Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy.
—Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 83
SOMETHING stunning, powerful, hopeful, sobering, and inspiring emerges once we filter the message of Jesus to St. Faustina through Sacred Tradition. That, and we simply take Jesus at His word—that with these revelations to St. Faustina, they mark a period known as the “end times”:
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. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 848
And as I explained in The Day of Justice, the “end times” according to the early Church Fathers is not the imminent end of the world, but the end of an age and dawning of a new day in the Church—the final stage of her corporate preparation to enter eternity as a Bride. see The Coming New and Divine Holiness The Day of Justice, then, is not the very last day of the world, but an interim period that, according to the Magisterium, is a triumphant period of sanctity:
If before that final end there is to be a period, more or less prolonged, of triumphant sanctity, such a result will be brought about not by the apparition of the person of Christ in Majesty but by the operation of those powers of sanctification which are now at work, the Holy Ghost and the Sacraments of the Church. —The Teaching of the Catholic Church: A Summary of Catholic Doctrine, London Burns Oates & Washbourne, p. 1140, from the Theological Commission of 1952, which is a Magisterial document.
Therefore, it is fascinating how the Book of Revelation and Faustina’s message emerge as one and the same…
KING OF MERCY…
The Book of Revelation is wrought with colorful symbolism. Taking it too literally has led to actual heresies where, for instance, some Christians have wrongly anticipated that Jesus would return to reign in the flesh for a literal “thousand years” on earth. The Church has rejected this heresy of “millenarianism” from the beginning (see Millenarianism—What it is, and is Not).
…millenarianism is that thought which stems from a too literal, incorrect, and faulty interpretation of Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation…. This can only be understood in a spiritual sense. —Catholic Encyclopedia Revised, Thomas Nelson, p. 387
Thus, when we read of Jesus coming as a “rider on a white horse,” this is rich symbolism. But it’s not empty symbolism. St. Faustina’s revelations actually give the most powerful meaning to it.
Again, Jesus said: “Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy.” What is fascinating is that we can see this “King” appear like this in the Book of Revelation: a king, at first, of mercy, and then justice.
Jesus comes as the King of Mercy in Revelation Ch. 6 at the proximate beginning of what Jesus described in Matthew 24 as the “labor pains,” which mirror St. John’s “seven seals.” As a brief sidenote… there have always been wars, famines, tribulations and natural disasters. If that is the case, then why would Jesus use them as indicators of the “end times”? The answer lies in the phrase “labor pains.” That is to say that such events will markedly increase, multiply, and intensify toward the end.
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains. (Matt 24:7)
As I wrote in The Great Day of Light, we read of a Rider on a white horse heralding these coming tribulations:
I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories. (6:1-2)
There have been many interpretations as to who this rider is—from the Antichrist, to an Islamic Jihadist, to a Great Monarch, etc. But here, let’s listen again to Pope Pius XII:
He is Jesus Christ. The inspired evangelist [St. John] not only saw the devastation brought about by sin, war, hunger and death; he also saw, in the first place, the victory of Christ. —Address, November 15, 1946; footnote of The Navarre Bible, “Revelation”, p.70
This is such a powerful message of consolation. Jesus is extending His mercy to mankind at this time, even as men apparently destroy the planet and one another. For the same pope once said:
The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin. —1946 address to the United States Catechetical Congress
Even now, the message of Divine Mercy is spreading all over the world as we enter the darkest hours of this vigil. If we identify the rider in Chapter Six of Revelation as the King of Mercy, then a message of hope suddenly emerges: even in the breaking of the seals and the onset of unspeakable man-made disasters and catastrophes, Jesus the King of kings, will still be working to save souls; the time of mercy does not end in tribulation, but is perhaps particularly manifest in it. Indeed, as I wrote in Mercy in Chaos, and as we know from countless stories of people who have had near-death experiences, God often affords them an instant “judgment” or preview of their life that flashes before their eyes. This has often led to “quick” conversions in many. In fact, Jesus shoots the arrows of His mercy even into souls who are moments from eternity:
God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy! But—horror!—there are also souls who voluntarily and consciously reject and scorn this grace! Although a person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God. But sometimes, the obduracy in souls is so great that consciously they choose hell; they [thus] make useless all the prayers that other souls offer to God for them and even the efforts of God Himself… —Diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, n. 1698
So, while we might see the future as bleak, God, who has an eternal perspective, sees the coming tribulations as perhaps the only way to save souls from eternal perdition.
The last thing I want to point out here is that we should not interpret this first appearance of the Rider upon the white horse as a sole actor. No, these “victories” of Jesus are primarily through us, His Mystical Body. As St. Victorinus said,
The first seal being opened, [St. John] says that he saw a white horse, and a crowned horseman having a bow… He sent the Holy Spirit, whose words the preachers sent forth as arrows reaching to the human heart, that they might overcome unbelief. —Commentary on the Apocalypse, Ch. 6:1-2
Thus, the Church can identify herself also with the Rider upon the white horse because she shares in Christ’s own mission, and thus, wears a crown as well:
I am coming quickly. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may take your crown. (Revelation 3:11)
…KING OF JUSTICE
If the crowned Rider in Chapter Six is foremost Jesus coming in mercy, then the reprisal of the Rider upon a white horse appearing again in Revelation Chapter Nineteen is the fulfillment of St. Faustina’s prophecy whereby Jesus will eventually act as the “King of Justice”:
Write: 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 of St. Faustina, n. 1146
Indeed, it is no longer the arrows of mercy but the sword of justice being wielded this time by the Rider:
Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was [called] “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness…. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations… He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Rev 19:11, 16)
This Rider pronounces judgment on the “beast” and all those who take his “mark.” But, as the early Church Fathers taught, this “judgment of the living” is not the end of the world, but the end of a long age and the beginning of the Day of the Lord, understood in symbolic language as a “thousand years”, which is simply a “period, more or less prolonged” of peace.
Therefore, the Son of the most high and mighty God… shall have destroyed unrighteousness, and executed His great judgment, and shall have recalled to life the righteous, who… will be engaged among men a thousand years, and will rule them with most just command… Also the prince of devils, who is the contriver of all evils, shall be bound with chains, and shall be imprisoned during the thousand years of the heavenly rule… Before the end of the thousand years the devil shall be loosed afresh and shall assemble all the pagan nations to make war against the holy city… “Then the last anger of God shall come upon the nations, and shall utterly destroy them” and the world shall go down in a great conflagration. —4th century Ecclesiastical writer, Lactantius, “The Divine Institutes”, The ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 7, p. 211
Note: the “resurrection” spoken of by St. John during this period is also symbolic of a restoration of God’s People in the Divine Will. See The Resurrection of the Church.
REMAIN IN A STATE OF GRACE
There’s been a lot of information this past week. I apologize for the length of these recent writings. So let me briefly conclude on a practical note that is also a burning word on my heart.
All of us can see that the Storm winds are intensifiying, events multiplying, and major developments emerging as if we are getting closer to the Eye of the Storm. I am not interested in predicting dates. I will just say this: do not take your soul for granted. In Hell Unleashed written five years ago, I warned that we all need to be very careful about opening the door to sin, even venial sin. Something has changed. The “margin of error,” so to speak, is gone. Either one is going to be for God, or against Him. The choice must be made; the dividing lines are being formed.
The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. —Venerable Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, D.D. (1895-1979), source unknown
Moreover, the lukewarm are being revealed, and they are being spat out—Jesus says this much in Revelation 3:16. Just as God only “tolerated” the stubbornness of the Israelites for a time before turning them over to the unlawful desires of their hearts, so too I believe the Lord has “lifted the restrainer” in our times. This is why we are seeing a literal explosion of demonic activity such that exorcists all over the world are overrun. It’s why we are daily seeing bizarre and random acts of brutal violence, and judges and politicians acting in lawlessness.cf. The Hour of Lawlessness It’s why we are seeing the Death of Logic and truly stunning contradictions, such as feminists defending the destruction of unborn women or politicians arguing for infanticide. If we are nearing the Day of Justice, then we are likely living in the time of the “strong delusion” St. Paul speaks of that precedes and accompanies the coming of the Antichrist.
The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 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 2:9-12)
If the baptized think they can go on indulging in sin without any consequences, then they too are deluded. The Lord has shown in my own life that the “little sins” that I had taken for granted can serve up significant consequences: a sharp loss of peace in my heart, greater vulnerability to demonic harassment, loss of harmony in the home, etc. Sound familiar at all? I say this with love to all of us: repent and live the Good News.
With that, I cite again a very powerful message allegedly from St. Michael the Archangel to Luz de María of Costa Rica, whose messages are backed by her bishop:
IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE PEOPLE OF OUR KING AND LORD JESUS CHRIST TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A DECISIVE INSTANT, and that therefore evil is using all the tricks it possesses among its vile weapons in order to muddy the minds of the children of God. Those whom he finds lukewarm in faith, he induces to fall into harmful actions, and in this way he places chains on them more easily so that they are his slaves.
Our Lord and King Jesus Christ loves all of you and does not want you to compromise with evil. Do not fall into the snares of Satan: this moment, this instant is decisive. Do not forget Divine Mercy, even if the sea is stirred up with the greatest of storms and the waves rise on the boat that is each one of God’s children, there exists the great work of mercy in men, there is a “give and it will be given unto you “(Lk 6:38), otherwise, the one who does not forgive becomes his own inner enemy, his own death sentence. —April 30th, 2019
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