13. mai 1917 er en viktig dag i Den katolske kirke, det var dagen Jomfru Maria viste seg for første gang for tre barn i Fatima, Portugal. Jeg var selv på besøk der for ca 20 år siden, og hos Catholic Herald skriver en prest om betyningen av disse Maria-åpenbaringene:
The eyes of the Catholic world are turned towards the Portuguese shrine, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, which falls tomorrow, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. And people are not just thinking of Fatima because the Pope is going there – he is the fourth Pontiff to visit – rather it is because Fatima is important, and, a hundred years on, more important than ever.
I used to think that Fatima was something of a sideshow, a specialist interest, which appealed to a niche market in the Church. I certainly do not think this now. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, at Fatima, Our Lady told it like it is. She is the one person who could never be guilty of what the world calls hate crime or hate speech, being a mother and the most loving mother of all. But at Fatima she made it clear to us all that sin has consequences, and that these consequences are not good. Professor Stephen Bullivant writes about this in the magazine this week and how right he is.
Hell has been a neglected theme in Catholic theology and discourse of late, and it needs to be given its rightful place in both. That we should neglect Hell is odd, because the 100 years since 1917 have seen the enormous growth in examples of the hell we create for ourselves. We should have no difficultly in believing in an otherworldly Hell – a place quite without the love of God – when we have seen pictures and heard descriptions of the hells on earth that human beings have made for their fellow creatures: the trenches of the First World War, the Gulag, the Nazi death camps, the killing fields of Cambodia.
These terrifying examples should convince us that we are capable of evil and that evil actions have dreadful consequences. Perhaps contemporary preachers and theologians (and I am one) steer away from Hell, not wanting to give offence. Well, insofar as we have failed, let us pass the microphone, so to speak, to Our Lady of Fatima. …