Thursday, November 29, 2012


Tribulation Times


November 29, 2012


(Mat 24:9-13) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be scandalized and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. 


MEDITATIONSThoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[I Tim. 5:1-10; Luke 17:20-25] 

Having said that the Son of Man will appear in his day like lightning, instantly illuminating everything under heaven, the Lord added: But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. The word order here makes it apparent that this “must suffer” should precede Lord's appearance in glory. Thus, the whole time until that day is the time of the Lord's suffering. He suffered in His person at one known time; after that His sufferings continue in believers — suffering as they are born, their upbringing in the spirit and protection from actions of the enemy, both inner and outer — for the Lord's union with His own is not just mental or moral, but living. Everything that touches them is accepted by Him as well, as the head. Therefore, it is impossible not to see that the Lord indeed suffers much. 

The most painful sorrows are the falls of believers; even more painful for Him is when they fall away from the faith. But these are the final wounds; as continuously wounding arrows are the sorrows, temptations, and wavering faith of unbelief. Words and writings that exude unbelief are kindled arrows of the evil one. Nowadays, the evil one has led many blacksmiths to forge such arrows. The hearts of believers ache when they are struck by them and see others being struck. The Lord aches too. But the day of the Lord's glory will appear — then all the secret darkness will be revealed, and those who have suffered will rejoice with the Lord. Until that time we must endure and pray.


We are living in a time of great contradictions! On a corporate level, the Church—whom Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against—seems utterly despoiled by scandal, weak leadership, lukewarmness, and fear. Externally, one can literally see the anger and intolerance rising against her all over the world. So too, in our personal lives, I hear everywhere I go how there is great suffering among the brethren. Financial disaster, sickness, unemployment, marital strife, family divisions… it would seem as if Christ has forgotten us!

Far from it. Rather, Jesus is preparing his Bride for the Passion. But not only the Passion of the Church, but her Resurrection. The words from that prophecy given in Rome1  in Pope Paul VI’s presence are becoming more alive to me by the hour. Note especially the parts underlined below:

Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. I want you to be prepared, my people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my Church, a time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare you… —St. Peter’s Square, May, 1975, Pentecost Monday (given by Ralph Martin)

Jesus is stripping us of our worldly comforts and our deadly self-reliance that has become idolatry for many in the Church, especially in the wealthy Western nations. But this painful process often feels as though He is in fact abandoning us! The truth is, He does not remove these stones of contradiction because it will destroy the integrity of what He is building in your soul. You need this present suffering so as to become more reliant and abandoned to Him. The time is coming when we in the Church will have nothing but Him, in nearly every way imaginable. Yes, Satan will whisper to you, “You see, it’s as if God does not exist! Everything is random. Good and bad, they happen to everyone alike. Give up this silly religion because it does you no good. Wouldn’t you be better off following your instincts rather than your faith?!”

Is it not providence that the Pope declared this current year, “The Year of Faith?” It’s because the faith of so many is being attacked at its very foundations…

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Love of God

30. Take for your motto: Love has conquered me, it alone shall possess my heart.

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