The above quote was taken from my article over at Catholic Sistas this month, exploring some of the warnings and encouragement we find from the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima
Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, and is the day known throughout Catholic circles as “the day the sun danced.” Therefore, I wanted to delve a little deeper into part of my message for Catholic Sistas.
I want to go a little deeper, and perhaps, a little more sober in contemplation.
Our Lady of Fatima is credited with warning the three shepherd children at Fatima, “If men only knew what awaits them in eternity, they would do everything in their power to change their lives.”
For centuries, we have heard “the end is near,” and society continues to fall further into immorality and chaos. We have seen the birth of two world wars, and every day, it seems as though we are waiting for news of the third world war breaking out. Our Lady of Fatima was also credited with warning the final battle will be between marriage and family – meaning, our families and marriages will be threatened by Satan himself.
And, yet, all around us, we see our neighbors (and, sometimes ourselves) not heeding Our Lady’s warnings.
And, perhaps, for many of us, we have a tendency to begin to judge – not ourselves, and not our own actions, but others. Which leads to an altogether separate sin.
The Coat of Arms for Pope Saint John XXIII expresses the belief we should,
Overlook a great deal;
Correct a little.
As I contemplated today’s final apparition, the messages of Fatima, and our focus needing to be on eternity rather than the “here and now,” I began to realize we, as individuals, have the most important role we can play in our salvation.
We have the choice to choose to believe.
We have the choice to follow the Truths set forth by God.
And, as Our Lady warns, if we truly understood eternity and all that goes into it, we would want to do everything in our power to change our current lives.
We would want to change – beginning with changing ourselves.
As I wrote in my post for Catholic Sistas, Heaven is real – and, Hell is also real.
We are all at risk for choosing the wrong path. Every day, we are given choices, and based on those choices, we are choosing which path we will follow.
Jesus was tortured, died, and Resurrected for our sins, but His sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary doesn’t come without expectation of us today. He doesn’t ask us to simply believe He died to save us; He expects us to do something about it.
He expects us to live a life worthy of His sacrifice on the Cross.
He expects us to live a life where we focus on deepening a relationship with Him.
He expects us to act as Christ to others – in all of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
And, while He has unfathomable mercy, love, and forgiveness for us, He asks us to put our money where our mouths are, and to truly be transformed by His Ultimate Sacrifice.
Every day, I fall short of His expectations. Yet, every day, I wake up with a renewed sense of determination – to do better than the day before.
Today’s 100th anniversary serves as a reminder to all of us – stop looking around and judging each other, and instead, turn inward.
Begin to judge yourself – take account of where we may individually be lacking, and take the corrective steps toward redemption.
Be worthy of Christ’s sacrifice.
God alone knows our hearts, sometimes better than ourselves. Turn to Him and let Him into your heart – let Him see all of you, naked and bare.
And, because it is the only thing with which we should truly concern ourselves, turn your eyes toward eternity.
Start living your life as though eternity matters.
Because it does.