The Church, which comprises the elect,
is fittingly styled daybreak or dawn…
It will be fully day for her when she shines
with the perfect brilliance of interior light.
—St. Gregory the Great, Pope; Liturgy of the Hours, Vol III, p. 308 (see also The Smoldering Candle and Wedding Preparations to understand the coming corporate mystical union, which will be preceded by a “dark night of the soul” for the Church.)
BEFORE Christmas, I asked the question: Is the Eastern Gate Opening? That is, are we beginning to see signs of the ultimate fulfillment of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart coming in to view? If so, what signs should we see? I would recommend reading that exciting writing if you have not yet.
Chief among the signs, of course, would be the first, almost imperceptible “rays of dawn” appearing, or rather, rays of purification coming over the world. And do we not see this? In the Church, the weeds are beginning to be separated from the wheat as the sins of the Body of Christ—from priest scandals to financial corruption to those who are embracing compromise—are coming to light. In the world, the same thing is happening to one degree or another as people begin to revolt against both political and personal scandals. It is the beginning of an “illumination of conscience” of mankind.
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:17-19)
It is to her as Mother and Model that the Church must look in order to understand in its completeness the meaning of her own mission. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 37
Holy Mary… you became the image of the Church to come… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi, n.50
Mary is exactly what God wants us to be, what he wants his Church to be… —POPE FRANCIS, Feast of Mary, Mother of God; January 1, 2018; Catholic News Agency
In Immaculate Mary, we see Christ’s masterplan of what the Church is to herself become: immaculate.
…that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (cf. Eph 1:4-10; 5:27)
Our Lady has been described by the Church as the new “ark of the covenant”.
Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2676
If we are to become like her, then we too will become “little arks” of God. But that means that, like the Ark of old, nothing unclean must enter our souls.
We have been reading at Mass this month about the travels of the Ark with the Israelites. When it was captured by the Philistines, it was set up in their temple before the idol, Dagon. But each morning at dawn, they found the idol had mysteriously fallen to the ground and been smashed.cf. 1 Sam 5:2-4 This, says St. John of the Cross, is an apt symbol of how God desires our pure love for Him, and Him alone.
God allows nothing else to dwell together with him…. The only appetite God permits and wants in his dwelling place is the desire for the perfect fulfillment of his law and the carrying of the cross of Christ. Scripture teaches that God ordered nothing else to be placed in the Ark where the manna was than the Law and the rod of Moses (signifying the cross). Those who have no other goal than the perfect observance of the Lord’s law and the carrying of the cross of Christ will be true arks, and they will bear within themselves the manna, which is God, when they possess perfectly, without anything else, this law and this rod. —The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book One, Chapter 6, n. 8; The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, p. 123; Tranlated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Redriguez
Of course, we are alarmed at these words because we realize how utterly imperfect we are (some more than others). But I hear again in my heart: “Do not be afraid.” What is impossible for men is not impossible for God. Indeed…
I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
What is necessary at this time is that we respond to God with true repentance. This means courageously confronting one’s inordinate appetites and desires and denying them. It means fostering a living and sincere sacramental life where the Eucharist and Confession become a regular part of one’s schedule, and where prayer becomes the bedrock of one’s day. In this way, we are giving God permission to change us… like Mary, giving Him our “fiat.” And according to John of the Cross, the transformation in us can happen “quickly.” But it doesn’t for most because we are so slow to respond, if at all.
The Plan of the Ages is for God to draw unto himself a holy people “as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). This is only going to be possible when you and I begin to make peace with the Lord by “coming out of Babylon”,cf. Rev 18:4 by pursuing the Divine rather than the created so as to make a suitable dwelling for the Lord.
What has creature to do with Creator, sensory with spiritual, visible with invisible, temporal with eternal, heavenly food that is pure and spiritual with food that is entirely sensory, the nakedness of Christ with attachment to something? —St. John of the Cross, Ibid. Book One, Chapter 6, n. 8
In a word, it is to reconcile with the Lord, to enter into a true peace and rest with Him. For love of the world is to set oneself in opposition to the Father. “To set the mind on the flesh is death,” wrote St. Paul, “but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God.”cf. Rom 8:6-7
The task of humble Pope John is to “prepare for the Lord a perfect people,” which is exactly like the task of the Baptist, who is his patron and from whom he takes his name. And it is not possible to imagine a higher and more precious perfection than that of the triumph of Christian peace, which is peace at heart, peace in the social order, in life, in well-being, in mutual respect, and in the brotherhood of nations. —POPE ST. JOHN XXIII, True Christian Peace, December 23rd, 1959; www.catholicculture.org
Our Lady has been allegedly appearing in Medjugorje for over 36 years now as the “Queen of the Peace.” Today, she imparts to us the key to the future, which will unlock her Triumph more and more until the darkness gives way to the dawn and a new Day. It is to empty oneself of the inordinate appetites for this world, and begin to seek first and only the Kingdom of God…
Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer, so that the Holy Spirit, through prayer, may descend upon you and give you conversion. Open your hearts and read the Sacred Scripture, that through the testimonies you also may be closer to God. Above everything, little children, seek God and the things of God and leave earthly ones to the earth, because Satan is attracting you to the dust and sin. You are called to holiness and created for Heaven; therefore, seek Heaven and the things of Heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call. —to Marija, January 25, 2018
In closing, let me repeat again the words of St. Peter:
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:17-19)
Do not be afraid! For you were born for these times.
Medjugorje is becoming the center of attention even more these days as the Vatican has recently permitted “official” pilgrimages to the apparition site. As well, a report of the papal Commission studying Medjugorje was leaked to the press revealing not only that the first apparitions are deemed supernatural, but that there is a fairly positive outlook on the remaining.“On this point, 3 members and 3 experts say there are positive outcomes, 4 members and 3 experts say they are mixed, with a majority of positive… and the remaining 3 experts claim there are mixed positive and negative effects.” —May 16th, 2017; lastampa.it At the same time as the Vatican seemingly moves toward a positive position, some Catholic apologists are strangely attacking (with tired old arguments) what is arguably the greatest site for conversions since the Acts of the Apostles. The following writings expose the lies, distortions, and outright falsehoods that have plagued Medjugorje for years:
Pilgrimages now permitted: Mother Calls
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|↑1||see The Plan of the Ages|
|↑2||cf. 1 Sam 5:2-4|
|↑3||cf. Rev 18:4|
|↑4||cf. Rom 8:6-7|
|↑5||“On this point, 3 members and 3 experts say there are positive outcomes, 4 members and 3 experts say they are mixed, with a majority of positive… and the remaining 3 experts claim there are mixed positive and negative effects.” —May 16th, 2017; lastampa.it|