FROM THE ARCHIVES OF NEW OXFORD REVIEW
In 1531, Mary intervened to prevent a clash of civilizations. Why are so few people asking if the Mother of God can do it again?
Many years ago, Archbishop Fulton Sheen noted the difficulties Christian missionaries were having in converting Moslems to the Faith. He proposed a solution to the problem: Fostering devotion to the Virgin Mary. In his book The World's First Love, he wrote, "It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Islam will eventually be converted to Christianity. This will not happen through the direct teaching of Christianity but through the summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.... Because Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and develop that devotion with full realization that Our Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son."
When and if such an effort is ever made is in the hands of God -- and sometimes the mysterious ways of Divine Providence are not ours to fathom. It certainly is not likely that on the night of December 12, 1531, either Juan Diego or Bishop Juan de Zumárraga had any idea that the miraculous events of the day would soon lead to the conversion of over eight million Mexican Indians to the Catholic Faith.
Only God knows whether a similar type of intervention is going to be required to prevent the "clash of civilizations" between the Western and Islamic worlds from threatening the continued existence of mankind.
We "poor banished children of Eve" should not only ask our Lady of Guadalupe to pray for us, but under one of her other titles, the Seat of Wisdom, grant us the guidance to use our freedom to seek the Truth. This is the only certain way of bringing peace to mankind.
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