AS CONCLUDED IN PART ONE: The whole universe is resounding with the echo of Divine Logos : “Mercy-Mercy-Mercy” and of His Mother who is asking for reparation from her children for the sins of others, asking penance from those who love God for those who are steeped in sin. Our Lord and Our Lady are asking for love, mercy, compassion, and sacrifice for sinners while Catholic some schismatic (and non-schismatic ultra-conservatives are calling for their heads, calling for punishment, divine retribution, and chastisement. The pope is correct, they don’t get it. But neither do the ultra-liberals who make excuses for sins, condone them, militantly embrace them and refuse to ask for forgiveness – they don’t get it either..
The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ – His representative on earth. As such, he is expected to mirror the wishes, will, and desires of his King. And it is the King’s will, at this special moment of human history, that Mercy be the theme of His Church, that mercy be showered over all the earth from the rising of the sun until its setting in every climate and place. Jesus, Himself, revealed to Saint Faustina that this gift of Mercy is His last gift to the Church before He returns in glory as the world’s judge. He also revealed to Saint Faustina the meaning of His eschatological statement in the Gospel of Matthew about a “sign” in the heavens that would be given humanity prior to His final coming (Mt 24:30). He told her it would be the final sign, a sign of mercy intended to beckon all humanity to repentance before the Great Day of Final Judgment:
“Write this (He said): Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort:
“All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day” (Divine Mercy Website, Diary, 83).
Until that time, between now and then, He desires Mercy, especially mercy for the greatest sinners. Thus, He further revealed to Saint Faustina that those who have the most right to His mercy are the most grievous sinners:
“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. … Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask” (Diary of Saint Faustina Para 1146).
Jesus has a
“…special compassion for the worst sinners, because they are most in need of His mercy.”
Pope Francis is keenly aware of God’s mercy and of His desire to extend it everywhere, especially toward hardened sinners. He is acting accordingly and as the Vicar of Christ, he expects Catholic clergy and laity to do the same. God wants forgiveness, mercy and compassion, not judgment, severity and legalism.
The Hour of Mercy is a time to pronounce, to pronounce the good news, not to renounce.
With this Message of Mercy, along with the necessity of obedience, ingrained in mind it is easy to unravel the confusion coming from both the extreme left and the right wing spectra of the Church concerning apparitions pertaining to the Virgin Mary.
First, it must be recognized that Satan has a special hatred for the Virgin Mary, a divine enmity placed between them by God the Father, Himself.
“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” (Gen. 3:15).
As she is favored above all others by the Father (Luke. 1:28), she is hated above all others by Satan (Gen 3:15). She is hated because she, like Jesus, is obedience unto death as evidenced by her willingness to give her life to accomplish the will of the Father due a potential false accusation of adultery pertaining to her conception without Joseph being the father. Mary is the first disciple of Jesus, and like Jesus, her divine son, Mary is obedient unto death (Luke 1:38). She is hated because she is the Mother of the Divine Logos who is the way and the life and the truth, while Satan is a murder and a liar from the beginning. She is the Mother of all those baptized into the truth, while he is the Father of all those who are liars, very clever liars (John 8:44). He hates her so immensely that he vomits a river of filth from his lying and perverse mouth to carry her away to oblivion drowned under a nefarious tidal wave of calumniation and deception (Revelation 12: 13-15).
How do we know that Mary is the Woman hated by Satan as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Both scripture and reason proclaim her to be the woman. Jesus Himself, refers to his mother as “woman” in at least two places in scripture. First at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:4). And then, most distinctly and clearly, He calls Her “woman” with His dying breath on Mt. Calvary:
“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother” (John 19: 26-27).
Reason also proclaims that the Virgin Mary is the Woman spoken of in Genesis 3:15. In the Apocalypse she is depicted as the “woman clothed with the sun” and at war with Satan (Revelation 12: 1-4). In these passages, the woman is presented as the Mother of Jesus as the one giving birth to the savior. Who is this but Mary?
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered….And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne”
What human being rules all nations from the throne of God? If the answer is Jesus, then clearly the woman who gave Him birth, is His mother, the Virgin Mary.
The woman is not and cannot be the Church as some claim. The Church is not the Mother of Christ– The Church is the Bride of Christ. Nor is the Church Israel; Israel is not the Mother of the Son of God – Israel rejected, and to this day rejects, the Son of God. Israel is not the Bride of Christ because Israeli rejected Christ when He came to wed her. Moreover, the woman depicted in revelation is referred to as a great sign, signum magna.
When requested by God to ask for a sign, the Prophet Isaiah informs us that King Ahaz refused; so God himself provided a sign: a Virgin giving birth to the savior of the world.
“And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:10-14).
Revelation 12 is a corollary to Isaiah 7. Both reveal the mystery of the incarnation and speak of a woman giving birth to the savior of the world as a “sign” provided by God. Revelation begins with these words depicting a sign from God concerning the Virgin Mary and the birth of her son, Emmanuel:
“A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
The woman depicted in Revelation 12 is the Mother of God. The Mother of God is a virgin, but Israel according to her own prophets is a whore and thus cannot be the woman revealed in Revelation 12. It is, according to Isaiah, a virgin that gave birth to God’s son, not an adulterous. But Hosea tells us, Israel is an adulterous:
“Judge your mother, judge her: because she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her put away her fornications from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts.Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born: and I will make her as a wilderness, and will set her as a land that none can pass through, and will kill her with drought” (Hosea 2: 2-5).
Other passages in the Old Testament that refer to the restoration of the marriage covenant between God and Israel are references to the New Testament Church, the New Israel with whom Christ established the new and everlasting covenant forfeited by his espoused Israeli. The New Israel is the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 21: 9-11; Ephesians 5:32). When the Old Testament speaks of a renewed covenant, it is clear that the reference is to church, as in Hosea 2:16-18, notice the passage speaks of a future day and of a new covenant while also depicting Jesus as a Prince of Peace who espouses the New Israel not by the “works” of the old law but by “faith” of the new law (Hosea 2:18-20). The New Israel are those members of the Old Israel who accepted Christ and all of the gentiles who have been joined to Him as a result of Israel’s rejection and their acceptance (Romans 11:17-24).
“…was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, (those) who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Clearly, Satan hates the woman and her children depicted here as “the rest of her seed”. What does the text mean by the “rest of her seed”? Ostensibly the text is hearkening back to Genesis 3:15 wherein God states that he will create enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of Satan:
“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed.”
They are referred to as the rest of Her seed because Jesus as depicted in Revelation 12: 4-5 is the first seed and the others are his brothers and sisters, the “rest of her seed” that make up the one Body of Christ, the sons and daughters of the Woman who is the Mother of all the children of God, the Mother of the Church, His mystical body, of which He is the Head. Naturally as Mother of Jesus, she is also mother of His body, His church.
Jesus came forth from the Woman who had the dragon at her feet ready to devour Him at his birth through the evil designs of Herod who ordered the death of all the holy innocents in order to slaughter Christ at his birth [Matthew 2:16]. Herod failed and so did Satan. They failed because Christ is Son of God the Father and was caught up to heaven to sit on the throne of the Almighty safe from the ravenous claws of the serpent:
“And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.”
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne” (Revelation 12: 4-5).
Consequently, Satan makes war with the woman and the rest of her seed, her human sons and daughters in Christ her Divine Son.
Since Satan hates the woman and her seed, we should expect anything pertaining to her, especially special visits to earth to guide and nourish her children, to be surrounded with confusion, lies, deceit, forgeries and above all else, by hatred and disobedience. And this is exactly what is found, especially on the ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative fringes. Although polar opposites, what they share in common is an affinity for disobedience and a perversion of God’s mercy, which is either (1) forgotten, shrouded in false piety or turned into an occasion for callousness and hatred toward sinners, a wish for their punishment and chastisement rather than love, mercy and compassion as flow form the Heart of Jesus or (2) an excessive tolerance leading to a false notion of love resulting in acceptance and even justification of sin.
End Part Two