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Our Blessed Mother’s Urgent Call

May 9, 2017

Continuing with the theme of urgency from yesterday’s post, we do well to consider Mary’s fervent requests at Fatima for prayer, conversion, and consecration. This Saturday will mark the 100th anniversary of Mary’s first appearance at Fatima.

It was a critical time in human history. The First World War had claimed more than 17 million lives. Mary urged prayer to end this catastrophe:

  • Say the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and an end of the war (June 13, 1917).
  • Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and an end to the war (July 13, 1917).

Thanks be to God, through the children’s prayers and surely those of others, the war did soon end. In October, Our Lady said,

  • Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The War is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return home (October 13, 1917).

War is a terrible result of human sinfulness as well as a punishment for it. Sin is its own punishment; when we sow the wind, we reap the whirlwind. Part of the horror of the First World War was the use of chemical weapons. So appalling was the suffering and so great was the loss of life that in 1925 most nations willingly signed the Geneva Protocol, which prohibited their use in international armed conflicts.

But Mother Mary urgently warned that if the people of this world did not repent, pray, and cease offending God, a war far worse would come:

  • 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 war will break out during the reign of 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 (July 17, 1917).

Sadly, as we know, the Second World War formally ensued in 1939. Months earlier, in 1938, a remarkable display of the Aurora Borealis further south than ever observed made international headlines. It was a final warning. More than 60 million people died in World War II. Atrocities were multiplied, and the most fearsome weapon ever contrived—the atom bomb—would haunt the world long after the war. Russia, too, spread Marxist and atheist errors.

See what happens when we do heed the urgent request to pray? Wars can be ended, souls can be saved, and peace can be brought.

But also note the terrible consequences of failing to pray and be converted! Jesus once said to paralyzed man he had healed, See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you (John 5:14). So, too, for the people of that time who, though having received God’s mercies in the end of World War I, fell back into sin. The decadence, financial excess, and foolishness of the “roaring” 1920s, both in Europe and America, brought a harvest of corruption, both morally and politically. It ushered in both the Great Depression and then a war far worse than ever imagined.

Yes, prayer and conversion are both urgent and essential. This is true not only in terms of this world, but also of the world to come. This world’s travails are indeed awful, but they are temporary. Mother Mary sets far greater stakes before us: Heaven or Hell.

Where will you spend eternity? What about your children, siblings, and friends? Have you thought about this at all? Do you understand the urgency? Consider well some of what our Lady of Fatima said by way of an eternal warning:

  • Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them (August, 1917).
  • You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save sinners, God wishes to establish in all 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 … When you pray the Rosary say after each mystery, O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven especially those who are in most need (July 13, 1917).
  • People must amend their lives and ask forgiveness of their sins if they want healings … Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended (October 13, 1917).

Here is a mother urgently warning her children of the fires of hell, of the consequences of sin and the final refusal to repent. Here is a mother urgently calling for prayer, reparation, sacrifices, and conversion.

She is urgent; are we? To be urgent does not mean to be in a panic; it means to be sober and alert, to be persistent and consistent in attending to our final end and to that of others to the degree that we are able.

Caritas Christi urget nos: The Love of Christ urges us on! …. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:14, 20).

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Comments (7)

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  1. Bill says:

    Imagine what would happen if enough people said “yes” to this call for prayer, conversion, and consecration. The result would be more wonderful than the miracle at Fatima!

  2. Nick says:

    Devotion to Fatima, Laus, Lourdes and other approved revelations is fine so long as the devotion is healthy, e.g., does not take over one’s Christian life by obsessing over secrets, coming catastrophe, conspiracy theories, etc. Healthy devotion is just devotion itself – praying, doing penance, fasting, giving alms, going on pilgrimage, singing a hymn, venerating a relic, etc.

    Obsession is a fruit of concupiscence, and concupiscence of Original Sin. We must battle our concupiscence to be holy like God, Who makes us holy like Himself. Thus we need nor fear suffering, temporal punishment, or temptation, for by these crosses the Sanctifier sanctifies us, since the Cross is unto the Resurrection: the Redeemer died that He might rise and we rise with Him.

    Obsessing over private revelations like Fatima by treating them like Gospel is unhealthy, for it leads one away from Christ in the Eucharist and in the Church. The Eucharist is real, the Church is real – this is Dogmatic Fact. Private revelation can be real, but is not Dogma like Public Revelation and the Liturgy. The Gospel is Public Revelation, the Sacraments are Dogmatic.

    Fatima is just a private revelation, do not treat it like Public Revelation. Private revelations come and go, only Public Revelation remains and is what every private revelation is oriented toward and points us toward.

    The Rosary is just popular piety, it is not a sacramental or equal to the Liturgy. Popular piety comes and goes, only the Liturgy and sacramentals remain and the Liturgy is what every piety is oriented toward and points us toward.

    Private revelation and popular piety are optional; only Public Revelation and the Liturgy are necessary for salvation. Hence Baptism is necessary for salvation, but not a scapular, medal, chaplet, procession, religious dance, pilgrimage, hymn, architectural style, veneration of relics or icons, or belief in saints’ miracles (levitation, liquidation of blood, miracle of the Sun, healing, incorruptible body, etc.)

    From the Resurrection to the Second Coming we live in the Messianic Age, so live by the Liturgy or Eucharist that is the Real Presence of Christ. We live in the Age of the Church, so heed the Church’s teaching on Public Revelation and private revelation, on the Liturgy and popular piety. Christ did not say “Whoever listens to My Mother listens to me” but “Whoever listens to you (the Apostles) listens to Me.”

    • Peter Matz says:

      The Church and the Saints reiterate over and over and over again: devotion to Mary is extremely helpful. She is the mediatrix of all graces!!! That is a pretty shocking fact and means she is intricately involved in all parts of your and my road to salvation.

      You do not have to believe in private revelation to be saved. But to be saved you do need graces that pass through our blessed Mother. Be careful not to downplay her significance at the same time you argue against possibly nonessential revelations. God made her the Queen of Heaven, man! She’s super important.

  3. Nick says:

    This is what Christus Totus – Christ and the Church – says on public and private revelation, on the Liturgy and popular piety:

    “The Church is apostolic because…she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops,…” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 857)

    “Hence the Church teaches that ‘the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 862)

    “Ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation essentially means that its message contains nothing contrary to faith and morals; it is licit to make it public and the faithful are authorized to give to it their prudent adhesion.” (Verbum Domini, 14)

    “That the power claimed by Christ over the law implies divine authority…” (Catechesis on Jesus Christ the Divine Lawgiver)

    “…divine authority is claimed for the ‘entire books with all their parts’ as to secure freedom from any error whatsoever…” (Divino Afflante Spiritu, 1)

    “…the divine authority of the Church…” (Diuturnum, 1)

    “…the authority of those whom ‘the Holy Spirit hath placed as Bishops to rule the Church of God’ is a divine authority.” (Ad Beatissimi Apostolrum, 28)

    “Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church.” (Dei Verbum, 10)

    “This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, nor even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authoirty of the Church.” (Humani Generis, 21)

    “While not belonging to the deposit of faith, private revelations may help a person to live the faith as long as they lead us to Christ. The Magisterium of the Church, which has the duty of evaluating such private revelations, cannot accept those which claim to surpass or correct that definitive Revelation which is Christ.” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 10)

    “Private revelation…is a help which is proffered, but its use is not obligatory.” (Verbum Domini, 14)

    “The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation…Private revelation is a help to this faith, and shows its credibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive public Revelation.” (Theological Commentary on the Message of Fatima, 2)

    “As always happens in the life of true mystics, Hildegard too wanted to put herself under the authority of wise people to discern the origin of her visions, fearing that they were the product of illusions and did not come from God.” (Catechesis of Pope Benedict XVI, Saint Hildegard of Bingen)

    “Relying on an alleged mandate from God, they set themselves to promote…frequent exercises of piety (highly commendable when rightly carried out,)…” (Tribus Circiter, 3)

    “The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church’s sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals, etc.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1674)

    “…an object of piety (crucifix, cross, rosary, scapular or medal)…” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, note 17)

    “…the various forms of popular piety are properly optional.” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 11)

    “Superstition and magical tendencies are the result of a lack of education. Ignorance of the essential contents of the faith favour the growth of sects and the appearance of false prophets.” (Where Is Your God, 2.3)
    – Sects mean cults (ex: Mariavites); cults are not to be confused with occult (magical arts) or with cult (devotion, veneration, or religious practice)

    “Simple people of good will are drawn to alleged manifestations, but, sometimes, they transform themselves into isolated religious groups within the Catholic Church who spread devotions and spiritual pointers whose origins are to be found in “private messages and revelations”, that have to be evaluated with care and that still have to provide an impulse to overall public Revelation in the living Tradition of the Church.” (XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Press Bulletin)

    “It must not be said that [the Sacred Heart devotion] has taken its origin from some private revelation of God and has suddenly appeared in the Church; rather, it has blossomed forth of its own accord as a result of that lively faith and burning devotion of men…Consequently, it is clear that the revelations made to St. Margaret Mary brought nothing new into Catholic doctrine.” (Haurietis Aquas, 96 and 97)

    “Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning ‘favor,’ ‘gratuitous gift,’ ‘benefit.’ Whatever their character – sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues – charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2003)

    “Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world. Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms. It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church’s shepherds. ‘Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,’ so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together ‘for the common good.'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 799-801)

    “God calls us all to [holiness], even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041)

    “Yet there is no doubt that the Church, which recognized Bridget’s holiness without ever pronouncing on her individual revelations, has accepted the overall authenticity of her interior experience.” (Proclamation of the Co-Patronesses of Europe, 5)

    “Now, brothers, if I should come to you speaking in tongues, what good will I do you if I do not speak to you by way of revelation, or knowledge, or prophecy, or instruction?” (1 Corinthians, 14:6)

  4. MICHAEL HEFFERNAN says:

    I have left replies in the past but someone from your website keeps removing them.

    I called and left a message at your office for whoever has been removing them to call be but I have yet to hear from anyone…

    Interesting that there aren’t ANY replies on these homilies of Msgr. Pope’s..

  5. David thomas says:

    Lets All go to Holy Mass on Saturday the 100% Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima