© 2017 EWTN, www.ewtn.com/fatima
Leading their flock out from Aljustrel on the morning of the 13th of May, the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, the three children passed Fátima, where the parish church and cemetery could be found, and proceeded north to the slopes of the Cova. Here they allowed their sheep to graze as they played in the pasture land. After having had their lunch they decided to pray a rosary, although in a somewhat truncated fashion, saying only the first words of each prayer. Shortly, they were startled by what they later described as "lightening in a clear sky." Thinking that a storm might be approaching they debated whether they should take the sheep and go home. Preparing to do so they were again surprised bya strange light.
And we began to go down the slope driving the sheep towards the road. When we were half-way down, near a holm oak there [the large tree which today is encircled with an iron fence], we saw another flash of lightening, and after a few steps we saw on a holm oak [a small one lower on the hillside] a lady dressed in white, shining brighter than the sun, giving out rays of clear and intense light, just like a crystal goblet full of pure water when the fiery sun passes through it. We stopped astounded by the Apparition.READ MORE
© 2017 EWTN, www.ewtn.com/fatima
Beginning in the spring of 1916, three visitations of the Guardian Angel of Portugal served as preparation for the visits the next year of the Mother of God.
In rural Portugal of 1916, it would not have been unusual to see children leading their family flocks to pasture. This is what the children of the Marto and Santos families, cousins all, did on many days. Often it was Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta, who gladly undertook this chore, grateful for the chance to be outdoors and to play as the sheep silently grazed. They would take their families' few sheep to graze on small plots of land owned by their parents in different parts of the sera, the mountainous plateau on which was located the village of Fátima (where the parish church was) and Aljustrel (where the children actually resided).READ MORE
You might be aware that our Mass Intention book is now completely full for 2017. This hasn't been a problem in the past, but this year we have simply "run out of Masses." First of all, it warms my heart because it shows your love for your loved ones and also your deep faith in the power of the Mass. However, I am sorry as I know many have not been able to have a Mass said for someone and particularly not on the day you would like to have it.READ MORE
Beginning with Holy Week, and through these first couple of weeks of Easter, I have been remindedof the joy of being Catholic. In particular, celebrating the Easter Vigil, which included baptizing twoyoung men and bringing 16 other people into full Communion with the Catholic Church, then when over60 of our children also became fully Catholic through the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharistthis weekend have been jubilant occasions. What a blessing it is to be a part of the Church founded byChrist, the vehicle through which God has called us and every person to holiness and eternal life inHeaven!READ MORE
Happy Easter everyone — our Lord is Risen, Alleluia! Today, the Deacons are preaching in order to give Fr. Rey and I a little break after Easter. I have the utmost confidence that our Deaconswill be preaching inspiringly on Divine Mercy and, in particular, on the Sacrament of Confession. Inour Gospel today, Jesus instituted this great sacrament when He gave the power to bind and loosesins to His disciples (the first bishops). Therefore, I wanted to share a little reflection based upon ourfirst reading for this Sunday that I heard from Dr. Brant Pitre, one of my favorite theologians. During theSeason of Easter, the first reading isn’t taken from the Old Testament, but instead, from the Acts ofthe Apostles. Today, the first verse of our first reading is key: Acts 2:42. Here are Dr. Brant Pitre’sinspiring comments:READ MORE
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
Happy Easter! What a glorious time this is. Our Lord, out oflove for each and every one of us, gave up his life for our sake,for our salvation, because that is what love does, it sacrificesand gives all for the one it loves. Christ has destroyed eternaldeath and we are not held bound anymore, because of whatthe Lord has done, now the death that we deserve because ofour sin is only temporary and not eternal. Our Lord has madeeternal life possible, but to attain what the Lord has made forus we must die to ourselves and live for Him. To die to ourselvesmeans that we are to die to our own selfish desires and seek to serve others, it means to worktowards detaching ourselves from sinful pleasures. To live for God means that we take time everyday in prayer and surrender our plans and desires, and we invite Him into every aspect of our lives,asking Him to take control so that His will can be done in our lives.READ MORE
We have come to Holy Week, let us make it the holiest week of the year. Now that we've cometo the last week of Lent, let us not limp but sprint in our love for God to the finish line. Let us Prayeven more and really intentionally pray from our hearts. Let us Fast even more and unite our sufferings and desires to the Cross of Christ for it is there that our sacrifices find meaning and purpose.Let us give even more in Almsgiving and not count the cost because our Lord who is never outdonein generosity is about to give His whole self out of love for us.READ MORE
From a sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzen
Recognize to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise, and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity. You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?READ MORE
From a sermon by Pope Saint Leo the Great
Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God, and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God. The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator, and the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him, demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude.
But with the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit.READ MORE
Based on the teachings of The Institute for Priestly Formation
Acknowledge: become aware of, pay attention to, notice, and name my thoughts, feelings, and desires
The single most important conviction I want to share with you is that Prayer is a Personal Response to God's Presence.
May I try to explain this?
Either you and I are more important than God, or God is more important than we are. The answer is obvious, isn't it? He is more important than we are. Further if what God wants and does is more important than what we want or do, then more of our attention should be focused on what God is and does. Again, what God wants to say to us is more important for us than anything we may have to say to Him. And God does want tospeak and communicate Himself to us.READ MORE
Excerpt from the treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice
No one who is in love with himself is capable of loving God. The man who loves God is the one who mortifies his self-love for the sake of the immeasurable blessings of divine love. Such a man never seeks his own glory but only the glory of God. If a person loves himself he seeks his own glory, but the man who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. Anyone alive to the love of God can be recognized from the way he constantly strives to glorify him by fulfilling all his commandments and by delighting in his own abasement. Because of his great majesty it is fitting that God should receive glory, but if he hopes to win God's favor it becomes man to be humble. If we possess this love for God, we too will rejoice in his glory as Saint John the Baptist did, and we shall never stop repeating: His fame must increase, but mine must diminish.READ MORE