The Great Hope

 

PRAYER is an invitation to a personal relationship with God. In fact,

…prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father… Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), n.2565

But here, we must be careful that we do not consciously or unconsciously begin to view our salvation as merely a personal matter. There is also the temptation to flee the world (contemptus mundi), hiding until the Storm passes, all the while others perish for lack of a light to guide them in their own darkness. It is precisely these individualistic views which dominate modern Christianity, even within fervent Catholic circles, and has led the Holy Father to address it in his latest encyclical:

How could the idea have developed that Jesus’s message is narrowly individualistic and aimed only at each person singly? How did we arrive at this interpretation of the “salvation of the soul” as a flight from responsibility for the whole, and how did we come to conceive the Christian project as a selfish search for salvation which rejects the idea of serving others? —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi (Saved In Hope), n. 16

 

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I Am Not Worthy


Peter’s Denial, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

From a reader:

My concern and question is within myself.  I have been raised Catholic and have also done the same with my daughters. I have tried to go to church practically every Sunday and have tried to be involved with activities at church and in my community too.  I have tried to be "good."  I go to Confession and Communion and pray the Rosary occasionally. My concern and sadness is that I find that I am so far from Christ according to everything I read.  It’s so hard to live up to Christ’s expectations.  I love Him so much, but I’m not even close to what He wants from me.  I try to be like the saints, but it only seems to last a second or two, and I’m back to being my mediocre self.  I can’t concentrate when I pray or when I’m at Mass.  I do many things wrong.  In your news letters you talk of the coming of [Christ’s merciful judgment], chastisements etc…  You talk of how to be prepared.  I’m trying but, I just can’t seem to get close.  I feel like I’m going to be in Hell or at the bottom of Purgatory.  What do I do?  What does Christ think of someone like me who’s just a puddle of sin and keeps falling down?

 

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The Great Unfolding


The Dream
, by Michael D. O’Brien

 
FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY

 

I HAVE been writing you consistently now, dear friends, for about three years. The writings called The Petals formed the foundation; the Trumpets of Warning! followed to expand those thoughts, with several other writings to fill the gaps in between; The Seven Year Trial series is essentially a correlation of the above writings according to the Church’s teaching that the Body will follow its Head in its own Passion.

On the past Feast of the Epiphany in 2008, I had somewhat of an "epiphany" myself as all these writings suddenly came into focus. They were laid out before me clearly, in a finer chronology. I waited for a confirmation from the Lord, which He provided in several ways—the primary one being the spiritual director of these writings. 

On the feast of Mary, Mother of God last year, I had also received another word, that 2008 would be the Year of the Unfolding. Not that everything would unfold at once, but that there would be definitive beginnings. Indeed, shortly after, we began to see headlines of The Perfect Storm gathering in the economy, the food supply, and other areas of society. Now, the end of 2008 has been punctuated by a grave crisis in the Middle East, some of the meanest winter weather on record in various areas, and 2009 has begun with severe earthquakes in Asia. Also notable is the administration change in the United States toward a socialist agenda by a young politician no one knows much about—a man also determined to make abortion unrestricted in his country. More than that, the new presidency, combined with a global economic crisis, appears to be paving the way towards a New World Order. At least, this is the language being used by heads of state across the world…

How can we fail to see that man is beginning to reap what he has sown: a civilization which rather than embracing the wisdom of God’s order, is embracing a culture of death and all its unforeseen consequences?

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