Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chastisement

Mr. Russell Pond, a friend of mine from Nashua, New Hampshire, just forwarded to me the latest edition of his publication The St. Michael Brigade Newsletter. In this edition, he reminds his readers that, "As of today a estimated 40,086,075 american babies have been murdered by abortion since jan 22 1973."

And yet, there are still Catholics who insist that "all is well" and that anyone who says otherwise is being "negative" or "judgmental." Add to this the fact that our society continues to push for same-sex "marriage" and the acceptance of various forms of pornography and it is easy to see (unless you are spiritually blind) that our society is in crisis and on the edge of an abyss.

Is a great chastisement coming? There are signs that such a chastisement is just around the corner. Recently, Mr. Michael Brown authored an article on chastisement and the world's hostility toward that concept:


As Events Intensify, Media, Reacts With Frenzy To Any Mention Of Chastisement
One has to smile, how any mention of God's "judgment" these days draws an explosive response. Obviously, the devil does not want the public-at-large to know anything about the concept of chastisement.

That's not to say it hasn't been used in the wrong manner. We have long had a problem with the way Reverend Pat Robertson of Virginia expresses himself, and there was a strange juxtaposition of spontaneous remarks earlier this week by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (who proclaimed that the hurricanes occurred because God is unhappy with the U.S., at the same time that he vowed to keep his city "chocolate").

But the vitriol with which the secular media react to any notion of God allowing events to come as purification remains intriguing and has increased as those events have become all the more apparent.

The new tactic is to quote a liberal preacher from somewhere as citing a scripture that talks about how no one can know the Mind of God. In context, of course, that's true; no one can know the full thoughts of the Lord; although it's also true that in event after event, the prophets pronounced just such happenings in biblical times (especially to do with Israel, Egypt, and Babylon). Have we in the modern era developed a wisdom that transcends those who founded Judeo-Christianity (see here)?

To dispense of the notion of "chastisement" -- of God punishing, for example, a nation -- is to dispense of most Old Testament prophets.

Clumsiness? Yes. But the attempt to intimidate Christians from discussing purification won't work, especially as events grow increasingly intense. For the time being, the secularists have even influenced many in the "mainstream" religious media. "Chastisement" is high on the list of words that are politically and now religiously "incorrect." This is especially ironic in light of remarks from Archbishop Philip Hannan, the most famous bishop in the history of New Orleans and still a prominent figure in retirement. Soon after "Katrina," the archbishop, who is known as the "pope of New Orleans," pronounced the hurricane "a Divine chastisement." The same was mentioned by a New Orleans councilman, a state legislator in Mississippi, and a former Louisiana state senator, among others who had the nerve.

"I keep telling people, you have got to talk about this chastisement, you've got to let not only your children and grandchildren, but other people know about it -- the others who have not gone through it, how much of a penance it was," said Archbishop Hannan, a bishop emeritus. "To come back to your home and find it destroyed is an enormous shock, not only to the father and the mother, but to the children. Because this is the worst storm in our history, it should become part of our heritage. We should tell our descendants just how terrible it was so they will understand that it was a chastisement and should improve our morality."

That quote, you saw hardly anywhere. Had the New Orleans archbishop emeritus said the storm was not a chastisement, of course, it would have been on network news. Don't mention chastisement because doing so would point out problems with society and underscore the cost of sin. Even Catholic media back away from this. As a pro-life website has pointed out, in the Gospel of Luke at chapter 13, Jesus Himself spoke of a disaster, noting that those who perished were not more evil than others, but that it was a warning for all to repent. 'Or those eighteen upon whom the tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you, that they also were debtors above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem? No, I say to you; but except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish.'"

It is not so much God punishing us, but the fact that our darkness erupts in the nature around us. The good and evil suffer alike. Let us pray for the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, at this time when many have forgotten them. Meanwhile, we continue to bear concerns about future events. It's chilling to note the extent of animal cloning, and it is chilling to see a recent statistic showing that forty percent of all pregnancies in New York City are aborted. This is similar to the reproductive horrors of China. Let us be politically incorrect and loudly: God in His Mercy is going to allow events to purify us.

We have to be careful. There remains much in the way of errant prophecy. We tried to point that out two weeks ago by citing an alleged "seer" who was calling for events to occur on the Epiphany. To our surprise, some readers did not understand the warning: Stay away from anything that is too specific. The devil plays both sides. He is a man of extremes. He is also presumptuous, so stay away from prophecies that seem presumptuous. It is a dangerous time, because at the same moment that false seers have risen on all sides, the credibility of bishops, who are charged with controlling such visions, has frighteningly decreased in the wake of scandal (and because so much of the supernatural is rejected out of hand). They must still be strictly obeyed.

But there is a prophetic pulse, and it is beating through the general populace.

"A few years ago I was lying in bed putting my son to sleep," wrote Bianca Hendicott. "I was not asleep. In my mind but before my eyes I saw tables and chairs as if strewn in destruction. On two tables sat two bibles or bible like books which opened with a great light which went up into the heavens. Then I saw flashes of other things I can't entirely recall. Then, lastly and most distinctly (as I cannot get this image out of my head), I saw the earth, a globe, surrounded by a watch like the ring around Saturn. I remember as if it was yesterday thinking the time of Our Lord is at hand."

Many continue to believe that time has "sped" up. "I am chronically sick and mainly in bed most days," wrote Rebecca Leech of New Zealand. "I do not have a fast-paced life, but instead one that should go very slowly. Yet I am finding the days rushing by at the rate of knots and feel something is up. My mother was talking about how she used to have a routine before she would go to work and everything would be planned. She can no longer fit in this 'routine,' yet the time she goes to work is exactly the same as it ever was."

Many are those with "messages" out there. Most of them are more like personal meditations. The pure locutions are rare. But there is truth in thoughts of inspiration. Our intuitions are speaking to us.

It's just that the devil doesn't want us to hear.


And many indeed don't hear. Caught up in a consumer society, a materialistic society, a hedonistic society, too many people - Catholics included - are more intent on their next meal, what's on television, or what they will purchase at the mall. Witness the mad rush for the new "playstation." If only people had the same zeal for Holy Mass and the other sacraments.

Although the parking lot at my local mall is almost always filled to capacity, many churches are not. And what about the sacrament of Penance? I make it a practice to confess regularly and no matter which parish I frequent to receive this most precious sacrament, I am almost always the only one there. At one parish alone will I see a few other Catholics in attendance to receive absolution. And why is this? Because our society has lost the very sense of sin.

Pollyanna "Catholics" view those of us who are witnessing to our faith as "rigid," "too dogmatic," too "pre-Vatican II," and "judgmental." But there is nothing "judgmental" about crying out "danger" when we witness another individual (or a society) rushing headlong toward a cliff. An authentic charity is always rooted in truth. Only a perverse notion of "charity" leaves the individual or a society comfortable in their sins.

Charity is primarily the love of God and secondarily the love of neighbor for God's sake. Reflect on paragraph 1822 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We are commanded by Our Lord to read the signs of the times:

Jesus said to his disciples:"In those days after that tribulationthe sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken."And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds'with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angelsand gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky."Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,you know that summer is near.In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13: 24-32).

Paul.

4 comments:

Honora said...

I agree, Paul.

Lisa said...

I believe Jesus is near and even at the gates based upon what we have been witnessing throughout the United States and around the world. The Hour of Mercy is at hand.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thank you Honora and Lisa for your comments. For the devout Catholic who entrusts himself or herself to the Divine Mercy, there is no room for fear. Jesus told us to lift up our heads for His Kingdom will triumph and the New Jerusalem will be our home.

Anonymous said...

think on this.
The Arm of God has fallen, His hand has released the sling and the His vengeance is speeding towards the world

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