A few years ago I finally became aware of the Pope's call for the celebration of the Jubilee for the year 2000. When I pondered his message in my heart I became very excited whenever I thought about a "New Springtime For Christianity". Now, however, I have to admit that my vision and our Holy Father's vision are not quite the same.
I envisioned Jesus Christ coming again and Christians would not have any trouble or persecutions- we would live happily ever after. (I have a tendency to want to live in La-La land). It took me awhile to get on with the rest of our Holy Father's statement. "A new springtime is for all those who are docile to the movement of Holy Spirit." Docile meaning those who are obedient. The more I understood the meaning of what Pope John Paul was saying the more excited I became.
It is mentioned that Pope Leo the XIII had a vision where he heard the Lord and satan talking. Satan asked for a century to have his way with mankind to prove that he could destroy all men. He was granted that century and we are living in it. For years in our parishes the Prayer to St. Michael to "defend us in battle" was prayed after Mass for this intention.
This past century has seen horrible crimes, ethnic cleansing, prejudices, moral decay in the family, and on and on. When we look at the darkness in our time and don't look beyond, we could become discouraged and want to give up. I believe that we are living in a time where there is a powerful Spiritual battle going on.
When I hear people talk about the members in there families who no longer follow God I am saddened.. When I see the life style of my nieces and nephews my heart breaks and cries out to God for his mercy to be on them. As I listen to a friend cry because her husband is addicted to pornography I cry with her. I pray for his conversion and for his return to God.
When Fr. Ray asked me to write about my excitement over the Jubilee I really had a struggle. Talk about a spiritual battle! When I finally realized what was happening I called out to God and in His mercy He helped me to get past the discouragement and once again gave me an excitement for the jubilee. It took me all summer and a lot of prayer. I would start but I could not get anywhere for I saw nothing to be excited about. I was always looking at the darkness in our time.
The Lord led me to read Ralph Martin's book, Is Jesus Coming Soon. As I read this book that excitement started to come back. I realized the battle is being fought, but there is hope. Then once again I read parts of the Pope's Apostolic Letter, Terito Millennio Adviente and I knew that we have the victory in Christ!!
God has built His church on the blood of martyrs and there has been more blood shed for Jesus Christ in this century than in the past nineteen centuries combined. "The church of the first millennium was born of the blood of the martyrs. The historical events linked to the figure of Constantine the Great could never have ensured the development of the Church as it occurred during the first millennium if it had not been for the seeds sown by the martyrs and the heritage of sanctity which marked the first Christians generations. At the end of the second millennium, the Church has once again become a Church of martyrs. The persecutions of believers has caused a great sowing of martyrdom in different parts of the world." (Terito Miiiennio Adviente #37)
When we know that God can take all things and turn it around for His greater glory, then we can start to look at more than the sin in the world. We saw and felt the pain that a community in Littleton Colorado experienced when, in April this past year, two students shot and killed fellow students and wounded many. That was a horrible incidence, and I grieve with the families and the community, but I also rejoice at what God is doing in turning that around.
This summer Dr. Dobison from Focus on the Family interviewed some of the students from that high school. Most of the young people who were shot were Christian, some of them young Catholics who belonged to a Charismatic youth group. Two young men who were interviewed said that they felt the Lord tell them over a year ago to start a ministry to evangelize young people and they call themselves Generation Revival!!! They believe that the young people in our country that God is raising up will bring about a revival that this world has never seen before. That is good and exciting news.
Dr. Dobison also stated that our Government sent in grief counselors to work with the familiesand students but most of them went home for lack of work. Instead of seeking grief counseling,the pastors and Priests from the churches were the counselors most of the people sought out, anawakening of the mercy of Jesus Christ. This is good news!!!!!
I was at the Leaders conference at Steubenville this summer. Fr. Michael Scanlan told a sad story about a student from the university that had been killed off campus a couple weeks before the conference. Yes, this young man's death is a tragedy, but Father Mike said being present with the family during this time was a blessing to see how the family clung to God. The family experienced a deep peace, resulting in a deeper union with our suffering Christ.. God lets no suffering go to waste if we are willing to give it up to Him.
I believe there are small groups, not just in this country, but throughout the whole world, who are gathering, asking the Holy Spirit to come upon the whole earth. Seeking God and His will not only in our personal lives, but His will for the world. People are praying for a revival!! People are praying for the victory that we have in Christ to be completed. God answers prayers and I believe He will - and is already - answering this prayer.
I believe that the revival has already started but that we have just seen the tip of the iceberg. I do not know what is going to happen in the next few years, but in my very being I believe that God is doing a mighty work and I thank Him for giving me the excitement and desire to pray for revival and for the Great Jubilee!!!
Every century has had spiritual warfare and this will continue to the end of time. The century that was given to satan is just about up. No wonder we are living in a violent, immoral time in history. But God is bigger than any sin or lie and He is triumphant. We are looking now to a new Springtime. Sister Ann Shields was given a prophecy - "I am coming". That's all to the prophecy. Jesus is coming! Praise you Lord Jesus!
I do believe that there is a time coming soon that we will experience an out pouring of the Holy Spirit that has not been seen since the first Pentecost!! God is doing a mighty work and I believe that he is building an army, maybe just a remnant, but an army never the less, to stand with Him and continue to fight the battle with evil.
Lets take the time we have to prepare our hearts for the jubilee, to daily draw closer to the
Blessed Trinity, and to pray for the courage and boldness to live a life reflecting Jesus. Lets be willing to be the vessels God needs to bring as many people as we can to Him, and join the celebration of the great jubilee.
Recommended reading: Terito
Millennio Adviente; Is Jesus Coming Soon