It is time for retreat and there will be a two week break but I would like to leave you with a meditation on Our Lady of Fatima! Ave Maria!
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared 6 times to 3 shepherd children; Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta; between May 13 and October 13, 1917. She came to the little village of Fatima which had remained faithful to the Catholic Church during the recent persecutions by the government. Our Lady came with a message from God to every man, woman, and child of our century.
Our Lady of Fatima promised that the whole world would be in peace, and that many souls would go to Heaven if Her requests were listened to and obeyed. She told us that war is a punishment for sin; that God would punish the world for its sins in our time by means of war, hunger, persecution of the Church and persecution of the Holy Father, the Pope, unless we listened to and obeyed the command of God.
At Fatima, Pope John Paul II said on May 13; " the message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent " then when Our Lady first appeared. The message is an anguished appeal of our Heavenly Mother, who sees us in great danger and who comes to offer her help and advice. Her message is also a prophesy, a clear indication of what was about to transpire in the 20th century, and what is still going to happen infallibly in the near future, depending on our response to her requests.
As a great sign of the whole message truly coming from God, a marvelous miracle was worked in the sky above Fatima before 70,000 witnesses on October 13, 1917 at the time, date and place that Lucy and the other two children had prophesied in the name of Our Lady of Fatima. The children were told by Our Lady that God would perform a miracle so that people would believe in the apparitions. The date the children was October 13, 1917, in Fatima.
On that date, 70,000 people came to see the phenomenon. The miracle occurred with the sun. All could stare perfectly at the sun without blinking, or even hurting heir eyes. While all were watching the sun, it rotated, got large and small, got close to the people, and got far away from them. The sun " danced ". Every single person who was there testified to seeing the sun dance, even non- believers who immediately dropped onto their knees and begged for forgiveness.
The Fatima Message
Between the months of May and October of 1917, our Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal, giving them a message for the world which has since become known as the “Peace Plan from Heaven.” She warned men that if they did not amend their lives, God would be forced to punish them by means of wars and other sufferings.
The children were visited by the Angel of Portugal prior to Our Lady’s appearance. The Angel told them, “What are you doing? Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High… In every way you can offer sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners… Above all, accept and endure with submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you.
Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by sinful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”When our Blessed Mother appeared to the children she asked them, “Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the suffering that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?… Then you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort.”“…Do you suffer a great deal? Don’t be discouraged. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the road that will conduct you to God. Sacrifice yourself for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice, ‘O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners.’
Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war… If they do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end [World War I]. But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI… When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this, I come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; many nations will be annihilated.
Jesus wishes to make use of you to have me acknowledged and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.“Here you see hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart… Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners. So many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them.
Our Lady’s message that men “must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins,” and that they “offend the Lord God no more, for He is already much offended” is meant for all of us, whether we are religious or lay. It is this message that our Congregation acts to promote, so that all people can, by praying the daily Rosary, by offering up their prayers and the sacrifices demanded by their daily duty, restore the temporal order in Christ.
n 1916, the year before the apparition of Our Lady, the Angel of Portugal appeared to the children and brought them Holy Communion and taught them prayers:
The Fatima Angel Prayers
MOST HOLY TRINITY, I adore you! My God, My God,
I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
MY GOD, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee!
I ask pardon for those who do not believe,
do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee.
A great "secret" of converting sinners is to make sacrifices for them, as well as to pray for them. Our Lady Of Fatima said: "Many souls go to Hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them," And the holy Cure of Ars said that the conversion of sinners "begins with prayer and ends with penance."
But whereas "penance" and "sacrifice" sound frightening to some people and we may not like these words, yet they are the key to obtaining Heaven for poor sinners. If we are frightened of penance, we can begin by making one little sacrifice per day—–perhaps eating something we do not like, or drinking water instead of pop, or making ourselves wait a half hour or so to take a drink when we are thirsty. These are little forms of "fasting". Some sacrifices we are obliged to make anyway, but we can offer them for sinners: examples of these are being patient with a trying person or turning off an immodest TV, program. These sacrifices will be presents for Our Lady, the precious coin she can use to buy back souls that are headed for Hell.
It seems that God loves to "delegate" His work, He has given it to us to be the "secondary" causes of His work, including the salvation of our "brother" and our "neighbor." And though His Blood poured out on Calvary was sufficient to save all souls, He requires that we, the living branches on Him, the Vine, ask for and even "activate" its application to those souls by our prayers and our sacrifices.
At Fatima both the Angel and Our Lady asked for sacrifices for sinners. They said, "Sacrifice yourself." This is done largely by generously making individual sacrifices.
The Angel of Fatima, too, told the three children to "Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High . . . Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners . . . Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you."
If Our Lady and the Angel ask for prayers and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, this means that they actually intend to save sinners if prayers and sacrifices are offered up. We must therefore send these up with confidence in Our Lady's intention and power to save the dying. After receiving the above-mentioned message of the Angel, the children were given to understand "how pleasing it [sacrifice] is to Him and how, on account of it, He grants the grace of conversion to sinners." It does work! This is the true recipe for saving souls, even those who are dying and have very little time left.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA SAID: SACRIFICE YOURSELVES FOR SINNERS AND SAY MANY TIMES, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU MAKE SOME SACRIFICE:
O JESUS, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
(To be said after the Glory Be at the end of each decade of the Rosary)
O MY JESUS, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell,
lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.
MOST Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended. And through the infinite merit of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!