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What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images…
-The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot
A Heap of Broken Images
Wise men can sometimes tell the future, for they can gauge the probable course of ideas and forces. Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc predicted the rise of Islam in 1938, at a time when Muslim nations were prostrate economically and politically and consigned to the backwaters of history. What made him so prescient? Belloc understood what the West no longer understands: that religion is the most powerful force in the world (see: “Hilaire Belloc: A Disintegrated Christianity Will Lead to the Rise of Islam”).
Belloc saw that Islam’s economic decline was not accompanied by a loss of faith. The Koran remained its only book; its precepts were as strongly held then as when they first set fire to the world in the 7th century. And jihad was yet enjoined as a sacred duty. Given the means and opportunity, which could not be indefinitely forestalled, that duty would be resumed with bloody effect, probably by the end of the 20th century.
And Belloc also saw that the power of faith that sustained Islam was in decline in the West. Eliot had written the epitaph of Christendom in the early 1920s in his epic poem, “The Waste Land”. He saw that faith had died for most of the West, and that the once great civilization built by the Church now lay in ruins, a “heap of broken images.” Belloc saw much the same thing, though he held out hope for a resurgence of Faith.
He did foresee, however, that the inevitable clash of civilizations he believed was imminent would likely be one between a fragmented and fading Christendom and an integral and vigorous Islam. The issue of the conflict, Belloc thought, was then in doubt. All depended on whether we would in time turn again to the Faith that had sustained our greatness. And now that jihad is here, Belloc’s doubt has grown like a great shadow over what was not so long ago described as the West’s “shining city on a hill” (see: “We Will Be A City Upon A Hill”). That famous speech could not be delivered today.
Many are puzzled that the vast industrial and military machinery of the West is proving so impotent against an enemy so much weaker, in material terms. Such perplexity is due to faith being left out of the calculation. The West has become so locked into its own material suppositions that it fails to understand that personal gain pales as a motive force when pitted against religious belief. Contrast the bond traders killed on 9/11 to the suicide bombers who flew the planes into the towers. How can the religion of personal profit stand against the religion of self-immolation? One seeks its petty self; the other seeks its god, even unto the loss of self.
When Islam attacked the West in the past, the Catholic Church rallied opposition. We still celebrate Oct. 7, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, as the commemoration of the victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, which turned back the Muslim invasion of Europe. St. Pius V organized the forces that stopped Islam then. Who will do so now?
We have in Pope Francis a Catholic leader who will not even mention the fact that Islamic terrorists are slaughtering Christians. He carefully refers to jihadis as “fundamentalists”, a term he also likes to apply to traditional Catholics (see: “About those ‘Fundamentalists’”). And even after the bloodbaths in Paris and Brussels, Francis calls for Europe to take in more and more Muslims. He even violated his own liturgical discipline on Holy Thursday to make the point that Muslims must be welcomed (see: “Kissing Muslim Feet Is Not the Answer”).
The president of the United States, like Francis, cannot bring himself to assign blame for Islamic terrorism to Islam. Obama’s anger, it seems, is that Islam is being used by people who misrepresent its supposedly peaceful teachings. So much misunderstanding! And Obama likes to remind us of atrocities allegedly committed in the name of Christ, lest we “get on our high horse” concerning the ongoing butcheries of ISIS and other groups (see: “Obama Likens ISIS to the Crusades”).
But the Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the case. We can count on our G-men! FBI director James Comey recently sounded the alarm – against Islamaphobia! (see: “FBI top dog: Rise of ‘Islamophobia’ a ‘concerning issue’”). The real concerning issue, for anyone who is still sane, is that Islamophobia is not widespread enough, especially among our supposed protectors in law enforcement and government.
It is as though someone came into our house, robbed, raped and murdered members of our family, and the response of the police is to search out anyone in the neighborhood who might say something unkind about the attackers. Is it any wonder that Donald Trump is drawing huge crowds? He wants to put a temporary stop to Muslim immigration, for which he is denounced as a racist, as though Islam were a race, instead of a religion of violence that extols murder of the infidel, meaning us and our families.
Can diabolical disorientation get any worse?
Of course it can. We may have only seen the opening salvos in Islam’s war against the West. The hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into Europe, the United States and Canada have not yet established their presence among us. What remains of Christendom will soon be under attack, not only in sporadic incidents of violence, but through a sustained cultural transformation. Already, there are cities and towns in the U.S. where the muzzein calls the faithful to prayer over loudspeakers that blast through neighborhoods that once heard the Angelus being sounded from parish churches.
What will happen to the West? We have no Belloc among us now to prognosticate. But anyone who thinks that major cultural transformation is not under way, and that it will not fundamentally alter the look and feel of the world in which we live, is blinded by ignorance or denial of the obvious facts. So what can we do?
Our Lady told us that only She can help us. Do we need any more proof of how true Her words are? We must apply for that help. Pray the Rosary. Live the Fatima Message. And hope for Heaven’s deliverance from the hell that men have made.
We must work and pray ever more fervently that the Holy Father and the bishops will heed the requests of Our Lady of Fatima. (See: Petition to Our Holy Father — The Consecration of Russia and Petition to Our Holy Father — The Release of the full Third Secret.)
We must also keep informed. Read the recent “Fatima Perspectives” (view here) and “Fatima News & Views” articles listed below.
Latest Fatima News & Views
Pope Francis' Revolutionary Exhortation — Pope Francis on April 8 released his much-anticipated post-Synodal Exhortation on Marriage and the family, titled Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love").
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