On March 31, 2020 Lifesitenews reported that the Washington Examiner reported: “Nearly half of the country (USA) believes that the sweeping and deadly coronavirus is a ‘wake-up call’ from God, and one-third see it as the ‘last days’ predicted in the Bible, according to a new national survey.”
“Some 44% said the virus crisis is a ‘wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God’ and ‘signs of coming judgment,’ said the Joshua Fund,” the article explained.
Although the present pandemic has many facets and causes, it certainly has also a spiritual message for us all. I am therefore copying for your edification excerpts from an article also in LifeSiteNews of 31/3/20 by Maria Madise:
“The third secret of Fatima opens with an Angel holding a flaming sword in his left hand, flashing. “It gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’”
In the first secret, Our Lady had shown the three children a vision of hell. It was full.
Could it really be the case that the need for penance is less acute and the reality of hell, a consequence of unrepentant sin, less threatening today than a hundred years ago, when the Mother of God descended from Heaven to inform her children of the urgency to repent?
Our Lady told little Jacinta that more sinners go to hell because of sins of impurity than for any other reason. Today many of these sins are state policy of the most powerful nations and smaller nations, too, have followed suit.
In once Catholic Ireland abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ – two of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance – are enshrined in the constitution. This is the same constitution that in its preamble still invokes the protection of the Most Holy Trinity.
More children have died worldwide through legal abortion than people killed in all the wars of recorded human history.
In (Maria Madessa’s) home country, Estonia, more people have been killed by abortion since 1955 than are the living population today.
And throughout the world, countless children are being corrupted by school sex education, often with the placet of Catholic bishops. These programmes destroy the innocence of children, groom them for the porn, contraception or abortion industry and teach them to question whether God has created them a boy or a girl.
“Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.” (Is. 1:4)
And, we might ask, before they came to an abrupt halt, how many of the sacrilegious and irreverent Masses which Catholics today accept with casual indifference are really an affront to God that surpasses even the atrocities just mentioned?
In Akita in 1973, Our Lady appeared again. What she had to say echoed her message in Fatima – like a patient mother who repeats her instructions over and over again, because they have not been listened to or have been followed badly.
“[The] Church will be full of those who accept compromises,” she said and because of that, “if men do not repent and better themselves”, God will “inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity”, such as one will never have seen before. There will be “fire falling from the skies”, she said, “good and bad will perish and those who survive will wish they were dead.”
“If sins increase in number and gravity,” she said, “there will be no longer pardon for them.”
Sins have increased in number and gravity. In fact, our political and, worse, ecclesiastical bodies have become so imbued with sin and heresy that it does not require any special insight to see that if there ever was a time, when chastisement was deserved, that time is now.
Whether or not the “unprecedented” events that are now our daily reality – from the lockdown of nations to the suppression of public Masses by the order of Catholic bishops – amount to a chastisement, cannot yet be verified ... But … we know that it would not be inappropriate to respond to it as a chastisement. … Our sins are the fruit of the same tree. There is no distancing from the sins we have committed as God’s people, because we are the members of one body.
“Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things? No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.” (Lk. 13:2-3)
The more we enter into our enforced desert this Lent, the brighter (the Virgin Mary’s) role becomes. She is the model of the Church, she who is now suffering at the hands of many of those who should be the first to protect her honour. Her passion reflects the passion of her Son. And just as when she stood, pierced with grief, at the foot of the Cross, perhaps we are asked to imitate her in standing by her in her passion now.
This is not a passive resignation. This was not at all her attitude on Calvary.
St. Ambrose says that “when the Apostles fled, she stood at the foot of the Cross, and saw in her Son’s wounds not the death of her treasure but the salvation of the world.”
Perhaps we are to share her grief this Lent at not being able to be with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, nor bear the violent pain of the scourges and the crown of thorns, nor the weight of the Cross; and after all that in the crucifixion of her heart, while standing still at the foot of the Cross. Perhaps this is what we must offer this Lent and maybe beyond.
Our current separation from the Mass and the sacraments must, however, be God’s permitted will. We know that God never wills evil, but he allows tribulations to give an opportunity for repentance and conversion. In a way, the whole Church has been draped in a purple veil. Christ has hidden Himself from us to allow us to share in His suffering, to make reparation for sin, and to prepare for the renewal of all things.
A crisis tends to bring people back to reality and with it comes a real opportunity to evangelise. In a shipwreck, everything excessive is thrown overboard. Only what is real and necessary is kept. In our crisis too, everything real triumphs over non-essentials. God is the ultimate reality and now is the time to reclaim His place in people’s lives.
Our true and complete dependence on God, not even knowing, when we will next be able to receive Holy Communion or go to Confession gives us a real opportunity to enter into a desert this Passiontide and unite our sacrifices for the authentic renewal and purification of the Church. The most efficacious penances and sacrifices are those we have not chosen ourselves.
Let us not waste this opportunity.
In astronomy, a corona is defined as “the rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars”. “The sun’s corona is normally visible only during a total solar eclipse, when it is seen as an irregularly shaped pearly glow surrounding the darkened disc of the moon.” The corona is the crown. In the Book of the Apocalypse Our Lady is depicted as “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”. (Apoc. 12:1) Let us not miss the opportunity to make of this time a total offering to her so that Her Immaculate heart may soon triumph.
Sr Colette, and Maria Madisa