Be Merciful

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 14th, 2014
Friday of the First Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

ARE you merciful? It is not one of those questions that we should toss in with others such as, “Are you extroverted, a choleric, or introverted, etc.” No, this question lies at the very heart of what it means to be an authentic Christian:

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)

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The Field Hospital

 

BACK in June of 2013, I wrote to you of changes that I have been discerning regarding my ministry, how it is presented, what is presented etc. in the writing called The Watchman’s Song. After several months now of reflection, I would like to share with you my observations from what is happening in our world, things I have discussed with my spiritual director, and where I feel I am being led now. I also want to invite your direct input with a quick survey below.

 

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The Great Gift

 

 

IMAGINE a small child, who has just learned to walk, being taken into a busy shopping mall. He is there with his mother, but does not want to take her hand. Every time he begins to wander, she gently reaches for his hand. Just as quickly, he pulls it away and continues to dart in any direction he wants. But he is oblivious to the dangers: the throngs of hurried shoppers who barely notice him; the exits that lead to traffic; the pretty but deep water fountains, and all the other unknown dangers that keep parents awake at night. Occasionally, the mother—who is always a step behind—reaches down and grabs a little hand to keep him from going into this store or that, from running into this person or that door. When he wants to go the other direction, she turns him around, but still, he wants to walk on his own.

Now, imagine another child who, upon entering the mall, senses the dangers of the unknown. She willingly lets the mother take her hand and lead her. The mother knows just when to turn, where to stop, where to wait, for she can see the dangers and obstacles ahead, and takes the safest path for her little one. And when the child is willing to be picked up, the mother walks straight ahead, taking the quickest and easiest path to her destination.

Now, imagine that you are a child, and Mary is your mother. Whether you are a Protestant or a Catholic, a believer or an unbeliever, she is always walking with you… but are you walking with her?

 

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The Hour of the Laity


World Youth Day

 

 

WE are entering a most profound period of purification of the Church and the planet. The signs of the times are all around us as the upheaval in nature, the economy, and social and political stability speaks of a world on the verge of a Global Revolution. Thus, I believe we are also approaching the hour of God’s “last effort” before the “day of justice” arrives (see The Last Effort), as St. Faustina recorded in her diary. Not the end of the world, but the end of an era:

Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 848

Blood and Water is pouring forth this moment from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is this mercy gushing forth from the Heart of the Savior that is the final effort to…

…withdraw [mankind] from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion.—St. Margaret Mary (1647-1690), sacredheartdevotion.com

It is for this that I believe we have been called into The Bastiona time of intense prayer, focus, and preparation as the Winds of Change gather strength. For the heavens and earth are going to shake, and God is going to concentrate His love into one last moment of grace before the world is purified. [1]see The Eye of the Storm and The Great Earthquake It is for this time that God has prepared a little army, primarily of the laity.

 

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Footnotes

He Calls While We Slumber


Christ Grieving Over the World
, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

 

I feel strongly compelled to re-post this writing here tonight. We are living in a precarious moment, the calm before the Storm, when many are tempted to fall asleep. But we must remain vigilant, that is, our eyes focused on building the Kingdom of Christ in our hearts and then in the world around us. In this way, we will be living in the Father’s constant care and grace, His protection and anointing. We will be living in the Ark, and we must be there now, for soon it will begin to rain justice upon a world that is cracked and dry and thirsting for God.  First published April 30th, 2011.

 

CHRIST IS RISEN, ALLELUIA!

 

INDEED He is risen, alleluia! I am writing you today from San Francisco, USA on the eve and Vigil of Divine Mercy, and Beatification of John Paul II. In the home where I am staying, the sounds of the prayer service taking place in Rome, where the Luminous mysteries are being prayed, are flowing into the room with the gentleness of a trickling spring and the force of a waterfall. One cannot help but be overwhelmed with the fruits of the Resurrection so evident as the Universal Church prays in one voice before the beatification of St. Peter’s successor. The power of the Church—the power of Jesus—is present, both in the visible witness of this event, and in the presence of the communion of Saints. The Holy Spirit is hovering…

Where I am staying, the front room has a wall lined with icons and statues: St. Pio, the Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Fatima and Guadalupe, St. Therese de Liseux…. all of them are stained with either tears of oil or blood that have fallen from their eyes in past months. The spiritual director of the couple who lives here is Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, the vice-postulator of St. Faustina’s canonization process. A picture of him meeting John Paul II sits at the feet of one of the statues. A tangible peace and presence of the Blessed Mother seems to pervade the room…

And so, it is in the midst of these two worlds that I write you. On the one hand, I see tears of joy falling from the faces of those praying in Rome; on the other, tears of sorrow falling from the eyes of Our Lord and Lady in this home. And so I ask once again, “Jesus, what do you want me to say to your people?”  And I sense in my heart the words,

Tell my children that I love them. That I am Mercy itself. And Mercy calls My children to wake up. 

 

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Pentecost and the Illumination

 

 

IN early 2007, a powerful image came to me one day during prayer. I recount it again here (from The Smoldering Candle):

I saw the world gathered as though in a dark room. In the center is a burning candle. It is very short, the wax nearly all melted. The Flame represents the light of Christ: Truth.Continue reading

The Song of God

 

 

I think we’ve got the whole "saint thing" wrong in our generation. Many think that becoming a Saint is this extraordinary ideal that only a handful of souls will ever be capable of achieving. That sanctity is a pious thought far out of reach. That as long as one avoids mortal sin and keeps his nose clean, he’ll still "make it" to Heaven—and that is good enough.

But in truth, friends, that is a terrible lie that keeps the children of God in bondage, that keeps souls in a state of unhappiness and dysfunction. It’s as big a lie as telling a goose that it cannot migrate.

 

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More on False Prophets

 

WHEN my spiritual director asked me to write further about “false prophets,” I pondered on how they are often defined in our day. Usually, people view “false prophets” as those who predict the future incorrectly. But when Jesus or the Apostles spoke of false prophets, they were usually speaking about those within the Church who led others astray by either failing to speak the truth, watering it down, or preaching a different gospel altogether…

Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

 

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Will I Run Too?

 


Crucifixion, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

AS I watched again the powerful movie The Passion of the Christ, I was struck by Peter’s pledge that he would go to prison, and even die for Jesus! But only hours later, Peter vehemently denied Him three times. At that moment, I sensed my own poverty: “Lord, without your grace, I will betray you too…”

How can we be faithful to Jesus in these days of confusion, scandal, and apostasy? [1]cf. The Pope, a Condom, and the Purification of the Church How can we be assured that we too will not flee the Cross? Because it’s happening all around us already. Since the beginning of this writing apostolate, I have sensed the Lord speaking of a Great Sifting of the “weeds from among the wheat.” [2]cf. Weeds Among the Wheat That in fact a schism is already forming in the Church, though not yet fully in the open. [3]cf. Sorrow of Sorrows This week, the Holy Father spoke of this sifting at Holy Thursday Mass.

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The Second Coming

 

FROM a reader:

There is so much confusion regarding the “second coming” of Jesus. Some call it the “Eucharistic reign”, namely His Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Others, the actual physical presence of Jesus reigning in the flesh. What is your opinion on this? I am confused…

 

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