Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A New Flood

"For whom the Lord loves he reproves, and he chastises the son he favors. " (Proverbs 3:12).

In a previous post (which may be found here), I wrote: "A girl in the Ukraine was reportedly told by the Blessed Mother that, 'The present times are worse than at the time of Noah. Then the world was scourged by a deluge of water; now the world is going to be scourged by a deluge of fire.' (Apparition of Our Lady to Anna at Seredne, December 20, 1954).

Many prophecies of recent years have referred to terrible damage which will result from fire and lightning. After the Great Flood, God promised that He would not destroy the world again by water - although this does not mean that no country or region will suffer from extensive floods or tidal waves. It means that God will not permit the entire world to be destroyed by a worldwide flood. But we read in 2 Peter 3: 3-7, that: '..in the last days scoffers will come to scoff, living according to their own desires and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming? From the time when our ancestors fell asleep, everything has remained as it was from the beginning of creation.' They deliberately ignore the fact that the heavens existed of old and earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God; through these the world that then existed was destroyed, deluged with water. The present heavens and earth have been reserved by the same word for fire, kept for the day of judgment and of destruction of the godless.'

There are, no doubt, even many Catholics who find this too difficult to believe. Such people insist that a loving God would never chastise His people. This even though Sacred Scripture indicates otherwise and St. Faustina was told by Our Lord that, "In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy.."

But what about all this talk of another flood, this time a flood of fire? Surely only a fringe Catholic or doomsday-fanatic would believe such a thing to be possible, right? Wrong.

How many of you have even read Pope John Paul II's Encyclical Letter Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy)?

John Paul the Great reminds us (with a sense of urgency which is actually a bit alarming to those who are spiritually awake), "...at no time and in no historical period-especially at a moment as critical as our own-can the Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God amid the many forms of evil which weigh upon humanity and threaten it. Precisely this is the fundamental right and duty of the Church in Christ Jesus, her right and duty towards God and towards humanity. The more the human conscience succumbs to secularization, loses its sense of the very meaning of the word 'mercy,' moves away from God and distances itself from the mystery of mercy, the more the Church has the right and the duty to appeal to the God of mercy 'with loud cries.'

These 'loud cries' should be the mark of the Church of our times, cries uttered to God to implore His mercy, the certain manifestation of which she professes and proclaims as having already come in Jesus crucified and risen, that is, in the Paschal Mystery. It is this mystery which bears within itself the most complete revelation of mercy, that is, of that love which is more powerful than death, more powerful than sin and every evil, the love which lifts man up when he falls into the abyss and frees him from the greatest threats.

Modern man feels these threats. What has been said above in this regard is only a rough outline. Modern man often anxiously wonders about the solution to the terrible tensions which have built up in the world and which entangle humanity. And if at times he lacks the courage to utter the word 'mercy,' or if in his conscience empty of religious content he does not find the equivalent, so much greater is the need for the Church to utter his word, not only in her own name but also in the name of all the men and women of our time.

Everything that I have said in the present document on mercy should therefore be continually transformed into an ardent prayer: into a cry that implores mercy according to the needs of man in the modern world. May this cry be full of that truth about mercy which has found such rich expression in Sacred Scripture and in Tradition, as also in the authentic life of faith of countless generations of the People of God. With this cry let us, like the sacred writers, call upon the God who cannot despise anything that He has made, the God who is faithful to Himself, to His fatherhood and His love. And, like the prophets, let us appeal to that love which has maternal characteristics and which, like a mother, follows each of her children, each lost sheep, even if they should number millions, even if in the world evil should prevail over goodness, even if contemporary humanity should deserve a new "flood" on account of its sins, as once the generation of Noah did.

Let us have recourse to that fatherly love revealed to us by Christ in His messianic mission, a love which reached its culmination in His cross, in His death and resurrection. Let us have recourse to God through Christ, mindful of the words of Mary's Magnificat, which proclaim mercy "from generation to generation." Let us implore God's mercy for the present generation. May the Church which, following the example of Mary, also seeks to be the spiritual mother of mankind, express in this prayer her maternal solicitude and at the same time her confident love, that love from which is born the most burning need for prayer.

Let us offer up our petitions, directed by the faith, by the hope, and by the charity which Christ has planted in our hearts. This attitude is likewise love of God, whom modern man has sometimes separated far from himself, made extraneous to himself, proclaiming in various ways that God is "superfluous." This is, therefore, love of God, the insulting rejection of whom by modern man we feel profoundly, and we are ready to cry out with Christ on the cross: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' At the same time it is love of people, of all men and women without any exception or division: without difference of race, culture, language, or world outlook, without distinction between friends and enemies. This is love for people-it desires every true good for each individual and for every human community, every family, every nation, every social group, for young people, adults, parents, the elderly-a love for everyone, without exception. This is love, or rather an anxious solicitude to ensure for each individual every true good and to remove and drive away every sort of evil.

And, if any of our contemporaries do not share the faith and hope which lead me, as a servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God, to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history, let them at least try to understand the reason for my concern. It is dictated by love for man, for all that is human and which, according to the intuitions of many of our contemporaries, is threatened by an immense danger. The mystery of Christ, which reveals to us the great vocation of man and which led me to emphasize in the encyclical Redemptor hominis his incomparable dignity, also obliges me to proclaim mercy as God's merciful love, revealed in that same mystery of Christ. It likewise obliges me to have recourse to that mercy and to beg for it at this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world, as we approach the end of the second millennium." Dives in Misericordia, No. 15).

2 comments:

Eric said...

To the extent that Christians have been secularized, they find it increasingly difficult, and in some cases impossible, to accept the realm of the supernatural.

Let's face it, we've rejected God as a society and have divinized ourselves. The very idea that we are accounatable to someone greater than ourselves is something we find repugnant.

As the comic strip character Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." We have abandoned God as a society and we will reap what we have sown.

I believe it's too late for our society to turn back. I really believe we have passed the crossroads and have set ourselves firmly upon the path of destruction.

But as individuals, we can still turn to God and choose Him. Although I agree with many Catholic writers who contend that the door of mercy is shutting.

Pray the rosary and the mercy chaplet, confess your sins, live a sacramental life. Make your home an ark. Take refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

If we do these things, we have no reason to fear. Our salvation will be at hand.

Marie Tremblay said...

The Pope's mission is to confirm the brethren (Luke 22:32). And the Pope has spoken of the very real possibility of a new flood. I had never heard anything about this before. I read Dives in Misericordia myself back in high school but never picked up on that. Cognotive dissonance? I think that's often the case. When something is uncomfortable for us, we choose not to see it.

The Holy Father's words seem especially significant since Jesus said that a "spark from Poland" would prepare the way for His Second Coming.

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