IT was in 2009 when my wife and I were led to move into the country with our eight children. It was with mixed emotions that I left the small town where we were living… but it seemed that God was leading us. We found a remote farm in the middle of Saskatchewan, Canada lodged between vast treeless tracts of land, accessible only by dirt roads. Really, we couldn’t afford much else. The nearby town had a population of around 60 people. The main street was an array of mostly empty, dilapidated buildings; the schoolhouse was empty and abandoned; the small bank, post office, and grocery store quickly closed after our arrival leaving no doors open but the Catholic Church. It was a lovely sanctuary of classic architecture — strangely large for such a small community. But old photos revealed it brimming with congregants in the 1950s, back when there were large families and small farms. But now, there were only 15-20 showing up to the Sunday liturgy. There was virtually no Christian community to speak of, save for the handful of faithful seniors. The nearest city was almost two hours away. We were without friends, family, and even the beauty of nature that I grew up with around lakes and forests. I did not realize that we had just moved into the “desert”…
At that time, my music ministry was in a decisive transformation. God had literally begun turning off the faucet of inspiration for songwriting and slowly opened the faucet of The Now Word. I didn’t see it coming; it was not in my plans. For me, pure joy was sitting in a Church before the Blessed Sacrament leading people through song into God’s presence. But now I found myself sitting alone in front of a computer, writing to a faceless audience. Many were grateful for the graces and direction these writings gave them; others stigmatized and mocked me as a “prophet of doom and gloom”, that “end times guy.” Yet, God did not abandon me nor leave me unequipped for this ministry of being a “watchman,” as John Paul II called it. The words I wrote were always confirmed in the exhortations of the popes, the unfolding “signs of the times” and of course, the apparitions of our Blessed Mama. In fact, with each writing, I always asked Our Lady to take over so that her words would be in mine, and mine in hers, since she has been clearly designated as the chief heavenly prophetess of our times.
But the loneliness I felt, the deprivation of nature and society itself, increasingly gnawed at my heart. One day, I cried out to Jesus, “Why have you brought me here to this desert?” At that moment, I glanced up at the diary of St. Faustina. I opened it, and though I do not remember the exact passage, it was something along the vein of St. Faustina asking Jesus why she was so alone at one of her retreats. And the Lord replied to this effect: “So that you may hear My voice more clearly.”
That passage was a pivotal grace. It sustained me for several more years to come that, somehow, in the midst of this “desert”, there was a grand purpose; that I was to be undistracted so as to clearly hear and convey the “now word.”
Then, earlier this year, both my wife and I suddenly felt “It is time” to move. Independent of one another, we found the same property; put an offer on it that week; and began moving a month later to Alberta just an hour or less from where my great-grandparents homesteaded in the last century. I was now “home.”
At that time, I wrote The Watchman’s Exile where I quoted the prophet Ezekiel:
The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see, but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear. They are such a rebellious house! Now, son of man, during the day while they watch, pack a bag for exile, and again while they watch, go into exile from your place to another place; perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 12:1-3)
A friend of mine, former Justice Dan Lynch who has devoted his life now to also preparing souls for the reign of “Jesus, King of All Nations”, wrote me:
My understanding of the prophet Ezekiel is that God told him to go into exile before the destruction of Jerusalem and to prophesy against the false prophets who prophesied a false hope. He was to be a sign that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would go into exile like him.
Later, after the destruction of Jerusalem while he was in exile during the Babylonian Captivity, he prophesied to the Jewish exiles and gave them hope for a new era with God’s ultimate restoration of his people to their homeland that had been destroyed as a chastisement because of their sins.
In relation to Ezekiel, do you see your new role in “exile” to be a sign that others will go into exile like you? Do you see that you will be a prophet of hope? If not, how do you understand your new role? I will pray that you will discern and fulfill God’s will in your new role. —April 5th, 2022
Admittedly, I had to rethink what God was saying through this unexpected move. In truth, my time in Saskatchewan was the true “exile”, for it took me into a desert on so many levels. Second, my ministry was indeed to counter the “false prophets” of our times who would repeatedly say, “Ah, everyone says their times are the “end times”. We are no different. We’re just going through a bump; things will be fine, etc.”
And now, we are certainly beginning to live in a “Babylonian captivity”, even though many still do not recognize it. When governments, employers, and even one’s family forces people into a medical intervention they do not want; when local authorities forbid you to participate in society without it; when the future of energy and food is being manipulated by a handful of men, who are now using that control as a bludgeon to refashion the world into their neo-Communistic image… then freedom as we know it is gone.
And so, to answer Dan’s question, yes, I feel called to be a voice of hope (even though the Lord has me writing still on some things to come that, still, carry the seed of hope). I feel that I am turning a certain corner in this ministry, though I do not know exactly what that is. But there is a fire burning in me to defend and preach the Gospel of Jesus. And it is getting more and more difficult to do so since the Church herself is floating in a sea of propaganda.cf. Rev 12:15 As such, believers are becoming more divided, even among this readership. There are those who say that we must simply be obedient: trust your politicians, health officials, and regulators for “they know what’s best.” On the other hand, there are those who see the widespread institutional corruption, the abuse of authority, and glaring warning signs all around them.
Then there are those who say that the answer is to return to pre-Vatican II and that the restoration of the Latin Mass, communion on the tongue, etc. will restore the Church to her proper order. But brothers and sisters… it was at the very height of the glory of the Tridentine Mass at the beginning of the 20th century that no less than St. Pius X warned that “apostasy” was spreading like a “disease” throughout the Church and that the Antichrist, the Son of Perdition “may be already in the world”! E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903
No, something else was wrong — Latin Mass and all. Something else had gone astray in the life of the Church. And I believe it is this: the Church had lost her first love — her essence.
Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:4-5)
What are the works the Church did at first?
These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
To the average Catholic, especially in the West, this kind of a Church is not only almost entirely non-existent, but is even frowned upon: a Church of miracles, healings, and signs and wonders that confirm the powerful preaching of the Gospel. A Church where the Holy Spirit moves among us, bringing about conversions, a hunger for the Word of God, and the birth of new souls in Christ. If God has given us a hierarchy — a pope, bishops, priests, and laity — it is for this:
He gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ. (Eph 4:11-13)
The whole Church is called to be engaged in “ministry” in one way or another. Yet, if the charisms are not being used, then the Body is not being “built up”; it is atrophying. Moreover…
…it is not enough that the Christian people be present and be organized in a given nation, nor is it enough to carry out an apostolate by way of good example. They are organized for this purpose, they are present for this: to announce Christ to their non-Christian fellow-citizens by word and example, and to aid them toward the full reception of Christ. —Second Vatican Council, Ad Gentes, n. 15
Perhaps the world no longer believes because Christians no longer believe. We have not only become lukewarm but impotent. She no longer behaves as the mystical Body of Christ but as an NGO and marketing arm of the Great Reset. We have, as St. Paul said, made “a pretense of religion but deny its power.”2 Tim 3:5
And so, while I learned a long time ago never to presume anything regarding what the Lord wants me to write or do, I can say that my heart is to, somehow, help this readership move from a place of uncertainty if not insecurity to a place of living, moving, and having our being in the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. To a Church who has fallen in love again with her “first love.”
And I also need to be practical:
The Lord ordered that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel. (1 Cor 9:14)
Someone asked my wife recently, “Why doesn’t Mark ever make an appeal for support to his readers? Does that mean that you are doing fine financially?” No, it just means that I prefer to just let readers put “two and two together” rather than hounding them. That said, I do make an appeal early in the year and sometimes late in the year. This is a full-time ministry for me and has been for nearly two decades. We have an employee to help us with office work. I recently gave her a modest raise to help her offset rising inflation. We have large monthly internet bills to pay for the hosting and traffic to The Now Word and Countdown to the Kingdom. This year, due to cyberattacks, we had to upgrade our services. Then there are all the technological aspects and needs of this ministry as we grow with an ever-changing high-tech world. That, and I still have kids at home that appreciate when we feed them. I can also say that, with rising inflation, we have seen a noticeable drop in financial support — understandably so.
So, for the second and last time this year, I am passing around the hat to my readership. But knowing that you, too, are experiencing the ravages of inflation, I beg that only those who are able would give — and that those of you who cannot, know: this apostolate is still generously, freely, and joyfully giving to you. There is no charge or subscription for anything. I have chosen to put everything here instead of into books so that the largest number of people can access them. I do not want to cause any of you hardship whatsoever — other than to offer a pray for me that I will remain faithful to Jesus and this work to the end.
Thank you to those of you who have stuck with me through these difficult and divisive times. I am so, so grateful for your love and prayers.
Thank you for supporting this apostolate.
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