Philippians 2:9-11 God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In her Fatima apparitions, Our Lady told the little visionaries: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” This was to follow a great chastisement in the world, including wars, sufferings, martyrdom. Our Lady also asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not the requested consecration of Russia was done to Our Lady’s satisfaction. I personally try not to get drawn into such debates, feeling the issue is best left with the Holy Father and the Bishops. For my part, I have to examine whether or not I have done my part in fulfilling Our Lady’s Fatima requests.
The main requests of Our Lady of Fatima for those who would hear her messages was for an increase in prayer, penance, and devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Certainly it makes sense that in the light of these requests our Lord has called souls to live the Rule of 1221*. If we have discerned our call to live this rule, let us live it with holy joy, knowing that our small efforts, magnified in the Immaculate Heart, will bear the fruit of peace. What a gift it is to make our daily consecration to Our Lady, not just for ourselves, but for the BSP as a whole. It is a gift, not just for ourselves but for the whole world.
Perhaps someone reading this is still discerning whether they are called to a life of penance. The very word “penance” can be off-putting. But Sister Lucia herself once said, “Many persons, feeling that the word penance implies great austerities, and not feeling that they have the strength for great sacrifices, become discouraged and continue a life of lukewarmness and sin.” She went on to say that Our Lord told her: “The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require.”
As a prelude to the apparitions of Our Lady, an angel appeared to the children. One of the messages he gave them was: “Offer up everything in your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners . . . More than all else, accept and bear with resignation the sufferings that God may send you.”
In addition to penance, Our Lady requested prayer, most especially the rosary. Now in our days she has added the Flame of Love prayer to the rosary to increase its effectiveness against the enemy of our souls. It seems Our Lady has taken out “the big guns”! The power of the rosary is in the “Woman clothed with the sun” whom the Lord has appointed as the general in the battle. We are little, like David, but we need have no fear against the “giant”, for the power of God is with us in his most holy and humble Mother.
I love the triumphant prayer of David before he slays Goliath against all earthly odds:
“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will feed your dead body and the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle belongs to the LORD, who shall deliver you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17:45-47)
Today, we have the rosary instead of the slingshot, but the power is the same, and greater because we have Our Lord and Our Lady fighting with us in the Flame of Love.
I long for the day when the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady, the Flame of Love, will rule over all the earth, when the evil one will once again be chained and our temptations will be all but gone. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart will bring us a much-needed rest from the struggle against evil, most importantly the constant struggle that goes on in our own hearts. Let us not let up on our efforts at prayer and penance, praying for the grace to do more than is asked, so that, like the little children of Fatima, we may be instruments of the Lord in bringing about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of His Mother.
May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
(*Rule of life of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis of which I am a professed member.)