IF the Illumination is to occur, an event comparable to the “awakening” of the Prodigal Son, then not only will humanity encounter the depravity of that lost son, the consequent mercy of the Father, but also the mercilessness of the elder brother.
It is interesting that in Christ’s parable, He does not tell us whether the elder son comes to accept the return of His little brother. In fact, the brother is angry.
Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. (Luke 15:25-28)
The remarkable truth is, not everyone in the world will accept the graces of the Illumination; some will refuse “to enter the house.” Is this not the case every day in our own lives? We are granted many moments for conversion, and yet, so often we choose our own misguided will over God’s, and harden our hearts a little bit more, at least in certain areas of our lives. Hell itself is full of people who willfully resisted saving grace in this life, and are thus without grace in the next. Human free will is at once an incredible gift while at the same time a serious responsibility, since it is the one thing that renders the omnipotent God helpless: He forces salvation upon no one even though He wills that all would be saved. cf. 1 Tim 2:4
One of the dimensions of free will that restrains God’s ability to act within us is mercilessness…
|↑1||cf. 1 Tim 2:4|
FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF MARY
LATELY, I have been in a near hand-to-hand combat with a terrible temptation that I don’t have time. Don’t have time to pray, to work, to get done what needs to be done, etc. So I want to share some words from prayer that really impacted me this week. For they address not only my situation, but the entire problem affecting, or rather, infecting the Church today.
Christ In Front Of Pontius Pilate by Henry Coller
Recently, I was attending an event where a young man with a baby in his arms approached me. “Are you Mark Mallett?” The young father went on to explain that, several years ago, he came across my writings. “They woke up me up,” he said. “I realized I had to get my life together and stay focused. Your writings have been helping me ever since.”
Those familiar with this website know that the writings here seem to dance between both encouragement and the “warning”; hope and reality; the need to stay grounded and yet focused, as a Great Storm begins to swirl around us. “Stay sober” Peter and Paul wrote. “Watch and pray” Our Lord said. But not in a spirit of morose. Not in spirit of fear, rather, joyful anticipation of all that God can and will do, no matter how dark the night becomes. I confess, it’s a real balancing act for somedays as I weigh which “word” is more important. In truth, I could often write you every day. The problem is that most of you have a difficult enough time keeping up as it is! That’s why I’m praying about re-introducing a short webcast format…. more on that later.
So, today was no different as I sat in front of my computer with several words on my mind: “Pontius Pilate… What is Truth?… Revolution… the Passion of the Church…” and so on. So I searched my own blog and found this writing of mine from 2010. It summarizes all of these thoughts together! So I have republished it today with a few comments here and there to update it. I send it in hopes that perhaps one more soul who is asleep will awaken.
First published December 2nd, 2010…
“WHAT is truth?” That was Pontius Pilate’s rhetorical response to Jesus’ words:
For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. (John 18:37)
Pilate’s question is the turning point, the hinge on which the door to Christ’s final Passion was to be opened. Until then, Pilate resisted handing Jesus over to death. But after Jesus identifies Himself as the source of truth, Pilate caves into the pressure, caves into relativism, and decides to leave the fate of Truth in the hands of the people. Yes, Pilate washes his hands of Truth itself.
If the body of Christ is to follow its Head into its own Passion— what the Catechism calls “a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers,” CCC 675 — then I believe we too will see the time when our persecutors will dismiss the natural moral law saying, “What is truth?”; a time when the world will also wash its hands of the “sacrament of truth,”CCC 776, 780 the Church herself.
Tell me brothers and sisters, has this not already begun?
IT was with a strange heaviness of heart that I boarded a jet to the United States yesterday, on my way to give a conference this weekend in North Dakota. At the same time our jet took off, Pope Benedict’s plane was landing in the United Kingdom. He has been much on my heart these days—and much in the headlines.
As I was leaving the airport, I was compelled to buy a news magazine, something I rarely do. I was caught by the title “Is American Going Third World?” It is a report about how American cities, some more than others, are beginning to decay, their infrastructures collapsing, their money virtually run out. America is ‘broke’, said a high-level politician in Washington. In one county in Ohio, the police force is so small due to cutbacks, that the county judge recommended that citizens ‘arm yourselves’ against criminals. In other States, street lights are being shut off, paved roads are being turned into gravel, and jobs into dust.
It was surreal for me to write about this coming collapse a few years ago before the economy began to tumble (see The Year of the Unfolding). It is even more surreal to see it happening now before our eyes.
MY sixteen year old recently wrote an essay on the improbability that the universe occurred by chance. At one point, she wrote:
[Secular scientists] have been working so hard for so long to come up with “logical” explanations for a universe without God that they have failed to truly look at the universe itself .—Tianna Mallett
Out of the mouths of babes. St. Paul put it more directly,
For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools. (Rom 1:19-22)
WE live in an extraordinary time where there are answers to everything. There is not a question on the face of the earth that one, with access to a computer or someone who has one, cannot find an answer. But the one answer that still lingers, that is waiting to be heard by the multitudes, is to the question of mankind’s deep hunger. The hunger for purpose, for meaning, for love. Love above everything else. For when we are loved, somehow all other questions seem to diminish the way stars fade away at daybreak. I am not speaking about romantic love, but acceptance, unconditional acceptance and concern of another.Continue reading
First published May28th, 2007, I have updated this writing, more relevant than ever…
The enemy ships attack with everything they’ve got: bombs, canons, firearms, and even books and pamphlets are hurled at the Pope’s ship. —Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco, compiled and edited by Fr. J. Bacchiarello, S.D.B.
That is, the Church would be flooded with a deluge of false prophets.
IN a recent letter exchange, an atheist said to me,
If sufficient evidence was shown to me, I would start witnessing for Jesus tomorrow. I don’t know what that evidence would be, but I’m sure an all-powerful, all-knowing deity such as Yahweh would know what it would take to get me to believe. So that means Yahweh must not want me to believe (at least at this time), otherwise Yahweh could show me the evidence.
Is it that God does not want this atheist to believe at this time, or is it that this atheist is not prepared to believe in God? That is, is he applying the principles of the “scientific method” to the Creator Himself?Continue reading
I have spent several weeks dialoguing with an atheist. There’s perhaps no better exercise to build one’s faith. The reason being is that irrationality is a sign itself of the supernatural, for confusion and spiritual blindness are hallmarks of the prince of darkness. There are some mysteries the atheist cannot solve, questions he cannot answer, and some aspects of human life and the origins of the universe that cannot be explained by science alone. But this he will deny by either ignoring the subject, minimizing the question at hand, or ignoring scientists who refute his position and only quoting those who do. He leaves many painful ironies in the wake of his “reasoning.”