Time to meditate on the messages of Akita

fire_from_heavenIn 1973, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a religious, Sister Agnes Sasagawa in the convent of Akita, Japan. The messages were approved by Bishop John Shojiro Ito and later Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (although some will deny that today). Leave aside your bias and let’s have a look at the messages, and draw some conclusions.

June 28, the eve of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“My daughter, My novice, you have obeyed Me well in abandoning all to follow Me. Is the infirmity of your ears painful? Your deafness will be healed, be sure. Be patient. It is the last trial. Does the wound of your hand cause you to suffer? (Sr. Agnes was given a stigmata in one hand) Pray in reparation for the sins of men. (The same message as at Fatima in 1917. Nothing more than the message of the Gospels.) Each person in this community is My irreplaceable daughter. Do you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then, let us pray it together:

“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, I consecrate my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Heart, being sacrificed at every instant on all the altars of the world and giving praise to the Father, pleading for the coming of His Kingdom. Please receive this humble offering of myself. Use me as You will for the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls. (Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is paramount. Needed more than ever as we see denial of this Sacred Truth of our faith by countless Catholics.)

“Most Holy Mother of God. Never let me be separated from Your Divine Son. Please defend and protect me as Your special child. Amen.”

August 3, 1973 (1st Friday of the Month)

“My daughter, My novice, do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, listen to what I have to say to you. It is very important. You will convey it to your superior.

“Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with My Son, for souls who will repair, by their suffering and their poverty, for the sinners and ingrates. (Remember, this is 1973, it’s only the beginning what would come down the road in years to follow.)

“In order that the world might know His anger, (If He was angry then, I can’t image today.) the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With My Son, I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities (We have seen so much human suffering. Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, terrorism, war. I wonder what was prevented.) by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him and form a cohort of victim souls. (So many good people suffering. We all know victim souls, who carry their sufferings with patience in union with our Lord.)

“Prayer, penance, and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger. I desire this also from your community, that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men. Recite the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist with awareness of its meaning; put it into practice: offer (whatever God may send) in reparation for sins. Let each one endeavour, according to her capacity and position, to offer herself entirely to the Lord.

“Even in a secular institute, prayer is necessary. Already souls who wish to pray are on the way to being gathered. Without attaching too much attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the Master.”

October 13th (Anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima)

If men do not repent and better themselves, (Are things better now? I don’t think so. As Pope Benedict said, we are living in a “dictatorship of relativism.”) the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the Bishops and the priests.

“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church (There is no doubt that this has happened. Religious, priests, bishops and even cardinals would have been tried for herasy in the past.) in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops. (Just look at the lead up to and during the Synod. It’s anything goes. Cardinals attacking those who believe what the Church teaches.) The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. (Does anyone have a list of all the churches that have been closed in the past few years? And, do a search and see former church that are now restaurants, homes, stores, Mosques. You’ll never see a Mosque become a Catholic Church!) The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, (Yep, we all know who they are, and they no longer hide.) and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. (Not only to leave, but to stay and destroy from within. We would be better off if they just packed up and left. But no, they want to remake the Church in their own perverted image!)

“The demon will be especially implacable against the souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls (How many are going to hell because of compromising, loose living and perverted clergy & religious? Remember where Dante puts them all.) is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.

“…Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able to still save you from the calamities which approach. (Get that. There may still be hope. I say may, because that was back in 1973. And, it may be too late. We just may face the full wrath of God’s hand.) Those who place their confidence in Me will be saved.”

Are you prepared for “fire” to fall from the sky? And a great part of humanity to be destroyed? We have to do something. Even if we can’t stop it, we can help shorten it.

Start by going to Confession. Keep your soul right with God. Go to Mass frequently. Pray the Rosary. These are bad times, but there is hope. “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” (Fatima, July 13, 1917)

My predictions for the outcome of the Synod

In the past few months and especially in the past few weeks, supposed reports of what various Bishops and Cardinals have said in regards to the Church’s teaching and discipline in regards to the difficult issue of divorced and remarried Catholics have been swirling around like hurricane force winds.

Some have been very vocal in public, leaving no doubt about what they believe and are pushing for changes to the Church’s discipline in regards to reception of Holy Communion. Others want changes that are so extreme, that it would reflect on doctrine itself. They won’t say it right out, but you can read between the lines. With all that’s been going on, I’ve been expecting Bernardo Gui to appear on the scene to clarify it all.

Then there are those who have been calling for a new pastoral style based on “mercy.” Whether it has to do with marriage and divorce or homosexuality, it’s time to take off the gloves and drop the bobby stick. Now is the time for the Church to move beyond Her penchant for justice and finally embrace the lovable, fluffy Jesus. Enough of the enforcer, it’s time to be a loving mother! It’s as if the Church has been a big bad ogre all these years.

There are also some who have have been constantly reaffirming the constant teaching and discipline of the Church and the reasoning behind it all.

I for one don’t think the Church has been walking around with a big stick all these years. The Church in the US has avoided all of these issues out of fear of loosing people and loosing budget envelopes. There has be a lack of teaching in most parishes and dioceses. No matter how hard I stretch my little mind, I cannot for the life of me remember a homily on divorce and remarriage, and I have never heard of a priest deny someone Holy Communion because they were married outside the Church. Many do make some form of announcement at weddings and funerals, but leave it up to the conscience of the individual. I have never witnessed a priest chasing people up and down the Communion aisles because they should not be receiving. Anyone who thinks that’s the case has been living on another planet. Most of us have been loving fathers, trying to make the best of people’s broken lives.

Now for my predictions. I think we are living in a climate similar to that which preceded Humanae Vitae. The expectations of people have been raised very high. Those who want radical change think it is coming down the pipe. How could it not happen with the first loving Pope in history. As some say, “he’s the most wonderfulest Pope evahhh.” The “magisterium of the media” have also built up grand expectations, and many have bought into it.

There can only be two outcomes to this big brouhaha. And whatever outcome, there will be a similar effect.

The first outcome is what the liberals expect. The Pope will accept and reaffirm the many compromises being played out in the medial. He will allow not only divorced and remarried to receive Holy Communion, but non-Catholics, non-Christians and anyone who wants to receive Communion will be free to do so as their conscience dictates. After this, all the liberals will dance around the streets and hold a victory party with the Nuns on the Bus and the conservatives and traditionalists will start their own Church. This is a fantasy!

The second outcome is what I ascribe to. After all the commotion is over, the bishops and cardinals return to their dioceses, the Holy Father will prayer over and study all of the work of the theologians and bishops. Pope Francis, as the Vicar of Christ on earth, will speak as every Pope has before him. He will “strengthen his brethren” and reaffirm the Catholic Faith.

The Holy Father will teach the truths that have been proclaimed by the Church for 2000 years. He will not un-teach what his predecessors have taught. Nor will he come out with a teaching or pastoral plan contrary to what St. John Paul II wrote in Familiaris Consortio or the moral law. What Pope Francis will do is encourage people living ins these difficult situations to persevere in faith. Strive to remedy their painful and difficult situations. And he will encourage all clergy to treat those in these difficult situations with love and compassion. (Something that I think most of us have been doing all along, but there are the exceptions to the rule.)

St-Francis-holding-up-the-churchThe effect of reaffirming the Church’s teaching and discipline on marriage and the family will be devastating. All of the debates and the “magisterium of the media” have build up a bubble of halse hopes. It will have the same effect, but much strong than that cause by Venerable Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. Many clergy and laity will reject it outright saying the Pope has compromised to the pressure of the conservatives, and the Church are behind the times. It will cause droves of those who loose their dreams of modernizing the Church to finally abandon Her forever. The prophetic warning of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger will come to greater fulfillment.

“From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so will she lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, she will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision.

As a small society, she will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly she will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly.
But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize her true center and experience the sacraments again as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.

The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystalization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek.

The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism of the eve of the French Revolution—when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain—to the renewal of the nineteenth century.

But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.

Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”

UPDATE: This comes from “Faith and the Future” by Joseph Ratzinger

So, what can we do? Pray and hold on for your dear life, because the ride is going to get much rougher before it gets better!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!