It has been a blessed and joyous two weeks lived well and loved well. But a few days ago, I learned anew the truth of Sr Lucia’s Dos Santos’ prophetic words:
The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about
marriage and the family.
I have some issues with my beloved husband, and they boiled over yet again this week. As a result of that, I lived some long moments with sand in my eyes and a storm in my heart.
One day later, late at night, I stayed up reading about the Fatima Apparitions. I came to the heartrending part where little Jacinta lived her last days, and finally, passed into eternal life. I was so glad for the late hour because it meant no one would witness my own reaction to the enduring courage of a wee child to love her Cross till the end – to offer her terrible sufferings for the salvation of souls. The lateness also meant on no ears would the sound of my own grief fall as my heart traced the path of two simple Fatima parents humbly answering God’s call to bury their own child.
That part of the Fatima book also took me back to memories of old wounds I’d rather not see. It took me back to what we had lost as a family. It took me back to black hours that we lived through unknowing that even darker hours awaited us in coming years.
My pillow was wet that night, and I prayed that there’d be no sign of it in my eyes in the morning, for my grief is private and I wanted it to stay that way.
I awakened to two miracles the next day.
There was no sign of the night in my eyes.
And a greater one – those tears had washed away the grit of old hours of my marital and family related grievance. With the sand washed away, I saw with fresh eyes what the storms had clouded over:
I had not carried my Cross in the Will of God; I had not walked the Fatima Way.
Marriage and family struggles come to one and all, some more bitterly and more devastating than others. Some we bring upon ourselves through the choices we make. Some are allowed because it is through the splinters of the Cross that we are emptied for Heaven. In my specific reaction to my frustrations with my husband over his parenting methods and his some of his spousal attitudes, I saw that I had left my Cross. I did not carry it, neither did I ask for God’s help with it. I chose to do it my way, and it was as self-serving as the life lived by the man of Frank Sinatra’s song (even if the world disagrees with me!)
My way was not the Fatima Way. My way was the serpent’s way. Seemingly harmless and justified, but winding resolutely and stealthily towards the desolation of Me. I was going in the wrong direction – not towards Heaven, but towards Myself.
My compass had to be reset. If little Jacinta and Lucia could push past walls rock solid with pain, to love and carry their crosses as God willed of them, then so could I.
Fresh and cleansed, I got up from the ground. A new day was before me – to be lived the Fatima Way.
And live it thus, I did. Despite my sinfulness and smallness, I lived it in love as best as I could. Despite the fact that the issues which upset me still remain, and will surely resurrect itself yet again I’m sure, I held nothing back from my husband and family but gave all I had in love and joyful service.
This morning, ambling through online highways searching for prayer meditations by saints, I came across a website. Browsing through the prayers, I read each one and waited for the one that would ‘fall into my heart’.
Just then, I caught sight of a line at the end of the webpage – What if God chose a prayer for you?
For some reason, that little line stuck its burr into my heart.
Quickly, I responded, God give me my prayer, then. And resumed searching.
It was the very next prayer. It was by St Ignatius of Loyola, and it was his Prayer of Generosity ~
Prayer for Generosity
of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous,
teach me to serve You as I should,
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labour and ask not for reward,
Save that of knowing that I do Your most holy will.
Every line, every word of it – the Fatima Way.