This is the month of October, and much is being made over the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.  It is wonderful to hear of all the interest in the Apparitions and the restatement of Our Lady’s messages and warnings to the world at that time. I’ve heard about these messages all my life and was able to learn of a more detailed rendition of the actual happenings of the Apparitions about 30 years ago.  Unfortunately, what accompanied that as my interest developed and my research started was the instance of repeated doomsday warnings and apocalyptic prophesies.  Surely the “vision of hell” given to the children was authentic and helpful, and we should all have a fear of hell as a result of our own particular judgment.  But I recall getting a sense of more of the apocalypse and facing the end of the world because of the great presence of sin in the world and lack of morality.  I repeat:  that was 30 years ago.

So fast forward to 2017, and what are we hearing now.  Well, of course morality in the world has become worse and sin surely has intensified.  So, here we are 30 years later, and the world is still spinning.  The messages of Our Lady of Fatima were pretty simple and just repeated some basic fundamental practices all Catholics should observe:  pray the Rosary, do penance, fast, amend one’s life, and frequent the Sacraments.  Our Lady’s message particular to that time was the coming of a 2nd World War, and that did happen.  Much is being made over the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions as though this has some meaning pertinent to the extremely blatant moral issues that are intensifying in recent years.

I think we just need to calm down a bit and get a perspective on where we are in history to know how to incorporate the messages into our life today.  For one, it is private revelation (and some will debate that too), so one is not required to follow it.  Further, as a parent, I know that idle threats simply do not work.  So we need to take the Fatima message at its face value and not read our own impressions or warnings into it.  As I said, I’ve been aware of the messages to a fuller extent over the last 30 years and have watched the world continue to spin.  I think what happens is that Catholics become frustrated over the condition of the world and quickly seek for a heavenly intervention without realizing that we are the ones who are to intervene in society and make a difference.  Finally, what has occurred during my lifetime of 49 years is the advent of Post-Christendom, a unique time in history when the world got along with the Church.  The Church has never compromised with the world.  We are returning now to a time when the world rejects the Church.  It is the cycle of human history.  Pagans will be pagans and will act like pagans and make pagan laws.  That doesn’t lead to the end of the world, but of course could lead to the martyrdom of devout Catholics.

There were other warnings at Fatima though that I’d like to focus on because they involve things that Catholic families do have control over and must make a diligent effort to address: (1) that Russia would spread her errors if the messages weren’t heeded, and (2) that there would be many fashions that would be offensive to God.  I’ve seen numerous supposedly “good Catholic” families who disregard these warnings altogether and purposely live lives similar to the pagans in our culture.  When Our Lady speaks of Russia spreading her errors, most people automatically default to speaking of atheistic Communism.  What is missing is the emphasis on cultural Marxism which is prevalent in the Western world today as opposed to Communism.

Cultural Marxism seeks to remove the mother from the home, to demean her domestic duties and commitments, and to employ her in the occupations more proper to the husband.  So how many Catholics of today have both spouses working unnecessarily just for the possessions of the world?  Often they will justify this saying they need the income to provide for the “education” of their children.  This really means that they want to pay for their children’s college education as though that is their obligation.  A parent is in no way obliged to send their children to college.  So often college students are simply not cut out to be there.  These schools are set up as a racket funded by the government with no guarantees that any benefit will ever be derived.  Possibly some of our male children may indeed need to get a degree for the occupation to which God calls them.  Then so be it.  But to say that I will limit the number of children I will have so that I can pay for all of them to go to college simply is not justifiable.

But as far as the female children, why are Catholic parents sending them into these pagan environments infested with immorality where their innocence is most certainly to be lost?  Do we as parents realize what we will have to answer for in forcing our children into near occasions of sin?  But they will say that “you can’t take their education away from them.”  I’m still not sure what that means.  Then after spending all the money and effort to obtain the degree, they will not want their daughters to “waste” it by staying home and being “just a mother.”  After all, Catholic parents want their daughters to have all the “opportunities” open to them.  This is really just a lie.  They don’t want her to have the opportunity to embrace her true God-given femininity by being open to life and receiving the children God wants to send them.  Look at how minute the Catholic family size has become deliberately.  For certainly, once she gets into her career, children will only be a burden.  So to have more of them will definitely cause strain that otherwise would not be there.

The simple issue with this is that it is not God’s design for woman.  Just recently, my wife had another lady in her 50’s tell her that women were not intended to work like men.  But the pagan system we live in tells them otherwise.  Parents are to be there to open their children’s eyes to these truths.  But they can’t if they are not informed by the truths of the Church.  Parents are blinded by the same cultural Marxism that is inflicted upon their children.  This is so contrary to God’s design which has always been upheld by the Catholic Church.  Everything about the woman is primarily centered around her motherhood.  But by going the route of the Marxist culture which has been leveraged by the feminist agenda, that motherhood is delayed, then diminished, then extinguished.  So many women I encounter have regret.  It is evidenced that they are not intended to work as men when they quit working sometime in their 40’s or 50’s because their eyes are opened that it’s just not worth it.  The “career” was simply a ploy.  It is nowhere nearly as fulfilling as raising one’s own children.  Then everything stops, and they look back, and it’s too late.  It’s all over, and they can’t go back.  Parents are depriving their daughters of being real women.  Does transgenderism sound all too familiar now?

There is a tremendous opportunity set before young mothers today.  The Church has always taught that parents are the primary educators of their children.  A generation or two ago, some courageous Catholic and Christian parents pioneered the homeschool movement.  It is firmly entrenched in our society today.  It is commonly accepted and approved and quite successful at educating children.  The beauty of it is that it goes hand-in-hand with all that is being said here.  A young mother does not have to leave the home.  She can have her babies, raise and nurture them, and then educate them herself without having to stave off being open to more children.  This is the Catholic vision for young women of today.  This is what is empowering to them in allowing them to live true to their feminine nature.  The young ladies who have consulted us and embraced this life have no regrets and are so thankful they took this step.

The other warning Our Lady gave us at Fatima that is so often ignored today is the state of immodest and frankly disgraceful fashions of today particularly worn by females.  This has traditionally been a responsibility of the father to guide in his home.  The all too familiar phrase of the father in the home saying “Go right back upstairs and change that outfit” comes to mind.  Of course a couple of factors have driven this protection out of many Catholic homes.  For one, the father is often not present as divorce has become commonplace even in Catholic homes.  So when he does get to see his daughter, he would feel guilty about possibly telling her there is anything wrong with the way she is dressed.  The other factor is the lack of respect so many wives have for their husbands.  The whole concept of submission has been done away with since the 50’s as though it isn’t still present in the Bible and the Magisterial teaching of the Church.  Woe to those who do not teach.

So the mothers who won’t listen to their husbands and seeing in their daughters a “beautiful” replica of themselves from 30+ years ago.  Only she is not dressed in a beautiful manner.  She is provocative; she is alluring following the pagan Marxist culture all around her.  And the father (who so often will be wrapped in guilt and shame because he is addicted to pornography) dares not say anything of what is obviously very wrong.

Our Lady said that there would be many fashions that would offend our Lord, and that more souls would go to hell over sins of the flesh than any other sin in her messages at Fatima.  Do we recall these warnings?  It is so easy to alert those around us to the horrors of immorality in society around us while ignoring those under our own noses.  Fathers, the leadership of the family falls squarely on our backs.  It is ours to carry.  Satan’s attack point now is the family.  According to Fatima, this is the final attack.  But that doesn’t mean anything will end any time soon.  This could still last for ages and likely will.  Satan’s more specific attack point of the family is the father.  He wants our wives and our children and is coming through us.  Now is the time for men to take responsibility over what is ours not over the things in the culture around us we cannot influence.  Instruct your wives; protect your daughters.  Give your daughters the opportunity to be the modest, fruitful woman God designed her to be.  We will all be judged for obedience to God according to our state in life.  Decide and act accordingly.

God bless you