Closing the Door of Mercy

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I am publishing this for the 13th day of November, 2016. Seven days from today, on November 20, 2016 the Pope will close the Door of Mercy at St Peter’s Basilica thus ending the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy that started on December 8, 2015 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is the Patroness of the United States of America. On May 13, 1846 – seventy one years before the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima – the United States bishops unanimously chose Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as patroness of the country. The decision was approved by Pope Pius IX on February 7 of the following year.

I have posted many articles in this blog about prophetic signs of all kinds. It does not hurt to remind the reader that the purpose of such articles was not, is not, nor it will ever be to predict the day of Our Lord’s arrival in glory, since Our Lord Himself has clearly stated that no one will be able to guess that in advance. Of course that does not deter the simple minded to try to infer the date of that glorious day. All I can say is: do not waste your time, do not commit a sin of presumption, you’re not so special, and neither am I.

Having fired the customary warning shots I must admit that I am sure Our Lord has promised many signs that will precede His coming in glory. That is not contradictory if you read the Gospel carefully. We look at the sky and guess that we should not leave home without an umbrella but we don’t know exactly at what time, in what place the first raindrop will hit the ground, if it rains at all. Our wisdom is limited to that simple decision to carry our umbrella or not. Some Londoners always carry one, and for good reason. The weather in London is as predictable as the end of the world. Be on the watch.

Of course there will be signs, in fact there have been signs: the quasi-universal loss of faith and charity, confusion within the Church, etc. and that leads some to believe that there is going to be a Warning, such as the Warning mentioned by the seers of San Sebastian de Garabandal – a number of apparitions of Our Lady between the years of 1961 and 1965 that have not been definitely approved or rejected by the Church to this day. The nature of this Warning may be similar to the warning of the prophet Jonah to Nineveh. Unlike us, Jonah made sure to give dates to the impending judgment of that ancient city. (Jonah 3:4) The Ninevites were serious sinners but they were not stupid. They wisely heeded the warning and God withheld the promised destruction.(Jonah 3:10) Of course those who actually mislead the credulous to believe that – contrary to Our Lord’s warning – they are so smart that they can guess the exact timing of God’s actions, actually do a great disservice to others because the announced dates come, nothing happens, and then there is growing unbelief and zero repentance.

One sign we have been given, clear as a sunny day, is this Extraordinary Year of Mercy.  This truly extraordinary sign does not follow the regular jubilee years of the Church. In fact the next scheduled Jubilee was set for the year 2025, nine years in the future. This Extraordinary Year of Mercy, closes today around the world and will be closed in Rome on November 20. This was a great gift, totally unexpected. Some are expecting a Warning, the Three Days of Darkness, the Great Earthquake, etc. and those things certainly will come and may be ineffective in calling mankind to repentance because they may be interpreted as simple natural phenomena. Those tragic events may shock mankind but the most tragic of the many predicted events has been happening for decades: nations continue to ‘legally’ kill babies in the womb by the millions, marking our age as the most murderous, violent, and unnatural of all the ages of mankind. The Ninevites repented but in our day, the UN, the mighty United States, and many other countries have done nearly nothing to prevent the violent death of millions of viable human beings. There should be massive fasting, prayer, contrition, and sacrifice but one does not see much of that. Just days before the American presidential election our bishops happily shared a meal with one of the greatest and better known promoters of abortion of all time.

Years, doors and gates in Scripture

Here I copied a few selected passages from Holy Scripture for you. After reading them we will try to see how they connect.

“‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:1-10)

“In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day [1] all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.  The rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.  On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, entered the ark, they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind—every bird, every winged creature.  They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.  And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.” (Genesis 7:11-16)

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“For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.  Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them.” (Luke 17:24-27)

“As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says: ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!  We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,  but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-3)

After My Mercy comes My Justice

I was blessed once with a brief vision of Our Lord of Mercy. In 2009 only seven days before my mother passed away I had a brief dream: my mother was in a rocking chair, under a crimson bedcover of sorts that allowed me to see only her forehead. As I observed the scene Our Lord of Mercy appeared to her right, standing on the door threshold. He looked at me and I understood he was asking for permission to come in. The dream ended abruptly there. The following day I mentioned the strange dream to my youngest brother. He was surprised. Totally unbeknown to me, my mother was really in a rocking chair because she could no longer rest horizontally any longer. Later on I called her and to my big surprise, she asked me for a priest to come and hear her confession. She wanted to be received in the Church almost eight decades after her baptism at age four. A priest came, heard her Confession and administered her the Anointment of the Sick. That night she fell into a coma dying a few days later. The day of her confession was June 13, on St Anthony’s feast. The saint that finds lost souls found my mother at the last possible moment.

Jesus is the Gate to life everlasting

In my dream, Jesus was waiting at the door, modestly asking permission to come into my mother’s life. Likewise He is now waiting for us to do something. In the quoted passage above, Jesus identifies Himself as “the gate” for the sheep. Noah and his family had to go through a door also, the door of Noah’s Ark. He went into the ark obediently and God shut the door from outside. That door divided the ancient world in two: those who would live, and those who would perish. Both the sheep’s pen in Jesus’ parable and Noah’s Ark are signs representing the Church. We know the time to save ourselves will be brief – as brief as lightning crossing the sky on a stormy night – and finally St Paul urges us to move fast, to accept the day of grace before it is too late.

donationPope Francis has rescheduled the Jubilee of Mercy advancing it nine years.  I know many look at Pope Francis with some distrust because of his controversial statements and actions but he is still the Pope, he is still the one person on earth holding the Keys of the Kingdom, and he is closing the Door of Mercy on November 13 all over the world (on November 20 in Rome.) He used the authority of the Keys to rename the Holy Door as the Door of Mercy. Are we paying close attention to the obvious meaning of all those very visible signs?

I think we better pay attention, because Christ’s mercy is on one side of that door, the side of life and salvation, just as it was in Noah’s time. Go to Confession and Mass today if you are able, meditate in God’s mercy, receive the grace of a plenary indulgence. Don’t miss it.


[1] In Noah’s time the rain began to fall on the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Iyyar. It is remarkable that the 17th of Iyyar of 5777 (in the Hebrew calendar) coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 1917; adding to the coincidences already discussed in my previous article The Year of Liberation.

 

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