Jacinta (Circa 1920) and Pope John Paul II
The diary that follows is Christian in nature and in particular, Catholic. It’s about an element of the culture war that is decisively harmful to the basic building block of a healthy society: the attack on human sexuality and by proxy therefore, marriage and family. It is, I hope, interesting, informational, and thought provoking. If it inspires even one person out there to consider and act, then it has done its job.
If this topic, presentation, and context is not your cup of tea, then now is a good time to click out of this diary and read instead one of the other diaries on RedState, many of which are very well written, very well researched, and quite informative. But, if you want to soldier on with this diary, I thank you in advance. Even better, if you read it and like it, then I pray you also act on it.
Here’s the actual diary . . .
In 1920, a gravely ill visionary (in the Church approved apparition of Fatima) spoke to the Mother Superior of an orphanage in Lisbon, Portugal. The visionary was Jacinta, a ten year old girl, who at the time was staying at the orphanage, away from her family, while being treated for the Spanish Plague. This illness would soon take her life within weeks of her arrival in Lisbon. However, some of her words, spoken as her death approached, are prescient. What she talked about then . . . in 1920 . . . did not pick up real steam until 40+ years later. Now, the phenomenon of which she spoke is much like an out of control locomotive careening down a steep grade . . . in other words, it’s dangerous and deadly.
Little, 10 year old Jacinta, articulated, with gravity and wisdom, the future increase and toll of the sins of the flesh. Here are her words:
The sins which lead most souls to hell are sins of the flesh! Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same. Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.
So then, what are the fashions that would be introduced post 1920? The list is tirelessly long and ugly. It is the kind of list that inspires despair. There are, to name just a few: abortion; widespread divorce; living together outside the bond of marriage; pre-marital sex; the homosexual marriage/rights movement; the easily accessed and widespread availability of pornography; the early sexualization of children (e.g. witness Bratz dolls, adult looking clothing for pre-teens, etc.); sexting among teens (the sending of nude pictures to friends via cell phone); etc., etc., ad nauseam. The 20th century and the early 21st century have been a cornucopia for sins of the flesh (secularly known as “the sexual revolution”).
Really, when you stop and reflect on it, you can’t even go through the checkout line at your local Piggly Wiggly without being visually assaulted with magazine images that 50 years ago would have been wrapped in brown paper and stowed away behind the counter. Turn on the TV, 24 hours a day, and you’ll be confronted with the same message, and that is, “Sex is for anytime, anywhere, with as many as you can.” If you don’t believe me, then take in a little MTV, the popular cable music channel beloved by so many teens. Heck, come to think of it, you don’t even need MTV to get a full-on dose of Jacinta’s long ago warning. Just pick up a copy of Red Book, a popular woman’s magazine, and you’ll be treated to an all-out, ringing endorsement of anal sex.
And, the fashions forewarned by Jacinta are having their desired effects. Sharlene Azam recently published a book and a documentary called, “Oral Sex is the New Goodnight Kiss.” In her research among teens and preteens, she found much evidence of casual sex, multiple partners, and even prostitution. The attitude toward sex among the children in her documentary is that it’s no big deal. In fact, they view sex as both leisure and power. “If it feels good, then just do it,” is their motto. Sex for them is the equivalent of a pickup game of baseball, or a casual game of Yahtzee among friends. It’s also a means of power and enrichment. Many of the girls in the documentary engage frequently in what can only be defined as prostitution. They trade sex for money so they can have more cash for shopping sprees.
All in all, the fashions and fruits of the sexual revolution have been destructive in this life and promise to be eternally deadly in the next life as well. Further, we are told by no less than Christ himself that we are to fear eternal repercussions more so than the merely earthly ones. In Matthew 10:28, Christ said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Sins of the flesh destroy both body and soul, and are, according to Our Lady via Jacinta, a plague upon mankind that will lead many to hell.
But, also promised by Christ is the assertion that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18). And, despite relentless attempts by both sinful man and demonic assaults, the promise has always been kept. To combat the rise and consequential destruction levied by the sins of the flesh, the Church was given Pope John Paul II, who penned the Theology of the Body. This formalized, Christian view of human nature, human sexuality, and marriage is truly the salve for the disease of the fashions predicted by Jacinta.
In Theology of the Body, our eyes our opened to the nature of mankind being created as male and female. The understanding offered by Theology of the Body goes way beyond mere description or the draconian imposition of rules. It quarries the deeper question of, “Why?” And, it does so in a manner that is readily understandable by those who may need it most . . . like the teens and tweens that appear in Sharlene Azam’s documentary, “Oral Sex is the New Goodnight Kiss.”
Theology of the Body ties together revealed truths about who we are as creatures of both body and soul. It encompasses the idea of vocation (marriage vs. single life vs. religious life), honor (i.e. the ability to both recognize and keep a promise, even a future one), and human sexuality in the context of marriage. It shows that sex in marriage is a sacred and integral component of the Sacrament of Marriage. Sex in marriage is a material expression of supernatural truths. To understand this is to discover a pearl of incalculable value, and this isn’t the kind of pearl that’s meant to be placed on a pedestal, shelved, and untouched by human hands. Rather, it’s the kind that’s supposed to be joyfully lived. Theology of the Body is good news.
Our responsibility to our children is serious business. It’s also wondrous and a privilege in the extreme, for we are mentors to eternal souls, entrusted with the well being of individuals whom our Lord and God suffered and died for specifically. In children, we are gifted by God with what He obviously sees as priceless. It is up to us then to take the bull by the horns and do something about the fashions foretold by Jacinta in 1920. It is we who must rise to the call to be instruments in God’s hands for the evangelization of the world, and there’s no better place to start than with our own children. Theology of the Body will equip them to stand athwart the overbearing influences of our age which lead, with certainty, to the abuse and abasement of human sexuality. And lead, as Jacinta warned, to hell. The stakes truly are high.
For Catholic parents, parishes, and even interested non-Catholics, there are many excellent resources that teach Theology of the Body at the level of middle school to high school education; just when, by the way, the world and the demonic are doing a full court press to win over the mind (i.e. soul) of your child. Christopher West, for example, is a popular and readable author (i.e. not so philosophical as to lose the interest of the average Joe or Jane). His materials come in the forms of books, CD’s, and even videos. Churches may be interested in Ascension Press’ Theology of the Body for Teenagers. This is an entire course which can be integrated into a Church’s catechism. In is fine-tuned, in its theology and presentation, for the intellect and maturity of a teenager. It will provide a soup to nuts understanding of the human need for love, the human person, sexuality, and how sexuality fits beautifully within spirituality and our relationship with God. Theology of the Body for Teenagers is quick becoming a tried and true catechetical program in many dioceses throughout the nation. More information about Theology of the Body for Teenagers may be found at Ascension Press’ website.
The world is full of many kinds of wolf packs, and as Jacinta warned in 1920, the sins of the flesh would come on strong in the 20th century, resulting in a particularly ravenous pack leading many on a wide and easy path to hell. As parents, clergy, and parish, we are obligated to protect our children from this danger, and a major part of protecting them is educating them and nurturing within each child, a conscience formed by Christ. Pope John Paul II’s greatest contribution, Theology of the Body, does just that.