My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

This content uses referral links. That means if you make a purchase or click a link, I may make a small commission - just enough to support my diet coke habit. And there is no extra charge to you. It's
 a win/win! Read our disclosure policy

Our Lady of Fatima

Visit and Crowning of National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima

You can read about the apparition to the children and the vision of the Pope here.

There are two points to the Fatima story that especially stand out to me.

The first is that the children ask about the soul of their friend Amelia and our Lady told them that Amelia would be in purgatory until the end of time.  What could a young person at that time have done that was so terrible as to merit that punishment?  I don't know, but I think it is a sobering idea that I need to keep in mind for my own life and to warn my family about.

From Catholic Tradition:
One of the things seldom talked about in the Message took place during her first visit with the children in May of 1917. It concerns Purgatory. On that occasion Lucy began to question the beautiful Lady to find out who she was. Happy when the Lady said she had come from Heaven, Lucy immediately asked about her own eternal happiness and Our Lady lovingly told her that she would go to Heaven, After being assured that her two companions, Jacinta and Francis, would go to Heaven as well, Lucy further asked about two of her little companions who had recently died: "Is little Maria das Neves in Heaven," "Yes" answered Our Lady, "she is in Heaven." Finally, Lucy asked about another companion, called Amelia, and Our Lady answered: "She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world." 

Little Amelia was eighteen years old when she died. She is in Purgatory and will, on the testimony of Our Blessed Mother, stay there until the end of time. Her fate contains a warning for all of us. Let us take to heart and make certain that her fate will not be our own. 

Secondly, Mary showed the children a vision of hell, one that Sr. Lucia never forgot.  
Hell exists, despite watered down theology that says it does not

As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were an ocean of fire.
Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.)
The demons could be distinguished (from the souls of the damned) by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent.
This vision lasted only a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother who, at the first apparition, had promised to take us to Heaven. Without this promise, I think we would have died of fright.

I regret not really having a devotion to this feast day growing up. I think sometimes when the church shrouded things in gauze and flowery language to mystify the mystical, it added a lot of confusion and put things out of reach of the common person.

In my opinion, the visions at Fatima should have been promoted more as a contemporary, 20th-century miracle. Maybe it was in some places, but in Michigan in the latter part of the century, Catholic school kids were taught about Fatima in the same lessons with Lourdes, and the crusades, and the martyrs. To a kid, anything that didn't happen this year is ancient history.

But now with the perspective of an adult, I realize that my grandparents were only 15 when this happened. My grandmother was Catholic then. I realize mass media wasn't as fast as it is now, but still, I wonder how she learned about Fatima and how the news of the apparitions reached her ears. 11 years after the first apparition, my mother was born. The first of my husband's siblings came just a few years after the 30 year anniversary.

And yet, Fatima to me was something that happened in the way distant past. Perception is a funny thing.

Ways to Celebrate
If you haven't yet, have a May crowning in your home. It doesn't have to be a big deal or expensive. This is an inexpensive crowning we did a year ago.

April 2018 350

April 2018 351

Read the Fatima Story - it's even available on Kindle so you can access it right away.

But most importantly, pray the rosary and say the Fatima Prayer. 

The Fatima Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell.
Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

This content uses referral links. That means if you make a purchase or click a link, I may make a small commission - just enough to support my diet coke habit. And there is no extra charge to you. It's
 a win/win! Read our disclosure policy

Our Lady of Fatima Statue 8 inch