“You cannot imagine what is going to happen, nor what the Eternal Father will send to the Earth! That is why you must be converted! Renounce everything…I carry all these gifts to my Divine Son in order to obtain an alleviation of His justice against the sins of humanity.”
We see that our future depends to a great extent upon what we have learned from our history. How well we respond to these heavenly commands could determine the outcome in our lifetime. Recall the story of our origins: “In the beginning, God created man, male and female he made them, in his own image and likeness…” (Gn 1:26-28), and our ancestors fall from grace (Gn 3:1-13).
Because mankind broke that covenant, God sent man into a harsh world: “Cursed be the ground because of you!…Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you…By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground from which you were taken; for you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return” (Gn 3:17-19). However, God promised He would send a Redeemer, the Messiah.
Thousands of years later His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, was born of a woman, a virgin. St. John, the Evangelist, tells us in his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:1,14). Christ would live, preach, suffer and die for us.
As this “Word” was dying on the cross He entrusted His mother to John, the beloved disciple, saying: “Woman, behold, your son” (Jn 19:26); then, He told John: “Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:27). In so doing, He gave her to us. She reaffirmed this when she appeared at Guadalupe in the Americas, in 1531, and reassured us as a mother is wont to do: “Am I not here with you who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?”
A scant forty-three days later, just before ascending into Heaven, Christ founded His Church through which mankind could be saved: “And so I say to you, you are Peter [Petros], and upon this rock [Petra], I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 16:18-19). St. John further clarified the Church’s authority, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:23).
Still, over the course of two millennia, many continued to reject Christ. Month by month we notice the oftimes nonsensical media condoning evil by proclaiming its amoral values throughout the world. Gossip and greed have become an everyday proclamation of this so-called media, often destroying reputations, regardless of whether earned or not.
As this media gradually replaces the Bible, proclaiming itself as the conscience of the world, we note well how we are transforming ourselves into a world that sets its own rules. The Creator has no priority here! Yet, this goes firmly against the Commandments and Statutes that God gave us in order to survive and be fruitful.
We should not be surprised then when Our Lady reminds us: “…wars are a punishment for sin” and advises us that we may well be chastised once again in order to bring us back to our senses. Whether it is a direct act of God, causing a coronal mass ejection (CME) – or terrorists, unleashing an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) hundreds of miles above the earth – the result will be equally devastating.
In 1830, Mary appeared in Paris, France, offering herself to us, thus marking the beginning of her final mission, for the salvation of the world. Less than eighty-five years later, after enduring almost three years of horrors from World War I – the war which Pope Benedict XV termed: “the suicide of civilized Europe” – he pleaded for the intercession of the Mother of God.
During his public prayer on May 5, 1917, he invited the world to join him on a novena [nine days of prayers], asking Mary for peace and a quick end to the war. On the ninth day, in a direct response to his plea, Our Lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. It was May 13, 1917.
On July 13th, two months after her first appearance in Fatima and immediately after showing the children that horrific vision of Hell, Mary told them: ”The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI.
“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father…The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated…”
We didn’t do as she asked and, as a result, that “unknown light” was seen throughout the world on January 25-26, 1938. The war she warned would occur, if “…people do not cease offending God” actually began on March 12, 1938 when German troops entered Austria. The prophecy Our Lady foretold concerning Pius XI was fulfilled during his reign inasmuch as he died on February 10, 1939, almost a year later.
Sr. Lúcia clarified this: “The annexation of Austria gave occasion for the war.” Germany took the Czech region of Sudetenland, then, invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. The United States entered the war on December 7, 1941, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It ended on August 14, 1945, the eve of the Feast of the Assumption.
Coincidences? Perhaps; perhaps not! World War II ended with Japan’s formal surrender on August 15, 1945, V-J Day. It was first announced here in the United States on August 14, 1945 by President Harry Truman; it was the headline in The Baltimore Sun newspaper. August 14th was my thirteenth birthday and, with my father’s permission, I shot holes in the paper with my rifle. Unfortunately, children younger than I were forced to fight in the front lines on the battlefields of Europe!
We celebrate that victory in movies and books; yet, we don’t seem to be able to comprehend what actually caused the war. If, as Our Lady said, “…wars are a punishment for sin,” what did we do between 1918 and 1938 to cause World War II and the eventual global spreading of Communism [atheistic Socialism]? Had we learned from history and heeded her requests that war and the spread of Communism need not have happened.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who had witnessed so much heartache, often reminded us, “…until we return to God, we will continue to shed the blood of our youth on the battlefields of the world!”
The Cold War
Rising from the ashes of that war, a cold war developed between the U.S.S.R. and the free world, each side fully aware that a potential world war loomed on the horizon, a war from which literally no one would go unscathed! Beginning in the early 1960s, two events would occur that threatened to start a global thermonuclear war.
Each event was loaded with a nuclear hair-trigger and rested in the hands of one man! He, alone, would make that decision, knowing full well that failure to go by the book [follow orders] would likely end in his being deemed a traitor to his own government. Yet, had he done exactly as he was instructed, my family would cease to exist; I would not be here to write this manuscript!
On October 18, 1961, Our Lady appeared in Spain with a warning for the world: “…The cup is already filling up and, if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.” Exactly one year later, in October, an event would occur.
In early 1962, owing to my installation of an infra-agency communications system for our Commission, our section had been trained to trace nuclear radiation in the state of Maryland and vicinity. We were to measure the levels of radiation and transmit the data to the appropriate agencies.
I was responsible for the city of Annapolis. We were informed by the government that several missiles were likely pre-programed for the Baltimore–Annapolis–Washington triangle and, if an event occurred we would not survive it.
It was only later, in 2000, after the third part of the secret of Fatima was revealed, that one could well imagine how that triangle would resemble the “big city half in ruins” the pope was predicted to visit on his way to the cross, where he would be murdered along with the bishops and dignitaries of the Church.
The First Event
On October 22nd – due to the missile crisis developing in Cuba – President John Kennedy called for a naval quarantine [blockade] of the island. For the first time in history the Defense Readiness Condition [DEFCON] was raised from 4 to 3, thus coinciding with a chain of events that came within a hair’s width of starting another World War.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, associates working in Washington urged my family to join them at a mountain retreat in West Virginia for a long weekend. We declined owing to my commitment for Annapolis.
Earlier, on October 1st, four Soviet, F-class, diesel submarines slipped from their berths at a secret Arctic base on Kola Bay, a 35 mile Fjord of the Barents Sea near Murmansk. Captains Aleksei Dubivko, Valentin Savitsky, Nikolai Shumkov and Rurik Ketov were to maintain strict radio silence. Hence, they made a secret pact that if either submarine was attacked by the U.S., they would all retaliate by firing their torpedoes.
Only Vasili Arkhipov – Commander of the submarine fleet, aboard B-59 – and the four captains knew that each submarine was equipped with a nuclear-tipped torpedo and authorization had been given for their use if, and when, required! Each torpedo was capable of vaporizing everything within a ten mile radius, any of which would damage or sink a dozen U.S. warships.
Undoubtedly, this would have called for retaliation by means of global thermonuclear war. Then, on the 26th, the DEFCON rating changed from 3 to 2. If it were to go to DEFCON 1, it would mean we were actually engaged in a total thermonuclear war.
By the weekend of October 27-28, our destroyers commenced dropping depth charges on the submarines, forcing the second of four submarines to surface. There being no need for radio silence now, the captains of all four submarines conferred, agreed, and immediately loaded their nuclear-tipped torpedoes into the firing tubes; then, they waited for Commander Arkhipov to give the final permission to fire.
Fortunately, he overrode all four of the captains’ decisions and decided against the use of the torpedoes. He determined it would serve no purpose other than to start World War III.
Ironically, shortly after their return to Russia, Rurik Ketov, the captain of submarine B-4, arrogantly declared: “If we captains had completed our mission, there might be nuclear missile boats in Cuba today and we would have been honored as heroes. Instead, because all four of us chose not to fire our torpedoes and avoid starting a nuclear war, we were later persecuted by our government as failures and traitors.”
Despite Ketov’s comments, Commander Arkhipov was eventually promoted to the rank of vice admiral. In 2002, he was recognized at a seminar in Cuba as the man who “saved the world from nuclear annihilation.”
Wisely, in hopes of preventing a future catastrophic war, a hot line was installed on August, 1963, which provided instant communications between the White House and the Kremlin.
The Second Event
Nineteen years later, on June 24, 1981, Our Lady appeared in Medjugorje, a country behind the iron curtain, and proclaimed: ”God has chosen each one of you to use you in a great plan for the salvation of man-kind. I wish to be with you to reconcile the world through prayer, fasting, faith, conversion and peace.”
Two years later, in the fall of 1983, another event would occur. It was under President Ronald Reagan’s watch. Operation Able Archer was a series of simulated, nuclear, first strikes against Russia. Amid the tension of repeated war games against the Soviet Union several of the Soviet leaders became convinced we were using the games as a cover for the real thing. Their military personnel were now on full alert!
Shortly past midnight on September 26, 1983, Soviet Air Defense Forces’ Lt. Col. Stanislaus Petrov settled into the commander’s chair in a secret bunker just outside of Moscow. Suddenly, the display on the computer screen showed that one intercontinental ballistic missile had been launched and was heading toward the Soviet Union; then another, and another, until there were five in total! His duty was to instantly notify his superior, who would then advise the Soviet Premier to retaliate.
Fortunately, Petrov reasoned: “It didn’t make sense. Surely the U.S. would have fired all their missiles at once, not just five!” Therefore, he determined it to be a false alarm. Fifteen minutes later, when radar out-posts confirmed there were no incoming missiles, he knew he had made the right decision!
It was subsequently determined that the false blips were caused by a rare alignment of sunlight reflecting on the high-altitude clouds in conjunction with the satellites’ improper orbits. Ironically, because Petrov did not heed his superiors and go by the book, he was reassigned to a less sensitive post and took early retirement.
Petrov’s cool thinking saved the world from a war too horrible to imagine! In 2004, Lt. Col. Petrov received a World Citizen Award; he was honored by the United Nations in 2006; then, in 2013, he was awarded the Dresden Peace Prize in Germany.
Earlier, in 1934, Christ told St. Faustina to make an entry in her diary: “Write this: before I come as the Just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: “All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth.
“Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky and from the openings, where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed, will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time” (Diary, 42).
The lights from the wounds of Christ described by St. Faustina may well be similar to the ones predicted to appear at both Garabandal and Medjugorje. When they occur, it would necessarily be the cause for the conversion of the Muslims who do not believe Christ actually died on the cross; the Jews, who “…will look on Him whom they have pierced” (Jn 19:37); the unbeliever who either does not know Christ, or else denies Him.
This could usher in the “…era of peace” that Our Lady promised at Fátima. What a gift of love this would be for the whole world.
Unfortunately, whether from ignorance or refusal, King Louis XIV did not place the requested sign on his standards and shields. This resulted in grave problems for his great, great, grandson, Louis XVI. Since then, France has endured great hardships.
So, it should come as no surprise that God would enable a similar event to help a confused world, one that has seemingly lost its way. Mary advised us in Medjugorje that God knows the conditions in the world are “…beyond man’s ability to control”; hence, it will require His direct intervention.
Within the last century these numerous appearances of Christ and Our Lady point to a sign that all will see in the heavens. Pope John Paul II stated quite frankly that he was waiting for the promised sign which would bring about a new era.
The Eternal City
The Eternal City, a two hour documentary about the Vatican and the popes throughout history, it clearly states: “John Paul II, like the faithful Old Testament watchman, Habakkuk, his eyes set firmly on the horizon, waits for the promised sign which will usher in the end of our times, and for the second Pentecost which will bring about a spiritual renewal of a Godless world. He foresees the time is short, and that the struggle will be intense.
“He tells his audience: ‘I do not think that the wide circles of the Christian community, and of the world society, realize that we are now facing the final confrontation between the Church, and the anti-church and the anti-Christ. This confrontation lies within the Will of Divine Providence and is, therefore, in God’s plan. It is a challenge which the Church must take up courageously. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from the shedding of blood? This time it will not be any different!'”
Is this the same sign the Bible refers to: ”I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition; and they will look on him whom they have thrust through, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will grieve over him as one grieves over a first-born. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo” (Zec 12:10-11).
“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in Heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Mt 22:30-31).
In Garabandal, Our Lady said that there will still be some who will not believe even after the permanent sign is left. Mary told Conchita that, “during this miracle, those who are ill among the onlookers will be cured and the unbelievers among them will be converted.
“This miracle will be the proof of the tender love of God and Our Lady for the world. And, after the miracle, God will permit a sign to remain to remind us of it; that it will be visible to all those who are in the village and surrounding mountains; that the sick who are present will be cured and the incredulous will believe.
“It will be the greatest miracle that Jesus has performed for the world. There won’t be the slightest doubt that it comes from God and that it is for the good of mankind. A sign of the miracle, which will be possible to film or televise, will remain forever at the Pines.”
Jesus told Conchita that this will occur in order “…to convert the whole world…thus everyone will love Our Hearts.” This would fulfill the request made in Fatima. Here, we do well to recall the prophetic words of Pope Paul VI who stated quite clearly on June 30, 1972: “The smoke of Satan has entered the very heart of the Church!”
In Medjugorje on April 25, 1983, Our Lady said: “Be converted! It will be too late when the sign comes. Beforehand, several warnings will be given to the world. Have people become converted. I need your prayers and your penance.”
After the third secret is fulfilled and the “sign” is seen by all, we will be “either for God or against Him.“ There will be no more straddling fences. She added, “The only weapons that will remain will be the rosary and the sign that the Eternal Father will leave.”
In the Bible, Jesus reminds us: “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:15-16). Finally, after the chastisement by fire that Our Lady predicted in Akita in 1965, and “…various nations will be annihilated…” as foretold in 1917 in Fátima, “…an era of peace…” will be ushered in.
In A.D. 30, John the Baptist, declared, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’” (Jn 1:23). On March 25, 1936, in a similar manner, Our Lady told Sr. Faustina: “…I gave the Savior to the world, as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day” (Diary 635).
Consider the changes that have occurred in our lifestyle since the 1960s and the effect it is having on our children. Respectful behavior in public has almost disappeared. Our dress code has gone from formal to casual, to just plain sloppy!
Many of our youth sport tattoos and wear clothes with holes in them. Their torn garments don’t fit while providing a just off the boat look. Many join gangs so they can appear tough and have a sense of belonging. Drugged with the temptations of the flesh they often react with anger and violence. Many have no one to guide them and don’t know which way to go.
Parents often enable this behavior by their absence while others are often too busy working two jobs in order to make ends meet. And, too often, parents do not have the courage to correct them. These children have no idea what awaits them!
It is important to recall here that, on June 13, 1929, Our Lady called for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, “…promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sin.”
In a letter dated May 28, 1936, Sr. Lúcia reveals an intimate conversation she had with Our Lord. She wished to know if the consecration had to be performed specifically by the Holy Father. Christ told her, “The Holy Father, pray much for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it will be late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to her.”
In 1982, in a direct response to her request, Pope John Paul II called for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. He then sought Sr. Lúcia’s understanding as to whether the consecration fully satisfied Heaven’s requests. She advised him that it did not as it was not done in union with all the bishops throughout the world, and Our Lady specifically requested this.
Finally, in 1984, two years later, John Paul II arranged another consecration, this time in union with all the bishops throughout the world. When he asked Sr. Lúcia if this was accepted by Heaven, she later reported it was.
Here we would do well to recall the words Christ told Sr. Lúcia in Rianjo, Spain in August, 1931: “They have not chosen to heed My request…Like the King [Louis XVI] of France, they will regret it, but it will be late. Russia will already have spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions against the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer.”
The Heavenly Lights
Earlier, I noted Christ requested St. Margaret Mary to ask four special favors from King Louis XIV, of France. We know for a certainty that he did not fulfill them. Finally, 106 years later, his great-great-great grandson, [King] Louis XVI, complied with the first request: the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
He promised to fulfill the other requests at his next opportunity but, unfortunately, he was locked in the temple prison and could not fulfill them. For Divine Providence it ”…was now late” and, on July 21st, 1793, he was led to the infamous guillotine.
His wife, Marie-Antoinette, joined him shortly thereafter. The phrase wrongly attributed to her: “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” [let them eat cake] refers to a type of bread. It was later attributed to Jean Rousseau, a political philosopher who first stated it in a letter written 18 years before Marie-Antoinette was born.
Yet, there is great hope for the future! The problem is getting there with a minimum of bruises. Today, a majority of people think that God could never permit us to suffer, thinking, ‘He’s too nice; after all, He is love, isn’t He?’ Do you remember the equation about love vs. just punishment?
Certainly the love portion of the equation is quite true; however, I would suggest they, along with modern theologians, look carefully at the punishment meted out to Amelia, Lúcia’s eighteen year old friend from Fátima. When Lúcia asked Our Lady if she was in Heaven, Mary responded: “She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world.”
Many people have difficulty accepting that depth of punishment given to Amelia. In Medjugorje, Mary doesn’t hesitate to remind us how difficult Purgatory is, telling Marija: ”One hour in Purgatory is more painful than the longest, hardest life on earth.” Yet, Amelia had none of the temptations so prevalent in our big cities of today. There were no movies, radio or television, not even a telephone. Some questioned Lúcia, stating it seemed so cruel!
Now, lest someone think Amelia must have been a very sinful teenager to deserve this extreme punishment, Lúcia reminds us: “One can go to Hell for all eternity just for missing Mass on Sunday.” Have we forgotten three of the Ten Commandments: ”Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day; Thou shall not commit adultery; Thou shall not kill [murder]” (Ex 20:13)?
Additionally, anyone who procures or participates in an abortion can incur an automatic excommunication from the Church! “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life” (CCC n. 2272).
This condemnation would necessarily apply to anyone who assists in an abortion in any manner, such as driving the car to the abortuary, making the appointment, etc. Certainly, the gravity of the offense would depend upon the circumstances and the individual’s awareness of the Church’s teaching on this matter.
Infractions of any of these Commandments are tantamount to committing a mortal sin which causes death to the soul and, if not forgiven, may condemn one’s soul to Hell for all eternity. And, let’s be perfectly clear here: the Church teaches it is just as serious a sin to be a participant in an act of fornication as it is to participate in an adulterous or homosexual one.
Are those who endorse or participate in some of these abhorrent behaviors unlike a new brand of Adam and Eve, choosing to taste the forbidden fruit again? If one’s conscience differs from Church doctrine, the burden falls upon that person to reform their conscience.
Each of us has a serious obligation to be certain our conscience is honestly enlightened and correctly formed. Obviously, this means that any moral decision one makes must be in conformity with the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church: ergo, one cannot say that because one disagrees in conscience with the Church, one is excused from doing what the Church teaches and incurs no penalty!
Have we not yet learned from history what happens to societies when they digress into moral turpitude? Do we think that the destruction of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were just happen-chance? We must be truthful here: if our most brilliant minds cannot even determine when life begins, then, surely, we are all in serious trouble.
God established a community of the people of God to prepare mankind for the coming of the Messiah. His Commandments and Statutes give us the beginning of the Divine [Eternal] Law, which is the source of all laws. Divine law consists of the Old Covenant in the Old Testament, given to Moses on Mount Sinai, containing the Ten Commandments and 613 Statutes.
The former contains ten moral precepts: the first three, called Ceremonial, are for the worship of God; the remaining seven, known as Juridical, determine how we are to behave with our neighbors. Divine Law is also made up of the New Covenant of the New Testament, stated so eloquently in the Beatitudes given by Christ during the Sermon on the Mount.
A law is an instrument given by God or enacted by man to instruct and guide the people of a nation. These laws represent the values that a society chooses to embrace and display to the world and, inasmuch as we all have different ideas about life, they also prohibit harmful behavior with each other.
The object of all laws must be for a right purpose and the circumstances must be according to human reason. Good laws must absolutely respect the Rights that are ordained by our Creator.
Man’s laws, such as our Constitution and Bill of Rights, merely guarantee those rights given to us by our Creator! We understand it by examining our nature which expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for our fundamental rights and duties.
There is no conflict between the law and freedom if the law is an ordinance of reason made for the common good by one who has the authority to do so and, then, is able to enact it. Therefore, in order to remain free from a tyrannical person or government, good laws are absolutely necessary.
However, problems arise when governments enact laws that interfere and conflict with man, especially those laws that reject God’s law outright. Inasmuch as man does not create nature, man must respect God’s natural law; yet, when we forget that Heaven is the goal, we become mired in misunderstanding and difficulty.
“The Natural [Moral] Law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin…” (CCC n. 1778-1780). It is called natural because it consists of the laws of nature that are necessary to fulfill a human being because of one’s nature. It is present in the heart of each person and established by reason. It is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all people.
The natural moral law is significant because the first time we go against it, we know it immediately; we feel it deeply within us! Then, all manner of evil things occur: acts of murder, theft, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc.
Have we forgotten our basic moral values, opting instead only for love and the pleasure that ensues, which is only one side of the equation? Have we become so pampered that we imagine we have the right to choose to believe whatever we wish and that will be the truth, that it will be acceptable to our Creator?
Let us recall the prophet Isaiah’s warning: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil…For they have spurned the law of the Lord of Hosts…Therefore the wrath of the Lord blazes against his people, he raised his hand to strike them” (Is 5:20; 24:25).
Then, of course, there are the laws of Nature, many of which govern gravity: “What goes up must come down; A body in rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion, unless the body is compelled to change its state.” However, Our Lady tells us that even this law may be mitigated.Do you remember the words that formed on the banner in Pont-Main in 1871?
Following that, a little over a century later in Medjugorje, she reminded us: “You have forgotten that, through prayer and fasting, you can avert wars and suspend the laws of nature!”
Oh, really? Yes! Do you not remember what Christ said, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, and it will move’” (Mt 17:20).
And, another time, “…Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water…he became frightened, and, beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’…Jesus…said to him. ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Mt 14:29-31).
There are also specific laws in respect to marriage, a legal contract binding upon both the man and the woman for their lifetime. Since the beginning of time, all laws have defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, blessed and honored by our Creator. Marriage is a sacrament, one of seven sacraments of the Church.
We learn much of our history from scripture: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fertile and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it’” (Gn 1:27-28). Men and women, being profoundly different in their nature, have unique biological and emotional qualities.
Together, in harmony, the two provide the balanced family environment necessary for the healthy development of their offspring. The ensuing union is pleasing to Him only within the confines of His Commandments and Statutes; otherwise, it is a sin.
People marry because they wish to proclaim their love for each other by sharing that love as helpmates, assisting each other to reach their ultimate goal: Heaven! Yet, many have forgotten that the primary purpose of their physical union in marriage is to produce and raise children in a permanent and stable environment for the happiness and security of the children.
The physical and psychological pleasure the parents receive is truly rewarding, but only secondary to the primary purpose of marriage. This uniting of a man and a woman as husband and wife also requires them to remain together, acting as helpmates to each other on their journey through life “…until death do us part.”
Unfortunately, during an earlier period in history, Moses permitted divorce! However, Christ rebuked this, saying: “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Mt 19:8). “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female…and the two will become one flesh?
“Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mt 19:4-6). “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mk 10:11).
The married woman receives the honored title. Mrs., a title of respect prefixed to her name. Unfortunately, the feminist movement opted for M’s. that includes all females – young and old, single, married, or divorced – thereby demeaning a wife’s respectful title.
Marriages were traditionally performed in a formal setting, usually a church. Many marriages are now performed in public buildings as is commonly done in most Communist countries. Here, we would do well to again heed those words of Our Lady, given to Jacinta in 1919: “Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God…Most people go to Hell because of sins of the flesh.”
There is an adage: “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are!” Parents are well aware of the harm bad example does to their children. It is also contagious, yet many simply will not accept that what they do have any effect or influence on their children, or their neighbors. Was it not the moral corruption from within that eventually caused the collapse of most of the previous societies? Are we not on the same path?
The Romans are an example of a great society that just couldn’t seem to get enough gore; it had to be increased daily in order to keep the good citizens going back to the coliseum. In our times the trash and the outright anger prevalent in so many television shows and movies are quite acceptable now. In many cases what used to be termed immoral is now deemed worthwhile, even good!
This manner of thought has contaminated many of the most educated in our universities; it also reaches into the highest levels of government. One has only to glance at the news to see what the result of this type of thinking is doing to many today. The greatest societal disease so prevalent in the world today is freedom without responsibility!
Today, as in the past, there are people who are unable to comprehend that the family is the basic building block of society. Ask any believer, whether Christian, Jew, or Muslim, what would happen to their societies without good, strong families. Although we often argue with each other, we know that adultery and other mortal [deadly] sins destroy the values a family requires in order to survive and flourish in a society.
Think about this a moment: At the present time, basic religious rights in the world are under attack by many governments. And, if traditional marriage falls, what will happen to the institution that declared it to be a sacrament? Would it not follow that the culture and civilizations these religions spawned will also be destroyed?
In January, 2011, the Illinois legislature passed a law enabling Civil Unions in that State. It became effective on June 1, 2011. The archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, then stated: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly rebuild civilization as the Church has done so often in human history.”
Later, he wrote: “Neither Church, nor State, invented marriage, and neither can change its nature!” And, on October 21st, he added: “The world divorced from the God Who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end…”
If we are unable to comprehend these things from history, then, we will continue on our merry way right over the edge toward the bottom of an abyss from which there is no return! How can anyone not recognize or refuse to understand this?
We would do well to remember that this lifetime is only a snap of one’s fingers compared to all eternity! “Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty if we are strong, and most of them are fruitless toil, for they pass quickly and we drift away” (Ps 90:10).
In the early 1960s, Our Lady told Conchita in Garabandal: “After His Holiness Pope Paul VI, there will only be two more popes before the end of the present period, which is not the end of the world.” Conchita later clarified this, saying: “The Blessed Virgin told me so but I do not know what that means.”
This being the case, that era ended with the death of Pope John Paul II in April, 2005. Yet, regardless of whether we are able to grasp this, we are now living in that new era! No one is certain what the future holds except for the fact that things will most markedly and surely be changed, Mary told the children that after the third secret in Medjugorje occurs, “…I will not appear any more on this earth.”
Is it possible this means the end of the Age of Mary? Our Lady has pleaded with us over the past 185 years, but we paid little notice. The graces given at Fátima have been literally trampled into the dust. Toward the end of her life, when asked about the predicted chastisement, Sr. Lúcia said: “Tell them, Father, the punishment is imminent.” Our Lady told her that “for some, it’s good; for others, bad!”
In Medjugorje, Our Lady pleads: “I pray to my Son not to punish the world. I beseech you, be converted. You cannot imagine what is going to happen, nor what the Eternal Father will send to the earth. That is why you must be converted!”
She further advises: “Renounce everything. Sacrifice yourselves for those who need your help. Express my gratitude to all those who pray and fast. I carry all these gifts to my Divine Son in order to obtain an alleviation of His justice against the sins of humanity. Persevere and help me that the world may be converted.”
On August 15, 1985, she said to Mirjana: “My angel, pray for unbelievers. People will tear their hair, brother will plead with brother, he will curse his past life lived without God. They will repent, but it will be too late. Now is the time for conversion. I have been exhorting you for the past four years. Pray for them. Invite everyone to pray the rosary.”
In 1961, Our Lady stated: “The cup is already filling up and if we do not change a very great chastisement will come upon us” and, in 1965: “Now it is flowing over!” By 1973, in Akita, she told us quite firmly: “…fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity; the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priest nor faithful.”
These are strong words, truly not for the fainthearted! In fact, one of the requests of Our Lady to Mirjana is: ”Pray for unbelievers.”
Having gone this far I don’t think we will get out of our current predicament easily with just a little rap on our fingers. Fortunately, we have her promise that “…in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph…the world will be granted an era of peace!” The difficulty is going from these present times to that promised, “…end” with as little pain as possible.
Finally, in Medjugorje, Mirjana advises us that “God has had it with us!” Do we not understand the implications here? Presently, in Medjugorje, Mary reminds us again that, after the ten predicted events have been accomplished, we will not see her again. This would appear to mean that it will not be necessary for her to appear again.
Meanwhile, we try to understand the future by looking at what was said in the past. We know Mary told the children n Medjugorje that there would be ten events that will occur on the earth during the lifetime of the seers, each one will be more severe than the previous one.
Ivan, who knows what they consist of, stated that: “The tenth one is altogether bad!” Mirjana cries whenever she thinks about it and pleads with Mary: “Does it have to be that way?” Each time, Our Lady responds: “Yes!”
In an attempt to grasp the significance of these past events and how they may affect us in the future, recall what Our Lady told Lúcia in 1917: “When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes…”
Sr. Lúcia said that this strange light occurred on January 25-26, 1938 and, although the media wrote it off with a scientific explanation as an aurora borealis, she stated: “…if they studied it further they would find it was not a true aurora!”
Here, too, one must not forget the warning about the need for ”Penance, Penance, Penance” so eloquently stated by the angel in the third part of the secret of Fátima! This, of course, does not address what the chastisements will consist of for they are known only to the children. Perhaps history may be helpful in revealing how this could possibly occur.
Earlier, I mentioned the effect the motion of the sun had on the people at Fátima. The sun was used as a direct warning to all the people of the earth and may logically be included in future chastisements. Here, I offer you a potential scenario of how God could use the sun once more to inflict a punishment on mankind, literally bringing him to his knees!
A little over a year after Our Lady’s final appearance to Bernadette in Lourdes, Richard Carrington, a British astronomer of the Royal Astronomical Society, documented a rare occurrence in the heavens, eventually publishing a tome entitled Observations of the Spots on the Sun.
He would later be recognized internationally as the British authority on sunspots, What he discovered and documented on the night of September 1, 1859, was a massive super solar flare lasting over five minutes.
Normally those types of ejections cause the ghostly lights later seen in the sky above the earth, known as aurorae borealis, or northern lights. A truly massive one can heat up to over three million degrees Fahrenheit and contain the power of about one billion hydrogen bombs.
It pushes the ejection into space at a fantastic speed of about four million miles per hour and if perchance it is aimed directly toward the earth, it would arrive here sometime between eighteen to thirty-six hours later. We would see it as a giant halo of gas rushing toward us.
There have been five major Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) since that time. NASA and the ESA (European Space Agency) take them quite seriously and have already placed five satellites in orbit, giving NOAA the prime responsibility of monitoring the sun on a twenty-four hour basis. Inasmuch as the resulting solar winds could be potentially harmful to our planet, NOAA, in Boulder, Colorado, passes that data to the appropriate agencies as soon as harmful ones are spotted.
Solar flares result in the release of radiation across the spectrum, with the potential to damage human tissue by mutation of the DNA in the cells. Too much exposure will cause permanent damage to the cells, possibly leading to death.
The energetic particles from a super solar flare (CME) would be especially dangerous to an astronaut. If they are walking in space, they are told to immediately return to the space capsule and place everything bulky between them and the sun so as to minimize any exposure to the radiation.
As of 2008, over 39 of these astronauts have developed some type of eye cataract within five years of their exposure. Airline crews and passengers are also at risk, although less so, depending on the strength of the storm and the distance the airplane is flying above the earth’s magnetic field. Satellites also are quite vulnerable and can be rendered permanently non-functional.
Fortunately for us, our entire solar system has a magnetic shield around it. The core of the earth acts much like a bar magnet, producing its own magnetic shield that protects us from that radiation. The nearer one gets to the poles the weaker that shield is, due to the way it is formed in nature. At the poles it is quite normal to see those ghostly greenish-blue lights on a nightly basis; however, when the storms are exceptionally strong, the lights may appear with a distinct reddish hue.
If a super-size solar storm comes directly toward us you would see a gaseous halo of light followed by a bright blood-red sky that would seem as though the entire heavens were on fire. The sight of it would be quite unnerving and, if the ejection is strong enough to penetrate our magnetic shield, it could destroy our technology by burning out many, if not all, of the nation’s satellites and electrical grid transformers. The result could be the complete collapse of all our electrical and social systems.
If that happens there will be no television, no phones; you will not be able to refrigerate and cook your food nor heat and cool your home. And, on top of that, it could take up to ten years to completely repair. So, forget about your job; it would most likely be gone! An event such as this has the potential to threaten the extinction of billions of our population, perhaps causing the largest and most devastating disaster that could occur on the earth.
Lest you think this is fantasy you should be aware that the ejection in 1859 was so strong that, in burning through the earth’s magnetic field, it set many of the telegraph stations in North America on fire. Fortunately, there were no electrical grids to be concerned about then.
However, on March 13, 1989, a severe geomagnetic storm struck the earth, blacking out Québec’s power grid, causing its second massive one in 11 months. That CME produced an aurora borealis seen as far south as Texas.
If you have ever visited small out of the way villages in Europe you would be familiar with how life functions without a steady source of electricity. It’s not easy. Many areas in this country didn’t have electricity until the turn of the twenty-first century.
When we built our total-electric country home in Southern Maryland in 1964, the local electric company had to install four standard-size poles and several blocks of wiring in order to reach the house. Late one stormy evening, we watched a lightning bolt hit the transformer on the pole nearest the house. During the ensuing explosion, the top of the sealed transformer flew off and the liquid carcinogenic contents spilled over quite an area.
It required three massive vehicles, a comparable work crew, and many hours to repair that mess in a muddy field at three o’clock in the morning. Now, that was only one transformer; imagine all of them going at the same time, and who knows what else might need replacing!
Our world is not as stable as you may think. This planet is hurtling through space at the rate of one-half million (574,585) miles per hour; at the same time it turns on a wobbly orbit at the rate of one thousand (1041.7) miles per hour. Our planet is the only one that contains life as we know it and it is well protected by the Creator of the entire universe; we just happened to come aboard at a certain time in its history!
So, it is not unreasonable to assume that God would use the sun, in a manner similar to that in Fátima, as a means of bringing us to our knees once again! Didn’t the angel in the third part of the secret repeatedly call for: “Penance, Penance, Penance?”
And, wasn’t it Our Lady who delayed the angel from sending that fiery chastisement to the earth? We must never forget: God does as He wills. He is the Creator, and we are His creatures, subject to His Commandments and Statutes!
During this same period of time, Our Lady appeared to other peoples in nations throughout the world. They are not included here inasmuch as they generally do not add anything new. Yet, there is one worth noting because of its Muslim heritage. A series of Marian apparitions began on April 2, 1968 in the Zeitoun district of Cairo, Egypt.
They were similar to her appearance in Knock, Ireland, during which nothing was said; there was only silence. Mary was seen by numerous people, most of whom were Muslim, Islam being the predominant religion in Egypt.
Shortly after sunset that evening, the mechanics and drivers in a local garage in Cairo were alarmed by some disturbance going on in the street. When the workmen went outside to investigate they saw a young lady dressed in white up on the church dome. They actually saw her walking on the dome! Yet, inasmuch as the dome is curved, it’s impossible for anyone to do that. The entire figure of the lady on the dome appeared to be luminous and, as she moved about the dome, she bowed and eventually knelt in front of the cross on the dome!
Needless to say, the traffic in the street came to a complete halt and a large crowd of people gathered to watch this astonishing event. Thinking she was about to throw herself down, some cried: “Be careful. Take care, you may fall down. Wait.” Then, some of the pedestrians watching this scene cried: “Virgin Mary, Virgin Mary.”
Thus began three years of almost nightly visits of Mary, visits heralded by extraordinary lights and immense clouds of incense. She was sometimes seen vaguely, although quite clearly, smiling, bowing and waving an olive branch. She was also seen praying and kneeling before the cross on the dome.
Many of the witnesses were absolutely spellbound and remained rooted to the ground as they prayed the rosary and sang Christian hymns.The Muslims began to chant from the Qur’an: “Mary, God has chosen Thee…He has chosen Thee above all women” (Qur’an: [003: 042] . [003:042]).
Many of those who went home to rest for a while found her still there on their return; yet, others who had been watching intently and hopefully, saw nothing!
The apparitions, often lasting throughout the night, were photographed, televised and witnessed by millions. They were written about in many of the international secular and religious presses. They were seen by both religious and political dignitaries, including the president of Egypt, Abdul Nasser, a self-proclaimed Marxist.
They were investigated thoroughly by government officials who were initially convinced it was a fake. The workmen from the garage all gave similar testimonies, confirming their earlier statements when they were questioned about them. Fr. Costantin, pastor of the local church, agreed fully with what was said. Rev. Dr. Ibrahim Said, head of all Protestant Evangelical Ministries in Egypt at the time of the apparitions, affirmed that the apparitions were true as stated.
One of the first men to see her was a Muslim, Farouk Mohammed Atwa, who was to undergo surgery the next day due to gangrene; yet, when he went to the hospital he was certified as completely healed.
Catholic nuns from the Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart) order also witnessed the apparitions and sent a detailed report to the Vatican. Then, on the evening of Sunday, April 28, 1968, an envoy from the Vatican arrived and, after witnessing the apparitions, sent a report to Pope Paul VI. Cardinal Stephanos, the local Catholic Patriarch, did further investigations, submitting them to the pope in May, 1968.
He stated that the apparitions of Our Lady at Zeitoun were true beyond any doubt, and they were seen by many of his trustworthy Coptic Catholic children. The apparitions were accepted by the Roman Catholic Church; Pope Paul VI approved them as a valid visitation of the Mother of God.
Each of these appearances of Mary is a complete story in itself. She pleads with us to pray for sinners and for ourselves, to do penance and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Changing our ways if we are to survive poses a real problem for some; yet, all her prophesies and warnings have come true in the past. Are we so foolish as to think they will not occur in the future?
Our Lady has warned us so many times – for almost two centuries now – that we must change, or else; we must be converted, or else; we must be full of love and kindness for our neighbor, not just on Sunday, or else; she reminds us that, first of all, we must love God with all our heart, our mind and our strength, or else! Perhaps this is the reason she cries during so many of her appearances.
The Church teaches that all new revelation ended with the death of the apostles. One does not have to believe in the apparitions of Our Lady: “…it is not required for salvation.” However, our belief, or lack of it, has no effect upon the certainty of their occurring, nor upon the things that she tells us during her recent appearances. In any event, Our Lady teaches nothing new; she simply gives us more detail, a clearer understanding of the future and how we may mitigate some of them.
The unapproved messages are similar to the approved ones, except that they contain additional information with much more certainty and finality. The fact that the events stated in Garabandal and Medjugorje have not been approved as yet does not mean we shouldn’t do what Mary asks there so long as they do not contradict the Church’s teachings.
We must remember that the apparitions of Our Lady at Fátima were not approved until thirteen years after 70,000 people – with many skeptics among them – witnessed the only miracle in history that was foretold to occur at a specific time.
There is great concern now regarding the apostasy sweeping throughout the Church, and the world in general. A number of the Cardinals in the Vatican have spoken at length about its effect. One has only to read the newspapers or watch the news on television to see how religion is held in such great disdain.
Is it possible that the death of the “…bishop, dressed in white…Other bishops, priests, men and women religious…” refer to the loss of the voice of the authority of the Pope, and the Church, insofar as the world is concerned?
Many think the public disclosure of the third secret of Fátima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic lust for power and evil; however, I assure you, it did not. The requests of Our Lady for penance, prayer and sacrifices are even more urgent now if we are to avert some of the consequences that are predicted to occur.
Conchita noted that Mary told her the warning and the miracle are being sent in order to help us to avoid the chastisement. Yet, in her letter of August 17, 1971, Conchita mentioned that, at this time, the chastisement is practically inevitable, stating quite clearly: “However, it will not be possible to avoid the Chastisement because we have now lost even the sense of sin.”
She added: “We have now reached such an extreme that God cannot now avoid sending the Chastisement. We need it for our own good. Those who survive the Chastisement will change very much and, then, we will live for God until the end of time, which will also arrive.”
Here, it must be remembered that these words are Conchita’s personal observations, not those of Our Lady. In an attempt to describe what the warning will consist of, Conchita stated that the warning will be something like “two planets that almost collide, but not quite!”
Also, there has been a fair amount of speculation concerning the permanent Sign that will remain at The Pines after the Miracle occurs. Conchita said that it may be likened to a pillar, or a post, which you will be able to see it and photograph; however, if you attempt to touch it, it will seem to not be there. It will astound the scientific world who will be hard pressed to explain it.
The time frame mandates these events must occur during the lifetime of either of two of the seers. Conchita was only 12 years of age when Our Lady first appeared to her, and is 66 years old now. She stated that all the children in Garabandal would be adults by that time the warning occurs. Conchita is permitted to announce the date of the Miracle eight days prior to its occurrence.
Mirjana was 15 years of age when Mary first appeared to her. She was about 19 when advised by Our Lady that the situation in the world was “…beyond man’s ability to control”; hence, the need for God’s direct intervention into the affairs of mankind. She is 49 years old now.
Should either seer die prior to the fulfillment of the events, those specific apparitions will of necessity be declared fraudulent. It must be emphasized here that the validity or condemnation of any specific apparition does not affect the final outcome of the other apparitions. They are completely independent and have to be judged accordingly. We must also remember that our Lord “entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, promising to save it by this means.”
So, what will we do now: keep plodding along as we have in the past? Are we going to continue to permit our descendants, our youth, to go further down into this moral abyss? Must we wait until we reach the point where all hope is lost, implying that God will then intervene directly?
Perhaps! As was apply stated before by Winston Churchill and is so much more meaningful now: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
We would do well to ponder the meaning of the words uttered by Pope John Paul II as he lay in a hospital bed recovering from the wounds inflicted by an assassin on May 13, 1981: “Fatima is more important now then in 1917.”
Meanwhile, we await the Sign in the heavens that John Paul II anticipated – a sign similar to that seen by St. Paul, Constantine, and St. Faustina – a sign predicted to be seen at many of the sites where Mary recently appeared. It will give us the reassurance that God is here and afford us the courage we will surely need in order to get through those difficult times.
Will we change our lives and heed that which our heavenly mother advises us to do in order to bring about the fulfillment of her promise? That: “…in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, Russia will be converted and the world will be granted an era of peace.”
Our Lady is attempting to reach many people throughout the world, especially through those who visit her shrines, requesting that they change their lives through conversion, fasting and prayer. Our concern should be to truly heed the importance of her messages. The great number and length of her latest appearances reinforce the urgency of the times in which we are living.
On May 13, 2000, during the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta in Fatima, John Paul II further reminded his audience of Francisco’s comment: “We were burning in that Light which is God and we were not consumed. What is God like? It is impossible to say. In fact, we will never be able to tell people. God: a Light that burns without consuming.
“Moses had such an experience when he saw God in the burning bush. In her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fatima to ask men and women to ‘…not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already too much offended.’ It is a mother’s sorrow that compels her to speak, for the destiny of her children is at stake.”
Fortunately, we are living in a time of great “Gratia et Misericordia” [grace and mercy], a time allocated to comprehend and to live all the messages Our Lady presents to the world. They serve to remind us of those things we seem to have forgotten – truths the Church continues to teach throughout the ages.
Therefore, it is most important to focus on the overall mission of Our Lady instead of any one specific apparition, lest one loses sight of her original intent: “the salvation of the human race!” In her appearances during the past 185 years she has hinted about her overall mission at each site by leaving open the option of future appearances.
Now, however, she tells us these will be her last apparitions on the Earth! The messages given by Mary are a call for mankind to return to God. Mary implores us: “Look around you, and look at the signs of the times!” She emphasizes: “I have come to call the world to conversion for the last time. I will never again appear on Earth [in this way]!”
Mirjana said the Virgin has entrusted her with ten messages that she will reveal to the world in her lifetime, secrets that foretell the future of the world.
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