But before that wondrous day comes, there are a few days prior to that which also grow even closer of which we have been warned. For this we go back over thirty years to a mountain village in Spain called Garabandal. Recall what the Blessed Virgin Mary is purported to have told the visionaries of Garabandal - specifically Mari Loli Mazon LaFleur, who alone knows the date of the Warning when every soul alive will know the state of their soul as God sees them, when this illumination of the soul - this purification - this great "Hour of Mercy" will occur in order to call all His children back to Him; to repent of their ways. We do know that the succeeding Miracle to accompany the Warning will occur within a year of the Warning. On the Miracle, only the visionary Conchita Gonzalez Keena knows the year. But consider, if you will, that Our Lady conveyed that the Miracle will occur at 8:30 pm in Garabandal, Spain which would be between 4:30 on the East Coast of the US or 1:30 on the West Coast. It is to occur on a Thursday, the feast of a martyr of the Eucharist and in either March, April or May between the 13th and 16th of the month. It will occur on the feast of a little-known martyr of the Holy Eucharist and coincide with a great Ecclesiastical event in the Church. Conchita confirmed that it is an event that has not happened in the last half of this century to date but will not be necessarily new or stupendous, only rare.
Now go back and read Our Lady's message from Medjugorje this month and consider what the Mother of God is saying. Folks, we are so close, so very close to the Warning whether you believe it or not, to paraphrase someone who saw the Miracle already before he died and who will be beatified less than a month from now in Rome - Blessed Padre Pio: "if you don't believe it now, you will when you experience it." Consider the state of the world today where there are such a rash of persecutions of priests. If you've been reading the news in the DAILY CATHOLIC over the last year you've seen the intensity of these persecutions and the fact that the Mass is suppressed in so many countries, such as China. It will happen when the world has, as a whole, turned from God. These are those times. Consider the following and then get down on your knees and pray. We cannot verify a report we heard that both the Warning and Miracle would occur in this century, but, if that is true, then this is the year, folks. We can confirm that the famed Garabandal crusader Joey Lomangino out of New York, who was converted personally by Padre Pio, has been promised by Our Lady that he will see the Miracle. We place the emphasis on "see" since Joey has been blind for 52 years! Now 69, he is known as the "Blind Apostle" and "Emissary of Love" and since his conversion has dedicated his life to spreading the messages of Garabandal as founder of the Workers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Consider also what Conchita said about the Miracle occurring during a great ecclesiastical event in the Church and it would be on a Thursday and in either March, April or May between the 13th and 16th. We can cross off March. April is still viable, but as for the Miracle - let's look at May for all those events take place next month. On Thursday, May 13 we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord. That's a pretty big ecclesiastical event. Now consider that it is also the feast, not liturgically, but the feast nonetheless of a little-known "martyr" of the Eucharist, Blessed Imelda Lambertini. The confusing thing here is the word "martyr" for in the true sense she wasn't a physical martyr in the vein of the early martyrs but a young girl who was deprived of the Holy Eucharist because of her age. She was a young Italian teen who had been rejected numerous times by the nuns who housed her in the Dominican convent in Bologna. She had also been restricted by the priests from partaking in Communion even though her soul was prepared to receive Jesus. Finally on the Feast of the Ascension in 1333, she was denied yet again in her quest to receive her first Holy Communion. After Mass, as she prayed in the chapel a brilliant supernatural light appeared and hovered over Imelda's head. When the nuns saw this they summoned the priest who had no choice but to bring Imelda the Eucharist for the child was in a state of ecstasy. She received the Sacred Host and continued to kneel in prayerful thanksgiving. When the nuns returned to summon her to the refectory for breakfast, they discovered her still kneeling in rapture but she was not alive. God had taken her home for she truly had suffered greatly waiting to receive her Jesus and now she was rewarded. She died on that Ascension Thursday of 1333 which happened to be May 13th!!! She was beatified by Pope Saint Pius X who proclaimed her Patron of First Communicants. It was Pius who changed the regulations to allow children who had reached the age of reason to receive Holy Communion. This year - 1999, like 1333, May 13th - also the 82nd commemoration of the first apparition at Fatima - and the Solemnity of the Ascension coincide. That could definitely be considered an ecclesiastical event that is rare. What's even rarer are the numbers: Subtract 1333 from 1999 and you come up with...that's right the dreaded 666!
If that doesn't wake one up, consider that if indeed the Warning and Miracle are meant to happen in this century, and the "clues" given us by Our Lady through Conchita and Mari indicate that, then the Warning could very well happen this month! We're not about to pinpoint the date for we haven't got a clue right now on when the Warning might occur except the time frame and the state of the world presently. Also we can't forget one of Saint John Bosco's vision in which he foresaw the "Second Victory of the Rosary" with the Miracle and the Warning. He related that it would happen in 19_ _. We're in the last digit, folks. He said it would happen in the month of flowers which could either be April or May. He also said it would be a month with two moons, also called the "blue moon." If you factor in Eastern European time and Italy, the first moon would have been early on the first day of April and the second moon to occur on April 30th - two days after the Feast of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, the saint who received through private revelation the Consecration to Our Lady and a deep devotion to the Rosary. Not only that but St. Louis de Montfort prophesided, like St. John Bosco, that the twentieth century would see "the greatest triumph of Mary, greater even than that of Lepanto." Other saints such as Saint Frances of Rome foresaw the Three Days of Darkness and candidate-for-canonization Blessed Marie Taigi confirmed this. Blessed Faustina affirmed that only by trusting in Jesus' Divine Mercy, and by giving His Own Mother to intercede for us, and giving us Himself in the Holy Eucharist will we be able to sustain what lies ahead.
The stars and circumstances would seem to be aligned then that both events will occur soon, very, very soon. Our Lady's Medjugorje Message for March should wake us up. On the secular side, the manipulating going on in the media and fabrications being foisted on us by the government, specifically the Clinton administration now in cahoots with our military and the UN posing under the guise of NATO should alert us. As Our Lord reminds us in Matthew 25 regarding the parable of the ten virgins, to always have our lamps lit "for you know neither the day nor the hour" (Matthew 27: 13).
We can be assured if anyone has an idea of what is to come and the approximate time frame it is our dear Holy Father. He is probably the greatest prophet of recent pontiffs. He has sadly conveyed continuously that "the sense of sin is becoming weaker and weaker in modern man, which makes real repentance very unlikely." He said, before the notorious World Population Congress in Cairo that "If the inclusion of abortion as a means of population control passes, civilization will end as we know it."
And that's what will happen soon: civilization will end as we know it and, when we consider what has been prophesied about what lies ahead, we can't wait. It will be glorious: Heaven on earth. But, like the Resurrection we must embrace our Calvary before we can share in the joy of the new era that awaits us. That Calvary is our chastisement. The Warning will be our wake-up call - the world's wake-up call to return to God with our whole heart and soul. Like the good thief Dismas we will have one last chance to ask forgiveness and seek His Mercy before the Justice comes. We like to call the Warning the greatest sign of His Mercy for it will be a "dress rehearsal" for the Final Judgment when we will see the state of our soul exactly as God sees it. That can be a scary propositon and should scare us into righting the ship immediately before we would sink into the oblivion of hell. Will the Warning and Miracle occur this month and next? Only God and those privileged few visionaries He has allowed it to be revealed to know for sure. We do know for sure that He has a timetable in which all that has been foretold will be played out and we are in the final act. How close we are to the curtain call depends on us as the clock winds down and the bells begin to toll for all mankind. Whether we will be among those who receive the Heavenly applause depends totally on our commitment to God's script. As NATO continues to bomb Yugoslavia, even during the Easter Truce, the plot thickens. Our advice: Be forewarned and armed with prayer for there will be no encore: It will be the climax of His Divine Mercy for the Warning could be our final warning!
She’s had quite a history. In 1927, when she was 20 years of age, she contracted tuberculosis. In those days, there was no antibiotic for a cure. She was cured, however. The Doctors collapsed her infected lung to give it rest. In her case, it worked. God wanted our Mom to live to bring five children into the world, one of whom would become a priest and another, a Religious Sister of Mercy.
If she is sustained until May 14 this year, she will have her 92nd birthday.
Everyone could agree that in 92 years, much can be done and can happen in a person’s life. But my mother’s life is not just what has happened to her. It’s about what has happened because of her. It’s HOW she lived her life, reared her children, carried out the duties in her state in life.
My mother was an “ordinary” wife, and an “ordinary” mother. Yet, again, not so “ordinary.” She was always a “home-body.” She didn’t like the “wild life” out in the world. She didn’t visit relatives or friends to play cards or drink wine. Those things never attracted her. She liked to be home. She just wanted to keep a clean house, cook good meals, and above all, do a good job in caring for her husband and rearing her children. And she did all those things exceptionally well. She was an extraordinary woman because she did her ordinary duties very well.
I shall always be grateful for the many times she baked homemade bread, homemade pizza, homemade cakes and cooked all those wonderful Sicilian meals without need of recipes. I will always be grateful for how tidy she kept the house and how attentive she was to us when we were sick. But what I shall be grateful for the most was how she reared us in Catholicism, how she made sure we got a good Catholic education, learned our prayers, and received the Sacraments.
Yes, I remember my mother asking now and then when I was quite young, if I had been to confession within the last few weeks. She never invaded the privacy of my conscience, but she did help me form the HABIT of going to confession, at least once a month, but preferably, every two weeks.
To Mom, the practice of our Catholic Faith and prayer were essential. Even now, my mother, whose mind is almost all “gone,” prays out loud. She prays herself to sleep often. When I hear her, I know that is not something she started lately. She is about to close a life that has prayed much. She formed the habit of prayer a long time ago.
I do not ask God to preserve her life. I do ask Him, however, to please take her straight to Heaven. For if any of us can become great saints by doing our ordinary duties well, my mother is proof.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may she breathe forth her soul in peace with You!”
God bless her ... and you!
"O, my Holy Mother, we did not wish you to know any more pain. But…Yes, Jonathan and James found him…Judas. He…he…."
"Go on," Marry urges. "God knows all, and I am asking that I who am His Mother, might yet plead for him."
"He is dead. O Mother of my Lord. By his own hand. Jonathan dared not go near, for he felt the place filled with evil and did not wish to encounter it. I do not know any more."
Our Blessed Mother lowers her head, the folds of her veil shadowing her face. I am unable to see her eyes, but I understand she cries.
"Do not weep. O, Mother, please, I…"
"He, too, was God's child. All would have been forgiven him had he but come to us and repented of his sin. Now my heart breaks, knowing with what love my Son gave His life for him."
"But he was the betrayer!" the Magdalene exclaims.
"Yes, he was that. But even then, God wished to forgive him all. If he had only repented, how quickly God would have given him the strength to return again to the Light. My heart suffers over all of my children. It is unbearable pain for a mother to lose a child. Judas despaired. He is forever lost."
The Magdalene tries to absorb all our Blessed Mother has said to her. She knows only that Our Lady's deep sorrow touches her heart, which, with its still imperfect love, has not considered the pain of a lost soul. Greatly moved by the Mother of God's distress, she tries to dry Mary's tears with her own veil.
"I have caused you great sorrow. May I be forgiven. I…I have yet so far to go, dear, Holy Mother. Please help me. I do not have Him anymore, and I do not want to cause Him sorrow, too."
Our Lady raises her head. She looks at the Magdalene and her voice is softly sweet as she replies.
"You have come very far. You will advance rapidly now, for you have learned to love Love itself. I will help you, my daughter. He would want me to. Go, do as you have planned with my blessing. I will pray and wait here."
"Yes, Holy Mother. The first faint light of dawn comes. We will go now before the people are about in the streets."
Mary, the Mother of God, traces the Sign of the Cross upon the Magdalene's forehead. The latter rises and departs, quietly closing the door behind her.
Mary immediately presses her hands to her heart and, looking up to Heaven, prays, "O, Father, You do not wish to lose even one of Your children. In the Name of my Son, of all He has endured, I beseech You if it be possible for You to grant the light of repentance to Judas." She pauses, her head bowed low and her hands fall limply to her lap. I understand that the Father has answered her and this answer she places into the recesses of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and ponders keenly the perfect Justice of God. Finally, on a deep breath, she breathes forth the words, "Thy Will be done, O Father."
The more morality and decency and virtue there are in the world, the more peace there will be in the world. Wars are consequences of a moral rebellion. The Scriptures boldly affirm that war is the result of egotism and selfishness. When civilization is made up of millions of men and women who are at war with themselves, it is not long until communities, classes, states and nations will be at war with one another. Every world war is a turbulent ocean made up of the confluent streams of millions of little wars inside the minds and hearts of unhappy people. War is the final logic of self-will.
War is not necessary, but it does become an inseparable ailment of any world that abandons the supremacy of the spirit. Nietzche, after proclaiming the death of God in the nineteenth century, prophesied that the twentieth century would be a century of wars. There is a possible connection between the importance given to politics and the frequency of wars. In any era of history where politics is the major interest, war is the major consequence. This does not mean that one ought to subscribe to the dictum of Karl von Clausewitz that war is the prosecution of politics by other means. It does mean however, that since politics stresses expediency and pragmatism on a great scale that dedication to truth and morality are minimized. Since the latter are essential for peace, war becomes a greater possibility. When the people are interested in the raising of a family, the cultivation of virtues and the salvation of their souls, they act as a balance wheel against the power-motive of politics. But when both the state and the people give supremacy to politics, the stabilizing influence of society is lost, and with it come civil strife and discord and war.
There is much truth in the thesis of Pitirim Sorokin that as civilization in the modern sense of the term advances, there is an increase of war. There have always been more wars than peace. From 1496 B.C. to A.D. 1861 or in 3,358 years there were only 227 years of peace and 3,130 years of war; this makes 13 years of war for every year of peace. Within the last three centuries there have been 286 wars in Europe. [Ed. note: this has increased even more since Bishop Sheen wrote this, including the current war in the Balkans.]
From 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1860 there were 8,000 treaties of peace which were supposed to remain in force forever. The average length of these treaties was two years. It is likely that there was never a single year when the world did not have a war at least in one country or the other. Two other analyses have revealed that, since the year 1100, England has spent half, and Russia three quarters.
It is not a very sweet pill for our civilized world to swallow, to realize that the false prophets of the last century who predicted an evolution of man into a god, and the necessary progress of humanity to a point where there would be no more war or disease or death, were wrong, and we are now living in a century of war. It behooves us all to admit that there is an evil tendency when uncontrolled by morality and grace will devolve more rapidly than it will evolve. It is our views of the human condition that have been wrong; by denying the possibility of sin and guilt, we have denied the very existence of perversity within us which makes war. Not all will submit to this moral regeneration through self-discipline, but those few who will, will be the leaven in the mass of the world.
It is not our politics and our economics which have to be changed first; it is we ourselves. It is the wars within that have to be stopped. The remaking of the world depends on the remaking of the individual. The return of the individual to God is the condition of more peaceful times.