We receive daily reports from the media of what, according to secular journalists, is happening in Ukraine and how it may affect the nations outside that beleaguered country. As with all secular reporting, the emphasis is on parsing what the principal politicians involved in the conflict are saying in response to developments, as though the situation were to be resolved by rhetoric and media commentary.
We have, among other ironies, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pontificating over what constitutes justice for the Ukrainian people, denouncing the use of force as “19th century behavior”. Implicit in Kerry’s comments is the presumption that what is modern is what is best and that all our predecessors were necessarily more benighted and primitive than we are. Kerry also fails to acknowledge the obvious: that his assumption of authority in the matter is based squarely and solely on the force commanded by the United States, militarily through NATO and economically through its capital investment in Russia. Apparently, 19th century behavior is acceptable from some quarters.
But is the U.S. government vitally concerned with the welfare of the Ukrainian people? Of course not. It is concerned about containing Russian power and influence. Who has the interest of the Ukrainian people at heart? The Ukrainian Catholic Church, for one. In the most significant development during the month of April (one almost entirely ignored by the media), the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Svatioslav, re-consecrated his nation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. (See: “The Act of placing Ukraine under the Intercession of the Blessed Mother”.)
He reminded his nation – and the world, if it cared to listen – that history is in the hands of God. What secular leaders do may have grave consequences, but those consequences will be directly proportional to whether they have acted according to Heaven’s will or their own presumed wisdom. His Beatitude also reminded us of our own responsibility for the larger happenings in the world for which we may believe we bear no responsibility.
He said the consecration of Ukraine to Our Lady must happen alongside a consecration of each individual life to Our Lady. We must participate in such a consecration, he stressed, if we hope to receive Our Lady’s blessing and help for the nation. The same is true in the matter of the consecration of Russia to Our Lady of Fatima. We must further the consecration not only by urging our Church leaders to obey Our Lady’s request, but by conforming our lives to what Our Lady has asked of each and every one of us: to pray the daily Rosary, perform the First Saturday devotions and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.
It is easy to scapegoat our leaders — in Church or state — for their failures, but we must acknowledge our own responsibility for the problems we face as an international community. If we sanctify our lives, the channels of grace may flow in unexpected directions, influencing events in the world at large. And we should not presume, as does John Kerry, to know what constitutes the best possible outcome in any situation. All is in the hands of God, as the patriarch of Ukraine has reminded us.
Should Russia take control of greater portions of her former empire that may not necessarily be undesirable. A strange thing is happening with Vladimir Putin and, one may be permitted to think, with the national mood of the Russian people. Putin is stressing Russia’s past as a Christian nation at every opportunity and urging a return to the moral values of Christendom (see: “The Message of Fatima: Ignore It at Your Peril”).
If Russia is to be Heaven’s instrument for either the chastisement or salvation of the world, we do not know how Providence may prepare us for that eventuality. We do know that Russia will eventually be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and the bishops of the Catholic Church and that peace will be granted to the world. To what extent the world will have to suffer until that happens is unknown. It has been placed in our hands. So we must do all we can to conform our lives to the Fatima Message and to urge those capable of performing the consecration to act without further delay. The situation in the Ukraine may mark the beginning of a greater chastisement that could engulf the world.
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