MANIFESTATIONS OF THE CULTURE OF DEATH IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:
Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the little shepherds of Fatima, “gives two clues why ‘saying yes to life’ is becoming heroic in our day. The first clue…: ‘It is sad that so many are allowing themselves to be dominated by the diabolical wave that is sweeping the world and they are so blind that they cannot see their error.’ The second…: ‘The principal cause of evil in the world…is the lack of union with God in prayer. If we are not careful and attentive in obtaining the strength from God, we will fail because our times are very bad and we are weak.’
Support for Sister Lucia’s claim that our evil times are the result of a ‘diabolical wave sweeping the world’ is to be found in the revelations of a modern mystic, Alexandrina da Costa, who died in Balasar, Portugal on October 13, 1955.
Her biographer, the late Francis Johnston, writes at one point: ‘During this arduous, rapturous period, her ecstasies gravitated more towards the state of the Church and the world. She received a piercing gift of prophesy and foretold many events that subsequently happened… Frequently, while in ecstasy, Alexandrina was heard lamenting and praying aloud for the Church, which she saw in danger of a ‘great crisis’ and threatened by a ‘wild beast’. She was heard quoting Our Lord as follows: ‘Tell My ministers to be vigilant, for the devil is preparing a massive assault on the Church. But pray and trust; victory will be Mine.’
(For over thirteen years, Alexandrina maintained a perfect fast, neither eating nor drinking anything except for the reception of Holy Communion. Rome is studying her case for possible beatification.)
It is a curious fact that those who are most ardent in their belief in God also believe strongly in the devil. The reverse is also true: Those who are not on fire with the love of God, either do not believe in the devil at all, or they do not think that he is very powerful, which is just the way the devil would have it. A great deal of his success and/or his power and influence comes from people’s failing to acknowledge either his existence or his activity – or both!
To the testimony of Sister Lucia and of Alexandrina da Costa – not only to the existence of Satan but to his powerful influence – I would like to add a third voice, that of Sister Josefa Menendez, who died in Poitiers, France, in 1923 after barely four years as a Religious of the Sacred Heart.
In her biography, written by another Religious of the Sacred Heart, we read the following: ‘The hour of the Prince of Darkness had struck, and Josefa entered the lists against him. She was now to meet him at every turn. But Our Lord fought in her and was preparing the most humiliating of defeats for Satan…by means of the frail instrument that Josefa was, we can see a combat between God and Satan, between Charity and hatred.
‘All the demon’s efforts during that long period of nine months were centred and concentrated on the destruction of Josefa’s religious vocation. [She was a novice at the time.] He spared nothing to bend her to his will, violent temptations, fear of crushing responsibility by which he terrified her, perfidious falsehoods that alarmed her conscience, obsessions that, so to speak, endowed her with a dual personality, and made her think what she did not believe, and do what she did not want to do, without allowing her at the time to discern that she was under diabolic domination, [which included], deceptive and menacing appearances, blows, abductions and burnings…all [of which] were hurled at the frail child as a tornado, in which it would seem she must suffer shipwreck.’
In this last case, Satan worked quite openly, as in the case of St John Vianney, the holy Cure of Ars, implicitly acknowledging thereby the ineffectiveness of his disguises. But almost always, and as a general norm, he prefers to work quietly, indirectly and THROUGH OTHERS, who are more susceptible to his wiles. Today, Sister Lucia asserts that there are many ‘who are allowing themselves to be dominated by the diabolical wave that is sweeping the world and are so blind they cannot see their error.’
We must keep in mind [all through the following section] that the true Christian spirit is one of love, of life and of sacrifice. [The problem is] the contrast, the wide gulf between this true Christian spirit and the spirit of the world, dominated by the evil spirit as it is”: (1)
The attitudes and laws of many states have been changes in ways that are contrary to the respect of human life.
ABORTION is the intentional killing of a child between conception and birth. It is wrong because it attacks the sanctity of a life made in the image of God. Modern contraceptive pills, which are partly and sometimes entirely based on synthetic progesterone, also sometimes act as abortifacients.
EUTHANASIA is assisted suicide, which prevents God’s completion of a life and corrodes respect for the old and infirm. It also prepares the way for the more general and involuntary killing of those judged unfit to live.
HUMAN CLONING is the artificial duplication of human beings. IN VITRO FERTILISATION (IVF) is artificial non-sexual procreation. They attack the dignity of the child, the sanctity of natural procreation and lead in practice to the mass destruction of embryos.
DIVORCE, COHABITATION AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS destabilise and devalue the dignity of natural Marriage and the family as the true foundations of society.
ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION AND HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY separate the gift of sexuality from procreation or married love altogether, contributing to a sexually irresponsible and sterile culture.
WHAT WE CAN DO:
1. It is a work of mercy to avoid these practices ourselves and to help others avoid them by word and example.
2. The message of Fatima has been given to us by the Mother of God Herself. In 1917 she spoke to the three shepherd children and through them told us to stop offending God, because He is already too much offended by the sins of mankind. Perhaps we know the message well, but are we doing all we can to actually live it and spread it to others? Enormous perils face our troubled and sinful world of today. Here a summary of what we should do in order to respond to Our Lady’s Motherly plea to her children:
– OFFER UP OUR DAILY DUTIES AS A SACRIFICE for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for our sins and those of others. Jesus said: “The penance that I request and require now is the sacrifice demanded of everybody by the accomplishment of his own duty and the observance of My Law.”
– SAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY – at least five decades – whilst meditating on the various mysteries, ending each mystery with the prayer: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.” The Rosary is the scourge of the devil and a prayer which is pleasing to God.
– WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR as a sign of our personal consecration to Our Lady and make acts of reparation to Her Immaculate Heart.
– ATTEND HOLY MASS EVEN DAILY, if possible, and spend more time in ADORATION BEFORE THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT. This will prove to be the most valuable time of our life.
– PRAY AND OFFER SACRIFICES FOR THE CONVERSION OF POOR SINNERS saying the prayer which Our Lady gave to the three shepherds: “O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of poor sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
– PRACTISE THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS OF THE MONTH.
– CONSECRATE OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILIES TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. Our Lady told the children that “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.
Pope Pius XII said: “The time for doubting Fatima is past; it is now time for action. In the Old Testament God repeatedly sent the Prophets to remind His people of their eternal destiny and to warn and even punish them when they strayed from the path of salvation. Today He send the Queen of Prophets Herself, entrusted with the same message to all people of today’s world: “Pray, do penance for your sins, amend your lives, or God will be compelled to let fall the arm of His justice.”
Fatima is a loud warning bell for us all to amend our lives; a loving invitation for sincere contrition on our part.
Part(1) quoted from: Msgr. Joseph A. Cirrincione