EVERY now and then, television stations air prayers for an end to the Covid-19 plague. It is ironic that the same stations air news programs with an "entertainment" part that frequently pushes impurity, extolling in the "virtues" of a model's near nakedness on video that make the entire country supposedly "sizzle."
On the premise that sins mandate retribution, a principle many call "karma," there's no sense having the right hand raised up to Heaven for succor while the left continues to mire itself in moral transgressions. Come to think of it, when we pray for a return to "normal," we usually think of pre-Covid-19 times when God was rarely mentioned in Messenger chats.
Now in the time for us all to recall the Fatima apparitions, all that had happened there, especially that revelation from little visionary Jacinta, now a saint, who cited the Blessed Mother as saying that many go to hell because of the sins of the flesh. This should be a reminder to television news folk.
I wish, too, that Catholics, especially priests, frequently recall the Fatima events for their relevance to our apocalyptic times, for more conversions in these times of extraordinary trials, especially in the light of the revelation of St. Faustina Kowalska, to whom God showed hell during her earthly lifetime, that many people she saw in hell were those who did not believe hell existed.
In Fatima, the Blessed Mother showed hell to visionaries Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco.
Lucia described what happened. "The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire."
In The True Story of Fatima, Fr. John de Marchi recalled what Jacinta's father Ti Marto witnessed as the three visionaries were shown hell amid a crowd of people, recalling that "Lucia gasped in sudden horror, that her face was white as death, and that all who were there heard her cry in terror to the Virgin Mother, whom she called by name."
Obeying Bishop of Leiria, Lucia later described what she and the two other visionaries saw: "...she (Blessed Mother) opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly: You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
Later, the Blessed Mother gave the visionaries a prayer to save sinners. She said that in praying the rosary, one should recite after each mystery the following: "O my JesLater,us, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need."
The vision of hell deeply affected the visionaries. From then on, they would offer sacrifices at every opportunity in recompense for the sins of others, little things like foregoing lunch and instead giving their food to the hungry. It's the same little martyrdoms that St. Therese of Lisieux espoused. St. Therese and the Fatima saints knew each had the opportunity for greatness by doing "little things" in their daily lives; why, the Blessed Mother did not fight wars like St. Joan of Arc, yet is regarded as the greatest of all saints for doing perfectly the "little things" in her earthly sojourn.
And now for some big news: Most Reverend Bishop Mark A. Hagemoen of the Diocese of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada has granted Nihil Obstat to the book The Final Confrontation: The Present and Coming Trial by author and evangelist Mark Mallett. The book lays out the apocalyptic timetable in our times, yes, in our days. The book can be had online via Kindle app. But those who do not have Kindle can still encounter Mallett via YouTube.
Mallett contends that Jesus is about to come, not in the scenario of a final judgment at the end of the world, but a second coming that precedes a third and final coming.
This seems to have been confirmed in 1976 by Pope John Paul II when he was a cardinal, when he said: "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through... We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel, of Christ versus the anti-Christ... It is a trial... of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization."
Later as pope, John Paul II said that such trials would be followed by an era of peace, reminding us of our over 2,000-year-old petition, taught by Jesus Christ Himself, for the Father's kingdom to come, so that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
In a general audience on September 10, 2003, John Paul II prophetically said: "After purification through trial and suffering, the dawn of a new era is about to break."
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI seemed to have affirmed this later when he told author Peter Seewald as follows: "Whereas people had previously spoken only of a twofold coming of Christ -- once in Bethlehem and again at the end of time -- Saint Bernard of Clairvaux spoke of an adventus medius, an intermediate coming, thanks to which he periodically renews His intervention in history. I believe that Bernard's distinction strikes just the right note..."