The parallel to this movie for all of us is how satan and his legions are trying to manipulate souls through the media and the "utopian facade" the evil one thrusts on the world; where beneath this mask of make-believe lies a narcissistic, cruel and no-escape nether world that one only sees when it is too late. The lucifer-led media menace portray this world as the epitome of epicurean delights. Even on the internet the various lurid private cams that bring their world into your monitor is similar to what is happening today. At the devil's prompt they cue the tape to illustrate the pleasures of the seven deadly sins without revealing the consequences until it is too late. Commercials, movies, television programs, even the news are all carefully scripted to persuade, confuse and move us to act the way they want us to act. They promise bliss if we use this product, or romance if we cater to their whims, or success if we drive this or drink that. You get the idea. They hold out the carrot of good things that are fleeting. How fleeting? The analogy was best illustrated by another movie nearly twenty years ago "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and the scene where the Nazis sought the secrets within the Ark of the Covenant on a deserted Mediterranean island after capturing the sought-after treasure from Indiana Jones in the subterranean snake-infested temple near Tunis. The "bad guys" were mesmerized by the false beauties wafting up from the bowels of this mysterious tabernacle until, caught in the vortex of lust, avarice and every other known sin, satan exposed the true nature of what it truly was - pure evil - and it totally destroyed them. So also with mankind today, and, like Truman we're perfect foils for the media charlatans who toy with our lives. Like the one person who strove to inform Truman that it was all made-up, that he was the pawn, the Blessed Mother has been striving for centuries to warn us, trying with all her might to bring us back to her Divine Son Jesus Who alone is "the Way, the Hope, and the Life" (John 14: 6). Our Lord has promised, also in John (John 8: 32), "If you abide in My Word, you shall be My disciples indeed, and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." Truman found freedom by turning his back on the manipulators in a friendly, but firm way, uttering in his easy-going Carrey-like tones, "If I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night."
We hope never to "see" satan or his vile cohorts but we know they're there. Our Lady wants us to utter the same words to the evil one: "No, we won't go. And don't wait up, for if we don't see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night, for we have found the Truth and the Truth has set us free...free to enjoy eternal life with God in Heavenly bliss." But, in order to embrace the Truth, we must turn our backs on satan and his callous charades now, because the longer we wait, we may not be as fortunate as Truman; we may not be able to turn our backs and escape for we'll be caught in the seven seas of capital sin. While "The Truman Show" was merely a movie that lasted a little over two hours, God the Father has given us a performance that will last forever if only we heed his Divine Direction. After all, this Infinte Being created this masterful masterpiece even to casting His Own Son in the role of Redeemer. It was a role that ran the gamut of emotions from birth to death to resurrection - all necessary for the climax to this glorious theatre of the soul - Salvation. It is not fiction, but very, very real for it is God's very Own production called "The Human Show."
Unlike his predecessor's strong political prowess, Martin was weak and indecisive, by his own admission. Whereas Nicholas had kept Charles in check, now Martin was putty in the Angevin's hands. Charles went ahead with plans to invade Constantinople and the strong rebuke by Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus caused Martin to hastily excommunicate the latter because he stood in Charles' way. Charles, in fact, was at the heart of the uprising that would go down in history as the "Sicilian Vespers." This evolved from the resentment of the Sicilian people to Charles and his arrogant soldiers - all foreigners, all French. Add to this a French Pope in an Italian environment and this made the citizens of Sicily and Southern Italy all the more embittered. The final straw came when Martin began wholesale changes, replacing almost all of Nicholas' appointments with French designations from Charles' recommendations. Charles' agenda was clear, he was looking to expand his rule not just in Sicily and Constantinople, but also to the Papal States. The excommunication of Michael and Martin's near Crusade-like campaign to drum up support for Charles' marching on the Byzantine empire undid all that Nicholas had accomplished at the Second Council of Lyons when, for the first time in nearly two centuries it seemed there would be a unification of East and West. With Martin's actions all that was flushed down the drain. The people of Sicily beseeched Martin IV to curb Charles, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Incensed, feeling betrayed and working through a well-oiled underground, the Sicilians signaled the beginning of the revolt when the bells rang throughout Sicily for evening vespers on March 30, 1282. The gutters of Palermo and other villages of Sicily ran thick with the blood of the French soldiers that Spring evening and soon it spread to Southern Italy. Sicilian leaders again prevailed to the Pope, offering the entire island of Sicily to the Holy See as a Papal State. But Martin, so beholden to and suckered by Charles, foolishly refused their generous offer, insisting they make peace with Charles. With no intention of ever aligning with the hated man of Anjou and to prevent a retaliation, the Sicilians turned to the Spanish king King Peter III of Aragon to protect them. Peter was a natural ally since he was married to Constance, daughter of Manfred, the illegitimate son of Frederick II Hohenstauffen who were constantly at odds with the papal rulers of their time. Peter came to their aid and incurred the wrath of Charles and therefore Martin reacted by excommunicating the Aragon king as well as all of Sicily. Charles, fearing for his life and hurting in numbers because of the great toll of troops slaughtered in the Vesper uprising, convinced Martin to transfer the funds set aside for the Crusades and protecting the fragile Christian stronghold in Palestine. The Crusades were thus depleted, enabling the Saracens to swallow up the rest of the Holy Land. To make matters worse, Martin ordered a crusade preached against the Aragon monarch. Europeans, used to rallying against a common opponent such as the infidels, were greatly confused and resented the political abuse the Pope had pushed on them. If some thought Martin was not well-liked in most of Italy and Sicily, it was the same in most of Europe outside of France where Martin and Charles were favorite sons. Because of this resistance to Charles' selfish campaign, the Angevin king was unable to make any headway in his quest to unseat Peter. To this day the Aragon lineage can be found in Sicily.
While Martin's papacy was a dismal failure on the political front, he was not as inept in spiritual matters where he should have focused his efforts full time. Though his pro-French stance alienated many, he was more than fair to the mendicant orders, issuing a papal bull on December 13, 1281 Ad fructus uberes which clarified their preaching and confessor rights in the face of diocesan resistance. However, because of some vague loopholes that caused upheaval among the secular clergy, it would have to be revised in 1300 by Pope Boniface VIII. Though Martin strove to unite the kings and lords of his time in the bond of charity, his overt French leanings and dependence on Charles hindered his efforts. The degree of just how much Martin relied on Charles was most evident in 1285. The Angevin king died on January 7th and Martin was lost after that, himself contracting a fever just a few months later. Historians claim that after Charles' death, Martin showed no resolve to continue as Pope and welcomed death. It came on March 28, 1285 ending a four-year regime that had taken the Holy See from the heights envisioned by Nicholas III to the depths. It would be a while before Rome would recover.
Next installment: Pope Honorius IV: Inheriting the rubble of revolt.
Today, I wish to speak to all of My little children about the holy virtue of Obedience.
This virtue is totally annihilated today by humanism, by intellectualism, by ego, by pride: All of which I came to cancel by My Gospel.
To all the world I solemnly say: "Hear Me, your Lord, God and Savior, and bow before Me in Obedience, that as true children of One God you may be transformed by the power of The Holy Spirit into My Image and Likeness through your perfect obedience to My Law.
But you are rebellious children, filled with stubbornness and pride that stiffens your heart, inflates your mind and thus to "obey" is intolerable to you.
Dear little children of My Most Sacred Heart, what you do not understand is that holy Obedience is truly the greatest freedom you could possess in your earthly exile. Blessed is he who learns well this lesson and strives daily to live in Obedience to My Word, My Law, My very Life! Blessed is he who finds obedience and places it in his heart, for to him is given My abiding Peace. To him I pour out Divine Mercy and lavish upon him every grace and blessing necessary for the purification of his soul.
O! Holy Obedience which bows humbly not only to Men, but to all to whom lawfully you owe obedience. To whom, then, do you owe obedience?
I Am, and to Me belongs all obedience in Heaven and on earth.
All humanity receives authority, in varying degrees, from Me so that all obedience is subject to Me.
Therefore, every soul seeks first obedience to My Will, and takes from My Perfect Will that measure of authority and responsibility which I Will for them.
To My Vicar on earth is given the greatest authority, and thus your obedience to him is cause for great reward in heaven. All of My priest-sons derive their authority from Me through the apostolic succession which I established. But for obedience to shine forth in their noble vocation, their obedience is first to Me, then to My Vicar on earth. Anything contrary to this Perfect Order is not holy obedience, and does not please Me, your God. Thus, it also follows in all religious institutions that the First Obedience belongs to Me and is given then to the lawful superior of each community. All consecrated souls by obedience to their lawful superiors give obedience to Me.
This is the Perfect Order established from all eternity. This is My Will.
In life the authority is given to parents, who seek first to be obedient to Me in all things and then through them this holy obedience is given to their children.
From the lawful family unit holy obedience spreads out into society as a whole and then to all the world.
Behold, I solemnly tell you: All obedience begins and ends with Me. All obedience seeks Me, learns from Me, and bears good fruit from and in Me!
If all of My little ones became obedient to Me as set forth in Sacred Scripture, there would enter every heart such profound peace that all hearts would be lifted up to Me and all would dwell in the Refuge of My Sacred Heart.
Hatred would disappear. All dissensions, all bigotry. All manner of grievances would pass away and unity of mind and heart would come to all men through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, in these end times heed My Words, for there is little obedience among My children. Seek first and always My Will and do not define obedience according to human perspective. I Alone deserve all obedience. I Alone order all things Perfectly. If you seek the Reign of My Sacred Heart, which is My Will done upon earth as it is in Heaven, then be Obedient to Me, to My Vicar on Earth and to all who have a measure of authority over you. Obedience bears holy fruit. It causes Me to pour out Mercy. Therefore, become My humble, obedient children so that you may be prepared. I Come!