Courage!

 

MEMORIAL OF THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINTS CYPRIAN AND POPE CORNELIUS

 

From the Office Readings for today:

Divine providence has now prepared us. God’s merciful design has warned us that the day of our own struggle, our own contest, is at hand. By that shared love which binds us closely together, we are doing all we can to exhort our congregation, to give ourselves unceasingly to fastings, vigils, and prayers in common. These are the heavenly weapons which give us the strength to stand firm and endure; they are the spiritual defenses, the God-given armaments that protect us.  —St. Cyprian, Letter to Pope Cornelius; The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol IV, p. 1407

 The Readings continue with the account of St. Cyprian’s martyrdom:

“It is decided that Thascius Cyprian should die by the sword.” Cyprian responded:  “Thanks be to God!”

After the sentence was passed, a crowd of his fellow Christians said:  “We should also be killed with him!” There arose an uproar among the Christians, and a great mob followed after him.

May a great mob of Christians follow after Pope Benedict this day, with prayers, fasting, and support for a man who, with the courage of Cyprian, has been unafraid to speak the truth. 

Why So Long?

St. James Parish, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina

 
AS
the controversy surrounding the alleged apparitions of the Blesssed Virgin Mary at Medjugorje began to heat up again earlier this year, I asked the Lord, "If the apparitions are really authentic, why is it taking so long for prophesied "things" to happen?"

The answer was as swift as the question:

Because you’re taking so long.  

There are many arguments surrounding the phenomenon of Medjugorje (which is currently under Church investigation). But there’s no arguing the answer I received that day.

The World Needs Jesus


 

There is not only a physical deafness … there is also a ‘hardness of hearing’ where God is concerned, and this is something from which we particularly suffer in our own time. Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God—there are too many different frequencies filling our ears.  —Pope Benedict XVI, Homily; Munich, Germany, September 10, 2006; Zenit

When this happens, there is nothing left for God to do, but speak louder than us! He is doing it now, through His Pope. 

The world needs God. We need God, but what God? The definitive explanation is to be found in the one who died on the Cross: in Jesus, the Son of God incarnate … love to the end. —Ibid.

If we fail to listen to "Peter", Christ’s vicar, what then? 

Our God comes, he keeps silence no longer… (Psalm 50:3)

The Winds of Change Are Blowing Again…

 

LAST NIGHT, I had this tremendous urge to get in the car and drive. As I headed out of town, I saw a red harvest moon resurrecting over the hill.

I parked on a country road, and stood and watched the rising as a strong east wind blew across my face. And the following words dropped into my heart:

The winds of change have begun to blow again.

Last spring, as I traveled across North America in a concert tour in which I preached to thousands of souls to prepare for the times ahead, a strong wind literally followed us across the continent, from the day we left to the day we returned. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

As the summer began, I had the sense that this was going to be a time of peace, preparation, and blessing. The calm before the storm.  Indeed, the days have been hot, calm, and peaceful.

But a new harvest begins. 

The winds of change have begun to blow again.

We Are Witnesses

Dead whales on New Zealand’s Opoutere Beach 
"It’s horrific that this is happening on such a large scale," —
Mark Norman, Curator of the Museum of Victoria

 

IT is very possible that we are witnessing those eschatological  elements of the Old Testament prophets beginning to unfold. As both regional and international lawlessness continue to escalate, we are witnessing the earth, its climate, and its animal species go through "convulsions".

This passage from Hosea continues to jump off the page—one of dozens in which suddenly, there is a fire beneath the words:

Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel, for the LORD has a grievance against the inhabitants of the land: There is no fidelity, no mercy, no knowledge of God in the land. False swearing, lying, murder, stealing and adultery! In their lawlessness, bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everything that dwells in it languishes: The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and even the fish of the sea perish. (Hosea 4:1-3; cf. Romans 8:19-23)

But let us not fail to heed the words of the prophets, that even then, flowed from the merciful heart of God, amidst the warnings:

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain salvation upon you. (Hosea 10:12) 

Week of Miracles

Jesus Calms the Storm—Artist Unknown 

 

FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF MARY


IT
has been an overwhelming week of encouragement for many of you, as well as me. God has been banding us together, confirming our hearts, and healing them too—calming those storms which have been raging in our minds and spirits.

I have been so deeply moved by the many letters I’ve received. Among them, are many miracles… 

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Time Out!


Sacred Heart of Jesus by Michael D. O’Brien

 

I HAVE been overwhelmed with a tremendous number of emails the past week from priests, deacons, layman, Catholics, and Protestants alike, and nearly all of them confirming the "prophetic" sense in "Trumpets of Warning!"

I did receive one tonight from a woman who is shaken and afraid. I want to respond to that letter here, and hope you will take a moment to read this. I hope it will keep perspectives in balance, and hearts in the right place…

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It Is Time!!

 

THERE has been a shift in the spiritual realm this past week, and it has been felt in the souls of many people.

Last week, a strong word came to me: 

I am banding together my prophets.

I have had a remarkable inflow of letters from all quarters of the Church with a sense that, "Now is the time to speak!"

There seems to be a common thread of "heaviness" or "burden" being carried among God’s evangelists and prophets, and I assume many others. It is a sense of foreboding and grief, and yet, an inner strength to maintain hope in God.

Indeed! He is our strength, and his love and mercy endures forever! I wish to encourage you right now to not be afraid to raise your voice in a spirit of love and truth. Christ is with you, and the Spirit He has given you is not one of cowardice, but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim 1:6-7).

It’s time for all of us to rise up—and with our combined lungs, help blast the trumpets of warning.  —From a reader in central Canada

 

Trumpets of Warning! — Part III

 

 

 

AFTER Mass several weeks ago, I was meditating on the deep sense I’ve had the past few years that God is gathering souls to himself, one by one… one here, one there, whoever will hear His urgent plea to receive the gift of His Son’s life… as though we evangelists are fishing with hooks now, rather than nets.

Suddenly, the words popped into my mind:

The number of Gentiles is nearly filled.

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The "M" Word

Artist Unknown 

LETTER from a reader:

Hi Mark,

Mark, I feel we need to be careful when we talk about mortal sins.  For addicts who are Catholic, fear of mortal sins can cause deepened feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness which exacerbate the addiction cycle.  I’ve heard many recovering addicts speak negatively of their Catholic experience because they felt judged by their church and could not sense love behind the warnings.  Most people simply do not understand what makes certain sins mortal sins… 

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