What do Fatima, Fulton Sheen, and the family have in common with us today? The answer will shock and surprise you.
First, Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima said, “The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid… because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way because this is the decisive issue… however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”
The Latin phrase, Motus in fine velocior, is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of a historical period. I’ve heard it said that it means, “Things accelerate toward the end.” We are living through a historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly could be marked as the end of an era. Could she have been talking about the times we are currently living in today? The times were we have a tremendous amount of lapsed Catholics, a time when we have a tremendous amount of Catholics without their sacraments, and a time where many people do not even get legally married anymore. These are our times and this is no time for radical change.
Second, with the Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage and to take away power from the States, as well as to take power into their own hands, has created a climate in which the status of the family has greatly changed. Throughout history until this point, marriage was considered to be an official act between a man and a woman. Why? Maybe the simple and correct thing is how important the family unit has been to every civilization that has ever existed on this planet. Same-sex attractions and same-sex unions are needed to ensure that civilization continues. Should the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled for Same-Sex marriages several years ago? The answer lies in the 10th amendment. Marriages were not in the Constitution so therefore they were left up to the State to decide upon what marriage was in that State. This is how a Republic works. The Courts in one opinion tore up the Constitution and tore apart the 10th amendment. Why? Was it an organized attack on the family? Was it an organized attack on our core values and beliefs?
Third, as for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Our Lady told Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th century – Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador), “The Church will find itself attacked by waves of a secret sect… corrupted priests will scandalize the Church… Moreover, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will lose themselves. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and, in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those whom it behooves to speak will fall silent."
As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. The people in power will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations. The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this Sacrament, the Church of God and even God Himself is scorned and despised since He is represented in His priests.
Fourth, look into the state of the world since the early 1960s. “Shortly after the middle of the 20th century”… most certainly points to the infamous anti-authority, pro-hedonism 1960s, that ushered in unparalleled self-indulgence (the essence of the demonic) into our world. In the midst of this, our Church has not only suffered unprecedented losses in the sheer number of souls, but we are witnessing an epidemic of liturgical abuse and rampant sacrilege. Did Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophesy about the condition of (many parts of) our Church today?
“[Satan] will set up a counter church which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church… It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”
We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces – the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of the anti-Christ – are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.
The False Prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church.
Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one, and the False Prophet will create the other.
The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.
A world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all Divine content, it will be the mystical body of the anti-christ. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from our Bishops.
The Antichrist will not be so-called; otherwise, he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulfur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as “I am Who am,” and the Devil as “I am who am not.”
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find a warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first “red.” Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as “the Prince of this world,” whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect–and certainly, no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves…
The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.
In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counter church which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ…
But the twentieth century will join the counter church because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex-cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.
These were the words that Bishop Sheen wrote in his book, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25. You may ask why should we care about this now? What does this have to do with us today?
Communist Russia is gone. However, today we have American political leaders who are advocating these very same policies. We have teachers teaching in our high schools and colleges today that Communism is superior to Capitalism. They explain to their students that all of the evil that is in the world today is the result of Capitalism. If we could only get rid of Capitalism all of our problems would be solved. In this same vein, they would like to get rid of the Church. It is like Capitalism- too tied to money and power. In Communism we do not need God- we have each other. In Communism, we create God in our own image. Brothers and sisters, do not be deceived. Look for the light of truth, not the darkness of despair and make sure that we embrace the truth now and forever- amen.