Today is National Star Wars Day and many of the film’s fans will be offering the movie’s famous greeting ,“May the force be with you,” or its pun for the day, “May the fourth be with you.” Judging by world conditions and the strife that abounds both at home and abroad, we could use some force and power to bring relief, order, and justice to our beleaguered globe.
But, the force of Star Wars isn’t going to do it. Nor is the force of men. International relations are fragile and strained at this time. There is no need to catalogue the existing dangers that threaten international security and peace. The headlines carry the weight of them each day. And we’ve all watched the failed attempts of sanctions, treaties, and threats. But, there is a way for peace to triumph, in fact, a foolproof plan has already been given.
We know that true power resides with the Triune God and comes to man through the salvific act of His Son, Jesus Christ. Conformity to God’s will is the key and He desires His people beseech His help and cooperate with it.
Consider the passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14. It is one of several Scripture passages that give God’s directive; “... and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land.”
Note that the Chronicle’s quote is specific about those who are to pray – they are God’s people “upon whom His name has been pronounced.” It is the duty and divine obligation of every baptized Christian to be at the forefront of intercession and prayer. That’s you and me. Assuming that we are willing to do it, the question is how do we do it?
Fortunately, Heaven has already given us the answer. It came to us by way of our Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917 through the messages she entrusted to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. In that year World War I was ending but the Bolshevik Revolution was beginning. This revolution in Russia would usher in atheistic communism, legalized abortion, divorce for any reason, and persecution of the Church.
Our Lady told the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace and to stay the errors that would come by means of this Revolution. Otherwise, the errors would spread throughout the world and entire countries would be no more. The children heeded Our Lady’s message with great generosity but for the most part Our Lady’s request fell on deaf ears.
History tells the rest of the story. The Red March wiped out countries and nations, and sowed the seeds of atheistic communism throughout the world including the West. In fact, evidence suggests we are living in a type of “cultural communism” even now by way of secularism, relativism, utilitarianism, and materialism.
Last year, on May 13th, Catholics celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. Is it possible that in that great centenary year Heaven once again gave us opportunity to humble ourselves and to pray seeking God’s presence? Is it possible that Heaven desires to hear our supplications, pardon our sins, and heal our land? I think so.
One indication is that on the day before the anniversary date, on May 12, the United Nations hosted a two-hour event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. In fact, the United Nations World Apostolate of Fatima Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was showcased at the event. It was the first return of this statue to the UN since its inaugural visit in 1952.
In the one building on earth that holds the name United Nations, a name that promises the hope of a world united in the cause of peace, filial charity, and solidarity people gathered. They formed a cross-section of the cultures and religions of the world, a type of global microcosm. And there, in their midst, stood the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, Mother of God and Mother of all peoples. As she came to the world through her apparitions to the shepherd children, she came once again to remind the people of the world that the message is the same: That peace, and hope, and solidarity is possible through Heaven’s plan. The fundamental question is will we say “yes” to it?
What comprises Heaven’s plan for peace? It is basically five-fold:
- Daily recitation of the Rosary
- Devotion to the Five First Saturday’s
- Consecration to the Immaculate Heart (For this I recommend the de Montfort consecration outlined in True Devotion to Mary, by St. Louis de Montfort.)
Johnnette S. Benkovic -----------------
Please join the Women of Grace® family of prayer warriors in offering prayer/penance for an outpouring of grace at these special events commemorating the Centenary of the Fatima messages. Here’s how you can help!
Click here to make a prayer commitment to any of the following:
- A daily Rosary
- A daily decade of the Rosary
- A daily Hail Mary, Our Father or Glory Be
- A Novena to the Holy Spirit
- A daily prayer of my choosing
- A daily penance
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Women of Grace is also commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Fatima at our annual retreat entitled, “Our Lady and the Triumph: How the Battle Will be Won,” in Malvern, PA July7-9. Click here for more information.