Man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature. —POPE PAUL VI, Humanae Vitae, Encyclical, n. 31; July 25th, 1968
IT was nearly forty years ago on July 25th, 1968, that Pope Paul VI issued the controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae. It is a document in which the Holy Father, exercising his role as chief shepherd and guardian of the faith, decreed that artificial birth control is contrary to the laws of God and nature.
It was met with perhaps the most resistance and disobedience to any papal decree in history. It was watered down by opponents; it’s papal authority argued away; it’s content and morally binding nature dismissed as a matter of "individual conscience" in which the faithful could make up their own minds on the issue.
Forty years after its publication, that teaching not only shows itself to be unchanged in its truth, but it reveals the farsightedness with which the problem was tackled. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Vatican City, May 10th, 2008
As a result of this moral ambiguity, over 90 percent of Catholics and Catholic physicians today approve the use of birth control (see Harris Poll, Oct. 20th, 2005).
FORTY YEARS LATER
In Persecution! I demonstrated how the acceptance of "the pill" has produced a devastating moral tsunami over the past forty years. It has culminated in the redefinition of marriage and the inversion of sexuality, primarily in the West. Now, this wave, which has crashed into societies, families, and hearts, is heading back out to the cultural sea, producing with it a powerful undertow which Pope Benedict calls a "dictatorship of relativism." Indeed, dissent against this teaching—often encouraged by clergy themselves—has generated a wave of disobedience to other Church teachings and a disregard for her authority.
The most destructive power of this undertow is the general devaluation of human dignity and life, producing as it were, a "culture of death." Assisted suicide, greater access to abortion, the justification of violence and war, the stunning use of science to destroy human life for medical purposes, and the cloning and mixing of animal and human genes together are among the sins which are piling up to the heavens, even higher than the tower of Babel.
THE AGE OF REASON… AND MARY
The "Age of Reason" or "Enlightenment" which ended at the beginning of the 1800’s formed the foundation of the relativistic thinking of our day. It essentially divorced "reason" from "faith," ushering in modernist thinking and philosophies which have seeped like the smoke of Satan into the highest places of the Church.
But the Age of Reason was followed almost immediately with a new age, The Age of Mary. It began with the apparition of Our Lady to St. Catherine Labouré, followed by Lourdes and Fatima, and punctuated in modern times with approved apparitions such as Akita, and other visitations still under investigation. The essence of all of these apparitions is an invitation to return to God, an urgent call to prayer and penance in reparation for sins, and for the conversion of sinners.
The Marian message to the modern world begins in seed form in the revelations of Our Lady of Grace at Rue du Bac, and then expands in specificity and concretization throughout the twentieth century and on into our own time. It is important to remember that this Marian message maintains its fundamental unity as one message from one Mother. —Dr. Mark Miravalle, Private Revelation—Discerning With the Church; p. 52 (italics my emphasis)
The Age of Reason and the Age of Mary are undoubtedly linked; the latter is Heaven’s response to the former. And since the fruit of the Age of Reason is fully blooming today, so too the urgency and frequency of Heaven’s visitations are in "full bloom."
THE FORTY YEAR CULMINATION
In her apparition to St. Catherine, the first of this Marian age, Our Lady describes in great sorrow trials to come upon the whole world:
My child, the cross will be treated with contempt. They will hurl it to the ground. Blood will flow. They will open up again the side of our Lord… My Child, the whole world will be in sadness. —from Autograph (sic), Feb 7th, 1856, Archives of the Daughters of Charity, Paris, France
When St. Catherine asked herself "When will this be?" she heard interiorly, "Forty years." But the travails Mary spoke of began to unfold just nine days later, culminating forty years later. So too, the travails after all of the major events described in Part I began shortly thereafter.
What time is it? It is very close to forty astounding years of betrayal and apostasy, the growing spirit of murder and falsehood, rebellion and pride… and the Lord hovers over us in great sorrow as He once did over the Israelites in the desert.
The Lord’s question: "What have you done?", which Cain cannot escape, is addressed also to the people of today, to make them realize the extent and gravity of the attacks against life which continue to mark human history… Whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelim Vitae; n. 10
Are we, like the Israelites, provoking our God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness?
Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness, when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, although they had seen all of my works. Forty years I endured that generation. I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know My ways." So I swore in My anger, "They shall not enter into My rest." (Psalm 95)
The "rest" of an Era of Peace?