Pastor's Corner Oct 7 2018

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In troubling times, we must be hopeful. We do not hope in man, but we do hope in the Church. We do not hope in ourselves, but we do possess hope. If we lose sight of God, we will lose our hope. If we have lost our hope, we have lost sight of God. We recall St. Theresa: "Let nothing disturb you, God never changes." Suffering is not evidence, therefore, that God is absent.

Moments of purification are troubling times. In the Garden of Olives, Jesus said: "Tonight you will all lose courage over me; for so it has been written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of his flock will be scattered," (Mt 26:31). The 'writing' our Lord refers to is Zechariah 13. Let's look at verses 6 – 9: "Ask they, What wounds be these in thy clasped hands? Thus wounded was I, he shall answer, in the house of my friends. Up, sword, and attack this shepherd of mine, neighbor of mine, says the Lord of hosts. Smite shepherd, and his flock shall scatter; so upon the common folk my vengeance shall fall. All over this land, the Lord says, two thirds of them are forfeit to destruction, only a third shall be left to dwell there; and this third part, through fire I will lead them; purged they shall be as silver is purged, tried as gold is tried. Theirs on my name to call, their plea mine to grant; My own people, so I greet them, and they answer, The Lord is my own God." (Knox Bible). The faithful are purified by fire. Suffering is not evidence, therefore, that God is absent, quite the contrary! We are being purified. Glory be to God!

St. Francis of Assisi: We celebrated his feast of this week. As a reminder to be vigilant, to watch and pray ourselves, let us recall a startling prophecy he made to his brethren.

"A short time before [St. Francis'] death, he called together his children and warned them of the coming troubles:

"Act bravely, my brethren; take courage and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase. The devils will have unusual power; the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who obey the true Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal ears and perfect charity.

"At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death. Then scandals will be multi-plied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

"There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God….

"Those who persevere in their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth…

"Some preachers will keep silent about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them, not a true Pastor, but a destroyer." [breaks added]

"This quotation appears in Works of the Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi, published in 1882 by the London-based Catholic publishing house R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250). It is readily available as a Google book. The same book, it must be noted, contains an appendix setting forth "Doubtful Works of Saint Francis," of which the quotation is not part. Thus, the publisher itself carefully distinguished the authentic prophecies of Saint Francis from what might be apocryphal."" [Taken from an article by C. Ferrara in The Remnant Newspaper Nov. 13, 2017.]

As always, thank you for your support. May God keep you safe.