by Fr Richard Heilman | August 15, 2021 6:26 PM
Earlier this week, I started thinking about what I wanted to talk about on our big day – our Parish Feast Day, which is the Feast of the Assumption. Before looking at the readings, I felt very strongly that I wanted to work into my sermon the Magnificat and Revelation 12, which you will see why in a moment. Then I thought I better look at Sunday’s readings to see how that might work out. Low and behold, the Magnificat and Revelation 12 were two of the three readings for this Sunday. You can’t make this stuff up.
On our Parish Feast Day, I began my sermon (below) by helping us all recall that St. Mary of Pine Bluff was founded in 1854. This was the very same year Pope Pius IX formally defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, on December 8, 1854. Four years later, in 1858, the Blessed Mother confirmed this by giving her name to St. Bernadette at Lourdes stating, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” We will look at the significance of this, shortly.
Then I pointed to 2015, It was in 2015 that we witnessed the very contentious Bishops Synod on the family. It was this synod, along with the rise of evil (including rampant Islamic terrorism) throughout the world, and the Supreme Court decision to normalize gay marriage, that compelled me to launch the very first worldwide 54-Day Rosary Novena (over 20,000 participated) from August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) to October 7 (Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary).
Pope Francis must have had the same kind of angst about the direction the world was heading in 2015, as he instituted the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy which began on, yes, December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and went to November 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King.
Now, try to follow me here. What was more than interesting is that, according to Patrick Archbold (See HERE), the very same day the Year of Mercy concluded – November 20, 2016 – an astronomical event begins …
On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin). Jupiter, due to its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.
After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.
That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12…It just so happens that these events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. The culmination of these astronomical events occurs just 3 weeks before the 100th anniversary of the great miracle of Fatima, in which the sun “danced” (another heavenly sign), an event that was witnessed by many thousands.
Here are parts of Revelation 12 not included in today’s First Reading that point to what happened “after” the Revelation 12 sign appeared in the sky … which would then point to the time period we are in right now …
“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Rev. 12:7-9) …
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus“ (Rev. 12:17).
I have no doubt, and pray it is the same with you, that we are witnessing the paradigm of what has been revealed to us in the Book of Revelation. Having passed through the 2016-2017 Revelation 12 sign in the sky, we are finding ourselves in the thick of a historic war that has broken out between Our Lady’s army and Satan’s army. Satan has waged war, in particular, against those who offer due reverence to God and those who “actually” keep God’s commands and teach others to do so … we – “her offspring” – are the ones who are then pegged as dangerous extremists.
Reverence and Truth … these are the two primary ways of identifying “her offspring.” How do we know this? LOOK at the ferocity and violence waged against those, especially priests, who seek and teach reverence and truth! The vast majority of priests are scared to death to add reverence to the Mass or speak the truth openly. Why? Not only will “reverence and truth” incite mobs from their own parish rise up to destroy them, but their own bishops have no problem throwing them under the bus, and will punish them severely with the accusation of being “divisive” … for offending those opposed to “reverence and truth.” Why divisive? Because the bishops know full well the severity of attack that will come to anyone who DARES offer more reverence or speak the truth openly. Most bishops are more akin to corporate managers then spiritual shepherds.
This level of “hatred” for reverence and truth is really inexplicable, unless we realize these are the two things the devil hates the most. When I keep saying “these are historic times,” I mean this silencing of truth and this “restriction of reverence” has never been more aggressive.
Why does Satan hate truth and reverence? Because these are the means by which souls move from either dead or lukewarm to “on fire,” totally dedicated disciples. These are the souls that pose the greatest threat to Satan’s schemes.
Oh, and speaking of astronomical events, let’s not forget the Christmas Star which was revealed to us on December 21, 2020. The last time this appeared was in 1226. Two events occurred in the year 1226 … St. Francis of Assisi was born to eternal life, and the practice of Eucharistic Adoration moved out of the monasteries and into parishes.
Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Man should tremble, the world should quake, all Heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest.”
And, in the last two years of St. Francis’ life, he began a practice that he called, St. Michael’s Lent … a period of intense prayer and fasting for 40 days, leading up to September 29, the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. St. Michael’s Lent begins today, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption.
Recall these words from the Magnificat in today’s Gospel …
“He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:50-53).
The words from the Magnificat – “He has mercy on those who fear him” – point to “her offspring” who are “afraid” of ever disappointing Abba, Father. We want God’s mercy? We want God’s blessing? We want God to hear and answer our prayers? We want God to scatter the proud in their conceit and cast down the mighty from their thrones? Then our calling is to “follow orders.” In other words, Our Lady has revealed to us the power of the rosary and this mighty 54 Day Rosary Novena which begins today (See HERE).
We are calling all “believing” Catholics to join in a powerful campaign of spiritual warfare, entitled, “Novena for Our Nation” (August 15 to October 7). The United States Grace Force has grown to over 77,000 Special Forces Prayer Warriors, and we want to get larger and stronger!!
St. Maximilian Kolbe said, “Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. However, assumed into Heaven, the Mother of God now requires our cooperation. She seeks souls who will consecrate themselves entirely to her, who will become in her hands effective instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spreading of God’s kingdom upon earth.”
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