Last week I posted a blog on the 100 year anniversary of Mary’s appearances to three shepherd children and ultimately to the world at large in the “miracle of the sun.” Appropriately at the homily in my parish I heard the call to pray for peace. But what I missed was praying for reparation for sin and conversion of sinners so I thought I would do my own plea in today’s blog.
The context of the Fatima messages was that the world was on the cusp of the Great War. Of course today, there is fighting and bloodshed all over the world, threats of terrorism, and a possible madman initiating nuclear conflagration but I want to take the Fatima message closer to our daily lives, prayer for conversion of sinners.
We have seen in history now the outcome of two great wars as people ignored Mary’s message. She definitely gave instructions on praying for peace and warning of the consequences. But she also implored the children to pray for souls that they repent and be saved, so many were going to hell. Yes, hell that word you rarely hear from the pulpit today.
In fact, at her June 13 apparition Mary requested that the children add a simple phrase after each mystery: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.” Mary showed the children a vision of hell. The children saw the suffering of those detained there.
Today, I want to address the explosion of sin since Fatima and how necessary it is that we pray not only for the Holy Souls in purgatory but those still living that might be in grave danger of losing their immortal souls for all eternity.
In 1917, the same year when Our Lady appeared to the three children, the Communist Revolution was taking place; atheism was replacing religion. Prior to 1917 Western Civilization had already begun to drift away from the light of the Gospel. The Reformation, French Revolution, the Enlightenment were already instrumental in ushering in secularism.
But as bad as things were in the world, the real test for the Church would come fifty years later during the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. It is interesting to note that the eruption of this revolution occurred exactly 50 years after the Fatima apparitions when in 1967, “The Summer of Love” saw 100,000 people converged in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. This total lack of sexual and social inhibition became a defining moment of the 1960s, causing numerous ‘ordinary citizens’ to begin questioning everything and anything about them, especially authority.
Similar to that of the Reformation in 1517, scores of Catholics would leave the Church. Priestly and religious vocations would dry up. Mass attendance would sharply decline. Catholic clergy and laity would no longer be on the same page in terms of belief and behavior. And as for many Catholic church-goers their morals and lifestyle would prove to be comparable to non-Catholics.
At this same time of the explosion of the sexual revolution, the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut that the Supreme Court would strike down state laws prohibiting contraception. In 1968, Pope Paul VI would intervene with the famous encyclical, Humanae Vitae, but in Confessionals around the world, there was confusion, priests were instructing penitents to allow their conscience to override the teachings of the Church regarding the pill.
This had ramifications that would extend beyond contraception, in that Catholics would now find an open door to let their conscience override any of the teachings of the Church. Today we may call them cafeteria Catholics who pick and choose what they want to believe.
Humanae Vitae, almost 40 years ago, while not written as a prophetic work has become one. Pope Paul VI predicted that marriages and society would suffer if the use of contraception became widespread.
Pope Paul VI made four rather general “prophecies” about what would happen if the Church’s teaching on contraception were ignored: Infidelity and moral decline Note increase in the number of divorces, abortion, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and venereal diseases; Lost Respect for Women to “the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, ie. Pornography; Abuse of Power give those public authorities without any moral compass a dangerous weapon ie. Force third World Countries into forced sterilization programs; Unlimited Dominion contraception would lead man to think he has unlimited dominion over his body ie. abortion, euthanasia, gender identity, abuse of organ transplants We seek to adjust the body to our desires rather than adjusting ourselves to its needs.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade would legalize abortion in all states. In the very same year, on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, on October 13, 1973, Our Lady of Akita, in an approved apparition in Japan,, said, “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church…the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”
This is exactly what happened as modernism crept in the years following the Council of Vatican II, The heresy of Modernism holds that the Church must move with the cultural trends and changes of the times.
Tales of the supernatural had to be removed. They didn’t fit with the modern world. Doctrines about devils and angels, heaven and hell had to be quietly excised from the faith because they were primitive and medieval and incredible to modern folk. i.e. the Eucharist is a symbol not the Real Prescence; Religion is man-made; Miracles we know don’t really happen, the loaves and fishes story is just about people sharing their hidden largesse.
Have you noticed in your parish or schools dropping of devotions, removal of pictures and images, reducing sacramental opportunities, all signs of the times in Today’s Catholic Church.
I acknowledge I am old but I remember my Catholic school with crucifixes in the classroom, statues of Mary on every floor and daily mass before starting school.
(I want to thank Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s website for much of the above history of consequences since the time of Fatima apparitions Click here: Fr Dwight Longenecker)
The unfortunate reality is that the modern campaign of militant secular indoctrination (rejecting the supernatural) with so many modernized Christians ignoring the reality of grace, it is no wonder that evil is thriving in our day.
This is not the only time Christians have had to fight back. First century Christians had their own set of problems. This is our time now. We have as many idols today as the first Christians if not more. The idols of wealth, sexual pleasure outside marriage, fame and fortune.
Whether we like it or not this is our time to be defenders of the faith, witnesses to the faith, instruments of God in the world as we find it. We pray in the Our Father, thy kingdom come, and God says back to us okay but you have to help!
I ask our Church leaders to stop trying to fit in, stop accommodating evil, and speak truth to power. Our faith, the faith given by Jesus Christ is so rich, so abundant, so real. Give it to us, untarnished, PLEASE!
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