The Lord be with you!

And with your spirit

 

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Glory to you, O Lord.

John 10:11–18
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

The Lord be with you!

And with your spirit

 

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Glory to you, O Lord.

 

John 6:60-69
To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
  As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

The Lord be with you!

And with your spirit

 

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Glory to you, O Lord.

Gospel Jn 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

– – –

Calling Christ’s Prophets

 

Love for the Roman Pontiff must be in us a delightful passion, for in him we see Christ. If we deal with the Lord in prayer, we will go forward with a clear gaze that will permit us to perceive the action of the Holy Spirit, even in the face of events we do not understand or which produce sighs or sorrow.
—St. José Escriva, In Love with the Church, n. 13

 

AS Catholics, our duty is not to look for perfection in our bishops, but to listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd in theirs. 

Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)

Pope Francis is the “chief” shepherd of Christ’s Church and “…he carries out among men that task of sanctifying and governing which Jesus entrusted to Peter.” [1] History teaches us, beginning with Peter, that the successors to that first Apostle carry out that office with varying degrees of competence and holiness. The point is this: one can quickly get stuck on their faults and failings and soon fail to hear Jesus speaking through them, despite.

For indeed he was crucified out of weakness, but he lives by the power of God. So also we are weak in him, but toward you we shall live with him by the power of God. (2 Corinthians 13:4)

The “conservative” Catholic media has, for the most part, been stuck for some time now on the ambiguous or confusing aspects of Francis’ pontificate. As such, they often miss or completely omit reporting on the often powerful and anointed statements of the Pontiff—words that have deeply touched, not only me, but many of the Catholic leaders and theologians I converse with behind the scenes. The question we must each ask ourselves is this: Have I lost the capacity to hear the Voice of Christ speaking through my shepherds—despite their shortcomings? 

Though this is not the main point of today’s article, it almost has to be said. Because when it comes to quoting Pope Francis these days, I sometimes have to preempt his words with such caveats as above (trust me… articles like these are almost always followed with emails telling me how blind and deceived I am). As the head of one well-known apostolate said to me recently regarding those who have taken a position to criticize Pope Francis publically:

Their tone leads a person to feel as though you are betraying Christ’s Church if you don’t disagree or even somewhat “bash” Pope Francis. At the very least, it is implied, we must receive everything he says with a grain of salt and question it. Yet I have been very nourished by his gentle spirit and call to compassion. I know the ambiguities are concerning, but it just makes me pray for him all the more. I’m afraid schism will come from all this ultra-conservatism in the Church. I don’t like playing into the hands of Satan, the Divider.  

 

CALLING ALL PROPHETS

My spiritual director once said, “The prophets have short careers.” Yes, even in the New Testament Church, they are often “stoned” or “beheaded,” that is, silenced or sidelined (see Silencing the Prophets).

But Pope Francis has not only cast the stones aside but has deliberately called the Church to step up her prophetic voice.

Prophets, true prophets, those who risk their neck for proclaiming “the truth” even if uncomfortable, even if “it is not pleasant to listen to”… “A true prophet is one who is able to cry for the people and to say strong things when needed.” —POPE FRANCIS, Homily, Santa Marta; April 17th, 2018; Vatican Insider

Here, we have a beautiful description of a “true prophet.” For many today have the idea that a prophet is someone who always begins their sentences saying, “Thus sayeth the Lord!” and then pronounces a strong warning and rebuke to their listeners. That was often the case in the Old Testament and is sometimes necessary in the New. But with the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and the revelation of God’s profound love and salvific plan, a new era of mercy was opened to humanity:

In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy.—Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1588

So what is prophecy today?

Witness to Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

And what should our witness to Jesus look like?

This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another… Your every act should be done with love. (John 13:35; 1 Corinthians 16:14)

Thus, Pope Francis goes on to say:

The prophet is not a professional “reproacher”… No, they are people of hope. A prophet reproaches when necessary and opens doors overlooking the horizon of hope. But, the real prophet, if they do their job well, risks their neck… Prophets have always been persecuted for telling the truth.

Persecution—he notes—for having said it in a “direct” and not “lukewarm” way. As such,

When the prophet preaches the truth and touches the heart, either the heart opens or it becomes stone, unleashing anger and persecution…

He concludes his homily saying:

The Church needs prophets. These kinds of prophets. “I will say more: She needs us all to be prophets.”

Yes, every one of us is called to share in Christ’s prophetic office.

…the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 897

The “key” to being a faithful prophet in these times is not one’s capacity to read headlines and post links about the “signs of the times.” Neither is it a matter of publically pronouncing the faults and errors of others with a right mix of indignation and doctrinal purity. Rather, it is the ability to lay one’s head upon the breast of Christ and listen to His heartbeats… and then direct them to whom they are intended. Or as Pope Francis put it so eloquently:

The prophet is that who prays, who looks at God and at the people, and feels pain when the people are wrong, the prophet cries—they are able to cry over the people—but they are also able to “play it out well” to tell the truth.

That might get you beheaded. You might be stoned. But…

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:11-12)

 

RELATED READING

Call of the Prophets!

Silencing the Prophets

Stoning the Prophets

When the Stones Cry Out

Can We Exhaust God’s Mercy?

Love Anchors Doctrine

Called to the Wall

Rationalism, and the Death of Mystery

When They Listened

Medjugorje… What You May Not Know

 

 

Bless you and thank you!
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Bishop Robert Barron

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Third Week of Easter
John 6:44-51
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus offers himself as food for the soul. There is a great truth revealed in the bread of life discourse: it is the law of the gift. This personal, incarnating God wants to be eaten and drunk, to be radically and fully for the other.

Why were the gods of the ancient world so popular? Because they were projections of ourselves—vain, arrogant, resentful, violent. This means that they put little moral pressure on us. They were frightening but not morally demanding.

But this God who shows that he is totally love, and who wants us to eat and drink him in, is the God who wants us to be like him. As he is food and drink for the world, so we must be food and drink for the world. As he gave himself away utterly, so we must give ourselves away fully.

We’re not to cling to the goods, honors, and values of the world—all those things that aggrandize the ego—but rather give ourselves away. That’s what we learn from the God of the gift.

My Love, You Always Have

 

WHY are you sad? Is it because you have blown it again? Is it because you have many faults? Is it because you don’t meet “the standard”?

I understand those feelings. In my younger years, I frequently dealt with scrupulosity—strong overriding guilt for the slightest faults. So, when I left home, I was driven by a nagging need for approval from others because I could never approve of myself, and certainly, God could never approve of me. What my parents, friends, and others thought of me subtly decided whether I was “good” or “bad.” This carried on into my marriage. How my wife looked at me, how my children reacted to me, what my neighbours thought of me… this too decided whether I was “okay” or not. Furthermore, this bled into my ability to make decisions—obsessing over whether I was making the right choice or not.

Thus, when I failed to meet “the standard” in my mind, my reaction was often a blend of self-pity, self-deprecation, and anger. Underlying it all was a burgeoning fear that I was not the man I should be, and therefore, quite unlovable.

But God has done much in recent years to heal and liberate from me this terrible oppression. They were such convincing lies because there was always a kernel of truth in it. No, I am not perfect. I am a sinner. But that truth alone is enough for Satan to prey upon vulnerable minds, like mine, whose faith in God’s love was not yet deep enough.

That’s when that lying serpent comes to such souls in their moment of crises:

“If you are a sinner,” he hisses, “then you cannot be pleasing to God! Doesn’t His Word say that you should be “holy, as he is holy”? That you must be “perfect, as he is perfect”? Nothing unholy will enter Heaven. So how can you be in God’s presence right now if you are unholy? How can He be in you if you are sinful? How can you please Him if you are so unpleasing? You are nothing but a wretch and worm, a… failure.”

You see how powerful those lies are? They seem like truth. They sound like the Scriptures. They are at best half-truths, at worst, outright lies. Let’s take them apart one by one.

 

I. If you are a sinner, you cannot be pleasing to God.

I am the father of eight children. They are so different from one another. They all have strengths and weaknesses. They have their virtues, and they have their faults. But I love all of them without condition. Why? Because they are mine. They are mine. That’s all! They are mine. Even when my son fell into pornography, which really messed up his relationships and the harmony within our home, it never stopped my love for him (read The Late Consecration)

You are the Father’s child. Today, right now, He simply says:

(Insert your name), you are Mine. My love, you always have. 

Do you want to know what is most displeasing to God? It’s not your sins. Do you know why? Because the Father didn’t send His Son to save a perfect humanity, but a fallen one. Your sins do not “shock” Him, so to speak. But here is what truly displeases the Father: that after all Jesus has done through His Cross, you would still doubt His goodness.

My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.  —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486

Here’s the Scripture that Satan has left out of his little diabolical monologue:

Without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

It is not the absence of perfection but of faith that saddens God. To be healed of scrupulosity, you have to learn to trust in the Father’s love for you personally. It’s this childlike trust—despite your sins—that causes the Father to run to you, kiss, and embrace you every-single-time. For you who are scrupulous, ponder again and again the parable of the Prodigal Son.[1] What caused the father to run to his boy was not his son’s reparation or even his confession. It was the simple act of coming home that revealed the love that was always there. The father loved his son as much on the day of his return as on the day he first left.

Satan’s logic is always a reversed logic; if the rationality of despair adopted by Satan implies that because of our being ungodly sinners, we are destroyed, the reasoning of Christ is that because we are destroyed by every sin and every ungodliness, we are saved by the blood of Christ! —Matthew the Poor, The Communion of Love

 

II. You are not holy as He is holy; perfect, as He is perfect…

It is true, of course, that the Scriptures say:

Be holy, because I am holy… Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (1 Peter 1:16, Matthew 5:48)

Here is the question: is being holy for your benefit or God’s? Does being perfect add anything to His perfection? Of course not. God is infinitely joyful, peaceful, content; etc. Nothing you can say or do can diminish that. As I’ve said elsewhere, sin is not a stumbling block for God—it’s a stumbling block for you.

Satan wants you to believe that the commandment to “be holy” and “perfect” changes how God will see you from moment to moment, depending on how well you’re performing. As stated above, that’s a lie. You are His child; therefore, He loves you. Period. But precisely because He loves you, He wants you to share in His infinite joy, peace, and contentedness. How? By becoming all that you were created to be. Since you are made in God’s image, holiness is really just the state of being who you are created to be; perfection is the state of acting according to that image.

As I write this, flocks of geese are flying overhead as they obey the seasons, the earth’s magnetic field, and the laws of nature. If I could see into the spiritual realm, perhaps they would all have halos. Why? Because they are acting perfectly according to their nature. They are in perfect harmony with God’s design for them.

Made in the image of God, your nature is to love. So rather than see “holiness” and “perfection” as these daunting and impossible “standards” to live up to, see them as the path toward contentment: when you love as He loved you. 

For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Jesus is demanding, because He wishes our genuine happiness. —POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II, World Youth Day Message for 2005, Vatican City, Aug. 27th, 2004, Zenit.org

 

III. Nothing unholy will enter Heaven. So how can you be in God’s presence right now if you are unholy?

It is true that nothing unholy will enter Heaven. But what is Heaven? In the afterlife, it is the state of perfect communion with God. But herein is the lie: that Heaven is confined to eternity. That is not true. God communes with us now, even in our weakness. The “Kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Jesus would say.[2] And thus, it is among the imperfect.

“Who art in heaven” does not refer to a place, but to God’s majesty and his presence in the hearts of the just. Heaven, the Father’s house, is the true homeland toward which we are heading and to which, already, we belong.Catechism of the Cathlolic Church, n. 2802

In fact—this might surprise you—God communes with us even in our daily faults.

…venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1863

This is why the Good News is good news! Christ’s Precious Blood has reconciled us to the Father. So those of us who beat ourselves up ought to reflect again on who exactly Jesus communed, ate, drank, spoke, and walked with while on earth:

While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matt 9:10-13)

The sinner who feels within himself a total deprivation of all that is holy, pure, and solemn because of sin, the sinner who in his own eyes is in utter darkness, severed from the hope of salvation, from the light of life, and from the communion of saints, is himself the friend whom Jesus invited to dinner, the one who was asked to come out from behind the hedges, the one asked to be a partner in His wedding and an heir to God… Whoever is poor, hungry, sinful, fallen or ignorant is the guest of Christ. —Matthew the Poor, The Communion of Love, p.93

 

IV. You are nothing but a wretch and worm, a… failure.

It is true. Objectively speaking, all sinfulness is wretched. And in a certain way, I am a worm. Someday, I will die, and my body will return to the dust.

But I am a loved worm—and that is all the difference.

When the Creator gives His life for His creatures, that says something—something Satan jealously despises. Because now, through the Sacrament of Baptism, we have become children of the Most High.

…to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. (John 1:12-13)

For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)

When the devil slyly speaks to you in his derogatory way, he is talking (once again) in half-truths. He is not drawing you toward authentic humility, but acrid self-hatred. As St. Leo the Great once said, “Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.” For “It was through the devil’s envy that death entered the world” (Wis 2:24). [3]

Don’t go there. Don’t adopt Satan’s negativity and self-loathing language. Whenever you buy into that kind of self-deprecation, you are sowing bitter-root judgements that you will begin to reap in your relationships and other areas of your life. Trust me on this; it happened to me. We become our words. Better yet, trust Jesus:

My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace… Child, speak no more of your misery; it is already forgotten.  —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1485

As for being a failure… you are never a failure for falling; only when you refuse to get up again.

 

BE FREE

In closing, I invite you to take action in the areas of your life where you have believed some or all of these lies. If you have, then there are five simple steps you can take.

 

I. Renounce the lie

For example, you can say, “I renounce the lie that I am a useless piece of garbage. Jesus died for me. I believe in His name. I am a child of the Most High.” Or simply, “I renounce the lie that I am a disappointment to God” or whatever the lie is.

 

II. Bind and rebuke

As a believer in Christ, you have “the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy” in your life. [4] Standing on that authority as a child of the Most High, simply pray something like this:

“I bind the spirit of (e.g. “self-deprecation,” “self-hatred,” “doubt,” “pride,” etc.) and command you to depart in the name of Jesus Christ.”

 

III. Confession

Wherever you have bought into these lies, you need to ask God’s forgiveness. But it is not to gain his love, right? You have that already. Instead, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is there to cleanse these wounds and wash away your sin. In Confession, God restores you to a pristine baptismal state.

Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1448

 

IV. The Word

Fill the places in your soul—once occupied with lies—with the truth. Read the Word of God, especially those Scriptures that affirm God’s love for you, your divine rights, and His promises. And let the truth set you free.

 

V. The Eucharist

Let Jesus love you. Let Him apply the balm of His love and presence through the Holy Eucharist. How can you believe God does not love you when He gives Himself to you fully—Body, Soul, and Spirit—in this humble form? I can say this: it has been my time before the Blessed Sacrament, inside and outside of Mass, that has does the most to heal my heart and learn to trust in His love.

To rest in Him.

“My love, you always have,” He says to you now. “Will you accept it?”

 

 

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It is I

Never Forsaken by Abraham Hunter

 

It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
(John 6:17)

 

THERE can be no denying that darkness has folded over our world and strange clouds swirl above the Church. And in this present night, many Christians are wondering, “How long, Lord? How long before the dawn?” 

And I hear Jesus saying, as He did in today’s Gospel:

It is I. Do not be afraid. (John 6:20)

I have never left you. I never will.

But when that Sea of Galilee was stirring and the wind howling, the Apostles only “wanted to take Him into the boat.” But…

…the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading. (6:21)

Brothers and sisters, we are entering a Great Storm, long foretold in the Scriptures and heralded in our days by Our Lady and other appointed souls. We too might look at the waves rising like a Spiritual Tsunami, the tumult among the nations, the shuddering of nature, and the unravelling of the natural moral law and wonder where are You Jesus?

It is I. Do not be afraid.

The Storm may rage, the seas may swell, and the winds howl… but tonight, Our Lord is coming to every one of you reading this saying;

I have never left you. I never will. But this time, I will not be in the boat. For this is a time of testing and trust for My Church. But see, I am always guiding you. My eyes are always upon you. I am always near. And I will lead you to safe shores. 

And to what shores are we headed? To which lands is the Lord guiding us? Toward doom? No, to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

The Lord Jesus had a really deep conversation with me. He asked me to urgently take the messages to the bishop. (It was March 27, 1963, and I did that.) He spoke to me at length about the time of grace and the Spirit of Love quite comparable to the first Pentecost, flooding the earth with its power. That will be the great miracle drawing the attention of all humanity. All that is the effusion of the effect of grace of the Blessed Virgin’s Flame of Love. The earth has been covered in darkness because of the lack of faith in the soul of humanity and therefore will experience a great jolt. Following that, people will believe. This jolt, by the power of faith, will create a new world. Through the Flame of Love of the Blessed Virgin, faith will take root in souls, and the face of the earth will be renewed, because “nothing like it has happened ever since the Word became Flesh.” The renewal of the earth, although flooded with sufferings, will come about by the power of intercession of the Blessed Virgin. —Elizabeth Kindelmann, The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The Spiritual Diary (Kindle Edition, Loc. 2898-2899); approved in 2009 by Cardinal Péter Erdö Cardinal, Primate and Archbishop. Note: Pope Francis gave his Apostolic Blessing upon the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Movement on June 19th, 2013.

In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. —Our Lady of Fatima, The Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va

Yes, a miracle was promised at Fatima, the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection. And that miracle will be an era of peace which has never really been granted before to the world. —Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi, October 9th, 1994; The Apostolate’s Family Catechism, p. 35; papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and St. John Paul II

There are two kinds of people we should not be in this Storm. Those who bury their heads in the proverbial sand, refusing to acknowledge the destructive winds and waves that are submerging souls; and neither should we be those who are transfixed upon and despairing of the Storm, unable to perceive the shores beyond it. The Christian should be neither a pessimist nor an optimist, but a realist. For it is always the truth that sets us free, and truth, therefore, which grounds us in authentic hope.

When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. (John 16:21)

This is the time to cultivate An Invincible Faith in Jesus. If we do, then we can also become a lighthouse to others, participating with Jesus in leading others to the Safe Harbor that God promises during, and after the Storm.

My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. —June 13th, 1917, www.ewtn.com

 

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A Time to Weep

A Flaming Sword: Nuclear-capable missile fired over California in November, 2015
Caters News Agency, (Abe Blair)

 

1917:

…at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’—Sr. Lucia of Fatima, July 13th, 1917

1937:

I saw the Lord Jesus, like a king in great majesty, looking down upon our earth with great severity; but because of His Mother’s intercession He prolonged the time of His mercy…the Lord answered me, “I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation.” —St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 126I, 1160

1965:

Although the world of today has a very vivid awareness of its unity and of how one man depends on another in needful solidarity, it is most grievously torn into opposing camps by conflicting forces. For political, social, economic, racial and ideological disputes still continue bitterly, and with them the peril of a war which would reduce everything to ashes. —Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes; vatican.va

2000:

The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgment which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword.—Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI) The Message of Fatima, from www.vatican.va

2002:

Today I willingly entrust to the power of this prayer [the Rosary]… the cause of peace in the world and the cause of the family. —POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 39;

2003:

There will be no peace on earth while the oppression of peoples, injustices, and economic imbalances, which still exist, endure. —POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II, Ash Wednesday Mass, 2003

2005:

…the threat of judgment also concerns us, the Church in Europe, Europe and the West in general… Light can also be taken away from us and we do well to let this warning ring out with its full seriousness in our hearts… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Opening Homily, Synod of Bishops,October 2nd, 2005, Rome.

2007:

…the danger of an increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons causes well-founded apprehension in every responsible person. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, December 11th, 2007; USA Today

2013:

Weapons and violence do not lead to peace, war leads to more war. —POPE FRANCIS, September 1, 2013; france24.com

2014:

War is madness… even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a Third War, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction… Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep. —POPE FRANCIS, September 13th, 2015; BBC.com

2015-2016:

Pope Francis declares a “Jubilee of Mercy.”

Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy.
—Jesus to St. Faustina; Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 300

…before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice… —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1146

2017:

The winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline. —POPE FRANCIS, Urbi et Orbi, December 25th, 2017; Yahoo.com

…no war is just. The only just thing is peace. —POPE FRANCIS, from Politique et Société, an interview with Dominique Wolton; cf. catholicherald.com

2018:

I think we are at the very limit. I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things. —POPE FRANCIS, aboard flight to Chile and Peru, Reuters, January 15th, 2018; yahoo.com

 

Syria, April 13th, 2018; AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

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My dearly children beloved, my heart is torn by grief and my tears bathe the earth. Children, again blood and pain will tear my poor heart; the rumbling of wars that were distant are now at the gates. Everything that I had been announcing for a long time will come to pass; now the time has come. Children, pray and do not fall into the temptation of thinking that God has forgotten you; each one of you is precious in His eyes. Children, each of you has been paid for dearly, my son Jesus died for each one of you and loves you immensely, but unfortunately man, more and more, wants to take His place. Dearly beloved children (Mother was crying as she was speaking), you will experience momentous times, you will live in lament and pain; pray, children, make your life a continuous prayer. My children, the weapon for facing these moments of darkness and pain and for ensuring that all of this is mitigated, is prayer, and staying before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: it is there that you will draw the greatest strength! —Our Lady of Zaro allegedly to Angela; Ischia, Italy; April 8th, 2017 (translation by Peter Bannister)

 

First published Nov. 11th, 2015; updated today.

 

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