Is the Time of Mercy Drawing to a Close? Private Revelation and Our Times


There is a lot being written and produced about the “end times” these days. As Catholics we believe and profess that Jesus is coming again, but that no one knows when. From Protestant books about being “left behind,” to atheist theories of aliens on the warpath, to true Catholic teaching about how the end of time will be revealed, there is a preponderance of thought, prayer, ink and media being spent on the possibility that this current time of dramatic change and turbulence signals the beginning of the end of time.

I do not know what all of this turbulence means. But as a prayerful person I see a pattern emerging with mirrored and opposing thoughts and actions among the people of God and those who follow the ways of the world. Spiritually, things are coming to a head. Extremes are being experienced in nature, in behavior and in the many facets of our socioeconomic world. What this “head” is that “things” are coming to, I do not know. But for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, these are very interesting times indeed.

Private Revelation

Having reverted to the faith after a 20-year absence, I had a lot of catching up to do. Having never really known my faith as a child, I doubly had a lot of catching up to do. Twenty years later, I would not say I have “caught up,” but by God’s mercy I have learned a lot, read a lot, experienced a lot and received a lot of grace. One such grace is an openness to the Holy Spirit in the form of Church approved prophecy. I understand that there are people who prefer to stick to only what is “required” to believe and not delve into approved Marian and other apparitions, but I don’t understand why. If the Church has given her approval to a private revelation, I want to learn about it and learn from it. If a gift is given, you better believe I’m going to open it. Yes, public revelation ended when the last Apostle died and the New Testament was completed, but approved private revelation continues even now.

Much of the Marian and other apparitions of the past few centuries relate to the end times or to the end of this current era we are living in. Many of the messages overlap and speak of the same type of events using slightly different wording. In St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, Jesus relates to her that we are living in a time of mercy, which will be followed by the time of judgment. There is really nothing new in this statement that Jesus didn’t already tell us in the Gospels, except that He added that this time of mercy is drawing to a close. Remaining with St. Faustina, Jesus told her:

Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort:

All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day. (Diary, 83)

Similar words or prophecies have been given for centuries to many saints and blesseds. The wording varies, as does the sign foretold, but the theme is this: mankind falls into a time of unprecedented evil and distance from God; God intervenes by means of an “event” that every soul on earth is aware of, which reveals to each the state of their soul; finally, a choice for mercy or judgment is given to each soul. Following this event prophecies differ. Some relate that the event signals the beginning of the great and final persecution of the Church, the Church’s “passion” followed by Jesus’ second coming, or the event signals a great “new springtime” for the Church and an era of unprecedented holiness and faith, peace and joy.

All prophecy given seems to have the addendum that our free will can affect these future events. As we repent and return to God, we can mitigate chastisements and change the future course of history for the Body of Christ and the whole world.

In the past several years, with an increase in natural disasters, political unrest, personal immorality and just the overall pace and tenor of life, many prayerful souls sense that something is coming, that this post-Christian era is coming to a head.

The diagram above is a sort of synopsis of all that I, as a nobody, as a simple, prayerful Catholic, have taken and distilled from reading approved visionaries, following current events and praying. Perhaps you will find it helpful, perhaps not.

Some Event

Although, as we previously discussed, all future events can be mitigated or even avoided by repentance of the people, it seems likely that some event is coming. Whether that is a huge natural disaster, a world war, an “illumination of conscience” or all three is anyone’s guess. When it will happen is also anyone’s guess. What does seem certain is, as a society, we are not progressing towards peace and human progress, but regressing to paganism, incivility and the rejection of reason.

Ideological Divide

Down the center of the diagram above is a vertical line titled “ideological divide.” This represents the two sides of humanity, those trying to follow God and those following the world’s way of doing things. Souls on either side may or may not be aware of the times we live in, but see the events happening in very different ways.

The First Ray: The Age of Mercy

Jesus told St. Faustina we were living in the time of mercy, a time of great grace for souls open to conversion, to the love and mercy of God. The only requirement of receiving this mercy is the willingness to admit one’s need of it. This admission, this falling into Jesus’ loving arms, opens the floodgates of grace to change the soul daily into what God originally intended it be.

The Second Ray: The Age of Illumination

Many prophecies speak of an event called “the Illumination” or “the Warning” which will show each of us the state of our souls in such a way that there will be no arguing or posturing. The only choice will be either repentance or setting one’s heart against the mercy of God. However, it seems to me that in these past few years, and even more so in these past few months, we are living in a precursor to that event, that moment in time, a precursor that could be labeled the Age of Illumination. From politics to Hollywood to business to Church hierarchy to the state of one’s own soul, it seems as if the Lord is revealing crimes and sin and lack of virtue. Not a day goes by of late without some major revelation about some person or institution’s past failures. As always, personal holiness is the answer, but not many are even asking the question.

The Third Ray: The Age of No Mercy

From road rage to hit men, from false accusations to blaming the victim, from comment boxes to defamation plots, from grudges held onto for decades to judgments of others’ souls, mercy is on life support in our culture. One false step, one poorly chosen word and a person becomes a pariah, no matter how greatly they were previously embraced by the same culture. The devil is sometimes known as the “accuser” and his presence in this guise is very apparent in the world today.

The Fourth Ray: The Age of Blindness

There are 27 genders. No really, there are. A pre-born child is not human. No really, he or she isn’t. There aren’t any societal repercussions to divorce, extra marital sex or pornography. No really, there aren’t. In the face of a preponderance of scientific and statistical proof to the contrary, a society that says it only believes in what can be empirically proven, sure does a fine job of closing its eyes to the truth when it suits its purposes and agendas.

Where Good and Evil Meet

A wise friend of mind frequently says, “When good and evil collide, there is suffering.” This comes to mind when I picture these four rays or ages of Mercy, Illumination, No Mercy and Blindness coming together at the point of “some event.”

Suffering. There will be much suffering. Whatever it is that happens, whenever and however it takes place, the good and the bad will suffer alike. But for the good it will be redemptive suffering that brings about a time of great purity and holiness, freedom from sin and all of the failings of the world. Many of the visionaries speak of the unprecedented grace that will flow at this time, how the saints and angels will be very present to us to help us, and how we will become great saints if we cooperate with all of this grace.

“Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Romans 5:20).

“Towards the end of the world…Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.

“These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other.

“With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin.”    (St. Louis de Montfort)

St. Louis’ writings read today like a literal description of our moral landscape. But, we can trust that God’s grace will superabound in comparison to any trials we will face.

The Sacraments, Our Lady and the Duty of the Moment

As these four “ages” converge, time seems to speed up, confusion reigns and it is difficult to keep one’s feet under one’s legs. So how do we remain constant and true in “interesting times”? The same way as always. Tradition holds that St. Francis of Assisi was once conversing with a brother while they were hoeing a plot of land. The brother asked Francis what he would do if he heard that Jesus returned right at that moment. Francis replied, “I would finish hoeing this row.”

These days it is hard to finish hoeing our rows. It is hard to complete one task without our phones interrupting us with five other tasks awaiting our attention. But God only asks us to receive the gift and the grace of one moment at a time. If we remain faithful to the duty of the present moment according to our state in life, we are doing all that God requires. Even this can require heroic virtue. But if we train ourselves to do this in these challenging times, we will be prepared to do the same if more difficult times come.

The strength for this present moment heroism comes from our life in the Sacraments. As the world becomes stranger and more challenging to traverse, it becomes more essential that we cling ever more to the Sacraments and our prayer life. To paraphrase an old saying, “Seven days without prayer – and the Sacraments – makes one weak.” But with Jesus, through the gifts He gives via His Church and prayer, we can be more than conquerors of the trials of the present moment. By staying close to the Sacraments, by living in the grace and gift of the present moment, we will be able to be God’s lights in a darkening world, even if an “event” never comes in our lifetimes. There is a superabundance of grace in just these two areas: the Sacraments and the present moment.

God, never to be outdone in generosity, gives us one more giant gift: Our Lady.

Listen and let it penetrate your heart…do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain.  Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need? – Our Lady’s words to St. Juan Diego

There is nothing Mary will withhold from us that is for our eternal good. She is a pure font of every grace Jesus longs for us to have if we turn to her. By staying close to Mary, especially by means of the Holy Rosary, we remain under her maternal protection. As she once proclaimed that her soul “magnifies” the Lord, Mary will help our lives to do the same. The circumstances, the times, in which we live will never affect her ability to help us, nor our ability to give God glory, to sing of His mercy.

Lord, these times can be confusing, upsetting and even frightening. We ask for the grace to stay close to you and our Blessed Mother through the Sacraments, prayer and the duty of the present moment. Help us to be your lights, to magnify you, the give you glory and to sing of your mercy always. 

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16 thoughts on “Is the Time of Mercy Drawing to a Close? Private Revelation and Our Times”

  1. Timothy the lesser

    Private revelation like any devotion is optional. If it points you to Christ, that’s great. I find approved apparitions inspiring and a reminder to read the Gospel and engage it. But I understand its not for everyone. I am however suspicious of using current events to propose the end times may be near. Whether its 1 year or 10,000 years away; it is not for us to know…

  2. JESUS, THE DIVINE MERCY, by St.Faustina (1930s)​
    Write down these words, My daughter. Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. (Diary 848)

    The Blessed Virgin Mary :
    … you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath.

    Well, Jesus and the Blessed Mother tell us Jesus’ Second Coming’, and the wrath that goes with it, is right on top of us. In Mat 24, Jesus gives us a sign which will indicate His Second Coming, and to run to the mountains when we see it. Jesus really means, run to His gifts of Divine Mercy Feast Day, initiated in the year 2000, and not mountains, when we see His sign. A number of Catholics believe they see Jesus’ ‘end times’ sign as presently fulfilled.

    According to the Book of Daniel, Jesus Second Coming occurs upon the seventh, of seventy weeks, in the life of God’s Church. This would mean that Jesus will Rule, in His Kingdom Come, under Messianic Reign, for 33,000 years, on earth. I say, Lets Go! As God Ruled over Israel, residing in a stone temple, Jesus says His Presence on earth, will reside in the Body of His Church. The New Jerusalem, at the end of the Book of Revelation, is the Post Armageddon Catholic Church, on earth, with Jesus’ Presence, residing in, and Ruling from, His Church, aka Jesus will marry His Church. Everyone on earth will see Jesus, married to His Church, through the massive amount of miracles, signs and wonders, He is preforming inside the Body of His Church, and the nations will stream to the Catholic Church, through the gates of the Sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation, to be with Jesus. This will be the ‘Golden Era for Mankind’ that the Blessed Mother has promised us.

    Scriptures tells us Jesus will Rule, on earth, with and through His Church, the Catholic Church, using the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’, which is Jesus’ lips, binding and loosting sins. ‘Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ will be accomplished by the great angel of Revelation, reading the ‘small scroll’ of Catholic Church auto-anathemas. Jesus is not King and Ruler, on earth, until His subjects, Catholic Clergy, put His Laws into enforcement on earth. Jesus refers to His Apostolic Successors as ‘angels’ in the Book of Revelation. At the very moment the great, angel/Apostolic Successor, finishes reading the scroll of auto-anathemas, Jesus is Crowned as King and Ruler of the world. Jesus’ first act as King, is to purge the earth of the unrepentant wicked, during the Three Days of Darkness.

    Catholics are going to want their Divine Mercy, Wedding Garment, on, to survive, unharmed, the Three Days of Darkness, of Armageddon, and enter into the Wedding Day of the Lamb. We are in the Rev 7 stage of the Apocalypse. Those putting ‘God’s Seal’ on the foreheads of the Elect, are Catholic Priests distributing Jesus’ gifts of Divine Mercy, which is the Wedding Garment, Christ’s Bride wears at her Wedding to Jesus.

    Revelation 7
    ‘Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’…
    …’These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’.

  3. A most interesting article. I would only add two small points. End times have been predicted frequently and some events following probably felt like it to many. Roman persecution, Muslim ascendancy, spread of communism, etc. Since we truly know not the hour or day, we should probably prepare the best we can for now. Second; private revelation is just that. If the message is to be made widely known, Fatima comes to mind, it will be. I would also like to note that times of great crisis have raised champions for the righteous, Constantine, Charles Martel, Andrea Doria, Pope John Paul II, etc. We are not without hope.

  4. As a Latin Mass saying, Catholic priest who tries to be a good pastor with God’s help I find all the time wasted on this private revelation or that apparition to be a distraction from the essentials which are found in Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Anything else is unnecessary. Let’s spend less time worrying about who said what at which private revelation and more time living the Gospel and praying.

  5. Pingback: MONDAY MORNING EDITION – Big Pulpit

  6. Suellen, this is an outstanding article. I am greatly encouraged. Thank you! I am here in Puerto Rico with my wife, who is working at a local hospital, while I teach English at a Catholic high school. We moved here from Miami, and I am originally from your neighbor Connecticut. By God’s grace I am also a “revert” to the faith. The people on this island are some of the kindest and most humble I have ever met. At the same time I am struck by how some very respectful and warm young people are attracted to a message of the unsanctity of life. These are signs of the times. With God’s help I try to re-direct them “one stone at a time.” They are sometimes open. As a third Order Franciscan I am also inspired like Mary below by the simplicity of your call to stay close to Jesus and Mary through prayer, the Sacraments, and as you rightly point out, the not always easy duty of the present moment! As you mention St Louis de Montfort, I would add to your suggestions the saint’s call in “True Devotion to Mary” to consecrating oneself to Mary, as she leads us more securely and quickly to Christ. My sister in Christ, I am saving this article to my home screen, planning to return to it! May God watch over you. And thank you!

    1. Thank you, Luis. I’m so glad you are encouraged. It’s important to encourage each other on the narrow way, isn’t it? Puerto Rico is blessed to have you and your wife, quietly evangelizing. “One stone at a time”, indeed. As you mention Marian Consecration I thought you might enjoy an essay I wrote last year:

      It’s such a gift and a grace to be safely tucked beneath Her mantel. On this feast of All Saints I look forward to meeting you when we, hopefully, prayerfully, take our place among them in heaven some day, Luis. God bless you!

    2. Dear Suellen, thank your so much for your very kind message. I actually read it along with the excellent essay you referenced soon after you sent it, and I apologize I took so long to respond. I thought at the time, “Let me write a thoughtful response,” but then in wanting to be more thoughtful I ended up regretting taking so long! Oh well. I hope in God’s mercy. Your essay on “Ready, Set, Go!”” was also very motivating and enlightening to me. It reminded me of lessons God has taught me on the journey and moved me to seek our Lord more closely. I loved how you pointed out the simultaneous lives of holiness of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, St. John Paul II, and St. Faustina. The life and message of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe was shared with me back in the late 90s in Connecticut, along with a book he wrote called “Aim Higher.” I remember visiting the Franciscan Friars of the immaculate in the Northeast and witnessing their love for this saint. I was amazed at St. Maximilian’s devotion to Mary and belief that she led us on a secure path to her Son through consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Before I got married and was discerning a call to religious life, our novice master led me and others on a journey of consecration to Mary using “True Devotion to Mary”” by St. Louis de Montfort and possibly the same book you used, “Preparation for Total Consecration” by the same. He was clear with us that if we let ourselves be led by Mary, our lives would never be the same. Before I made that act of consecration, however, I was already praying the 3pm prayer to our Lord and getting to know His message of Divine Mercy to St. Faustina. I recalled how Jesus asked us to think of His suffering at the time of His abandonment even for an instant, as a way of asking Him to show mercy for souls. And at this time I learned to pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Mercy and about the Feast of Divine Mercy. And lastly, in 1997, after being at first very reluctant and dropping out of a Life in the Spirit Seminar at my parish, I was encouraged by a Catholic in the parking lot of the same parish to give it another go(!), and when another Life in the Spirit Seminar came up at a nearby parish, I took it. This time, I opened myself to the prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for me for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, whom of course we receive at our baptism, and by His grace experienced three days of deep peace. I thank God that-even today–although I have wandered off the path more than once and at those times shut myself off from His grace–that peace has returned and I am running the race every day, asking our Lord and Mary to help me draw closer, and draw others closer. I believe in the Catholic Church which is our mother and teacher, the Body of Christ through which the Holy Spirit teaches us and sanctifies us. I pray for healing of the divisions in our Church, that we be able to discern the truth, and follow that truth. I am greatly troubled by this division, but I hope in God as I pray for discernment. I am reluctant to say anything more on that point at this time. There is an open wound in our Church.

      My Secular Franciscan Fraternity in Hialeah has been a second family and a big spiritual support. The Men’s Emmaus Ministry at my parish in Miami have been my brothers in Christ who have been other true rocks of love and support. I find myself more drawn than ever to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a fount of grace and peace. Fortunately in Caguas, Puerto, Rico, the priests are very available for this Sacrament. At the same time, under the guidance of my spiritual director, whom I speak to by phone because of distance, I have been reading St. Teresa of Avila for the last six months or so, first the Way of Perfection, and now her Autobiography, using the smartphone app Ipieta Years ago I read the Interior Castle. I love this saint because she tells it like it is, that as you remind us, Jesus calls us to take the narrow way. She encourages us to take that path inward, even the simple recollection of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, imagining ourselves at His side, whether we are alone or even going about our daily duties. She helps me remember that I can never be too sure of myself, for she herself advised not getting smug, thinking, oh I am a true servant of the Lord. It is better to have a certain distrust of oneself, and to lean on God and His mercy rather than one’s one opinion of oneself. But I do believe that in the proportion that I let Jesus increase, and myself decrease, hope can increase. I ask for His grace to follow the example of the three children of Fatima whom you mentioned, who sought to make little sacrifices every day of things they liked, as a penance for sinners. I would like to be more generous in these “mortifications,” but I don’t give up here and ask God through Mary for this grace. Above all, as I think you point out, the most important thing is love in every moment, toward God and toward neighbor (beginning with the person closest to you, in my case my lovely wife), seeking alertness and staying alert to what this means in real and concrete ways. Well, Suellen, I wasn’t planning on writing so much, but I appreciate your articles, I look forward to reading the last one you just posted, and yes, through the mercy of God, I hope by God’s grace to meet you and your loved ones in the Wonderful Kingdom of Heaven. You will be in my prayers. May God bless you!

  7. This is so excellent! A genuine display of deep and great understanding articulated with such simplicity. “If we remain faithful to the duty of the present moment according to our state in life, we are doing all that God requires. Even this can require heroic virtue. But if we train ourselves to do this in these challenging times, we will be prepared to do the same if more difficult times come.” This is such a strong and useful message for our times. Thank you!

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