by David M. Carollo –
The Easter season is a time ponder the fact that those who believe in the reality of the life of Christ and understand the Real Presence live in this world, but are not of the world. It is not possible to accept the truth of the Resurrection and the Real Presence while living according to the world, which defies this reality and promotes a contradictory ethos.
Before He ascended into heaven, Our Lord told the disciples that He would be with them always, even to the consummation of the world. He was not just referring to His Spirit, but that He would also be with us physically in the Blessed Sacrament, providing our daily nourishment.
“They recognized him in the breaking of the bread. Then their eyes were opened and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?’” (Lk 24:31-32)
The Apostles learned throughout their time with Christ, and fully understood soon after the events of the Passion, that they would now live a new life completely separated from this world and totally focused on the next. All but one of them came to the full realization that they were now a new creation, incompatible with the secular world. Even Judas came to that realization, but was unable to overcome his guilt.
We cannot be directed by this world that steers us away from God. Throughout history, adherence to His calling has brought with it a necessity for sacrifice. Abraham was directed to offer his beloved son to God in a test of his loyalty, but was kept from completing the sacrifice. How pleasing this act of obedience must have been to the Lord and how heart wrenching it must have been for our “father in faith” when this command was given him. He knew that even his beloved son was a gift from God and could be taken away at His pleasure. Christians carried this obedience into the new world, building the Church at great personal cost.
We are now living in what St. Augustine referred to as the conflict of the City of God in combat with the City of Man – the Easter people lined up against the forces of darkness. Our job is to work tirelessly to help build the City of God. It will be in constant contradiction with the city of man, which is the cityof the devil. Until the last person on earth breathes their last breath, we must fight this battle. The first battle between God and the devil in the Garden was a battle for obedience to Divine law and the last battle will also be fought in this arena, as the stakes are high. Everything that we do in this life must be focused on our end of attaining salvation. We cross the finish line properly by living our daily duty in accord with His commands.
Every time that we fail to stand against the forces of the world by defending our faith, we are supporting the forces that are working to destroy it. We must be martyrs for the truth, which means “witness”. Whether we are called to pay the ultimate price of giving our lives, to suffer the loss of job and status, or just the discomfort of the disapproval of family and friends, we have no choice but to be witnesses to truth, without regard for human respect. The scandal of the Crucifixion gave way to the Glory of the Resurrection. If we wish to be worthy of this gift, we have no choice but to risk all to defend it.
Today evil is having its day and persecution of those who do not follow the secular ethos are marginalized. Not unlike the early disciples, the people of God must not look to this world for acceptance. We represent something that cannot be understood by those who adhere to an earthly view. Society today has degenerated from the civilization that was built on a Christian foundation. The message of Our Lady of Fatima is to rebuild it. Evil never gives up; neither can we.
The message of Fatima tells us to focus on the charity exhibited by Christ in the work of salvation of souls. By doing this we accept our mission as children of Mary. We must be devoted to her requests, because they are the tools that will help us accomplish our mission, which is more critical as each day passes. We are living through her prophesies at Fatima; let us be even more committed to bringing about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart so that the world can reflect the glory of Easter always.
On May 13th, His Excellency Most Reverend James Checchio will officiate at our inaugural event of the 2021 shrine season. This Marython will be broadcast live on our website at bluearmy.com and on our Facebook pages. Please join us throughout this year for our 13th events and our remaining Year of St. Joseph events on First Saturdays.
David Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA/National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.