Daily Reflections
by Cathy

Fight against Modernism

(c) Mateo Ivankovic 2017



January 30, 2017

Dear Family of Mary!

“Dear children! Today I am calling you to pray for peace: peace in human hearts, peace in the families and peace in the world. Satan is strong and wants to turn all of you against God, and to return you to everything that is human, and to destroy in the heart all feelings towards God and the things of God. You, little children, pray and fight against materialism, modernism and egoism, which the world offers to you. Little children, you decide for holiness and I, with my Son Jesus, intercede for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”(January 25, 2017)

Our Lady gave us a strong directive in this most recent message. She is calling us to pray for peace. And she is warning us that Satan is strong and wants to take all our peace away, by convincing us that God is our enemy, and that all that is good will only come through our own efforts, our own thoughts, our own understandings of life, and our own desires. The enemy is trying to convince us that we are the center of our own universe. And that is when he will have us in his grasp.

Our Lady warns us about three “isms”. “Isms” are belief systems that arrange a set of values around some basic understanding of reality, and influence our choices. “Isms” are ideologies. They can be very dangerous. They can lead us into real trouble, by redefining our lives in terms of a value or idea that can become a god to us. There have been many destructive ideologies. But Our Lady mentions three: materialism, modernism, and egoism.

I think modernism is maybe the most difficult of the three to understand. It actually is very much at the heart of the troubles we are having in our world. Modernism is a way of understanding existence which began with Luther and Decartes, and has permeated the way religious people approach the faith even to today. It makes us think that what is important is our own inner understanding of things, our subjective experiences. Don’t we see this way of thinking everywhere in our societies today? It makes us the center of the universe, individually. Absurd!! Yes.

I discovered a short talk given by Bishop Robert Barron in 2012. This talk really helped me to understand what modernism is, how it began, and how it has influenced theologians and philosophers for the past 400 years. It explains a lot about the confusion we have in the Church and in the greater society about our faith.

Bishop Barron says there are 4 key points that help us recognize Modernism:





These four ways of approaching the faith build on one another, and have weakened the faith. Rene Descartes declared this new understanding of things in this way:

Subjectivism was announced by Rene Descartes in his famous “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.” Descartes decided that all reality was subject to his own perception of it. And so the personal experience was the final arbiter of what was real.

Rationalism was embraced by Descartes because he felt that only mathematical or scientific thought was a reliable source of information about the outside world.

Dualism emerged because if the inner subjective perception was so important, then the body and the outside world was secondary in importance. Hence the mind over body attitude.

And Anti-Tradionalism came into his thought because it seemed better to get rid of the old structures (like the Church) in favor of the new structures of thought coming from his own understandings.

We can see these four ways of approaching the world and our faith in so much of modern thought today, according to Bishop Barron.

Here is a link to his talk, on YouTube. He speaks for about 40 minutes. It is in the first half of the video. Bishop Barron starts about 10 minutes into the video. I found his talk very helpful in getting a clear understanding of what modernism is. We encounter it every day in and outside of the Church.


So you have your homework for today!

Our Lady wants us to be equipped to stand up for the truth, because in the truth we will find peace as well. And peace is so very much in danger these days. But we can be carriers of peace, if we pray and fight with Our Lady. Pray, pray, pray!!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

©Mary TV 2017

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