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We must return to God

"peace is never corporate, it’s never social until it is first individual.  Social peace, world peace is the extension of individual peace in our hearts.  When we are right with God then we will be right with our fellow man.  When we are not right with God then we will be wrong with everyone else."  --Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen


What does it mean to believe in Garabandal?

To believe in Garabandal is to personally convert, repent and do penance.  To prepare for the prophesized Warning is to prepare for the individual judgement that already awaits each of us after death when we will certainly face Our Lord as just judge.  Our Lady, as our mother of mercy, is warning us in order to save us from the dire consequences we richly deserve as a result of our sin.  


It can be tempting to see the Warning as mainly a correction for the chief shepherds of the Church, our government leaders and others who have scandalized us.  It is all that – but to believe the Garabandal message is to also recognize that The Warning will be experienced personally by each of us as a correction for our own personal sinfulness.  We will see how much our own sins grieve Our Lord – sins which if they were made plain for the world to see, would be scandalous to those around us. 


"Many sacrifices must be made. Much penance must be done. We must pay many visits to the Blessed Sacrament. But first of all we must be very good. Already the Cup is Filling, and if we do not change we shall be punished." – October 18 1961. Message to Conchita, Mari Loli, Jacinta and Mari Cruz 

What does it mean to be “very good” ?   

The message includes the phrase “first of all we must be very good." The messengers of Garabandal were children and Our Lady used a childishly simple phrase -- one so simple in fact that we might miss its meaning if we’re not careful.  

 If you are a parent, you've probably told your children to "be good" many times.  It suffices to simply say "be good" because you know that the child should already know what "good" is -- you've spent a lifetime explaining it in detail.  And so it is with heaven.

Our Lord Himself summed up what it means to be "good" in just 2 commandments:


“the Lord thy God is one God.  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.  And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31


The Catholic Church, in her wisdom, has unpacked the meaning of these commandments in her catechisms. There are several good ones, here are 2 of them:  

  1.  The most recent is the Catechism of John Paul II

  2.  We also continue to rely on the The Catechism of The Council of Trent, a bulwark against confusion. 

We also have the Saints who have expounded on what it means to “be good” and how to achieve it.  Anything close to a comprehensive list of books that help in this endeavor would itself fill a volume but 3 easy to read, practical books are:  

  1. Introduction to the devout Life by Francis de Sales

  2. Story of a Soul by Saint Theresa of Lisieux

  3. True Devotion to Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort


Make Frequent visits to the blessed sacrament

Our Lord and Our God, our Savior and all-powerful King is also our brother through baptism and He is truly present, Body, Blood Soul and Divinity in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. If when we walked into a Catholic Church we saw Him as he really is, we should fall on our very faces. 


Yet this almighty Master died for us and wills to individually relate to each of us as a friend.

Even in this decadent time we live in, it is still true that a Catholic Church can be found in most cities and towns.  How often do we stop to visit Our Lord even for just a few minutes during the day?  If a powerful, wealthy and benevolent king  invited you to his residence to discuss your problems, would you take the meeting?  If a friend having given up one of his kidneys or lungs so that you could live invited you to his home, would you go?  Can we really be said to truly believe that Our Lord is truly present in the Eucharist if we don’t make a sincere effort to visit?


“One of the striking features of Mary's life, as told especially by the Evangelist Saint Luke, is the frequent entrance of God into her life to make demands of her and on her for which she was, humanly speaking, unprepared.

None of us comprehends the designs of God in our lives. Long vigils in prayer, asceticism, mortification-you name the accouterments of sanctity and I will tell you, "Well, that is very interesting. Keep doing that. But in God's name, be interiorly resigned to God's visitations in your life! Then no matter what you think of yourself, you are close to God.

We don't understand fully and neither did Mary. But that did not mean that she adjusted her actions to her lack of comprehension. So we also are to accept God's plans, and this is every day and for some of us, a large part of the day. We are to accept God's visitations, to do what He evidently wants of us, or to surrender what He evidently wants us to give up-and not for a moment or to the least degree hesitate or hold back because we don't comprehend."

-- Father John Hardon,

Many sacrifices must be made. Much penance must be done.

Nobody likes penance and sacrifice but Our Lady reminds us of their importance every single time she appears: La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima to name just three of many occasions where she asked for penance before Garabandal.  


Often when we think about penance and sacrifice we immediately think about fasting, almsgiving and mortifications.  Indeed these forms have a continuous tradition in the Catholic Church all the way back to Christ Himself.  Jesus, despite never having sinned, fasted for 40 days in the desert and would later sacrifice His very life.  


But penance and sacrifice should also be understood in the willing and patient acceptance of the crosses large and small that we encounter each day especially as they pertain to the faithful fulfillment of our duties according to our state in life.  How many times do we miss the opportunity to make reparation because we become angry or grumble about our present difficulties? It is a very Catholic thing to "offer it up".  What we offer is not the difficulty itself (which we usually will suffer regardless), but our acceptance of it as a cross.  It is that act of the will -- our acceptance -- that transforms our empty suffering into something of immeasurable value.  


to live the message of Garabandal, 

live the Catholic faith.

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