| Shepherds of Christ
March 20, 2007
March 21st Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 4 Period II.
The Novena Rosary Mysteries
for March 21st are Glorious.
March 20th - 6:20pm
Please tune in!
March 20, 2007
Jesus took on Flesh and Blood.
Our bodies are made up of flesh and blood.
What does incarnate mean?
The Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity
took on flesh.
Blood was in the body of the Divine God, Jesus —
the Son of God.
What does God give us in the Eucharist?
What does God give us the poor banished children
of Adam and Eve.
In the Eucharist, Jesus comes to us through the
hands of consecrated priests —
He comes truly present in His Divinity and Humanity.
John 6: 48-51
I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate manna in the desert
and they are dead;
but this is the bread
which comes down from heaven,
so that a person may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread
which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread
will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give
is my flesh, for the life of the world.’
Why do I sing of the gift God gives us?
Can I not sing of this tremendous gift?
What is so blind in me that I do not see the
gift given to me in the sacrament of baptism
that my human nature is elevated to knowing
and loving God in this greater capacity.
Oh loving Savior let me gaze on You and
meditate on Your mystery. The mystery that
the Son of God took flesh and remains with
us this day in the Holy Eucharist, truly
present in Your Divinity and Humanity.
Oh that God picked Mary and she was
sinless — given the honor to carry the Son of
God — Oh mystery of mysteries that Jesus comes
to me in the Holy Eucharist and is no less
present than when Mary carried Him in her
Oh awe — Oh blind men — Oh cry with me for
the sake of souls He shed His Blood for and for
the souls He feeds today with His Body and Blood.
Oh Happy Fault of Adam we sing in
the Exultet on Holy Saturday — Oh night so
richly blessed —
Oh yes, God, I cry with every cell of my body
and sing with my soul and yet to focus on Thee
is my delight and to serve You amongst the
blind men, some worshipping a molten calf —
Luke 1: 42-43
She gave a loud cry and said, 'Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?
Christ came in poverty. In China, Indiana
we send the Newsletter all over the world
from that little place — surrounded by creeks.
Fr. Carter said it reminded him of Bethlehem
House of Bread — a feeding thing.
How should they be invited to China, Indiana
to come to pray — to come to help send out the
Newsletter for the Priests— February 13 on the Eucharist —
April 13 on the Priesthood.
In 2004 — April 13 after we prayed all
day we came out and here is what we saw —
Snow flakes like silver dollars.
Oh Lady of Peace and love — cover us with your
blanket of joy.
Savior of the world — Jesus the Son of God.
He came the Redeemer to save the fallen race.
Christ was carried in the womb of Mary to
her cousin Elizabeth and John leaped in
the womb — Wonder of wonders.
Christ comes to us under the appearance of
Bread and wine.
The Master comes to us — the servant —
This is the love of the Master for us.
We are prisoners here in this valley of tears
and God is outpouring His grace to us
His beloved souls when He feeds us
with His Flesh and Blood.
Jesus came to the earth as a man — His days
as He walked the earth quickly passed.
Jesus was hidden in Mary's womb.
Jesus is hidden under the appearance
of Bread and wine in the Eucharist.
Jesus is imprisoned in our tabernacles.
Jesus stands night and day at the door
of our hearts begging to come in.
God outpours His grace to us —
We are rooted in His life.
We should be so happy to visit Jesus in
the tabernacle — He waits for us.
Let us sing Glory to God in the highest —
our beloved Savior is born.
Jesus comes a little innocent infant.
Jesus is born of Mary.
Jesus is laid in a manger.
Jesus later would die on the bare wood
of the cross.
Look at the simplicity, humility of
how Jesus comes a baby.
The Light of the World — JESUS
Jesus comes in poverty.
Message of Fatima
'Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask grace from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her.'27
Excerpt from Mother at Our Side, by Father Edward J. Carter, S.J.
It was the hour of Jesus' agony. He hung on a cross, on a hill called Calvary. He had already suffered excruciating pain. He had been brutally scourged—can we comprehend what this did to Jesus? He had been crowned with thorns. He had carried the heavy cross and then was mercilessly nailed to it. After all this, the excruciating suffering continued as the weight of His body pulled downward against the nail-inflicted wounds of His hands and feet. Besides the intense physical suffering, there was the spiritual anguish which pierced Jesus' Heart.
Amidst this unfathomable suffering, Jesus spoke to Mary and John as they stood at the foot of the cross: Woman, behold, your son. Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother. (Jn. 19: 26-7).
John represented all of us. In giving Mary to him as spiritual mother, Jesus was also giving Mary to all of us as our spiritual mother.
In these our times, the spiritual motherhood of Mary is being manifested in an extraordinary fashion. There have been alleged apparitions of Mary in many parts of the world. Many seem to bear the marks of authenticity. A small number of these apparition sites have already received official Church approval. Regarding the others, we await the Church's final judgment and express our willingness to submit to her ultimate decision.
Why such an extraordinary proliferation of Marian apparitions and messages? Because we live in extraordinary times. Mary is telling us that the Church and the world are experiencing a time of great crisis brought about by an unprecedented wave of sin which has been sweeping across the face of the earth.
Through Mary, God is using extraordinary means to call us to conversion. Mary tells us that her Immaculate Heart is leading the Church and the world along the way of conversion as she leads us in an extraordinary fashion to Jesus, the Light of the world. She is beseeching us in a special way to give our assistance to help fulfill the mission God has entrusted to her.
end of Excerpt from Mother at Our Side
Excerpt from Mother at Our Side, by Father Edward J. Carter, S.J.
Mother Of Christ
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." . . .But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. . . ." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." (Lk. 1:30-38).
"The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the Incarnation of the Divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord's humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him in suffering as He died on the cross. In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls." (Vatican II).1
The above words of Scripture and of the Second Vatican Council tell us of a most awesome truth—that Mary truly is the Mother of Jesus, that she truly is the Mother of God.
To speak of Mary, then, is to speak of Christ. Mary's entire life was centered on Christ. No human has ever followed Christ as closely as has Mary. Mary's spiritual life was perfectly centered in Jesus as she went with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
As the words of Vatican II tell us, Mary cooperated with Jesus in His redemptive effort. Throughout much of the time she was physically present to Him. At those times when she was not at His side, she was united with Him through a profound spiritual union. She was totally dedicated to Him and to His cause. She was His first and perfect disciple. She loved Him with a devotion and an intensity beyond our full comprehension.
All of Mary's other God-given gifts flow from her divine motherhood—from the fact that she is the Mother of Jesus. Her Immaculate Conception, her fullness of grace, her freedom from actual sin, her perpetual virginity, her bodily Assumption into Heaven—these and all her other gifts flow from her divine maternity.
One of these gifts not yet mentioned is her role as our spiritual mother. Yes, because Mary is the Mother of Christ, she is also our mother. This is a marvelous and most consoling reality upon which to further reflect.
Mother At Our Side
Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." (Jn. 19:25-27).
"In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace." (Vatican II).2
Mary is the Mother of Jesus. She is also our Mother. The above words of Scripture and of the Second Vatican Council attest to this.
Jesus has given us Mary as our spiritual mother. As He hung upon the cross, Jesus told John to look upon Mary as his mother, this John who represents all of us. In His moment of deepest anguish and suffering, Jesus was thinking of us. As the indescribable physical pain racked His body from head to toe, as the unfathomable spiritual anguish penetrated to the depths of His Heart, Jesus was thinking of us. If we allow this scene to penetrate into our hearts, if we take the time to contemplate the depth of Jesus' and Mary's love for us as Their Hearts were pierced with grief, we are truly overwhelmed with the magnificent greatness and tenderness of the scene. Jesus was proclaiming Mary to be Mother of the Redemption. He was telling us that Mary is Mother to all peoples.
The fact that Mary is our mother, the fact that she has such a powerful role to play in our salvation in no way detracts from the mediatorship of Christ. Vatican II states:
"We have but one Mediator, as we know from the words of the Apostle: "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:5-6). The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. For all the saving influences of the Blessed Virgin on men originate, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. They flow forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rest on His mediation, depend entirely on it, and draw all their power from it. In no way do they impede the immediate union of the faithful with Christ. Rather they foster this union."3
In saying that Mary is our spiritual mother, we are saying that Mary is the mother of our Christ-life. What is this life? Can we define it?
At Baptism the Persons of the Trinity communicate so intimately to us that, as a result, they leave their imprint or image upon us. This Trinitarian image is our life of sanctifying grace. This life of grace is a created participation in God's life, and since this gift of grace is mediated by Christ in His humanity, this Trinitarian image also has a Christic aspect. Christ as man has shown us how to live a God-like existence. He has shown us how to live the life of grace. This life of grace we possess allows us to enjoy the special presence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Truly, the divine Persons dwell within us.
Whether we refer to this life as the Christ-life, the life of grace, life in the Holy Spirit, or by other names, we are referring to one and the same reality. This reality, again, is the Christic, Trinitarian image given us through the Trinitarian communication.
St. Paul speaks of our life of grace in terms of our being baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus (Rom. 6:1-11). Again, Jesus mediates our life of grace. He has shown us how to live a Christ-like existence. Since Jesus' paschal mystery of death-resurrection sums up His own human existence, so it sums up our own. This is what St. Paul is telling us. Paul tells us that we live our life of Baptism, our life of grace, by continually dying and rising with Jesus—rising to a greater share in Christ's resurrection. Indeed, we live resurrection now and hereafter. Living death-resurrection involves all of our Christian activities. While not giving an all-inclusive list, we do include the following: the reading of Scripture, prayer, the performance of daily duties, the doing of penance, making sacrifices, our jobs, periods of rest and relaxation, sharing meals with loved ones, reception of the sacraments, and, especially, participation in the Eucharist which is both sacrifice and sacrament.
This is our glorious existence made possible by God's great love for us and a major truth of this glorious existence is the fact that Jesus has given us Mary as our spiritual mother. Mary is the Mother of our Christ-life. In her loving, maternal role, she cooperates with the Holy Spirit in forming Christ in us. Pope John Paul II tells us:
"The Church knows and teaches that all the saving influences of the Blessed Virgin on mankind originate from the divine pleasure. . .This saving influence is sustained by the Holy Spirit, Who, just as He overshadowed the Virgin Mary when He began in her the divine motherhood, in a similar way constantly sustains her solicitude for the brothers and sisters of her Son.''4
Mary our mother is ever with us, guiding us, teaching us, caring for us, protecting us, loving us. With her maternal assistance we go to the Father through and with Christ in the Holy Spirit.
Mary nourishes our growth in Christ with a very tender and specialized love for each of us. She regards each of us as a precious, unique individual. John Paul II again speaks to us:
"Of the essence of motherhood is the fact that it concerns the person. Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people: between mother and child and between child and mother. Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood. For each child is generated in a unique and unrepeatable way, and this is true both for the mother and for the child."4
The Holy Father then applies these ideas to Mary and us:
"It can be said that motherhood in the order of grace preserves the analogy with what in the order of nature characterizes the union between mother and child. In the light of this fact it becomes easier to understand why in Christ's testament on Golgotha, His Mother's new motherhood is expressed in the singular, in reference to one man. Behold, your son."5
This is the awesome and consoling truth—you and I are very precious to Mary. She loves us much more than we can ever fathom. It is our great privilege and responsibility to love her in return. She asks for this love, she asks for our trust. As we give our love and trust to our mother, she wants us to come to her at all times and in all circumstances.
Are we sorrowful, anxious, troubled? Let us go to Mary our mother and ask her to console us. Let us ask her for the grace to handle our sorrow, our anxieties, our troubles properly—according to God's will. In this way our suffering will bring us closer to Christ as it simultaneously allows us to contribute to the ongoing Christianization of the world.
Are we joyful, happy, basking in the glow of a goal successfully accomplished? Let us go to Mary and ask her to help us handle our joy, our happiness, our success as God intends. Let us petition her not to allow our joy to make us forgetful of God, our God Who is the source of all true joy, success, and happiness.
Are we finding it particularly difficult to follow Christ in the here-and-now? In child-like trust we can approach our mother. Let us ask her for the grace to realize that the following of Christ is not always easy—that at times being a follower of Christ challenges our courage in a special way. We can also ask Mary to help us realize that even at such difficult times, Christ's grace makes our burden relatively light. Jesus has told us:
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt.11:28-30).
Are we finding it is particularly easy to follow Christ in the here-and-now? Let us go to Mary and ask her for the grace to remain humble. Let us beseech Mary to keep us from being inflated with pride, and ask her to help us realize that without Jesus we can do nothing.
Mary, then, asks for our complete trust. She wants us always to seek shelter under her maternal mantle. She invites us to come to her in all circumstances—whether it be in joy or sorrow, success or failure, laughter or tears. Mary wants us to share in her maternal wisdom so that we may understand how to use our various experiences to come closer to God in Christ. Sharing our lives with Mary in this fashion, and on a consistent basis, requires that we love her, that we trust her, that we surrender ourselves to her maternal love.
Help us, Mother Mary, to probe ever more deeply into the depths of your love for us. Help us to realize more and more that to be loved by you is to experience a sweetness, a warmth, a tenderness, a serenity, a security, which makes us cry out, "O Mother, how good and loving you are!"
10 years ago today
Vision March 20, 1997
Junior Shepherds of Christ Meeting
Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center
Mary appeared as Our Lady of Fatima for one hour and 15 minutes. Mary appeared in the Sorrowful Mother statue at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center.
I was at Our Lady's House for the Junior Shepherds of Christ meeting. I cannot remember any great apparition of Mary in the Sorrowful Mother statue since August 12 and 13, 1996. She appeared all night and two times on August 13, 1996, once right before I went to the rosary at Tom's farm about 5:30 p.m. (the night John was there and St. Michael came out of the water). Mary comes when you least expect her.
Tonight I went to the Holy Spirit Center for the rosary with the Junior Shepherds of Christ. We could not pray in the Rosary chapel because Fr. Smith was going to say Mass. We could not pray in the Sorrowful Mother's chapel because the pews were draped with work clothes. We could not pray in the social hall because the band was playing. The only place left was in the hall on the other side of the wall from the band. The youth in the Shepherds of Christ chapter decided this was the place and moved pews in front of the statue.
As we began the rosary I began to see Mary, covered with a mist. Then I saw light around her. She got bigger than the statue, her face softened to that of the most beautiful woman—the same as the picture I took on Mother's Day 1995 when she told me to buy film and take her picture. She was all adorned in light. She changed, around her head and she became a young, beautiful girl. She then changed into a lady of immense light, all white, beautiful and young. I wanted to cry in awe looking at her. I wanted to stop the rosary and just see the apparition, but I continued to speak as she spoke through me.
The whole rosary was on Our Lady of Fatima. She turned into Our Lady of Fatima, so white, so beautiful, young in her face. I have seen many statues of Our Lady of Fatima. I have seen her all white and adorned in light before—Our Lady of Light, that is what she called herself.
On October 5, 1996 I saw her at Immaculata in the grotto. She had told me earlier that day she was Our Lady of the Rosary and gave a very strong message.
I do not recall seeing her in an apparition in the Sorrowful Mother's statue since August 13, 1996.
She was clearly, clearly, "Our Lady of Fatima" - LIVE. I saw her. I am in awe and wanted more, it was so beautiful!
She may have appeared as Our Lady of Fatima the first time. She was covered with the greatest light—a light as from a fire and all white, but on July 5, 1994 when she first appeared,
I did not know what Our Lady of Fatima looked like.
I know tonight she was like every statue I have ever seen of Our Lady of Fatima, glistening, and all white. She had beads or embroidery around her cloak. I know she looked like the Lady of Fatima statues but LIVE.
Every time we sang A Song From Jesus she would shine with the brightest light and her face would fill with the greatest joy.
There was no place for Jesus to be born—He was born the Light of the World in a stable in Bethlehem and the brightest star shone above His bed.
This rosary on Fatima needs to circulate to the youth. Mary appeared to tell us to tell the youth this rosary. It does not have any message from Mary, only information from her for the youth.
Mary's message for the youth: a rosary on Fatima—as she appeared to deliver it.
This is a great comfort to me. She appeared, Our Lady of Fatima, to tell us that this is truly a major part of the completion of the Fatima message.
The youth told me they could not hear the rosary, only the loud music of the band. I did not hear the band at all—but was in awe with Mary's appearing and the rosary!
At one point I saw a little blond hair sticking out from under her veil at the top of her head.
At least three times I saw this immense Lady of Light turn into Our Lady of Fatima. It was as if she was transformed from the Lady of Light into the Lady of Fatima.
The room was a brightly lighted hallway with big balls of light that came down from the ceiling.
She was adorned in light, brighter than the hallway, light as bright as seven suns, the Lady of Light.
It is in her womb we see the light, the light of knowing God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
end of March 20, 1997 vision
From Rosary Meditations for Parents and Children Book
March 20, 1997
The Joyful Mysteries
- Our heavenly Mother Mary, gave messages associated with the major Fatima apparitions. She told Jacinta, one of the three visionaries at Fatima...
"'Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask grace from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her.'27
"This last message offers us an excellent opportunity to summarize the Fatima message. It tells us "that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"At the center of the veneration for which Our Lord calls is the act of consecration to His Sacred Heart and to Mary's Immaculate Heart." 28
- You should not be afraid, for Jesus and Mary are with us. They are watching us, and they are helping us in everything that we do. God is in charge.
- So we come to this rosary to gather and to pray as the Junior Shepherds of Christ Associates. It is in this rosary that we will receive help to not be afraid, to help to take the light to the dark world.
- It is in going through our Mother Mary that we will be formed more and more into the image and the likeness of Jesus.
- The Child Jesus was formed in the womb of the Virgin Mary, through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we go to the heart of Mary, the spiritual womb, we are transformed more and more to be children of light.
- How Mary loves the children of this world. She guards them and mothers them more than any earthly mother. Mary guards us with her motherly care, and watches over us, and wants to lead us to the Heart of her Son, Jesus.
- Christ showed us. He was born of the Virgin Mary. He came into this world in the Virgin Mary. We too must go to the Virgin Mary in order to have this close union with God. Mary is the gateway into the Heart of Jesus.
- At Fatima, Mary spoke to the children and she called them her children. We must realize that she is calling us, her children, to the Heart of her Son, Jesus.
- What of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary? The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are our refuge in this life. They are the Hearts of true love. It is in giving our hearts to Jesus and to Mary that we will have hearts filled with holy love.
- So much of this world has turned to hearts that are cold. Jesus wants love, burning love, from the children of this world, and He is given a cold heart.
- We carry Jesus within our hearts.
- When we visit others we bring the Jesus that lives within us to the other person. We embrace Jesus when we embrace each other in love.
- Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. The Child Jesus was within Mary's womb. We carry Jesus within ourselves. We receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. When we go to Communion, we go to our pews, and we have the Son of God within our hearts. He is as present in our hearts as He was when He was carried in the womb of Mary, when she went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth.
- We do not even realize the great gifts God has given to us when He gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist. Think of what it would be like if He took away the gift of the Holy Eucharist, if He took away the Mass.
- We must be strong. We are the youth that are being sent to go into a world that has turned sinful. Some have turned their backs on God. We must realize, that we must be strong. It is hard in this world, but we must go to Jesus. We must spend time with Him everyday.
- Jesus is the Son of Mary. Jesus and Mary are with us.
- Hail Mary...
- We must listen to the words of scripture, the words that we are given as teachings. We must pray to the Holy Spirit that we will comprehend the word of God, for God is speaking to us in His word. The Holy Spirit gives us understanding into these words that we will know God and love Him.
- Mary brought forth an infant child. She watched Him. She cared for Him. All through His life, she stayed close to Him. All through our lives our Mother Mary is forever by our sides.
- We must be strong, for we are being called by God. It is not a myth. He is calling each one of us to be leaders to help to lead the other youth to God.
The Birth of Jesus
- The heavenly Father allowed Mary to appear at Fatima, and she told us what we must do. She told us that in order to have peace in the world we must give our hearts to her and give our hearts to her Son, Jesus.
- She said that if we did not pay attention to her there would be a great war. Man ignored the pleading of Our Lady at Fatima, and there was World War II. Many, many, many people were killed. They suffered a brutal death.
- At Fatima, she showed the three young children the fires of hell. They were very young, and they said they would have died of fright had Our Lady not assured them that they would not go to hell.
- Why would Our Lady appear to children and show children the souls suffering in the fires in hell?
Mary appears at Fatima, and she is ignored. To this very day we do not do what Mary told us to do at Fatima. At Fatima she promised in the end the Sacred Heart of Jesus will reign, and her heart will triumph.
Jesus Christ came into the world in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He came as the Light of the World. He will be, in this great era of peace to come, the King and the center of all hearts.
- He came in poverty. He was born in a stable. He came to show us that the great riches are not found in the riches of the world, that they are found in Him. He is the King, but He comes into this world in poverty.
- The greatest riches are found in the Heart of Christ.
- It is so simple. Why do we not love God, why do we not love one another?
- Why does man think that he can ignore God, that he is in control, that he can do his own will?
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
- The old man Simeon said in the Temple that "Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed-" (Lk. 2:34)
- And he said to Mary, "and a sword will pierce your soul too-so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare." (Lk. 2:35)
- Mary is the Mother of all the children of the world, and look how she is treated by so many of her children. Many abuse her name. They abuse her images. They do not love her. She is their Mother, and they do not love her.
- Mary told us at Fatima what we must do in order to have peace in this world. The fourth commandment tells us we must obey our earthly mother. What makes us think that we do not have to obey our heavenly Mother?
- She said that man was sinful and that he was offending God. She said to Jacinta before she died, "I can no longer restrain the hand of my Divine Son from striking the world with just punishment for its many crimes." 29
- Here it is 80 years after Fatima and we have disobeyed our heavenly Mother and the wishes that she gave to us when she appeared at Fatima. After World War II you would think that everyone would have heeded her message of Fatima.
Satan goes about the earth as a roaring lion, searching for souls to devour. When Mary showed the children at Fatima the fires of hell, she was telling them that hell was a reality and that we must go about the world and try to lead others to her Son.
What if you were one of the children at Fatima and our Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to you, in her light, and in her beauty? What if she said, "You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go...If my requests are granted, 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, and various nations will be destroyed..." 30 What if she showed you the fires of hell and the souls suffering? Would you help?
- Would your life change if Mary appeared to you and told you these things? Would you go and spend your life trying to tell others about the vision that she gave to you? Would you take this with the utmost urgency? If Mary was appearing to you, would you do something to heed her warnings?
- Remember Noah and the Ark? The people were sinning up to the time that Noah entered the Ark.
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
- They were warned. They were warned over and over again of their sinfulness. They were told that they must change, but they would not obey and so God told Noah to build an Ark.
- And all men were destroyed, but those men on Noah's Ark.
- Mary searched for the Child Jesus in the Temple. Today, there are many searching for those things that will make them happy. We will not be happy if our lives are not rooted in God.
- We must go to Mary in order to be close to God. As Noah went into the Ark for his refuge, we to must go to the heart of Mary. She is the Ark that will lead us to the Heart of her Son.
- So many this day are sinning. They must go to the temple. Mary is the temple that we go to, in order to find God. We go to her spiritual womb, to her heart, and we find God. We must do as Our Lady told us at Fatima, and give Mary our hearts. All through the day we give Mary our hearts and Jesus our hearts.
- This is our job, to spread the Fatima message, to do what Mary has told us to do at Fatima, to give Jesus our hearts, and to tell all the other youth that we must do what Mary said at Fatima. We must give Mary and Jesus our hearts, pray the rosary, go to church on first Saturday, and tell Jesus and Mary we are sorry for the sins in this world.
- Mary's peace plan is so simple to follow. We have disobeyed our heavenly Mother at Fatima. Mary appeared on July 13, 1917 to the three children. Mary showed the three children a vision of hell. She told them,
"You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish, in the world, devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."31
We must obey Mary. The plan is the same plan today. We must reach the youth of this world with the consecration We must tell them to give their hearts to Jesus and Mary.
- Mary is the temple. We will find Jesus if we go to Mary.
Song: "Oh Holy Dwelling Place of God..."
- We have been given great gifts from Our Lord and from Our Lady. We want to be leaders, to lead other young people to Jesus and to Mary. We must thank them for the gifts we are given, for what we do with our lives will make the difference to so many souls. She showed the children the souls in hell. Visualize this as clearly as possible in your mind. What you do to help to spread the message of His love will make the difference to so many souls.
- Can we truly look at our Mother, Mary? See her before us, adorned in the greatest light. See her glistening? Look into her beautiful face, into her eyes. Tell her we must help to lead her children to the Heart of her Son, that you will help her to help others so they will not be lost to the fires of hell forever.
NOTES:27. Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan from Heaven [Rockford: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1983], pp. 9-10.
28. Rev. Edward Carter, S.J., Spirituality of Fatima and Medjugorje, [Milford: Faith Publishing Co., 1994], p. 18.
29. Our Lady's Peace Plan, op. cit., pp. 9-10.
30. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
31. Ibid., p. 4.
From Rosary Meditations for Parents and Children Book
Fatima: The Message
Before receiving the six apparitions of Our Lady, May through October of 1917, the three Fatima visionaries were visited by an angel on three different occasions during the preceding year. He appeared to them in the spring, summer, and fall. Lucia (now Sr. Lucia) describes the springtime apparition of the angel:
On reaching us, he said: "Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me."
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the ground and made us repeat these words three times: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You."
Then, rising he said: "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications."
His words engraved themselves so deeply on our minds that we could never forget them. 3
During the summer of 1916, the angel again appeared to the three visionaries. He said to them:
Pray! Pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High. Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners. Bring peace to our country in this way.... I am the Guardian Angel of Portugal Accept and bear with submission all the sufferings the Lord will send you. 4
In the fall of the same year, the angel visited the visionaries a final time:
The angel came...bearing a golden chalice in one hand and a Host above it in the other. The amazed children noticed that drops of blood were falling from the Host into the chalice. Presently, the angel left both suspended in mid-air and prostrated himself on the ground, saying this beautiful prayer: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and [the intercession of] the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners." 5
Sr. Lucia relates how the angel gave them Communion:
Then, rising, he took the chalice and the Host in his hand. He gave the Sacred Host to me and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so:
"Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." 6
Reflecting upon these messages of the angel, we see how much they contain for our spiritual instruction.
First of all, we notice the distinctive Trinitarian nature of the messages. We are instructed that, in our Christian existence, we must express the greatest reverence for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as we serve them through the virtues of faith, hope, and love. These three virtues are at the heart of our life of grace.
We are reminded of the ugly reality of sin and of our duty to make reparation for it. We are reminded that reparation is due Christ in His Eucharistic presence. And, as we shall soon see, Our Lady calls for a specific act of reparation--the five first Saturdays. Reparation is a foundation of the Fatima messages.
The angel also tells us that we must not only love God; we must also love our neighbor. We are to pray and make sacrifices for others.
In telling us to "Pray a great deal," and "Make everything you do a sacrifice," the angel reminds us that we are to live a deep spirituality. We are to be united with God throughout the day in as conscious a manner as possible. Regarding the angel's call to prayer, we shall soon hear of Mary's special request concerning the daily Rosary. It is a request that reminds us that God has sent Our Blessed Mother to call us back to Jesus, and to a closer union with Him. The Fatima message indeed reminds us that Mary is our spiritual Mother, that she is our mediatrix with Christ.
The angel specified a need to help others by our sacrifices, and to accept the sufferings God sends. It is a confirmation of Christ's paschal mystery of death-resurrection. The cross leads to life. We live the cross for the purpose of growing in grace ourselves, and in order to help channel grace to others.
The Angel also reminded us that the Eucharist is at the center of the Church's life. And, very importantly, in each of his three messages, the Angel drew attention to the critical role which the Hearts of Jesus and Mary play in our Christian lives:
Another remarkable fact is that in each of the three apparitions, the Angel already mentions the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as though linked to one another by an indissoluble union. The account of the first apparition even presents a striking phrase which seems to have been hardly noticed. After having taught this completely God-centered prayer, "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you," the Angel added: "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." We pray to God, and it is the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary that hear and answer our prayers! How could it better express the truth that we can only go to God and please Him by this unique and universal mediation?
Similarly, in the summer of 1916, when the Angel announces to the three seers their future vocations, it is the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary that appear in the foreground as the inseparable mediators of the "Father of Mercies." "The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary," he tells them, "have designs of mercy on you."
Finally, the third time, in the prayer of Eucharistic offering, it is by "the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and [the intercession of] the Immaculate Heart of Mary," that the Angel begs "the conversion of poor sinners" of the Trinity.
With this constant thought of the mediation of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, we are already at the very center of the Message of Fatima. 7
The Angel's three messages contain an amazing spiritual doctrine. The Angel gives the outline of the spiritual life within the framework of devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Behold, the spirituality of Fatima!
The Angel's instruction to the three children admirably prepared them for Our Lady's apparitions. Mary's messages presume, and build upon, the spiritual doctrine which the Angel gave to the three young visionaries--and to us.
May 13, 1917, marks the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco. On this occasion, she said to the visionaries:
Do not be afraid, I will do you no harm..... I am from Heaven.
I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at the same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want
Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?
Pray the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war. 8
To the end of each decade of the Rosary, she added the Fatima prayer, "0 my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy. " 9
In Mary's first message, we immediately see two aspects of the Fatima message--prayer (especially the Rosary) and reparation.
On June 13, the Blessed Virgin again appeared to the three children:
There were about 70 people present, though only the children could see the apparition. She told the youngsters that many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. She said Francisco and Jacinta would soon leave the world for Heaven. Holding out her heart, surrounded by thorns which pierced it from all sides, Our Lady told Lucy: "God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne." 10
This shows how devotion to the Immaculate Heart is central to the Fatima message. Subsequent events reemphasize the importance of Our Lady teaching this devotion at Fatima.
In her July apparition, Our Lady further revealed her plan to the children and to the world:
During her appearance in July, Our Lady, in answer to Lucia's plea, promised that in October she would work a great miracle so that all might believe and know who she was. Again, the Mother of God told the children to sacrifice themselves for sinners and to say many times, especially when making a sacrifice, this prayer: "0 my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." 11
During this same July apparition, Mary showed the three children a vision of Hell. She told them:
You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish, in the world, devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
The war (World War I, then raging) is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light [January 2, 1938], know that this is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its many crimes by means of war, hunger, and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father. 12
To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the five first Saturdays. If my requests are granted, 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, and various nations will be destroyed....
But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, Russia will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world. 13
In the above, Mary speaks of the five first Saturdays. Here is what the practice involves:
All of the above (except confession) must be done on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart. For those who make the five first Saturdays, Our Lady of Fatima has promised to assist them at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation. 14
Because of the excitement caused by the apparitions, the civil authorities were so alarmed that they kidnapped the three young visionaries and put them in jail. The incarceration period included the day of August 13. Consequently, Our Lady did not appear to the children on this particular 13th.
The authorities, fearing reaction on the part of the people, quickly released the children. Mary appeared to them on August 19 near Valinhos:
She told them she was greatly displeased by the action of the mayor. As a result, the miracle promised for October would not be as impressive as originally planned. 15
Next came the September appearance of Our Lady:
More than 30,000 people were present in September, and saw a shower of mysterious white petals fall to within 10 feet of the ground before dissolving into the air. Many also saw the globe of light bearing the Lady come to rest atop the tree, and the branches bend as though someone were standing on them. Later, they saw the cloud depart into the east, from whence it had come.16
The October 13 vision was accompanied by the great Miracle of the Sun described in the previous chapter. In her message that day, Our Blessed Mother told the children:
I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day.17
While the people in attendance were beholding the great Miracle of the Sun, the three young visionaries, and they alone, were privileged to see striking visions in the heavens:
As Our Lady had promised, St. Joseph had come with the Holy Family and had blessed the world. Then, Our Lady appeared as the Mother of Sorrows, accompanied by her Divine Son, Who also blessed the world. Finally, Lucy had seen the Blessed Virgin, dressed in the brown robes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth, holding a brown Scapular in her hand, with her infant Son upon her knee. However, in none of these visions had any of the figures spoken to the children.18
Besides the messages associated with the major Fatima apparitions, there were other revelations given by Our Lady. Before Jacinta died, she told of other messages given her (during her illness) by Mary:
More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much.
Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.
Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The disobedience of priests, to their superiors and to the Holy Father, is very displeasing to Our Lord.
I can no longer restrain the hand of my Divine Son from striking the world with just punishments for its many crimes.
If the government of a country leaves the Church in peace and gives liberty to our Holy Religion, it will be blessed by God.
Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask grace from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her. 19
This last message offers us an excellent opportunity to summarize the Fatima message. It tells us "that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
At the center of the veneration for which Our Lord calls is the act of consecration to His Sacred Heart and to Mary's Immaculate Heart. As we shall see in Part II of this book, this consecration calls for a total gift of ourselves to Jesus and Mary. Such a gift, obviously, includes a willingness to incorporate into our lives the other Fatima teachings and requests. As such, consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary summarizes the Fatima message.
Some seem to think the message of Fatima is no longer relevant to today's world. The words of Pope John Paul II tell us how wrong they are. Referring to a pilgrimage he made in 1982, he says:
Last week, I myself went on pilgrimage to Portugal, especially to Fatima, in order to give thanks that the mercy of God and the protection of the Mother of Christ had saved my life last year. The message of Fatima is a call to conversion and penance, the first and most basic call of the Gospel. Today, it is more urgent than ever, when evil is threatening us through errors based on denial of God. The message of Fatima puts us on our guard. It also invites us to approach anew the Fountain of Mercy by an act of consecration. Mary wishes us to draw near it: each one of us, each nation, and the whole world. 20
3. Louis Kondar, SVD, editor, Fatima in
Lucia's Own Words [Fatima: Postulation Center, 1976], p. 62.
Distributed in the U.S.A. by the Ravengate Press, Cambridge, MA.
4. Our Lady's Peace Plan, op. cit., pp. 1-2.
5. Ibid., p. 2.
6. Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, op. cit., pp. 64-65.
7. Frere Michael de la Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima [Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989], pp. 85-86.
8. Ibid., pp. 112-114.
9. Our Lady's Peace Plan, op. cit., p. 30.
10. Ibid., p. 3.
11. Ibid., pp. 3-4.
12. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
13. Ibid., p. 5.
14. Rev. Edward Carter, S.J., Mother at Our Side: Mary's Role in the Spiritual Life [Milford: Faith Publishing Co., 1994], pp. 21.
15. Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan, op. cit., p. 8.
16. Ibid., p. 6.
17. Ibid., p. 7.
18. Ibid., p. 8.
19. Ibid., pp. 9-10.
20. Pope John-Paul II, as quoted in Arthur Collin, Totus Tuus: John Paul's Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment [Libertyville: Academy of the Immaculate, 1992], p. 177.
Excerpt from Mother At Our Side, By Father Edward Carter, S.J.
We cannot maintain the life of resurrection or grow in it without a willingness to suffer. This does not mean that we need to feel overwhelmed and heavily burdened by the suffering in our lives. The greater portion of suffering for most of us seems to be an accumulation of ordinary hardships and pains. At times, more penetrating suffering—even suffering of agonizing proportions—can enter our life. Whether the sufferings are either of the more ordinary variety or the rare and extreme type, Christians must convince themselves that to properly relate to the cross is to grow in resurrection.
The great tragedy regarding human suffering is not that there is so much of it, but that apparently so much of it is wasted. Apparently many do not relate to suffering properly—according to God's will. Consequently, they fail to use suffering as a means to growth. Again, our mother's fiat can be a vivid reminder to persevere through even our most difficult trials.
End of Excerpt from Mother At Our Side
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