Consequences of Fatima
for Our Daily Lives
In this thought provoking and informative essay condensed from a paperback edition of Un Eclair dans le ciel: Fatima Arnaud de Lassus explains the consequences of Fatima for our daily life. Section 4 of the article below is taken from a talk he gave on October 11, 1987, and we add it here as a fitting conclusion to the booklet from which the rest of this article was taken. Below Mr. de Lassus reproduces some characteristic texts of Sister Lucia that bring out the main points.
1. Focus Everything on the Salvation of Soul.
"(. . .) it is not my mission to warn the world of the material punishments which will certainly take place if it does not first pray and repent. No. My mission is to point out to everyone the imminent danger we run of losing our souls for ever if we remain obstinate in sin.
"Father, do not wait for Rome to issue an appeal to repentance from the Holy Father addressed to the whole world. Do not expect such an appeal to come from our bishops in their dioceses, or from the religious congregations either. No. Our Lord has very often used these means already and the world has paid no attention to them. That is why each one of us must now begin his own spiritual reform. We must each of us not only save our own soul, but the souls of all those whom God has placed on our road (. . .) The demon is doing all he can to distract us and to remove our taste for prayer; we shall either save ourselves or damn ourselves together." (From Lucia's conversation with Father Fuentes, December 26, 1957.)
2. Penitence Through Fulfilling the Duties of Our State
"God's heart can and will be softened, but He complains bitterly and sadly at the limited number of souls in a state of grace, ready to renounce self so as to observe His law.
"This is the penitence God calls for today: it is the sacrifice which we must each impose on ourselves so as to live a holy life in the observance of His law.
"And He wants us to explain this way clearly to souls, for many understand the word 'penitence' only in the sense of dramatic austerities, and as they do not feel strong or courageous enough for those, they become discouraged and slip back into a life of lukewarm faith and sin.
"When I was in the chapel with the permission of my superiors at midnight between a Thursday and Friday, Our Lord said to me 'The sacrifice that demands that each of us carry out his own duties and observe My law, this is the penitence I ask for and demand now.' " (From Lucia's letter to Father A. M. Martins, February 28, 1943.)
3. Two Remedies: Rosary, Devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart
Let us remember that the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary involves:
- the reparatory devotion of the First Saturdays;
- consecration (of the faithful, families, groups and societies) to Mary's Immaculate Heart.
''(The Most Holy Virgin) said, to my cousins as well as to me, that God was giving two last remedies to the world: the holy Rosary and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and, these being the two last remedies, that means that there will not be any others (. . .)
"The Most Holy Virgin, in these last days in which we are living, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. So much so that there is no problem, however difficult, temporal or above all spiritual, connected with the personal life of each of us, of our families, of the families of the world, of religious communities, or indeed with the life of peoples and nations - there is no problem, I say, however difficult, which we cannot resolve through the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves, we will sanctify ourselves, we will console Our Savior and obtain the salvation of many souls." (Lucia in conversation with Father Fuentes, December 26, 1957.)
4. We Must Pray That the Catholic Hierarchy Will Comply with Our Lady's Requests
In our prayers for the Pope and the hierarchy, our particular intention must be for them to comply with the requests made to them at Fatima: their consecration of Russia and their support and encouragement for the reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Prayer for the Holy Father was a constant preoccupation of the three children of Fatima: "From that time on, there was not a prayer or sacrifice that we offered to God which did not include an invocation for His Holiness", Lucia tells us in her Second Memoir (LOW p. 81). We should follow the children's example, and understand its implications.
The Church is hierarchical in its structure. In it the Pope and bishops have their specific functions, of particular importance, and which no one else can carry out in their place. Hence our duty to pray for the Pope and bishops, and especially during periods when their failure to give adequate leadership afflicts us all so distressingly.
On this very point, the Virgin Mary gives us a further lesson. On June 13, 1929, in the apparition at Tuy, she declared: "The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops in the world, to consecrate Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it (i.e. Russia) by this means." (TVF, vol. II p. 293.)
We know that this urgent request, expressed in those words 58 years ago, has not been complied with. And we have seen the dire consequences predicted by the Virgin if Her requests were not listened to actually taking place: world-wide war, immense disorders, Russian errors spread throughout the world, the massacre of millions of Christians.
Faced with these misfortunes, what does the Virgin do? She waits, waits for the responsible authorities (Pope and bishops) to do what is asked of them. It is Her will that the necessary action should be taken by the hierarchy of the Church instituted by Her Son. Whatever the inadequacies of the legitimate hierarchy, the Virgin does not call for its replacement by a parallel hierarchy. As Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie explains in his booklet 'Fatima: 20th Century Prophecy': (Mary)does not in any way suppress the ecclesial meditations of the Pope, bishops, hierarchy (. . .) Nor does She pretend to replace the Church and its institutions." (FTP p. 11.) The lesson is one that we should bear in mind, it is of universal validity.
In conclusion, Fatima is the bulwark and the salvation of Christendom. We can see that our political hope for a return to a Christian peace, for a society based on truly Christian principles is based on Fatima, on the fulfillment of the requests of Fatima.
This hope is not a fanciful one. Our Lady Herself has said: "The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, it will be converted, and the world will be granted a certain period of peace. "
We are therefore sure that this will in fact come about. We do not know the date, but we can hasten its coming by our prayers and by faithfully carrying out our responsibilities as Christians and members of society. This is the chief political significance of Fatima. The prospect is a magnificent one. We should be doing our utmost to make it known and understood around us.