Like Poland in the 1930s, Are We Due for Chastisement?
By Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD (Apr 4, 2012)
A couple named Colleen and Paul sent me an excellent question recently that should give us all pause to ponder our own situation here in North America. They wrote:
Hello Dr. Robert,
Saint Faustina in her Diary more than once says she is praying for her beloved Poland and in one instance I think our Lord was sending retribution. She never says what the sins are that are precipitating Poland's punishment. We of course were wondering if they are the same ones of our country?
The passage that Colleen and Paul are referring to is Diary entry 39, which reads as follows:
One day Jesus told me that He would cause a chastisement to fall upon the most beautiful city in our country. This chastisement would be that with which God had punished Sodom and Gomorrah. I saw the great wrath of God and a shudder pierced my heart. I prayed in silence. After a moment Jesus said to me, My child, unite yourself closely to Me during the Sacrifice and offer My Blood and My Wounds to My Father in expiation for the sins of that city. Repeat this without interruption throughout the entire Holy Mass. Do this for seven days. On the seventh day I saw Jesus in a bright cloud and began to beg Him to look upon the city and upon our whole country. Jesus looked [down] graciously. When I saw the kindness of Jesus, I began to beg His blessing. Immediately Jesus said, For your sake I bless the entire country. And He made a big sign of the cross over our country. Seeing the goodness of God, a great joy filled my soul.
The Diary does not tell us which city in Poland that St. Faustina was referring to when she wrote that a "chastisement" would fall on "the most beautiful city in our country," but it is not hard to guess, for several reasons.
First, the capital city, Warsaw, had been filled with architectural splendors in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
Second, Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko tells us in his own recollections that he questioned Sr. Faustina further about this matter. You can find a good summary of the subject in Rick Torretto's book, A Divine Mercy Resource (pp. 78-79). In that book he provides for us some important quotes. For example, Fr. Sopocko tells us in his Summarium (p. 95, no. 251):
She [Sr. Faustina] wrote in her diary that Jesus Himself said that He was about to destroy one of the most beautiful cities of our country like Sodom was destroyed on account of the crimes perpetrated there [Diary, entry 39]. Having read about these things in the Diary I asked her what does the prophecy mean? She answered confirming what she wrote and replying to a further question of mine, on account of what kind of sins God was going to inflict these punishments. She answered: especially for the killing of infants not yet born, the most grievous crime of all.
This special concern for the killing of unborn children fits with what St. Faustina wrote about mysterious bodily pains she experienced, which no medicines could relieve, and which she offered up to heaven, "in order to offer reparation to God for the souls murdered in the wombs of wicked mothers" ( Diary, entry 1276).
Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, the vice-postulator of the cause for the canonization of St. Faustina, filled in the rest of the picture in an article he wrote in 1995, based on his extensive research:
Her confessor [Fr. Sopocko] later discovered that, between the First and Second World Wars, the city of Warsaw, which as the capital of Poland, was also one of the great capitals of abortion in the world! While Sister Faustina lived and prayed, that city was spared. But hardly a year after her death, Poland was invaded, and by the time the war was over, Warsaw was almost completely destroyed [much like Sodom and Gomorrah!].
In other words, as the prophecy in Diary entry 39 stated, the merciful Lord prevented destruction from falling upon the city, despite the terrible crimes committed against unborn children there day after day, in response to the earnest prayers and intercessions of St. Faustina. No doubt our Savior is just as deeply grieved that another land that He has blessed in so many ways — namely, America — also has one of the most permissive (i.e., tolerant of killing) abortion laws in the world, and approximately 1.5 million children are put to death in their mother's wombs in this land every year. God is so merciful that He will not remove His protection from this country as long as pure and sincere souls plead to Him for forgiveness and forbearance, on the basis of the sorrowful passion of His Son. In Diary entry 474, St. Faustina makes it clear that the devout recitation of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy can stay the hand of divine justice, and gain yet more time for repentance and putting an end to such horrible injustices against the innocent. Jesus said to her:
I do not want to punish aching mankind, I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. (Diary, 1588)
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called abortion an "intrinsic evil" in our society, the ending of which ought to be among the highest priorities for Catholics today. Approximately 25 percent of Americans are churchgoing Catholics, yet the most recent polls show that only 5 percent of Americans today look upon the protection of the lives of unborn children as the most important issue in the upcoming presidential and congressional elections. Something is deeply wrong here. We Catholics need to wake up — and what happened in St. Faustina's time can be a "cautionary tale" in this regard. God is not going to let this kind of indifference to the "slaughter of the innocents" going on in our midst carry on indefinitely. If we want America to continue to be blessed and to be a beacon of freedom and human rights for the world, then we each need to do our part to help protect the human rights of "the least of these my brethren" (Mt 25:46) in our midst.
The very future of our country may depend on it.
Robert Stackpole, STD, is director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. His latest book is Divine Mercy: A Guide from Genesis to Benedict XVI (Marian Press). Got a question? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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