First, I want to wish you a blessed Memorial Day weekend! It is im-portant that we practice gratitude toward God, most of all, toward our parents and, in a special way, toward those who have given up their lives to provide for the freedom we enjoy in our country. The purpose of Memorial Day is to remember those soldiers who have died to pro-tect us. Let us not only remember them, but also pray for them to have eternal rest and thank God for their sacrifices.
Second, let us remember with gratitude to our good Lord the 10 men who were ordained into the priesthood of Jesus Christ this past Satur-day, May 27! We all need priests! I want to say to all: the ordained priesthood is an ineffable gift! No priest is worthy of the gift, but it is a necessary gift for our Church and world to know the love of the Heart of Jesus Christ. We need more young men to consider if our good Lord is calling them to be a priest in His Church. Let us pray daily that more will listen and answer His call!
Third, throughout this month of May, I have shared the beautiful story of Our Lady of Fatima. This weekend I want to provide a summary of how to live the message of Fatima. Let us follow our Blessed Mother’s desires by putting into action the message she gave us through the she-pherd children, Sts. Jacinta and Francisco and Servant of God, Sr. Lucia!
“The Message of Fatima: Our Lady came to Fatima to save the souls of her children from hell in the eternal order, and to bring peace to their world in the temporal.
The core of her message can be expressed in three simple sentences: 1. Addressing the eternal order, she told us that hell exists and that souls are being lost to it because there is no one to make reparation for their sins. 2. Speaking of the temporal, she said that war is a consequence of sin. 3. The salvation of souls and the attainment of world peace require the conversion of sinners. “People must stop offending God because He is already so much offended.” [10-13-1917]
Almost everything else she said, the things she asked us to do, and her prophecies predicated on the nature of our response relate, either directly or indirectly, to these three fundamental elements.
A few examples:
1. She asks for the daily offering of prayer, penance and sacrifice in reparation for sin and for the conversion of sinners.
2. Her request that we pray the rosary every day is aimed at both reparation for sin and world peace.
3. Wearing the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and living the consecration it signifies effectively disposes us toward the honoring of her requests.
4. Practicing the 1st Saturday Communions of Reparation devo-tion makes available the graces necessary for the salvation souls at the moment of their death.
5. The conversion of Russia will lead to the salvation of many souls and make an enormous contribution toward the attain-ment of world peace.
Our Lady’s Fatima Requests
1. Daily offer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the sacrifices demanded by the duties required of your state in life, as well as whatever hardships and difficulties God permits to touch your life, in reparation for your own sins, for the sins of oth-ers, and for the conversion of all sinners. In other words, “offer it up.” This expression which so many of us were taught by our parents isn’t heard much these days. Sister Lucia considered the living out of this disposition the most fundamental and important practical, every-day response to Fatima.
2. Pray part of the Rosary daily while meditating on the Mysteries in reparation for sin, for the conversion of sinners, and for world peace.
3. Wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as both a sign and a reminder of your consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and as a protection against the snares of Satan.
4. Practice the devotion of the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturday of each month which has come to be popularly known as the 1st Saturday Devotion .
5. Contribute to the establishment of devotion to The Immaculate Heart of Mary in the world by spreading the Message of Fatima to others.
The honoring of all of these requests taken collectively and derivatives thereof constitutes the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which Our Lady told Lucia God desired.
An Important Observation While Our Lady’s call for the conversion of sinners is directed toward all of her children, her devotional requests are uniquely and specifical-ly directed at the Catholics of the world. This is so because it is Catho-lics whose Church teaching supports the belief that we can merit grace for ourselves and for others, who wear scapulars and consecrate their lives to Mary, who pray the rosary, and who have at their disposal the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion.
This means that primary responsibility for the fulfillment of heaven’s desire where Fatima Devotions are concerned rests upon the shoulders of the Catholics of the world. This is a burden not to be taken lightly. The devotional requests of Our Lady of Fatima provide the precise weapons of spiritual warfare so desperately needed today. Unless the Catholics of the world take them up and use them often and well, the world will continue to lose battle after battle and the consequences for themselves, their children and their children’s children for generations to come will be grave.
Resources for Knowledge & Understanding of Fatima & Our Lady’s Message The best expose on Fatima is Father Andrew Apostoli’s book “Fatima for Today.” “Lucia Speaks/Prayer Cell flip-booklet” , offers an excellent summary of Sister Lucia’s memoirs.
A glimpse into Sister Lucia’s mature understanding of the call of Fatima to the world is contained in her book “Calls From The Message of Fatima.” Through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul may our good Lord Jesus grant to us and the whole world His Mercy and Peace!