The Poverty of This Present Moment


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THERE is something happening that we have to pay attention to, something the Lord is doing, or one could say, allowing. And that is the stripping of His Bride, Mother Church, of her worldly and stained garments, until she stands naked before Him.

The prophet Hosea writes…

Accuse your mother, accuse! for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove her prostitution from her face, her adultery from between her breasts, or I will strip her naked, leaving her as on the day of her birth… For she said, “I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.” Therefore, I will hedge in her way with thorns and erect a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths… Now I will lay bare her shame in full view of her lovers, and no one can deliver her out of my hand… Therefore, I will allure her now; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak persuasively to her. Then I will give her the vineyards she had, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. (Hos 2:4-17)

The Lord, in His ineffable love for her, is drawing His Bride into the desert to be denuded of every love that is not rooted in Him. Hence, these are the worst and best of times for which we were born. There is a saying that goes “Those who choose to be married to the spirit of the world in this age, will be divorced in the next.” Hence, the Lord is sifting humanity like wheat from the tares in order to draw a People to Himself, to be pure, holy and spotless. As Hosea wrote, “They will be called, ‘Children of the living God.'” Recall The Prophecy at Rome where Jesus says, 

I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me… And when you have nothing but Me, you will have everything…given at Rome, St. Peter’s Square, Pentecost Monday of May, 1975 (from Ralph Martin)

As I was writing this, an invitation arrived in my email to come to Ohio to speak at a conference. But I replied that our government forbids those such as me, who have rejected the experimental gene therapy (even though I’ve had COVID, and am immune) from travelling on bus, train, or plane. In fact, I am not allowed in gyms, restaurants, liquor stores, theatres, etc. either. I have also been banned or blocked on several social media platforms for merely discussing the science and data. Far more tragic, I have received numerous letters from doctors, nurses, pilots, soldiers and other professionals, who have been fired or dismissed for the same reasons — people with families, mortgages, obligations and dreams… all of those shattered now by the spectre of a new global tyranny advancing in the name of “health.” Never has the poverty of being abandoned been felt so keenly around the world as our bishops have remained almost completely silent if not complicit — leaving their flock to the wolves.[1]cf. Dear Shepherds… Where Are You?, Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops 

You did not bring back the stray or seek the lost but ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. (Ezekiel 34:2-5) 

Now we see food beginning to disappear off of shelves in many places[2], as other countries quietly posit the idea of banning private car ownership.[3] It’s all fully planned as part of The Great Resetwhich is nothing other than the intentional demolition of the present state of things in order to “build back better.”[4]cf. Brace for Impact It is not the raising of the poor to a place of dignity but plunging all into poverty. It is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s Prophecy of Global Communism and the prescient words of Church Father Lactantius:

That will be the time in which righteousness shall be cast out, and innocence be hated; in which the wicked shall prey upon the good as enemies; neither law, nor order, nor military discipline shall be preserved… all things shall be confounded and mixed together against right, and against the laws of nature. Thus the earth shall be laid waste, as though by one common robbery. When these things shall so happen, then the righteous and the followers of truth shall separate themselves from the wicked, and flee into solitudes. —Lactantius, Church Father, The Divine Institutes, Book VII, Ch. 17

Into the desert.[5]cf. The Refuge of Our Times

…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. (Revelation 12:14)

All this is to say that the Lord is permitting His Church to enter her own Passion. Just as Jesus was stripped of His garments and dignity, so too, the glory of the Church is being cast into the dust, along with her idolatries, in order to purge and purify her soul. Fr. Ottavio Michelini was a priest, mystic, and member of the Papal Court of Pope St. Paul VI (one of the highest honors bestowed by a Pope on a living person). On June 15, 1978, St. Dominic Savio said to him:

And the Church, placed in the world as a Teacher and Guide of the nations? Oh, the Church! The Church of Jesus, that issued from the wound of His side: she also has been contaminated and infected by the poison of Satan and of his wicked legions — but it will not perish; in the Church is present the Divine Redeemer; it cannot perish, but it must suffer its tremendous Passion, just like its invisible Head. Afterwards, the Church and all of humanity will be raised up from its ruins, to begin a new path of justice and of peace in which the Kingdom of God will truly dwell in all hearts — that interior kingdom that upright souls have asked for and implored for so many ages [through the petition of the Our Father: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”]. — cf. “Fr. Ottavio – A New Era of Peace”



My daughter Denise, the author, phoned me today. She had been pondering about human “progress” and how the architecture of previous eras was actually far superior than today, not only in quality but beauty. We began to discuss how actually so much of this present generation is greatly impoverished compared to the past and how the idea that we have “progressed” is false. Consider how music has lost so much of the beauty and glory of previous eras, often reduced to the banal and sensual. How the food we eat has gone from nutrient-rich organic home-grown gardens to mass processed genetically modified foods laced with chemicals, preservatives, and agricultural chemicals, like glyphosate.[6]cf. The Great Poisoning How the state of world peace in the face of advancing weapons of mass destruction is more fragile than ever. How entire villages and towns are still without fresh water and basic food supplies while Westerners buy bottled water and become disproportionately overweight. How communication skills between people have regressed through technology. How general health is plunging as auto-immune diseases begin to skyrocket. How the domestic family is rapidly deteriorating and political discourse disintegrating. How freedom and democracy are in decline, not progression.

Is progress really a curve that sweeps perpetually higher? Wasn’t packaging (or toymaking or cobbling or winemaking or milk or cheese or cement, for that matter) often better three hundred or seven hundred or nineteen hundred years ago? —Anthony Doerr, Four Seasons in Rome, pg. 107

I can hear Jesus pronouncing over the Church and the world:

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. (Rev 3:17-19)

The most essential poverty to recognize in this present moment is that of our own interior life. Because if God has permitted man to bring himself to the point of self-destruction, it is only so that we would recognize our absolute and unchangeable need for Him. It is the poverty of realizing that I am helpless against the tide of this new Communism. It is the poverty of losing my freedom. It is the poverty of feeling my own weakness, my inability to change the situations around me. It is the poverty of seeing myself as I truly am. It is the poverty of accepting this or that illness or malady. It is the poverty of growing older and facing my mortality, of seeing my children leave home into a world increasingly hostile to the Faith and freedom. It is also the poverty of seeing within myself those faults and frailties that continue to cause me to stumble and fall. 

It is there, however, there in that present moment of truth that I can begin to be set free. It is in this present moment that I find the hidden will of God, in all its distressing disguises, alluring me so that He can speak to my heart and heal it. It is here, in the poverty of this desert of helplessness that I can actually begin to let God father me as I abandon myself to Him saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David, have pity on me.”[7]Luke 18:38 

We need enlightened eyes of the heart to pierce the disguises, to say “yes, you are my Father” in the now. There is only one point, so to speak, where God is for us, and that is the now. How readily we would escape from the now — into what we think should be, to what may be, to what has been, to what is coming. How much energy and attention we waste worrying over the past, being anxious and doubtful and full of fear for the future. He is with me now, quietly, unobtrusively asking me to receive Him, to recognize Him. Now, in this one little circumscribed moment, I can say “yes, Father.” Such a poor little “yes”; no grandiose certainties that I will never do this again, never commit that fault again — no dreads and despairs that I cannot be faithful. Only a little “yes” now… That is to live in my poverty relying only on Him to see me through, to enable me to say “yes” — to do what I can’t — be faithful unto death. —Sr. Ruth Burrows, O.C.D., a Carmelite nun, published in Magnificat, January 2022, January 10th

The irony is that it is not when my will triumphs, but His, that I find the peace I so long for.[8]cf. The True Sabbath Rest  Jesus said to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta:

My daughter, I feel the need that the creature rest in Me, and I in her. But do you know when the creature rests in Me, and I in her? When her intelligence thinks of Me and comprehends Me, she rests in the Intelligence of her Creator, and That of the Creator finds rest in the created mind. When the human will unites with the Divine Will, the two wills embrace and rest together. If human love rises above all created things and loves only its God – what a beautiful rest do God and the creature find reciprocally! One who gives rest, finds it. I become her bed and keep her in the sweetest sleep, clasped in my arms. Therefore, come and rest in my bosom.Volume 14, March 18th, 1922

If we could only accept that all things are permitted by the hand of God, even the gravest evils, then we could rest knowing that His permissive will has a better path than the one I foresee. This abandonment to God is the real source of peace because nothing, then, can touch my soul when I am resting in Him.

You do not turn to Me, instead, you want me to adapt your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to. So do not act this way, but pray as I taught you in the our Father: “Hallowed be thy Name,” that is, be glorified in my need. “Thy kingdom come,” that is, let all that is in us and in the world be in accord with your kingdom. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” that is, in our need, decide as you see fit for our temporal and eternal life. If you say to Me truly: “Thy will be done”, which is the same as saying: “You take care of it”, I will intervene with all My omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations. —Jesus to Servant of God Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo (d. 1970); from the Novena of Abandonment

It is to enter into the poverty of this present moment, where God is, and just let Him love and care for you in the way the Great Physician sees fit — bruised, impoverished, naked — but loved. 

Look about you, son of man. When you see it all shut down, when you see everything removed which has been taken for granted, and when you are prepared to live without these things, then you will know what I am making ready. —prophecy given to Fr. Michael Scanlan in 1976,

For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready. She was allowed to wear a bright, clean linen garment. (Rev 19:7-8)


Related Reading

The Sacrament of the Present Moment

The Duty of the Moment



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