My friend Hilary White draws attention to an interesting passage from the visions of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, whose now famous (and fascinating) book, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the inspiration for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and one of the absolute best sources of Lenten meditation you can lay hands on.

She excerpts (with Hilary’s emphasis):

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I saw also the relationship between two popes … I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city of Rome. The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness…

“I had another vision of the great tribulation. It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded. It was as if people were splitting into two camps.”

“I see the Holy Father in great anguish. He lives in a palace other than before and he admits only a limited number of friends near him. I fear that the Holy Father will suffer many more trials before he dies.

“I see that the false Church of darkness is making progress and I see the dreadful influence it has on the people. The Holy Father and the Church are verily in so great a distress that one must implore God night and day…”

The parallels are certainly not a stretch of the imagination. Hilary writes of her own experiences with the text in question, and another discovery she made therein some years ago that caught her attention. It’s worth a read.

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