February 28, 2013 A.D.
It was April 19, 2005. People began to call Caritas and said the conclave has elected a new pope. It would be announced soon. The whole Community of Caritas gathered around the radio for the exciting news of who would step out on the balcony. The white smoke had risen up, signaling to the world the conclave of Cardinals had chosen a successor of Peter after Pope John Paul II’s death. But though it was announced that the one who would be the man who would step out on the balcony, would take place in “the next few minutes,” it did not happen. Cameras around the world showed the vacant balcony, while across the earth, millions waited. The delay continued even as reports continued to say that it was about to happen. As the delay strangely continued, we, at Caritas, began to experience a conflict. It was 11:00 a.m.* and the bells had begun ringing to call us to the Field for the prayer of the Rosary. We pray this Rosary at the same time the evening Rosary is being prayed in Medjugorje in anticipation of Our Lady’s daily apparition to the earth. With the bells beginning to ring, we knew we were 40 minutes away from apparition time. Though we had already been listening to the radio for a ½ hour, we began heading to the Field. Never, since 1988, has the Rosary not been prayed in the Field. Every day, consecutively for 25 years to date, the Rosary has been prayed in the Field on our knees in preparation for Our Lady’s visitation upon the earth. Even for this occasion, we were not going to stop the Rosary, though we dearly wanted to hear on the radio when the new Pontiff was named the moment he stepped out. We were all disappointed over this when the idea came that we would take a pickup truck out to the Field and leave the live radio broadcast playing while we prayed the Rosary, turning it down where we could barely hear it. We began the Rosary. The older kids sat with the four doors opened ready to turn the radio up at the moment the new Pontiff walked out. The first decade – no Pope. The second and third – the same. We were amazed, “Why is this taking so long? They know who it is. Why doesn’t he come forward?” By now, the news reporters were complaining that it was an unusual delay. Here it was announced he would come out within five minutes and now we were going beyond an hour waiting. The fourth decade was prayed. We began the fifth decade. Why such a delay?
Years ago, we were going to Rome often because of our mission. We had an apartment just across the street from the Vatican. It is the closest living quarters to St. Peters you can get. When you looked out the windows of the apartment, you did not look out over buildings or the Vatican walls. You were looking directly at St. Peters Basilica and the opening to the famous square just next door. In a one minute walk out the apartment door, you could cross the street and pass in front of the building where the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Faith offices are located. Sometimes, as we walked, we would cross paths in St. Peter’s square with Cardinal Ratzinger who at times would walked to his office as head of the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Faith. We would say hello and he would smile and respond back in English. We casually walk by not wanting to bother him by stopping and talking to him, though we had been told he would talk to those who asked to speak to him. This time was the period of John Paul II’s reign. So who could have known these simple encounters with Ratzinger would mean something much more a couple of years later?
In the Field of Apparitions, on April 19, 2005, we finished the fifth decade of the Rosary and began the Hail Holy Queen. No pope on the balcony – the delay continued. Right on time for the apparition of Our Lady at 11:40 a.m., we finished the prayer and at this exact moment, out steps the new Pope. Pope Benedict! Cardinal Ratzinger!
Some of us could have never imagined in that transition after John Paul’s death that the humble man who we had met on a few occasions crossing the Vatican square, who had been so accessible to anyone who stopped him, would suddenly become the Holy Father for a billion people.
Immediately after Rosary, we called Marija in Italy and talked to her about what happened. She, like us, was in conflict anxiously waiting for the next Pope to step out on the balcony. As we listened in the Field, at the same time praying the Rosary, Marija was praying the Rosary and waiting while watching the empty balcony on an Italian network. Marija had finished her Rosary and began reciting the Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s for the arrival of Our Lady. Just seconds before the moment of the apparition, the broadcast announced the new Pope was stepping out. It was at this moment Our Lady appeared to Marija. The whole world watched as the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now the new Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI, stepped out onto the balcony while Marija watched Our Lady!
Instantly the whole world knew who it was within only a few seconds, while Marija did not know! Marija told us that she went into ecstasy just as the new Pontiff was going to step out. She said she didn’t know who it was until after the apparition! We asked Marija about this timing of the Pope stepping out after more than an hour’s delay, at the same time of the apparition, that this could not, by any chance, not be a sign of God that Pope Benedict was Our Lady’s choice.
Marija continued, yes, it was a sign for her as well. When Marija was asked what did this repeated delay mean when it ended exactly with the moment Our Lady appeared, Marija said something profound. She said it meant, “The Church is safe!”
This was a sign, a big sign for us the way it unfolded – the delay and then at the moment Pope Benedict comes out, Our Lady is appearing upon the earth, signaling to us THE CHURCH IS SAFE.
So now what are we to make of the events of Pope Benedict’s sudden resignation – this eight year period coming to an end of the Church being safe under Benedict’s care? What are we to make of the timing of his announcement, of his stepping down, and that the incredible lightning bolt following his resignation, dramatically striking not only the Vatican, but the Cross on top of St. Peter’s Basilica itself ? It is Our Lady who said:
March 25, 1990
“…God…sends you messages through…nature …”
Why does God send us messages through nature? Our Lady tells us why. Because
March 25, 1990
“…God wants to save you…”
So to save us, Our Lady said, God, therefore:
March 25, 1990
“…sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things…”
In regards to the lightning bolt, can it be said or discounted that it was not that big of a deal? Add to the fact that a second circumstance in the instance was that it was caught perfectly on camera. Was this a double coincidence? Add yet, thirdly, that it occurred after an announcement of the Pope’s resignation and the ensuing of the changing of the guard to a new Pontiff. What does this mean? Three improbable coinciding events lined up together. Is the Church about to undergo a great trial? It was John Paul II who said at the October 8, 2000 Act of Entrustment to Mary Most Holy:
“…Mankind now has instruments of unprecedented power: we can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble. We have devised the astounding capacity to intervene in the very wellsprings of life: man can use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law, or he can succumb to the shortsighted pride of a science which accepts no limits, but tramples on the respect due to every man. Today as never before in the past, mankind stands at a crossroads…”
Indeed we are at a crossroad. Which way will we turn? We have two directions simultaneously pulling at us in our heart. And now, at the crossroad, we must decide for one or the other. To remain within our being two opposing ways is to be in contradiction. We must separate from one or the other – from evil or good. No longer can we remain in both places. John Paul II said of this contradiction:
“…We are then men of an extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of contradictions…”
Indeed, we are filled with contradictions. Our hearts have both evil and good in them, and we are spending all our energies struggling in battle, feeding both together. It is a contradiction that Our Lady just spoke of and that John Paul II spoke of on October 8, 2000 A.D.
Our Lady said February 25, 2013:
“…Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God, but you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you…”
America, especially, has not fully recognized this struggle and battle within us that is a contradiction and we, therefore, try to make the contradictions come into oneness, yet it only further divides our heart. Before he became Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla said to the American Bishops in 1976:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation mankind has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. It is a trial which the Church must take up!”
“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is not longer possible to avert it…How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.”1
Cardinal Wojtyla (future Pope John Paul II) stated through prayer one could alleviate this tribulation, but it cannot be avoided. That was in 1976.
Amazingly, Medjugorje visionary Mirjana said the same thing in 1982, “that one of the evils that threatened the world, the one contained in the seventh secret, has been averted thanks to prayer and fasting. That is why the Blessed Virgin continues to encourage prayer and fasting.”2
But Our Lady said in regard to the other secrets, that they cannot be avoided. It is too late. They can only be alleviated or mitigated through prayer and fasting just as John Paul II stated when he was a Cardinal: “It is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it.”3
With all these things in mind, no one can discount Pope Benedict’s resignation, the lightning bolt, and it being caught on camera, as mere coincidences. There is no other view for the Christian, that there is a message in these events. The question is, does the lightning bolt suggest that in the near future the Church, nay all Christianity will be struck?
Newsbusters publisher, Brent Bozell, stated on February 13, 2013 AD:
“Instead of reporting the historic news of Pope Benedict’s resignation, ABC World News, Diane Sawyer used the opportunity to bludgeon the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict with every left-wing grievance imaginable. It was disgusting and deeply offensive assault on the Church.”
Most of the media has no use of God except when they can use Him for the agendas they put forth. The newspaper, USA Today, in the February 26, 2013, issue stated of Pope Benedict:
“upon coming Pope…he took the name after St. Benedict who lived in a cave.”
USA Today then added:
“As Pope Benedict prepares to end his papacy, his critics say the challenges he’ll leave to his successor are the result of him living in a cave of his own.”
The Italian media is publishing many assaults, distortions and lies as well.
During ABC’s report on the Pope’s resignation, while interviewing Cardinal Dolan, Diane Sawyer spontaneously tried to put him on the spot by holding up the picture of the Vatican being struck by lightning, asking the Cardinal what he thought of it. Along with other statements, in what way did Sawyer “bludgeon the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict” by her stealth and ironical use of this picture. She desired to imply that it was God’s anger striking the Church, as evil, because its sins for being against the right to abortion, the right to contraception, the right to abominable marriages, etc., and the Church’s stand against humanist secularism of who suddenly believe in God when it can be conveniently used against the Church as Sawyer did.
While God does purify his Church for its sins and the Church membership must always be aware that we will all one day atone for our sins, we are not to allow leftist secularist to define our purification, such as what Diane Sawyer was doing in suggesting the Church’s stance on moral truths, and being against immorality is the cause of the lightning strike. God struck Israel because of its sins and He purified them. God didn’t change the moral truths to accommodate decadence, rather He purified Israel because of the failure to live moral truth, particularly as defined through the Ten Commandments. Diane Sawyer, strategically, no doubt, and calculatingly showed this picture because the media is a promoter of “secular humanist philosophy.” They make use of events, such as the lightning strike to package their reports and stories in such a way as to imply that the Church is wrong on issues that society see as “human rights” contradicting the truth of Christian principles that it is “human responsibilities” to live moral truth and by natural law. Therefore, they attack the Church for its teachings about sin, decadence, abnormal and abominable behaviors. Sawyer, by holding the picture of the lightning striking the Vatican, displayed her belief that the lightning bolt ‘was’ a sign, a sign that the Church is the villain. Interestingly enough, the lightning bolt is a millionth of a second from hitting and striking the Cross. Look and meditate on the picture. Meditate on the space between the bolt and the Cross.
This is also a message that God sends, related to the statement of Christ in Scripture that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. As the Cross in the picture is not yet struck, the lightning is at its door. The reason we have Our Lady coming everyday for 31 years is to stop, at the final millionth of a second, the gates of hell opening into the Church. We can say in absolute truth, the gates of hell