This month, we prayed a state-wide novena to Our Lady of Fatima. Right now, we are praying a Diocesan-wide novena to the Holy Spirit. Why all these novenas and what do they have in common?
When our Lady appeared to the children of Fatima, she gave them messages to share that were far beyond the comprehension of the children and which foretold many trials to come in our world. And now, we find ourselves in the middle of a global trial. Mary gave the children instructions and they were simple. And these are instructions to heal a troubled world and so, they are as relevant to us today as they were in 1917.
To bring peace to our world:
- Be sorry for what we’ve done wrong and put God first in our lives.
- Pray the Rosary each day.
- Make sacrifices for sinners so they will know and love God.
Millions of people just jeopardized their livelihoods, their freedom, their way of life to change their lives and protect others. Millions willingly cooperated with the social distancing laws and donned masks and closed businesses for the common good. Is what Mary is asking us to do so hard? It is so little and all for our own good. This is the best way to bring peace.
Notice the first task she gives us. She is asking us to convert. To repent. To make a true change in our lives. Wherever we are on our journey, we can do this. We can do this again and again. Go to confession. Be sorry and rededicate our lives to following Jesus.
So why a novena to the Holy Spirit for our Diocese? We have all had time to think about our lives and it is time to convert and put God first. It is time for the people of our diocese to become true disciples of Jesus. To follow Him the way the apostles did. Drop everything and do it.
Our Bishop is offering us a challenge and he is asking the Holy Spirit to bring change and conversion to our diocese. He is asking each of us to become disciples of Jesus. To follow him and help him. To become fishers of men. And look, Mary tells us at Fatima to pray and to offer sacrifices for the salvation of sinners. Who are these sinners? I am! You are! Your family. Your neighbors. The people we see each day.
Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Your love! We will share that love with everyone we meet as disciples of Christ. Our Church will rise from the pandemic with the power of the Holy Spirit and will spread His love. We will become a new church filled with the Holy Spirit and bringing others to the arms of the Church through prayer and invitation so they can partake in the sacraments with us.
Please accept our Holy Mother’s commission and do as she says. Be ready to change, to pray, and sacrifice. Be ready to bring change and prayer and sacrifice to our Church for the sake of our whole world.