Time to Get Serious About Fatima

The world's gone mad.

Our nation has experienced more tragedies than you can shake a stick at in the past couple of weeks, and yet that just scratches the surface, for we in the United States remain remarkably blind to the world outside of our own borders, a world often wracked by violence and instability beyond anything we face here at home. Take the recent attack in Nice, France, let alone the regular atrocities and outrages perpetrated by ISIS upon their neighbors or the persecutions of the Church in China and North Korea, and the list could go on.

But it's pointless to compare tragedies, to try to determine who's most wounded, who is most in pain. Rather, it's time and long past time to apply the solutions we've had all along.

I'm talking, of course, about the message of Fatima, specifically Our Lady's calls for the daily Rosary for peace in the world and the Five First Saturdays devotion.

No, this won't be a call to the Holy Father to "finally" consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart. That's already been done by St. John Paul II, as confirmed by the longest-lived Fatima visionary, Sr. Lucia. If you want to challenge that, well, you'd be challenging the discernment, integrity, and reliability of a canonized saint, a Carmelite nun who will probably be declared a saint, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and a host of others. I'll side with that crowd any day, thank you very much.

No - the Holy Fathers have done their part. It's ordinary Catholics like me and you who have work to do.

This is a call for the broader Church to start paying attention, to begin taking care of business the way we could have done and should have done a long time ago. And the wider world knows we could have, should have done more, far earlier than we have done. Famed author and speaker Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, shares:

My fellow Marian Fr. Seraphim Michalenko sometimes tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was attending an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, "War is your fault."

The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, "You Catholics, all of you - we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault."

The priest said, "Ambassador, why do you blame us?"

The ambassador said, "I've read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That's what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there's no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven't done it."

The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, "Isn't peace everyone's responsibility?"

The ambassador was vehement. "No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility."

We've been given the answer. Pray the Rosary daily for peace in the world, and invite others to pray with you. At college, there would occasionally be "sit ins for peace." A number of my fellow students, passionately convicted and righteously indignant though they were, would go and sit outside the student center with signs. That was their sit in for peace. It always massively frustrated me because here we were, a Catholic school, armed with a whole host of powerful prayers and devotions, and there they were just sitting. If they'd just bothered to pray the Rosary, their protest would have meant a great deal in this world and the next.

Why not arrange for a Rosary for peace at your colleges and universities, if not every day, then at least every Saturday, traditionally set aside as Our Lady's day? Why not revive the tradition of family and neighborhood Rosaries, offered specifically for the intention of peace in the world? What about having a regular Rosary for peace at your parish, maybe even before Mass with the permission of your pastor?

And as we come up on the 100th anniversary (May 13-Oct. 13, 2017) of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima in 1917, let's embrace the whole message of Fatima.

• Make the Five First Saturdays devotion
• Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart, and encourage others to do the same.
• Become invested in the Brown Scapular.
• Do penance for your sins and on behalf of poor sinners everywhere.

And do it all out of love of Our Lady, our Lord, and this poor age in which we live. Do it for your own sanctification and those around you. Do it, asking Our Lady of Fatima to hasten the day of the triumph of her Immaculate Heart and the era of peace for the world.

Don't just sit there, children of God - the world is in trouble, and we have the answer.


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