by David M. Carollo –
The Fatima message was explained many years ago as reparation, reparation, Eucharistic reparation!
We are all broken by the effects of Original Sin, and more directly by actual sin. The message of our Catholic Faith is to make reparation as Christ did. St. Paul stated that we must make up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (c.f. Col 2:24). Not by inability did His sufferings lack, but by design that requires us to complete the task of repairing our relationship with God.
Our Lady reiterated at Fatima that we must make this the highest priority, as sin had enveloped the world and the acceptance of it was expanding. Repairing our relationship with God is necessary for salvation. Making reparation for all sin is our duty. Yes, we share responsibility for the sins of all, whether we have directly committed these offenses or not. Christ offered His life for our salvation, and we must follow his example. His very presence on earth testifies to this reality.
Christmas with all the holiday trappings is a joyful time, but the most joyful aspect of the day is the fact that the Redeemer has been born and salvation is at hand for those who accept it. While we swim in a sea of torn gift wrappings on Christmas morning, the true gift that we must find under all the paper
, is the one that was given then and remains with us today.
Unlike a quickly discarded gadget or an item consumed soon after opening, the gift of the Incarnation is eternal. His life was lived as a sacrifice and as an example to us all. It is for this reason that I am personally troubled by the lack of understanding of our joint responsibility in correcting the errant path of our world today. Christmas is a time of joy and a call for peace on earth. This can only be realized if we truly understand His mission.
During this time, we want to be upbeat and joyful, and despite the many difficulties that we as Catholics face in this secular world, there is much to rejoice over. There is also much to be concerned about when we look at the world and the hostility that is being aimed at our beliefs. Allow me to be political without being partisan. As a sinner attempting to work out my own salvation, I have come to realize how the current of our compromised culture has influenced all our lives and brought us to a tolerance of evil and a backhanded endorsement of sin and death that is entrenched in the culture. Even those who adhere some degree to the Faith acquiesce to the flow of a corrupt society. We regularly fail to defend our Faith by action or inaction. I have been guilty of this myself.
We in the U.S. just held the mid-term elections. The postmortem on this referendum reveals some very disturbing facts. It was a statement about who we are as a nation. This is not necessarily about political parties, but it is about how we view our culture and the most sacred God-given gifts we receive. Life and the understanding of who determines its value should be the top issue. How we view moral behavior, in general, is what needs to be pondered.
For almost 50 years, politicians and citizens have stood behind the wall of Roe v. Wade, complaining that there was nothing we could do about the fact that abortion was “the law of the land.” This past summer, that ruling, which many considered judicial overreach, was overturned. Now comes time for us to show whether we respect life and natural law. I am afraid that we have chosen wrongly in this election. There was great hope that many states would become havens for life.This, in fact, happened in some states and should be applauded. Others have not only rejected this position, but have become sanctuaries for death, revealing that a large portion of the electorate does not subscribe to the laws of God strongly enough to make a difference in the public square. These elections revealed the fact that our Faith is not the top priority in our electoral choices.
The real battle is not in the political arena, however, but in turning hearts to God so that right reason can be instilled in all and a vision that reflects God and Our Lady can blossom. This is truly what the message of Fatima is about, changing hearts so that we will act appropriately. Praying for the grace of conversion is the mission of this apostolate. Acting on the grace received is our further mission of repairing the rift with the Almighty. This is Catholic teaching. What is prepared for us beyond this life is what we must focus on.
A Christmas message is supposed to be totally upbeat, and perhaps I have failed in keeping with that tradition in this writing. I am, however, joyful and grateful that we have been given the grace to better understand the call to reparation. The true joy of this beautiful season is found in understanding why Christ was born and why He came as He did, not with pomp and circumstance, but with simplicity and a mission to restore our relationship with God; as well as to teach us how to live lives of reparation and repentance. This became a necessity when Adam and Eve first defied God and were sentenced to lives of recompense. At Fatima, Our Lady repeated this message. Only when we are on the road to sincerely repairing the damage of sin will we find true happiness and the joy of the season. We pray for peace on earth, but there will be no lasting peace for those who do not carry the will of God in their hearts.
When we fully realize the great gift of salvation that became flesh in the simplicity of a stable, we will find joy and peace beyond comprehension.
In your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Bob Ellis, National Coordinator for the apostolate, who passed away on December 12th. His contributions to our work will have a lasting effect. His tireless work as a father of fourteen children, a deacon and friend has touched many lives.
He was remembered by Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay as a man devoted to the Church, to his family and to Our Lady, particularly through his work with the World Apostolate of Fatima/Our Lady’s Blue Army. We say goodbye to a friend and colleague. May he rest in peace.
I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.
God bless you and Mary keep you in her Immaculate Heart.
David Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA/National Blue Army Shrine. He wrote this for his Voice of Fatima column.