Part Twenty Three:

Loyalty and the Bark of Peter

Continuing with our treatise on loyalty in this on-going mega-series as we wind down toward the new millennium, we take a look at the tools of loyalty given to us through Holy Mother Church. The amazing aspect of these tools are that many are from private revelation. Yet there is nothing new in these revelations but rather a reaffirmation of all public revelation - Sacred Scripture and Church Doctrine. Take for instance the imagery offered in a unique vision imparted to Saint John Bosco in 1862. He was given a prophetic dream in which he was given to understand that peace in the world would come only after a great battle in which the Pope would achieve victory by anchoring the Boat (the Church) of St. Peter securely to the pillar of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and to the pillar of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Rosary. Ah, yes, the Rosary - the crowning glory of private revelation! Consider at the time the Holy Father was Pope Pius IX who enjoyed the longest tenure of any pontiff in the history of the Church past and present. He was Vicar of Christ for 32 years. John's vision came two years after the massacre of Pius IX's papal army, signalling the end of the temporal power the Vatican had enjoyed since the time of Pippin and Charlemagne in the 8th Century as we elaborate on in the accompanying chapter of the History of the Mass in this same issue. The vision was an indication that God's people should not abandon Rome but neither should they fret because Rome had lost its temporal power. Rather the only way to victory was spiritually - through Jesus, the founder of the One, True Church and devotion to His Mother, Star of the sea, Gate of Heaven, Vessel of honor. The vision was a confirmation of God's Will for His Holy Church. This vision is actually more of a prophecy for us today than for the Church of the 19th Century. Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II said in 1980: "The Rosary is the remedy against evil. Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God. We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future..." No one epitomizes the leader of this vision more than our present pontiff. Through all the trials during his pontificate John Paul II has steadily steered the Bark of Peter through all kinds of treacherous waters - political and religions wars everywhere, the crumbling of Communism as we know it, the steady rise of freemasonry, the runaway evil of homosexuality and abortion, and the growing schism within Christ's True Church. Yet, through it all, he has not wavered as evidence by his sincere respect as the most trusted leader throughout the world by all and his staunch no-nonsense stands against the One World Order and the Abortionists at the UN-sponsored international conferences, most specifically Cairo.

To further clarify that John Bosco's vision was of our present pontiff, consider that no Pope has been more dedicated, rather make that "consecrated" to the Mother of God than this Totus Tuus Vicar of Christ. No Pope has been more Eucharistic - bringing Jesus to every continent throughout his eighteen-plus-years papacy. And truth-be-known, no Pope in the line 263 successors has had more adversity world-wide than his holiness John Paul II. Yet through it all he has remained loyal to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, never compromising his values for political expediency as those liberals around him have done. He, as our leaders, has remained unconditionally loyal to Christ and His Church.

Loyalty then to the Holy Father, as the Vicar of Christ, is essential in our life as Roman CAtholics. We can only be loyal by truly living the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. Thought the course is narrow, Mary's Divine Son has bestowed on those who remain loyal the ultimate privelege of receiving the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament every time we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive Holy Communion in the state of Sanctifying Grace.

Many non-Catholics and alas, sadly, even some Catholics ask why would Mary be placed on an equal pillar with Jesus? The answer is simple. Not only is Mary, by God's design and command, Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix and Advocate but also the Holy Tabernacle which carried the Divine Presence. Through God's Will she has now been sent as His emissary to announce His Will to all who will listen. This is why there is such a plethora of messages being imparted in our times. The ship is navigating even rougher waters and the only way to avoid a shipwreck is to be firmly anchored to both pillars. By relying on one more than the other will still take us off course. Therefore we must be firmly centered with the Church, centered between the pillars of Jesus and Mary. If we rely only on the pillar of Jesus as so many of our protestant brethren do, we lose the graces and the perspective of Mary's intercession and basically reject the two natures of Christ as both Divine and human. If we lean too heavily on the pillar of Mary as, unfortunately some can do who do not have a full grasp on all Holy Mother Church teaches, than we truly lose the full scope of Mary's role and bestow on her something she cannot and will not accept for she is not Divine. Those who truly keep the pillars in perspective realize that Mary guides us always closer to her Divine Son. And it is her Divine Son Who expects us to honor His Mother as He did. In a word, if Jesus could honor and obey His Mother for over 30 years, should we do less?

When we read the Gospels, St. John's Apocalypse/Revelation as well as the messages of La Salette, and other recent messages from Akita, Betania, Garabandal and Medjugorje not to mention countless other messages being imparted on every continent today, we see that it almost sounds word-for-word at times. Is there any doubt God is trying to warn us of the spiritual pitfalls ahead through His messengers and His Blessed Mother who He has sent in record number of appearances toward the end of this second millennium to prepare us against satan's new age mentality in these End Times. New Age shrewdly masquerades that we can be God...not like God in His image and likeness, but actually BE gods. It has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it? Wasn't that the rationale a certain serpent used with Adam and Eve and which he thrust upon Our Lord in the desert? But God has been loyal to His children even if we haven't always been loyal to Him. He sent the "second Adam" - Himself in the Person of the Son in the Blessed Trinity - after 4,000 years of limbo to redeem His children - a time remembered during the liturgical time of Advent preparing for the Birth of the Savior. God created and sent the "second Eve" - the Blessed Virgin Mary, immaculately conceived as a worthy, holy vessel, a holy, living tabernacle to hold and nourish the Father's Divine Son. Mary is the Ark of the Covenant, House of gold, Tower of David, Gate of Heaven, Mirror of justice, Refuge of sinners, and Help of Christians and through these titles she intercedes as mediator between her Divine Son and God's children on earth and the Church which her Son founded when He said to Peter, "Upon this Rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16: 18) As Advocate, Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix Our Lady watches over her Son's Church and His chosen Vicar on earth - the Holy Father. In the next installment, the 25th issue and final one for 1996, we will delve into the timetable God has revealed through Scripture and the revelations imparted by His Blessed Mother, specifically to Father Don Stefano Gobbi in the countdown to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart.