READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/may.asp?version=63&startmmdd=0101May 13, 2009
(John 2:5) His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
FATIMA "MIRACLE" REVISITED: Turkish gunman wants to be baptised at the Vatican
MANILLA BULLETIN: Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on Wednesday
The Catholic Church and Marian devotees will celebrate Wednesday the feast of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima 92 years ago to three shepherd children — Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto — at the Cova de Ira, Fatima, Portugal.
Thousands of pilgrims are expected to gather in Fatima today as well as in Marian shrines all over the world as the Catholic Church urges the faithful to pray the Holy Rosary and make special devotions and offerings to the Holy Mother.
Considered as the most important series of Marian apparitions in the Catholic Church, the Blessed Mother appeared on the same day each month for six months from May 13 to Oct. 13, 1917.
In her first apparition, she requested the children to pray the Holy Rosary, urged works of mortification for the conversion of sinners, and called for devotion to herself under the title Immaculate Conception.
In response, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to Mary under the title of Immaculate Conception.
The series of apparitions were declared as worthy of belief by the Holy See in October 1930.
EXCERPT: Living the Fatima Message by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
If we were to synthesize the Fatima message, it could be expressed in one sentence of the Blessed Virgin's: "Do whatever He (my Son) tells you" and you will be happy, already in this life and perfectly happy in the eternal life to come. The Fatima message is both a promise and a condition. Our Lady understands how the human heart is made to be happy. She also understands that our happiness is conditional.
What is the core of the Fatima message? The heart of the Fatima message is a divine imperative. Sin leads to unhappiness. Stop sinning, repent of your sins and you will enjoy God's blessings in time and eternity.
The revelations of Fatima are especially grounded on revelations that we find in the New Testament. If there is one theme that runs through the New Testament, it is the covenant or contract between Jesus Christ and those who believe in his name.
By actual count there are over one hundred and fifty promises in the New Testament, mainly in the four Gospels. A few of them follow: If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you shall have life within you and I will raise you up on the last day. Be converted and become as little children and you shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Be merciful and you shall obtain mercy.
A Bilateral Agreement
The New Testament would not be a covenant, would not be a contract, unless it was bilateral. We must respond to God's conditions to enjoy his promise of peace in this life and everlasting joy in the life to come. We must want to repent—we must want to pray—we must want to forgive—we must want to be humble—we must want to be chaste—we must want to believe—we must want to trust—we must want to love even unto death those who may not only not love us, but oppose us, persecute us, indeed, even hate us. We must use our free will—that's why we have a free will—to choose to surrender what we want in order to do what God wants. That in one single declarative sentence is the New Testament—the new covenant—the new contract.
What is the core of the Fatima message? Love God with your whole heart and you will be happy. Refuse to obey God and you will be unhappy. Sin leads to unhappiness. Doing God's will is a precondition for peace until death and everlasting joy in heaven with God.
Why is it so difficult to live the Fatima message today? Why should the Blessed Virgin have given us the Fatima message in our century? Why has our century had more death casualties in wars fought than in all the wars of human history up to 1900? Why has the Church had more martyrs since 1900 than in all the nineteen centuries since the first martyrdom of the founder of Christianity on Calvary? Why, in this age of world upheaval is the Church going through the most severe crisis in all her centuries of history? Why is it so important in our day to be told by Mary—Do what my Son tells you and you will be happy?
The underlying reason is that modern man has reached a point in history that I do not hesitate to call self-idolatry. The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians with their idol worship, with their golden calves, had nothing on us. Even once-Christian countries are becoming rapidly paganized. After thirty years of teaching non-Christian religions, 1 can assure you the essence of paganism is idolatry. The modern world is practicing the most insidious form of idolatry, the worship of self.
In the name of choice, over 60 million unborn children are murdered every year throughout the world. This global genocide is protected by what used to be called civil law. A better word would be uncivilized anarchy. In the name of liberty, the whole moral order is being subverted. It is as if the Ten Commandments were now outdated. The heart of a new morality has become the opposition of a created will to the divine will of God.
Why is it so hard in our present day, to live up to the demands of Jesus Christ and the directives of Our Lady to do everything which her Son tells us to do? The reason is painfully obvious. The followers of Christ and the lovers of Mary are under superhuman pressure. I call it demonic pressure to conform to the Christless infidelity of our times. It is this Christless infidelity that is at the root of modern immorality. It is the abandonment of faith in Jesus Christ, the living God. Especially in living up to the demands of Jesus, in mastering our passions and not conforming to the sins of the flesh, which in our age have been elevated to a mystical morality. Those who in their pride refuse to submit their minds in humble faith to Jesus Christ always end up by losing their power of will, to control the passions of their bodies. Pride is a parent of lust. We find ourselves under constant demonic pressure to conform to the selfishness and unbelief and lechery of our age.
How are we to live up to the Fatima message today? What we are called upon to do is humanly impossible. We must, therefore, as a condition for survival, have access to and use superhuman means. We must use the sources of supernatural grace provided by Christ to obtain the light we need for our minds and the strength we need for our wills. Without this supernatural means to do the superhuman, the Fatima message will become the Fatima fable. Either we have recourse to the sources of divine grace available through prayer and the sacraments or we shall become casualties in the ongoing war between the followers of Satan and the followers of Jesus Christ.
Only heroic families will survive this war. Only heroic bishops, only heroic priests will survive this global conflict between the powers of darkness and the powers of light. Only heroic religious will be able to last. Only heroic men, women and children will remain Catholics and Christians and faithful followers of the Son of Mary by the year 2000.
Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 16- "On love of money, or avarice"4. He who mourns for himself has also renounced his body; and, at the appropriate time, he does not spare it.
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