We are, let us say, in a time of drastic swings, from one side of the pendulum to the other. Perhaps we can see it better as a wildly fluctuating needle on a gauge. Or, as an out-of-control teeter-totter (roller coaster?).
The greatest foci — and controversies — are in Rome and Washington.
We’ll not make any judgments here.
But how similar it seems: controversies continue to surround the Holy Father as well as the U.S. president, who at times seem diametrically opposed to each other, though (can’t we all get along?) both know the Lord’s Prayer.
We’ll deal with this initially from a mystical perspective — although that may not shed as much light on matters as one might fancy.
First the Pope: At Fatima, after the main apparitions, the seer Jacinta Marto, who died soon after (at age ten), was shown a vision of the Holy Father praying alone in a room while people outside “shouted ugly things and threw rocks through the window.” Another time she saw a Pope who had gathered a huge number of people together to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Again, it seemed like some kind of crisis moment. Perhaps it pertained to the Pope at the time (Benedict XV).
But if it was a future Pontiff, our current Holy Father might also seem to fit the bill, taking “rocks,” as it were, over that papal exhortation on the civilly-remarried and Communion (Amoris Laetitia), immigration, and other matters (and occasionally hurling stones of his own).
When it comes to the Church, there was also the prediction from the revelations in Akita, Japan, whereby a deaf nun “heard” the Virgin prophesy a time when “the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.”
Has that time begun to arrive?
Bishops are currently opposing other bishops, and cardinals other cardinals, over everything from the aforesaid Vatican document and homosexuality to the apparitions of Medjugorje. Divisiveness? Guam, anyone? Jump to where politics and religion intersect. Reports a news blog: “In a twenty-minute address to the U.S. regional meeting of the World Meeting of Popular Movements, Bishop Robert McElroy [of San Diego] said that ‘President Trump was the candidate of disruption. He was the disrupter. Well, now we must all become disrupters.’ Acknowledging that the United States is living ‘a pivotal moment as a people and a nation’ in which ‘bitter divisions cleave our country and pollute our actual dialogue,’ the bishop urged his hearers to resist the temptation to unite under the president and rather to oppose him at every turn.”
Another California bishop, Bawai Soro, who came to the United States as a refugee from Iraq in 1973, wrote, to the contrary: “Mr. Trump has no one to apologize to for his immigration doctrine for the simple reason that coming to America is not a right but a privilege, a privilege that is earned by waiting in line for however long it may take to reach America.”
An active, fluid landscape, have we.
Will it turn molten?
In the U.S., good, faithful Catholics write us with remarkably different — drastically different — views of the Pope, as well as President Trump. We respect all views, as long as they are not filled with vitriol (which is currently in overabundance). Is the Pope really ready to unfurl an ecumenical liturgy (he visits an Anglican church today)? Is he trying (as Evangelicals shout) to form a one-world religion? Or is it simply his focus on mercy?
Our mailbag contains the various points of view. “In your blogs and website, you write abundantly from the Catholic/Christian perspective,” wrote Charmaine Lydon-Betjemann of Silver Spring, Maryland. “I go to your website on a daily basis. It is very thought-provoking. I have quite a few of your books on my shelves.
“Your platform is world-wide with thousands of readers logging on worldwide. Your messages run the gamut of hope, faith, mercy, prayer, social justice, and trust. That is a given.
“I am mad, angry, and disappointed since I am a social worker who strives for justice for all. It seems as if the whole country has gone mad with its intolerance, bigotry, hatred, racism, and ableism in the political/electoral fallout. We are supposed to be a country where liberty, freedom of speech, freedom to worship, and freedom of press, are granted in the Constitution. The right to vote is also granted too. I am grieving for the loss of something that I appreciated: inclusiveness. As a woman with dual disabilities, I shook the cage of society’s limitations. I write for one reason today. In the chaotic turmoil, I am disappointed that your recent blog has not extolled the Christian motto: ‘LOVE your enemies. Be kind to others.’ Build bridges with others who are grieving over the loss of ‘inclusiveness.’ If you treat others badly for the color of their skin, gender, religion, voting choices, disability or sexual orientation, then you are a bully, no matter what your faith is.”
We hear you. We hear everyone.
Many have an opposite view.
Nothing is apodictic.
And it’s true: judgmentalism and over-harshness are not Catholic. They are magnets for evil. We respect all opinions if done in Christian love (these days, a big “if”).
We do have to say we have constantly tried to preach love (and will continue). Nothing is more important.
But how that needle swings — even in all our heads. The rancor! The division.
Below, at the end of this commentary, for discernment, a YouTube video making the rounds in which a priest asserts that a “hermit” at the Holy House of Loreto foresaw the rise of a man who would bring Christianity back to America and that thirty years ago this monk put a brick with his name of this man on it at the Holy Door at St. Peter’s. (The name: Donald J. Trump.)
Hot lava indeed. One stays clear, so early on, of evaluations. More on all this in a day or two, when we release a new book that has to do with the history — and future (prophetically) — of the U.S.A. We’ll also be hearing from an alleged seer in Ontario, Canada.
The greatest ingredient to discernment, in all these matters, is: time.
Another note we received, from Maryellen Malack:
“Just thought I would weigh in here with all that is happening in our country. At prayer maybe two months ago I received something I can only explain as a ‘knowing.’ I don’t really know how to put it into words, but at Adoration which I try to do daily, Jesus said to my soul ‘Cling To Me Amid the Chaos.’
“I have to tell you that this is the first election of a U.S. president that I felt something of a spiritual element too. Again, it’s hard to put into words but I feel compelled to pray for Mr. Trump for I fear the wolves of Washington could tear him to pieces if he isn’t spiritually protected. Let us all trust in Jesus and place our country into the abyss of His Mercy. The times we are about to enter will be nothing ever seen before by the world or will be again but one thing we can count on is God. Only he can steer us through. Trust in Him. God Bless you and the work you do for the Lord.”
God bless all of you who view, and stay centered on Jesus, whatever your viewpoint and whatever your prediction.
[March retreat in Atlanta]
[Michael Brown Special Reports]