual Diary. In 1979, Imre Kisberk, the bishop of Székesfehérvár gave his nihil obstat to an abstract edition of the Diary (prot. nr. 1404/1979), stating that “there is nothing in the book, that would contradict our faith”. But there was no Imprimatur, because he did not dare to risk it under the political circumstances. Because of similar reasons, on 3. May 1984 Gyula Szakos, the bishop of Székesfehérvár has retracted the nihil obstat in his statement published in the Catholic newspaper “Új Ember”. Nándor Takács, his successor has upheld this decision of Gyula Szakos (30. December 1999; prot. nr. 1367-1/1999)

The Spiritual Diary of the Flame of Love has been translated into many languages, also into Spanish. To the edition of the Anna Roth-compilation (which was printed also in Hungarian edited by Rev. János Izeli) published in Quito (Ecuador) the Archbishopof Guayquil, Mond Echevarría Ruíz gave not only an Imprimatur, but also a very positive recommendation (Guayaquil, June 1989). In the same subject the Imprimatur of the Archbishop of Hermosillo, J. Ulises Macís Salcedo was issued on 20. May 2008.

[108] Before the trip to Rome – according to the diary – Jesus asked for a forty-days long strict fasting from Madame Erzsébet, which he later justified as follows: “Do not be afraid, that is why I made you fast for forty days. I knew, that there are forty Cardinals in Rome, and for your sacrifice to bear fruit in the souls of all of them” (IV/33)

[109] According to the Diary the Flame of Love became known to all forty Cardinals (IV/33). Cf. Antalóczi L., Jelenések, 178; Begyik T., A Szeretetláng üzenete, 30.

[110] But it is possible, that in the Diary with the underlined parts Madame Erzsébet communicates the most important parts to be communicated “outwards” with her confessor, to what she often refers by scribbling it in the margins of the Diary.

[111] For example, the clause at the end of the third volume sounds: “I verify, that this volume contains my spiritual diary. Volume II – 1963-1964-1965. 121-240. 1- contains continuing pages.  I wrote the notices faithfully and accurately. The corrections are done by me. I recognise this diary as my own. Written by my own hand. s God is my witness! 26. August 1965. Mrs. Károly Kindelmann, born Erzésbet Szántó (III/241).

[112] Tanquerey, A., A tökéletes élet. Aszkétika és misztika, Paris-Tournai-Roma 1932, nr.1502. (own translation)

[113] The triple cry “Penance!” (cf. III/198) is also present in the messages of Fatima; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith: The Message of Fatima; cf. De Fiores, S., Maria, 55

[114] Jesus marks Thursday and Friday as days of atonement. It is good, if atonement is done by two or three people, possibly in family circle, one hour a day. The promise of a dead member of the family being released from Purgatory after one day of strict fasting is connected to this (cf. III/121).

Atonement procures graces and as an effect of the prayers for the sinners the power of Satan weakens (cf. I/116). According to another message during the time of adoration of “visiting the Sacraments” the Satan gets “blinded” in the territory of the particular Church, and thus loses his power over souls (cf. II/22).

The meritorious sacrifices of Madame Erzsébet are also an addition to the release of the souls suffering in Purgatory. As Jesus said: “The sacrifices of your life united with my own merits will be a light for them, too” (IV/11).

[115] In the apparitions of La Salette, Lourdes, Pontmain, Fatima, Beauring, Banneux, Siracusa, etc. the significance of praying, atonement, conversion, fasting also gets a strong emphasis, and many times the salvation-bringing nature of the suffering also comes up (cf. De Fiores, S., Maria, 55).

[116] “In the apparitions accepted and approved by the Church the Blessed Virgin – apart from the possible messages – always calls for the adoration of the Living God, unceasing prayer for the conversion of the heart, the peace and the conversion of  sinners, directing our faith towards thanksgiving (eucaristizzare), living the faith according the salvation-bearing inspiration of the Holy Spirit and to bear witness” (Perrella, S. M., Le apparizioni mariane, 176; vö. ibid., 184-185; own translation). See more: Signum magnum, nr. II/4.

[117]Antalóczi L., Jelenések, 172. The last sentence is referenced in the Diary, too (Cf. I/39; I/58; I/116).

[118] “The Lord Jesus said: ‘From these twelve priests you can choose anyone to be your confessor.’ I was hesitating from this choice and I have asked the Lord Jesus to point to one of the priests and that I will accept gladly. And the Lord Jesus has pointed to someone, his name is F.K.”; IV/25. We also have to mention the persons of E.F (IV/30.32) and MM (I/79; II/63.68-69).

[119] Cf. Hierzensberger, G. – Nedomansky, O., Dizionario cronologico, 40.

[120] “The only registerable, but also the most convincing development is the reception of the Flame of Love all around the world. From China to America, from Australia to the Scandinavian states it expanded freely, it was translated even into Japanese.” (Antalóczi L., Jelenések, 174.)

[121] Cf. Perrella, S. M., Le apparizioni mariane, 86.

[122] Cf. ibid., 92.

[123] Cf.Tanquerey, A., A tökéletes élet nr. 1506

To put it simply, people with beauty defects, minor bodily deficits, residual traces of pre-existing but successfully treated health problems (e.g. filled teeth, minor surgical scars, etc.) can also be considered basically healthy. Or: A person with a clear mind will not be confused if they have poor thinking or wording on certain issues. Or: a person who is seeking holiness, consciously avoiding sins, can commit sins, or make bad decisions in his life, but this will not make him evil and thus the messages will not be "bad" altogether, just because they have some misunderstandings and misinterpretations due to the limitations of the characteristics of the human medium.

This is also supported by another well-known spiritual-theologian, Royo Martin, who lays down the ground rules of the discretion spirituum (“discernment of spritis”) regarding the private revelations in seven points. One of these states: “One shall not cast away a revelation, just because in a certain part or detail it is explicitly wrong. The other parts might be true” (Royo Marín, A., Teologia, 1077; own translation).

 

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