Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!

Sunrisefromspacepic_Fotor2

 

 

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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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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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

Charismatic? Part V

 

 

AS we look at the Charismatic Renewal today, we see a great decline in its numbers, and those who remain are mostly grey and white-haired. What, then, was the Charismatic Renewal all about if it appears on the surface to be fizzling? As one reader wrote in response to this series:

At some point the Charismatic movement vanished like fireworks that light up the night sky and then fall back into the darkenss. I was somewhat puzzled that a move of Almighty God would wane and finally fade away.

The answer to this question is perhaps the most important aspect of this series, for it helps us to understand not only where we’ve come from, but what the future holds for the Church…

 

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Charismatic? Part IV

 

 

I have been asked before if I am a “Charismatic.” And my answer is, “I am Catholic!” That is, I want to be fully Catholic, to live in the center of the deposit of faith, the heart of our mother, the Church. And so, I strive to be “charismatic”, “marian,” “contemplative,” “active,” “sacramental,” and “apostolic.” That is because all of the above belong not to this or that group, or this or that movement, but to the entire body of Christ. While apostolates may vary in the focus of their particular charism, in order to be fully alive, fully “healthy,” one’s heart, one’s apostolate, should be open to the entire treasury of grace that the Father has bestowed upon the Church.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens… (Eph 1:3)

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