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Monday, 6 April 2015

Indwelling Part Five

Two small blesseds, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reveal to us lives centered on the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity. These children are not called "blessed" because Our Lady of Fatima visited them, but because they responded to her request for prayer and mortification. How was this so without grace and the awareness that God dwelt within?

Jacinta became totally committed to the salvation of souls who were possibly going to hell. She had experienced the love of Christ through the Eucharist, the love of the Father through her own surety of salvation, and the love of the Holy Spirit through her choice of accepting suffering. A true intercessor, she took strength not only from her love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, but from Mary's message of the justice and mercy of God.

Jacinta shared with Our Lady the urgency of prayer and sacrifice because this little saint knew the love of God through Our Mother. Jacinta had two desires only-to save souls, and to be with God and Mary totally in heaven.

Simplicity, as John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila note, is the mark of purity of heart. Those with purity of heart, "see God". And, this means now, not only in fullness in heaven. The Indwelling of the Trinity is perceived, "seen" by the pure in heart.

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Francisco, likewise, turned to penance and suffering in order to join with Christ on the Cross and enter heaven. He moved away from venial sin into a state of purity unknown to most boys his age. When he was dying, he asked Jacinta to tell him of any sins she remembered. After saying he was sorry for those venial sins, he said that if he did not die, he would never sin again. This could only be said by a person in the advanced state of being purified of even venial sins and the tendency to sin. This grace comes with Illumination and Union. His dedication to suffering was a joining of his own sufferings to Christ's sufferings. Only love could spur such a child on to deeds and prayers of intercession. Only an awareness that God was with him constantly could give such a boy courage, temperance, justice and prudence in the face of criticism and pressure to deny Our Lady had come to him and the two girls.

The Indwelling of the Trinity would have become more real to these children, whose way of salvation included seeing Mary, Our Mother. Mary visited them not only to have them share her message to the world, but for their own salvation. Like another visionary saint, Bernadette, their way was denial of self which flowered from their growing awareness of the God within, allowed them to grow in sanctity.

Simplicity is key. I am letting St. Teresa have the last word in this short series to which I shall return in the future, as the topic is inexhaustible.

“Each of us has a soul, but we forget to value it. We don’t remember that we are creatures made in the image of God. We don’t understand the great secrets hidden inside of us."