Tuesday, July 22, 2014

World War I -- A Century Later


Please watch this video to learn more about World War I.

World War I began 100 years ago on July 28, 1914. None of us today can fully appreciate the magnitude of change that has occurred since this catastrophe of world history. Only a tiny handful of people alive today witnessed this event as children. Within a decade, even they will be gone. It was the greatest event of the last century, and I say "greatest" because of its influence over world history. Many people look to World War II as the greatest event.  I say no, because World War II was really just a sequel, a continuation of the unfinished business left over from World War I.

From World War I came the abolition of monarchies all across Europe. The social influence of the Catholic Church was weakened, while the social influence of European Protestant churches (especially in Germany) was decapitated. In Russia, the social influence of the Orthodox Church was obliterated. In the wake of this war, Christian civilisation, in both the West and the East, was brought to its knees, and has not recovered since.

A final warning was given, by Our Lady of Fatima, just before the end of this great conflict. The social upheavals, that the conclusion of World War I would bring, could be averted with much prayer and reparation, as well as the consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart.  A small number of people took action on this, but for the most part, her warnings went unheeded by the world. As predicted by both Our Lady and the Vatican, another world war broke out within a generation, and this was a result of the failure to live the Christian virtues that would have prevented it -- both by the world's leaders and the general populations.

As I said, World War II was simply a continuation of the unfinished business left over from World War I. It came as a judgement from God, a chastisement if you will, the result of having failed to act on the warnings given by Our Lady toward the conclusion of World War I. In his mercy, God gave a period of time for repentance to happen, but repentance never came.

Sadly there is more. Just as World War I left unfinished business, so did World War II. We have been watching this slowly unfold during our lifetime. The Cold War was the most lasting conflict, punctuated by hot flashes in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan. The world is no safer today than it was in 1914, and in that there is another lesson.

In the wake of World War I (also known at the time as the "War to End All Wars") many European monarchies were replaced by democratic republics. The idea was that the monarchies had failed to preserve the peace, so the task would be given to republics instead. It was assumed they would keep the peace much better. World War II proved that mindset to be false, and while the subsequent Cold War put a chill on violence in Europe for a generation, it by no means solved the problems. It is a historical myth that republics are more peaceful than monarchies, and if America's Civil War in the 19th century wasn't proof enough, the extreme violence of World War II should have dispelled all doubt. Today, many wars and violent revolutions are currently sponsored by so-called "peaceful republics" around the world. The events currently unfolding in Ukraine and Syria-Iraq are proving this to be the case. At this moment in history, both the United States and Russia are learning the price of what it means to lose control of your puppet revolutionaries. Will violence from these areas spill over into more regional conflicts? And will those conflicts lead us into World War III?

The lesson of World War I is that these things can happen fast, and with virtually no warning at all. The lesson of history from World War I and World War II together is actually a religious one, and it's been five centuries in the making, ten centuries if we include the East. Christianity cannot be a divided faith. For division of Christianity in both the East and the West is a scandal that causes people to lose faith. This isn't my analysis, it is rather the very prediction of Jesus Christ himself...
"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." -- John 17:20-21 
Jesus' last prayer before his passion was for Christian unity, and he warned us in that prayer, that with unity comes belief, and with division comes lack of belief. Sure enough, when the Catholic Church was divided in the 16th century, doubt set in shortly thereafter. By the 18th century the so-called "Enlightenment" had come, which was nothing more than an abandonment of Christ and his Church in favour of intellectual Deism. What followed that was outright Atheism in the form of Marxist theories during the 19th century. Finally, it all came to a head in the 20th century with World War I and World War II. It was the fruit of the Reformation and the Enlightenment come to full bear. In the 100 years since these political catastrophes, that killed nearly 100 million people, we have learnt virtually nothing. If anything, we have only sunk deeper into our errors. Will their be a World War III to complete the Trilogy? All I can say is we've not learnt the lessons of World War I and World War II, so you decide. Personally, I think the answer is obvious. The further men fall away from the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more violent they will become.

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