N° 68 : Voluntary Sacrifices

Newsletter n°68 (31 January 2018)

 

Dear friends,

This Saturday being a first Saturday of the month, you will find, as from now on with each newsletter diffused just before a first Saturday of the month, a meditation.  This month it is on the 2nd Joyful Mystery.

These meditations are purposefully somewhat long, so that they can be used by everyone.  It’s not necessary to read everything.  They are only a support to help us meditate well for a quarter of an hour.  Some of you who find meditating difficult, will want to read it all;  others will only read a few paragraphs and reflect on them for the rest of the time.  So there is no obligation to read to the end of the proposed text.  What matters, is to meditate for 15 minutes on a mystery of the Rosary.

This Saturday, we propose offering our communion for the second kind of blasphemy against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:  blasphemies against her virginity.

Consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

On the 2nd of February, there will still be many people who are going to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and receive the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Pray for them.  Amongst them are people in very delicate situations and for whom Our Lady is the last recourse.  May this consecration be for them a source of grace and bear much fruit.

Daily recitation of the Rosary

Following the last newsletter about the Rosary, we have received some lovely testimonies, in particular:

I learned by myself how to say the Rosary.  For those who have trouble saying it, they’ll see that it just happens;  sometimes, even while just out walking, they’ll feel the need to pray and, like me, they’ll say that the rosary is a loving encounter with God.  My children aren’t there yet.  They find it long to say 50 “Hail Marys”, but even the smallest who is 9 years old said it twice yesterday for his big brother who was having an operation!

This testimony gives us the courage to say our Rosary well every day.  And if it’s still difficult for us we can ask our Heavenly Mother to give us the grace to love saying to her the prayer she requested so much, for example, by reciting the prayer proposed in the last newsletter.

Praying the Rosary together (in our families, our parish, with friends, …) can also be a precious help in giving us the strength to do it.  Here is what Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort taught about this (The Admirable Secret of the Rosary, 46th Rose):

Finally, when the Rosary is said in common, it is far more formidable to the devil, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking him.  He can often overcome the prayer of an individual, but if it is joined to that of others, the devil has much more trouble in getting the best of it.  It is easy to break a single stick;  but if you join it to others to make a bundle, it cannot be broken.  Vis unita fit fortior.  Soldiers join together in an army to overcome their enemies;  immoral people often come together for parties of debauchery and dancing;  evil spirits join forces in order to make us lose our souls.  Why then, should not Christians join forces to have Jesus Christ present with them to appease the anger of God, to draw down his grace and mercy on us, and to frustrate and overcome the devil more forcefully?

Sacrifices asked for by Heaven

In newsletters n°64 and n°65, we have seen that the sacrifices asked for by Heaven were, above all, the offering of sacrifices encountered in the accomplishment of the duties of our state of life and in obedience to divine law, in other words, those which we do not choose.  But this does not mean that we should exclude sacrifices which we make voluntarily.  In this respect, the example of the little seers is very clear.  In the memoirs she wrote at the request of her bishop, in particular the first memoir dedicated to Jacinta, Lucia describes all the sacrifices that they imposed on themselves:  giving their mid-day meal to young beggars, going without drinking even in the middle of summer, eating bitter things like acorns when they were hungry, wearing a cord around the waist, whipping their legs with nettles, …  (See the extracts from the first memoir on sacrifices.)

Later on, Sister Lucia confided to Father Fuentès:

My cousins Francisco and Jacinta made sacrifices because, in all the apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin, they always saw Her very sad.  She never smiled at us and this sadness, this anguish that we noticed in Her, caused by offenses made against God and the punishments which menace sinners, penetrated our souls and we thought only, with our childish little imaginations, of inventing different ways of praying and making sacrifices.

During the apparition of the 13th of September, Our Lady made known to Lucia that God was satisfied with these sacrifices:  “God is happy with your sacrifices but he doesn’t want you to sleep with the cord.  Only wear it during the day.”  In the apparitions at Fatima, this sentence has not been the object of many commentaries.  It is moreover, once again, extremely rich.

First of all, Our Lady affirms that God Himself is happy with these sacrifices.  It is truly extraordinary to see that the Creator of the universe was Himself interested in such an apparently trivial detail such as sleeping with a cord around the waist.

Then, the little seers offered their sacrifices to Our Lady, but it is God who replies that He is content.  Our Lady therefore offered their sacrifices to God.  We can be confident that it will be the same for all the sacrifices we offer to our Heavenly Mother.

Another very important point:  not only does God show His contentment at seeing the children impose sacrifices upon themselves, but He also stipulates that, in this domain, He wants them to practise moderation.  Don’t be mistaken in thinking we are saints!  We are weakened by original sin:  therefore, we cannot necessarily impose on ourselves the same penances as great saints.  We should remain humble in the choice of the sacrifices we make.  God does not give everyone the grace of being able to support heroic penances.  And He Himself fixed the limits of how much we can add to our sacrifices.  This is why He had His Mother say to the little seers:  “He doesn’t want you to sleep with the cord.  Only wear it during the day.

A good way of practising moderation in the penances that we voluntarily impose upon ourselves is, if possible, to ask the opinion of our confessor or spiritual director.  That’s what the saints did.  Saint Margaret-Mary Alacoque, asked by a soul in purgatory to suffer on its behalf for three months so as to mitigate its own suffering, reported the request to her superior and obtained the following response:  “My superior, touched by compassion, directed me to do good penances, especially mortifications… ”  We should follow her example.  Moreover, we will transform a voluntary penance into a penance undertaken through obedience, which is what God wants above all.

In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Yves de Lassus.

The conflagration in the sky of the 25th of January 1938

Testimonies regarding the conflagration in the sky during the night of the 25th to the 26th of January 1938 keep coming in, notably newspaper cuttings (see the page on the phenomenon of the 25th of January 1938).  Many people still alive today were not able to witness the phenomenon because being children at the time, they were usually in bed when it began.  Newspapers, then, are surely the richest and above all the most reliable sources because they can be verified.  Therefore, do not hesitate to send us the results of any research you have been able to do.

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