In Her apparitions, Our Lady spoke about the punishments to come, but, we must remember, in none of them did She say that these plagues would happen, irrevocably.
Newsroom (21/07/2022 18:03, Gaudium Press) We are living in an extreme moment, and the impression is that the human being has exceeded all limits, has experienced to a maximum degree all sins, and that we can only wait for the announced punishments. There are those who believe in the end of the world, others in a great purification, when a large part of humanity would perish. The world has reached the limits of ungovernability, and there are almost no ways out; human solutions are no longer enough to overcome the crises in which we are immersed.
We have witnessed the fulfillment, in whole or in parts, of many prophecies, from those announced in the Holy Scriptures to those revealed to the saints. If we were to list them all, taking only those officially recognized by the Church, we would fill pages and more pages, and would not exhaust the subject. Just to put ourselves in context, let’s remember some of the prophecies of Our Lady in her apparitions.
Our Lady of Good Success, Ecuador, 1594:
“As for the sacrament of marriage, which symbolizes the union of Christ with the Church, it will be attacked and profaned to the full extent of the word. […] In this period, there will be great physical and moral calamities, public and private. In those unhappy times, unbridled luxury will conquer countless frivolous souls and lose them.”
Our Lady of La Salette, France, 1846:
“God will strike in an unheard of way. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust his wrath, and no one will be able to escape so many accumulated evils. Society is on the verge of the most terrible scourges and the greatest events. One must expect to be ruled by an iron lash and to drink the cup of God’s wrath. […] You will see nothing but murder, hatred, envy, lies and discord, no love for one’s country and no love for one’s family.”
Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, 1917:
““Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the holy priest will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”
Our Lady of Akita, Japan, 1973:
“The Father will inflict a terrible chastisement on all mankind. It will be a punishment more severe than the flood, such as there has never been before. Fire will fall from the sky and exterminate a great part of mankind, both good and bad, sparing neither the priests nor the faithful. The survivors will find themselves in such desolation that they will envy the dead.”
Does this mean we must succumb to despair?
But why do we need to live in this agony, this affliction, waiting for a punishment? If God is love, why would He reserve so much evil for His children? This question may hint at a belief in an incomplete God, a God who is only merciful. However, the source of all mercy, in its completeness, God is also just, and it is from the totality of His justice and mercy that He has prepared us, in different ways, for all that is to come.
In Her apparitions, Our Lady spoke about the punishments to come, but, we must remember, in none of them did She say that these plagues would happen, irrevocably. She always made crime and punishment conditional, but with the mitigation that such calamities would not occur if men would repent, convert, pray, do penance, and change their lives.
Faced with the warnings, the men doubled their bet
But what did the men do? Did they repent? Did they convert? Did they pray? Did they do penance? Did they merit God’s mercy by changing their behavior, as the Ninevites did? No. Already completely entangled in the web of sin, skilfully spun by the devil’s claws, men have simply doubled down, paid to see. And they are seeing. And they will see much more. And, unfortunately, the righteous and the unrighteous, the good and the bad, the faithful and the unfaithful, will perish.
God created a perfect world, and if sin had not entered, we would still be living today in the delights of the Garden of Eden. However, when God became incarnate among us and gave His life for us on the infamous cross, He showed us that everything could be different and that this world could be perfect, it depended on us.
The treasure that God left us
For this, He left us an excellent treasure, the Holy Catholic Church. The Church represents the voice and the righteous judgment of God, and if we follow her, and if she does not deviate from the sacred role assigned to her by Our Lord Jesus Christ, she will provide us with the guidelines for a holy life and for the restoration of the world and of humanity.
Maybe, we Catholics don’t have the exact dimension of the Church, as her greatest enemy, the devil, has, and that is why he persecutes her, why he tries to distort her, discredit her, and destroy her, and to achieve his purposes, he uses different strategies, sometimes trying to blow her up, from the outside in; sometimes trying to empty her, and sometimes trying to implode her, so that, in an autophagic process, she consumes herself.
By Afonso Pena