As we watch in real time the labor pains of nature; the eclipse of reason and truth; the scourge of human sacrifice in the womb; the destruction of the family through which the future passes; the sensei fidei ("sense of the faithful") that we stand on the threshold of the end of this age… all this, taken together with the teachings of the Church Fathers and warnings of the Popes according to the signs of the times—we appear to be nearing the definitive unfolding of The Seven Seals of Revolution.
…the spirit of revolutionary change which has long been disturbing the nations of the world… —POPE LEO XIII, Encyclical Letter Rerum Novarum: loc. cit., 97.
Three years ago, I had a powerful experience in my spiritual director’s chapel. I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament when suddenly I heard interiorly the words "I am giving you the ministry of John the Baptist." That was followed by a powerful surge running through my body for about 10 minutes. The next morning, an elderly man showed up at the rectory asking for me. "Here," he said, extending his hand, "I feel the Lord wants me to give this to you." It was a first-class relic of St. John the Baptist. (Had this all not happened in front of my spiritual director, it would have seemed all too unbelievable).
When Jesus was about to begin His public ministry, John pointed to Christ and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." John was pointing ultimately toward the Eucharist. Thus, all of us who are baptized share to some degree in John the Baptist’s ministry as we lead others toward Jesus in the Real Presence.
This morning, as I begin to write you from Los Angeles, California, another strong word came to me:
There is no man, no principality, no power that will stand in the way as an obstacle to My divine plan. All is prepared. The sword is about to fall. Do not be afraid, for I will keep My people safe in the trials which are about to afflict the earth (see Rev 3:10).
In St. John’s vision of Chapter 6-8 in Revelation, he sees "the Lamb" opening "seven seals" that appear to usher in God’s justice. The best way to understand the vision of Revelation is that it has been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, andwill be fulfilled. Like a spiral, the book sweeps through every generation, every century, being fulfilled on one level or another, in one region or another, until it will finally be fulfilled on a global level. Hence, Pope Benedict said recently in an interview:
The Book of Revelation is a mysterious text and has many dimensions… the striking aspect of Revelation is precisely that it is just when one thinks the end is truly now upon us that the whole things starts again from the beginning. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Time-An Interview with Peter Seewald,P. 182
What we are seeing now are the first winds, the storm surge, of a Great Spiritual Hurricane, a Global Revolution. It is stirring now in various regions until it will culminate globally (see Rev 7:1), when the "labor pains" become universal .
…a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evil-doing will overturn the thrones of rulers. (Wis 5:23)
It is the lawlessness of apostasy that, according to Scripture, brings about the lawless leader of this Global Revolution—the Antichrist (see 2 Thess 2:3)… but ends in a global reign of the Lamb of God.
Then I watched while the Lamb broke open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures cry out in a voice like thunder, "Come forward." I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories. (6:1-2)
This Rider, according to Sacred Tradition, is the Lord Himself:
…of whom also John says in the Apocalypse: "He went forth conquering, that He should conquer." —St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book IV: 21:3
[The Rider] is Jesus Christ. The inspired evangelist [St. John] not only saw the devastation brought about by sin, war, hunger and death; he also saw, in the first place, the victory of Christ.—POPE PIUS XII, Address, November 15, 1946; footnote of The Navarre Bible, "Revelation", p.70
Jesus is seen in this vision preceding the other "riders" of the Apocalypse that will follow in the other seals. What are the victories He achieves?
The first seal being opened, he says that he saw a white horse, and a crowned horseman having a bow. For this was at first
done by Himself. For after the Lord ascended into heaven and opened all things, He sent the Holy Spirit, whose words the preachers sent forth as arrows reaching to the human heart, that they might overcome unbelief. —St. Victorinus, Commentary on the Apocalypse, Ch. 6:1-2
That is, mercy is preceding justice. This is precisely what Jesus announced through His "secretary of mercy," St. Faustina:
…before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy… before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice… —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary, n. 83, 1146
These victories are to be achieved throughout the spiral of history until the cup of justice is full. The final "arrows" shot from the bow of this Rider are the last words of invitation to repent and believe the good news—the beautiful and consoling message of Divine Mercy—before the other riders of the apocalypse begin their final gallop throughout the world.
Today, a living flame of divine love entered my soul… It seemed to me that, if it had lasted an instant longer, I would have been drowned in the ocean of love. I cannot describe these arrows of love that pierce my soul. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary, n. 1776
While these messages are being heeded today by some souls throughout the world, it has not been enough to stem the moral tsunami that has produced a culture of death…
Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily Esplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima, May 13th, 2010
When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, "Come forward." Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword. (Rev 6:3-4)
I wrote in Global Revolution that the "secret societies" have been working over the centuries toward an overthrow of the present order by bringing about chaos. Again, the motto among the Freemasons is Ordo ab Chao: "Order out of Chaos".
At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself …that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view—namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism. —POPE LEO XIII, Humanum Genus, Encyclical on Freemasonry, n.10, Apri 20thl, 1884
Some significant event, or series of events, will spark violence that will "take peace away from the earth." It will be a point of no return—a moment the Blessed Mother has held at bay now for nearly a century through her prolonged intercession for mankind. In some respects, are not the events of 911, the Iraq war that followed, the ensuing and frequent acts of terrorism, the growing disappearance of liberties in the name of "security", and the revolutions unfolding before our eyes already, perhaps, the approaching thunderous hooves of this red horse?
…causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.—Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va
When he broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature cry out, "Come forward." I looked, and there was a black horse, and its rider held a scale in his hand. I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures. It said, "A ration of wheat costs a day’s pay, and three rations of barley cost a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil or the wine." (Rev 6:5-6)
The seals are not necessarily confined to a chronological order. Thus, one could rightly say that one seal bleeds into another. The precipitation of a global crisis—"a huge sword"—will have a profound impact on nation’s food supplies. We are already in the throws of a growing global food crisis as shortages coupled with agricultural disasters are driving food prices up and supplies down. This, in turn, is fueling civil unrest.
Life in many poor countries is still extremely insecure as a consequence of food shortages, and the situation could become worse: hunger still reaps enormous numbers of victims among those who, like Lazarus, are not permitted to take their place at the rich man’s table… Moreover, the elimination of world hunger has also, in the global era, become a requirement for safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate,Encyclical, n. 27
We are already witnessing "food riots" in parts of the world. The Third Seal indicates food rationing—a reality that will spread to most parts of the world.
When he broke open the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, "Come forward." I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:7-8)
While the second and third seal precipitate social unrest and chaos, the Fourth Seal indicates outright lawlessness. It is the unleashing of "Hades"—hell on earth.
And we have already been warned of this.
What happened in Rwanda in 1994 was a warning shot across the bow of humanity. Witnesses who survived the genocide there described it as the unleashing of hell. The Canadian commander of U.N. forces there at the time, General Roméo Dallaire, said he "shook hands with the devil." And he meant it literally. Another missionary told Time magazine:
There are no devils left in Hell. They are all in Rwanda. —Time Magazine, "Why? The Killing Fields of Rwanda", May 16th, 1994
What is significant is that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in Kibeho, Rwanda some 12 years earlier, and revealed in graphic visions and detail to some young visionaries what was going to happen, the "rivers of blood". She told them:
My children, it does not have to happen if people would listen and come back to God. —Mary to a visionary, If Only We Had Listened; author, Immaculée Ilibagiza
Genocide survivor, Immaculée Ilibagiza, said she believes the apparition and events that took place in Rwanda were a "message for the whole world."
The rider of this pale green horse also brings about famine and plague "by means of the beasts of the earth." Food rationing turns into famine, and disease turns into plague. Scientists predict that we are overdue for another major epidemic. It is interesting that St. John foresaw this as coming "from the beasts of the earth." AID’s is believed to have originated from monkeys that carried the original virus, according to this disclosure. And of course, the world has been on pins and needles over a possible "bird flu" pandemic, "mad cow" disease, super-bugs, etc… As I’ve noted before, the Secretary of Defense of the United States warned that countries are developing "biological" weapons. This, and the other seals, are punishments which man will have brought upon himself:
There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least… some scientists in their laboratories [are] trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. —Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997, 8:45 AM EDT, Department of Defense; see www.defense.gov
At this point, brothers and sisters, how can we not be stirred by the tears of the Blessed Virgin Mary who has been coming to warn humanity about the dark path we have been on now for centuries, calling us back to her Son?
As Pope Leo XIII points out, the intent of this Global Revolution is not just the overthrow of the political establishments to create a new world order dominated by elite rulers, but above all the destruction ‘of the world which the Christian teaching has produced.’ The conditions that precipitated the French Revolution roused not only an uprising against corrupt rulers, but against what was perceived to be a corrupt Church. Today, the conditions for an uprising against the Catholic Church have perhaps never been so ripe. Soiled through apostasy, the infiltration of sexual abusers, and the perception that she is "intolerant" is already generating a revolt against her authority.
Even now, in every conceivable form, power threatens to trample down faith. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World—The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Time—An Interview with Peter Seewald, P. 166
The revolutions of the second to fourth seals will also overflow into a revolution against the Church, the Fifth Seal:
When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God. They cried out in a loud voice, "How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?" Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the number was filled of their fellow servants and brothers who were going to be killed as they had been. (Rev 6:9-11)
The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer…—Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va
These attacks, already gathering like storm clouds,6 will quell freedom of speech, damage church property, and target particularly clergy. It is these attacks against the priesthood of Christ that will bring the world to a great moment—an intervention of the High Priest Himself—in the Sixth Seal.
Then I watched while he broke open the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; the sun turned as black as dark sackcloth and the whole moon became like blood. The stars in the sky fell to the earth like unripe figs shaken loose from the tree in a strong wind. Then the sky was divided like a torn scroll curling up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. The kings of the earth, the nobles, the military officers, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid themselves in caves and among mountain crags. They cried out to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come and who can withstand it?" (Rev 6:12-17)
The Rider upon the white horse intervenes in a warning—what will be one of the greatest world-wide events since the Flood. It is clear from St. John’s following texts that this is not the Second Coming, but some kind of manifestation of His presence to the world that is like a sign and omen of each man’s particular judgment, and ultimately, the Final Judgment.
The LORD shall appear over them, and his arrow shall shoot forth as lightning… (Zechariah 9:14)
In contemporary Catholic prophecy, this is known as the "illumination of conscience" or "the warning."
I pronounced a great day… wherein the terrible Judge should reveal all men’s consciences and try every man of each kind of religion. This is the day of change, this is the Great Day which I threatened, comfortable to the well-being, and terrible to all heretics. —St. Edmund Campion, Cobett’s Complete Collection of State Trials…, Vol. I, p. 1063.
Servant of God, the late Maria Esperanza, wrote:
The consciences of this beloved people must be violently shaken so that they may "put their house in order"… A great moment is approaching, a great day of light… it is the hour of decision for mankind. —Servant of God, Maria Esperanza;Antichrist and the End Times, Fr. Joseph Ianuzzi, P. 37 (Volumne 15-n.2, Featured Article from www.sign.org)
"This is the day of change," the "hour of decision."
All the revolutions prior—the chaos, sorrows, and death that have blown across the earth like a hurricane, will have brought humanity to this point, the Eye of the Storm. The "stars in the sky" represent, in particular, the leaders of the Churches who are "shaken" to their knees.7 The other titles, from kings to slaves, indicate that every person on earth, from the greatest to the least, will recognize that the "Day of the Lord" is near.8
St. Faustina describes a vision of this "warning" as well:
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. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 83
Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for. What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy-God! —St. Faustina; Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 36
The riders of the Apocalypse, led by Jesus, have been instruments of God’s merciful judgment to this point: punishments whereby God permits man to reap what he has sown—like the prodigal son9 —in order to shake the consciences of men and bring them to repentance. Through these painful moments, God will even be working in the destruction to save souls (read Mercy in Chaos).
But this break—the Eye of the Storm—begins the final separation between the repentant and unrepentant. Those in the latter camp, having refused the "door of mercy," will be forced to pass through the door of justice.
Since God, having finished His works, rested on the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years… —Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (250-317 A.D.; Ecclesiastical writer), The Divine Institutes, Vol 7.
Thus, the breaking of the Sixth Seal is, as Esperanza said, an "hour of decision" when the weeds will be plucked from the wheat:
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. (Matt 13:39-40)
St. John describes this "final sifting" after the Sixth Seal is broken:
After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on land or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, "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." (Rev 7:1-3)
The souls marked for Jesus are those who will be either martyred, or survive into the Era of Peace—the "reign for a thousand years" as Scripture and Tradition call it.
The Sixth Seal, the "illumination," is a profound moment when the fullness of God’s Divine Mercy will be poured out upon the world. Just when all would seem lost, and the world deserving of utter destruction, the light of love will begin to pour out like an ocean of mercy upon the world. The illumination will be brief—minutes, say the saints and mystics. But what follows is the continuation and completion of the illumination for those who will sincerely seek Christ.
The angel who cried out came "up from the East, holding the seal of the living God" (cf. Ezekiel 9:4-6). To understand why this rising "up from the East" is significant, see what takes place in the breaking of the Seventh Seal which is closely related to the previous seal:
When he broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw that the seven angels who stood before God were given seven trumpets. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel.
The Sixth and Seventh Seal combined are a profound encounter with the "Lamb that seemed to have been slain" (Rev 5:6). It begins with an interior illumination that God exists, and that "I am a sinner" in need of Him. But for many, it will also be a revelation that His Church and Sacraments exist, most especially the Blessed Sacrament. The Rider upon the white horse is going to bring about His final victories of Divine Mercy at the end of this era, precisely through what He revealed to St. Faustina to be the "throne of mercy":
The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: Come to Me, all of you—Divine Mercy in My Soul; Diary, n. 1485
It is there where, through infused knowledge and the ministry of those being prepared presently by Our Lady, beautiful conversations between Jesus and "prodigal" sons and daughters will take place:
Jesus: Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.—Divine Mercy in My Soul; Diary, n. 1485
Some people may in fact witness the "rays" of Divine Mercy emanating from the Eucharist, as St. Faustina saw in many visions.10 These coming miracles of the Heart of Jesus, the Eucharist, were revealed to St. Margaret Mary:
I understood that devotion to the Sacred Heart is a last effort of His Love towards Christians of these latter times, by proposing to them an object and means so calculated to persuade them to love Him… in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy… —St. Margaret Mary, Antichrist and the End Times, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, p. 65; —St. Margaret Mary, www.sacredheartdevotion.com
It is an ancient tradition in Catholic liturgy to face East as a sign of anticipation of Christ’s coming. The angel is rising from the direction of the Eucharist calling for the sealing—the final consecration—of those who will follow the Lamb. The Church will be stripped of everything so that all that is left is Jesus where He is. One will either be with Him, or not. St. John sees a liturgy in his vision with the altar, incense, and prayers of repentance rising to God as the people worship Jesus in silence:
Silence in the presence of the Lord GOD! For near is the day of the LORD, yes, the LORD has prepared a slaughter feast, he has consecrated his guests. (Zeph 1:7)
Facing East, facing the Eucharist, is an anticipation of the "rising sun of justice," of the "dawn" (oriens). It is not only "a presentation of the hope of the parousia",11 but the priest and people are also…
…facing the image of the cross [traditionally on the altar], which embodied in itself the whole theology of the oriens.—Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Feast of Faith, p. 141
That is, the brief silence of the Eye of the Storm is about to pass over, and the passion, death, and resurrection of the Church12 is about to take place through the final winds of this Great Storm. It is the Midnight before the Dawn: the rise of a false star13, the Beast and False Prophet whom divine providence will use as instruments to purify the Church and the world…
…the LORD God shall sound the trumpet, and come in a storm from the south. (Zechariah 9:14)
Then the angel took the censer, filled it with burning coals from the altar, and hurled it down to the earth. There were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. The seven angels who were holding the seven trumpets prepared to blow them. (Rev 8:5-6)
The elect souls will have to fight the Prince of Darkness. It will be a frightening storm — no, not a storm, but a hurricane devastating everything! He even wants to destroy the faith and confidence of the elect. I will always be beside you in the storm that is now brewing. I am your mother. I can help you and I want to! You will see everywhere the light of my Flame of Love sprouting out like a flash of lightning illuminating Heaven and earth, and with which I will inflame even the dark and languid souls! But what sorrow it is for me to have to watch so many of my children throw themselves in hell! —Message from Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth Kindelmann (1913-1985); approved by Cardinal Péter Erdö, primate of Hungary
In the end, those who cling to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and refuse to bow to the Beast’s rule will be victorious, and will reign with Jesus in His Eucharistic presence in the bright and glorious Afternoon of what the Church Fathers called the "seventh day,"… a sabbath day rest until Christ comes in glory at the end of time to create a New Heavens and New Earth in that "eighth" and everlasting day.
Therefore, the Son of the most high and mighty God… shall have destroyed unrighteousness, and executed His great judgment, and shall have recalled to life the righteous, who… will be engaged among men a thousand years, and will rule them with most just command… —4th century Ecclesiastical writer, Lactantius, “The Divine Institutes”, The ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 7, p. 211
So, the blessing foretold undoubtedly refers to the time of His Kingdom, when the just will rule on rising from the dead; when creation, reborn and freed from bondage, will yield an abundance of foods of all kinds from the heaven’s dew and the fertility of the earth, just as the seniors recall. Those who saw John, the Lord’s disciple, [tell us] that they heard from him how the Lord taught and spoke about these times… —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Church Father (140–202 A.D.); Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus of Lyons, V.33.3.4