Reflecting the Mind of the
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Reading the Sighs and Signs of Our Times
The concept “signs of the times” was introduced into official Catholic terminology by Pope John XXIII in the 1961 apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis (HS): “We know that the sight of these evils so depresses the minds of some people that they see nothing but darkness, which they think entirely envelops the world. We, on the other hand, love to reaffirm our unshakable confidence in the divine Savior of the human race, who has by no means abandoned the mortals he has redeemed. On the contrary, following the admonitions of Christ the Lord, who exhorts us to interpret ‘the signs of the times’ (Matt 16:3), amidst such dark gloom we discern not a few signs that seem to offer the hope of a better era for the Church and for humanity” (HS 4).

In our pilgrimage through history where disorder and confusion seem to prevail, God continues to speak of his redeeming care via the signs of the times. We need, therefore, to recognize and interpret them in order to understand how they communicate the loving providence of God.

In the Christian perspective there are three major categories of signs of the times: primordial, perennial and episodic. The Christ event in its totality is the primordial sign of the times, in the sense that all other signs must be interpreted in its light.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2023
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