(By Gian Domenico Daddabbo) “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that He is near, at the very gates” (Mark 13:28-29), referring to the natural course of seasons, Jesus teaches his disciples of every time to recognize the signs of God in history, up to His Glorious Manifestation. Before Christ, the Prophets from Elias to St John Baptist had had the task to prepare the flock for the Messiah’s coming, but not everyone in Israel recognized Jesus as the Son of God made flesh at the fullness of time (Cfr Galatians 4:4).
After the great events of Redemption, the Church has now the task to carry on the prophetic mission of announcement, especially now that the present crisis of faith puts us ahead unpresedented challenges as we are threatened on one hand by islamist imperialism and on the other hand by gender colonialism.
Starting from Vatican II Council, the Church has particularly felt the urgent duty to get committed to read the signs of times. Inspite of the great lesson of the Council, which has rediscovered the Evangelic-Apostolic Tradition in full-scale, even nowadays not few Christians let themselves blown about by winds of ideologies of the moment, fruit of an antichristian imposture that started from an élite of intellectuals of the 18th century to rise among us.
At the light of biblical and marian prophecies, the Popes of the last few centuries have accurately analysed this imposture which is destroying faith. Pope Benedict XVI underlined the urgency to re-evangelize Europe and Pope Francis, received the heritage of his predecessors, has defined the Church as “a field hospital”. In his novel “Lord of the World”, set on the time of the Antichrist, Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) prophesies surprisingly this spirit of wordliness which is laying us Christians into a troublesome position, by trying to lead us to feel ashamed about aourselves, our identity and history in the name of a false respect.
The most serious attack of “ideologic colonization” is now being carried out above all through black laws, aimed at destroying marriage, family and value of life, but we must not even undervalue the cases supporters of relativism use historical fakings built up starting from Enlightenment as weapons against us.
On the other hand, the contribution of historicians of our days in the rediscovery of the true Church’s history is sign of great hope. I think about Angela Pellicciari, committed in a deep revision of the Italian Risorgimento; the American and British medievalists Paul Crawford and Thomas F. Madden whose work of reflection and research has shown that Crusades were, not wars of conquest, but battles in defence of Christians and Christianity in the Middle East against Mohammeddan invaders; in the same way Giampaolo Pansa has demolished a party line about recent facts, like the Resistance, which privileges the memory of certain dead rathen than other ones.
Lots of journalists too do their share in research of truth, among them I would like to remember Oriana Fallaci (1929-2006), who was able to get the signs of times better than anyone else, inspite not believing in God: she warned the West against relativist thought and Islam, moreover she indicated Christianism as last sheet anchor and the Pope as spiritual and moral guide for the whole world. What is going on nowadays confirms us Oriana was right.
The testimony of historicians and journalists on behalf of truth has to approach us so that, by looking at our history at the light of Jesus Crucified, Dead and Risen, we guard our identity and become “a sign opposed” (Cfr Luke 2:34), a living prophecy and constructors of a common memory at both ecclesial and civil level, starting from us young people, future of the Church and the world, or “morning watchmen”, as Saint John Paul II called us.
Our greatest example is Mary who, in her Magnificat (Cfr Luke 1,46-55), praises God for the benefits given to her in her personal history and those ones in the history of Israel and humanity. At the school of Mary, we learn to read the signs of times, indeed the Mother is still among us in this historical moment, to guide and prepare us to a great battle.
Up to half-20th century, the mass movement of young people from nation to nation forewarn war, today the nightmare has come back with “foreign fighters” on journey towards Syria, Iraq and Lybia to join jihadists; inspite of that the Cross and the Marian Icon of WYD still bring the Message of Peace and Hope through the nations and the continents, in a world torn by wars, strives and persecutions against the Church, so the WYDs are still prophetic signs of peace in the world.
In this moment of epochal attacks against human values and faith, we are invited to focus on the example of Poland which was able to keep its identity and faith, nowadays more alive than ever, better than any other country of Eastern Europe under Sovietism so, well, Pope Francis cannot have chosen Krakow as next step of the WYD by chance.