Fatima’s Urgent Message

Fatima’s Urgent Message


>>Can’t you just feel it, the conflict is becoming
apparent in our culture? It reminds me of those
words of John Paul II: “We’re now living in the final
confrontation between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel; between
the Church and the anti-Church; between Christ
and the Antichrist.” And if we don’t choose
to know God’s word; to believe God’s word;
to follow God’s word, we’re going to be a sitting
duck for all kinds of confusion, all kinds of disorder. Those are really
important choices that people have to make.>>And these choices
are difficult. Who am I going to marry? What kind of life
am I going to live? How am I going to raise my kids? What am I going to do
with my time, my talent, and my treasure? I have to make a choice today. Jesus says to each one of us, “I came that you might have
life, and have it to the full.” The question is:
Do we want it?>>Hey, welcome to another
week ofThe Choices We Face.Peter Herbeck and I are
here today, as we often are. And Peter, you know I’ve
just gotten back from Fatima a couple weeks ago,
and I wasn’t expecting to be really very struck by it. I’ve always believed in it. When I was a boy I made
the five first Saturdays, and I would occasionally
say the rosaries until my wife got
me saying it every day. You know, so I was saying it
every day for a while, you know, for a good while,
and I was there for the Catholic
Charismatic Renewal. They were celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the Renewal, and they were meeting there in
Fatima like they do every year. And they filled the conference
hall there with 2,300 people. So I was giving
four talks there, and it was very, very good. But then I visited the graves of
the three little children that Mary appeared to
way back in 1917, and I’m going to share
about that in a minute. I just was very, very
moved at their graves. There was Francisco,
Jacinta, and Lucia, three little children. They were seven years old, nine
years old and ten years old, and they were totally
normal children, and they were watching
their sheep in the field. They were in a rural
village in Fatima, and Mary appeared to them-
well before Mary appeared to them an angel prepared them for
Mary coming so I think they’re->>I’d forgotten about
that actually, but->>So I’d like to share a little
bit with folks about the lay of the land of the whole thing,
the main points.>>Yeah, tell us
the story, so we can all get kind
of brought up on it. Yeah, it would be good.>>Yeah, a lot of us
are familiar with it, but there’s some really-
there’s a depth of insight to it that I hadn’t really
realized until this time. So anyway, they’re
totally normal kids. They’re devout Catholic kids,
but the way they would say the Rosary- they would try to get
it over as quickly as possible. They’d say, “Hail Mary, Hail
Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Our Father,
Hail Mary, Hail Mary,” so they could get
back to playing. They loved to sing,
they loved to dance. They loved to be with
other kids, big festivals. Lucia liked to really
dress up real fancy. Her godmother kind of
gave her fancy clothes, and Jacinta was
a very gifted dancer. And they said that she could just hear a little shepherd’s
flute in the distance, and she’d start spinning
and twirling and dancing. So totally fun-loving,
really normal kids. And then one day this
light appeared to them, and it was an angel. And they said it looked like
a 14 or 15-year-old boy, totally luminous,
radiating light, and they just had a strong,
strong experience of Heaven, and the angel said,
“Don’t be afraid. Jesus and Mary have decided to
have mercy on you and entrust you with a mission, and I’m
here to teach you how to pray.” And so the angel himself
knelt down on the ground, put his forehead on the ground
and taught them this prayer: “My God, I believe
in you; I adore you; I hope in you;
and I love you. And I ask you to pardon those
who don’t believe in you and don’t adore you and don’t hope
in you and don’t love you.” And he said it three times, so the children
knelt down themselves, put their hands on their
forehead and began to say it. And what they said was that for a couple days they couldn’t even
talk to each other about it. It was such a strong
experience of Heaven, and just like the power of God, this presence of God
just came over them. That was in the spring
of 2016- or 1916. And then in the summer the angel
came back again and taught them another prayer or worshipped
the Holy Trinity again, prostrating themselves and
just bowing before the Lord. And then the third time he came
back and told them that they needed to pray and sacrifice
for the conversion of sinners.>>Did they have fear of the
interrupt- you know how when the angel
appears in the Bible, people often are
filled with holy fear.>>They did, and the first
thing the angel said, just like the angel said
to Mary is, “Don’t be afraid. Jesus and Mary are going
to have mercy on you.” But they said that their
experience of the Lord through the visit of the angel was
different than their experience when Mary appeared to them. They said after the angel
came, they were sort of like speechless and just in awe
about the holiness of God. They said when Mary came they
just felt a tremendous joy and lightness and happiness, and
there was like a different quality to the presence,
you know, type of thing, which is interesting.>>Yeah, it is, very much so.>>Now I was sharing this with
a couple that Anne and I, you know, are friends with,
and when I was sharing about the angel, the man began to cry,
which has never happened before. And he said, “I just can’t get
over the way in which these holy angels are so in awe of the
holiness of God and so bowing down before the holiness of God,
it just does something to me,” type of thing, you know? So there’s a lot more to
the appearances of the angels. But what the angels were doing was preparing the children
for Mary to appear to them, which happened on
May 13, 1917, the next year. And Mary told them that she
wanted them to come back for the next six months on the same
date and the same time. One time they couldn’t come
because they were in prison. Lucia said, “Whatever you do,”
to Jacinta and Francisco, “Don’t tell anybody
about what’s happening or people will
think we’re crazy.” Jacinta blurted it out that
night that a beautiful lady had appeared to them, and so that
started a whole buzz in the village,
and Jacinta and Francisco, they were brother and sister,
and their parents were sort of kind and favorable, but Lucia’s
mother just thought she was a deluded liar, just started
beating her and telling her to recant, and dragged her to
the parish priest and said, you know, “Go ahead,
reconfess your sin to him. Go ahead, tell him
that you’re lying.” And so she couldn’t of course
tell him that she was lying, so she took a lot of flak. The Church was
very hard on them. The secular authorities
were very hard on them. The secular authorities arrested
them so that they wouldn’t be there for an apparition,
so Mary appeared to them three days later
anyway in August. And so these six apparitions- and one of the most significant
ones is in July 6-July 13th where Mary gives
them a vision of Hell. And this was very, very key
for what Mary was going to ask them to do, and what
she was showing them about how they needed
to order their lives. So I’d just like to read to you
directly the vision of Hell.>>That’s the first
vision, isn’t it?>>It’s the first of
the three secrets. There’s those
three secrets, yeah. They’re called secrets because Mary didn’t want
them spoken about yet. She was wanting them to be
spoken about later, so yes, they knew they weren’t supposed
to talk about these things, that’s why they’re
called secrets, but they’re actually revelations
that the Lord was giving that at a certain point needed to
be spoken to everybody. So the first secret
is the vision of Hell, so I’m going to read this. This is from Father
Andrew Apostoli’s book. It’s called
Fatima For Today:
The Urgent Marian
Message of Hope.
I think this is the best
comprehensive overview of what’s really going on in Fatima
and its relevance for today. I know it’s available through
EWTN religious catalog. We have it also at
Renewal Ministries, but this what Mary showed them. This is Lucia’s
description of it: “The rays of light seemed
to penetrate the earth, and we saw it as a sea of fire. Plunged in the 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
gray clouds of smoke, now falling back on every
side like sparks in huge fires without weight or equilibrium,
amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair which horrified us
and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be
distinguished by their terrifying and repellent
likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and
transparent like burning coals. Terrified, and as if
to plead for help, we looked up at our Lady, who said to us so kindly and
so sadly,” this is the message: “You have seen Hell where the
souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to
establish in the world devotion to my immaculate heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved
and there will be peace.” Now the interesting
thing about this, is that this was
spoken in 1917 where World War I
is still going on. Horrible war, horrible war,
20 million people are killed, and Mary in another
part of the secret, the second part of
the secret, said that, “If there isn’t repentance, if
people don’t turn back to God, if they don’t stop
offending God, a second and worse
war will come.” And the sign that will be given that the second war is
coming is a sign in the sky. And of course in 1938, Lucia
looked out of her window in the Carmelite convent she was in,
and saw these lights across all over
the European skies. Scientists called
it “Aurora Borealis.” Lucia said if they looked into
it more closely they wouldn’t find that that’s what it was,
but it was the sign. A month later Hitler
annexed Austria, and that set the chain of
events that began World War II. So the message of Mary is that
prayer and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners
for reparation from sin, for the conversion of Russia,
for peace in the world. In one of the
apparitions she said, “I want you to pray
the Rosary every day.” She repeated it in
all six apparitions, “I want you to pray the Rosary
every day for the sake of conversion of sinners
and peace in the world.” So this is the message,
now what happened? Terrible opposition,
terrible persecution, and eventually
the children said, “Could you please give us a sign
so people will stop beating us, you know, that who you are,
would you please reveal who you are and do a miracle so people
can believe us,” you know. So Mary said,
“Yes, I’m going to do that.” On October 13, 1917,
70,000 people get together, the skies are just full of rain,
people have their umbrellas. Lucia all of a sudden
shouts out and says, “Put your umbrellas down,”
even though it’s still raining. Immediately the sun came out,
and it started to spin in the sky and come closer and closer
to Earth and people were completely dried out, the
ground was completely dried out, their clothes were completely
dried out, and even secular newspapers had it on the front
page, “Miracle of the Sun.”>>And many of them were freaking
out because they thought it was apocalyptic, like something like
the end of the world was coming. Because the sun was like- wasn’t it spinning
and moving toward them?>>Yeah, it was spinning
and moving towards->>Unexplainable, really.>>Yeah, it really was. Now Mary said if there
wasn’t so much skepticism, if there wasn’t so
much opposition, the miracle would have
been even greater. And so it’s really interesting,
the action of God tied to the receptivity of people,
you know, in the world. So the message is, “Pray and
sacrifice for the conversion of souls,” and this just made a
profound impact on the children. And the thing that most struck
me when I was there a few weeks ago is what happened
to the children. They went from being totally
normal children to being transformed by the encounter
with the angel and with Mary, with Jesus, and they just began
to devote their whole life. They just looked at life from
the perspective of eternity. They knew that the thing that
really had to happen for people is to be saved
from Hell and so, just some of the
things that they did. Like Lucia writes,
the children said, “Jacinta, come and play today.” And she says, “I don’t
want to play today.” “Why not?” “Because I’m thinking, the Lady
told us to say the Rosary and to make sacrifices for the
conversion of sinners, so from now on when we say the
Rosary we must say the whole Hail Mary and the whole Our
Father and the sacrifices. How are we going to make them?” Right away, Francisco
thought of a good sacrifice: “Let’s give our
lunch to the sheep and make the sacrifice
of doing without it.” So you see the simplicity and the normalcy
of the whole thing. “In a couple of minutes the
contents of our lunch bag had been divided among the sheep, so
that day we fasted as strictly as the most
austere Carthusian. Jacinta, sitting on a rock,
very thoughtful, she asks, “That lady also said that
many souls go to Hell, what is Hell then?” Well then Lucia,
who knew her catechism, said, “It’s like a big deep pit of
wild beasts with enormous fire on it and people go there
who don’t confess their sins, and they stay there forever. She says, “No, forever?” “Yes, forever. “Forever, no.” “Yes, forever.” She was profoundly
struck by that. Then she says, “Poor sinners,
we have to pray and make many sacrifices for them.” And then they do other things. They meet poor children. They give their lunch
to the poor children. One day somebody gave
them a gift of figs, and they were starving, and
Jacinta reaches for the fig and she says, “I haven’t
made any sacrifices today. I’m afraid this is going to
have to be the sacrifice.” So you see their humanity, their love for the
food that they really like, but then you see their
willingness to actually make sacrifices because,
you know, souls are at stake and conversion of
souls are at stake.>>Yeah now, how Ralph,
how did the sacrifices and even the little
sacrifices of children, how does that have an effect
along those lines, and why?>>It relates to the
sacrifice of Jesus. I mean what
Jesus basically did was offer a huge
sacrifice to God the Father. The sacrifice of taking
the form of a slave, taking the form of human
flesh, becoming one of us, taking on human nature, limiting
himself to his human nature in a certain kind of way. And then of course the sacrifice
of being a witness to the truth, being a speaker of the truth,
being the light of the world and having the darkness of the world
come against Him and reject Him, and have his own
people reject Him, the sadness of rejection and
suffering and crucifixion. And of course in the mystery of
God, this had been prepared for by all the
sacrifices in the Temple. This started way back
with Cain and Abel. There’s an instinct in humanity
to offer a sacrifice to God because it’s fitting to offer
something valuable to God. It’s fitting to offer something
precious to God as a sacrifice of praise, as a sacrifice
of thanksgiving, as a sacrifice of peace. And of course the fulfillment
of all those previous sacrifices was the sacrifice of Jesus
himself, who offered himself in an extremely painful
way on the cross. So Paul says, “I make up in my
own flesh what’s lacking in the sacrifice of Christ,”
of course nothing was lacking in the sufferings of Christ. Nothing’s lacking in the
sufferings of Christ, but in the profound mystery of
God’s decision of how He wants to bring about the
rescue of the human race, He wants us to participate
with Him voluntarily in offering our
lives as a living sacrifice. You know,
scripture says, “Offer your bodies
as a living sacrifice.” And Mary says, Mary asks the
question- asks the children the question, “Are you willing
to offer your sufferings? Are you willing
to suffer for the sake of the
salvation of souls?” It’s the same thing that God the Father in some
sense asked Jesus: “Are you willing to suffer
for the salvation of souls?”>>Like the way of
a disciple, really. The followers of Jesus->>Yeah, take up your cross. Take up your cross
and follow Jesus. So voluntarily, Mary said,
“Are you willing to accept the sacrifices that the
Lord sends your way?” Just the ordinary suffering
that comes to human life, the misunderstandings,
the persecution, the rejection,
whatever disappointments, and, “Are you willing to
voluntarily offer sacrifices?” Now they started
offering sacrifices maybe to excess at a certain point. They were wearing a rope around
their waist day and night as a way of offering up the permanent
discomfort to the Lord. Like some saints
have done, you know? And Mary appeared to them
one time and said, “You know, the Lord is really pleased
with what you’re doing, but he doesn’t want you to
wear that rope at night.” He wanted something fitting for
them that wouldn’t be excessive, that would be
appropriate for them. Anyway Peter, the story
for me is that, you know, I just felt convicted. You know, I really did. I felt convicted that I’m not doing enough for the salvation
of souls, you know. We’re doing the
television program for the salvation of souls. We’re doing everything
we’re doing, but I felt like in my own life I
had accepted a level of comfort and convenience and everything,
and I just needed to break out of that
a little bit more and just look for more
opportunities to voluntarily offer little sacrifices
like the children did for the salvation of souls,
for reparation for sin, too. As Mary’s saying, what you
do on behalf of others can really make a
difference for them. So this isn’t just us
making ourselves holy. This is for the
salvation of souls.>>It’s a spiritual battle. You’re fighting a
spiritual battle for others, and you’ve entered
in on a deeper level. You learned kind of what
weapons or what behaviors or what attitudes contribute
to victory in the battle. You know what I mean,
and really help people.>>And its very for
the sake of others. It’s not like
me making myself holy through
sacrifice and prayer. It’s like- it’s for the
salvation of souls, and it’s really encouraging that
Mary has told the children that we can make a difference. One day Jacinta did a
big sacrifice for her. I don’t remember
exactly what it was. I don’t know if it was the figs
or something else, she said, “I’m so glad that many
souls can be saved today.” You know, they just had a
complete confidence that this was making a difference,
that their prayer and sacrifice was making a difference. I want to say one last
thing about the children. Mary told Lucia that she needed
to learn how to read and write. She told the
other two children that she’s going to be
taking them to Heaven soon. So Francisco,
when he heard that said, “I guess I don’t need to
learn how to read or write.” So rather than
going to school, he spent his time before
the Blessed Sacrament. And the interesting thing too
is what Mary showed them struck each of the children
somewhat differently. Jacinta- Lucia writes it, says,
“Maybe Jacinta got more grace than the rest of us because
she was just so focused on the message of Mary and
particularly sacrifices to keep souls out of Hell,”
that type of thing. She says, “All of us were,
but Jacinta particularly.” She says, “Francisco was right
with us in all that,” and right with them through all that, but
he was particularly struck on the need to console Jesus, and
so him spending time with Jesus, just loving Jesus and being
with Jesus was in some ways his specialty type of thing,
although he did sacrifices just like everybody else and would
remind them to do sacrifices. And Lucia’s sacrifice was not
dying soon and going to Heaven. She felt terrible, that she was going
to be left behind. She was left behind
for another 87 years.>>She didn’t die until the
age of 97 in 2005, you know. And so- but then Mary
also asked Jacinta, “Are you willing
to accept even more suffering for
the sake of souls?” And she said yes, so Mary said,
“You’re going to get very sick, and you’re going to die alone
all by yourself in a hospital where nobody knows you.” And Jacinta was
afraid of that. When she was taken
off to the hospital she knew what was
going to happen. She was clinging to Lucia,
Lucia said, “I’ll pray for you, I’ll pray for you,”
and Jacinta said, “I so wish you were
going with me.” So the need for human love and
companionship and friendship was there, but then
Mary also told her, “Don’t be afraid because I will be with you, and I’m coming
to take you to Heaven.” So she died, you know,
less than two years after the apparitions started, Francisco
died a year and some months.>>So she was- Francisco
was the 7 year old, she was the 9 year old,
or was it the other way?>>Jacinta was 7, Francisco
was 9, and Lucia was 10.>>And so she died
at 9 then, Jacinta? She died at the age of 9. Now just, let’s step
back for a moment. Another mystery
in this whole thing, and I’ll try
and understand it. The world is, Mary said,
profoundly offending God, and a great war broke out,
and it was horrendous. But a greater war was
going to break out if not…>>50 million people
died in World War II. It was horrible,
demonic, terrible.>>We’re talking about literal
global wars, you know, like huge earthly
conflagrations of horror. And to warn the world,
to repair the world, they didn’t come
to the White House. She didn’t come to, you
know, Parliament in London. What’s being revealed,
that this urgent message from the living God would come
to illiterate children, who no one knows about and
don’t have a voice anywhere. When- help us understand,
what is this? What is God doing, and how
different God is than us?>>Well, I don’t think anybody
can speak the whole wisdom of it because it’s much more profound
than anybody can understand, but I think one reason is He
wanted children who wouldn’t complicate things with their
own theological theories, who didn’t have any
theological theories, who just had a simple faith. I think another
thing He wanted was, He wanted to underline
what He says in the Gospel, that unless you become
like a little child you will not enter
the Kingdom of God. I think another thing
He was looking for was childlike, wholehearted,
taking to heart, mind and soul and body
what was spoken to them. The receptivity to revelation
and the grace to order your whole life in what’s being
revealed to you, and to be willing to take up the cross
every day and following Jesus. So in some ways they’re
model disciples, even though they’re
7, 9, and 10 years old. In some ways they’re showing us
the kind of response to God’s revelation of Heaven and Hell
and the spiritual battle that’s going on that He’s really
inviting all of us to make. And honestly,
that’s how they’re functioning in my
life right now, Peter. I knew about Jacinta,
I knew about Francisco, I knew the story, but I never had any
personal sense of connection. But seeing their graves there,
and then this year of course- well in 1980 John Paul II
beatified Francisco and Jacinta, the youngest children
ever beatified. This last year Pope
Francis canonized them, and of course the cause
for Sister Lucia’s opening, and they’re all
three buried there. When Jacinta was moved from the
graveyard in 1950 to where she was moved to, I think she was
first moved to the Church and then to the Basilica, when they opened her
coffin she was incorrupt. And there’s many accounts of her
intercession while she was still alive bringing healings
to people and souls, everything like that. So I can’t explain
the whole mystery, but there’s a wonderful
mystery there that we need to receive like
little children. I think we just need to
respond to Mary’s request.>>You know,
one last thing, Ralph. You know, we may have brothers
and sisters from other denominations watching
us and things like that on the program, which
they often do, right? So sometimes they don’t
quite- why is Mary so front and center, why is
she the messenger? Why is she saying- isn’t she
drawing attention to her, and isn’t that diminishing
Jesus in some way? You know, what would
you say about that?>>Well, I’d say Peter,
it’s not as easy to explain as some people
explain it. I think it’s rooted
in a decision of God. God has decided to do it like
this because he wants His mother honored and loved, and He wants
to entrust into her hands a very significant role in what
happens to the world. So, you know, I wouldn’t
have done it that way, I think that the key
phrase there is, “God has decided
to do it this way.” And of course,
Mary remains just a creature, but God decided to
use Peter and Paul, too. You know Paul said,
“Imitate me as I imitate Jesus.” So Mary in some ways is saying
God wants us to perceive her wholehearted surrender to the
Lord, her purity of heart, her total love for
the Holy Trinity, and He wants us to learn from
her heart how to love the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit
like she does and carry out the mission that’s
entrusted to all of us.>>I think you’re saying, she
really is the first disciple. In fact, she’s a
disciple of her own Son. Right, and everything
that Mary’s been given has been given to
her by her Son. It’s not like the glory that she
shares in and all the richness of God’s special grace is given
to her as a result of something she’s produced or
she’s done because she’s like a
super creature. That’s not what the
Catholic Church teaches. She’s a human being
who’s been graced by God from the
moment of her conception, and set apart because of the
mission God was giving her in the salvation history through
her Son, Jesus Christ, and she’s sharing in the
glory that belongs to Jesus in a unique,
a particularly unique way.>>Yeah, and she’s a total
foretaste of what the amazing thing God has decided to do
with all of us in raising us to life in the Trinity. We could talk about this a lot
more, Peter, but I’m glad you asked that last question, it’s
the beginning of an answer.>>Hey, I’ve
written a booklet. We’d like you to have it. It’s called
What Happens When I Die?
Go to our website,
click on the free booklet, renewalministries.net, and
we’ll send it right off to you. Or call the 800 number,
but until next week I’m going to ask you to do what Mary
asked us to do. Say the Rosary every day
if you’re a Catholic, maybe even if you’re not,
and offer sacrifices, offer suffering, offer prayers
for the conversion of sinners for the salvation of souls
for peace of the world.>>We all die, but not
all deaths are the same. To die in unrepented sin is a
bitter death that will only lead to the indescribable agony of
eternal separation from God. But to die as a Christian,
our sins forgiven, is to die a very
different kind of death, a death which has
now been transformed into a doorway to Paradise. I’ve written a booklet called
What Happens When I Die?
to help you and I end up in
Paradise rather than in Hell. Go to our website,
renewalministries.net, and simply click on the booklet, or
call the number on the screen, and we’ll send it
right out to you just for the
asking for free. What a gift we’ve been given. We can die in the love of
Christ and be with Him forever. ♪

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