THE past 24 hours since writing After the Illumination, the words have been echoing in my heart: Like a thief in the night…
Concerning times and seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,and they will not escape. (1 Thess 5:2-3)
Many have applied these words to the Second Coming of Jesus. Indeed, the Lord will come at an hour that no one but the Father knows. But if we read the above text carefully, St. Paul is speaking about the coming of the “day of the Lord,” and what comes suddenly are like “labor pains.” In my last writing, I explained how the “day of the Lord” is not a single day or event, but a period of time, according to Sacred Tradition. Thus, that which leads up to and ushers in the Day of the Lord are precisely those labor pains that Jesus spoke of Matt 24: 6-8; Luke 21:9-11 and St. John saw in the vision of The Seven Seals of Revolution.
They too, for many, will come like a thief in the night.
That was one of the first “words” that I felt the Lord was inspiring me to write in November of 2005 at the beginning of this writing apostolate. see Prepare! It is more relevant than ever, more urgent than ever, more necessary than ever…
…it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. (Rom 13:11-12)
What does it mean to “prepare”? Ultimately, it means to be in a state of grace. To not be in mortal sin, or to have mortal sin remaining un-confessed upon your soul. “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1857; cf. 1 Jn 5:17 Why is this the urgency that I hear over and over from the Lord? This early morning hour, as we watch the pictures rolling in from Japan, the answer should be clear to all of us. Events are here and coming, multiplying and spreading throughout the world, in which many souls will be called home in an instant. I have written about this before and how, for many souls, this will be God’s mercy (see Mercy in Chaos). For the Lord is more concerned about our eternal souls than our present comfort, though He cares about this too.
Someone wrote me yesterday:
The illumination seems like it’s just around the corner, and although God has poured graces on me this year like I’ve never seen before, and has given me time, I still feel unprepared. My worry is this: what if I cannot withstand the illumination? What if I die of shock/fear? …Is there anything I can do to stay calm…? I just hope my heart doesn’t give out when it really is time to be purified.
The answer is to live each day as though at any moment you could meet the Lord, because this is the reality! Why worry about the Illumination, or a persecution, or other apocalyptic scenarios when you do not know if you will rise from your pillow next morning? The Lord wants us to be prepared “on a need to know basis.” But He does not want us to worry. How can we be signs of contradiction in a world that is gripped by the fear of war, terrorism, unsafe streets, mutiplying natural disasters—and a world where love has grown cold—if we are not the face of peace and joy? And this is nothing we can manufacture. It comes from living moment by moment in God’s will, trusting in His merciful love, and depending upon Him for everything. It is an incredible gift to live like this, and it is possible for everyone. We begin by repenting of those attachments and habits that keep us bound in fear. If we are living in a state of grace, then whether my natural death comes or that moment of “illumination”, I will be ready. Not because I am perfect, but because I trust in His mercy.
LETTING GO IN GOD
We have to give up sin. Many people want to be called Christians, but they don’t want to stop sinning. But it’s sin precisely that makes us miserable. That, and a lack of trust in God’s will that at times permits us to suffer. We need to repent! To abandon more and more to Him; to be at peace; to be content with what we have; to put an end to this busyness of seeking this thing or that, and begin to seek Him instead.
The truth is, there is coming a time for the Church when, if we have not voluntarily dispossessed see Voluntary Dispossesion ourselves of our attachments, the Spirit of God will do it for us through whatever means are necessary. see The Prophecy at Rome; also the video series by the same name at EmbracingHope.tv For some, this will be frightening. And it should be. We should be frightened of persisting in sin because “the wages of sin is death” Rom 6:23 and the wages of mortal sin is eternal death. see To Those in Mortal Sin; cf. Gal 5:19-21 And as I just wrote in my last writing, we must also be wise as serpents but gentle as doves, for a spiritual tsunami is already headed toward humanity. see Moral Tsunami
THE GREAT SHAKING
This morning, my tears and prayers join with yours for the people of Japan and other areas that may be affected by this disaster. The world is really beginning to shake—a sign in the natural realm that a great shaking of mankind’s conscience is drawing nearer by the day. Volcanoes are beginning to awaken—a sign that man’s conscience must also be awakened (watch A Great Shaking, A Great Awakening). And for some, it is happening even now. Since the conference, where I spoke in Los Angeles, California in February of this year (2011), we have been hearing stories that several people had experienced some kind of “illumination of conscience” where their lives and all its details were shown to them like a ‘slide show,’ as one woman put it. Yes, God is already illuminating many consciences, including my own. And for this, we must be thankful from the bottom of our souls…
The consciences of this beloved people must be violently shaken so that they may “put their house in order”… A great moment is approaching, a great day of light… it is the hour of decision for mankind. —Servant of God, Maria Esperanza (1928-2004); Antichrist and the End Times,, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, P. 37 (Volumne 15-n.2, Featured Article from www.sign.org)
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober… Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:6, 16-18)
And so, beloved friends, Prepare! Let me close with an image from my writing on The Sacrament of the Present Moment:
Think of a merry-go-round, the kind you played on as a child. I can remember getting that thing going so fast I could barely hang on. But I remember that the closer I came to the middle of the merry-go-round, the easier it was to hang on. In fact, at the middle on the hub, you could just sit there—hands free.
The present moment is like the center of the merry-go-round; it is the place of stillness where one can rest, even though life is raging all around. The moment we begin to live in the past or the future, we leave the center and are pulled to the outside where suddenly great energy is demanded of us to “hang on,” so to speak. The more we give ourselves over to imagination, living and grieving over the past, or worrying and sweating about the future, the more we are likely to be tossed off the merry-go-round of life. Nervous breakdowns, temper flare-ups, drinking bouts, indulging in sex or food and so on—these become ways in which we try to cope with the nausea of worry consuming us.
And that’s over the big issues. But Jesus tells us,
Even the smallest things are beyond your control. (Luke 12:26)
We should worry then about nothing. Nothing.We can do so by entering into the present moment and simply living in it, doing what the moment demands of us for love of God and neighbour, and letting go of the rest.
Let nothing trouble you. —St. Teresa of Avila
|↑1||Matt 24: 6-8; Luke 21:9-11|
|↑3||“Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1857; cf. 1 Jn 5:17|
|↑4||see Voluntary Dispossesion|
|↑5||see The Prophecy at Rome; also the video series by the same name at EmbracingHope.tv|
|↑7||see To Those in Mortal Sin; cf. Gal 5:19-21|
|↑8||see Moral Tsunami|