I hope you all enjoyed the feast day of the Blessed Mother and the first day of 2011.
Mark Mallett has a very interesting reflection on the Pope's recent warning that is worth a read. A few citations really doesn't do it justice but to whet your appetite...
On the Eve
The Holy Father’s words point to a disturbing progression that cannot but end in an utter collapse of the present order. He has spoken frequently in the past about the eclipse of truth, the ‘dimming of the light of God’. Yet, even then, human institutions and individual hearts, with difficulty, can be guided by the light ofreason to choose the path of "right" that leads to genuine human freedom. But when "reason" itself becomes eclipsed, then the most insidious of evils can be embraced as a "good."...
Recalling the Book of Revelation and "the great sins of Babylon", Benedict interprets this as "the symbol of the world’s great irreligious cities" (which "collapse," according to the vision of St. John [cf. Rev 18:2-24]). In his address, Pope Benedict notes that Babylon trades in ‘human souls’ (18:3)....
Pope Benedict XVI's message made me recall several similar messages of John Paul II around the time of the Mellennium ten years ago that were very prophetic.
One was at the entrustment in October of 2000:
"Today we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us, and we ask you to be with us on our way," he said. "We are the men and women of an extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of contradictions.
"Humanity now has instruments of unprecedented power: We can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble. We have devised the astounding capacity to intervene in the very wellsprings of life: Man can use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law, or he can succumb to the shortsighted pride of a science that accepts no limits, but tramples on the respect due to every human being.
"Today, as never before in the past, humanity stands at a crossroads. And, once again, O Virgin Most Holy, salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus, your Son."
The Holy Father entrusted all humanity to the Mother of God, beginning with the weakest: "the babies
yet unborn, and those born into poverty and suffering, the young in search of meaning, the unemployed, and those suffering hunger and disease. We entrust to you all troubled families, the elderly with no one to help them, and all who are alone and without hope."
"O Mother," he said, "you know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and the world: Come to the
aid of your children in the daily trials that life brings to each one, and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all, the darkness will not prevail over the light."
Another was the message that went along with the release of Sr. Lucia's interpretation of how events were playing out in relation to the Third Secret of Fatima. Sr. Lucia's letter went back to 1982 and was highlighted along with the release implying its significance:
Sister Lucia had already given an indication for interpreting the third part of the “secret” in a letter to the Holy Father, dated 12 May 1982:
“The third part of the secret refers to Our Lady's words: ‘If not [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated' (13-VII-1917).
The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation, referring to this part of the Message, conditioned by whether we accept or not what the Message itself asks of us: ‘If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc.'.
Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.
And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible”.(5)
For those paying attention to right judgment and the spiritual, the eclipse of reason has had something more than a mortal dimension to it now for at least a decade. What is there to say but it is what it is. There is opportunity to hold back the tide, to heighten awareness, to beckon, to intercede and offer, to live, to love.
Here's JPII's thoughtful prayer at the turn of the century which seems like a good one to keep as part of our deposit of petitions: