(Some have mistakenly assumed that the above is a drawing of the interior of the Shrine I have written about. It is not. It has NOTHING to do with that Shrine. It is just a good illustration I found online that lent itself to the delicious caption I wrote.)
Throughout the world, many tremble in fear as disorders that were mere seedlings decades or centuries ago have reached full maturity at once. Now the noxious fruit of these poisoned trees is falling all around us. Christians, even children, are being butchered, beheaded, and crucified en masse, often with their broken bodies publicly displayed as both a malevolent celebration and a lurid warning through a wide swath of the Middle East and other places in Asia and Africa. World War III stalks the globe, roaming where it will and threatening to pounce at any moment. Pope Francis says it has begun. The darkness that has engulfed us grows thicker, like sludge. People wonder not when, but if, hope can rise again.
These days, I am wont to say, “These things must come,” whenever someone speaks to me, in shocked horror, of the latest outrage. But I have said something else about it – something I should be saying more of. Over a year ago I wrote that people should not be terrified as these things happen. It is not that the darkness is descending, but rather that the light is rising, revealing the horrors we have nurtured in our midst. The violence is the devil raging against his eviction proceedings, which have already begun.
In July of 2012, while I was still walking my pilgrimage, I was seriously wondering about what to do now. I had almost completed my course, I had lived it obediently through hard days and balmy ones. If I had more experience, I did not really know what to do next. I prayed a lot about it, for it very much troubled my mind. Walking one day, the Lord appeared to me with a wry smile on His face…really more like a smirk. All He said was, “I have a plan.” During those last weeks, He appeared twice more and said the same thing with the same wry grin. The last time He appeared, I rather grumpily responded that it would be nice if He clued me in just a little on what exactly that plan is. He just chuckled and vanished. I kept walking.
In the very late fall of 2012, Our Lady appeared to me as radiantly joyful as I have ever seen her. She said nothing, but was obviously delighted. Then Gabriel appeared above, sounding his trumpet in jubilant triumph. He, too, said nothing – but was completely overjoyed. Things in the world did not look very promising to me, but my heavenly visitors were unambiguous at how delighted they were with the course of events. Their attitude was that now they had satan and his minions right where they wanted them. I could not feel it, but I have gotten in the habit of taking their word on things, and so I did again.
So let me tell you what is really going on: We are at the end of a prolonged era…the era of division and false enlightenment. This is the New Advent, a penitential season. In the first Advent, we looked forward to Christ. In the New Advent, we travel back to him. The Storm should have entered into deep violence before the summer of 2012 was out. But the prayers of the faithful were heard, the converts who were turning their heart to God obtained a great mercy that all will know of only after the Storm. For the sake of the faithful, God shortened the days of tribulation, the pangs of labor that herald the birth of the new era so its full intensity would only be felt for three rather than five years. And now the contractions grow ever closer, as Christ is being reborn in the heart of the world. As with the first Advent, He comes to us through His Mother.
Let me tell you what you must know about those Christians and children who are being routinely slaughtered now in an ever growing portion of the world. What you must know is that:
Even as you read this, those martyrs behold the Face of the Living God. They form a cohort around Mary, our mother. With her they intercede on our behalf. They will hold a place of honor as escorts in the procession of the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart. They will raise, with us, a great song of thanksgiving and praise when the people of the kingdom and the people of heaven unite for that Triumph. I have heard that song in visitation and long to hear it here.
It is the murderous jihadists and tyrants who are killing themselves. They tear strips off their own humanity with each new atrocity. Every innocent they murder fills out the ranks of the Army of the Immaculate Heart. Though they don’t know it, they are committing suicide of the soul. In physical suicide, hope endures, for who knows what grace lies between the bullet and the brain? But suicide of the soul leaves no room for grace.
Go to Mary and take refuge under her mantle. There you will find bread for the Storm alongside the Bread of Eternal Life and Paradise. With confidence, begin to live the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart now in communion with all the saints – and with your brothers and sisters. Let satan and his minions rage on. In the end, we win, so long as we stay with Our Lord under the shelter of Our Lady.
When Our Lady comes, she will lead us all to gather back at the manger, to worship in unison once again with the whole world the Babe, the Little Lord of all that is. And the New Advent will lead where the Old Advent did until we were foolish enough to think we were sufficient to ourselves; the greatest of the penitential seasons will give way to the joy of Christmas in every heart.