"Your vocation is not a refuge; it is going onto the battlefield, like Moses with his hands raised in prayer as the people fought" Pope Francis>>>
Signs of the times
"To understand the signs of the times means to accept the urgency of penance – of conversion – of faith. This is the correct response to this moment of history, characterized by the grave perils outlined in the images that follow." -Cardinal Ratzinger commenting the Third Part of the Fatima Secret.
"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill- treated, since you also are in the body" (Hebrews 13:3)
"the number of disciples who shed their blood for Christ in the tragic events of the last century is certainly higher than that of the martyrs of the first centuries... As in the ancient Church the blood of martyrs became the seed of new Christians, so in our day the blood of many Christians has become the seed of unity" 5/8/2014 Source>>>
Pope Francis: "The prohibition against Worshipping God is a sign of a "general apostasy". It tries to convince Christians to take "a more reasonable and peaceful road", by obeying "the tenets of worldly powers" who try to reduce religion to "a private matter". (Pope Francis is here reflecting on the temptations of Christ in the desert (Luke 21:20-28). Note that Peter also tries to convince Jesus to take a more "reasonable" path and Jesus rebukes him.)
Pope Francis then explained how "this battle between the living God and the prince of this world" can be traced out to the Book of Daniel (6:12-28). "Daniel is condemned only for worshipping, for worshipping God. And the abomination of desolation is called prohibition against worship".
The Pope then explained, "in that time one could not speak about religion: it was a private matter". Religious symbols were removed and taken down, and the people had to obey the orders that came from "worldly powers". The worship of God was forbidden. This was "the kairós of this pagan attitude". But "when this time is fulfilled, then He will come", as we read in the Gospel, "then they will see the Son of man coming in the cloud with power and great glory".
The word of God reminds us, he said, how "Christians that suffer through times of persecution, through times when worship if prohibited, are a prophetic sign of what will happen to everyone". However, precisely in moments such as these, when the times of the pagans are bring fulfilled "raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near".
Yet we should not be afraid, he said. "God asks us for faithfulness and patience. Faithfulness like that of Daniel, who was faithful to his God and who worshipped him to the end. And patience, for every hair on your head is counted, as the Lord has promised".
Pope Francis concluded by inviting those present to reflect on "this general apostasy called the prohibition of worship", and to ask themselves: "do I worship God? do I adore Jesus Christ the Lord? or do I do so by halves and play games with the prince of this world? Worshipping to the very end with trust and fidelity is the grace we should ask". -Homily Nov, 28, 2013 news.va
Martyrdom: the road of Christians
"Martyrdom, in the tradition of the Greek word, means witness," the Pope explained. "Thus we can say that the road for a Christian follows in the footsteps of Jesus’ witness, in order to bear witness to him". Many times this witness ultimately leads to the sacrifice of one’s life. In fact, "one cannot understand a Christian without this witness and this testimony".
The central issue is that Christianity is not a religion "only of ideas, of pure theology, of aesthetics, of commandments. We are a people who follow Jesus Christ and bear witness, who want to bear witness to Jesus Christ. And this witness sometimes leads to the giving of one’s life".
...Indeed, the Church "is fruitful and a mother when she bears witness to Jesus Christ. However, when the Church withdraws into herself, when she thinks of herself as a university of religion with many beautiful ideas, with many beautiful places of worship, with many beautiful museums, with many beautiful things, but she does not give testimony, she becomes barren".
... the same reasoning is valid for individual Christians: if "one does not bear witness, one remains sterile, without bearing the life one has received from Jesus Christ".
The Acts of the Apostles emphasizes that "Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit". For indeed, "one cannot bear witness without the presence of the Holy Spirit. In difficult moments, when we must choose the right path, when we must say ‘no’ to many things that perhaps tempt and seduce us, there is the prayer to the Holy Spirit: it is he who strengthens us to follow along this path of witness".
God wants us prepared and responsive
The Lord gives us signs through the prophets. Mary visited us in Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima and other places. The teaching of the recent popes is laden with prophetic signs. There are others too. Are we truly listening?
It is hard to respond to God because it requires a radical conversion. We must believe that the Lord will guide us if we persevere seeking discernment. "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)
We need Community
Here is an example: Last night I went to sleep later than I should (I was inspired writing this article). So this morning I was tired. I shut off the alarm and thought about giving myself half an hour more sleep. That would mean being late for my prayer time before Holy Mass. I thought to myself, "I had a bad night and really need to rest". Just at that time I received a text from Maria, a sister of our community: "I will not be able to make it for Mass this morning. My son (5 years old) has been throwing up non-stop. There is vomit everywhere in the twin's room... on the three beds, walls, carpet and floor... I'm washing and cleaning, including both twins, since 5:30AM. So I'm late taking the girls to school. Im taking the boys with me (with a bucket and towel for emergencies). In spite of the mess and inconvenience we are fine!". Needless to say, I was convicted and went to my prayer time! Here I was, writing about the spiritual battle, and I was failing to apply it to my concrete circumstance of today!
This morning in the Gospel, the Lord makes clear how we are to face the battle: "...if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. "For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." (Mark 9:43-50)
Yes, we need to be salted by fire, we need to be shaken up. We need brothers and sisters in community to help us fix our eyes on the Lord and see the truth about ourselves.
Let us not kid ourselves, the battle is great and we are far from having the heart of Jesus. Look at how He faced the battle: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! (Luke 12:49-50). Christ's baptism is the Cross. In community we must help each other to the Cross. It serves to purify us as we commit to live the narrow path, to be "salted with fire" by suffering the sins of others as Jesus did for us.
"Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."(Luke 12:51-53)
Prophecies received in our Community
The Lord has been giving us words in our Love Crucified Community about very difficult times ahead. I have not made them public until now because I felt they would cause controversy. But when Lourdes sent me the last message from the Lord yesterday, somehow another prophecy from 2012 jumped into the screen of my computer next to it. I felt that it was time to publish both.
The Time is at Hand
A faithful Remnant of victims of love will attain the victory
All Christians are called to be martyrs. This is what the Church teaches us! See:"Be Martyrs". Their testimony is not just a distant inspiration. It is for us to live it now:
The words of St Cyprian, martyred in the III century, are true today:"We are now threatened by a fight, harder and more fierce, to which the soldiers of Christ must prepare with an incorrupt faith and robust virtue, considering that this is why they drink daily the chalice of the Blood of Christ, to be themselves able to pour the Blood of Christ". -Letter 58 n.1
Words of wisdom about our times from popes and other reliable sources.
Blessed Virgin Mary
"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 will 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. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."
"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"
"With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation."
"To withdraw in face of the enemy or to be silent when everywhere an incessant clamor is raised to oppress the truth is an attitude of men who are cowards or insecure about the truth they profess. Cowardice and doubt are contrary to the salvation of the individual and the security of the common good and useful only to the enemies of Christianity, for the cowardice of the good encourages the audacity of the wicked. The Christian is born to fight"
Vision of Pope Leo XIII:Source of the St. Michael prayer.
According to the testimony of Fr. Domenico Pachenino: "I do not remember the exact year. One morning the great Pope Leo XIII had celebrated a Mass and, as usual, was attending a Mass of thanksgiving. Suddenly, we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant's head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the color and look on his face changing rapidly. Something unusual and grave was happening in him.
"Finally, as though coming to his senses, he lightly but firmly tapped his hand and rose to his feet. He headed for his private office. His retinue followed anxiously and solicitously, whispering: 'Holy Father, are you not feeling well? Do you need anything?' He answered: 'Nothing, nothing.' About half an hour later, he called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, handing him a sheet of paper, requested that it be printed and sent to all the ordinaries around the world. What was that paper? It was the prayer that we recite with the people at the end of every Mass. It is the plea to Mary and the passionate request to the Prince of the heavenly host, (St. Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle) beseeching God to send Satan back to hell."
According to the same article, Cardinal Giovanni Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano wrote that Leo XIII truly saw, in a vision, demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome). The prayer that he asked all the Church to recite was the fruit of that experience. He would recite that prayer with strong, powerful voice: we heard it many a time in the Vatican Basilica. Leo XIII also personally wrote an exorcism that is included in the Roman Ritual. He recommended that bishops and priests read these exorcisms often in their dioceses and parishes. He himself would recite them often throughout the day." Source: Roman Journal Ephemerides Liturgicae, 1955 (V. LXIX, pages 54–60), quotes an article in another Italian journal called La Settimana del Clero in 1947 by Fr. Domenico Pechenino who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII.>>>
Prayer to Saint Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host--by the Divine Power of God--cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
St. John Paul II referred to the St Michael prayer in his Regina Coeli address of 24 April 1994 as follows: "May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle that the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of: 'Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St Michael the Archangel (cf. Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had this picture in mind when, at the end of the last century, he brought in, throughout the Church, a special prayer to St Michael: 'Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil...' Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."
Rebellion against Pope Paul VI's teaching about sexuality.
St. John Paul II: "This [culture of death] is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency. Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored, tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of "conspiracy against life" is unleashed". -Evangelium Vitae, n. 12
St. John Paul II, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla:
"We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time."
– To USA bishops, 1976. Reprinted Wall Street Journal Nov. 9, 1978
The papal nuncio quoted the above message in a meeting of bishops of the USA in 2014 thus reminding them of the gravity of our times.
St. John Paul II:
Benedict XVI on Catholic laity"Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate, and well-formed Catholic laity . . . with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would de-legitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society. The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country."
The Church must be Militant to overcome evil
Evil will not prevail (Non praevalebunt)
We are in a battle
He continued with a comparison of the temptation we face to be like "everyone else" like the Israelites from the Old Testament wishing for a king like the other nations. They wanted a king ... they got Saul and he was a good man, and then he became a politician and he lost his faith. We're just like that."
"In America, we don't want to be different than our Protestant brothers and sisters, or the secular forces around us. And, I think that's the great danger of our time, we don't love God enough and we don't enter into combat with the enemy enough and we need to recommit ourselves to doing that," the Archbishop of Denver urged.
"So, those kind of basic human values, the value of chastity and the value of family life are popularly seen as 'old fashioned' because of the lies, because of the deceptions of the Evil One. Even Catholics are afraid of standing up for the truth because we're afraid of being branded 'old-fashioned.'"
Prepare for persecution
There is a crisis of truth. The rebellion against God is presented as a declaration of "rights". The Church is accused of imposing her morality upon others. The Church cannot impose but must speak the truth and teach about its consequences. Those who accuse her are themselves imposing lies.
St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, n. 58
Truth does not depend on consensus -Benedict XVI
Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. -Benedict XVI
The eclipse of reason which Pope Benedict saw is rapidly overshadowing the world. Once truth is discarded society disintegrates. Marriage and the family are in crisis everywhere.
Living within the Truth -Archbishop Chaput
-Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, message from April 12, 1820. "I had another vision of the great tribulation… It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy that could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping… It was as if people were splitting into two camps."
Jesus to St. Faustina
Religious liberty. The U.S. bishops have issued a call to action to defend religious liberty and urged laity to work to protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights. They outlined their position in "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty." The document can be found at usccb.org.
Freedom of Worship is not the same as freedom of religion. The first recognizes the right to worship God, the second recognizes the right to speak and act according to the principles of religion.
Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons
St. Catherine of Bologna teaches that to combat evil it is necessary:
-Recommended by Benedict XVI at audiences Dec 29, 2010
(1) to be careful always to do good;
(2) to believe that we can never achieve anything truly good by ourselves;
(3) to trust in God and, for His love, never to fear the battle against evil, either in the world or in ourselves;
(4) to meditate frequently on the events and words of Jesus' life, especially His passion and death;
(5) to remember that we must die;
(6) to keep the benefits of heaven firmly in our minds,
(7) to be familiar with Holy Scripture, keeping it in our hearts to guide all our thoughts and actions".
Revelations (13:3-4) tells us that, fascinated, the whole world followed after the beast. They worshiped the dragon because it gave its authority to the beast; they also worshiped the beast and said, “Who can compare with the beast or who can fight against it.”
Knights of Mother Mary
The Son through the Mother, the Mediatrix of All Graces, will give strength to the warrior’s right arm. But the man will wield the sword, not some angel. When there are enough right arms, strong in grace, the Mystical Body will be an irresistible fighting unit, spiritually armed and operating as one, able to overcome all those forces in the world that the devil can muster against it. >>>
Martyrdom of the heart
Jesus to St Faustina on Spiritual-Warfare
Demons attack saints but are vanquished by the power of love.
The Future of the Church -Cardinal Ratzinger
Our Quest for God is Opposed by World
-Pope Gregory the Great
Weak Faith Cannot Compete with Modern Idolatry -Archbishop Chaput
Catholics reject morality -Cardinal Dolan, 2012
The winning strategy -Peter Kreeft
The End of the Present World -Book loved by St Therese of Lesieux