First of all, there is, usually at this time of the year, the annual Saint Patrick's Day Dinner and Dance - so often on the Friday night before St. Paddy's day which creates a madness in those trying to fast and abstain on Fridays during Lent. It's a dilemna that young and old struggle with, chow down on the corned beef and swig down the Guiness or stick to the Lenten resolutions you've promised God you'd keep. For us that's a no brainer, because if you make a promise, you keep it! Then there's the Academy Awards later this month and many are prompted to rush out and catch all the nominees, but remember they've sworn off movies for Lent. What's a soul to do? The answer: remember the commitment to the great Director above.
We also, invariably at this time every year, receive many more e-mails, phone calls and letters on warnings about watching for the Warning. It's happened every year in this decade and this year is no exception. This message or that message comes through from one or more messengers that the Warning, prophesied at Garabandal, is going to occur on a particular date or an event will happen on this date or that date that ties in with the chastisement. Bingo! It spreads like wildfire over the net and by word of mouth. They say curiosity killed the cat and keeping watch on when the Warning is going to occur often gets the best of many. They have forgotten the essence of what Jesus and His Blessed Mother are asking of all of us: pray, fast, convert our hearts, utilize the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist as often as possible, always worthily, and to spread Our Lord's and Our Lady's words to all we meet. Nowhere in the messages does it say for us to tell the people exactly when the Warning will occur!
We can tell you this that every prediction to this point has been bogus. As far as we know, only a few truly know an "area of time" when the Warning will occur, and those are the visionaries of Garabandal to whom Our Lady appeared at the very same time the Council Fathers were convening for the Second Vatican Council in Rome. Only one of those four visionaries know the year. That is Mari Loli Mazon LaFleur who knows only the year, not the month, day or hour. Though Garabandal has not been approved and there are those who continue to oppose it, the recipients of the Blessed Mother's messages were, as at LaSalette, Lourdes and Fatima, as well as Medjugorje and Rwanda, children who were uneducated to the theology and tenets of the Church. Yet everything they conveyed to the authorities is in total accord with Church Doctrine, Dogma and Teachings, not to mention Sacred Scripture. No one knew then what lay ahead for the world and Holy Mother Church except Our Lady when she appeared near the pines above the small remote village of San Sebastian de Garabandal to four young, unassuming girls on the threshold of their teens. What the Mother of God imparted would have repercussions in the world and in her Divine Son's Church which was about to undergo a tremendous upheaval for satan was beginning a rampage so savage and cunning that only now do we realize how extensive the damage done and the portents of the end of an era in fulfillment of what Blessed Mary told Garabandal visionary Conchita Gonzalez on January 1, 1965, "Before the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over." One thing is for sure: everything foretold at La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima has come to pass except the Warning, the Miracle that is to follow within one year of the former, and the chastisements that are to come.
The more we follow the words Our Lord and Our Lady have imparted which call for obedience to His Holy Church and His Vicar on earth, living our faith and living the messages as well as spreading them, the more we will cease "worrying" about when the Warning will occur. Worrying about things we can't control only displays a mistrust in God. What God wants us to do is get down to the business of striving to save souls. No matter what walk of life we are in, we can always pray and live our faith. We need to pray that other souls , as well as ourselves, will be ready. We know not the day nor the hour, but we do know we need to take Christ's words in Matthew 25 on the Parable of the Ten Virgins seriously and keep our lamps lit and do as He recommends in 25: 13, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." That's right, folks, we know neither the day nor the hour and neither do the visionaries of Garabandal or any other visionary. If God told us the exact time of the Warning, do you think many would begin preparing now or make a mad rush in "March Madness" style at the very last minute? Most probably the latter human nature being what it is. God is All-Knowing, All-Wisdom; we are not! So let's leave it in His infinitely caple hands and quit worrying about when the Warning is going to come and furiously following every rumor that surfaces about when it's coming. Let's all resolve that it is coming and soon; then prepare our lamps lest we are not ready when the Lord calls. It would be a terrible shame if we didn't heed the warning of the Warning because, rather than praying and heeding Heavenly advice, we forgot to light our lamps. Why? Could it be that we are all so busy watching for the Warning that we miss Christ's warning?
Well, Iím here to tell you, dear reader, that that is NOT Catholic teaching. Liberal thinkers like to convey the idea that it is near impossible to commit MORTAL sin so they have come up with an excuse idea called GRAVE sin.
Donít buy into that! It is NOT the teaching of the Catholic Church.
It IS possible for any of us to commit grave sin - mortal sin. Remember Our Lady of Fatima said: "There are many souls who go to hell every day because there is no one to pray for them."
What sends a soul to hell? MORTAL SIN!!! The deliberate choosing to go against Godís Commandments in a serious matter.
If it (according to liberal thinking) is near impossible to commit mortal sin, why did Jesus go through His Passion to save all of us? Was it a needless Redemption? Can people live immoral lives and believe they are definitely going to Heaven? See how the diabolic is using even good people to confuse and misdirect? Mortal sin and venial sin are called ACTUAL SINS because they are sins that we ourselves commit.
Last week I wrote about venial sin. This week I choose to write about imperfections.
An imperfection is an omission of some good act that does not oblige us by any law, but which charity may invite us to do. We can say that it is ignoring or rejecting an inspiration of grace. An inspiration of grace is a thought to do some good act. We can cooperate with it and thereby deepen our union with God, or we can refuse to cooperate. We may not sin thereby, but repeated rejections of good inspirations might lead us to sin or at least certainly hinder our progress in the spiritual life. Every rejection of a good inspiration takes something away from God to satisfy our ego. The root is a wrong kind of self-love.
We cannot call imperfections "sins," as they do not go contrary to Godís Commandments. But refusal to cooperate with an inspiration of grace MIGHT lead to sin. Let me give you an example.
Suppose you are walking along and someone near you drops their sack of groceries. You think to yourself: "I should assist this person." (An act of charity being inspired by the Holy Spirit.) You have a choice. You can stop and help and thereby increase your love for God and neighbor or you could think: "Tough luck, buddy! You made a mess! Clean it up!" And so you keep going. Thereís an act of selfishness perhaps based on meanness or fondness for our own comfort, the root of which is pride.
If you want to love God, avoid all mortal sin. If you want to love Him more, avoid deliberate venial sin. And if you want to love Him unselfishly, watch those inspirations of grace and follow them. Then you will rise to great heights of holiness.
But be at peace! Getting ready to go to confession? Great graces are waiting for you!
Hope you are preparing to make a good confession before Easter. Again, I remind you that I have a great examination of conscience booklet that can help you, just e-mail me at Srmarylucy@aol.com. Iíd be happy to send you one.
God bless you!
I ask each of you to pray, meditate and contemplate upon this moment in my Divine Sonís Passion. I ask each of you to be humble, grateful children who acknowledge their sins and yet with repentant hearts offer thanks to God for all He has done.
My Little Ones, in Godís perfect plan of salvation He Who is Eternal has known you; He has known your name. He has known your sins, and He has seen you grow in virtue and holiness. Thus, for each of you, had The Father so willed, my Divine Son would have suffered His Passion over and over to satisfy for the sins of each soul. That is just a small taste of how greatly you are loved and cherished.
Dear children, I suffered in my own Immaculate Heart each and every wound given to my Son. And as the Mother of God, I bowed humbly before the throne of God and prayed for each soul. I begged for mercy, for strength, for comfort to come to all of my children that my Divine Sonís hideous torture and death might be for you the anchor of faith, the bulwark of your hope, and the leaven to your love.
Now has the moment come when each of you, my little children, must be strong in your faith! Now you must call upon God in ceaseless prayer and know His help shall always guide you.
My Little Ones, I ask each one of you to examine your lives and to acknowledge which path you have chosen of your own free will. Are you among the dead, dying souls which like countless embers fall into satanís abyss? Are you there among all the Heavenly Host forever giving praise and glory to God?
Little children, give my Son your heart and recognize that you are nothing. He is all. Then seek only the Divine Will and work for this no matter the cost. Has not my Divine Son already paid the highest price? Why then should you be mindful of your own sufferings, why should you complain if in your earthly exile human comforts do not abound?
Only in the age which is yet to comeówhen my Immaculate Heart triumphsówill there be one Body as God always intended. By your faithfulness to my Son and your unity with Him in His Passion shall the triumph be hastened, and the evil one be forever case and bound in hell.
Work hard, my children. Pray much. Be examples for all people of all my Son did and continues to do for His Little Ones, before the hour of justice strikes.
Contemplate that already your world has had its Ďsilentí agony. Now the world climbs Calvary, and so very few are prepared. So many do not care.
Pray and be with my Son in His silent agony of bloody sweat. He will comfort you Himself if only you surrender to Him completely.
It has often been said, "Honesty is the best policy," on the grounds that it will keep you out of trouble and make you admired. Someone has remarked concerning it, "He who acts upon this principle is not an honest man." It would seem however, that there is some decline in honesty, for there is now one major crime committed in the United States for every sixty persons. In the last ten years, the crime rate in the United States has been exploding at a rate four times as fast as the rate of the growth of our population.
The justification for cutting corners, taking bribes and other forms of dishonesty is twofold. First is, "Everybody's doing it." The assumption here is that right and wrong are questions merely of mob judgment, rather than of standards. It forgets that right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. A second justification is, "My conscience is clear." What conscience is not clear if it makes its own standards? What note on a piano is wrong if the musician who strikes it declares it to be the right note? If a conscience decides that eighteen inches will be a yard, who shall prove him wrong? The atheistic Krushchev, with all the crimes of the Ukraine on his back, said, "God knows I do right."
Every act of dishonesty disturbs the balance of justice and therefore, demands restitution. The old law of Moses on stealing was, "If he is found guilty, he must make restitution, giving back in full all that he hoped to gain by his knavery, and a fifth part beside, to the owner whom he has wronged."
Zaccheus was a public servant of the Romans, a tax gatherer who paid a large sum for his office. Part of the taxes he would give to the Romans, but he pocketed all he collected over the amounts due them. Unless his exactions were too ruinous, there was little fear of exposure. But one day he was checked in his dishonesty, not by having it exposed in the press of the times, nor by having the prosecuting attorney of the Romans bring him to a halt. He was "arrested" by the moral stringency of Our Divine Lord, Whose awful eyes pierced his soul and made him seek not only pardon, but also render restitution. Standing upright, he said, "Lord, here and now I give half of what I have to the poor; if I have wronged anyone in any way, I make restitution of it fourfold."
We once received a plain, brown envelope in which there was stuffed $4,600 in bills, and to which was attached an anonymous note to the effect that the sender was making reparation for his dishonesty to an insurance company, the name and address of which was given. We sent the money to the insurance company and told them of the unjust claim that had been made against them, but the name of the one who had made the restitution remained unknown. Regardless of how much one may have taken, and regardless of how secretly it may have been done, and regardless of how one may have justified it in his own false conscience, the Divine words still stand: "Believe Me, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."
He has completed a term as President of the National Episcopal Conference. While he has had very little Curial experience, he is a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The area he oversees is vast consisting of some 3,000 islands. The Portuguese Jesuit influence has rubbed off greatly on his devotion to the faith in the face of growing persecutions and an overwhelming 90% Muslim population. Out of 125,760,000 people, there are only 500,000 Catholics, yet there is no shortage of priests with over 1,700 ministering throughout the islands. Though he is 65 years-old, most believe he would not be received internationally or have the global scope for papal material and is therefore not considered a serious candidate were an election to be held.