“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Marian Crossroad of Religions

While I am on Our Lady of Fatima, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen put together his thoughts that the conversion of the Muslim world will come through Our Lady of Fatima. By his writing below, you will see this little obscure Portuguese town where the Blessed Mother chose to appear is at the crossroads of Christianity and the Muslim religion. He wrote these words in 1952.

"It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity ... through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.

...The Koran, which is the bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception and in her Virgin Birth. The third chapter of the Koran places the history of Mary's family in a genealogy that goes back through Abraham, Noah, and Adam. When one compares the Koran's description of the birth of Mary with the apocryphal Gospel of the birth of Mary, one is tempted to believe that Mohammed very much depended upon the latter.

...The Koran has also verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying, "O Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth."

...The only possible serious rival to her in [the Moslem] creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. However, after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: "Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary." In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, "I surpass all the women, except Mary."

This brings us ... to why the Blessed Mother, in this twentieth century... should have revealed herself in the insignificant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as "Our Lady of Fatima."

Nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details. I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Catholic faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus, the very place where Our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

...Moslems attended the Catholic services in honor of Our Lady; they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques...

...[As the Moslem devotion to the Virgin Mary grows,] Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the Divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief."

For people who think the thought of a mass, Marian conversion is unprobable, you should direct them to what is left of the Berlin Wall.


Ethan said...

You seem relatively well versed with Islam. But you seem to have missed out on certain details. For example, the Torah, The Gospels, and The Book of Psalms are holy books in Islam, and a part of the greater Canon. Jesus of Nazareth is treated as a prophet in Islam, and an even higher one than Mohammad, because he was the only Prophet without sin. I doubt there will be the mass conversion of Muslims you believe will happen, for the very simple reason that Muslims are already a member of the same broader faith as Christians, Jews, Buddhists. We all worship the same God, call him what you will, but why are some too blind to see that, I do not know. If you wish to discuss this with me further, I invite you to.

A Voice in the Crowd said...

Appreciative of your post, Ethan. I believe Archbishop Sheen was stating "conversion" in regard to accepting Christ as Divine, one with God.

One thing I greatly admire about devout Muslims is the amount of time they spend in prayer, and how tightly scheduled it is.

I often think that any religion should be one of obligation to their Creator, not something that is easy and adjustable by the human worshiper.

I have known Muslim co-workers whom at the same time every day, multiple times a day, stop everything and pray.

Their religion comes first, and it is admirable.