10 Mary and the revolutionary Nature of Love - Christopher Lamb

posted May 2, 2018, 11:44 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:44 PM ]
As we reflect on the Fatima devotion in the month of May this year, we recall what Pope Francis said on his visit last year to the shrine of Fatima in Portugal, that Mary is not a remote "plaster statue" figure restraining a vengeful God, but someone who shows the "revolutionary nature" of love and tenderness. Speaking to tens of thousands gathered for a night time prayer vigil and recitation of the Rosary, Pope Francis defined Marian devotion as humility and tenderness, and not the false piety created by the "Mary of our own making."

The Pope who was in Fatima for the canonisation of the two shepherd children Jacinta (7) and Francisco Marto (9), who reported seeing a series of Marian apparitions exactly a century ago, and witnessing the visions along with their cousin, and the prophecies made known as the 'three secrets of Fatima'. The first was a vision of hell, while the second was about the prediction of the Virgin Mary of a second World War "if people do not cease offending God."

The Fatima devotion underlines Mary's call for penance, as well as the prayer of the Rosary that asks: "Forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have the most need of your mercy." Commenting on the forgiveness element of the Fatima prophecies, the Pope stressed that it was a serious mistake to put judgment ahead of mercy: "Great injustice is done to God's grace whenever we say that sins are punished by His judgment, without first saying – as the Gospel clearly does – that they are forgiven by His mercy!"

"Mercy has to be put before judgment, and in any case, God's judgment will always be rendered in the light of His mercy," Pope Francis continued. "Obviously, God's mercy does not deny justice, for Jesus took upon Himself the consequences of our sin, together with its due punishment. He did not deny sin, but redeemed it on the Cross."

The Pope also underlined: "With Mary, may each of us become a sign and sacrament of the mercy of God, who pardons always and pardons everything." And then, quoting from the key text of his pontificate, Evangelii Gaudium, he added: "Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness."