Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer and penance.

Something about Fatima...
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I read somewhere that Our Lady of Fatima's message was a call to prayer and penance, prayer first, leading to penance. Actually, that isn't entirely correct. Prayer and penance are the fruits of repentance. Our Lady actually came to call souls to repentance and amendment of life, in accord with the message of the Gospel, "Repent and believe." She asked that we cease offending God who is already so grievously offended. When Lucia asked favors of her for this or that person, Our Lady said they must "amend their lives and ask for forgiveness of their sins" first. Sixth Apparition
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Indeed the Holy Virgin asked at each apparition that the prayers of the Rosary be prayed every day, for the conversion of sinners and for an end to the war. The Blessed Virgin appealed first to the children, and through them to all of the faithful: "Pray, pray a great deal and make many sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to offer sacrifices and prayers for them." - Fourth Apparition
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It is true that "prayer is the trap door out of sin", as St. Teresa of Avila said, therefore prayer of some sort is necessary to obtain the grace of repentance and amendment of life, and for this the prayers of the Rosary are invaluable. Depending upon temperament, some people are not able to pray an entire Rosary in one sitting, and therefore they may break it up, reciting a decade here or there. In some cases the mere recitation comprises an aspect of penance, or sacrifice, thus becoming a sacrifice of praise, aiding in the amendment of one's life.
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I think the call of Fatima, as the Popes have indicated, is the call of the Gospel, it is a call to conversion and amendment of life. The prayers of the Rosary accompanied by our personal sacrifices or penance may be said to give evidence of that reform (Matt. 3:8), obtaining for us grace and mercy, as well as the conversion of sinners and the Peace of Christ. That said, the primary call of Fatima is for people to repent, to "amend their lives and ask for forgiveness of their sins".
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Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the recitation of the Rosary, along with the devotion of the Five First Saturdays are the means given by Heaven to make reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to obtain the conversion of sinners. In effect, Fatima makes us responsible for sinners whose salvation can be said to depend upon our prayers and sacrifices. We are responsible for one another.

2 comments:

  1. Could do with a comment on the sex ed over on my blog Terry..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read it Jackie - it's a bad program. Perhaps some group thinks if they educate kids early on sexuality, they will be easier to take advantage of - because their curiosity has already been aroused.

    ReplyDelete


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