"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
She's going to play Regan, the little girl who was possessed. The original film was billed as a drama/horror flick, but this time around it will be switched up to a musical comedy since Shields refuses to play older women characters, and wants to show off her dance/singing talents for the role. Sources close to the actress say she got the inspiration for the part after watching Nicki Minaj's performance at the Grammy's.
What? No, I did not read the article - but I still think she can pull it off.
Original story here.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Surrounded by athiests.
It's a popular topic these days, as most blogists know.
So what else is new?
Has anyone stopped to consider that this just might be the advent of the general apostasy Scripture tells us about?
Another popular topic lately.
Catholics seem to be finally waking up to the understanding that being Catholic should never, ever be concerned about human respect... much less the number of followers a cardinal gets on Twitter, or his rank on Time's 100 list.
When Elizabeth Seton entered the Catholic Church she became an outcast to the New York social scene at the time. She never worked to be hip or included back 'in' her former high society circles.
Since Mother Seton's time, the Church in the U.S. often bent over backwards not to be too Catholic and to be accepted as 'fellow Americans'. Cassocks were pretty much relegated to be worn on Church property only, and the clerical suit took its place. Nuns at baseball games, and indeed, playing baseball became the image of religious life, almost as if to prove they were just like everyone else, except for the weird clothes. Those were soon discarded in order to assimilate even more into society - thus almost disappearing all together. The Catholic Church in the United States has a long history of trying to be respectable. Not all Catholics of course, but a fairly large majority of them - until Civil Rights in the '60's, but then that was simply a paradigm shift, which made way for a new establishment.
Anyway, the attacks and disrespect against Catholicism in society today just might be the chastisement we all need to become holy and take our religion seriously - with or without the externals. Oh, and damn the polls.
Just a couple of thoughts during siesta.
You don't have to sensationalize everything.
The priests pictured here are NOT former priests, they are retired priests, and as far as I know, still in good standing, even though they have liberal opinions and wrote a letter to the editor supporting gay marriage. (I'm against it. Gay marriage, I mean.)
Photo: Retired Catholic priests Fr. John Brandes, Fr. Timothy Power and Fr. Thomas Garvey, left to right, wrote a letter to the Star Tribune expressing their opposition to a constitutional marriage amendment that would deny same-sex couples the right to marry. - Full story about the 80 former priests who spoke out against the Minnesota Marriage amendment here.
Just for fun, read some of the ridiculous comments on this story here.
Breeding the new elite.
I know! It's because the wrong types are having all the kids, and so now really smart, respectable, pedigreed women are giving it all up to bear smart kids who can rule the ignorant masses...
Many people I talk to are worried that it seems to them that the ‘wrong’ sort of people are having all the babies – those who are not in stable relationships or who are, rightly or wrongly, perceived to have lower morals and to be less educated.I once read a trad blog where the readers were arguing about the merits of educating women in the first place - sending them to university and all of that, especially to earn degrees in nonessential fields. Many comments seemed to favor the notion that a woman's vocation is either to religious life or to be a wife and mother, therefore a higher education would be a waste of fertility time and money.
Bruce Weinberg, co-author of the study and professor of economics at Ohio State University comments in the article that:
“One of the major economic stories of the second half of the 20th century was that highly educated women were working more and having fewer children. It is too early to definitively say that trend is over, but there is no doubt we have seen fertility rise among older, highly educated women.”
It is not clear from this research whether women are actually leaving their jobs to have children or are employing childcare, but it is clear that they are increasingly opting to have a family – and that’s surely positive for the future of our society.
“For the less educated women, it is more a story about the timing of their fertility. They are having their children earlier now than they used to, but they are not having any more children overall.” - Crisis
I didn't say anything of course.
John Paul II in 1982 at Fatima.
The late Pope John Paul II was wounded in a 1982 knife attack a year after an assassination attempt, but kept the injury secret, a top aide to the pontiff has revealed in a new documentary film.
The attack occurred on May 12, 1982, when Juan Fernandez Krohn lunged at John Paul with a bayonet during a ceremony in the shrine of Fatima in Portugal.I did not know that! He surely was the Pope of the Third Secret, wasn't he.
John Paul went to the shrine to give thanks for surviving a gunshot wound from Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.
The Pope's bodyguards immediately tackled and arrested Krohn, an ultra-conservative priest from Spain. - CBC News
Here’s an anniversary that will live in infamy: On May 12, 1982, Father Juan María Fernández y Krohn, a priest of the Society of St. Pius X, attacked Pope John Paul II with a bayonet during the pope’s visit to Fatima.I wonder if the guy has a blog now?
During his trial, the priest testified that he opposed the reforms of Vatican II, and that he believed Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was too weak in his opposition to the pontiff. He believed, in fact, that the pope was a “secret Communist agent” who was trying to corrupt the Vatican. - Seasons Of Grace
Juan Fernandez Krohn
(I wonder if he is related to Kat? She has those eyes.)
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Make a list.
Everyone is doing top 10 lists or some other numeric punch list style post these days...
10 things Catholics do to attract attention to themselves.It's all the rage. Actually it's more Ladies Home Journal cover copy than anything. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
4 ways to make people think you are perfect.
3 little piggy things to do at coffee and donuts.
13 things I did before my conversion that I think are still kinda cool.
7 dos and don't for making an impression at the March for ______.
15 ways to monetize your parish Facebook page and pocket the $ yourself.
3 ways to tell if your wife is in that NFP kinda mood.
5 things to do to your non-participating Do the Red Say the Black pastor.
50 ways to leave your lover and come back to the Church.
A big deal is being made about one uncorroborated sentence in a news story, claiming "This is a major news story, buried deep in a related news report.":
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexual behavior is a sin, but there are Catholic priests who secretly bless gay unions.* - SourceHoly s--t hit the fan.
For decades there have been Catholic priests approving of sexually active homosexuals, actively contracepting married couples, as well as priests giving the green light to the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics, and not just the Kennedys either.
So, does it really surprise anyone that a gay priest just might bless a same-sex union in defiance of Catholic teaching? I can't prove that it ever happened - which is pretty much the point of the Matt article, but I'll bet it has been done. If it has happened, it doesn't make it licit or valid BTW.
What could you do if it was your pastor?
- Talk to him about it - if you have proof - but he won't listen.
- Report him to the proper authorities - if you have proof - like his bishop.
- Report him to the Vatican dicastery in charge of that stuff - if you have proof.
- If, after all of that, he remains as pastor you can: Continue to attend Mass and sacraments because these remain valid despite the sins of the priest. Or maybe just look for a new parish.
- After you get over the shock and awe and anger, pray for the conversion of sinners - if you can't bring yourself to pray for the priest or the deluded couple, praying for the conversion of sinners should cover it.
*To be fair, the author is taking issue with the NYT for not verifying its sources when publishing the information. I'm addressing the irony that Catholics would be surprised by the 'news', considering how in these days we have pro-choice women religious and Catholic politicians, while Catholic women attempt ordination to the priesthood, priests father kids out of wedlock, and so on. That said, I wouldn't look to the New York Times for accurate coverage of Roman Catholic - ever.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
A successful EMP would send the United States spiraling back to the 18th century.
For those of you who are perhaps out of work, you should continue to invest in missile defenses to protect against ballistic attacks aimed at achieving high-altitude nuclear detonation or EMP attack.
People may have to start thinking about security and security systems...
What does he know we don't?
First they came for the LCWR,
and I said nothing because I wasn't a nun...
The gayest administration in history.
This is an oldie. H/T to Creative Minority.
Heterosexual single people have to live chaste and celibate lives too, you know.
Lately I've come across a few really good comments on other blogs suggesting that single heterosexual men and women are called to the same sort of chaste life as people with homosexual attraction are called to. Many would like to be married and have children, and may have tried to find a mate to do so, but never found the right guy or gal. So what's so special about 'suffering from ssa' then?
I know, I know - it's not all that simple - but after you get over yourself, it kind of is. Really - it gets better if you can snap out of it. All rightey then.
I'm being extremely simplistic precisely because everyone complicates the issue of ssa way out of balance with the real world. Ask any sexually, politically active gay man worth his fashionable weight in Dolce and Gabbana, and if they are honest, they will tell you they love being unique and special and the center of what's happening. Gay is soooooooooo hip. So yeah, anyone 'leaving the lifestyle', the 'identity,' has work to do, as well as prejudice to face - which may differentiate them from heterosexual singles in that respect - but in actuality, opting for a chaste and celibate life can't be any worse than what all single men and women go through. Can it. That wasn't a question.
Anyway, I discovered a new blogger, Marc Barnes of Bad Catholic. I guess he's been around for a long time, but I never read him before he went online with Patheos, see what good comes out of Patheos? That said, Barnes seems to cover this issue very well. My comments here might have been written in response to his post, Our Godawful Objectification of Men With Same Sex Attraction,* but I decided to write my own post instead of leaving another comment to clog up his over-active combox.
Anyway - this from Bad Catholic on our Godawful Objectification of you-know-whosits:
If the names come from the super-with-the-times gay rights activist, then they’re incredibly worse, though admittedly more subtle. The Activists are forever encouraging men with SSA to “accept your identity!”, “come out!”, and to otherwise claim the title of Gay Man. It’s just another brilliant form of objectification.How true.
Because the last time I checked, the unique identity of man is not defined by where he wants to put his penis. Identity is not gained, nor will it ever fulfill, if it is no more than a great narrowing of the human person to a single characteristic — in this case his sexual characteristic. Gay Man? Really? No one demands heterosexuals to “accept their identity” and define themselves as Straight Men. Such a thing would be a grave insult to the fantastic complexity of their being. Yet this is the modus operandi of the Activist, and the end goal given to the high-school kid with same-sex attraction — to come out of the closet and love himself for Who He Is.
Which leads to the next insidious bit of patronizing objectification slapped on men with same-sex attraction: Media Portrayal. According to Hollywood, gay men are not allowed to be screw-ups. Gay men are, well, just fabulous. You can hardly turn on a sitcom or cartoon, read a novel, or watch a movie without seeing the Media running their fingers through the hair of the Gay Man Abstraction, telling the world that, “Oh my goodness, well (Gay Man) here is incredibly funny, cute, kooky, has great taste in clothes, and will always solve (straight female protagonist)’s problems by the end of the episode, like the fantastic little helper he is!”
So what's the point?
The reason we so easily grow weary of the Culture War is this: It is a war of opposing abstractions. We bear witness to the great clash of The-Protect-The-Lord-Jesus-Christ’s-Plan-For-Perfect-Problem-Free-(Civil)-Marriage-From-The-Threat-Of-The-Evil-Pederasts-Horde vs. The-Gay-Men-Are-Superhumanly-Perfect-And-Conform-To-What-We-Want-Them-To-Be-And-If-You-Oppose-Their-Marriage-Then-You-Are-Filled-With-HATE-BURNING-HATE-Army. Any worthwhile dialogue is destroyed, for it is a battle of ghosts and whispers, with men on all sides running to the defense of shadows. It’s far easier than treating them as human beings, this objectification.
So let’s refuse. Let’s argue for the ultimate good of the human person, not for the minor good of a ghost. To be clear, and as you’ve probably guessed, I don’t think the ultimate good of a man with same-sex attraction can be achieved by the normalization of the actively homoerotic lifestyle via redefined civil marriage. But this is a view I can only defend if I defend the Man, and throw all abstractions to the wind. - Read the entire post here.
*BTW - did you know same sex attraction is normal? Yes. Ordinary men and women often appreciate the good looks and charming personalities of their same sex friends, and are attracted to them - just not in a sexual/romantic, OCD way.
Photo: An old cemetery near Chicago. Just a reminder that we are all going to die and no one will be having sex after that.
A Jesuit asks: Where is the outrage? "Now that the President and Representative Pelosi have brought religion into the realm of the state vis-à-vis the question of marriage and what constitutes marriage..."
In response to the President and Nancy Pelosi dragging religion into the issue of Same-Sex Marriage.
Pelosi says: "My religion compels me..."
Jesuit says: "No it doesn't..."
President Obama and Vice President Biden both brought their religious faith/views to bear in their decision making process regarding approval of same sex marriage...
Jesuit says: "Now that the President and Representative Pelosi have brought religion into the realm of the state vis-à-vis the question of marriage and what constitutes marriage. I wonder if we shall see Americans United for Separation of Church and State launching their latest legal crusade against such unconstitutional establishment, knowing that if Bishop Jenky should not bring religion into public policy issues, why should public officials be permitted to do this without objection?"
In his essay, Fr. Aaujo goes on to address the issue of discrimination, stressing that the Church only bans 'unjust' discrimination.
The first point is that the Church to which she and I belong does not condemn “discrimination of any kind” but, rather, it condemns unjust discrimination. If I interpret her statement correctly, she asserts that the Church is “against discrimination of any kind.” As she says, her religion “compels her” to be “against discrimination of any kind.” But even Rep. Pelosi discriminates, and her discriminations for the most part are probably not unjust—some may even be objectively reasonable and, therefore, perfectly acceptable and be in accordance with American and Christian values. For example, when she chooses a clothing ensemble, by selecting a red, or blue, or tan outfit, she discriminates. When she contrasts the policies and platform of her party and distinguishes them from the opposition party, she discriminates.It's a must read from a priest who knows what he is talking about.
Of course, some who claim the office of theologian say that the Church and her bishops are wrong on the issue of same-sex marriage initiatives by opposing them and argue that the Church’s position on this subject is “not really an argument that has theological justification.” [HERE] Really? How remarkably astonishing! What is all the more surprising is that one of the theologians quoted in the link just cited argues that the bishops “are misrepresenting ‘Catholic teaching,’” and are “trying to present their idiosyncratic minority views as the ‘Catholic position,’ and it is not.” To ask again: Really? The justification upon which this person relies seems to be polls as he indicates by referring to “most Catholic theologians”, so if fifty-one percent of the Catholics in this country were ready to bring back slavery or mandatory sterilization of “imbeciles”, would that make the Church’s teachings against these policies additional “idiosyncratic minority” views? Another theologian who is quoted in the previous link claims that the Church’s position on marriage and the institution of civil marriage are distinct (but he fails to acknowledge that Catholic priests and deacons perform marriages which are recognized by the civil authorities), so the Church should declare: “It’s none of our business.” But if it is not any of the Church’s business, why does this Catholic theologian have on or around his office door (at a Catholic university) posters endorsing same-sex marriage? He might argue that this is his personal view. But if it is, why is he, who has influence over the intellectual and moral formation of young Catholics, underscoring his support to his students and anyone else who passes by his office at a Catholic university? Maybe that’s one reason why younger people who claim to be Catholic are increasingly inclined to support same-sex marriage: they haven’t been exposed to reasoned views to the contrary in institutions which claim the moniker “Catholic”. - Finish reading at Mirror of Justice
God love the Jesuits!
H/T Campus Notes and Pewsitter
A feel-good story.
It's almost Disneyesque. Studious kid in Catholic High School can't afford college, applies for a scholarship, backed by students and letters of recommendation by teachers, student wins scholarship only to be told no, no, no by the bishop of the place. The kid, the school, indeed the nation are sad and all seems lost, when suddenly, the bishop does a complete turn-a-round and permits the graduation ceremony to go forward pretty much as planned. The kid is not only okayed to receive the scholarship at his graduation, but a representative from the diocese is going to read the commendation by the scholarship board to the kid - at the ceremony. It's just how it turned out for Howard Brackett.
(Did I mention the kid is gay and he also brought his boyfriend to prom at his Catholic high school, which seems kind of odd in the first place, huh?)
Deep shoulder shrug and silly smile.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Fr. Thomas Williams
A high-profile American priest in the Legionaries of Christ has acknowledged having had a sexual relationship with a woman and fathering her child, adding another chapter to the growing scandals surrounding the controversial religious order. - Story here
When you are that good looking, chastity is extremely difficult.
She was only following her conscience.
Anita Bryant was the outspoken pop-singer, spokes model for the Florida Orange Juice industry, former 2nd runner-up Miss America, Christian fundamentalist wife and mom from Florida who began a campaign to repeal a Dade County ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She won the campaign and the ordinance was repealed, but she lost everything in the process, and together with Jerry Falwell and the Silent Majority, inadvertently did more for gay rights and same-sex marriage than anyone could have imagined.
Anita Bryant's career and private life was essentially destroyed because she opposed 'gay power'. She became the butt of jokes and derogatory sit-com dialog, and after divorcing her first husband, she found herself rejected by her church. If you look at what she said however, it isn't all that different from what we who oppose gay marriage say today:
"What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life. [...] I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before." - SourceBryant's campaign brought the libs out in droves in support of gay rights and equality; pop stars, movie stars, politicians, business, academia, liberals of all stripes. Anita Bryant represented the repressive Bible-banger religious right, Good Christian
Repeals happen. Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed. Rumour has it Obama is discussing the possibility of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, not that it is up to him to do. Of course he used to be for it, just like he was against same-sex marriage at one time. But politicians only go where the wind blows:
Supporters of the Democratic Party will credit Obama as a fighter for LGBT equality, but the real credit belongs to the tireless efforts of advocates and activists for LGBT rights over the years, as well as the bravery of millions of LGBT people who have come out to family, friends and coworkers, and who have spoken up against discrimination. - SourceMedia and lefty-celebrities and pop-culture run the show. I think Obama was on The View this week. Maybe Glee will be his next stop.
BTW: Anita Bryant deserves an apology.
Peter Maurin died on this date in 1949.
Maurin was co-founder and co-worker with Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker. Dorothy Day considered him the holiest man she had ever known, as well as something of an eccentric. Nothing wrong with that.
When Peter Maurin died on May 15, 1949, the New Deal order of welfare capitalism was ushering in an unprecedented period of prosperity that promised to satisfy every imaginable material desire. Catholics benefited materially from their support for this order, yet lost the family stability and communal solidarity that had marked them as a people apart in an earlier era. Twenty-five years later, when New Deal “statism” could no longer deliver the goods, many Catholics simply changed partners and danced to the tune of modern materialism’s other siren song, capitalism At present, we appear to be at the end of this second cycle of prosperity. As we ponder our next economic option, we might consider why it is that family and community structures that endured through centuries of material poverty have not been able to survive two generations of material prosperity. Which is more foolish: to think that social stability requires the subordination of material to spiritual ordering principles, or to affirm that social stability and spiritual renewal are compatible with the constant expansion of opportunities for material self-advancement? In reflecting on this question, few guides could be more reliable than Peter Maurin. - Peter Maurin: A Fool for ChristI think Pope Benedict would very much approve of Peter Maurin. This past weekend while visiting Arezzo, and the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna, the Holy Father called on Catholics to show solidarity with the poor and 'to go beyond the purely materialistic ideologies that often mark our age and end up clouding our sense of solidarity and charity.'
“Since the remotest times, attention to others has moved the Church to show concrete signs of solidarity with those in need, sharing resources, promoting simpler lifestyles, going against an ephemeral culture which has disappointed many and determined a profound spiritual crisis,” he said. - VIS
Monday, May 14, 2012
More on Professor John Boswell's claim for Same Sex Unions in Pre-Mordern Europe.
One of the advantages of being around for a long time is that I've read just about everything that is being regurgitated today as serious studies on same-sex relationships and evidence such unions were approved and accepted by the early Church right up to Medieval times. Swallowing that, one must accept the conspiracy theory that the Church destroyed all the evidence, suppressed by the wretched hierarchy over time, just as they did away with women priests and deacons. Conspiracy theorists know it all - and then they write their books. When the books are published, they are immediately accepted as absolute truth while scripture and doctrine are thrown by the wayside, only to be rewritten according to the newly discovered data. These days when everyone is a philosopher and theologian, we prefer to depend upon our own scholarship and academic expertise, rather than trust what the Church teaches.
Lately I've complained that the Church's documents on homosexuality, which go beyond the Catechism - are frequently ignored or overlooked when it comes to its understanding and teaching on homosexual matters. I end up referring people back to the often ignored, and or dismissed documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A friend often complained to me, "The Pope hasn't really addressed himself to the issue of homosexuality, I'm waiting for some sort of letter addressing the issue." Hello? The Pope as Cardinal Ratzinger did that already as head of the CDF, principally in the 1986 document, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. The Pope, the Church has spoken. Was anyone listening?
Similarly, I'm beginning to think Fr. John Harvey's work will get to be overlooked, or simply ignored and dismissed as 'out-dated'. Gay activists already dismiss him and Courage, focusing their objections on the issue of reparative therapy, claiming Courage requires SSA persons to seek to change their sexual orientation. That is false of course, since Courage was founded as a spiritual support system for SSA individuals striving to live chaste lives in accordance with Church teaching, and as means to sanctify themselves through friendship, prayer, and the sacraments. I've come across a couple of faithful SSA writers who have voiced reservations regarding Harvey's conclusions. I'm not saying he is above questioning, or that Courage is the only way for SSA Catholics to sanctify themselves, yet the fundamental research Fr. Harvey accomplished remains valid, current and very important to any discussion regarding contemporary homosexuality.
In his 1996 book, The Truth About Homosexuality, Fr. Harvey examines the outrageous claims of John Boswell work in favor of same sex unions/marriage, and his so-called evidence for Christian acceptance of it. Fr. Harvey cites other scholars and critics of Boswell's flawed research and outright manipulation of ancient texts Boswell employed to suit his personal agenda. If priests and lay spiritual directors (I don't recommend lay spiritual directors BTW) do not have this book as a pastoral care resource, they need to get it. In Chapter 9, A Catholic Perspective On Same-Sex Marriage, Harvey covers just about everything the faithful Catholic needs to know on the subject. I can't take a lot of time on this subject, however, I will copy a couple of remarks made by two experts Harvey consulted.
"Boswell's argument stands or falls on his interpretation of a series of documents relating to a singular ritual practiced in the Christian church during antiquity and the high middle ages, principally in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. The bonds that are confirmed in these church rituals are cautiously (and a little coyly) labeled by him as 'same-sex unions'. For his arguments to have the force that he wishes them to have, the words, 'same-sex' and 'union' must be construed to mean 'male homosexual' and 'marriage'. If they signify other sorts of associations that happened to be same-sex in gender, or unions that were meant for purposes other than marriage, or a permanent affective union, then his claims fail." - Brent D. Shaw, A Groom of One's Own
"... neither Boswell's reconstruction of them [the medieval texts] nor his method of argumentation can possibly support the interpretation that he proposes: first, it is highly implausible that homosexual unions either in antiquity or in the Middle Ages would have been blessed by a religion that promoted ascetic devotion to the kingdom of God rather than that condition which contemporary Americans understand as the healthy expression of erotic drives... Furthermore, early Byzantine law codes contain extremely harsh punishments for homosexual intercourse." - Robin Young, Gay Marriage: Reimagining Church History
Fr. Harvey notes:
"It is astounding how Boswell 'reconstructs' early Christian history, downgrading marriage, distorting the historical meaning of Christian celibacy, asserting that Christianity did not focus on the biological family until a thousand years into its existence. Young points out that, in addition to patristic concern for the religious life and celibacy, the Eastern fathers gave due emphasis to the family as 'the primary way for Christians.'" - John Harvey, The Truth About HomosexualityAnyway - check your sources, and recheck them again. Much of the work refuting these false claims in support of same-sex unions has been done for us already. Trust the Pope and the bishops in union with him... The Magisterium. The Church does not lie.
She was the model in Antonioni's Blow Up (1966). For nearly as brief a time as her performance in that film, she was Vogue. Today is her birthday.
A woman I worked with way back when, discouraged my admiration for Verushka, proclaiming her condemnation of the model, she scolded me: "She is completely amoral! Bear! How can you possibly like someone like that?"
And yet, Verushka's detractor went on to earn a similar reputation herself.
"Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned."
Sunday, May 13, 2012
At each apparition Our Lady said: "Pray the rosary every day..."
If today were not Sunday, it would be the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. My devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel expanded under the influence of the Fatima message. I was four or five years old when I first became attached to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel through the scapular devotion, and I suppose in first or second grade, when I learned how to say the rosary. I learned about Fatima around the time of my First Communion, and was deeply impressed. I remain devoted to Our Lady of Fatima today.
I must admit, I've never been comfortable with Fatima devotees however. I attended devotions, all night vigils, and so on, but kept to myself. While in Fatima, I also kept very much to myself. For some reason, I could never sustain an interest in the sensational aspects of the Fatima call, or the fear mongering and condemnations leveled against... well pretty much anyone not devoted to Fatima. When I was little, I was intrigued to know what the Third Secret was all about, but after the Holy Father decided in 1960 it wasn't to be revealed to the public, and the world didn't end, it made little difference to me. The other secrets were always enough for me to try and live up to. They remain so now when I am older.
Similarly, I'm still not fond of Fatima cultists. Unlike many of them, I actually believe all of the secrets have been revealed and that the consecration Our Lady requested has been accomplished. That said, I'm not sure every aspect of the secret has been fulfilled - in fact, I think it unlikely. Not to worry however, as Our Lady promised Lucia:
"My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God ..."