“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come.'” (Mark 13:33)
In one of his appearances to St. Catherine of Siena, Jesus told her, “In his ignorance man treats himself very cruelly. My care is constant, but he turns my life-giving gifts into a source of death.” In other words, what our Lord gives us for our good, we misuse to the point of causing ourselves grave harm. Consequently, in our willful disobedience, we are running headlong into destruction.
There are all manner of theories out there as to why the world is careening out of control on so many fronts. The popular theory about the wild weather patterns is that climate change brought on by human activity is to blame, coupled this year with El Nino. Still, any scientist worth his weight in reason must be shaking his head in wonder at the violence and increasing frequency of the global disasters. Add to that financial calamity, rebellion, and chaos, and—to use an overused phrase—it’s a perfect storm. Apocalyptic, more people are saying, and not just those on the fringes!
Those of us who have been paying attention to the words of Our Lady, especially over the past century and a half cannot be surprised at what is transpiring as we have witnessed the wholesale rejection of Christ in contemporary society. Colossians 1: 17 tells us: “(Christ) is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” That, my friends is the key to the matter: In Christ all things hold together, and the more he is rejected, the more things fall apart. What we have sown in rebellion and disobedience, we are reaping in chaos and destruction. Lord have mercy on us, for we have sinned!
However, even in the midst of trials that seem certain to get worse before they get better, there is cause for great hope and joy. We who believe in Christ, believe that there is far more going on than what our senses tell us. We remember that at Calvary, all seemed lost, and even the apostles ran away scared. But a mere three days later—the resurrection! A more glorious outcome than could have ever been dreamed possible! We believe that God is in control now, just as he was then. The difference between us and the apostles is that they endured their trial before Pentecost, while we have already received the gift and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Catechism tells us:
“The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
“The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.” (CCC #1830-31)
The catechism goes on to tell us that the gift of fortitude “ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.” Fortitude is one gift we will have great need of as the days continue to darken.
As we hear so often, God has not left us orphaned. With the Holy Spirit as our strength and guide, the storms of life may batter us, but our immortal souls will not be harmed as long as we remain in a state of grace and remain docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Let us keep these things in mind as we continue to pray and offer sacrifices for souls. The world is desperately in need of penance, as the messages of Lourdes and Fatima emphasized so strongly. May the Holy Spirit grant us the fortitude to fast well according the will of our Father in heaven. St. Mary and St. Joseph, pray for us. St. Francis, St. Clare, and St. Martin, pray for us. All you holy saints and angels, pray for us.