THESE are the days of preparing for the coming of Jesus, what St. Bernard referred to as a “middle coming” of Christ between Bethlehem and the end of time.
Because this [middle] coming lies between the other two, it is like a road on which we travel from the first coming to the last. In the first, Christ was our redemption; in the last, He will appear as our life; in this middle coming, He is our rest and consolation.…. In His first coming Our Lord came in our flesh and in our weakness; in this middle coming He comes in spirit and power; in the final coming He will be seen in glory and majesty… —St. Bernard, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol I, p. 169
Benedict XVI did not pass this teaching off with an individualistic interpretation — such as being fulfilled merely in a “personal relationship” with Christ. Rather, drawing upon the Scriptures and Tradition itself, Benedict sees this as a true intervention of the Lord:
Whereas people had previously spoken only of a twofold coming of Christ — once in Bethlehem and again at the end of time — Saint Bernard of Clairvaux spoke of an adventus medius, an intermediate coming, thanks to which He periodically renews His intervention in history. I believe that Bernard’s distinction strikes just the right note… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World – A Conversation With Peter Seewald, p.182-183,
As I have noted countless times beneath the lamplight of the Early Church Fathers,cf. How the Era was Lost they indeed expected Jesus to come and establish what Tertullian called “the times of the Kingdom” or what Augustine referred to as a “sabbath rest”: ‘in this middle coming, He is our rest and consolation,’ said Bernard. Nineteenth-century eschatologist, Fr. Charles Arminjon (1824-1885), summarized:
The most authoritative view, and the one that appears to be most in harmony with Holy Scripture, is that, after the fall of the Antichrist, the Catholic Church will once again enter upon a period of prosperity and triumph. —The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, p. 56-57; Sophia Institute Press
This “triumph” is spoken of at length by Jesus himself in the profound approved revelations to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. This ‘middle coming’ is what Jesus calls the “third Fiat”, which follows the first two Fiats of Creation and Redemption. This last “Fiat of Sanctification” is essentially the fulfillment of the ‘Our Father’ and the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will to “reign on earth as it is in Heaven.”
The Third Fiat will give such grace to the creature as to make her return almost ot the state of origin; and then, once I have seen man just as he came out of Me, My work will be complete, and I will take My perpetual rest in the last Fiat… And just as the second Fiat called Me upon earth to live among men, so will the third Fiat call my Will into souls, and in them It will reign ‘onn earth as it is in Heaven’… Therefore, in the ‘Our Father’, in the words ‘your Will be Done’ is the prayer that all may do the Supreme Will, and in ‘on earth as It is in Heaven’, that man may return into that Will from which he came, in order to reacquire his happiness, the lost goods, and the possession of his Divine Kingdom. —February 22, March 2, 1921, Vol. 12; October 15, 1926, Vol. 20
St. Bernard speaks of this “road on which we travel from the first coming to the last.” It is a road that we must hasten to make “straight”…
Preparing the Way
Today, on this Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist, I am pondering my own mission and calling. Several years ago, I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament in my spiritual director’s private chapel when words, seemingly outside of myself, rose up in my heart:
I am giving you the ministry of John the Baptist.
As I pondered what this meant, I thought of the words of the Baptist himself:
I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’… John 1:23
The next morning, there was a knock at the rectory door and then the secretary called for me. An elderly man stood there, his hand extended after our greeting.
“This is for you,” he said. “It is a first-class relic of John the Baptist.”
I note this again, as I did in The Relics and the Message, not to exalt myself or my ministry (for I, too, am not worthy to untie Christ’s sandals) but to place the recent healing retreat in the greater context. To “make straight the way of the Lord” is to not only repent but to remove those obstacles — wounds, habits, worldly patterns of thinking, etc. — that close us off to the action of the Holy Spirit and limit our effectiveness and witness of the Kingdom of God. It is to prepare the way for the coming of the Holy Spirit, as in a “new Pentecost”, as St. John Paul II prophesied; it is to prepare for The Coming Descent of the Divine Will, which will produce a “new and divine holiness”, he said.cf. The Coming New and Divine Holiness
I believe this new Pentecost will begin in large part for the Church through the coming Illumination of Conscience.cf. Pentecost and the Illumination of Conscience This is why Our Lady has been appearing all over the world: to gather her children into the Upper Room of her Immaculate Heart and prepare them for the pneumatic coming of her Son, through the Holy Spirit.
This is why I believe it is no coincidence that new healing movements such as Encounter Ministries, Triumph, and the Now Word Healing Retreat are being called forth at this hour. As St. John XXIII stated at the onset of Vatican II, the Council essentially…
…prepares, as it were, and consolidates the path toward that unity of mankind, which is required as a necessary foundation, in order that the earthly city may be brought to the resemblance of that heavenly city where truth reigns, charity is the law, and whose extent is eternity. —POPE ST. JOHN XXIII, Address at the Opening of the Second Vatican Council, October 11th, 1962; www.papalencyclicals.com
Thus, he said:
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 wellbeing, in mutual respect, and in the brotherhood of nations. —POPE ST. JOHN XXIII, True Christian Peace, December 23rd, 1959; www.catholicculture.org
Without wading into the fierce debates over the Second Vatican Council, can we not say that even the liberalism and apostasy that have followed in its wake are sifting and preparing a remnant Bride for Christ? Of course! Absolutely nothing is happening at this hour that Jesus isn’t permitting and using to test, refine, and purify you and me for the Great Hour of Mercy that will call the prodigals of this generation home before the definitive “final confrontation” of this era ushers in that Sabbath Rest or “day of the Lord.”
The Great Turning
Hence, there is another prophetic aspect to this hour of healing that is extremely relevant:
Now I am sending to you Elijah the prophet, before the day of the LORD comes, the great and terrible day; He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons, and the heart of sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with utter destruction. (Malachi 3:23-24)
The Gospel of Luke attributes the fulfillment of this Scripture, in part, to St. John the Baptist:
…he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord. (Luke 1:16-17)
God not only wants to heal us but to heal our relationships. Yes, the healing God is doing in my own life right now has very much to do with mending the wounds in my family, particularly between my children and their father.
It is also noteworthy that the apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorjecf. The Ruini Commission ruled that the first seven apparitions were “supernatural” in origin. Read Medjugorje… What You May Not Know began on this day, June 24th, in 1981 on this feast of the Baptist. The messagecf. The “5 Stones” of Medjugorje is simple, one that if lived, will prepare the heart for a new Pentecost:
Reading the Bible
All this is to say that we are living in extraordinary and privileged times. Our Lady repeatedly tells us that we need to pay attention and that now “is the opportune time for your return to the Lord.” May 6, 2023
Humanity is living far from God, and the time has come for the Great Return. Be obedient. God is making haste: do not put off what you have to do until tomorrow. I ask you to keep the flame of your faith alight. —Our Lady to Pedro Regis, May 16, 2023
Now is the time to prepare the way of the Lord, to “make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” (Is 40:3).
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|cf. How the Era was Lost
|cf. The Coming New and Divine Holiness
|cf. Pentecost and the Illumination of Conscience
|cf. The Ruini Commission ruled that the first seven apparitions were “supernatural” in origin. Read Medjugorje… What You May Not Know
|cf. The “5 Stones” of Medjugorje
|May 6, 2023