Gratitude and the promise of heaven

Dear Friends:

The promise of heaven given to Sts. Francisco and Jacinta by Mary at Fatima set a fire in them to do whatever the beautiful Lady asked for so great a reward. Immediately, Francisco promised to say “many rosaries.”  Jacinta prompted her family that very evening to pray the “beads” every day rather than just in certain months as the family was accustomed.

The promise of heaven has been granted to all of us through Jesus, our Savior. He reconciled us to the Father and opened the gates of heaven to us. As we recall our blessings on Thanksgiving, this should be the first gift we acknowledge to Him. And as we prepare for the coming of Advent, it would be good to ponder what we can offer Him in return for so great a reward.

The virtue of gratitude allows us to see ourselves as richly blessed and in need of nothing more, no matter what our state in life. It allows us to develop a spirit of generosity toward others, and more importantly – to God.  Without the virtue of gratitude, it is all too easy to fall into the vice of complaining about life, seeing everything about us as a suffering and our coffers as too meager to share.

Sister Lucia recalls in her memoirs that nothing in her childhood home was hers — “it belonged ot anyone who happened to need it.” Hence, the red ribbons that her mother used to plait her hair were easily given to a poor mother and child who showed up at their door. No one who came to them left empty-handed. This is the virtue of gratitude.

Pope Benedict XVI once said, “The Lord will never ask you to give up anything that will hurt you. If He asks you to give it up, it will be for your good.”

This Thanksgiving, let us remember our blessings and thank God for them, but let us all the more be willing to give them up for something greater – the promise of heaven.

We at the World Apostolate of Fatima thank you for all that you have done for us. Your prayers, sacrifices, time and treasure have been a great blessing to the spiritually poor and those in need of conversion and salvation. We are so grateful for your participation in this mission.

God bless you,

David M. Carollo
Executive Director

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