The Brown Scapular
* Belief in Purgatory Is Not An Option
* News Briefs & Comments
* History of Brown Scapular Devotion
* Laus Message Is For Today
* Our Lady of Lourdes Speaks to Us Today
* Our Lady of Fatima & Mt Carmel Directs Us To Jesus Christ
* Questions & Answers
* Lost Fatherhood - Found
* Island of Faith in a Fast Moving World
* An Era of Great Popes - 2nd in a Series
* The Priest: A Man for Others
* Fatima Family Forum
* Light From Asia Minor
* Our Lady of La Salette
* I They Are Converted: Lady of La Salette
* Why Not Contraception?
* The Meaning of La Salette Message
* Editorial - Editor's Intimate Thoughts
Editor's Intimate Thoughts
In this issue, for the first time, there is publicly announced the availability of the final book your editor has hoped to write. Age, health and having already written somewhere around 50 books, many hundreds of articles, seem to indicate I've written my final book. I'm excited that the subject is on the "Eucharist" and that the preface is by Mother Angelica. As our readers know she is founder of the Eternal Word Television Network. Mother Angelica also built the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama. I have lived near this Shrine for the past five years. Here I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and preach in its lower Church daily. This was a tremendous setting to write my final book on the subject of the "Eucharist: Heaven and Earth Unite".
Was it providential that recently when I finished the book: "Eucharist: Heaven & Earth Unite" I was informed I had bone cancer that has spread from another site of origin? I shared this news with the scriptural scholar, Scott Hahn, who by God's grace, has brought many ministers into the Church. I said that I laugh at death. Pessimism on the subject of death would please the devil who is responsible for death. Jesus Christ outwitted the devil and used His own death to bring us eternal life. Scott agreed and instantly quoted Wisdom 2. I said, "Oh! I thought you would quote Genesis." Scott, whose friendship I gained shortly after his conversion to Catholicism, it seems to me, is not only a superb Biblical scholar but one with a photographic memory, who, on any subject, can quickly quote chapter and verse from any of the Bible's New or Old Testaments.
I pray God may give me a few more years, with the treatments now underway, yet the news of cancer motivated me to act quickly for the future of this magazine and the Fatima Family Apostolate International which has existed for a time approaching 25 years. I would like it all to continue when I'm gone from this life. John Preiss, who has written for the Immaculate Heart Messenger for some years, and who writes again in this issue, I've name "associate editor". His young family expects a fourth child in January. The oldest just turned six.
Some are praying to Pope John Paul II for my health situation. That's OK by me as I personally met that great Pope who said to me: "You must make your work in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount." I gave him on that occasion a portrait of the intercession of Blessed Jacinta of Fatima. So, no sympathy for me but call upon the intercession of Pope John Paul II if you are so inclined. In my view John Paul II was especially "the Fatima Pope". And I realize "all sufferings should be offered in reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners."
At this time of the year I beg readers, not only to see that their own subscription is renewed, without our expense of sending notices, but to take out subscriptions for priests, religious, adult family members, relatives or friends as Christmas gifts that will keep giving all year long. See inside front cover for information on giving Gift Subscriptions for Christmas. We've never asked for donations to this Apostolate and I've taken no salary or royalties for being editor, author of countless articles and books the past 50 years. My interest and model since the days three Cardinals, the Prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Clergy, as well as the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family wrote and encouraged me to write and work for Church causes, has been: "the best defense against error is the proclamation of the truth" - teach true faith and work for the sanctification of family life. Two of these Cardinals met with me.
It's been a glorious experience in my final senior years in the priesthood to be here at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and meet people from all the states and sometimes other countries. They recognize me from books of mine they've read; or from their subscription to this magazine; or having been on one of my youth pilgrimages to Fatima years ago, or one to Guadalupe. At heart, I'm still a South Dakota farm boy and never cease being amazed to be recognized.
You'll read of some approved private revelations in this issue. And to put these in proper perspective study the two paragraphs below from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (DV 4; cf.1 Tim 6:14 Titus 2:13). Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.
"Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church" (66, 67)
The Catechism informs us that at certain periods of history Church-approved private revelations can help us appreciate, live more fully and understand what is already divine public revelation in which we are to have divine faith. This has certainly been the case with the Fatima message which popes, beginning with Pius XII, have called "a reaffirmation of the Gospels." As I point out vividly in the story of my life, "A Priest Is a Priest Forever", (which I was asked to write) - that Fatima has colored my living of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. I tell how when I went to Fatima in 1976 I asked Our Lady, "What do you want of me?" as did Lucia each time our Blessed Mother appeared at Fatima. The answer I received brings you this Apostolate as I also believe, she gave the title to my book, "A Priest Is a Priest Forever".
I trust the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary will be pleased with my last book: "EUCHARIST: HEAVEN AND EARTH UNITE". "To Jesus through Mary" has long been recognized as authentic spirituality. Fatima has led me to treasure more greatly our Eucharistic Lord and work to live more fully the gospel messages. RJF