by Rev. Joseph M. Esper
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some regard “delay,” but He is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-9).
Several months after the 2016 publication of my book Preparing for the Coming Persecution: A Handbook for Faithful Catholics, Donald Trump was, in an historic upset, elected President of the United States. This largely-unexpected event evoked a wide range of reactions: delight on the part of his supporters; angry disbelief by the allies and supporters of his opponent; shock and confusion by political commentators and other “experts” who were certain Mr. Trump was unelectable; resentment and worry for many Beltway insiders and other members of the ruling establishment; and gratitude and relief on the part of those Christians, political conservatives, and patriots who feared for the future of our country should a second President Clinton occupy the Oval Office.
It seemed the growing trend of government hostility toward practicing Christians—with the very real possibility of an eventual outright religious persecution—had been derailed last November 8. The election of a God-fearing, patriotic American to our nation’s highest office—especially one who reportedly underwent a sincere religious conversion during the presidential campaign—had supposedly ended the threat of religious repression within the United States. The “land of the free and the home of the brave” had apparently dodged a bullet—or so many believed. But was that really true, and if so, for how long?
The very real possibility of a “war on Christianity” in our nation had been acknowledged and warned of by many social, political, and religious authors and commentators. No one would seriously argue that the Obama Administration had been favorably disposed to the religious freedom of Catholics and other devout Christians, nor could anyone credibly deny a growing hostility toward the conscience rights of religious believers on the part of much of the state and federal judiciary.
Furthermore, the continually accelerating advance of technology—with its ever-more sinister potential abuses in the areas of surveillance, communications, and even the potential manipulation of an individual’s thoughts and feelings—constituted a growing threat to the privacy and First Amendment rights of those persons and groups deemed to be “politically incorrect.” (To give but one worrisome example: Experts warn that the images of law-abiding American citizens are recorded on video cameras in public spaces an average of 75 times a day, and these images are readily available to law-enforcement agencies.)
In addition to the “signs of the times” (cf. Lk. 12:54-56) present in politics, technology, and popular culture, many supposed messages from the realm of private revelation also warned over the last few years of the very real danger of a religious persecution.
The alleged messages are both very specific and very alarming (including the warning that Christians who fail to resist a growing tide of evil in our society will be held accountable by God). However, this message was given several months before the presidential election. With Mr. Trump in the White House, hasn’t the danger been removed or at least lessened?
Some knowledgeable and informed Christians believe the prayers and sacrifices of millions of religious believers throughout our country (and even abroad) affected the outcome of the election.
Thus, Jesus indicated that Mr. Trump’s election does not mean that, in and of itself, all the threats to our religious and civil liberties have been removed or overcome. In the days and weeks following the election, warnings were allegedly given to a visionary named Elaine in Michigan. Just forty-eight hours after the election, Our Lady told her, “I come here tonight to warn my children not to rest on their laurels. Yes, America has elected a pro-life candidate to her highest office; but that does not mean the fight is over [emphasis added]. You must continue to fast and pray for the conversion of hearts that needs to occur, in order for the conversion of your nation to occur.”
Mr. Trump was indeed inaugurated on January 20, 2017—but the widespread (and, if reports are to be believed, partially paid-for and orchestrated) protests against him that began immediately after Election Day were merely the prelude to an ever-growing chorus of vitriolic criticism and fanatical opposition faced by the new president upon entering the White House. Independent analysis has confirmed, again and again, the blatant and unprecedented hostility and partisanship of the media toward President Trump—especially in comparison to his predecessor. The “Establishment” or “Deep State” (i.e., the interlocking network of politicians, bureaucrats, career government officials, lobbyists, academics, media figures, and other persons whose ongoing power and influence is rooted in resisting and outlasting anyone attempting to return power to the American people by genuinely reforming the system) has manifested its unyielding hostility to the new president, seeking to undermine and oppose him in every possible way.
Yes, President Trump has made numerous missteps, and has often reacted to his critics and opponents in an un-presidential manner, even to the point of appearing at times to be his own worst enemy. Nevertheless, the level of political resistance, unfair media coverage, and outright hatred he has experienced far surpasses the opposition and hostility encountered by previous chief executives. Mr. Trump’s very real successes (e.g., the appointment of a pro-life Supreme Court justice, a huge drop in the level of illegal immigration since his inauguration, solid steps in reforming certain government agencies such as the Veterans’ Administration, etc.) are largely downplayed or ignored, and his admittedly numerous difficulties and failures are given unceasing and one-sided or misleading news coverage. Indeed, some members of the media seem to be hoping and working toward a self-fulfilling prophecy by discussing the possibility of impeachment, and several alleged messages from Heaven warn of attempts to undermine or even assassinate the president. For instance, in late August during a Mass of Reparation (that is, one specifically offered in reparation for the sins of the United States), Jesus allegedly told a woman named “Kay” of a plot for President Trump’s assassination.
Just before the inauguration, another alleged visionary referred to as Victor was informed by Our Lady that the many rosaries being offered for the President-Elect were “deflecting flaming arrows” being aimed at him, and on February 8 she said, “Continue to pray for [President] Trump; he is part of God’s plan for this country.” A few weeks later Mary informed Victor that the New World Order had set a deadline to remove Mr. Trump from office, and on April 5 she allegedly stated, “Continue to pray for President Trump, who is under major attack, which will continue to escalate.” Victor claims to have received a similar message from the Blessed Mother on August 2, in which she warned, “Continue to pray for President Trump—new plans are in the process to remove him from office.”
We can only speculate as to what these plans involve: impeachment, efforts to declare the president unfit, a widespread protest movement aimed at de-legitimizing Mr. Trump’s presidency, assassination, or even a military coup. It’s also possible a series of crises might be exploited or created to justify the imposition of martial law—which could provide the opportunity to marginalize the president’s authority, while also imposing new restrictions on his political and religious supporters.
In light of all this, an obvious question arises: If Mr. Trump’s presidency is indeed somehow brought to an end, won’t this simply mean another devout Christian and patriotic American will succeed him?
There is in fact every reason to hope, if this comes about, that Vice-President Pence will prove to be an excellent chief executive. However, the “other side” (i.e., the Deep State, the Establishment, and the One World movement) surely has a contingency plan for such an eventuality; they have no intention of allowing one person, no matter how legitimate and popular his authority, to interfere with their satanically-inspired plans that have been underway for decades. (Even before World War II, for example, the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin had begun a long-term process to weaken and eventually overthrow the United States by the slow but steady undermining of its moral character and political cohesion through the subversion and degradation of American culture.)
If these possibilities seem remote, unlikely, or even unbelievable, we need to remind ourselves that in our lifetimes, America has largely ceased to exist as “one nation under God,” and has instead become a society in rebellion against the commandments of the Almighty. God has in turn withdrawn His “hedge of protection” from our land (an idea ably described in Jonathan Cahn’s book The Harbinger), making us vulnerable to attacks from our enemies. The 9-11 terror attacks are a painful illustration of this new reality.
Various private revelations also speak of the growing threats of war, terrorism, civil unrest, and other chastisements for sin—and any of these situations could be manipulated by those who despise America’s former Christian heritage. Jesus Himself warned that the “children of this world” take great initiative in bringing their plans to fruition (cf. Lk. 16:8)—and if Christians and other Americans of good will remain spiritually self-absorbed or asleep, we may suddenly find ourselves in a very uncomfortable position: namely, strangers or outcasts in our own homeland.
All of the different threats, warnings, and prophecies presented in Preparing for the Coming Persecution remain timely and relevant, even during the presidency of Donald Trump. We live in very unsettled and uncertain times, and indeed, many alleged private revelations suggest that a series of dramatic events could easily occur quite suddenly, and with little advance notice or time for preparation.
Many secular experts speak of a bloated and ever-more intrusive federal government, insupportable levels of spending on entitlements and other government programs, a gigantic and growing national debt, the possibility of an outright economic collapse, and the vulnerability of our country’s power grid to an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) attack—not to mention the current headlines (and some private revelations) pointing to heightened international tensions and the very real possibility of a Third World War. President Trump has not been able to “solve” any of these problems, nor will he be able to do so—for they are beyond the ability of any one person to address. Even worse, any one of these threats could set into motion a chain of events in which Christians end up finding themselves “behind the eight ball,” subject to previously-unthinkable restrictions and repressions.
Ultimately, only Divine Grace can preserve America’s freedom and prosperity, and help the president safely navigate the ship of state through dangerous and troubled waters. Unfortunately, our nation’s moral weakness and growing rebellion against God has largely eroded our spiritual defenses, making us more vulnerable than ever before.
Despite the presence in the White House of a God-fearing president who truly loves our country, the United States remains in grave spiritual danger. Just because America dodged a bullet with the election of Donald Trump doesn’t mean the other side has ceased firing or has run out of ammunition.
This is no time for spiritual complacency. All American Christians—especially Catholics—have an urgent moral duty to continue offering prayers and sacrifices for (1) the safety of President Trump and other government leaders, and the success of his efforts to help America turn back to God; (2) a lessening of international tensions and the prevention of a possible World War III; (3) all victims of warfare, terrorism, abortion, religious persecution, government or societal oppression, and other forms of violence and injustice; (4) the conversion of sinners, including Christians who have been neglecting their religious duties; and (5) the moral and spiritual renewal of our nation.
Many hundreds of years before the coming of Christ, the Lord God promised that “if My people, upon whom My Name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek My presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from Heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land” (2 Chr. 7:14).
As we approach the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s final apparition at Fatima, this promise is perhaps more timely and important than ever before. America is at a crossroads, and Jesus expects each one of us to help our nation choose the path that leads to continued freedom and peace.
Rev. Joseph M. Esper is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and the author of numerous articles, along with a dozen books (most of them available through Queenship Publishing/Spirit Daily. A new book Your Soul in the Balance: Spiritual Warfare,Purgatory, and the Four Last Things, will be available shortly; look for it on these pages and please allow one to two weeks delivery]