Living in the End Times
Today, I wish to continue the topic of “Living in the End Times”, a subject which many do not wish to contemplate or think about, but it is a subject matter about which the Holy Spirit has prompted me to write, especially since I view each and every one of you not only as my brother or sister in Christ, but also as my spiritual children to whom I have been evangelizing for more than ten years.
This is a time in which we begin to reflect upon not only the faith with which we have been blessed and which we embrace, but also the kind of relationship we are currently living with our Heavenly Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Most Holy Spirit of Light and Love.
And since this is an Apostolate devoted to evangelizing God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy, I would like to begin with words which our Blessed Mother spoke to Saint Faustina on March 25, 1936:
“I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of Divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy.” (Diary, § 635)
On December 26, 1936, our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice.” (Diary, § 848)
And on February 17, 1937, Jesus said, “Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My Justice is near.” (Diary, § 965)
Many years ago, Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a renowned evangelist who taught the fullness of God’s Truth both on radio and on television, was quoted in 1948 as saying,
“[Satan] will set up a counter-church which will be the ape [imitation] of the [Catholic] Church…It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its Divine content.”
And he went on to say, “We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces, the Mystical Body of Christ and the mystical body of the anti-Christ, are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.
“The False prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church. Christ’s Church, the Catholic Church, will be [the true] one; and the false Prophet will create the other.”
Sadly, it was during a homily which Pope St. Paul VI gave on June 29, 1972, during the Mass of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, that our late Holy Father stated, “…from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”
And during a visit to the United States in 1976, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła (who would be elected Pope John Paul II two years later and would become known as the pope of Divine Mercy) addressed the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He prophetically announced (and these words are accurate):
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel verses the anti-Gospel.
“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 [lessen] 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.”
And very recently, on July 15, 2017, a message from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was read at the funeral Mass for Cardinal Joachim Meisner:
“…he [Cardinal Meisner] learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”
And that is exactly what is happening right now, this boat, the Catholic Church, the Church which our Lord Himself founded upon the shoulders of Peter and the other Apostles, is beginning to overturn (the beginning of the “anti-Church”) due to radical, liberalistic thinking on the part of various members of the Church’s hierarchy, and which is subsequently filtering down to many dioceses and parishes around the world.
Yet, I do not judge any member of the ordained clergy, from the pope to the parish priest and deacon. And neither should you, for all judgment belongs to God. We can objectively discern if a certain action is right or wrong, a certain statement or behavior is pious or heretical; but God does not want us to judge the sanctity or sinfulness of an individual.
It was in June 2013 that one of the Medjugorje visionaries, Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo stated in an interview, “[Our Lady]says that they [priests] don’t need you to judge or criticize them, but they need your prayers and your love. And Our Lady says, ‘Dear children, God will judge them the way they were as priests. But God will judge you the way you treated your priests.’ For if you lose respect for your priests, you will lose it for the Church, and in the end for your God as well…”
In another words, if we disagree with a member of the clergy, we do so with courtesy, respect and with humility. And we pray for the individual who we feel is perverting all that is holy and sacred.
In the fourth century, Saint Athanasius, who was then bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, was an outspoken critic of this new heretical movement growing in the East, a movement which was influencing and drawing many away from the True Church of Jesus Christ, a heretical movement which was ultimately condemned by the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in the year 325.
Known for his many writings which have been saved throughout history, especially against the Arian heretics, we read in one such letter which he wrote to his faithful flock in Alexandria regarding this conflict:
“May God console you!…What saddens you…is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises ─ but you have the apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you…
“No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers…Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.”
In the end, the movement of Arianism died out, for Christ will never abandon His Church! And we have that same assurance today, even in the midst of the confusing times which many faithful throughout the world are now experiencing. For there are places where God’s children find it impossible to profess their faith openly, to lead a normal Christian life, to receive the holy Sacraments frequently, and to converse familiarly with their spiritual confessors.
Even in the United States today, there are those in high governmental positions who wish to suppress religious freedom and expressions of faith. And more and more people are beginning to deny the faith of their fathers and grandfathers, and who end up living a life which denies God’s Word! Is it any wonder why God is so displeased with what is unfolding throughout the world?!
And I am reminded of our Lord’s sobering words which we find in the Gospel of Luke, “…But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8b)
In next Friday’s continuing series on “Living in the End Times”, I will begin to address the various details which are negatively impacting the Catholic Church, and which will ultimately affect each and every one of us – and how we should respond with an ever enduring faith.
In the meantime, I ask that you please offer your daily prayers, works, joys and sufferings for Pope Francis and all the members of the ordained clergy, as well as all members of the consecrated religious – that God’s faithful children may not be misled by a saddening perversion of God’s Truth by those who have been deceived by Satan, the prince of lies.
And please know that I, myself, will remain faithful to all that God’s Spirit has taught us through the Catholic Church over the past two millennia, and I will continue to teach the fullness of His Truth through this Evangelization Apostolate of God’s Divine Love and Mercy – even to my dying breath if that is what is asked of me.
Take to heart always the words which our Lord spoke, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
…“‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Marana tha!).” (Revelation 22:20)
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Part 1: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/01/22/living-in-the-end-times-part-1/