The Hour of the Sword

 

From the archives… first published April 5th, 2013.

 

IT has been a marvelous week (April) so far here in California, preaching alongside the man who helped bring the message of Divine Mercy to the world as well as promoted the cause of St. Faustina’s canonization: Fr. Seraphim Michalenko.

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On the Eve

 

 

One of the central functions of this writing apostolate is to show how Our Lady and the Church are truly mirrors of one another—that is, how authentic so-called “private revelation” mirrors the prophetic voice of the Church, most especially that of the popes. In fact, it has been a great eye-opener for me to see how the pontiffs, for over a century, have been paralleling the Blessed Mother’s message such that her more personalized warnings are essentially the “other side of the coin” of the institutional warnings of the Church. This is most evident in my writing Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?

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Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?

BenedictCap_Fotor

 

With dozens of new subscribers coming on board now each week, old questions are popping up such as this one: Why aren’t the Pope’s speaking about the end times? The answer will surprise many, reassure others, and challenge many more. First published September 21st, 2010, I have updated this writing to the present pontificate. 

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Servants of the Truth

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, March 4th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

Ecce HomoEcce Homo, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

JESUS was not crucified for His charity. He was not scourged for healing paralytics, opening the eyes of the blind, or raising the dead. So too, rarely will you find Christians being sidelined for building a women’s shelter, feeding the poor, or visiting the sick. Rather, Christ and His body, the Church, were and are persecuted essentially for proclaiming the truth.

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Without a Vision

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 16th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Liturgical texts here

 

 

 

THE confusion we are seeing envelop Rome today in the wake of the Synod document released to the public is, really, no surprise. Modernism, liberalism, and homosexuality were rampant in seminaries at the time many of these bishops and cardinals attended them. It was a time when the Scriptures where de-mystified, dismantled, and stripped of their power; a time when the Liturgy was being turned into a celebration of the community rather than Christ’s Sacrifice; when theologians ceased studying on their knees; when churches were being stripped of icons and statues; when confessionals were being turned into broom closets; when the Tabernacle was being shuffled off into corners; when catechesis virtually dried up; when abortion became legalized; when priests were abusing children; when the sexual revolution turned nearly everyone against Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae; when no-fault divorce was implemented… when the family began to fall apart.

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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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Can the Pope Betray Us?

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 8th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

The subject matter of this meditation is so important, that I am sending this to both my daily readers of the Now Word, and those who are on the Spiritual Food for Thought mailing list. If you receive duplicates, that’s why. Because of today’s subject, this writing is a bit longer than usual for my daily readers… but I believe necessary.

 

I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up in what the Romans would call the “fourth watch”, that period of time before dawn. I began to think about all the emails I’m receiving, the rumors I’m hearing, the doubts and confusion that are creeping in… like wolves on the edge of the forest. Yes, I heard the warnings clearly in my heart shortly after Pope Benedict resigned, that we were going to enter into times of great confusion. And now, I feel a bit like a shepherd, tension in my back and arms, my staff raised as shadows move about this precious flock that God has entrusted me to feed with “spiritual food.” I feel protective today.

The wolves are here.

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Prophecy Properly Understood

 

WE are living in a time when prophecy has perhaps never been so important, and yet, so misunderstood by the vast majority of Catholics. There are three harmful positions being taken today regarding prophetic or “private” revelations that, I believe, are doing at times great damage in many quarters of the Church. One is that “private revelations” never have to be heeded since all we are obligated to believe is the definitive Revelation of Christ in the “deposit of faith.” Another harm being done is by those who tend to not only put prophecy above the Magisterium, but give it the same authority as Sacred Scripture. And last, there is the position that most prophecy, unless uttered by saints or found without error, should be mostly shunned. Again, all these positions above carry unfortunate and even dangerous pitfalls.

 

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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