Tomorrow I’m driving to Mandeville, LA to hear Mark Mallett and Charlie Johnston speak in tandem on “Surviving the Storm.” I’ve been following Mark’s blog since 2009 and learned about Charlie from Mark Mallett about two years ago. [See the links on the sidebar: THE NEXT RIGHT STEP, and MARK MALLET’S BLOG]. How wonderful these two devoted, strong Catholic men have been in the Church and for the Church. Charlie’s “Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a beacon of hope for those around you” has been my mantra for the last couple of years.
Yes, we all can perceive that something is about to happen. Around 2013, reading Maria Simma who has had visitations of the poor souls in Purgatory all her life, I noted that they told her: “Something very big is in front of the door….” I knew what they meant. Not “near” or “close” but “in front of the door”—ready to enter. [http://www.jesusmariasite.org/maria-simma-the-amazing-secret-of-the-souls-in-purgatory/]
Like so many others, I have had my anxieties, struggling to discern what kind of preparation might be necessary. I have learned along the way, with Charlie, that whatever we do in a pragmatic way, will more than likely not be enough—at least as the world sees it. My heart spoke more truly to me, telling me to stay close to God, to enter the Sacred Heart and seek every day to go deeper into His presence. So it has not been fear of losing food, power, material things, even safety from the chaos that may ensue that has motivated me.
I fear losing the privilege of Eucharistic adoration—my daily hour in His presence, daily Mass. My fidelity to Mary and the Holy Rosary has been more important than stocking batteries or canned goods. I have collected powerful books to sustain me, the Divine Office and Bible in large print editions (for my old eyes and poor light conditions), the writings of Conchita, my beloved Archbishop Luis Martinez and others. It is not the amount of money that we spend that will prepare us for the unknown elements of the Storm. It is the TIME that we spend in God’s presence, time to deepen love, hope, faith, trust. To move from children who require spiritual milk to be fed, as St. Paul tells us, to children ready for meat and substance, to chew the Word in its fullness.
I suspect I will not hear anything new tomorrow night—I have been listening to Mark and Charlie for years, but I will enjoy their fellowship, the communion of all those who gather around them. Whatever happens, we need to remember what I read last night in the introduction to Archbishop Martinez’ book TO BE JESUS CRUCIFIED,” “Jesus taught Conchita filial love for the Father:
‘I want you to invoke the Father who is My Father and yours. Call upon Him with filial love, which pleases Him so much. His role is that of the authority between us. Entreat Him, entreat Him a lot and with great confidence. Call upon Him: ‘Father, Father!’ When desolation or any other kind of sorrow afflicts you, when you are exhausted and I hide Myself from you, and your little Dove hides too, cry out to Him imitating Me, and say to Him: ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit!’ Place all in His loving hands. Where better will you be able to rest? Who will be able to take care of you with tenderness like His? You cannot imagine how much He appreciates a crucified soul.’ ”
When the waiting seems interminable, as we wait for the sky to fall or whatever seems more horrendous or unexpected, one of my favorite little scriptures is that of Ps. 39,8: “And now, Lord, what is there to wait for? In You rests all my hope.”