IN early 2007, a powerful image came to me one day during prayer. I recount it again here (from The Smoldering Candle):
I saw the world gathered as though in a dark room. In the center is a burning candle. It is very short, the wax nearly all melted. The Flame represents the light of Christ: Truth.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
The wax represents the time of grace we live in.
The world for the most part is ignoring this Flame. But for those who are not, those who are gazing at the Light and letting It guide them,
something wonderful and hidden is happening: their inner being is secretly being set aflame.
There is rapidly coming a time when this period of grace will no longer be able to support the wick (civilization) due to the sin of the world. Events which are coming will collapse the candle completely, and the Light of this candle will be snuffed out. There will be sudden chaos in the “room.”
He takes understanding from the leaders of the land, till they grope in the darkness without light; he makes them stagger like drunken men. (Job 12:25)
The deprivation of Light will lead to great confusion and fear. But those who had been absorbing the Light in this time of preparation we are now in will have an inner Light by which to guide them and others (for the Light can never be extinguished). Even though they will be experiencing the darkness around them, the inner Light of Jesus will be shining brightly within, supernaturally directing them from the hidden place of the heart.
Then this vision had a disturbing scene. There was a light in the distance… a very small light. It was unnatural, like a small fluorescent light. Suddenly, most in the room stampeded towards this light, the only light they could see. For them it was hope… but it was a false, deceptive light. It did not offer Warmth, nor Fire, nor Salvation—that Flame which they had already refused.
Two years after I received this interior “vision,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in a letter to all the bishops of the world:
In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses “to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1)—in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.—Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to All the Bishops of the World, March 10, 2009; Catholic Online
THE ILLUMINATION — A LAST CHANCE
What I saw in that dark room was, I believe, a compressed vision of what is coming upon the world, according to the Church Father’s understanding of the Scriptures (which form part of the voice of Sacred Tradition because of the Father’s development of doctrine in the early Church and their proximity to the lives of the Apostles). For the sake of new readers and as a refresher, I will lay the so-called Illumination of Conscience within the Church Father’s basic chronology below, and then explain how it relates to a “new Pentecost.”
A BASIC CHRONOLOGY
Scripture attests that, in the last days, many false prophets will arise to lead the faithful astray. cf. Matt 24:24, 1 Tim 4:1, 2 Pet 2:1 St. John also describes this in Revelation 12 as a confrontation between the “woman clothed in the sun” with the “dragon“, cf. (Rev 12:1-6 Satan, whom Jesus called “the father of lies.” cf. John 8:4 These false prophets usher in a period of growing lawlessness as the natural and moral law is abandoned for an anti-Gospel, thus preparing the way for the Antichrist. This period is accompanied by what Jesus called “the labor pains.” Matt 24:5-8
II. Exorcism of the Dragon/Illumination** **While the Church Fathers do not explicitly speak of an “illumination of conscience”, they do speak of Satan’s power being broken and chained at the end of this era. There is, nonetheless, a biblical foundation for the Illumination (see Revelation Illumination
Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it… woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time. (Rev 12:7-9, 12)
Then I watched while he broke open the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake… Then the sky was divided like a torn scroll curling up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place… They cried out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come and who can withstand it?” (Rev 6:12-17)
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed. (2 Thess 2:7-8)
Then I saw a beast come out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads… To it the dragon gave its own power and throne, along with great authority… Fascinated, the whole world followed after the beast. (Rev 13:1-3)
This Antichrist is the false light who will deceive through “every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie” those who have refused the graces of Divine Mercy, those who…
…have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned. (2 Thess 2:10-12)
IV. Antichrist Destroyed
Those who follow the Antichrist are given a mark by which they may “buy and sell”. cf. Rev 13:16-17 He reigns for a short period, what St. John calls “forty two months,” cf. Rev 13:5 and then—through a manifestation of Jesus’s power—the Antichrist is destroyed:
…the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord [Jesus] will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming. (2 Thess 2:8)
St. Thomas and St. John Chrysostom explain… that Christ will strike the Antichrist by dazzling him with a brightness that will be like an omen and sign of His Second Coming… 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, Fr. Charles Arminjon (1824-1885), p. 56-57; Sophia Institute Press
All those who followed the Antichrist will likewise become victims of the very “culture of death” they embraced.
The beast was caught and with it the false prophet who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur. The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (cf. Rev 19:20-21)
Since God, having finished His works, rested on the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years… —Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (250-317 A.D.; Ecclesiastical writer), The Divine Institutes, Vol 7
V. Era of Peace
With the death of Antichrist comes the dawning of the “day of the Lord” when the earth is renewed by the Holy Spirit and Christ reigns (spiritually) with his saints for a “thousand years,” a symbolic number indicating an extended period of time. Rev 20:1-6 That is, the prophecies of the Old and New Testament are fulfilled whereby Christ is made known to, and glorified in all the nations before the end of time.
I and every other orthodox Christian feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh followed by a thousand years in a rebuilt, embellished, and enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced by the Prophets Ezekiel, Isaias and others… A man among us named John, one of Christ’s Apostles, received and foretold that the followers of Christ would dwell in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and that afterwards the universal and, in short, everlasting resurrection and judgment would take place. —St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. 81, The Fathers of the Church, Christian Heritage
I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; they shall come and see my glory. I will place a sign among them; from them I will send survivors to the nations… to the distant coastlands which have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. (Isaiah 66:18-19)
He will be adored in the Holy Eucharist to the ends of the earth.
From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. They shall go out and see the corpses of the people who rebelled against me… (Isaiah 66:23-24)
During this period of peace, Satan is chained in the abyss for the “thousand years.” cf. Rev 20:1-3 He will no longer be able to tempt the Church as she grows exponentially in holiness to prepare her for the final coming of Jesus in glory…
…that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:27)
Therefore, the Son of the most high and mighty God… shall have destroyed unrighteousness, and executed His great judgment, and shall have recalled to life the righteous, who… will be engaged among men a thousand years, and will rule them with most just command… Also the prince of devils, who is the contriver of all evils, shall be bound with chains, and shall be imprisoned during the thousand years of the heavenly rule… —4th century Ecclesiastical writer, Lactantius, “The Divine Institutes”, The ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 7, p. 211
VI. The End of the World
At the very end, Satan is released from the abyss ushering in the end of time, the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment. cf. Rev 20:7-21:1-7
We shall indeed be able to interpret the words, “The priest of God and of Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years; and when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison;” for thus they signify that the reign of the saints and the bondage of the devil shall cease simultaneously… —St. Augustine, The Anti-Nicene Fathers, City of God, Book XX, Chap. 13, 19
Before the end of the thousand years the devil shall be loosed afresh and shall assemble all the pagan nations to make war against the holy city… “Then the last anger of God shall come upon the nations, and shall utterly destroy them” and the world shall go down in a great conflagration. —4th century Ecclesiastical writer, Lactantius, “The Divine Institutes”, The ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 7, p. 211
THE LAST ARMIES
In Charismatic? Part VI, we see how the popes have been prophesying and praying for a “new Pentecost” that will “renew the face of the earth.” When will this Pentecost come?
In some ways it has already begun, though it is mostly hidden in the hearts of the faithful. It is that flame of truth burning ever brighter in the souls of those who are responding to grace in this “time of mercy.” That flame is the Holy Spirit, for Jesus said…
…when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. (John 16:13)
Also, many souls today are already experiencing, to one degree or another, an “illumination of conscience” as the Holy Spirit leads them into deeper repentance. And yet, there is coming a definitive event, according to many mystics, saints, and seers, in which the entire world will all at once see their souls the way God sees them, as though they were standing before Him in judgment. cf. Rev 6:12 It will be a
warning and grace given to draw as many souls into His mercy before the inevitable purification of the world. see The Cosmic Surgery Since the Illumination is the coming of divine light, of the “Spirit of truth,” how can this not be a Pentecost of sorts? It is precisely this gift of the Illumination that will break the power of Satan in many people’s lives. The light of truth will shine in the darkness, and the darkness will flee from those who admit the Light into their hearts. In the spiritual realm, St. Michael and his angels will cast Satan and his minions “to the earth” where their powers will be concentrated behind the Antichrist and his followers. see Exorcism of the Dragon to understand what St. John means that Satan is “cast out of the heavens” The Illumination is thus not only a sign of Divine Mercy, but of the approaching Divine Justice as the Antichrist prepares to twist the real meaning behind the Illumination and deceive souls (see The Coming Counterfeit).
That is one of the reasons that the Illumination will not entirely transform the world: not everyone will accept this free grace. As I wrote in Revelation Illumination, the Sixth Seal in John’s Apocalypse is followed by the marking of the “foreheads of the servants of our God” Rev 7:3 before a final chastisement(s) purifies the earth. Those who refuse this grace will become prey to Antichrist’s deception and be marked by him (see The Great Numbering). And thus, the last armies of this era will be formed for “the final confrontation” between those who stand for a culture of life, and those who promote the culture of death.
But the kingdom of God will have already begun in the hearts of those who join the army of Heaven. Christ’s kingdom is not of this earth; cf. The Coming Kingdom of God it is a spiritual kingdom. And thus, that kingdom, which will shine and spread to the farthest coastlands in the Era of Peace, begins in the hearts of those who are and will form the remnant of the Church at the end of this age. Pentecost begins in the upper room and then spreads from there. The Upper Room today is the Heart of Mary. And all those who enter in now — especially through consecration to her — are already being prepared by the Holy Spirit for their part in the times to come that will both end the dominion of Satan in our era and renew the face of the earth.
It may help to turn to some of the modern seers in the Church who are speaking with a consistent voice on the Illumination. As always with prophetic revelation, it remains subject to the discernment of the Church. cf. On Private Revelation
IN PROPHETIC REVELATION…
The common thread in modern prophetic revelation is that the Illumination is a gift from the Father to call home the prodigal sons—but that these graces will not be universally accepted.
In words to an American woman, Barbara Rose Centilli, whose purported messages from God the Father are under diocesan examination, the Father allegedly said:
To overcome the tremendous effects of generations of sin, I must send the power to break through and transform the world. But this surge of power will be uncomfortable, even painful for some. This will cause the contrast between darkness and light to become even greater. —from the four volumes Seeing With the Eyes of the Soul, November 15th, 1996; as quoted in The Miracle of the Illumination of Conscience by Dr. Thomas W. Petrisko, p. 53
St. Raphael affirms in another message to her that:
The day of the Lord approaches. All must be prepared. Ready yourselves in body, mind, and soul. Purify yourselves. —Ibid., February 16th, 1998; (see my writing on the coming “Day of the Lord”: Two More Days
After the cleansing action of My mercy will come the life of My Spirit, powerful and transmitted, conducted, through the waters of My mercy. —Ibid., December 28th, 1999
But to those who refuse the light of truth, their hearts will harden further. These must therefore pass through the door of Justice:
…before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Faustina, n. 1146
In messages allegedly from the “Heavenly Father” conveyed in 1993 to a young Australian man named Matthew Kelly, it was said:
The mini-judgment is a reality. People no longer realize that they offend Me. Out of My infinite Mercy I will provide a mini-judgment. It will be painful, very painful, but short. You will see your sins, you will see how much you offend Me every day. I know that you think this sounds like a very good thing, but unfortunately, even this won’t bring the whole world into My love. Some people will turn even further away from Me, they will be proud and stubborn…. Those who repent will be given an unquenchable thirst for this light… All those who love Me will join to help form the heel that crushes Satan. —from The Miracle of the Illumination of Conscience by Dr. Thomas W. Petrisko, p.96-97
Of more notoriety are the messages given to the late Fr. Stefano Gobbi that received an Imprimatur. In an interior locution allegedly given by the Blessed Mother, she speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit to establish Christ’s reign on earth as associated with the Illumination.
The Holy Spirit will come to establish the glorious reign of Christ and it will be a reign of grace, of holiness, of love, of justice and of peace. With His divine love, He will open the doors of hearts and illuminate all consciences. Every person will see himself in the burning fire of divine truth. It will be like a judgment in miniature. And then Jesus Christ will bring His glorious reign in the world. —To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, May 22nd, 1988
However, Fr. Gobbi indicates in an address to priests that Satan’s kingdom must also be destroyed before a new Pentecost is brought to complete fruition.
Brother priests, this [Kingdom of the Divine Will], however, is not possible if, after the victory obtained over Satan, after having removed the obstacle because his [Satan’s] power has been destroyed… this cannot happen, except by a most special outpouring of the Holy Spirit: the Second Pentecost. —http://www.mmp-usa.net/arc_triumph.html
HE WILL REIGN
The Illumination of Conscience remains a mystery in terms of its exact spiritual dimensions, of what precisely will occur when it happens, and what graces it will bring to the Church and the world. The Blessed Mother in her message to Fr. Gobbi called it “the burning fire of divine truth.” I wrote a meditation along that same vein two years ago called The Illuminating Fire. And we know, of course, that the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost in tongues of fire… We can no doubt expect something unprecedented since the first Pentecost 2000 years ago.
What is certain is that the Church will be given the necessary grace to pass through her own Passion and eventually share in the Resurrection of her Lord. The Holy Spirit will fill “lamps”, that is hearts, with the “oil” of grace for those preparing in these times, so that the Flame of Christ will sustain them in the darkest moments. cf. Matt 25:1-12 We can be confident, based on the Church Father’s teachings, that a time of peace, justice, and unity will subdue all of creation and that the Holy Spirit will renew the face of the earth. The Gospel will reach to the furthest coastlands, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus will reign through the Holy Eucharist in every nation. cf. The Vindication of Wisdom
…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
He Will Reign, by Tianna Mallett (my daughter)
|↑1||cf. Matt 24:24, 1 Tim 4:1, 2 Pet 2:1|
|↑2||cf. (Rev 12:1-6|
|↑3||cf. John 8:4|
|↑5||**While the Church Fathers do not explicitly speak of an “illumination of conscience”, they do speak of Satan’s power being broken and chained at the end of this era. There is, nonetheless, a biblical foundation for the Illumination (see Revelation Illumination|
|↑6||cf. Exorcism of the Dragon|
|↑7||cf. Two More Days|
|↑8||see The Restrainer|
|↑9||cf. Rev 13:16-17|
|↑10||cf. Rev 13:5|
|↑12||cf. Rev 20:1-3|
|↑13||cf. Rev 20:7-21:1-7|
|↑14||cf. Rev 6:12|
|↑15||see The Cosmic Surgery|
|↑16||see Exorcism of the Dragon to understand what St. John means that Satan is “cast out of the heavens”|
|↑18||cf. The Coming Kingdom of God|
|↑19||cf. On Private Revelation|
|↑20||see The Coming Pentecost|
|↑21||cf. Matt 25:1-12|
|↑22||cf. The Vindication of Wisdom|