Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97. Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a "bishop in white" who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Saint John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981. The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002.
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a "bishop in white" who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Saint John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002.
The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary's request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia agreed that Pope John Paul II's public consecration in St. Peter's Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary's request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000 document explaining the "third secret" (available at www.vatican.va).
Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response "Let it be done to me as you say" (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church's teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.
"Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith and must, therefore, have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel" (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Daily Prayer - 2015-05-13
"Come to me all you who are burdened
If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccuptions.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.
The Word of God
Reading 1 Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens,
Responsorial Psalm PS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Alleluia Jn 14:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
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Some thoughts on today's scripture
What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Meditation: John 16:12-15
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Our Lady of Fatima
I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. (John 16:12)
Have you ever gone on a scavenger hunt? It's a treasure-hunt game where you get clues that tell you where to go next. As you solve each clue and arrive at the destination, you receive another clue for the next step and slowly get closer to your prize. Of course, everyone is competing to find the prize, but the journey is the most fun. People love figuring out the clues along the way!
God made us for the journey. He created us so that we would develop an ongoing relationship with him, learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit, and move closer to our "treasure." We don't need to know all the steps ahead of time. That's why Jesus said he had more to say to the disciples but couldn't tell them all at once. He wasn't holding back from them. He was giving them the opportunity to learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit, who was coming to live in them.
Imagine what would happen if a husband and wife knew on their wedding day how life would turn out for themselves and their children and grandchildren. The weight of that knowledge would derail the natural growth of love between them. They would be deprived of the process of deepening their love for each other, coming to know each other better, and hashing out important decisions together. No, God designed marriage—and every relationship, for that matter—so that it would grow one step at a time.
The same holds true for our relationship with God. We don't always know where our road to holiness will lead us, but our final destiny becomes clearer with each step we take.
So trust God enough today to take just the one step that lies before you. Ask him what he wants from you just today. Don't worry about trying to peer too far down the road. Day by day, step by step, he will tell you what you need to hear. Over time, your relationship with him will deepen and become more fruitful.
"Lord Jesus, I don't need to know it all right now. I want to grow in love for you and grow in confidence as I follow your voice."
Acts 17:15, 22--18:1; Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14
When our Lady appears, it is serious. The world is in deep trouble. The world is going the wrong way. Millions are dying or about to die. Like a good mother, she warns us to behave ourselves. She appears to convert people to be real Christians, Christ followers, asking for peace. For our own good basically, she comes in the name of the Lord. One latest has been Fatima, back in 1917, Mary comes asking for prayers for souls, for the many that are dying and the many more about to die. Thus we still pray "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy". Sister Faustina also sees hell, many or most there who did not "believe in hell". The deaths of abortions in the U.S. about equals that of WWII. Worldwide since 1980 is now about 1,334,686,754 and counting. Over a billion deaths. Unborn killed for no good reason. Are these little souls damned or are the ones killing damned? And what of those involved? A billion souls means a billion people involved.
At Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary told the three child seers that many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray or make sacrifices for them...she said My mission is to indicate to everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls forever if we remain obstinate in sin. A Cardinal said yes indeed "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26) Cardinal Luciani (the future Pope John Paul I) said this on July 11, 1977 after a visit to Sister Lucia.
And so today we have St. Paul telling people to stop worshipping other gods especially those fashioned by human hands. He reveals the unknown God and most turn their backs. It is easier not to believe, isn't it? It is easier to fall into sin. In Mexico, corruption is rampant, only more obvious though than richer countries. Why? It is easier to do the easy stuff, like give into money pits that lead to hell. Only a handful listen to St. Paul...and perhaps that's all God needs? It reminds me though, of my many years serving our parish Church. I'd say about half of our priests, all good men, have had petitions by parishioners to kick them out. Some with false allegations. It is the same as the priest of St. Paul, who preached and they said "see you later". You see, the Gospels are alive and well, and so are the obstinate locked in sin. For the Good News is God News.
The Psalms pray what we pray every Sunday in Holy Mass "Heaven and Earth Are Full of Your Glory", and they continue on today "He has lifted up the horn of his people; Be this his praise from all his faithful ones, from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia." Just because there is darkness, does not mean there is no light. Yesterday evening the RCIA class I'm leading went into overtime. When we finally walked out through the hallway and opened the door one classmate said "there is light!" happy it wasn't dark. The other said "it is like sparkling and beautiful". It is as if we had received an epiphany, all that we had learned locked up had manifested itself after the journey. So it is with Heaven and Earth. And so it is in the Holy Mass.
The Gospel introduces our Lord to us in the Holy Spirit. Jesus says the "Father and I are one" and today He says "Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you." What is His? Divine? Truth? Yes and yes. In this world, this challenging world, we are subject to tests. God gives tests to those He loves. He gives what we don't have, or would've ever had. How is it that you, one of billions of possiblities is now reading this? His Love then is unfathomable. I can only say it is beyond comprehension because billions are alive here and there, in the life now and the life after, for death has nothing on our Lord. And so my meager attempt is an outreach like that of St. Paul, reaching to you, exhorting to you, believe in God, whom was made known as a mortal and is immortal. His name is Jesus. His name is Father. His name is Holy Spirit. He was and ever shall be. He is among us. I asked the students yesterday "wait, hold it right there mister, just who is the teacher?" because they seemed to take over. I was making it known that the Holy Spirit was among us, teaching, as we all took turns we all seemed to learn. It is amazing to witness this time and time again in life...God has you in the palm of His hand, so long as we remain...