Living in the End Times ~ Part 11

Living in the End Times

Being a Christian people, we are filled with a hope which is strengthened through both prayer and Sacrament. We have a God who has gifted us with a faith in His unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy, made known to us through Sacred Scripture and the teaching Magisterium of our Catholic Church.

In our last episode (Part 10), we reflected upon the last two subjects in our eschatological study of the End Times – Heaven and Hell.

In this continuing series on “Living in the End Times”, I would like to spend time today reflecting upon those special prayers given to us from both Heaven and the Church itself, prayers which will strengthen and prepare us for all that will one day unfold upon the face of the Earth.

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The HOLY SACRIFICE of the MASS

Firstly, I would like to start with the most efficacious, the most potent and effective prayer which our Lord, Himself, gave us. It was at the Last Supper, just before our Lord’s Sorrowful Passion was about to begin, in which He offered Himself to His Heavenly Father and decided that He would leave to His Apostles, who were gathered around the supper table, Himself in a most unique and special way in the form of bread and wine, thereby truly changing it, truly consecrating it into His Most Precious Body and Blood – a Heavenly gift which we continue to receive in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to this day.

For those reading this and who are guests, the Holy Mass, as described by the Council of Trent (1545-1563 A.D.) is the same as all that occurred on Calvary – the offering of the Incarnate Word Himself to His Eternal Father, “only the manner of offering being changed” is from a sacrifice which is bloody to one which is unbloody.

In the old Baltimore Catechism, it states, “The Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ”, and that it is “the same sacrifice as that of the Cross, because the offering and the priest are the same – Christ our Blessed Lord; and the ends for which the sacrifice of the Mass is offered are the same as those of the sacrifice of the Cross” (Balt. Cat., #916, 921).

And these ends are:

  • To honor and glorify God
  • To thank Him for all the graces bestowed upon the whole world
  • To satisfy God’s justice for the sins of men, and
  • To obtain graces and blessings (Balt. Cat., #922)

In the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read about the different terms given to the Eucharistic celebration within each Mass:

§ 1328  “The inexhaustible richness of this Sacrament is expressed in the…name we give it: Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God…”

§ 1329  “The Lord’s Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with His disciples on the eve of His Passion, and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the Heavenly Jerusalem; the Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meal, when as Master of the table He blessed and distributed the bread, above all at the Last Supper.”

§ 1330  “The Memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection – The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, ‘sacrifice of praise’, spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.”

§ 1331  “Holy Communion, because by this Sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in His Body and Blood to form a single body…”, and

§ 1332  “Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives.”

And it is in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which Christ is truly present: a) in the celebrant priest who is standing “in persona Christi [in the Person of Christ]”; b) in the Word (Sacred Scripture) being proclaimed; c) in the community of the faithful; and d) especially in the consecrated bread and wine, which is changed, through the power of the Holy Spirit, into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Risen and Glorified Christ.

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The ROSARY

When one thinks of the Rosary, we think of beads on a string which we finger while praying the Lord’s Prayer , the Hail Mary’s and the Glory Be’s. But it is much more than that. It is actually a recitation of prayers during which we mediate upon the life of Christ.

Tradition tells us that about the year 1214 A.D., Saint Dominic de Guzman, a missionary priest, received a vision of our Blessed Mother, during which time our Lady told him to pray the Rosary daily, teaching the mysteries of each decade to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would win over those who were deceived by heresies which were rampant during that period of Church history.

From that time forward, the Rosary has received full Church approval and has been embraced for centuries as a daily prayer which helps lead one to live a life of personal sanctity, thereby guiding and strengthening one to reject sin.

The Rosary itself is divided into four sets of five Mysteries:

The Five Joyful Mysteries, which are traditionally prayed on Mondays, Saturdays, and, during the season of Advent, on Sundays:

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation in the Temple
  5. The Finding in the Temple

The Five Luminous Mysteries, which are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:

  1. The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan
  2. The Wedding Feast at Cana
  3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration on Mount Tabor
  5. The Institution of the Holy Eucharist

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries, which are traditionally prayed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and, during the season of Lent, on Sundays:

  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion and Death

The Five Glorious Mysteries, which are traditionally prayed on Wednesdays and, outside the seasons of Advent and Lent, on Sundays:

  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption of Mary
  5. The Coronation of Mary

Let us reflect upon what many holy men and women have said about this truly important prayer:

  • “The power of the Rosary is beyond description.” (Venerable Fulton J. Sheen)
  • “Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.” (Saint Louis de Montfort)
  • “You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.” (Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche)
  • “Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” (Pope Blessed Pius IX)
  • “The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.” (Saint Francis de Sales)
  • “One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.” (Saint Dominic)
  • “The Rosary is THE weapon for these times.” (Saint Pio of Pietrelcina – St. Padre Pio)
  • “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” (Saint Pio of Pietrelcina – St. Padre Pio)
  • “The Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” (Sister Lucia dos Santos, Fatima seer), and
  • “When you say your Rosary, the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary.” (Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche).

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The CHAPLET of DIVINE MERCY

Through Saint Maria Faustina, our Merciful Savior has given this aching world new channels for the outpouring of His grace. These new channels include the Image of The Divine Mercy, the Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday), the Novena to The Divine Mercy, and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy which can be prayed at any time of the day, but most especially at the 3 o’clock hour in the afternoon, which was the hour of our Lord’s extreme agony and the hour of His Great Mercy.

Although these means of receiving God’s Divine Mercy are new in form, they all proclaim the timeless message of God’s Merciful Love. They also draw us back to the great Sacraments of Mercy, Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, where the Living Lord, who suffered and died on the Cross and whose Heart was pierced with a lance, pours forth His Mercy upon all mankind, and grants pardon to all who draw near and honor Him. As Jesus once told Saint Faustina:

  • “My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners…and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy” (Diary, 367).

Our Lord also said to Saint Faustina:

  • Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy” (Diary, 687).
  • [Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy, delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to my compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…” (Diary, 1146).

Next to the Rosary, this Holy Chaplet, given to us by the Eternal Son of God, Himself, is a most efficacious prayer imploring God’s Divine Mercy upon ourselves and upon a world which is truly in most need of His Mercy in these final days of the End Times.

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PRAYER to SAINT MICHAEL the ARCHANGEL

On October 13, 1884, exactly 33 years to-the-day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision.

Pope Leo XIII

When the 74 year old pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, which was attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, Pope Leo suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about ten minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white.

Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the special prayer to Saint Michael, with instructions that it be said after all “low” Masses [explained below] everywhere in the world.

When asked what had happened, Pope Leo explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices: one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

  • The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church.”
  • The gentle voice of Our Lord responded: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”
  • Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”
  • Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?”
  • Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”
  • Our Lord: “You have the time; you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII decreed that this prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel be said at the end of all “low” Masses (not “high”, or sung Masses) throughout the universal Church, along with the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen); and the practice of the congregation praying these prayers at the end of Mass continued until about 1970, when the introduction of the new rite of the Mass was made available to the universal Church.

However, on Sunday, April 24, 1994, at the end of his Angelus message given in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Saint John Paul II urged Catholics to recite this prayer to Saint Michael once again. John Paul II stated:

  • “This prayer can fortify us for that spiritual battle about which the Letter to the Ephesians speaks [of]: ‘Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.’ (Ephesians 6:10). And to this same battle that the Book of the Apocalypse refers [to], recalling in front of our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (cf. Revelation 12:7-9).
  • “Surely, this scene was very present to Pope Leo XIII, when, at the end of the previous century, he introduced to the entire 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…’
  • “Even if today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, I invite all to not forget it, but to recite it in order to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and the spirit of this world.”

The Saint Michael Prayer

(which many of us learned when we were young)

“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 you, O prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God,
thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits,
who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

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PRAYER to OUR GUARDIAN ANGEL

We read in Sacred Scripture regarding the angels of Heaven:

  • “For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go” (Psalm 91:11)
  • “Are [the angels] not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
  • [Paul said] “For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood by me” (Acts 27:23)
  • “Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, ‘Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route’” (Acts 8:26)
  • “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2), and
  • “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Matthew 18:10).

And these are only some of the many verses we find in Sacred Scripture which teach us about God’s holy messengers and protectors of His children. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we are taught:

  • “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on Earth, the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God” (CCC, § 336).

Saint Padre Pio wrote about the Guardian Angels in his many letters:

  • “…never forget the Guardian Angel who is always with you, never leaving you for whatever wrong you might do. Oh, the ineffable goodness of this our good Guardian Angel!” (Letters, vol. II, no. 41)
  • “…what a consolation it is to know one is always in the care of a celestial spirit, who does not abandon us (how admirable) even when we disgust God! How sweet is this great truth for the believer! Who, then, does the devout soul fear who tries to love Jesus, having always close by such a great warrior?” (Letters, vol. II, no. 64)
  • “Know…that this good Angel prays for you; offers to God all the good works you accomplish; your holy and pure desires. In the hours when you seem to be alone and abandoned, do not complain of not having a friendly soul to whom you can unburden yourself and in whom you can confide your sorrows. For pity’s sake, do not forget this invisible companion, always present to listen to you; always ready to console you.” (Letters, vol. II, no. 64); and
  • “Invoke often this Guardian Angel, this benevolent Angel…What will be…the consolation when, at the moment of death, your soul will see this Angel, so good, who accompanied you through life and was so liberal in maternal care…Treat this dear little Angel, I do not say as a friend, but as one of the family.” (Letters, vol. II, no. 64)

Saint Faustina also wrote about her Guardian Angel numerous times in her Diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. Some of these passages are:

  • “(The next night) I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him [into Purgatory]…My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant.” (Diary, 20)
  • “When I went to the garden one afternoon, my Guardian Angel said to me, ‘Pray for the dying.’(Diary, 314)
  • “Seeing [the demons’] great hatred for me, I immediately asked my Guardian Angel for help, and at once the bright and radiant figure of my Guardian Angel appeared and said to me, ‘Do not fear, spouse of my Lord: without His permission these spirits will do you no harm.’ Immediately the evil spirits vanished, and the faithful Guardian Angel accompanied me, in a visible manner, right to the very house. His look was modest and peaceful, and a flame of fire sparkled from his forehead.” (Diary, 419) and
  • “When we took our seats on the train from Warsaw to Cracow, I once saw again my Guardian Angel at my side. He was absorbed in prayer and in contemplating God, and I followed him with my thoughts.” (Diary, 490).

How can we not be amazed at the Heavenly wonder of this celestial guardian and protector of our souls, given to us through God’s Infinite Love! – a special angel who has been at our side interceding, guiding and protecting us from the moment of our conception to the moment when we shall pass from this life? And it is then, in Heaven, that our Guardian Angel will explain all things to us.

Prayer #1  (to our Guardian Angel)

“My beloved and dearest Guardian Angel,
I sincerely thank Almighty God for His gift to me
of your holy presence in my daily life,
as you walk with me each moment and
guide me along each step I take
as I travel through this vale of tears.

“Ever this day, please be at my side
to illumine the path along which I am called to travel,
and guard and protect me from all the assaults and deceptions
with which the enemy of my soul wishes to harm me.

“Through your guidance and prayers of intercession on my behalf,
may I always be a faithful child of God,
so that the appearance of my soul
may always be most pleasing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“With deepest love and most heartfelt appreciation
for all that you do for me throughout my life,
I sincerely thank Almighty God for the constant gift
of your caring and loving presence.

“I humbly pray this always
in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Prayer #2  (which many learned as a child)

“Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s Love commits me here;
ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”

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NOVENAS

There are also numerous novenas which we find as a part of the Church’s treasury of prayers: the Novena of Divine Mercy, Sacred Heart Novenas, numerous Marian Novenas, novenas to the saints, Saint Michael the Archangel Novena, etc.

Many of these novenas can be found on the website: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novenas-75

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The strength and intimacy of our relationship with God is directly dependent upon the prayer life which we embrace in our daily lives, together with the frequent reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.

With all that is occurring across the face of the Earth, and with all that is presently occurring within the Holy Catholic Church, we need the assistance and guidance of our Guardian Angel, the protection of Saint Michael the Archangel, and the prayers of intercession by all the holy saints in Heaven.

May the Merciful Love of our Creator, our Savior and our Sanctifier continue to bless us and fill us with His peace in a world which is continuously heading further and further away from all that is holy and sacred.

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As we continue with this series of “Living in the End Times”, we will discuss any topics which you wish me to cover and which are relevant to this continuing series.

Please let me know what you would like to discuss in the “Comment” section below or in a private message.

Again, I ask that you please pray that I may be able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in all that He wishes for you to learn, in all that He wishes for you to know as we enter and live in these final days of the “End Times”.

And 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).

May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you.

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3 thoughts on “Living in the End Times ~ Part 11

      1. There are two kinds of trees that bears good and bad fruit. Fertilize the bad trees so they can bear good fruit. That’s what good messengers are for.
        Unite the good trees in one faith, one communion, one congregation, in the name of Jesus.

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