Life, Liberty and Renewal

Book Pick: On the Brink?

On The Brink?

America and the Coming Divine Judgment

By Father Joseph Esper

Queenship Publishing Co., 2014

190 pages, $14

To order: EWTNRC.com or

(800) 854-6316

 

We can’t deny the signs of the times, given the escalating immorality in the U.S. and Western society at large.

In his latest book, Father Joseph Esper spells out the details. Taking readers step by step along the details of America’s slide and how it might end, he also shows what we can do about it.

A frequent guest on Johnnette Benkovic’s Women of Grace show on EWTN, Father Esper examines different perspectives, from historical ones to prophecies old and new, along with Scripture references.

We’re reminded of how the Founding Fathers built America solidly on Judeo-Christian morality and insisted on the necessity of that foundation to endure.

But, increasingly, the country has turned away from that, potentially forfeiting divine protection.

The author proposes that what is going on in America reflects the Israelites ignoring God’s warning when the Assyrians were at their doorstep; he states that we did not learn lessons from 9/11 and that current America mirrors the symptoms of past empires entering their final days, such as Rome. Churches filled up after 9/11, but, soon, spiritual renewal disappeared, and self-centered values returned, on a whole.

The 10 symptoms societies have shown throughout history before their collapse, from a “loss of economic discipline” to a “rise in immorality,” are all present now in America.

“Instead of helping change our society for the better, most U.S. Catholics are caught up in it — many times quite willingly,” he writes.

Because of the unrepentant attitudes of so many, Father Esper envisions, “America will soon experience a powerful and historic manifestation of divine judgment — one intended not merely as a punishment for our nation’s sins, but also, and more importantly, to call the United States back to the path of righteousness and obedience to God’s commandments.”

Father Esper details various ways America might experience divine chastisement, yet, over and over, he presents bountiful hope, stresses God’s Divine Mercy and recommends our response at this critical time.

“God exercises his authority not to take vengeance on sinners, but to invite, urge and — to the extent free will allows — compel them to repent and thus avoid everlasting damnation,” he asserts.

Page after page, the author includes copious quotes from the Old and New Testaments and insights from authorities like Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI and Venerable Fulton Sheen, as well as prophecies and private revelations about these times from saints and mystics, including St. Hildegard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, St. Faustina and other sources, like Sister Lucia of Fatima.

Despite America’s direction, the author counsels repentance and prayer. For instance, he writes, if only 10% — a tithe — of the tens of millions of U.S. Catholics prayed the Rosary daily for the moral and spiritual renewal of America, “our nation would be transformed overnight, with overflowing graces and blessings from heaven falling upon our homeland.”

Most important, the author gives 25 suggestions for how we can help redirect our nation’s course, with specific prayers added in appendices. Among the suggestions: Remain in the state of grace; attend Mass as often as possible; pray the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and the St. Michael Prayer; wear or carry a blessed crucifix, scapular or religious medal; have and use holy water regularly; reverently make the Sign of the Cross throughout the day; read the Bible regularly; deepen one’s relationship with Christ and Catholic devotions; and live the messages of Fatima.

“Yes, the coming chastisements may very well be an expression of God’s righteous anger — but even more than that, they are a powerful manifestation of divine love,” Father Esper concludes. “The Lord in his tender compassion will not leave us alone; he will not permit us to fall into spiritual ruin without first giving us every possible chance to repent.”

Joseph Pronechen is the

Register’s staff writer.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.