The people of Europe, as the Nazi threat rose, were able to deceive themselves for a terribly long time that if they just pretended nothing was wrong, everything would turn out okay and they would not have to fight a great struggle. There was a moment when everyone finally knew that it was not going to go away this time; a time all knew they must rouse themselves to action or watch liberty forever perish on their continent. That moment was when Hitler invaded Poland. It stripped away all illusions about this being business as usual.
People constantly ask me for more or new information on what is coming and when it is coming. I know it is frustrating. I have lived that for many decades – often asking God why He would not just tell me more things plainly. I learned the reason He often does not speak plainly is because He is not interested in giving us information that would allow us to deceive ourselves with one of our many clumsy battle plans, thinking if we just knew what was coming and when, we could prepare for it. We cannot…the fact is, even at our best, we are largely incompetent dunderheads. Rather, He seeks to inculcate in us a mindset – a real abandonment to Him and trust in Him. Under the best of circumstances, things are often going to look hopeless and our best-laid plans are going to explode in our faces. We cling to the idea that if we only knew, then we could handle it. It is, in many ways, the last deception preventing us from truly being useful instruments in the Lord’s hands. So while I understand the frustration because I lived it for decades, I have very little curiosity about any details God does not tell me anymore – for I know that knowing specifics will not do me any good. I will still screw it up – and am far more likely to if I trust to my own competence.
Paradoxically, since I have gotten rigorously comfortable in that discipline, the Lord has given me more details. But He does not allow me to share most of those details with anyone else. The last few weeks, on several occasions, I have started to tell someone something that I thought would be useful to them and get them off an unproductive track and then been stopped – shown that they would use the information as I once would have, getting off the unproductive track, but immediately thinking their own intellect would allow them to change things that must be while diminishing, rather than augmenting, their abandonment to God’s will. It is not the toughest thing I have ever dealt with, but it’s pretty tough.
I believe that I know, through interpretation, the day we will all have our own ‘invasion of Poland’ moment, the moment when collapse is obvious to all. But once I realized it, I was sternly ordered not to tell anyone, even my priests. I have struggled for over a month, wondering what I can say that would help and what I must not say. So I have said very little. I will now do my best, as the need is urgent and I cannot honorably wait much longer.
The last year has been very good and instructive for me. As usual, though, it has not been in the way I suspected it would be. Often I have been disheartened, thinking as Chief Brody did when he first saw the shark in ‘Jaws,’ that we are going to need a bigger boat. I fear that some of the most religious people are going to have a harder going in the early days of complete chaos than some secular types who have just lost hope – because many of the religious people, like Job’s ‘pious’ friends, have more illusions to be stripped away before they can be useful. Many pastors and theologians have reduced Christ to an intellectual box they can handle and so have little real fundamental interaction with Him at all. Thank God for Pope Francis, who is waging absolute war on the deception of clericalism. Many souls will be rescued because of the pope’s vigilance on this. Some think that by piling devotion on top of devotion, they can exempt themselves, but the Pharisees and Saducees did the same, wearing long phylacteries and constantly enacting visible displays of devotion – and Jesus contemptuously said they had their reward already. I am grateful to have been deeply immersed in both fundamentalist Protestant and Catholic movements, for I have been fascinated to see how both use different things to commit the same abuses. Protestants love to try to decipher the ‘secret codes’ in the Bible to get an edge up while Catholics often treat sacramentals as power-ups in a video game, magic totems filled with power. Bible study, sacramentals and devotions are all good in themselves – but only to the extent that you use them to focus on Christ. I am dismayed at how many I see arming themselves with plastic swords and cardboard shields and fancying themselves spiritual warriors. They are about to face troops more brutal and powerful than the most crack SS troops. The only warfare worthy of the name is that of relentlessly holding on to Christ, for He is the only force powerful enough to conquer the demons. These demons love to cower before men in hopes of persuading us that they are subject to us. The moment our pride persuades us of our power, we let go of Christ and are in mortal trouble. But, these things must come.
I constantly tell people to, acknowledging God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around them. People ask how to know they are taking the next, right step. It is easy. Just acknowledge God and do the most right thing you can think of. Act. You will screw up a lot, but so long as you acknowledge God, He will draw fruit even from your errors. When you cease to acknowledge Him, even your seeming triumphs will turn to ashes. So you can act with complete confidence, even knowing that you are not competent and will screw many things up. Think of a child that takes on a project too big for him and asks your help. You help him and correct his errors, even as you take pride in his initiative. Your child is still not competent to do it on his own. If he tried, it would be disaster – but he trusts you to guide him and correct the many mistakes he makes. Do you think God is any less of a loving Father? God wants your initiative. When you acknowledge Him, He will baptize your incompetent efforts with abundant fruit. But you must both act and acknowledge Him. Do not wait for certain knowledge. Choose the most right thing you can think of, then act. Trust God, not yourself. But He wants you to act, not to cower like the man who buried his talent and told the master he was too scared to risk it.
People ask how to prepare. I mix some facts with soothing words because people just can’t get their mind around how radically different things are about to be. Faith, family, a defensible shelter and food are the only real assets you can bring to bear. For a short time, it will be primarily a barter economy – and if your handshake and your word are not good, you will perish. Those who have enriched themselves through double-talk and cleverness are going to have a real shock coming as they are shut out.
I will speak more in the coming days and weeks. Know this: the invasion of Poland was not the moment that sickness struck Europe. The sickness had been building for well over a decade, even as little men claimed it was actually health and prosperity. The invasion of Poland was actually the moment the Continent began to heal. Traumatic as it was, it cut out the cancerous illusions that were killing Europe. There will be no more delay. The time is set and the healing will soon begin.