A Time for Repentance & Conversion



It is hard to believe that another Christmas Season has passed and that the Lenten Season will soon be upon us.  It is hard to believe that 2011 is history and that the much anticipated 2012 has now arrived.  Many prophecies from all around the world have warned that 2012 may very well be a difficult year, and many of the current and recent visionaries and seers are speaking about many of the same serious and somber events and situations.


Lent is the season of prayer and penance before Easter.  It is a time for the faithful to prepare and dispose themselves for a more fruitful reception of the graces merited by Jesus in His Passion and Death.  But according to today’s 2nd Mass Reading (1Cor 7:29-31), on this 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 22, 2012, it may not be wise to wait another month for this 2012 Lenten Season to begin.


In her messages to Gianna, Our Lady of Emmitsburg has said of this special time of year:


“During this Lenten Season know that the Lord loves you.  This season is one of Love.  It is to be a season of giving, of forgiving, of mortification and of Love. (OLOE 02-16-94)  During this season, focus on my Son’s Mercy.  His merciful Heart is for all sinners.  There you will find rest and security.  (OLOE 03-02-95)  Each day immersed in His precious Life must consist of Love….The Lenten Season should not be viewed as a time of hardship, but as a time of joy to share in the Love of Jesus.”   (OLOE 04-03-97)


Besides the recommended days of fasting and abstinence, Lent is to be a time of prayer and almsgiving, a time for more fully participating in the sacramental life and in works of charity, and a time of repentance. 


Repentance is voluntary sorrow for having done something wrong because we have offended God, and it involves a resolve to amend our conduct by taking the necessary means so as to avoid the occasions of sinning again.


In Matthew’s Gospel, we first hear John the Baptist proclaim, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  (Mt 3:2) And then in Mark’s Gospel, after John had been arrested and before Jesus had called his first disciples, Jesus Himself went to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment.  The Kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”  (Mk 1:15)


During a period of time from the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s Our Lord in His Lessons to the world spoke much about “repentance” to help us better understand the meaning of His Gospel message and of this Kingdom at hand.  Our Lord warned:


“If you wish to receive My knowledge of everlasting life, then live your lives with humility.  Know it is better not to speak if your words lack humility, are full of pride, and question disrespectfully.  My knowledge would tell you first to look at your own actions and repent before My Father.  (JOM 08-08-89Do not seek fame and attachment to earthly things.  Seek attachment to Me, and acquire Heavenly treasures….Those who live with humility and self-denial will be at peace with death.  Those who do not live the Truth of My words should fear the hour that death would fall upon them….Repent, and reform your earthly, vain lives to the life of everlasting peace!”  (JOM 08-09-89)


Conversion is a turning from a state of sin to repentance, from a lax to a fervent way of life, from unbelief to faith.  In His Lessons Our Lord also speaks about conversion as being a slow and silent process that only God sees, but that also involves those around us.  He further explains:


“Know that as sinners convert, the more will loving grace and tender words and loving actions from My people assist them in conversion.  This type of loving grace makes the sinners weep and encourages them in their journey.…It is through love that the sinner repents….It is a journey one must take alone to fully embrace the intimacy of My Eternal Father.” (JOM  12-31-89)


Just as it gives God great glory when a sinner, by an act of free will, chooses God over sin, it must cause Our Lord great sorrow when sinners fail to open their hearts and minds to these graces of conversion.  He goes on to say:


“I came to save the sinner, but My people think they have not sinned and do not need God….What state could be more sinful?...This carelessness will result in their own judgment in due season.  If they will not heed My Word and allow My Mercy to change their strong (stubborn) hearts to repentant hearts, (then) their own judgment standards will toss them into the abyss of eternal flames which will consume their souls in everlasting agony and misery.”  (JOM 03-18-95)


Just as Our Lady never fails to point to her Son, so too Our Lord never fails to point to His Heavenly Father.  His entire mission is one of obedience to the Father:


“My Father has so much to give….Yet few seek Him and few desire to have a truly personal relationship with Him because they keep their distance from Me.  There is nothing that God will not forgive in His merciful Love when a repentant heart asks for His Mercy and forgives himself.   (JOM 9-12-95)  Just as Nineveh (Jonas 3) was spared, so too can the world in which you live be spared.  Love and Mercy are key elements and virtues of the Truth….It is so necessary that My people return to me soon before it becomes any more difficult to change.  The longer My people delay, the colder the heart becomes, more and more like stone.”  (JOM 11-12-95)


In December 2003, Our Lady of Emmitsburg first promised that God the Father would “intervene”; and from December 2005 through October 2008, Our Heavenly Father Himself did speak to the world through Gianna, trying to awaken the minds and hearts of all His children, attempting to bring them home to Himself for all eternity.  However, it would seem that much of the time, even His Words have fallen on indifferent or deaf ears:


“When you are young, you gird your loins, clothe yourselves, and entertain yourselves….because you do not think of the future.  All is good!  There is no need to pray and no need to repent.  You can have it your way….On another day you can always make up for what was lost.  Then you grow older….The body becomes weaker, even beginning to decay.  You become set in your ways.  It becomes difficult to praise your Creator….and more difficult for you to pray and to plead your cause.”  (GTF 12-08-05)


But as we grow closer to these times that have been prophesied for centuries, Our Heavenly Father more seriously warns humanity of the consequences of the hardness of the human heart to His Love and Mercy and to the gift of His beloved daughter Mary:


“My sweet beloved Mary continues to hold back the sword of the Angel, preventing it from striking and revealing the bowls of purification.  However, even (she) could not do this unless I allowed her….But now, without revealing a time or a date or a place, I will forewarn humanity to take a cautious look at your very selves.  Tell Me, ‘What have you done to desecrate My Sanctuary?’  And ‘What have you done to repent, as you continue to ignore My Words, the Words of My Blessed Son and those of My dearly beloved Mary?”  As you continue to ignore them, you continue to entice yourselves and become blind to the Truth….No one knows how long I will allow my beloved Mary to continue to hold back the sword of the Angel.  Her pleading on your behalf is nearing its end; and when that time comes, you best be prepared!” (GTF 07-06-06)


It is a tremendous grace from God that Our Lady has been allowed to be here and throughout the world with us in this very special way for so many years.  It is sad that more people have not been able to fully benefit from the graces she brings.  In her role as our Mother she can only love, but sometimes love has to be “tough love”; and discipline is a part of that tough love.  In March of 2007, Our Lady of Emmitsburg reminded us:


“Remember, children, even with the depth of your sin and even until your last breath, you can ask for forgiveness because God is merciful.  But if you do not repent and reform your lives and return to God, your sin is like worms devouring you, like excrement so undesirable and horrific!” (OLOE, 03-05-06)


But as that same loving Mother, Our Lady continues to encourage and to teach and to nurture the hope of all her children during this critical time in salvation history:


“This is a time when you should be allowing God to prune the thorns surrounding your soul; a time of enlightenment; a time to see yourself as you are, and a time to see God as He is; a time to love in the midst of a painfully broken world, a world filled with tremendous idealization, corruption, abuse, anger, hatred and sorrow; a time to listen; and a time to receive the breath of Jesus.  So many people perceive the Lenten Season as one filled with many trials, tribulations, frustrations and annoyances; but truly, the Lenten season is a season of Love.”  (OLOE 03-05-98)


 So today, let us invite the entire Heavenly Court, all the celestial choirs of Angels and all the Saints, to join us and Our Lady of Emmitsburg, here at the Center of her Immaculate Heart and throughout the entire world, as we prepare for this new, 2012 Lenten Season, but a Lenten Season which for many could very well be their last. Let us pray that our hearts as well as the hearts of our families, our friends & even our enemies might be open to listen and to receive that breath of Jesus our Savior; and that we truly are ready to repent and convert, while there is still time!




Modified Opening Remarks from Marian Prayer Group, Feb, 3, 2008

 by Michael T. Sullivan, MD