To keep the flame in us.
Dear Knights of the Immaculata,
Allow me to enlighten you about a classical problem concerning your engagement as Knights of the Immaculata:
Look, how you came to this privilege to belong to the small army of the Immaculata: You certainly loved Our Lady since a long time, you believed in her incredible power. Maybe you had a Retreat or recollection, or you read a book or an article: a special grace touched your heart, a flame, a fire, a great desire: “I should do more for you, my heavenly mother”.
If you got acquainted with the messages of Her Immaculate Heart in Fatima, with the Legion of Mary and the Militia Immaculatae, please count this as a very special grace and sign of immense love of Our heavenly mother for you personally. Certainly you remember with deep gratitude the day of your enrolment with the beautiful consecration to Her ,with the promise to become an instrument in Her immaculate hands to help her save many of her children who don't know her yet or who have fallen away from Her son, live in sin and are on the way of eternal damnation.
However, after the first weeks of zeal, often we forget or put aside our engagements. The daily necessities and trials eclipse the light and diminish the flame. Once a while we get a newsletter, a sermon of the priest – then for a while the old desires wake up, but generally not for long.
WHAT DO WE DO TO keep the flame in us, to continue our engagements? Not only just to conserve what we have received, but to grow, to approach Her more, to be led by Her, to get more and more fascinated by HER overwhelming love?
First we have to recognize, that this 'forgetting' about the highest values, this laziness after a while of zeal, this indifference towards the greatest love are inherent in our fallen nature, provoked by the wounds of original sin. We should not be astonished about this fact, we should not fall in despair as if we would have committed the worst of crimes. It's just normal, we are degenerated nothings and incapable to keep by our own strength the heavenly treasures-fold in our fragile hands and hearts!
Secondly we have to recognize, that the conservation of spiritual life, of our love to Mary, our fidelity to our engagements is a grace of God! But the growth in holiness, in zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls is a ten-fold grace of God! We must be sure, that Our Lord wants to give us these graces through Mary, but as for all graces, we must ask for them. Only if we knock as His door, he will widely open us and fill us with all his treasures. Therefore the importance of our morning and evening prayers: in the morning to beg for a greater zeal and not to forget during the day: “O Mother Mary, I am your child, your slave, your KNIGHT!” And in the evening ask for forgiveness: that I again too often … forgot and neglected and with a strong resolution, to try again better the next day. It is also very helpful to renew from time to time the act of consecration which you made together with your MI certificate.
Thirdly, the most important means to keep our promises and engagement, is to keep them in mind, to reflect about, to think over, to meditate. This is an act of our intelligence, which we must nourish with God's light. Only if we read, think and meditate from time to time about the “Glories of Mary”, our mind will be enlightened and consequently our hearts will be inflamed. Therefore Saint Maximilian Kolbe insisted so much in publishing his monthly bulletin “the Knight of the Immaculata” and other literature, therefore he wanted to use the most modern means of communication to feed the minds with the incredible millions of facts, events, miracles, apparitions, graces of conversion, of sanctification, having their origin in Our Lady’s Heart. And because the people read these news, their zeal grew, sometimes up to heroism.
Therefore you should appreciate this newsletter, and also the fliers, catechisms, books we have already printed and are about to print for you. In the future we want to have a special bookstore for you, where you can command these books for a ridiculous price. For that we also prepare a Militia Immaculatae website. May I attract your attention to the following links which give you also supplementary information?
www.archivist2017.webspace.virginmedia.com [Note also the latest extract from The Immaculata, Our Ideal on the "Author's Book Extracts" page].
If you would read every day 10 minutes from these sources, you can be sure, that you would never forget about HER.
Fourthly, it is not sufficient only to feed the intelligence, we must also do exercises on our will. This means, that we have to try to practice, at least once a day, what we have meditated. You can never imagine how much you get with just one small sacrifice! If for instance you want to get angry about someone, and you make the sacrifice to 'kill your anger': instead of thinking / speaking badly about someone, you will make a small prayer for him asking for his conversion and sanctification. Then you have given glory to God, sanctified yourself and help efficiently your neighbour.
Other such acts of will are: to give somebody a good book (flier, catechism, picture, rosary, medal etc.) as a present, to renounce buying something of unnecessary need and give this money to somebody in real need (to pay his participation fee for a retreat etc.), to fulfil you duties with a special love, zeal and SMILE!
These are very simple reminders, through which you console immensely our Lady and help her to save souls. Try them!
NEWS ABOUT MI ASIA:
As you know, we ask the Immaculata for the favor to gather under Her banner 100,000 knights for the anniversary of Her apparitions in Fatima in 2017, 100 000 instruments in Her Immaculate hands to crush Satan's head, to save so many tepid souls who have fallen away from the grace of God or who have never known that they have a merciful Father in heaven and a wonderful Mother.
Therefore we are so thankful to see the MI growing almost every week, but we should not forget, that the most important is not the numbers, but the quality of the Knights. One zealous, obedient and faithful Knight of the Immaculata obtains more victories than 1000 less zealous and indifferent ones.
If at this day (30.06.2015) we count 1918 knights in Asia, we should certainly thank HER for such a beautiful 'score'. So we have almost doubled since my last newsletter, and I thank particularly Fr. Tim Pfeiffer, the moderator of the MI in the Philippines to have prepared so many faithful in Mindanao to enter Our Lady's Army. Also faithful from two other countries in Asia joined the MI these last weeks: China and Indonesia.
I have received letters from those knights who live somewhere isolated ,amidst people hostile to the Catholic faith and especially to Catholic Tradition: they are so thankful, that they now belong to this small army of HER’s, and they don't feel alone any more. As they know now that many others are in similar isolation, they join spiritually in the same fight to win souls to Her, and that makes them stronger in the faith! Isn't this a beautiful sign of Her love towards her faithful Knights?
For the future, I hope that within the next 2 – 3 month enrollment ceremonies will be held in all our chapels in Asia and the number of the Knights will continue to grow. Father Therasian will soon receive new knights in our chapels in South India (Nagercoil, Christirajapuram, Singamparai, Coonoor, Trichy), I myself will visit the Philippines again in September with engagement ceremonies in Iloilo, Bacolod and Cebu, Father Fortin in Tanay, Baguio and Agoo.
Thereafter it will be your turn. We depend on your efforts, that each one of you will initially find at least two persons to be enrolled in the MI. Please think about this from now on, ask for the fliers and other writings to do your work as Her instrument.
TOWARDS FATIMA 2017
To understand the importance of Fatima, one can start with the last apparition of Our Lady to Sister Lucy directly linked to the events in 1917. On July 13, 1917, the Mother of God had announced in Fatima that she would come again “to request the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of reparation on the First Saturday of the month”. In fact the Mother of God appeared with the Christ Child to Lucia in December of 1925, when she was a postulant in Pontevedra, to explain to her the nature of the devotion to her Immaculate Heart. And on June 13, 1929, between 11:00 and 12:00 at night, the apparition in Tuy took place, in which Mary called for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Sister Lucia describes this vision as follows: “Suddenly the whole chapel became bright with a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a luminous cross that extended to the ceiling. In an even brighter light appeared above the cross the face of a man with his body down to the waist. In front of his chest was a dove, also made entirely of light, and nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little below his hips appeared a chalice floating in the air and a large host, upon which fell the drops of blood that streamed from the face of the Crucified and from His wounded side. They flowed down upon the host, and from there they fell into the chalice.
“Beneath the cross to the right was Our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand (it was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart, which she held in her left hand, without a sword or roses, but rather surrounded with a crown of thorns and all aflame).
“Beneath the cross on the left appeared large letters, as though made of crystal-clear water, that flowed from the hand of the Crucified down upon the altar and formed the following words: Grace and Mercy.
“I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was being shown to me; and I received insights into this mystery that I am not allowed to reveal.”
Sister Lucy goes on to record the words that the Mother of God spoke during this vision, namely the request that the Holy Father, together with all the bishops of the world, should consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and that in this way Russia will be saved.
Certainly the first purpose of this apparition is the consecration of Russia and thus the fulfillment of God’s great promises through Mary at Fatima. But why did Mary want to combine this revelation with the vision of the Most Holy Trinity? Surely in order to show that the ultimate purpose and deepest meaning of her apparitions is founded upon this mystery: that all the particular graces that she wants to give the world through Fatima (and other shrines) are intended to direct people to a very profound reality, namely the true meaning of the Immaculata in the mystery of God and redemption.
Everything comes from God the Father, who sends the Son to the world and together with the Son spirates [breathes out] the Holy Ghost. The Father is the original source of all being, of all life, of all love. From the Father’s heart the Son is begotten and the Holy Ghost is spirated.
The mission of the Son is the redemption of the world upon the cross. In the vision at Tuy the cross takes up the whole room, from the altar to the ceiling. The cross is the revelation of God’s love in its entirety; through the Crucified all “grace and mercy” is granted to us. The blood that flows from the Redeemer’s wounds is collected in the mystery of the host and the chalice: Christ’s entire work of redemption is present in the Most Holy Eucharist, in which the Sacrifice on Calvary is re-presented and renewed.
The mission of the Holy Ghost is the “illumination” of the whole work of redemption, namely making all of God’s love shine forth as light, grace and strength, and thus bringing God’s entire work to perfection. This action, God’s self-giving, His descent into the world for us and for our salvation, is collected in the Heart of the Immaculata, which is entirely light from the light of the Holy Ghost and which receives into itself all of God’s love. Her heart is the palpable expression of her inmost being: of her soul, which is completely filled with the Holy Ghost; of her intelligence, which is full of unfathomable wisdom; of her will, which is full of devotion and love. She alone stands there beneath the cross as the New Eve beside the New Adam, so as to bring forth with him the redeemed human race. She stands there as the first fruit of the redemptive sacrifice, to which she owes the miracle of her Immaculate Conception. Her heart appears pierced by the thorns of Christ’s crown of thorns: it means that she is the Co-Redemptrix, who of all creatures shares most fully in his suffering. She holds this heart in her hand, that is, she holds it out to us, she gives it to us, for she is our Mother. Enkindled by the Spirit of Love, her heart burns for her children, which she bore on Mount Calvary amidst a thousand pains, and which she now desires to snatch at all costs from eternal destruction.
The Immaculata with her radiant Heart now touches our world. From her flows this entire love-filled outpouring of the Trinity further on into souls. This is the initial movement of God's infinite love, which the Doctors of the Church call the “going forth” or the exitus, also symbolized by the flowing, living water that pours out of the wound of the Crucified down into the world as “grace and mercy”.
This 'gesture' of GRACE AND MERCY through the Immaculata requires our answer: God descended to us only that we may return to Him. The Doctors of the Church call this the flowing-back (refluxus) of creation to God. By the same path which God took to descend to us, we are supposed to return to Him: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that leads you to God!” Mary’s message during this revelation can be summed up in three words, which are also the principal themes of Fatima: consecratio, reparatio, conversio—consecration, reparation, conversion. Mary comes to the aid of Christianity in its tribulations, draws men to her Immaculate Heart (consecration), leads them back to God (conversion) and calls them to participate in the building up of Christ’s kingly reign (reparation).
“The time has come…,” Mary began her message in Tuy. At Fatima the will of God was made visible to the whole world, so that now, in the end times, Mary might be made known to the world as the Mediatrix of All Graces, as the beginning of creation’s return home to God. Mary’s Heart gathers the children of God and preserves in them the light of grace in the midst of a dark world. In her Heart we can endure to the end beneath the cross of Christ. And thus proceeds the return through Mary to Christ in the Holy Ghost to the Father.
Preparing 2017, please repeat in your heart HER words: 'The time has come!” “The time has come for you, my dear knight, to make me known in the world, to trust me without limit and to become a docile instrument in my Immaculate hands to save so many souls.’