She has been saying this since her early appearances at Medjugorje and now man's time-frame is coming in closer comprehension with God's time for we are at the doorstep of 2000 years in which God has shown that He has a history of recleansing the earth at every two-thousand year interval. Two thousand years after the fall of Adam and Eve He sent the great flood which covered the entire globe. He promised Noah back then that He would never punish mankind again in such a manner, but His Justice had called for such measures. If we compare the world then to the world's disregard for His laws today, we have to assume He will exact His Justice soon. After all, we can't imagine the Almighty apologizing to Sodom and Gomorah for destroying those cities when several thousands of years later there would be far more cities more deserving of punishment! What the Father did not have at his disposal back then, however, was His hand-chosen messenger and prophet - the Blessed Mother whom He has sent in droves to every continent in this century to warn His children of His Justice while freely dispensing His Mercy in a time where the window is narrowing to a sliver.
For years Our Lady has begged and pleaded for God's little ones to return to her Divine Son Jesus and the one, true Church He established while on earth. Even with over a billion Catholics today, there are still so few who truly believe, who truly respond. Like any devoted father, God the Father does not play favorites. He wants all His children to join Him in eternal bliss, but in order to enter into this glorious everlasting union we have to earn it. That is only fair and right. And the price isn't that steep if we just heed what He asks. He's laid it all out for us in Salvation101. It's the easiest course we can take and we can pass it with flying colors if only we follow the rules. But too often extra curriculars or electives seem more tantalizing and we opt to slough off on the essentials in favor of worldly goals. If we stray too far we can just as easily flunk out and that fate is worse than anything we can imagine. Talk about the school of hard-knocks!!! Would you believe everlasting hard-knocks and searing flames as well!?! But we have a crib-sheet that can keep us on the straight and narrow and prevent us from cramming at the end on our death bed. That crib-sheet is the Catholic faith with our personal tutor being the Blessed Virgin Mary ably assisted by her prize pupil on earth who is also her Divine Son's Vicar on earth - Pope John Paul II. He is also called the "Holy Father" and wisely so for he is the earthly Father we look to for guidance. His guidance comes from the Heavenly Father, dispersed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and carried out through the teachings of the Son.
We are so blessed to be able to know the Father in this day and age. Pity the people of the Old Covenant who knew Him only as the "Lord" and "Jehovah." His Mercy was little known to them. Back then they perceived Him as a stern Judge, a tough Taskmaster. Think of the gifts He has bestowed on us as any devoted, caring father would. He has not only given us salvation through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of His Only-begotten Son, but also the gift of His Spirit; and He continues to endow these gifts each and every day with the gift of His Son truly present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What greater gift could we receive on this finite earth? And it is all due to the Love and Mercy of the Father.
How many faiths can call God "Daddy?" The Moslems shudder to think of such endearing terms, referring to their Allah as the ultimate, strict Judge. New Age sects and Eastern religions have never known the loving embrace of Abba, Someone Who seeks to tuck us safely in His sleeve and protect us from all harm. That is sad that so many refuse the gifts of the Father. Because of that, the Father will exact Justice, but we have nothing to fear if we are obedient to Him and, like good sons and daughters, heed all He imparts through His Son, His Spirit and His earthly holy daughter Mary.
The Father's greatest emissary is His very Own daughter whose obedient maternity we celebrate on Friday. It is a fitting way to begin this final year, a year that promises drastic but exciting changes - one we hope will signal the long-awaited Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Age of the Divine Will, the Second Advent, the Time of the Holy Spirit, the New Pentecost. We can be assured that with a Father Who honors the Mother of His Divine Son, that we are in good hands if we too honor her and heed her advice which comes straight from the true source of all truth for all time - God the Father. He is the Alpha and the Omega, "the Father, the Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen." In a word, He is the Absolute: Absolutely Abba!
What many failed to realize was that Innocent was making plans to return the papacy to Rome. Even though he was French, he had already reversed Clement's interdict of Cola di Rienzo, the populist tribune of Rome, in order to patch up differences between the Romans and French papacy. Add to this the toll of the French-English war and the rebellion of many in France who were migrating to Avignon and hounding the papal palaces there looking to share in the wealth through theft and squatting. Thus Clement sought to escape this "nuisance" by returning to Rome. But the climate in Rome and the power-mongering by Charles of Bavaria with the publishing of his Golden Bull made things more difficult. Charles' bull specifically omitted any reference to the Pope's right to approve and crown the German kings. Rather than taking Charles to task for this direct affrontatation to the papacy, he retreated back to Avignon, opting to refortify the fortress of Avignon to keep the intruders away. Around the time Innocent had been elected Pope a young girl turned in Siena, Italy was just reaching the age of reason. It would be twenty-four years later that reason would win out and that young lady would convince a Pope named Gregory XI, to return the papacy once and for all to Rome after seventy years in exile. That woman would be Saint Catherine of Siena whose role we shall focus on in future installments. Meanwhile Innocent was plunged into political intrigue and the bitter skirmishes between French and English on French soil. Just when it looked like Innocent's advances had made a breakthrough and peace was on the horizon, the Black Prince of Poitiers captured King John II of France and fighting resumed in 1354. In 1360, Innocent helped ratify a truce at Bordeaux and Bretigny, but it would be only fleeting as war would soon resume in all its fury. To add to Innocent's chagrin, his papal armies had run up huge debts in Italy during their military campaigns and the taxes were not coming in. Thus he was forced to sell off even more papal treasures at Avignon. That same year, Avignon was overrun by freeloaders or the "free company" who cut off all communication between Avignon and the rest of the world. Living in a virtual vacuum, Innocent bought them off in order to get them to back off and be able to restore contact with the rest of the Christian world. But the cost was great for he had depleted much of the wealth of Avignon and he died a broken man, despondent over his failure to return the papacy to Rome and to exact a change in the direction of the Church because of his inability to correctly handle the Inquisition or gage the political compass in these turbulent times. On September 12, 1362, old and decrepit and broken, he passed away. It was left to the sixth and seventh of the Avignon Popes to restore a papacy badly wracked by war and dissent. Those men would be Blessed Pope Urban V and Pope Gregory XI whom we shall see in the next two installments when we resume with this on-going megaseries in 1999.
Today, once more, I call all to prayer. Prayer from the heart. O! If you only knew the power of prayer! The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most complete, most perfect of all prayers. Why, then, do you come unprepared and listen with drifting minds. Why are you so anxious to be about your daily affairs when you might be fully nourished by my Divine Son in the Holy Eucharist?
At the moment of Consecration all the Heavenly Hosts adore the True Presence upon bended knee. Their adoration continues even when the Sacred Host is reposed in the Tabernacle. Your disrespect for God's House, your lukewarm reception of Him, The King of Kings, wounds and afflicts His Most Sacred Heart.
Your own weak will, lack of faith and hope, give only anemic love to Him Who is Love.
O! The Holy Eucharist must be preserved. You must come and adore and reverence your God and King if you would persevere in the Time of Darkness.
I have told you often that this is the Year of Tears. The world enters upon its Great Sorrow. Heed my Motherly words. Come, convert your hearts and live only in the Divine Will. The moment is nigh, the Hand of the Almighty shall strike when you least expect.
Be humble, obedient little ones. Be true to the Holy Father, my beloved Pope John Paul II. Know your faith. Live it. Be an example to all - for I call all beneath the Refuge of my Immaculate Heart.
The evil one deceives countless souls, especially my priest-sons! Pray for them and make sacrifice for them that they may be true shepherds.
I love you. I bless you. O! Pray! Pray as never before. I am telling you all this that you might be armed with the Truth!
Thank you for responding to my Call!
Do you understand my call? My Divine Son, the Only-Begotten Son of God, Savior and Redeemer, The Word Made Flesh, seeks only your salvation.
How difficult you make it because you do not want to surrender your will and be the servant of God. You are afraid, many are too stubborn or proud to surrender. They do not understand what a sublime act of Love, of living in the Divine Will such surrender is. It is the very Love returned to Love that is God's peace, joy and fortitude.
Do not deceive yourselves in believing you are strong. All men are weak. Therefore, they must recognize their complete dependency upon God in all things.
O! Little children. Heed my words. Now your spiritual house is in order. You have converted your heart. Now I solemnly tell you that it is the time to begin the places of refuge which I have spoken of, which will be the abode of the faithful remnant.
Little ones of my Immaculate Heart, speak less. Pray more. Pray before the Tabernacle with such humility that God Himself shall shield you from all eyes that would accuse or speak ill of you.
Stand firm in your faith. Read Sacred Scripture and be humble, obedient children, loyal to my beloved martyr of peace John Paul II. Pray for him. He is already in exile, so surrounded is he by his enemies. Do not be disturbed. My holy priest-son Pope John Paul II knows well his role. He is obedient to the Divine Will. I put my mantle around him, but satan's attacks grow ever more fierce.
Little children, do not be afraid. You must amend your lives if you shall be faithful to my Divine Son. Therefore, I plead, I invite, I beseech, come back to God. Be abandoned to Him and detached from the world, over which satan rules.
Dear children, pray, pray, pray! I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."