MARY, OUR MOTHER

Monday, March 31, 2008


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #175

"That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust." (Matt. 5:45)

THE GOODNESS OF GOD: Our Lord draws special attention to this by reminding us that God does good, and sends rain and sunshine on those who offend Him as well as on those who love Him. He supplies sinners with food and drink, and tries to draw their hearts to Him by gratitude for His benefits.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our Lady of America Newsletter
March 30, 2008
Divine Mercy Sunday

"Who is She who comes forth like the morning rising,
fair as the Moon, bright as the Sun,
terrible as an army set in battle array?"
[Song of Solomon 6:10]

As Easter draws to a close and we are showered with an abundance of grace from the Passion, Resurrection, Divine Mercy and the Feast of the Annunciation, now is the time when Heaven's love for us is manifest in extraordinary ways! Praise be the Name of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, Mary, Our Lady of America!


Many have recently asked us where is the devotion of Our Lady of America headed? When will Her request be fulfilled and Her statue carried in Solemn Procession by the U.S. Bishops into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception? Could this be done in conjunction with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in April?

Recently we have learned that it has been determined that His Excellency The Most Reverend Leonard P Blair, Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo-in-America has the jurisdiction to answer many of these questions in a definitive way rather then the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Diocese of Toledo is where Sr. Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil) received some of her messages, lived much of her life, died and is buried.

It is obvious to many that a great time for Our Lady of America to be enthroned would be around April 15, 2008 the eve of Pope Benedict’s visit to the National Shrine. Will it happen? At least one Bishop believes this is practical because the U.S. Bishops will coming to Washington D.C. at that time for the Papal visit.

We believe that the National Shrine has sufficient space on the level of National Shrine Crypt Church (in the area of Memorial Hall) to place the statue of Our Lady of America for at least a long-term initial site.

For this to be accomplished, it will take an interior grace for the Bishops to realize that in responding to Our Lady of America they will embrace a more excellent plan and vision for the National Shrine. This image is not simply one in a long series for placement in a side location. She has indicated the central theme and future mission of the entire edifice; to become a place of great pilgrimage, conversion and healing.

We are in a time of great grace! Redouble your efforts to move Heaven with your prayers! The prayers of the faithful for intercession through the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary are especially efficacious right now. Pray for Bishop Blair and all the Bishops. Have Masses said for them. Send up your Rosaries on their behalf. Ask that the devil be chained so as to not interfere with this work. Pray to St. Michael for their protection.

There is one other Bishop that also needs your prayers is a special way. It is the Bishop of Rome, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. His visit to the United States and the United Nations has the potential to change the course of human events. Pray for his protection and that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of the world leaders who hear his address. A great way to do that is to join in the Peter Prayer Program for Pope Benedict. This program consists of a number of novenas and a commitment to be in Adoration before Our Lord, begging for intercession and protection for His Vicar, while the Pope is addressing the United Nations.

We have so much to do in asking Heaven for the graces of Our Lady of America to be completely fulfilled and accepted. The state of the world is quite sad and in many ways very unstable. Our Lady of America is Heaven's gift to us and the world, giving hope that people will turn back towards God, embrace purity and accept the Divine Will.

I pray, with you, that we will have the humility, purity and desire to accept Her.

-Al Langsenkamp

This site and apostolate is a collaboration between the Langsenkamp Family Apostolate and the BVM Foundation, Inc. both of Indiana.

Donations:
Checks may be made payable to:

B.V.M. Our Lady of America
C/O Langsenkamp Family Apostolate
6720 Parkdale Place
Indianapolis, IN 46254

B.V.M. Our Lady of America is a not-for-profit activity of the BVM Foundation, Inc. Batesville, IN 47006
BVM Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation.
www.OurLadyofAmerica.org and www.OurLadyofAmerica.com

We make holy cards available free of charge to anyone who has the ability to distribute them to groups. Make your request for your free Holy Cards by clicking here.

Homily for the second Sunday of Easter - 03-30-08

Praise the Lord! Alleluia!
Here is my homily for this coming Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter.
" And all who believed were together and had all things in common. "
May God bless you!

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

http://meynen.homily-service.net/

****

Homily for the second Sunday of Easter - Year A
Acts 2:42-47 - 1 Pt 1:3-9 - Jn 20:19-31
by Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

Living by faith

Acts 2:42-47

Acts 2:42, [The first Christians] devoted themselves to the apostles'
teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43, And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were
done through the apostles. 44, And all who believed were together and
had all things in common; 45, and they sold their possessions and
goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. 46, And day by
day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes,
they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, 47, praising God
and having favor with all the people.

At the beginning of her history, the Church was composed of the
Apostles, a few disciples, and several thousand people baptized
shortly after Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:41). Among all these people, only
the Apostles, the disciples, and a few dozen others could have been
said to have known the Lord Jesus, having touched him or spoken to
him even a single time. All the others, that is to say the majority,
had only heard speak of him, whether he was spoken of by the Apostles
or by someone else. In short, most of them believed, in the strong
sense of the word (that is to say supernaturally, with the help of
the grace of God), that this man who had died and risen is the
Messiah, the Son of God, the Word of the Father made man!

"All who believed were together." (Acts 2:44) All those who believed
in Jesus the Son of God lived together in a single faith, a single
hope, a single love! Detached from everything, they held to but a
single being in Heaven or on earth: Jesus, the bearer of the Holy
Spirit, under the gaze of the Father. So they sold their belongings,
so that all men could, like them, benefit from that same unique love:
that of God!

As Saint Luke writes, the faithful went to the Temple each day to
pray. But for the first few weeks, for the first months, for quite
long no doubt, it was impossible for them, for the most part, to
gather together to celebrate the Eucharist. So in all eventualities
the faithful kept the Body of Christ, which a priest had entrusted to
them at a Eucharistic celebration, at home, and so they were
"breaking bread in their homes" (Acts 2:46) and received the Body of
Christ, in a single faith and a single love. Hidden, as it were,
under the ancient Jewish custom of the breaking of the bread, the
communion of all with the mystical Body of Christ - the Church - was
realized and reinforced, in union with Christ Jesus, in the place
where the Christian faith had just been born!

1 Pt 1:3-9

1 Pt 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By
his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4, and to an inheritance
which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for
you, 5, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time. 6, In this you rejoice, though
now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, 7, so
that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which
though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory
and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8, Without having seen
him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him
and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. 9, As the outcome of
your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

How strong is our faith! How great is our love! How immeasurable is
our hope! For there is nothing natural about it: everything is
supernatural in our lives as Christians and followers of Christ
Jesus! What Saint Peter says, in today's second reading, is so very
true: "Without having seen [Jesus] you love him; though you do not
now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and
exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of
your souls." (1 Pt 1:8-9)

Is it not extraordinary? We have been baptized, and, thanks to the
Holy Spirit, we love Him in whom we believe! We love someone, Jesus,
whom we have never seen! We believe in God because others, like our
parents, our friends, our relatives, have spoken to us about him! Is
it not extraordinary, this omnipotence of the grace of God? Is this
not something that would set ablaze that heart of fire, that of the
Apostle Peter? And how do we react, today, in this year 2008? Are we
ready, like the Apostles, to bring God's love to the ends of the
earth?

Jn 20:19-31

Jn 20:19, On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the
doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with
you." 20, When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his
side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21, Jesus
said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me,
even so I send you." 22, And when he had said this, he breathed on
them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23, If you forgive
the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any,
they are retained." 24, Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the
Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25, So the other disciples
told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see
in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark
of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." 26,
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas
was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among
them, and said, "Peace be with you." 27, Then he said to Thomas, "Put
your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place
it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." 28, Thomas
answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29, Jesus said to him, "Have you
believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not
seen and yet believe." 30, Now Jesus did many other signs in the
presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31,
but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Eight days after Easter, Jesus appeared to his disciples for a very
specific purpose: to make it possible for the Apostle Thomas to
witness to his faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, and
thus to be one of those who, after having seen Jesus, believed in him
until the end. For, on that evening, there were no more than ten
Apostles: Judas had hung himself, and Thomas doubted. But Jesus had
wanted to leave us evidence of his great mercy: he would rescue
Thomas from his doubt!

On his body, Jesus bears the signs of his Passion: the marks of the
nails on his hands and feet, and the wound in his side. These signs
are bearers of grace. To touch one of these signs becomes a grace, a
grace of the Passion of Jesus, a grace destined for the conversion of
all the men and women of the earth! As Saint John says at the end of
his gospel: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the
disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written
that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that believing you may have life in his name." (Jn 20:30-31)

To live by faith, to believe in Jesus the Son of God: this is all of
Christian life, this is all of our life with Mary, the Mother of
Jesus, the model of all faithful Christians! May the Holy Spirit help
us to believe ever more in Jesus, through Mary!

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen




SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #174

"Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:48)

CHRISTIAN PERFECTION: Finally, our Lord requires us to strive ceaselessly after perfection, placing the perfection of God before us as our model.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Annunciation
Jan van Eyck, c 1434
Oil transferred from wood to canvas
93 × 37 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC





Mary Vitamin for March 29th
Topic: The Annunication
[Transferred from March 25th to March 31st.

Quote:
St. Bernard
"The angel awaits thy reply and we also, O Lady, on whom the sentence of condemnation weighs so heavily, await the word of mercy; we who are already condemned to death."
St. Alphonsus di Liguori, The Glories of Mary, (Tan Books: 1978), 322.

Meditation:
Caryll Houselander
"It is in Our Lady that God fell in love with humanity. It is upon her that the Dove descended, and the love of God for Humanity culminated in the conception of Christ in the human race. […]Our Lady said yes for the human race. Each one of us must echo that yes for our own lives. We are all asked if we will surrender what we are, our humanity, our flesh and blood, to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to fill the emptiness formed by the particular shape of our life. The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady's surrender, without condition and without reservation."
The Reed of God, (Christian Classics), 10 & 13.

Resolution:
In honor of the feast of the Annunciation, I will make a special effort to say the Regina Caeli and say it well. I will ask for the grace to surrender myself "completely and with absolute trust" to Christ in imitation of Our Lady.

Marian Vow:
St. Maximilian Kolbe
"And no word takes flesh, no perfection or virtue is incarnated or realized in anyone, but through the love of God for the Immaculata. As Christ became her own, the Source of grace, so too to her belongs the dispensing of graces. Every grace is the fruit of the life of the Blessed Trinity, the Father, begets the Son before all eternity and the Holy Spirit proceeds from Them both. Thus in the same way all perfection in every order descends upon the earth. Every grace proceeds from the Father who from all eternity begot the Son and through the Son and the Holy Spirit who by this grace in the Immaculata and through her, forms souls in the image of the first-born God-Man."
Will To Love, (Marytown Press: 1998), 44.

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.



SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #173


"You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven."
(Matt. 5:43-45)

THE COMMAND TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR is applied by Jesus to all men, even to our personal enemies. Our Lord also requires that our love should be of a practical kind.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Friday, March 28, 2008

March 31 World Rosary Crusade for Fifth Marian Dogma


By Kevin Clarke   
Friday, 28 March 2008

On Monday, the feast of the Annunciation, please remember to join with all the souls around the world who lift up their voices in prayer for the proclamation of the fifth Marian dogma. 

Over this weekend, please distribute this flyer—among the members of your prayer group, at your parish with your priest's permission, etc.—as you see fit. We ask all our subscribers to please gather together on the Feast of the Annunciation with like-minded souls to lift up your hearts together for the sake of this most glorious intention for Our Blessed Mother.

Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix) recently announced a day of prayer—a World Rosary Crusade—for the proclamation of a fifth Marian dogma that would pronounce the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Spiritual Mother of all peoples, the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate. This world day of prayer falls on the Feast of the Annunciation, which has been moved this year from March 25 to March 31, outside the Easter octave.

Prayer on this day is so very crucial. We pray that others may come to know the heavenly mother, our spiritual mother, whom we so cherish!

The timing for this prayer drive is so very poignant, following the Cardinal/Bishop drive to petition the pope, the papal message on the 150th anniversary of Lourdes proclaiming Mary's co-suffering with Christ and his disciples, and Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán's use of the word Corredentrice (Co-redemptrix) in St. Peter's Basilica. Let us let our prayers flow into this promising current.

How very appropriate indeed to offer up these prayers on such a great Marian feast. For it is in virtue of her unwavering fiat to the redemptive mission of the Savior—from the Annunciation through the Paschal Mystery—that we have come to call this perfect creature our all-holy spiritual mother.

At its very heart, the Feast of the Annunciation is the Feast of the Incarnation, the Feast of the conception of Jesus. The fiat of Mary is the humblest and most sublime of human assent through which we hope to ascend. At this very moment, the moment of the fiat of Mary, she gave Christ her own flesh – the very flesh he would use for our redemption, the very flesh that has ascended with Him into heaven be enthroned in all power and authority at God's right hand to mediate all grace to us, the very flesh hypostatically united to his divine person through which he advocates on our behalf.

Mary's gave her fiat to bear the Messiah, whom she knew would suffer for the sins of the people he would save. And so we are not surprised to see her reechoing her fiat at the foot of the Cross suffering with her divine Son.

In honor of Mary's fiat, let us pray!

FROM MARK MALLETT:

The Last Hope of Salvation

 


First published April 11th, 2007.

 

THE FEAST OF WHAT?

THIS coming Sunday, the eighth day in the Octave of Easter, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Many Catholics still have no idea what this is… which as you'll see, is a tragedy.

According to Saint Faustina's diary, Jesus said of this Feast day:

I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy.  If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity… tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.Diary of Divine Mercy, St. Faustina, n. 965 

The "last hope of salvation"? One might be tempted to dismiss this along with other dramatic private revelation—except for the fact it was Pope John Paul II who inaugurated the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday according to this private revelation! (See Part IIdoes not restrict salvation to Divine Mercy Sunday.) for a complete understanding of Diary entry 965 which

Consider these other facts:

  • After he was shot in 1981, Pope John Paul asked that the diary of St. Faustina be entirely re-read to him.
  • JPII instituted the Divine Mercy Feast in the year 2000… at the beginning of the millennium which he considered the "threshold of hope."
  • St. Faustina wrote: "From [Poland] will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming."
  • In 1981 at the Shrine of Merciful Love, John Paul II said,

Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter's See in Rome, I consider this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God.  —JPII, November 22, 1981 at the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy

  • During a 1997 pilgrimage to St. Faustina's tomb, JPII testified:

The message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me… [it] forms the image of this pontificate.

Forms the image of his pontificate! And it was spoken at the tomb of St. Faustina, whom Jesus called His "Secretary of Divine Mercy."

  • And as a rather dramatic exclamation point from Heaven, the Pope died in the beginning hours of the Feast of Divine Mercy. 

The other title I considered for this article was "When God hits us on the head with a hammer." How can the significance of this Feast escape us when we consider these facts? How can bishops and priests fail to preach, then, the message of Divine Mercy which the Pope considered his "task before God", and therefore, the task of all those in communion with him?

 

AN OCEAN OF PROMISES

I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners.  ON THAT DAY THE VERY DEPTHS OF MY TENDER MERCY ARE OPEN. I POUR OUT A WHOLE OCEAN OF GRACES UPON THOSE SOULS WHO APPROACH THE FOUNT OF MY MERCY. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. —Ibid. n. 699

Some pastors ignore this Feast because "there are other days, such as Good Friday, when God remits sins and punishment under similar conditions." That's true. But that's not all Christ said of Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus is promising to "pour out a whole ocean of graces." 

On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. —Ibid.  

What Jesus is offering is not just forgiveness, but incomprehensible graces to heal, deliver, and strengthen the soul. I say incomprehensible, because this devotion has a special purpose. Jesus said to St. Faustina:

You will prepare the world for My final coming. —Ibid. n. 429

If that is so, then this opportunity for grace has paramount significance for the Church and for the world. This is indicated with a certain urgency when Jesus says to Faustina:

Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of my justice, is near. —Ibid. n. 965

 

TIME OF MERCY

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. In one of her apparitions, the children witnessed an angel hovering above the world about to strike the earth with a flaming sword. But a light emanating from Mary stopped the angel, and justice was delayed. The Mother of Mercy was able to implore God to grant the world a "time of grace."

We know this because Jesus appeared a short time later to a Polish nun named Faustina Kowalska to "officially" announce this time of grace:

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… Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy… Diary of St. Faustina, n. 1160, 1588.

Christ's words further indicate the proximate times we are living in, as foretold in Scripture:

Before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day […] it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:20-21)

As I wrote in Prophetic Perspective, God is patient, allowing His plan to come to fruition, even over the course of generations. However, this does not mean His plan cannot enter its next phase at any moment.

The signs of the times tell us that it could be "soon."

 

TODAY IS THE DAY

"Today is the day of salvation," says Scripture. And this Sunday is the Day of Mercy. It was asked for by Jesus, and made so by John Paul the Great. We should be shouting to the world at this point—for an ocean of graces is to be poured out, and it is only hours away. 

This is what Christ promised on Divine Mercy Sunday:

I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. —n. 1109

And so, the Holy Father has granted a plenary indulgence ("complete pardon") under the following conditions:

…a plenary indulgence [will be] granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!")Apostolic Penitentiary Decree, Indulgences attached to devotions in honour of Divine Mercy; Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, Tit. Archbishop of Nova Major Pro-Penitentiary;

 
How many more Divine Mercy Sundays remain?  

 


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #172

"Again you have heard that it was said to them of old, thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord. But I say to you not to swear at all, neither by heaven for it is the throne of God: Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool: nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
(Matt. 5:33-36)

TAKING AN OATH is not, according to our Lord's teaching, sinful in itself, for it is a religious and a sacred act; but its abuse is sinful, and therefore no one ought to take an oath without necessity. Our Lord Himself took an oath before the court of the High Priest, when He asserted that He was the Son of God.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

One day He will appear to us!

VATICAN - AVE MARIA by Mgr Luciano Alimandi -

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - When will it be our turn to see the Risen Lord, to be in ecstasy in His presence? We can say with certainty: at the end of our days when our heart comes to its final beats of life, then, we will have the privilege and unspeakable grace of seeing Our Lord, of meeting Him on the horizon of the Other world, since He is the Gate (cfr. Jn 10, 9), the Passage from this world to the Father!
We will recognize Him and know His voice, if we have met him during our earthly pilgrimage. His Face and His Person will not be unknown to us, we will not hesitate to abandon ourselves entirely to Jesus, because that "moment", will be the culmination of countless acts of love and self-giving, which we will have left behind us, during the course of our life. This is truly the experience of the Apostles, who walked a path of growing trust in Him. Like them, we too listen to His Word, become familiar with His Presence, see the signs of His working in our midst, become His witnesses and invoke Him as Master and Lord.
We too like the first disciples, are led progressively into his Kingdom, through conversion, through becoming like little children (cfr. Mt 18, 3). The only difference between the first disciples and us is that we will see the Risen Lord only at the end of life, whereas they saw him during their life on earth. He will appear to us as we pass, as we are met by "the real Light, which gives light to everyone" (Jn. 1, 9). But precisely for this we will be called blessed because, even though we do not see Him, we believe in Him (cfr. Jn. 20, 29)! Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus is Heaven's greatest gift on this earth, since it enables us to enter into communion of life with the Risen Lord; how often the Lord said: " For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (Jn 3,16). This is the faith which Jesus longs to find when he returns to earth; but will he find it? He does not say. In the Gospel he leaves this question unanswered (cfr. Lk 18, 8) and doing so he indicates that, to keep the faith is not easy and everything depends on being or not being authentic Christians. The Apostles also ran the risk of losing the faith. Although they lived with Jesus, saw his miracles, listened to his most profound teaching, at the moment of trial they were in danger of losing themselves. The Gospel speaks many times of their difficulty to understand Jesus. When he was arrested every one of them fled and left him alone (cfr. Mt. 26, 56), because they did not believe as they should have done.
We too, like the disciples of Emmaus, sometimes have "eyes unable to recognize Him" (Lk 24, 16), because we are "foolish and slow to believe" (Lk 24, 25). The Gospels of the Resurrection reveal the weakness of the faith of the first disciples and show that all Christians face the same struggle, the same doubts, the same resistance of the flesh against the spirit. In the human person in fact there exist two opposite realities: matter and spirit. One drags us towards things which are exterior, visible, earthly, the other draws us to things which are interior, invisible, heavenly.
Saint Paul, the great persecutor, converted by the Risen Lord, recalls that, according to our decisions in life we will become spiritual persons, or remain natural persons, unable to perceive what is supernatural, for example, the Resurrection of Christ: " The natural person has no room for the gifts of God's Spirit; to him they are folly; he cannot recognize them, because their value can be assessed only in the Spirit. The spiritual person, on the other hand, can assess the value of everything, and that person's value cannot be assessed by anybody else... But we are those who have the mind of Christ" (1Cor 2, 14…).
In order to have the mind of Christ, we must live according to the Spirit. Christ, in fact is God and God is Spirit (Jn. 4, 24). So as not to lose faith in the Risen Lord, indeed to increase our faith, we must flee sin and live in the grace of God. In other words, we will never keep our faith unless our life is in keeping with our belief. The entire Gospel message is about repentance and faith. "Repentance" and "faith" are inseparable: "repent and believe in the Gospel!" (Mk 1, 15). Proclaiming the faith only with our lips, will not help our sanctification. Behind the faith, to support the faith, by virtue of the faith ,our life must be conformed to that of Jesus; this, of course, is a journey. And it is only possible if we deny our materialist and carnal self, slave of "world-disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes pride in possession-is not from the Father but is from the world" (1Jn 2, 16), as Saint John teaches us. Our great little "I", will not cease to seek itself!
So, with the strength of the faith and total confidence in the Risen Christ, with the words "Jesus, I trust in you", proclaimed by our soul with all its strength, we will go out from ourselves towards the Lord who comes, towards the final encounter, when faith will be no longer necessary, because we will be transfigured in Him!

(Agenzia Fides 26/3/2008; righe 57, parole 906)

FROM MARK MALLETT: THE PERFECT STORM

The Perfect Storm


"The Perfect Storm" Source Unknown

 

Mark and his family have entered the United States as of last night. Mark will be singing and speaking over the next five weeks in several States. View his schedule here: Ministry Schedule.

 

From subsistence farmers eating rice in Ecuador to gourmets feasting on escargot in France, consumers worldwide face rising food prices in what analysts call a perfect storm of conditions. Freak weather is a factor. But so are dramatic changes in the global economy, including higher oil prices, lower food reserves and growing consumer demand in China and India.NBC News online, March 24th, 2008

In an "unforeseen and unprecedented" shift, the world food supply is dwindling rapidly and food prices are soaring to historic levels… "We're concerned that we are facing the perfect storm for the world's hungry." —Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, World Food Program; Dec 17th, 2007; International Herald Tribune

"It will not take much to put the U.S. economy into recession… [there is a] perfect storm consisting of the worst credit crunch in decades, falling house prices, and $100 oil. —David Shulman, Senior Economist, UCLA Anderson Forecast; March 11th, 2008, www.inman.com

The Washington-based International Monetary Fund has warned of a 'perfect storm' caused by surging oil prices and the turbulence on financial markets. 'The combination of the credit crunch and high oil prices could bring a big reduction in international trade from which no one would be immune.' —Simon Johnson, Chief Economist IMF, Nov 29th, 2007; www.thisismoney.co.uk

It's been 16 months… In the intervening time following the identification of the malady now known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), things haven't gotten any better for the nation's bees, which pollinate about one-third of U.S. crops—some $15 billion worth... "It is something else. It is a perfect storm, if you want to call it that. Anything that weakens or ages [the bees] will contribute, we believe, to CCD." Kevin Hackett, national program leader for research on bees and pollination, Agricultural Research Service; March 24th, 2008; www.palmbeachpost.com

I am reminded today of the words which came to me at the beginning of this year (see The Year of the Unfolding).

 

A PERFECT STORM 

For over two years, I have been compelled to write about a present and coming "storm." Preparation for this storm is at the very heart of these writings.

If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes, and takes any one of them; that man is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. (Ezekiel 33:6)

Didn't Noah prepare the ark for a storm? If Mary is the "new ark", then she has been sent to prepare us for the Great Storm. The warning is one of spiritual preparation so that when the storm is unleashed, you will already be safely in the Ark of Mary's Heart; so that when that which is built on sand begins to crumble, you will be firmly set upon the Rock, who is Christ; so that when "Babylon" begins to collapse, it will not fall on your head! Your trust will be firmly in Christ, and with Mary's help, it will not be shaken!

Can you not see the lightning all about you? Are the winds of change not blowing? Can you not hear the claps of thunder?

What should you do to physically prepare? I have no idea. God said He would provide for your needs, and that we should "seek first the Kingdom." The plan hasn't changed. It's just more urgent than ever.

Many are frantically trying to secure their lifestyle right now as world systems begin to teeter like a drunken sailor. Being a good steward is one thing… building your own god is another.

Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to save them on the day of the LORD'S wrath… (Zeph 1:18)

What God is asking of you now is quite radical, actually. To be willing to let go of absolutely everything on a moments notice. Can you?

 

FAITH IS WHAT CONQUERS 

The victory that conquers the world is our faith. (1 John 5:4)

What this Scripture means is that when your dreams dissolve, your security shatters, and everything around you seems to collapse, you do not fall with it, because your trust is in God and what He is allowing to happen in your life. That's how you conquer the pain, and suffering, and cancer, and violence, and injustice, and hatred, and fear. You trust God like a little child in the midst of it, and thereby conquer the power of death—and all its fruits—by accepting the nails of sorrow into your own hands and the crown of discomfort upon your brow and waiting patiently in the darkness of the tomb of God's silence. Isn't this precisely what Jesus did whom we are called to imitate? This isn't some distant, unreachable spirituality—it is the timeless "stuff" of following Christ in all ages, the warp and woof of being His disciple.

Whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)

 

FOCUS 

Mary has come to prepare us for a great storm, a Great Battle too. What are we doing then with our time and our energy? Where are our hearts storing up treasure? Are we listening to our Mother?

No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.  (2 Tim 2:4)

It is a call to focus—not to become gloomy Christians—but focused on the fact that we have a great mission—a Great Co-mission to be salt and light to others, each and every moment.  

I truly believe that our lifestyles in North America are going to change—-yes, I think that is what the Lord is telling us. But if we have already begun to live as pilgrims, detached from the world, and hungering and thirsting for the Kingdom (Matt 5:6), then what we may lose in comfort we will consider to be great gain!

In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. (Phil 4:12-13)

It is strength which comes through faith—childlike trust in all circumstances.

The forces of darkness do indeed seem to have mustered together a "perfect storm." However, Heaven is countering with it's own Perfect Storm. And it has all the force of a hurricane, rushing at the speed of a Woman's heel about to crush a serpent's head:

Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. (Rev 11:19)

 

 

 

 

Published in: DAILY JOURNAL, SIGNS | on March 26th, 2008 |

[MaryVitamin] Easter Joy

Mary Vitamin for March 27th
 
Topic: Easter Joy 
 
Quote:
"My heart is ready, O God
I will sing, sing your praise.
Awake my soul;
Awake, lyre and harp
I will awake the dawn."
 
Meditation:
St. Claude de La Colombiere explains spiritual joy:
"By God's infinite mercy I feel a liberty of spirit which fills me with great joy. It seems as though nothing could now make my unhappy. The thought that I am serving God fills me with this joy, and I feel that it is of far greater value than all the favor of kings would be. The occupations of the worldly seem very despicable in comparison with work done for God."
The Spiritual Direction of Saint Claude de la Colombiere, (Ignatius Press), 70.
 
Liberty of spirit brings joy. Liberty to do God's Will not our own. This is the secret of Our Lady's joy and the joy of the saints. It is the message of St. Paul: "God's Will is good, pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2)
 
Resolution:
Today, when I pass my image of Our Lady, I will repeat the words of St. Paul ("God's Will is good, pleasing and perfect") and remember that Our Lady lived St. Paul's words exactly and experienced perfect joy.
 
Marian Vow:
St. Maximilian Kolbe
"If Mary is the Mediatrix of All Graces, then only in proportion to our nearness to her are we able to become channels of grace, mediators of grace that comes from the Father through the Son who merited them—and the Immaculata who dispenses them—so that as they come upon us they will through us flow into the lives of other souls."
Will To Love, (Marytown Press) 48
 
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 
Thanks be to God for graces received.
 




SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #171

"You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." (Matt. 5:21-22)

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT: Our Lord explicitly teaches that the fifth Commandment forbids not merely the actual deed of murder, but every angry thought and injurious word.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

[MaryVitamin] After the Resurrection

Mary Vitamin for March 26th
Topic: After the Resurrection

Quote:
"He left her some twenty years on earth, that we might learn from her to adore Him perfectly."

Meditation:
"How, then, do we act with a friend? Do we always speak to him of the present? Certainly not! We recall past memories, we live them over again together. When we want to pay a compliment to a father and a mother we recall their love, their unwearying devotedness shown us in our infancy. Similarly, Mary during her adoration in the Cenacle reminded Jesus of all that He had done for His Father's glory, all the great sacrifices He had made, and in this way she participated in the Eucharistic grace."
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, 10.

Resolution:
Today I will imitate Our Lady's conversation with Jesus. Just as She did, I will review with Him in conversation one of the holy mysteries of His life.  I will choose one event now (birth, public ministry, or Passion) and I will remember to  visit with the Lord spiritually while I am busy with my day. I will just lift my mind to these thoughts, even if briefly.

Marian Vow:
With each conversation with the Lord, I will begin by remembering my Marian vow of unlimited and total consecration to the Immaculate. It is Our lady who teaches me and brings to me Christ.

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.



The Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday!

How should we prepare for this great Feast of Mercy?


Jesus told St. Faustina that this Feast of Mercy would be a very special day when "all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened". (Diary 699) Our Lord made a great promise to all those souls who would go to Confession and then receive Him in Holy Communion on the Feast of Mercy, on the Sunday after Easter, which is now called Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Catholic Church.

Jesus promised that "The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment."(Diary 699) He went on to say "I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy." (Diary 1109)

We want to encourage everyone to take advantage of this incredible promise and the additional Plenary Indulgence on this great Feast of Mercy "Divine Mercy Sunday". We want you to benefit fully from these promises, and we also want you to notify all of your family and friends about them too and urge them to return to the practice of their faith!

The Image of The Divine Mercy, which Our Lord requested to be solemnly blessed and venerated on this day, will be on display in our church. Pope John Paul II said that the image portrays the Risen Jesus Christ bringing Mercy to the whole world. Our Lord said "I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish". (Diary 341, 48) Please take the time to visit with this Image of The Divine Mercy and venerate Jesus.

Jesus said to St. Faustina "I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You". (Diary 327) "The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the cross. …Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him." (Diary 299)

About the feast day "Divine Mercy Sunday", Jesus said "…tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon the souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.... Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy". (Diary 699)

Our Lord said "When you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul…" and "Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy" (1602) Make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is… only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest that I am making use of; open your soul in confession to Me, and I will fill it with My light." (1725)

It is required of all Catholics to confess their serious sins at least once every year. If you haven't yet met this obligation then take advantage of this outstanding opportunity to receive an outpouring of an ocean of graces that Jesus promises on this day. Those who have already confessed their sins should make room for others.

The Church allows for one to go to Confession for up to about 20 days, before or after Divine Mercy Sunday.

Excerpts taken from the Diary of St. Faustina, copyright 1987 Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge MA., USA

Bulletin insert taken from the www.DivineMercySunday.com website and may be copied and re-produced without permission.


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #170

"He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19)

THE MORAL LAW OF JESUS CHRIST is a perfect law, because it forbids evil thoughts and words as well as evil deeds. It requires not only an outward observance of commandments, but also an inward amendment, sanctification, and elevation of the soul.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

[MaryVitamin] The Resurrection

Mary Vitamin for March 25th
 
Topic: the Resurrection
 
Quote:
St. Peter Julian Eymard
"For whom was the first visit of the Risen Lord? Assuredly, it must have been to His Mother!"
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Fifteenth Day (88-9.)

Meditation:
"What passed between them in that happy meeting? Holy Scripture does not tell us; but we can imagine the beauty of it all. What a glorious reception the Son must have received in His Mother's little room! Only through love's insight can we reconstruct that scene. Without a doubt, Jesus appeared to His Mother in all His Risen beauty. No one of the Apostles could have seen the beauty of Jesus the way Mary saw it; spiritual vision is always proportionate to the soul's sanctity. Mary penetrated even to His interior glory."
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Fifteenth Day (88-9.)

Resolution:
 If I have an opportunity to offer a sacrifice today or endure a trial, I will remember the great rewards given to Our Lady for Her sufferings. Trials and sacrifices don't have to be wasted time. They can bear much heavenly fruit. This meditation will help me to bear my trial with hope and maybe even joy.
 
Marian Vow:
"The mere act of consecration to the Immaculate, however fervent, passes and leaves an emptiness in its wake. It is the life of consecration, instead, that leads to the Immaculate: but the life must be nourished and sustained by constant formation offered to all, particularly in reunions and in meetings of the M.I.M. Cenacle."
Marian Seraphic Pathways, Sixth condition of membership in the M.I.M
Fifth Article of the Statutes, #33

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.

__________________________________________________


MEDJUGORJE MESSAGE MARCH 25, 2008

Our Lady's Message of
March 25, 2008

Our Lady Queen of Peace of Medjugorje's March 25, 2008 Monthly Message

"Dear children! I call you to work on your personal conversion. You are still far from meeting with God in your heart. Therefore, spend all the more time in prayer and Adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, for Him to change you and to put into your hearts a living faith and a desire for eternal life. Everything is passing, little children, only God is not passing. I am with you and I encourage you with love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

This message can speak to us of the Serious Announcement, as we are praying for a holy, happy death, passing into eternal life in Heaven. Please continue to keep the Serious Announcement, many of you have received in the mail from Caritas, in your daily prayers. We cannot be successful without your prayers. If you have not already received the Serious Announcement, and would like to receive a packet, call Caritas at 205-672-2000 extension 315, 24 hours a day.

- A Friend of Medjugorje

There will be a broadcast tonight, Tuesday March 25th here on Radio WAVE regarding Marija's apparition and message. See chart below for your local times, and Click Here to Open the Radio WAVE Player

Your Time ZoneOnline Air Time

Eastern Time8:00 PM - Tuesday (March 25)

Central Time7:00 PM - Tuesday

Mountain Time6:00 PM - Tuesday

Pacific Time5:00 PM - Tuesday

Hawaii Time3:00 PM - Tuesday

Brazil Time10:00 PM - Tuesday

Sydney, Australia12:00 PM - Wednesday (March 26)

Seoul9:00 AM - Wednesday

Beijing, Singapore8:00 AM - Wednesday

Calcutta7:30 AM - Wednesday

Baghdad, Moscow4:00 AM - Wednesday

Jerusalem, Athens, Cairo3:00 AM - Wednesday

Warsaw, Paris, Prague, Rome, Berlin, Medjugorje2:00 AM - Wednesday

London, Dublin1:00 AM - Wednesday

To Make Your Comment Click Here


Encourage all you know to sign up for MejList FREE in order to be kept updated on the latest and crucial information on Medjugorje.

Mej.com must have your donation to stay online.
Who is behind mej.com?
What is mej.com?

©SJP Lic. mej.com/Caritas • This may be reproduced and redistributed provided that the content is copied in its entirety, including graphics, pictures, captions, etc. and credit given to mej.com and Caritas of Birmingham. Also, permission is granted to quote from blogs, news sources, or other websites as long as it is referenced to mej.com/Caritas of Birmingham.


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #169

"Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matt. 5:17-18)

JESUS IS THE DIVINE LAWGIVER: By the foregoing words our Lord stood forward as the Lawgiver of the New Testament, speaking with divine authority. He put Himself above Moses and the prophets, who spoke in the name of God, saying: "Thus saith the Lord;" for He spoke and commanded in His own name: "I say unto you!"

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Monday, March 24, 2008

FROM MARK MALLETT

On Heresies and More Questions


Mary crushing the serpent, Artist Unknown

 


 

THE Era of Peace—a heresy? Two more antichrists? Has the "period of peace" promised by Our Lady of Fatima already happened? These questions below, plus a comment on Pegasus and the new age as well as the big question: What do I tell my children about what's coming?

 

THE ERA OF PEACE

QuestionIsn't the so-called "era of peace" nothing other than the heresy called "millennialism" condemned by the Church?

What the Church has condemned is not the possibility of an "era of peace," but the false interpretation of what it could be.

As I have written here on several occasions, the Church Fathers such as St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Augustine and others have written about such a period based on Rev 20:2-4, Heb 4:9 and the Old Testament prophets who refer to a universal period of peace within history.

The heresy of "millenarianism" is the false belief that Jesus will descend to earth in the flesh and reign as a global king with His saints for a literal one thousand years before the conclusion of history.

Various offshoots of this heretical and excessively literal interpretation of Revelation 20 also manifested itself in the early Church, e.g. "carnal millenarianism", the added Jewish-Christian error of carnal pleasures and excesses as part of the thousand year reign; and "mitigated or spiritual millenarianism", which in general retained the literal thousand year reign of Christ visibly in the flesh, but rejected the aspect of immoderate carnal pleasures.

Any form of belief that Jesus Christ will return in His resurrected body to the earth and rule visibly on earth for a literal one thousand years (millenarianism) has been condemned by the Church and must be categorically rejected. This anathema does not include, however, the strong Patristic belief held by many Church Fathers and Doctors of a "spiritual", "temporal", "second" (but not final) or "middle" coming of Christ to take place before the end of the world. —source: www.call2holiness.com; nb. this is an excellent summary of the various forms of this heresy.

From the Catechism:

The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 676

The "messianic hope" we await is not only the return of Jesus in His glorified flesh to reign in a "new heavens and a new earth", but the hope for our own bodies to be freed from the power of death and sin and to be glorified for all eternity. During the Era of Peace, even though justice, peace, and love will prevail, so too will mankind's free will. The possibility for sin will remain. We know this, because at the end of the "thousand year reign," Satan is released from prison so as to deceive the nations who will make war on the saints in Jerusalem.  

 

QuestionMy pastor as well as good bible commentaries point to St. Augustine's interpretation of the millennium as being a symbolic period which spans the time from Christ's Ascension to His return in glory. Isn't this what the Church teaches?

That is only one of four interpretations St. Augustine proposed for the "thousand year" period. It is, however, the one which came into vogue at the time due to the widespread heresy of millenarianism—an interpretation which has generally prevailed until this day. But it is clear from a careful reading of St. Augustine's writings that he does not condemn the possibility of a "millennium" of peace:

Those who, on the strength of this passage [of Revelation 20:1-6], have suspected that the first resurrection is future and bodily, have been moved, among other things, specially by the number of a thousand years, as if it were a fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period, a holy leisure after the labors of six thousand years since man was created… (and) there should follow on the completion of six thousand years, as of six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand years; and that it is for this purpose the saints rise, viz.; to celebrate the Sabbath. And this opinion would not be objectionable, if it were believed that the joys of the saints in that Sabbath shall be spiritual, and consequent on the presence of God…De Civitate Dei [The City of God], Catholic University of America Press, Bk XX, Ch. 7; quoted in The Triumph of God's Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, St. John the Evangelist Press, p. 52-53 

St. Augustine here condemns "carnal millenarians" or "Chiliasts" who wrongly asserted that the millennium would be a time of "immoderate carnal banquets" and other worldly pleasures. At the same time, he asserts the belief that there will be a "spiritual" time of peace and rest, consequent on the presence of God—not Christ in the flesh, as in His glorified body—but His spiritual presence, and of course, Eucharistic Presence.

The Catholic Church has made no definitive judgment on the question of the millennium. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has been quoted as saying,

The Holy See has not yet made any definitive pronouncement in this regard.The Triumph of God's Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, St. John the Evangelist Press, p. 166 

 

QuestionDid Mary promise at Fatima an "era of peace," or has the "period of peace" she promised already occurred?

The Vatican's website posts the message of Fatima in English as such:

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. —www.vatican.va

It has been argued that with the fall of Communism, the world has been granted a "period of peace." It is true that the Cold War ended and the tensions between America and Russia diminished from the time when the Iron Curtain fell until recent years. However, I tend to think that is more of an American point of view; that is, we North Americans tend to judge world events and biblical prophecy through a Western lens. 

If one looks at other regions in the world after the fall of Communism, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina or Rwanda, and the ongoing persecution of the Church in China, North Africa and elsewhere, we do not see peace—but the unleashing of hell in the form of war, genocide, and martyrdom.

It is also debatable that Russia was "converted" in the period after the Iron Curtain fell. Certainly, Christians have had more access to the country in terms of evangelization. But internal corruption and the flood of Western culture has in some ways deteriorated the situation there even further.

St. Maximillian Kolbe seemed to have a picture of when a converted Russia would prevail:

The image of the Immaculate will one day replace the large red star over the Kremlin, but only after a great and bloody trial.  —Signs, Wonders and Response, Fr. Albert J. Herbert, p.126

Perhaps that bloody trial was Communism itself. Or perhaps that trial is still to come. Regardless, Russia, who is now teaming up with China and threatening peace as it once did in the Cold War, seems anything but "Mary's land."

Maybe the most compelling comment on this issue comes from Sr. Lucia herself. In an interview with Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Sr. Lucia describes the period we live in:

Fatima is still in its Third Day. We are now in the post Consecration period. The First Day was the apparition period. The Second was the post apparition, pre-Consecration period. The Fatima Week has not yet ended… People expect things to happen immediately within their own time frame. But Fatima is still in its Third Day. The Triumph is an ongoing process. —Sr. Lucia; God's Final Effort, John Haffert, 101 Foundation, 1999, p. 2; quoted in Private Revelation: Discerning With the Church, Dr. Mark Miravalle, p.65

An ongoing process. If the "period of peace" was in fact the brief period after the Cold War, it is clear from Sr. Lucia herself that the Triumph is not yet complete. It is when her Triumph is accomplished, I believe, that an Era of Peace will begin.

For those who haven't read it, I recommend the meditation Prophetic Perspective

 

QuestionDoesn't the Antichrist come right before the return of Jesus in Glory? You seem to indicate that there are two more antichrists…

I have answered this question in part in The Coming Ascension. But let me quickly lay out the big picture:

  • St. John speaks of a Beast and a False Prophet who arise before the "thousand year" reign or Era of Peace.
  • They are captured and "thrown alive into the lake of fire" (Rev 19:20) and
  • Satan is chained for a "thousand years" (Rev 20:2). 
  • Toward the end of the thousand year period (Rev 20:3, 7), Satan is released and sets out to "deceive the nations… Gog and Magog" (Rev 20:7-8).
  • They surround the camp of the saints in Jerusalem, but fire comes down from heaven to consume Gog and Magog (Rev 20:9). Then,

The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were.  (Rev 20:10).

The Beast and the False Prophet already "were" in the lake of fire. In this regard, St. John's Revelation seems to put forward a basic chronology that is also affirmed in the writings of the early Church Fathers, placing the appearance of an individual antichrist before the Era of Peace:

But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come… sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bring in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day. —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragments, Book V, Ch. 28, 2; from The Early Church Fathers and Other Works published in 1867.

Regarding the possibility of more than one antichrist, we read in St. John's letter:

Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come… (1 Jn 2:18) 

Affirming this teaching, Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) said,

As far as the antichrist is concerned, we have seen that in the New Testament he always assumes the lineaments of contemporary history. He cannot be restricted to any single individual. One and the same he wears many masks in each generation.Dogmatic Theology, Eschatology 9, Johann Auer and Joseph Ratzinger, 1988, p. 199-200 

Again, because of the multi-dimensional levels of Scripture, we must always be open to the possibility that Scripture is being fulfilled in ways that we cannot comprehend. Thus, Jesus says to be prepared always, for He will come "like a thief in the night."

 

QuestionYou recently wrote in Signs From the Sky about Pegasus and an "illumination of conscience." Isn't Pegasus a new age symbol? And don't the new agers talk about a coming new age and a universal Christ consciousness?

Yes, they do. And now you see how subtle the enemy's plans are to distort the real and salvific plan of Christ. The word "antichrist" does not mean "opposite" of Christ, but against Christ. Satan does not try to deny God's existence, but rather, to distort it into a new reality. This is the case with the new age. In fact, what you have stated in your question perhaps builds the case for a genuine spiritual "era of peace" established by God, as we see Satan trying to twist that reality into his own version.

New agers believe in a coming "Age of Aquarius," an era of peace and harmony. Sounds like the Christian belief, doesn't it? But the difference is this: The new age teaches that, rather than this era being a time when there is a heightened consciousness of Jesus Christ as the one and only mediator between God and mankind, man becomes conscious that he is himself a god and one with the universe. Jesus, on the other hand, teaches that we are one with Him—not through a sudden inner awareness of divinity—but through faith and the acknowledgment of our sins which brings forth the Holy Spirit and the fruit associated with His presence. 

Jesus told His followers to watch for signs in nature to precede His coming. That is, nature will only confirm as a "sign" what Jesus has already revealed in the Gospels. However, the new age goes beyond seeing nature and creation as a sign, and rather looks for "secret" or "hidden knowledge." This is also known as "gnosticism" which the Church condemns and has fought against through the centuries. And thus, new agers look to the constellation Pegasus rather than to the Gospel for that secret knowledge which will raise them to new levels of consciousness and godlike existence.

Indeed, the "illumination of conscience" God will send is not to raise mankind to godlike status, but to humble us and call us back to Himself. Yes, the difference here is a matter of "conscience," not consciousness.

Various forms of gnosticism are manifesting in our day with such phenomena as the video called "The Secret," the "Judas Gospel" and the subtle deceptions of "Harry Potter." There is nothing subtle, however, about the "His Dark Materials" series of which "The Golden Compass" is the first movie based on the books.

 

QuestionWhat do I tell my children about these days and what may be coming?

There are many controversial things Jesus said and did publicly, including denouncing the Pharisees and cleansing the temple with a whip. But according to Mark, Jesus spoke about the "end times" privately with just Peter, James, John, and Andrew (see Mk 13:3; cf. Matt 24:3). Perhaps it is because these were the Apostles who witnessed the Transfiguration (except for Andrew). They saw the astounding glory of Jesus, and so knew more than any other human beings the tremendous "end of the story" which awaits the world. Given this glorious preview, perhaps only they could handle at the time the knowledge of the "labor pains" which would precede His return.

Maybe we should imitate our Lord's wisdom on this when it comes to our children. Our little ones first and foremost need to know that tremendous "end of the story." They need to understand the "good news" and the big picture of how Jesus will return on the clouds to receive into the Kingdom all those who have said "yes" to Him with their lives. This is the primary message, the "Great Commission."

It seems to me that when our children grow into a personal relationship with Jesus, they have a deeper understanding and perception of the world and times they live in through the quiet activity of the Holy Spirit. As such, their questions, or distress with the sinful state of the world that they see around them will be an opportunity for you to share more deeply the "signs of the times." You can explain that just as a mother has to go through some pain in order to give birth to new life, so too does our world have to pass through a time of pain in order to be renewed. But the message is one of hope for new life!

Regarding the urgent message to "prepare", this is best explained to them by what you do to prepare. Your life should reflect a pilgrim mentality: a spirit of poverty resisting materialism, gluttony, drunkenness, and excessive consumption of television. In this way, your life says to your children, "This is not my home! I am preparing to spend eternity with God. My life, my actions, yes, the warp and woof of my day are centered on Him because He is everything to me." In this way, your life becomes a living eschatology—a witness of living in the present moment so as to dwell forever in the eternal moment. (Eschatology is the theology concerned with the final things.)

On a personal note, I have shared select writings with my older children who are in their early teens. Occasionally, they overhear me discussing my writings with my wife. And so, they have a basic understanding that we need to live in a state of preparedness as our Lord commanded us to. But that is not my central concern. Rather, it is that we as a family learn to love God and one another, and to love our neighbour, especially our enemies. For what good is it to know of coming events if I am devoid of love?

If I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge… but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Cor 13:2)

 

CONCLUSION

I have warned on this website several times that a spiritual tsunami of deception is sweeping through the world and that God has lifted the restrainer, thereby permitting mankind to follow its unrepentant heart.

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. (2 Tim 4:3-4)

Just as Noah required God's protection against the deluge, so too do we need God's protection in our day in order to ride this spiritual tsunami. Thus, He has sent us the new Ark, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She has always been recognized from the earliest of times as a gift to the Church from God. She desires with her whole being to form us in the school of her heart so that we may become the sons and daughters of God built firmly upon her Son, Jesus, who is the Truth. The Rosary which she teaches us to pray is a great weapon against heresy according to her promises to those who pray it. I believe that without her help today, overcoming the deceptions and snares of darkness will be very difficult. She is the Ark of Protection.

But foremost among our weapons against the pride and arrogance of the enemy is the childlike disposition of a heart which trusts in the Father and in the Holy Spirit teaching and leading us through the Catholic Church, which Christ Himself has built upon Peter.

Watch and pray. And listen to the Holy Father and those in union with Him. 

Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me. (Luke 10:16)

In this way, you will be able to hear the voice of your Shepherd, Jesus Christ, among the din of deception which is perhaps louder and more dangerous now than in any other generation before us.

False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. So if they say to you, 'He is in the desert,' do not go out there; if they say, 'He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matt 24:24-27)

Published in: DAILY JOURNAL, THE ERA OF PEACE | on March 24th, 2008 |