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All came to Him in humility, for they recognized Him as their God and Savior. They sought only to remain humble, faithful servants.
Only in eternity will it be revealed how, in the hours before His Passion, my Divine Son received such strength from these holy souls to allow Him, the Man, to suffer as no man has ever suffered, that the Fatherís Will might be accomplished.
Only in eternity shall you know to what heights their faith led them, and how from such faith their courage blossomed against the tide of evil which was already gathering in the hearts of all in Jerusalem.
In these, the end times, my Little Ones, you must imitate these holy souls who recognized their own poverty and came at once to the source of all riches - my Divine Son.
In these last days you, also, must gaze upon Him, your Lord and Savior, and seek only the Divine Will. There can be no place in your heart to doubt. Doubt leads to fear. Fear is the road to despair. My Little Ones, meditate upon this scene which I have shown interiorly to my Littlest One. Let this room become for you the very Tabernacle where my Divine Son is present, and awaits you as He awaited Mary, Martha, His aunt, and His own Blessed Mother.
Do not listen to those who scorn, rebuff, persecute and seek your ruin. They speak the language of the evil one. Rather, sit humbly before my Divine Son and cleanse your heart by tears of holy repentance. In this way, my little children, He takes you into His sacred wounds and hides you there, unseen by the world. There He brings to perfection the Divine Will in you. There you will find all that is necessary to be an apostle of the end times, the faithful remnant unafraid of all that is yet to come.
For you will see only Him, and in Him and through Him your own earthly crucifixion will be united to His Infinite Merits, and you shall be the instruments through which countless souls shall be saved.
And as we did this evening in the room at Lazarusí house, so I ask you to go each day before the Tabernacle and at Holy Mass. With eyes lifted heavenward and heart raised to God, pray from your heart the "Our Father." Then shall you swiftly understand much of the sublime mysteries of my Sonís Passion. Then shall hope abound in you, for that which is to come upon the world after my Immaculate Heart triumphs - the Age of the Divine Will, the Reign of the Sacred heart.
Pray, my Little Ones. Pray as you have never before prayed, for the hour has come to the world and Godís justice shall strike. Pray, and seek unity with my Sonís Passion. There you will not be afraid, but know sublime peace!
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part One of Lesson 3: WITH THE APOSTLES ON THE EVE OF PASSOVER
The Pope will arrive at the airport in Abuja on Saturday afternoon, March 21, and conclude the day with a courtesy call on the Nigerian head of state, General Sani Abacha. The following day he will preside at the beatification of Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi in Onitsha, in the east of the country, and remain there to pray the Angelus at midday. Then he will return to Abuja for a meeting with Islamic leaders.
On Monday, March 23, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in Abuja and meet with the country's bishops there before leaving for Rome in the afternoon.
"The Gospel is a permanent lesson of courage, generosity, and hard work," and is therefore "a strong denunciation of laziness," said Bishop Claudio Gimenez of Caacupe, Paraguay. During a strongly-worded homily in a Mass for pilgrims at the National Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Caacupe, Bishop Gimenez said: "Laziness is not only a dramatic problem in our society, but is also contrary the teachings of our faith. The Gospels denounce those who are lazy, those who do not look for a decent job, those who have money to drink beer but not to feed their children." He added, "To be a Christian means to accept a responsibility before society and to be someone willing to cooperate in the formation of a culture of justice and reconciliation."
The bishop also said: "Catholics are not afraid of poverty, suffering, and problems in life, but they do not cooperate with poverty or suffering with a weak attitude or a lack of energy in confronting the problems of life. Our capacity to accept suffering, to share the cross of Christ, cannot be used as a pretext to avoid hard work and be a victim of misery."
To the north in Central America's Paraguay, Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo of Managua, in the midst of increasing social tensions that some fear could cause a new armed rebellion, called for a "culture of dialogue" to enter the current political climate.
Several political tensions have been creating distress in Nicaragua's society in recent months, including The executive power vs. the supreme court, the ruling party vs. the Marxist Sandinistas in Congress, and between former Sandinista and Contra rebel groups. The rebels have threatened to take up arms again if the government does not provide them with land. In addition, several unions, including those of state workers and teachers, have begun marching in protest against the government.
"The only solution for administrative, social, or political problems in Nicaragua is through the creation of a culture of dialogue replacing the current culture of tension and violence," Cardinal Obando y Bravo said. He added that "each person must realize that there are no perfect solutions and that each side must give something in exchange." Later, making clear reference to Nicaragua's civil war, he said that "history is a good school where we can learn the dramatic consequences of irrational tensions and misunderstandings."
Meanwhile, while the Cardinal and Bishop were speaking out in the southern hemisphere of the Americas, on the other side of the Pacific rim in Manila Cardinal Jaime Sin said on Sunday that even though dictator Ferdinand Marcos is long gone, the Philippines still suffers with corrupt politicians.
Cardinal Sin, who was a key figure in the 1986 peaceful revolt that forced Marcos from power, marked the 12th anniversary of that event with a homily denouncing politicians who buy elections and accept kickbacks from special interests. At an open-air Mass attended by more than 10,000 people, including President Fidel Ramos and former President Corazon Aquino, the cardinal said Filipinos have short memories because they have forgotten the lessons of 1986.
"We are tempted to despair when great achievements of People Power are betrayed to the 'trapo' or squandered by the faint-hearted," Cardinal Sin said. He said the "trapo" were the politicians who cheated to get elected and manipulated people for selfish ends.
On Saturday, the cardinal was criticized by a presidential candidate for meddling in politics. Vice-President Joseph Estrada, the front-runner in the presidential race, criticized the cardinal for urging Filipinos not to be swayed by popularity polls in choosing their next president on May 11. "Do not just march with the popular. Go with the choice of conscience and morality," the cardinal had said in a statement which some newspapers interpreted as a call for voters to reject Estrada. Estrada has publicly acknowledged having engaged in many extramarital sexual affairs.
A similar visit, in 1996, helped to break an impasse over the appointment of an apostolic administrator to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). The government had prevented Bishop Huynh Van Nghi, the Vatican's choice, from assuming that role; a compromise allowed the nomination of two coadjutor bishops. But at the time, after returning to Rome, Bishop Claudio Maria Celli told a Vatican Radio audience that "the Vietnamese government and the Holy See are not on the same wave length" on questions of religious freedom. Later in 1996, the government prohibited several Catholic bishops from visiting Rome for their scheduled ad limina visit.
The Vatican does not have formal diplomatic relations with Vietnam.