Mary of the Shroud, by Julian Lasbliez
EVERY morning with the sunrise, I sense the presence and love of God for this poor world. I relive the words of Lamentations:
The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; they are renewed each morning — great is your faithfulness! (3:22-23)
As the animals stir, the children rise, and the clatter of daily living fills our streets, shops, and places of work, there is the feeling that life will go on as it always has. And I am tempted to believe that maybe, just maybe the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written here are reserved for another generation.
But then Our Lady grabs me by the coattails and says, “We have work to do.” Yes, it’s too late for me to go back to the status quo. My life has been forever changed since that unforgettable day the Lord called me to this writing apostolate. The Temptation to be Normal has lost most of its pull, because I can see as plainly as the nose on my face that all the things I have been warning about are coming to pass now in real time.
Ten years ago, a word came to me in prayer that we are in the time of The Forerunners. That just as John the Baptist was a forerunner of Christ crying out, “Prepare the way of the Lord,” so too, there are going to be forerunners of Antichrist. John came announcing that “every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.” So too, the forerunners of Antichrist will prepare his way announcing an anti-Gospel. These words were just barely coming into view when I first wrote them:
The Antichrist’s paths are being “made straight” by forerunners who are removing obstacles to his “culture of death.” They will speak words that sound reasonable, sound tolerant and good. But they will be more of a twist of truth as opposed to its opposite. The “valleys they fill and the mountains they make low” (cf. Luke 3:4) are the differences between man and woman, mankind and animal kind, between one religion or another: everything is to be made uniform. The winding roads of human suffering are to be straightened, made wide and easy by offering “solutions” to end all suffering. And the rough ways of dying to sin and self will be razed and paved over with a shiny and guiltless surface where sin does not exist and self-fulfillment is the ultimate destination. —cf. The Forerunners, February 13th, 2009
It will be a “new age,” say these forerunners. Sixteen years ago, the Vatican released a document that also served as a forerunner to this hour. It spoke of a time coming when genders would be relativized, technology would merge flesh with computer chips, and Christianity would be edged out of a new world:
The New Age which is dawning will be peopled by perfect, androgynous beings who are totally in command of the cosmic laws of nature. In this scenario, Christianity has to be eliminated and give way to a global religion and a new world order. —‚Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life, n. 4, Pontifical Councils for Culture and Inter-religious Dialogue
THE GREAT STORM
But our Mother was warning us for centuries, pleading for decades: a Great Storm would come upon humanity if we did not turn back to her Son, Jesus Christ and the Divine Will that is the basis for a culture of love. As she said over 100 years ago at Fatima:
If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, [Russia] 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. —Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va
When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind. (Hos 8:7)
In 1982, one of the seers to whom Our Lady of Fatima gave this warning was the late Sr. Lucia. Seeing how Our Lady’s “requests” for penance, the Rosary, and consecration of Russia were not heeded, she penned a letter to St. John Paul II that stated so presciently:
Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors [eg. Marxism, Socialism, Communism, etc.]. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc. And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible.—Fatima seer, Sr. Lucia, Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va
God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions, and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. —Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, Catholic Prophecy, P. 76
So, what now? Do we just hunker down and hope to ride out this Storm?
Absolutely not. It is the moment to get about Momma’s Business more than ever. And what is her business? To pray, pray, pray; to draw near to her Son Jesus in the Eucharist (ie. to receive Him whenever you can); to go to Confession at least once a month, if not once a week; to read the Scriptures frequently; to remain in Communion with the Church and the Pope; to do penance, fast, and say the Rosary; and to make the Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month for five months.cf. thesacredheart.com
But it is more than that. It is to undertake these things with our own conversion in mind. So, to pray is not just a matter of heaping up words, but to pray from the heart. It means entering into a personal relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and surrendering every aspect of your life into the Trinity’s loving hands. It is to not only receive the Eucharist on your tongue, but with your whole mind and heart.
For life to be truly a praise pleasing to God, it is indeed necessary to change the heart. Christian conversion is oriented to this conversion, which is an encounter of life with the “God of the living” (Mt 22: 32). —POPE FRANCIS, Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, February 14th, 2019; vatican.va
And to make room in your soul, you need to go to Confession frequently to repent of those things that compete for God’s “space” and receive the grace you need to conquer sin. And when it comes to fasting and penance, offer those sacrifices with a great zeal and passion for lost souls.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Last, become a messenger of God’s mercy. Mercy not only warns the sinner, but also overlooks the faults of others rather than preoccupying oneself with them. Mercy not only exhorts others to good works, but is a peacemaker amidst strife. Mercy seeks to unify, not tear down.
APOSTLES OF MERCY
Today, amidst so many clerical scandals and confusion, there is a dangerous temptation to turn on our shepherds with vitriol and wrath. Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was defrocked today because of the sexual abuse he committed against those in his care. One of my readers sent a letter off to a list of people, me included. He wrote:
The SOB should spend the rest of his miserable life in a hellish Turkish prison, and after he dies, spend many eternities in the sewers of hell!!!!
Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet… I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 699, 1146
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel. (Gen 3:15, Douay-Rheims; see footnote)“…this version [in the Latin] does not agree with the Hebrew text, in which it is not the woman but her offspring, her descendant, who will bruise the serpent’s head. This text then does not attribute the victory over Satan to Mary but to her Son. Nevertheless, since the biblical concept establishes a profound solidarity between the parent and the offspring, the depiction of the Immaculata crushing the serpent, not by her own power but through the grace of her Son, is consistent with the original meaning of the passage.” (POPE JOHN PAUL II, “Mary’s Emnity toward Satan was Absolute”; General Audience, May 29th, 1996; ewtn.com.) The footnote in the Douay-Rheims agrees: “The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head.” (Footnote, p. 8; Baronius Press Limited, London, 2003)
…for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. (…1 John 5:4)
There are many ways that renewal can come to my Church. There are as many ways to bring about renewal as there are Catholics who love me. Each of these ways is sown into each day. Yes, in each moment there are opportunities for renewal in my Church. How will you know if someone is working toward my goal of renewal? This is an important question. It is important because once you answer the question in your mind and heart, I expect you to work only toward renewal and not against renewal. Do you understand? Are you willing to be humbled by me if you are working against renewal? Only you can answer that question and it is an important question for your soul.
Someone is working toward renewal in my Church if they are talking about me. Someone is working toward renewal in my Church if they recognise that the Pontiff, chosen by me, is listening to me. Someone is working toward renewal if he is leading others into a future of development, of greater holiness and also of openness to my mother and her role in the protection of the Church. Will Mary, our beloved mother, draw people away from unity in the Church? Disunity will never come from the Mother of the Church and the Queen of the Church. Our greatest saint, Mary, will always protect unity in the Church on Earth. Mary leads our people into harmony, peace and service. Mary leads our people into hope and excitement about the possibility of my Church drawing the world into health and strength. Mary will always lead to fidelity to the magisterium. Are you devoted to Mary, the mother of our Church? Then you will be working toward unity in the Church. You will be working to bring the mercy of God to each person created by God. You will be serving the leadership I have chosen, not self-appointed leadership which can only destroy peace in our Church on Earth.
Know that the Church in Heaven is intact. Know that saints gone before you desire your success. Do you want to be successful in playing your part for me? Then you must desist from any effort to draw away from unity in the Church. The results for you will be serious if you engage in conversations or activities that weaken unity. I arrange for you to hear this so that you can be warned. If someone is attempting to deconstruct what Peter established, then that person is not my champion. You must look elsewhere for companionship. My hope for renewal lies partially in your commitment to me. Will you serve me? I am asking you personally and in my request is also an instruction. Remain faithful to my Church. Hold your position of fidelity. Focus intently on following the leadership offered by the Holy Father. —from Jesus Christ the Returning King, February 14th, 2019; Direction for Our Times
APOSTLES OF LOVE
The “leadership offered by the Holy Father” refers to the clear “program” that Pope Francis enunciated at the beginning of his pontificate, and which he has carried out in various ways, for better or worse, since then:
I see clearly that the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the Church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up. —POPE FRANCIS, interview with AmericaMagazine.com, September 30th, 2013
The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew… I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come. —Evangelii Gaudium, n. 1
Our Blessed Mother is a “mirror” of the Church.“Holy Mary… you became the image of the Church to come…” —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi, n.50 Thus, it is no surprise that she is echoing the Holy Father as, she too, pleads for us to get about the Heavenly Father’s business:
Dear children, apostles of my love, it is up to you to spread the love of my Son to all those who have not come to know it; you, the little lights of the world, whom I am teaching with motherly love to shine clearly with full brilliance. Prayer will help you, because prayer saves you, prayer saves the world… My children, be ready. This time is a turning point. That is why I am calling you anew to faith and hope. I am showing you the way by which you need to go, and those are the words of the Gospel. —Our Lady of Medjugorje to Mirjana, April 2, 2017; June 2nd, 2017
The Now Word is a full-time ministry that
continues by your support.
Bless you, and thank you.
To journey with Mark in The Now Word,
click on the banner below to subscribe.
Your email will not be shared with anyone.
|↑1||cf. Reaping the Whirlwind|
|↑2||see Seven Seals of Revolution|
|↑4||cf. Lam 3:23|
|↑5||“…this version [in the Latin] does not agree with the Hebrew text, in which it is not the woman but her offspring, her descendant, who will bruise the serpent’s head. This text then does not attribute the victory over Satan to Mary but to her Son. Nevertheless, since the biblical concept establishes a profound solidarity between the parent and the offspring, the depiction of the Immaculata crushing the serpent, not by her own power but through the grace of her Son, is consistent with the original meaning of the passage.” (POPE JOHN PAUL II, “Mary’s Emnity toward Satan was Absolute”; General Audience, May 29th, 1996; ewtn.com.) The footnote in the Douay-Rheims agrees: “The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head.” (Footnote, p. 8; Baronius Press Limited, London, 2003)|
|↑6||“Holy Mary… you became the image of the Church to come…” —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi, n.50|