Friday, October 5, 2007

Fatima: The Question of Consecration

Before going any further, I first wish to state it has been my intention to eventually address the historical facts regarding the papal consecrations so far made. Although I have been asked, it is not my intention to offer my personal conjecture on the why’s and wherefore’s regarding the reason(s) the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has not yet been made.

At the same time, I again will say that Fatima’s history spans the last 90 years; I know my readers will understand that what I will share might be considered an historical “briefing” or a “highlighting’ of the key points of Fatima.

To briefly respond on the question of Pope John Paul II's consecrations of the world to the Immaculate Heart: It was not only Pope John Paul II (may God rest his soul) who made world consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There was, first, a world consecration made by Pope Pius XII in the first years of WWII; years later, the same pope alone performed a consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, but he did not command the bishops to join him.

These historical facts and the world events that followed them prove that, while God may accept such consecrations “to a degree,” they do not completely fulfill the obligation which heaven expects in regard to the solemn, collegial consecration of Russia (not the world) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In the tradition of the Church, an act of consecration is a “solemn consecration” (whether made by a pope, reigning Catholic monarch, or a bishop in his own diocese). It is one that is publicly made in a church, basilica, or cathedral. It stands to reason that a solemn collegial consecration must follow the same traditional protocol.

Our Lady’s request in 1929 was succinctly and clearly made when she said:

“The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

Incidentally, while Our Lady did not specifically ask that the bishops join the Holy Father in Rome when the consecration of Russia is made to Her Immaculate Heart, it would be highly proper, from a pious standpoint, and it could have been accomplished many times in the past. However, it does not seem that heaven requests that all bishops travel to Rome; it shall be enough that the Holy Father and the bishops of the world spiritually unite, on one day, to make the solemn consecration.

FATIMA: One Secret, Three Parts

About a week ago, I announced that we on the Keeping It Catholic list shall discuss the entire message of Fatima. Since various obligations are pressing and also because covering 90 years of history in a succession of emails is a formidable task, I have decided to outline the Secrets of Fatima and then primarily focus on the yet-to-be-accomplished collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces, we dedicate our poor service in sharing with our fellow Catholics the entire truth about Fatima. To Jesus through Mary!

Please understand that KIC’s only concern is that the entire message of Fatima is shared with our fellow Catholics. The One Secret in Three Parts inevitably demands a firm faith, as well as a strong grasp on the key doctrines of the Faith. Faith places obligations upon all Catholics (laity and clergy), because God revealed through both Tradition and Scripture that we only attain salvation through “faith and good works.”

The Fatima revelations are in full conformity with Divine Revelation because, in their sum total, they underline, in the utmost simplicity, the key doctrines of the faith. As always, God chooses to act through persons, but the Fatima revelations make is clear that, in this era, it is His Holy Will that the Immaculate Heart must be loved and honored and that all Catholics on earth fulfill their roles in what He now asks, from the humblest lay person up to he who holds the highest office on earth, which is held by Pope Benedict XVI.

Since 1830, Fatima was the only Marian apparition in which Heaven requests the cooperation of all Catholics to fulfill the Divine Plan for the world.The apparitions of Fatima revealed the obligations of Catholics to the Lord God, which are as follows:

--Make acts of reparation to the Lord our God for sins, and also for the conversion of sinners, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (This is God's confirmation of the holy and humble work of St. Louis de Montfort, who taught "To Jesus through Mary.")

--Pray the Rosary every day (especially for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who, as God’s handmaiden and Mother of God, desires not the eternal death of sinners but wishes to save them).

--Make all that we do a sacrifice for the love of God - again, in reparation to the sins which offend Him and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of sinners. Our Lord later explained to Sr. Lucia that the sacrifice which He now requires of us is the faithful accomplishment of our daily duty.

--Wear the Brown Scapular and live chastely according to one’s state in life

--Accomplish the Five First Saturday devotions in reparation for five particular blasphemies against the Virgin Mother of God - for what offends the Mother, offends the Son.

---Finally, there is the most critical Secret in which the Lord commands His Vicar, who alone holds the office of Supreme Pontiff and who alone possesses the authority and solemn duty to command the princes (the bishops) to join him in the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We Catholics cannot forget that a reigning pope holds the ultimate position as a reigning monarch in his office as God our King’s Steward. Jesus Christ is King and a reigning pope serves the King as Steward of the Catholic City, which is visible in the hierarchy and the laity but is also invisible, because it is found in the Catholic interior life of each faithful soul. "For lo, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke XVII: 20, 21) The Pope’s authority as Christ's steward-monarch is world-wide and extends also to non-Catholics, although they reject his office. Like any of the King’s subjects, he also must obey the command of the King, whether through by His own word or by those of the Queen Mother, the Virgin Mother of God.

The outline above highlights the true and entire message of Fatima. As faithful Catholics, we know that we cannot reject, ignore or dismiss any part of the Fatima revelations; we cannot ignore all that was related to and asked of the Catholic world by the Virgin Mother of God.

It was Our Lady who first asked the three shepherd children if they were willing to do as she asked, rather than impose herself against their free will. Catholic doctrine explains that God, Who gave all mankind free will, also allows us to every day make the choice whether we will do what is right or do what is easy, for - as we should know - they are never the same thing and they are forever diametrically opposed to each other.

As we know, the three children said "Yes" to Our Lady, just as she once said "Yes" to God. Our Lady's response to the children: "Then you will have much to suffer, but My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that will lead you to God."

Lest we hesitate because we fear suffering, let us recall also Our Lord's fear in the Agony of the Garden, and let us also remember that we cannot avoid suffering in this life; yet what makes suffering meritorious is our resignation and forbearance to God's Will. Moreover, we have Our Virgin Mother, who promises us that Her Immaculate Heart will be our refuge and the path that shall lead us to God!

Again---To Jesus through Mary! If mere children could so quickly and generously respond to Our Lady, cannot we adults also say "Yes" to our Virgin Mother --- and through her, say "Yes" to the Lord our God?

May we all continue to pray to Our Lady of the Rosary for the graces God wishes to give us through the hands of His Mother, so that we will both live and spread the entire Fatima message. The time is already late...let us pray and sacrifice especially for the intentions of the Holy Father, who will one day command and lead the solemn, collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,
Marianna Bartold
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