Today is the 90th anniversary of the first apparition of our Lady to the three children—Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos—in the Portuguese town of Fatima. It is also Mother’s Day on the secular calendar—I’ll have more to say about both of these in a moment, but first I want to tell you about something related to both of them:
About two months ago, I was invited by the Broward Sheriff’s Chaplain, The Reverend Rick Braswell, to attend a community meeting here in Deerfield Beach. The meeting was hosted by Ken Jenne, the County Sheriff, who gave a brief introduction, outlining the increasing concern over the rise of violent crime among younger people (say, 15 to 25 years of age). The Sheriff then threw open the rest of the meeting for questions and complaints from the local citizens. He saw to it that phone numbers were taken and specific concerns would be addressed by the Chief of Police in the appropriate township or district.
What I found particularly interesting was that even though many of the people were quite passionate about their concerns, there was very little anger in their voices. Most were far more concerned with finding solutions than with “pointing fingers.” There were a few isolated complaints about police officer attitude, but virtually everyone was pleased to see the officer on the beat just as often as possible. “Yeah,” the schools weren’t bringing the children under control, but, then, the children came school pretty wild, and some didn’t come to school at all. There was a lady who had retired from the Sheriff’s Office, and was now a liaison at the school—the kids were an ardent concern for her.
At least three spoke from the position of parents, genuinely trying to do their job. One man, I believe, “nailed” the issue by saying that no matter what he did to instill the values he had learned as a young man, the world around him and his family was no longer the same—in fact, most of the outside influences seemed to be trying to undo those values: the “rap” music, and the violent movies and videos, and trashy nature of just about everything his family was exposed to in the media (even some of the commercials are a bit embarrassing to watch with the family).
Another parent, a mother, suggested that there just wasn’t enough cooperation between families—kids knew that no one would “snitch” on them if they were seen doing something wrong: “When I was a girl, coming up, and I did something wrong, my parents knew about if before I got home—and we were poor folks; nobody had any kind of telephone in those days—now we all got cell phones, but nobody knows what their kids are doing.”
What both of these parents said really “came home” to me a few Sundays ago when I happened to watch CBS’s Sixty Minutes. The program, titled “Stop Snitchin,’” reflected both the violent, vulgar, racist character of “rap” music—and the accompanying anti-ethic of not cooperating with the police in any investigation, even of the most violent or degrading crimes. These folks are making millions, vigorously repeating the stuff that “The I-Man” (Don Imus) got fired for saying once or twice on the radio.
The people at Sheriff Jenne’s town meeting were raising their voices very much as our Lady predicted they might, during her appearances at Fatima between May and October of 1917. She told the children that is was necessary to “pray intensely and to make sacrifices for sinners.” There is altogether too little prayer and penance in the world today, but there are some mothers and fathers who have not been able to forget this obligation.
“Many souls will be lost,” she said, due to immorality ... due to immodesty ... due to marriages that are not of God ... due to priests who are not pure and single-mindedly concerned with God and the good of souls. She asked for Holy Communion to be received in reparation for these sins against God and her own Immaculate Heart, Rosaries to be recited, First Saturdays to be observed.
“I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the five First Saturdays ... [if my requests are not granted, Russia] will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and the persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be destroyed.”
The “October Revolution” of Vladimir Lenin followed almost immediately on the last appearance of our Lady at Fatima. Russia’s errors scattered very quickly. The Czar and his family were murdered. The entire country was enslaved by Lenin’s murderous interpretation of Karl Marx’ twisted economics. The famous “sealed train” brought Lenin from exile in Switzerland, together with a lot of money from the Bankers of the West. At their basic level, the errors that Russia would scatter came from Germany—Marx himself (1818-1883) was a follower of Georg Hegel (1770-1831) and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872)—and from the French philosóphe, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).
Marx’ errors are a story for another time, but in a nutshell, they call for a world order in which no one owns anything; income is heavily and progressively taxed; there is no right to inheritance; banking, communications, and transportation are a government monopoly; all children are educated by the State; and work assignments are dictated by a central bureaucracy; Marx’ ideas about the equality of women sound like Sigmund Freud on steroids. “Religion is the opium of the people.” When all of this has been achieved, “government will just wither away,” he says, leaving a whole lot of happy people, who will work, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” May God preserve us from Karl Marx’ “utopia.”
One may protest that “Communism is dead,” but one would be wrong. The violent Marxism of Lenin or Stalin may be over with, but a more subtle, “cultural Marxism”—the “politically correct” social order in which we are taught to think and to say only that which deemed proper by a pagan global society. One must not “snitch” on the criminal or the pervert, or the corrupt politicians—indeed, one ought not to think about them at all, if one is to get ahead—and, certainly, one must take care never to mention Jesus Christ or His Blessed Mother in public. (Happy winter solstice holiday to all!)
Now, today is Mothers’ Day, and we should, of course, observe it in traditional form. Be sure to visit or call her if she is still alive, take her to dinner, or bring her favorite flowers—make her feel like the all important woman she is. Whether she is living or dead, keep her in your prayers, for you owe your very existence to her. Today’s Mass includes prayers for all of our departed mothers (and fathers as well). In fact, this is a good time to pray for all of those people, men or women, family or friends, who had a formative influence on your life.
Most of us like to receive flowers and candy, and to be fussed over. But I know that if you were to ask the essentially good mother what gift it was that she wanted most, her answer would be phrased in terms of her children. Her answer would be very much like those parents I heard at the Sheriff’s meeting; her answer would be very much like the words of our Blessed Mother at Fatima. She would say, “I want you to keep my children and their grand children from the harmful things of the world; don’t let them ruin their lives in this world, and please don’t let them lose their souls in the next!”
It is quite within our ability to give that most desired gift to our mothers and to Mary the Mother of all, whom we know to be “essentially good mothers.” As our Mothers’ children, we must be good in ourselves, refraining from the greed, hatred, and immorality which have become so common in our times. We must return to prayer and penance, particularly for those who do neither for themselves. Don’t forget the Rosary, and frequent Holy Communion, and First Saturday devotions. Pray for holy men and women to enter the priesthood and religious life—and for similarly holy men and women to take up the vocation of husband and wife, raising up God fearing children.
Pray for the conversion, not just of Russia, but of the whole world. The errors of Russia, which are identical with Marxism, require first the destruction of civilization as we know it, all over the world—not just in this country or that. That is why we see our culture falling apart everywhere we look—cultural Marxism requires it. Be politically incorrect! Pray! Celebrate the “Christmas” and “Easter” “Holy Days,” and not just “the holidays.” Speak aloud of “sin” and be willing to do penance. Educate yourself about what is going on around you; vote accordingly. Do “snitch”! Don’t turn a blind eye when you see something going wrong in your neighborhood. Don’t allow violence and immorality to enter your home through the papers and magazines, the radio or television, through the recording, or the Internet, or by any other means—all of those things use your money to destroy your Mothers’ grandchildren—and she won’t love you for that!
Today is Mother’s day as well as Mary’s day. Spend some time with each of them. Promise both of them that you will do your best to work and pray at keeping yourself and their grandchildren’s children holy in this world and happy in the next. Both will love you for that gift—more than for any other gift you can give.
 This is a quote purely from memory, and I did not get the woman’s name. The substance is correct.
 The quotations of our Lady of Fatima are paraphrased from Abbey Press, Saint Meinrad’s Abbey, Indiana, Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan from Heaven, 1950 (TAN reprint).
 7 November 1917 (October 25 on the Julian calendar in use in Orthodox Russia).
 16-17 July 1918 (Evening and morning of the feasts of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the Humility of Mary).
 Marx, Communist Manifesto.
 Marx in the “Critique of the Gotha Program." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critique_of_the_Gotha_Program and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_need