…the Church is in such a state of crisis, such a state of needing massive reform…
—John-Henry Westen, Editor of LifeSiteNews;
from the video “Is Pope Francis Driving the Agenda?”, Feb. 24th, 2019
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover,
when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 677
You know how to judge the appearance of the sky,
but you cannot judge the signs of the times. (Matt 16:3)
AT all times, the Church is called to announce the Gospel: “Repent and believe the Good News.” But she is also following in her Lord’s footsteps, and thus, she will also suffer and be rejected. As such, it is imperative that we learn to read the “signs of the times.” Why? Because what is coming (and is needed) is not a “reform” but a resurrection of the Church. What is needed is not a mob to overthrow the Vatican, but “St. John’s” who through the contemplation of Christ, fearlessly accompany the Mother beneath the Cross. What is needed is not a political restructuring but a conforming of the Church to the likeness of her crucified Lord in the silence and seeming defeat of the tomb. Only in this way can she be effectively renewed. As Our Lady of Good Success prophesied several centuries ago:
In order to free men from the bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my most Holy Son has designated to effect the restoration, will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence of the just. There will be occasions when all will seem lost and paralyzed. This then will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration. —January 16th, 1611; miraclehunter.com
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Jesus rebuked Peter for a worldly mindset that resisted the “scandal” that Christ must suffer, die and be raised from the dead.
He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Matthew 16:23)
In other words, if we are dwelling upon the problems of the Church “in the flesh,” as Peter did, we may also inadvertently become an obstacle to the designs of Divine Providence. Put another way:
Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build. Unless the Lord guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch. (Psalms 127:1)
It is noble and necessary that we defend the truth, of course. But we must always do so “in the Spirit” and as the Spirit leads… unless we find ourselves working against the Spirit. In Gethsemane, Peter thought he was “guarding the city”, doing the right thing when he drew his sword against Judas and a band of Roman soldiers. After all, he was defending He who was Truth itself, wasn’t he? But Jesus rebuked him again asking, “then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” Matthew 26:54
Peter was reasoning in the flesh, by “human” wisdom; thus, he could not see the big picture. The big picture was not the betrayal of Judas nor the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees nor the apostasy of the crowds. The big picture was that Jesus had to die in order to save mankind.
The big picture today is not the clergy who have betrayed us, the hypocrisy of the hierarchy, or the apostasy in the pews—as serious and sinful as these things are. Rather, it is that these things must come to pass in this way:
Lord Jesus, you foretold that we would share in the persecutions that brought you to a violent death. The Church formed at the cost of your precious blood is even now conformed to your Passion; may it be transformed, now and eternally, by the power of your resurrection. —Psalm-prayer, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol III, p. 1213
I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. (John 18:20)
Despite the miracles and teachings of Jesus, the people ultimately neither understood nor accepted Him for the kind of King He was. And so, they cried out: “Crucify him!” Likewise, the moral teachings of the Catholic Church are no secret. The world knows where we stand on abortion, gay marriage, birth control, etc. — but they aren’t listening. Despite the wonders and splendour of truth that the Church has spread across the globe over two millennia, the world neither understands nor accepts the Church for the Kingdom that it is.
“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)
And thus, the time has come for her enemies to cry out once more: “Crucify him!”
If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first… Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:18-20)
…polls around the world are now showing that the Catholic faith itself is increasingly seen, not as a force for good in the world, but as, rather, a force for evil. This is where we are now. —Dr. Robert Moynihan, “Letters”, February 26th, 2019
But Jesus also knew that it was precisely in the expression of His love for humanity through the Cross that many would come to believe in Him. Indeed, after His death…
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts… “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Luke 23:48; Mark 15:39)
The world needed to look upon the unconditional love of Christ in order to believe His Word. So too, the world has reached a point where it no longer hears our theological reasoning and refined logic;cf. The Eclipse of Reason they really just long to put their fingers into the Side of the wound of Love, even if yet they do not know it.
...when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret… the Church… will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death. —Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT), “What Will the Church Look Like in 2000”, radio sermon in 1969; Ignatius Press; ucatholic.com
This is why I have continually said that the almost obsessive pre-occupation with the faults of this papacy, rather than its central message, is missing the mark. ‘Opus Dei Father Robert Gahl, an associate professor of moral philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, also warned against using a “hermeneutic of suspicion” that concludes that the Pope “commits heresy several times each day” and instead urged “a charitable hermeneutic of continuity” by reading Francis “in light of the Tradition.”’ cf. www.ncregister.com
In that “light of Tradition,” that is, the light of Christ, Pope Francis has been prophetic in his call for the Church to become a “field hospital.” For isn’t this what Jesus became on His way to Golgotha?
“Lord, shall we strike with a sword?” And one of them struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him. (Luke 22:49-51)
Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28)
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
…but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (John 19:34)
If the word has not converted, it will be blood that converts. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, from poem “Stanislaw”
We do not realize that [the unbeliever] is listening not for the words but for evidence of thought and love behind the words. —Thomas Merton, from Alfred Delp, SJ, Prison Writings, (Orbis Books), p. xxx (emphasis mine)
AND SO IT COMES…
The Passion of the Church appears imminent. The Pope’s have been saying it for over a century, in one way or another, but perhaps none as clearly as John Paul II:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through… We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel, of Christ versus the anti-Christ. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church, and the Polish Church in particular, must take up. It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but in a sense a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization, with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights and the rights of nations. —Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (JOHN PAUL II ), at the Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, PA; August 13, 1976
We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible toalleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not be otherwise. —POPE JOHN PAUL II; Fr. Regis Scanlon, “Flood and Fire”, Homiletic & Pastoral Review, April 1994
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
He Will Reign, by Tianna (Mallett) Williams
THE TRIUMPH, THE RESURRECTION, THE REIGN
It is the “triumph of the Immaculate Heart” since Mary is “the image of the Church to come.”POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi, n.50 She is the “woman” of Revelation labouring to give birth to the reign of her Son, Jesus Christ, in His Mystical Body, the Church.
Yes, a miracle was promised at Fatima, the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection. And that miracle will be an era of peace which has never really been granted before to the world. —Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, October 9th, 1994, The Apostolate’s Family Catechism, p. 35
From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the
beginning. —Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT), “What Will the Church Look Like in 2000”, radio sermon in 1969; Ignatius Press; ucatholic.com
This simplification through the instrument of Antichrist is also confirmed by numerous Catholic mystics, such as Alicja Lenczewska (1934 – 2012), a Polish seer and saintly woman whose messages were authorized by Bishop Henryk Wejmanj and granted an Imprimatur in 2017:
My Church suffers as I suffered, it is wounded and bleeds, as I was wounded and marked the way to Golgotha with My Blood. And it is spat upon, and defiled, as My body was spat upon and abused. And it succumbs, and falls, as I under the burden of the Cross, because it also carries the Cross of My children through the years and ages. And it gets up and walks towards Resurrection through Golgotha and Crucifixion, also that of many saints… And the dawn and spring of the Holy Church is coming, although there is an anti-Church and its founder, the Antichrist… Mary is the one through whom will come the rebirth of My Church. —Jesus to Alicja, June 8th, 2002
It was through Mary’s “fiat” that the Divine Will began its restoration in mankind. It was in her that the Divine Will began to reign on earth as it is in Heaven. And it is through Mary, assigned beneath the Cross as the “new Eve” and thus the new “mother of all the living”, cf. Gen 3:20 that the Body of Christ will be fully conceived and born as she “labours to give birth to a son.” cf. Rev 12:2 She is thus the dawn itself, the “Eastern Gate” through which Jesus is coming again.
The Holy Spirit speaking through the Fathers of the Church, also calls our Lady the Eastern Gate, through which the High Priest, Jesus Christ, enters and goes out into the world. Through this gate he entered the world the first time and through this same gate he will come the second time.—St. Louis de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, n. 262
His coming this time, however, is not to end the world, but to configure His Bride toward the prototype, the Virgin Mary.
The Church, which comprises the elect, is fittingly styled daybreak or dawn… It will be fully day for her when she shines with the perfect brilliance of interior light. —St. Gregory the Great, Pope; Liturgy of the Hours, Vol III, p. 308
…when the Church, too, becomes “immaculate.” Thus, it is an interior coming and reign of Christ in His Church before his final coming in glory to receive His purified Bride. And what is this reign but that which we pray for each and every day?
…every day in the prayer of the Our Father we ask the Lord: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10)…. we recognize that “heaven” is where the will of God is done, and that “earth” becomes “heaven”—i.e., the place of the presence of love, of goodness, of truth and of divine beauty—only if on earth the will of God is done. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, General Audience, February 1st, 2012, Vatican City
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
Thus, wrote the late Fr. George Kosicki:
We believe that consecration to Mary is an essential step toward the sovereign act needed to bring about the new Pentecost. This step of consecration is a needed preparation for Calvary where in a corporate way we will experience the crucifixion as did Jesus, our Head. The Cross is the source of the power both of resurrection and of Pentecost. From Calvary where, as the Bride in union with the Spirit, “together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and guided by blessed Peter” we will pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20) —The Spirit and the Bride Say, “Come!”, Mary’s Role in the New Pentecost, Fr. Gerald J. Farrell M. M., and Fr. George W. Kosicki, C.S.B
Just as Jesus “emptied himself” Phil 2:7 upon the Cross and “learned obedience through what He suffered” Heb 5:8 so too, the Passion of the Church will empty and purify His Bride so that His “kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is not a reform, but a Resurrection; it is the Reign of Christ in his saints as the final stage of salvation history before the culmination of time.
Thus, it is the Hour to lean our heads upon the breast of Christ and contemplate His face like St. John. Like Mary, it is the Hour to journey alongside the battered and bruised Body of her Son—not attack it nor try to “resurrect” it through worldly “wisdom.” Like Jesus, it is the Hour to lay our lives down as a witness to the Gospel that He may raise it again on the “third day”, that is, in this third millennium.
…we hear today the groaning as no one has ever heard it before… Pope [John Paul II] does indeed cherish a great expectation that the millennium of divisions will be followed by a millennium of unifications. —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (BENEDICT XVI), Salt of the Earth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997), translated by Adrian Walker
A closing prayer:
It is indeed time to fulfil your promise. Your divine commandments are broken, your Gospel is thrown aside, torrents of iniquity flood the whole earth carrying away even your servants. The whole land is desolate, ungodliness reigns supreme, your sanctuary is desecrated and the abomination of desolation has even contaminated the holy place. God of Justice, God of Vengeance, will you let everything, then, go the same way? Will everything come to the same end as Sodom and Gomorrah? Will you never break your silence? Will you tolerate all this for ever? Is it not true that your will must be done on earth as it is in heaven? Is it not true that your kingdom must come? Did you not give to some souls, dear to you, a vision of the future renewal of the Church?… All creatures, even the most insensitive, lie groaning under the burden of Babylon’s countless sins and plead with you to come and renew all things. —St. Louis de Montfort, Prayer for Missionaries, n. 5; www.ewtn.com
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