At a time when we’re encouraged to “find ourselves,” “live for the moment,” “if it feels right, it’s good for you,” it would help to hear we aren’t lost, God knows exactly who and where we are. It would be helpful if we listened and believed that heaven awaits; this moment is a preparation only; decisions have consequences and in every moment we need to be our best selves. How many people are suffering the effects of doing what felt right, but, in fact, was not good for them? The despair, the hopelessness, is the result of the absence of God, Our Hope, in our lives. There isn’t room for Him in ego-inflated hearts. Our sophistication, our obsession with the world’s material goods, and our preoccupation with self-importance, is all the same thing: a lack of humility.
Last weekend around the world Christians commemorated the 100th anniversary of the apparitions and miracles of Fatima. I participated in a Rosary Rally, one of thousands held across the country. Remembering Fatima is a lesson in humility for all the world.
Saint Mother Theresa reminded us that God doesn’t choose the qualified; He qualifies the chosen. With a look at Scripture we can list those unqualified minions whom God chose to be His workforce. Read the biographies of the Saints, if you want to see some unqualified bunglers! They were the youngest, not the wisest, the poorest, not the well-born, the shyest, not the boldest. They were humble and accepting; childlike. We are all called to Sainthood. The Saints could inspire us, but first we have to discover them, and be humbled.
To emulate saints requires humility, and a childlike expression of faith, such as the seers of the apparitions of Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima. Those chosen to see the Mother of Jesus, to hear from her what He wishes for them, were all children. Why? Because children are so accepting and so willing to believe. They aren’t the strong, but meek; they need of God. Their hearts are pure and empty for God. We all need that grace to accept God’s love, we all need humility to accept the words of Our Lady of Fatima when she delivered her messages to three little Portuguese farm children who didn’t know or understand her words, but who, nevertheless, recited the messages to the world for a hundred years.
Humbly we need to hear. Humbly we need to pray the rosary, as Mary instructed. Humbly we must accept the love that has been given to us. And humbly, strive for Sainthood.
Read the stories of Juan Diego, Bernadette, and the three children of Fatima, Lucia, Jacinto, and Francisco, and grow in courage and faith. There is a wonderful children’s picture book titled The Day the Sun Danced. I can also recommend Fatima and the Triumph of Mary by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, and The Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer, Hail Mary by Peter Ingemi.