Preparation—The Poison: Doubt

Part IX of a 9 Part Series



 Preparation:  the Antidote


(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)


“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!”

(Isaiah 40:3)


Jesus to his disciples:

“Why are you terrified?  Do you not yet have faith?”

(Mk 4:40)


Jesus to the disciples:

 “O’ faithless and perverse generation,

how long will I be with you?  How long will I endure you? 

Bring him (boy with a demon) here to Me….

The disciples: 

“Why could we not drive it out?” 


“Because of your little faith.  Amen, I say to you: 

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,

‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. 

Nothing will be impossible for you.”

(Mt 17: 16-20)


In the previous section of the “Prepare” series, the theme was “doubt” and the “poison” that it can pose in this process of preparing the way of the Lord.  An “antidote” is a remedy to counteract a poison, and for doubt, “faith” is that antidote. 


The Catholic Dictionary defines “faith” as the acceptance of the word of another, trusting that the other knows what he/she is saying and is honest in telling the truth. The basic motive of all faith is the authority (or the right to be believed) of the one who is speaking.  This authority should possess an adequate knowledge of what he/she is talking about, and the integrity in not wanting to deceive.  It is called divine faith when the one believed is God, and human faith when the persons believed are human beings.  With respect to private revelation, it is even more complicated, because it involves both—a belief in God or His supernatural designate as the source (such as Our Lady, the Saints or the Angels), and often a human being as the messenger. 


Thus, the process of discernment becomes even more necessary and difficult. This process of the “discernment of spirits” is defined in the Catholic Dictionary as the ability to distinguish whether a given idea or impulse in the soul comes from the good spirit or from the evil spirit.  It may be an act of the virtue of prudence, or a special gift of supernatural grace, or both.  In persons who are seriously intent on doing God’s Will, the good spirit is recognized by the peace of mind and readiness for sacrifice that a given thought or desire produces in the soul.  The evil spirit produces a disturbance of mind and a tendency toward self-indulgence.


In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the initial section in Part One is entitled, “I believe—We believe.”   It begins:


“We begin our profession of faith by saying:  ‘I believe’ or ‘We believe’.  Before expounding the Church’s faith, as confessed in the Creed, celebrated in the liturgy, and lived in observance of God’s commandments and in prayer, we must first ask what ‘to believe’ means.  Faith is man’s response to God, who reveals Himself and gives Himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant Light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life.”  (CCC I, 1, 26)


The theme and teachings concerning faith and faithfulness have played central parts in the mystical gifts to the world through Gianna Talone Sullivan for over 20 years, first from Our Lord, then from Our Lady of Emmitsburg, and lastly, from God the Father.  “Faith” has been included in 10 of the over 30 Words of God the Father since December 2005, in 85 of the over 350 public Messages of Our Lady of Emmitsburg since 1993, and in 97 of the 250 Lessons from Our Lord between 1988 and 1995.  And even more prolific are the discussions regarding “faith” in 220 of the private Messages from Our Lady through Gianna recorded since 2002.


Thus, it is very apparent that faith is the foundation on which so much of the growth in the spiritual life is founded; and when that faith is obstructed by doubt, that same growth can be limited, completely paralyzed or even entirely lost.


Due to this abundance of material regarding “faith” in these mystical gifts, it would be an almost impossible task to compile a single document of reasonable length on this subject.  So instead, let us review one of the first and one of the last things about faith said by Our Lord in His series of Lessons, by Our Lady of Emmitsburg in her public messages to the world and in her private messages through Gianna, and finally by God the Father in His “Words” to  the children of humanity.


In 1988, very early in His Lessons to the world, Our Lord gave an entire Lesson on Faith.  It seems so valuable to an understanding of this topic, that it will be included in its complete text:


“My child, we are now ready for another Lesson—a Lesson about faith.  The first step to having faith is surrendering with trust.  Faith is knowing your Lord will bring you out of exile and living that knowledge with joy, love and happiness, because it is the Truth.


This is faith: trusting in Me and My Gospel words. My Gospel is the Truth.  You cannot have faith one day, and then not the next because of a change in your mood.  This is what many of My people do to Me.  One day they trust in Me and have faith that I will care for them.  The next day their faith is not so strong, because their feelings are different for that day.  Your Lord does not change day to day.  My people may change their feelings day to day, but your Lord does not!  I will remain true to My people, as I have said many times in the past.


My people should not mistake faith with their feelings.  Faith is trusting in the Truth—the Truth that I shall save them and care for them.  It is because of evil that My people struggle, not because of Me!  They would rather struggle with their worries and problems, instead of having faith in their God.  They must surrender and trust and have faith on a day to day basis, not on a time interval of their own choice.  If only they would try.  It is difficult because My people make it difficult!


My words to you have been words I have said in past ages.  They are not new; and yet, I am still waiting for My people to try what I am requesting.  My child, this is faith—a fact not a feeling, a grace given to My people, a tool of power which is not practiced.  Go in peace now. Ad Deum.”  (JOM, Vol I, #12, Nov. 30, 1988)


Seven years and over 200 Lessons later, Our Lord summarizes what He will do if only His people have faith in Him:


“I will give you peace and refresh your soul with My Presence….I will teach you how to pray.  I will lead you to a conversion of heart through praying for forgiveness and purity of heart.  You will love your enemies and persecutors and seek the Kingdom above all else..  You will learn to pray in faith, for I will guide you.  You will knock, and I being the Door, will open to you the Way.  Your heart will be disposed to do the Will of My Father, for you will be bonded to Him in filial love….


“…Pray with confidence.  Pray with a persevering faith and with purity of Heart….Nothing happens to you in life unless My Father wills it so.  Trust in Divine Providence and surrender to His consoling truths….I will teach you to conform to the Will of My Father in adversity as well as in prosperity, in times of humiliation and disgrace as well as in times of honor and respect….I am your Jesus of Mercy….


“…My Lessons are for all people in the world.  All are invited to live in unity, peace and love.  All are invited to live in the Truth of God….My Peace I give to you for all eternity.  Come, you who are weary and filled with anguish.  Come, rest in My Love.  Receive My Mercy and comforting Love.  I am your Jesus of Mercy.”  (JOM, Vol 5, #29, Nov. 9, 1995)


Over the years at the Marian Public Prayer Groups held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Emmitsburg, Maryland, from 1993 through 2000, Our Lady of Emmitsburg in her Public Messages to the world always pointed to her Son and to His Gospel message, most often in regards to areas that were well recognized and accepted by the Church in its teaching and known to the faithful.  However, on occasion, she offered explanations in some of the areas of eschatology not yet explicitly understood or dogmatically defined by the Church.  Some of these areas have included the entitling of the Emmitsburg area where she is appearing as the “Center of her Immaculate Heart,” the unveiling of her Son’s Divine Mercy at the Center of her Immaculate Heart, the time of trials, tribulations and chastisements which precedes this end of an era (not the end of the world), the spiritual” Eucharistic Reign of the Child Jesus which will usher in the era of peace spoken of in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 20:1-6) and by Our Lady on July 13, 1917 in Fatima—all of these prophesies preceding some extended period of time before the return of Jesus as the Just Judge at the end of the world.


About these explanations and prophesies, Our Lady of Emmitsburg in her public messages stated back in 1994, even before she began explaining them in greater detail:


“During these times when God is unveiling His Mercy, you need to be strong in the gift of His Faith and be secure in His Hope.  You must not sway in your decision to be a child of God, nor be ashamed to follow His Truth when confronted with controversial topics of moral values.  You must hope and trust in God.  You must speak the Truth of His Word.  It is your only security.  If you seek to please man, while avoiding the Truth of God outlined in His Word of the Gospel, then you will jeopardize your freedom and position of attaining eternal bliss at the time of your Final Judgment before Him.”  (Public OLOE, March 3, 1994)


Over fourteen years later, and near the end of her Public Marian Prayer Groups held on private property near Emmitsburg, Maryland (2004-2008), Our Lady of Emmitsburg in August, 2008, seemed to be preparing her children for at least a change in the manner in which she would be with them at the Center of her Immaculate Heart:


“Little children, I love you.  I thank you for your prayers.  You are always protected within my most Immaculate Heart…. The Providence of God would have it that in the time of need and when the end times come, God will come to your aid as He promised the patriarch Abraham, that many descendents would be gathered through the seed of faith….I bless you abundantly in thanksgiving to God the Father Who has allowed me to be with you….Thank you for your prayer and your fidelity to God—always!  Safety is within;  Peace is within.  Because when Jesus is within, you are one with Him as He is One with His Father; and there you have Union with the Holy Trinity.”  (Public OLOE, Aug. 3, 2008)


On January 4, 2003, which was both the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton as well as the Vigil of the Feast of Epiphany, Our Lady of Emmitsburg said to those who have remained faithful to Her presence here in such a special way: 


“So now I commission you to be Light, a Light most silently, to know when to speak and when not to speak.  When you know, you will look to my Immaculate Heart and you will say to me, ‘Dear Mother, you bore me in your womb, and I ask you for help.  Speak the words in my mouth, and it will not be my words but your words that come forth’….


“…My Son knights you with the consecration through my Immaculate Heart to God the Father.  Now you shall never be lost again.  With this there are consequences.  You must remain faithful to my Immaculate Heart….It is a new tomorrow, a new beginning that no one in humanity has ever seen in the likeness of time….


“…I only know because of that which the Lord has revealed to me, but the ultimate end will be what God decides.  It all is based on ‘faith’—faith and hope and Love!”  (Private OLOE, Jan. 4, 2003)


And in one of her final private messages, before the end of the Public Marian Prayer Groups in the Emmitsburg area in October, 2008, Our Lady addressed a major concern that She herself has, as the Mother of the Church and of all children, and a concern that is carried by so many parents and families in the world:


“I can see all of your suffering.  You have carried your cross and have endured pain for your families.  I thank you for your commitment to God in standing up for the Truth, and for not being afraid to do what is right and for being a Light for my Son.” 


“It is difficult in this day and age, a time when there is today much confusion and complex circumstances facing your children—your children!  Be strong, and know that I have taken all of your family members into my most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.  Because of your faith and your tremendous selfless love, they will be renewed.  What seems as if they have strayed, is not actually how it will end.”  (Private OLOE, Oct. 4, 2008)


When for 2000 years the Almighty Father has sent His Son, sent His beloved daughter Mary, and sent countless Angels and Saints; when through His Spirit He has sent an unending river of sanctifying and purifying graces, what is left but for Him to answer the plea of His beloved Mary and to intervene Himself?  In His Words to the world He says:


“For you who have eyes to see and ears to hear, could you be more blessed than to receive and to listen?  All she (Our Lady) has unveiled to you is unfolding!  Are you dismayed or perhaps, many even frightened?  Are you astounded, or do you not care?  Do you continue to desecrate, or do you change and have hope fulfilled with the faith of Love?”  (GTF, Oct 8, 2008)


“There are those whom I have called, those who do not seek their own ways, but seek first the Kingdom of God.  Without understanding the mystery, they fulfill within their hearts the faithfulness of living the Truth, without seeing, without hearing and without knowing.  They have become the ‘chosen ones.’  All are invited; but few truly choose to walk, to be guided, and to live in Faith….So, children of faith, which is what you are called to be:



“Come to know the Truth of My Son’s Humanity and the Truth of His Divinity. 

Come to know the Truth of salvation and redemption, and the Truth of sacrifice, of love and of total abandonment to My Will, even to the point of death! 

Come to love so much that your every vein and artery and every cell in your body lives, breathes, dies, and ceases to be, all for My sake and that of My Creation.”  (GTF, Feb. 8, 2006)


If God the Father invites us to “Come,” who among us is so sure of themselves to proceed, after a period of prayerful discernment, with doubt?  Who among us is so sure of themselves to say, “No”?


Just as St. John the Baptist has been called the “last of the Old Testament prophets,” so too has Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, our Savior, been called the “last of the New Testament prophets.” She has chosen to use messengers in both ordinary and extraordinary ways, all according to God’s Will.  She has given to all those faithful who have remained committed to Our Lady’s plan, both in Emmitsburg and throughout the world, a very special mission, especially as it relates to the United States; but most likely, as it would relate to any and all nations.  She encourages her children:


“God calls you to move forward and to be not afraid.  He calls you to show the world through your actions, through your speech in the wisdom of your words and how you say things, and through how you act, so that all will come together and will comfort all different peoples of all different ages at the right time.  It does not matter whether someone believes my words or not, but ‘faith’ is what will save this country; and I am here!” 

(Our Lady of Emmitsburg, August 30, 2009)





Jesus to the disciples: 

“But when the Son of Man comes,

will He find faith on earth?”

(Lk 18:8)



“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!”

(Mt 3:2, Mk 1:3, Lk 3:4)