Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Venezuela Mission - August 2008

this blog refers to a mission that occured several months ago and I never got around to posting about it. This mission took place in August 2008 
The invitation to mission in Venezuela came by phone in August.  I was in Europe at the time.  As I usually do when in
Europe, I made a few calls to say hello to contacts I have made over time. One of these calls was to Rome.  I was just calling to say hello, but as always, each call brings with it a certain openness to others suggestions.
During this call I was asked about my upcoming schedule.  I responded and expressed that is was odd that I currently didn't have anything scheduled for November and December.  This "odd" open schedule was almost exactly the dates that this apostolate was going to Venezuela.  Their mission and goal was to spend 2 months in Venezuela to consecrate hearts to God; to take the message that Our Lady gave in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to 3 children.  She asked these children for their prayers, small sacrifices and if they were willing to accept all that God would send them for the sake of 
peace in the world and for the conversion of sinners.  These 3 children, Lucia (10yrs old), Francisco (9) and Jacinta (7) spent a moment thinking... and responded with a YES!  This endeavor, promise or acceptance to help is what is better known as a "consecration."  These children were told that even though there was a terrible war going on at the time that the hearts of men and their rejection of God would lead to a much worse war in the world.  Our Lady told the 3 children that through prayer, sacrifices and accepting whatever God sends them for the sake of peace and conversions that Mary could bring peace in the world.  The children took their endeavor more seriously and began a life of greater prayer and sacrifices.  They offered their lunches to the poor and prayed fervently every day, several times a day.  They even abstained from food and water for a month, in the heat of the August and while working in the fields herding sheep.  These prayers and sacrifices, as they were promised, eventually did save their country from the second world war. If the prayers of 3 children could save a country from a war, what would 100 children do, 1000, 100,000 or even millions of children's responses to work for peace through prayer, small sacrifices of love and accepting Gods will in their lives too?  Well, while the skeptics are out to lunch pointing the fingers and 
political leaders have mixed motives and are convincing themselves that the world cannot be fixed or saved...The Armata Bianca is out to find out what the consecration of millions of children around the world can accomplish. Since 1974 they have circled the globe several times and consecrated approx 3 million children.
Is that enough???     Can there really ever be enough?      No, and so the work continues.
The stories of people that were consecrated as children and are now adults are amazing.  Some strayed away from God and the practice of their faith, only to have a radical turn around years later. What's important is that thousands have given their innocent YES as children and realized that the Heavens kept their side of the bargain; that Mary continued to be a Mother for them and constantly worked in their lives so that they would turn back to God the Father and live and love the gift of Jesus Christ and his redeeming work in history. The stories of this YES, this consecration are true and inspiring.  I am living proof.  My school received a visit when I was approx 13 and I learned about the need for believers and their prayers! And I responded with a fervent yes.  But as time and trials passed I lost my zeal and belief in it all.  But as time went by my eyes were directed back towards God and I couldn't say no again.  I had rejected him enough and known what profit THAT lifestyle brought.  I knew first hand that what God offered was so much more.  It was worth a shot.  I said YES to God at the age of 24 and have striven to say Yes ever since. Now I am on the other side of the table and its an honor and sincere pleasure. I have been involved directly with the Consecration of over 2,000 children in only 3 weeks. Ages ranging from 2 to 72. It has all been awesome; nurturing the belief in God and encouraging the faithful and zealous participation of prayer, accepting what God sends you with love and offering daily sacrifices ranging from not complaining -to- not watching TV -to- offering up a meal without whining of hunger and spending additional time in prayer.  Its all for the greater Glory of God and to call upon the hand of God to act more fervently in the world despite mankind's rejection of Him. Its a beautiful work.