On the 13th of August, on what should have been the date of the fourth apparition of Fatima, the First Reading was from 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13.
At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
As far as bells go, those specific verses from 1 Kings 19 have, for me, about the loudest clang. In this past year or two, never have other readings lit up as brightly as 1 Kings 19. And each time, the message has been the same:
Do not get caught up in the loud and obvious.
Be still and wait for the little sound.
And every time 1 Kings 19 has come to me, despite the crash of events around me, true to His word, God chose to speak through the tiny, whispering sound.
This time was no different.
On the 21st, I was busily rifling through the pages of St Maria Faustina’s Divine Mercy In My Soul, big thoughts booming through my head, when a tiny wildflower of a sentence halted me in my hurried tracks.
On one occasion I heard these words in my soul, Make a novena for your country. This novena will consist of the recitation of the Litany of the Saints. ~ Entry 59
I had just come off the back of a 7-day prayer for my motherland – inspired by Jesus’ words to St Faustina. That had ended on the 19th of this month – the actual August Fatima apparition date. To end on such a date, that went deep for me. And 3 days from the close of that prayer, was this new entreaty.
Again, a prayer for the country.
Once again, for some strange reason, without an iota of doubt, I felt Jesus’ words to St Faustina were for me too. I resolved to recite the Litany as a novena for my motherland. But the 21st was an incredibly busy day, and it took too much out of me, leaving me too weary to embark on the Litany that day. So, on the morning of the 22nd, I took my heart to the Saints on my first day prayer.
When I went to my daily readings later, I saw that it was the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.
The Fatima apparition date. And now, the Queenship of Mary. These were all Mary dates. And of great significance to me. They were the tolling of bells through the hills and valleys of my thoughts and living. The call of the bells were telling me something. Something withheld from me for now. Something beyond the veil.
Something to do with my deeply troubled and increasingly polarized motherland, caught in a rising and blinding sandstorm, being dangerously enticed by the black lure of persecution and abuse.
Never before have I heard this call this clearly. And coming twice, it reflected the urgency of the state of affairs here in a country that gained its freedom from colonial masters, only to fall prey to the seduction of communist greed and power.
I heard this my God’s call, not in the fury of winds or earthquakes or fire. Just as it came to Elijah, He drew me to His will yet again, but through a tiny whisper that I could so easily have missed.