Over the past several months I have experienced a strong inspiration to reexamine the Blessed Mother's apparitions at Fatima in 1917 and to listen again to Our Lady's words.
A couple of her messages that give me pause for thought and motivate me to deeper prayer are these: First, that many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray for them and secondly, that more souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other sin.
Her message is not intended to frighten or condemn; rather, it is to motivate us to prayer, especially the Rosary, and the offering of our sacrifices and penances throughout our lives for the sake of these souls who are in such dire need. Will we not even do these little works of love for our neighbor? I think the answer to this problem or question lies in a general malaise, apathy and acedia (spiritual laziness) that has overcome the world and most Catholics, right along with it. I remember a book by Judge Robert Bork some years back whose title is very apropos to this; it is called " Slouching Toward Gomorah." Satan seems to have anesthetized us so that we are unable to focus on what we must do; we are unable to respond to the graces God offers us and, as a result, we are sliding toward hell ourselves.
The amazing thing is that all God asks of us is a little cooperation . He desires that we get our own spiritual house in order so that we are able to do the work that He has set before us in our lives. He makes it so easy, in that, no matter what our failings have been in the past, we can repent, receive his mercy and forgiveness, then get right back into the stream of grace doing what we are supposed to do and becoming a whole lot happier in the bargain. He has given us the entire sacramental life of His Church and Mary, his own Mother, to assist us with her powerful intercession and guidance.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of her apparitions at Fatima, let us not waste another minute in responding to her call to prayer and penance. Let our little bit of cooperation with her be the straw that breaks the back of evil in a world gone mad and full of such terrible need and sadness. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Amen.
by Deacon Jim Hunt