Many of us who grew up in the midst of Vatican II or thereafter, were not immersed into a culture of Marian devotion in our parishes. In fact, in my childhood parish, the "We are Church" felt banners exemplified the kind of "devotion" practiced. In the 70's, especially, Mary was considered passé, and Rosaries were something that old people did to get into heaven. The old Hollywood movie, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, was something we watched yearly, but putting it into practice was another story.
How things are changing - Deo gratias!
HOLY FATHER IN FATIMA - MAY 11-14TH
The Holy Father will be in Fatima this week. I already have my DVR set to capture it from May 11-14th (go to this page at EWTN and scroll down for coverage).
I wish I had time for a more extensive post, but I do not. If you are not familiar with Fatima, and even if you are, there some things you will want to read, preferrably ahead of this visit.
Here is a brief overview of the visits the Blessed Mother had with the three children, and what was said. I found this overview very informative, and a quick read.
You will see a whole lot of talk about the Third Secret, which some believe was only partically released. I will get into this more in the coming weeks, but am waiting for some material. For now, please familiarize yourself with the primary document the Secret of Fatima on the released by the Vatican back in 2000. It is extensive. Read it in sections, even if you have to do it over days. Don't neglect to read the position of the Holy See, and in particular, the theological commentary offered by then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. You might need to read parts of that commentary more than once, as I did, and reflect on it.
Also, there will be some attention drawn to Jacinta and Francisco who were beatified 10 years ago. If you read that overview, you will get some idea of just how much these young children suffered for the conversion of sinners. See the beautiful homily by Pope John Paul II on that occassion.
There is a book that some are reading called the "Fourth Secret of Fatima" by Antonio Socci. I do not recommend reading this book at this time. I am hoping to get a review which analyzes this book more thoroughly so that if you do read it, you can compare notes on this critical review, to the book. More on this some time in the future.
I really think what we need to be doing right now, is not discussing whether the Third Secret was fully revealed or whether the consecration was done correctly, etc. These things distract from the heart of the Fatima message: Prayer, penance, and conversion.
EDIT: Twitter Feed is updated. This is the most efficient way to get news to you on my lunch hour, in the mornings and evenings, so check it out: @TeDeumBlog
Here is one example of something I just re-Tweeted, from Catholic News Service: Flying to Portugal, pope says abuse crisis “terrifying”. It is a must-read!
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!