AS I read Pope Francis’ installation homily, I couldn’t help but think of my little encounter with the Blessed Mother’s alleged words six days ago while praying before the Blessed Sacrmament.
Sitting in front of me was a copy of Fr. Stefano Gobbi’s book To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, messages that have received the Imprimatur and other theological endorsements. Fr. Gobbi’s messages predicted the culmination of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart by the year 2000. Obviously, this prediction was either wrong or delayed. Nonetheless, these meditations still provide timely and relevant inspirations. As St. Paul says regarding prophecy, “Retain what is good.” I sat back in my chair and asked the Blessed Mother, who allegedly gave these messages to the late Fr. Gobbi, if she has anything to say about our new pope. The number “567” popped into my head, and so I turned to it. It was a message given to Fr. Stefano in Argentina on March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph, exactly 17 years ago to this day that Pope Francis officially takes the seat of Peter. At the time I wrote Two Pillars and the New Helmsman, I did not have a copy of the book in front of me. But I want to quote here now a portion of what the Blessed Mother says that day, followed by excerpts from Pope Francis’ homily given today. I can’t help but feel that the Holy Family is wrapping their arms around all of us at this decisive moment in time…
From the “Blue Book”:
This land [of Argentina] is especially loved and protected by me, and I cultivate it with special care in the safe refuge of my Immaculate Heart.
Entrust yourselves to the powerful protection of my most chaste spouse, Joseph. Imitate his industrious silence, his prayer, his humility, his confidence, his work. Make your own his docile and precious collaboration with the plan of the Heavenly Father, in giving help and protection, love and support, to his divine Son Jesus.
Now that you are entering into the painful and decisive times, entrust also my Movement to him. He is the protector and defender of this, my work of love and mercy.
Protector and defender in the painful events that are awaiting you.
Protector and defender against the numerous snares which, in a subtle and dangerous way, my Adversary and yours is setting for you with increasing frequency.
Protector and defender during the moments of the great trial, which now awaits you, in the final times of the purification in the great tribulation.
…with Jesus and my most chaste spouse, Joseph, I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.
And then from Pope Francis’ homily:
[Joseph] is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out:
Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model. —Redemptoris Custos, I
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity… In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!
Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women… Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves!… To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us! I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! —POPE FRANCIS, Installation Homily, March 19th, 2013
JESUS WILL NEVER ABANDON US
Christ will never forsake His Bride: “I am with you always, until the end of the age” our Lord said. Matt 28:20 But it has pleased Divine Providence to care for His people through the Communion of Saints, the angels, and at last, the Church itself.
The saints protect us through their example, interaction, and continued intercession for the mystical Body of Christ.
The angels protect us by divine command through the power invested in their heavenly ranks.
The Church on earth protects us against heresy and the Father of Lies by safeguarding and teaching the truth that Jesus imparted to the Apostles and by nurturing us with Christ’s very life through the Sacraments.
At the very center of all of this grace is Jesus! It is Jesus who builds the Church, Jesus who chooses His vicars, Jesus who lays the living stones of His Bride.
God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. —POPE FRANCIS, Installation Homily, March 19th, 2013
Most especially, it is the Pope who lays his tiara at the feet of Christ, whom his life is devoted to in service to the truth.
Christ is the center, not the Successor of Peter. Christ is the reference point at the heart of the Church, without Him, Peter and the Church would not exist. The Holy Spirit inspired the events of the past days. It was he who inspired the decision of Benedict XVI for the good of the Church. It was he who inspired the choice of the cardinals. —POPE FRANCIS, March 16th, meeting with the press
The pope isn’t an absolute sovereign, whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary, the ministry of the pope is the guarantor of the obedience toward Christ and his word. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily of May 8, 2005; San Diego Union-Tribune
TRUSTING IN CHRIST
There has been, and to some extent, continues to be confusion and doubt among some Catholics, propogated in part by false prophecies and overzealous Protestants, as to whether or not Pope Francis will turn out to be some kind of antichrist figure or a “false prophet.” cf. Possible… or Not? and The Question on Questioning Prophecy People are carefully examining his past, his relationships, what he wears, what he eats for breakfast… looking for that “smoking gun” that proves this pontiff is an impostor.
But all of this panic and fear betrays one single thing: doubt in Jesus Christ, who builds His Church, not on sand, but on rock. Pope Francis was elected by over 90 cardinals (he only needed 77 votes). He is therefore a validly elected pontiff, not an anti-pope. As of today, he has been formally handed the Keys of the Kingdom. It is now Christ who will guide Him, for Christ has already prayed for Peter and his successors…
I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail… (Luke 22:32)
Will [Pope Francis] change Church doctrine? That he can’t do. We have to remember the job description of the Pope is to preserve, to conserve the integrity of the Faith, and pass it on…. he’s not going to tamper with the immutable teaching of the Church. —Cardinal Timothy Dolan, interview CBS News, March 14th, 2013
THE ANTIDOTE TO THE ANTICHRIST
As Pope Francis alluded to in his homily, we are living in decisive times when there are ‘”Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.”‘ cf. The Heart of the New Revolution The “omens” of this are before our eyes as we continue to witness an astonishing power grab unfolding right now in Europe, “Socialists ready to make power grab of citizens’ money” and “It Has Begun“ which is a presage of the coming global economic collapse. c. The Coming Counterfeit The other serious omen is the “culture of death” that continues to spread “so much darkness” throughout the world. cf. The Great Culling Lastly, the popes have referred over the last century to an “apostasy” in our times.
Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church. —POPE PAUL VI, Address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, October 13, 1977
This word, used only once in the New Testament, refers to a rebellion that will occur in the “end times”, culminating in the Antichrist, before “the Day of the Lord”. cf. 2 Thess 2:1-12 also Two More Days St. Paul then writes something significant about the apostasy and coming of “the lawless one”:
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 2:11-12)
Clearly then, in the times of Antichrist, the “truth” will be a choice laid before the world to either accept or reject. And where is that truth to be found? Immediately after St. Paul’s discourse on the times of the Antichrist and the lies and deceptions that will accompany it, he writes:
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours. (2 Thess 2:15)
These oral and written “traditions” have been faithfully preserved for 2000 years in the Catholic Church, under the “visible source and foundation of unity”, which is the successor of Peter. St. Paul, in a word, is telling us to stand firm on the rock.
Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others… It is a hope built on the rock, which is God. —POPE FRANCIS Installation Homily, March 19th, 2013
God—who then declares Peter to be a rock on which He builds His Church.
Today’s installation of Pope Francis is a sign that Jesus has not abandoned the Church in her hour of Passion, and that the Barque of Peter, the rock, will be the safest place to stand in the Great Storm that is here and coming. For she too is a Protector and Defender, even if she be reduced to a remnant…
…everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined. (Matt 7:26-27)
Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. —POPE FRANCIS, Installation Homily, March 19th, 2013
MARK COMING TO CALIFORNIA!
Mark Mallett will be speaking and singing in California
April, 2013. He will be joined by Fr. Seraphim Michalenko,
vice postulator for the canonization cause of St. Faustina.
Click the link below for times and places:
Thank you for your prayers and support!
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|↑1||Fr. Gobbi’s messages predicted the culmination of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart by the year 2000. Obviously, this prediction was either wrong or delayed. Nonetheless, these meditations still provide timely and relevant inspirations. As St. Paul says regarding prophecy, “Retain what is good.”|
|↑3||cf. Possible… or Not? and The Question on Questioning Prophecy|
|↑4||cf. The Heart of the New Revolution|
|↑5||“Socialists ready to make power grab of citizens’ money” and “It Has Begun“|
|↑6||c. The Coming Counterfeit|
|↑7||cf. The Great Culling|
|↑8||cf. 2 Thess 2:1-12 also Two More Days|