Many people have contacted me privately asking about an unusually large amount of bickering – and even ugly disputes – among families and friends, wondering if this is part of the darkening of the times. Yes, it is. I have expected it and cautioned those close to me for some time about it. But it is subtle and insistent. I fell prey to it today in an area I had not guarded against, launching an intemperate tirade on a matter I had no need to speak of at all. The devil’s purpose now is to sow division and to isolate all he can before the beginning of his eviction proceedings. That is a large part of what the Storm is – satan has received his eviction notice..
Be patient. Be deliberate. If you feel a flare of anger, of grief, or any other strong emotion, hold your peace until the emotion passes. If what you had to say is important, it will still be important when your judgment is more sober. You can say it then. Do not speak just to venture an opinion. We all have opinions. The watchword is to say those things that will help. Sometimes that can be something hard – but if it is you should have a clear notion of how it will help and not deceive yourself just to vent your spleen. As St. Paul says, “…avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile.” (Titus 3:9).
If you must stay clear of someone you care for in order to avoid falling into useless disputes, even if it is for a long while, do so until you find you can speak charitably and affectionately again. To do that may pain you, particularly if it involves a family member, but trust the good God to heal rifts that you can’t in His own time. In fact, you can offer your restraint during a rift on behalf of all concerned, and your obedience will be a powerful offering, indeed. Better you should suffer the sorrow of separation for a time than widen the rift, perhaps even to a permanent break, by continuing to clash. Christ uses your restraint to rebuke the devil and re-knit the peace.
If one you trust rebukes you, do not rise to argue with him. Accept the correction with gratitude. He probably does it because he cares for you – and Christ uses him to calm troubled waters. I was deeply grateful that one I respected checked my intemperate tirade today. It takes courage for a man to correct a friend. It only takes humility to accept the correction.
Do not be surprised at an unusual number of disputes and clamors in these times. These, too, must come. Do not be surprised that you sometimes get caught up in them. None of us are as strong or steady as we like to imagine. Do not despair over an offense. Repent and continue in the work God calls you to, with a renewed determination not to cause needless grief. Remember, just because you fail does not excuse you from your work.
Finally, trust the good God. He will knit us all back together into a joyful community if we do not allow ourselves to tear each other apart first. As St. John Paul the Great was fond of saying, “Be not afraid.” Trust and obey.
I have discovered that some of the comments intended for here end up in a ‘spam’ folder which I don’t always see. The ‘spam’ folder is very good, for I am surprised at how many stupid things get sent from ‘bots – Russian brides, discount prescription come-ons, various and sundry scams. I have enough to deal with without going through these one by one. But I am concerned that some of you may have sent a comment that I did not receive. So you know, it is very important to me to acknowledge everyone who is kind enough to visit here. I do that by: A) approving your first comment or B) sending you a brief private note on why I did not clear a comment. Once you have had a comment published, none of your later pending comments go into the ‘spam’ box. The site recognizes your email address as a valid participant. If you are a repeat commenter and your comment was not cleared on a thread that I have noted I would limit comments on, I may not respond – you already know I value your input, just didn’t use it for that time. But if you sent your first comment and it was neither cleared nor did you get an email from me, I probably never saw the comment because it went to the ‘spam’ box. Keep after me in that case.
I have heard from a few readers in Mexico and Latin America about how their countries are usually ignored on spiritual matters. I have not heard from anyone from Argentina – they have a rather impressive voice being heard from Rome each day.
Mexico and Latin America have a very big role to play in the times that are upon us, I think. First and foremost, there is Our Lady of Tepeyac (Guadalupe). She is the Mother of Conversion – and she accompanies us throughout the Storm. She first appeared to St. Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City almost 500 years ago, in December, 1531. She did what the European missionaries had tried, but failed to do: converted the Indians en masse over a period of 10 years and utterly crushed the bloody, murderous death cult of Qxlcoatl.
It was in the mid-90s that Our Lady of Tepeyac appeared to me. She told me many things. Among them was that Our Lady of Tepeyac is her proper title and what she wants to be called. She said that as bad as things are in the New World, the faith is under even greater assault in the Old World, that during the Storm, she would once again accomplish abundant miraculous conversion where men have failed, and that the Old World would be re-evangelized from the New World during those times. When Francis was elected Pope, I regarded it as the beginning of the fulfillment of that particular prophecy.
As people in the U.S. and Canada have gotten too “sophisticated” to hold fast to the tenets of the faith, many in Mexico have lived it simply, even as they have suffered from abundant corruption and violence. God has noticed where fidelity lies. Before all is said and done, much grace will flow from Mexico and her southern neighbors.
Of course, it is the image of Our Lady of Tepeyac that appears on the prayer card for the Prayer of Miraculous Trust. Without imposing the matter on anyone, I have steadily let people know that Tepeyac is the proper title by which she wishes to be called. I am gratified to see in different articles the ever more frequent use of the construction, “Our Lady of Guadalupe (Tepeyac).” It tells me the message is starting to take hold.