Friends and Benefactors,
point on which we can never place enough emphasis, is that the world
especially the Western world is more and more falling into atheism,
materialism, and hedonism.
atheism of the modern world is not exactly the same as that of 20th century
Communism. The new atheism does not require a formal denial of the existence of
God, an official statement that God does not exist; it is more treacherous, more
dangerous and evil. It is an atheism in which the existence of God has no
importance. Whether one believes God exists or not, who He is and what He wants
of us has no importance. It is an atheism or agnosticism in which, even if God
exists, He does not interfere with the world. In other words, He does not care.
is a denial of the Revelation that God does love us and has revealed Himself to
us; that He has sent His only Son to tell us the Truth about Himself and to give
us the means of Salvation.
modern world rejects the possibility of God revealing Himself telling all men,
all nations, Who He is, what He wants of us, His plans to save us. The denial of
the possibility itself of reaching the truth about God is the worst atheism or
more exactly, agnosticism because it can leave people with the illusion of a
good conscience. Everyone is free to make up his own god, a god that does not
bother him, a false god that lets him do whatever he wishes. When man starts
making idols to his liking, he rejects the True God, and replaces Him with
himself. Man becomes God.
world we live in also promotes and praises materialism and hedonism, a
thirst for the goods and pleasures of the earth, as Pope Pius XI defines it
in his encyclical Divini Redemptoris (1937). The world teaches that we
must look for the goods of the earth, and work for a materialistic happiness on
earth. The more I have, the more blessed I am mentality is infiltrating even
the most Catholic families a contradiction of the words of Our Lord: Blessed
are the poor
indeed, should always remain poor in spirit. This means not placing our
happiness in the things of earth, not even spending our best efforts to acquire
them, but considering ourselves only as stewards of earthly goods, and using
them only for what is really necessary; while also, and most importantly, giving
to the poor and to the Church.
Christians, rich and poor, must keep their eye fixed on Heaven, remembering
that, we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come
(Hebrews 13, 14), as Pope Pius XI wrote.
easily become infected with a materialistic spirit. The modern world makes us no
longer care about the poor. Perhaps this is because we are not often in direct
contact with them, or because poverty is not that visible. Yet many around us
struggle, and we should try to help them. Think, for example, of the large
families who struggle to pay their childrens tuition. Sponsoring a child from
such a family is a great way of fighting a materialistic spirit.
the other hand, we hear occasionally although thanks be to God, not very often
that sometimes parents would chose to buy unnecessary things, or take
expensive holidays, while not meeting their financial obligations, such as
tuition payments. This too, is an effect of the materialistic spirit of this
modern world, and an injustice.
fact, the only answer to the modern materialism is detachment from worldly
goods, and Christian charity. These only will protect us and keep us real
followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ Catholics by faith and by good works.
conclude this letter, dear faithful, friends and benefactors, I would like to
remind you that these observations about the modern world as dramatic as they
are should not affect or disturb our Catholic hope. It is important and
necessary to see and understand clearly the errors, the dangers around us. If we
make it a point to comment on these errors, it is to be aware of them, in order
to be protected from them and to keep a deep Catholic spirit in everything that
we do. At the same time, however, we must keep a strong and unfailing confidence
in God, in our Lord and in His Blessed Mother. We must never be discouraged or
overcome by pessimism because we have God on our side.
the Immaculate Heart of Mary,