Fatima Seer On Sin, Disasters, and Fallen Priests in Potent Book
By Michael H. Brown
There is only one way to describe the new book by Fatima seer Lucia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos, Calls, . Spiritually, it's a blockbuster. It will take its place on my bed stand near the Bible and books like The Imitation of Christ, the "Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory," and St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography.
By that I mean this is a book filled with spiritual direction. It is the catechesis of Fatima. It goes beyond the revelations of Fatima. It is more than anything a book on Scripture -- on the commandments, on passages that indicate the "calls" we have during this life: our chores here, how we should handle the struggles of life, and most importantly: how we purify.
For when we die, says Sister Lucia, we will see a Light that reveals our lives, a Light seen by the angels.
"Yes, my dear pilgrims, the Angels in heaven always behold the face of Eternal Light, and in it -- as in an immense mirror before which everything passes -- everything is present, everything remains as if carved in indelible characters: the past, the present, and the future," writes this amazing nun -- now 95 in a Portuguese convent.
When the angels gaze into the mirror of Light, which is God, says Sister Lucia, they "see all things, know all things, understand all things through their complete union with God and their participation in His gifts."
The secret of getting there, of finding heaven, of seeing that Light, Sister Lucia emphasizes time and again, is love. It is sacrifice. "In other words, the Kingdom of Heaven is won by those who deny themselves, doing violence to themselves in order to overcome themselves, to conquer their evil inclination, the temptations of the world, the devil and the flesh, in order to keep strictly to the path of justice, truth, and love," she says.
Too often, warns Sister Lucia, we fall for what we think will bring happiness. We seek creature comforts. We look for immediate gratification instead of keeping our eyes on what comes after.
"Thus the greater part of humanity is the victim of ignorance, seeks happiness where it is not to be found, and sinks ever deeper into misfortune and unhappiness," writes Sister Lucia, extensively quoting the Bible. "Let us take a brief look at the world we live in! What do we see? What picture appears before our eyes? Wars, hatred, ambition, kidnappings, robberies, vengeance, fraud, murder, immorality, etc. And, in punishment for all these sins: accidents, sickness, disasters, famine, every kind of pain and suffering beneath which humanity groans and weeps."
How to reach happiness? How do we experience God's joy while still on this earth -- and while avoiding the devil's temptations?
By letting go of self-love, says Sister Lucia; by letting go of covetousness, pride, and marks of respect. We need faith, prayer, intimacy with the Trinity, the Rosary, the Eucharist. Those are all emphasized. But we also need to do penance, says the Fatima seer. Sacrifice. We have to moderate ourselves at the "table of Creation."
Turn off the TV, urges this nun. Shut off the radio. Instead, pray. Accomplish small, constant acts of penance.
That can be done by things like limiting what we eat -- choosing food that isn't our favorite -- or by enduring inconveniences without complaint. "It may be a disagreeable, irritating or unpleasant word," writes the nun. "It may be an ironic smile, a look of disdain, a contradiction. It is necessary to know how to endure all things, offering our sacrifice to God and letting things pass as if we were blind, deaf, and dumb, so that we may in fact see better, speak better, speak with greater certainty and hear the voice of God."
When we do that, she says, and when we pray, we more clearly learn our missions in life.
How about purgatory? Sister Lucia says that if there is still a taint on our spirits, even when we have gone to Confession, we have to purify. She cites 2 Maccabees 12:36-46. "This passage from Sacred Scripture helps us to understand better this truth of our faith concerning purgatory as a place of expiation where the souls of those who die in grace are purified of all stain of sin before being admitted to eternal happiness with God," writes one of history's most famous seers -- adding that the taint can come through those things to which we are exposed, and warns that even if they do not reach the point of actually being sinful, there are many things in life that "nevertheless sprinkle the soul with the dust of earth and prevent it from rising to the higher regions of the supernatural."
Thus, in addition to the sacrament of Reconciliation, we often have to make "suitable reparation." This we can do on earth if we are disciplined. If we pray enough. We need to consecrate to God. We need purity of intention. Sister Lucia lists 20 "calls" that bring us to this holiness.
And with that holiness comes closeness to God.
Life is the challenge to live in intimate communication with the Lord, she says, and seeking "the mystery of God dwelling within us." "For God's temple is holy," she quotes (from 1 Corinthians 3:16-17), "and that temple you are."
"In addition to these temples built by the hand of man, we have other temples which are no less real, where we must pray and offer to God our sacrifices." writes Sister Lucia. "I mean our soul, our heart, our conscience. God is there! The most Holy Trinity dwells there! If we are in a state of grace, we are temples of God."
As for our priests: "If we should happen to see some priests who seem to have lost their way and have gone astray, let us not be surprised! They, too, are human, subject to frailty like ourselves.
"The fact that some priests fall away must not mean that our respect, our esteem, and our veneration for those who persevere should be any less; rather, the weakness of some should heighten the merit of the rest.
"Therefore, we should always listen with faith to the priest, because he is a light for our path, a guide for our life, and a source of strength for our weakness."
Link to buy the book from Spiritdaily bookstore, Click the picture
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