Teresa Linda: Our Lady of Fatima 100th

“Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” by Brother Frank Sharma, Mount Saint Josephs Monastery 2017. All Rights Reserved

Finally and most importantly Our Lady of Fatima teaches us how to pray. With both her arms and her Immaculate Heart extended to mankind, in one instant, the image above the basilica spoke of a three-fold movement of prayer: adoration, personal offering and thanksgiving, and supplication.

More specifically, she helped me to understand the message of Fatima and that the prayers she requested of the children were not to be taken lightly. Our Lady’s simple requests, given to three shepherd children before the outbreak of World War I and World War II, are even more relevant and pressing today.

Simply put, she requested that:

1) we pray the rosary daily for peace in the world

2) we offer the difficulties of our daily responsibilities as a spiritual sacrifice for the conversion of unbelievers and to make reparation for the offenses against Christ

To establish peace in the world, Our Lady specifically asked Sister Lucia in a vision – to ask the pope, in union with the bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

According to a letter written by Sister Lucia on November 8, 1989, the consecration was completed by Pope John Paul the II on March 25, 1984 and accepted by Our Lady (Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, Part I, 204). However, in 1929, Sister Lucia explains that though the conversion of Russia is certain and that the consecration would be complete, the consecration would happen very late; the world in the meantime – would go far, far astray.

She says, “Our Lord complained to me, saying: ‘They did not wish to heed my request! Like the King of France [In 1689, Louis XIV was asked by Saint Margaret Mary to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus ], they will repent and do it, but it will be late” (Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words Part I, 196).

The countless upheaval of human lives by violence and the rising hatred in our present time, make it evident that the consecration was indeed late in coming; yet the answer to the confusions of today’s world can be found Our Lady’s two simple requests.

Admittedly, it is easy to lose the essence of Fatima in questions with answers that lead to nowhere. What do the Three Secrets reveal about the end of time? Is the apocalypse close by? Did the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart really happen?

Yet, everything that is needed is contained in Our Lady’s requests, and the three Fatima children knew it. After the 1913 apparitions in Fatima, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia spent every moment of their lives doing two things: they prayed the rosary for peace and they offered spiritual sacrifices for the conversion of unbelievers.

I don’t recall ever learning how to pray the rosary, but I always knew how to pray it. As a child in the Philippines, I wore the rosary around my neck and prayed it into the late hours of the night to ward off spirits.

When my husband and I moved to California with our children, I would pray the rosary as an act of nostalgia, and as a way of keeping the bond between me and my relatives on the east coast alive. Using St. Louis de Montfort’s formula I consecrated my life to Our Lady, and slowly learned to pray through the decades as instructed by St. Teresa of Avila, as a means of mentally walking with Jesus and Mary.

As the years progressed, I found myself neglecting the daily rosary, though I prayed it regularly. But in Fatima, our Lady reminded me again to pray the rosary daily and specifically for peace: in my heart, in my husband and in each of my children, in America, among our leaders, in our priests, among refugees, among warring factions, in Israel and the Middle East…each decade of each mystery of the rosary could be offered for a different need for peace.

Secondly, our Lady asked the children to offer spiritual sacrifices for the conversion of people who do not believe in her Son and as an act of reparation for the offenses against Him. Holiness is not about being ‘spiritual’ but about being completely incarnate in the world, as Our Lady and Jesus were.

This understanding came clearly to me on our last day in Fatima. The group had just sat through a Mass commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. The experience was powerful, supernatural, and difficult at the same time. We sat in the open heat and I had to regularly make sure that my mom was drinking enough water or had a fan to cool herself. When the heat got overwhelming, I showed her how to drape the white handkerchief we would later wave at the end of the Mass, over her head so that it would shade her face. Though she usually easily gets headaches, she made it through three hours with very little trouble.

By the end of the Mass, I was feeling elated, unable and not wanting to speak to anyone. All I wanted to do was listen to the bells toll and withdraw into my hidden place with God, as I filmed everything around me. Just as I finished circling the plaza with the camera to focus on the bells and the statue of Our Lady on the Basilica, my mother started calling me.

“Linda! Teresa! Teresa Linda!”

At first I ignored her, wanting to keep my interior peace untouched for as long as possible. I saw the white tail of handkerchief that was draped over her head just minutes before, flying through the camera’s view. She was swinging it back and forth to get my attention.

I sighed, offered my impatience to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, said a quick good-bye to the image of Our Lady on the Basilica, turned off my camera, and walked toward my mother. The heat had affected her blood pressure and she needed to get back to our room immediately.

Every moment of our daily life is an opportunity to make a spiritual sacrifice of love. I was being more faithful in attending to my mother’s needs and spiritually offering my will, than in feeling spiritually renewed and believing that I was in contact with God. The more authentic experiences of God are through our faithfulness in our relationships in our daily lives.

I later learned that the statue of Our Lady that mesmerized me was one that Sister Lucia oversaw meticulously and with constant attention. In Visions of Fatima (2017), Father Thomas McGlynn, explains how Sister Lucia would even make changes herself on the priest-artist’s model just so every detail would be as accurate as possible, as she had remembered it.

No wonder the image above the Basilica spoke to me so powerfully.

Copyright 2017 Teresa Linda, thespeakroom.org

 Living the Marian Consecration

In an interview with Catholic San Francisco following the consecration of the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Cordileone invited the faithful to continue to bring the Blessed Virgin into their lives in “very concrete ways,” including the following.

  • Individuals praying the rosary daily
  • Families praying the rosary weekly
  • Frequently making a good confession
  • Frequently participating in adoration
  • Fasting and abstinence
  • Accompaniment of immigrants

An Encounter with St. Thérèse – Retreat Day Registration

Saturday, November 11, 2017: An Encounter with St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin 

A Retreat Day offered by the Santa Clara Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

Location: The Santa Clara Carmelite Monastery, 1000 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara, CA  95050.

When: Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Everyone is welcome!

Three conferences by Maureen O’Riordan of Philadelphia, Pa.,
curator of “
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: A Gateway

“Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, Lay Persons, Spouses, and Parents”

“A Map of Saint Thérèse’s Way of Confidence and Love”

“How Can We Love One Another? Saint Therese’s Practice of Sisterly Love in Her Carmelite Community”

Vigil Mass for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. James Geoghegan, O.C.D. will preside

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided by the Santa Clara Discalced Secular Carmelite Community

Scroll all the way down and click on the orange button below to register for the Retreat Day at the Santa Clara Monastery on Saturday, November 11.  $20 donation requested

 

Sunday, November 12: “A Map of the Way of Confidence and Love of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Location: Mt. St. Josephs Monastery,  12455 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA 95127

When: Sunday, November 12, 3:00 pm. The conference and question and answer period will end before 5:00 p.m. You are welcome to stay for Evening Prayers and Benediction with the Carmelite Fathers and Seculars. No registration or tickets necessary for Sunday’s talk. Donations welcome at the event.

Click on the orange button below to register for the Retreat Day on Saturday, November 11 at the Santa Clara Monastery. $20 donation requested

Audios on the conferences and other talks by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, Father James Geoghegan, OCD, and Maureen O’Riordan, will soon be available on http://thespeakroom.org/ for purchase.  

Teresa Linda: Our Lady of Fatima 100th

Fatima 2017, Photo Credit: thespeakroom.org

This October marks the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition to the children at Fatima, and last May, I was fortunate to be able to go on pilgrimage to this holy site with my mother and a tour group organized through Syversen Touring, a fabulous family-owned company.

At Fatima, my mom and I shared a small room in a modest hotel run by Dominican nuns. Our window faced the back courtyard, and when we opened it in the morning to keep the room cool for the rest of the day, we would be greeted by the coo-ing of pigeons and doves and the flutter of their wings as they flew from one rooftop to another. Though my mom and I were always together, from the time we landed in Portugal, God would take each of us in our own separate, private journeys of healing.

Every night at Fatima, pilgrims from throughout the world say the Rosary in multiple-languages and parade slowly around the square. During the first evening, like most pilgrims, I was drawn to the statue of Our Lady that stands all day in the small outdoor chapel, at the site of the holm-oak tree, where she first appeared – the image was being carried on a small platform. She wore a crown, her hands folded in prayer, after Our Lady of Victory, for whom the Portuguese owe gratitude for a miraculous wartime victory.

Since it was our first night, nobody in our tour group carried the cupped candles held by most of the pilgrims. A Portuguese child, seeing that a priest in his brown cloak had no candle to raise up when it was time to honor Our Lady, gave her own to Father Robert Barcelos, our spiritual leader for the pilgrimage. I looked at my mother and my heart was content.

On the second night at Fatima, Our Lady made herself known to me. The air was cool and when the crowd rounded a bend, my gaze fell on the stone statue on the Basilica’s façade. It was easy to miss her. When facing the Basilica, Our Lady is hidden behind the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She also stands between the striking grand-sized, imposing images of Saints Jacinta and Francisco. Always present, rarely seen – that is the way Our Lady moves.

But once I saw her, immediately, I understood so much of what I didn’t know before.

Our Lady of Fatima reveals her love to us. I saw her heart and for the first time in my life, I understood clearly that Our Lady was constantly offering her heart to mankind, and that in staying close to her Immaculate Heart, she desired to lead and guide us directly into the Sacred Heart of Christ.

In the Philippines the images of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary are ubiquitous. They hang side by side on window-sills, car mirrors, and especially as part of the front walls of homes. In America, many of my extended family and friends have posters somewhere in their homes of Jesus and Mary, their hearts at the center of their breasts, crowned with thorns and burning with fire.

Unlike the images of the Sacred Hearts of Mary and Jesus that I had grown up with, the heart on the statue of Our Lady above the entrance of the Fatima Basilica, was on her left, and was a three-dimensional image outside of her body. From this, I understood something else.

As a Mother, Our Lady of Fatima shares in and experiences the pains and joys of the world. I saw the thorns that pierced her heart and I understood that she suffered greatly for her loving concern for mankind and for the offenses against her Son. There have been so many countless moments in my motherhood when I have had to bear the pain in my heart for my children, and at times, it has been excruciating. It is a pain that every mother, often times, suffers hidden and alone.

Our Lady has carried the pain of watching her son suffer on Calvary and the joy of being the first to witness His resurrection – in her Immaculate Heart. And in so doing, she carries all our pains and joys.

As our Mother, Our Lady of Fatima yearns for us to enter her embrace. Most images of Our Lady of Fatima, have her hands folded together in prayer, but the statue above the Basilica is that of Our Lady holding her right hand up with the left-hand slightly bent downward. I have used that same position countless times to support my children as they learned to walk, to lift them up into my arms when they needed comfort, and to embrace them.

Our Lady constantly holds the world in her love and prayers of intercession and desires for us as her children to stay close to her

As a Mother, Our Lady of Fatima teaches us how to love ourselves. She helped me to understand that I didn’t have to be the perfect daughter to be loved by God, and that the world was held together by Him and not my efforts.

With a Mother’s gaze, Our Lady looked down from the façade of the Basilica so that I could understand the unconditional love of her Immaculate Heart, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was a love that touched me despite of all my imperfections. (to be continued)

Copyright 2017 Teresa Linda, thespeakroom.org. All Rights Reserved

 Living the Marian Consecration

In an interview with Catholic San Francisco following the consecration of the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Cordileone invited the faithful to continue to bring the Blessed Virgin into their lives in “very concrete ways,” including the following.

  • Individuals praying the rosary daily
  • Families praying the rosary weekly
  • Frequently making a good confession
  • Frequently participating in adoration
  • Fasting and abstinence
  • Accompaniment of immigrants

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection Overview, Saint Teresa of Avila 8

Painting by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, 2014
Painting by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, 2014

BTP-WP4 A broad overview of first 18 chapters – The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

 

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection 3-4, Saint Teresa of Avila 7

Bernini's The Transverberation of Saint Teresa
Bernini’s The Transverberation of Saint Teresa

BTP-WP3 Chaps 3 – 4: The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection 1-2, Saint Teresa of Avila 6

BTP-WP2 Chap 1 – 2: The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Dr. Anthony Lilles: Way of Perfection Intro – Saint Teresa of Avila 5

img_2604

 In this podcast, Dr. Anthony Lilles provides an “introduction to the life of Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582).  This opening conversation discusses 16th century Spain, events taking place in the world and the people who associated with Teresa. Dr. Lilles also gives introductions to her various spiritual works and the importance of The Way of Perfection.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY


Introduction –  Way of Perfection, Dr. Anthony Lilles

SOURCE:  http://www.discerninghearts.com/catholic-podcasts/btp-wp1-introduction-way-perfection-st-teresa-avila-beginning-pray-wdr-anthony-lilles/

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 4

The Purgative Way (1-3)

The Third Mansion – the majority of Christians stay in this mansion because of too-human prudence.  Prayer in this stage includes active recollection, simplified mental prayer, and becomes more the work of the heart – St.Teresa calls this the Prayer of Simplicity. The prominent Gift of the Spirit is Fortitude.  Ascetic exercise, penance, and meditative prayer are essential, for we must do everything we can to get to know the humanity of Christ, using our imaginations so that we grow in our love for Jesus as we understand His love for us.

The life of prayer in the Purgative Way is what Saint Teresa calls, ‘the first water.’ To grow in prayer, we must desire it, and have ‘determined determination.’

Many enter the Third Mansion, but very few leave it.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 3

The Purgative Way (Mansions 1-3)

The Third Mansion – a mature friendship with God. We have a well-regulated spiritual life, a conscientious moral life, and an active life of charity. Prayers move from simple petitions to a necessity and longing of the soul. We consecrate ourselves to God in a new way. The predominant faults in this stage are in the thought life of the person: criticism, harsh judgment, easily scandalized, complaining, phariseeism, and egoism.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Teresa of Avila 2

The Purgative Way (Mansions 1-3)

The Second Mansion – This stage requires great battle and we experience increased temptations to turn back, especially through False Humility. It is crucial that we renounce temptations immediately before they grow and take root.  We must willfully and voluntarily mortify our senses so that we discipline and cultivate virtues in our lower faculties.  Spiritual readings, spiritual direction, spiritual friendships, and holy meditation, are helpful in overcoming these new trials.  The primary Gift of the Spirit here is Piety and Reverence.

CLICK ON THE TRIANGLE ON THE LEFT TO PLAY

SOURCE: Santa Clara OCDS Meeting, 2014 All Rights Reserved

Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila (written by St. Alphonsus of Liguori)
O most amiable Lord Jesus Christ! We thank Thee for the great gift of faith and of devotion to the Holy Sacrament, which Thou didst grant to Thy beloved Teresa; we pray Thee, by Thy merits and by those of Thy faithful spouse, to grant us the gift of a lively faith, and of a fervent devotion toward the most Holy Sacrament of the altar; where Thou, O infinite Majesty! hast obliged Thyself to abide with us even to the end of the world, and wherein Thou didst so lovingly give Thy whole Self to us.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation! that as we rejoice in the commemoration of the blessed virgin Teresa, so we may be nourished by her heavenly doctrine, and draw from thence the fervour of a tender devotion; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.