For this is God’s will, your sanctification (1 Thes. 4:3)
There is in Catholic prophecy predictions of an upcoming period of physical darkness (“three days of darkness”) in which consciences will be illuminated (purified), paving the way for a period of great evangelization for the church. Even the very sober and trustworthy Ralph Martin posts on his website a prophecy he was given in 1975 in the presence of Pope Paul VI in Rome, and the word received by Mr. Martin then warns of “days of darkness.” I cannot comment on the merit of these predictions (see postscript below regarding three saints linked to this prophecy) since I have always felt the prophecy of my own death had an infallible ring to it (and thus was sufficient to awaken my heart to the call of the Gospel). My interest in these three days of darkness is in the explosion of holiness we would witness in friends and neighbors and in ourselves should the prophecy come to fruition. In such a scenario we would witness people we actually know ascend to incredible holiness in an amazingly short period of time. It would truly be an amazing phenomenon to witness! (a type of Pentecost).
Human beings are capable, with the assistance of grace, of incredible holiness; we are also capable, due to sin and human deceit, of immense degradation. There is, as scripture clearly tells us, a war raging in our souls between the “death-directed flesh” and the the “life-giving Spirit”. To set the mind on the flesh is death. To set the mind on the Spirit is life. Dear God, help us to chose life (see Romans 8:6)
God made us to be holy. This is our vocation: sanctification. God fills us with His own supernatural life to make us holy and unite us in love to Him. Do not underestimate your capacity for holiness, lest you underestimate God Himself. But what holds us back?, or rather what might be of aid to us in growing closer to God and becoming less infatuated with sin? I am going to suggest, relying on my good friend Father Faber, seven things that might help to supercharge our spiritual batteries! I’ll bet one or two of them might really grab your attention and be of special help to you. Here’s the list:
1. NURTURING A GREATER DESIRE FOR GOD
Comment: “What prepares the soul to be united with God
is the desire for God” (Saint John of the Cross).
The united wealth of the world is as if nothing
compared to what God means to you. “He who
has God has everything” (Saint Teresa of Avila).
2. NURTURING AN ABIDING SORROW FOR SIN
Comment: See Faber’s famous essay, ” Abiding Sorrow for Sin,”
in Growth in Holiness (TAN Books). Preferred
devotion to aid in obtaining this grace: devotion
to our Lord’s Passion and Mary’s Seven Sorrows. See
also Chapter 3 of “All for Jesus”.
3. MEDITATING ON THE SANCTITY OF GOD
Comment: This meditation remedies a low view of God.
“The more by assiduous contemplation of
HIS attributes we come to know the God to
whom we belong.” Book recommendation:
The Creator and the Creature” by Faber.
Meditating on God’s Infinite holiness helps
us to understand the “sinfulness of sin,” and
the magnitude of God’s mercy merited for
us by Jesus.
4. DEVELOPING A SPIRIT OF EUCHARISTIC ADORATION
Comment: An incredibly powerful devotion! I especially
recommend it to anyone who is presently enduring
some particular hardship or suffering. I highly
recommend Saint Eymard’s book, “In the Light
of the Monstrance,” which is truly a great book.
Father Eymard founded The Blessed Sacrament Fathers.
5. DEVELOPING A MORE INTENSE SPIRIT OF PENANCE
Comment: Part of our exile here on planet earth is about
penance! Joyful penance! Too much comfort
makes us weary of what is so powerfully good
6. MAKING A FIRM PURPOSE OF AMENDMENT FOLLOWING CONFESSION
Comment: This is about having a mega-serious attitude about your
7. PRACTICING SIMPLICITY
Comment: Walks in nature, family prayer, saying the rosary,
nurturing a spirit where we do not covet our neighbor’s
goods, etc. Faber says (I paraphrase): Look out to God.
Love God’s Amazing glory!! Hate the things that
separate you from God. Live simply.”
We do not have to wait for days of darkness to grow in holiness. Grace is available in super-abundance through the sacraments instituted by the Lord of Life.
Tom Mulcahy, M.A.
Postscript: Three Saints who have foretold a period of three days of darkness include Saint Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified (who died in 1878 and was canonized by Pope Francis on May 17, 2015), Saint Caspar del Bufalo (died 1837), and Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (who also died in 1837 and is well known for her extraordinary mystical gifts and experiences). See pages 26-28 of Prophecy For Today by Edward Connnor (TAN). If you search the internet, you will find sites which discuss the possible imminent fulfillment of this prophecy.
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