April 5, 2017

Battle Orders for the Church Militant – Pope Francis and Hacksaw Ridge

 

What confusing times these are.

And yet, they are not that confusing. For one who truly wants to see the path that God has laid out for him, it is not difficult to discern.

For indeed, we are soldiers. And a good soldier need not have the whole war figured out. He just needs to know what his orders are.

So I will presently do something that I ordinarily wouldn’t dream of doing, but I feel I must do it in order to give the present distress some context that many seem to now be forgetting. I am going to write a little “rant” against a man I admire immensely. I pray to him every single day. I believe he is among the greatest saints we have had. I am incredibly devoted to his writings and missions and I promote them tirelessly:

The man is Pope St. John Paul II

I am going to issue this “rant” against him because I want to demonstrate that Pope Francis is not the the first good and holy Pope to do and say stupid things. I want to point out that you can still be absolutely submissive to a Pope’s Magisterium, be absolutely devoted and loyal to the Pope himself, and heartily endorse the main thrust of his mission and indeed make it your own mission — all while still believing that many of the Pope’s words, deeds, and omissions, are very foolish.

Because we are at the point where it is simply obvious that this foolishness applies well to many of Pope Francis’ decisions. And yet, I continue to insist as I always have: he is a holy man, the true Pope, and his mission is a beautiful one that we should all join him in.

Now onto the rant:

JPII made all sorts of terrible Episcopal appointments that have wreaked havoc upon the Church in many nations. He made female altar servers mainstream, thus leading to the disaster we see today where boys don’t want to be altar servers any more and thus a main source of vocations to the priesthood is lost. I believe he crossed the line in what is permissible within the bounds of prudence and modesty in a friendship between an unmarried man and woman (although I am absolutely not accusing him of any sort of actual unchastity! I just think he set an example in this regard that set up some weaker people to fall into unchastity by insufficiently avoiding occasions of sin). I disagree with his removal of the fig leaves from the Sistine Chapel (for the vast majority of the Sistine Chapel’s history, fig leaves made its art more modest. JPII decided to undo over 400 years of precedent by having them removed. And disagreeing with him on that, and with Michelangelo for drawing the explicit nudes in a Church, does not make you a bad Catholic!). He allowed numerous liturgical violations to occur under his watch, especially at World Youth Days. In an interview, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, he said that humans have existed for “tens of thousands of years,” which is absolutely untrue. His omission of certain infallible and essential truths about marriage from any and all of his teachings is deeply misleading, evidenced by the fact that most Catholics today seem to think that these truths can now be abandoned due to their absence in Theology of the Body (For example, despite writing countless hundreds of pages on marriage, I know of no single teaching in which he made clear the head and heart relationship between husband and wife so that people understand that  1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1, Pope Leo XII’s Immortale Dei 17,  Pope Pius XI’s Casti Connubi 26, etc., are still 100% as applicable today as when they were written, just as all Scripture and Magisterium is.) I think it was foolish and misleading of him to kiss the Quran. And I think he somewhat crossed the boundary in other ecumenical endeavors as well.

This list could go on for a long time. And I doubt anyone reading this agrees with me on all of those points. That’s okay; the purpose of this post is not those points. (So there’s no need to send me an email castigating me for them — I am not going on a crusade for any of them right now!). The purpose of listing those points is just to give context to the present confusion with the present Pope. For we all have different things about Pope Francis’ decisions, too, that we think are stupid and foolish.

But hearing all of that, are you now surprised that I have been so devoted to JPII’s legacy, so promoting his message, and so insistent upon his Magisterium, for all these years?

You shouldn’t be.

Catholics are not called to be schizophrenics. That’s a mental disorder, not a virtue. And yet, that is exactly what we would need to be in order to agree with each Pope and think that everything each Pope does is wise and right and just. For Popes all disagree with each other; often seriously. They take very different approaches. Why, for example, should I agree with Pope St. John Paul II any more than Pope St. Pius X, on those issues on which they disagreed or took opposite approaches? They were both Popes. They are both saints. Whom to side with on issues they (at least seem to) disagree on is up to you: that is, it is up to you to discern the truth for yourself and in what station God is calling you to serve. Therefore even more obviously: why should I think that Pope Francis choosing to do something that previous Popes clearly specifically chose to not do make me think that this something is right, or even okay? It needn’t. It is merely yet another thing that I can think was wrong of him to do but which need not shake my positive convictions regarding the man himself.

God doesn’t give us a Pope in order to re-write Catholicism (as if that were even possible). He doesn’t give us a Pope so that we can abandon everything that has come before and re-formulate our understanding of God and the Church from a blank slate. No. Rather, God gives us a Pope because the essence of that Pope’s particular mission is what the Church and the world really need at a given point in time.

Admittedly, Pope Francis’ blunders are more serious and more frequent than Pope St. John Paul II’s ever were. But I am writing this post to show you that the difference is in degree, not in kind. To show you that neither man’s assortment of blunders should shake your faith in the man himself. But I’m not going to give you a rant against Pope Francis here. The Catholic blogosphere is replete with endless depiction of the details of his alleged or actual blunders and also the promulgation of unfounded dark rumors with such a degree of dedication and morose delectation that would make even the most perverse of celebrity gossip tabloid editors blush. Such is the sorry state of what many corners world of conservative Catholic subcultures have descended to. 

Nor am I going to give you just another post saying “only worry about submitting to what the Pope teaches infallibly and forget the rest,” as there are also already countless Catholic voices out there promoting that lie as well — a lie that only gives you a false sense of security and inoculates you against the workings of the Holy Spirit and the ability to respond to the Signs of the Times.

Instead, my exhortations to you — my Battle Orders for the Church Militant — are threefold. For the mere adherence to the dictates of any given Catholic subculture will prove radically insufficient to save you from the coming Apostasy. Only standing firm on the Rock of Christ, and the consequences of His promise to Peter in Matthew 16:18, will do that.

First) Submit to Today’s Magisterium

Submit to Pope Francis’ Magisterium. Every. Single. Word. Of. It. There are four primary Magisterial Documents that, at a minimum, everyone who calls himself a Catholic should submit to from this Pope (Chronologically):

  • Lumen Fidei
  • Evangelii Gaudium
  • Laudato Si
  • Amoris Laetitia

Put any of these documents next to even the very quintessential “traditionalist” Magisterial Document — the Syllabus of Errors — and you can rest fully assured that you will not find one single, solitary substantial contradiction in teaching. Yes, there are ambiguities in A.L. No, they do not need to be interpreted in a heretical fashion. Yes, it would be nice if Pope Francis answered the Dubia. But there’s no need for him to do so. Any Catholic who wants the truth already knows it: the Dubia’s answers are very simple and are already settled by Church Teaching we already have: No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. 

Second) Submit to Yesterday’s Magisterium

Through diabolical Modernism, the truth is today being assaulted more outrageously and pervasively than ever before in history.  It will become increasingly difficult to stand firm on the Truth, but stand firm we must. This is not complicated. Therefore I present to you a simple list, for now, of those absolutely and unquestionably infallible, permanent tenets of the Truth that you will soon be demanded to recant by the devil and his minions. And recant any single one of these you must never do. Rather, set your face like flint right now to stand firm by them, come what may:

  • No intrinsic evil can ever be licitly undertaken in any conceivable circumstance. Committing an intrinsic evil is never compatible with God’s Will and is never right or okay.
  • Formal cooperation with any intrinsic evil is never licit
  • Fornication, adultery, masturbation, direct abortion, suicide, and homosexual acts are intrinsic evils
  • Marriage is absolutely indissoluble
  • The Catholic Church alone has the fullness of the truth, and God calls all men to be under the authority of her Earthly head, the Successor of St. Peter, who is the only Vicar of Christ.
  • Every single one of her dogmas — including those pertaining to morals — are absolutely infallible and categorically impossible to ever deny or change.
  • Although the inclination itself is morally indifferent, homosexuality is nevertheless intrinsically disordered. As such, any good that seems to proceed from it is in fact accidental to it, and was not directly caused by it (for contradictories cannot be causes). Footnote 1.
  • Sacramental Absolution is impossible to be validly and efficaciously granted to one who is without any way, shape, or form, of repentance of deliberately committing an intrinsic evil

How, when, using what words, and to whom to preach these truths is another question entirely. It is one of prudence and prayerful care. Mastering this balance may well take a lifetime. But knowing and submitting to the principles is not. Rather, it should not take more than a few moments for any catechized Catholic. These principles themselves — including each and every one of them listed above — are absolutely black and white. You must never, ever, doubt, reject, or contradict with your own behavior, a single one of them. No matter who tells you to do so. No matter how many other people are doing it and saying it’s okay. No matter how many people you once trusted are now performing these acts.

But please note, friends, what is deliberately absent from this list of absolutely certain tenets we must stand by:

  • Precisely when Material Cooperation with evil (or silence in the face of it) is permissible or called for is an entirely different question.
    • Do not dare appoint yourself the judge of this against those under whose authority God has placed you — judging them as evildoers by standards that you yourself (though you may be too blind to now see it) will also fall by on the Day of Judgement. Recall especially that the measure with which you measure will be measured out against you, and this is doubly true when you measure out condemnations on the Vicar of the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity.
  • Precisely what degree of avoiding the occasion of sin and avoiding scandal is required in order to validly confer absolution on a penitent is also not a clear Dogma that you have the right to draw your own line in the sand on and judge the Vicar of Christ by.
  •  Just what degree of evil to tolerate occurring as a consequence of one’s actions so long as that evil was neither undertaken nor directly willed (i.e. Double Effect)

Third) Engage in Today’s Mission

Heed Pope Francis’ call — that is, the essence of the mission that God has appointed him to this time for — and make it your own. His mission is a final, pull-out-all-the-stops proclamation of the Divine Mercy while there is still time left to do so.

For God appoints men to a task for the sake of the main thrust of their mission. Aside from the men who wrote Sacred Scripture and the infallible proclamations of the Popes, God does not micromanage their undertaking of the mission to ensure the perfection of each of their decisions. It is certainly beyond obvious that God is not doing so with this Pope! So it is the essence of the mission we must focus on: a mission that I have spoken about incessantly on this blog for the last five years or so.

Now enough of that. I run a Catholic blog and for over two years I haven’t made a single substantial contribution to the various raging Pope Francis controversies; striving as I have been to take my own advice. And I almost wonder if I should have even published this one. Alas, I have done so, and alas, it is time to return to what is actually important instead of addressing endless pointless controversies:

THE MISSION

When I realized how important this mission was, I made it the primary page on this blog’s main index: www.dsdoconnor.comAnd I would now like to present to you more inspiration for carrying out the Battle Orders for the Church Militant — The Mission — to the fullest:

Hacksaw Ridge

Not since years ago, when I urged everyone to watch Beyond the Gates , have I been able to so heartily recommend a movie as I now recommend Hacksaw Ridge.

It is an antidote to the typical modern movie: for it has almost everything a story should have, in contrast to almost every other modern movie which has nothing a story should have and everything a story should not have. Instead of an anti-hero, Hacksaw Ridge gives us a hero. Instead of encouraging sin, it encourages virtue. Instead of providing mere eye candy, all of its action is provided for a higher purpose, without admixture of morose delectation or vainglory. Instead of providing existential nihilism, it provides Divine Purpose and Plan. Instead of merely giving us a way to pass the time (“as if one could kill time without injuring eternity“), it helps us to choose the good, which is the purpose of all art and the ultimate standard by which all art must be judged.

And indeed, instead of being just another Hollywood screenwriter’s daydream, it is non-fiction. Now, unlike the aforementioned ailments, there is nothing wrong with fiction in and of itself (rest assured there is no greater fan than I of Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, for example). But it is equally undeniable that today we suffer from fiction overload and non-fiction atrophy. For we forget that no effect can ever be greater than its cause; and the cause of any good in fiction is the wisdom of the author, whereas the cause of whatever good can be gleaned from reality – in other words, non-fiction – is none other than God. Therefore the former is severely limited in its fittingness as art; more or less so depending upon the wisdom of the author, whereas the power of the latter as good art is without bound. And what a travesty that, for decades and decades, Hollywood has been too busy deluging us with endless comic book movies that this true hero’s story was left untold by them.

Now I must briefly interject an advisory: Old time readers here know that I would never, ever accept or promote a sex scene (regardless of whether it is graphic or restrained; glorifying promiscuity or condemning it; real or simulated), for any sex scene is, by its very nature, pornographic, and therefore evil. This is taught quite unambiguously by Catechism, paragraph 2354. Yet I am quite confident Hacksaw Ridge has none; and although there is one questionable scene we skipped past when my wife and I watched Hacksaw Ridge, the parent preview websites seem in agreement that there is nothing but an implication that newlyweds consummated their marriage AFTER the scene– in which nothing major is shown– ends. Furthermore, there is some minor crude dialogue that I could have done without; especially in the barracks scene. It is not a perfect movie, but it is nevertheless a movie that I heartily endorse for adult audiences.

Allow me next to assuage any concerns you may have had in hearing of the premise of this movie or seeing its preview. It is not pacifist propaganda. It is a story of a man with the courage to be true to a personal vow he made; not some debate glorifying an erroneous theological position (that killing is in and of itself an intrinsic evil or that there is no such thing as just war). It is furthermore pragmatic in this regard: for the main character’s ultimate justification for his position is “With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.” This justification we too can give for deciding to focus our own apostolates on proclaiming the Divine Mercy instead of succumbing to the scrupulous fear that we are neglecting the Divine Justice in so doing.

For I do not write this to give you a mere movie review. I write this to encourage you to draw inspiration from the most important teaching of the movie:

JUST. ONE. MORE.

In these final few days of the Time of Mercy, this must be our rallying cry. This must be what gets us up in the morning. This must be what urges us on despite the seeming insurmountable obstacles and the temptation that swirls about us on every side insisting that we give up, rest, and forget about the Salvation of Souls and the Coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.

It does not matter how many days are left in the Time of Mercy. All that matters is that there is still breath in our lungs; still blood coursing through our veins; still the ability to rouse ourselves as the soldiers we are to fight this most worthy battle… and still a single soul left who can benefit from our resolve.

You. can. still. save. one. more. soul.

Every day.

No one can stop you.

Let all the world conspire against you – wage total war against you – it would be utterly powerless to suppress the power of your will, entirely submitted to the Divine Will and living in It, yet never failing to exert itself in accord with its proper end, from fulfilling its Divine Calling of achieving the salvation of souls.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.

This must be the approach of any Catholic who is now confused as to the path he should be taking: that of mercy, or that of justice. I hate heresy as much as anyone and I am as concerned as the next man of errant interpretations of Amoris Laeititia that essentially normalize divorce and/or adultery, or turn the Commandments of God into mere “ideals.” And yet, I remain utterly convinced that the general approach of mercy is still the one that the Holy Spirit needs of us today. For few of us are theologians; few of us are Canon Lawyers; few of us are Bishops. On the other hand, almost all of us are confronted every day with so many souls wounded from this sickening, sin and error infested world over which the devil has reigned with unprecedented power for the past 100 years.

In a word, as the Holy Father has said so many times that too many of us have become tired of hearing it:the world needs a Field Hospital, and the Church must be that Field Hospital. This is the main thrust of Pope Francis’ mission. That it is better to risk injury by going out to the gutters than it is to ensure sickness by remaining stuffed up within our own artificial realms of safety, security, and comfort. That it is better to be a warrior than a commentator. That it is better to be a witness than an apologist. 

And the Church needs us to be modern day Desmond Dosses manning this Field Hospital that the Church must be.

But we are not on a literal battle field with wounded soldiers lying all around. So how do we say, and act on, “Just One More”?

First of all by recognizing that boredom is a sin. Over 150,000 people die every single day in this world. You are your brother’s keeper, and you have a duty to strive to ensure that as many of them as possible make it to heaven. Therefore, say:

  • Just One More when you hand out an Evangelization Card to someone or place it somewhere knowing that it will be picked up and knowing that Jesus promised that whoever venerates that image shall not perish
  • Just One More when you read the Hours of the Passion – carefully and prayerfully – knowing that Jesus promised the salvation of a soul for every word of it read in such a manner.
  • Just One More soul when you say “God Bless You” to someone on a Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy walk, knowing that this simple interaction can be a channel of grace into his heart and effect his salvation
  • Just One More soul when you drag yourself yet again to the local Planned Parenthood to pray and sidewalk counsel
  • Just One More whenever you choose to pray for the salvation and sanctification of souls instead of engage in some vanity, pleasure, hobby, or waste of time
  • Just One More when you spend time praying with the residents of the local nursing home
  • Just One More when you abandon human respect and instead use opportunities daily life presents to draw souls to Christ — holy bumper stickers, pins, a visible crucifix, a lawn statue of Our Lady, holy salutations, holding & praying a Rosary while walking, etc.
  • Just One More whenever you choose to associate with the lowly and the needy instead of those you merely enjoy yourself around, knowing that it is through association with the former that we may more effectively draw souls to Christ
  • Just One More whenever you wake up on a Wednesday or Friday and decide to fast and offer it up for souls — knowing that God will accept your sacrifice — instead of letting the desire of the flesh guide you. 
  • Just One More when you go to morning daily Mass for the three thousandth time, no matter what you feel like doing when you wake up, knowing that the power with which you can save souls there is unparalelled
  • Just One More when you pick up your beads and do your Daily Rosary, no matter how busy you are and no matter how tempted you are to think it useless, knowing full well that Our Lady has promised that she will conquer the world through this most sublime devotion
         
     
    Therefore let us say, with Desmond Doss of Hacksaw Ridge, “with everyone in this world intent on tearing his enemy to shreds, I will rather dedicate myself unreservedly, with no thought to my own safety or self interest, to snatching souls out of this fire of evil and drawing them to the Divine Mercy. Every breath God blesses me with is one more opportunity to say: Just One More Soul. Every blow God allows me to receive is one more opportunity to allow grace to touch the heart of its originator. And I will not spare one drop of my sweat or blood in ensuring that I do not neglect a single one of these eternal opportunities. I’ll rest when I’m dead.”

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Footnote 1:  As this is a delicate issue wrought with confusion on both sides, allow a little clarification. There are very many very good people who have the homosexual inclination. To argue against this reality by saying “the inclination itself is also sinful and therefore all who have it are to be condemned” is blasphemy against God’s goodness, for He gives everyone the grace to avoid every single sin, yet He does not give everyone the grace to be (immediately) free of an inclination. Anyway, it may seem that the good those with a homosexual inclination do proceeds from this inclination. But it is not so. Rather, the good they do can only possibly proceed from some other thing within them, which an onlooker and perhaps even they themselves confuse with the homosexual inclination. For example: consider alcoholism; also intrinsically disordered, for it is an inclination to an excess and a sin (drunkenness). Alcoholics often do good things; for their “all or nothing, all out, hold nothing back” approach to life often enables them to achieve great success in certain realms by guarding them against a petty and bland life. Nevertheless, none of these good things can correctly be said to have proceeded directly from the alcoholism. Rather, the alcoholism and the good thing both proceeded from a deeper, morally indifferent, tendency.

January 24, 2017

Aligning Our Expectations With The Prophetic Consensus

darkcloudsSeven years ago, in the year 2010, Michael Brown posted a prophecy on his website, SpiritDaily. His first public announcement of this prophecy was actually just before that posting, during a conference he gave in Boston that I happened to be attending.

It is a brief and fascinating prophecy, well worth reading, but especially relevant is this part:

“…expect the error of premature expectation, but not error in the truth of the expectation itself.”

And who can fail to see that this premature expectation has been utterly rampant, fulfilling this “prophecy of failed prophecies” to the fullest extent, in these short seven years since its publication?

  • Shortly after the publication of this prophecy the infamous Harold Camping affair transpired — wherein a group insisted with enormous public exposure that the world would end in May of 2011. Although this was nothing but a joke to anyone actually serious about Catholic Prophecy, it is still worth noting here as it garnered unprecedented attention.
  • Then there was the December 2012 end of the world craze based off the Mayan Calendar and the popular Hollywood movie bringing it to light. This, too, was nothing but a joke for those serious about Catholic Prophecy. But still very relevant to the aforementioned consideration of “premature expectation.”

But then we started to get into the realm of prophecies/predictions that seemed perhaps worth taking seriously. In the Protestant Prophecy world, we saw the following prognostications which were followed by millions upon millions:

  • Four Blood Moons. In a seemingly impossible to deny sequence of celestial signs that insisted upon the most apocalyptic of events occurring in 2015… none did.
  • The Shemitah. In a seemingly impossible to deny sequence of Biblical Patterns applied to the context of the Modern World, utter catastrophic worldwide economic collapse was supposed to occur in 2015… nothing happened.

These were not mere run-of-the-mill fundamentalist protestant rapture proclaimers, of which we have seen a steady flow for a long time. They were main-stream mega Church pastors whose books on these topics were truly major best sellers and who regularly appeared on mainstream media. It is difficult to imagine dire prophecy getting more publicity than these did.

Still, nothing.

But then it became even more urgent, as in the world of Catholic Prophecy there were a few very loud voices:

  • “Maria Divine Mercy,” who was clearly a false prophet, nevertheless managed to attract thousands upon thousands of followers, insisting that the warning, collapse, and events in the Book of Revelation would begin in 2013 to be ended in 2016. Obviously none of that occurred.
  • Locutions to the World, a much more seemingly reasonable private revelation (but still with many red flags), insisted that the collapse would occur while Pope Francis was visiting the United States in 2015. No collapse.
  • Antonio Yague, who was sure he could interpret the Signs in the Stars by way of sacred astronomy to prove that the long-prophesied Illumination of Conscience had to be November 13th, 2016. Nothing.
  • Pope Francis himself seemed to indicate that things would heat up quickly, saying he would not resign but that he would only be Pope for 2 or 3 years (it has now been almost 4) and acting with an unprecedented sense of urgency, even saying that we are now in the midst of WWIII. 
  • And now, to top it off, there is the failure of Charlie Johnston’s Presidential Prophecy, wherein there was supposed to be a massive disruption before this past inauguration and no peaceful transfer of power from Obama to Trump. And of course, again, business as usual. (Please Note: Charlie is a good man and a solid Catholic. I’d trust him with my life. I am completely confident that he did not intentionally deceive anyone. I am very grateful to him for running a couple of my articles. That being said, I have never endorsed his alleged private revelations or promoted his site (even though on a couple of occasions I have defended him when he was unjustly attacked; for I will readily defend anyone who is attacked in such a manner, whether or not I condone his apostolate). Indeed, we see now that Charlie was simply wrong, for whatever reason. Let’s leave it at that, treat him charitably, and pray for him.)

And these are just some of the Prophetic failures. The list could indeed go on for a long time.

Meanwhile, so many signs of the times have swirled around us: upheaval, an unprecedented Papal Resignation, “Cardinal against Cardinal, Bishop against Bishop,” an unprecedented and seemingly impossible rise of a populist President, economic collapses and recoveries, unprecedented weather, enormous societal unrest and class warfare, geopolitical strife not seen since the Cold War…. and the list goes on, and on, and on…

And in the midst of all this, the Devil is having a field day with the Faithful. Having won over the vast majority of the world and its worldings to his ways, he is not content. He is not even content with destroying those “in” the Church, but really more of the world. For he is now even tearing to shreds the very true remnant Faithful itself; sowing discord, sin, apostasy, and schism within their ranks like never before and even managing to convince a large portion of them that their own theological opinions are above the Magisterial teachings of the Vicar of Christ, while convincing another large portion of them (perhaps larger) to believe heresy (and live heresy) due to certain errant interpretations of Pope Francis’ Magisterium; errant interpretations even offered by some Bishops.

All this expectation, and still……. nothing.

But here we are in the beginning of the Year of Promise; the Centenary of the Apparitions of Fatima. The supposed end of the 100 year Reign of Satan (foreseen by Pope Leo XII) that perhaps began with Red October in 1917. The year after the Year of Mercy (perhaps implying it will wind up being the Year of Justice?). The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. The approximate 400th anniversary of the beginning of Modernism (R. Descartes) and the “Enlightenment” (F. Bacon). The 300th anniversary of the founding of Freemasonry. The 200th anniversary of the founding of the New York Stock Exchange (the activity of which many prophecy watchers today correlate to the adultery of the harlot in the Book of Revelation). Above all, the 100th anniversary of Communism; the “errors of Russia” spoken of by Our Lady at Fatima.

Will our expectations actually come to pass in 2017? Has the full measure been filled of “premature expectation” in the prophecy this post started with, or will God seek to purify us even further by allowing 2017 to also pass without the long-awaited events?

I do not know. I could easily see this being the year in which they occur, or just another “ordinary” year for our purification along with several more to come leading us closer to the 2,000th anniversary of Redemption which makes the most sense for the Prophesied Third Renewal. Or perhaps there will first be some chastisements, with a “pause” therein after the imminent Illumination of Conscience, during which time Our Lady triumphs for the Remnant, and after this Triumph, the more major chastisements will occur which the true Era of Peace; the Reign of the Divine Will, shall follow. 

We of course do not know. But in response to either possibility, I continue to urge what I always have urged: diligently performing the duties of your state in life but using the clearly prophetically urgent nature of our times as an incentive to be particularly zealous for Proclaiming the Divine Mercy and Living in the Divine Will.

Beyond that — I have never even had so much as the faintest hint of prophetic locution or vision myself and I have no timeline of dates to offer you.

And while I cannot give you a timeline or any prophecies of my own, what I can give you is a sure way of avoiding pitfalls like the ones mentioned above and any similar ones that are doubtless to come:

Align your expectations with the prophetic consensus

Because sadly, what we are left with today is a batch of (certain) lay authors and career lay apologists scrambling to be recognized as the ultimate authority on eschatology; people who seem to think that unveiling what is coming is a massive jigsaw puzzle to be mastered by their own historical, geopolitical, Vaticanista, and Biblical cunning instead of a mystery to sit down and listen to as it is spoken about by heaven here and now. Instead of naming names of such authors and thereby encouraging factiousness, I would like to simply lay down clearly where I stand.  (And encourage you to read those who are trustworthy on this issue; including, for example, Fr. Iannuzzi and Mark Mallett.)

When someone comes along with messages of his own that seem to stand in contrast to what the majority of trustworthy private revelation is saying, do not put too much stock in these predictions. When someone comes along saying he has found a pattern in the Bible, or in the Skies, put even less stock in these predictions. When someone comes along with a specific date, put the least stock in this. When someone spills oceans of ink piling facts upon facts to try to prove to you that his eschatology is right, but whose writings are not founded in and inspired by the souls God is speaking to today, then run in the opposite direction. 

Instead, sit like a (wise and discerning!) child at the feet of those special souls whom God has chosen as His messengers for this day, and shut up and listen. Being like a wise and discerning child also means reading the Book of Revelation — although not literalistically — at least in an honest, plain, and clear fashion. 

In a post to soon come, I hope to put together more details on this prophetic consensus; from whom the consensus is formed, the actual prophecies themselves, etc.

So in addition to the above, I would just like to for now briefly lay down what I have taken from this approach in general terms. And in light of so much prophetic failure in recent times, I am hoping that some readers may take this as a time for prayerful reflection and purification, and consider what opinions and approaches they may have (even subconsciously) adopted from some failed prophecies that are now in need of reorientation:

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1) On the Era of Peace

Some have insisted that the Era of Peace, will be nothing more than “another chance given by God to get it right,” with no change at all except a “change of hearts.”

But this goes against so much prophecy that God has given to us about the Era of Peace. Now is our chance to get it right! Every new day we wake up still within the bounds of time, and before the Day of Justice arrives is that chance. The Era of Peace is more than just another chance. It’s a radical intervention of God and a reordering of creation.

As I said, I hope to soon publish a post where I compile some parts of this wealth of trustworthy private revelation insisting on such a glorious reign to come. In the meantime, you can see a small portion of that starting at about 10 minutes and 40 seconds into this talk.

Divergence with the prophetic consensus is a much more serious problem when it comes to the Era of Peace, because if we do not understand that it will be truly Glorious, then we will not sufficiently long for it. If we do not sufficiently long for it, then we will not earnestly and continuously pray for it. If we do not earnestly and continuously pray for it, then its coming will be long delayed. Jesus reveals this dynamic to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta almost verbatim.

Now,it is true that having a very downplayed vision of the Era of Peace will help you to not be condemned and harassed by the self-proclaimed Holy Inquisition of Eschatological Orthodoxy who insist that every opinion Ratzinger ever put forth, or every opinion that was popular in the middle ages, is somehow dogma. And those who are on this side of the debate are the most dangerous of all. They preach an Eschatology of Despair; wherein the world is merely condemned to get worse, and worse, and worse, and worse until the very end where, in the depths of its misery, Jesus comes at the end of time to destroy it and judge it. They scream “heresy of Millenarianism!” at any sort of actual belief in Our Lady’s promise at Fatima, where she said “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph … and an Era of Peace will be granted to the world,” for they insist that this Era of Peace has already occurred; whether after WWI, or after WWII. This is, of course, an utterly insane assertion, for no one in his right mind would call what the world has had in the past hundred years an Era of Peace. 

And indeed, it is not just Fatima, but a real consensus has formed that an Era of Peace is coming. And it is no mere subtle change. It is a radical intervention of God which will reorder the world like never before. 

Be well assured that the only things (in other words, the heresy of millenarianism)you cannot believe as a Catholic regarding the Era of Peace are what follows:

  • That Jesus will reign visibly or physically on Earth during it
  • That the “Age of the Church” shall pass and give way to the “Age of the Spirit,” or where we will no longer have the Catholic Church.
  • That the definitive destiny of the Church will be reached before her final passover (i.e. the End of Time).
    • Indeed, the destiny of the Church is the Heavenly Wedding; the Beatific Vision. The direct vision of God’s essence without medium. Even the most glorious Era of Peace, even if it were to be a veritable worldwide return to Eden, would be absolutely nothing in comparison to this. You see, Our Lady Lived in the Divine Will. There was neither sin, nor concupiscence, nor even illness in her. And yet her definitive destiny was still not obtained until the Assumption. Now, Our Lady is both Mother and Image of the Church, and indeed the Church will follow this course as well.

Steer clear of those heresies and you are perfectly safe anticipating a truly Glorious Era of Peace, in which “His Will Shall be Done on Earth as It is in Heaven.” Jesus prayed it, therefore it will happen. Period. But we must know that it is coming, yearn for it, and ardently pray for it, so that it may come soon.

2) On Ecumenism

While I heartily endorse true ecumenism, I find that the brand of it that some have promoted in the Prophecy World often allowed the line to be crossed, or at least blurred. 

We should indeed be supporters of (for example) praying with non-Catholic Christians, engaging in good ministries with them, regarding them as our brothers, and the like. 40 Days for Life is the quintessentially ideal example of Ecumenism. I feel that we can do all of these things gladly (I myself often have done so) without having to have classifications for each other and have figured out exactly what God’s plan is with it all. I will gladly work side-by-side with a Protestant without “trying to convert him.” But that does NOT mean that I, as a Catholic, can adopt a substantially identical attitude toward Protestantism (or Judaism) as I do towards Catholicism. It doesn’t mean I can go about encouraging him to remain Protestant. It doesn’t mean I can fail to hope and pray that he becomes Catholic. For such a failure would be an act of hatred. Why? Because to hate someone is to wish evil upon him. Evil is the absence of a due perfection. And the Eucharist, which only Catholic and Orthodox truly and validly have, is the greatest perfection. (as a side note: Eastern Orthodox Christianity is also not a valid alternative to Catholicism, as they are not in communion with the Successor of Peter, and God Wills that all men be in communion with the Successor of Peter. But it is at least a second best.)

A name for Protestants and Jews like “full and equal partners” in and of itself has nothing wrong with it. But the practical effect seems to sometimes be the blurring of the essential distinctions, and to forget that utterly essential, unchangeable truth: In the Catholic Church alone is the fullness of the Truth, and God calls all men to the fullness of the truth. Period. Non-magisterial opinions (even openly admitted as non-magisterial, mind you!) of a few clergymen working in the Vatican do not change this permanent truth one iota. It applies to all Protestants, all Anglicans, all Orthodox, all Jews, all Muslims, etc.

Dear Friend: if you are a Catholic, then you should be praying every single day for the conversion of all souls to Catholicism, and hoping against hope that this petition is answered soon!

This concerns me because, like many, I too believe a storm is coming (though unlike many I have no timeline). We must remember that in this storm, Catholics need to be more Catholic than ever. Some seem to be okay with Catholics becoming less Catholic during the storm; heading off to Protestant worship services if those are the most accessible ones, etc. But there have been plenty of persecutions before, and this never has been, nor is it ever going to be, how God Wills that Catholics respond to dark times. Just read up on the persecution of Catholics in England during the Reformation to see a great example of how we ought to behave during the coming persecution.

3)On Politics

There’s no need to go into a million details here; I’ve said enough (too much, perhaps!) on this site already about Politics. But since many in the Prophecy world combine their apostolates with running political commentary, this needs to be addressed. It is very difficult (and unfortunately rare) to find public voices who have really let the the teachings of the Church form their political stances from the ground up. So just please remember that the commentaries of the Signs of the Times watchers should not be the political writings one uses as a definitive guide to modern politics. Don’t get me wrong; there is certainly much wisdom in them, but much is, in fact, contrary to the Social Teachings of the Church (e.g. those in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Caritas in Veritate, Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si — all of which should be every Catholic’s guide to modern politics), that what was good does not sufficiently drown out what was not. I need not repeat what I said in a previous post on the erroneous nature of dispensing oneself from adhering to the Social Magisterium of the Church on the grounds of “Oh, the Church can’t speak infallibly on politics,” or “Oh, the Church doesn’t offer specific policies” — so if you would like to see such responses addressed, please just see the relevant portion of the linked post.

But perhaps most dangerously in my opinion, some in the Prophecy world have preached something to the effect of “traditional politics is dead.” The implication that people take from this is that we should abandon political efforts aimed at justice, peace, and truth, because the “whole system is nothing but a house of cards/smoke and mirrors anyway.”  But Church teaching is very clear that Catholics living in a Democracy have a grave duty to vote and to be an active part of the political community. And personally, as one who has put a great amount of time, effort, and sacrifice into this very end, I cannot help but take offense at such an attitude.

Fight we must. And the teachings of the Church must, as always, be our guide in this noble battle.

4) On Hope

Some fear and even insist “we will all lose hope during the storm.” But this is dangerous defeatism. The loss of hope is a sin; and whether or not any of us will sin again, and if so in what way, we do not know. But we need to trust that God’s grace will always be sufficient so that we do not have to sin. Sin is never necessary. It is never a determined consequence of free will. With the help of grace, avoiding it is never impossible (which was doctrinally defined at the Council of Trent). It is never a guaranteed fact merely due to certain external circumstances. If we refuse to acknowledge that, we are essentially blaspheming against God’s omnipotence, goodness, and mercy.

You need to trust God enough to believe that it really is possible that, from this day forward, you will never sin again — that you will never choose to distrust God again. That you will never choose to doubt God again. That you will never choose to act uncharitably again.

Whether or not that is what in fact actually happens, it nevertheless really is possible. Don’t ever, ever say that it isn’t.

 

5) On the Mission Itself and the Nature of Devotions

A simplistic motto is a good thing to fall back on in times of confusion and trial. I suggest this one: “Jesus, I Trust in You. Thy Will be Done. But I think we need to be careful to understand those as starting points and safety nets; not as ends sufficient unto themselves. Especially when we are instructing Catholics — to whom our Lady has issued so many very specific pleas and devotions (e.g. Rosary, Eucharist, Confession, Fasting, Scripture, Divine Mercy Chaplet). 

I understand as well as anyone that it is easy to be overloaded with devotions, being that God has blessed us with so many. It is certainly important to not allow yourself to scrupulously feel like you must do each and every thing that each and every alleged private revelation invites you to! I do appreciate that some have cautioned against this. Rather, you must follow your heart, follow your discernment, and take on whatever devotions you feel you can without burning yourself out and without neglecting the duties of your state in life.

But some, it seems, go further than this basic advice, and instead almost are satisfied with their followers taking a “whatever floats your boat” mentality regarding devotions and private revelations; a mentality that is common and explicitly taught today among certain popular career lay apologists; a mentality I zealously argued against in my book pages 60-61. 

But this specific issue of private revelation brings us to the more general issue of the temporal vs the spiritual.

6) On the Temporal and the Spiritual

I have been openly criticized for neglecting the temporal for the sake of the spiritual, so this seeming conflict I would like to address. Now, I would be the first to admit and indeed insist that we must be zealous for both temporal and spiritual matters, and that the fulfillment of the duties of one’s State in Life absolutely precedes in importance the performance of pious practices above those of obligation (e.g. Sunday Mass, avoiding mortal sin). But in general, the spiritual must have priority. Always. Everywhere. I think we fail to give it that priority it needs when we see the Divine Invitations in the most important private revelations of the day as merely nice options for those who feel inclined to them, and nothing more.

This criticism made of me arose in the midst of two conversations:

One, wherein I encouraged conduct that can actually succeed in evangelizing Muslims as more important than bashing Islam at every chance one gets. And this remains encouragement that I firmly stand by. It is clearly encouragement that the Catholic Blogosophere in general, which seems to be locked in endless competition to see who can more vociferously condemn Islam, needs to hear. We must indeed be frank, open, and honest about the errors in Islam. And yet I unabashedly stand by the spiritual assertion that such frankness will not save us from the present distress over and above the temporal assertion that it will. When I look at what God is asking of us today — through the Magisterium, the Popes, and trustworthy private revelation — I do not see Him saying “oppose other religions more harshly and you will conquer them” Rather, I see Him saying “pray, perform works of mercy, evangelize, and be uncompromising and unflinching in your Faith and Morals and Principles, but do not pretend that simply being more vociferous and combative in promoting them against those of other religions will achieve anything.”

The other conversation in which that criticism arose was one in which I myself criticized the notion that it is okay for one to be a “prepper” for the sake of having an adult “teddy bear.” Now we must give most in the Prophetic realm credit here: they usually do caution against major preparedness. But some have said something to the effect of “Just as I would not take a teddy bear away from a child if it gives him comfort, so too I would not begrudge survivalism of one who finds comfort in it as a way of easing his fears. I do not think this is a good mindset. What is good for a child is not necessarily good for adult, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” and as St. Francis de Sales says “Children chase butterflies and that is fine, because they are children. But is it not lamentable to see a man doing such a thing?” 

Willfully chosen fear of anything external is never God’s will. Fear as a mere passion — a mere emotion that is passively felt — is morally indifferent, and whether we feel it (and, if so, to what degree) is largely not our choice. But having a “don’t take the teddy bear away” notion is to serve as an accessory to the sin of willed fear. And willed fear is the absolute opposite of the very most essential thing in these dark days: Trust in God. Jesus, I Trust in You. Thy Will be Done.

When reading the Bible, the revelations to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, the revelations to St. Faustina, and so many other similar works, one theme seems to jump out even more clearly and constantly than all the others: Jesus absolutely begging us, admonishing us, insisting that we banish every fear. There is no need for it!!!

A storm is coming indeed, but we must, must, must continually remind ourselves of the admonishment of Our Lord to be not afraid!

Although I have been criticized when I’ve pointed this out, alas, if only this input was taken more seriously, there would be fewer people today angry than there in fact are, as they took all sorts of preparedness measures thinking that society would have to collapse by now and they wanted their teddy bear! Let us learn our lessons, move on, and leave the past in the past. Just as importantly, let us not over-react to our mistakes, but instead learn from them. I am concerned that many who are now so fed up with the over-preparedness they engaged in will now reject even basic preparedness and basic keeping an eye on the signs of times.

Now, I have long encouraged a relatively small degree of “Sober Minded Preparedness,” not as a “teddy bear,” but as a simple act of prudence. One may be inclined to say that I am splitting hairs; but that is a radical misunderstanding of Christianity itself. Christianity is all about intention. That is primarily what God looks at when we undertake an action and it is primarily what we are judged on. Preparedness is a duty if — when you undertake it — you are merely following prudential judgment and conscience. It is a sin if you are doing it so as to have a teddy bear to cling to in an act of deliberately willed fear.

The importance of this admonishment to never fear cannot be overstated. This is the point I ended on in the talk I gave in Tampa. It was not my intent, but Providence, that ended my talk on that point. If you would like to see that, just listen to the last several minutes of this same talk linked above.

7) On the Antichrist

Some in the Catholic prophecy world today insist strongly that the Antichrist is not coming any time soon, but can only possibly come at the very end of the world. But this is quite the opposite of what the prophetic consensus seems to be indicating. Mark Mallett has written powerfully on this here and in other places.

The notion of the Antichrist coming at the very end of the world is also inconsistent not only with the clear sense of the Book of Revelation (which makes it clear that the Antichrist comes before the Era of Peace), but is inconsistent with the true nature of the Era of Peace. As you will see if you read the many trustworthy private revelations that speak of it, it is completely incomprehensible that the Antichrist could manage to arise during it and sway the masses to join him in his evil and apostasy. That, friends, describes our current day. It does not describe a plausible scenario during a time in which His Will is Done on Earth as It is Done in Heaven

Gog and Magog will indeed be the final unleashing of evil to usher in the definitive end of time, the true physical Final coming of Our Lord, and the General Judgement. But the swift death that this final unleashing of evil will give to the world is more akin to the chop of an axe laid to the neck of a saint who sings his way joyfully to his martyrdom. The persecution of the Antichrist, which is likely imminent, is more akin to the final and tragic drug overdose of an addict who has slowly but surely been destroying his own life with his sins and then willfully takes that last step. The Antichrist is the natural and inevitable consequence of the Great Apostasy that we are already in the midst of. It would be entirely unfitting for him to arise in the midst of  (or at the end of) the Era of Peace.

Line

 

If you’re looking for trustworthy voices online in the wake of so much confusion, allow me to suggest:

 

Mark Mallett

Fr. Robert Young

Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi

Anthony Mullen

Peter Bannister

(at the moment Peter, a theologian, does not have a site dedicated to his theology work, but if that changes I will certainly link to him. He has –understandably and probably correctly — stopped posting on the “motheofgod” forum since many on it, including the site’s owner/operator, have adopted a largely anti-Pope Francis tone)

Dan Lynch

Janet Klasson