The climax of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima is nearly here! The day of days that we have all been looking forward to: October 13, 2017. Despite the crazy events of the last six weeks (solar eclipse, celestial signs, hurricane after hurricane, drought, wildfires, protests, rumors of wars, racial tension and horrific violence) as well as the speculations of future tribulations all around us, I pray that tomorrow the sun rises and sets in peace. I am not one to want extraordinary happenings. I don’t desire a cataclysmic phenomenon, despite how many hearts it might move. Rather, I simply pray that tomorrow we experience abundant solace and joy knowing we, the children of Our Blessed Mother, consecrated and renewed, are safely living in the refuge of her Immaculate Heart.
For me, this message of hope has grown in its personal meaning as I have traveled around the country this whole year listening to my husband, Dr. Peter Howard, speak on the tremendous meaning of this time and Our Lady’s messages for us today. The historian in me can’t help but be intrigued by the colliding events. My geo-political gaze connects all kinds of world-shaping dots. The scientist in me marvels at the heavens’ perfect alignment and celestial wonders. The spiritually minded side of me can’t help but recognize the urgency and eternal ramifications of the message and its significant centenary. We truly are living in the New Times of Noah. It’s not too late to get your family on board the Ark of Salvation through entrustment of your whole life to Jesus through Mary.
As amazing as the history and the messages are, I have found that the call in my own life has been greater still — to venture beyond simply taking in the message to the masses and away from a perspective that holds me as just one among the needy souls of the world and into a deep dialogue with Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord. Here, the questions of my heart, my brokenness, my sins, my needs, my family are at the heart of these messages. Like the errors of Russia, what are the errors in my life that will spread to my children if I am not converted? What penance am I really willing to do to make reparation for me failings in my marriage? What greater war will come in my home if I don’t listen and respond to the call to conversion of heart? How much love do I pour into the rosary or do I just try to fly through it like the children of Fatima before Our Lady’s coming — Our Father, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, etc. Am I truly living my consecration? Is Mary the Ark of Salvation for me when I feel like I am drowning in this world of busy (Busy Under Satan’s Yoke)? Do I run to see the miracle of the sun – Jesus in the Eucharist- when I am weary of doing good and am in need of a “love refill?”
Surly we can find refuge in Mary’s Immaculate Heart if only we humble ourselves, on our knees, not in protest against governments or movements or because of senseless propaganda, but because we wish to protest against our selves. It is our ugliness, our conceited nature, which is always at play when we have break down in our world! This need for refuge is never more real to me than when I see my children take on my flaws and use them as weapons to wound each other. Thank God for such a loving Mother who comes to always lead us closer to Christ and His Merciful Heart.
This year of reflection is nearly over, but the message must not die out in our hearts. The messages of Our Lady of Fatima are meant to build up in us a lifestyle of regular adoration, continual reparation, daily Rosary and faithful living of our consecration. I pray I take to heart the great gift of this year and allow Mary’s message to the world to be her personal message to me, my family and yours. Let’s get on board!
Can you see where Our Lady’s messages in Fatima play out in your inner life and the life of your family? Share your insights from this year of reflection in the comments and pray with me this prayer for mothers on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima:
Sweet Jesus, you have ordained that, “in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war,” it is through Your Mother’s heart that we should pass, “for only she can obtain it.” And so I come to you today, Mary, entrusting myself and my family fully to you. I fly unto thee, my Mother of mothers, and I beg you to hide me from the enemy’s radar. Heal me! My marriage, my spouse, my kids, my hurts, my failures, my talents, my joys, my hopes, all that I am, do and say, and my eternal salvation are surrendered to you. Obtain peace for me in my soul and in my family. Bring an end to all the wars that rage in our home and in our hearts. Aid me in faithful prayer of your Holy Rosary and help me to live its mysteries in my daily life. Reveal every way in which I can offer reparation for my sins and the sins of others. I offer you all my motherly duties past, present and future that you will magnify their merits and bring about the salvation of others through my little efforts united to the Cross of Christ and your Immaculate Heart. Above all, Mary, my refuge and comfort, stir up in me the deepest desire to believe, adore, hope and love God in the Most Blessed Trinity and to beg pardon for all those who do not. Make my heart like unto thine and in the end triumph over all that keeps me from loving like you love. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Chantal Howard