THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday, January 30th, 2017
Liturgical texts here
A monk praying; photo by Tony O’Brien, Christ in the Desert Monastery
THE Lord has put many things on my heart to write you in just the past few days. Again, there is a certain sense that time is of the essence. Since God is in eternity, I know this sense of urgency, then, is merely a nudge to wake us up, to stir us again to vigilance and Christ’s perennial words to “watch and pray.” Many of us do a fairly thorough job of watching… but if we do not also pray, things will go badly, very badly in these times (see Hell Unleashed). For what is needed most at this hour is not knowledge so much as divine wisdom. And this, dear friends, is a matter of the heart.
BATTLEFIELD OF THE HEART
Perhaps the most important thing I wrote in Fake News, Real Revolution was the quote from Proverbs:
With all vigilance guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
St. John Paul II wrote:
Man is unique and unrepeatable above all because of his heart, which decides his being from within. —The Theology of the Body—Human Love in the Divine Plan, Dec.2, 1980, p. 177 (Pauline Books and Media)
But post-modern man gives scant attention to his heart—the spiritual core of his being. Even us Christians, distracted and enamoured by the world! The heart is the battlefield, the place where either God, self—or in some cases of possession—Satan reigns (see today’s Gospel). It is the place, then, from which emanates either the “sources of life” or death, and daily, we either reap one or the other.
Does this mean that it is our duty to distrust the human heart? No! It only means that we must keep it under control. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, The Theology of the Body—Human Love in the Divine Plan, Dec.2, 1980, p. 126 (Pauline Books and Media)
St. Paul said,
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised… We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life. (Hebrews 10:36, 39)
Faith is a gift from God. Therefore, we need to enter into the heart to find, foster, and feed it, and this we do primarily through prayer.
Prayer attends to the grace we need… —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2010
THE CALL TO INTENSE PRAYER
Everyday, I strive to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us this hour through the Scriptures, the Church, and Our Lady… to listen to the “now word.” Since the U.S. election, she has not changed her tone regarding the impending calamities that humanity is calling down upon itself. But most notably, she is calling us to persevere in renewed prayer in order to combat the intense spiritual warfare around us. Her message is also one of great hope and solace because, like today’s Psalm, it carries the promise of God’s peace and even joy in the midst of trials.
Here are just a few examples of Our Lady’s recent alleged words from messengers who carry a certain level of permission or approval from the Church to spread her words:
Pedro Regis (Brazil)
Seek strength in the Sacrament of Confession and in the Eucharist. Humanity is walking towards the Great Spiritual Abyss. Strengthen yourselves in the Lord. Do not live apart from His Grace. Bend your knees in prayer. The power of prayer will transform hardened hearts. Do not fall back. —Our Lady of Queen of Peace allegedly to Pedro Regis, November 15th, 2016
Behold, the times foretold by me have come. This is the time of the Great Battle between Good and Evil… Bend your knees in prayer. Take care of your spiritual life. Turn away from the things of the world and serve the Lord with joy. —Ibid. December 17th, 2016
Edson Glauber (Brazil)
Do not let yourselves be deceived by the devil and the world… Fight against him, praying my rosary with faith and love, drawing near to the sacraments… A heavy cross is coming to ungrateful humanity, therefore I have come from heaven to gather you together in prayer, so that you might have the strength and grace to endure the trials that will cause you great pain. Pray, pray, pray…—Our Lady, November 8th, 2016
Pray, pray, my children, in order to be of God, and never let yourselves be deceived by the lies of Satan. —January 1st, 2016
Giulio Massa (Italy)
You bear Jesus deeply within you in intimacy; if this were not so, you might be devoured by an abyss of eternal death… You will experience the Kingdom of God in your life because the Real/True Kingdom [Regno Effettivo] is approaching. Pray, be good and active in the good and in the truth, draw close to God. —Our Lady, November 8th, 2016
Dear children! Today I am calling you to pray for peace: peace in human hearts, peace in the families and peace in the world. Satan is strong… You, little children, pray and fight against materialism, modernism and egoism… —Our Lady of Medjugorje, January 25th, 2017
Pray, My children, pray. Children, everything that I have been announcing to you from long ago is about to be fulfilled, the time is ripe. (While she was saying this I saw a big black cloud approaching the world under her feet and invading the world like a swarm of flies, and here came earthquakes, famines, diseases, disasters and wars befalling every part of the world, pain and severe suffering. [See The Seven Seals of Revolution]... My children, if I continue to ask you for prayer it is for this world that is increasingly in ruin; children, prayer made from the heart can do everything, even alleviate the fate of this world. —Our Lady of Zaro, January 26th, 2017
We could summarize the above by saying that Our Lady is calling us, right now, to intense prayer… prayer of the heart. But even more than that, we have to see that our prayer life should run like a thread through three things:
• a time of prayer each day, set aside for the Lord (prayer of the heart)
• recourse to frequent Confession and the Eucharist (prayer of the Church)
• the expression of God’s mercy and love toward us to then be shared and given to others (prayer in action)
These are summarized in Psalm 31 from today’s Mass readings:
On personal prayer:
How great is the goodness, O LORD, which you have in store for those who fear you, and which, toward those who take refuge in you… Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plottings of men; You screen them within your abode…
On Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist
Blessed be the LORD whose wondrous mercy he has shown me in a fortified city. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. Once I said in my anguish, “I am cut off from your sight”; yet you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried out to you. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
On loving God in our neighbour
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones! The LORD keeps those who are constant, but more than requites those who act proudly.
Take a few moments today to make concrete plans of when and how you will spend time with the Lord in prayer, incorporating somehow the Rosary; when and how often you will go to Confession and Mass (at least monthly Confession, and daily Mass when possible); and decide to be the Face of Mercy to those around you. In this way, your faith will become living and from your heart will flow the sources of Life for you, and for the world…
…by faith [they] conquered kingdoms. (Today’s first reading)
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