Category Archives: Chastisement

Under Chastisement (Part 2 of a YUUUGE series)

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Forget the title.   I couldn’t help myself.   This isn’t really a series, this is more of a follow-up from my previous post on considering what the nature of chastisement is.

Basically, the prior post says that, yeah, we’re being chastised, and lays out Romans 1 to indicate why.

I won’t rehash that all here, since you can move that thing on your desk called a mouse, click on the previous post, and read it.

For this post, I just want to muse a bit about the general nature of chastisement and the current indicators that this is, in fact, what is happening.   While I believe there are things happening all around the globe that indicates this is a global in scale, I’ll focus on The U.S. because that’s where I am and it’s my immediate perspective.   Others can fill in from around the globe.

I think most everyone thinks of Chastisement as fire and brimstone, wars, plagues, death, destruction…   you know, all the stuff that makes Hi-tech movies with mundane plots otherwise entertaining.   And sure, ultimately the pinnacle of chastisement probably does play out that way when it’s one of the “biggies.”    But even then, it’s usually us giving it to ourselves…   maybe not in the plague area, but certainly in the war area.

Anyway, whatever you might believe about what constitutes a divinely guided day of wrath as opposed to the natural consequence of our own stupidity in a world that has pushed God aside while pursuing a utopia engineered by human brains, the one thing that seems to be clear is that when God decides to pull away, all sorts of weird stuff happens.   Sexual immorality, homosexuality, greed, hate, lack of respect for family and parents, and so on.

I think one can see that we’ve checked most, if not all, the boxes on the list in Romans 1.   What Romans doesn’t talk about is an election cycle that leads to division, confusion, and despair.

Let’s face it – this whole Presidential election is embarrassing.   The stuff released on Donald Trump is unsettling, crude, and unpresidential.   The stuff dropped regarding Hillary is infuriating, criminal, and corrupt.   And with every passing day, more and more and more is released and another shoe drops.

Our political system is broken and corrupt.   It is my belief that this election cycle is a chastisement of sorts.   Layering on top of the cycle is all the division it is causing.   This is not simply differences of opinion between friends – there are very raw beliefs and emotions in play.   This election is driving divisions between family and friends.   One only wonders what will happen after the election in this country, regardless of who wins.

 

This also happens as gang violence soars in certain cities, as high-profile police shootings in turn led to violence against police, concerns about increasing drug use and angst over terrorism threats continues.

 

We don’t need a comet or an asteroid.   We’re doing fine all by ourselves.

What Does Chastisement Look Like?

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From Romans:

chastisement18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; 21 for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23 and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters,[f] insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.

 

Reading this gives an interesting view of Chastisement.

I think our tendency in reading this is to focus on verses 26-32 and think about these things in terms of the target of God’s unhappiness with us – as the source of God’s wrath.   And certainly, these actions are noted as sinful and depraved so there is some element of truth to that.

Often enough, we see lamentations of the world around us – its immodesty and impurity, the continued degradation of social norms that were previously founded on Christian principles, but are now redefined by secular humanism, relativism, and liberal progressivism.   We view all these things and think that, surely, chastisement cannot be far behind.

What we are missing, I think, is that these things are chastisement.

Reading above, the real sin that brought on chastisement is:

  • those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.
  • for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him
  • they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.
  • Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23 and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

 

OK, so the last bullet point is a bit archaic, but the modern equivalence of it is money, self, and power.    It is also anything we spend our time on that detracts us from God and the responsibilities He has given us.   To some extent, we are all likely guilty of that.

A spiritual social decay does not start with sexual perversion or confusion.   It starts with a much more subtle turning from God.   It first starts by moving God out of the public square.   By discouraging prayer.   By being ungrateful.   By considering your own personal needs before the needs of others.   By greed.   By turning Sunday into a day spent on yourself with maybe some little sliver of time for God, or maybe not.

At some point, the relationship with God changes, but this change is a disaffection of the real valid relationship that we should have and becomes something of a fantasy.   When this becomes our own pervasive reality, we’ve lost our way.

Pretty soon, this whole thing morphs into either an unbelief, or some weird belief that what we do doesn’t really matter because God loves us and that’s that.   Our own “wisdom” in assessing our relationship with God is borne of just that – our own wisdom – and is not a reflection of the reality of what Scripture has to say, what the Church teaches is true, or from any study of the wisest of Saints that went before us.   We decide that God is Who we want Him to be.

This is the real sin that separates us and invites chastisement.   The question is, what does chastisement look like?

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Notice that in Romans 1, we don’t get into the sins of impurity until after the “Therefore.”    The chastisement God sends us is not typically fire and brimstone.   It is ourselves apart from God.   Until this time, Paul seems to be saying that God recognizes that we are weak and protects us against ourselves.   He knows what brings us emptiness, heartbreak, desolation, and loneliness.   He doesn’t want that for us.   So He helps us, blesses us, gives us the grace to deal with many of life’s temptations and disorders.   He loves us.

But when we do not recognize any of this, and we are ungrateful for it, this is a sin against the very goodness of God Himself.   When we decide that God can be secondary in our lives, we are not loving God back.   The more and more we send God the message that we really don’t care that He is an instrumental part of our lives and culture, the more likely He will be to eventually give us what we desire – as stupid as that desire may be.

Paul writes that “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts.”   Paul does not say that God imposed those lusts.   God basically said – OK, you want to do things without me, then go ahead.

One of the first evidences of this abandonment of God to ourselves is homosexual activity.   We too often fall into the trap of judging those who are imposing the acceptance of the homosexual agenda as a major root of the problem in this country.    In reality, this is a fruit of the problems that led God to removing His blessings from us in the first place.  But accepting sexual impurity outside of marriage became the norm well before homosexuality became the social revolution of our time.   The latter does not happen without the former preceding it, so it’s hardly the case that we can start hurling stones only with the advent of the gay marriage agenda.   No, the sexual revolution led to weaker families, fewer children, abortion on demand, and the beginning of the end of a healthy and functioning society.  Having made that bed, God turned us over and gave us the direct evidence of His handing us over to ourselves with the acceptance and celebration of homosexuality.   To blame gays for chastisement without recognizing the sinfulness that brought is to the point of accepting it is like blaming the sinking of the boat on the last gallon of water that bubbled up through the hole in the side.

But it doesn’t end there.

They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters,[f] insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.

The push for acceptance of the gay lifestyle started in earnest less than two decades ago.   We went from most people believing that marriage should be between a man and a woman to the Supreme Court signing off on it as law of the land.   We put our stamp of approval on this “progress” when we voted for Barack Obama the second time after this agenda became perfectly clear.    Shortly thereafter, the rest of society followed with basically that entire list.

And note the last line:  “they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.”   Think of the way Christians are now considered bigoted for their beliefs, and how “courageous” the practitioners of different sins are.   We openly encourage gay marriage as a good thing, and even a Godly thing.   Those who are against abortion are labeled as haters of women, while those who support abortion are considered to be on the higher moral plane.  Having only one or two children is considered more moral than welcoming a larger family – I’ve actually been called “selfish” for daring to have nine children.

No, I hate to say it, but Chastisement is not on its way.  It’s been unfolding before us for some time.   And the unfortunate result is that God will not step in and save us until we ask Him to do it.    And while it may be true that many among us are asking, if the country as a whole continues to act in defiance of Him by the way we act and the people we elect to serve as the example of what we stand for, then God will continue to allow us to live under our own “wisdom.”  And do any of us see a sudden welcoming of God back into our lives on a collective basis?   We can pray and hope for a miracle, but as of this point there is no such indication.

How bad will things need to get before we come to our collective senses?   Unfortunately, there is every likelihood that we are about to find out.

 

 

Charlie Johnston

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A few days ago I once again revisited the idea of Catholic Prophecy.    If you did not read that post before reading this one, please do, so as to put everything in appropriate context as I move on to discussing Charlie Johnston.   In that post I also encourage you to read and review in Charlie’s own words what he claims to have experienced, and what his stated mission is.

I am mentioning him here because of all the current, modern-day “prophets” he has a very unique approach to it all.   His approach, I believe, allows someone to follow him and listen to what he has to say, even if skeptical, and having one’s faith and approach to things edified.   And I think this statement holds true regardless of whether or not you choose to believe the more remarkable claims he makes with respect to his personal experiences (visions, encounters with Angels, Mary, and Jesus, etc.).

So, allow me to explain.

One of my biggest issues I have, as I’ve already mentioned, are persons who claim to have visions or apparitions of the supernatural and proclaim messages to the world.   Nearly every modern day “prophet” follows the same formula:   Some supernatural or divine entity visits or speaks to them and asks them to share a message with the world.   This happens over and over and over and over again with the same or similar message over and over and over and over again.   People listen to or read the messages and cling to every word.   After a while, we get bored with whatever good message is communicated if that message isn’t about some remarkable event that is going to occur.   I could be entirely wrong, but I think that more than one of these people, even if they started off authentically receiving (or believing they were receiving) divine messages may feel the need to sensationalize things in order to placate a widening audience.   This is speculation on my part, but I’m sure it’s happened.

In many cases, I have to believe that – even if innocent – some of these people have entirely experienced a confabulation of the whole thing.   They are in quietude and want to have a conversation with God – all well and good – and in that silence (which they haven’t entirely learned to control properly) they believe they are receiving some sort of message or locution.   But it’s their own mind running wild, but emotionally they feel in tune with God, so it must be Him, right?    What starts off as good internal thoughts from a well-formed person can become a desire to feel that and continue that, and who knows where that can take a person.

I may sound like someone who can’t accept any of this.   That is not true and it’s not my intent.   I am just careful.   And so, it is actually with a bit of an effort against my nature that I find Charlie, overall, authentic.

For those who don’t know him and will be too lazy to fully research him or read my links, I will provide a general summary:   As mentioned above, Charlie claims to have been visited by supernatural or divine entities for most of his life.    He kept it to himself for a long time, and only as he matured did he embrace all of it.   The purpose of the visitations was to provide him visions, insights, and messages for the future which would occur during his lifetime.    However, unlike others, he has not shared every individual message with the world.    He has not even provided a whole lot of details of things he claims to know about, or has known about in the past.    Because the purpose of his visitors was to train him on the bigger, more important things:   why this is happening, a general course of what to expect, and to build up the flock so that they can better grasp the reality of what about to happen and what is, in fact, happening around us.

The entire purpose of Charlie’s ministry is not to predict exactly how, when, where, and why all the corresponding events that make up what is called “The Storm” are (even though he is in tune to many of those things).  The purpose is much more general – get people right with God and each other, and not worry about all these details.   Understand the overall course of The Storm so you’re mentally and spiritually ready for it.    But he also very clearly preaches that no one can effectively prepare for everything that is to come.   We will utterly need to rely on God.   While he welcomes the idea that people make preparations, it’s always in the context of prudence and with an eye towards preparing in such a way not so much for you, but to help others.

Charlie has a different personality than most of the other supposed seers I’ve researched.   He has a sense of humor, comes from the political arena and still follows politics, and is basically just a normal guy who happens to have a remarkable attribute that the rest of us don’t have.    It’s interesting to hear him talk about his visitors so casually, when all the rest of us would likely fail to sleep for a week after receiving a visit from a supernatural friend of any sort.    But this shouldn’t be surprising.   After all, how casually do we Catholics speak of the Eucharist?    We receive it without a huge show, and sometimes in our weaker moments are distracted by other things around us as the very Son of God becomes physically manifest on the altar.    The Eucharist is so remarkable as to be utterly unbelievable by non-Catholics.  And yet, we stroll up and receive Christ as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.     So, unlike us, Charlie has received these visitors his entire life.   It should not be a surprise that over time a natural comfort level and even a sense of the unremarkable comes across in his comments about them.

Whether he’s imagining it all, or whether it’s all real, or somewhere in between, there is no sense that I get from Charlie that there is any deception.   He is very clear on all of us, most of all himself, follows whatever instruction the Church gives.    He is not one of these anti-Francis folks – far from it.   He has called Francis the Pope of the Storm.   On the other hand, this does not keep him from offering opposing opinions with respect to purely temporal matters.

I would encourage anyone to look at Charlie’s posts and start the process of discernment.   To be clear, it is not substitute for Church teaching, Scripture, etc.   But nothing I see opposes any of those things.   Charlie is a full-throated supporter of daily mass, Catholic devotions, Adoration, Eucharistic processions, etc.   He is very stout on life and family issues.    He is fine if you don’t agree with him as long as all discussion on the board is well-intentioned and respectful.   In the end, the very worst that can happen is you don’t buy into all the remarkable stuff, but you’ll still see a good group of people trying to do their best in a world gone mad.

The one part of my skeptical nature on all this that I can’t completely rid myself of is the idea that one needs these visitors to warn of The Storm.   I have for years seen signs of ultimate disaster in our country and our world.   I think to anyone paying attention, it’s not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of “when.”   One does not need an angel to point out that a country that turns its back on God, holds up abortion as a blessing, makes same-sex marriage the law of the land, continues to grow in accepting euthanasia, becomes more atheistic, and so on that there will be a point where God turns us over to ourselves.    Now, Charlie claims that in his private writings to his Spiritual Director, he envisioned what we are clearly seeing today long before it became as readily apparent as it is, and he is now taking up the mantle of one who is now making it clear to everyone exactly what it is that is happening and how we need to react.

Charlie is also very open about the fact that over the years he has greatly misunderstood, misinterpreted, and even challenged the wisdom of the messaged he’s received.    This is one reason he doesn’t share them.    He has said that this was all part of the training he needed.   Whenever he went against his direction because he thought he could protect someone from something or another, he saw that worse things happened that originally envisioned.   So he has better learned to not question, and to trust.   And trust is a major theme here.   He promotes a Prayer of Miraculous Trust – say it once for a particular intention and then leave it.  Don’t repeat it again for that specific intention (sort of like Moses hitting the rock more than once).

There are a couple areas where Charlie has been more specific.   I only assume there are particular reasons why these items are necessary to share with us.   One is that our next stable leader will not come from the election process.   It is a bit unclear exactly what that means, but it’s safe to say that if Charlie is correct, then even if elections are held and a new President elected, by the time they would otherwise take office in the normal fashion, things will have changed dramatically so that this doesn’t happen in a way that anyone expects.    Second, there will be a necessary financial collapse.   Third, he has given a timeline of the end of 2017 for what is called the Rescue – where God allows Mary to intervene on our behalf and, in some way, make it clear to everyone on earth what the Truth of Christ is.   Because of this timeline, if Charlie is correct, then whatever is to happen will happen soon, happen swiftly, and will create a situation of such extreme confusion that without the Rescue everything would so utterly devolve so quickly that we would almost certainly destroy ourselves.    Charlie’s sense (I believe this is noncommittal) is that the Rescue will actually occur before there is an incredibly severe loss of life.    Not that millions of lives lost will not be horrible, but he’s not talking about half, a third, a quarter, or even a tenth of the world’s demise.

I could go on, but I believe this covers the general sense of it.   We are under no obligation at all to pay attention to or adhere to private revelation.   So it is not incumbent upon any of us to look into all of this.   But I do think Charlie’s message is helpful and encouraging during this time, and my own personal and unofficial opinion is that it is something that is worthy of looking at.

The Prophetic – What is a Normal Person (hey… stop laughing!) to Make of it All?

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Anyone who has followed this blog knows that I have always had an interest in prophecy, but also knows that I’ve taken a skeptic-first view towards a lot of it.  You would also know that I place much higher value on sources that are either approved by the Church, or who are somehow recognized by the Church as a holy individual – a Venerable, a Blessed, or a Saint.   I’ve mentioned before that I consider the work “Trial, Tribulation, and Triumph” by Desmond A Birch to be one of the best compilations of reliable prophecy that I’ve seen.   I admit that I haven’t recently searched to see if others may exist.

Along the way, I have read with interest many of the more popular modern day seers.   Through no fault of their own, since… well…  most aren’t dead yet, they are not Venerables, Blesseds, or Saints.   Further, while I may weigh things that are Church Approved, this does not mean that messages being received today are not legitimate.   After all, at the time any and all prophetic messages occurred they weren’t yet approved.   So I do like to see what’s being claimed out there today, though I usually start with the premise that it’s not legitimate or reliable and it needs to be proven otherwise to my satisfaction.   Finally, it should always be noted that even legitimate occurrences are subject to human error – improper understanding of the message, a misstatement or confusing recollection of the message, and so forth.

It is an odd thing, Prophecy.   As a guy who has studied mathematics, computer science, Physics, and Chemistry and who makes his living as an Actuary I am firmly grounded in logic and understanding.    It may seem odd that someone who gravitates to the realms of the tangible and the explainable would be interested in the strange, mystical, and mushy realm of the prophetic.    But I do not see them as incompatible.    What is incompatible is getting emotionally tied to any one person or message, particularly to the point where if the Church would ever rule against them, your allegiance goes to the person you are following rather than the Church.   One should always be prepared to make a hard break if needed, and that needs to be as unemotional and as calculated as possible.   Because that’s where the facts come in, as Augustine so famously pronounced – Rome has spoken, the matter is closed.   That takes humility, as well, at times.   But it is what we are called to do.

Over time, I have remained open, but admittedly skeptical, of the events at Medjugorje.   I am not saying I would ever try to convince anyone that they are not true (unless the Church rules it as such), nor am I saying that I am totally convinced that they are not true.   I just have some concerns that I think are valid to consider, and I find it a bit more “safe” to question rather than blindly accept it.    After all, Public Revelation is complete and must be first and foremost.   Private Revelation may help clarify the state of current times, or be otherwise edifying, but it is not incumbent on us to devote our time and energy to it.

I have also reviewed the messages of Pedro Regis.   I have some major discomfort with those, and I have stopped spending any time keeping up on those.   The same is true of a series of messages from an anonymous seer who had a website, supposedly under spiritual direction, called “Words From Jesus.”   Overall, these messages were somewhat general and it started off interesting enough, but whenever specifics were presented they were hit and miss.   The nature of the messages was extremely repetitive.  I never have fully decided if they have merit, but decided to not focus too much on them.  One of my big stumbling blocks with those who receive continued messages day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year is that I just don’t get it.    Why does Mary or Jesus or anyone else need to say the same basic thing over and over again?    It’s to the point where Spirit Daily will have a headline whenever there is a message at Medjugorje that is slightly different in word or tone from the plethora of other messages.    OK, that’s fine, but we’re basically not paying any attention any more to all the other messages because we’ve heard it all before.   So, what then is the point? Now, a confession before lightning strike me dead and my head lands on the keyboard and a string of random letters is produced ad infinitum…   I humbly submit that I’m a human being who can’t begin to appreciate and understand how God works.   So, despite my rambling paragraph above, I can accept that I’m the one who doesn’t get it, that this all does serve a salvific purpose, and that one day Jesus will say, “Yeah…  you were kind of thick-headed on that whole Medjugorje thing.”   So, take that as my own opinion and nothing more.

So, all of this brings me to a guy named Charlie Johnston.  I have spent a lot of time over the last year reading and studying his blog (which you can go to by clicking his name above), watching available video, and gaining an understanding of where he’s coming from.   I have offered some comments/questions on some of his posts along the way, and was taken enough by the overall concept of The Storm that I composed a song in relation to that.   I originally planned to provide a detailed version of what he is saying, but quite honestly that is not necessary.   His own site, and links to other places that have done this already, are in line with what I would have written on it myself, so I would encourage anyone interested to take a look at his blog and do some digging around.

This isn’t my last word on Charlie.   The entire concept of a Storm that we are in, and heading towards with even greater fury, need not be the product of divine private revelation.   It’s common sense.    I have been noting it for a number of years myself, and I make no claim to any supernatural experience (save one, which I may share someday) that has shown this to me.   It’s apparent for anyone with eyes to see.    Now, having said that, I am in no way saying Charlie is not what he says he is.   I am simply saying that – whatever the source – the words and observations of the world we are in ring true, and thus the song.

I’ll be following up with all my thoughts on Charlie in a later post.   For now, I offer my own musical summary, entitled “When The Storm Comes.”    (More music of mine can be found by clicking on “Links to My Music” on the top of the page.

A Look Back at the Messages of Pedro Regis

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There have been some interesting events happening in the world that continue to draw people to the messages of Pedro Regis, a purported seer of Marian apparitions in Brazil.

Many of these things have been fairly well documented, but in summary: (1) there was a prediction of a crisis in the Church prior to the latest scandal that swept Europe. (2) There was a prediction of an earthquake in Chile. (3) There was what many believe was a prediction of the earthquake in Haiti (Haiti was not specifically named, but some have said that his use of “land of the mountains” is a direct reference). (4) In January, there was a prediction of death in Guatemala, and recently a major Tropcial Storm killed hundreds of people. (5) Also in January, he predicted that Madeira would be devastated, and weeks later major flooding did devastate the island. (6) A reader noted to me that in January he said “something sad will happen in Sao Paolo.” She suggested that the recent “gay pride” parade attracted over 3 million people. Spiritually speaking, this is a sad event. Realistically, the message is vague enough that it is difficult to know whether or not this is what he referred to (it’s not a new event, it was the 14th year, so it’s not exactly something that could be categorized as a prediction of an unknown). (7) In March, he referenced a “great gap” that will get the attention of the whole world. It was one of those “what could this mean?” phrases. The same reader suggested the sinkhole in Guatemala. I’m not sure if that’s what this meant because the message seems more tied to Brazil, but in any case it highlights the fact that even if it’s referring to something else, weird things actually happen, and we probably don’t want to dismiss what sounds like a ludicrous prediction out of hand just because we don’t understand it. ( 8 ) Also in March, he said the following, which now looks like a remarkably direct hit: “Death will pass on the coast of the Golf (sic), and will leave a great trail of destruction.” Not only were there fatalities from the initial explosion of the rig, but there are plenty of animal deaths. And the oil spill is devastating the entire region along hundreds of miles of coastline.

These range from amazingly precise to vague possibilities. And we need to honest about their levels of accuracy, while still pointing out that discernment is a must. Many other messages contain prophetic messages that have not yet come true, and only time will tell whether or not these also come to pass. It’s already obvious that preconceptions don’t always explain things. I probably would have not guessed that death and destruction in the Gulf could refer to an explosion on an oil rig that led to an oil leak. It sounded like a hurricane to me, which is not an unusual event. The oil spill is unusual enough to bump this prophetic statement up on the credibility scale, in my opinion.

At some point, I’ll update my previous post that highlights the prophetic messages from September 2009 through April 2010, but for now I want to take a look back at his older messages.

Why? Because it would be a mistake to ignore previous prophecies if they were consistently mistaken, and so I believe it is important to review all the reported messages. Following is a summary of all the messages from the beginning – October 1987 through June 1994. As I continue to work through them, I’ll provide updates of my thoughts and findings.

General Summary:
What I find very interesting is that there are almost zero specific prophecies in the messages during the considered time frame. It will be interesting as I continue to advance through the years to see when a shift in the nature of his messages occurred. There is little to be found by way of specific prediction through June 1994.

The messages, overall, can be considered to be spiritual direction and guidance. This period of time covers over 800 messages. Quite honestly, those messages – with a few exceptions – can be condensed to the following points/themes. These concepts are repeated throughout the messages in some manner:

1) Appeal for conversion: conversion can bring peace to the world, and can allow avoidance of future chastisement (thus it appears chastisement prophecies are conditional).
2) The state of the world: Mankind is worse now than at the time of the flood. The world is headed towardes a great abyss, and without conversion it will be too late to stop it. The messages refer to Fatima, and more generally things stated by Mary “in the past”, by stating that the times foretold are near, or in some cases already here.
3) Prayer: We must pray more. Pray the Rosary. Conscrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart. Few pray, and this has grave consequences on humanity. Pray for the Pope.
4) Seriousness of the messages: nothing is an obligation, but instead a call. But the messages are serious (no joke) and the messages should be spread.
5) We are loved: Mary and Jesus love us so much we simply can’t comprehend it. Mary is our mother. Mary will help us if we heed her messages.
6) Obedience to the Church: Follow Catholic Church teachings and the Ecclesiastical leaders. Do not follow false ideologies or those who teach error. Participate with devotion in the Holy Mass.
7) Invocations: She calls herself the Queen of Peace. She invokes the names of the Holy Trinity at the end of each message.
8 ) Spiritual Direction/Call to Action: Be attentive. Be careful not to fall into traps of the devil. Have courage; don’t fear anything, despite your weaknesses. Great things await you. Be honest, and be a witness to the Lord. Live the Gospel – hear Jesus’ words in the Gospel. Your pain will be transformed into great joy. Renounce sin. Jesus will one day return in a glorious way.
9) Relationship with Jesus: Call on Jesus at all times. He is your friend. Have confidence in Him, and feel His love. Confide in Him. You are precious in His eyes. You can be sure that victory will belong to the Lord. Even with questions with no answer or unresolved problems, the Lord will not abandon you.
10) Urgency: Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Mary and God are both said to be in a hurry – there is no time to lose.
11) Living in this World: Don’t let the things of this world distract you. Lead a simple life. Don’t let material things get in the way. Don’t be preoccupied with problems – let God solve them.

Basically, this is what the vast majority of those 800+ messages can be condensed down to, from a spiritual perspective. I’m always curious about seers, like those in Medjugore, who get so many messages that say nearly the same thing. I know I’ve mentioned that before, but it’s one of those sticking points in my minute brain that I have a difficult time getting past.

It is vitally important to note that the main purpose of the messages during this time period were of a spiritual nature. It is very easy to get caught up in the more spectacular curiosities of the predective elements of messages, and so it can be easy to overlook the primary message that is being given. It is also very important to take the time to review and understand the spiritual aspects of these messages, because if there is a heretical aspect to them, then as a matter of discernment, it is best to stay away from them.

I am not a seminary-scholared theologian, but it is my perspective that all these themes/directives/points/whatever you wish to call them are well in line with Catholic teaching, and there is nothing troubling about them. Not only are they consistent with Catholic teaching, but they are edifying to the faith. Perhaps the one area of uncertainty is whether or not the world today is truly worse than the flood. I, for one, don’t doubt that. And while it may make for a fun debate, I’m guessing few of us can trace our lineage back to Noah, so we’ll never know anyway.

The following is a list of the parts of the messages during that time frame that are prophetic in nature. However, not every instance of references to prophetic events are included here. I did not include many duplicate statements that provided no additional information. So, just know that there are many similar statements sprinkled throughout the messages during this time period. I am quite sure I did not miss anything that isn’t included in one of the messages here.

General Prophetic Statements from October 1987 – June 1994:
There are no specific regions mentioned in any prophecy by Pedro Regis during this time, with the exception that there are allusions to Brazil (which is the home country of the seer), and one instance of a reference to Paris (which seems to be referenced because Pedro was visiting at the time). Most of what follows are what I call the “general prophecies” for the period reviewed. Many of these appear to be conditional, meaning that prayer and conversion could mitigate or even eliminate certain events:

Here in Brazil, the Holy Church is in danger of losing the true faith, and to avoid this, priests and bishops must unite themselves to the Holy Father. Many errors are being spread within the Holy Church,, and these errors are caused by shepherds who are not united to the Pope. I ask you, dear children, to pray much for priests, for many of them will lose the faith. Satan, the father of lies, and priests will be the target of his vengeance. June 29, 1988

The world is at the brink of great catastrophies. July 2, 1988

If priests and bishops don’t obey the Holy Father, the Holy Church could lose the true faith. July 9, 1988

The crisis fermenting in my church will come to open rebellion, coming especially from many of my Sons who participate in the priesthood of My Son Jesus. July 16, 1988

The time is near when one brother will kill another, and a father will kill his own son. Many will repent of a life lived without God, but it will be too late. Be prepared, for the time of great events is coming; the time when great secrets revealed by me in various appearances throughout the world, will be realized. September 27, 1988

Now the moments of sorrowful purification are approaching you. Very soon apostasy will become apparent. December 17, 1988

If there be not a general return to God on your part, a great punishment will befall your country. January 1, 1989

Mankind is now at the vespers of the most terrible scourges and punishments. January 10, 1989

The world is in great stress and at the edge of great catastrophies. Soon there will be grave conflicts, but the just will gain the advantage. Peace in the world is in crisis. January 24, 1989

Humanity is at the brink of the destruction that it can provoke with its own hands. What I foretold to you in Fátima for this century has already begun. There is the danger for humanity of a new world war. I feel a great affliction for what awaits you, my poor innocent children, so threatened by hunger, war, hatred and violence. This is a terribly painful time for you. Pray and do penance. The punishment will come only if mankind does not convert. August 12, 1989

The angels in heaven are with sword in hand to annihilate those who corrode the earth. Woe to those who don’t repent and change their lives. You are a perverse generation and call upon yourselves the chastising hand that will not delay to strike you. If you don´t convert, without a doubt a punishment will come worse than the flood, such as never has been seen. Fire will fall from heaven and a great part of humanity will be destroyed…The church will be persecuted as never before and the Holy Father will suffer much. Pray for him. The vicar of My Son will have to suffer much, because the church will be victim of great persecutions. This will be the time of darkness, and the church will pass through a horrible crisis. October 24, 1989

If men are not converted, fire will fall from heaven and a great part of humanity will be destroyed. June 23, 1992

(in Paris) If you don´t convert, God will send a great punishment on your city. Fire will fall from heaven and Paris will be destroyed. What I predicted in former times will happen because the appeal I made here was not put in practice. I don´t say when this will happen, but from the way you live, the wrath of God will be anticipated, and you will be taken by surprise. June 30, 1992

Behold the time is coming for the great happenings which I announced in the past. Pray. THE WRATH OF GOD WILL NOT DELAY TO BEFALL YOU. September 19, 1992

when the chastisement from heavens comes, you won´t be able to bear it. October 10, 1992

I ask you once again to pray for the pope, because now, more that ever, he will suffer much. The church will pass through great trials, but fear not. My Jesus will always be present. Pray, pray, pray. What I have foretold you in the past is about to happen. December 15, 1992

All the means of communication that work to destroy the plans of God will be laid waste by the wrath of God which will come as a great bolt of lightning and everything will be destroyed. March 16, 1993

You live in a time worse the times of the flood, and if you aren´t converted, a great punishment will befall humanity. July 6, 1993

Be faithful to your church. Obey the Pope John Paul II. The world will be involved in a great scandal, and those who do not obey the Pope will not bear it. So listen to what your ecclesiastical superiors tell you. Participate in the Holy Mass with joy and devotion. Always confess when you feel the need to have a your soul purified. Find time to pray. The world goes badly because there are few who pray. A great chastisement is about to fall upon humanity. January 18, 1994

When everything seems lost, a great victory of The Lord will appear. May 13, 1994

References to events within a year, with respect to Fatima:
There are a couple curious statements regarding the immediate events of the world being related to Fatima. It has no been made clear what events during that time would specifically be those related by the Blessed Mother at Fatima. For discernment:

Within this year will happen great events which I foretold in Fátima. August 30, 1988
Great events which I foretold in Fátima will happen this year. September 10, 1988
Great events which I have foretold in Fátima will happen this year. January 1, 1990

A sign, or manifestation:
I will give you a sign. This sign certainly, will be visible and palpable. But be converted now. Don’t wait for the sign to be converted. The sign will be given, you can be sure. February 5, 1991

You are anxious for the sign I promised. Pray. I will give you this sign (promised in message 376) even if all convert as I desire. After this sign, many unbelievers will come to believe in My presence here. May 28, 1991

So I will manifest Myself here in an extraordinary way to convince the incredulous. June 22, 1993

Comment: I have no idea if any “sign” was ever given. Nothing was referenced in any later messages, at least through June 1994.

A special group to be formed:
Prepare yourselves because here in the future I will form a group of which I myself will be the spiritual director of each one of the participants. January 18, 1992

Comment: I have no idea if this ever came to fruition. Nothing was referenced in any later messages, at least through June 1994.

A reference to a future time of peace:
Very soon the world will be transformed into a new world, without hate or violence. The world will be a new garden and all will live happily. October 8, 1988

Dear Sons and Daughters, what I foretold in Fátima is about to happen, and so the time of the great triumph of My Immaculate Heart has come. October 13, 1990

Comment: a number of saints prophesy about an era of peace that comes after a great chastisement, but prior to the actual end of the time of a final Antichrist and ultimate return of Christ. This may be consistent with that.

Three Days of Darkness:
THERE WILL BE THREE CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF DARKNESS THAT NOT EVEN SCIENCE WILL KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN. ALL OF YOU WILL SUFFER MUCH IN THESE DAYS. I PROMISE TO ALL WHO ARE AT MY SIDE THAT THEY WILL NOT LACK LIGHT. I ASK YOU TO ALWAYS KEEP CANDLES BLESSED BY A PRIEST IN YOUR HOUSE. December 3, 1988

Comment: A few saints have previously prophesied regarding a period of three days of darkness, and those same saints have talked about blessed candles. So, this is not new. It is the only reference to this event in the period of time we’re looking at here. Compared to the rest of the messages, this seems somewhat odd and out of place. For discernment.

Finally, though, it is fair to look at the instances of troubling items. The first one is not a prophecy of the future, but a statement about Protestantism. Here is the quote:

“Many people go to protestant churches thinking they are of God. They are wrong. The people who take part in these are on the way to perdition for sure. Dear children, the religion founded by My Son, and which is of living faith, is Catholic. The rest are from the devil” April 9, 1988

Let’s examine this. Let us first recognize that, as Catholics, we do believe that we have the fullness of truth, to the extent known and available to us, in our Catholic faith. Also, we believe that the Reformation was in error, and that the concepts of sola scriptura and sola fide are in error.

However, our Church does NOT teach us that the phrase “salvation is through the Catholic Church” means that anyone who is not Catholic is going to hell. Nor does our Church teach that people in these Churches are not of God. They may have some doctrinal flaws, but there are some very good, courageous, and devout Christians in non-Catholic churches, who I would be very hard-pressed to say are on their way to “perdition.”

It is probably true that the devil played a hand in the process of dividing the Church and Christian unity. But that is different from saying that all Christian denominations other than Catholic are “from the devil.”

The next, and possibly more serious example of concern appears to be a blatantly missed prophecy that was given more than once, regarding the martyrdom of Pope John Paul II.

I ask you to pray for the Pope because the hour of his martyrdom is coming closer. The church will lose a great treasure, but those who were faithful to My Jesus will remain firm. Pray. Pray for the Pope, the successor to the chair of Peter. He will have to suffer much. Pray and do penance. If men and women are not converted, fire will come from heaven and it will be late. The danger of a new world war is closer and closer. I am sad because of what awaits you. January 2, 1993

Above all, pray for the Holy Father who now suffers more than ever. Pray for the church that will lose this great treasure. February 5, 1993

Continue to pray for the Pope, above all now, as his hour of martyrdom draws nearer. February 8, 1993

Pray for the Holy Father, for the hour of his martyrdom is now coming closer… If you are not converted, a great chastisement will fall upon humanity, so be converted. June 29, 1993

From the “benefit of the doubt” camp: On Protestantism: Perhaps this is a translation issue. All these messages are given in Portuguese and later translated into English. Also, keep in mind that the seer here is not infallible. It is possible also that Mary expressed concerns about Christian unity and the importance of following the Catholic faith, and perhaps even admonished those who leave the faith for a number of reasons. The seer may have very clumsily and erroneously passed on the message she was trying to get across. It is the only such message like this, and it was very early on, so perhaps there was a difficulty in expression in an isolated instance. On the Pope: could be a translation issue in use of martyrdom. Truly, he did suffer much. He suffered for the Church, and this may be what was implied. It could also be that these were conditional statements. After all, there is an admonishment to pray, which could imply that prayer may affect the outcome. Edited note: A commenter, Matt, points out to me that Pope John Paull II is not specifically mentioned. The word “now” indicates to me that, at least in that one message, she was referring to JPII. However, one viewpoint on this is that the martyrdom being spoken of here is still a future event, and that the Pope in the messages is not specifically related to an individual, but of whoever the shepherd is in the Papacy at the time of fulfillment of this message.

From the “skeptics” camp:This is a very strong indication, if not proof, that there is a problem with the seer and his messages. It is an indication of confabulation, or at worst deceit. It may be a strong indication that we should not follow this seer or give him undeserved credibility. The simple fact is one statement is of dubious doctrinal merit and the other looks to be a distinctive “miss.”

This is where discernment comes into play. I don’t take these issues lightly, but I also do understand that there could be some possible explanations for them. I will definitely keep them in mind as I proceed through the remaining messages. As of June 1994, there were no statements in the messages that alluded to any kind of mitigation due to prayer, or for any other reason.

In full disclosure, I lean more towards the “benefit of the doubt” camp, with some caveats: (1) should the Church ever rule on these messages or the authenticity of the apparition, I defer to that judgment as the final word, and (2) I have a long way to go in studying the messages, and there may be more problematic things that change my mind, and (3) again, I just have a problem with hte concept that Mary feels it’s necessary to visit somebody 2-3 times a week and usually say the same thing she did a week ago. Despite that, I fully accept that I don’t fully understand God and His way of doing things, so I can accept that it’s just not for me to understand and I can live with that.

Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective – Part 5

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Continuing the path throught the Catechism as it relates to prophecy, I thought I’d pull out this passage:

269 The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the “Mighty One of Jacob”, the “LORD of hosts”, the “strong and mighty” one. If God is almighty “in heaven and on earth”, it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: “It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?

274 “Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God’s almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe – even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature.”

If you are a person of faith, this isn’t anything new. But how often do we really subject our own thinking to this reality? In the face of miracles, we tend to be very skeptical. This isn’t in itself a bad thing – the Church herself is skeptical. But the nature of skepticism needs to be grounded in a question of discernment rather than doubt in God’s ability to work such a miracle. We should be open to things to the extent that we have an acceptance of God’s ultimate Power over everything. If He wants to intervene, even to the point of suspending physical realities as we know them, He can do it. Believing this doesn’t mean we automatically believe every word we read in private revelation. It does, however, mean that we don’t dismiss this things because they are too fantastic in one way or another to believe – as if it could never possibly happen.

This is an important thing to remember even as we read public revelation. Do we accept that God sent the plagues to Egypt? Do we accept that He can just as well send chastisements our way? And do we believe that He can and will transmit messages to people of His choosing in one way or another? We are not bound to believe private revelation. But we need to be careful of our reasons for dismissing it, as well.

272 Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus “the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Many of the prophecies we see and hear about have something to do with chastisements. These involve suffering. There is no guarantee that good and holy people will not suffer, as well. Often times we see such prophecies put in terms of “God’s wrath” or “vengeance.” These are human terms to try and put meaning to God’s actions. But God is a Spirit. He does not react to things with an emotional response. There is a reason – and a perfect one at that – as to why He does what He does. This suffering purifies the individual as well as the community. It is an administration of perfect Justice. It is also, often, His Mercy in action because the suffering will bring multitudes back to Him, who otherwise would have been lost.

The fact that such hardship is unpleasant, and seemingly unfair for certain individuals, should not shake our faith. We should, in our mind, understand that this suffering can be a testament of our faith and lead others to Christ. We can prayerfully join our sufferings to Christ. We can offer it up for other good. Even if our hearts want to wail out, first and foremost we simply cannot let our sufferings weaken our faith.

293 Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: “The world was made for the glory of God.”

294 The ultimate purpose of creation is that God “who is the creator of all things may at last become “all in all”, thus simultaneously assuring his own glory and our beatitude.”

When the human race universally turns away from its Creator and gives glory to self, it usurps the entire purpose of the reason for Creation. Therefore, God has a couple choices: (1) let things go and allow His Creation to be a mockery of Him, (2) intervene to shake things up so that once again Creation glorifies Him, while being patient and allowing more people to turn to Him, or (3) end things.

301 With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end.

So, God simply wouldn’t let the first choice occur. Which means He chooses to chastise us for our own good. It has happened throughout history. And at some point, He will end it.

We do know from Scripture that the end will come some day. We don’t know when, but it will. From private revelation, there seems to be an indication that we will yet go through at least one more major chastisement before the final end times period. We’ll get to that someday. But all these items from the Catechism just help to clarify the reasons why these things must occur.

302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created “in a state of journeying” (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.

311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it

Believe it or not, we are being guided towards an ultimate perfection. And this is why, when things seem to be godless and out of control, something is coming. Again, I am not to know when or how, except that God has blessed us with some mystics and seers that the Church has recognized. But in the end, we’ll all get a clue:

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God “face to face”, will we fully know the ways by which – even through the dramas of evil and sin – God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest for which he created heaven and earth.

I’m looking forward to that…

Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective – Part 3

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I started this series a while ago, and then put it on the shelf.  I am hoping to move forward with it a little bit more. The first two parts are found here.

I received an interesting phone call from a good friend of the family last Friday. She informed me that a local priest, who lives on a hermitage as his calling, is holding a meeting tomorrow evening. The subject of the meeting focuses around statements of Catholic mystics and the signs of the current times. It wasn’t explicitly said, but one of the “signs” in discussion will be the recent elections, the direction this country is headed, and what this all means from a spiritual – and prophetic – perspective.

I try to be careful about balancing prudence and caution with the undeniably remarkable and curious prophetic messages that can not only be found through public revelation, but private revelation as well. Fundamentalists abound who claim that every thing that happens in the world at any given time is written in the Book of Revelation. In a way, they are correct, from the standpoint of the overarching moral of the story about suffering and redemption, but in the way they present it, they are quite simply being sensationalistic.

Make no mistake… some prophetic messages from Saints are downright sensational. But caution is in order, as these are private revelations. It can be very easy to spend your time pondering these enticing messages while giving short order to more important things in your faith life. Like all things from God, they have a purpose and a place. They are not intended to be all-consuming, as curious as we all are about the future. They are intended to serve a lesson and a purpose. Do any of these prophecies relate to current events? Are we a generation that will undergo something of Biblical proportions?

Interesting questions, but let’s be careful not to get too carried away. Let’s not jump to wild conclusions about Barack Obama, or anyone else. However, at all times we should be very watchful of the spiritual direction of our country, and watchful of the actions of our leaders. Catholic prophecies, I believe, can really help give some assurance of God’s plan in all of this, and also a little bit of realism in what to expect.

However, before I get into these types of messages, I want to focus more on the grounded work of the explicit and doctrinal teachings of the Church. Thus, I want to focus on a study of the Catechism in areas where prohecy is directly addressed. but moreso, I want to focus on other teachings in the Catechism that truly underpin the entire purpose for the events that unfold throughout history, whether it be past, current, or future. In reality, the end of time we hear so much about is really the culmination and intensification of things we all go through in every age, to one extent or the other. It is special in it’s significance, to be sure, but understanding the lessons for why it is to happen allows us to grasp and appreciate all the blessings, sufferings, persecutions, victories, and losses we encounter as both individuals and as communities.

All references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) can be found here, on the Vatican website. I thought that, since the whole series is supposed to be based on a Catholic perspective, that there is no better place to start than this.

27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.

29 But this “intimate and vital bond of man to God” (GS 19 § 1) can be forgotten, overlooked, or even explicitly rejected by man. Such attitudes can have different causes: revolt against evil in the world; religious ignorance or indifference; the cares and riches of this world; the scandal of bad example on the part of believers; currents of thought hostile to religion; finally, that attitude of sinful man which makes him hide from God out of fear and flee his call.

30 “Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.”5 Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness.

This is a wonderful explanation for all that God does. He wants to bless us. But He is willing to chastise us. He will always try to find ways to draw us to Him. This is true whether or not we are speaking of the individual, a country, a people, etc. He wants us to come to Him. Prophetic events speak to blessings, curses, and chastisements. In reality, all of history is riddled with similar stories. God blesses us in hopes that we recognize the Giver of those blessings. How great it could be if we embrace Him because of our blessings. But God will also chastise if we grow complacent and ambivalent. He knows that when we lose everything else, then the only thing left is Him. How great of an act of compassion is it that He allow us to suffer if it means we have a few years of pain on earth, but attain eternal life in Him! Now, don’t mistake every individual’s sufferings for some sort of chastisement over rejection of blessings, or unbelief. That is always a possiblity, but there is also Satan to consider in all of this. We all suffer and we all die. Our nature is fallen. When the good suffer, they will recognize in it the blessing of joining with Christ’s sufferings. Our individual suffering can be used as a purgation, a prayer for the salvation of souls, and any other intention. Many of the Saints actually prayed for suffering (which kind of helps explain why they are Saints, I may add.) In these instances, the suffering isn’t a chastisement, but a call to a new level of holiness.

Now, it is important to have a general understanding of the nature of covenant, and the gradual knowledge of God’s Will culminating in Christ. History still serves as the backdrop for today and the future:

53 God communicates himself to man gradually. He prepares him to welcome by stages the supernatural Revelation that is to culminate in the person and mission of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

55 This revelation was not broken off by our first parents’ sin. “After the fall, [God] buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing.”

57 This state of division into many nations is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity10 united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity

58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.

60 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church.

62 God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law…

63 Israel is the priestly people of God, “called by the name of the LORD”, and “the first to hear the word of God”

64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all… the nations.

God has worked since day one to gradually prepare His people for salvation. It started small, with Adam and Eve. Covenant after covenant expanded his reach until a nation, Israel, was formed. Israel held, and continues to hold, a special place in God’s providencial plan. Quite honestly, how else can one even explain its continued existence? The Catechism explains this further, at a later time.

The entire future from that point on is not about God revealing Himself, as it was in the times prior to Christ. God patiently brought Israel to the point in history where Christ came into the world through both blessings and chastisement. But they did not have a full understanding of Him. He was patient and merciful because of this, but there still were things they did know. They knew, for example, all He did in Egypt. They knew from the commandments that He was their God. So, to the extent knowledge of Him had been revealed, they were culpable. He wanted them to be faithful. And so, chastisements had their place when necessary.

In many ways, the diaspora of Israel was necessary. Those who accepted Christ were forced into a world to spread the Gospel. We know that many Christians were martyred and persecuted. Good people witnessed to the faith, if only because of their willingness to die for it. Those who rejected Christ were being chastised. No doubt, many of them came to Christ after realizing the fulfillment of that prophetic chastisement.

The important point here is that God spent a lot of time revealing Himself to us, but in Christ, this Revelation is complete:

65 Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one.

66 “The Christian economy… will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history… Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment.

This is a very important set of quotes for putting prophecy in context. First, it is made clear to us why there is to be no more “revealing” of God. It is because Christ was the Last Word. To think that anyone else has any further Revelation about God that Christ did not have is ridiculous. That is not to say there cannot still be prophets, but anything the Holy Spirit gives them to say is to assist in living out the already revealed faith. The Church, in her Wisdom, knows that many things given to us as a matter of faith are difficult to fully grasp. So, while nothing new is given to us over the course of time, God continues to gradually increase our understanding of Him, His Church, and His teachings. This is why doctrinal positions can never reverse themselves, but they can develop into more fully beaautiful understanding of the faith. It is why the Trinity has been true from the beginning, and revealed to us in God’s Word, but was only completely understood through a great deal of prayer, discussion, discernment, and education. The same can be said of any number of other docrinal positions in the Church.

Suppose, as an example, you have a technical text book which is difficult to comprehend. You read it and maybe understand some of it, but you’re kind of lost. As you learn other things to help provide a basis for understanding that book, and as you apply already-learned concepts to help serve as building blocks for further understanding of other concepts, you continue upon further reading and study to understand more and more of the book. At some point, there are “inspirational” moments where it a concept just suddenly becomes clear. Some thengs may never fully be understood. The same can be said of our faith. There is a reason why the Catechism is as large as it is. The faith is fundamentally simple, but theologically complex. After all, this is God we’re talking about! It has taken time to fully grasp the concepts we now fully grasp, to partially grasp those that we partially grasp, and to continue to question and discuss those things we still do not fully comprehend. And this will continue until Christ’s return.

Now, we see a reference to those things we get all curious about: private revelation. Notice here that the Church in no way condemns this, nor does she say there can be no such thing. On the contrary, this is accepted as probable, and in fact certain private revelations are specifically approved and the faithful are encouraged to know more about them. But there are very important cautions: (1) private revelation can simply NOT add anything new to the Revelation of God. Private Revelation can only affirm existing public revelation. The purpose of private revelation is to assist the faithful in living out God’s will. Private Revelation may be very specific in a particular locale, meant to address the people of a given area or country. Or, it may be a universal message. Private revelation may simply be a vision of future events, presumably to help prepare us and keep us alert, or it may be a warning that perpetuation of certain behavior has consequences. In any event, the most important points to take away from this is that such revelations are acceptable, but must be discerned. It is best to get guidance from the Church in making any judgments about them. If any private revelation is contrary to any element of our faith, the message should be rejected. These messages, as important as they may be, can never usurp the teachings of Scripture and Tradition.

I’ll see ya in Part 4…