The Seven Year Trial – Part II

 


Apocalypse, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

I am writing to you this week from the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec, Canada. The symbol of this Congress is none other than “The Ark of the New Covenant.” It is no coincidence that Divine Providence has led me to publish the remainder of this series from here. For God is gathering us now into the Ark, who is Mary and His Church, to carry us through the Great Storm until He purifies the earth for the universal reign of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist…

 

I want to speak from the heart for a moment to frame the rest of this series. 

The past three years have been a remarkable journey for me, one I never intended to embark upon. I do not claim to be prophet… just a simple missionary who feels a call to shed a little more light upon the days we live in and the days which are coming. Needless to say, this has been an overwhelming task, and one which is done with much fear and trembling. At least that much I share with the prophets! But it is also done with the tremendous prayer support so many of you have graciously offered on my behalf. I feel it. I need it. And I am so grateful.

The events of the end times, as revealed to the prophet Daniel, were to be sealed up until the time of the end. Even Jesus did not open those seals for his disciples, and restricted himself to giving certain warnings and pointing to certain signs that would come. We are not wrong, then, in watching for these signs since our Lord instructed us to do so when He said, “watch and pray,” and again,

When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. (Luke 21:31)

The Church Fathers in turn gave us chronologies which filled in the blanks somewhat. In our times, God has sent many prophets, including His Mother, calling mankind to prepare for great tribulations and ultimately, a great Triumph, further illuminating the “signs of the times.”

Through an interior call helped by prayer and certain lights which have come to me, I have developed in writing what I feel the Lord is asking of me—namely, to set forth a chronology of events based upon Christ’s Passion, since it is Church teaching that His Body will follow in His footsteps (Catechism of theCatholic Church 677). This chronology, as I discovered, flows parallel to St. John’s vision in Revelation. What develops is a sequence of events from Scripture which resonate with authentic prophecy. However, we should remember that we see dimly as in mirror—and timing is a mystery. Furthermore, Scripture has a way of repeating itself like a spiral, and thus, can be interpreted and applied to all generations.

I do see dimly. I don’t know these things for certain, but offer them according to the lights which have been given me, as discerned through spiritual direction, and in total submission to the wisdom of the Church.

 

OF LABOR PAINS

Just as a pregnant woman experiences false labor throughout her pregnancy, so too has the world experienced false labor pains since the Ascension of Christ. Wars, famines, and plagues have come and gone. False labor pains, including nausea and fatigue, may last the entire nine months of pregnancy. In fact, they are the body’s long-range way of preparing for the ordeal of real labor. But the real labor pains last only hours, a relatively short time.

Often a sign that a woman has begun true labor is that her “waters break. ” So too, the oceans have begun to rise, and waters have broken our shorelines in the contractions of nature (think Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, Mynamar, the recent Iowa flood, etc.) And so fierce are the labor pains that a woman experiences, they will cause her body to tremble and shake. So too, the earth is beginning to shake in growing frequency and intensity, “groaning” as St. Paul puts it, awaiting the “revelation of the children of God” (Rom 8:19). 

I believe that the labor pains the world is experiencing now are the real thing, the beginnings of hard labor.  It is the birthing of the “full number of Gentiles.” The Woman of Revelation gives birth to this “male child” paving the way for all Israel to be saved. 

The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles”, will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all”.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 674

This is a serious time we have entered, a time to remain sober and alert as the labor pains intensify and the Church begins her descent down the birth canal. 

 

THE BIRTH CANAL

I believe the Illumination marks the proximate beginning of the “Seven Year Trial.” It is going to come in a time of chaos, that is, during the hard labor of the Seals of Revelation

As I wrote in The Breaking of the Seals, I believe the First Seal has already been broken.

I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories. (Rev 6:2)

That is, many are already experiencing an Illumination or awakening in their souls as the Rider, whom Pope Pius XII identifies as Jesus, pierces their hearts with the arrows of love and mercy claiming many victories. Soon, this Rider will manifest Himself to the world. But first, the other Seals are to be broken beginning with the Second:

Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword. (Rev 6:4)

This outbreak of violence and chaos in the form of war and insurrections and their subsequent consequences is the chastisement, which man brings upon himself, as was foretold by Blessed Anna Maria Taigi:

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. Catholic Prophecy, Yves Dupont, Tan Books (1970), p. 44-45

And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible. —Sr. Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries, in a letter to the Holy Father, May 12th, 1982.

The following seals seem to be the fruits of the Second: the Third Seal is broken—economic collapse and food rationing; the Fourth, plague, famine, and more violence; the Fifth, more persecution of the Church—all seemingly consequences of the breakdown of society following the war. This persecution of Christians, I believe, will be the fruit of martial law which will be instated in many countries as a “national security” measure. But this will be used as a front to “round up” those who are creating “civil disturbance.” Also, without going into detail, the source of the famines and plagues could be natural or of dubious origins, engineered by those who consider “population control” their mandate. 

There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. (Luke 21:11)

Then, the Sixth Seal is broken—“signs from the sky“:

I watched while he broke open the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; the sun turned as black as dark sackcloth and the whole moon became like blood. The stars in the sky fell to the earth like unripe figs shaken loose from the tree in a strong wind. (Rev 6: 12-13)

 

THE SIXTH SEAL

What happens next sounds very much like the Illumination:

Then the sky was divided like a torn scroll curling up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. The kings of the earth, the nobles, the military officers, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid themselves in caves and among mountain crags. They cried out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come and who can withstand it?” (Rev 6:14-17)

The mystics tell us that for some people, this Illumination or Warning will be like a “judgment in miniature,” facing as it were the “wrath of God” so as to correct their consciences. The vision of the Cross, which causes such distress and shame upon the inhabitants of the earth, is that of “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (Rev 5:6).

Then a great sign of the cross will appear in the sky. From the openings from where the hands and feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights. —Diary of St. Faustina, n. 83

I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition; and they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a first-born. (Zech 12:10-11)

Indeed, the Illumination warns of the approaching Day of the Lord when Christ will come “like a thief in the night” to judge the living. Just as an earthquake accompanied the death of Jesus on the Cross, so too the Illumination of the Cross in the sky will be accompanied by a Great Shaking.

 

THE GREAT SHAKING 

We see this Great Shaking occur when Jesus enters Jerusalem for His Passion. He was greeted with  palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David.”  So too, St. John also has a vision after the Sixth Seal is broken in which he sees a multitude of people holding palm branches and crying out “Salvation comes from our God.”

But it wasn’t until Jerusalem shook that everyone else came out wondering who this man was:

And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matt 21:10)

So too many people, having been awakened by this Illumination, will be startled and confused and will ask, “Who is this?” This is the new evangelization for which we are being prepared. But it will also begin a new stage of confrontation. While the remnant of believers shouts that Jesus is the Messiah, others will say He is merely a prophet. In this passage from Matthew, we see a hint of the Battle, of The Coming Counterfeit when New Age false prophets will sow false claims about Christ, and thus, His Church. 

But there will be an additional sign to help believers: the Woman of Revelation.

 

THE ILLUMINATION AND THE WOMAN

As Mary stood beneath the Cross the first time, so too, she will be present beneath the Cross of the Illumination. Thus the Sixth Seal and Revelation 11:19 appear to describe the same event from two different perspectives:

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.

The original ark of the covenant constructed by David was hidden in a cave by the prophet Jeremiah. He said the hiding place would not be revealed until a particular time in the future: 

The place is to remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows them mercy. (2 Macc 2:7)

The Illumination is the Hour of Mercy, part of the Day of Mercy which precedes the Day of Justice. And in that merciful hour we will see the Ark in God’s temple.

Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2676

 

WHY MARY?

The Ark of the New Covenant, Mary, is seen in the temple; but standing at its center is, of course, the Lamb of God:

Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain. (Rev 5:6)

Why doesn’t St. John focus more upon the Lamb than the Ark? The answer is that Jesus has already confronted the Dragon and won. St. John’s Apocalypse is written to prepare the Church for her own Passion. Now His Body the Church, also symbolized by the Woman, is to confront this Dragon, crushing its head as was prophesied:

I will put enmities between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel. (Gen 3:15; Douay-Rheims)

The Woman is both Mary and the Church. And Mary is…

…the first Church and Eucharistic woman. —Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Magnificat: Opening Celebration and Spiritual Guide for the 49th Eucharistic Congress, p.164

St. John’s vision is ultimately the Triumph of the Church, which is the Triumph of the Immafculate Heart and Sacred Heart of Jesus, although the triumph of the Church will not be completely fulfilled until the end of time:

The triumph of Christ’s kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil. CCC, 680

 

JESUS AND MARY 

Thus, we find this dual sign of Mary and the Cross prefigured in modern times since she first appeared to Catherine Labouré and asked for the Miraculous Medal to be struck (below left). Mary is on the front of the medal with the light of Christ streaming from her hands and from behind her; on the back of the medal is the Cross.

Compare the way she allegedly appeared to Ida Peerdeman over 50 years later in an image (on the right) which has received official Church approval:

And here is the statue from the approved apparitions of Akita, Japan:

These images of Mary are powerful symbols of the “final confrontation” which lies before the Church: her own passion, death, and glorification:

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, n. 677

Thus, the Illumination is a sign to the Church that her Great Trial has come, but more so, that her vindication is dawning… that she herself is the dawn of the new Era.

The Church, which comprises the elect, is fittingly styled daybreak or dawn… It will be fully day for her when she shines with the perfect brilliance of interior light. —St. Gregory the Great, Pope; Liturgy of the Hours, Vol III, p. 308 (see also The Smoldering Candle and Wedding Preparations to understand the coming corporate mystical union, which will be preceded by a “dark night of the soul” for the Church.)

This fittingly describes the Era of Peace, or “day of rest” when Christ reigns through His saints interiorly in a deep mystical union.

What follows the Illumination, in Part III…

 

FURTHER READING:

 

 

Posted in HOME, SEVEN YEAR TRIAL.