Sunday, December 25, 2016

Simbang Gabi 7 (Fatima Centennial): The True Revolution

Jesus, I trust in you!

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Mary sang about the great things the Lord has done for her and for people. She sang of how the Lord looked upon her lowliness and exalted her by doing great things for her. Thus, she will be called blessed by every generation. But the Holy Spirit also enabled Mary to recognize what God does for the poor and the humble ones: He shows mercy to those who fear him; he shows the strength of his arm to the humble; he lifts up the lowly; he fills the hungry with good things; he comes to the help of Israel his servant. However, while he looks mercifully on the poor, he deals with the proud and the arrogant: he scatters the proud in their conceit; he casts down the mighty from their thrones; he sends the rich away empty. Coming from a 15 year old girl, the song is indeed radical and revolutionary because it upsets the usual paradigm by which the world looks at reality. The world extols the rich, the powerful and the proud while it looks down upon the poor, the hungry and the humble. But God has a different paradigm: he exalts the humble and humbles the proud.

When Our Lady appeared to the children at Fatima, she asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. If her requests were not heeded, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church, the martyrdom of the good, the suffering of the Pope, and the annihilation of many nations. Why Russia and what errors would she spread? At that time, the message was not very clear because Russia was not a powerful nation to deal with. In fact, it was beset at that time with political and social unrest. On February 1917, Tsar Nicholas II was deposed from power and he was replaced by a weak Russian Provisional Government. Because of its involvement in World War I, a national crisis developed in Russia: disorder in industry and transportation intensified and obtaining provisions like food became very difficult. Vladimir Lenin rode on this social unrest and overthrew the provisional government by taking control of the Winter Palace through his Red Guards. He tried to gain public support for the Bolsheviks, pro-communist political party, through the use of the slogan: “Bread, Land, Peace and all Power to the Soviets.” But failing to get that support, he overturned the results of the elections for the Russian Constituent Assembly in November 1917. Using the armed guards, he prevented the meetings of the democratic assembly. This is now known as the October Rising or the Bolshevik revolution. In 1918, the Bolshevik became the Russian communist party and it endeavored to put the tenets of Karl Marx into practice. The error of Communism spread throughout the world. Nations disappeared and these became powerful Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Communism seems to be in accordance with the revolution spoken of by the Magnificat of Mary: the upsetting of the social and political order, the inversion of power. However, there is that one great difference: Communism is a God-less ideology. It seeks to invert the social order independent of God. God had no place in the communist society. Religion was forbidden. Man separated from God is man dehumanized. If the human dignity is basically founded on the fact that man is the image of God, what would man be if the existence of God was denied?

St. Paul spoke of the doctrine of mutual responsibility and the common destiny of mankind. Because we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, whatever affects one affects everybody. “If one man suffers anything, all the members suffer with it.” (1 Cor. 12:6). The collective responsibility of individuals applies to nations as well. Our Lady asked us to pray and to make sacrifices for Russia and for the conversion of sinners. Since we are one in Christ in his Mystical Body, we also become saviors of each other in the mystery of the Communion of Saints. We must collaborate in the work of redemption and so “complete what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings on behalf of his body, the Church.” (Col 1:24)

Due to the sacrifices and prayers of the devotees of Our Lady, communism has collapsed (except in China). Russia is beginning to show signs of conversion. Vladimir Putin is now a very strong defender of the Christians who are being persecuted in Syria and in Iraq. (Surprisingly, the US, under the administration of Obama, has given a mediocre response to the plight of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East.) A little more sacrifice, a little more prayer and the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Mary, Russia will be converted and peace will be given to the world. True peace will be found when Christ truly reigns in the world. This is the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us join Mary in the true revolution that would change the world.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!  

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