How many miracles does it take to bring peace to our world? Consider the Miracle of Fatima that occurred October 13, 1917. As great as it was, the miracle was not enough to change the hearts and minds needed to avert World War II and atrocities against humanity.
According to Fatima for Today, by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, a lack of faith can diminish God’s miraculous power. Two months prior to the Miracle of the Sun, civil authorities imprisoned the children who witnessed the Marian apparitions. According to the book, had Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta not been imprisoned, the miracle would have been greater.
I often think about the Miracle of Fatima and Our Blessed Mother’s warnings in light of our world’s troubles. “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended,” Mary said in her apparition on Oct. 13. Sadly offenses against God have not abated.
Approximately 75,000 people witnessed the miracle 105 years ago. While prayers were answered and faith of many grew stronger, other hearts grew harder. The rest is history. World War I came to an end, but Our Lady warned that if people did not stop offending God, a worse war would break out. The 20th Century is considered the bloodiest of centuries.
How will the 21st Century be considered? So far we are seeing more signs that society is turning away from God. Growing secularism, complacency, religious indifference all tear at the sanctity and dignity of humanity.
Would our world be different today if the Miracle of Fatima had been greater? God only knows. Can lack of faith diminish God’s miraculous power? Let’s be clear: God is omnipotent. It is by our God-given freedom, we have the power to choose. We can say yes to God or we can say no.
Should we say yes, then the greater our faith, the greater the graces and blessings we receive from our Lord to guide our daily living. Should we say no? Consider the words of St. Augustine. “God created us without us, but He will not save us without us.” Unless we are willing participants in God’s plan of redemption and salvation, we will face the consequences of our own doing.
What does it take?
So what will it take to bring our world closer together in peace? Another miracle? Remember, the greatest miracle occurs every day in all parts of the world—that is the Transubstantiation. At Mass, offerings of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Our Lord sacrificed Himself on the cross and gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist—all for the sake of our redemption and salvation.
Therefore, what we need is greater acceptance of God’s grace and authority over our lives. Rejection of our Lord shuts us off from his all-powerful love and mercy. Human reason and its limited resources are not enough to sustain long-lasting peace.
Instead, let us follow Our Lady of Fatima’s call to pray very much, especially the Rosary. Let us follow the examples of Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in perseverance and obedience to God, especially in the face of opposition and temptation. “Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts” [Psalm 95: 7, 8]. Amen!