2 – The Shepherd and his flock

(June 7)

Meanwhile, half a world away, another older gentleman was also in a good mood…

(Again, you’re gonna just have to take my word on it as to how I know all this. Let’s just say, I have visions – oh you can call them revelations if you like, but to be honest I’m a bit tired of that term. I’ll explain more in a bit, but for now, it will be easier for both of us if you would simply let it be and trust me that I am telling you the truth).

I watched as Joseph Alois Ratzinger was nearing the end of a rare public appearance – thankfully. Although he had officially retired in 2013, I knew Joseph had actually tried to get out of the rat race long before then – in fact even before he had stepped down from the ‘big chair’ Joseph often told me all he really desired was to “rest, maybe write a bit, and perhaps enjoy his old age.” It’s true — Joseph had never wanted to rise to the top of his profession in the first place and, prior to attaining that rank, he’d actually gone so far as to submit his formal resignation on three separate occasions — yet each time his prior boss had talked him out of it. I told him to just quit, but he didn’t listen to me and in the end, Joseph had remained obedient to his superior’s wishes eventually he became The Big Boss himself.

Even still, it’s common knowledge that Joseph’s allegiance to his company has done nothing to help his health concerns. His past and present conditions read like a laundry list of serious medical dilemmas: hemorrhagic stroke in 1991; serious fall and head trauma in 1992 (I can relate to that one); another stroke in 2004; chronic heart palpitations and a case of serious bronchitis in 2006; a broken ankle in 2009 (and when you’re 81 years old that’s a big deal); he was living now with a pacemaker and chronic high blood pressure; and the list went on. All of which lead to his formal resignation in early 2013 – and while it’s not newsworthy when most people retire, for Joseph it was a big deal – because Joseph Ratzinger (perhaps better known to you as Benedict XVI – Pope Emeritus of the Catholic Church) was the first pope to step down since the year 1415. (That was Pope Gregory XII – it was a really big deal back then – trust me, I was there).

Knowing he only had a short time left in this world, Joseph generally despised wasting any of it on personal interviews like the one he was presently enduring – that’s what the new guy Francis was supposed to be for. Yet somehow Joseph had apparently agreed to do this appearance and thus here he was, trying to maintain a happy face.

“Do you have any final words for the people of America, Your Eminency?” Joseph’s interviewer asked. “Many in the US still fear Dr Ma’bus’ desire to install a ‘one-world’ currency. Do you favor this or oppose it?”

Realizing that this was the final question from his prep list, my friend Joseph rose up and exhibited the charisma which had undoubtedly been the reason why he had been elevated to his present position, “My children, if we let Christ fully enter our lives, are we not afraid that he might take something away from us too?”

And after a pause, Joseph answered his own question, “No! Don’t you see, if we let Christ in, we lose absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great! Instead, only in this friendship with Him do we experience liberation. When we give ourselves to Him, we receive back a hundredfold in return! Yes, I say open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. We are all ONE people. ONE Body in our Lord Jesus Christ. If this is true, why not have ONE currency? Nay, even ONE world government?! My Children, there is nothing to fear and only peace and freedom for ALL to gain…”

Less than an hour later, I watched the Pope as he was finally back in his private rooms. Gone were his formal papal garments – his red satin mozzetta, wide-brimmed saturno, and yes, even those neo-traditional red papal shoes that everyone thinks he fancies. Oh those colorful shoes! I remember how he had worked hard to bring them back to popularity (with the help of Prada and a sizable “donation” to Joseph himself!), yet each time he wore them now, I knew that he bitterly despised them – for he always complained how they were so uncomfortable. (I kept telling him to try them on before he endorsed them, but he didn’t listen to me.)

Nonetheless, now that he was alone again, Joe was dressed in a luxurious silk robe, whilst plush slippers caressed his overworked feet. Letting the cares of the outside world melt away, I watched him traipse over to his wet bar and pour himself a tall glass of a German honey-flavored liqueur called Barenjager. (Personally, I’m not a fan of German liqueurs, I like the harder stuff – Jack, Wild Turkey, a good grain alcohol, any of those and some ice will do the trick for me – but Joseph was always a connoisseur. In terms of this present liqueur, he previously explained to me that most Barenjagers that were exported from Germany were between 60-90 proof, however, given his position, Joseph now had access to a private label reserve from Teucke & Koenig, and as such, his version – called Barenfang – was actually a 95 proof product – much to his delight).

As he took a big sip of the drink, Joseph smiled as he looked upon the label on his bottle – a cartoon of a bear trapping a fur trader – the exact opposite of the depiction on most of the commercial bottles of Barenjager (which showed the fur trapper catching the bear).

“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but only my daily bread.” As he finished the smooth spirit and poured himself another, “Ah, and a little of this stuff too, neh?”

Strolling over to the corner of his living room, he sat down at his Fazioli grand piano. Immediately no less than three of his feline friends scampered to join him. (Yuck — I absolutely hate cats! But Joseph had long had an affinity for them and as such the Vatican had become quite infested with them since he rose to power. Francis tried to quell the tide but so far had been unsuccessful – the cats still ruled).

“Amadeus, come here…. Adolf, you rascal! Ah, and, Deter, my love.” He happily nuzzled all three. (Deter was always his favorite, but don’t ask me why – they all look the same to me). “OK, boys, let me play for you, please.”

And after taking another sip of his Barenfang, I watched as Joseph proceeded to lose himself in his music – whilst his cats curled up against him and purred contentedly.

Yet suddenly one of the cats hissed, causing the other two to bound off in fright. “What is it, Deter?” Joseph stopped playing and looked down at his friend, seeing the cat’s entire body bowed up.

“I believe that’s Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number 21.” Joseph heard an unexpected voice behind him.

“His music is by no means just entertainment,” Joseph replied, without turning around. “It contains the whole tragedy of human existence.” For a brief moment, his body tensed at the intrusion, whilst he whispered, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…”

And yet, outwardly, he refused to let his surprise show; instead he took another long sip of his drink, placed Deter on the floor so his friend could scamper away to safety, and then smiled as finally he turned around to face his visitor.

“Ah, I see there are two of you this time?” Joseph commented dryly, observing his guests.

Both men were dressed in black robes – although I knew that neither was a member of the clergy or on staff at the Vatican. Their ebon garments clashed terribly with the stark whiteness of their skin, their fair hair, and their light eyes. Stoic and stiff, they might well have been twins for all that they looked so much alike, and yet, like me, Joseph knew they were not.

“Hello…Your Grace.” One of the men stepped forward.

Joseph did not reply. Instead he followed protocol, rose up to stand before the intruders, and then proceeded to offer his hand in formal greeting.

Each of the men took the Pope’s hand and shook it, being sure to allow their middle finger to entwine with his during the shake in order to verify their identity.

“The Viper coils…” One of the men said.

“And its strike is deadly…” Added the second.

“To the uninitiated.” The first man finished the greeting.

“Bruders.” Joseph smiled slyly, “Welcome. I was expecting you.”




My vision of the Pope and his ‘friends’ continued, and an hour quickly passed while the conspirators conversed. German was the language spoken at this meeting – native to all three, but I had no trouble following along.

“The date, Your Grace?” Asked one of the men.

“Ah, that’s the beauty of it.” Joseph smiled. “I assume you know about the meeting at Mount Moriah?”

“You mean Har haBáyit – The Temple Mount?” The other Brother questioned.

“I’m surprised that YOU would know the Hebrew word,” Joseph snickered. And before either of the men could reply, he continued. “December 21st. That is the date. And the mosque at al-Aqsa there on the mount is the site.”

(Please understand I had no idea what they were plotting so this was all news to me. Sure, I get these revelations but to be honest they are not all that revealing if you ask me. It’s not something over which I have any control – whatever He chooses to send me is what I get. Also I am not omnipotent or anything. Hell, I don’t even have control of when the visions appear! And when I’m watching, although I can see the people pretty good and hear what they are saying, I can’t read their minds or anything so I don’t know what they are really thinking. Thus, I had no idea what Joe was up to).

“You are certain?” the second assassin slithered. “There can be no mistake. If Ma’bus is really The One, then he must be there.”

“Fool.” Joseph replied. “You need not worry about my intelligence findings. Marrollo has assured me that Ma’bus will be there. And yes, Ma’bus IS the key figure. After all, it is his blood which will complete the… ah… Grand Ritual.”

(Hmmm. Was I watching a plot to assassinate one of the most beloved leaders in the world? And with the old pontiff at the head? Yes, it was interesting, in a passing fancy sort of way. Had I been much younger, I might have actually still cared about the implications of what they were discussing. However, as it was, whether Joe and his buddies killed one man or a hundred, that was their business. Who is Ma’bus to me? He can’t give me what I really want – it seems that nobody can – so what do I care what happens to him?)

“The whole world loves Ma’bus.” The first assassin mocked. “Why he might as well be The Second Coming for all the praise he is getting.”

“They will grow to dread him soon enough.” Joseph replied. “Remember — though the wicked spring up like grass, they will be forever destroyed in the end. When our plans are completed, Dr. Ma’bus will be reviled for the villain he truly is.”

“And the Jews are on board with all this?” The first man laughed, his loose tongue perhaps showing some of the effects of the Barenfang.

“That’s the beauty of Marrollo’s foreign planning.” Joseph explained, taking the other’s glass away from him and setting it down. Yet, after thinking twice, he picked the drink back up and downed it himself. (That’s my boy!) “That’s too good to go to waste.” He smiled, before getting serious again. “Chief Rabbi Metzger believes he is really the one responsible for setting up the December 21st event. It’s all part of his Interfaith Dialogue mission. Why he’s already erected an altar on Temple Mount to mark the new holiday that will be created.”

“And you will be there too, Your Excellency?” the first man was salivating in his excitement.

“Naturally, for Metzger has asked Ma’bus and I to join him in consecrating the grand altar to The One True God that we all serve. After all, you don’t think I would miss the Day of Delivery do you?”

“Glory be! I can’t wait to see Ma’bus delivered there upon the altar.”

“Evil comes to him who searches for it.” The Pope let the thought hang ominously, even as all three conspirators nodded to one another and smiled.

(Just then my vision ended. Interesting? Yes, but like I said, had I cared, I probably would have made arrangements to visit with Joe and get the scoop. As it was I was just thankful when the vision ended so I could get some sleep.)