Know That Prayer Can Convert Russia
If there is anyone who would doubt the possibility of the conversion of Russia, permit me to point out (1) that the problem of the conversion of Russia is simply the problem of the conversion of Communists, (2) that already there have been quite a few Communists converted in the Church, and (3) that since every single Communist, irrespective of his nationality, is as much a soldier of the Kremlin as though he wore the uniform of the Red Army, the conversion of every single Communist is, in effect, a token fulfillment of the promise of Fatima: proof positive that the conversion of Russia is not impossible; proof positive that it can be done.
What I wish to speak of is the means by which Communists can be converted.
Firstly, it is easy for a Communist to become disillusioned. Even Comrades Marty and Tillon – not to mention Comrade Josef Broz – have learned how difficult it is to bear the yoke of the Kremlin.
The truth is – as can be seen from the never-ending process of épuration and liquidation beyond the Iron Curtain – that Communism is such an inhuman system that it is found to be intolerable, not only by Catholics, but even by the most orthodox of Marxists. Even Tito, the most sacrilegious priest-hunter in the ranks of orthodox Marxism found the dictatorship of fully developed Soviet Communism to be insufferable; and yet, knowing as he does that only Stalin is safe from Stalinism, proclaimed himself Stalin of Yugoslavia.
Yes, it is very easy indeed for the Communist to become disillusioned – especially when forced to live in the Soviet paradise. As is indicated by the experience of my old comrade-in-arms, EL CAMPESINO, there would be few indeed among the Communists of Western Europe who would retain any of their present enthusiasm if they were forced to live for a year in Soviet Russia. For those suffering from an addiction to Marxian hallucinations such treatment would be infallible: whatever one may think of Soviet medicine in general, one branch of Soviet medicine is almost more than efficient: so efficient indeed that among Soviet citizens who believe in free speech, death from natural causes is practically unknown. That is one of the reasons why it is by no means difficult for the Communist to become disillusioned.
Two Kinds of Disillusion
Disillusionment, however, is one thing; the conversion of a disillusioned Communist to the Faith is quite another.
The very fact that a person has been a Communist means that he has lived for five, ten, twenty or thirty years in an atmosphere of undiluted materialism. So steeped is he in materialist prejudice that it is part of every fiber of his being: it is in his very bones.
To such a person the very name of God simply does not make sense. Such a person may be in full possession of his reason; but he is not free to use it for the simple reason that his prejudices will not permit him to reason except from premises which support his erroneous conclusions.
And, needless to say there is no use expecting such a person to pray for his own enlightenment. He will not. Prayer to such a person is just nonsense: a mental disorder of children and old women. Such a person is a victim of his own unbelief; and because of the nature of the spiritual malady from which he is suffering, he is unable to attend to his own spiritual needs; he is a helpless invalid in the spiritual sense.
Depends on You
Such a person is completely and entirely at YOUR mercy. Whether he becomes a Catholic or remains in the Marxist wilderness of the soul depends almost entirely on you: on your begging for him the intercession of Our Lady.
I have no time even to try to describe to you how the grace of God operated to my own advantage. The most I could do, had I the time, would be to give a few examples of the curious ways by which the grace of God slowly but surely literally forced me to my knees – against my own will.
I did not seek the Faith: Rather it would be true to say that whenever and wherever I encountered it I fought for my unbelief with all the strength of which I was capable. The last thing I wanted was to become a Catholic.
Nevertheless, I ended up by making the most willing surrender: eventually finding myself with an insatiable hunger for the truth which is Jesus Christ.
But if I received the gift of Faith without asking for it I do know now (I did not know then) that there were others who were praying on my behalf. I do not consider it illogical, therefore, to conclude that my own conversion was an answer to their prayers.
I Do Not Believe, I KNOW
As a result of my own personal experiences, therefore, I cannot say in all honesty that I believe that prayer can convert Communists. I KNOW that prayer can convert Communists.
And, because the conversion of Russia and the conversion of Communists is one and the same thing, neither do I believe that prayer can convert Russia: I know that prayer can convert Russia.
Whether or not Russia will be converted; whether or not there will be a third global war; whether or not the Church of Jesus Christ will return to the catacombs depends.
The GREAT Questions
These question are:
ARE WE PREPARED TO PRAY FOR THE CONVERSION OF RUSSIA?
ARE WE PREPARED TO OFFER UP THE FAMILY ROSARY EVERY SINGLE EVENING IN OUR OWN HOMES FOR THAT MOST LAUDABLE INTENTION?
IN OTHER WORDS, ARE WE PREPARED TO DO AS WE HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BY THE MOTHER OF GOD HERSELF?
IF WE ANSWER THAT QUESTION IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, RUSSIA WILL BE CONVERTED: THERE WILL BE PEACE: WE SHALL BE ABLE TO FACE THE FUTURE WITH CONFIDENCE.
That does not mean however, that all that is necessary is for us to mumble the family Rosary each evening as though it were a magic formula, guaranteeing our salvation.
It is necessary that we literally pray the Rosary, vowing as we pray that each of us will strive to make his family truly Christian. It is no accident that Our Lady of Fatima asked us to make the Rosary a family affair: a means to the Christianization of our families; for the family is the basic unit of society: it is also the basic unit of the Christian Apostolate: the basis without which no Catholic action is possible.
It is also necessary to remind ourselves, as we pray the family Rosary each evening, that Our Lady of Fatima not only asked us to pray the Rosary: She also asked us to do penance. But though She asked us to do penance, She did not ask us to fast unto death, to scourge ourselves or to wear hair-shirts. She asked instead the most unspectacular of all penances: to face up to the daily problems of our lives in a truly Catholic spirit. In other words the penance asked was that of obedience: she asked us to make ourselves and our families subject to Jesus Christ; She asked us that our families become strongholds of the Church Militant, Apostolic blockhouses of the Faith.
The Penance She Asked
But that does not mean that we can be Christian within the home and pagan outside the home. It does not mean that we are free outside the home to accept anti-Catholic teaching on social matters rather than the social doctrine of Mother Church.
It does not mean that, in the Trade Unions, Political Parties and in secular organizations in general, we are free to become as good Marxists as our pagan neighbors; or as contemptuous of the social teachings of the Church as the worst anti-clerical. That would not be facing the problems of our daily lives in a Christian fashion.
What in effect Our Lady of Fatima did ask was that we would become subject in all things to Jesus Christ, that we recognize His empire over all things and persons, over all our faculties as well as our members. In effect, the penance asked was that we recognize in full the Kingship of Her Divine Son.
A most significant request: for, today, even among those who recognize Our Divine Lord as High Priest there are many who refuse to recognize Him as High King: as King of Kings.
Social Obligations of Christians
There are many who, while they go to Mass without fail, believe that they can ignore altogether what the Church founded by Jesus Christ has to say on social matters. They deny His Empire over society, over political and economical affairs – and that notwithstanding that Pope Pius XI told us explicitly, in Quas Primas, that all the troubles of the present world are due precisely to the fact that the religion of Christ has been compared to false religions and ignominiously placed on the same level as them; and to the fact that “the empire of Christ over all nations has been rejected.”
Today, alas, there are many Catholics who do not place the religion founded by Jesus Christ on even the same level as false religions. There are those who place the teachings of Christ’s Church on an even lower level than that which is false.
What else in fact can we say of the person who chooses to be guided in social affairs by non-Catholic or anti-Catholic social doctrine rather than by the teachings of the Holy See? Does not such a person place the teachings of the religion founded by Jesus Christ on an even lower level than that which is false?
Far Too Many of Us Are Lax
Yet, there are some people who, when doing so, will excuse themselves saying that it is in the interests of peace. Not only do they accept what is false themselves: they do even worse: they make of the religion founded by Jesus Christ a cloak to render respectable in the eyes of others the actions of those who, in the name of peace, are crucifying the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.
If today it is the enemies of the Faith who have the initiative it is simply because there are far too many Catholics who are in the same category as those who howled for His crucifixion at Calvary.
Those who crucified Him refused Him recognition. So also do we refuse Him the recognition His regal dignity deserves, even though His Mystical Body is being crucified before our very eyes.
If today the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ is being crucified, it is not the Communists who are primarily responsible. The very Stalinist soldiers who are driving the nails into the flesh of Christ’s Mystical Body are the agents, not of the Kremlin, but of our apathy, our lethargy, our disloyalty, and our cowardice.
Little wonder indeed that Our Lady of Fatima asked us to face up to the problems of our daily lives in a Catholic manner.
Little wonder indeed that the penance She demands is, in effect, the recognition of the Kingship of Her Divine Son; for the moment we Catholics begin to accept our full responsibilities Communism will become as irrelevant as the Aryan heresy. And the beginning of the end of Communism will come when there is a sufficient number of us who recognize our unworthiness: when there is a sufficient number of us on our knees beseeching the Mother of God to intercede for us that we may become worthy of the Faith with which we have been blessed: when enough of us beseech the Mother of God to pray for us that we may be able effectively to work and to pray that: “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”.
If We Ignore Her …!
In my humble opinion, Fatima is the most significant event of the century, perhaps the most significant since the Reformation.
It is the first time to my knowledge that Heaven has warned the world of partial destruction since Our Lord warned Jerusalem of its impending fate.
It savors also of the warning given to Sodom and Gomorrah; two cities which were destroyed on account of the very same sins which are today being practiced on a global scale with governmental approval and encouragement.
But at the same time it is a promise that all will be well if we merely do as we have been asked by Our Lady of Fatima: who is literally begging us to save ourselves from the consequences of our own folly.
We are perfectly free to ignore Her: But if we do, when Hell bursts forth, let us not say – we were not warned.
If we ignore Her … May God have mercy on us all.