It has been 13 yrs. since the publishing of the book, God Our Father: Consecration and Feast Day for the Father of All Mankind. It seems to me, if I look around me, that in the ebb and flow of devotion, we are definitely in a low tide right now with Consecration and Feast Day to God the Father of all Mankind.
In the messages He gives us, He talks about the desert phase, which is a phase of purification for all His children. In this phase everyone will experience a stripping down of all that is not of Him in our lives, so that we can experience fully all that is of Him and embrace Him and His will fully. Many people take this wrongly and think it means He will take away what we truly need or what is a part of who we are, or that He will somehow deprive us of what makes us happy. Not so! That is the devil, the adversary of our soul. He takes away and insinuates that it is God who wants us unhappy, who deprives and is severe. Not so! God is a generous giver of all that is truly good and makes us happy. He is not like a parent who is so self-absorbed that he/she can only give to himself and therefore takes much and gives little. In fact He is self sacrificing and so humble as to not draw attention to Himself when He gives, allowing us to think we are so smart and capable and self sufficient as to not even need Him. Instead of making man pay for his sins, He paid the price Himself, willingly.
As we go through this purification it is important to do so with an eye to the Triumph that is promised. Again, many people’s faith wane with so much time passing. But if God promises something, and He can’t lie or be mistaken, then more time passing can only mean it is nearer, not that it now most likely won’t happen. So we are in the desert and a greater storm is coming as we all certainly feel it on some level if we are sincere; this does not mean that God has abandoned us or is reneging on His promises or that the devil is stronger or that darkness can overcome light. It is simply part of His plan and we can be certain that He will give us His strength which is why growing in dependency on Him now is so essential. If we learn anything from Jesus’ life death and resurrection, it is that evil does not triumph and God uses all things to His purpose and brings good out of it. When we are baptized, we are baptized into His life death and resurrection. This means that we experience good and evil, grace, pain and sorrow, death and new life. Forever, we now have the promise and experience of resurrection after death after the pattern of Jesus. Besides, it is the way of demons to panic when they feel their expulsion is near as we see in the gospel, and it is their panic which causes the increase of violent darkness which we experience now because their time is short. The bigger the defeat the bigger the fuss and the coming Triumph will be their biggest defeat since their expulsion from paradise and when the Triumph comes and we have the Era of Peace that has been promised.
God will triumph, we can be sure of it. He has promised it and He will remain true to His promises. The Divine Family has invited us to prepare in hope and anticipation and even in joy.
There are those who say and believe in the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” This ideology when applied to prophetic promises on the surface may look like prudence, but it is not. There are definitive discernment principles to ascertain whether or not a supposed apparition is of God. Then if it is, it is to be believed with the simple faith of a child, for God is Our Father and if He desires to give to us messages through a person, then we can only benefit by accepting them into our hearts with the simple loving faith of a child.
Think of the prophets of the Old Testament. All those who had the “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude lost out on the fruits of believing even if the prophecy was for a later time. The fruit of believing now gives us hope for the future; to believe that the present sufferings will bear the fruit of a better tomorrow, to understand the present in light of God’s providence, to have perspective which gives us peace and calm in the face of adversity, to know that all has a purpose in God’s plan for all of humanity who are His children whom He desires to save and bring happiness for now and for eternity, to be able to accept our small part in it all and live in the rhythm and harmony of His will, to be able to follow a path that will always lead to light no matter how much the darkness gives us the false messages that there is no light, (which whispers, or rather in these times pressures, that truth does not set you free, and that God’s ways do not give you happiness but only pain and sorrow, and that there is no good fruit to doing His will only loss and deprivation and persecution… so what is the point of being faithful if it only makes you unable to live in this world and prosper in it.) Sound familiar?
These are the lies and pressures the adversary brings in order to push you off the path precisely because it is fruitful and good and draws you into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Our Father. If it were not good the adversary wouldn’t bother trying so hard to undermine it through calumny & persecution: trying to give it the perspective of scandal and disobedience and false doctrine or that it is creating disunity and promoting fanaticism and an overzealous devotion that borders on idolatry, and in cases of private revelation, enables a cult like following of the supposed messenger.
Did not Jesus tell Thomas that blessed are those who believe without seeing, and isn’t that the definition of Faith? So why be a skeptic and live in incredulity or fear of being led astray or made to look foolish by believing what turns out not to be true? Jesus also said, “he who seeks the truth hears my voice.” Therefore it is up to us to be truth seekers and without any ulterior motives or desires for what is not good, but He assures us that the honest seeker of truth, who seeks sincerely and with good will, will not ultimately be led astray even if he makes some mistakes in discerning out of ignorance.
May we turn to Our Lady and ask Her to show us how to live in the Presence of God within us, as She did when Jesus hour of Trial had come. And let us turn to Her, begging Her to cling to God for us, and though we may experience that the presence of God is decreasing in the environment around us; that it may increase in us and that we remain steadfast and burning vessels of light for transformation so that His presence remains on the earth in us as it did in Mary during Her Tribulation on earth directly preceding Jesus’ Triumph. In fact, all of the followers of Jesus were tested in that hour and their experience of it depended on their response to grace up to that point.
It has been said that the adversary is now attacking the mind of man. Not difficult to see that this is true. Often the temptation is to attempt to respond with our knowledge. But this is almost always a bad idea as his intellect is far superior to ours. Jesus showed us in the temptation in the desert, how to respond with faith and love for God.
Most of us though are not giants in faith, and we don’t need to be. We merely have to be simple and humble and not engage in the battle directly. When we have thoughts that upset us, sadden us, disturb us, we do not have to have a dialogue with these thoughts (and in fact St. Padre Pio assures us that thoughts that cause these things always originate from the devil); we can simply say that these thoughts are not from God because they do not give us peace and then dismiss them.
Too often, it is too easy to follow the pull to try to provide a counter argument to thoughts that upset us, but the problem is that when it is the adversary, we then are engaged in a conversation or argument with the devil and we don’t even know it. Then we get more and more upset as he pushes more and more buttons and we end up totally confused, hurt, discouraged, overwhelmed, in despair, or all of the above.
We do not have to have answers for everything; that is a lie and it sets us up for this trap. Faith is to believe without proof and we do not have to prove our faith to anyone nor be open to every thought that comes along. If someone says to us that Jesus is not present in the Blessed Sacrament, we do not have prove it is true or be open to that saying, “really show me how that’s true.” It is the same with our thoughts, since we do not know where the thought comes from. Openness is openness to truth and if we already know the truth about something we do not have to be open to all other possibilities, because they are errors. That is simply unreasonable.
I would now like to mention a few ways to better experience His Kingdom within us even now when things appear so dark at times. The Father tells us how He wants to dwell in us and that means first of all to remain in a state of grace, being free from mortal sin, so first of all lead good lives. He assures us that we do not have to come to Him perfect but rather it is He who makes us more and more perfect in His Image and likeness as we come to Him because He unites us to Himself when he has our consent. He also wants us to consecrate ourselves to Him so as to bind ourselves to Him more and more, living our consecration and renewing it daily by praying the Father Consecration Chaplet (He assures us of this “binding” grace). He also asks us to spend time with Him in quiet loving silence, even if it is just 15 minutes a day. In this silence He will speak to our hearts and fill us with Himself and draw us closer to Himself and this union which will continue to increase will lead us more and more into living in His divine will.
We can also read and re-read good books on our Father like the book from Mother Eugenia The Father speaks to His beloved children, or Seeing with the eyes of the soul by Barbara Centilli or her other books, or the Consecration and Feast day book to better understand the history and biblical texts which set the foundation for Our Father wanting a feast day to honor Him, or any other book which helps us to understand Him better and draw us closer to Him.
There is also the simple means of talking to Him throughout the day; treating Him as if He is present to us always (since He is truly with us) and making Him our constant companion conversing with Him about everything that happens in our day. He has said to Mother Eugenia that He has no greater joy than to dwell with His children. Let us give Him and ourselves this joy by learning how to live with Him, in Him, and truly understanding what it is to have Him dwell with us, in us, to become children who love and honor Him and find in Him that tender and loving Father who is our everything.
God bless you and Mary keep you
Br. Mariamartin de la Cruz SDBV