by David Carollo –
Someone said to me, “I am very uneasy about the present situation in our country.” I responded that we are all disturbed during times of such uncertainty, but if we focus on the issues that cause this anxiety, we understand that it is rooted in our lack of acceptance of God’s will. It is proper to hope for solutions to the problems, but sadly, we quickly return to complacency and indifference, when things calm down and return to normal.
The issues that we hold dear, however, must always be on our minds. A Catholic can never return to a feeling of ease regarding issues that direct our society, as the stakes are so high. We must fight at every moment for our values. This is our road to salvation. We can only attain that if we work tirelessly to bring about a righteous society. If we do not, we are not worthy of it. We need also fight with all our might for the salvation of others. If we are going to live in the aura of charity, as Our Lady requested, we have no choice. We must be consistent in our actions. I look to St. Joseph as the model of consistency.
Year of St. Joseph
For this reason, the World Apostolate of Fatima USA is dedicating 2021 as a Year of St. Joseph, imploring his intercession for the work we do to spread Our Lady’s message, and to help restore the family, primarily through the role of fathers, and the universal Church. On December 8 this year, we will not only celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, but the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. As many know, St. Joseph appeared during the last apparition at Fatima on October 13. His place in the promotion of the Fatima message, the message of our time, is prominent. His role as the Patron of the Universal Church has been established so that he can lead and guide us, as he led and guided the Holy Family. St. Joseph is a man of authority and dignity, magnanimous in his intentions and strong in his actions—the model for every man. Once his mission was revealed to him, he knew that the power of God was behind him. He never cowered from his duties; he never saw limitations in his quest for justice. We also must realize that our only limitations are those that we place on ourselves. We have God and Our Lady on our side.
When St. Joseph led Mary and the Child Jesus from Bethlehem to a safe haven in Egypt, he knew he was not just protecting them from the evil intentions of Herod, but protecting the One who would bring salvation to all of mankind. His vision was on a much broader scale. Like St. Joseph, we must understand that we are working for the conversion of the entire world. We pray for deliverance from the evils that are overwhelming our country at this time, but the implications are global.
The great artist Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “Men do not fail because they set their goals too high and fall short; rather that they set their goals too low and achieve them too easily.” We need to aim high in our quest to make Our Lord and Our Lady known and loved on earth, just as the Queen of Heaven directed Sister Lucia. Our goal should be to have the Fatima message known by all. Is this a goal too high to achieve? Under the power of the Almighty, with Our Lady directing us and St. Joseph overseeing our actions, we can never reach too far. The powers poised against us are powerful and many, but their ability to destroy is nothing compared with our ability to build a better world under the guidance of heaven.
As we kick off our year, we will be doing a consecration to St. Joseph on December 10 at the Blue Army Shrine. In January, we will begin presenting First Saturday devotions online with monthly speakers throughout the entire year, and invoking St. Joseph in our prayer as the greatest consoler of the Immaculate Heart. Other events, St. Joseph consecrations and programs are planned for the year. More information will be forthcoming.
We have much to be thankful for this year, despite the upheaval in our nation. But we see the hand of God in all our difficulties. Let us go forward, contemplating our own lives and what we can do to make our country and world a better place. Our Lord, Our Lady and St. Joseph will protect us.
May you all have a happy and joyful Thanksgiving.
David Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA