Why Our Lady of Fatima’s Message is Relevant 100 Years Later

our lady of fatima

 

 

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 13, 2017.


The centennial anniversary for any historical event is impressive. Reaching one hundred years is a relatively rare thing in the animal kingdom: humans, tortoises, bowhead whales, and jellyfish to name a few centenarians. May 13, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of Mary’s appearances to three young shepherd children in the city of Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady of Fatima’s message is always applicable. Here are three reasons why.

Mary is Always God’s Mother

Icon portraying Mary as Theotokos

The Catholic Church has always believed that Mary is the Mother of God. Jesus entrusted Mary as Mother of the Church in John 19:26-27. The evangelist writes, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son. Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

To combat a false teaching that tried to deny Mary’s role as the Mother of God, the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. formally declared Mary as Theotokos—God-bearer. It’s also fitting the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima fell on the Eve of Mother’s Day! This is another reminder Mary is a spiritual mother to all.

The Fatima Prayer and Divine Mercy

One of the most popular Catholic prayers that we learned from this Marian Apparitation in Portugal is simply known as the Fatima Prayer. It is a simple yet powerful prayer:

O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

The most important message Mary brought to those three shepherd children to share with the rest of the world is— Divine Mercy. Mary desires to bring all people closer to her Son. God desires Christians to pray for the the salvation of EVERYONE!

Our Lady of Fatima as Bridge to Islam

The single greatest book I have ever read about Mary is The World’s First Love: Mary, Mother of God by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. He begins chapter 17 of this book title Mary and the Moslems by mentioning the references Mary has in the Koran and the honor she has in the religion of Islam.

Fulton Sheen on Our Lady of Fatima

One of the best book on Mary I’ve ever read!

The passage I found most fascinating is when Sheen explains why Mary appeared to the small village of Fatima,

“Mary, then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary.”In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say: “I surpass all the women, except Mary.”… Since nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details,

I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too” ( The World’s First Love: Mary, Mother of God p. 141).

I agree with Sheen; the selection of Mary’s 1917 Apparition seems too fitting to be a mere coincidence. Let us continue to ask Mary to work in the hearts of non-Christians to draw them to Christ!

Today is also the completion of my wife and I’s Marian Retreat which culminates with a consecration to Jesus through Mary. Through drawing ourselves closer to the person who is closest to Jesus we ourselves are drawing ourselves closer to Jesus Himself. Thank you God for the gift of Our Lady of Fatima and we pray that all of humanity is able to more deeply grow in love!

Related Links and Resources

Our Lady of Fatima & Eucharistic Devotion

Fatima Family Center

 

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Planetary Peregrination II—Reviewing C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra



Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 23, 2017.


We already looked at the first novel in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy—Out of the Silent Planet. Here’s my thoughts and analysis of his second installment of his Space Trilogy—Perelandra. Like the diversity of the planets of our solar system so too does Lewis paint another vivid portrayal of Dr. Ransom’s trip to Earth’s other neighbor: Venus.

venus

Perelandra: Lewis’ name for Venus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book opens up with Dr. Elwin Ransom a few years removed from his celestial journey to Malancandra [Mars]. Here he receives an assignment from Oyarsa—the angelic ruler of Malacandra—to travel to Perendra [Venus] to thwart an attack by Satan! Before I continue on with the synopsis, I want to point out something interesting I discovered about the first name of Dr. Ransom. While I do not necessary know the exact motivation for Lewis’ selection of appellations I think it is telling, along with a type of foreshadowing, that Elwin is a splicing together of the ancient word for God plus win thus equaling God wins as a meaning of the main character’s name!

Now to go back to  the story, Ransom travels to the second planet from the Sun in a coffin-like  spaceship and wakes up to a vastly different world from his time on Malancandra. Kaleidoscopic and oceanic, Perelandra is largely composed of fluid raft-like islands and the planet contained a singular geographic feature called the Fixed Land.

New Mission (and Planet) for Dr. Ransom

Unlike his first space adventure, Ransom initially only encounters a single rational being—known as the Queen of the planet, an Eve-like figure. The green-skinned Queen hints at Ransom’s mission of savior and prevention of a reenactment of the Genesis Fall when she says, “that in your world Maleldil [Jesus] first took Himself this form, the form of your race and mine…Since our Beloved became a man, how should Reason in any world take on another form?” (p. 54). What the Queen refers to is that the Incarnation of God only happened once—on Earth.

perelandra

Perelandra represented a “New Garden of Eden”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Garden of Eden/The Fall

It is not until the antagonist Weston from the first novel suddenly arrives on the scene that the battle over Perelandra begins.  Through a constant onslaught of materialistic arguments Weston, who is possessed by the Devil, tried to get the Queen to disobey Maleldil’s order to avoid sleeping a night on the Fixed Land.

Weston continues to charismatically expand on his reasons for the Green Lady to disobey Maleldil and spend a night on the Fixed Land. He focuses on the fact that this command does not really seem to make much sense and urges her that rules are meant to be broken.

The possessed Weston says,

These other commands of His—to love, to sleep, to fill this world with your children—you see for yourself they are good. And they are the same in all worlds. But the command against living on the Fixed Land is not so. You have already learned he gave no such command to my world. And you cannot see where the goodness of it is. No wonder. If it were really good, must He not have commanded it to all worlds alike? For how could Maleldil not command what is good? There is no good in it. Maleldil Himself is showing you that, this moment, through your own reason. It is mere command. It is forbidding for the mere sake of forbidding (p. 100).

The Incarnation Happens Only Once

Eventually, the diabolical argument posed by Weston crescendos when he tells the Queen the side effects of the First Fall on Earth—namely Maleldil becoming Incarnate to save humanity.

While hope is seemingly lost, Dr. Ransom realizes through a guidance of the divine voice that he himself is the savior of Perelandra. Lewis writes,

What happened on Earth, when Maleldil was born man at Bethelham, had altered the universe for ever. The new world of Perelandra was not merely a repetition of the old world Tellus. Maleldil never repeated himself. One of the purposes for which He had done all this was to save Perelandra not through Himself but through Himself in Ransom (p. 123)

Ransom eventually defeats the Un-man [Satanic possessed Weston] and the Queen is reunited with the King and the heavenly bliss continues on Perelandra. Finally, Ransom returns to Earth and continues to follow Maleldil’s mission to fight evil.

The Verdict

I loved reading this book! Like Out of the Silent Planet I give Perelandra four out of five stars. The only real downside to the book was the minimal amount of characters used throughout the novel. Aside from that issue, I enjoyed the abundant and colorful descriptions of the planet and the theological insight provided by Lewis.

So far this is the only book I have ever read that satisfies my speculative theological appetite and scientific curiosity about extraterrestrial life. The author also provides a compelling explanation for how life may exist on other planets without contradicting the Christian truth of Jesus Christ as the sole mediator.

Due to the linear nature of time, God never repeats Himself and as a result only one Incarnational event took place—2,000 years ago in Israel. Our mission as Christians if intelligent life exists outside of Earth is to unite ourselves to the One Mediator and evangelize. I highly recommend this book to any curious soul that loves C.S. Lewis, space travel, or theology!

Incarnation

Related Links

Planetary Peregrination—Reviewing C.S. Lewis’ Science Fiction

Planetary Peregrination III- Reviewing C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength

The 3 Temptations of Perelandra’s Eve and Mary’s Immaculate Conception

 

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Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 4

Another weekend gone and a new Monday is here.

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday. 😊

I can’t unsee this now. My eyes will automatically flip spiralled churches to the side. 😊😅
This meme never fails to hit you on the funny bone.
#truthbomb
Love endures forever!
Be an encourager. 😉

That’s all I have this week. Stay alert for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

Thank you for sharing!

Planetary Peregrination—Reviewing C.S. Lewis’ Science Fiction


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 16, 2017.


Growing up I had those glow-in-the-dark planet decals attached to the ceiling of my bedroom. Space exploration and the study of astronomy always fascinated me and still grips my attention. As a kid, I even made sure my planet decals were proportionately spaced from the sun [the light in the center of my bedroom ceiling] as the real planets’ orbit around the sun!

I have maintained a love of space through my reading of both scientifically based works like Stephen Hawkings’ A History of Time and Space to sci-fi works like Spin by Robert Charles Wilson.

About five years ago, my cousin introduced me to another sci-fi series related to space—one by Clives Staples Lewis! You heard me right, the same C.S. Lewis who wrote great Christian apologetic works of The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity. The same C.S. Lewis who his endeared children with the Chronicles of Narnia.

Penned by the motivation of a literary challenge to delve into the genre of science fiction posed by his close friend J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis branched out and wrote three tales in The Space Trilogy. Because I want to share this amazing work, here is a brief review of the first book— Out of the Silent Planet.

Unfallen World

The basic theme of the book centers around the idea of what life would look like in an unfallen [without Original Sin] world. Out of the Silent Planet opens with the primary antagonists—Devine and Weston— kidnapping main character, Dr. Elwin Ransom. The kidnappers’ aim is to find another planet to colonize in hopes to perpetuate the human race. Ransom, Devine, and Weston end up on a mysterious planet known as Malacandra [more commonly known as Mars!].

malacandra mars

Malacandra: Lewis’ name for Mars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the book focuses on Dr. Ransom’s interactions with the planet’s hnau [a word used to describe rationale beings]. Ransom learns that the inhabitants of Malacandra do not suffer from the effects of Original Sin like humans from Earth do. A mutual respect between the species and self-less obedience to Maeldil [Jesus Christ] exist. Furthermore, he learns that angelic beings known as Oyarsa guides each planet in the solar system. What is different about Earth’s [called the Silent Planet] guardian is that our Oyarsa became Bent and led humanity toward a path of selfishness and destruction.

What Does it Mean to be Human?

The remainder of Out of the Silent Planet explores the relationship between the various Malacandrian species. Lewis juxtaposes this harmony against the strife daily seen on Earth.  What I really enjoy about this book is Lewis’ ability to imagine an unfallen world and ponder how that would concretely exist. His portrayal of the various species on Malacandra assumes that being a hnau [person] is not limited to a particular species.  Image a world where humans, dolphins, dogs, and chimps all are viewed as rationale beings who mutually respect each other and worship the same God!

out of the silent planet

Hrossa: the humanoid-otter species Dr. Ransom first encounters in Out of the Silent Planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Lewis’ tale is both a fantastical and metaphysical experience. The language of the hrossa, the first species Ransom encounters, is fun to learn. Moreover, the idea of an unfallen world definitely puts a new spin on space travel for me. Despite the book ending a bit philosophically, Lewis’ wit pervades Out of the Silent Planet. Without giving too much of the ending away I want to share a small quote from Out of the Silent Planet.

The chief Oyarsa [angel] in charge of Malacandra tells Weston,

“The weakest of my people do not fear death. It is the Bent One, the lord of your world, who wastes your lives and befouls them with flying from what you know will overtake you in the end. If you were subjects of Maleldil you would have peace” (p. 138-139).

The Verdict

Overall, I would give Out of the Silent Planet four out of five stars. My only real concern was initially the style of writing at the beginning of the book took a little getting used to. Nevertheless, I loved the theme and the relationship between Ransom and the three alien species. Having re-read this book multiple times I encourage you to check out your local library or search for this book online. This is a must have work for any ardent C.S. Lewis fan!

out of the silent planet

 

Related Links

Planetary Peregrination II- Reviewing C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra

Planetary Peregrination III- Reviewing C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength

The Challenge: How C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy Came Into Being

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Laugh Your Way to Holiness: A Review of The Catholic Card Game

Catholic Card Game

Photo credit: catholiccardgame.com

G.K. Chesterton wrote, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.”

The Catholic Church has survived for 2,000 years because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the ability to not be too severe and rigid.

It has opportunities for joy and laughter. Catholic Card Game is a fruit of such balance found in Catholicism.

It’s like “Saint Thomas Aquinas meets Saint Philip Neri”!

Read more of my review by clicking the link 👇

Laugh Your Way To Holiness With Catholic Card Game

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Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 3

Hope you had a blessed weekend! Mondays get a bad rap but I’m trying to change that with another Catholic Meme Monday.

Enjoy the latest funny memes I discovered 👇

A classic Catholic meme! This one never gets old. 😉😂
A Noah’s ark meme I’ve never seen before.
Double whammy: Catholic and Lord of the Rings humor. 😜💍
Our God is greater!
The devil went down to the bowling alley?!? 🎳😂😁

That’s all I have this week. Stay alert for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

May you have a blessed week! 🙏😊

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Saint Catherine of Siena’s Miracle in My Life

The only Doctor of the Church who was neither ordained nor part of the consecrated life. Catherine was a third-order Dominican so technically part of the laity. So cool!

Saint Catherine of Siena pray for us!

Quick story 👇

Signs were pointing to another impending miscarriage.

This would have been our fifth. Every other pregnancy ended in pain and sadness.

The timing wasn’t the greatest either. My wife was going to miscarry on Mother’s Day 2018.

We had our parish priest administer the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick in hopes for healing.

We petitioned Saint Catherine to intercede and protect my unborn child.

Since May 2018, every night we ask for the intercession of Catherine of Siena as a way to thank her and God.

Avila Catherine Geraldine trying to help me exercise. Lol

By the grace of God my daughter was safely born and is energetic.

We named (middle name) our daughter after the Sienese saint.

Learn more about this incredible saint👇

Catherine of Siena—Pious Paladin for Today’s Current Clergy Corruption

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