If one were to Google purgatory, what is heaven like, hell, near death experiences (NDE’S), life after death, and similar subjects, you will find those categories get multiple millions of hits on the net. Several subjects like near death experiences have been a topic of fascination for over thirty years. Yet, we rarely hear about heaven, hell, purgatory or the Four Last Things – Death, Judgment, Heaven, or Hell from the pulpit. Is there a connection of not hearing the most fundamental of truths that were taught for nearly 2,000 years and the pablum we hear so much today as we watch in real time the destruction of our culture?
The data is clear people are very interested in this genre of spirituality, so they research and read these subjects on their own. Many books on these subjects are best sellers. Jesus addresses heaven and hell in the gospels, and He was not ambiguous as to their reality. A person could go to Church for a lifetime and not hear a sermon on purgatory or hell. A priest would be considered too extreme or negative as the talk may offend someone if he did address the subject.
In the same vein, people today know something is very wrong in our culture. Society is talking and operating on the extremes. At that extreme is a festering civil disturbance on the horizon. Based upon nearly any conversation, you can often tell if someone you meet is on the same political and spiritual wavelength as you. Bring up Pope Francis, Hillary or Trump, and the waters part as if Moses waved his walking stick over a body of water. It doesn’t take long to find if one has a starkly contrarian view from yours – on just about any subject.
The more we veer away from God, the more insane things get around us. When man believes in nothing, he will believe in anything. Likewise, when man believes in anything, he believes in nothing. The examples we see around us are too numerous to mention.
So that begs the question, which direction is the Church going? We now have books being written by authority figures abdicating the Magisterium and its 2,000 years of teaching that discuss the open dissension of what is presently happening in Rome. Books like The Dictator Pope recently released present a compelling case for the auto demolition of the Church from within at a dizzy pace. Long standing Scriptural doctrine is being challenged, and sometimes tossed out the window wholesale by progressive groups. It is now cardinal against cardinal, and bishop against bishop, prophesied at Akita, Japan in the early 1970’s. The fulfillment of long standing prophecy is in our midst.
Some cardinals, bishops and clergy are in open dissent about the views of Pope Francis, while others are in silent dissent about the direction of the Church. Many live in fear of their bishop’s authority, as it can be dangerous to have a different world-view than your boss. Many clergy are frustrated and near despair as they watch the direction of the Church and don’t really don’t know what to do.
We may get a glimpse of where we are headed with a very powerful quote from Father Ratzinger when he was teaching theology and philosophy in 1969 at Regensburg Germany. His following commentary was said four years after the final session of Vatican II. It may have been an insight based upon his knowledge of history, as a philosopher, a prediction, or a prophetic utterance. Nonetheless, here is what the young theologian said nearly fifty years ago based upon what he saw for the future of the Church.
The Church will be restructured with far fewer members that is forced to let go of many of the places of worship it worked so hard to build over the centuries. A minority Catholic Church with little influence over political decisions, that is socially irrelevant, left humiliated and forced to start over…a great power will emerge from a more spiritual and simple Church. Father Ratzinger said he was convinced the Church was going through an era similar to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. He continued, we are at a huge turning point in the evolution of mankind. This moment makes the move from the medieval to the modern times seem insignificant. Professor Ratzinger compared the current era to that of Pope Pius VI who was abducted by troops of the French Revolution and died in prison in 1799. The Church was fighting against a force, which intended to annihilate it definitively, confiscating its property, and dissolving religious orders.
Today’s Church could be faced with a similar situation, undermined by the temptation to reduce priests to social workers and it and all its work reduced to a mere political presence. From today’s crisis will emerge a Church that has lost a great deal.
It will become small and will pretty much have to start all over again. It will no longer have use of its structures it built in its years of prosperity. The reduction in the number of faithful will lead to its losing an important part of its social privileges. It will start off with small groups and movements and a minority that will make faith central to experience again. It will be a more spiritual Church, and will not claim a political mandate flirting with the right one-minute, and the left the next. It will be poor and it will be the Church of the destitute.
One must not neglect these words from a philosopher, theologian, historian, priest, bishop, cardinal, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and then Pope Benedict XVI. The ramifications of today’s proclamations from Rome will have a profound influence on future generations. We can be sure that changes will be staggering in all spheres of social milieu exactly what happened with Vatican II whether one agreed with what came from the Council. Yes, the Rhine still flows into the Tiber. Rather than the most prominent Churchmen upholding magisterial truth with a mandate to protect it, often they are the ones leading the charge against it from the very interior of the Church. It is difficult to fight a foe with powerful, organized, and influential enemies inside the gates.
One thing is certain. We are told the Church will never perish. The Blessed Mother said we will know we are in the times spoken of by seeing the events themselves.
She has been speaking from the rooftops warning us about this day and how to avoid catastrophic consequences from apparition sites around the world. Some are true, many are bogus, so discernment is necessary. Is there a mother that would not warn her children of impending danger if given the chance? Although events have quickened more so in the last several years than previous times, there has been a lot of accumulated spiritual rot enabling the Church to evolve to where we are today. It didn’t happen over night, and you can look to the seminaries as the genesis of the problem.
The events spoken of at the major apparition sites are all around us and are often ignored to the peril of the individual refusing to listen. The Blessed Mother has told us repeatedly where we are headed, and it is now obvious to those who have paid attention — the future is here. We are in the time of trials.
Saint John Bosco (1815-1888) saw in his vision the future of the Church, how the barque of Peter would be tossed from stem to stern nearly capsizing. As the boat went through the Twin Pillars of the Eucharist on one high pillar, and the Blessed Mother on the other pillar of less stature – the Church was saved and calm was restored. As Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, and Advocate of mankind, we seek to follow her directives for safe passage.
Jesus, I Trust In You