5 Reflections on Fatima

100 years later, Our Lady of Fatima is still leading souls to God

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro /, CC BY-SA 3.0

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, I thought I would compile all of my articles over the past year on the topic. There is much to reflect on in her appearances to the three shepherd children 100 years ago and a single article would never do her justice.

So without further introduction, here are all 5 articles I have written on the weighty topic of Fatima and the many spiritual truths we can learn from Our Lady’s appearance.

5 Surprising revelations of the third secret of Fatima

Fatima, the Rosary, and hell

The surprising connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam

5 Things to Know About First Saturdays

7 Powerful quotes from Fatima visionary Sister Lucia

An inside look at my new book on Skellig Michael for #StarWarsDay

Inspired by the monks who lived there 1,000 years ago

With the release of latest Star Wars films, the ancient monastery atop Skellig Michael has enchanted the world with its beautiful vistas and mysterious history. While much has been written about the architectural feats achieved by the monks on the lonely island, little has been discussed about the daily life of the religious hermits.

What was it like 1,000 years ago?

Why did the monks choose Skellig Michael?

What was their spirituality like? Why did they leave and never return?

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My interview with actor John Rhys-Davies and his personal admiration of Saint Patrick

Check out my interview with John Rhys-Davies at Aleteia:

Award winning actor John Rhys-Davies, best known for his role as the dwarf Gimli in the highly successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, recently shared with Aleteia his admiration for Saint Patrick after working on the audio drama, The Trials of Saint Patrick.

He explained how for him, “[Saint] Patrick is giant. I am honored to have had a little part of bringing him to life.”

Far from being an outdated life that has no relevance, Rhys-Davies believes Saint Patrick’s story is an inspiration and can teach us many things in the 21st century.

“I think that what [he] teaches us is resolution and courage. The discovery of that little fire of belief in oneself. By study, by intention, by prayer, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit; it can change a man’s life into such a positive agent for the common good.”

“Of course, [at first] Patrick has ego, yes. But what Patrick does is, through being a slave, he becomes a master of men. He leads those in the darkness to light. Perhaps in our own, maybe smaller way the demons and the idols that he overthrows are some of the demons and the idols we all have to find a way of confronting and overthrowing ourselves.”

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Want to draw closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Then this manual is for you

There is a rich history in the Catholic Church of pious devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. These devotions were all born out of a deep love of our Blessed Mother and were aimed at helping the faithful draw close to Mary so as to draw closer to Christ.

However, during the past 50 years most of these devotions fell out of style and children attending catechism classes were barely taught how to pray the rosary. This has led to a void in the Catholic Church that is not easily filled and a person who wants to explore these various Marian traditions typically has to scour old book stores to find an ancient book of devotions.

That is, until now.

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5 practical ways to pray more in the New Year

Start the New Year off right in your spiritual life! Check out my latest article at Aleteia:

As the New Year approaches many of us will pledge ourselves to numerous “New Year’s Resolutions” –typically these involve such goals as losing weight or exercising more. If we’re really feeling inspired we may pledge to visit the Tabernacle every day or even read the entire Bible cover to cover.

Unfortunately, as with most New Year’s Resolutions, our spiritual stamina only lasts for about a week and we find ourselves right back where we started, feeling like failures and wondering “Is it possible to commit to praying more in the New Year? Should I just give up now and get it over with?”

Incorporating more time for prayer is not easy task, so to help you get closer to your spiritual goals, here are five practical tips that can give you a head-start on making 2017 your best spiritual year ever:

1) Believe in your goal and in God

This first step might sound obvious, but we usually miss it. Often when we think about getting “serious” about prayer, we say something like “I know I will fail. I could never do it. I will never be holy enough.” In all honesty, these thoughts come straight from the Deceiver, who will do everything he can to dissuade you from starting a program of prayer. He will try to convince you that you are “not holy enough,” or “too busy,” or someone who “never follows through.” Satan is hell-bent on preventing you from praying every day and will fill your mind with numerous lies that all revolve on the idea that “you don’t have what it takes.” Don’t listen to him!

You are a son or daughter of God and he is with you at your side. You can do it! If we open ourselves to God, he will guide us and give us the strength we need. We need to have faith that God will be there for us and that we can do the impossible. Above all else, faith is a gift given by God. So like all gifts, ask for it! Ask God to increase your devotional fervor.

“For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:19)

2) Recall what has worked and what hasn’t

In the spiritual life, there are bound to be highs and lows; times when you felt fully alive and times when you felt dead in the water. Look back at the past and see what worked and when you felt “fully alive.” You may notice some patterns that may be useful or that you may want to replicate in the present.

Additionally, we all have different habits. This could be the way we get ready in the morning to the particular way we fold our laundry. Prayer also needs to be a habit. When thinking about the other habits you engage in, what is a common thread? Most likely it is something you learned when you were little and continued to do every day of your life. It then became ingrained into your life and you barely think about it. Making prayer a habit is extremely important if you want to add more prayer in the New Year.

And don’t be afraid to start small. Even as small as beginning and ending the day with a Sign of the Cross and a “Glory Be.” Of such small beginnings, have saints arisen.

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