Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Divine Mercy is at Work

I read this morning with sadness the analysis of the denial of Father Gordon's habeas corpus writ at These Stone Walls. It seems another door has closed, or has it?

This effort to free Father Gordon MacRae from the false imprisonment he has endured for over 20 years has been undertaken by a professional legal team experienced in righting wrongs and has been supported by the prayers and financial contributions of many faithful Christians. So, we must know that this outcome fits perfectly in God's will. To our mind's eyes the outcome is unreasonable and unfair, and, as Ryan MacDonald points out in the article linked above, is anything but justice. Justice may be supposed to be blind, but she is not supposed to be deaf, dumb and stupid as well.

But, this is man's justice, not God's justice. God's justice is mercy. God is never blind to the sorrows of His Children, and He answers prayers, though He does so in His own way and in His own time.

With some of that in mind I asked God in prayer "Why?" this morning as I contemplated the injustice of it all. I confess that I was somewhat surprised at my own question. First, I was surprised at its brevity. It was one word only, "Why?" and the answer to that question is, as we often say, above my pay grade. I would have apologized for such an impertinent question, but I was distracted by what appears to me to be an answer, still above my pay grade to understand, but one I will set out below.

I am still shocked that I would ask such a one word question. It is not like me, but the word tumbled out of my mouth, as though it were inspired.

As God sometimes does with me He spoke and showed me a picture. The picture was a visualization of the words, and as the picture was profound, the words themselves have since disappeared in my mind, while the picture has remained with me.

In the picture, which was more a video than a picture, I saw there was a wine press. In the wine press were many faithful followers of Jesus, and they were being pressed. But there was two kinds of pressing going on.

Beneath the wine press was a large pool of blood. I was given to understand that the blood was the blood of the red martyrs, those who were crushed to death, until their blood flowed. I also came to understand that that blood was to be mingled with the blood of Jesus and would somehow flow across the planet as part of the salvation of many souls.

But, white martyrs were also being crushed in the wine press, and there was a clear plastic line, such as is used in tapping maple trees, and the "liquid" that was being crushed out of the white martyrs was flowing through this line to a cauldron where all the impurities were being boiled out of it. At first when I saw the cauldron, the word cauldron came to me, and I thought I had made it up, as I scrambled to understand the vision in front of me. It was only as the vision drew to a conclusion that I had some understanding of why a cauldron was being used. The impurities were the sins and imperfections of the white martyrs that were mixed in with the good they had done. The then purified water flows to a gigantic vat and Jesus pours it out with the water that flowed from His side upon the earth for the sanctification of souls.

The water from the pressing of the faithful being crushed is not as plentiful as the blood of the red martyrs. It does contain some impurities that would be purified instantaneously by a death in the name of Jesus Christ, and these impurities are removed in the cauldron. In offering themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for His bidding, and for a great many of them Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, many of their sins had already been purified from them.

But, God is able to use all things that the faithful offer up to Him of themselves, and what is impure He purifies.

In a prophecy published yesterday from a person under the spiritual direction of Father Sam Johnston, a retired priest of the Diocese of London Ontario, entitled "Because You are Believing", the Lord said:
I am wounded by observing those who are lukewarm, self-reliant, and who have no need of My help, they are not acting as Christians for this would involve looking fervently at the Cross.

I am forming you who have died to self and giving you grace upon grace, there are some who will not accept the graces being offered to them and so I am prepared to give you an abundance of graces.

Suffering and pain are the means that I may use to perfect those whom I especially call to minister to the many who are in great need of Salvation, I do not send you alone, I and My Mother Mary assist you.
It seems that Father Gordon is being crushed and pressed for his own sins, but even more so for ours, and for the sins and needs of many he might never meet or imagine exist. His sufferings may be great. They sure appear to be to me as an observer.

The Office of Readings this morning, which I read shortly after this vision had the following Psalm in it and concluded with the Psalm prayer which follows:
Psalm 38 (39)

Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.What, now, can I look forward to, Lord? 
My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
– for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
for I come as a stranger before you,
a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
before I leave this world,
before I am no more.

Psalm Prayer

Through your Son you taught us, Father, not to be fearful of tomorrow but to commit our lives to your care. Do not withhold your Spirit from us but help us find a life of peace after these days of trouble.
What is equally telling is the antiphon that accompanied the above Psalm, which was the second Psalm in the Office of Readings and the antiphon for the third Psalm:
Ant. 2 Hear and answer my prayer, O Lord; let me not weep in vain, alleluia.
Ant. 3 I have put all my trust in God’s never-failing mercy, alleluia.

God, who is Lord of us all, does not need to share with us any part of His plans, but sometimes He does, and I think He might be doing so now, because of the gravity of the times.

Our friend Father Gordon MacRae is most definitely one of the white martyrs of our age. The white martyrs are signs and symbols to us of how the devil and this world he still has much power over will use whatever is at their command to crush the good out of people. But Our Lord is very efficient, and where the devil tries to crush the life out of the faithful, the Lord magnifies the juice of that crushing, joining it with the blood and water of His own martyrdom.

Father Gordon and all those who support him are doing all they can to free him from false imprisonment, storming the gates of heaven on his behalf and spreading the message of his false imprisonment. Yet, he remains in prison, and the turns against him are at once ludicrous, and incomprehensible. Yet, they happen.

And yet, Father Gordon remains faithful to his vocation as a priest of God, an alter christus for us, and for the inmates in New Hampshire.

Let us continue to pray for him, that he will resist all temptations to lose hope in these great difficulties, and let us be inspired by his firm faith, knowing that if he can survive these challenges to his faith, our challenges are much smaller, and so we can use his example and the love of God for Him to be a beacon for us as well.

May God Bless Father Gordon MacRae each and every day, and may the Mercy of God shine forth for us all to see.


Charlene said...

Your writings about Father Gordon always bring me to tears Sometimes it is difficult for me to read your posts to him becauseI invariably break down. This is another such beautiful and moving post. Thank you, Mr. Brandon. You have been gifted with the ability to write from your heart and soul and your words resonate with an incredible force. I know Fr Gordon is also moved by your spiritual writing. You have given us many things to think about. Fr Gordon is carrying the Cross for all of our sins. Let us never forget.
May God bless and keep you. Thank you. Thank you.

Michael Brandon said...

Thank you Charlene for the wonderful part you play in his ministry.

We ust all do what we can in faith to support him.

God Bless You

Steve Cherry said...

I don't know why God chooses certain people to suffer. I'm sure Father G wouldn't have chosen this particular suffering if he had had a choice in the matter. But, I do remember him saying in one of his TSW posts some time ago that if he had known ahead of time what the priesthood would mean for him, he would have STILL become a priest. Brave man. Good man.

And he told me in one of his letters last year, in response to something I'd said about fearing suffering that seemed to be looming ahead of me, that he was doing the suffering so I wouldn't have to do it. So, I know he recognizes, at least somewhat, the purpose behind some of what he is going through.

I am very thankful for his generous YES to God. He will be amply rewarded. And, a lot of us will be lining up to thank him in heaven.

Mary Fran

Fr. Tim Moyle said...

Michael: My reaction was like yours: disappointment and disbelief. The American justice system boggles my mind. It reminds me of a poster my brother had hung on our bedroom wall when we were kids. It read: 'My minds' made up. Don't confuse me with the facts.'

Let's just keep praying that eventually, finally, the facts will come to be heard and Fr. Gordon will join us among the free!

Fr. Tim

Michael Brandon said...

Mary Fran

Father Gordon is a witness to us of faithfulness to Our Lord, a lot like the next commenter here, Father Tim Moyle.

The Church will be as strong as the men who represent Christ to us, and signs are good that our priests are stepping up to the very difficult challenges posed by our society,

We are fortunate to have men like Father Gordon and Father Tim to lead us from whatever circumstance they find themselves in.


Mary Fran said...

And there are MANY of us women OVERJOYED to see this happening. Not the suffering, but the acceptance of suffering and hardship. The men acting like REAL MEN. Our priests LEADING us and showing us by their lives how to live as Christians. Their willingness to lay down their lives for us, their flock. Priests like this we will listen to and respect. Father G has my highest respect.

Michael Brandon said...

What a beautiful statement Mary Fran.

Real Men are heroic not in the big things they do, but in the small acts of trust in and acceptance of God's will, not when it suits them, but at all times, good or bad.

Father Gordon is such an example.


kathleen said...

Thank you Michael...When I 1st read about the 'Writ' & prayed Directly for Fr. G.'s release...I had to stop...You're Vision is awesome! At 73, the Lord is Direct & to the point in His Responses to me...I stopped praying for his release, & prayed instead for God's Will to be done...& I knew in my heart that, at least this time, Fr. G. wasn't going to leave that Prison. (I Still responded interiorly with rage @ the "Justice" system) "Look at the Fruits" was the answer to my prayers...And I saw the overwhelming Truth of, "Where there is Great EVIL, MY GRACE ABOUNDS MORE"! So....No Priest has a Larger, more Active 'Parish'....Or, a Lower Budget! No 'Parish' has the number & Diversity of Converts, 'Reverts', & those receiving Spiritual Direction....The latter from Writings, & in the Heroic manner Fr. G. Lives out his Vocation. I'm sure there are others like myself, in the 'Prison' of age & illness, who have gathered into Fr. G.'s parish. We thank God daily for this great Grace! I've been blessed to live in a time of Great Saints...JPII, Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, Max Kolbe, Sr. many to list, All connected to Divine Mercy! And White Martyrs, still living. (that includes Mother Angelica) Thank you again for your post...

Jeannie Diemer said...

I can't help but think that he may be suffering for the sins of the very ones who have placed him there! My heart hurt when I saw the post about the appeal but then I realized that this is God's plan not ours.He needs him where he is, as unjust as it seems to us, because he is bringing home the souls that have strayed or haven't known Him! We will know a lot of the whys when we meet Him! God bless you for your beautiful words, Michael! Jeannie