Living in the End Times ~ Prelude

Over three years ago, I published a weekly series called “Living in the End Times”.

Recently, however, I have felt the Holy Spirit showing me signs and speaking to my heart that the need for updating and republishing this series is of paramount importance.

I normally do not post on Fridays and Saturdays. However, beginning tomorrow and for the following twelve Fridays, I will be re-presenting this updated thirteen part series (with a possible fourteenth part) to enlighten and prepare you for matters that are soon to take place.

And please know that you are always free to share with family and friends anything that I publish.

I sincerely wish each of you and your loved ones God’s peace and His many blessings,
Ed Cole

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, § 1731)

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“Almighty and Most Loving God, You are always at our side inviting us to open our hearts to Your Spirit of Truth and Love;

– as we continue our daily pilgrimage through life, may Your Holy Spirit always guide our lives, so that we emulate the life of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in all that we think and in all that we say and do; for it is only in this way that we are able to continually grow in our loving and intimate relationship with You. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 21 ~ Be Not Afraid

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“Today, I have heard these words; ‘My daughter, delight of My Heart, it is with pleasure that I look into your soul. I bestow many graces only because of you. I also withhold My punishments only because of you. You restrain Me, and I cannot vindicate the claims of My justice. You bind My hands with your love.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1193)

“Today I heard a voice in my soul: ‘Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1396)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, please fill my heart with love of You like that of Saint Faustina, so that You may be delighted and grant many graces as I beg for mercy for souls. May many more sinners come to know of Your Divine Mercy while it is still time for mercy. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 21 ~ The Crown of Your Works

Theme:  Mercy

“Mercy is the crown of Your works; You provide for all with the love of a most tender mother.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 505)

“If we live in this spirit of mercy, we ourselves will obtain mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 550)

“Happy is the soul that calls upon the mercy of the Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 598a)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Meditation for the Day

Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, January 21

In Our Individual Pilgrimage Through Life in Which You and I Experience Our Faith, May We Always Follow the Humble Example of Christ in Fulfilling the Will of God, Both Here and Now.

The Responsorial antiphon today presents us with a theme that is prevalent in today’s Readings – “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”

Today’s Gospel passage begins with a statement about Jesus’ popularity. People were coming from all over to experience healing, or at least to see it happen, which was a stark contrast to the rejection our Lord was experiencing from the religious authorities.

It is clear to many that Jesus was a “wonder worker” of sorts, and it is equally clear that He was not rejecting that reputation, even though He had to find ways of keeping Himself from being physically harmed by the crowds. For we are told that the disciples had to have a boat ready, just in case the crowd, in all its exuberance, would begin to crush in on Him.

What many find strange, however, is Jesus ordering the unclean spirits not to reveal His true identity! Right now, He seems only to want to be known for what He does, rather than for who He is! And many Scriptural scholars refer to this as the “Messianic secret”.

The Scriptures tell us today that “whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God.’ He warned them sternly not to make him known.” Jesus’ mission in fulfilling His Father’s will was not to glorify Himself, or to have others glorify Him, but rather to teach us what pleases the Father the most – humility, obedience, the selfless giving of love, and compassionate mercy.

It was Jesus’ personality which invited and allowed others to draw close to Him. It was His compassionate Mercy and selfless Love which became as a beacon of Divine Light, illumining and driving away the shadows of darkness for all those who were hungering and thirsting for spiritual nourishment!

And in Jesus’ humility and obedience to His Father’s will, He became the Divine Physician, who drew to Himself all those who were suffering spiritually and physically, healing the sick and the despairing – inspiring each of us as we go about living our life of faith!

“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”

In our First Reading for today, the theme of Jesus as the Eternal High Priest continues where we left off yesterday; for as we read today, “Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.”

And it was the will of the Divine Son to always do His Father’s will in reaching out to God’s children as a humble servant, not seeking glory for Himself, but rather reaching out to the poor, the disadvantaged, the rejected and the sinner with a compassion which touched the hearts of so many people who came to hear Him preach and to feel His healing touch.

“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”

How do you and I serve God’s will in our lives? How do we respond to all that God is asking of us in our personal walk of faith?

I have spoken of this before, but it is a point which I feel is important enough to repeat. To truly embrace our faith, to truly respond to all that our faith teaches us, is to empty oneself completely of ego, to empty oneself completely of pride and self-importance – to let go of all that constrains us and what controls us, and to focus our lives on the will of the Father who is our Creator, on the Son who is our Redeemer, and on the Spirit who is our Sanctifier.

In our individual pilgrimage through life in which you and I experience our faith, may we always follow the humble example of Christ, who is our True High Priest and Mediator, for His way is infinitely better that anything our human minds could ever conceive.

For it is in His Divine Mediation for each of us wherein we find our true joy and lasting peace. It is in His self-sacrificing Love wherein we find the true model for our own way through life –

– a way which becomes our guide for truly fulfilling the will of God, both here and now.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “I said, ‘Here I am; to do your will is my delight’” (Psalm 40:8a, 9a; 1 Samuel 3:4)
  • “Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:25-26)
  • “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
  • “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
  • “You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)
  • “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” (John 14:23b)
  • “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” (Romans 2:13)
  • “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.” (1 John 2:24-25)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Lord, regulate all things by Your Wisdom,
so that I may always serve You in the manner
that You will rather than in the manner that I will.

“Do not punish me by granting what I will
if it offends against Your Love,
for I want Your Love to live always in me.

“Help me to deny myself in order that I may serve You.
Let me live for You –
who in Yourself are the True Life. Amen.”

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint of the Day ~ January 21

SAINT AGNES of ROME (c.291-c.304), virgin and martyr – Patroness of chastity, betrothed couples, rape victims, virgins and young girls

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Agnes, a young Roman girl who chose martyrdom over giving up her virginity in marriage, for she knew she was forever espoused to the Divine Bridegroom.

In her youth, Agnes took a vow that she would never blemish her purity. She often said, “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.” However, she was also very beautiful and many young men were drawn to her in the hopes of marrying her. She would have none of them, however, as she knew her happiness was to be found elsewhere.

Legend has it that, during the Christian persecutions under the Roman emperor, Diocletian, trouble arose when the son of a Roman governor fell in love with Agnes. He tried to win her as his wife by giving her extravagant gifts and making many promises.

However, Agnes loved God above all things and no earthly gift could sway her. She told him, “I am already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!” Filled with anger, he denounced Agnes as a Christian.

Legend continues to tell us that Agnes was dragged before the governor who tried to persuade her to change her mind; however, she remained unwavering in her resolve. He then had her bound with chains, but to no avail. Not wanting to kill her while she was a virgin, he had her dragged through the streets to a brothel. However, tradition tells us that any man who tried to rape her was struck blind.

Standing before her executioner, Saint Ambrose tells us in a treatise he wrote On Virgins that Agnes declared, “To hope that any other will please me does wrong to my Spouse. I will be His who first chose me for Himself. Executioner, why do you delay? If eyes that I do not want can desire this body, then let it perish.”

Saint Ambrose continues to write that Agnes prayed, and, standing still, she offered herself to the sword. Her body was buried near Rome in a catacomb that was eventually named after her. Through the efforts of Constantina, the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, a basilica was erected in Saint Agnes’ honor over her grave in the fourth century.

Saint Agnes was only 12 or 13 years old when she died, preserving her virginity and gaining for herself the martyr’s crown about the year 304. Since the Middle Ages, she has been represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virginal innocence. On her feastday, two lambs are solemnly blessed, and from their wool are made the palliums, a circular stole of white wool which the pope wears and also confers on archbishops to be worn in their respective jurisdictions.

Listed in the Roman Martyrology, we commemorate Saint Agnes’ feastday on January 21.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org, newadvent.org and the Roman Breviary)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Agnes)

“Almighty, Eternal God, You chose what the world considers weak to put the worldly power to shame. May we who celebrate the birth of Saint Agnes into eternal joy be loyal to the faith she professed.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, § 1731)

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“Heavenly and Eternal Father, as we recognize the wonders of the unfathomable Love which fills Your Divine Nature for each and every one of us, Your children, we humbly reach out to You with prayerful confidence that You will strengthen the gift of faith with which You have blessed us;

– please help us cast aside all doubt, fear and indifference to Your words of Eternal Truth, so that we may always reach out to You with a confident trust and an expectant hope in Your Loving Mercy, for You are truly our only Refuge and Salvation, all through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 20 ~ Our Duty

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“December 16, [1936]. I have offered this day for Russia. I have offered all my sufferings and prayers for that poor country. After Holy Communion, Jesus said to me, ‘I cannot suffer that country any longer. Do not tie My hands, My daughter.’ I understood that if it had not been for the prayers of souls that are pleasing to God, that whole nation would have already been reduced to nothingness. Oh, how I suffer for that nation which has banished God from its borders!” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 818)

“When once I asked the Lord Jesus how He could tolerate so many sins and crimes and not punish them, the Lord answered me, ‘I have eternity for punishing [these], and so I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. My daughter, secretary of My mercy, your duty is not only to write about and proclaim My mercy, but also to beg for this grace for them, so that they too may glorify My mercy.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1160)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, thank You for instructing Saint Faustina not only to write about Your Mercy toward sinners, but also to beg for mercy for them. May we, too, turn to Your Fatherly Love and beg for Your Divine Mercy upon all who have chosen to wander through life in spiritual darkness. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 20 ~ You Are Compassion Itself

Theme:  Mercy

“O my God, even in the punishments You send down upon the earth I see the abyss of Your mercy, for by punishing us here on earth You free us from eternal punishment.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 423a)

“O God, You are compassion itself for the greatest sinners who sincerely repent. The greater the sinner, the greater his right to God’s mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 423b)

“I desire to go throughout the whole world and speak to souls about the great mercy of God.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 491)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.