by Fr. Carlo Magno Saa, FSSPX
It is precisely a hundred years since the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared at Fatima. Nevertheless, her message is not history, but an on-going actually. For as long as there is a soul to be saved, her most important message remains valid, namely – “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart is our refuge and we enter it through prayer and sacrifice. Prayer is the lifting-up of our souls to eternal realities, towards God – heaven, hell and purgatory. It is asking Him the things necessary for our eternal salvation which is the conformity of our lives to that of Jesus and Mary outlined in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Sacrifice, on the other hand, is the compliment of prayer. While prayer obtains graces from God, sacrifice disposes us to receive them.
All of us know that sacrifice is something difficult because it is the offering of all that we are, and all that we have, to show God’s absolute dominion and our loving subjection. It is the narrow path the leads to heaven. And here, Mary’s Immaculate Heart is both our model and our mother. She is our model in her immaculate purity the essential characteristic of a sacrificial victim. But most of all, she is our mother who sympathizes and empathizes in all our daily struggles and efforts in order to convert ourselves and make reparations for our sins and those of others.
Therefore, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can be summarized into four words – prayer and sacrifice, conversion and reparation. If we live by them, then our consecration is not just empty words, but a living reality and a loving service to God and to our neighbors.