Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Thought -- Why is gratitude such a difficult virtue?

I am sure you remember the story in the Gospel about the 10 lepers that Our Lord cured.  Only 1 came back to thank Him.  Surprising?
Imagine.... that you are suffering from a terminal illness with 6 months left to live.
I know it sounds dreadful but just picture it for a moment.
You have prepared your family and friends and arranged your final will…
…you look around your surroundings and you realize that soon you will not see any of it any more.
The thought of dying and leaving all your friends and loved ones behind is constantly on your mind and it overwhelms you.
Day after day you sit on your porch and find yourself listing all the things you wish you had done for people and for God… but your life will soon be over, time is running out.
You weep over and over on your own…   Death stares you in the face and every day it comes a little closer.  You are frightened and scared. Really scared!
And then, one blessed day you run into a holy man. He looks at you and feels pity on you. He approaches and touches you and soon you feel different. You go to the doctor and, after a series of tests, you are given a clean bill of health, your illness is gone. And in fact, the doctor tells you that you are healthier than ever before.
Imagine your reaction:  shock, followed by disbelief.  Then joy and amazement! 
A few days later, you receive the official medical report in the mail confirming what the doctor told you at the hospital.
You again sit on your porch and it slowly begins to sink in.  You begin smiling to yourself and tears of joy run down your face.
Then you rush to the phone and begin calling all your family and friends to share the wonderful news with them.
But then, what would be the next thing you would do?
The answer is obvious. “I need to go thank the man who cured me.  I will be indebted to this man forever.  Where is He?”
This would be the right and the just thing to do! 
But this was not what the 9 lepers did.  Unfortunately, such ingratitude is quite common for human nature.
My dear friend, this Thanksgiving I would like to be bold enough to suggest something to you. It is only a suggestion from a brother in the Faith.
Find a quiet moment by yourself and make a list of all the things you should thank God for.  Write them all down and keep the list near your bed. You may find days in the future when it will profit you spiritually to read the list to yourself again and maybe even add a thing or two to it.
Also, I want to share with you a couple of articles about Gratitude that may help you.
And last but not least, I have my own list of gratitude and it includes all my friends like you at America Needs Fatima. It also includes 14,108 Public Rosary Rallies this year and so many other opportunities to fight for the honor of Jesus and Mary which I am only able to do with your help and support.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
And please remember to take a moment to thank those around you who deserve your gratitude.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving,
America Needs Fatima

Monday, November 9, 2015

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Courtesy of

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Fatima July 29 2014 6pm Facebook
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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Today is First Saturday

The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and indifferent men.

1st Five Saturdays Devotion Card Banner

During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays. Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in 1929.
While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra, Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud. Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it.
Sister Lucia heard the Boy say, "Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to make an act of reparation to pull them out."
Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,
"See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.

Why Five Saturdays?     
Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our Lord gave were as follows:
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:
  a.    Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
  b.    Blasphemies against her virginity
  c.    Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
  d.    Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
  e.    Direct insults against Her sacred images
Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to the practice.

Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation
The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive Communion on five consecutive first Saturdays; to say five decades of the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for the sins of men.
In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude, Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to observe:
  • Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  • Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to confession.
  • Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several suffice.
With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.

This devotion is so necessary in our days
The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this. Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages, religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men.
The First Five Saturdays devotion stimulates the spirit of reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world that we live in.
Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.

Solimeo, Luiz Sergio, Fatima, A Message More Urgent than Ever 
(Spring Grove, PA: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property-TFP, 2008.)
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