I don’t take much downtime – but this slowdown and these really cold winter nights plus semi-isolation time and the fact that my one child is off at college, well I take more downtime… The weekends have never been more open. Work is busy but downtime is not – you can only clean this house so many times before you realize it will never get in order. Instead, a movie was in order – Netflix and the sleeping cat next to me – imagine that… The story in the movie “Fatima” (actually I googled most of the plot as I watched) is a classic, always watched the old film at Easter time and this version was well done. Deep complex characters, hitting the same the classic themes: faith needs no data and unbelief can NOT be bridged by anything but faith… Unbelief builds upon itself just as much as faith builds upon itself… Also seemingly hypocrisy feeds itself and unbelief sometimes pushes the thought that belief is only looking for obvious miracles as well as should bring miracles to that person – as if there is a magic of perfect living, of instant answers, and of “plain as day” revelations. But we know that life with faith doesn’t depend upon perfection, our timing or on our sight. We as people should not pigeonhole God and His Godly Ways to fit our boxes. Life with FAITH depends on HOPE, TRUTH, KNOWING, LISTENING, BEING, and of course LOVE. Faith is ours to grab, hold onto, and appreciate. Blindness is not boldness.
Probably the best movie moments (fictitious or not) in this movie rendition are the conversations back and forth of the unbeliever journalist and older Sister Lucia (who lived until her 90’s). He had tough questions that she answered in a stare down of truth. If she didn’t pick at his shell of unbelief, she wouldn’t find or know of his soft spots. We don’t know from the movie if she made any progress on him, but we should all be poking at the artificial shields and praying for unbelievers so that God can make some good soft spots in their hearts towards Him. Work the soil of the non-believers and perhaps something will grow.
There’s interesting intrigue in this story too, yes, SECRETS, things that even the lady didn’t want revealed until the proper time… Predictions of deaths and hell, assassination and war. It’s been said by later interpretations of Lucia’s own words that nothing predicted was unexpected and Lucia only was giving her testimony as plainly as she experienced… As for apocalyptic visions, regardless of timing or placement, if you have read the book of Revelation, you know that it’s NOT gonna be pretty. Enough said.
I have read so little about this story but these people in 1917 knew wartime AND a flu epidemic. They knew suffering. The visions that Lucia recounted didn’t promise a lack of suffering. A favorite movie line is sadly true: people will still not believe even if they look at the face of God. Yet so many faithful do HOPE, they and we believe in hope, however bad a circumstance is. Hope is stronger than any storm. We who suffer little in comparison to those who suffer(ed) much still must believe that faith is the foundation for everything that brings HOPE. Faith keeps us moving, not faith in our own faith, as we are so fallible, but our faith in God’s ability. God still moves regardless of our faith. He doesn’t need our approval or attention, does He? Let’s give it anyway, in faith.
I have faith that all will be revealed at the proper hour. Jesus said, speaking first to his disciples: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12:1-3
Therefore, I have no intent to discuss validity or not of any of the Fatima predictions (but I would love to travel there in Portugal as well as Lourdes in France) – I present these theories of the testimonies because they are interesting, with a link to the description of “the secrets”, but really I include the below link and text because I appreciated at least three (and more) statements by Pope Benedict (who stepped down but is actually still alive) describing Fatima’s Lucia: 1) you have to check EVERYTHING against scripture – YES; 2) he spoke of “data” – God coming to man naturally produces the data which allows man to come to God – YES! God knew I needed data for my brain so that my brain then would both stop getting in the way AND participate in the Way. Jesus sees the heart flares rising and comes a calling! and 3) Jesus as God Himself ‘took on a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word.’
We worship best by placing love first, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Let us let God have the Last Word, because He certainly had the First.
“It is called a Revelation because in it God gradually made himself known to men, to the point of becoming man himself, in order to draw to himself the whole world and unite it with himself through his Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. It is not a matter therefore of intellectual communication, but of a life-giving process in which God comes to meet man. At the same time this process naturally produces data pertaining to the mind and to the understanding of the mystery of God. It is a process which involves man in his entirety and therefore reason as well, but not reason alone. Because God is one, history, which he shares with humanity, is also one.”
“The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.”