A Call to VigilanceJul 01, 2020
"After purification through trial and suffering, the dawn of a new era is about to break." –Pope St. John Paul II, General Audience, Sept. 10, 2003
We are living in what is arguably the most tumultuous period of human history. Never before has the entire world been so connected, and yet so torn apart.
On October 13, 1973, Our Lady of Akita said:
"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."
Reading the scriptures and the numerous approved messages from Our Lady, I believe the reason we are seeing so much chaos, confusion, and destruction everywhere–including within the Church itself–is because of one thing:
The devil is almost out of time.
In His infinite wisdom, the Lord is allowing the devil to have one last go.
But ultimately, this time of "trial and suffering" which Pope St. John Paul II spoke about will only serve to save more souls. Just as Christ–who is the head of the Church–willingly died on the cross, He will also allow His body the Church to join in His passion and death so that the maximum number of souls will be saved. By allowing chastisements to fall upon humanity, God is giving us a chance for repentance.
When people see their whole world falling apart... when people realize who their Creator is... when people wake up and see that their souls are in danger of being lost for all eternity... that's when many souls will beg for mercy, and they will not be refused. There is no sin that God will not forgive, and He will welcome the repentant like prodigal children to the feast of Heaven.
But time is running out. Humanity needs to wake up and repent before it's too late.
Today, more than any other time in history, is the time to be vigilant. We need to keep watch and be on the alert. We need to be like the wise virgins (Matthew 25) who brought oil for their lamps to be ready for the bridegroom, not like the foolish virgins who did not take oil with them and arrived at the wedding too late.
If not yet baptized, we need to get baptized ASAP. We need to keep holy the Lord's Day, and obey all the commandments. We need to frequent the Sacrament of Confession, and make a general confession of all our sins. We need to be strengthened by Our Lord in the Eucharist as often as possible (or at least receive Him spiritually if the sacrament is not available). We need to pray the rosary every day, because this is the weapon Our Lady has given us to combat the devil.
These are the essentials. If you're already doing these things, here are a few more ways that we can be vigilant in these times...
1. Guard the Faith
As Our Lady said, the devil will infiltrate even into the Church. Already her prophecy has come true: we see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against bishops. With all this confusion in the Church, we need to know our faith through and through so we won't be fooled by false teachings. The first way to do that is by arming ourselves with the Catechism: get a copy, and read it.
We also need to learn what the Fathers of the Church taught. As the Council of Trent and Vatican I decreed: "no one is permitted to interpret Sacred Scripture...contrary to the unanimous agreement of the Fathers." So whenever there is any question, or when reading, watching or listening to anything on matters of faith, we need to be armed with the knowledge of the Magisterium and the Fathers. We cannot simply assume that any other source of information is free of error.
(The Bible, of course, is also free from error, but here I'm talking about interpreting scripture, and other matters not included in sacred scripture).
Take, for example, Catholic blogs like this one. If one were to take everything that I write as absolute truth without question–as if I were somehow infallible, like the pope speaking ex cathedra–that would be a huge mistake. I'm sure no one will make that mistake with me given that I'm not a theologian or anybody of any consequence. But the point is, any blog, lay apostolate, theologian, apologist, and even any clergyman can make errors just like any human being, and they're free to publish what they want. Everything they put out isn't put under scrutiny by the Magisterium before it is made available to the public.
It used to be that no lay person was allowed to speak on matters of faith without the express approval of their bishop. We don't have that kind of accountability today, so Catholics cannot afford to be complacent. We need to be vigilant in our faith. We need to question everything we hear and read, and put it under the scrutiny of the Magisterium and the Fathers.
2. Be Careful of What You Consume
It's not difficult to see how the devil has infiltrated every aspect of the secular world. From what we see on TV, to the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the games we play, the language we use... every aspect of society has been corrupted.
That doesn't mean that we need to retreat into the wilderness and live as hermits. But to live as true Christians, we do need to reject what is evil, and live strictly according to Gods laws, without compromise.
Now is the time to purge anything from our lives that isn't pleasing to God. Maybe we own some video games that are violent, or movies that blaspheme God's name. Maybe we have some clothes in our closet that are immodest. Maybe we're subscribed to services which are incompatible with our Catholic faith because they support abortion or other evils. Maybe we have images of things which give glory to satan and his demons.
Throw them all away! It may hurt, but "it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29-30).
Then, strive to be vigilant in everything that you consume from here on out. Don't make excuses for things because they're "mostly good".
Think of it this way: if a brownie had a tiny bit of poison in it, would you still eat it? Most of it is good, right?
Aside from allowing these tainted things to poison us, we also offend God when we hang on to them. On the subject of movies which use the Lord's name in vain, one priest put it this way:
If you had a recording of someone who spoke badly about your spouse, would you hang on to it? How would that make him or her feel? You could fast forward the offending parts, but that doesn't erase the fact that hurtful things were said.
Let's not continue to crucify Christ by keeping blasphemous and offensive things around.
3. Read the Signs of the Times
If you think that we might be in the "end times," you aren't totally crazy. There are many signs today unlike any other time in history which point to that quite possibly being the case. In fact, there is a prophetic consensus that we are already at the beginning of the end.
How long will the "end" last? Well, even if the very end turns out to be a long ways away, it is always important for every generation to keep watch until Christ's return:
"Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour." (Matthew 25:13)
Reading the signs of the times is a prudent thing to do, not only for ourselves, but in order to help warn others. If we are prepared (spiritually, emotionally, physically) for tough times to come, we won't have our peace shattered when bad things come to pass because it will be no surprise to us. Then, we can be a pillar for those who are afraid, unprepared, and don't know what to do.
As with everything not officially approved by the Magisterium, we need to take alleged revelations with a grain of salt. Many seers receive messages for quite some time (even years!) before they are thoroughly scrutinized by the Church. So, as with everything, we need to know our catechism and test what we hear against the Magisterium and the agreement of the Fathers.
4. Prepare Your Home
Our Lady has warned us again and again that chastisements will soon fall upon humanity, and they will be even greater than the flood.
At Akita, on October 13, 1973, the anniversary of the final visions at 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 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 the priests."
However, at Fatima Our Lady also said:
"My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God." (June 13th, 1917)
So, first and foremost, we need to consecrate ourselves and our homes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There is no guarantee that we will be physically protected, since she says that the chastisement will wipe out "the good as well as the bad", but we know for absolute certain that Mary is our spiritual refuge and our ark.
Mary also promised us at Fatima that after the chastisements there would be a period of peace. We can hope and pray for the chastisements to be lightened, that our homes will be passed over (Exodus 12), and that the period of peace will come!
Here is a beautiful consecration prayer of family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the first time, this should be recited kneeling, with all of the family present, led by the head of the household):
Oh Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, our Queen and Mother, refuge and consolation of all those who are in misery, I, prostrate before thy throne with all my family, choose thee for my Lady, Mother, and Advocate with God.
I, with all who belong to me, dedicate myself forever to thy service, and pray thee, oh Mother of God, to receive us into the number of thy servants, taking us all under thy protection, aiding us in life, and still more, at the hour of our death.
Oh Mother of Mercy, I choose thee Lady and ruler of my whole house, of my relatives, my interests, and all my affairs. Do not disdain to take care of them; dispose of them all as it pleases thee.
Bless me, then, and all my family, and do not permit that any of us should offend thy Son. Do thou defend us in temptations, deliver us from dangers, provide for us in our necessities, counsel us in our doubts, console us in afflictions, be with us in sickness, and especially in the agonies of death.
Do not permit the devil to glory in having in his chains any of us who are now consecrated to thee; but grant that we may come to thee in heaven to thank thee, and together with thee to praise and love our Redeemer Jesus for all eternity. Amen, thus may it be.
It doesn't hurt to make physical preparations also. We see headlines in the news warning about famine and rising water bills. When we see these things, it's prudent to store up an emergency supply of food and water. Remember what Joseph the patriarch did in anticipation of the 7 years of famine?
"...he went round all the countries of Egypt. And the fruitfulness of the seven years came: and the corn being bound up into sheaves was gathered together into the barns of Egypt. And all the abundance of grain was laid up in every city. And there was so great abundance of wheat, that it was equal to the sand of the sea, and the plenty exceeded measure." (Genesis 41:46-49)
And let's not forget about the sacramentals and devotions given to us by the Church for our protection and graces! There are so many that it would take another article to write about them all, but every home and individual should at least have some of the basics, such as holy water, exorcised salt, miraculous medal, brown scapular, etc.
So, let's heed God's warnings like Noah. Let's take prudent action like Joseph. Let's keep watch like the wise virgins, taking care not to run out of oil. The dawn of a new era is about to break... and that's pretty exciting!