A lengthy musing today; many things have come up. I chose Denmark as the country to highlight because, though it is a fairly small number, my readers in Denmark are consistent and sometimes contribute to the comments section here. But first…
While I give short shrift to those who see supernatural signs behind everything (as Freud once famously said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”), nonetheless I believe God lays out little hints for us – not of what His secret plan is – but of things that we ought to pay attention to. None are more striking to me than things surrounding the events at Fatima. The visitations began on May 13, 1917 and continued each month until the Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917. My first conscious encounter with Fatima came when my angel told me how important it and the messages delivered there were – and that I should study it carefully for it was at the heart of all that was coming.
When I was told that we would be rescued miraculously very late in 2017 I understood immediately it must be connected to Fatima, for it was the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. It was almost unprecedented to give me a nearly specific time – it was always “soon” and I had to extrapolate from there as best I could, which was often quite poorly. That suggested there was something very deep and important here that bore a great deal of contemplation. It was months later when it dawned on me that 2017 was also the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution – when the spirit of antichrist was institutionally injected into the world in a concentrated form.
It wasn’t until I was walking on my pilgrimage that it occurred to me that it was another important anniversary: it would be the 500th anniversary since Martin Luther first broke away from the Church, opening up fissures of division in the Christian body. Of course, I had noted that Pope John Paul is the pope of Fatima. Mt. Meeker, the site of the Shrine I had seen in a vision, was where I intended to go for the Novena ending my pilgrimage. I planned to go into the mountain on August 13, 2012, to coincide with my normal August Novena to Our Lady of Fatima. When I arrived, there were two big surprises to greet me.
I had known that, when he came to Denver for World Youth Day in 1993, Pope John Paul had gone hiking in the mountains briefly. What I did not know was that it was at Mt. Meeker and that the path I was about to enter into the mountain was called the John Paul trail, for it was the very path that he had gone into the same mountain on. And he had done it on the very day, August 13, that I was doing it, 19 years earlier. I do not spend much time trying to interpret such things,,,I figure they are just divine invitations to pay attention, that there is something important here, so I do. But boy, a lot of those little divine coincidences seemed to be piling up and converging.
Now a reader, an American couple – Bill and Stef – bring something awesome to my attention. I knew that Pope Leo XIII had a vision in which satan was loosed on the world for 100 years to ravage the Church, then would be defeated by Our Lady and chained in hell. It was this vision that led Pope Leo to compose the prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel that we Catholics frequently pray. What I did not know was the date of the Pope’s vision: October 13, 1884. That is the anniversary of the penultimate apparition at Fatima – precisely 33 years before that apparition. I have come to suspect that another name for the rescue I have been told about is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
One of life’s great blessings is to have people you love and trust close to you who will tell you candidly when they think you are off-base. I am fortunate to have an abundance of such. I called my brother, Steve, to complain about something the other night. He listened, agreed I had a point, then told me I was missing the larger point and went on to explain what the point was. He was dead-on. I delight in my sister, Kim. She often goes charging up blind alleys full speed – but as soon as she knows it, she gets right back where she should be. And she never fails to do what she believes to be her duty – even at the risk of charging up a blind alley. About two years ago, we were having a wild argument over the phone. I got so angry I hung up on her. She immediately called back. I answered with savage glee just to have the pleasure of hanging up on her again. In that particular case, she was on the wrong track, but I knew she spoke because she loved me so. In fact, more times than with any other, if God wants to rebuke me through a person, He does it through her. My son always honors me. A few years ago I publicly unleashed an intemperate blast over something. He immediately contacted me to correct me – and hung in there as I argued with him. As we ended and I contemplated, I realized he was right.
I thank God I have people who care enough about me that they will hang in when they need to ‘scrap’ with me…they honor what is best in me rather than merely ennabling what is worst. May you all have similar blessing in your life.
We have spoken of refuges and little communities. I am pleasantly surprised to discover that this site is becoming a sort of virtual refuge. If you just read my post and not the comments of fellow readers, you are missing a lot. There is a ton of wisdom here – and a real eagerness to help build each other up and truly be a sign of hope.
I am contemplating how to mobilize people to really help others. This finding spiritual directors is going to be a bigger job than I thought it would be. When I get back to Colorado in a few weeks, I am going to see about getting people here together to help put together a practical, resource that will help others find effective spiritual direction no matter what their location or situation. I find my mind turning to ways to use the wisdom of people here to help build up the people of God.
To the right I have a new link to Forum site hosted out of Ireland, called the Mother of God (MOG) Forum. It has a lot of worthy ongoing comments and debates going on that get deeply into the faith. I do not endorse all, some of it can get into a little bit of a wild west feel. (Oops, that’s the American in me showing. Since it is an Irish site, it might be better to say that the occasional brawl breaks out in this otherwise genteel pub). Of course, I rather like earthy things that get right to it, even if they get a little off track every now and again. I find it a very worthy effort where you will find a lot of serious – and a few cantankerous – people. Though hosted out of Ireland, it has people from all over participating in it.
And now to Denmark…
My readers in Denmark complain that this once-Lutheran country is now functionally godless. It sounds like a sad state of affairs, but one that has afflicted much of the west.
For me, Denmark is home to the great King Canute, who reigned just after the turn of the first millennium. It was Canute who famously took his court to the shore of the sea to watch him command the waves to recede. This is usually cited to mock Canute’s vanity – which only goes to prove that a little learning really IS a dangerous thing. Canute knew full well that the waves would not respond to his command. The reason he did it was to demonstrate to his over-zealous and arrogant courtiers the limits of human power. It makes him a bit of a hero ahead of his time in my book. Now, next time someone recites the story to mock Canute’s vanity, you will know that they are unknowingly mocking their own vanity of thinking they know what they are talking about. Ah, the dangers of playing at intellectual when all you have is the Cliff Notes!
Denmark was one of the very first nations to formally adopt Lutheranism. It took it as its official religion in 1538, just 21 years after Luther nailed his theses to the wall. Interestingly, Denmark has been at the forefront of almost every intellectual and cultural trend in history. It was at the forefront of embracing Enlightenment ideals – and much of the thought flowing from the French Revolution (though without embracing the bloody butchery that came from it). Sandwiched between Germany and Sweden (few seem to know today that Sweden was once one of the world’s mightiest military powers), Denmark has mainly tried to stay out of the line of fire in the disputes that roiled Europe over the years. Interestingly, Denmark did perhaps the most heroic job of any of Nazi-occupied countries of rescuing Jews from the clutches of the Nazi beast.
And yet, the very intellectual and cultural trendiness of Denmark gives me hope that she might be near the front of the next big wave – the resurrection of Christian faith and values throughout the world.