Lady of Kibeho,
by Immaculée Ilibagiza,
bestselling author who provides us
with a definitive, compelling, impossible-to-put down
account of the apparitions to young people at the
Church-approved site of Kibeho in Rwanda -- where Mary
warned of disaster that indeed struck that nation soon after
and also warned of future events for the entire world! Not
to be missed. Perhaps the best single account of an
apparition in modern time -- trips to Heaven, intense
prophecy, beautiful messages, devotion.
MYSTERY: WHAT DID VIRGIN MEAN IN LINKING DEVIL TO 'MODERNISM' AT AN ALLEGED APPARITION?
It was a bit of a surprise. Although she had when the apparitions first began -- and frequently -- the Blessed Mother, in recent years -- in her monthly messages (at the reputed site of Medjugorje, now under Vatican study) -- has only rarely mentioned the devil.
Yet, there it was, last week, on May 25:
"Dear children!" she said (and of course we wait for Vatican authentication). "God gave you the grace to live and to defend all the good that is in you and around you, and to inspire others to be better and holier; but Satan, too, does not sleep and through modernism diverts you and leads you to his way."
What might she have meant by modernism?
In the Church, modernism is associated with a psychological, trendy approach to belief and a diminishing of tradition. The current Pope has constantly warned about it, as did his predecessor.
"Modernism" in the Catholic Church might be described under the following broad headings:
"A rationalist approach to the Bible," notes Wikipedia. "The rationalism that was characteristic of the Enlightenment took a proto-materialistic view of miracles and the historicity of biblical narratives." This approach sought to interpret the Bible by focusing on the text itself, but ignoring what the Church Fathers had traditionally taught about it. It was a method that was readily accepted by Protestants and Anglicans.
"Secularism and other Enlightenment ideals. The ideal of secularism can be briefly summarized as holding that the best course of action in politics and other civic fields is that which flows from disparate groups’ and religions’ common understanding of the 'good.' By implication, Church and State should be separated, and the laws of the state should generally only cover the 'common ground' of beliefs between the various religious groups that might be present — for example the prohibition of murder, etcetera.
"Modern philosophical systems. One of the main currents was the attempt to synthesize the vocabularies, epistemologies, and metaphysics and other features of certain modern systems of philosophy with Catholicism, in much the same way the Scholastics earlier attempted to synthesize Platonic and Aristotlean philosophy with Catholicism."
The trend of intellectualism was referred to by yet another Pope, Paul VI, as "smoke" entering the sanctuary.
Today, many, including Benedict XVI, call it "relativism."
Back a hundred years ago, Pope Pius X issued an entire encyclical denouncing the modern trend at integrating Godless, soulless philosophy with the Catholic faith. In 1910 he even had all clergy in seminaries swear to an oath against modernistic trends. As he said in the encyclical, "Modernists place the foundation of religious philosophy in that doctrine which is commonly called Agnosticism. According to this teaching human reason is confined entirely within the field of phenomena, that is to say, to things that appear, and in the manner in which they appear: it has neither the right nor the power to overstep these limits." He called modernism "the synthesis of all heresies."
It was the age of Darwin and Marx and also the onset of modern art (see Picasso; see surrealism) and writers like Kant and Kafka. It was seen in music like jazz (which preceded blues which preceded rock and disco and heavy metal).
These Mary did not name, but they are cited in definitions of modernism -- one of which explains that "in the 1890s a strand of thinking began to assert that it was necessary to push aside previous norms entirely." It came to define the "Roaring Twenties" -- when radical change sped still more with growing use of radio, televisions, cars, chemicals, and other products of technology.
Experimentation. Radicalism. We saw it in architecture, which became sterile. Our entire society is modernistic. No more of the mystical.
In a very short time, around Pius X's warning, there were radio and airplanes and even the first televisions. There was a technocratic makeover of America as it entered the Progressive Era, culminating, as one author points out, in 1930 in a White House conference on children that proclaimed the superiority of experts to parents in child rising, because "it is beyond the capacity of an individual parent to train her child to fit into the intricate, interwoven, and interdependent social and economic system we have developed."
What of "industry," of modern "technology"?
Does modernism not also include and in many ways even spring from the onset of mass production, mass communication, and inventions such as the motorized vehicle?
Here we recall the 1990 prophecy, which asserted a message from Jesus: "You think of the changes in very simple ways, without realizing the fundamental mistakes of mankind. The very artifice of your societies is false and against the accordance of God's Will. This artifice shall not last. Your very conceptions of happiness and comforts are a great evil and falsity. They will not stand. My greatest nemesis is science, even more so than the media. The science that alters life, the science which creates a counterfeit heaven, the science that toils with the womb and genes, the science that has filled the air with the power of the enemy, the science which creates chemical witchcraft and fouls the earth, the science which seeks to create life but cannot in actuality even sustain it, the science which has denied God."
Was this too what the Blessed Mother was referring to -- or only matters of faith?
A coincidence it is that the message comes when the oil disaster is so much in the news. In the alleged prophecy, Jesus had also said: "Know this about the world: I would not appear on television, nor ride in a car, nor travel in an airplane. Would I come in such a manner? Would I live in such a world?"
It sounds so radical to us (and is certainly politically incorrect) -- yet for the vast majority of time that our planet has existed, life was far simpler (and more unchanging) than it is today.
[see also: Papal nuncio mentions Medjugorje in address to cardinals, bishops and Vicar of St. John Lateran says that Virgin is at Medjugorje in 'very powerful way]
[resources: Full of Grace and The Secrets of Mary; also Medjugorje Live Streaming]
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