Beloved, do not be surprised that
a trial by fire is occurring among you,
as if something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice to the extent that you
share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
(1 Peter 4:12-13)
[Man] shall be actually disciplined beforehand for incorruption,
and shall go forwards and flourish in the times of the kingdom,
in order that he may be capable of receiving the glory of the Father.
—St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Church Father (140–202 A.D.)
Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus of Lyons, passim
Bk. 5, Ch. 35, The Fathers of the Church, CIMA Publishing Co
YOU are loved. And that’s why the sufferings of this present hour are so intense. Jesus is preparing the Church to receive a “new and divine holiness” that, until these times, was unknown. But before He can clothe His Bride in this new garment (Rev 19:8), He has to strip His beloved of her soiled garments. As Cardinal Ratzinger stated so vividly:
Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. —Meditation on the Ninth Station, March 23rd, 2007; catholicexchange.com
Our Lord Himself put it this way:
For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:17-19)
The word “apocalypse” means “unveiling”. And hence, the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse is really an unveiling of many things. It begins with Christ unveiling to the seven churches their spiritual condition, a kind of gentle “illumination” that gives her time to repent (Rev Ch.’s 2-3; cf. The Five Corrections and Revelation Illumination). This is followed by Christ the Lamb unmasking or unsealing the evil within the nations as they begin to reap one man-made disaster after another, from war, to economic collapse, to plagues and violent revolution (Rev 6:1-11; cf. The Seven Seals of Revolution). This culminates in a dramatic global “illumination of conscience” whereas everyone on earth, from prince to paupers, sees the actual condition of their souls (Rev 6:12-17; cf. The Great Day of Light). It is a Warning; a last chance to repent (Rev 7:2-3) before the Lord unveils divine chastisements that culminate in the purification of the world and an Era of Peace (Rev 20:1-4; Dear Holy Father… He is Coming). Is this not reflected in the concise message given to the three children at Fatima?
God… is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. —Message of Fatima, vatican.va
Now, one might be tempted to say, “Wait a minute. These things were conditional upon mankind following Heaven’s instructions. Couldn’t the “period of peace” have come if we’d just listened? And if so, why are you suggesting that the events of Fatima and the Apocalypse are one and the same?” But then, isn’t the message of Fatima essentially what the letters to the churches in Revelation say?
I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:4-5)
That, too, is a conditional warning that, obviously, is not entirely heeded as the rest of the Book of Revelation testifies. In that regard, the Apocalypse of St. John is not a book of fatalism that inscribed in stone our present day, but rather, it foretold the obstinance and rebellion that would become general in our times — by our choice. Indeed, Jesus tells Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta that He would have brought about the coming Era of Peace through mercy rather than justice — but man would not have it!
My Justice can bear no more; My will wants to Triumph, and would want to Triumph by means of Love in order to Establish Its Kingdom. But man does not want to come to meet this Love, therefore, it is necessary to use Justice. —Jesus to Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta; Nov. 16th, 1926
FATIMA — THE FULFILLMENT OF REVELATION
Bishop Pavel Hnilica recounts what St. John Paul II once said to him:
Look, Medjugorje is a continuation, an extension of Fatima. Our Lady is appearing in communist countries primarily because of problems that originate in Russia. —in an interview for the German Catholic monthly magazine PUR, September 18th, 2005; wap.medjugorje.ws
Indeed, Fatima was a warning that the “errors of Russia” would spread across the world — in a word, Communism. The prophecies of Isaiah, which mirror the events of Revelation, speak as well of how a king [antichrist] will come from Assyria to eliminate national boundaries, seize private property, destroy wealth, and squelch freedom of speech (see Isaiah’s Prophecy of Global Communism):
Against an impious nation I send him, and against a people under my wrath I order him to seize plunder, carry off loot, and tread them down like the mud of the streets. But this is not what he intends, nor does he have this in mind; rather, it is in his heart to destroy, to make an end of nations not a few. For he says: “By my own power I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am shrewd. I have moved the boundaries of peoples, their treasures I have pillaged, and, like a giant, I have put down the enthroned. My hand has seized like a nest the riches of nations; as one takes eggs left alone, so I took in all the earth; no one fluttered a wing, or opened a mouth, or chirped! (Isaiah 10:6-14)
Clearly, we can already see the first labor pains of this already as the “beast” rapidly begins to devour the economy, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement. It is happening so fast… perhaps as St. John foretold:
And the beast that I saw was like a leopard… (Revelation 13:2)
Recently, Our Lady confirmed once again, as she did in the messages to Fr. Stefano Gobbi, the parallel between Fatima and Revelation in a message to the Italian seer Gisella Cardia:
The times predicted from Fatima onwards have arrived — no one will be able to say that I had not given warnings. Many have been the prophets and seers chosen to announce the truth and the dangers of this world, yet many have not listened and still do not listen. I weep over these children who are being lost; the apostasy of the Church is increasingly clear — my favored sons (priests) have refused my protection… Children, why do you still not understand?… read the Apocalypse and in it you will find the truth for these times. —cf. countdowntothekingdom.com
Hence, the Book of Revelation amounts to a prophecy given 2000 years ago of exactly how man, despite every opportunity to repent by his own free will, would refuse to do so. And who can say this isn’t true? Who can say that present events were inevitable, beyond man’s capacity to change? That with the beautiful glory of the Church that spread throughout the world in recent centuries… with the revelations of the Sacred Heart and the Divine Mercy… with the countless apparitions of Our Lady… with the “new Pentecost” of the “charismatic renewal”… with the worldwide evangelization of Mother Angelica’s network… with the explosion of apologetics… with the pontificate of the great St. John Paul II… and the truth widely available to the four corners of the earth through a simple Internet search… that God has not done everything possible to bring the world to reconciliation with Him? Tell me, what has been written in stone? Nothing. And yet, we are proving the Word of God to be infallibly true by our own daily choices.
Hence, Fatima and Revelation are on the verge of fulfillment.
A MESSAGE OF TRIUMPH!
It would be wrong, however, to understand either Fatima or St. John’s texts as “doom and gloom.”
We feel that we must disagree with those prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand. In our times, divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations which, by human effort and even beyond all expectations, are directed to the fulfilment of God’s superior and inscrutable designs, in which everything, even human setbacks, leads to the greater good of the Church. —POPE ST. JOHN XXIII, Address for the Opening of the Second Vatican Council, October 11th, 1962
Hence, these present “labor pains” are not a sign of God’s abandonment of the Church but of the coming birth of a new Era when the “night of mortal sin” will be broken by a new dawn of grace.
…even this night in the world shows clear signs of a dawn that will come, of a new day receiving the kiss of a new and more resplendent sun… A new resurrection of Jesus is necessary: a true resurrection, which admits no more lordship of death… In individuals, Christ must destroy the night of mortal sin with the dawn of grace regained. In families, the night of indifference and coolness must give way to the sun of love. In factories, in cities, in nations, in lands of misunderstanding and hatred the night must grow bright as the day, nox sicut dies illuminabitur, and strife will cease and there will be peace. —POPE PIUX XII, Urbi et Orbi address,March 2nd, 1957; vatican.va
Unless there are going to be belching factories in Heaven, this is clearly a prophecy of a new “Era of Peace” within the boundaries of time, as we have been hearing nearly all the pope’s prophesy for over a century (see The Popes, and the Dawning Era).
Yes, a miracle was promised at Fatima, the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection. And that miracle will be an era of peace which has never really been granted before to the world. —Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi, October 9th, 1994 (papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II); Family Catechism, (Sept. 9th, 1993), p. 35
…he seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years… they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for the thousand years. (Rev 20:1, 6)
THE UNVEILING OF SIN
But going back to the beginning now, we have to understand the heart of Fatima and Revelation’s message. It’s not about doom and gloom (though there is some of that too) but deliverance and glory! Our Lady, in fact, announced herself as the “Queen of Peace” at Medjugorje. For God is going to reestablish the original peace of creation that was upset by man when he departed from the Divine Will, thus setting himself against His Creator, creation and himself. What is coming, then, is the fulfillment of the Our Father, the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will that will reign “on earth as it is in Heaven.”
This is our great hope and our invocation, ‘Your Kingdom come!’—a Kingdom of peace, justice and serenity, which will re-establish the original harmony of creation. —ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II, General Audience, November 6th, 2002, Zenit
Thus, said Pope Benedict on the message of Fatima, that praying for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart…
…is equivalent in meaning to our praying for the coming of God’s Kingdom… —Light of the World, p. 166, A Conversation With Peter Seewald
And this is why the present trials may seem so difficult, especially for the Church. It is because Christ is preparing us for the descent of His Kingdom into our hearts, and thus, His Bride must first be stripped of the idols she clings to. As we heard in the Mass readings this week:
My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges… At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. (Heb 12:5-11)
And so, I will focus more on this time of purification and preparation for the Kingdom in the days ahead. I started to do that a year ago, actually, but events changed the “plan”! It’s like we’re on the Titanic as it’s sinking. I have been more concerned about getting my readers into lifejackets and directing them to the lifeboats then talking about how to row. But now I think we can understand better what is unfolding, who the major players are, what their intentions are, and what to watch for (see The Great Reset and The Caduceus Key) We should begin to be excited because God is leading us into the final stages of the “desert”, even if this means we must first pass through our own Passion. He is leading His people into that place where we will only be able to depend upon Him. But that, my friends, is the place of miracles.
It will be forty years now that the Church has been visited by this Woman clothed in the Sun in Medjugorje, as of June 24th, 2021. If this Balkan apparition is indeed the fulfilment of Fatima, then forty years may bear some significance. For it was forty years after wandering in the desert that God began to lead His people toward the promised land. There was much to come, of course. But it was the Ark that would lead them…
Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. I want you to be prepared, my people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my Church, a time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare you… —given to Dr. Ralph Martin in St. Peter’s Square, Rome, on Pentecost Monday, 1975
Son of man, do you see that city going bankrupt?… Son of man, do you see the crime and lawlessness in your city streets, and towns, and institutions?… Are you willing to see no country—no country to call your own except those I give you as My body?… Son of man, do you see those churches which you can go to so easily now? Are you ready to see them with bars across their doors, with doors nailed shut?… The structures are falling and changing… Look about you, son of man. When you see it all shut down, when you see everything removed which has been taken for granted, and when you are prepared to live without these things, then you will know what I am making ready. —prophecy to the late Fr. Michael Scanlan, 1976; cf. countdowntothekingdom.com
Today, more than ever, we need people who live holy lives, watchmen who proclaim to the world a new dawn of hope, brotherhood and peace. —POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II, “Message of John Paul II to the Guannelli Youth Movement”, April 20th, 2002; vatican.va
Watch: The Time of Fatima is Here
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