Living in the End Times ~ Part 7

Living in the End Times

Last week, we reflected upon the first of the apocalyptic world-wide events which have been prophesied over the centuries. We spoke about the Warning, which will result after an intense build-up of cataclysmic events that will first affect the whole world! The Warning is truly an act of God’s Divine Mercy to strengthen the faith of believers during a time in which our faith will be sorely tested.

It is a Heavenly event designed to guide non-believers to conversion who would have no chance of redemption without this great act of Mercy, thereby saving many before the terrible Day of Justice by giving us a chance to ask for forgiveness for the sins we have committed.

It was also revealed that the Warning is to be a minor purification to prepare us to see the next miraculous event which God has planned for our salvation. Today, we shall discuss the second and third Heavenly events – the Miracle and the Chastisement:

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The Miracle  (the Visible Sign)

To better understand what God has planned for His children, I would like to refer to the different statements given to us in the past from mystics within the Church:

  • Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), appointed by Jesus, Himself, to be His Secretary of Divine Mercy, wrote in her Diary in 1934 the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ: 

    “Write this: before I come as the Just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day” (Diary, § 83).
  • From 1961 to 1962, Our Blessed Mother appeared to four girls, ages 11 and 12 years old, several times each week in the village of San Sebastian de Garabandal, Spain. Conchita Gonzalez, one of the young visionaries, spoke about the Miracle in an account she had written about the apparitions:

    In 1973, Conchita was responding to questions in an interview, “I will tell you all that I can just as the Virgin told it to me. She told me that God was going to perform a great Miracle and that there would be no doubt about the fact that it was a miracle. It will come directly from God with no human intervention…you would be able to take pictures and televise it…And this sign will remain until the end of time.”

    Another of the Garabandal visionaries, Maria Dolores (Mari-loli) Mazon, responding to an interviewer’s question on July 27, 1975, stated that the Miracle will occur within one year after the Warning.
  • From 1981 up to the present time, Our Blessed Mother began appearing to 5 young teenagers in the village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all who are currently adults:

    On September 4, 1981, while Ivan Dragicevic, one of the Medjugorje visionaries, was in the seminary, Our Blessed Mother stated, “The sign will be given at the end of the apparitions.”

    Two days later, Ivan wrote in his diary, “I was praying in the chapel. Suddenly there was a great light. [And I heard] ‘Pray especially on Sunday, so that the great sign, the gift of God may come. Pray with fervor and a constancy so that God may have mercy on His great children.’

Please note that, as of the current time, neither the apparitions in Garabandal nor Medjugorje have been given formal Church approval, nor have they received a formal condemnation from the Church. Although by latest reports from Rome, it appears that Medjugorje is close to Ecclesial recognition.

Apparently, back in March 1962, Padre Pio wrote a personal letter to the four visionaries of Garabandal. For those who are interested in the letter’s content, and the reaction from the children, please click on the following link: http://www.garabandal2017.com/padre-pio-and-garabandal

However, in such instances where formal Church approval has not yet been given, may I repeat what I posted last week in Part 6, in that I would prefer to recognize and embrace the words of our late Holy Father, Pope Urban VIII:

“In cases like this [apparitions], it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because Our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all the blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true” (Pope Urban VIII, 1568-1644; reigned 1623-1644).

As stated last week, the Miracle, together with the Warning, will be the last public manifestations or outward signs that God will give us before the Divine Chastisement, for the period of Divine Mercy will soon be ending.

Our Blessed Mother has stated in several instances that once the Visible Sign is manifested, the time for conversion is very short. And remember our Lord’s words to Saint Faustina, This will take place shortly before the last day” (Diary, § 83).

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The Chastisement  (the Three Days of Darkness)

A holy mystic, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769–1837), who was chosen by Jesus to “…convert sinners, to console people of all sorts and conditions – priests, prelates, My very Vicar himself”, once stated, “A great purification will come upon the world preceded by an Illumination of Conscience in which everyone will see themselves as God sees them.”

This purification to which Blessed Taigi was referring, or what other visionaries have referred to as the Chastisement, is what is referred to as the “Three Days of Darkness”.

The Three Days of Darkness is not an unprecedented event, for it had occurred in Egypt as the ninth plague which God would visit upon the Egyptian people:

“Then the LORD said to Moses: Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that over the land of Egypt there may be such darkness that one can feel it. So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was dense darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. People could not see one another, nor could they get up from where they were, for three days” (Exodus 10:21-23a).

However, this particular Three Days of Darkness for us will be completely different and has been prophesied by not only Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, but also by Saint Hildegard, Saint Columba, Venerable Mary of Agreda, Venerable Elizabeth Canori-Mora, as well as others. It was even reported that Saint Padre Pio wrote a letter regarding this chastisement, but the letter has not been verified.

Below, I have listed a few of the prophetical statements regarding this ultimate Chastisement:

  • Blessed Taigi was quoted as saying, “God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils; it shall originate on Earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. There shall come over the whole Earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights.

    “Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed wax candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot.

    “During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy. All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole Earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.”
  • Venerable Elizabeth Canori-Mora (1774-1825) was also quoted as saying, “… the sky was covered with clouds so dense and dismal that it was impossible to look at them without dismay… the avenging arm of God will strike the wicked, and in His mighty power He will punish their pride and presumption. God will employ the powers of Hell for the extermination of these impious and heretical persons who desire to overthrow the Church and destroy its foundation.

    “…Innumerable legions of demons shall overrun the Earth and shall execute the orders of Divine Justice…Nothing on the Earth shall be spared. After this frightful punishment, I saw the heavens opening…”
  • Only a few Catholics know about Our Lady of Akita and her appearing to Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in Akita, Japan, from 1973 to 1981, but the message, like that of Fatima, is a specific warning of worldwide chastisement. The Chastisement threatened is truly terrible – far worse than the possibility of annihilation of several nations prophesied at Fatima! And the messages from our Lady of Akita are absolutely consistent with prophecies of Sacred Scripture.

    This particular series of apparitions and messages, however, have received formal Church approval, first through Bishop John Ito on April 22, 1984; and then through Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in June 1988, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, by stating that the Akita events were “…reliable and worthy of belief.”

    In fact, Howard Dee, the Philippine ambassador to the Vatican in 1998 spoke to Cardinal Ratzinger about Akita and stated that the Cardinal “…personally confirmed to me that these two messages of Fatima and Akita are essentially the same.” Hence, in Akita we are dealing with a Church approved intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with no less importance as at Lourdes, La Salette, or Fatima.

    In the third message which Our Blessed Mother gave to Sister Agnes on October 13, 1973 (the 56th anniversary of the miracle of the sun in Fatima), Our Lady 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 will never have been 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 [weapons] which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the (Visible) Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confrères [other priests]. The Church and altars will be vandalized. 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. [Note, is this not what we have been discussing in Parts 1-5 of this series?]

    “The demon will rage especially 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 no longer be pardon for them.” [In other words, the time of Mercy will have come to an end.]
  • Conchita Gonzalez, one of the young visionaries of Garabandal, said, “All Catholics should go to confession before the punishment and the others should repent of their sins. When I saw it (the punishment), I felt a great fear even though at the same time I was seeing Our Blessed Mother. The punishment, if it comes, will come after the Miracle.”

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Summary

As a result of the above prophecies, and others which I have not included due to a limitation of space, I would like to summarize many of the points which the different Church mystics have made over the centuries about this Chastisement, the Three Days of Darkness:

  • Keep your windows well covered and do not look out at what is happening, for God does not want you to look upon the holiness of His Divine Justice.
  • Place holy water, blessed candles, matches, rosary and spiritual reading books in a place you can find even in the pitch darkness. It is wise to have a crucifix and other images of Jesus, Mary and the Saints throughout the home. Place a scapular or crucifix in a prominent place on the wall or above the door in the room in which you will be staying. Also, place a blessed crucifix above all the exterior doors of the home.
  • Light one or more blessed candles (preferably 100% pure beeswax candles which have been blessed), for there will be no other light source.
  • We must be in a state of sanctifying grace in order to be able to light the blessed candle. Therefore, we should always be prepared spiritually.
  • Store up water and food to last for the duration of the three days and nights for everyone in the home, and also for a period of time after the Chastisement.
  • Jesus has said, “This catastrophe shall come upon the Earth like a flash of lightning at which moment the light of the morning sun shall be replaced by black darkness! No one shall leave the house or look out of a window from that moment on.”
  • “I Myself shall come amidst thunder and lightning. The wicked shall behold My Divine Heart. There shall be great confusion because of this utter darkness in which the entire Earth shall be enveloped, and many, many shall die from fear and despair.”
  • “Those who shall fight for My cause shall receive grace from My Divine Heart; and the cry: ‘WHO IS LIKE UNTO GOD!’ shall serve as a means of protection to many. However, many shall burn in the open fields like withered grass! The godless shall be annihilated, so that afterwards the just shall be able to stand afresh.”
  • “Take care of the animals during these days. I am the Creator and Preserver of all animals as well as man. I shall give you a few signs beforehand, at which time you should place more food before them. I will preserve the property of the elect, including the animals, for they shall be in need of sustenance afterwards as well.”
  • “On the day, as soon as complete darkness has set in, no one shall leave the house or look from out of the window. The darkness shall last a day and a night, followed by another day and a night, and another day – but on the night following, the stars will shine again, and on the next morning the sun shall rise again, and it will be SPRINGTIME!!”
  • “Let no one go across the yard, even to feed the animals – he who steps outside will perish! Cover your windows carefully. My elect shall not see My wrath. Have confidence in Me, and I will be your protection. Your confidence obliges Me to come to your aid.”
  • “Hurricanes of fire will pour forth from the clouds and spread over the entire Earth! Storms, bad weather, thunderbolts and earthquakes will cover the Earth for three days. An uninterrupted rain of fire will take place! It will begin during a very cold night. All this is to prove that God is the Master of Creation.”
  • “Those who hope in Me and believe in my words have nothing to fear because I will not forsake them, nor those who spread My message. No harm will come to those who are in the state of grace and who seek My mother’s protection.”
  • “In the days of darkness, My elect shall not sleep, as did the disciples in the Garden of Olives. They shall pray incessantly, and they shall not be disappointed in Me. I shall gather My elect. Hell will believe itself to be in possession of the entire Earth, but I shall reclaim it!”
  • “That you may be prepared for these visitations, I will give you the following signs and instructions: The night will be very cold. The wind will roar. After a time, thunderbolts will be heard. Lock all the doors and windows. Talk to no one outside the house! Kneel down before a crucifix, be sorry for your sins, and beg My Mother’s protection. Do not look [outside] during the earthquake, because the anger of God is holy!”
  • During this Chastisement, pray continuously – pray to Our Blessed Mother and to Saint Joseph, pray the Rosary, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, pray to all the holy angels, especially your Guardian Angel and St. Michael the Archangel for his protection. Implore the aid of all the holy saints and angelic hosts in Heaven.
  • But after three days and two nights, the earthquakes and fire will cease. On the fourth day the sun will shine again. Angels will descend from Heaven and will spread the spirit of peace over the whole world. A feeling of immeasurable gratitude will take possession of those who survive this terrible ordeal with which God has visited upon the Earth since its creation.
  • A new era of peace, love and faith will dawn upon the world!  This will be the age of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  • “At the return of light, let everyone give thanks to the Holy Trinity for Their protection! The devastation shall be very great! But I, Your God, will have purified the Earth. I am with you. Have confidence!”
  • For those of you who are reading all about this for the first time, may I make reference to what Sacred Scripture teaches us about the final days:
  • Jesus Himself did warn us to observe signs in nature before His Second Coming saying, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).
  • “…there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect they will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22).
  • “Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness” (Joel 4:15).
  • “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out” (2 Peter 3:10).
  • “But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace” (2 Peter 3:13-14).
  • “Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says…” (Revelation 2:29).

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Our Blessed Mother stated a few years ago in Medjugorje that the intensity of the purification can be lessened through prayer and fasting. However, because of the closed-heartedness of so many of God’s children and the frequent and willful commission of grave sin against His Love, the Chastisement cannot be completely removed.

As a result, our Lord is asking that we not be anxious about what is to come, since this purification is a part of God’s ultimate plan for cleansing the Earth of all evil, for we see within our world today evil, hatred and godlessness unparalleled with any other time or era in human history. Accordingly, the will of God will only bring the ultimate good for His faithful children who completely trust in His providential Love.

Whenever and whatever may actually occur during this frightening event, we must realize that we must first go through the cleansing of our own crucifixion before we can rise to a new life in the resurrection, always trusting in God’s providential Love for us.

May we take to heart the parable our Lord taught us about the five foolish virgins, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.

“Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:1-13).

I pray that our Most Merciful Father will bless us with the grace to always remain alert and to keep our lamps trimmed and filled with oil. And may all that will eventually take place change the face of the Earth for His greater honor and glory and our personal sanctification!

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Next Friday in the continuing series of “Living in the End Times”, I will discuss what Sacred Scripture and the saints tell us about the prophesied False Prophet and the Antichrist.

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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Previous Posts:

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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“Eternal and Most Loving Father, during this season of Lent, please help us to reflect upon our relationship with You;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always be opened to new possibilities, new ways in which we can become the extension of Christ, truly caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters, freely sharing with others, through selfless love, the spiritual and material treasures with which You have blessed us. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

March 4 ~ Filled with a Certain Strength

Theme:  Do Not Fear; I Am with You

“Suddenly I saw the Lord interiorly, and He said to me, ‘Fear not, My daughter; I am with you.’ In that single moment, all the darkness and torments vanished, my senses were inundated with unspeakable joy, [and] the faculties of my soul filled with light.”(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 103)

[After suffering humiliation and ridicule from one of her religious sisters, Saint Faustina wrote:]

“Satan always takes advantage of such moments; thoughts of discouragement began to rise to the surface – for your faithfulness and sincerity – this is your reward. How can one be sincere when one is so misunderstood? Jesus, Jesus, I cannot go on any longer. Again I fell to the ground under this weight, and I broke out in a sweat, and fear began to overcome me. I had no one to lean on interiorly. Suddenly I heard a voice within my soul, ‘Do not fear; I am with you.’ And an unusual light illumined my mind, and I understood that I should not give in to such sorrows. I was filled with a certain strength and left my cell with new courage to suffer.”(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 129)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, please help me to hear Your words of encouragement when I need them most in my daily endeavor to follow You – “Do not fear; I am with you.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

March 4 ~ His Holy Will

Theme:  God’s Will

“He [Jesus] told me that the most perfect and holy soul is the one that does the will of My Father, but there are not many such, and that He looks with special love upon the soul who lives His will.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 603)

“…nothing will deter me from doing the will of God.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 615a)

“I am not counting on my own strength, but on His omnipotence for, as He gave me the grace of knowing His holy will, He will also grant me the grace of fulfilling it.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 615b)

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Meditation for the Day

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent, March 4

During This Season of Lent, May Each of Us Always Be Opened to New Possibilities, to New Ways in Which We Can Grow in Our Personal Relationship with God.

Pope St. John Paul II, in a homily he gave in 1979 to some 80,000 people who were gathered for Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York City, said, “…the Lazarus of the twentieth century stands at our doors.”

The suffering and the impoverished we see at times in the commercials advertised in our newspapers or on television are no different than the tormented and suffering Lazarus we read about in today’s Gospel.

Many of them, especially those in underdeveloped countries, live their lives each day from hour to hour. In the shadows of their own despair, especially if they feel forgotten or unloved, it becomes difficult for them to feel any sense of hope or see any “light at the end of the tunnel”.

For each of them, male or female, young or old, it becomes difficult to live a life with any sense of optimism, especially when those individuals or governments who have the financial or physical means fail to reach out a helping hand with the excesses which they do not need, especially when they blatantly fail or refuse to recognize the suffering Christ in the world around them!

Even in some of the cities in the United States, there are many in local governments who truly ignore the plight of the homeless and destitute, forcing them to live in conditions which are deplorable and disease infested!

In today’s Scripture Readings, we are faced with some very sobering words which deal with the consequences of living a life which removes God from our midst. And we hear our Lord speaking to us through His prophet Jeremiah in our First Reading, “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD.”

And we hear in our Gospel how this rich man in Jesus’ parable was cursed, enduring the torments of Hell, “Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.”

In Pope St. John Paul’s homily, he posed a question to his listeners, “Was the rich man condemned because he had riches, because he abounded in earthly possessions, because he ‘…dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day’?

“No, I would say that it was not for this reason. The rich man was condemned because he did not pay attention to the other man. Because he failed to take notice of Lazarus, the person who sat at his door and who longed to eat the scraps from his table.”

Nowhere in the Gospel do we find Christ condemning the mere possession of earthly goods, as such. Instead, sometimes in very harsh words, he speaks against those who use their possessions in selfish ways, without paying attention to the needs of those who are less fortunate!

The Sermon on the Mount begins with the words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” And, at the end of the account of the Last Judgment, as found in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus speaks the words that we all know so well:

“Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.”

For the many who are afflicted with so many trials and misfortunes in today’s world, what sustains them in the midst of their sufferings? As a Christian people, what sustains us in the various trials we sometimes endure in our daily struggle through this vale of tears?

In Jeremiah, we hear the words, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.” Our First Reading is telling us that whoever relies on God will not be disappointed or be in want when everything around them dries up or disappears. God will not only be their consolation, but their inexhaustible source of joy as well!

Jesus’ parable about the afflictions of the poor man, Lazarus, brings home a similar point. In this story, Jesus paints a dramatic scene of contrasts – poverty and riches, Heaven and Hell, compassion and indifference, inclusion and exclusion!

We also see an abrupt and dramatic reversal of fortune – the afflicted Lazarus, who suffered horribly in this life, is reclining at the bosom of Abraham, a symbol of Heaven, a symbol of eternal rest.

Whereas, for the rich man who ignored Lazarus while he lived – turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to his needs – he found his own fortunes reversed at the end of his life! In God’s Divine Justice, those who hold on possessively to what they have, lose it all in the end, while those who share generously receive back many times more than what they gave away.

The parable does not allow us to see into the heart of Lazarus, but we are given a picture of the heart of the rich man. In all his wealth and in his self-absorption with greed, the rich man could not see beyond his own material wealth and possessions. He not only had everything he needed, he selfishly spent all he had on himself! He was too absorbed in what he possessed to notice the needs of those around him, even to notice Lazarus at the foot of his own door!

Sadly, he lost sight of God and the treasure of Heaven, because he was preoccupied with seeking happiness in material belongings; he served wealth rather than God. In the end, the rich man became a beggar, and the beggar became rich in the eternal blessings which awaited him.

During this season of Lent as we reflect upon our own personal relationship with God, may each of us always be opened to new possibilities, to new ways in which we can grow in our relationship of love with the God who has given us every good gift!

In this pilgrimage of faith which you and I are making during these forty days in the desert, in which we are realizing our own personal longing for God, may He give to you and me a generous heart, truly caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters, freely sharing with others the spiritual and material treasures our God has given to each of us – always remembering the words our Savior once gave us –

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth.’(Jeremiah 17:5-6)
  • “And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’” (Luke 16:24)
  • “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’” (Matthew 25:41-43)
  • “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)   
  • “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers. Rather, the law of the LORD is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
  • “Those who give to the poor have no lack, but those who avert their eyes, many curses.” (Proverbs 28:27)
  • “Whoever cares for the poor lends to the LORD, who will pay back the sum in full.” (Proverbs 19:17)
  • “Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust.” (Jeremiah 17:7)
  • “He began to teach them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.’” (Matthew 5:2-6)
  • “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-36, 40b)

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Prayer for the Day

“Keep me, O God, from pettiness;
let me be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let me be done with fault-finding and self-seeking.
May I put away all pretense and meet everyone
face-to-face without self-pity and without prejudice.

“May I never be hasty in judgment and always generous.
Let me take time for all things.
Make me grow calm, serene and gentle.
Teach me to put into action my better impulses,
straightforward and unafraid.

“Lord, grant that I may fully realize
it is the little things in life that create differences
and that, in the big things of life, we are all truly one in You.
And, O Lord God, let me not forget to be generous with love!
This I ask in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ March 4

SAINT CASIMIR of POLAND (1458-1484), holy man – patron saint of Poland and Lithuania

Today, the Church honors Saint Casimir of Poland, a royal prince who felt a calling to follow the Eternal King rather than his father, an earthly king, and who devoted his later years to prayer and assisting the poor.

Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a prince of Poland, the second son of King Casimir IV and Elizabeth of Austria, and in the minds of his earthly parents, his life was destined to help enhance his father’s authority and increase Poland’s power.

Born the third of thirteen children in 1458, Casimir realized from an early age that his life belonged to Someone else, to a much higher King than his own father. Despite pressure, humiliation, and rejection, he stood by that loyalty to God throughout his entire life.

It may be hard for us to imagine royal luxury as a pressure and inconvenience; but, for Casimir, the riches around him were temptations to forget his true loyalty which he felt in his heart towards his Heavenly Father and Eternal King. Rebelling against the rich, fashionable clothes he was expected to enjoy, he wore the plainest of clothes.

Rejecting even ordinary comforts, he slept little, spending his nights in prayer. And when he did sleep, he lay on the floor, not on a royal bed. Even though he was a prince, many of those around him laughed and joked at his choices. Yet, in the face of such pressures, Casimir was always friendly and calm, and always faithful to the love and devotion he felt for his God.

Though his father must have wondered about him, he saw and admired Casimir’s strength. However, he showed that he misunderstood this strength when he sent Casimir, who was only thirteen years old at the time, as head of an army to take over the throne of Hungary at the request of some Hungarian nobles.

Casimir felt the whole expedition was wrong, but was convinced to go in obedience to his father, the king. He could not help but feel, at every step of the way, that he was being disobedient to his Heavenly Father. So when soldiers started deserting, Casimir was only too relieved to listen to the advice of his officers and turn back home. His feelings were confirmed when he later discovered that Pope Sixtus IV had opposed the expedition to overthrow the Hungarian regime.

Upon his return, Casimir did not return to Kraków, Poland, but instead remained for three months in a castle in Dobzki, three miles from Kraków, where he spent the time in self-imposed penance. For the next twelve years, he devoted his life to prayer and study and helping the poor. He even rejected a marriage alliance his father tried to arrange, so that he could devote his life to celibacy.

For a three year period that Casimir’s father was outside of the country, Casimir attended to the affairs of Poland with great prudence and justice, thereby allowing him to continue caring for the poor and disadvantaged.

Suffering from consumption (tuberculosis), Casimir died at the age of twenty-five on March 4, 1484, while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also the Grand Duke. He was buried in the Cathedral of Vilnius in Lithuania and canonized a saint in 1522 by Pope Adrian VI.

To honor the holiness and devotion to God for which Saint Casimir lived his short life, his shrine and tomb was visited in 1996 by Pope St. John Paul II.

We commemorate his feastday on March 4.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org, ewtn.com/library and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Collect of the Roman Missal from the Proper for Saint Casimir)

“Almighty God, to serve You is to reign; grant that, with the help of Saint Casimir’s intercession, we may constantly serve You in holiness and justice.

“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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“Almighty and Most Merciful God, You are our Source of encouragement and inspiration in the life of faith which You call us to live each day;

– please fill us with the strength and joy in serving You as faithful followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, always embracing the virtues of humility, selfless love and compassionate service towards others in our daily lives, so that we may truly become the extension of Your Love and Mercy in our world today, all in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

March 3 ~ Offer Me Your Misery

Theme:  Give Me Your Misery

“Write, My daughter, that I am mercy itself for the contrite soul. A soul’s greatest wretchedness does not enkindle Me with wrath; but rather, My Heart is moved towards it with great mercy.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1739)

“And Jesus said, ‘For you, I am mercy itself; therefore I ask you to offer Me your misery and this very helplessness of yours and, in this way, you will delight My Heart.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1775)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, You are Mercy itself. I offer You my misery and that of the whole world. May Your Heart of Mercy delight at this offering of our misery to You. Jesus, please have mercy on us and on the whole world. (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)

March 3 ~ Rule Me

Theme:  God’s Will

“Eternal God, Goodness itself, whose mercy is incomprehensible to every intellect, whether human or angelic, help me, your feeble child, to do Your holy will as You make it known to me. I desire nothing but to fulfill God’s desires. Lord, here are my soul and my body, my mind and my will, my heart and all my love. Rule me according to Your eternal plans.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 492)

“I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus, it cannot be helped, but I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 497)

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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.