On Modern Society’s Moral Degeneration and Its Remedies
October 2011: Part 1—“Our Father…deliver us from evil.”
Ever since I read the message of September 2, 2011 from Our Lady of Medjugorje, I have spent much time reflecting on and praying about its meaning, and about the moral decline of modern society: a “falling apart” of true moral values. Our Lady urgently calls to us:
"Dear children; with all my heart and soul full of faith and love in the Heavenly Father, I gave my Son to you and am giving Him to you anew. My Son has brought you, the people of the entire world, to know the only true God and His love. He has led you on the way of truth and made you brothers. Therefore, my children, do not wander, do not close your heart before that truth, hope and love. Everything around you is passing and everything is falling apart, only the glory of God remains. Therefore, renounce everything that distances you from the Lord. Adore Him alone, because He is the only true God. I am with you and I will remain with you. I am especially praying for the shepherds that they may be worthy representatives of my Son and may lead you with love on the way of truth. Thank you."
A friend of mine sent me (via email) a 5-part video series from Women of Grace Television Show, hosted by Johnette Benkovic. This particular 5-part series, which I have begun viewing, is Mrs. Benkovic’s interviews with Fr. Joseph Esper, author of Spiritual Dangers in the 21st Century. The ideas discussed by Fr. Esper and Mrs. Benkovic in the first program (America in Decline, which aired on EWTN on June 13, 2011) havehelped to shape my reflections, which I share with you in this devotional.
The words of Our Lady that ring in my mind and seem to pound in my heart are: “Everything around you is passing and everything is falling apart…” Sounds frightening, doesn’t it? In Mark 5:36 “…Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue (whose daughter, apparently, had died), ‘Do not fear, only believe.’” I believe that everything must pass, and everything must fall apart in order that only the glory of God will remain. I believe the Lord’s words in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
And I also see and believe that Satan has had and continues to have plans for us: evil plans for our spiritual destruction and our damnation. At the same time, I believe that Satan, although he is very powerful in relation to man, has no power whatsoever in relation to Almighty God, our Savior. Isaiah 5:20 states: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Woe to those who dare to fight the Living God!
Fr. Joseph Esper writes and speaks about events in America that have planted destructive ideas that have caused a greater and greater decline in the “moral fabric of our nation.” The first such event that he mentioned was the publication in 1948 of Alfred Kinsey’s book, Sexuality in the American Male. I remember reference to that book in a college psychology course that I took in 1973. In it Kinsey published the results of surveys of American men about their sexual behaviors, and the implication of it, as published in my textbook, was that any behavior that could be recorded from the surveys, was natural and good, simply because it occurred. It is clear to me that that book contained some of the most powerful seeds of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, in which premarital sex, sexual promiscuity, and living together before marriage began to be regarded by an increasing number of people as okay. While there has been sexual sin from the time of the Fall, at one time most people believed that purity and self control in sexuality was good: to be desired and sought after. During the “sexual revolution,” people who waited until marriage to have sex, only with their husband or wife, began to be considered “uptight,” or “repressed.”
The fruit of that “sexual revolution” grows increasingly bitter. Divorce rates have dramatically increased since the passing of “no-fault” divorce laws in the 1960’s. Homosexual men and women have “come out of the closet” and can even get married to each other in some states, perverting God’s plan (from the very beginning) of a life-time marriage between a man and a woman. Recently, I read that some pedophiles are banding together to go to the American Psychological Association to ask them to state that pedophilia is not a disorder, and they are claiming that the sex that they have with children is “consensual.” It is a “downward spiral” of evil.
At the end of her message Our Lady says: “I am especially praying for the shepherds that they may be worthy representatives of my Son and may lead you with love on the way of truth.” Recently a priest at our parish asked that the Little Handmaids would pray “that priests would not be seduced by the spirit of secularism in our society.” Soon after his request, I read some articles about two Catholic priests—one American and one Canadian—who were disciplined by their bishops for preaching boldly against the sin of homosexual acts. All of our priests, at every level of authority, urgently need our prayers.
From Our Lady of Medjugorje’s message of October 2, 2011, we can see that the most powerful medicine for all of this spiritual sickness is our personal relationship with God the Father:
"Dear children; Also today my motherly heart calls you to prayer, to your personal relationship with God the Father, to the joy of prayer in Him. God the Father is not far away from you and He is not unknown to you. He revealed Himself to you through my Son and gave you Life that is my Son. Therefore, my children, do not give into temptations that want to separate you from God the Father. Pray! Do not attempt to have families and societies without Him. Pray! Pray that your hearts may be flooded with the goodness which comes only from my Son, Who is sincere goodness. Only hearts filled with goodness can comprehend and accept God the Father. I will continue to lead you. In a special way I implore you not to judge your shepherds. My children, are you forgetting that God the Father called them? Pray! Thank you.”
October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary; the month of Missions; and Respect Life Month. Please offer your daily Rosary for:
· The turning of our hearts to Our Father
· His blessing on all missionaries
· All of “the shepherds, that they may be worthy representatives of Jesus, and may lead us with love on the way of truth.”
· That He will give us the grace to grow in the virtue of purity
· That He will give us the grace to grow in respect for life from the moment of conception until natural death