St. Hildegard describes the era of the Grey Wolf in greater detail than she does the other eras. I discussed some aspects of the era in an earlier post. Unlike her descriptions of the previous four, which in my book I am able to compare to the actual histories of those periods, this era lies ahead of us. Hildegard’s explanation of the symbolism of the animal gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the decades ahead.
Hildegard’s world was essentially Europe and the Mediterranean, and according to her vision, it will soon be a world marked by widespread civil unrest. It will also be a time of persecution against Christians by, she states, a specific group of people. She also gives us several clues as to who this group might be.
One such clue is the symbolism of the color grey. She states that there will be people in this era that will be “…neither black or white but grey in their cunning.” As we saw in the symbolism of the ropes, for Hildegard, the color black refers to evil while white refers to holiness; what will identify the people of this era is that they will exhibit both characteristics. There might be several groups that fit that description, including morally-superior progressive types. But Muslims fit the description exceptionally well: they pray five times a day, fast, value the family, etc. Those same people, especially among the more radicalized, exhibit vicious malice toward non-Muslims that lead to actions like what happened recently in Paris.
Another clue of just who makes up this group is what she tells us regarding the Church during this era, that “…those who should love her will violently persecute her.” While everyone should love the Church, some social groups would not be expected to — atheists and radical feminists, for example. Muslims, on the other hand, are trapped in a heretical offshoot of Christianity in which they acknowledge the person of Jesus but deny His incarnation and consequently, His divinity. This is a manifestation of the Arian Heresy and so many other similar heresies that have plagued the Church since its beginning.
Along with other clues, and by observing current trends in Europe, I see a possibility that there will be a major confrontation between Christians and Muslims sometime in the next few decades, perhaps much sooner!
Some commentators claim that the Muslim problem in Europe is overstated, resulting in misguided fears and xenophobia. They point to the low percentages of Muslims in the respective countries: France — 7.5%, Netherlands — 5.5%, Germany — 5%, UK — 4.6, etc. (according to a 2010 poll by Pew Research). They point out that in none of these countries do the Muslim populations have any significant political power.
But there is more to the population story. Because of contrasting demographic trends among Muslims versus non-Muslims in secular Europe, Muslims aged 15-50 make up a much larger percentage of the population in that critical age range; nations like France have been aging fast due to low birth rates. Also, immigrants from Muslim countries prefer to live in or near the larger cities; so in places like Paris, Marseilles, and London they represent a much larger percentage of the population. Putting it together, and keeping it strictly in the 15-50 age range, in Paris, the Muslim population has been estimated to be as high as 40%.
It took authorities three weeks to stop the destructive riots in Paris in 2005 after two North African immigrants were accidentally killed while fleeing from the police. That was ten years ago! Immigration has continued unabated since then, even increasing after the “Arab Spring”; and birth rates haven’t changed much either. On the other hand what has changed is the economic situation — it’s much worse today than it was then. Among the immigrant communities, youth unemployment is as high as 40%, and 60% of the prison population is Muslim. The social picture is changing rapidly in Europe.
St. Hildegard had much more to say about this era. The book offers more detail and documentation.