by Reverend Harold Colgan
This article from our co-founder, Msgr. Harold Colgan (d. 1972), is reprinted from the first issue of Soul Magazine, Jan-Feb 1950, publication of the Blue Army. His words, especially the call for prayer and real contrition, speak to the modern world and give encouragement to those who have chosen to follow the path of Christ, strengthened by His most Holy Mother.
There are two great truths which shall never fail until time is no more: the promise of Our Divine Redeemer that the Church which He founded for the salvation of mankind shall outlast all human institutions, that it shall endure until this earth is destroyed; and secondly, the prophecy of Our Blessed Mother, “from henceforth all generations shall call me Blessed.”
In Times of Persecution
In times of persecution when the cause of religion is drenched in the blood of martyrs, when sinister forces hatched in the minds of wicked men prompted by evil spirits seem on the point of exterminating all that is good, true and beautiful, it is then we remember the promise of Jesus and the prophecy of Mary. No power, however tremendous, however diabolical, can change those two immutable truths. Though God’s priests be scattered and His churches closed, though the bells no longer ring, nor the white host be raised aloft, nor the golden chalice gleam on high, yet Jesus still reigns with Mary by His side.
Look Up With Hope
At such dark times, it is not surprising that Our Lady leaves the heavenly scenes and comes back to earth, to strengthen and console the good, to crush the evil serpent under foot and confuse the wicked tyrants. Amidst the storm clouds the rainbow of her maternal love shines on the hillsides and the valleys, streaming across the face of the earth. The afflicted look up with hope in their hearts and the haughty villains who would destroy Christianity, root and branch, are uneasy on their thrones of power. The handwriting is on the wall, the day of retribution is approaching for the enemies of God.
But A Prelude
When Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 to shepherd children, World War One was in progress three years. Suffering and chaos engulfed humanity and the red star of atheistic communism had already risen in Russia. Terrible as those times were, they were but a prelude to the deluge of terror and bloodshed that was to sweep over the world in a later and more evil day.
Mercifully, the future was veiled, mercifully the meaning of Our Blessed Mother’s prophetic counsels was not revealed in the full clarity with which we now understand them. You will recall, dear friends, that Our Lady of Fatima urged us to pray for the conversion of Russia, that only by the return of the Russian nation to the God of its fathers, could a war-torn, anguished world enjoy a lasting peace.
Today, the godless armies of evil and error are arrayed as never before against the Christian hosts of virtue and truth. Even in the infancy of the Church when paganism fought a cruel and relentless campaign to destroy Christianity, the conflict was not so formidable as it is in our own times. For now, the powers of darkness strive not to uphold their pagan deities but to exterminate all forms of religion, to deny the very existence of the Almighty Creator. The battle is not restricted to one imperial city or state but waged around the globe. Even as I speak to you, the powerhouse of atheistic propaganda and subversive intrigue is reaching forth to enslave all mankind as it has already enslaved the Christian nations surrounding Russia.
Arrayed against this monstrous regime, Christ’s underworld is constantly and valiantly at work. Their weapon is prayer at which their enemies scoff as did the mocking crowds around the Cross of the dying Savior. Our Lady of Fatima has assured us that the recitation of her Rosary is the antidote to Communism. Where Communism sows seeds of godlessness, immorality, materialism, hatred and selfishness, the Rosary sows the seeds of faith, hope and charity, Christian virtue and fraternal love. Where Communism destroys authority and sows the seeds of discord and rebellion, the Rosary implants obedience, humility, submission and peace.
Real Contrition Wanted
When Our Lady asked at Fatima for penance in addition to the Rosary, she asked not merely for acts of mortification but for real contrition and amendment of life, a turning away from sin and real awakening of the spirit. This is emphasized by the words of Jacinta, one of the three children to whom Our Lady appeared. On her deathbed, once again narrating the message of Our Lady of Fatima, Jacinta said “The sins of the world are too great! Men must do penance! If they amend their lives, Our Lord will still pardon the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come.”
We Must Take the Lead
We who are blessed with the great privilege of belonging to the Church of Christ and acknowledging His Mother as our Mother, must take the lead and do as she so seriously requested. We must offer up our prayers, our hardships and our sufferings unceasingly in reparation for our own sins and for the sins of those who have not the privilege of the Faith and know not the significance or prayer, penance and reparation. We must pray for peace and pray with faith, but we must also pray for those who have no faith.
Let us devoutly trust that, with so many turning to Our Lady of Fatima, the peace she has promised will come to pass. From all over the world, the throngs gather at her shrine in Fatima. Miracles take place, showing the divine favors of her Beloved Son showered upon this holy place. But the numbers who are fortunate enough to visit the shrine are but small compared to the millions who daily lift their hearts to Our Lady of Fatima. Worldly powers place their confidence in deadly weapons, for they have no cognizance of something more powerful, the power of prayer, the power which can and does perform miracles, the power that will save the world.
Published in the first issue of SOUL, January-February 1950.