Sunday, December 25, 2016

Simbang Gabi 2016 (Fatima Centennial): On Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Fatima

Jesus, I trust in you!

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to 3 shepherd children, Jacinta, aged 7, Francisco, aged 9, and Lucia, aged 10, at Fatima on the 13th of every month from May to October in 1917. Her apparitions were preceded by apparitions by angels to the same children in 1916. Thus, from November 27 2016 to November 27, 2017, we are celebrating the Centennial of the famous Fatima Apparitions. In as much as the Simbang Gabi or the Misa de Gallo is a novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us meditate on the messages of Our Lady at Fatima. Whatever Our Lady revealed then to the shepherd children is very much relevant to us because she spoke of our times. We are living in the time of the fulfillment of the Fatima messages.

“The children were entrusted with a message for all humankind (and not just for themselves): pray and do penance for the countless sins of the modern world in order to save it or Divine Justice will be compelled to punish humanity with a 2nd World War and the global spread of Communism in which entire nations would be ‘annihilated’ before Russia was finally converted.” (Francis Johnson, Fatima The Great Sign, 2.) People object that the Fatima messages are just private revelations that are not binding in conscience. To this objection, the Bishop of Regensburg, Dr. Rudolf Graber, gave this answer in 1973: “It is to be noted that this objection comes principally from those who neither respect the great revelation of God, nor of Christ, and who even want to eliminate some fundamental truths of Faith such as the virgin birth of Jesus, his Resurrection, his miracles and even his very Divinity…It is absolutely certain that revelation as such was completed with Christ and his apostles. What happens then if these private revelations confirm and emphasize certain truths that are in found in this great revelation? This is exactly what happens with Fatima. Fatima confirms the existence of angels and demons that Modernists try to eliminate. Fatima confirms the very mystery of the Eucharist that Modernists have stripped of all meaning. Fatima confirms the existence of Hell, which is simply denied today. Fatima requires prayers and penance, values to which people today feel themselves far superior and from which they consequently dispense themselves. Nevertheless, all through the Old and New Testaments, this penance is spoken of…Today, much is spoken about fraternity, which naturally is not understood so much on a supernatural level, but almost exclusively in the social filed and in technical developments.”

Indeed, everything that we need to know in order to be saved was revealed to us completely by Christ and his apostles. But this does not mean that after the great revelation, God will keep silent and no longer speak to his people. He will not stay indifferent and abandon the world to self-destruction. The prophet Joel said: “God will pour forth his Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy and young men shall have visions and old men shall dream dreams. He would pour forth his Spirit upon his servants and handmaids and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:15-16) The prophet Amos said: “Is a trumpet blown in a city and the people are not afraid? Does evil befall a city, unless the Lord has done it? Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:6-7) If the Lord reveals his secrets to the prophets, much more shall he reveal them to the Queen of Prophets. And so, God, through the Blessed Virgin, speaks to us even today to warn us of approaching danger.

“Fatima represents the great eschatological sign, the answer of God to the errors of the present time. The world finds itself on the eve of tremendous happenings breaking forth in the East. Hell seems to be let loose. The maternal Heart of Mary offers to save the world.” Yes, Fatima was a private revelation “but this does not mean that God and Mary are prohibited from speaking again. God speaks once more today and in a manner all the more intelligible as his 2nd coming draws nearer, and this is what Fatima seems to indicate.” 

The prophet Isaiah points out to us today what the Lord wants to tell us through Our Lady of Fatima: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. The message of Fatima is a call to conversion – a call to repent and to return to the Lord. In a world dominated by the spectre of mass apostasy from God and by the constant threat of war, Fatima stands as a shining symbol of hope and a promise of peace. From Our Lady’s shrine at Fatima, the Lord calls out to all the nations: “The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants…them will I bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer…their sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: others will I gather to him besides those already gathered.

Dearly beloved, let us unite in mind and heart. Let us begin our spiritual pilgrimage to the Lord’s house, the sanctuary of Fatima.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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