Benedict XVI’s Sermon in Fatima, references to “second secret”, “maternity of God”

The Holy Father’s sermon in Fatima.  The papal spokesman, Fr. Lombardi, had earlier said that the Holy Father would deliver an "intense" message in Fatima.

You may want to read the text of the "second secret" of Fatima before delving into the sermon:

You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light*, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she 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. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.

And now the Holy Father’s sermon with my emphases and comments.

Dear Pilgrims,

"Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations […], they are a people whom the Lord has blessed" (Is 61:9). So the first reading of this Eucharist began, and its words are wonderfully fulfilled in this assembly devoutly gathered at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima.

Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, I too have come as a pilgrim to Fatima, to this "home" [tuck these words "pilgrim" and "home" away in the back of your head as you read] from which Mary chose to speak to us in modern times. I have come to Fatima to rejoice in Mary’s presence and maternal protection. I have come to Fatima, because today the pilgrim Church, willed by her Son as the instrument of evangelization and the sacrament of salvation, converges upon this place. I have come to Fatima to pray, in union with Mary and so many pilgrims, for our human family, afflicted as it is by various ills and sufferings. Finally, I have come to Fatima with the same sentiments as those of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, and the Servant of God Lúcia, in order to entrust to Our Lady the intimate confession that "I love" Jesus, that the Church and priests "love" him and desire to keep their gaze fixed upon him as this Year for Priests comes to its end, and in order to entrust to Mary’s maternal protection priests, consecrated men and women, missionaries and all those who by their good works make the House of God a place of welcome and charitable outreach.  [The Holy Father is shaping this pilgrimage to Fatima around the intention of sanctification for and prayer for and support for priests.  Yesterday He entrusted priests to Mary's Immaculate Heart.]

These are the "people whom the Lord has blessed". The people whom the Lord has blessed are you, the beloved Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, with your pastor, Bishop Antonio Marto. I thank him for his words of greeting at the beginning of Mass, and for the gracious hospitality shown particularly by his collaborators at this Shrine. I greet the President of the Republic and the other authorities who serve this glorious Nation. I spiritually embrace all the Dioceses of Portugal, represented here by their Bishops, and I entrust to Heaven all the nations and peoples of the earth. In God I embrace all their sons and daughters, particularly the afflicted or outcast, with the desire of bringing them that great hope which burns in my own heart, and which here, in Fatima, can be palpably felt. May our great hope sink roots in the lives of each of you, dear pilgrims, and of all those who join us through the communications media.

Yes! The Lord, our great hope, is with us. In his merciful love, he offers a future to his people: a future of communion with himself. After experiencing the mercy and consolation of God who did not forsake them along their wearisome return from the Babylonian Exile, the people of God cried out: "I greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being exults in my God" (Is 61:10). The resplendent daughter of this people is the Virgin Mary of Nazareth who, clothed with grace and sweetly marvelling at God’s presence in her womb, made this joy and hope her own in the canticle of the Magnificat: "My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour". She did not view herself as a fortunate individual in the midst of a barren people, but prophecied for them the sweet joys of a [NOTA BENE:] wondrous maternity of God, for "his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation" (Lk 1:47, 50). [He made an interesting segue here.  On one level he seems to be comparing what we have been going through as a Church to the Babylonian Exile... out of which we are moving, as "pilgrims" who are actually going "home", but a home which is a holy place.  Also, that phrase "maternity" of God, I suspect, aims less at applying a feminine image to God the Father than it aims at the Marian dimension of the Incarnation.  Mary is Mother of God.]

This holy place is the proof of it. In seven years you will return here [NB: He did not say "We" will return here.] to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by the Lady "come from heaven", the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savour God himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence. This experience of grace made them  fall in love with God in Jesus, so much so that Jacinta could cry out: "How much I delight in telling Jesus that I love him! When I tell him this often, I feel as if I have a fire in my breast, yet it does not burn me". [On this trip the Holy Father has spoken of the burning bush of Moses.] And Francisco could say: "What I liked most of all was seeing Our Lord in that light which Our Mother put into our hearts. I love God so much!" (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 42 and 126).

Brothers and sisters, in listening to these innocent and profound mystical confidences of the shepherd children, one might look at them with a touch of envy for what they were able to see, or with the disappointed resignation of someone who was not so fortunate, yet still demands to see. To such persons, the Pope says, as does Jesus: "Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?" (Mk 12:24). The Scriptures invite us to believe: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe" (Jn 20:29), but God, who is more deeply present to me than I am to myself (cf. Saint Augustine, Confessions, III, 6, 11) – has the power to come to us, particularly through our inner senses, so that the soul can receive the gentle touch of a reality which is beyond the senses and which enables us to reach what is not accessible or visible to the senses. For this to happen, we must cultivate an interior watchfulness of the heart which, for most of the time, we do not possess on account of the powerful pressure exerted by outside realities and the images and concerns which fill our soul (cf. Theological Commentary on The Message of Fatima, 2000). Yes! God can come to us, and show himself to the eyes of our heart. [I return now to a constant theme of this blog: We must have worship which fosters an encounter with mystery, the transcendent.]

Moreover, that Light deep within the shepherd children, which comes from the future of God, [A curious phrase.  It reminds me of that other curious and awkward phrase "maternity of God".  I suspect that this "future of God" (God doesn't have a future... God has no past, present or future") aims not so much at describing God's future as it aims at describing our future with God.] is the same Light which was manifested in the fullness of time and came for us all: the Son of God made man. He has the power to inflame the coldest and saddest of hearts, as we see in the case of the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:32). ["Were our hearts not on fire?"] Henceforth our hope has a real foundation, it is based on an event which belongs to history and at the same time transcends history: Jesus of Nazareth. The enthusiasm roused by his wisdom and his saving power among the people of that time was such that a woman in the midst of the crowd – as we heard in the Gospel – cried out: "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that nursed you!". And Jesus said: "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!" (Lk 11:27-28). But who finds time to hear God’s word and to let themselves be attracted by his love? Who keeps watch, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart vigilant in prayer? Who awaits the dawn of the new day, fanning the flame of faith? Faith in God opens before us the horizon of a sure hope, one which does not disappoint; it indicates a solid foundation on which to base one’s life without fear; it demands a faith-filled surrender into the hands of the Love which sustains the world.

"Their descendants shall be known among the nations, […] they are a people whom the Lord has blessed" (Is 61:9) with an unshakable hope which bears fruit in a love which sacrifices for others, yet does not sacrifice others. Rather, as we heard in the second reading, this love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor 13:7). An example and encouragement is to be found in the shepherd children, who offered their whole lives to God and shared them fully with others for love of God. Our Lady helped them to open their hearts to universal love. Blessed Jacinta, in particular, proved tireless in sharing with the needy and in making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Only with this fraternal and generous love will we succeed in building the civilization of love and peace.

[People interested in the "third secret" can start paying attention here:] We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: "Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!" (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: "Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?" (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162). 

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity["In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph."  This is connected to the "second secret" in which the Blessed Virgin asks that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.  Notice he refers again to the "seven years".]

Some points.

At the very beginning of his trip to Portugal, the Holy Father introduced in a very pointed way the theme of martyrdom.  In his first address at the airport in Lisbon, he spoke of martyrdom.

In the text of the "second secret" we read:

 

The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.

 

There is some discussion whether or not Russia has been consecrated in the way the Blessed Virgin asked.  It seems that Russia has not "converted".

However, at the end of his sermon, the Holy Father seems to be picking up on some of the language of the "second secret".

"Seven years".
 

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39 Responses to Benedict XVI’s Sermon in Fatima, references to “second secret”, “maternity of God”

  1. wchoag says:

    “Maternity of God” is above all a Marian reference! The feast of the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is October 11 in the Old Calendar. It was instituted by Pope Pius XI to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the Council of Ephesus which defined the dogma of the Theotokos.

  2. Shmikey says:

    I don’t think that “Russia” necessarily needs to be the political state as much as it is the people. I think that we are seeing a conversion in the way the Orthodox Church is moving in the direction of reconciliation. The people of Russia truly need our prayers, and they have given us much hope, as they cooperate with the “Pope of Unity”.

  3. antanas says:

    Seven years, and – I hope so – millions of Rosaries to be prayed. We are still in Fatima’s times. We were not sure about this, but now the Successor of Saint Peter has clearly said so.
    Rosaries, Rosaries, Rosaries.
    May the Lord grant us the Triumph of His Mother.
    Seven years…
    Thanks for posting this, Fr. Z.

  4. TrueLiturgy says:

    “To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, … if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

    Part of me feels that it is too late to consecrate Russia. Her errors have spread, such as secularism. I mean they have even spread into the Church! Look at the revilement of priests to wear cassocks. They will only wear secular clerical garb. Can you say that there are not persecutions of the Church like never seen before? I think since the errors of Russia have spread, Russia is not what needs to be consectrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but the world.

  5. torch621 says:

    A beautiful sermon. Thank you very much for posting this father. =)

  6. Dr. Eric says:

    This was a great sermon. Did the Holy Father celebrate the Mass of Our Lady of Fatima or of The Ascension?

    As to whether or not the Russians have been converted, this is a great source of debate. They have not become Latin Catholics. They have over thrown atheistic communism. Their President (baptized at the age of 23) and Prime Minister (I can’t find when he was baptized) seem to be Orthodox Christians in good standing. If these men are posturing, at least they are posturing as Christians and not anti-Christians as our politicians now do.

    The mayor of Moscow forbid a “gay rights” parade within the city.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6310883.stm

    So, is Russia converted? Our Lady never mentioned to what effect that Russia was to be converted.

  7. C. says:

    Has any Pope ever used the words “Fatima” and “Russia” in the same sentence? The same paragraph? The same homily or document?

  8. Timbot2000 says:

    @ Shmikely

    An extremely astute insight on your part. Unfortunately, there is an intellectual conflation of the nation or ethnos with the state or apparat on the part of most people, especially so with Americans, perhaps because there is no sense of distinct ethnic nationality. Nobody should expect a mass migration to Latin-rite Catholicism, but if there was merely a reconciliation between Rome and the Moscow Patriarchate, I think that would be evidence enough.

  9. Oneros says:

    ““Maternity of God” is above all a Marian reference! The feast of the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is October 11 in the Old Calendar. It was instituted by Pope Pius XI to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the Council of Ephesus which defined the dogma of the Theotokos.”

    Ah, yes, another Ideenfeast for an abstract concept…popular piety once again cluttering the liturgy; totally unnecessary too, given that January 1st was ALREADY the feast of “Mary, Mother of God” for this dogma (though, admittedly, until after Vatican II, this aspect of January 1st had become largely eclipsed by the Circumcision and Octave of Christmas)

  10. Oneros says:

    “So, is Russia converted? Our Lady never mentioned to what effect that Russia was to be converted.”

    No, but given that she appeared in 1917…it’s pretty clear to me that this meant the Fall of Communism/the Soviet Union. If it had been a religious question, Our Lady would have appeared in 1054.

    People who expected a conversion from Eastern Orthodoxy to Catholicism (though reconciliation MAY happen sooner than we think)…are being disingenuous.

    It is quite clear that “Russia’s Errors” as spoken of by OLOF…meant Communism, not Eastern Orthodoxy. And it was obviously from her Errors that she was to be converted.

  11. doanli says:

    Pray more will develop a love of the Rosary. (I need it, I will admit.)

  12. catholicuspater says:

    Our Lady said Russia would be converted and an era of peace would be granted to mankind. With Russia still obviously spreading her errors throughout the world, and mankind not at peace, I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart has triumphed yet. In fact, that is exactly what the Pope is saying.

    Here’s my question: If Sr. Lucia’s Fourth Memoir has reference to Our Lady saying, “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved . . .”, without our being told what comes after the ellipse, I have to agree with Mother Angelica, who in 2000 said, “I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we got the whole thing.”

    I think Our Holy Father is using this trip to prepare the way for a revival of the urgency of the Fatima message in the life of the Church, much the same way he is reviving the Usus Antiquior. I think the consecration of the priests to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a prelude to a future consecration of Russia.

    Remember, when the Polish Pope consecrated the world to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart in 1984, he added the mysterious words: “. . . and those peoples whose consecration you still await.”

    Fatima does not belong to the past, as were told in 2000; it seems to me that the Pope is telling us that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph sometime between now and the centenary of the apparitions seven years from now. That would be perfectly in keeping with what Our Lady said, since she said, “The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, but it will be late.”

    I submit that it is late right now. The most splendid act of ecumenism we can engage in is to add our own rosaries to the bouquet of 12 million being presented by the our SSPX friends soon to Our Holy Father, asking him to perform the long-awaited consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.

  13. patrick_f says:

    I too found the 7 years interesting.

    Without sounding too..dispensationalist, Seven is a very important number in scripture. 7 days of the week, 7 Weeks in Daniel’s visions, 7 seals, etc

    I think the Holy Father, is all but telling us the time when the second secret might truly be fulfilled. I also wouldnt be surprised if the secrets arent linear. No where does it say that one should happen before or not during the other.

    Granted… as a Catholic I dont subscribe to the whole “Rapture theory”..which is one verse taken ridiculousyly out of concept..but ..it is an interesting coincidence none the less, that number 7

    “People who expected a conversion from Eastern Orthodoxy to Catholicism (though reconciliation MAY happen sooner than we think)…are being disingenuous.”

    I agree 100 percent with this thought – Regardless of the tension between east and west – THEY DO FOLLOW THE FAITH of the apostles , so yes, you are correct – It definately refers to cummunism.

    BUT , consider this – “The Beast” in revelation is wounded…and miraculously is healed . I ask the question , do we really THINK communism is dead in Russia? Or has it just cleaverly hid itself. Recent events from Russia, and their aggression as of late, point out otherwise.

    So, yes, I really dont see Russia as having been consecrated. I think we may see the second secret, completed in these 7 years. I also think…the 3rd secret runs along side the second.

  14. Oneros says:

    “With Russia still obviously spreading her errors throughout the world,”

    ??? Communism is not a Russian thing anymore.

    “and mankind not at peace, I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart has triumphed yet.”

    We are at peace compared to the 20th century, and the 1990′s certainly was marked by only regional conflicts that look trivial compared to the 3 World Wars of the 20th century (WWI, WWII, and the Cold War).

    She didn’t say every individual locality would be at peace, she said the WORLD would experience peace. The current World geopolitical order is actually one of relative stability and peace compared to say, the World Wars or the Cold War.

    If you were expecting a cessation of all violence even local, of all conflicts even just regional…that simply is never going to happen before judgment day. Backwaters will always have their infighting. But on the global scale…there is peace right now, and certainly during the 90′s there was. Perhaps you are being thrown by the “War” on Terror, but that is not a war like the World Wars in any sense, it is a policing action against some rogue criminals in a few isolated rogue states.

  15. avecrux says:

    “To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, AND the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded…”

    How many Catholic parishes do you know that have and/or promote First Saturday devotions?

    Seems to me we should be….

  16. Oneros says:

    Let me put it another way: if the Pax Romanum is the standard for the “whole world being at peace”…then the post Cold War Pax Americana (which we are still in, the terrorism propogated by a few rogue individuals [not states, mind you] notwithstanding) is definitely at the same level, if not better (since this really is global and not just the Mediterranean).

    Even during the Pax Romanum (when the Bible itself says, “the whole world was at peace”) there were plenty of local conflicts and border skirmishes.

    If you think Our Lady’s standard for “World Peace” is more strict than that by which the Gospels themselves judge the Pax Romanum…there will never be any pleasing you.

  17. patrick_f says:

    Oneros -

    We have legalized murder in this country under the guisse of Choice … We have a LOOMING major war on the horizon , under the guise of a war on terror.

    We have a maniac in Iran just itching for a chance to show the rest of the world how bad he is … We have an absolutely OUTRIGHT attack on both the Papcy and Holy Mother Church

    I dont call that peace – Respectfully speaking.

    And again – Read my comment , I am not convenced Russia (which, brought to the world and for many years represent Communism) is no longer communist

    All of the communist countries share the structure that came from Russia , so it is perfectly correct to refer to them as “Russia’s” errors.

    Its very dangerous for us to ever think the work is done, until the Son of God has returned triumphantly. Fatima points us and stears us on that path.

  18. Oneros says:

    *Romana, sorry

  19. introibo says:

    With all due respect, it seems like deja vu all over again. Unless the Pope has something big to say in Portugal after his May 13 Mass, the “intense” address was not so intense. With the “intense” note coming from the Vatican in the first week of May concerning this trip, we were left wondering if the Pope would proclaim the missing part of the Fatima secret message, and/or announce a near-future date for the collegial consecration of Russia to our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, AS SHE SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED. As in 1960 and 2000, we got neither. As our Lord told St. Margaret Mary concerning France, the king would end up consecrating France to His Sacred Heart, but it would be late. Our Lady said the Pope will consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. It hasn’t happened yet in the required collegial manner, and it is already late. Our Lady specifically asked for devotion to her Immaculate Heart, but we see very little of it. Seven years to go? It might as well be seventy. These are the times that try men’s souls. This is the test of perseverance to the end. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

  20. Oneros says:

    patrick, during the Pax Romana…is when the Christians were martyred. Infanticide was practiced then too. But, still, was not “the whole world at peace”? At least for a period? The Gospels say so.

    Because peace is not about the absence of local violence. It is about a geopolitical order whereby nations are not vying for power one above the other because they are either a)content with what they have, or because b)hegemony is so clear as to be unquestioned.

    For much of history, there has not been Peace because the world order was one of many competing little states in a “balance of power” that was always fragile, where states could always dream of shifting their relative advantage through aggression, etc. Read Dante’s De Monarchia for a discussion of this.

    You may say a war is “looming” but it hasn’t happened yet. She didn’t say endless Peace, she said “a period”.

  21. MarkJ says:

    Russia continues to spread her errors in the form of Communist ideas throughout the world. China is Communist and rapidly gaining in power, wealth and influence. Most of Europe is Socialist, which is just another brand of Communism. The progressives in this country have a Socialist agenda that they are pushing relentlessly now that they have control for a while. Despite the fact the Marxism has failed wherever it has been tried, the Progressives continue to believe in it. Van Jones (former Green jobs czar) is an avowed Communist. The former White House spokesman (in this administration) was an avid fan of Mao tse Tung. There are many people in power now, in the US and Europe and many other countries advocating world government and control, and working towards an all-encompassing redistribution of wealth, which is, of course, part of the errors spread from Russia. No, this beast is not yet dead, and Marxism has not yet been defeated. We thought it was dead when the Berlin Wall fell, but it only morphed into another form. We need the Consecration of Russia to defeat Marxism definitively.

  22. Introibo says: With all due respect, it seems like deja vu all over again. Unless the Pope has something big to say in Portugal after his May 13 Mass, the “intense” address was not so intense. With the “intense” note coming from the Vatican in the first week of May concerning this trip, we were left wondering if the Pope would proclaim the missing part of the Fatima secret message,…

    So, “intense” is defined by hearing what you desire to hear?

    I think the Holy Father’s repeated silence on these controversies is “intense” enough thay we ought to spend our time heeding his call for prayer and penance, and leave the rest in God’s hands.

  23. Andrew_81 says:

    Oneros,

    Our Lady’s message is manifestly not a political one. Nor is it a reference to an Economic system. Even if “Errors of Russia” refers to Communism, it is not a reference to the political regime which is Communism, but the errors which are at the foundation of that school of thought.

    The fundamental error of Communism is the same as with Capitalism — Atheistic Materialism. In the West, for centuries we were fortunate that our heritage and morals naturally forced us to temper this Materialism inherent in the Capitalist system. The Industrial Revolution helped end this tempering of the profit-motive by Christian morals. Recall that not only does the sin of Sodom cry to Heaven for vengeance, but so does depriving the worker of his due. Clearly that was a serious problem in the 19th century, since Leo XIII and his successors addressed it often. The Church proposed a Christian solution, the Atheists proposed Communism — a retooling of the same Atheistic Materialism.

    Communism itself failed, because it became overtly oppressive. Bread lines don’t win hearts and minds. Communism’s influence on the “Christian West” was to bring new oppressive tools into our realm. And we bought it, hook, line and sinker. As Dr. John Senior wrote back in the 1980s, “Even a fish will swim a thousand miles and die of love, but an American will live in slavery for the price of a television, stereo, and an air-conditioned car.” We built up a false dichotomy of Communism vs. Capitalism instead of Materialism vs. Catholicism. And in the end, as Fr. John Hardon wrote, America became the greatest Communism country in the world.

    Looking around one can clearly see the Atheistic Materiaism promoted by the Communists is exactly what passes for the norm. The world accepts this Atheistic Materialism as a new religion, to the extent that they fight to protect it from Catholicism — observe the well-planned and consistent attacks of the Crudaders for this new religion (the media) upon the person of the Pope and on the priesthood itself.

    People hardly think about any spiritual reality now (even Catholics!). One-hundred years ago, there were plenty of sinners, but the great majority believed in a spiritual reality. Now most either in practice or outrightly reject the idea of a supernatural reality and those in power do more and more to keep them occupied on materialistic concerns instead of any thought of supernature. That whole technique is straight out of Screwtape.

    Russia’s errors continue to spread. She has not converted. However, there is not much more that can be done to make the world any less Catholic or more materialistic, so clearly things are coming to a head.

    The patience and faith with which the Pope bears these sufferings should be an example to all!

  24. patrick_f says:

    Yes, but when the Gospel writers (and the christmas proclamation ;)) Say “The Whole World Being at peace” that is more a figurative to point to a specific time (IE the Pax Romana).

    Technically israel was oppressed – The Gospels and the New Testament, had to be written with that in mind. It would have been suicide to say “During the time of the Roman Opression”. that would have/could have led to a complete slaughter. Its the same reason why “Whore of Babylong” is used as opposed to “Rome”.

    God and His messengers speak in Absolutes. There are no half truths or “sort ofs” with Him. Something either is, or it isnt. I think if the Mother of God says “There will be peace”, that means, pure, 100 percent peace . We havent had day one of that since Adam and Eve were booted from Eden

  25. Dr. Eric says:

    Patrick F,

    It was suicide to proclaim Jesus Christ as God and to proclaim One God in Three Persons, but the Gospel writers did just that. Your argument reminds me of people who say that The Lord didn’t want to ordain women because the Jewish culture was too patriarchal and he didn’t want to go against it.

  26. introibo says:

    Diane, I desire to hear that our Lady of Fatima’s full message has been proclaimed and that her requests have been fulfilled. As for your recommendation for prayer and penances, right on!

  27. patrick_f says:

    Dr Eric,

    I see where you are coming from. But at the same time – Talk of God’s and such was of no problem to the romans. Talk of Kingships, was. I was speaking more from the perspective of the symbology that is in Revelations/Apocalypse, while keeping in mind the Gospel Writer’s audience too.

    Notice Pilate, could care less when they said Jesus claimed to be Son of God. He did act though on the claim that Jesus claimed to be a king. They Challenged him on that, the priests knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

    My perspective is more from that

    The people who would have a problem with Trinitarian Doctrine…were powerless to do anyting about it (that being the Temple). The people who would have a problem with Rome being over thrown or for that much talked about being over thrown, were very capable of acting on that percieved threat.

    This is the same thing that is happening today – The world, wont attack us on items of faith, because they know they will lose. The world, attacks us on the front of us trying to interfere with the government (IE..we keep people from having gay “marriage” , we try to tell women how to live..we rob poor people of their money in colleciton (speaking from their perspective))

  28. robtbrown says:

    The fundamental error of Communism is the same as with Capitalism—Atheistic Materialism.
    Comment by Andrew_81

    Whatever Capitalism’s warts, it is not intrinsically atheistic, as is Marxist Communism. A capitalist isn’t necessarily an atheist.

    Further, Capitalism has various meanings.

  29. Andrew_81 says:

    robtbrown,

    Whatever Capitalism’s warts, it is not intrinsically atheistic, as is Marxist Communism. A capitalist isn’t necessarily an atheist.

    Nor is a Communist, though atheism would seem an almost “necessary accident” of a Communist (e.g. Fr. Thomas Hagerty — I wouldn’t necessarily use him as a good example of a priest or Catholic, but he was most certainly a Marxist and a theist.)

    Atheistic materialism in any form is an error, whether it’s pursuit of profit at the expense of justice and charity, or the pursuit of equality at the expense of justice and charity.

    As I said, the faults (“warts”) inherent in the Capitalist system were effectively contained for many years by the Catholic morals built into our system. There was still something inherently wrong about working a man 18 hours a day and paying him barely enough to support himself, let alone a family, so while we needed a reminder from the Popes, our lasting Catholic morals kept us afloat for awhile. As soon as that Second War, spoken of by Our Lady, occurred, there was a massive move toward materialism. Within 30 years a great number had abandoned any Christian supernatural outlook (Naturalistic religions or atheism was a fad), and then just atheism or naturalism in our day. Much of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s were rampant periods of materialism in the United States. That materialism was a perfect preparation for the decay of society so visible in the 1970s and later.

    Clearly I mean by “Capitalism” that which puts the profit-motive above Virtue.

  30. TrueLiturgy says:

    Andrew_81: you should start your own blog. You write very well. :-)

  31. Andrew_81 says:

    Perhaps more simply put:

    Atheistic Materialism (Mammon) is diametrically opposed to Christ the King (God).

    Insofar as any system or society embodies the principles of Mammon, it is also opposed to God.

    Communism is a clear incarnation of Atheistic Materialism, but despite “Capitalism” or “free-market economy” the West also seems to embody these same principles in a great degree.

    Our Lady’s messages are not about political or economic systems. They are a call to penance and a wake-up call to stop serving Mammon and start serving God.

    Peace is the tranquility of order. True Peace is the tranquility of order in God which we manifestly do not have, this.

  32. Oneros says:

    “Yes, but when the Gospel writers (and the christmas proclamation ;)) Say “The Whole World Being at peace” that is more a figurative to point to a specific time (IE the Pax Romana).”

    If the Gospel writers could be “figurative” about the meaning of the “whole world was at peace”…so could OLOF.

    If you are waiting for “100% peace” you will never get it.

    The nations that “disappeared” from Communism…re-appeared. When the Soviet Union fell.

    She didn’t say “the Russians” would convert. She said “Russia”.

  33. robtbrown says:

    Nor is a Communist, though atheism would seem an almost “necessary accident” of a Communist (e.g. Fr. Thomas Hagerty—I wouldn’t necessarily use him as a good example of a priest or Catholic, but he was most certainly a Marxist and a theist.)

    Marxism is intrinsically atheistic. If someone claims to be both a Marxist and a theist, then he is neither.

    Atheistic materialism in any form is an error, whether it’s pursuit of profit at the expense of justice and charity, or the pursuit of equality at the expense of justice and charity.

    I agree with that.

    As I said, the faults (“warts”) inherent in the Capitalist system were effectively contained for many years by the Catholic morals built into our system. There was still something inherently wrong about working a man 18 hours a day and paying him barely enough to support himself, let alone a family, so while we needed a reminder from the Popes, our lasting Catholic morals kept us afloat for awhile.

    Such an approach is not intrinsic to capitalism. Hershey was a capitalist, and he treated his employees pretty well. Henry Ford wanted to pay his employees enough to buy his cars.

    As soon as that Second War, spoken of by Our Lady, occurred, there was a massive move toward materialism.

    Actually, it occurred long before WWII. NB: The 19th century robber barons.

    Within 30 years a great number had abandoned any Christian supernatural outlook (Naturalistic religions or atheism was a fad), and then just atheism or naturalism in our day. Much of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s were rampant periods of materialism in the United States. That materialism was a perfect preparation for the decay of society so visible in the 1970s and later.

    I agree about materialism, but the abandonment of the faith is not necessarily a function of wealth. I have known rich people who are believers–the Abbaye of Solesmes was essentially staffed by French nobiles. I have also known poor people who are not.

    Clearly I mean by “Capitalism” that which puts the profit-motive above Virtue.
    Comment by Andrew_81

    If that’s what you mean by Capitalism, then your concept is deficient.

  34. kolbe1019 says:

    Just out of curiosity does anybody know of any reason why the Pope couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, etc… put the whole thing to rest about the consecration of russia by saying something along the lines of “Immaculate Heart of Mary to put the minds and hearts of many people at ease and as a renewal of my consecration to you…(Even if it has been done before…) I wish to satisfy your every request on this my pilgrimage to Fatima… Our Lady of the Rosary… I consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, I will pray for sinners, I will do penance, and I will offer to God my daily sacrifices… As a greater sign of my love and confidence in you I know consecrate….(Mention every country… until everybody can drop it and say… Momma Mary… May your Immaculate Heart Triumph!)”

  35. kolbe1019 says:

    So… Mary has been very very precise concerning times and dates with Fatima… she even appeared at Akita on OCTOBER 13… It seems unlike our Lady to leave us hanging… Unless… she didn’t and Akita was her way of taking care of business… SO Troops… Preach that Rosary! Make daily Holy Hours, Daily Communions, and Weekly Confessions! Sooner or later… we are dead!

  36. Re: “maternity of God”

    In the German text of this homily, Mary is described as “Gottesmutter”, and then the maternity phrase is “Gottesmutterschaft”.

    So definitely, it’s her mothering of God. (Godmother-hood, if that didn’t mean something different in English.) :)

    Re: “future of God”

    “Zudem ist jenes aus der Zukunft Gottes kommende Licht, von dem die Hirtenkinder erfüllt waren….”

    This is quite a bit beyond my fragmentary German, but even Google Translate makes this: “Moreover, that God’s light coming from the future….”. The shepherds aren’t the subject of the sentence at all.

    I realize the immense amount of translation that needs to be done, and I know how hard it is. But I get so tired of seeing all these weird mistakes!

  37. C asks whether any papal document has ever used the words Russia and Fatima together.

    Why, garsh, C, that’s an awful easy question to answer. We have this newfangled search engine at vatican.va, which is very easy to use. (Though notorious for not always finding everything you want, since the proper search terms can be very hard for the non-Italian layman to figure out.)

    Here’s the results page:
    http://gsearch.vatican.va/search?q=Fatima+Russia&x=0&y=0

    There are three pages of results, mostly biased toward Pope John Paul II, and some of them repeats of the same document in different languages. As more papal documents come online, and if you add the Italian or Latin for “Soviet Union” and “Russia” and “Russian” to your search, I’m sure many other papal documents will eventually come up.

    But suffice it to say that the answer to your question is “Yes.”

  38. Mark of the Vine says:

    His Holiness did not celebrate the Mass of the Ascension.

    I think whoever chose the altar servers had very bad “taste”. A city swarming with religious and seminarians, and the chosely mostly females for altar servers. But I guess this is to be expected in the only country in Europe that has done absolutely nothing to promote the Summorum Pontificum.

    Anyway, HH homily was very touching. I was especially moved by this: “But who finds time to hear God’s word and to let themselves be attracted by his love? Who keeps watch, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart vigilant in prayer? Who awaits the dawn of the new day, fanning the flame of faith?” It seemed to strike a very deep chord within.