„Words enthuse – Examples lead!“
39 participants at the 2018-M.I.-retreat in Germany, in the SSPX retreat house called „Porta Coeli“, placed on a hill above a little town called Lauterbach in the Black Forest, could delve deep into the meaning of these words.
Already in the last two years the topic of the MI-retreats had been the meaning and the up to the present relevance of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima. This year we could somehow „witness“ the worldwide effects of Fatima – not only in the church but also in public life.
The First Decades
Portugal could break free from a firmly established anti-catholic government and built up a flourishing catholic society. Astonishingly it didn’t got involved neither in the Spanish Civil War nor in World War II.
Our Lady becomes a pilgrim: in the simple and silent statue of Our Lady of Fatima she moves through the whole world and conquers not only millions of souls:
For encouraged by Pope Pius XII one country after the other consecrated itself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Angola, Germany, Oceania, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Hungary, Vietnam and many more. Countries, which couldn’t be more different.
Does not already the miracle of the sun in Fatima show that Mary is of the utmost importance! Does not all the Fatima following events show, that Mary indeed is the mighty virgin who overcomes all the heresies! If one complies with her requests …
Sadly enough, today all this is rarely remembered in the world and even in the church. Some background to what led to this development was also part of this year’s retreat talks.
But the promises of the Mother of God are as good as ever. An impressive example of this is the „Mary’s Mission Tour“ which Rev. Father Stehlin introduced to us as part of a slide show about his „little parish called District of Asia“: Intended as a modest Thanksgiving-pilgrimage of the SSPX for the up to the present received graces, they crossed the Philippines on foot for around 2.000 km with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima – and were taken completely by surprise with people literally flocking to them. Even towns, public institutions and whole provinces consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during this pilgrimage.
Following these examples of public reverence towards Our Lady of Fatima we could add our little share on Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost. In the dusk – with lit candles in our hands, praying the rosary and singing the Fatima hymn – we carried Our Lady through the silent evening countryside.
Mystery of Salvation
Our times it is given to witness the unfolding of the mystery of salvation of the Immaculate Conception. This mystery of salvation was presented to us by Rev. Father Stehlin and Rev. Father Trutt in a magnificent synopsis revealing the organic unity of the works of St Louis Grignion de Montfort, St Maximilian Kolbe, the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes and in Fatima.
All graces have been merited by Jesus‘ death on the cross on Golgotha and are allocated to us in each Holy Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. The chanal by which they flow to us is Mary.
„He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.‘“ (Jn 7, 38).
So our task in daily life is simply to be side chanals and to link our fellow human beings to the main chanal, Mary, Full of Grace. It is certain that each friendly gesture, however small, by which she is welcomed, will be rewarded for eternity.
„Jesus whishes to make use of you to make me known and loved.“ (Our Lady of Fatima to Lucia, 1917, June 13th)
This call followed 9 new members enrolling in the M.I. at the end of the retreat on Pentecost Monday. In a solemn ceremony we all prayed together the act of consecration to the bride of the Holy Ghost, who bears his name: Immaculate Conception.
„Make me an instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands to serve you, so as to increase as much as possible your honor in so many tepid souls that have fallen away from the faith and thus to extend the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For upon whatever place you enter, you implore the grace of conversion and sanctification, for all graces come to us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus only through your hands.“ (Extract from the Act of Consecration)
If you too are interested to join the M.I. you do not have to wait for the next MI-retreat. You‘re welcome to address any of the priests of the SSPX.
To the Priestly Society of St Pius X who provides the MI apostolat with their Fathers!
To our Fathers and all those who make such days of grace possible by their efforts, prayers and sacrifices!
May Our Lord reward you for eternity!