The Last Effort by Tianna Mallett
IMMEDIATELY after Isaiah’s beautiful vision of an era of peace and justice preceded by a purification of the earth, which leaves a remnant, he writes a brief prayer in praise and thanksgiving of God’s mercy—a prophetic prayer, as we will see:
You will say in that day… Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. You shall draw waters with joy out of the savior’s fountain… (Isaiah 12:1-2)
The Blessed Virgin’s Magnificat was an echo of this victory song—a song that will be echoed by the Church in that new era. But for now, I want to look at the powerful christological connection of Isaiah’s words in our dramatic times, and how they are part of God’s "last effort" now toward mankind…
The Last Effort
At the very moment in history when Satan began to sow the philosophical lie of deism, which sought to turn God into a cold, distant creator, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690 A.D.). He revealed to her His flaming Sacred Heart, burning with love for His creation. More than that, He was revealing His counter-plan to the dragon’s lies:
I understood that devotion to the Sacred Heart is a last effort of His Love towards Christians of these latter times, Margherita_Sacro_Cuore by proposing to them an object and means so calculated to persuade them to love Him. — St. Margaret Mary, Antichrist and the End Times, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, p. 65
This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion. —St. Margaret Mary,www.sacredheartdevotion.com
And so, at the height of that philosophical era, God began sending His Mother more frequently into the world to continually call her children back to His Sacred Heart. In the lesser known apparition at Pontmain, France, Mary said to the visionaries:
…My Son lets His heart be touched. —January 17th, 1871,www.sanctuaire-pontmain.com
Jesus wants His Heart to be touched… for the flames of His love and mercy to penetrate and melt the hearts of men grown cold in these last centuries through philosophies which have led him far away from his Creator.
And thus, even against our will, the thought rises in the mind that now those days draw near of which Our Lord prophesied: "And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold" (Matt. 24:12). —POPE PIUS XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor, Encyclical on Reparation to the Sacred Heart, n. 17
How? How would His "last effort" to convert mankind be achieved before a great purification of the earth?
In a powerful vision, St. Gertrude the Great (d. 1302) was allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Saviour’s breast. As she listened to His beating Heart, she asked St. John, the beloved Apostle, how it was that he, whose head had reposed on the breast of the Savior at the Last Supper, kept complete silence about the throbbing of the adorable Heart of his Master in his writings. She expressed regret to him that he had said nothing about it for our instruction. The saint replied to her:
My mission was to write for the Church, still in its infancy, something about the uncreated Word of God the Father, something which of itself alone would give exercise to every human intellect to the end of time, something that no one would ever succeed in fully understanding. As for the language of these blessed beats of the Heart of Jesus, it is reserved for the last ages when the world, grown old and become cold in the love of God, will need to be warmed again by the revelation of these mysteries. —Legatus divinae pietatis, IV, 305; "Revelationes Gertrudianae", ed. Poitiers and Paris, 1877
The Language of these Blessed Beats
The image of Jesus pointing to His Sacred Heart is one that has spread throughout the world. Statues, icons, and paintings of this consoling image adorn the walls of many cathedrals and churches, not to mention many of our homes. Thus, as the morning star heralds the dawn, this image was the herald of a coming language—a message timed by God towards these latter days to move the hearts of men. That language is the revelation of Divine Mercy through St. Faustina, calculated to become known in our times. The Sacred Heart, one could say, has passed through the prism of St. Faustina, and exploded into a language of light and love. The last effort of God is the message of Mercy, and more specifically, the Feast of Divine Mercy:
Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, n. 965
The Savior's Fountain
Isaiah prophesied that, before the "day" of justice, there would be offered to mankind "the savior’s fountain." That is, the Heart of Jesus.
For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain… From all My wounds, like from streams, mercy flows for souls, but the wound in My Heart is the fountain of unfathomable mercy. From this fountain spring all graces for souls. The flames of compassion burn Me. I desire greatly to pour them out upon souls. Speak to the whole world about My mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, n.1485, 1190
And so, my brothers and sisters, you who have been waiting together in The Bastion of our Mother’s Immaculate Heart—do you hear the essence of your mission now?
Speak to the whole world about My mercy.
We are living in an hour of mercy. The chief shepherd of the Church reiterated this message over Christmas (2010):
In the final analysis, healing can only come from deep faith in God’s reconciling love. Strengthening this faith, nourishing it and causing it to shine forth is the Church’s principal task at this hour… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010
You too are now part of God’s "last effort." Whether we live to see the Era of Peace is not our concern. Right now, nature is reeling under the sins of men. Scientists tell us that the magnetic poles of the earth are now shifting at an unprecedented rate and that, along with the shifting of the sun’s poles at the same time, this is creating a cooling effect upon the earth. Is it possible that as the moral poles shift—that which is evil is now considered good, and good is often deemed evil or "intolerant"—that the hearts of men are being reflected in nature?
…because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.
The earth is trembling, literally—a sign that the "fault-line" in the souls of men is reaching critical mass. Soon, the hearts of mankind will be rent open, and Our Mother’s little army will be those vessels through which the mercy of God will be poured into those who would receive it.
The day is coming—we are living now in the last effort of God before the purification of our world, the day of justice arrives…
When the Church, in the days immediately succeeding her institution, was oppressed beneath the yoke of the Caesars, a young Emperor saw in the heavens a cross, which became at once the happy omen and cause of the glorious victory that soon followed. And now, to-day, behold another blessed and heavenly token is offered to our sight—the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a cross rising from it and shining forth with dazzling splendor amidst flames of love. Herein must all hopes be set, from hence must the salvation of men be sought and expected. —POPE LEO XIII,Annum Sacrum, Encyclical on Consecration to the Sacred Heart, n. 12
The_Last_EffortMay it come about… [that] the Sacred Heart of Jesus and its sweet and sovereign kingdom be extended more widely to all in every part of the world: the kingdom "of truth and life; the kingdom of grace and holiness; the kingdom of justice, love and peace." —POPE PIUS XII, Haurietis Aquas, Encyclical on Devotion to the Sacred Heart, n. 126
My daughter composed the above image at the same time I was preparing this meditation. She was unaware of what I was writing about. We called the artwork "The Last Effort". I have updated this meditation, which was first published January 19th, 2010. —Mark Mallett