E-mail from Heaven: Is your computer on?
In one sense every saint is a teacher witnessing by his life how to love God and grow in virtue. But there are particular saints with a special charism to teach and a number of them are named John. We could add St. John Bosco & Fr. John Hardon too!
Our Lady of La Salette: : Mary wept when she appeared to the two shepherd children on September 19, 1846 and continued weeping during the entire apparition. “If my people will not submit,” she told them, “I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong and so heavy that I can no longer hold it up.” Mary went on to warn about the sins of both laity and clergy and predict famines and wars that would engulf France and other nations. ”The sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth.” Mary appealed to her children saying, “I call on my children, the true faithful, those who have given themselves to me so that I may lead them to my divine Son, those whom I carry in my arms, so to speak, those who have lived on my spirit. Finally, I call on the Apostles of the Last Days, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in scorn for the world and for themselves, in poverty and in humility, in scorn and in silence, in prayer and in mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering and unknown to the world. It is time they came out and filled the world with light. Go and reveal yourselves to be my cherished children. I am at I your side and within you, provided that your faith is the light which shines upon you in these unhappy days. May your zeal make you famished for the glory and the honor of Jesus Christ. Fight, children of light, you, the few who can see. For now is the time of all times, the end of all ends.”
Our Lady of Lourdes: A dozen years later in 1858 Our Lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes. The people had experienced some of the warnings of La Salette. The wheat crop had failed due to drought, a cholera epidemic had killed many. The faith was under attack from the secular government. In that environment, Mary appeared to the young teenager. Before she ever spoke a word, she led her to pray the rosary, taking it out and making the sign of the cross. At the third apparition she first spoke asking Bernadette, “Would you be willing to kiss the ground for the sake of sinners? Would you be willing to crawl on the ground for the sake of sinners? Penance! Penance! Penance! Pray for the conversion of sinners.” Lourdes gave the prescription for curing the world of sin: prayer and penance.
On the Rosary: Pope Leo XIII emphasized the importance of the rosary in his encyclical Laetitiae Sanctae. “We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large…[Meditating on the mysteries provides] precious examples of goodness, of modesty of humility, of hard-working endurance, of kindness to others, of diligence in the small duties of daily life, and of other virtues [of the Holy Family of Nazareth], and once they have made their influence felt they gradually take root in the soul, and in course of time fail not to bring about a happy change of mind and conduct.”
Prophetic Warning from Fr. John Hardon (1999): “I believe the breakdown of religious life in the Western world is a phenomenon…unique in the history of Christianity. There have been, since the last half of this century, more departures from Catholicism, more closing of Catholic churches, more dioceses that have been secularized than ever before…. The United Sates has been one of the main victims. In general we may say the more academically educated…and the richer in this world’s goods a nation was, the greater has been the departure from Jesus Christ….In the Catholic church we have seen the most widespread breakdown of the priesthood and authentic consecrated life….The Holy See seriously wonders how much of the Catholic Church will survive in wealthy prosperous nations of the Western world like our own. …There is only one way the revolution can be reversed…Professed Catholics who call themselves Christians must reexamine their faith. …The Catholic Church will be preserved only where there are—hear it—Catholics who are living martyrs….What the Church needs, desperately needs, is strong believing Catholics. Otherwise, one nation after another, like our own, will be wiped out as a Christian country.”