“We must go through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
In some passage of The Imitation of Christ we read: “Although you were taken to the third heaven with Paul, you were not thereby insured against suffering. Jesus said: ‘I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.’” (Imitation 2:12) I will remember that passage because it took me a lot of suffering to learn it.
Suffering willingly is the essence of the Christian doctrine. The Cross of Christ is the very pinnacle of wisdom, a wisdom that is unattainable without suffering. Our ancient ancestors, Adam and Eve refused to learn the ways of God in a garden of pleasure. By that refusal, they condemned us to learn the ways of God through suffering. The Tree of Knowledge failed to teach them patience and obedience. It was left to that terrible other tree, the Cross, to show us the way.
This side of the Garden of Eden, we should be prompt to elect suffering over consolation. Suffering is the stuff that divine wisdom is made of. It is through disobedient pleasure that we lost the divine garden, it is through dutiful suffering that we must return there: “We must go through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
The Church is a garden, a vineyard planted in the middle of a wicked, wayward world. Just like Eden, it is here to give the world a sense of the divine. Through her laws we learn to obey in important things and lowly things. Obedience leads to wisdom in this other garden of thorns and thistles. But even in this awful condition, when we should look more than ever to gain the consolations of God, we do things that defy Him.
The Lord saw this and rejected them because He was angered by his sons and daughters. “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. (Deuteronomy 32:19-21)
Among those who have gained temporary and unlawful control of God’s Church, a new doctrine appear to have taken root: “God does not punish!” they say, anticipating the sins that they will rejoice in once they have abolished God’s laws to install the laws of disobedience. But how could that be compatible with the divine teaching of Deuteronomy 32?
“I will heap calamities on them and spend my arrows against them. I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. The young men and young women will perish, the infants and those with gray hair.” (Deuteronomy 32:23-25)
God patiently waits for voluntary penance but He does not wait forever. Again, Kempis in the Imitation:
Nothing is more acceptable to God, nothing more helpful for you on this earth than to suffer willingly for Christ. If you had to make a choice, you ought to wish rather to suffer for Christ than to enjoy many consolations, for thus you would be more like Christ and more like all the saints. Our merit and progress consist not in many pleasures and comforts but rather in enduring great afflictions and sufferings. (Imitation 12:23)
God offended in His own house
When that now infamous Pachamama Mass took place on October 13, 2019, I thought that surely some divine correction was to take place. Please do not take these words, these poorly organized thoughts of mine as a rebellion against the just institutes of Our Lord. No, rather see it like a lamentation in anticipation of the divine penance that God is beginning to afflict the world with.
That October 13 was a wonderful opportunity to honor Our Lady of Fatima in the day of the Miracle of the Sun. I remember many masses on May 13 or October 13, here in my neck of the woods, when not even a mention of Our Lady of Fatima was uttered. Nothing was said apart from the usual drivel that failed to feed a flock still hungry for the truths and marvels of our ancient faith.
So, on that October 13 –to try God’s patience even further– a Mass at the holiest altar of the Church, officiated by the man occupying the Petrine seat, honored Pachamama. Who is Pachamama? A pagan deity. She goes by many names: Coatlicue Toniatzin of the Aztecs, the Bona Dea of the Romans, Gaea of the early Greeks, Mut of the Egyptians… and many, many more names for the same “Mother Earth” the beginning and end of every living thing according to the pagan imagination. (Compare with Revelation 22:13)
Offending the living God with worthless idols has terrible consequences. While that Mass was taking place, a very strong typhoon and a strong earthquake castigated Japan, the country that the man occupying the Petrine seat was about to visit a few days later. About that time in China, a series of events were setting up the scenario for the irruption into the world of COVID-19 not long after the Catholic Church in China was delivered into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. That was done under an agreement some sources attribute to the disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick a man who worn out the ways of infamy.
Corona an act of God?
The COVID-19 virus appeared first in the city of Wuhan near the industrial heart of China. Soon, the dreadful disease found its way into Italy, one of the most visited countries in the world. Early on, the virus appeared in the city of Anzu in the region of Belluno. I picked this little paragraph from a note in Aleteia:
Right in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic is the city of Anzu, Italy. There is a basilica in Anzu where the relics of St. Victor and St. Corona have been preserved since the 9th century. The word Corona is Latin for crown. Ironically, St. Corona is considered as one of the patron saints of pandemics. (Aleteia.org, Yes, there’s actually a St. Corona! And her remains are in Northern Italy.)
The Diocese of Belluno (from bel luno, ‘beautiful moon’ in the local dialect) has one famous son: Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani (meaning ‘white luminary’). Many have noticed the coincidence of his name, his place of birth, and the name given to him in St. Malachi’s Prophecy of the Popes: De Medietate Lunae (in Latin, ‘of the half moon’) a Pope that reigned only 33 days in 1978, from the half moon of August to the half moon of September. Many still believe that Pope John Paul I was poisoned.
Saint Corona, patron saint of pandemics, a woman of Syrian origin, was a martyr whom the Romans condemned to death for encouraging St. Victor, a Christian martyr. We have a cluster of coincidences here: the name of the saint coinciding with the name of the virus is the easiest to catch. The name Corona was given to the saint most likely because she achieved the “crown of martyrdom” by helping Victor, (‘victorious, vanquisher’ in Latin) another martyr. Their names appear to be adjectives, more or less in the same way that Simon was named Peter (‘rock’) and, in the same vein, it is likely that their original names were different.
In my view, that coincidence reveals that the COVID-19 crisis was an act of God, meant to straighten the path of mankind and more specially the path of the Church. For more emphasis, the crisis caused Rome to be deserted during the celebration of Easter and also caused the cancellation of celebrations of Pope Francis’ seventh anniversary of his ascension to the throne of Peter, only hours before the half moon appeared over Rome.
Expect many tribulations
I do not know if I am reading these obvious signs correctly, perhaps others will do a better job at interpreting the meaning of all these things. What I can tell is: these signs are a sign of God’s displeasure with the shepherds of His flock. Entire countries deprived of the Holy Sacraments, persecutions, divisions, a cluster of strange astronomical and atmospheric events all over the world… are these forebodings of the Tribulation predicted by the prophet Daniel and Jesus himself?
Fortunately we have instructions. Our Lady of Fatima told us about these things in advance and ordered us to pray the Holy Rosary. She spoke in various apparitions about a wave of pestilence, people praying before the locked doors of empty churches, and many other things we now see right before us. It is up to us to suffer this penance willingly. We have strayed from God’s path and we have been punished with bad shepherds, persecutions, pestilence, and other problems.
If the shepherds are not feeding the flock, those among us who can must do it. Remember always that God is good and He is a benefactor. It is impossible for Him to give us anything that is not good for us. We must receive this corrective with a contrite heart and voluntary acts of penance.
Again … Thomas à Kempis in his Imitation of Christ:
With good reason, then, ought you to be willing to suffer a little for Christ since many suffer much more for the world. Realize that you must lead a dying life; the more a man dies to himself, the more he begins to live unto God. No man is fit to enjoy heaven unless he has resigned himself to suffer hardship for Christ. Nothing is more acceptable to God, nothing more helpful for you on this earth than to suffer willingly for Christ. If you had to make a choice, you ought to wish rather to suffer for Christ than to enjoy many consolations, for thus you would be more like Christ and more like all the saints. Our merit and progress consist not in many pleasures and comforts but rather in enduring great afflictions and sufferings. If, indeed, there were anything better or more useful for man’s salvation than suffering, Christ would have shown it by word and example. But He clearly exhorts the disciples who follow Him and all who wish to follow Him to carry the cross, saying: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” When, therefore, we have read and searched all that has been written, let this be the final conclusion–that through much suffering we must enter into the kingdom of God. (Imitation 12:23-24)
Or in the words of Saint Paul to the Philippians:
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” (Philippians 1:29)
“It’s true, I suffer a great deal — but do I suffer well? That is the question.” (St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations)