During these days we are united with our beloved papa – Pope Benedict XVI – during his pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal. Today, May 13th is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. She first appeared to the 3 little shepherds on this day in 1917 with a message of prayer, penance, conversion, love and peace.
Yesterday, to no avail, some Sisters and I searched and searched for the powerful homily Msgr Powers gave last week on St. Paul of the Cross and our Mother of Mercy which I was hoping to use for today’s post in honor of our Lady. The Lord always provides and in unexpected ways! Special thanks to our lay Passionist friend David who left this message of our Holy Father, given yesterday at Fatima to a group of priests and consecrated persons, as a comment here on the blog. It is such an inspiring quote I decided to make it today’s blog post. This quote doesn’t specifically mention Our Lady, but as we know, she the role model for all priests and consecrated persons through her perfect fulfillment of the virtues of humility, purity and obedience.
This life of special consecration was born to keep the Gospel always before the People of God, as a reminder which manifests, certifies and proclaims to the whole Church the radical nature of the Gospel and the coming of the Kingdom. Dear consecrated men and women, by your dedication to prayer, asceticism and growth in the spiritual life, to apostolic action and mission, you are progressing towards the heavenly Jerusalem, you are a foretaste of the eschatological Church, solid in her possession and loving contemplation of God who is love.
How much we need this witness today! Many of our brothers and sisters live as if there were nothing beyond this life, and without concern for their eternal salvation. Men and women are called to know and love God, and the Church has the mission to assist them in this calling. We know well that God is the master of his gifts and that conversion is a grace. But we are responsible for proclaiming the faith, the whole faith, with all its demands. Dear friends, let us imitate the Curé of Ars who prayed to the Lord in the following words: ‘Grant me the conversion of my parish, and I accept to suffer all that you wish for the rest of my life.’ And he did everything to pull people away from their own lukewarm attitude in order to lead them back to love.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Message to Priests, Religious, Seminarians, and Deacons, Fatima, 12 May 2010
May Our Lady obtain the graces we all need to lead others “back to Love.” She is our Mother! What will a Mother not do for her children!