One of the central functions of this writing apostolate is to show how Our Lady and the Church are truly mirrors of one another—that is, how authentic so-called “private revelation” mirrors the prophetic voice of the Church, most especially that of the popes. In fact, it has been a great eye-opener for me to see how the pontiffs, for over a century, have been paralleling the Blessed Mother’s message such that her more personalized warnings are essentially the “other side of the coin” of the institutional warnings of the Church. This is most evident in my writing Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?
In my last writing Raise Your Sails, I recounted how Our Lady has been giving strong warnings on “the last night of the year”. Well, so too did Pope Benedict in an unforgettable speech in 2010 before the end of the New Year. It is more relevant, more imminent today than ever, as the nations begin to brace for a Third World War. Such is the fulfillment of the Second Seal of Revelation when the rider upon a red horse is “given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another.” Rev 6:3-4 This was the warning at Fatima, and now that of our popes as the universal disintegration of morality cannot but lead to the disintegration of civility.
And yet, all these things I have been compelled to warn about for over a decade—and that too is comforting. It means that nothing that is here and coming is taking the Lord by surprise. And nor should it you, if you “watch and pray”:
But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. (1 These 5:4-5)
That is why God initiated this apostolate, to help you to remain as “children of the day.” Thankfully, many of you have prepared yourselves as we stand “on the eve” of these dramatic changes for the Church and the world. Therefore, pay particular attention to the end of this writing in the section “The Dawn of Hope”. Our Lady of Fatima said that her Immaculate Heart would be our refuge. While that is primarily a spiritual refuge, it will also be a physical refuge for many as they live to see the words of Psalm 91 fulfilled in their own lives and homes.
Last, I am writing you from seclusion as my wife and I celebrate 25 years of a blessed marriage. God has given us eight beautiful children, two faithful son-in-laws, and a granddaughter. We are so thankful to see our children following Jesus and putting Him in the center of their hearts and families. They are part of the generation that will populate the new era. There is much hope… which is why the language of “labor pains” used by Jesus and St. Paul are so powerful: they speak of both agony and birth, of sorrow and joy. Therefore, fix yours beyond this hour of darkness that is setting upon our world, and place them upon the dawn of hope that is coming… Lea and I are praying for all of you.
The following was published December 31st, 2010:
THREE years ago to this day, I heard then, on the eve of the Feast of the Mother of God (also New Year’s Day), the words:
This is the Year of the Unfolding (see here).
Five months later, at the brink of springtime, the dimension of those words came in another whispering in my heart:
Very quickly now…. The economy, then the social, then the political order. Each will collapse upon the other like dominoes… (see here).
Then, the Unfolding began. In October of 2008, the economies of the world began to cave in. The illusion of “wealthy” western nations began to shatter revealing that debt, not true prosperity, has borrowed much of the lifestyle of “first world” nations. That collapse, far from over, has already begun to drag the social order into chaos in a few places, such as Greece and developing nations where food prices are sky-rocketing as I write. The ensuing panic has led many world leaders to openly demand a “global currency” and herald a “new world order” (see here). It is only a matter of time before unrest spreads to the rest of the world—a fact delayed by the printing of money and mortgaging of sovereignty through world banks.
Then, I shared with you this past November more urgent words about this Unfolding:
There is so little time left. Great changes are coming over the face of the earth. People are unprepared… (see here).
Yet, as always, brothers and sisters, I would not expect you to rely upon words which I myself do not rely upon. That is to say, I have striven with all my heart and mind and soul to underline whatever is spoken here with the sure words of our Catholic Faith as found in the early Church Fathers, the modern and post-modern Popes, and those apparitions of Our Blessed Mother that have been stamped with official approval. I am amazed at how, time and again, my personal words are so unnecessary in the face of the overwhelming authority of our shepherds speaking clearly and unequivocally.
Tonight, we stand not only on the eve of a new year, but on the eve of the end of our era. And this bold statement, this seemingly apocalyptic insight, comes once again from no less than the voice of Peter.
POPE BENEDICT—A PROPHET IN OUR TIMES
Before Christmas, I quoted from an address the Holy Father made to the Roman Curia. There, he made a startling and raw comparison of the Church today to a beleaguered and sullied beautiful woman (see Christmas Myrrh). At the same time, Pope Benedict described the state of our world and its future in words needing little interpretation. Here again, as I pointed out in Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting? the Holy Father is speaking clearly of the “signs of the times” and in apocalyptic terms, no less.
Making a comparison of our times to the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire, he recalled the words of the liturgy likely formulated in that period: Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni (“Awaken your power, Lord, and come”). This same plea is rising to our lips now, Benedict suggested, as we examine our distressing times and the seeming “experience of [God’s] apparent absence.”
The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent, then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and protect his people from all these threats. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010; catholicherald.co.uk
Benedict then went on to highlight the cause and certain outcome of the current decline in our times:
For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure. —Ibid.
The foundation of a future peaceful co-existence is a “moral consensus.” That is, an agreement among peoples upon the moral natural law, a law that is written by God in the heart of every man and woman that “transcends individual denominations”:
Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk… In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake. —Ibid.
Is it any coincidence that the Holy Father, on the very eve of the lunar eclipse that turned the moon blood red on the winter solstice, made this statement? The “eclipse of reason” in our times has placed the very “future of the world” at stake. And the end result, says the Holy Father, will be the collapse of “juridical and political structures.”
Very quickly now…. The economy, then the social, then the political order.
A BURGEONING DESTRUCTION
The Holy Father’s words point to a disturbing progression that cannot but end in an utter collapse of the present order. He has spoken frequently in the past about the eclipse of truth, the ‘dimming of the light of God.’ cf. The Smoldering Candle Yet, even then, human institutions and individual hearts, with difficulty, can be guided by the light of reason to choose the path of “right” that leads to genuine human freedom. But when “reason” itself becomes eclipsed, then the most insidious of evils can be embraced as a “good.” It can be reasoned, as we have tragically seen in the past, that entire portions of a society are deemed insignificant and thereby “reduced to articles of merchandise” or completely eliminated altogether. Such has been the fruit of atheist regimes as recent as our last century (or in our times, “ethnic cleansing”, abortion, sex tourism, and child pornography). It is this loss of the intrinsic dignity and beauty of the human person, particularly in the most innocent of all—children—that Pope Benedict called…
…the most terrifying sign of the times… [for now] there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. —Ibid.
Recalling the Book of Revelation and “the great sins of Babylon”, cf. Mystery Babylon Benedict interprets this as “the symbol of the world’s great irreligious cities” (which “collapse,” according to the vision of St. John [cf. Rev 18:2-24]). In his address, Pope Benedict notes that Babylon trades in ‘human souls’ (18:3).
…the tyranny of mammon […] perverts mankind. No pleasure is ever enough, and the excess of deceiving intoxication becomes a violence that tears whole regions apart – and all this in the name of a fatal misunderstanding of freedom which actually undermines man’s freedom and ultimately destroys it. —Ibid.
PLEASE, FORGIVE ME
How can we as Catholics, if we are listening to the Vicar of Christ, fail to grasp the significance of our times? Can souls be forgiven for examining our days in the light of those Scriptures that speak of the “end times”? Here is the Holy Father once again comparing our times to those described in the Book of Revelation. Furthermore, he has juxtaposed our period with that of the Roman Empire that was gripped by “frequent natural disasters” and a growing “sense of insecurity.” But the Roman empire bears a greater significance than merely a historical lesson.
Pope Benedict mentions Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman in his address. It was Blessed Newman who, in summarizing the teachings of the Church Fathers, notes that the “restrainer” cf. Removing the Restrainer that holds back the “lawless one“, cf. Dream of the Lawless One the “Antichrist,” is in fact the Roman Empire:
Now this restraining power [is] generally admitted to be the Roman empire… I do not grant that the Roman empire is gone. Far from it: the Roman empire remains even to this day. —Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890), Advent Sermons on Antichrist, Sermon I
It remains, albeit, in a different form. This future form is what the Church Fathers said is the “beast” from Revelation (Rev 13:1). What is the same today as that ancient empire is this ‘sense of insecurity’ growing more prevalent by the hour. And Newman points to this insecurity, manifested as an over-reliance upon the State, as a harbinger of apocalyptic times:
When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then he may burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. Then suddenly the Roman Empire may break up, and Antichrist appear as a persecutor, and the barbarous nations around break in. —Blessed John Henry Newman, Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist
Hence, the reason Pope Benedict, in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, addresses head-on the “new world order” forming, warning that…
…without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could cause unprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family… humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation… —Caritas in Veritate, n.33, 26
And what is the Pope’s assessment of this “global force” since that encyclical? Again,
…moral consensus is collapsing… Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010
Benedict notes that, of the traits of the Roman Empire at that time, “There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline.” This echoes the sobering words of his predecessor, John Paul II… The recent election in the United States (2012) is a key sign that the direction of “democracy” is in fact directly opposed to the Church (and most recently, in 2016, we see how an anti-Catholic stream continues to reveal its head in both juridical and political circles). That is, the “champion of freedom”, America, is now becoming the instrument of its demise (see Mystery Babylon to understand America’s unsuspecting role in our times).
THE DAWN OF HOPE
Watching the sun set upon this present era, Pope John Paul II remarked:
The grave challenges confronting the world at the start of this new Millennium lead us to think that only an intervention from on high, capable of guiding the hearts of those living in situations of conflict and those governing the destinies of nations, can give reason to hope for a brighter future. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 40
Brothers and sisters, as we stand once again on the eve of the great feast of Mary, Mother of God (January 1st), even in the face of all that the Holy Fathers have said, I am filled with an intense hope. For as the twilight fades in our times and midnight approaches, we see upon the horizon of humanity the bright morning star, Maris Stella, the light of the Blessed Virgin Mary shining as a “woman clothed in the sun.” She is the one whom Genesis predicted long ago as the woman who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15). She is the one whom the dragon of Revelation cannot defeat (12:16). She is the one whom time and again has brought victory to the Church.
At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer [of the Rosary], and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 39
She is the one, along with and mirrored in the Church, cf. Key to the Woman who engages the “battle of the end times”, which is essentially the “culture of life” versus the “culture of death.”
This struggle parallels the apocalyptic combat described in [Rev 11:19-12:1-6, 10 on the battle between” the woman clothed with the sun” and the “dragon”]. Death battles against Life: a “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full… —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, 1993
She is the chosen instrument of God in our times, whose Magnificat will be sung once again throughout the world as the Church—her heel—sings a song of victory that is sure to come.
On this universal level, if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her because He wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her… —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 221
And the victory she intends to bring about is the leveling of those mountains and valleys (those “global forces”) that stand in the way of the saving message of her Son, Jesus Christ—a message that is to become the dominant force in this new millennium. For He said Himself,
This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. (Matt 24:14)
In the final analysis, healing can only come from deep faith in God’s reconciling love. Strengthening this faith, nourishing it and causing it to shine forth is the Church’s principal task at this hour… I entrust these prayerful sentiments to the intercession of the Holy Virgin, Mother of the Redeemer. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010
And so I encourage you, my battle-weary brothers and sisters, to pick up your Rosaries again, renew your love for Jesus, and prepare to fight for your King. For we are on the eve of the greatest changes the world has ever known…
Prayer from the apparitions of Our Lady of All Nations,
with Vatican approval:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father,
send now Your Spirit over the earth.
Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts
of all nations, that they may be preserved
from degeneration, disaster and war.
May the Lady of All Nations,
the Blessed Virgin Mary,
be our Advocate. Amen.
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- The Restrainer: an understanding on that which holds back Antichrist
- Relying upon the state for necessities: The Great Deception-Part II
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