Toward the Storm

 

ON THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

 

IT is time to share with you what happened to me this summer when a sudden storm assailed our farm. I feel certain that God allowed this “micro-storm,” in part, to prepare us for what is coming upon the whole world. Everything I experienced this summer is symbolic of what I have spent nearly 13 years writing about in order to prepare you for these times.

And maybe that is the first point: you were born for these times. Do not pine, then, for the past. Do not try to escape into a false reality either. Rather, immerse yourself in the present moment, living for God and one another with each breath, as if it were your last. While I am about to speak of what is to come, ultimately, I do not know if I will live beyond tonight. So today, I want to be a vessel of love, joy, and peace to those around me. Nothing is stopping me… but fear. But I will speak about that another time…

 

THE DAY OF THE STORM

Without restating what I have already explained in greater detail in writings such as Rethinking the End Times and Is the Eastern Gate Openingor in my book The Final Confrontationwe are approaching the “Day of the Lord.” Our Lord and St. Paul spoke about how it will come “like a thief in the night.”

The day that stormwind swept over our farm was a parable of what is happening right now. There were signs earlier in the day that the storm was coming, especially with other things happening around me (see The Morning After). Earlier in the day, there was a strong, hot wind as darkness gathered on the horizon. Later, we could see clouds roiling in the distance, slowly approaching. And yet, we stood there talking, laughing, and discussing various things. And then, without notice, it struck: a hurricane force wind that, within seconds, tore down large trees, fence lines, and telephone poles. Watch:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/274391507

I cried out to my family, “Get in the house!” …but it was too late. Within moments, we were in the middle of the storm with nowhere to hide… except in God’s protection. And protect us, He did. Even now, I marvel that none of the nine of us who were home that day recall hearing a single tree snap—though over a hundred did. In fact, I don’t even recall feeling the wind or dust in my eyes. My son, who was on the road, was standing beneath the only power pole that did not snap like others did for a quarter mile. It was like we were all in a hidden ark as the storm passed over us.

The point is this: there will be no time to enter the Ark when this Great Storm, that is now here and coming, passes over the world (and do not think of “time” in human terms). You have to be in the Ark beforehand. Today, all of us can see the Storm clouds of persecution, economic collapse, war, and great divisions coming….[1] but is the Church in a state of denial, complacency, or hardness of heart? Are we preoccupied with meaningless things, seduced by passions, pleasure, or the material?

…they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be [also] at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matt 24:38-39)

Yes, Jesus is coming! But not in the flesh to end human history (see the links below in Related Reading). Rather, He is coming as a Judge to both purify the world and vindicate His Word, thereby ushering in the last age of salvation history.

Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, n. 965

(At the end of this writing, I’ll briefly explain what the “Ark” is.)

 

LIKE BOXCARS

This was only the beginning of the storm for my family, so to speak. In the days, then weeks ahead, one day after another presented a new crisis and a new challenge. Everything from our vehicles to computers to farm machinery began to break down. Only in hindsight could I see that the events were designed to be a perfect storm for me. Because what the Father began to do was reveal the idols, dysfunction, and brokenness in my life through these events. I thought I was stronger… but it was a mask. I thought I was more holy… but it was a false image. I thought I was detached… but watched as God smashed my idols one by one. It seemed as if I had been thrown into a well without a ladder, and each time I came up for a breath, I was pushed back down. I was truly beginning to drown
in my own realities, for not only was I beginning to see myself as I truly was, but this was accompanied by a sense of utter helplessness to change myself.

This reminded me of the warnings God has given to Jennifer, an American wife and mother whose messages a Vatican official encouraged to be spread to the world:[2] Jesus spoke of events coming one after another, like the boxcars of a train…

My people, this time of confusion will only multiply. When the signs begin to come forth like boxcars, know that the confusion will only multiply with it. Pray! Pray dear children. Prayer is what will keep you strong and will allow you the grace to defend the truth and persevere in these times of trials and sufferings. —Jesus to Jennifer, November 3rd, 2005

These events will come like boxcars on the tracks and will ripple all across this world. The seas are no longer calm and the mountains will awaken and the division will multiply. —April 4th, 2005

My children, the conscience is no longer aware of the soul’s destiny for too many souls are sleeping. The eyes of your body may be open but your soul is no longer seeing the light for it is too covered in the darkness of sin. Changes are coming and as I have told you before they will come as boxcars one after another. —September 27th, 2011

Indeed, my eyes were open, but I could not see… changes had to come.

The analogy the Lord has given me of what is coming is that of a hurricane. The closer we get to the “eye of the Storm”, the more fierce the “winds, waves, and debris” will be. Just as it was impossible for me to keep up with everything happening to us, so too, as we near the Eye of this Great Storm, it will be humanly impossible to pass through it. But as we hear in today’s First Mass reading:

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)

What is the “Eye of the Storm”? It is, according to several mystics and saints, a moment coming when everyone on earth will see themselves in the light of Truth, as if they were standing before God in judgment (see: The Eye of the Storm). We read of such an event in Revelation 6:12-17 when everyone on earth feels as though the Final Judgment has come. St. Faustina experienced such an illumination herself:

Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for. What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy-God! —St. Faustina; Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 36 

This “illumination of conscience” or “warning” is a final grace that will be given to humanity to either turn back to God and pass through the “door of Mercy” or proceed through the “door of justice.”

Write: 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… Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Faustina, n. 1146

Thus, this coming “light” will also serve to separate the weeds from the wheat.

To overcome the tremendous effects of generations of sin, I must send the power to break through and transform the world. But this surge of power will be uncomfortable, even painful for some. This will cause the contrast between darkness and light to become even greaterThe day of the Lord approaches. All must be prepared. Ready yourselves in body, mind, and soul. Purify yourselves.  —God the Father allegedly to Barbara Rose Centilli, whose purported messages are under diocesan examination; from the four volumes Seeing With the Eyes of the Soul, November 15th, 1996; as quoted in The Miracle of the Illumination of Conscience by Dr. Thomas W. Petrisko, p. 53

Indeed, while the crises that unfolded around me served to gradually illuminate my brokenness, it was on a single day that the Lord finally revealed the root of my dysfunction that went decades ago to the day my sister died in a car accident. The light of truth suddenly spilled into my heart and mind, and I clearly saw what needed to change in me. It was hard to face the truth, and how I had affected those around me. At the same time, there is something incredibly comforting about the double-edged sword of truth. At once it pierces and burns, but also relieves and heals. The truth sets us free, no matter how painful it is. As St. Paul wrote:

At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

Suddenly, there I was in the “eye of the storm.” The winds stopped buffeting, the sun broke through, and the waves began to calm. I was now enveloped in the peace of the Father’s love as tears rushed down my face. Yes, I suddenly realized how much He loved me—that He was not punishing so much as correcting me because…

…whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. (Heb 12:6)

The real crisis was not the material disasters happening around me, but the state of my heart. So too, the Lord is going to allow mankind to reap what he has sown—like the prodigal son—but in hopes that we too will return home like that wayward boy.

One day several years ago, I felt led to read the sixth chapter of the Book of Revelation. I sensed the Lord saying that these are the “boxcars” or “winds” that will comprise the first half of the Storm leading up to the Eye. You can read that here: The Seven Seals of RevolutionIn a word,

God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions, and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. —Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, Catholic Prophecy, P. 76

 

PREPARE YOUR HEARTS

…you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. (1 Thess 5:4-6)

I have written these things, brothers and sisters, so that this “Day” may not overtake you like a thief in the night. I sense that some event, or events, are going to come so swiftly on the world that from one day to the next our lives will change in the blink of an eye. I don’t say this to make you afraid (but perhaps to shake you awake if you have fallen asleep). Rather, to prepare your hearts for the victory that is coming through the interventions of Heaven. The only time you should be afraid is if you are deliberately living in sin. As the psalmist writes:

Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed, but only those who wantonly break faith. (Ps 25:3)

Make a thorough and honest examination of your conscience. Be blunt, bold, and truthful. Go back to Confession. Let the Father love you into wholeness while Jesus strengthens you through the Eucharist. And then remain, with all your heart, soul, and strength, in a state of grace. God will help you through a daily life of prayer.

Last, during the course of those three months after the storm here, I kept crying out to Our Lady to help me. I felt as though she had abandoned me…. One day recently, as I stood before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I saw in my heart that she was standing beside the Father’s throne. She was pleading with Him to come to my aid, but the Father was telling her to wait a bit longer. And then, when it was time, she fled to me. Tears of joy ran down my face as I realized that she had been interceding for me the whole time. But like the best of fathers, Abba had to deliver His discipline first. And like the best of mothers (as mothers always do), she stood by in tears and waiting, knowing that the Father’s discipline was just and necessary.

My hope is that you will prepare your hearts to see yourselves as you truly are. Don’t be afraid. God is purifying His Church so that we may enter into a profound union with Him that will resonate from coast to coast.

This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

We are to become the Gospel incarnate so that the world will know that the Divine Will is our life.

 

ENTER THE ARK… AND STAY

Thus, God offers to the Church and the world today an Ark. What is the Ark? It is one reality with two dimensions: the motherhood of both Mary and the Church, who are mirror images of each other. In the approved revelations to Elizabeth Kindelmann, Jesus often said:

My Mother is Noah’s Ark…The Flame of Love, p. 109; Imprimatur Archbishop Charles Chaput

And again:

The grace from the Flame of Love of My Mother’s Immaculate Heart will be to your generation what Noah’s Ark was to his generation. —Our Lord to Elizabeth Kindelmann; The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, The Spiritual Diary, p. 294

What Mary is on a personal level, the Church is on a corporate level:

The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.CCC, n. 845

Both Mary and the Church have one purpose: to bring you into the safe refuge of God’s saving mercy. The Ark does not exist to randomly sail upon the seas of human history building cathedrals and playing with temporal power. Rather, she is given precisely in order to sail souls into The Great Refuge and Safe Harbour of Christ’s mercy. Jesus Christ alone is the Savior of the world. There is no true refuge apart from Him. He is our Good Shepherd, and through the Blessed Mother and the Church, He shepherds and guides us “through the valley of the shadow of death” to “green pastures.” As mothers, Mary and the Church, then, are also refuges because Our Lord willed them to be. Are not our earthly mothers most often a refuge for the family?

THE BEGINNING OF THE CRISES

The Church’s witness and unity are a mess, torn apart as she is by scandal. And it’s only going to get worse from here until all the rot and corruption are exposed. And yet, the heart of the Church—her Sacraments and teachings—remain unscathed (even though they’ve been abused by certain clergymen). It would be a terrible mistake for you to separate yourself from Mother Church, which is and always has been marked by the unifying presence of the office of Peter.

The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 882

Let us pray, then, for the Pope today, engulfed as he is in endless controversies. Pray for all our shepherds, not only that those who are faithful will have strength and perseverance through this coming Storm, but also for the wayward shepherds that they may, like Peter of old, turn their hearts back to Christ.

So then, brothers and sisters, with the faith we have been given, the surety of the Truth, and the aid of our Mothers… onward, toward the Storm.

All are invited to join my special fighting force. The coming of my Kingdom must be your only purpose in life… Do not be cowards. Do not wait. Confront the Storm to save souls. —Jesus to Elizabeth Kindelmann, The Flame of Love, pg. 34, published by Children of the Father Foundation; imprimatur Archbishop Charles Chaput

 

RELATED READING

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Choosing Sides

 

Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another,
“I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men?
(Today’s first Mass reading)

 

PRAY more… speak less. Those are the words Our Lady has allegedly addressed to the Church at this very hour. However, when I wrote a meditation on this last week,[1] a handful of readers somewhat disagreed. Writes one:

I’m concerned that just like in 2002, the Church will take the road of “let this pass over us and then we will move on.” My question is, if there is a group within the Church that is dark, how can we help those cardinals and bishops that are afraid to speak out and have been silenced in the past? I believe Our Lady has given us the Rosary as our weapon, but I feel in my heart she has also been preparing us to do more…

The question and concerns here are good and right. But so is Our Lady’s advice. For she did not say “don’t speak” but “speak less”, adding that we must also “pray more.” What she is really saying is she indeed wants us to speak, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

 

WORDS OF WISDOM

Through authentic interior prayer, we encounter Christ. In that encounter, we are transformed more and more into His likeness. This is what sets apart saints from social workers, those who only “do” from those who “be.” For there is a vast difference between those who speak words, and those who are the words. The former is like one who holds a flashlight, the second, like a little sun whose rays penetrate and transform those in their presence—even without words. St. Paul was such a soul, one who had so utterly emptied himself so as to be filled with Christ, that even though he was apparently a poor orator, his words radiated with the power and light of Jesus.

I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. (Monday’s first Mass reading)

Here, Paul is differentiating between human wisdom and the Wisdom of God.

…we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit… (Tuesday’s first Mass reading)

This was only possible because St. Paul was a man of deep faith and prayer, even though he suffered tremendous hardships and trials.  

We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. (2 Cor 4:7-10)

So, when we pray more and speak less, we are making room for Jesus to live in and through us; for His words to become my words, and my words to become His. In this way, when I do speak, I am speaking with words “taught by the Spirit” (ie. true wisdom) and embued with His presence.

 

WHY DIVISIONS ARE GROWING

Before Pope Francis ascended the throne of Peter, I shared with readers a powerful warning the Lord kept repeating in my heart for several weeks after Benedict’s resignation: “You are entering dangerous days and great confusion.” [2] This is why it is even more crucial that we pray more and speak less because words are powerful; they can cause division and create confusion where there was none before.

While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and walking according to the manner of man? Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men? (Today’s first Mass reading)

“I belong to Pope Benedict… I belong to Francis… I belong to John Paul II… I belong to Pius X…”  I am hearing these sentiments more and more today, and they are tearing at the seams of Catholic unity. But as Christians, we have to move beyond our limited affections and cling to Christ alone, who is Truth itself. We need to always choose Christ’s side. When we do, we will be able to “hear” truth in all of Peter’s successors, despite their shortcomings and sins. Then we can look beyond the “stumbling block” of their faults to the rock that they are, by virtue of their office (though this is not to say that they should not be held accountable for such grievous charges such as those being put forth at this time).

I have followed some of the media reports surrounding Pope Francis, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Cardinal McCarrick, etc. This is only the beginning, not the pinnacle of the necessary purification through which the Church must pass. What I sense the Lord saying this week is what I have warned about in the past: that we are entering a Global Revolution not unlike the French Revolution. It would be “like a storm“, the Lord showed me over a decade ago… “like a hurricane.” Several years later, I read the same words in the approved revelations to Elizabeth Kindelmann:

You know, my little one, the elect will have to fight against the Prince of Darkness. It will be a terrible storm. Rather, it will be a hurricane which will want to destroy the faith and confidence of even the elect. In this terrible turmoil currently brewing up, you will see the brightness of my Flame of Love illuminating Heaven and earth by the effusion of its effect of grace I am passing on to souls in this dark night. —Our Lady to Elizabeth, The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The Spiritual Diary (Kindle Locations 2994-2997)

So, brothers and sisters, let us not add to the Tempest which must necessarily come by the winds of rash and divisive words! I can honestly say I was astonished to hear the reports of several Catholic “conservative” media outlets over the past couple of weeks. One publication stated that the Holy Father was “neither holy, nor a father.” Another commentator stared cooly into the camera and threatened Pope Francis with hellfire if he did not resign and repent. Here is where souls would do better to heed Our Lady’s words rather than foment schism, which itself is a grave sin. Even Cardinal Raymond Burke, who affirmed that it is canonically ‘licit’ to call for the Pope’s resignation, called for restraint until all the facts are in:

I can only say that to arrive at this one must investigate and respond in this regard. The request for resignation is in any case licit; anyone can make it in the face of whatever pastor that errs greatly in the fulfillment of his office, but the facts need to be verified. —interview in La Repubblica; cited in American Magazine, August 29th, 2018

 

LOVE IN TRUTH

Alas, I cannot help what others do or say, but I can help myself. I can pray more and speak less, thereby creating the space within my heart for Divine Wisdom. We need to courageously defend the truth, more than ever today. But as Pope Benedict said, it must be caritas in veritate: “love in truth.” Our best example is Jesus Himself who, even when face to face with Judas the Betrayer or Peter the Denier, did not lash out or condemn but remained the steady Face of love in truth. That’s who we need to be, people unswerving in truth, but radiating He who is love. For does the Church exist to convict or convert others?

This is a followup message of Our Lady a few days after her advice to pray more, and speak less… including a word on how we should respond to our pastors.

Dear children, my words are simple but are filled with motherly love and care. My children, all the more the shadows of darkness and deception are being cast over you, and I am calling you to the light and truth—I am calling you to my Son. Only He can transform despair and suffering into peace and clarity; only He can give hope in the deepest pain. My Son is the life of the world. The more that you come to know Him—the more that you come close to Him—all the more you will love Him, because my Son is love. Love changes everything; it makes most beautiful also that which, without love, seems insignificant to you. That is why, anew, I am saying to you that you must love a lot if you desire to grow spiritually. I know, apostles of my love, that it is not always easy, but, my children, also the painful paths are paths which lead to spiritual growth, to faith, and to my Son. My children, pray—think of my Son. In all the moments of the day, raise your soul to Him, and I will gather your prayers as flowers from the most beautiful garden and give them as a gift to my Son. Be true apostles of my love; spread the love of my Son to everyone. Be gardens of the most beautiful flowers. With your prayers help your shepherds that they may be spiritual fathers filled with love for all people. Thank you.—Our Lady of Medjugorje allegedly to Mirjana, September 2nd, 2018

 

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This Revolutionary Spirit

Fake News, Real Revolution

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Now indeed is not the time to flee from the one true Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Jesus didn’t come down from the Cross, saying… Ok, I have had enough.  No.  Jesus endured the cross until the very end to fulfill GOD’s heavenly plan. Blessed be our Lord, GOD and Savior for his savings Grace.

Pray More… Speak Less

The Hour of Vigil; Oli Scarff, Getty Images

 

MEMORIAL OF THE PASSION OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

 

Dearest brothers and sisters… it’s been so long since I have had the opportunity to write a meditation—a “now word” for our times. As you know, we have been reeling here from that storm and all the other problems that cascaded during the past three months. It seems that these crises are not over, as we just learned that our roof has been rotting and needs to be replaced. Through it all, God has been crushing me in the crucible of my own brokenness, revealing the areas of my life that need to be purified. While it feels like punishment, it is actually preparation—for deeper union with Him. How exciting is that? Yet, it has been extremely painful to enter into the depths of self-knowledge… but I see the loving discipline of the Father through it all. In the weeks ahead, if God wills it, I will share what He is teaching me in hopes that some of you may also find encouragement and healing. With that, onward to today’s Now Word

 

WHILE unable to write a meditation the past few months—until now—I have continued to follow the dramatic events unfolding throughout the world: the continued fracturing and polarization of families and nations; the rise of China; the beating of war drums between Russia, North Korea, and the United States; the move to unseat the American President and rise of socialism in the West; the growing censorship by social media and other institutions to silence moral truths; the rapid advance toward a cashless society and new economic order, and thus, central control of everyone and everything; and last, and most notably, the revelations of moral putrescence in the Catholic Church hierarchy that has led to a nearly shepherd-less flock at this hour.

Yes, everything I have written about, beginning some 13 years ago, is now coming to pass, including this: the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. You see, this “woman clothed in the sun” is labouring to give birth to the whole body of Christ. What we are beginning to experience in the Church are the “hard” labour pains. And I hear again the words of St. Peter:

For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)

This is why I feel within my soul the urgent need to draw every closer to this Woman. For she is the appointed one at this hour, the Ark given to us by God, to safeguard our passage through the Tribulation that we have entered. She is the one who will stand with us beneath the Cross (once again) where the Church will soon find herself, as she now enters the most painful hours of her own passion.

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh… The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675, 677

Many folks have written to me, asking me to comment on the unfolding crisis of sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church that is now reaching to its very summit. Here is my advice—and it is not my own:

Dear children! This is a time of grace. Little children, pray more, speak less and permit God to lead you on the way of conversion.  —August 25, 2018, Our Lady of Medjugorje, alleged message to Marija

It is probably worth it to repeat the Vatican’s official pastoral position on Medjugorje as of July 25th, 2018:

We have a great responsibility towards the whole world, because truly Medjugorje has become a place of prayer and conversion for the whole world. Accordingly, the Holy Father is concerned and sends me here to help the Franciscan priests to organize and to acknowledge this place as a source of grace for the whole world. —Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Papal Visitor assigned to oversee pastoral care of pilgrims; Feast of St. James, July 25th, 2018; MaryTV.tv

A source of grace—and simple wisdom: pray more, speak less. We are undoubtedly now living the words prophesied by Our Lady of Akita some 45 years ago:

The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops… —Message given through an apparition to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa of Akita, Japan, October 13th, 1973

A war of words is beginning to erupt. The ugly political underbelly of the Church is being exposed as “collegiality” begins to disintegrate. Sides are being taken. Moral “high ground” is being staked out. Laymen are casting stones.

Words are powerful. So powerful, that Jesus is identified as “the Word made flesh.” I’m going to speak more in the days ahead about the power of judgments, which are tearing at the very seams of peace today. Watch out, brothers and sisters! Satan is setting the traps of division as we speak to destroy your marriages, families, and nations.

We need to pray more, speak less. For we have entered the vigil of the Day of the Lord. It is time to watch and pray. Speak less. But what of the controversy engulfing the Church?

The last thing we should do is panic, become depressed, or cave into despair. Remember what Jesus said to the Apostles as the waves crashed over their barque“Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (Mark 4:37-40) The Church is not finished, even though she will come to resemble Christ in the tomb. As Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) said at the turn of the new millennium, we…

…must surrender to the mystery of the grain of mustard seed and not be so pretentious as to believe to immediately produce a large tree. We either live too much in the security of the already existing large tree or in the impatience of having a greater, more vital tree—instead, we must accept the mystery that the Church is at the same time a large tree and a very small grain. In the history of salvation it is always Good Friday and Easter Sunday at the same time….The New Evangelization, Building the Civilization of Loven. 1

The Lord has begun The Shaking of the ChurchTruly, we have become so utterly complacent, so rest-assured in our apologetics, so at ease in the Sunday to Sunday rhythms that neither challenge us nor convert the world, that it is time for a massive reset—one that will change the course of the world (see Rethinking the End Times). It is not the end, but the beginning of a new age.

A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy, and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships. Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily, World Youth Day, Sydney, Australia, July 20th, 2008

Thus, Our Lady is concerned foremost with your conversion at this hour—not Church crises, which have been inevitable. She’s absolutely right. She’s echoing the mind of Christ in His Church, whom she mirrors:

The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, World Youth Day Message for 2005, Vatican City, Aug. 27th, 2004, Zenit.org

It is saints who renew the Church, not programs. It will be so again. The “institutional church” must, to a large degree, die. Clergy have by and large become administrators, not the preachers they were commissioned to be.[1] The Church “exists in order to evangelize,” said Pope Paul VI. [2] We have lost our first love—to love God with all our hearts, soul, and strength—which leads us, naturally, to want to bring other souls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We’ve lost it—and the cost can be counted in souls—and thus, the Church needs to be disciplined in order to recover her true Joy.[3]

The deepest poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life considered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today, in very different forms in the materially rich as well as the poor countries. The inability of joy presupposes and produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice—all defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world. This is why we are in need of a new evangelization—if the art of living remains an unknown, nothing else works. But this art is not the object of a science—this art can only be communicated by [one] who has life—he who is the Gospel personified. —Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT), The New Evangelization, Building the Civilization of Loven. 1

All creation is groaning, awaiting a revelation, says St. Paul. Of what? More glorious cathedrals? Perfect liturgies? Heavenly choirs? Articulate apologetics? Brilliant programs?

Creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God… all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now… (Rom 8:19, 22)

Creation is awaiting the revelation of the final stage of the Church’s sanctification: a people imbued with the Divine Will. It is what John Paul II called a “coming new and divine holiness” for the Church. [4] In the end, we may not have our buildings anymore; the lace and golden chalices may disappear; the incense and candles may be snuffed out… but what will emerge is a Holy People who within themselves will give God His greatest glory, increasing even the glory of the Saints in Heaven.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death. —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), Faith and Future, Ignatius Press, 2009

We can begin to become that Holy People now if we resist the temptation to anger, finger-pointing, and rash judgement, and simply pray more, and speak less, making room not only for Divine Wisdom but the Divine One Himself.

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. (Today’s Second Mass Reading)

 

RELATED READING

Pray More, Speak Less

The Shaking of the Church

Wormwood and Loyalty

Be Holy… in the Little Things

Dear Holy Father… He is Coming

Is Jesus Really Coming?

 

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