by Father Nicholas Gruner
''In the end, My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph!"
Many true Catholics these days, in the laity and in the priesthood in Canada, United States and overseas increasingly do see themselves without help and without any apparent solution.
It is a terribly besetting situation for them all because they see many Church officials and organizations and individual Catholics falling by the wayside to the spirit of the world. The apostasy seems to have invaded the Church officials, parishioners and chancery offices.
No longer do many of our true Catholic brethren look up to the bishops and their pastors for help in the distress they feel and the hunger they experience for pure simple Catholicism which they expected to find proclaimed, taught and experienced at the parish level, in the catechisms, in the liturgical and prayer life of the parish, in the books and sermons that are offered to them within the Catholic community, and in the exemplary lives they have been taught to look for in those publicly professing the evangelical councils.
As Father Paul Crane, S.J., editor of Christian Order puts it so aptly:
"It is not merely a case of the hungry sheep looking up and not being fed. Nowadays the hungry sheep are not even bothering to look up, so certain are they that they will not be fed. Experientia docet; they know from bitter experience that there is no point in their doing so."
And Father Crane further explains:
"It is greatly to their credit - enormously so - that, despite the frustration that besets them, they have held fast to the Faith of their Fathers, the Faith for which the English Martyrs died. To my way of thinking, contemporary Catholics who hold so firmly to their Faith, often against all odds, are the true martyrs of our own time. May God bless them for it."
It is a great credit to the orthodox Catholics that they have held on to the faith - despite the bad example, the heretical teaching, the heteropraxis of the "modern Catholic" parish.
What Can Be Done?
What can be done in a situation like this? At first sight it seems very little! It seems at second sight that there is even less we can do when we consider those true Catholics who have dared to speak their minds openly in defense of the Catholic Faith and practices in a lawful, justified and reasoned and reasonable criticism of bishops and priests.
Yet those in authority by their words, their actions or by their omissions have caused the defenders of the faith to be neutralized and marginalized to the point where defenders of the faith and tradition are publicly abused by the neomodernist Secularists who seem to have taken over the control of the Church to a certain extent at all levels; local, diocesan, national and international.
In such circumstances what can any true and loyal Catholic do?
First: We Must Pray
At Fatima Our Lady insisted on the Rosary. At least five decades of the Rosary every day.
We must pray because it is by prayer that we will save our souls. "He who prays will be saved. He who does not pray will be condemned" said St. Alphonsus de Liguori. This is especially true in our time because we are living in a time of Apostasy- perhaps it is the time of the Great Apostasy predicted in Sacred Scripture when even the elect would be deceived if that were possible.
Our Lady promised to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan that if we prayed the Rosary every day we would not fall into heresy. And if one had already fallen into heresy, that is, been deceived by the devil and his followers into denying an article of faith, he would be led to hell if he persisted in that error. Our Lady promised if he prayed the Rosary he would not long stay in heresy. Prayer, especially the Rosary, is more important for all of us today than ever.
Second: We should pray for the Pope
We should pray for the Pope becaue it is only the Pope who can save the Church and the world from being plunged into darkness and captivity. Pray, pray especially for the Holy Father as only he alone personally can turn this situation around.
It is true that some few, a remnant of Faithful, will be left even in the time of full blown apostasy and the conquest of worldwide Communist victory which is certain to happen - if the Pope does not soon give the order to consecrate Russia.
All the Pope needs to do is give the order under pain of excommunication to all the Catholic bishops - to consecrate Russia on the same day in a solemn public ceremony.
If some of the bishops do not cooperate, their cooperation would not be necessary because they would be excommunicated and no longer Catholic bishops. Therefore their absence would not constitute a less than 100% participation by all the Catholic bishops.
And it seems that it is only necessary for the Pope to give the order to the bishops to conform to Our Lady's request for the conversion of Russia to take place and peace given to the world. Of course he himself must personally carry out this command of Our Lady.
Sister Lucia did not suggest that the Pope had to wait until he had the consent of the bishops before formally asking them - rather she said it was for the Pope to give the order. That order given, plus the Pope's own obedience, is all that is necessary and I quote from her letter of May 29, 1930.
"... the good God promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father deigns to make and orders that equally, the bishops of the Catholic world make a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary promising His Holiness with the help of the end of this persecution to approve and recommend the practice of the already indicated Reparatory Devotion." (The Five First Saturdays).
So we must pray for the Pope, we must pray especially the Rosary for him because the first triumph of Our Lady will be the obedience of the Pope. And the Pope now hesitates only because he is persecuted.
As the Fatima Message tells us that the Pope would be persecuted we must free him from his persecutors like the first Christians freed St. Peter by praying for him and he was freed from Herod's prison by an angel because of their unceasing prayers.
Third: Hold On to the Faith
Hold on to the Faith, above all things as handed on to us - this is our obligation as our Catholic Faith teaches us we must hold on to the Faith even against the will of bad priests and bishops.
To hold on to the Faith at this time we must not only pray for our own souls in this time of apostasy; we must not only pray for the Pope that he soon be freed of his persecutors and then consecrate Russia; we must also be informed.
That is, we must know our Faith, read books of and by the saints. Particularly, we should read the Catechism of the Council of Trent, written by Saint Charles Borromeo and published and promulgated by Saint Pius V, which is the best single and most authoritative book to help you know your Faith. And also read about Fatima because it is a prophecy for our time.
God sends prophets for every generation not to give a new doctrine but to remind the Faithful what they must do to save their souls.
And to help save our souls today we must realize that Fatima is a most important prophetic revelation for our time. God worked the great miracle of the sun and the cure of the sick and the conversion of sinners at Fatima and these miracles and other extraordinary graces given through Our Lady of Fatima still continue to this day.
God worked such great miracles for us to realize that indeed His Message at Fatima is for us to ponder and live.
And at Fatima the Third Secret was given to warn us of the apostasy now overtaking the Church.
Fourth: We Must Not be Scandalized
We must not be scandalized and fall into disbelief (like the Apostles were when they saw Judas lead Christ into captivity and to crucifixion, just as today when we see the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ being betrayed by Judases among the ranks of bishops and clergy.
We must realize that just as the Passion and death of Christ was predicted so is the Mystical passion and death of the Church predicted and that many will fall away. We must not be ruined by the bad example of others.
Not even the scandalous behavior of some priests, some bishops and even some Cardinals should deter us from living and believing the Catholic Faith. Because we must hold onto the Catholic Faith to save our souls. Outside the Church there is no salvation. And once someone loses Faith he is outside the Church.
This apostasy of our times we were warned against in the Fatima Secret (see the articles by John Collorafi and Frère Michel about the Third Secret in Issues No. 20 and 26.
Also see the words of Cardinal Ratzinger - "The Third Secret concerns the dangers to our Faith and therefore to the life of the Christian and therefore to the life of the world." These words were first published in English in The Fatima Crusader Issue No. 18.)
Our Lady Herself alluded to it in the part that has been publicly revealed - "But in Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved." - indicating clearly that elsewhere the dogma of the Faith will not be preserved. This prophecy is for our time and we are obviously living through an apostasy.
Be aware then that the Apostasy we are living through should come as no shock to you - it was foreseen by God, predicted in Sacred Scripture that even some bishops would arise seeking to lead their flock away from Christ (see Acts, 20:28-30) and that a time of great apostasy would come upon the whole world (see 1 Thes. 2:3) And when Christ returns He asks "Will He find Faith upon the Earth?".
So be not scandalized, hold onto the Faith. If possible, join with others in prayer and friendship who share your orthodox Catholic Faith, since this way we get moral support and can help each other in these difficult times. As Sacred Scripture tells us a good friend is like a fortified city.
Fifth: Work and Study to Spread the Fatima Message
We must also work, study and pray to spread the full Fatima Message - because it is through knowledge of and obedience to this Message that many souls will be saved including souls of your loved ones. It is by overcoming the tactics the devil has used to silence Our Lady of Fatima and Her saving Message we will hasten the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.
We should continue to petition the Pope and the bishops for the consecration of Russia and for revealing the Third Secret. Because as Our Lady said, "If My requests are granted, Russia will be converted and peace will be given to the world."
And She certainly requested that the Pope reveal the secret to the world by 1960 and that he consecrate Russia together with all the bishops.
It is only by the Church's obedience to her Queen that we will be delivered from the mess the Church is in today.
Although many true and loyal Catholics have addressed themselves with honest, fair and well balanced criticism to pastors of the Church only to be neutralized and marginalized, Jesus tells us that through the Message of Fatima that it is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary - They will not, like the unfaithful pastors, turn us off.
III. NEVER LOSE CONFIDENCE
Lastly, let us never lose confidence in Jesus and Mary and in the final victory. It is certain. It is promised. And it is near.
Our Lady said, "But in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, it will be converted and a period of peace will be given to the world."
It is obvious that the Pope has not yet consecrated Russia according to Our Lady of Fatima's requests.(1) It is also obvious that faithful Catholics are still much too often not being fed properly in doctrine and in liturgy by their pastors, and that faithful true Catholics are being neutralized and marginalized by some bad bishops but nevertheless the victory is ours. And it is not long in coming.
Our Lady of Good Fortune Also Forewarns Us
We have the prophetic words of Our Lady given at Quito, South America on February 2, 1634. The Church has approved this prophetic revelation of Our Lady of Good Fortune and it is a prophecy for the 20th Century.
The prophecy tells us that the time of heresy and apostasy we are living through will not last into the 21st Century and as we all know there are only 11 years left to this 20th Century. It is well for us to quote here directly Our Lady's own words:
"... at the end of the 19th Century and for a large part of the 20th, various heresies will flourish on this earth which will have become a free republic. The precious light of the Faith will go out in souls because of the almost total moral corruption in those times there will be great physical and moral calamities, in private and in public.
"The little number of souls keeping the Faith and practicing the virtues will undergo cruel and unspeakable suffering; through their long, drawn out martyrdom many of them will go to their death because of the violence of their sufferings, and those will count as martyrs who gave their lives for Church or for country.
"To escape from being enslaved by these heresies will call for great strength of will, constancy, courage and great trust in God, all of which are gifts from the merciful love of My Divine Son to those He will have chosen for the work of restoration ... there will come moments when everything seems lost and paralyzed, and just then comes the happy beginning of the complete restoration."
"You alone have crushed all heresies" the Church sings in her Liturgy honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. So the triumph of Our Lady - the Victor over heresy and apostasy is within 11 years and yet we must prepare for the worst. The whole world will be enslaved by Communist Russia if the consecration does not take place in time.
We can see this clearly in Sister Lucia's words to William Thomas Walsh. Sister Lucia said:
"What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done, She will convert Russia and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country of the world."
Mr. Thomas Walsh asked her:
"Does this mean, in your opinion, that every country without exception, will be overcome by Communism?"
Mr. Walsh wanted to be positive about the answer and therefore repeated the question adding "and does that mean the United States of America too?" Sister Lucia answered "yes."(3)
Sister Lucia confirmed again to Father Fuentes that the whole world will be enslaved by Communist Russia if the Pope does not consecrate Russia in time. She told Father Fuentes on December 26, 1957:
"She (Our Lady) said that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation."
It is clear from the words of Jesus and Mary to Sister Lucia on many occasions that there is only one way that the conversion of Russia will take place. That is by the Pope and bishops obeying exactly the command to consecrate Russia. If it is not done soon we are going to lose our homes, families, friends and lives.
We then must work and pray and never lose confidence.
OUR LADY'S VICTORY IS NEAR.