Spiritual preparedness is primary; the crisis and incipient collapse has been unleashed only because the demonic powers have decided that the West is ready for it.
Phase One was corruption through the sins of lust and greed - the sexual revolution and consumerism.
Phase Two has just begun: corruption through the sins of fear and despair (and make no mistake: these are sins).
Our only antidote to fear and despair is perfect love, faith, trust in the promises of Jesus Christ - that we can follow him through death to eternal resurrection in Heaven..
All that happens in our earthly mortal life is directed towards that ultimate destination.
Lacking such a perspective; fear and despair (and therefore deliberately-chosen damnation) are highly likely, if not inevitable.
(Which currently explains the demonic strategy.)
Assuming I am correct about the shift to Phase Two (long-prepared) - here is a prediction:
Look-out for the moment when the mass media start discussing/ seeding the idea of
escape by suicide (for those who haven't already thought about it) as a response to the crisis and collapse - then (deniably) encouraging suicide - finally preaching suicide as a public duty.
Note: As with all sins; it is by motivation that suicide is sinful; e.g. when suicide is a response to ineradicable and spiralling fear and despair with the objective of destruction of the soul, the self. This class of suicidal act is self-damning - because a consequence of (and an expressed belief-in) materialism, nihilism, denial-hatred of God and divine Creation; and rejection of Christ's offer of resurrection into Heaven.
At first that will surely come in the form of reporting suicides that are supposedly linked with the crisis and sympathizing with them. Truely disturbing but unsurprised given their track record.
I feel this is the right message at this time. Who knows where all of this may eventually lead.
Another way of looking at it, using Catholic terminology, is that phase one is the Time of Mercy and phase two the Time of Justice. Whatever happens with this virus it feels clear intuitively that we are shifting from phase one to phase two. Such is the Lord's mercy that phase one has been stretched out a very long time anyway.
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that in my view Pope Francis has been aware from the minute he became Pope that this shift would happen on his watch. That explains, for me, his seeming inordinate emphasis on mercy and the impression that he's 'letting people off' and so forth. He said as much on the night he was unveiled as Pope. 'I am the Pope from the end of the world', the comment was translated as in the English media, a reference to Argentina, so they thought. But Italian is one of those languages like French, where the word for 'of' is the same as the word 'from'. So Framcis' remark could just as easily be interpreted as 'I am the Pope of the end of the world.'
These are tough times. Masses have been suspended in Italy. I think Bruce's prophecy above is bang on the money. This is what it's all about. But I have a sense that the Lord won't let us face this demonic contagion and expansion on our own. He's profligate in his love and his mercy. I don't think He's motivated by our spiritual evolution and all that kind of thing. He's motivated by love and He'll give us chance after chance, hence another element in Catholic prophecy which resonates for me - the idea of a 'warning' - a sign in the sky or some kind of interior illumination, where we will all see ourselves as we will be seen on the day of judgement. Many will turn to Christ in that hour, and that is the intention of the 'warning', but many sadly won't.
Watch and pray, etc.
@John - Thanks very much - a very encouraging comment, coming from a different angle.
"I have a sense that the Lord won't let us face this demonic contagion and expansion on our own."
Absolutely not on our own. God is always present, and waiting eagerly for our attention.
But it is apparently necessary for (most of) us to make a conscious effort. I'm not sure if God ever did it very often; but nowadays God does not compel, does not force himself upon people in some parodic version of the Road to Damascus.
This is something that modern people don't seem to 'get'. In general, we must each consciously choose to meet God halfway, or else the decision is not genuinely our own, made in freedom.
"I don't think He's motivated by our spiritual evolution and all that kind of thing."
Neither do I!
"He's motivated by love and He'll give us chance after chance, hence another element in Catholic prophecy which resonates for me - the idea of a 'warning' - a sign in the sky or some kind of interior illumination, where we will all see ourselves as we will be seen on the day of judgement. Many will turn to Christ in that hour, and that is the intention of the 'warning', but many sadly won't."
If a sign would be helpful, then a sign will be provided. But at least up to now, such a sign would probably be counterproductive - such is the depth of our cynicism and materialism. Modern people can deny anything - absolutely anything; with recourse to imputations of massive 'coincidence', mental illness, fraud, dishonesty, mind manipulation...
Indeed, there are apparently plenty of folk who would rather regard themselves as inane rather than admit they had witnessed a miracle.
I think this is the other side of the coin from giving people 'chance after chance' - at a certain point such experience becomes counter-productive, and makes the person worse not better, hardens their heart not softrens it; and at that point I think God would draw the line - end the life, end the 'experiment' of our civilisation.
If governments are starting to shut down public worship, the very recent (but pre-Corona) Mormon shift to “home church” certainly seems prophetic.
@Wm - Well, if it wasn't for this reason - it would be for another; because the 'reasons' are just excuses.
Large gatherings of Christians are already all-but banned in the UK (so far as the authorities are informed about them); as evidenced by the cancellation of all-multiple venues for Franklin (son of Billy) Graham's national tour later this year.
The great thing about epidemics, is that they justify the supposed group benefit being enforced over individual freedom and choice, in multiple areas. The morality of this depends - not on science - but on the 'mechanism' for discerning the benefit of the group: who gets to decide, and by what authority?
Since Western Society is fifty years down the track after the end of universal valid authority (that was what the sixties was all about), this means that in reality nobody has authority to decide group interest; so all such exercises of top-down power are merely arbitrary; and reasons given are merely excuses for pursuing the self-interests of those who impose coercion.
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