We read in the Book of Genesis: “Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” (Gen 2:7-9, 15)
In his autobiography All for Her, Father Peyton writes that in the fall of 1941 he was “in the highest heaven.” After having been saved from death from tuberculosis by Our Lady two years before, he had been ordained a priest, fulfilling his dream. He knew he had a special call from Our Lady, and he deeply trusted that in her time she would make it known. Yet the increasing carnage being caused by World War II was constantly on his mind.
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At this time of the Easter Season and until Pentecost, the Church hears the Lord’s Farewell Discourse at Mass: chapters 14-17 of the Gospel of Saint John. I really want to encourage us all to pick up our Bibles! Read and reread it these days, in small pieces as we do at Mass. No words holier, truer, or more mystical have been spoken - and they are for us, all who believe. Yet they may seem hard to get a hold of and very confusing.
People often ask about the "messages" of Fatima. The message of Fatima is this, that we hear in today’s readings: The Good News that God has fulfilled His promise by raising Jesus from the dead.”… He says: "Trust in Me, I am the Way the Truth and the Life." Our Lady came to Fatima 105 years ago so that we know that this message is FOR US. God is alive and working in our times.
In 1917 the world was at war and Europe was the battlefield. On the periphery, far from the centers of power, Our Lady chose to reveal her message of Peace to three young shepherds in the Portuguese countryside. On another part of that periphery, in rural western Ireland, lived another boy about the same age. He too was being schooled in that message in his poor but happy home as they prayed the Holy Rosary every night.
I lost my faith when I was 20. I don’t think I have talked much about that in these homilies. It was the late ‘60s-early ‘70s: the time of the hippies and the Vietnam War. It was a time that gave a big push to the kind of confusion that seems to plague our world now. I was a good kid from a good Catholic family – but, frankly, naïve and impressionable. I got lost in the confusion of the 'blind leading the blind,' as they say.