We must tie this concept of God's revelation to the word "mystery" verse 7. In English it does not mean exactly the same thing as in Greek. In English, mystery means "a puzzle that is difficult to solve," but in Greek, it means "a secret that is impossible to penetrate. Paul is implying that man would never find out what God intends, except that God gives it to us by revelation. We have in no way earned this revelation.
We have it because it pleased God to give it to us. He withholds it from others, but He has given it to us. He is in no way beholden to us, as if He owed us something. We could dig in His Word over our entire lifetimes and never come to what He freely gives to us for His purposes, for His own reasons.
Brilliant men like Adam Clarke have dug into God's Word through the centuries. It took him forty years to produce his famous commentary. Considering that the man was unconverted, it really is a magnificent work, done with all sincerity and dedication. Yet, at the end of his efforts, he did not fully penetrate the mystery of what God is doing among men.
A brilliant man and a brilliant work, yet he emerged from his studies not understanding the divine purpose that God gives to us without our earning it. On the other hand, it is very likely that many of us never cracked the pages of a Bible before God began to open our minds. Some have, some have not. But God called many of us in that situation, and though we did not deserve it, He revealed His way to us. Ritenbaugh Grace Upon Grace. And nobody can know these feelings unless we decide to reveal them. Perhaps this explains why children tend to be the ones to receive these apparitions: But it also has its limitations.
Even in exterior vision the subjective element is always present. We do not see the pure object, but it comes to us through the filter of our senses, which carry out a work of translation. This is still more evident in the case of interior vision, especially when it involves realities which in themselves transcend our horizon. The subject, the visionary, is still more powerfully involved. He sees insofar as he is able, in the modes of representation and consciousness available to him.
In the case of interior vision, the process of translation is even more extensive than in exterior vision, for the subject shares in an essential way in the formation of the image of what appears. He can arrive at the image only within the bounds of his capacities and possibilities. This can be demonstrated in all the great visions of the saints; and naturally it is also true of the visions of the children at Fatima.
The images described by them are by no means a simple expression of their fantasy, but the result of a real perception of a higher and interior origin. But neither should they be thought of as if for a moment the veil of the other world were drawn back, with heaven appearing in its pure essence, as one day we hope to see it in our definitive union with God.
Rather the images are, in a manner of speaking, a synthesis of the impulse coming from on high and the capacity to receive this impulse in the visionaries, that is, the children. For this reason, the figurative language of the visions is symbolic. In this regard, Cardinal Sodano stated: This compression of time and place in a single image is typical of such visions, which for the most part can be deciphered only in retrospect. Not every element of the vision has to have a specific historical sense.
It is the vision as a whole that matters, and the details must be understood on the basis of the images taken in their entirety. I would just like to recall briefly the most significant point. For one terrible moment, the children were given a vision of hell. And now they are told why they have been exposed to this moment: The words of the First Letter of Peter come to mind: To reach this goal, the way indicated —surprisingly for people from the Anglo-Saxon and German cultural world—is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A brief comment may suffice to explain this. According to Matthew 5: It might be objected that we should not place a human being between ourselves and Christ. But then we remember that Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: In the Apostle they could see concretely what it meant to follow Christ.
But from whom might we better learn in every age than from the Mother of the Lord? As is clear from the documentation presented here, the interpretation offered by Cardinal Sodano in his statement of 13 May was first put personally to Sister Lucia. Sister Lucia responded by pointing out that she had received the vision but not its interpretation.
The interpretation, she said, belonged not to the visionary but to the Church. After reading the text, however, she said that this interpretation corresponded to what she had experienced and that on her part she thought the interpretation correct. In what follows, therefore, we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this interpretation, on the basis of the criteria already considered. To understand the signs of the times means to accept the urgency of penance — of conversion — of faith.
This is the correct response to this moment of history, characterized by the grave perils outlined in the images that follow. Allow me to add here a personal recollection: Let us now examine more closely the single images. The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation.
- Violence and the Body: Race, Gender, and the State: Race, Gender and the State.
- Bible Theasaurus;
- A Secret Unveiled?
- Le lait du père (French Edition).
- Revelation as Unveiling (Forerunner Commentary)?
This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance. In this way, the importance of human freedom is underlined: Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future.
Its meaning is exactly the opposite: Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them. The next phrases of the text show very clearly once again the symbolic character of the vision: God remains immeasurable, and is the light which surpasses every vision of ours. Human persons appear as in a mirror.
We must always keep in mind the limits in the vision itself, which here are indicated visually. The place of the action is described in three symbols: The mountain and city symbolize the arena of human history: The city can be the place of communion and progress, but also of danger and the most extreme menace. On the mountain stands the cross—the goal and guide of history.
The cross transforms destruction into salvation; it stands as a sign of history's misery but also as a promise for history. At this point human persons appear: The Pope seems to precede the others, trembling and suffering because of all the horrors around him.
A Secret Unveiled Lyrics
Not only do the houses of the city lie half in ruins, but he makes his way among the corpses of the dead. The Church's path is thus described as a Via Crucis , as a journey through a time of violence, destruction and persecution. The history of an entire century can be seen represented in this image. Just as the places of the earth are synthetically described in the two images of the mountain and the city, and are directed towards the cross, so too time is presented in a compressed way. In the vision we can recognize the last century as a century of martyrs, a century of suffering and persecution for the Church, a century of World Wars and the many local wars which filled the last fifty years and have inflicted unprecedented forms of cruelty.
Here it would be appropriate to mention a phrase from the letter which Sister Lucia wrote to the Holy Father on 12 May In the Via Crucis of an entire century, the figure of the Pope has a special role. In his arduous ascent of the mountain we can undoubtedly see a convergence of different Popes.
The Message of Fatima
Beginning from Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the path which leads to the Cross. In the vision, the Pope too is killed along with the martyrs. He had been very close to death, and he himself explained his survival in the following words: It is a consoling vision, which seeks to open a history of blood and tears to the healing power of God. Beneath the arms of the cross angels gather up the blood of the martyrs, and with it they give life to the souls making their way to God.
Here, the blood of Christ and the blood of the martyrs are considered as one: The martyrs die in communion with the Passion of Christ, and their death becomes one with his. For the sake of the body of Christ, they complete what is still lacking in his afflictions cf. Their life has itself become a Eucharist, part of the mystery of the grain of wheat which in dying yields abundant fruit. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians, said Tertullian. As from Christ's death, from his wounded side, the Church was born, so the death of the witnesses is fruitful for the future life of the Church.
There is something more: And so we come to the final question: What does it say to us? First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past.
Those who expected exciting apocalyptic revelations about the end of the world or the future course of history are bound to be disappointed. Fatima does not satisfy our curiosity in this way, just as Christian faith in general cannot be reduced to an object of mere curiosity. What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind.
The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word.
From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise. Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Father Philippe, Commissary of the Holy Office, who brought me the letter containing the third part of the secrets of Fatima. With the exception of that part of the Secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present, I shall say everything.
From famine and war, deliver us. From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us. From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us. New International Version There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. New Living Translation The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.
English Standard Version Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Berean Study Bible There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. Berean Literal Bible And nothing is concealed up which will not be revealed, nor hidden which will not be known. New American Standard Bible "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
King James Bible For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Christian Standard Bible There is nothing covered that won't be uncovered, nothing hidden that won't be made known. Contemporary English Version Everything that is hidden will be found out, and every secret will be known. Good News Translation Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. Holman Christian Standard Bible There is nothing covered that won't be uncovered, nothing hidden that won't be made known.
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