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Kolbean Meditations

The Prayer that Renews the World


September 2017


One of the most desirable places to visit on pilgrimage to Fatima is the “Loca do cabeço”, a few hundred meters from Aljustrel, an area that includes the houses of the Shepherds. Here an Angel appeared to the three little visionaries in the spring and autumn of 1916, introducing them into an unexpected "adventure" of suffering and grace.  

A century has passed since then, but the heavenly message and the "resonance" that moved the hearts of the little children continue to enlighten the Church. Already from the beginning of the first unexpected "appointment" the way of prayer and adoration was proposed to them by the attitude and words of the Angel, who introduced them into the mystery of the Trinity. The three shepherds were thus "initiated" in God's logic, , that is that the world can radically erase its evil only through, prayer, sacrifice, penance, and charity. Heaven gradually penetrated their daily lives, elevating their desires and embellishing everything with a supernatural light. These three children, with their simple and generous "yes," became light and an example of sanctity for the whole Church.   During this centenary year we are invited to recover this "gaze of the Spirit" upon our existence. It is heaven that determines the correct reading of reality, and it is Heaven that helps us to walk well here below. The energy that moves us does not come from ourselves, but is Grace: it is a supernatural dew that disrupts our actions, our lives, our human relationships and sanctifies them, making us apostles of forgiveness, of hope and of sincere charity.  

“The message of Fatima asks us to pray, and pray intensely. To pray for peace is an essential appeal of the message and that the best way to pray is through meditation and the rosary.”[1] Why not daily Mass? Sister Lucia asked the question. It was underlined that not everyone can go to daily Mass, but everyone can carry the rosary with them.   

The rosary, in the message of Fatima, is the most requested. The Blessed Virgin Mary asked the prayer of the rosary in all six of her appearances. ."Recite the rosary every day." No other devotion in the Church has been as recommended as this by the Popes, because the rosary orients the heart to the Gospel and directs us to the path that will lead us to heaven.   “Every time we recite the rosary, contemplating the mysteries, we find ourselves in intimate communion of thoughts and sentiments with the teachings and the life of Jesus, son of God, son of Mary. The rosary, therefore, enters us in an almost natural way into the life of Christ and to breathe his sentiments; it forces us to form a life of full communion with him.…“[2]. The meditations of the mysteries thus push us to follow the path beaten by Christ and his mother, and makes love for the Divine Redeemer and every person, even for our enemy, blossom in us! [3] “If Jesus is your teacher, this is what he teaches you: love your enemy and embrace him as a friend."[4]. It is in prayer that an enemy is transformed into a friend; it is in prayer, the burning bush, where God, our Father, calls us to contemplate the compassion that burns in his heart for Moses and each one of us. In prayer, the power of love, the destiny of people and every life changes.

“A characteristic note of the message of Fatima is that it is at the center of the worlds worries and the tragic events of the last century...…”[5]. On May 13, 1981, there was an attempted assassination in St. Peter's Square against the Pope, Saint John Paul II, who was strongly convinced of being spared by a maternal hand: One hand - that of the assassin- had fired and another hand had deviated.” This shows that unchangeable destiny does not exist and that faith and prayer are stronger than division. Faith and prayer can change the history of the world and our own personal history. That bullet is now buried in the crown placed on the head of the statue of the Madonna in Fatima.  
Browsing the Scriptures, we see that God continually hears the cry of the poor, the weak, the defenseless who invoke his help. One needs only to trust and wait; certainly, the Lord will arrive and help us.  

Father Maximilian Kolbe has deeply heard the truth of these words and has left us a rich letter on prayer, in which we read that "prayer is a means that people do not know about, and yet it is the most effective way to restore peace in the soul, to give them happiness...Prayer revives the world...Let us pray, let us pray well, pray much, both with our lips and in our thought...how our sins will vanish, and our flaws will weaken, how gently and powerfully we will come ever closer to God...To the extent in which we burn more and more with divine love, we will kindle a similar love even in others...[7]   One prayer that he especially loved is certainly the rosary: "In Lourdes, the Immaculata held a rosary in her hands, urging Bernadette to recite it with her. That is a telling way to teach us how far we need to delve into the mysteries of Jesus, of His coming into the world until the crowing as Queen of heaven of the one who was Mother to Him. If we wish to elevate ourselves to know her and to fall in love with Jesus, we must take pause to ponder these mysteries in union with her, whispering and repeating the "Hail Mary" incessantly.” [8]  

In another writing, he wrote precisely that "it is so easy to understand that children, and also simple persons who do not know how to read, can use the rosary as a means to prayer. [9] Even non-believers can pray the rosary, "in that case, he may delve more easily into the truth of our faith." "All can obtain great graces." "With the rosary, we draw great blessings from God upon ourselves and our families."

The recitation of the Holy Rosary accompanies us every day to welcome all together, with choral prayer, the invitation of Mary: "I am the Madonna of the Rosary: rosary for the salvation of humanity and the peace of the world”.

With Pope Francis, each one can say: "The rosary is the prayer that always accompanies me in life.”

[1] Cardinal José Saraiva Martins in his opening talk at the 24th Congresso Mariano Mariologico international, September 8, 2016.
[2]  Cfr. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
[3] 10 Cfr. PIO XII, Encyclical Letter Ingruentium malorum, September 15, 1951, in AAS,  XLIII (1951). [4] Giacomo di Sarug, Cantico dell’amore, Bose-Magnano 1991, 15-16.
[5] Cardinale Re, prefetto emerito della Congregazione per i vescovi.
[7] KW 326).
[8] KW 326).
[9] Cfr, SK 1171.     [10] KW 326).

Angela Esposito, FKM
Community of Harmeze




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