A Simple Request From Mother

A Simple Request From Mother

18th Sunday after Pentecost

In today’s Gospel, we see Our Blessed Lord heal a paralytic whom he reassures with the words: Your sins are forgiven. Notice how sin is identified with paralysis, as in other passages it is with illness, being crippled, being in exile, and finally bound in death as was Lazarus. Yes, sin is what paralyses, it is what kills and destroys. Sin is also assimilated with sterility and barrenness as we saw yesterday in the Gospel for Ember Saturday: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard: and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the dresser of the vineyard: Behold, for these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down therefore. Why cumbereth it the ground? But he answering, said to him: Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig about it and dung it. And if happily it bear fruit: but if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down (Lk 13:6-9). The Lord wants to forgive, to heal, to reconcile, and for that He gives time, but in limited quantity. God’s mercy is limited only by our refusal to make good use of the brief time that is given us to convert and do good. The entire Gospel presents this truth to us, almost at every page.

It is also the great lesson of Fatima. This coming Friday we will enter the month of October, that is, the month of the Holy Rosary, which Our Lady pleaded with us to pray especially at Fatima. The apparitions in Fatima took place over a century ago, but Fatima is far from over. Its prophecies are for today. In 1981, Pope John Paul II was asked about the famous Third Secret of Fatima, and he replied these grave words: “We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong, … we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary.”

Very attentive to the prayer of the Rosary. Why did the holy pontiff say that? Because it was the request of Our Lady precisely at Fatima. On 13 May 1917 she said to the children: Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war. … The following month: I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary each day. … On 13 July: I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, and to continue praying the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you. …In August: I want you to continue praying the Rosary every day. … In September: Continue to say the Rosary to obtain the end of the war. …Finally at the great miracle in October: I am Our Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every day. … Eight years later in a private apparition to Lucia, she said: “My daughter, look at My Heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Me” (December 10, 1925 to Sister Lucia at Pontevedra).

Sister Lucia would later give this commentary: “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” “With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves, we will sanctify ourselves, we will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”

Why, we might ask, is there such power in the Rosary? Quite simply because it is the quintessence of the Gospel. It places before our eyes the great mysteries of our salvation, as seen through the eyes of the Mother of the Saviour. The true disciple of Christ who shares in the love He has for His own Mother, and proves it in his daily life through the very simple and easy recitation of the Rosary, is bound to draw God’s grace unto himself and upon those for whom he prays. What’s more, since God wants us to play our role in our own salvation and that of others, by praying the Rosary, we in some way give Mary new power to crush the head of the Serpent and to destroy his evil power over the world, which today is at its zenith.

You have probably heard many times the text of what is referred to as the Secret of Fatima, but I believe it helpful to read it over once again. In reality this is a secret in three parts, which were revealed over time and not all at once. The First and Second Parts read thus: “Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror. 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. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

The third part, which was not made public until the year 2000, is as follows: “After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God”.

My Dear Friends, time is running out. Let us not put off the day of our conversion, our real conversion. Let us not trust in princes or in any human being. Many around the country are taking legal action or resisting in other peaceful ways the violations of fundamental human rights that we are witnessing today. All that is good and necessary. But it will not go far and it will not be successful if it is not supported by prayer and conversion.

Let us not be like the barren fig tree, and if we have until now, let’s make sure we produce some good fruit of repentance. God alone can save each one of us and humanity. He has sent His Mother with a warning. May it be heeded. If only it is heeded, there will be peace. What she asks is simple: pray the Rosary. Pray it well. Five decades each day with devotion can change the world, it can change the course of history. Do not fail your Mother.