|Devotion to Our Lady||
“. . . In all ages there have been persons possessed of the spirit of prophecy, not for the purpose of announcing new doctrines, but to direct human actions” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica).
What Goes Around, Comes Around
As King Baltasar and his nobles feasted with the sacred vessels, stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem, a mysterious hand began to write opposite him, on the wall of his Babylonian palace. When all his soothsayers failed to explain the alarming omen, Daniel was brought into the king’s presence. The prophet told the king to keep the rewards offered, but he, Daniel, would interpret the three words written on the wall:
“And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES. And this is the interpretation of the word.
MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it.
THECEL: thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting.
PHARES: thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:26-28)
That same night Baltasar was slain and Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom. This prepared the way for Cyrus, later, to be led by the Spirit to release the Jews held captive in Babylon, so they could return to the Holy Land to rebuild Jerusalem. This was to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremias: “For thus saith the Lord: 'When the seventy years shall begin to be accomplished in Babylon, I will visit you: and I will perform My good word in your favor, to bring you again to this place’” (Jeremias 29:10).
God is Not Mocked!
St. Paul tells us not to take God lightly! “Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-9). God is kind, but God can be wrathful and vengeful too—it all depends upon how we treat Him. We see these two faces of God described by God Himself in chapter 26 of the Book of Leviticus:
(1) The Kind God
“I am the Lord your God: you shall not make to yourselves any idol or graven thing, neither shall you erect pillars, nor set up a remarkable stone in your land, to adore it: for I am the Lord your God. Keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord. If you walk in My precepts, and keep My commandments, and do them, I will give you rain in due seasons. And the ground shall bring forth its increase, and the trees shall be filled with fruit. The threshing of your harvest shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land without fear. I will give peace in your coasts: you shall sleep, and there shall be none to make you afraid. I will take away evil beasts: and the sword shall not pass through your quarters. You shall pursue your enemies, and they shall fall before you. Five of yours shall pursue a hundred others, and a hundred of you ten thousand: your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. I will look on you, and make you increase: you shall be multiplied, and I will establish My covenant with you. You shall eat the oldest of the old store, and, new coming on, you shall cast away the old. I will set My tabernacle in the midst of you, and My soul shall not cast you off. I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be My people.” (Leviticus 26:1-12).
(2) The Vengeful God
“But if you will not hear Me, nor do all My commandments, if you despise My laws, and contemn My judgments so as not to do those things which are appointed by Me, and to make void My covenant, then I will do these things to you: I will quickly visit you with poverty, and burning heat, which shall waste your eyes, and consume your lives. You shall sow your seed in vain, which shall be devoured by your enemies. I will set My face against you, and you shall fall down before your enemies, and shall be made subject to them that hate you. But if you will not yet for all this obey Me: I will chastise you seven times more for your sins, and I will break the pride of your stubbornness, and I will make to you the heaven above as iron, and the earth as brass. Your labor shall be spent in vain, the ground shall not bring forth her increase, nor the trees yield their fruit.
“If you walk contrary to Me, and will not hearken to Me, I will bring seven times more plagues upon you for your sins: and I will send in upon you the beasts of the field, to destroy you and your cattle, and make you few in number, and that your highways may be desolate. And if even so you will not amend, but will walk contrary to Me: then I will also walk contrary to you, and will strike you seven times for your sins. And I will bring in upon you the sword that shall avenge my covenant. And when you shall flee into the cities, I will send the pestilence in the midst of you, and you shall be delivered into the hands of your enemies.
"But if you will not for all this hearken to Me, but will walk against Me: then I will also go against you with opposite fury, and I will chastise you with seven plagues for your sins, so that you shall eat the flesh of your sons and of your daughters. I will destroy your high places, and break your idols. You shall fall among the ruins of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. I will bring your cities to be a wilderness, and I will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will destroy your land, and your enemies shall be astonished at it, when they shall be the inhabitants thereof. And I will scatter you among the Gentiles, and I will draw out the sword after you, and your land shall be desert, and your cities destroyed. You shall perish among the Gentiles, and an enemy's land shall consume you.
“And if of them also some remain, they shall pine away in their iniquities, in the land of their enemies, and they shall be afflicted for the sins of their fathers, and their own: until they confess their iniquities and the iniquities of their ancestors, whereby they have transgressed me, and walked contrary unto me. But they shall pray for their sins, because they rejected my judgments, and despised my laws. And yet for all that, when they were in the land of their enemies, I did not cast them off altogether, neither did I so despise them that they should be quite consumed, and I should make void my covenant with them. For I am the Lord their God” (Leviticus 26:14-44).
The above quoted words of St. Paul sum up succinctly these frightening words of God: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-9).
God Never Changes
This manner of acting or reacting has always been God’s way. We see it in the case of Adam and Eve—a life of banishment, exile, suffering and death follow upon Adam and Eve’s sin.
In the time Noe, again God’s heavy hand destroys almost every living creature.
In the time of Moses, God punishes the murmuring and faithless Israelites with 40 years of desert wandering and death, whereby none of those who had left Egypt (except two) entered the Promised Land—only their offspring.
We see the terrible slaughter, destruction and captivity of His Chosen People with the Babylonian Captivity, which also saw the destruction of the fabulous Temple of God.
Then again, after the crucifixion of Christ, the Romans utterly destroyed the rebuilt Temple once again and slew every man, woman and child of Jerusalem. These are just some of the ways in which God treated the faithlessness and sinfulness of His beloved Chosen People. This is how will treat the Church and the world fairly soon—“They have been rebellious to the light, they have not known His ways, neither have they returned by His paths” (Job 24:13). “They have not known nor understood: they walk on in darkness” (Psalm 81:5). “‘They have proceeded from evil to evil, and Me they have not known’, saith the Lord.”
Prophets and Prophecies Ignored
Our Lord blasts the Jews and the Pharisees for their treatment of the prophets sent by God: “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; that build the sepulchers of the prophets, and say: ‘If we had been in the days of our Fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets!’ You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of Hell? Behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: so that upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar” (Matthew 23:29-35).
Our Lord—the King of Prophets—was also ignored, as He tragically states: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?” (Matthew 23:37). Our Lord then prophesies: “Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate” … “For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation” (Matthew 23:38; Luke 19:43-44).
Today in No Different
Just as it was in the Old Testament times and in the days of Our Lord, so too is it today. Heaven has spoken, man has failed to respond. We hear, but we take little notice—much like a child is told many times by a parent to do something, but never does it. The child is asking for a punishment and eventually it comes. Or it may be a drug addict or an alcoholic, whose spouse, doctor, friends and even their own body repeatedly tell the person to fight the addiction—they refuse to listen and eventually the body punishes the person with a premature death through disease or an accident. Or a landlord repeatedly coming to collect the money a tenant owes as rent, but refuses to pay—eventually eviction takes place. It is the same with God: He warns repeatedly and then He exacts payment painfully. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).
Our Lady has warned us repeatedly, yet we still stubbornly ignore her to a greater or lesser degree. At best, we only give a fraction of what she is asking for—like a delinquent tenant who only pays a fraction of the rent that is due. This is exactly what Our Lady communicated to Sister Lucia of Fatima, who, in turn, revealed this to Fr. Fuentes in 1957. Fr. Fuentes relates: “The first thing she said to me (Fr Fuentes) was: ‘Father, the Blessed Virgin is very sad, because no one heeds her message; neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on with their life of virtue and apostolate, but they do not unite their lives to the message of Fatima. Sinners keep following the road of evil because they do not see the terrible chastisement about to befall them!’”
True Prophecy Ignored
There are such realities in this world as true prophets, authentic prophecies and veritable fulfillment of the words committed to them. Today the world and the people of God are held captive in a new Babylon. A Babylon of Materialism, Rationalism, Liberalism, Modernism, Utilitarianism (usefulness) and Hedonism (pleasure), which will soon be trumped by a modern-Communism which Our Lady of Fatima says will spread its errors throughout the world. The Church and the world will be captives and all will seem lost. They will be brought to their knees through suffering because they refused to be brought to their knees in prayer. They will await in 'chains' for a return to a renewed world through a renewed Church, to a New Jerusalem through a punished and purified mankind.
The Handwriting is On the Wall, But Nobody Reads
The handwriting is on the wall everywhere. It’s a message confronting the secular opponents of the Church. It’s a message announcing the chastising purification of the Church itself, as it approaches the time of its return to a universal freedom and triumph. And, again, as we shall see, there will be another “Cyrus” or Great Leader; and another Great High Priest or Pope.
Today we find vociferous claimants to prophetic utterances shouting everywhere. While we should prudently “despise not prophecies. But prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21) as St. Paul warns us and common sense directs, many undoubtedly genuine prophets challenge the world in recent times, indeed during these very days. This particularly holds true in the European Mediterranean world and in the United States of America. Baltasar, although too late, except perhaps for a midnight repentance, had the intelligence to admit Daniel into his presence. Shall we?
“Let him come to me: and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel” (2 Kings 5:8) were the words of the prophet Eliseus, which he sent word to the King of Israel regarding the Syrian general, Naaman, come from Damascus with a caravan of gifts, seeking to be healed of his leprosy.
Learn From History or Repeat History
There have been and are prophets sounding their trumpets in the world over the last two centuries or so, whether some temporal rulers or ecclesiastical leaders believe it or not. The fate them will be the same as the fate of the rebellious stiff-necked Chosen People of old. If we do not learn from history, then we will have learn by repeating history.
“Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes.” (Matthew 23:34), Christ said, as He rebuked and warned those who would not receive them. Or, as Abraham, with Lazarus in his bosom, said to the rich Dives in hell pleading for a messenger to his brothers still living foolishly on earth: “they have Moses and the prophets?” (Luke 16:29) Yes, they had the Law, represented in Moses appearing with Christ on the Mount of the Transfiguration. And they had the prophets too, with Elias flanking the other side of Christ.
Ignore God's Prophetic Warnings At Your Peril
There is always the normal Church Authority teaching for Catholics, and the Ten Commandments written in hearts for everyone, but there are also the chosen instruments of God equipped with unusual charismatic gifts. 'We speak here of very important charismatic gifts, not mere, small speaking-in-tongues types or little local words of knowledge or prediction for private individuals. Certain charismatic gifts are for the good of the whole Church and the entire world.
“I do not believe in Fatima,” a priest columnist announced some years ago in a large-circulation, influential, Catholic diocesan paper. An older man, he should have shown more maturity by keeping his belief to himself and not upsetting the faithful. All popes since Pius XI have favored Fatima. Who is the better authority for Fatima's credibility, a Vicar of Christ addressing the world, or some imprudent priest exhibiting his professional ignorance!
Anyone Can See the Crisis
Any person of intelligence can discern that the world and the Church today are in a state of crisis. More, a crisis that could erupt in nuclear destruction for much of the world! And, worse than material devastation, a crisis that is leading to a great loss of souls in Hell, because of numerous current errors and mushrooming immorality. In the face of both society and Church an ancient rebel cry of Satan rises again: “Non serviam!” — “I will not serve!” And, as with Lucifer and the dupes he betrayed, many in the world and in the Church today face spiritual annihilation and eternal damnation.
You Cannot Beat God
At Fatima long ago Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco saw in vision the souls of the damned descending into Hell like falling snowflakes. And, as the vision ended Mary said: “You have seen Hell where the poor sinners go.”
More recently, in 1973, at Akita, Japan, where her statue wept one hundred times, Mary said: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead.”
“Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ungrateful. In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son, I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger” (Our Lady of Akita).
A word concerning the discernment of such manifestations and prophetic utterances might be in order here. When these receive widespread publicity, it is the duty of the bishop within whose diocese these occur (such a Bishop is called the “Ordinary” of the Diocese) to undertake an objective and thorough investigation and to provide the faithful with guidance as to whether they may be safely accepted or not. And even when the bishop declares that such may be given prudent credibility, such assent is based on human faith and has nothing to do, as such, with supernatural faith, necessary for salvation.
The faithful will always be protected from harm by abiding by the bishop's directives, even when the bishop may be in fact mistaken, as has sometimes been the case, as for instance when a local bishop has reversed his opinion after further investigation or in the light of subsequent events. This assurance of protection is based, not on the bishop's human acumen but on the promise of Christ.
Nevertheless, since we are dealing here with human faith and common sense, when it appears that the local bishop's action, or lack thereof, leaves something to be desired we certainly retain the right to our own respectful reservations as regards his discernment.
It seems that false prophets have always outnumbered the true, at least ten to one. Yet, Jeremiah still speaks, as it were, in the voices of many true prophets abroad in the world today. We are aware of many such in Europe and the United States, though no doubt God is speaking elsewhere in the world. When the pagan conqueror, Nabuchodonosor, was approaching Jerusalem with his vast army, Jeremias warned princes and priests, “Save yourselves!” (Jeremias 38, 17) and told them how to do it. Many, including ecclesiastics, heeded him not and lost their lives or liberty.
Nor do many world and church leaders heed prophetic voices today! Hitler had a prophetess eager to set him straight. “Der Fuhrer” slinked quietly to Konnersreuth, not as a “pilgrim” but expecting, in his puffed-up pride, favorable accolades from the Bavarian stigmatist. He was looking forward to greatness and glory as he goose-stepped at the head of his Nazi Aryan legions. Instead, the paper-hanger with the crooked cross was told to depart from his ways, or all would be over for him in so many short years. Hitler didn’t listen to the Mercy of God extended through Teresa Neumann. Like a cornered rat he died in the bomb-shelter in Berlin, in a suicide pact with his mistress, Eva Braun, amidst shrieking shells, bursting bombs and frightful fire which ravaged Berlin and destroyed his thousand-year dream.
“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.” (Psalm 126:1)
The Second World War Italian dictator, Mussolini, had his prophetess too. Sister Elena Aiello sent him word more than once and even wrote her message out, that he could have a good future, if he would separate himself from Hitler and change his direction. Mussolini didn’t listen either. Mussolini was killed in his own Italy and disgracefully hung up, displayed as a piece of naked beef in the market place along with his mistress. What glory then, “Il Duce” ! If you had only listened! For this warning had come from yet another stigmatist of Christ! Consecrated suffering redeems, not ambitious war!
Has any late Russian dictator or Chinese Communist exterminator of his people had his prophet or prophetess? Have the Western modern day ‘emperors’ heeded Heaven’s warnings? Perhaps not personally, but who knows! Certainly they could benefit by consulting any number of seemingly legitimate prophets we know of, as to what will eventually happen to them if they do not come to heel and hearken.
Modern Day “Woes”
The “Woes” hurled by Our Lord at the Scribes and Pharisees of old (Matthew chapter 23), could equally be hurled at many churchmen, politicians and world leaders today. As Our Lady prophesied:
“Woe to the world should it lack monasteries and convents! Men do not comprehend their importance, for, if they understood, they would do all in their power to multiply them, because in them can be found the remedy for all physical and moral evils... No one on the face of the earth is aware whence comes the salvation of souls, the conversion of great sinners, the end of great scourges, the fertility of the land, the end of pestilence and wars, and the harmony between nations. All this is due to the prayers that rise up from monasteries and convents” (Our Lady of Good Success).
“The secular Clergy will leave much to be desired, because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to obtain ... Yes, the priests are asking for vengeance, and vengeance is hanging over their heads ... How the Church will suffer during this dark night!” (Our Lady of Good Success & La Salette).
“Woe to the priests and to those dedicated to God who, by their unfaithfulness and their wicked lives, are crucifying my Son again! The sins of those dedicated to God cry out towards Heaven and call for vengeance, and now vengeance is at their door, for there is no one left to beg mercy and forgiveness for the people. There are no more generous souls, there is no one left worthy of offering a spotless Sacrifice to the Eternal for the sake of the world. God will strike in an unprecedented way” (Our Lady of La Salette).
“All the civil governments will have one and the same plan, which will be to abolish and do away with every religious principle, to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritualism and vice of all kinds” (Our Lady of La Salette).
“Woe to the Princes of the Church who think only of piling riches upon riches, to protect their authority and dominate with pride ... “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His wrath upon them, and no one will be able to escape so many afflictions together ... “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! There will be bloody wars and famines, plagues and infectious diseases. It will rain with a fearful hail of animals. There will be thunderstorms which will shake cities, earthquakes which will swallow up countries” (Our Lady of La Salette).
My Way or the Highway!
Whoah! A lot of woe coming down the pike! It doesn’t have to be, but it will be, because mankind cannot be bothered to listen to God and change its ways. But if ever the saying—“My way or the highway”—applied to someone, then it applies to God par excellence. God Himself has said: “My thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are My ways exalted above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts” (Isaias 55:8-9) … “And the children of Israel say: ‘The way of the Lord is not right!’ Are not My ways right, O house of Israel, and are not rather your ways perverse?” (Ezechiel 18:29).
“. . . In all ages there have been persons possessed of the spirit of prophecy, not for the purpose of announcing new doctrines, but to direct human actions” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica). The verdict has to be: “God hath given him place for penance, and he abuseth it unto pride” (Job 24:23).
“The prophet speaks to edify, to encourage, to comfort his fellow men” (1 Corinthians 14:3). Prophecy, obviously, falls under the umbrella of Divine Revelation. It is both part of Divine Public Revelation, which became a ‘closed book’ at the death of the last Apostle, and also Divine Private Revelation which is ongoing, but can add nothing new to the deposit of the Faith, but merely makes us focus onto things we have forgotten or neglected with regards to the Faith, and also issues conditional warnings and consequences that depend upon whether or not we listen and do what is asked. Examples of prophecies within the scope of Divine Private Revelation, are the many predictions about the future made by Our Lady in modern times, at several key (Church approved) apparitions, that predict the terrible consequences facing mankind if it does not turn away from its path of ever-increasing sin and starts to do penance.
Prophecy—a Help, not a Hindrance
Prophecy consists in the receiving of knowledge and in the manifestation of that knowledge. The knowledge must be supernatural and infused by God, because it concerns things beyond the natural power of the human mind. This knowledge, received from God, must be manifested either by words or signs, because the gift of prophecy is given primarily for the good of others, and hence needs to be manifested. Prophecy is based upon a Divine light, by which God reveals things concerning the unknown future and, by that Divine light, these things are in some way revealed to the mind of the prophet, whose duty it is to manifest them to others.
What Goes Around, Comes Around
These predictions are totally in line with Divine Public Revelation, as seen in Holy Scripture, where God repeatedly sent prophets warning His Chosen People of the same thing. The fact that God punished them terribly for ignoring the warnings of His prophets, leads us certainly believe that He will do the same to us. In fact, Our Lord’s prophecy of what would happen to Jerusalem was terrible bloody proof of this line of action by God. Our Lord also warned France, through St. Margaret Mary, that the wrath of God would fall upon them if the king(s) failed to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This was fulfilled, 100 years later on the very date that Our Lord had made the request—the French Revolution saw to it that the king of France was beheaded.
To Believe or Not to Believe?
There are many who keep saying that Divine Private Revelation need not be believed. This is of course is strictly true, but it is not to applied to each and every instance Divine Private Revelation. The kings of France could well have, and possibly did, take that attitude—look what happened to them and France! The long list of popes since 1917, when Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart has failed to turn up a pope who would comply with that command—and we are paying and will continue to pay, with ever increasing pain, for the consequences of that neglect. Essentially, the above list of prophecies are closely linked to this refusal to listen to Divine Private Revelation.
However, it is not the role of the laity to discern and pronounce upon the authenticity and credibility of these Divine Private Revelations—that is a matter for the Church and the persons appointed by the Church to delve into these matters. Part of the bad fruit of the cancer of Rationalism, which became firmly entrenched in both Church and Society with the advent of Humanism and then the Protestant Reformation (more truly labeled “Protestant Revolution”). From that time onwards personal interpretation was the fashion—every man and woman could be their own ‘pope’, deciding for themselves what they wanted to believe and not to believe.
Sadly, that same trend has both invaded and entrenched itself in Catholicism. We need only look to the ever-increasing number of Catholics who now personally choose not to believe certain teachings of the Church—they refuse the teaching on contraception; abortion; sexual immorality; divorce and remarriage. They refuse to accept Church discipline as regards weekly Sunday Mass attendance; the obligation to confess sins at least once a year; the obligation to baptize their infants, have them make their First Holy Communion and receive Confirmation; the obligation to marry within the Church; the requirement to fast on appointed days. They refuse Church doctrine regarding the Real Presence; Original Sin; Mortal Sin; and the teaching on Salvation.
Prophecy Deals With Three Chief Subjects
St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of three kinds of prophecy (Summa 2a-2ae q. 174, art. 1): (1) prophecy of denunciation, (2) of foreknowledge, and (3) of predestination.
(1) Prophecy of Denunciation. In the first kind God reveals future events according to the order of secondary causes, which may be hindered from taking effect by other causes which would require a miraculous power to prevent, and these may or may not happen, though the prophets do not express it but seem to speak absolutely. Isaias spoke thus when he said to Ezechias: "Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live" (Isaiah 38:1).
To this kind belongs the prophecy of promise, as that mentioned in 1 Kings, ii,30: "I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father should minister in my sight, forever", which was not fulfilled. It was a conditional promise made to Heli which was dependent upon other causes which prevented its fulfilment.
(2) Prophecy of Foreknowledge. The second, that of foreknowledge, takes place when God reveals future events which depend upon created free will and which he sees present from eternity. They have reference to life and death, to wars and dynasties, to the affairs of Church and State, as well as to the affairs of individual life.
(3) Prophecy of Predestination. The third kind, the prophecy of predestination, takes place when God reveals what He alone will do, and what he sees present in eternity and in His absolute decree. This includes not only the secret of predestination to grace and to glory, but also those things which God has absolutely decreed to do by His own supreme power, and which will infallibly come to pass.
Degrees or Levels of Prophecy
There are three degrees within the realm of prophecy. The lowest degree is linked to human knowledge, whereas the highest degree is beyond the capacity of human knowledge. These are as follows:
(1) When an event may be beyond the possible natural knowledge of the prophet, but may be within the range of human knowledge and known to others who witness the occurrence, as, for instance, the result of the Battle of Lepanto revealed to St. Pius V;
(2) When the object surpasses the knowledge of all men, not that it is unknowable but that the human mind cannot naturally receive the knowledge, such as the mystery of the Holy Trinity, or the mystery of predestination;
(3) When the things that are beyond the power of the human mind to know are not in themselves knowable because their truth is not yet determined, such as future contingent things which depend upon free will. This is regarded as the most perfect object of prophecy, because it is the most general and embraces all events that are in themselves unknowable.
God Can Do As He Wants
God can enlighten the human mind in any way he pleases. He often makes use of angelic ministry in prophetic communications, or He Himself may speak to the prophet and illuminate his mind. Again the supernatural light of prophecy may be conveyed to the intellect or through the senses or the imagination. Prophecy may take place even when the senses are suspended in ecstasy, but this in mystical terminology is called rapture.
St. Thomas teaches that there is no suspension of the sense activities when anything is presented to the mind of the prophet through impressions of the senses, nor is it necessary when the mind is immediately enlightened that activity of the senses should cease to work.
Who Can Be a Prophet?
The gift of prophecy is an extraordinary grace bestowed by God. It has never been confined to any particular tribe, family, or class of persons. There is no distinct faculty in human nature by which any human being can prophesy, neither is any special preparation required beforehand for the reception of this gift. Modern authors speak inaccurately of 'schools of prophets', an expression which was never found in the Scriptures or amongst the Fathers of the Church. Neither was there ever any external rite—like we have for priestly ordination—by which the office of prophet was conferred on someone.
The role of prophet was always something extraordinary and depended on the immediate call of God. The prophetic light, according to St. Thomas, is in the soul of the prophet not as a permanent form or habit, but only as a passing or temporary thing (Summa Theologiæ 2a-2ae, q. 171, art. 2). Hence the ancient prophets by their prayers petitioned for this Divine light of God before prophesying (1 Kings 8:6; Jeremias 32:16; 23:2 sq.; 42:4 sq.), and they were liable to error if they gave an answer before invoking God (2 Samuel 7:2-3).
Writing on the recipients of prophecy, Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758), wrote in Heroic Virtue (III, 144, 150): "The recipients of prophecy may be angels, devils, men, women, children, heathens, or gentiles; nor is it necessary that a man should be gifted with any particular disposition in order to receive the light of prophecy provided his intellect and senses be adapted for making manifest the things which God reveals to him. Though moral goodness is most profitable to a prophet, yet it is not necessary in order to obtain the gift of prophecy."
He also tells us that the angels by their own natural penetration cannot know future events which are undermined and contingent or uncertain, neither can they know the secrets of the heart of another, whether man or angel. When therefore God reveals to an angel as the medium through which the future is made known to man, the angel also becomes a prophet. As to the Devil, the same author tells us that he cannot of his own natural knowledge foretell future events which are the proper objects of prophecy, yet God may make use of him for this purpose. Thus we read in the Gospel of St. Luke that when the Devil saw Jesus he fell down before Him and, crying out with a loud voice, said: "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the most high God?" (Luke 8:28).
There are instances of women and children prophesying in Holy Scripture. Mary, the sister of Moses, is called a prophetess; Anna, the mother of Samuel, prophesied; Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, by a Divine revelation recognized and confessed Mary as the Mother of God. Samuel and Daniel as boys prophesied; Balaam, a Gentile, foretold the advent of the Messias and the devastation of Assyria and Palestine.
St. Thomas, in order to prove that the heathens were capable of prophecy, refers to the instance of the Sybils, who make clear mention of the mysteries of the Trinity, of the Incarnation of the Word, of the Life, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ. It is true that the Sybilline poems now extant became in course of time interpolated; but, as Benedict XIV remarks, this does not hinder much of them, especially what the early Fathers referred to, from being genuine and in no wise apocryphal.
Judging the Prophecy
The existence of the gift of private prophecy exists in the Church and is clearly seen from Holy Scripture and the acts of canonization of the saints in every age. Yet the canonization of the saint, does not mean the prophecy has been canonized conjointly. To the question, what credence is to be given to these private prophecies, Cardinal Cajetan answers, as stated by Benedict XIV:
"Human actions are of two kinds, one of which relates to public duties, and especially to ecclesiastical affairs, such as preaching, celebrating Mass, pronouncing judicial decisions, and the like; with respect to these the question is settled in the Canon Law, where it is said that no credence is to be publicly given to him who says he has privately received a mission from God, unless he confirms it by a miracle, or a special testimony of Holy Scripture. The other class of human actions consists of those of private persons, and speaking of these, he distinguishes between a prophet who commands or advises them, according to the universal laws of the Church, and a prophet who does the same without reference to those laws. In the first case, every man may abound in his own sense whether or not to direct his actions according to the will of the prophet; in the second case a prophet is not to be listened to" (Heroic Virtue, III, 192).
Rules for Safety
The best safeguard is not to take it upon oneself to do the work of the Church. Sadly, this is not the case today, with many lay people being private and personal judges of what does and what does not come from God. The devil will admit nine truths in order to slip a lie somewhere along the line. Private revelation adds nothing new to what we need to save our souls. It usually highlights or refocuses our attention on things that we have forgotten or neglected.
It is also important to have rules that enable the Church to distinguish true from false prophets. A summary of those rules, prescribed by theologians, may be useful to show, in a practical manner, how the teaching of the Church on prophecy is to be applied, in order to protect souls from errors or diabolical delusions:
(1) The recipient of the gift of prophecy should, as a rule, be good and virtuous, for all mystical writers agree that for the most part this gift is granted by God to holy persons. The disposition or temperament of the person should also be considered, as well as the state of health and of the brain;
(2) The prophecy must be conformable to Christian truth and piety, because if it propose anything against faith or morals it cannot proceed from the Spirit od Truth;
(3) The prediction should concern things outside the reach of all natural knowledge, and have for its object future contingent things or those things which God alone knows;
(4) It should also concern something of a grave and important nature, that is something for the good of the Church or the good of souls. This and the preceding rule will help to distinguish true prophecies from the puerile, senseless, and useless predictions of fortune-tellers, crystal-gazers, spiritualists, and charlatans. These may tell things beyond human knowledge and yet within the scope of the natural knowledge of demons, but not those things that are strictly speaking the objects of prophecy;
(5) Prophecies or revelations which make known the sins of others, or which announce the predestination or reprobation of souls are to be suspected. Three special secrets of God have always to be deeply respected as they are very rarely revealed, namely: the state of conscience in this life, the state of souls after death unless canonized by the Church, and the mystery of predestination. The secret of predestination has been revealed only in exceptional cases, but that of reprobation has never been revealed, because so long as the soul is in this life, its salvation is possible. The day of General Judgment is also a secret which has never been revealed;
(6) We have afterwards to ascertain whether the prophecy has been fulfilled in the way foretold. There are some limitations to this rule: (1) if the prophecy was not absolute, but containing threats only, and tempered by conditions expressed or understood, as exemplified in the prophecy of Jonas to the Ninivites, and that of Isaias to King Ezechias; (2) it may sometimes happen that the prophecy is true and from God, and the human interpretation of it is false, as men may interpret it otherwise than God intended.
The Church Refrains From ‘Canonizing’ Prophecies
The last prophetic work which the Church acknowledges as Divinely inspired is the Apocalypse. The prophetic spirit did not disappear with the Apostolic times, but the Church has not pronounced any work prophetic since then, though she has canonized numberless saints who were more or less endowed with the gift of prophecy.
Freedom of Belief
The Church allows freedom in accepting or rejecting particular or private prophecies, according to the evidence for or against them. We should be slow to admit and slow to reject them, and in either case treat them with respect when they come to us from trustworthy sources, and are in accordance with Catholic doctrine and the rules of Catholic morality.
The Variables of Prophecy
The real test of these predictions is their fulfilment. However, prophecies are usually contingent or conditional—a case of “If you do “A”, then “X” will happen to you; but if you do “B”, then “Z” will happen to you. They are only possible anticipations of the ways of Providence in any given case, and they may sometimes be fulfilled in part and in part contradicted by events—dependent upon how much mankind or certain individuals have complied with the message coming from Heaven.
The prophecies which announce calamities, being for the most part conditional, may or may not be fulfilled. Most of the private prophecies of the saints and servants of God were concerned with individuals, their death, recovery from illness, or vocations. Some foretold things which would affect the fate of entire nations. A great number have reference to popes and to the papacy; and finally we have many such prophecies relating to the end of the world and the approach of the Day of Judgment.
General Agreement of End Time Prophecies
The more noteworthy and respected prophecies dealing with the "latter times" seem to have one common end, to announce (1) great calamities for mankind, (2) followed by the triumph of the Church, and (3) the renovation of the world. All the seers agree in the following two leading features.
First they all point to some terrible convulsion, to a revolution springing from most deep-rooted impiety, consisting in a formal opposition to God and His truth, and resulting in the most formidable persecution to which the Church has ever been subject.
Secondly, they all promise for the Church a victory more splendid than she has ever achieved here below. Another point, we could be added, is a remarkable agreement among the long list of modern prophecies, concerning the connection between the fortunes of France and those of the Church and the Holy See.
Many Things Still Unknown
Some prophetic spirits were prolific in the forecasts of the future. The biographer of St. Philip Neri states that if all the prophecies attributed to this saint were narrated, then they alone would fill entire volumes. There are many other private prophecies concerning the remote and proximate signs of the terrible times to come. Some have come from saints, such as those attributed to St. Hildegarde, St. Bridget of Sweden, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (the "three days' darkness"), the Curé d'Ars, and many others. These do not enlighten us any more than do the Scriptural prophecies as to the day and the hour of that judgment, which still remains a Divine secret.
Chief Things to Remember
(1) We must never forget that prophecies concerning punishment, chastisement and calamities are usually conditional. Thus, the original timeline of the prophecy can shift or change, depending on man’s response to the prophecy. There are some who ridicule prophecy by saying something like: “I thought it was supposed to happen by the year 2000! It hasn’t happened! Therefore it must be fake!” This is not true, for the correspondence of man with the demands of Heaven may have postponed the timing stated in the initial prophecy. For prophecies are like a threatening parent, who wants to correct or elicit a certain behavior in the child. The parent does not primarily desire to punish, but most certainly will do if the threat is ignored and the behavior is not amended.
(2) Even though nobody is strictly obliged to believe a prophecy that belongs to Divine Private Revelation, it can at times be foolhardy to ignore it and to fail to comply with it. We are going to see the result of this kind of rash behavior some time in the future, when “All Hell lets loose!” Sister Lucia of Fatima, in 1957, comments on this indifference and ignoring of Our Lady’s prophecies—even though they are Divine Private Revelation—as related by Fr. Fuentes: “The first thing she said to me (Fr Fuentes) was: ‘Father, the Blessed Virgin is very sad, because no one heeds her message; neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on with their life of virtue and apostolate, but they do not unite their lives to the message of Fatima. Sinners keep following the road of evil because they do not see the terrible chastisement about to befall them.’” It takes a brave person (or an idiot) to ignore what God is trying to tell us, especially when we have a moral certitude that the message is authentic and comes from Heaven! God have mercy on them!
In his extremely enlightening and well-researched book, Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement, the author Yves Dupont, bringing together a whole series of prophecies by different persons, gives a short but uncannily striking series of events, which, when the book was published in the 1960's, seemed less clear than it seems to us today, who are on the verge of events igniting.
We will share with you his overall, "big-picture" view, which it is good to have on the back-burner of our minds as these prophetic events unfold. The fact that events unfold as prophesied should be a great consolation to us—though frightening they may be—because it shows that God is fully in control of things, having foreseen and foretold those events a long, long time before.
Will it or Won't it?
First of all, just a few words about the author—Yves Dupont. Let us remember that he is NOT a prophet, but merely a researcher and presenter of prophecies given by God to others. Let us also remember that prophecy is a risky business, and the interpretation of prophecy is even riskier. Remember that even the Apostles (and many saints in later centuries), thought that they were living in the end times. They thought that Our Lord's prophecies were going to be fulfilled in their day! In each century you could possibly say that persons though the same way. However, never has Our Lady been involved so much in these prophetic warnings as she has been in our modern day—generally thought to begin with her involvement at the Rue du Bac in 1830 (St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal) and has regularly appeared and warned us at different times since then.
Yves Dupont was born at Paris in 1922. While receiving his education from the College de Royan, he decided to begin prophetical studies, and correctly predicted the defeat of the French by the Nazis near the River Loire. He later published World Trends, a Catholic periodical, in the 1960s, and released Catholic Prophesy: The Coming Chastisement.
Here is his brief overview of the period that we are most likely headed for:
► Not a two-camp war, but a multi-sided war.
► Not a war only, but a world-wide revolution as well.
► Not simply a man-made holocaust, but also a God-sent chastisement, accompanied by cosmic disturbances.
► To last about four years.
► The whole world will be involved in the fighting. A unique feature is the internal disintegration of the Western democracies and the invasion of Western Europe by Arab forces.
► The roles of the U.S.A. and Russia are not clear in the beginning. The U.S.A. may be involved in the Far-East or at home or both. Russia may want to keep out of the fray at first, while abetting the Arab world, or may be involved in Siberia.
► Civil wars rage in Western Europe. The Church is persecuted; the Pope leaves Rome and dies in exile: an anti-pope is installed in Rome; the Catholic Church is split, leaderless and completely disorganized. Communism is victorious. The Mohammedans invade Europe and commit innumerable atrocities.
► In the West, however, Christians rally around an unexpected leader, an army officer of royal blood, but their chances seem very slim.
► The natural disturbances begin: floods, droughts, famines.
► A comet approaches the earth: Whole mountains split open; huge tidal waves swallow up low-lying lands; stones fall from the sky; a deadly fog or gas poisons the atmosphere; a prolonged darkness envelops the earth. Two-thirds or three-fourths of the human race is wiped out.
► The powers of evil are shattered. The Christian Prince leads his growing army to battle and wins victory upon victory. In West Germany he crushes a Germano-Russian Army. Communism collapses everywhere. The Mohammedans are thrown back to the sea. The war is carried to Africa and the Middle East, where the Arab Power is dealt a deadly blow. At this stage, if not earlier, U.S. troops come to the assistance of Western Europe.
► Russia and China are converted to Catholicism, as also the Mohammedans (Muslims). All non-Catholics return to Mother Church. A holy Pope is elected; he shows great firmness; and he restores all the former disciplines in the Church.
► All the nations of Western Europe unite and form a new Roman Empire, and accept as their emperor the great Christian Prince, chosen by God, who works hand-in-hand with the holy Pope. The triumph of the Catholic Church is universal.
► The whole world enjoys a period of complete peace and unprecedented prosperity in mutual love and respect among people and nations.
► This great peace will last until the coming of Antichrist.
Changing World Climate—Global 'Warming'
Over recent years there has been much talk of "Global Warming" as regards the weather. However true or untrue that may be, there is another kind of "Global Warming" going on, which will bring even greater disastrous consequences. We speak of the "Global Warming" of sin, which has brought about a Global Warning from Heaven.
Many scientists and observers think that the “Global Warming” panic is a scam. The problem with that argument is that we only experienced the bulk of that warming between 1979 and 1998—since then, we’ve actually had temperatures DROPPING! Weakening the “Global Warming” argument is data showing that the North Polar ice cap is increasing in size. Recent satellite images from NASA actually reflect an increase of 43% to 63%. This is quite the opposite of what the "Global Warming" faction warned us. Be that as it may, but the Global Warning from Heaven is NOT a scam—it is real and it is coming! Man will soon have to pay for a “Global Cooling” of Faith in God and Love of God.
Signs of the Times
Just as a weather forecast is meant to be of help to you, by informing you of the likely weather conditions for your area, thus helping you prepare and plan your day accordingly; our War Forecast page—taking its three letters W-A-R from the word WEATHER—is meant to help you plan and prepare for what many think is inevitable in our current age. In fact the whole of our life is one continual war against the triple enemy—the devil, the world and the flesh—hence the words of Holy Scripture: "The life of man upon earth is a warfare!" (Job 7:1). While Our Lady tells us that war is a punishment for sin. We see the Chosen People repeatedly punished by God for their sinfulness by wars and captivity. In our modern times, Our Lady has repeatedly told us of a similar fate awaiting both the Church and the world.
Severe WeAtheR Warning
We cannot say that we have not been warned! Yet what are we doing about it? Are we burying our heads in the sand or distracting ourselves so that we do not have to face up to what could be coming very soon? Or are we "prepping" for what is to come? The real "prepping" or proper "prepping" is spiritual "prepping"—as Our Lord said: “And I say to you, My friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye Him, who after He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him”(Luke 12:4-5).
The Power of Weather
It is natural to be scared of severe weather—and rightfully so—for even the military can be defeated by adverse weather. Look at Germany's attempted conquest of Russia during World II, where the Russian winter effectively defeated the Germans. Likewise at the Battle of Lepanto, where the sudden change of wind gave the Christian fleet a much greater advantage over the Turks.
Scary Weather Coming
War is much like the weather—it is to be feared; its severity can hit some regions and leave other regions unscathed, must like severe weather. When it comes to war, most people are tempted to bury their heads in the sand and think and do nothing about it—as they would about the weather. They say something like: "Oh, I know it's coming, but we will most likely not be struck by lighting (a bomb)!"
We all know from experience that usually only a minority suffer some major tragedy or serious inconvenience due to sever weather conditions. Yet can we say the same of war? Of course, there always have been wars and Holy Scripture even tells us: "You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass" (Matthew 24:6). Yet, in the same passage from Scripture, Our Lord goes on to paint an ever more grim picture: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places! Now all these are [just] the beginnings of sorrows” (Matthew 24:7-8).
“As I told you before…”
Our Lady, as has been said many times before and will be said many times again—warns us that what is to come will be no picnic! What is coming is extremely serious, painful and will be widespread—so much so that she says around three-quarters of humanity will die! That means it will be like no other disaster in the history of the world, apart from the Great Flood in the time of Noe.
Our Lady says that “every type of vice will enter, calling down in turn every type of chastisement, such as plagues, famines, internal fighting and external disputes with other nations, and apostasy, the cause of the perdition of so many souls” (Our Lady of Good Success) … “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead” (Our Lady of Akita).
Tuned-In or Tuned-Out? Prepping?
Are we tuned-in? Or are we tuning-out? Our Lady does not tell us these things for fun or out of sadistic motives. We are forewarned so that we can be forearmed. Are we “prepping”? Are we “prepping” the way Heaven would like us to “prep” or are we “prepping” by starting to reach for a spade, in order to dig a hole for our head in the sand?
Most people have mentally buried their heads in the sand, as Sister Lucia of Fatima states: “The Blessed Virgin is very sad, because no one heeds her message; neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on with their life of virtue and apostolate, but they do not unite their lives to the message of Fatima. Sinners keep following the road of evil because they do not see the terrible chastisement about to befall them” (to Fr. Fuentes, December 28th, 1957).
“Prepping” the Mind First
The first “prepping” has to always be in the mind. A building is first conceived in the mind; only then is it committed to paper by an architectural drawing; finally it is built on the ground. A musical composition, likewise, is first conceived in the mind; tinkered with and written down on paper; finally it is played by the orchestra. The same is true for so many other things, including battle plans by a general: he will think about it first, discuss with others next, then go into battle.
Holy Scripture, in a very loose way, speaks of this “prepping” also: “For which of you having a mind to build a tower, doth not first sit down, and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it: lest, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that see it begin to mock him, saying: ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish!’ Or what king, about to go to make war against another king, doth not first sit down, and think whether he be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that, with twenty thousand, cometh against him? Or else, whilst the other is yet afar off, sending an embassy, he desireth conditions of peace” (Luke 14:28-32).
First: Cast Fear Out of the Mind
It is natural to be afraid, but it is supernatural to overcome or control those fears. As St. Thomas Aquinas says, the courageous man is not the man without fear, but the man who acts despite his fears. As Holy Scripture says: “The fear of God is the beginning of His love … [however] fear is not in charity: but perfect charity casteth out fear" (Ecclesiasticus 25:16; 1 John 4:18).
In other words, while our love is still sprouting and growing, then it is still weak and imperfect — consequently, traces of fear still remain, to a greater or lesser extent. Yet, when that love is perfected and has grown to full maturity, then fear no longer remains. When I plant the seed of a tree, in the early months and years I still fear that the seedling, sapling, young tree may still suffer some damage and perhaps die—yet after many years of growth it becomes so robust that those fears no longer exist.
Similarly, when I first start work for a company, I may fear getting sacked or being released—yet once I have worked there many years and have grown to know and love the owners, then those fears evaporate. Much of our fear comes from the fact that we are too attached to this life and things of this world, and therefore are not attached to Our Lord, nor do we love Him very much.
That is why Our Lord tells us: ”Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasures is, there is thy heart also … For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for My sake, shall find it.” (Matthew 6:19-21; 16:25). If our treasures are this life and the things of the world, then, naturally, we live in fear of losing them. But if the afterlife and Heaven are our treasures, then we can’t wait to get there to enjoy them!
The Peace of Christ Requires a Fight of Faith
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The peace of the world is that which desires to be left alone to enjoy the things of the world and to live gratified and satisfied. This is not the peace of Christ. ”Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword!” (Matthew 10:34). Our Lord’s peace comes after the fight!
Continuing with the same quote, Our Lord says: ”For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for Me, shall find it” (Matthew 10:35-39).
Fight For Peace—Fight For The Faith
We must fight for our peace! We must fight for our salvation! We must fight for our Faith! ”The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away”(Matthew 11:12). ”Fight the good fight of Faith: lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called!” (1 Timothy 6:12). Therefore, Our Lord encourages us saying: ”And I say to you, My friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye Him, who after He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him”(Luke 12:4-5).
There will come terrible times, terrible persecutions, terrible sufferings and terrible consequences—”Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His wrath upon them, and no one will be able to escape so many afflictions together ... The society of men is on the eve of the most terrible scourges and of gravest events. Mankind must expect to be ruled with an iron rod and to drink from the chalice of the wrath of God ... Lucifer, together with a large number of demons, will be unloosed from Hell; they will put an end to Faith little by little … the spirits of darkness will spread everywhere a universal slackening of all that concerns the service of God ... A general war will follow which will be appalling ... Several cities will be shaken down and swallowed up by earthquakes. There will be thunderstorms which will shake cities, earthquakes which will swallow up countries. People will believe that all is lost. Nothing will be seen but murder, nothing will be heard but the clash of arms and blasphemy.
There Will Be and Has to Be Suffering!
Most soldiers enter a war expecting to suffer. They hope to come out of it alive; they hope to win the war--yet they realize that there will be casualties and that they may well be among those casualties. The same has to be true of a Soldier of Christ. Yet the soldier of Christ is told by Christ: My friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye Him, who after He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him”(Luke 12:4-5).
Our Lady of Good Success speaks in a similar vein:"The small number of souls, who hidden, will preserve the treasures of the Faith and practice virtue will suffer a cruel, unspeakable and prolonged martyrdom. Many will succumb to death from the violence of their sufferings and those who sacrifice themselves for the Church and their country will be counted as martyrs." While Our Lady of La Salette adds: "The righteous will suffer greatly. Their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise up to Heaven and all of God’s people will beg for forgiveness and mercy and will plead for my help and intercession” (Our Lady of La Salette). Yet despite all this, WE MUST NOT BE AFRAID. This is all part of God’s plan, God’s surgery, God’s cleansing and purification for a sinful world—of which we are an inextricable part. As Our Lord says in Scripture: ”These things must come to pass!” (Matthew 24:6).
Victory is Always Possible?
The minor wars and world war that will come are not mere natural, human wars—they have Satan behind them. The ultimate war is that of Satan against Christ, and Satan’s sympathizers and slaves against Christ’s Catholic Church. The devil, as Our Lord says, is the prince of this world, but the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church—even though the numbers in the Church will be drastically reduced: either by killing or apostasy.
In a war, not all battles are lost, even though the war may be lost. Conversely, even if the war is won, it does not mean that all the battles are won. Hence the saying: "We may lose a battle, but still win the war!" In our own personal lives, each day we win battles and lose battles. What matters is that wounds are healed and the war is won. What is it that will win this war that threatens us and even our own personal battles? It is ultimately and primarily the Faith; and secondarily the fruits or instruments of the Faith. ”For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our Faith” (1 John 5:4). If we truly have the Faith, then that Faith has to and will produce fruits. “I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit” (John 15:5) … ”Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
A War Won on Knees—Not in the Armchair
“What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath Faith, but hath not works? Shall Faith be able to save him? … Faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself ... Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that Faith without works is dead?” (James 2:14-20).
This is also what Pope St. Pius V did when threatened by the Muslim invasion of Europe, he organized a crusade of prayer, where hands would be raised to God in praying the Holy Rosary. We all know what happened, the rest is history. This is precisely what Our Lady has asked for in our times. Her words at Fatima are, at the same time, consoling yet foreboding—depending upon what our reaction is to her advice. She said: “Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, because only she can help you.”
Pray very much …
At Akita, she echoes the same advice: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary ... Pray very much … Continue to pray very much—very much! … Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger … Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.”
There’s a lot of talking going on out there, but not a lot of praying. A lot of armchair experts, but few kneelers. They are all talking to each other (and perhaps even to themselves), but not to the right person—the only one who can help them. As we sow, so shall we reap. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. You can tell a person to pray, but only that person can fall to his knees.
Let us pray! As Our Lady said at Fatima: "Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”