THE late Servant of God Sr. Lúcia of Fatima once warned of a time coming when people would experience a “diabolical disorientation”:
People must recite the Rosary every day. Our Lady repeated this in all her apparitions, as if to arm us in advance against these times of diabolical disorientation, so that we would not let ourselves be fooled by false doctrines, and that through prayer, the elevation of our soul to God would not be diminished…. This is a diabolical disorientation invading the world and misleading souls! It is necessary to stand up to it… —Sister Lucy, to her friend Dona Maria Teresa da Cunha
In another letter to her Salesian nephew, Father Jose Valinho, she lamented those who “let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave sweeping over the world… blinded to the point of being incapable of seeing error!” What she saw beginning to manifest was foreseen by Pope Leo XIII the century before:
…he who resists the truth through malice and turns away from it, sins most grievously against the Holy Ghost. In our days this sin has become so frequent that those dark times seem to have come which were foretold by St. Paul, in which men, blinded by the just judgment of God, should take falsehood for truth, and should believe in “the prince of this world,” who is a liar and the father thereof, as a teacher of truth: “God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying (2 Thess. ii., 10). In the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and the doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. iv., 1). —Divinum Illud Munus, n. 10
Five years ago, I wrote about this coming “wave”—a Spiritual Tsunami. And now we see it sweeping through the world with tremendous force, dragging everything into a muddy confusion. When doctors, who signed up to heal and save lives, are then forced by the courts to refer their patients to be killed, that is diabolical disorientation. When public libraries bring pedophiles in drag to read storybooks to children, that is diabolical disorientation. When governments and courts overturn the universal, biological and rational definition of marriage, that is diabolical disorientation. When anyone can invent a new gender, and demand it be legally recognized, that is diabolical disorientation. When some bishops of the Church make individual conscience supreme over the divine law, that is diabolical disorientation. When clergy are accused all over the world of sexual aberrations, that is diabolical disorientation. When Catholics look to the pope for clarity and feel they cannot find it, that is diabolical disorientation.
It’s remarkable how even the early Church Fathers saw this coming:
All justice will be confounded, and the laws will be destroyed. —Lactantius (c. 250 -c. 325), Fathers of the Church: The Divine Institutes, Book VII, Chapter 15, Catholic Encyclopedia; www.newadvent.org
St. John Paul II announced its definitive arrival in our times:
Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong… —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, 1993
But again, we can take courage in the voices of these prophets because, as we hear Jesus say in the Gospel today, God is never taken by surprise.
From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. (John 13:19)
SIN IS THE ROOT
The root of this disorientation is straightforward: sin—plain and simple. Sin is darkness, and when we commit it as individuals, shadows invade the soul and cloud the faculties.
…the devil seeks to create an internal war, a kind of civil spiritual war. —POPE FRANCIS, September 28th, 2013; catholicnewsagency.com
But when sin becomes institutionalized in a nation, entire peoples are plunged into an “eclipse of reason” as economic, political, and social ethics and norms are corrupted. When it becomes worldwide, as it has, then you have entered the end of an era. There is only one path forward: repentance.
…if then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
It should be clear to all right now that, despite some good signs out there, the zeitgeist is toward a rapid rejection of Christianity. That is, repentance is mostly absent, much less preached from the pulpit. As such, the warning of Our Lady of Akita stands as a sober warning that is tempting to dismiss as too extreme:
As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. —Message given through an apparition to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa of Akita, Japan, October 13th, 1973
Jesus sheds more light on this chastisement to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. He explains why we are experiencing this diabolical disorientation at the threshold of the third millennium; history is divided into three renewals: post-flood, post-Redemption, and the epoch following the present and coming purification:
Now we have arrived at approximately the third two thousand years, and there will be a third renewal. This is the reason for the general confusion, which is nothing other than the preparation for the third renewal. If in the second renewal I manifested what my humanity did and suffered, and very little of what My divinity was accomplishing, now, in this third renewal, after the earth will be purged and a great part of the current generation destroyed… I will accomplish this renewal by manifesting what My divinity did within My humanity. —Jesus to Luisa, Diary XII, January 29th, 1919; from The Gift of Living in the Divine Will, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, footnote n. 406
I know that’s a dire word. It’s also consistent with the early Church Fathers:
Since God, having finished His works, rested on the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years… —Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (250-317 A.D.; Ecclesiastical writer), The Divine Institutes, Vol 7.
If we are approaching the Day of Justice, then these prophecies are certainly consistent with Scripture. The prophet Zechariah writes:
In the whole land, says the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'” (Zech 13:8-9)
His “people” are the ones who do repent and strive to be faithful, and to whom the Lord promises:
Because you have kept my message of endurance, I will keep you safe in the time of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (Revelation 3:10)
My Mother is Noah’s Ark —Jesus to Elizabeth Kindelmann, The Flame of Love, p.109; Imprimatur, Archbishop Charles Chaput
Thus, this time of testing, this diabolical disorientation that has drawn the world and even portions of the Church into error, has a blessed ending for those who repent and accept the free gift of God’s love and mercy:
In order to free men from bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my Most Holy Son has designated to effect the restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God. To test this faith and confidence of the just, there will be occasions when all will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This, then, will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration. —Our Lady of Good Success to Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres (1634), on the Feast of the Purification; cf., catholictradition. org
OVERCOMING THE DISORIENTATION
We are in a spiritual battle unlike anything we’ve ever seen, perhaps since the dawn of creation. Indeed, John Paul II said it is “the final confrontation between… Christ and the antichrist.” Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (JOHN PAUL II ), at the Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, PA for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; some citations of this passage include the words “Christ and the antichrist” as above. Deacon Keith Fournier, an attendee, reports it as above; cf. Catholic Online; August 13, 1976 Thus, we have to close the cracks in our life to sin as, in any battle, the enemy will look for the slightest weakness. Satan will exploit them if we don’t; he will try to ruin your marriage, divide your family, and destroy relationships. He will play with your mind, planting judgments, seeding lies and destroying peace if you open it to him. This is why, in many cases, we are seeing crazy things—people throwing public tantrums, acting brutally and becoming more obscene; why suicide, STD’s, the occult, and the need for exorcists are exponentially on the rise. It’s just eery how St. Paul, 2000 years ago, described our narcissistic generation, saturated in violence, lust, rebellion, vile language, and the ease of attacking others through social media.
Understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. (1 Tim 3:1-5)
God has lifted the restrainer holding back the deluge of evil, in part, because man himself has welcomed it through sin, but also because the Church has fallen into apostasy in many places:
…the power of evil is restrained again and again… again and again the power of God himself is shown in the Mother’s power and keeps it alive. The Church is always called upon to do what God asked of Abraham, which is to see to it that there are enough righteous men to repress evil and destruction. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, p. 166, A Conversation With Peter Seewald
You can do so on a personal level and in your families in seven ways:
I. Close the Cracks
That is, go to frequent Confession. This is the ordinary means by which God not only reconciles us to Himself, but heals and restores our souls so that we have strength against the temptations of the enemy.
Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1458
Read: The Breath of Life
II. Pray the Rosary
Sr. Lucia’s message was simple: “People must recite the Rosary every day. Our Lady repeated this in all her apparitions, as if to arm us in advance against these times of diabolical disorientation.” It is not an overstatement to say that the Rosary is a “weapon” against evil, according to the voice of the Magisterium:
Where the Madonna is at home the devil does not enter; where there is the Mother, disturbance does not prevail, fear does not win. —POPE FRANCIS, Homily at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, January 28th, 2018, Catholic News Agency; crux.com
At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation. —JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 39
No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary. —Bishop Hugh Doyle, ewtn.com
We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer… —POPE PIUS XII, Ingruentium Malorum, Encyclical, n. 15; vatican.va
Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in Hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil… sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if—and mark well what I say—if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins. —St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary
III. Fast and Pray
The Rosary is prayer, of course. But you need to take time alone with God, to sit in His presence and allow Him to transform you. There is nothing more grounding, more detoxifying, more stabilizing and orientating than spending time alone with God in His Word, speaking to Him, and letting Him speak to you. As Sr. Lúcia said,
…through prayer, the elevation of our soul to God would not be diminished [by this diabolical disorientation]…
I wrote a forty-day retreat on prayer, which you can pick away at here. But if we are dealing with spiritual warfare, prayer and fasting are indispensable.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. (Ephesians 6:12)
This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29)
IV. Feed your heart
Receive Jesus in the Eucharist as frequently as you can. His flesh, He said, is true food and His blood true drink (John 6:55).
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1324
The Christian who deprives himself of the Eucharist deprives himself of life.
One particle from its crumbs is able to sanctify thousands and thousands, and is sufficient to afford life to those who eat of it. Take, eat, entertaining no doubt of faith, because this is My Body, and whoever eats it in belief eats in it Fire and Spirit… if he be pure, he will be preserved in his purity; and if he be a sinner, he will be forgiven.” —St. Ephraim (c. 306 – 373 A.D.), Homilies, 4:4; 4:6
V. Forgive and Love
The one who forgives another for the injury caused places himself in the refuge of God’s mercy; the one who does not
forgive sets himself before the Judge—and neither will He pardon you.
If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. (Matt 6:14-15)
Unforgiveness is a breeding ground for the enemy; it is a foothold for him to climb into your soul; it is a poison one drinks himself in bitterness toward his neighbour; it is a crack through which light escapes and darkness enters. Forgive as you have been forgiven! Let go… and let Jesus set you free from the chains of pain (read Mercy Through Mercy).
VI. Turn off the media
So much of the disorientation many are experiencing is because they daily expose themselves to the “devil’s playground”, that is, a sea of negative news, dysfunction, bickering, and narcissistic social media. Turn it off. Spend time in nature, in prayer, in being present to others and entering their presence. You’ll be surprised how much diabolical disorientation vanishes when you don’t let the enemy spoon feed it through the media, which today, is more and more controlled by dark forces.
VII. Pray for the Pope
Ronald Knox once said, “Perhaps it would be a good thing if every Christian, certainly if every priest, could dream once in his life that he were pope, and wake from that nightmare in a sweat of agony.” The Pope has been accused of heresy among other things of late, only adding to the fog of confusion spreading through the Church.cf. thetablet.co.uk Jimmy Akins of Catholic Answers made a worthy rebuttal to the heresy charges here. I also think a recent interview of the publication Der Spiegel with Cardinal Gerhard Müller (who recently penned a clear “Manifesto of Faith”) is very telling:
Der Spiegel: Is Pope Francis a heretic, a denier of dogma, as some few princes of the Church insinuate?
Cardinal Gerard Müller: No. This Pope is orthodox, that is, doctrinally sound in the Catholic sense. But it is his task to bring the Church together in truth, and it would be dangerous if he were to succumb to the temptation of pitting the camp that boasts of its progressivism, against the rest of the Church… —Walter Mayr, “Als hätte Gott selbst gesprochen”, Der Spiegel, Feb. 16, 2019, p. 50
While the Pope has made statements, signed documents, or appointed advisors that leave more questions than answers, it is in his power, and is his duty, to confirm the brethren in the true faith. To a large extent, he clearly has (see Pope Francis On…). Pray for the Pope. We don’t know all that’s going on. We cannot read his heart. What may seem obvious to you may not be the full picture. As Massimo Franco, a correspondent for the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, said:
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Guardian of the Faith, a German cardinal, fired some months ago by the Pope—some say in a very abrupt way—said in a recent interview that the Pope is surrounded by spies, who tend not to tell him the truth, but what the Pope wants to hear. —Inside the Vatican, March 2018, p. 15
These are dangerous, diabolical times. For our part, we ought to follow in the footsteps of the saints, like Catherine of Siena, who though faced with imperfect papacies, never broke communion with the Holy Father giving Satan room in their own hearts through pride.
Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him… I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him. —St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”)
They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. —POPE PIUS XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (On the Mystical Body of Christ), June 29, 1943; n. 41; vatican.va
As a kind of footnote to these ways to combat confusion, do not be afraid. In fact, more than that: be courageous. “It is necessary to stand up to it,” said Sr. Lúcia.
Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard, the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 58
Through these seven steps above, you will be able to repel Satan’s attacks and dispel the diabolical disorientation that seeks to sweep away the world in a deluge of confusion and lies.
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|1.||↑||Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (JOHN PAUL II ), at the Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, PA for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; some citations of this passage include the words “Christ and the antichrist” as above. Deacon Keith Fournier, an attendee, reports it as above; cf. Catholic Online; August 13, 1976|