Fatima: Prayer, Conversion and Penance

Today, May 13, 2015 is the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. On this date 98 years ago the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three little shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal. I introduced this last year in this post: Fatima. It also contains links for your further edification as you should really, really, be interested in this Apparition of the Virgin.

As I said in that post, I plan on blogging about the Apparitions at Fatima on or about the anniversary dates of each one. The reason is that the “Message of Fatima” is an important one, and is very applicable to those struggling with addictions.

On May 12, 1982, Pope St. John Paul II gave a General Audience just before leaving on a pilgrimage to Fatima. His intent was to give thanks to the Virgin Mary, whom he felt had preserved his life after an assasination attempt one year earlier in St. Peter’s Square. He said in that General Audience, “I am going particularly as a pilgrim of brotherhood and peace to that land that the Virgin chose to launch her sorrowful appeal for prayer, conversion and penance.”

The Holy Father later stated that “I nourish the hope that this gesture of mine will serve to reawaken in believers a renewed sense of responsibility, inducing each one to question himself fairly about his consistency with the values of the Gospel.”

I was reading a compilation of speeches that Pope St. John Paul II gave on the ocassion of his 1982 pilgrimage to Fatima, compliled by the Daughters of St. Paul, entitled “Portugal: Message of Fatima,” and these quotes jumped out.

“Prayer, Conversion and Penance.” These are the core strategies for those of us struggling with alcoholism. We pray, we have an ongoing conversion, and we live penitential lives (or, we do this as best we can. Some times and years are better than others. But we carry on.).

And we must always do a “self-check” ala AA’s “Step 10” concerning how best we live our lives according to the Gospel’s values. Do we choose the Gospel, or the World? Do we live by the divine Gospel message, or secular political or economic messages? Do we cause an injustice and refashion the Gospel so that it fits into our secular ideologies?

If you missed last year’s posts, all my Fatima posts are here: Fatima Post Archives.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"