Monday, January 24, 2011

The Spirituality of Fatima and Medjugorje [The Point of Convergence]

The Spirituality of
Fatima and Medjugorje

Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.

[Pictures From the Book]

Shepherds of Christ Ministries
PO BOX 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193

Part II

Fatima and Medjugorje:
The Point of Convergence



Conversion through Consecration to
the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Fatima and Medjugorje have been the two great apparition sites of Our Blessed Mother during the 20th century. They, in turn, were preceded by Mary's apparitions at Lourdes in 1858. There is an intimate connection among the three. Fr. René Laurentin, one of the world's foremost Mariologists, makes a very interesting observation:

"Medjugorje is the Fatima of our day. The hours of the apparitions follow a progression. At Lourdes, they took place in the morning. At Fatima, at noon. At Medjugorje, in the evening. Is it the end of a long day. . .. " (21)

Laurentin's observation suggests a very definite connection between Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje. What is the point of convergence? At all three Marian sites Our Blessed Mother has called for conversion.

There are two basic types of conversion. The first type involves those who have seriously strayed from God. For these, the message of conversion is calling them back to the path of basic and essential Christian living. The second type of conversion regards those who are in an essentially correct relationship with God. Mary calls these to a deepening of their spiritual lives in Christ. Of course, those of the first type of conversion join those of the second kind after their return to the path of the Lord.

Christians have always been called to conversion throughout the history of the Church. Is there anything distinctive about Mary's call to conversion put forth at Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje? Mary's call to conversion at these apparition sites centers in consecration to the Heart of Jesus and to her own Immaculate Heart. At Lourdes, the idea of consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is not explicit. However, it is there implicitly. At Lourdes, Mary identified herself as the Immaculate Conception, as having been conceived without original sin. The fact that Mary was preserved from original sin is coupled with the truth that she was also free of personal sin. The completely sinless one, in her motherly solicitude, calls sinners to reform their lives. Mary, the perfectly Immaculate One, points the way to a closer following of her Son, Jesus. She, who followed Christ perfectly, has given us a message at Lourdes, which, if lived, brings us closer to Christ. It helps us live out our baptismal consecration to Christ. Also, Our Lady of Lourdes has asked all of her children to entrust themselves to her and to her guidance--ideas connected with consecration.

If at Lourdes, Mary identifies herself as the Immaculate Conception, at Fatima, she appears as the Immaculate Heart. We easily see the connection. At Fatima, Mary draws attention to her sinlessness--the fact that she is the Immaculate One--in reference to her Heart. She appears as the most pure Virgin, who, in her sinlessness, possesses an Immaculate Heart. In this Heart, Mary loves God and us with an unfathomable love.

This certainly shows a major connecting point between Lourdes and Fatima, but there is a more profound connection between Fatima and Medjugorje. As indicated previously, at both Fatima and Medjugorje (and Lourdes), Mary has called us to conversion. Read again part of Our Lady's message of July 13, 1917:

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 will end. But if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. (22)

Because not enough people responded to Our Lady of Fatima's request for conversion, the tragedy of World War II did occur.

Through many of her messages at Medjugorje, Our Lady is also calling us to conversion. It is emphatic, such as part of her message of January 25, 1988:

Dear children, today, again I am calling you to complete conversion.... I am inviting you, dear children, to convert fully to God....(23)

As at Fatima, Mary's call for conversion at Medjugorje is connected with world peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, wishes to establish peace throughout the world, and she asks us to help accomplish this great goal. We do our part by living her messages--by living the life of ongoing conversion.

Both Fatima and Medjugorje, then, have as their point of convergence, the call to conversion. It is intimately linked with the quest of establishing peace in the world. This peace will take place when the human family is at peace with God--when human hearts are united with God, in loving conformity to His will.

Mary's call to conversion at Fatima and Medjugorje has a very distinguishing characteristic. She calls us to conversion by means of consecration to the Heart of Christ and to her own Immaculate Heart. The complete point of convergence between Fatima and Medjugorje is: conversion through consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In other words, all the messages of Fatima and Medjugorje are connected with Mary's calling us to consecration to the Heart of Jesus and to her own Immaculate Heart.

The following Fatima message points out the pivotal nature of this consecration. Mary said to Jacinta:

Tell everyone that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces 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. (24)

At the center of veneration of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is the act of consecration to the Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


A statement by Archbishop R. Arulappa further reveals how the message of Fatima centers in the act of consecration to the Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

In connection with the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Sister Lucia, one of the seers, still alive, has been saying that on the 13th June 1929, Our Lady requested (as sister herself records in Memoirs and Letters of Sister Lucia, published in 1973), as follows: "The Good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia, if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia... as well as ordering all the Bishops of the Catholic world to do the same."

On March 21, 1982, Sister Lucia further explained to the Apostolic Nuncio, and two other witnesses, that the Pope must select a date on which to order the bishops of the whole world to make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, each in his own cathedral and at the same time as the act effected by the Pope.

There are actually two versions of the vision of Our Lady on 13th June 1929, but they are essentially the same. In the better known version, Our Lady says: "The moment has come for God to ask the Holy Father to make, in union with all the Bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart. He promises to save Russia by this means." The special mention of "Russia" in this Act of Consecration is to be noted.

When Sister Lucia asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without such an act of consecration, He replied:

"Because I want my whole Church to recognize this consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so as to extend its cult later on, and to place devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart." (25)

The above Fatima messages clearly demonstrate that the overall Fatima message centers, and is summed up, in consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The collegial act of consecration of Russia will occur, according to Sr. Lucia "when a sufficient number are complying with the message of Fatima." (26)

In other words, when a sufficient number are living the Fatima message, as centered in consecration to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart, then the collegial consecration of Russia to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart will occur.


I realize that currently there is a dispute within the Church concerning whether the collegial consecration has or has not taken place. Some are of the opinion that Pope John Paul II's act of consecration on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Our Lady's request. I myself side with those who think that this particular consecration did not totally fulfill all the requirements of Mary's request.

My main reason for taking this position is the content of two of Mary's messages to locutionist, Father Stefano Gobbi, spiritual director of the Marian Movement of Priests. In these two messages, Mary definitely states that the Collegial Act of Consecration, with all the conditions requested by her, has not yet been made. The dates of these messages are March 25, 1984, and May 13, 1990. (27) The reader will notice that the March 25 date is the actual day of the Act of Consecration referred to above--the act which some say fulfilled Mary's request.

I myself believe in the authenticity of the Fr. Gobbi locutions or messages. As far as I know, the Church has made no definitive judgment regarding them, although the Vatican does look with favor on the Marian Movement of Priests, and the messages of Mary to Fr. Gobbi are at the very heart of the Movement. I hereby state my willingness to submit to the ultimate decision of the Church regarding the authenticity of the Gobbi messages.

The message of Fatima is centered in the request for consecration to the Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The same holds true for Mary's teaching at Medjugorje, as detailed in various messages:

Dear children, my invitation that you live the messages which I am giving you is a daily one. Especially, little children, because I want to draw you closer to the Heart of Jesus. Therefore, little children, I am inviting you today to the prayer of consecration to Jesus, my dear Son, so that each of your hearts may be His. And then, I am inviting you to consecration to my Immaculate Heart. I want you to consecrate yourselves as persons, as families, and as parishes so that all belongs to God through my hands. Therefore, dear little children, pray that you may comprehend the greatness of this message which I give you... (October 25, 1988).

There are two points I wish to emphasize regarding this message. First, Mary connects all her messages at Medjugorje with consecration to the Heart of Christ and to her own Immaculate Heart. Second, she says, ".. .pray that you may comprehend the greatness of this message which I am giving you." In other words, Mary is saying that this particular message is a very crucial, a very pivotal one. She is saying that consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is at the very center of her Medjugorje teaching.

Later on, Mary gives another message regarding this consecration:

Dear Children! Today also, I invite you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped. Therefore, my dear little children, pray, and by your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me, because Satan wishes, in these turbulent days, to seduce as many souls as possible. Therefore, I invite you to decide for God, and He will protect you and show what you should do and which path to take. I invite all those who have said "YES" to me to renew their consecration to my Son, Jesus, and to His Heart and to me, so that we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world. Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and your suffering is also mine. Thank you for having responded to my call (April, 1992).

And, in a very recent message, Mary tells us:

Dear Children! I want you to understand that I am your Mother, that I want to help you and call you to prayer. Only by prayer can you understand and accept my messages and practice them in your life. Read Sacred Scripture, live it, and pray to understand the signs of the time. This is a special time. Therefore, I am with you to draw you closer to my heart and the Heart of my Son. Dear little children, I want you to be children of the light and not of the darkness. Therefore, live what I am telling you. Thank you for having responded to my call (August 25, 1993).

We see the profound link, the profound point of convergence, between the spirituality of Fatima and that of Medjugorje. It is the ongoing conversion based on consecration to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart.

Furthermore, we see the connection between Fatima and Medjugorje in the following fact. Although the Fatima message calls us to consecrate ourselves to the Heart of Christ and to the Immaculate Heart, it does not enter into great detail concerning all which this consecration involves. The message of Medjugorje does. Our Lady's messages at Medjugorje have been much more numerous and more detailed than those of Fatima. Now, she shows us all that is involved in living out our consecration.

Fatima initially outlined what is needed to save mankind. The messages of Medjugorje, while confirming the need, tell us in great detail how to accomplish it.

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous