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The Great Ark


Look Up by Michael D. O’Brien

 

If there is a Storm in our times, will God provide an “ark”? The answer is “Yes!” But perhaps never before have Christians doubted this provision so much as in our times as controversy over Pope Francis rages, and the rational minds of our post-modern era must grapple with the mystical. Nonetheless, here is the Ark Jesus is providing for us at this hour. I will also address “what to do” in the Ark in the days ahead. First published May 11th, 2011. 

 

JESUS said that the period before His eventual return would be “as it was in the days of Noah…” That is, many would be oblivious to the Storm gathering around them: “They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.” [1]Matt 24:37-29 St. Paul indicated that the coming of the “Day of the Lord” would be “like a thief in the night.” [2]1 These 5:2 This Storm, as the Church teaches, contains the Passion of the Church, who will follow her Head in her own passage through a corporate “death” and resurrection. [3]Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675 Just as many of the “leaders” of the temple and even the Apostles themselves seemed unaware, even to the last moment, that Jesus had to truly suffer and die, so too many in the Church seem oblivious to the consistent prophetic warnings of the popes and the Blessed Mother—warnings that announce and signal a…

…final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, the Gospel and the anti-gospel, Christ and the anti-christ… it is a trial which the whole Church… must take up. — Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (SAINT JOHN PAUL II) at the Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, PA; August 13, 1976

But just as God provided an escape for a remnant in Noah’s day, so too in ours, there is an “ark.” But to protect from what? Not a flood of rain, but a deluge of deception. No one has spoken more clearly of this spiritual flood than the pontiffs themselves. 

There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body; for, owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking “men speaking perverse things” (Acts 20:30), “vain talkers and seducers” (Tit 1:10), “erring and driving into error” (2 Tim 3: 13). Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ’s kingdom itself. —POPE PIUS X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Encyclical On the Doctrines of the Modernists, n. 1

 

PREPARING THE SPIRITUAL FLOOD

This attempt to overthrow “Christ’s kingdom itself”—the “woman” of Rev 12:1—was foretold by St. John in the Apocalypse.

The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. (Rev 12:15)

Satan will attempt to “sweep away” the Church by a flood that issues forth from his “mouth,” that is, through false words. As Jesus said, Satan…

…is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

For the first thousand years of the Church’s existence, her influence on the world was powerful, so much so, that her moral authority was recognized (and feared) even among her enemies. Thus, Satan’s strategy was to reduce as much as possible the credibility of the Church by creating scandal and then division. Three schisms, culminating in the “Protestant Reformation” in the 16th century, produced enough corruption, doubt, and disillusionment, that the world was primed to receive an alternative vision to the Gospel—an alternative, indeed, to God Himself. Thus, at last, the “father of lies” spewed a torrent of lies “out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current.” He did so through errant philosophy: deism, rationalism, utilitarianism, scientism, materialism, Marxism, etc. The birth of the so-called “Enlightenment” period unleashed a Moral Tsunami that began turning the moral order upside down by uprooting both the natural law and the moral authority of the Church. I say “so-called” because it was anything but “enlightenment”…

…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. (Rom 1:21)

By 1907, Pope Pius X sounded an astonishing warning that the spiritual earthquake of modernism had unleashed a wave of apostasy, now within the Church:

…the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man… they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church… having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt. —POPE PIUS X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Encyclical On the Doctrines of the Modernists, n. 2-3

Fast forward a century later, and we see the incredible damage that Pius X’s unheeded warning has brought—from heretical seminaries to experimental liturgies to liberal theology—the Church, particularly in the West, has been decimated by disobedience. Said Cardinal Ratzinger shortly before becoming Pope: It is…

…a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. —Cardinal Ratzinger, March 24, 2005, Good Friday meditation on the Third Fall of Christ

Some consider this outlook “dark and gloomy,” and it would be if we did not know the end of the story: that the Church will experience a resurrection after she passes through her own Passion:

The more noteworthy of the prophecies bearing upon “latter times” seem to have one common end, to announce great calamities impending over mankind, the triumph of the Church, and the renovation of the world.Catholic Encyclopedia, Prophecy, www.newadvent.org

But the final torrent from Satan’s mouth has yet to be fully issued, brothers and sisters, and it is for this, in part, that this writing apostolate was begun: to prepare you spiritually by helping you to board the Ark before this final spiritual “flood” is released.

 

THE SPIRITUAL TSUNAMI

I have already written of some of the dimensions of this spiritual deluge in The Coming Counterfeit by examining the Vatican’s document on the “New Age.”  Indeed, Satan’s ultimate goal is to first destroy belief in God through materialistic atheism. However, he knows very well that man is a “religious being” [4]cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 28; Measuring God and that such a void cannot remain empty for very long. Thus, he will attempt to fill it himself. How? By centralizing all the “isms” of the past five centuries into one: Satanism. [5]cf. “Moral Relativism Paves the Way for Satanism This will ultimately be achieved by giving his power to a “beast” who will provide false solutions to the revolutionary chaos that the breaking of the Seals will have wrought in the world. This New World Order will be irresistible, even to many Christians:

They worshiped the dragon because it gave its authority to the beast… (Rev 13:4)

This, of course, will usher in the “final trial” in this era for the People of God: the Passion of the Church:

If there is to be a persecution, perhaps it will be then; then, perhaps, when we are all of us in all parts of Christendom so divided, and so reduced, so full of schism, so close upon heresy. When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then he [Antichrist] will burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. Then suddenly the Roman Empire may break up, and Antichrist appear as a persecutor, and the barbarous nations around break in. —Blessed John Henry Newman, Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist

It is then that Satan, who “knows he has but a short time,” [6]Rev 12:12 will release the final torrent from his mouth—a spiritual deception that will ultimately sweep away those who have refused the Gospel and instead bowed down to the god of this world, exchanging their baptismal seal for the beast’s mark.

Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (2 Thess 2:11-12)

 

THE CHURCH, AS ARK

When we speak here then of an “ark,” I am referring to the spiritual protection God will provide a soul, not necessarily physical protection from all suffering. Obviously, God will provide physical protection to preserve a remnant of the Church. But not every faithful Christian will escape persecution:

‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you… [The beast] was also allowed to wage war against the holy ones and conquer them (John 15:20; Rev 13:7)

Yet, how great will be the glory and reward awaiting the soul who is worthy to be persecuted for Jesus!

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us… Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. (Rom 8:18; Matt 5:10-12)

Those souls who are martyred, says St. John, will reign with Christ for a “thousand years” during the era of peace. [7]cf. The Coming Resurrection; Rev 20:4 Thus, divine protection will belong to both those who survive and those who are martyred, so long as they persevere in faith and trust in God’s mercy.

[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy… before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice... —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, Jesus to St. Faustina, n. 1146

Because you have kept my message of endurance, I will keep you safe in the time of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (Rev 3:10)

God’s mercy is the door to the Ark, opened to the one who is made just through the blood that gushed forth from His Sacred Heart:

Go into the ark, you and all your household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just. (Genesis 7:1)

But how do we receive this mercy, and into what does this mercy bring us? The answer is through and into the Church:

…all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body.Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), n. 846

In this regard, Noah’s Ark is clearly a “type” of the Church:

The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.CCC, n. 845

The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge. —St. John Chrysostom, Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.; cf. E Supremi, n. 9, vatican.va

For it is the Church whom Jesus commissioned to”proclaim”, “teach” and “baptize”, thus making disciples of those who would accept the good news. [8]Mark 16:15; Matt 28:19-20 It is the Church who was given the power to “forgive sins”. [9]John 20:22-23 It is the Church who was given the grace to feed souls the “bread of life”. [10]Luke 22:19 It is the Church who was given the power to bind and loose, even excluding those from the Ark who refused repentance. [11]cf. Mt 16:19; 18:17-18; 1 Cor 5:11-13 It is also the Church who was given the charism of infallibility, [12]cf. CCC n. 890, 889 to be led “into all truth” through the advocacy of the Holy Spirit. [13]John 16:13 It is this last point that I stress here since the attack upon the Church today is one against truth through the torrent of falsehood that has been released against her. [14]cf. The Last Two Eclipses The Church is a safeguard against the deluge of heresies in our day that are eclipsing the very light of truth regarding the fundamentals of human existence.

In seeking the deepest roots of the struggle between the “culture of life” and the “culture of death”… We have to go to the heart of the tragedy being experienced by modern man: the eclipse of the sense of God and of man…  [that] inevitably leads to a practical materialism, which breeds individualism, utilitarianism and hedonism. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, n.21, 23

 

MARY, AS ARK

Remembering the Church’s teaching that Mary is an “image of the Church to come,” [15]Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, n. 50 then she too is a “type” of Noah’s Ark. [16]see The Key to the Woman As she promised to Sr. Lucia of Fatima:

My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. —Second apparition, June 13, 1917, The Revelation of the Two Hearts in Modern Times, www.ewtn.com

Again, one of the promises the Blessed Mother made known to St. Dominic for those who pray the Rosary is that it…

…will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy. —erosary.com

This statement is a mirror image of Christ’s promise to the Church:

…you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt 16:18)

Just as the Church leads us constantly to “fix our eyes on Jesus”, particularly through the Holy Mass, so too the Rosary leads us…

…to contemplate the face of Christ in union with, and at the school of, his Most Holy Mother. To recite the Rosary
is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.
—SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 3

What the Church safeguards sacramentally and authoritatively, one could say Mary safeguards personally and unerringly. Think of a mother cooking a meal for a large family, and then a mother nursing her baby. Both are nurturing acts that give life, while the second carries a more intimate aspect.

My Mother is Noah’s Ark. —Jesus to Elizabeth Kindelmann, The Flame of Love, p. 109. Imprimatur Archbishop Charles Chaput

 

THE GREAT ARK

Mary and the Church form one Great Ark. The exterior form is that of the Church: her bow is the truth that cuts through heresy; her anchor is the deposit of faith held by the chain of Sacred Tradition; her height is comprised of the planks of the Sacraments; her roof is the infallible Magisterium; and her door, again, the gateway of Mercy.

Our Blessed Mother is like the interior of this Great Ark: her obedience is the internal beams and frame that hold the vessel together; her virtues the various floors within the Ark that bring order and structure; and the stores of food are the graces of which she is full. [17]Luke 1:28 By living in her spirit of obedience and holy virtue, the soul is naturally led deeper into all the graces won through the merits of the Cross. Hence, the reason I urge you again to consecrate yourself to Mary. As Pope Pius XII said, this consecration “tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.”

And of course, this Ark is ineffectual without the power of the Holy Spirit, that Divine Wind to “fill her sails.” We see clearly that the Church was timid and impotent until Pentecost. Likewise, our Mother’s Immaculate womb was barren until the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. So this Ark, this refuge in our times, is truly the work of God, the fruit of the Cross, a visible sign and gift to mankind.

The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men. —CCC, n. 780

 

BOARDING THE ARK

The Ark has been given to safeguard the faith of those who wish to “sail” to the Safe Harbour of Christ’s infinite mercy and love. How do I board this Ark? Through baptism and faith in the Gospel, one enters the Ark. [18]part of the “initiation” into the Ark also involves the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit and partaking in the Bread of Life—respectively, the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. cf. Acts 8:14-17; John 6:51 But one can also leave the saving protection of the Ark by closing oneself off to the truth she teaches and the grace she offers not only for the forgiveness of sins, but for the sanctification of the soul. There are also those who may refuse the Ark altogether because of indoctrination and misinformation (see The Ark and Non-Catholics). 

Brothers and sisters, there is a Spiritual Tsunami headed toward humanity, [19]cf. The Spiritual Tsunami what Pope Benedict calls a “dictatorship of relativism” that may in fact culminate in a world dictator—an Antichrist. This is the profound warning sounded by pope after pope, in one form or another, throughout the last century:

It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism. —SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus annus, n. 46

…there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. —POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903

These things in truth are so sad that you might say that such events foreshadow and portend the “beginning of sorrows,” that is to say of those that shall be brought by the man of sin, “who is lifted up above all that is called God or is worshiped“(2 Thes 2:4)—POPE PIUS X, Miserentissimus Redemptor, Encyclical Letter on Reparation to the Sacred Heart, May 8th, 1928; www.vatican.va

Only those who are “built on rock” will withstand this Storm, those who will listen to and obey Christ’s words. [20]cf. Matt 7:24-29 And as Jesus said to His Apostles:

Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. (Luke 10:16)

This is a warning to those Catholics who wish to create their own “ark,” picking and choosing the beams and planks that suit their tastes, obeying on this issue, but ignoring their bishop on that—or even separating themselves from the “rock”, despite the faults and foibles of a pope. Beware, for such rafts will eventually sink in high seas, and are no match for the coming Spiritual Tsunami. As Pope Pius X wrote in his encyclical on modernism, such “cafeteria Catholics” are souls who are ‘lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology,’ unfolded in the sure teachings of Sacred Tradition. Indeed, those consecrated to Mary will simply hear her repeat the very same thing: “Do whatever he tells you,” and Jesus “tells us” through His Apostles and their successors the saving truth and means by which we will be saved in this life.

Whether we are speaking here about the natural end of ones life, or the great battle in our times, the preparation is the same: enter the Ark that God has provided, and you will be safeguarded within the “woman” of Revelation.

…the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year. The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth.

May Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, be with you by His power; and may the Immaculate Virgin, the destroyer of all heresies, be with you by her prayers and aid. —POPE PIUS X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Encyclical On the Doctrines of the Modernists, n. 58 

 

RELATED READING

Why we are speaking of the end of an era, not the end of the world: see Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!

The Spiritual Tsunami

The Black Ship – Part I

The Black Ship – Part II

 

 

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Some of you don’t know how to pray the Rosary, or find it too monotonous or tiring. We want to make available to you, at no cost, my double-CD production of the four mysteries of the Rosary called Through Her Eyes: A Journey to Jesus. This was over $40,000 to produce, which includes several songs I’ve written for our Blessed Mother. This has been a great source of income to help our ministry, but both my wife and I feel it is time to make it as freely available as possible at this hour… and we’ll trust in the Lord to continue to provide for our family’s needs. There is a donate button above for those who are able to support this ministry. 

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THE cover

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1. Matt 24:37-29
2. 1 These 5:2
3. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675
4. cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 28; Measuring God
5. cf. “Moral Relativism Paves the Way for Satanism
6. Rev 12:12
7. cf. The Coming Resurrection; Rev 20:4
8. Mark 16:15; Matt 28:19-20
9. John 20:22-23
10. Luke 22:19
11. cf. Mt 16:19; 18:17-18; 1 Cor 5:11-13
12. cf. CCC n. 890, 889
13. John 16:13
14. cf. The Last Two Eclipses
15. Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, n. 50
16. see The Key to the Woman
17. Luke 1:28
18. part of the “initiation” into the Ark also involves the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit and partaking in the Bread of Life—respectively, the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. cf. Acts 8:14-17; John 6:51
19. cf. The Spiritual Tsunami
20. cf. Matt 7:24-29

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