When Cedars Fall

Wail, you cypress trees, for the cedars are fallen, the mighty have been despoiled. Wail, you oaks of Bashan, for the impenetrable forest is cut down! Hark! the wailing of the shepherds, their glory has been ruined. (Zech 11:2-3)

THEY have fallen, one by one, bishop after bishop, priest after priest, ministry after ministry (not to mention, father after father and family after family). And not just little trees—major leaders in the Catholic Faith have fallen like great cedars in a forest. In a glance over just the past three years, we have seen a stunning collapse of some of the tallest figures in the Church today. The answer for some Catholics has been to hang up their crosses and "quit" the Church; others have taken to the blogosphere to vigorously raze the fallen, while others have engaged in haughty and heated debates in the plethora of religious forums. And then there are those who are quietly weeping or merely sitting in stunned silence as they listen to the echo of these sorrows reverberating throughout the world. For months now, the words of Our Lady of Akita—given official recognition by no less than the present Pope when he was still Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—have been faintly repeating themselves in the back of my mind:
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. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…. churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them…" —Message given through an apparition to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa of Akita, Japan, October 13th, 1973; approved in June of 1988.

In some ways, one could ask if we haven’t already begun to live the prophetic words in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers… — Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675

That passage goes on to suggest that this "final trial", ultimately, is the temptation and test that will come about through a religious deception…

so close upon heresy…. there will be no longer pardon for them… . perhaps it will be then. And prepare. But I would also say that Pope Pius X was perhaps on to something when he suggested in an encyclical that the Antichrist may already be on earth. the one who only prays may not heed the signs of the times and the ways in which God speaks through them. Only God knows the timetable. and kept silence. Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist DO NOT DESPAIR… BUT PREPARE I am not suggesting that in our lifetime the Antichrist will appear for certain. then. and keep awake souls during these stormy times. a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. to "watch and pray. And if there is to be a persecution. —Ibid. On the other hand. and the barbarous nations around break in. Then suddenly the Roman Empire may break up. as the crises in our times are grave. so to speak. What "problems" exactly? Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newmanseemed to think they would be problems very much like those in our present hour: It is [Satan's] policy to split us up and divide us. The one who merely watches without praying will be subject to the temptation of despair. Yes. (If you haven’t yet. but now.…offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. perhaps. please take a moment to prayerfully read Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?) Our Lord commanded us to be vigilant. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist. but what is happening in your soul. and the "give" that the Lord permitted in the past is no more. when we are all of us in all parts of Christendom so divided. watch and pray. so full of schism. every single writing on this website is a refraction of this preparation intended to wake up. I have said nothing. I have already written about this preparation in a simple writing called Prepare! On the other hand. gasping and panting. to dislodge us gradually from our rock of strength. That the "margin of error" is closing." And not one without the other. Part of this preparation is understanding not just what is happening in the world. (Isaiah 42:14) If sins increase in number and gravity. and so reduced. Christians everywhere who are sincerely trying to grow in holiness are going through a "trial by fire. holding myself in." I have sensed the Lord saying in recent times that part of this trial is that He is no longer "tolerating" venial sins as He has in the past. —Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman. I have looked away. I cry out as a woman in labor. and Antichrist appear as a persecutor.

The Church needs saints.This is not to say that He is less loving —quite the opposite! It is out of love. (1 Pet 4:12-13) PREPARING FOR GLORY What must we do then? The answer is simple— but we have to do it! Pray every day. John Hardon (1914-2000). Aug. as if something strange were happening to you. John A. He is on a rampage. do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you. Remain constantly recollected. —The Blessed Virgin and the Sanctification of the Family. and holy people alone can renew humanity. Either they conform to this philosophy or they are faced with the prospect of martyrdom. How to Be a Loyal Catholic Today? By Being Loyal to the Bishop of Rome.1 and thus. Fr. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ. www. for he knows his time is short.J. Beloved. All are called to holiness. 27th. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. Ultimately… Jesus is demanding. so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. They have no choice. World Youth Day Message for 2005. we must… …Be sober and vigilant. Hardon. 2004. always aware of God’s presence.org No less than ordinary individual Catholics can survive. Vatican City. take . that is. Lastly. we cannot afford to be casual about our spiritual lives. Make no provisions for the flesh—no opportunities for the enemy to gain a foothold in your life. that Jesus is telling us that we must become holy in these times. as often as you can. the late Fr. It’s not so much that God has changed. from a couple different speeches he gave: Those who challenge this new paganism are faced with a difficult option. They must either be holy—which means sanctified—or they will disappear. Listen again to renowned theologian. —POPE JOHN PAUL II. (1 Pet 5:8) The so-called "little sins" are now "big openings". The only Catholic families that will remain alive and thriving in the twenty-first century are the families of martyrs. Receive the Eucharist so He can strengthen you. S.therealpresence. John Hardon. —Fr. doing nothing without Him and always for and in Him. Read God’s Word so He can speak to you. in fact. Servant of God. Zenit.org We can no longer afford to leave any room for Satan to wedge his way into our lives. Go to Confession so He can heal you. but that He has permitted Satan to "sift us like wheat". so ordinary Catholic families cannot survive. and thus. because He wishes our genuine happiness.

Vatican City. Let me close. a true refuge today from this present and coming Storm (that involves. fields. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. and are going to experience in the days ahead… Because I love you. Peter’s Square. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. LORD. the Early Church Fathers and modern popes alike have all looked forward to a time when the Church would be renovated and renewed. its dust moves them to pity. the appointed time has come. which is symbolized by Zion in the Old Testament: You will again show mercy to Zion. (Isaiah 42:15-16) This means that within our own interior lives. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now. and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. and the marshes I will dry up. May. and I will not forsake them. my people. A time of darkness is coming on the world. I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want you to be prepared. 1975 . to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will turn the rivers into marshes. your glory. days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. now is the time for pity. I want to prepare you for what is to come. I will turn darkness into light before them. These things I do for them.2 and the glory of Jesus would spread to the ends of the earth. For God is preparing not to destroy.) What is happening today in the Church? The Father is pruning her dead branches so as to correct and purify her: I will lay waste mountains and hills. then. Days of darkness are coming on the world. so you depend just on me. all the branches that are not bearing fruit will be pruned. you will have everything: land. a time of glory is coming for my people. I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. with that prophecy given at Rome in the presence of Pope Paul VI. I want to prepare you… —given by Ralph Martin. all their herbage I will dry up. St. And when you have nothing but me. once the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory… (Psalm 102:14-17) Indeed. my people. The nations shall revere your name. Be ready. praying the powerful prayer of the Rosary. I will lead the blind on their journey. homes. and make crooked ways straight. by paths unknown I will guide them. For I believe it truly summarizes what we are experiencing. but a time of glory is coming for my Church.seriously God’s invitation into the Ark of Mary’s Heart. Its stones are dear to your servants. It would be an Era of Peace. I will prepare you for spiritual combat. all the kings of the earth. but to purify and rebuild His Church. of course.

placing it in the context of Sacred Tradition.Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. RELATED READING: • • • • Custody of the Heart Recollection The Tiger in the Cage The Scandal . of this prophecy. line by line. (Matt 3:10) WATCH: • The Prophecy at Rome webcasts—an in depth look.

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