SINCE Ash Wednesday, many churches still fill up at least in Pampanga, at times even daringly in excess of government impositions against the coronavirus pandemic. A sign that many Filipinos have kept faith through these times of privation and fear?
On the other side, however, is the greater number of those outside the fold of the faithful and are continually being addressed by Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother in their apparitions.
Way back in the 1940s, Jesus Christ had told mystic Maria Valtorta of a situation that clearly refers to our times.
The exact date was April 9, 1944 when Jesus said:
"... It is the hour of the power of darkness. And people have wanted it of their own free wills. The Kingdom of Evil is already set up. Whatever I did would be nullified by people's free wills. Whatever Good would be destroyed by Evil.
"Powerless, I witness this rush of mankind into spiritual death. There is no gift of Mine, no kindness of Mine, no rebuke of Mine, no punishment of Mine, to use to stop mankind, redeemed by Me, to voluntarily ruining itself in Satan. Like an enraged bull, mankind runs over everything - reason, morals, faith - and goes and crashes against what is killing it. People's desecrating hands are being raised for a new crime which does not deserve forgiveness. And the Father does not want to forgive. He lets you perish as you wanted.
"The only thing I can do, and am doing, is to hold back My Father's wrath -- and I am doing it out of compassion for the saints who, rare like flowers in the desert, still pray, pray and do not make protestations of custom and hypocrisy. Weary of the crimes of a brood for which My blood was shed uselessly, the Father wants, really wants, to wield His Justice on you. And justice - since you are guilty - would mean tremendous punishment which My Mercy does not want to be meted out, in addition to those which you already mete out to yourselves." (End of quote.)
Mystic Fr Michel Rodrique has been right in his prophecies. In 2019, he urged his American audience to go to Confession that year, 2019, not in 2020. As if he was saying that many, if not all churched would be closed by the coronavirus pandemic in the following year and Confession would thus not be readily available. And then in 2020, he said that the tribulation would start in the fall of that year. Indeed, controversial statements were issued from the Vatican in the fall, causing worldwide misunderstanding of the Church's doctrine on same-sex relationships.
It would seem, however, that the prophesied tribulation is apart from what mystics refer to as the fall of God's justice. This could be gleaned from the Blessed Mother's message to Gisella Cardia on March 3, 2021, as follows:
"Dear children, thank you for having responded to my call in your hearts. Beloved children, I your Mother ask you to take my hands and listen to what comes to you from Heaven, because everything is for your salvation. Profit from this time of mercy, because SOON GOD'S JUSTICE AND WRATH WILL MAKE THEMSELVES FELT; now, there is really very little time left, just like the time that I will remain with you. My beloveds, do not fear for the times that will come or that have already come, because with prayer and conversion you can save yourselves-but do not play anymore. Open your hearts and let the Holy Spirit enter, who will transform you and unite you in a single heart with Jesus. Children, if you only knew how much I love you and how much joy I feel seeing you all together in prayer. My beloveds, pray for the Church and for the consecrated, because they are in the dark, in confusion and darkness-that they might be illuminated by God's love...."
The late mystic Fr. Stefano Gobbi received many messages from the Blessed Mother pertaining to our times. While in Tokyo, Japan on September 15, 1993 Fr. Gobbi received the following message which shows the heavy responsibility of Catholics to save even pagans:
"...In this great country (Japan), almost all are still far from faith in Jesus Christ, who has come into the world to be your only Saviour, your only Redeemer. I am the Mother of all these pagans as well, a Mother who is concerned and anxious for their salvation. I nurture seeds of life and goodness in their hearts. I help them to observe that law which the Lord has engraved in the depths of each man. I stir up in their minds a desire for the truth, and thus lead them gently to the encounter with my Son Jesus. Their full and total adhesion to the Gospel will be an extraordinary work of my Immaculate Heart.
"A cause of my great sorrow is my Church which, in every part of the world, is passing through the painful and bloody Gethsemane of its great tribulation. You have seen, my little son, how even here in Japan, the Church is being threatened with the loss of faith, and with the increasingly vast and subtle spread of errors. It is wounded in its unity by the contestation and opposition directed against the Pope and his universal Magisterium. Its holiness is being obscured by the spread of sins and sacrileges. Thus it is becoming paralyzed and its drive to evangelize has become greatly weakened....
"In this very country I have given you an extraordinary sign, causing copious tears to fall more than a hundred times from the eyes of one of my statues, in which I am represented as the Sorrowful Mother beneath the Cross of my Son Jesus. And I have also given you three messages to warn you of the great dangers into which you are running
"I now announce to you that the time of great trial has come, because during these years all that I have foretold to you will come to pass. The apostasy and the great schism in the Church is on the point of taking place and the great chastisement, about which I foretold you in this place, is now at the very doors. Fire will come down from heaven and a great part of humanity will be destroyed. Those who will survive will envy the dead, because everywhere there will be desolation, death and ruin.
"And so, once again I have wanted you here, my little son. For you must tell all that the hour of the chastisement has come and that, in order to be protected and saved, they must all enter right away into the safe refuge of my Immaculate Heart...."
(Note: My last column was again torn by grammatical black holes -- the drawbacks of ageing. But I have decided that from now on, I will leave such lapses in silence, a lesson for humility.)