The Two Witnesses

And I will grant my two witnesses authority to prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days, wearing sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; anyone who wants to harm them must be killed in this manner. Revelation 11:3-5

No doubt everyone out there can see how things are escalating in the world and how we’re facing the tribulation. I know many of you have read prophecy and have prepared for these times. There are many prophetic voices out there that have given warning to us and for them I am grateful. They have called us to be awake to the storm, keeping us abreast of the anti-Christ agenda that barrages us daily in the news. They have called us to be a sign of hope in the world and given us practical measures of things we can do. I have often wondered how what I write fits into all of this. And I just keep coming back to the same two things. But before I expound on that, I wanted to share with you some excerpts from a famous book we all know. I read the book long ago, but my friend Ashley recently refreshed my memory on some of what was written. The book is the Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. For those of you who haven’t read it, it is written from the perspective of a demon. Here is an excerpt from the book. I have chosen to bold some of the writing;

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all of their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time – For the past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is lit up with eternal rays. Hence the encouragement we have given to all those schemes of thought such as Creative Evolution, Scientific Humanism, or Communism, which fix men’s affections on the Future, on the very core of temporality. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust and ambition look ahead. …..

He (God) does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. We do.

I was astonished in rereading this. It is a profound understanding of what the enemy is trying to do to us. Friends, we can know something is coming, but we don’t know exactly what. It is good to stay awake and prepare in various ways. But the Future should not consume us, because we are called to love and mercy in the here and now. These are the two witnesses. Love and Mercy.

Now before anyone jumps on me, I do believe there could be two actual witnesses that the book of Revelation speaks of. I do not doubt God’s layers of meaning. But for me, in reading this passage, I know this is a call to love and mercy now, in all of your interactions and in all of your relationships. Because the honest truth is, you never do know what tomorrow brings, and if God were to take you tomorrow you would want your soul judged not on your preparations for the future you didn’t get to see, but on how you loved and gave mercy in the life that you lived.

I was awakened in the night on February 11, 2023. I wrote in my journal what I felt God speaking. As always, if the church were to say what I have written in wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong. I speak of future things, but hopefully it invokes no fear, because the call from the Lord is clear. Act when God tells you and prepare how He tells you. Leave all else aside, and keep working for the Kingdom at hand.

Beloved Lily of the Father,

I AM sending my two witnesses to the earth to call you back to me. They come in the form of sickness and hunger. These witness to those who think they have control. They do not. Men are small. I call you back to My Authority to rely totally on Me.

In sickness you are called back to love. Health can deign one to think they are invincible. Sickness reminds one that they are not and draws you back to love that which is important. If you are open, you are drawn back to witness to my love. Love is about relationship not about preserving the physical body at all costs. My witness looks like Damien of Molokai. Those who think they can outsmart or out-science my witness will get devoured by the fire of loneliness and despair, loss of relationship more fierce than any sickness could ever be.

Hunger will come and show you how truly small you are and bring you to complete reliance on My Providence.

Prosperity can bring pride and condescension. Hunger reminds mankind of how little control you really have. If you are open, you will see the miracle of My Providence as this witness taken up with total trust shows himself to be a mercy. Mercy in the provision of My Providence. This witness looks like Anthony of Padua, steeped in poverty by choice, merciful in feeding the hungry. It’s all about mercy.

Love and Mercy become the two greatest witnesses. Those who think they can outsmart or out-science my witnesses without turning to Love and Mercy, will have no peace.

My Peace comes in the midst of sickness and hunger. My Peace is love and mercy lived. The beast will try to devour Love and Mercy making a god of science. But Love and Mercy will rise to heaven and pour out as blood and water from the wounds of My Son, showing all who they really are. Heaven and earth will be silent. You will know who you are. The remnant shall persevere in Love and Mercy.

  • Abba

Turn all you do towards Love and Mercy and have gratitude for what the Lord has allowed to come your way. It’s fine to prepare for the future, but do not do it out of fear, but out of obedience and love. Love Now. Have Mercy now.

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We Are Not Helpless

I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.  But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.  2 Corinthians 11:2-4

If you are like me, you have been awake and seeing the train wreck of our society for a long time. I have pondered how Saint Paul went into all these Gentile churches and spoke to them about the unknown God they had an altar to, and he pointed them towards Christ, even in his own peril. Corinth was worshipping Aphrodite with orgies and temple sex slaves. Saint Paul is not unfamiliar in dealing with the sins we see rampant today.

There are days that the onslaught of sin can seem overwhelming and that we are incapable of winning this battle. But we know that isn’t true and that the battle is not in the physical plane. It is a spiritual battle and we need to be warriors of prayer. We fight, as Paul tells us, Powers and Principalities. We fight on our knees in prayer. The corruption of our children is the final phase of corruption that began long ago. This century escalated our moral degradation. Divorce, contraception, pornography, abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, all of it, a moral abyss. It actually leads to violence because people do not understand the dignity for which we were made.

Speaking this truth does not mean condemnation of the persons who have committed these things. On the contrary, speaking this truth is meant as a call back to dignity, purity, and holiness. Dignity, purity and holiness usher in true charity. There is nothing you have done that God cannot heal in a way you never thought possible. Saint Paul told Corinth, even after all they had done, that he promised them to one husband, to be presented as a chaste virgin. God can restore all things. We are in a battle for our identity. We need to reclaim ourselves as children of God.

Though in the past we had more protection prayed for us by the clergy, we don’t always have that luxury today. Many inside the church are corrupt, the sex scandals and cover up have shown us that, But we are not helpless. We have a God who told us to ask, seek and knock. I wrote this prayer to do just that.

I followed the template provided here. I do not have the authority to cast out demons, that is reserved for the exorcists, but I do have courage to ask God the Father to do this for us. This is my plea to God the Father.

God the Father in Heaven from whom all authority comes, we come before you today to implore you, in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ to protect your family here on earth.

Deal aggressively with the enemy who tries to steal, kill and destroy the innocence of children and the love of the family.

Help us Lord to resist the devil. Set the enemy to flight. Give us a deep desire for the Most Holy Trinity alone.

God the Father, through your authority and in the Holy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we ask for the Sword of the Holy Spirit to be brought upon your people to bind and cast out;

the spirit of homosexuality

the desire for homosexuality

the spirit of transgenderism

the desire to be transgender

the spirit of fornication

the desire to fornicate

the spirit of pornography

the desire to view pornography

the spirit of divorce

the desire to divorce

the spirit of contraception and lifelessness

the desire to bear no fruit

the spirit of murder and abortion

the desire to murder and abort

the spirit of violence

the desire to commit violence

the spirit of envy

the spirit of pride

the spirit of all lust and sexual perversions, disordered desire and unchastity.

God the Father we ask you to cast them out, abolish and remove them in the name of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, whose blood was poured out for us to be redeemed.

We ask that the stronghold of these perversions that permeate our society be broken and rendered powerless and void in our universal church, in our Dioceses (name yours), in our parish (name yours), in our families and homes.

We ask that all forms of retaliation be blocked from harming us.

Make our hearts burn with the fire of true charity and make our families holy families. Heal us Lord.

We ask this through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all the choirs of Angels, and all the Saints in Heaven.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Lord of Space and Time

Walkino on Water, by Ivan Aivazovsky (1888)

When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”  Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. John 6:19-21

In my RCIA class the other night we were learning about the Eucharist. The Priest was going through John chapter 6 with the class. Many of us know and have read this passage, but the Priest who was teaching shed new light on this passage for me. He did what a Priest should do, like a Good Shepherd, he revealed our God and opened our eyes even more. Many of you may have already seen and known these things I am about to write, but I write them as I feel compelled to share them with the hopes that you remember how great God is in the trying times we live in.

The passage begins with a multitude of hungry people coming to see Jesus. Jesus responds with a question for his disciples;

“Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” John 6:5

Scripture tells us that Jesus said this to test them. “Why would Jesus want to test them?“, The Priest asked us. One adept student answered, “He wants to know if they know who He is yet?” Jesus who has been with the disciples healing the sick and the blind and casting out demons wants to know right here, if they recognize him for who He is, and if they do, how big do they think He is?

We can know by the response, that some know him a little more than others, some have progressed further than others. Thomas tells him what two hundred denari won’t do. Andrew, responds about a boy with five barely loaves and two fish. Andrew perhaps has no idea what Jesus will do, but he brings his meager observation to Jesus and let’s Jesus do what He will do. Thomas, brings him the worldly response. Isn’t this just like all of us? Some are a little more progressed in trust and knowing God than others; Some are more illuminated about who He is than others. But neither disciple in this story realizes the greatness that is about to be. They are looking at the circumstance that looms large. They receive a giant miracle.

The feeding of the 5000 ends with the people wanting to force Jesus to be their king. Isn’t that just like us? God, the gentleman, who doesn’t force Himself on us, reveals something of Himself, and we begin wanting to force Him into our ways. The People of God have never been great at choosing what is good for them. It is why we do need the Mystical Body with Christ as the head. For Jesus knows the kind of earthly King they want is not what their souls need. It would not heal them the way they need to be healed.

Smack in the middle of this chapter, in between the feeding of the 5000 and the Bread of Life discourse, John tells us of the miracle of Jesus walking on water;

 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.  But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”  Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. John 6:16-21

Why did Jesus perform this miracle here? There are two things the Priest who was teaching us pointed out. The first is of course that Jesus is defying nature by walking on water. But the second is more subtle. Immediately the boat reach the land towards which they were going. This happened because they tried to get Jesus into the boat. Later the people realize Jesus wasn’t in the boat and wonder how he got to the other side. But Jesus did two things here, he had control of space, walking on water, and he sped up time, so they couldn’t get Him in the boat.

He is Lord of space and time. He is outside of them and He is held within them. He can control nature. When I think of the immensity of that, I feel small and humbled that I have ever questioned God’s timing on anything. And it made me to understand so much more how he is definitely hidden in that tiny host on the altar that we can receive everyday. His nature in that accident of bread and wine. He is great enough and humble enough to do that for us.

The latter part of John 6 is the Bread of Life Discourse. He chastises the people, imploring them to believe;

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”  So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us, then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?  Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”  Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” John 6:25 – 34

He tells them that they came because of their fill of loaves and then they ask for signs. Jesus isn’t looking for us to believe because of signs and worldly fill. He wants for us to look for Him regardless of signs and wonders. Jesus brought us the path to perfect love. It can involve signs and wonders, and abundance, but my friends, that is not why we should believe. And when we look for signs and wonders, in the way that we think things will play out, we may miss what God is actually doing. Lord knows, even the Apostles, who were told everything in advance, missed the destination of the Cross as the goal to resurrection. He is showing us how to do the Will of the Father. Only one Apostle stood beneath the Cross. Perhaps only one was needed for the mission of our cooperation with God to be accomplished. I don’t know.

But I do know, we’re on a precipice in time. We see the signs of the times. And yet, do we? Are we thinking big enough about God?

I believe their will be an illumination of conscience. I don’t know if it will be at a specific moment in time because I actually see it happening everyday. I pray for it to happen, and then my friends, I actually see it happen, with different individuals at different times. I know some people have very specific ideas of how this will go. And perhaps it will go that way. But perhaps, the God who knows us, and knows that we are all in different places, has set this illumination in motion already. Perhaps individual consciences are being awakened right now. I am being contacted almost daily by people from all walks of life who want to become Catholic. Perhaps this will all culminate with a specific moment in time in a blaze of glory. The Cross of course was a specific moment in time. But all of Salvation History is held within that Sacrifice, now, at each Mass. The representation of Calvary is the collision of space and time, here, now, in our present moment. So do not be discouraged if things aren’t happening the way you think they should or in the time you think they should. Jesus is Lord of time and space. And He knows what he is doing.

Many who have contacted me have asked me for reassurance that the church will stand as they see their Protestant churches fall to division and immorality. I always reassure them that the church will stand, because we were promised that it will, but I have no idea what that looks like. It may look like death and resurrection. I believe it will be a ride of suffering, so cling to love, not signs and wonders.

In my prayer of late, I just here, Ephphatha, that is, “be opened”. My friends, be opened to whatever God wills. Pay attention and stay awake. And don’t put God in a box of how you think things should get done. The people who did that in the past ended up walking away from the bread of life and returning to their former sin. And they did this after seeing and experiencing signs and wonders. For us, we must focus on love and what that looks like, not the signs and wonders. Love is Lord of space and time.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.  John 6:68

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Three Days of Darkness and Blessed Candles

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:15

A few months back I had written a post about how we are all called to become a city on a Hill, and that the Blessed Mother embodies the New Jerusalem. When you are in love with God, he opens your eyes to new meanings of the Scriptures you have heard for so long. Layer upon layer of meaning can peel back and help you to see what you had never seen before.

It is this way in the world of prophecy too. As with all private revelation, you are not obliged to believe, but prophecy should not be despised either. I have noted though that, almost always, something can be “predicted” and we get an idea in our head of what that thing is and don’t see any other possibility. Almost always we are wrong in how it plays out in our head vs. how God actually does something. God usually has multiple layers of meaning. Sometimes spiritual, sometimes literal, sometimes both, and even the emotional in between, where He gets right to your heart in particular with something just for you.

I was reading a post from a friend yesterday that spoke about the trickiness of prophecy and interpretation, and how we can get things so wrong. As someone with a prophetic gift, I know this to be true. I almost never know exactly what is meant when I feel God speak to me in prayer. It is why I talk more about trust in God and less about prophecy chasing. Prophesy, if it is causing you fear and anxiety, or causing you to store up your barn without thought of others, is then for you, lacking the lens of charity and the greatness of God, through which it should be read. In all things we must trust God and love others, desiring the good for them. This love of God and charity for others makes you a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. People are drawn to the light because the light belongs to Christ.

So last night my husband and I were watching a video on the 3 Days of Darkness and how the only thing that will allow you to see is Blessed Candles. They are the only thing that can be lit. My husband turned to me and said, “does that mean the match you try to light them with, you won’t see the flame until it hits the wick?

I chuckled at the literalness of his statement. I answered, “I don’t know, maybe.” But then I further stated, “I think the Blessed candle, is you.” He looked at me like I was a little crazy. That’s not uncommon in my house.

I went on to explain how scripture, and Jesus, in particular, spoke of the lit lamp.

 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness.” Luke 11:33-35

If Jesus is the lamp, we are the lampstand for His light. If He is the light and our bodies and souls are his lampstand, it is His light we see with our eye. We become filled with His light. A living tabernacle, a sanctuary. We will be able to see in the darkness, whether the darkness is literal, or just the unknown. This is because it is a complete and total trust that God is bigger than any circumstance. This is also not to sugarcoat the severity of surrounding darkness, just a reminder that Christ is brighter than the darkness and He can dwell within you. God can guide us through literal darkness as He did for the Israelites. He can guide us through interior darkness in all of life’s circumstances.

While I don’t doubt that this prophecy about Blessed Candles as literal as I believe it is, I also know without a doubt that it is what is in our interior that matters most to God. It is prudent to have blessed candles in your home. It is imperative to have purity of heart and complete trust in God. Your perseverance doesn’t depend on the candles. It depends on your heart. It is easy to go out and get a Blessed Candle. It’s the conversion of your life to the ways of God that is hard. A candle won’t save you if you haven’t done the work with God on your own heart.

In one of the prophecies it even states that the candle must be wax. Okay, so make sure to have wax candles, but I point this out to you;

I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. Psalm 22:14

This is a Psalm of deliverance during tribulation. It ends with Good News, salvation from enemies and the Lord being worshiped by the whole world. Our wax hearts melted in suffering, but lit with continual praise of the Lord.

The prophecy also speaks of the air being poisoned, but if the Spirit is in you, He provides your breath. Think bigger of God. Do not be beholden to fear. Satan is but a puff of smoke compared to the hand of God.

Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. Ezekiel 37:5

I have stated in the past that creation is sick, but it is not sick the way the world sees it, it is sick because of the blackness of the human heart. Creation flourishes when love fills hearts, that is because love comes from God alone. When God alone is worshipped and He perfects you in His love, glory flows outward. And glory, well it looks, glorious.

Believe in order to persevere. Don’t put your faith in the candle you have, but in the God who made all that goes into that candle. Put your faith in the God who made you, for you a beautifully and wonderfully made. The more you love, the more you will be a light in the darkness.

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The Last Gospel

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. John 19:26-27

By now I am sure you all heard of the passing of Pope Benedict XVI. Eternal Rest Grant unto Him O Lord.

I myself am saddened over the passing of this Pope who made the Latin Mass more available to me, at least for a time, before it was taken away again. As I sat at Mass this morning in a Novus Ordo Mass, I found it fitting that the Gospel read on this day, the day of his death, is the “last Gospel”, the Priest even pointed it out in his homily. For those of you who don’t know what the “last Gospel” is, it is the Gospel that is read at the end of every Latin Mass.

In the beginning was the Word,
    and the Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. 
All things came to be through him,
    and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
    and this life was the light of the human race;
    the light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light, 
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
    and the world came to be through him,
    but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
    but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
    he gave power to become children of God, 
    to those who believe in his name, 
    who were born not by natural generation 
    nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision 
    but of God.

And the Word became flesh
    and made his dwelling among us,
    and we saw his glory,
    the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
    full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying, 
“This was he of whom I said, 
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me 
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses, 
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, 
has revealed him.

John 1:1-18

This Gospel in the Latin Mass is a reminder of the great act of Salvation that was celebrated in the Mass. I don’t find it coincidence that it is the Novus Ordo reading on the day Pope Benedict died. He, who gave us more access to the beauty of this tradition, who allowed me to experience a profound holiness in a way I never had before, died on the day of the “last Gospel” reading. This realization was accompanied by sorrow for me.

I left Mass and visited our old chapel to place white roses and flowers in front of Our Blessed Mother as a friend had texted and encouraged me to do. I ended the new year with a Chaplet of Seven Sorrows and a Chaplet of Saint Michael. I would encourage you all to do this as well, either today, or tomorrow on the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.

I believe we are now entering more fully into the epoch of the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary and we need to call on the protection of the angels, and the purification of our souls. I placed my intentions in a prayer jar and laid it at the feet of the Blessed Virgin who is stomping on the head of the serpent. May I become pure and holy this year, may I love as you love, my I be in the Will of the Father.

While I believe big changes are on the horizon, we must always remember that God is the biggest of all and we must look up to His glory and greatness as we start the new year.

Don’t forget to pick a New Saint for the year, if you haven’t already. I picked John the Evangelist, for the second time since I started picking Saints. May he intercede for me and my family this year.

I encourage you to Be Not Afraid and to pray without ceasing. May God Bless you and Keep you. See you in 2023.

The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. Pope Benedict XVI

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Truth, Goodness and Beauty

I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake. I am like a lonely bird on the housetop. Psalm 102:6-7

The other day I went to a talk by my cousin, Kathleen Carr, President of the Catholic Art Institute. It was a talk about Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

I learned during the talk that even prior to Christ’s coming, the ancient philosophers deemed these the “transcendentals”, that is, something that exists beyond the time-space and material world; a universal reality that extends beyond our sensory experiences. There is an objective reality for all of us. These three transcendentals were known as the “3 sisters”, so intertwined that if you took one of them away, the other two would fall.

In other words, there really is something objective about Truth, Goodness and Beauty. It is not relative. The Christian way of life only confirms what these ancient philosophers had written naturally on their hearts.

For the Greek philosophers, Truth is that which defines reality. Goodness is that which fulfills it’s purpose and Beauty is that which is lovely. They are knowable. They are intertwined with reason (truth), morality(goodness), and emotion (beauty).

The other thing my cousin pointed out is that the easiest way to corrupt is to attack beauty first.

Eve “saw” that the tree was good for eating, and so, she ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This corruption of beauty leads to the down fall of truth and goodness. We can say art is subjective, but really it is not. Having objective beauty can be seen by how closely it resembles the reality of nature.

From this perspective we can see why the beauty of churches and of liturgy matters. If we preach truth from the pulpit, but surround ourselves in ugliness or even stark emptiness, the emotion beauty invokes will not be attached to the reason that needs to be heard or the morality that needs to be lived. In other words, without visual beauty, words can fall on deaf ears and so no action will follow. The more chaotic our art has gotten the more chaotic everything else has gotten and soon you come across things that are unrecognizable.

Kathleen pointed out, if you put up a picture of Jesus’ Holy Face, and next to it His Holy Name, 10 out of 10 people will first stare at the Holy Face. It is a coming to know God as a person by seeing.

We come to know God face to face in Jesus and then we learn the power of His Holy Name.

It seems to me in our current world we are seeing a lot of faceless art, even in the Christian world, as if our God is not known.

But we know that this isn’t true.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

I don’t point this out to belittle anyone who has made this kind of faceless art. I point it out only to say that we have come to a point where we don’t recognize truth, goodness and beauty, and even our art is a reflection of that, whether we realize it or not.

All of this is tied into the deficit we see in our society. The faceless unborn babies can be slaughtered en-masse by our society. We are confused about identity and marriage. The first sister to fall, beauty, led us to the path of demise of the other sisters when we stripped out much of what is beautiful from our churches and our worship.

As a church, we are at a precipice where the forces of darkness are trying prevail. But we have a promise from God that it won’t. That doesn’t mean that we won’t experience darkness or winter. As a flock we can and do feel scattered and abandoned. I know it is hard to watch what is happening.

But remember it was in the darkness of winter that the word became flesh and dwelt among us. A baby boy with a face to gaze upon so we could know the Father who is in Him.

When Adam and Eve fell from grace instead of moving toward the Beatific vision which would have shown them the face of God, they instead had their view expanded by Satan. That is to say their view became dark and perverted. Beauty was stolen and shame took it’s place. Pride and accusation become the norm. But God, who made human beings in His image and likeness, who made them good, provided the way back. God provided a way to divinize our humanity.

Because of God and her free will choices, the Blessed Virgin Mary reached this perfection that Adam and Eve did not. She began by gazing at the infant Jesus, but she didn’t stop there. She continued the journey, the journey of sanctity, which led her to the cross, where the face that she beheld, took on our ugliness.

The face of Christ on the cross sanctifies by showing us our own sin and taking the penalty. We are staring at a lot of this now as all our evil is being made transparent. We don’t want to look. But we must look. Especially inside of our own hearts to see what ugliness we are hiding and don’t want to face. Our sin is ugly, but the crucified Christ, His face, is actually a thing of beauty, objectively, because though He was innocent, He loved us even unto death on a cross. When we stare at this face and see what we have done, our own hearts get transformed. He loves us now, in the middle of what we are in. Can we stare at His beaten Face on the cross and recognize our own need for Him? I would venture to say that for the Apostles who did not make it to the cross, they beheld this face in the eyes of His Sorrowful Mother and grace was mediated to them through her. Wrap yourself in her mantle. She is your advocate.

Let truth, beauty and goodness reign inside of your hearts this Christmas Season. In the darkest of winter, a light shines and God’s promises are made true. Fear not. God is still with us.

Merry Christmas and may God Bless you and keep you safe.

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Nuclear Holocaust and Illumination of Conscience

Roch Castle Haverfordwest, Wales – Ruins to Restoration

The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family…Don’t be afraid, because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue… Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head. – Sister Lucia of Fatima to Cardinal Caffara

A few years ago- prior to COVID, as things in my life were piling up, I was driving a little frantically to an appointment when I got a very clear image in my head of a goat-headed demon. He stared at me and had breath coming from his nostrils and large horns on his head. He just said to me, “I will wear you out.”

I know enough to know that demons are liars. We are not to engage in conversation with them and I also know they do not have the final word. I knew exactly who this demon was and I claimed the name of Jesus Christ and His precious blood and I shoved aside that encounter.

I was reminded of this encounter this year though because, well, I was worn out. If you have followed my blog at all, you know there has been extreme suffering. I know you out there have experienced it too. I felt slammed from all sides and at times barely holding on. I turned to God about this encounter. I was completely honest with how I felt and I just said, “Lord, I am worn out. I think this demon was telling the truth, why would you let this be?” And I very clearly heard the Lord answer. He said, “I do not get worn out.”

I knew in that moment the depths of surrender God was calling me to. I have often been, still, relying on myself and on our human ways, in an era when God calls us to radical trust in him and his ways. It’s actually a deep surrender he calls all of us to. I just told the Lord that I accept what has come my way, with love, and I will do my best to love in the middle of it. His words left me encouraged, that in the middle of my exhaustion, I had a place to lean my head. He hasn’t removed my humanity and elevated me to angelic nature, he has let me enter deeply into my humanity and made more of who I am meant to be by letting me experience these crosses. I don’t know if I realized this is the spiritual path when I set out on it. I don’t know if I knew what was to come, if I would have agreed to it. I am glad I didn’t know. He is teaching me that I do not actually have to do it all, I don’t have to know it all, I don’t even have to worry about the future. God is with me in the now, in full power, in the middle of my weakness. This weakness, is humbling. I can see now how much pride I still have. There’s a saying that knowledge is power. I do believe we have that wrong. God is power. Knowledge belongs to Him. For us, Trust is power, God’s power.

It’s not as though I believe we should give up the fight within our worldly structures, but I do believe within this fight, it is the discouragement we should give up. That demon, all those years ago, was trying to make me look at his ugly face. Jesus Christ calls me to look on His face, and it’s broken ugliness that is beautiful, the face of the one who got worn out on the cross for us, so we can learn to rely on Him.

God is bigger than that demon. God is glory.

I know many people have worried about a nuclear holocaust. I have news for you, we are already in one. It is the holocaust of the nuclear family. For years our country murdered children in the womb, and is still doing so in some places. We have embraced contraception. Yesterday we codified “respect for marriage”, that actually makes a mockery of it. We confuse our children and sexualize everything. Many of us have broken families, God can redeem all of it, we don’t have to make this brokeness our pride and joy. We should make God’s healing our priority so we can have real joy.

How can we get out of this mess?

God has a plan.

Have you all noticed that God has been making you wait for many things? We try to keep going, but we manage to be like hamsters on a wheel getting no where. What is God trying to tell us? Maybe you are supposed to be waiting, exactly where you are; loving God and loving others right now, even if nothing else gets “done”.

Yesterday I read an excellent piece by Daniel O’Connor. In it he quoted Jesus to Louisa Piccarreta;

“My daughter, I feel like giving to the creature the necessary Strength or, rather, an Overabundant Strength, only in the moment when she sets herself to do what I want-not before. Otherwise she would feel the Strength but still not do what I want, and I do not know how to give useless things.  How many, before doing an action, feel so helpless; but then as soon as they put themselves to work they feel Invested by a New Strength, a New Light.  I am the one who charged them, since I never lack the necessary Strength to do Good.  Rather, this need ties Me and forces Me, if necessary, to act together with them.” May 15, 1938

Do you see what that says? God is waiting until we can be aligned with His Will.

Let him purify you, however best He sees fit. He knows where you have pride and where you are being blocked from alignment with His Will. Stop fighting him and start loving Him no matter what is thrown your way.

I do believe in the past we had more protection from Satan. There certainly is safety in protection. But in our arrogance, we let down the barriers of protection. God allowed it to happen and I had words with Him about it. What I felt Him say simply was, “your protection is not the same as My purification.”

I knew that in my desire for protection, that perhaps I was desiring to protect my own comfort rather than allow my heart to be totally purified. I knew then that His purification would actually bring perfect protection. I see this in Our Lady. He protects her perfectly, she is perfectly purified. And I got an image in my head of a castle with walls that get penetrated by the enemy. When the enemy overruns the castle, you will soon find out how strong your foundation is. If what you are standing in is rock, than the castle can be rebuilt. But if what we are protecting is a facade that is other than what God had in mind, then the enemy will tear it down. Pray that you’re foundation isn’t sand, because then you crumble. A rock foundation allows God to rebuild what is good while getting rid of all that hinders you. God alone is good and we lose sight of that all the time. We put our trust in so many things other than God. When the human institutions erode trust, if you don’t have God, you’re left with a chasm of emptiness. His church is the rock, He is the cornerstone.

We can all see the trajectory of the world, and I am certain, that God will intervene. I believe he will blow over some of our structures and illuminate our consciences, if he hasn’t done it individually to you already. I do also believe that whatever we have in our head as the “illumination” will look different than we picture, because God never acts the way we expect. If He did, it wouldn’t seem so hard to trust. This illumination will be and is always, humbling, just ask Saint Paul. Those of us who think we are ready, are not, but here again, the best readiness is a resolve to totally rely on God. Trust.

This breach of trust happened in the garden of Eden. We broke it. We must leap in faith to radical trust again. God wants for the good of every soul, especially yours. No matter what has come your way, no matter how exhausted you are, no matter how long you have to wait, God does actually know what is best for you. Trust.

Psalm 46 – God’s defense of his People

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar; the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice; the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations;
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

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The Body Politic

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.”  But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord,  and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.  Just as they have done to me from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:4-9

In Scripture we see how the People of God, Israel, ask God for an earthly King. God makes in clear that in doing so they are actually rejecting Him, as they have time and again.

The People of God have but one King, when they asked for an earthly King, they were handing their God given domain over to an earthly authority and rejecting the heavenly one. It seems they were surrounded by other nations who had Kings. It was not enough for them that God had shown them he was the best King by freeing them from the slavery of Egypt. It is here that they chose to go back to a form of slavery. The subsequent lines in Samuel is a listing of what the King would take as his. Despite all of this, they wanted a King who would;

….go out before us and fight our battles. 1 Samuel 8:20

And thus, we see that the People of God, whom God himself had fought for –

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

choose time and again the earthly way of fighting instead of the Godly way. They didn’t trust God and were afraid to fight battles without an earthly King. It is here that the People of God became members of the body politic, a body which, rather than being subject to the purity and charity of a God who loves them, is instead subject to the whims of the ideology of the leader or even the people who asked for the leader. An ideology which we know is not God’s way. How do we know this? Because God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts. And God told His people through Samuel this is not what He wanted. But being the gentleman that He is, God did not force His Way on the People of God. The decision of the People of God thousands of years ago, put us in the situation we’re in now. It isn’t bad for us to participate in this body politic, so long as we know it isn’t the highest authority, nor the way that is best for us.

We must realize that God in His fathomless love wanted us back as part of the greatest body, of His Body. His body is Mystical and it elevates human nature to be incorporated into His Divine nature. And so He sent Himself in the form of the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, to earth, humbling Himself in the Incarnation through the Blessed Virgin Mary, to bring us back to unity, as part of His Body; the Church is the bride, the Mystical Body. The trajectory is to be one as Jesus and the Father are one. How we get there depends on our cooperation, or lack of it.

For generations we have had trouble cooperating though of late it has gotten precipitously worse. It seems most of the world, including some inside the church, are not cooperating. We get afraid when we see the earthly structure collapsing. As individuals we need to make sure we know God will fight for us by being in alignment with what He asks and doing what He commands. But it isn’t enough to do these things because we are afraid, we must do them because we love.

He left us a church with it’s 7 sacraments that provide real sacramental grace to elevate us. And he told us to “Baptize all nations,” and promised to be with us until the end of the age. Do we believe He is with us now in this current world crisis? Are we listening to him and cooperating with what He left us? Are we actively seeking to be part of the Mystical Body and inviting others to do so?

The way to healing is through right worship, not right voting, though voting rightly is important! Yes, we are living within the confines of the worldly structures of government; but the body politic is a mere reflection of the idolatry of the People of God and the mess of our worship. We must listen to His commands and worship the way God asked in order to be healed. When we continue to fight against Gods ways, or look only for the earthly solution to a problem, we miss how big God actually is. When we try to force unity in an earthly way, we actually end up only with division, because it becomes devoid of truth. We make idols of ourselves and reject the one true God.

It is He who corrects and blows over our institutions when they become so corrupt, just as happened over and over to the People of God. But He does so only so that He can bring us back to true love. Just as He gave the Israelites what they asked for, an earthly King, so too He will give us what we ask for, which is essentially our own demise. We are on the precipice;

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those who by their injustice suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been seen and understood through the things God has made. So they are without excuse,  for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools,  and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Their females exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the males, giving up natural intercourse with females, were consumed with their passionate desires for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to an unfit mind and to do things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of injustice, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents,  foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die, yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them. Romans 1:18-32

Here in this passage from Romans we see our own idolatry. We can see by examination of our own conscience and through conviction of the Holy Spirit if we are a member only of the body politic, or if we truly seek the Mystical Body. We cannot control our governments, nor other people, but we can control what is listed in that passage by being obedient to God. For if we love Him we keep His commandments. And if we ourselves are in right worship of God then we are participating with great love in the Sacraments, praying ardently for Holy Mother Church and for her Priests and for our own families. The Mystical Body elevates you beyond the bickering of politics. The Mass is the Center of the World, from it will actually flow the body politic, when we worship rightly the systems He allowed us to have at our own request work better, when we don’t it becomes total chaos. When the chaos overwhelms, God intervenes.

We have the answer;

  1. Prayer from the heart, especially the Rosary
  2. Mass, receiving the Eucharist in a state of grace
  3. Reading Scripture Daily
  4. Fasting
  5. Going to Confession

We can make sure by participating in things with great love that we are an open vessel of God’s grace so we aren’t filled with sexual impurity, malice, murder, slander, gossip, or haughtiness or boastfulness or any of the things listed in that passage from Romans. If the church herself, in her structure, forgoes any of the things we need, as she did during the pandemic by removing the Sacraments from her people, we must keep doing the things within our control to rightly align ourselves in worship as best we can. God’s grace then becomes sufficient in our weakness and the things we cannot control. God can operate in ways we don’t understand to bring the greatest amount of healing.

God is bigger than every single thing that is happening in this moment. Rest in that knowledge because it is true. Consecrate your tongue to the Blessed Virgin Mary so that when you speak you speak love in truth.

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Canticle of Confidence

The dome at Mount Tabor, Transfiguration – Holy Land – Photo taken by Ana Zarraga

 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;  you shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:2

In my RCIA class the other day we were speaking about the fact that most of us don’t think big enough of God. By that I mean we seem to put limitations on what He might be able to do in any given situation. We’re not the only generation who has done this, it is ancient. Sarah laughed at God when she was told she would have a child in old age. Zechariah questioned God when he was told Elizabeth would have a child. In both these cases there was an interior disposition that didn’t believe.

This is where Mary is different, when she questioned the angel, her disposition was one not of thinking God couldn’t do it, but of trying to understand how He would. It’s an interior disposition of awe at the greatness of God. Mary is our guide for these times.

We find ourselves in strange times where things are sometimes scary. Sometimes we may not feel safe. I was thinking, there are days that can feel like the Israelites who had been freed from slavery only to start complaining in the desert that they missed their slavery. Comfort zones have been stretched and we don’t like it. And I realized this kind of complaint can end up with seraph serpents biting you. That is, old sin that kept you in chains, starting to creep up and tempt you again, trying to take you backwards to comfort. A false comfort, born in chains that God brought you out into the desert to look at. He is asking for surrender and abandonment to His Divine Will. He wants to take you beyond your limits to show you just how big and how loving he really is. He wants you to realize how much His grace sustains you when it’s hard and how much healing He has in store. It’s a promised land. Don’t go backwards. Don’t complain. Be grateful. God’s glory awaits you.

And so, because I could see the desert devil, I decided to do what so many in scripture did. Bring praise to the God who is bigger than I can imagine. He is bigger than my suffering. He is bigger than my thoughts and ways. Have confidence and know He is bigger.

Canticle of Confidence

Blessed Be the Most Holy Trinity, the three in One.

You are Abba, the great I AM.

You created the universe and all within it.

You do not forget or abandon your people.

You parted the sea for Moses when there seemed no way out.

You closed the mouths of lions for Daniel.

You sent down fire from heaven when Elijah called upon you.

There are no other gods before you.

Your promises are true.

You came to dwell among us.

You healed the blind and the leper.

You raised Lazarus from the dead.

You cast out demons.

You forgive our sins.

For you are the God of mercy whose ways are not our ways.

You sent the Paraclete.

Greater works you promised.

Miracles abound from generation to generation.

You gave us your Mother, your perfection.

Magnanimous for us.

You set us upon a rock and foundation.

There is nothing you can’t overcome.

Your spirit is not timid.

We approach your throne with confidence in our time of need.

We were made for these times.

We repent of our sin.

Make us Holy Lord.

Your grace is sufficient for us.

We thank you all the days of our lives.

Blessed be the Most Holy Trinity.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

We were blessed to have the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal from Albuquerque, NM for a parish mission.

Please forward the video until you see a person speaking.

English Language Talks; Talk 1, Becoming Eucharistified, Talk 2, Arise from Darkness

Spanish Language Talks; Talk 1, “La Santa Eucaristía, fuente y culmen de la vida Cristiana.”

Talk 2 “Alabad a Dios por todas las cosas, porque Su misericordia es
eterna.” Misericordia y Sanación.”

The Franciscan friars of the Renewal depend upon our donations for their missions. Please consider donating.

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