Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Review: Fatima For Today
I believe that Mary has asked me to read this book. I’ve only just begun it, yet I am so convinced of its importance for me that I document that fact with this blog posting, so that I shall remember, and can look back on this date at some point in the future.
I am not a religious nut (by most measures), but I have learned to trust in my Mother’s guidance. This book will be good for me (although I do not know how), and as such I feel justified in recommending it.
That is the summation of my review --- at least at this point.
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I was reading another book this past week. I found the words of the book, Theology on the Way to Emmaus by Nicholas Lash, touched my soul, and I underlined much of Nash’s writings. Yesterday morning, however, suddenly the words changed, like into a foreign language. The first half of the book had so much depth and wisdom that I knew I should read this book over and over again in the future. I thanked God for showing me His wisdom there, and then halfway through the book, the words suddenly had no meaning for me. I prayed some over the words, but nothing changed. While I had taken days to read and ponder the first half, I skimmed through the rest of the book in under an hour, underlining nothing.
It felt strange, like I was suddenly reading a different book or a different author --- and a boring one. I did not understand.
Late last night as I prepared to leave for my midnight adoration hour, I casually picked up a new book to read from my stack of unread spiritual readings, and then after reading my Night Prayers in the chapel I began reading that book, Fatima For Today:
“World War I, called the war to end all wars, was threatening to annihilate Europe. To end the conflict, Pope Benedict XV began a novena to the Queen of Peace on May 5, 1917. ….On Sunday, May 13, 1917, the eighth day of the novena, our Lady responded to the prayers of the pope and her children in this valley of tears by appearing for the first time at Fatima. Her message, with its hopeful promise, as well as its strong warnings, was meant for the whole world. Pope John Paul II … said that it was more urgent and important in our day than it was in 1917.”
I quickly saw how this new book would deepen my understanding of the words that I had read in Fr. Gaitley’s book, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, which I recently reviewed here.
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This morning when I arrived at church for mass and began to read my Liturgy of the Hours, my mind went blank as to today’s date. Was today May 14th? If so, there were special Readings for that day, the feast day of St. Matthias the Apostle. I pulled out my little Liturgy guide and looked up the date for today, and pages for the appropriate Readings. I was surprised at what I saw:
“May 13: Wednesday of the 6th Week of Easter, Our Lady of Fatima (new).”
Today was a newly designated feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. And today at midnight I had begun reading the book, Fatima For Today, the book which had laid on my bookshelf untouched for months. The book itself was a gift from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a religious order which I’ve supported for many years. The book was written by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, a founder of that order.
I pray to one of the other founders of that order every day; he’s a man I deeply admire: Fr. Benedict Groeschel. He also was deeply devoted to Mary.
I thought on all these things which happened last night and today, even as I listened to the mass Readings which mentioned Christ’s Second Coming --- a topic of these books and Fatima, and the Sun peeked through the narrow window of the church and shined in my face with blinding light.
These things happen for a reason.
Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for us.