Skip to comments.Papal Visit to Portugal: The Apparitions
Posted on 05/11/2010 1:05:27 PM PDT by NYer
For the sake of clarity allow me to list the major catechetical truths communicated to the children by Our Lady in the six apparitions that took place between May 13 and October 13, 1917. I shall omit here the points of "prophecy" made by the Blessed Mother. Although the prophecies are important in themselves and an integral part of the message of Fatima, we must neither forget nor obscure the essential components of the message: faith, conversion to Christ and reparation.
1. God the Father's merciful love for every human person is definitively revealed in the gift of his Son. Many people in the twentieth century are indifferent to and even antagonistic towards Christ.
2. The mission of Christ is essentially redemptive. Christ came into the world to offer his life in sacrifice for the salvation of all people.
3. In Christ, God suffers as a result of sin. In Christ also, the Almighty loves mankind with a human heart and yearns for human love in return.
4. In his conversion from mortal sin, man begins to love the good God. This love continues and grows to perfection as he desires to make reparation for his own sins and the sins of others through acts of charity.
5. When a Christian surrenders himself unreservedly to the Lord, he consoles Jesus and satiates his thirst for souls.
6. Through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit working in the Church and in intimate communion with Christ, the Christian becomes "perfectly willing to spend all and to be expended in the interest of souls" (2 Cor. 12:15) and "makes up in his own body what has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church" (Col. 1:24). In other words, every Christian is called to give himself unreservedly to Christ's redeeming work. He does this by conversion, fidelity to daily duty, prayer (especially the Rosary), acts of charity, acceptance of sufferings permitted by God and voluntary penances.
7. The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, following Mary as model and guide, unites her self-sacrifice to Christ's and becomes his co-worker in the world. The collective suffering of the Church as a whole, and of each Christian, joined to Christ's passion, brings the saving grace of the Lord to souls. The Church's active role in the application of the grace of Redemption is perhaps the major stress of the Fatima message. (Please note that this theme is conspicuously absent from many expressions of contemporary ecclesiology and is all but forgotten in many quarters as an essential component of the Church's ascetical-mystical doctrine. This fatal deficiency leads to either the denial or the devaluation of the Eucharist as the redemptive sacrifice of Christ and his Church. Hence, the need for Eucharistic reparation is at the heart of the Fatima catechesis.)
8. Every aspect of spirit and the spiritual world is underscored in the Fatima message: the Trinity, angels, demons, the existence of the immortal human soul; heaven, hell and purgatory.
9. Fatima affirms the essential importance of the Vicar of Christ in the daily life of the Church as well as the Pope's mystic identification with Christ, the crucified bridegroom of the Church.
10. Fatima unambiguously reaffirms the doctrine of hellfire (the pain of sense) and the real possibility of eternal damnation.
11. The Christian's union with Christ in his suffering, death and resurrection leads to perfect union with Him in heaven and to the resurrection of the flesh on the last day.
12. Mary reveals that her spiritual Motherhood is the way to fidelity to Christ and eternal life. Through total consecration to Mary, the Christian accepts and benefits from her Motherhood in the spirit.
Taken from MARY: CATECHIST AT FATIMA by Rev. Frederick Miller
The appearances of God, the angels and the saints to human beings on the earth fall into two general categories, apparitions and mysticism.
A mystic is a person who having persevered in the Christian spiritual life, usually a notable length of time, receives by God's free choice the infused supernatural grace of contemplative prayer. Through this grace they are granted a deeper knowledge and experience of God, beyond that which the ordinary ways of prayer and Christian life can give. This grace is usually granted after they have been faithful in avoiding sin, conquered themselves through mortification, and meditated faithfully on Christ and the truths of the faith taught by the Church. Passing through a profound trial known as the Dark Night of the Senses they enter upon the Illuminative Way, in which they make very notable progress in sanctity, as well as receive divine communications, whether of interior words (locutions) or interior (intellectual) or exterior visions. They may also experience ecstasies, levitations, the stigmata, and other signs of their growing intimacy with God and the supernatural. If they persevere on this path they will pass through another Dark Night, of the Spirit, in which their purification is completed. Entering upon the Unitive Way, their union with God is secured by a Mystical Marriage, prefiguring their union with God at death and the consummation of the union of Christ and His Bride at the end of time.
An apparition, however, is a charismatic gift granted by God for some greater purpose of His than the benefit of the one receiving it. It says nothing necessary about the sanctity of the recipient(s); although God usually chooses simple and good Christians, often children, who will readily accept and do His Will. Generally, it can be understood as an external vision, created by some means of God, to represent the holy person depicted. It would not necessarily have to be the person him or herself. Only Christ and Our Lady (possibly St. Joseph, according to St. Francis de Sales and others who hold that he was taken to heaven body and soul), could actually appear in their bodies. All others, and even they, could appear by some representation accessible to the human senses. In such a way God appeared by means of angels to Abraham and to Moses. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, this manner is the ordinary cause of mysticism and apparitions.
In the case of Fátima it is clear that something more than an intellectual vision took place, an external apparition accompanied by indications of the actual presence of Our Lady. This latter cannot be conclusively determined. However, it reasonably follows from the descriptions of the events and especially from the sense of Her Presence continued to be felt there to this day.
As a fruit of the events, and of the fidelity of the three children to the message of Fátima, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta grew in holiness and became mystics in the proper sense. It is for their heroic virtue in the pursuit of God that the two youngest are being raised to the honor of the altar, not for being the recipients of an apparition. This fact, more even than the miracle of the Sun, authenticates the message of Fátima.
I am looking forward to seeing the new movie the 3th Day. ;-)
I have it! Great movie. We’re planning to show it to the parish children this weekend.