Set the trumpet to your lips,
for a vulture is over the house of the Lord. (Hosea 8:1)
PARTICULARLY for my new readers, this writing gives a very broad picture of what I feel the Spirit is saying to the Church today. I am filled with great hope, because this present storm will not last. At the same time, I feel the Lord continually urging me on (despite my protests) to prepare us for the realities which we face. It is not a time for fear, but for strengthening; not a time for despair, but preparation for a victorious battle.
But a battle nonetheless!
The Christian attitude is twofold: one that recognizes and discerns the struggle, but always hopes in the victory attained through faith, even in suffering. That is not fluffy optimism, but the fruit of those who live as priests, prophets, and kings, participating in the life, passion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For Christians, the moment has arrived to free themselves from a false inferiority complex… to be valiant witnesses of Christ. —Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, LifeSiteNews.com, Nov. 20th, 2008
I have updated the following writing:
It has been nearly a year since I met with a team of other Christians and Fr. Kyle Dave of Louisiana. From those days, Fr. Kyle and I unexpectedly received strong prophetic words and impressions from the Lord which we eventually wrote in what is called The Petals.
At the end of a week together, all of us knelt in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and consecrated our lives to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As we sat in an exquisite peace before the Lord, I was given a sudden "light" as to what I heard in my heart as the coming "parallel communities."
PROLOGUE: THE COMING "SPIRITUAL HURRICANE
Recently, I felt compelled to get in the car and just drive. It was evening, and as I drove over the hill, I was greeted by a full red harvest moon. I pulled over the car, got out, and just listened as the warm winds whipped across my face. And the words came…
The winds of change have begun to blow again.
With that, the image of a hurricane came to mind. The sense I had was that a great storm was beginning to blow; that this summer was the calm before the storm. But now, that which we have seen coming for a long time, has finally arrived—brought about by our own sinfulness. But more so, our pride and refusal to repent. I cannot express adequately how sad Jesus is. I have had brief interior glimpses of His sorrow, felt it in my soul, and can say, Love is being crucified again.
But Love will not let go. And so, a spiritual hurricane is approaching, a storm to bring the entire world to the knowledge of God. It is a storm of Mercy. It is a storm of Hope. But it will also be a storm of Purification.
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. (Hos 8:7)
As I have written previously, God is calling us to "Prepare!" For this storm will have thunder and lightning as well. What that means, we can only speculate. But if you look upon the horizons of nature and human nature, you will already see the billowing black clouds of what is coming, beckoned by our own blindness and rebellion.
When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? (Luke 12:54-56)
See! Like storm clouds he advances, like a hurricane his chariots; Swifter than eagles are his steeds: "Woe to us! we are ruined." Cleanse your heart of evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved… When the time comes, you shall fully understand. (Jeremiah 4:14; 23:20)
THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE
When I saw in my mind this coming whirlwind, it was the eye of the hurricane that caught my attention. I believe at the height of the coming storm—a time of great chaos and confusion—the eye will pass over humanity. Suddenly, there will be a great calm; the sky will open up, and we will see the Son beaming down upon us. His rays of Mercy will illuminate our hearts, and we will all see ourselves the way God sees us. It will be a warning as we see our souls in their true condition. It will be more than a "wake-up call".
St. Faustina experienced such a moment:
Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for. What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy-God! —St. Faustina; Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary
If mankind as a whole is soon to experience such an illuminating moment, it will be a shock that awakens us all to the realization that God exists, and it will be our moment of choice—either to persist in being our own small gods, denying the authority of the one true God, or to accept divine mercy and live fully our true identity as sons and daughters of the Father. —Michael D. O’ Brien; Are We Living in Apocalyptic Times? Questions and Answers (Part II); September 20, 2005
This illumination, this break in the storm, will no doubt produce a tremendous time of conversion and repentance. A day of Mercy, a great day of Mercy! …but it will also serve to sift, to further separate those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus from those who will refuse to bend their knee to the King.
And then the Storm will begin again.
STORM CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON
What will occur in the final part of those purifying winds? We continue to "watch and pray" as Jesus commanded (I have written about this further in The Seven Year Trial series.)
There is a crucial passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which I have quoted elsewhere. Here I want to focus on one element (highlighted in italics):
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. —CCC 675
As quoted in The Second Petal: Persecution! as well as Parts III and IV of Trumpets of Warning!, John Paul II called these times the "final confrontation." However, we must always be cautious, discerning the "signs of the times" doing no more or no less than what our Lord Himself commanded us: "Watch and Pray!"
It appears the Church is heading toward a great purification at least, primarily through persecution. It is clear from the number of public scandals and open rebellion among religious and clergy in particular, that even now the Church is passing through a necessary but humiliating purgation. Weeds have grown among the wheat, and the time is approaching when they will be more and more separated and the grain will be harvested. Indeed, the separating has already begun.
But I want to focus on the sentence, "religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems."
CLOUDS OF CONTROL
There is a rapidly growing totalitarianism in the world, enforced not by guns or armies, but by "intellectual reasoning" in the name of "morality" and "human rights." But it is not a morality rooted in the sure teachings of Jesus Christ as safeguarded by His Church, nor even in the moral absolutes and rights derived by natural law. Rather,
A dictatorship of relativism is being built that recognizes nothing as definite, and which leaves as the ultimate measure only one’s ego and desires. Having a clear faith, according to the credo of the Church, is often labeled as fundamentalism. Yet, relativism, that is, letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching’, appears the sole attitude acceptable to today’s standards. —POPE BENEDICT XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger), Pre-conclave homily, April 19th 2005
But for relativists, it is no longer enough that they disagree with orthodox and historical practice. Their disordered standards are now being legislated with penalties for dissent. From fining marriage commissioners for not marrying gays in Canada, to penalizing medical professionals who won’t participate in abortions in America, to prosecuting families who homeschool in Germany, these are the first whirlwinds of persecution rapidly overturning moral order. Spain, Britain, Canada, and other countries have already moved toward punishing "thought crime": expressing an opinion differing from the state-sanctioned "morality". The United Kingdom now has a police "Minorities Support Unit" to arrest those who oppose homosexuality. In Canada, non-elected "Humans Rights Tribunals" have the power to penalize anyone they deem guilty of "hate crime." The U.K. plans to ban from their borders those whom they call "preachers of hate." A Brazilian pastor was recently censored and fined for making "homophobic" remarks in a book. In many nations, agenda driven judges are continuing to "read into" constitutional law, creating a "new religion" as the "high priests" of modernism. However, politicians themselves are now beginning to lead the way with legislation which is directly opposed to God’s order, all the while freedom of speech in opposition to these "laws" is vanishing.
The idea of creating a ‘new man’ completely detached from the Judeo-Christian tradition, a new ‘world order,’ a new ‘global ethic,’ is gaining ground. —Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, LifeSiteNews.com, Nov. 20th, 2008
These trends have not gone unnoticed by Pope Benedict who recently warned that such "tolerance" threatens freedom itself:
…values detached from their moral roots and full significance found in Christ have evolved in the most disturbing of ways…. Democracy succeeds only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person. —Address to Canadian Bishops, Sept 8, 2006
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, may have been speaking prophetically when he said,
"…speaking in defense of the life and the rights of the family, is becoming in some societies a type of crime against the State, a form of disobedience to the Government…" and warned that someday the Church may be brought "in front of some international Court". —Vatican City, June 28, 2006; Ibid.
"WATCH AND PRAY"
Jesus may have described the first part of this storm before we reach the eye of the hurricane:
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven… All these are the beginning of the labor pains. (Luke 21:10-11; Matt 24:8)
And immediately following this period in Matthew’s Gospel, (perhaps divided by the "illumination"), Jesus says,
Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. (9-13)
Jesus repeats several times that we are to "watch and pray!" Why? In part, because there is a deception coming, and is already here, in which those who have fallen asleep will fall prey to:
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences (1 Tim 4:1-3)
I have felt compelled in my own preaching during the past three years to warn about this spiritual deception which has already blinded not only the worldly, but also many "nice" people. See The Fourth Petal: The Restrainer regarding this deception.
PARALLEL COMMUNITIES: HURRICANE OF PERSECUTION
Going back to that time of consecration, this is what I seemed to "see" all at once while praying before the Blessed Sacrament that day.
I saw that, in the midst of the virtual collapse of society due to cataclysmic events, a "world leader" would present an impeccable solution to the economic chaos. This solution would seemingly cure at the same time economic strains, as well as the deep social need of society, that is, the need for community. [I immediately perceived that technology and the rapid pace of life have created an environment of isolation and loneliness—perfect soil for a new concept of community to emerge.] In essence, I saw what would be "parallel communities" to the Christian communities. The Christian communities would already have been established through "the illumination" or "warning" or perhaps sooner [they would be cemented by the supernatural graces of the Holy Spirit, and protected beneath the mantle of the Blessed Mother.]
The "parallel communities," on the other hand, would reflect many of the values of the Christian communities—fair sharing of resources, a form of spirituality and prayer, like-mindedness, and social interaction made possible (or forced into being) by the preceding purifications which would compel people to draw together. The difference would be this: the parallel communities would be based on a new religious idealism, built on the footings of moral relativism and structured by New Age and Gnostic philosophies. AND, these communities would also have food and the means for comfortable survival.
The temptation for Christians to cross-over will be so great… that we will see families split, fathers turned against sons, daughters against mothers, families against families (cf. Mark 13:12). Many will be deceived because the new communities will contain many of the ideals of Christian community (cf. Acts 2:44-45), and yet, they will be empty, godless, evil structures, shining in a false light, held together by fear more than by love, and fortified with easy access to the necessities of life. People will be seduced by the ideal—but swallowed by the falsehood.
As hunger and incrimination escalate, people will face a choice: they can continue to live in insecurity (humanly speaking) trusting in the Lord alone, or they can choose to eat well in a welcoming and seemingly secure community. [Perhaps a certain "mark" will be required to belong to these communities—an obvious but plausible speculation (cf. Rev 13:16-17)].
Those who refuse these parallel communities will be deemed not only outcasts, but obstacles to what many will be deceived into believing is the "enlightenment" of human existence—the solution to a humanity in crisis and gone astray. [And here again, terrorism is another key element of the enemy’s present plan. These new communities will appease the terrorists through this new world religion thereby bringing about a false "peace and security", and hence, Christian’s will become the "new terrorists" because they oppose the "peace" established by the world leader.]
Even though people will have by now heard the revelation in Scripture regarding the dangers of a coming world religion, the deception will be so convincing that many will believe Catholicism to be that "evil" world religion instead. Putting to death Christians will become a justifiable "act of self-defence" in the name of "peace and security".
Confusion will be present; all will be tested; but the faithful remnant will prevail.
(As a point of clarification, my overall sense was that the Christians were banded together more geographically. The "parallel communities" would also have geographic closeness, but not necessarily. They would dominate the cities… the Christians, the countrysides. But that is just an impression I had in my mind’s eye. See Micah 4:10. Since writing this, however, I have learned that many new age land-based communities are already forming…)
I believe the Christian communities will begin to form out of "exile" (see Part IV). And again, here is why I believe the Lord has inspired me to write this down as a "trumpet of warning": those believers who are presently being sealed with the sign of the Cross will be given discernment as to which are the Christian communities, and which are the deceptions (for further explanation on the sealing of believers, see Part III.)
There will be tremendous graces in these genuine Christian communities, despite the hardship which will befall them. There will be a spirit of love, simplicity of life, angelic visitations, miracles of providence, and a worship of God in "spirit and truth."
But they will be smaller in number—a remnant of what was.
The Church will be reduced in its dimensions, it will be necessary to start again. However, from this test a Church would emerge that will have been strengthened by the process of simplification it experienced, by its renewed capacity to look within itself… the Church will be numerically reduced. —God and the World, 2001; Peter Seewald, interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. (John 16:1-4)
Did Jesus foretell the persecution of the Church so as to fill us with terror? Or did He warn the Apostles of these things so that an inner light would guide Christians through the darkness of the coming storm? So that they would prepare and live now as pilgrims in a transitory world?
Indeed, Jesus tells us that to be citizens of the eternal kingdom means to be strangers and sojourners—aliens in a world we are merely passing through. And because we will reflect His light in the darkness, we will be hated, for that light will expose the works of darkness.
But we will love in return, and by our love, win the souls of our persecutors. And in the end, Our Lady of Fatima’s promise of peace will come… peace will come.
If the word has not converted, it will be blood that converts. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, from poem, "Stanislaw"
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult… The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (Psalm 46:1-3, 11)
We will never be abandoned in this journey, no matter what it brings. What has been said in these five "Trumpets of Warning" are what has been laid on my heart, and the hearts of many believers throughout the world. We cannot say when, nor even for sure if these things will come to pass in our time. God’s Mercy is fluid, and His wisdom is beyond our understanding. To Him a minute is a day, a day a month, a month a century. Things could go on yet for a very long time. But this is not an excuse to fall asleep! Much depends on our response to these warnings.
Christ promised to remain with us "to the end of time." Through persecution, hardship, and every tribulation, He will be there. You should find such comfort in these words! This is not a distant, generalized patronization! Jesus will be there, right there, near as your breath, no matter how difficult the days may become. It will be a supernatural grace, sealed in those who choose Him. Who choose eternal life.
I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of our goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it… I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence. —St. John Chrysostom
The greatest weakness in an apostle is fear. What gives rise to fear is lack of confidence in the power of the Lord. —Cardinal Wyszyñski, Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way by Pope John Paul II)
I hold each of you in my heart and prayers, and ask your prayers. As for me and my family, we shall serve the Lord!
—September 14th, 2006
Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and eve of the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows