Sister Isabelle, OCD
Does God ever lead you by questions? He does me. In fact, this happened to me just the other day. I had a question in my mind and after bringing it trustingly to the Lord in prayer for several months, He showed me something new. I had been pondering over our Lady of Fatima’s words to the children, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.” Her words troubled me because I did not understand what she was trying to tell us about our part in God’s plan of salvation and because of the thought that many soul go to hell. Yet, as I was riding in the car on the way to a funeral, I suddenly realized I was focusing on the wrong part of Mary’s message.
I was focusing on the gloom and doom, but Mary’s message is a message of hope. Yes, the darkness of sin and the suffering it causes is a reality that all of us face each day, but with Christ and our “yes” to cooperating with Him, there is so much hope! In another apparition, after she showed the children a terrifying vision of hell, she said to 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 what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”
To save them! These words bring relief and refreshment to my soul! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life ” (John 3:16). Just as the Father sent Jesus to us because He wanted to save us, so too, He sent our Lady of Fatima as part of His continuing plan for our Salvation. If we listen to her message and follow through with our part many souls will be saved. So let’s get going! What is our part anyway?
An echo of the Gospel, the message of Fatima tells us that our part is offering ourselves willingly with Christ to the Father, to bear all the suffering He wills to send, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners; praying -particularly the daily rosary – for peace and for the conversion of sinners; and offering sacrifices out of love of Jesus, for sinners, and to repair for the many offenses suffered by the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Furthermore, the Fatima message calls us to be devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let’s take a look at this last part of the message more closely.
On December 10th, 1925, our Lady and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia. Mary held out her heart encircled by thorns, which the Child Jesus said were from ungrateful men who “pierce it at every moment”. He further stated that there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove the thorns. Mary then explained that her heart was pierced by the blasphemies and ingratitude of men. She asked Lucia to try to console her and promised to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of 5 consecutive months, shall:
1) Go to confession (can be 8 days before or after the 1st Saturday provided Holy Communion is received in a state of grace)
2) Receive Holy Communion
3) Recite 5 decades of the Rosary
4) Keep Mary company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to her (this is in addition to praying the rosary)
In a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled “The Message of Fatima,” then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote, “The action of God, the Lord of history, and the co-responsibility of man in the drama of his creative freedom, are the two pillars upon which human history is built. Our Lady, who appeared at Fatima, recalls these forgotten values. She reminds us that man’s future is in God, and that we are active and responsible partners in creating that future.” As Jesus and Mary did, God wants us to cooperate with Him in the plan of Salvation. Let us say “yes”, with generosity and HOPE in His great mercy and power to save.
One of our beautiful elders, for whom we care at Santa Teresita, lives and breathes devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Each day, before she receives Holy Communion, she prays the following prayer, which she began praying years ago while going through a very difficult time in her life. We invite you to pray it with us now:
Mother Mary, keep my mind, ever patient, pure and kind. Banish every evil thought that scars the soul so dearly bought by the blood of your dear Son. And when this day’s fight is won, may I dream in peaceful rest as a child upon thy breast.
Prayers taught to the Children of Fatima by Mary and the Angel:
“O Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament!”
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’”
“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.’”
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.” (Prayer taught to the children by the Angel of Peace)
“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 indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.” (The Angel prayed this prayer while worshiping the Holy Eucharist)