DAILY CATHOLIC   FRI-SAT-SUN   September 18-20, 1998   vol. 9, no. 183


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Placing the punctuation on our punctuality to the Divine Will will define the sentence God writes for us!

          The last grain of sand in the hourglass drops today. Are we ready? In other words, folks - time's up! What are we talking about you ask, after all it's only September 18, 1998? That's precisely what we are talking about for it was ten years ago today that the Blessed Mother conveyed to the respected locutionist Italian priest Father Don Stefano Gobbi the famous message from Lourdes entitled A Period of Ten Years. It was imparted to Fr. Gobbi during the Cenacle with the Priests and faithful of the Marian Movement of Priests, an organization founded by Fr. Gobbi at Our Lady's request. And it was delivered at the very site where she had appeared 140 years before to Saint Bernadette Soubirous. The message she gave then was important, but the message Fr. Gobbi received on September 18, 1988 was just as important for our time. In it Blessed Mary outlined what we must do in the next ten years after which will soon come the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart which will usher in the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Era of the Holy Spirit, the Age of the Eucharistic Christ, the New Pentecost.

          So, with that in mind let's look back and see what has transpired and if we have truly lived up to what Our Lady has asked. She confirmed that all she had foretold from LaSalette on would come to pass and most of it has. She prophesied that the suffering would intensify and it has. Here in America and Europe we might be immune to the physical suffering that many are undergoing in third world countries, but we have suffered in the soul as the standard of morals has been lowered so low that few can find a demarcation line. How many are presently in Purgatory suffering for what they failed to do while on this earth? Could it be we have misinterpreted the concept of suffering to mean only "physically" and not realized our souls can suffer even moreso because of the aggressions and transgressions against God's laws and His Holy Church? She promised that the "great tribulation" predicted in Sacred Scripture would come to completion and it has in ways which we may not have properly discerned. Our Lady foretold that "the mystery of iniquity, prepared for by the ever increasing spread of apostasy, will become manifest." Has this not happened? And has not the Holy Father done all he can to stem the tide with his encyclicals and strong Apostolic Letters? And have not, for the most part, many of the bishops and faithful ignored them, much as they ignored Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae? Look at the problems the Church and the people have faced since rejecting the Pope's wise words that came from the Holy Spirit. Look at the dissension among liberal theologians. Look at the exodus of so many Catholics -both left and right - from the Church because they wanted it their way. Father Ken Roberts said it best when he stated "You can leave the Church by either door, either the right or left." Isn't that what happened on the right with the LeFebvre movement and the creation of the Society of Pius X? We have a group here in North County who long for the Latin Mass. They approached the local bishop seven years ago and were turned down because there already was a Latin Mass in the San Diego Diocese. Why he wouldn't allow one in the North County which is 30-40 miles away is something the bishop will have to answer for, but since he is the shepherd, the people must be obedient. We did not know the bishop's order when we first contacted the local leaders in hopes of attending an approved Latin Mass on a regular basis here in Vista as we had in Dallas at Mater Dei Community which was approved by the bishop there. When we broached the question of obedience with the leaders of the "outlaw Latin Mass," one railed at our questions, the other was much more cooperative, trying to explain and rationalize his position. Regardless of their explanation, regardless of their love for the Mass they were weaned on, we must be obedient to the Magisterium of the Church. Therefore, sadly, we had to decline the invitation to join them for Sunday Masses by a priest who is imported from another diocese without presenting his faculties to the local ordinary. The saddest thing is they are not only in disobedience of the bishop, but are holding these "Masses" in a Protestant church. No matter how much we love the traditions of the Church especially the Latin ties, we must be obedient. Our Lady has said "Obedience bears the greatest fruit." We see this movement and we see A Call To Action and We Are Church and they are all in disobedience, they are all turning their backs on what Our Lady and her Divine Son ask. They don't care about the Divine Will, only their will and twist the facts and circumstances to falsely perceive it is God's Will without using the process of discerning God's Will. In every country of this world there are problems in society and in the Church. Abortion, women's roles, sexual mores, homosexuality, greed, murder, lust, etc. have all become issues that cry out to God for vengeance. Mary asked that we consecrate our lives to her for the time remaining, not to garner attention to herself but as a safeguard to keep our eye on the Prize and not be distracted by the lures and snares of the world, the flesh and the devil. She is a loving mother who doesn't want one of her children to go astray and yet so many have. What mother wouldn't lament the fate of her children? No wonder she has been visiting her children on every continent, imploring them through her chosen messengers and visionaries to return to her Divine Son, to turn their backs on the world and embrace the only Hope for salvation. But have we listened? Have we responded? A few yes. But for the most part, for the majority it has seemed to be an exercise in futility.

          Consider all the messages that were conveyed over the past ten years - to Father Gobbi, to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart, to the visionaries of Medjugorje, to Maria Esperanza de Bianchini in Betania, to many in the United States and countless others throughout the world. Now, ten years later, the messages have ceased to many of those messengers. Father Gobbi received his final message on December 31st last year; the Hidden Flower's final message to the world ended on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1995, and so many messengers have announced that Our Lady is no longer coming to them. In fact, now there are only three Medjugorje visionaries who are still receiving messages. Only Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic and Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti are the only ones still receiving messages for Our Lady conveyed to them after they receive the "tenth secret" she will no longer appear to them except for special occasions. Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo and Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez were given the tenth secret on December 25, 1982 and May 7, 1985 respectively while the youngest of the visionaries Jakov Colo received the tenth and final secret and consequently his last message this past week - September 12, 1998. The message was as follows:

      "Dear child! I am your mother and I love you unconditionally. From today I will not be appearing to you every day, but only on Christmas, the birthday of my Son. Do not be sad, because as a mother I will always be with you and like every true mother I will never leave you. And you continue further to follow the way of my Son, the way of peace and love and try to persevere in the mission that I have confided to you. Be an example of that man who has known God and God's love. Let people always see in you an example of how God acts on people and how God acts through them. I bless you with my motherly blessing and I thank you for having responded to my call."
    Jakov reported a great feeling of sadness that it would be the final time he hears Our Lady's voice on this earth except at Christmas. After all he has heard her words regularly for seventeen years since he was a ten year old child. Now he is a married man with children. The Blessed Mother has said that when she ceases her apparitions at Medjugorje, that will be the end of all her appearances. She has been preparing us. She has told us everything we need to know and steered us to the only path we can take. But how many have followed it? That's the sad part. She has warned us over and over, not just of the pending Justice, but of placing too much emphasis on the messenger and not enough on the message. She said as much in message 389 to Fr. Gobbi on at Lourdes ten years ago when she alerted us to not be "seized by vain curiosity to know what is awaiting you." Yet "message junkies" have frittered from one messenger to another looking for that "crystal ball" - the easy path to escape the chastisement, all the while missing the obvious - the message of prayer, penance and fasting and adhering to God's Will. That is the conversion process. It's not a sudden one, it's a gradual process that takes a lifetime to perfect. But so many are not willing to "grind it out." They want an instant cure. It doesn't work that way. Christ labored for three years and in the end the people who had hailed Him, condemned Him.

          So now it would seem that the "Time of Grace" - that extended "Time of Mercy" has run out. If we have learned anything over the past decade is that all Our Lady has foretold has or is coming to pass. Let's take a lesson from this and turn back to God now and heed His Blessed Mother's words of wisdom. Time is very, very short. We have less than 470 days until the dawn of a new millennium, and, we suspect, even fewer until that glorious time when Mary will fulfill her promise of her heart triumphing as she foretold at Fatima, to Fr. Gobbi, and countless others. It's getting late, but maybe not too late to still jump on God's bandwagon. But if we don't make reservations now by heeding all she says and what her Divine Son teaches, then we could get left at the "terminal" forever and miss our non-stop flight to Heaven. And terminal is such a final word. The period of ten years is over, but if we don't respond immediately our salvation could be over. Period! That would leave a great question mark in God's heart and an exclamation mark of despair in ours. Placing the punctuation on our punctuality to the Divine Will will define the sentence God writes for us!

Michael Cain, editor