Mercy for a People in Darkness

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Monday of the Second Week of Lent, March 2nd, 2015

Liturgical texts here

 

THERE is a line from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that, among others, jumped out at me when the character Frodo wishes for the death of his adversary, Gollum. The wise wizard Gandalf responds:

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Do Not Be Shaken

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 13th, 2015
Opt. Memorial of St. Hilary

Liturgical texts here

 

WE have entered a period of time in the Church that will shake the faith of many. And that is because it is going to increasingly appear as though evil has won, as though the Church has become completely irrelevant, and in fact, an enemy of the State. Those who hold fast to the whole of the Catholic faith will be few in number and be universally considered antiquated, illogical, and an obstacle to be removed.

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The Thin Line Between Mercy and Heresy – Part III

 

PART III — FEARS REVEALED

 

SHE fed and clothed the poor with love; she nurtured minds and hearts with the Word. Catherine Doherty, foundress of the Madonna House apostolate, was a woman who took on the “smell of the sheep” without taking on the “stench of sin.” She constantly walked the thin line between mercy and heresy by embracing the greatest of sinners while calling them to holiness. She used to say,

Go without fears into the depths of men’s hearts… the Lord shall be with you. —from The Little Mandate

This is one of those “words” from the Lord that is able to penetrate “between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” [1]cf. Heb 4:12 Catherine uncovers the very root of the problem with both so-called “conservatives” and “liberals” in the Church: it is our fear to enter men’s hearts as Christ did.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. Heb 4:12

The Thin Line Between Mercy & Heresy – Part II

 

PART II — Reaching the Wounded

 

WE have watched a rapid cultural and sexual revolution that in five short decades has decimated the family as divorce, abortion, redefinition of marriage, euthanasia, pornography, adultery, and many other ills have become not only acceptable, but deemed a social “good” or “right.” However, an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, drug use, alcohol abuse, suicide, and ever multiplying psychoses tell a different story: we are a generation that is bleeding profusely from the effects of sin.

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The Thin Line Between Mercy & Heresy – Part I

 


IN
all the controversies that unfolded in the wake of the recent Synod in Rome, the reason for the gathering seemed to have been lost altogether. It was convened under the theme: “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” How do we evangelize families given the pastoral challenges we face due to high divorce rates, single mothers, secularization, and so forth?

What we learned very quickly (as proposals of some Cardinals were made known to the public) is that there is a a thin line between mercy and heresy.

The following three part series is intended to not only get back to the heart of the matter—evangelizing families in our times—but to do so by bringing to the forefront the man who is really at the center of the controversies: Jesus Christ. Because no one walked that thin line more than Him—and Pope Francis seems to be pointing that path to us once again.

We need to blow away the “smoke of satan” so we can clearly identify this narrow red line, drawn in Christ’s blood… because we are called to walk it ourselves.

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A House Divided

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 10th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

“EVERY kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” These are Christ’s words in today’s Gospel that must surely reverberate among the Synod of Bishops gathered in Rome. As we listen to the presentations coming forth on how to deal with today’s moral challenges facing families, it is clear that there are great gulfs between some prelates as to how to deal with sin. My spiritual director has asked me to speak about this, and so I will in another writing. But perhaps we should conclude this week’s meditations on the infallibility of the papacy by listening carefully to Our Lord’s words today.

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The Great Antidote


Stand your ground…

 

 

HAVE we entered into those times of lawlessness that will culminate in the “lawless one,” as St. Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2? [1]Some Church Fathers saw the Antichrist appearing before the “era of peace” while others toward the end of the world. If one follows St. John’s vision in Revelation, the answer seems to be that they are both right. See The Last Two Eclipses It is an important question, because our Lord himself commanded us to “watch and pray.” Even Pope St. Pius X raised the possibility that, given the spread of what he called “a terrible and deep-rooted malady” that is dragging society to destruction, that is, “apostasy”…

…there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. —POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 Some Church Fathers saw the Antichrist appearing before the “era of peace” while others toward the end of the world. If one follows St. John’s vision in Revelation, the answer seems to be that they are both right. See The Last Two Eclipses

Removing the Restrainer

 

THE past month has been one of palpable sorrow as the Lord continues to warn that there is So Little Time Left. The times are sorrowful because mankind is about to reap what God has begged us not to sow. It is sorrowful because many souls do not realize that they are on the precipice of eternal separation from Him. It is sorrowful because the hour of the Church’s own passion has come when a Judas will rise up against her. [1]cf. The Seven Year Trial-Part VI It is sorrowful because Jesus is not only being neglected and forgotten throughout the world, but abused and mocked once again. Hence, the Time of times has come when all lawlessness will, and is, breaking forth across the globe.

Before I go on, ponder for a moment the truth-filled words of a saint:

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings. —St. Francis de Sales, 17th century bishop

Indeed, this blog is not here to scare or frighten, but to confirm and prepare you so that, like the five wise virgins, the light of your faith will not be snuffed out, but glow ever brighter when the light of God in the world is fully dimmed, and darkness fully unrestrained. [2]cf. Matt 25:1-13

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matt 25:13)

 

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. The Seven Year Trial-Part VI
2 cf. Matt 25:1-13

Global Revolution!

 

…the order of the world is shaken. (Psalm 82:5)
 

WHEN I wrote about Revolution! a few years ago, it was not a word being used much in the mainstream. But today, it is being spoken everywhere… and now, the words “global revolutionare rippling throughout the world. From the uprisings in the Middle East, to Venezuela, Ukraine, etc. to the first murmurings in the “Tea Party” revolution and “Occupy Wall Street” in the U.S., unrest is spreading like “a virus.” There is indeed a global upheaval underway.

I will rouse Egypt against Egypt: brother will war against brother, neighbour against neighbour, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. (Isaiah 19:2)

But it is a Revolution that has been in the making for a very long time…

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The Consequences of Compromise

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for February 13th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

What’s left of Solomon’s Temple, destroyed 70 A.D.

 

 

THE beautiful story of Solomon’s achievements, when working in harmony with God’s grace, came to a halt.

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God.

Solomon no longer followed God “unreservedly as his father David had done.” He began to compromise. In the end, the Temple he constructed, and all its beauty, was reduced to rubble by the Romans.

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Snow In Cairo?


First snow in Cairo, Egypt in 100 years, AFP-Getty Images

 

 

SNOW in Cairo? Ice in Israel? Sleet in Syria?

For several years now, the world has watched as natural earth events ravage various regions from place to place. But is there a link to what is also happening in society en masse: the ravaging of the natural and moral law?

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Compromise: The Great Apostasy

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 1st, 2013
First Sunday of Advent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THE book of Isaiah—and this Advent—begins with a beautiful vision of a coming Day when “all nations” will stream to the Church to be fed from her hand the life-giving teachings of Jesus. According to the early Church Fathers, Our Lady of Fatima, and the prophetic words of 20th century popes, we may indeed expect a coming “era of peace” when they “shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (see Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!)

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Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!

 

TO His Holiness, Pope Francis:

 

Dear Holy Father,

Throughout the pontificate of your predecessor, St. John Paul II, he continually invoked us, the youth of the Church, to become “morning watchmen at the dawn of the new millennium.” [1]POPE JOHN PAUL II, Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9; (cf. Is 21:11-12)

…watchmen who proclaim to the world a new dawn of hope, brotherhood and peace. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Address to the Guanelli Youth Movement, April 20th, 2002, www.vatican.va

From Ukraine to Madrid, Peru to Canada, he beckoned us to become “protagonists of the new times” [2]POPE JOHN PAUL II, Welcome Ceremony, International Airport of Madrid-Baraja, May 3rd, 2003; www.fjp2.com that lay directly ahead of the Church and the world:

Dear young people, it is up to you to be the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ! —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12)

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 POPE JOHN PAUL II, Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9; (cf. Is 21:11-12)
2 POPE JOHN PAUL II, Welcome Ceremony, International Airport of Madrid-Baraja, May 3rd, 2003; www.fjp2.com

Protector and Defender

 

 

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. [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.” 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…

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Footnotes

Footnotes
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.”

TruNews Interview

 

MARK MALLETT was the guest on TruNews.com, an evangelical radio podcast, on February 28th, 2013. With host, Rick Wiles, they discussed the resignation of the Pope, apostasy in the Church, and the theology of the “end times” from a Catholic perspective.

An evangelical Christian interviewing a Catholic in a rare interview! Listen in at:

TruNews.com

Possible… or Not?

APTOPIX VATICAN PALM SUNDAYPhoto courtesy The Globe and Mail
 
 

IN light of recent historic events in the papacy, and this, the last working day of Benedict XVI, two current prophecies in particular are gaining traction among believers regarding the next pope. I am asked about them constantly in person as well as by email. So, I am compelled to finally give a timely response.

The problem is that the following prophecies are diametrically opposed to one another. One or both of them, therefore, cannot be true….

 

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The Pope: Thermometer of Apostasy

BenedictCandle

As I asked Our Blessed Mother to guide my writing this morning, immediately this meditation from March 25th, 2009 came to mind:

 

HAVING traveled and preached in over 40 American states and nearly all of Canada’s provinces, I have been afforded a wide-ranging glimpse of the Church on this continent. I have met many wonderful lay people, deeply committed priests, and devoted and reverent religious. But they have become so few in number that I am beginning to hear the words of Jesus in a new and startling way:

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?(Luke 18:8)

It is said that if you throw a frog into boiling water, it will jump out. But if you slowly heat the water, it will remain in the pot and boil to death. The Church in many parts of the world is beginning to reach the boiling point. If you want to know how hot the water is, watch the attack upon Peter.

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Charismatic! Part VII

 

THE point of this entire series on the charismatic gifts and movement is to encourage the reader to not be afraid of the extraordinary in God! To not be afraid to “open wide your hearts” to the gift of the Holy Spirit whom the Lord wishes to pour out in a special and powerful way in our times. As I read the letters sent to me, it is clear that the Charismatic Renewal has not been without its sorrows and failures, its human deficiencies and weaknesses. And yet, this is precisely what occurred in the early Church after Pentecost. Saints Peter and Paul devoted much space to correcting the various churches, moderating the charisms, and refocusing the budding communities over and over again upon the oral and written tradition that was being handed on to them. What the Apostles did not do is deny the often dramatic experiences of believers, try to stifle the charisms, or silence the zeal of thriving communities. Rather, they said:

Do not quench the Spirit… pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy… above all, let your love for one another be intense… (1 Thess 5:19; 1 Cor 14:1; 1 Pet 4:8)

I want to devote the last part of this series to sharing my own experiences and reflections since I first experienced the charismatic movement in 1975. Rather than give my entire testimony here, I will restrict it to those experiences one might call “charismatic.”

 

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Charismatic? Part VI

pentecost3_FotorPentecost, Artist Unknown

  

PENTECOST is not only a single event, but a grace that the Church can experience again and again. However, in this past century, the popes have been praying not only for a renewal in the Holy Spirit, but for a “new Pentecost”. When one considers all the signs of the times that have accompanied this prayer—key among them the continued presence of the Blessed Mother gathering with her children on earth through ongoing apparitions, as though she were once again in the “upper room” with the Apostles… the words of the Catechism take on a new sense of immediacy:

…at the “end time” the Lord’s Spirit will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and reconcile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the first creation, and God will dwell there with men in peace.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 715

This time when the Spirit comes to “renew the face of the earth” is the period, after the death of Antichrist, during what the Church Father’s pointed to in St. John’s Apocalypse as the “thousand year” era when Satan is chained in the abyss.Continue reading