This is a slight detour from the regular postings I do here. Last Saturday marked the 100th Anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearance to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal. I’ve written posts of varying degrees of competence here: Fatima postings.
The message of Fatima is basic: prayer, penance, reparation and conversion. In recent years the message has gotten obscured by various controversies that essentially are pointless. If you are unfamiliar with these, never mind. I never know the extent to which readers know about something I write; I assume many are reverting to the faith of their childhood or are others seeking Catholicism out of curiosity or a need to be more fulfilled spiritually. And perhaps many know more about the Faith than I. I will post links at the end of this so that you can learn more about the Apparitions. The link above on my Fatima postings is a good start, however.
The two major ones are whether or not the “Consecration of Russia” was done. The options seem to be 1) Yes. 2) Yes, but improperly. 3) Yes, but too late to be any good. 4) No, because the so called consecrations were done improperly. (I vote for number 3.)
For those of you who are new to the Fatima Apparitions, there’s been a decades-long debate as to whether or not Russia was properly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope (whoever was Pope at this or that Consecration.) The links below will give you the needed information on the whole thing. It’s not important anymore, mainly because Sr. Lucia authenticated the last Consecration and the Vatican has concluded it was done. For those hoping that Pope Francis or a future Pope will “do it right,” don’t hold your breath. The fact that it probably should have been done before World War II is essentially agreed upon by all; whether the Consecrations actually done during the war and afterwards were effective or legitimate are debated heatedly, some to the point of forming schisms.
It’s beside the point, now. Carrying on the debate is getting the Message obscured, people debate certain issues rather than live the Message. Same for the other controversy:
The “Third Secret.” What was it, and what was actually revealed to be it in 2000 the “real” secret? Like the Russia Consecration, information on that will be found when you review the links below; I’m not getting into it here. And also like the debate over the Consecration, going on about the Third Secret just gets in the way of living the Message.
So, do that. Focus on living the Message of Fatima, for in doing so you are living a life of Catholic sobriety; the ‘Way’ of Matt Talbot. Penance, prayer, conversion, reparation for sins (offering up things and making sacrifices for your sins and other people’s), modesty in attire and a close study of Sacred Scripture and Catechism. All these are essential ingredients to live a sober Catholic existence.
At this moment in time, 2017, debating and arguing about these or other controversies surrounding Fatima are just stoking people’s egos (“My side is right, and I will prove it!”) and expressions of uncharitable self-will. They have nothing to do with the reason as to why Our Lady appeared to the children with the Message she gave to them for the World to hear. And they get in the way of living the Message and spreading it to other people.
Which may be Satan’s plan.
Links to sites on Fatima:
Official Shrine in Fatima, Portugal
Vatican’s Fatima Page
EWTN’s Fatima Site
EWTN’s page on the Apparitions
EWTN’s page on the Message
Living the Message by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
EWTN’s Page on the Consecrations
EWTN’s Page on the Secrets
World Apostolate of Fatima (Int’l)
World Apostolate of Fatima (USA)
America Needs Fatima
Marians of the Immaculate Conception Fatima Page