On this 100th anniversary day of the beginning of the great series of apparitions of Our Lady to the three children of Fatima in Portugal in 1917, it may be well to remember that Our Lord warned mankind through Sister Lucy that the Devotion to His Mother’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart would be the last major Devotion given to mankind, together with the Holy Rosary, for the salvation of souls. Towards the end of the 17th century when Protestantism and Jansenism were making charity grow cold, Our Lord had given to His Church the Devotion to His own Sacred Heart to remind men of God’s burning love for them. Towards the beginning of the 20th century, just as Communism was about to overwhelm Russia, He gave us, especially through Fatima, the Heart of His Mother as our last major recourse before world’s end.
But another half century passes from 1917, and Our Lord’s own churchmen are preparing to give the Church over to the demons of Modernism, the equivalent of Communism inside the Church. Sister Lucy of Fatima just then warned Fr. Fuentes that Catholics could no longer be relying on the clergy to save their souls. Sure enough. In 1962 Vatican II launched the pre-apocalyptic devastation of the Church, the worst in all its history. And in the 1970’s an Italian critic of Vatican II and of all its pomps and all its works, Professor Romano Amerio, wrote, as readers of EC 400 may remember, that if the Conciliar crisis was internal to the Church like no crisis before it, then we were “headed for a formless darkness ( . . . ) in the face of which there will be no alternative but to keep silence.”
A full century after Fatima we are well on our way to that darkness. Such are the disputes, divisions, confusion and chaos in Catholic hearts and minds being caused by the churchmen’s hollowing out of their authority by their abandoning of God’s Truth, that many a clear-sighted Catholic can already be preferring to keep silent rather than attempt to argue or to teach. A mass of modern minds are so incapable any longer of thinking or reasoning that any attempt to dispel their errors can seem to risk only increasing their confusion. Now, one reader of these “Comments” disagrees strongly with Amerio: how can Catholic Truth fall silent, he asks, and how can Catholics stop fighting? But he needs to recall the Gospel, especially the Passion.
Our Lord tells us not to throw pearls in front of swine, in other words not to teach people unfit to learn, and He tells His Apostles to shake off from their feet the dust of a town that will not listen (Mt. VII, 6; Lk. IX, 5). Our Lord gave the example of keeping silent, in front of the Sanhedrin (Mt. XXVII, 12, 14), Herod (Lk. XXIII, 9) and Pilate (Jn. XIX, 9). Many souls today are likewise unfit to hear the truth. And when it comes to fighting, Our Lord Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane told Peter to put up his sword. Such was not the will of God (Mt. XXVI, 54). Peter’s problem was that he had not done what Our Lord had told him to do, which was to “watch and pray.” As a result, when his manly will to fight was frustrated even by his beloved Master, he abandoned him and ran away (Mk. XIV, 50). Beware, fighters for Our Lord – if your fighting does not work, you risk running away from Him!
Today what Our Lord does ask us to do is to make reparation to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Mother, especially by the Rosary and the Devotion of the First Saturdays. If only enough Catholics were listening to Him, then Our Lady of Fatima could soon obtain from Him the grace for the Pope to consecrate Russia to Her Heart, exactly as She asked, and then the “formless darkness” would immediately begin to grow light and regain its form. Order from the Fatima Centre in Ontario, Canada, copies of their excellent flyer on the First Saturdays. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!