Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

How Time Flies, Often Without Change


Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners….


As of the date of this issue – Oct. 13, 2017 – 100 years will have passed since the Miracle of the Sun occurred in the skies over Fatima, Portugal, immediately following Our Lady’s last appearance to the three peasant children. During that appearance, Servant of God Lucia Dos Santos asked Our Lady – who had identified herself to the children as “The Lady of the Rosary,” if she would grant the many petitions the children had received from others.


Mary said she would grant some; others, she would not, adding, “People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!”


Read that last sentence again.


I cannot imagine how offended our Lord must be today. Our own country has seen evil manifested in so many different ways since 1917. Add the rest of the world, and … well, I just can’t find words. This is especially true in light of the miracle. There are valid media reports that estimate crowds from as low as 30,000 to as high as 100,000 who actually witnessed it in person.


It seems, from here, that we don’t have to accept its occurrence so much in faith – that is, by completely submitting our intellect and our will to God. However … how many people saw the risen Jesus before he ascended to Heaven? How many people ate their fill from a dinner that started as only several loaves of bread and a few fish?


Let me put it another way. We know that evil exists in this world. Over the past 100 years, we have seen it in Auschwitz and on 9/11; we have seen it in the halls of a Colorado high school and raining down from the 32nd floor of a hotel in Nevada. We have seen it across the African continent, in the Middle East and in every corner of our planet.


Can anyone help me understand why we are so quick to embrace that evil, but so stubborn to resist the urge to embrace all that the Holy Trinity has done on our behalf over the past 100 years?

In a letter to St. John Paul II on the 65th anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, then-Sister Lucia dos Santos offered thoughts on the as-yet-unrevealed third message of Fatima:


“And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible.”


Today, as we remember the centennial of Mary’s last apparition at Fatima, let us reflect on the need to embrace God’s gifts – especially the gift of Faith. We must stop punishing ourselves; and the biggest, best first step we can take in that regard is to welcome the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and begin the work of eliminating our hardened hearts.


Our Lady of Fatima … Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners….