AND THE ROLE OF OUR BLESSED VIRGIN MARY IN THESE TIMES
Our world is grappling with a new contagion – the Corona Virus Pestilence or the Covid-19 Viral Infection. The current priority globally is the Covid-19 disease 'containment and mitigation' and all of government efforts and resources are directed towards eradicating this scourge.
As God's people, saved through the blood of Christ where do we stand in all this physical and spiritual affront that has befallen us? Have we considered that the dispensation of God's Justice is near at hand and that we may be reaching our day of reckoning? Do we read the 'signs of the times' that the world is going through? Are we going through a period of shaking to bring us back to the Lord’s house? In Haggai 2:6-7 we read: For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
In Matthew 24:7, we read: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. These are Jesus' own words regarding the signs of the end of the times. (Not to be confused with the end of the world).
ARE WE AT THE END OF GOD'S MERCY AND AT THE THRESHOLD OF HIS JUSTICE?
For us Christians who believe, we know that Christ was sent into the world, not to condemn the World; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). So humanity has had about 2000 years of God's Grace and Mercy in which to repent and be reconciled with Him through his son Jesus Christ. God is Loving, Merciful and Just. He is Merciful because as sinners we do not deserve Mercy, but He waits for us to repent and come to Him. He is also Just and Holy and doles out punishment for the wrongdoers: “For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:25) for the “Lord God upholds justice for the oppressed…”. So in this balance of Mercy and Justice, where are we right now? When is God going to pull the rug from under our feet- be done with Mercy and execute Justice? Is the Cup of Iniquity already overflowing? Does the Cup not hold enough Grace, Mercy and Righteousness to offset the overflow of Iniquity? Surely as sin abounds, so does Grace abound - and abounds superabundantly (Rom 5:20). However consider the present state of the world - which has apostatised, justifying evil, promoting a culture of death, dismantling the biblical definition of marriage and living in the darkness of paganism – are we not living against the Will of the God and against Biblical values? Have we -the Nations, the Governments and the Medical Profession - been smote off our feet in one swoop? We - who thought had it all - are now scrambling desperately to fight this contagion - this unseen enemy! Isn't it time we make satisfaction to God's Justice? Is the current shaking with the Pandemic that we are going through beckoning us to look at ourselves in the light of God and examine our lives?
The continual spreading of sins and errors in our world brings one to the conviction that we are living the time of the Great Apostasy of which Saint Paul writes in his Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter two, verse three. If we continue unabated and unchecked with the current 'shaking', “humanity will reach the summit of corruption and impiety, of rebellion against God and of open opposition to his law of love. It will know the hour of its greatest chastisement, which has already been foretold to you by the prophet Zechariah. (Zec 13,7-9)-Message 539 from Marian Movement of Priests, Fr Stefan Gobbi + Impramatur
AS GOD'S PEOPLE HOW ARE WE TO RESPOND TO THIS PANDEMIC?
Since we live in this world – body, mind and soul - we owe a duty to our government and to our fellowmen. But remember we also have a spiritual side and first and foremost we owe a duty and service to our God, our Creator. So under the present pandemic, we follow the health directives of the government under which we live – to facilitate containment and mitigation. This is evidence-based and known to contain and reduce transmission of disease. The government is there for your security and welfare. Various governments have also been coming out with various measures to reduce the financial and psycho-social burden to their citizens and we need to appreciate and support these measures. However, in the name of containment and mitigation of disease we have had to close down our Churches - including suspending the sacraments and ceasing the very sacrifice of God that takes away sins. However God cannot be limited. The Church has taken great initiatives to ‘contain and mitigate' this contagion and has introduced measures through social communications to 'feed the flock' through online Mass, Adoration, Prayers...though limiting the sacraments, until 'the air' clears! For more information on attending Mass online and receiving Jesus in Spiritual Communion, please CLICK HERE.
As children of God we need to support the Church and not completely stifle the channels of access to God! St. Thomas Aquinas once defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament [in Communion at Mass] and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”
Remember for as long as we live on this side of Heaven, we will be engaged in a spiritual warfare. Let us not be deluded and live in deception as many of us have been doing so. The Bible is replete with examples clearly demonstrating the workings of an invisible spiritual realm around us. The Lord is with us and provides for us through His angels as He chooses. God loves us and protects us physically as He works out our salvation through our cooperation spiritually. Just as the agents of God exist in this invisible place, so do the agents of Satan – that are planning our spiritual demise and preventing us from reaching eternal life. So in these times we are exhorted to live by faith and common sense, engaging with the tools of spiritual warfare - for “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” - Ephesians 6:12
a) A CALL FOR A WORLD DAY OF PRAYER AND ATONEMENT
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we read: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
Let us thus utilize this time of Trial or Purification that we are going through to atone for our sins – for the sins of our families and for that of our nation. Let us reconcile ourselves to one another and to God. Following genuine repentance (Godly sorrow and not worldly sorrow) and conversion let us be found worthy to receive His Promises and Mercy. Maybe He will then relent and clear the pestilence around us as we retreat from our evil ways and begin to walk in His Ways. We need to urge Our Holy Father Pope Francis, our Priests, Pastors and our Government to declare a 'Day of Prayer and Fasting' to repair our relationship to God and to seek His intervention in these troubled times. Remember we are in debt to the Justice of God and we must reconcile with Him! Let us not be found wanting as the Israelites were during their exodus from Egypt when they were beseiged by 'fiery serpents' sent by God (Numbers 21:6). Let us not create an environment for making retribution to His Justice!
b) A CALL FOR THE PROCLAMATION OF THE 5th MARIAN DOGMA: "MARY, MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACE, CO-REDEMPTRIX AND ADVOCATE”
All through history, one can testify to the powerful intercessory role of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God - be it at the triumph of the Christians over the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the freeing of the Mexican people of idolatry, the reconciling of the Spanish and indigenous peoples through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe or through the more commonly remembered devotion of "Our Lady, Mary Help of Christians" when in 1572 Pope Pius V attributed to Mary the victory of the Christian armies over the expansion of the Islamic Ottoman Empire that intended to invade Christian Europe.
In 1916, the world was in the midst of a terrible war—the war that was to end all wars—World War I. Pope Benedict XV made repeated but forlorn pleas for peace, and finally in May 1917, made a direct appeal to the Blessed Mother to intercede for peace in the world. Just over a week later, Our Lady began appearing at Fatima to the three shepherd children. During her apparitions she asked repeatedly for the prayer of the Rosary, especially for peace, and promised an end to the war, and indeed the war ended in 1918. These are just some examples of how whole nations and peoples have been spared because of the faithful willing to say “yes” to our Mother in Heaven and do what she asked us to do. She has given us the strategy to defeat all the evils of our times from the comfort of our own homes. Let us during these times of lockdown when we are confined to our homes confide ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Collectively, with our prayer beads, we are a powerful force!
To help us though these anticipated turbulent times prophesied at Fatima, Our Blessed Mother brings us a remedy: 'God wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world….. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way that will lead you to God.' She pleads with us to seek refuge in and consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart. To the Visionary Iveta Fernandes of the Batim Apparitions (Goa, India), Our Lady discloses on 11.8.2011: Be not anxious, be not troubled. Simply place all into My Immaculate Heart. Only I can help for I Am The Woman clothed in the Sun Who will crush the head of satan. The Triumph of My Immaculate Heart must be understood in this manner. This message given at Batim echoes the Fatima Message given more than 100 years ago.
The requirements for the Devotion to Her Immaculate Heart are as follows: (1) Confession, (2) Communion, (3) Five decades of the Rosary, (4) Meditation on one or more of the Rosary Mysteries for fifteen minutes, (5) Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the First Saturday Devotion in accordance with Her conditions. Remember all of this has merit only through the sacrifice of Her Son Jesus on the cross.
“Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from Her and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to Her" - Our Lady of Fatima.
In an apparition to Ida Peeredeman in Amsterdam, Our Lady appears to her under the title "Our Lady of All Nations". Her messages to the visionary were generally apocalyptic warnings of dangers - such as communism and atheism - no different from that of Fatima and Batim. In her succeeding messages our Blessed Mother speaks of the "final and greatest" Marian dogma which would be a definition of the heavenly role of the Lady of All Nations under the titles of "Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate". These apparitions and the messages have been recognised by the Catholic Church.
Our Lady asked a prayer be said throughout the world: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate. Amen."
A common thread underlying almost all the messages received at Batim (Goa, India) is the ardent request of Our Lady imploring us to pray for and petition the Holy Father to Proclaim the 5th Marian Dogma: " Mediatrix of All Grace, Co-Redemptrix and Advocate"- that through this proclamation Graces necessary for all God's children will be dispensed to fortify us in these moments. Are the current times and the anticipated Great Tribulation and Apostasy that has been prophesied at Fatima, Amsterdam and Batim setting humanity up for another huge intervention of Our Lady under the title: “Mediatrix of All Grace, Co-Redemptrix and Advocate?”. The proclamation of this Dogma by the Pope will release the necessary graces required for these times. Our Lady implores us to pray for the proclamation of this dogma, for 'we are entering what has come to be known in the book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse, of the times predicted' (Batim, May 13, 2013).
Let us pray and prepare ourselves spiritually in these turbulent times. Let us petition upon our Holy Father Pope Francis to call for 'A World Day of Prayer and Fasting' and to proclaim the much-awaited 5th Marian Dogma: “Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, Co-Redemptrix and Advocate”.