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The horrific attack in Las Vegas, Nevada on the night of Sunday, October 1, 2017 has left 59 dead and more than 500 injured. People the world over are left reeling, the event has been featured constantly on international news, and there are renewed calls for stricter gun-control laws in the United States.
Pope Francis has expressed (through his Secretary of State, Pietro Cardinal Parolin) “the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.” In the same telegram, the Pope also commended “the efforts of those police and emergency services personnel,” and offered “the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of God.” Various other cardinals and bishops in the United States issued statements regarding the horrible tragedy.
Bishop Joseph Pepe, the ordinary of the Diocese of Las Vegas, held an interfaith prayer service in his Cathedral of the Guardian Angels on Monday, October 2. A Cruxnow.com report quoted Bishop Pepe as stating: “In the face of tragedy we need each other... in the face of violence we stand together because we cannot let hate and violence have the last word. We come together in unity across our religious traditions, across race, across gender to stand with each other as living signs of that hope.”
With all due respect to Bishop Pepe, no doubt overwhelmed by the immensity of what occurred in his diocese hours before these words were spoken, his was not an effective, Catholic response to mass murder. Why?
Firstly, let us ask: what caused the attack? Obviously, the attacker succumbed to temptation. But that is too simplistic an answer, given the gravity of what took place. There is so much sin in the world today, the extent of which has never been seen previously: blasphemy, apostasy, heresy, schism; anger, hatred and violence; impurity, occult practices, we can name so many more. In a word, we are living in a world which has rejected Almighty God and His designs of Mercy, choosing (by default) to experience His Justice.
What took place in Las Vegas — as has happened in other places — was caused by the rejection of God, as individuals and as a society. We have spurned the Law of Christ, and have chosen instead (conscientiously or not) to follow the prince of this world, the devil. But in a more specific way, we have despised and disparaged the means chosen by God to save our Church, our world, our society: Our Lady of Fatima and Her Message, especially the request for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops.
Our Lord forewarned us: “Because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12). The Collect for the feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi (September 17) refers to Our Lord giving His wounds to the Saint in 1224, “when the world was growing cold, in order to renew in our hearts the flame of love.” How much worse, or “cold,” was the world roughly 700 years later in 1917, when God sent the Queen of all saints, His own Mother, to give us the only solution, asking us to convert and amend our lives? And how much further have things continued to deteriorate in the past century, precisely because of our disobedience?
We have the true answer to these sins, these acts of violence. Bishop Pepe must realize this, as must the Pope and every other bishop, and indeed all men. We have the solution to terrorism never occurring again, but rather having true peace! No, it is not simple human solidarity or a secularist unity.
It is obedience to the King and Queen of Heaven as given in the Fatima Message, and more specifically the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If we are to be “living signs of hope,” let this be in our faithfully living daily the Catholic Faith which was reinforced in the Fatima Message, especially in praying the Holy Rosary. Let us realize our true unity, not simply as fellow men, but in our belonging to the “household of the Faith,” the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation.
Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Peace, thank You for Your saving Fatima Message. May the Pope and all the Catholic bishops consecrate Russia soon!