This meditation was first published November 4th, 2005. The Lord often makes words such as these urgent and seemingly imminent, not because there is not time, but so as to give us time! This word now comes back to me at this hour with an even greater urgency. It is a word many souls throughout the world are hearing (so don’t feel that you are alone!) It is simple, yet powerful: Prepare!
—THE FIRST PETAL—
THE leaves have fallen, the grass has turned, and the winds of change are blowing.
Can you feel it?
It seems as though "something" is on the horizon, not only for Canada, but for all of humanity.
As many of you know, Fr. Kyle Dave of Louisiana was with me for about three weeks to help raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. But, after a few days, we realized God had so much more planned for us. We spent hours each day praying on the tour bus, seeking the Lord, at times on our faces as the Spirit moved in our midst as in a new pentecost. We experienced deep healing, peace, the fecundity of the word of God, and a tremendous love. There were occasions when God was speaking very clearly, unmistakably as we confirmed with one another what we felt He was saying. There were also occasions when evil was tangibly present in ways I’ve never experienced before. It was clear to us that what God was trying to communicate was at great odds with the adversary.
What did God seem to be saying?
So simple a word… yet so pregnant. So urgent. As the days have unfolded, so has this word, like a bud bursting into the fullness of a rose. I want to unfold this flower as best I can in the weeks to come. So… here’s the first petal:
"Come out! Come out!"
I hear Jesus raising his voice to humanity! "Awake! Arise! Come out!" He is calling us out of the world. He’s calling us out of the compromises we have been living with our money, our sexuality, our appetites, our relationships. He is preparing His Bride, and we can’t be stained by such things!
Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. (1 Tim 6:17)
These are words to a Church which has fallen into a dreadful coma. We have exchanged the Sacraments for entertainment… the riches of prayer, for hours of television… the blessings and consolations of God, for empty material objects… the deeds of mercy to the poor, for self interests.
No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammom. (Matt 6:24)
Our souls were not created to be divided. The fruit of that division is death, spiritually and physically, as we see in the headlines as pertains to nature and society. The words in Revelation regarding Babylon, that rebellious city, are meant for us,
Depart from her, my people, so as not to take part in her sins and receive a share in her plagues. (18:4-5)
I also hear in my heart:
Be in a state of grace, always in a state of grace.
Spiritual readiness is mostly what the Lord means by "Prepare!" To be in a state of grace is above all to be without mortal sin. It also means to constantly examine ourselves and to root out with God’s help any sin we see. This requires an act of the will on our part, self-denial, and child-like surrender to God. To be in a state of grace is to be in communion with God.
THE TIME FOR MIRACLES
A colleague of ours, Laurier Byer (whom we call the Aging Prophet), prayed with us one evening on our tour bus. A word he gave us, which has carved a place in our souls was,
This is not a time for comfort, but a time for miracles.
This is not the time to flirt with the world’s empty promises and compromise the Gospel. It is the time to give ourselves entirely to Jesus, and allow him to work the miracle of holiness and transformation within us! In dying to ourselves, we are raised to new life. If this is difficult, if you feel the pull of world’s gravity upon your soul, upon your weakness, then take comfort also in the Lord’s words to the poor and weary:
The treasuries of My mercy are wide open!
These words keep coming over and over again. He is pouring out mercy on any soul that comes to Him, no matter how stained, no matter how defiled. So much so, that incredible gifts and graces await you, as perhaps no other generation before us.
Look at My Cross. See how far I have gone for you. Will I turn my back on you now?
Why is this call to "Prepare," to "Come out" so urgent? Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI has answered this most succinctly in his opening homily at the recent Synod of Bishops in Rome:
The judgment announced by the Lord Jesus [in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 21] refers above all to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. Yet the threat of judgment also concerns us, the Church in Europe, Europe and the West in general. With this Gospel, the Lord is also crying out to our ears the words that in the Book of Revelation he addresses to the Church of Ephesus: "If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place" (2: 5). Light can also be taken away from us and we do well to let this warning ring out with its full seriousness in our hearts, while crying to the Lord: "Help us to repent! Give all of us the grace of true renewal! Do not allow your light in our midst to blow out! Strengthen our faith, our hope and our love, so that we can bear good fruit! —October 2nd, 2005, Rome
But he goes on to say,
Is the threat the last word? No! There is a promise, and this is the last, the essential word… "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him will produce abundantly" (Jn 15: 5) …God does not fail. In the end he wins, love wins.
May we choose to be on the side that wins. "Prepare! Come out of the world!" Love awaits us with open arms.
There is more the Lord said to us… more petals to come….
- Read all four "petals": The Petals
- A prophetic word given during Christmas 2007 that 2008 would be the year in which these Petals would begin to unfold: The Year of the Unfolding. Indeed, in the Fall of 2008, the economy began its collapse, which is now leading to a Great Restructuring, a "new world order." See also The