The merits of our Lord’s Cross and Resurrection have infinite value before the Father, and that for all time and eternity. These merits are never diminished, much as they are graciously poured out upon all souls. (See: Catechism of Catholic Church, 1476-1477)
We have access to Christ’s infinite merits through the Church, the Sacraments, and prayer.
Our Lord Jesus also chose to open the floodgates, to pour out His infinite merits, His Divine Mercy, especially at three o’clock, the holy hour of His sacred death on the Cross:
“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.” (Diary of St Faustina, 1320)
There is nothing that the soul cannot obtain from our Lord Jesus when it comes to Him with confidence and trust in His infinite goodness and mercy.
Lord Jesus, in virtue of the infinite love with which you opened your arms upon the Cross and suffered death in order to give us life, in virtue of your Divine Mercy, deliver us from our miseries.
Drive away the dangers that threaten our lives and salvation, cover us in your precious Blood, do not put us to the test, lead us not into temptation, fill us with true and perfect contrition for our sins, with the spirit of reconciliation, with the spirit of prayer, with the deepest love of your Sacred Passion, restore us to your friendship, and grant us your Holy Spirit evermore.
(You can say this prayer at the start of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, if you like)
Introductory Prayers to each of the five sorrowful mysteries.
1. Prayer and Agony of our Lord Jesus in the Garden of Olives.
Lord Jesus, in your prayer and agony in the Garden, you suffered such anguish and pain that you sweated drops of blood upon the ground. In virtue of the love which moved you to suffer in this way, turn our hearts back to God, strengthen our resolve to love you, and unite us with the holy will of God.
2. The Scourging of our Lord Jesus at the Pillar.
Lord Jesus, heavenly Physician, you were wounded so that we may be healed (Isaiah 53:5). Hide us in your sacred wounds, especially the wound in your Sacred Heart, cover us in your Precious Blood, until we are healed, in body, soul, and spirit, until we blossom in every way under the light of your healing Love.
3. The Crowning with Thorns.
Lord Jesus, O King of eternal glory, you were crowned with thorns, as though no one recognised your Dignity, your selfless Love, your Royal Priesthood. But you submitted to this crown in order to set us free from pride, ignorance, and arrogance. Grant that, by your wounds, we may be healed.
4. The Way of the Cross.
Lord Jesus, as you carried your Cross to Calvary, you met with your holy Mother Mary on the way, with the gaze of Her loving eyes. In that mutual gaze, Her Immaculate Heart was completely open to you, and your Sacred Heart was completely open to Mary. Grant that all our troubles, trials, and temptations may be surrendered to the silent communion you shared with your holy Mother in that mutual gaze, and restore us to your holiness and your friendship.
5. The Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, on the Cross you suffered your agony and your Sacred Death for our salvation. Grant that, at the foot of the Cross, we may surrender all our burdens, sins, and illnesses to you with unbounded confidence in your Divine Mercy, that you may save us, sanctify us, and restore us to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Saint Francis of Paola (1416-1507) was healed of a kind of eye disease through the intercession of St Francis of Assisi when he was still a young man, led an extraordinarily ascetic life, had many followers, founded dozens of monasteries, frequently performed miracles, and made several astounding prophecies regarding the end times Army of the Lord—prophecies which are astonishing in their scope and detail, and which are found in the body of his seven letters reproduced here.
The prophecies of St Francis of Paola (1416-1507) are quite detailed, graphic, and most astounding. There is a lot to take in, to reflect upon, and to revisit again and again, because there is so much depth in these letters that cannot possibly be taken in upon a first reading, in my humble opinion.
Saint Louis was a French priest (1673–1716) who is well known for his classic work, “True Devotion To Mary” in which he gives one of the most descriptive and profound prophecies regarding the army of the Lord of the last days.
There are several prophecies over the centuries which speak of an army of the Lord to be manifested towards the end of time: a great army of Christian saints who will come to restore all things in Christ and usher in an Age of Peace, the likes of which has never been seen since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
Various saints and seers give us insights into different aspects and functions of this army of the Lord.
This category will examine some of the main prophecies in this regard.
When Jesus appeared to St Margaret Mary in the 17th century He gave her, among others, the following promises to those who would be devoted to His Sacred Heart:
“I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life; I will establish peace in their families; I will console them in all their troubles.”
In a world where the family unit is constantly under attack, both from within and from without, we are so deeply in need of entrustment to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pope Pius XII often recommended the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to newly married couples, saying: “Therefore, dear newlyweds, the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – the Heart that so loved mankind – must be installed and adored in your homes as would the image of a closest and most beloved relative. This image will pour forth the fullness of His blessing upon you and your children.”
The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the family, inspired by our Lord Jesus and supported by several popes, is one of the most powerful weapons to defend and preserve the Christian family in God’s grace and loving care.
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the “spiritual anchor” of the family:
“Through the Enthronement ceremony, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pulsing with the life of God and nurturing each family member with a superabundance of graces, becomes the spiritual heart of the Catholic home.” (Matthew Karmel)
There are 9 additional promises which Jesus gave to St Margaret Mary. Do you know what they are?
In the midst of my plight, I turn to you, O holy Mother of God, my Mother, begging you to turn the gaze of your merciful eyes upon me, surround me with your love and protection, and lead me to know and love your divine Son, Jesus Christ my Lord.
A loved one of mine was going through a difficult time in her life and, as I looked on, I sought to pray for her in the same measure as her difficulties were great.
My prayer was guided by what I had recently discovered about the intimate union of our Lady with the Sacred Heart of her divine Son, in the midst of His most difficult moments, through the revelations of Sister Maria of Agreda (a 16th century Franciscan nun in Spain).
Sister Maria writes that holy Mary, through a special grace, was given the privilege of “seeing” all that her divine Son suffered during His Sacred Passion, as well as perceiving the unceasing acts of love and prayer of His Sacred Heart.
Christ had long promised His Mother that “in return for the new human existence which she had given Him in her virginal womb [the Incarnation], He would, by His almighty power, give her a new existence of divine and eminent grace above all other creatures”, and this promise of Christ “was continually fulfilled [in the course of her earthly life].”
“To this favour was due also her deep science and enlightenment concerning all the operations of the sacred humanity of her Son, none of which ever escaped her knowledge and attention.”
But whatever Mary “perceived” in the interior of her Son’s Heart, she also ”imitated” with fidelity:
“Whatever she thus perceived she imitated; so that she was always anxious to study and penetrate [Christ’s interior acts] with deep understanding, to put them promptly into action, and to practice them courageously and zealously during all her life. In this neither sorrow could disturb her, nor anguish hinder her, nor persecution detain her, nor the bitterness of her suffering weaken her.”
As a consequence of her “deep science and enlightenment”, Mary “felt in her own virginal body all the torments of Christ our Lord, both interior and exterior.”
But within such a hidden mystery, “there was concealed therein another mystery. This was, that the desire of Christ to see His exalted love and [goodness] as exhibited in His Passion copied in all its magnitude in a mere creature, was fulfilled in her, and no one possessed a greater right to this favour than His own Mother.” (Mystical City of God, volume 3, Chapter XXII, 670)
Thus was Mary increasingly conformed to the likeness of her divine Son, both in His suffering and in His acts of mercy—even in the midst of His most difficult and painful torments.
Filled with these thoughts, I pondered, how much more can Mary’s vision penetrate the depths of our own experiences, trials, and struggles?
With each glance of her soul, Mary understood the depth of Christ’s suffering as well as the unfathomable love which moved Him to suffer. If her gaze can penetrate all the depth of the Son of God’s suffering, love, and interior movements, how much more can Mary penetrate all the depth of our own hearts?
Do we not pray in the Salve Regina, “…turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus”?
Just as Mother Mary was fully present to Christ in His suffering, she is also able to be present to me in the course of my earthly pilgrimage, and nothing is impervious to the turn of her merciful gaze.
By a special grace from God, the one who is “full of grace”, with one glance of her eyes, understands me better than I understand myself. And with that understanding, Mother Mary sees clearly all the depth of my struggles, the nature of my pain, and the desires of my heart.
I therefore resolved to make the following prayer for my loved one, and to entrust her, and all the dimensions of her quest, to the holy Mother of God:
I beseech you, holy Mother of God, my Mother Mary, to turn your loving gaze upon my loved one, surround her on every side with your unfailing protection; cover her in your holy mantle; press her to your holy bosom; and receive all the depth of her needs, struggles, and intentions in your Immaculate Heart—both those intentions that are spoken, and those that remain hidden—with the same love with which you never failed to watch over your divine Son, unto peace, joy, and eternal life.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
The prophet Elijah appears in the Old Testament as suddenly as a lightning bolt, effortlessly manifests one miracle after another, until in the final analysis he is caught up into the heavens without suffering death.
But it doesn’t end there for Elijah. Prophecy declares that Elijah revisits the earth both (1) before Christ’s first coming and (2) before Christ’s second coming.
We know that Elijah has already fulfilled (1) –he has already preceded Christ’s first coming–from our Lord’s own words:
“The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17: 10-13)
Of all the prophets known to us, Elijah stands out as conspicuously as his miracles are dramatic, and his influence continues to be felt throughout the centuries, leading into our own time.
Recent research has uncovered the fact of a letter that was written by Elijah outlining the various epochs of human history that lead straight into the final coming of Christ and the definitive establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth.
Dr Ken Johnson’s documentary reveals that Elijah spoke of a glorious thousand year reign of the Kingdom of God upon earth at the culmination of human history—something that is unequivocally corroborated in the Book of Revelation:
“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-6).
Saint Paul also confirmed that “[Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’” (1 Corinthians 15:25-27) Clearly, this represents a real triumph on the part of Christ over all His enemies on every level, and the definitive establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Elijah’s letter, referred to above, seems to have been lost to posterity but, thanks to the providence of God, a commentary on his letter is extant in the Tanna Eliyahu.
Elijah was given to conquer the false prophets of his time, to stir the conscience of his nation, to restore the Covenant in Israel, and to know the future course of events.
It is clear, therefore, that Elijah has been given a pivotal role to play in ancient times as well as in the future, and to return towards the end of time to prepare for the final coming of the Messiah:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:5,6)
What will Elijah’s future coming to earth look like? This is not an easy question to answer–suffice it to say for the present that a deeper study of prophecy would yield (at least) certain glimpses into the answer.
God is preparing great things for those who love Him. The time of trials and troubles, we know very well from Scripture, is only temporary—it is a sort of stepping stone for spiritual victories and future glory, especially because trials really only help to transform the faithful soul into the precious jewel that the Lord already perceives in the soul’s “DNA” (so to speak), even as gold is purified in the fire (cf. 1 Peter 1:7).
We must tread the path set out for us by God through the ‘valley of tears’, sustained by the grace of God, encouraged by the example of the saints, strengthened by the sacraments of the Church, and, above all, nurtured and protected by the holy Mother of God and by the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)
Jesus will return and establish His Kingdom on earth in the fulness of time. That’s why He taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”