Sunday, December 25, 2016

Simbang Gabi 5 (Fatima Centennial): The Immaculate heart of Mary

Jesus, I trust in you!

The appointed time of the Incarnation has come. God sent the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary in bring her the glad tidings that she would conceive and bear the Son of God in her womb. The Father is sending his Son and he has chosen the Virgin to be his mother. “You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall name him Jesus…he will be called holy, the Son of God.” No one has loved the Son more than the Father. And by the annunciation, the Father entrusts to Mary the Son whom he loves the most, his only begotten Son. The Son left his heavenly throne and entrusts himself to the womb of his Mother.

When the Blessed Virgin showed the children a vision of hell, she said to them: “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 is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate 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.

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the 1st Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

The Blessed Virgin asked not only for the establishment of devotion to her Immaculate Heart but the consecration of Russia to her. When Our Lady asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, she meant that the Church, through the Pope, should offer that nation to her. To consecrate means to entrust to Mary not just individuals but an entire nation. It is significant that the Lord should want this consecration to take place. It was as if he was entrusting the battle against evil to the Blessed Virgin. In the book of Genesis, God said to the serpent: “I will put an enmity between you and the Woman, between your seed and her seed.” It is true that Jesus will save us, his people, from sins. But in his battle against Satan, he wishes to involve his Mother. The triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart is the triumph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Father entrusted Jesus to Mary at the Incarnation. At his crucifixion, Jesus entrusted the Church also to Mary when he said to her: “Woman, behold your son.” 
The Lord Jesus entrusted the spiritual battle to his own mother.

However, the consecration of Russia is not a magic formula that will bring about the desired results. Lucia said, “God will only permit the grace of Collegial Consecration when a sufficient number are complying with the message of Fatima.” This is why in 1967, Pope Paul VI wrote: “We now exhort all the sons of the Church to renew personally their consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of the Church.” (Signum Magnum) This is the reason why we do not leave the consecration of Russia to the hands of the Holy Father alone. We must do our part by individually living out what Our Lady demanded at Fatima: conversion, Penance and Prayer (especially of the Rosary). We have to put our whole selves at the disposal of the Blessed Virgin in the very same way that she placed herself at the disposal of the Lord: “I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” Every day, we must offer our minds, hearts, and strength to the Blessed Virgin and to ask her to do with us as she pleases. Before a collegial consecration of the world can take place, there should first be world-wide individual acts of consecration. If we do not confess our sins, nor live lives of penitence, nor pray the Rosary every day, the consecration of the world would be void of its meaning. We must entrust ourselves to Mary as God has entrusted the incarnation of his Son to her.

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

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