We're in the pink this weekend. When someone says "in the pink" they usually mean feeling pretty good and we should for we have reached the mid-point of Lent liturgically with the Fourth Sunday of Lent, bettter referred to as Laetare Sunday. For more on this special Sunday we refer you to Catholic Canvas in this weekend's issue. But we're in the pink and also full of corpuscle rouge with anticipation of "March Madness" which began Thursday in eight different cage arenas around the country. Ah yes, the madness of March is upon us. While most people call it "March Madness," a term coined by basketball junkies who can't get enough of the NCAA tournament at this time every year, we prefer to call it the "Madness of March" because there are numerous other events that can make us feel like a bouncing ball on the hardwood of life.
First of all, there is, usually at this time of the year, the annual Saint Patrick's Day Dinner and Dance - so often on the Friday night before St. Paddy's day which creates a madness in those trying to fast and abstain on Fridays during Lent. It's a dilemna that young and old struggle with, chow down on the corned beef and swig down the Guiness or stick to the Lenten resolutions you've promised God you'd keep. For us that's a no brainer, because if you make a promise, you keep it! Then there's the Academy Awards later this month and many are prompted to rush out and catch all the nominees, but remember they've sworn off movies for Lent. What's a soul to do? The answer: remember the commitment to the great Director above.
We also, invariably at this time every year, receive many more e-mails, phone calls and letters on warnings about watching for the Warning. It's happened every year in this decade and this year is no exception. This message or that message comes through from one or more messengers that the Warning, prophesied at Garabandal, is going to occur on a particular date or an event will happen on this date or that date that ties in with the chastisement. Bingo! It spreads like wildfire over the net and by word of mouth. They say curiosity killed the cat and keeping watch on when the Warning is going to occur often gets the best of many. They have forgotten the essence of what Jesus and His Blessed Mother are asking of all of us: pray, fast, convert our hearts, utilize the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist as often as possible, always worthily, and to spread Our Lord's and Our Lady's words to all we meet. Nowhere in the messages does it say for us to tell the people exactly when the Warning will occur!
We can tell you this that every prediction to this point has been bogus. As far as we know, only a few truly know an "area of time" when the Warning will occur, and those are the visionaries of Garabandal to whom Our Lady appeared at the very same time the Council Fathers were convening for the Second Vatican Council in Rome. Only one of those four visionaries know the year. That is Mari Loli Mazon LaFleur who knows only the year, not the month, day or hour. Though Garabandal has not been approved and there are those who continue to oppose it, the recipients of the Blessed Mother's messages were, as at LaSalette, Lourdes and Fatima, as well as Medjugorje and Rwanda, children who were uneducated to the theology and tenets of the Church. Yet everything they conveyed to the authorities is in total accord with Church Doctrine, Dogma and Teachings, not to mention Sacred Scripture. No one knew then what lay ahead for the world and Holy Mother Church except Our Lady when she appeared near the pines above the small remote village of San Sebastian de Garabandal to four young, unassuming girls on the threshold of their teens. What the Mother of God imparted would have repercussions in the world and in her Divine Son's Church which was about to undergo a tremendous upheaval for satan was beginning a rampage so savage and cunning that only now do we realize how extensive the damage done and the portents of the end of an era in fulfillment of what Blessed Mary told Garabandal visionary Conchita Gonzalez on January 1, 1965, "Before the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over." One thing is for sure: everything foretold at La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima has come to pass except the Warning, the Miracle that is to follow within one year of the former, and the chastisements that are to come.
The more we follow the words Our Lord and Our Lady have imparted which call for obedience to His Holy Church and His Vicar on earth, living our faith and living the messages as well as spreading them, the more we will cease "worrying" about when the Warning will occur. Worrying about things we can't control only displays a mistrust in God. What God wants us to do is get down to the business of striving to save souls. No matter what walk of life we are in, we can always pray and live our faith. We need to pray that other souls , as well as ourselves, will be ready. We know not the day nor the hour, but we do know we need to take Christ's words in Matthew 25 on the Parable of the Ten Virgins seriously and keep our lamps lit and do as He recommends in 25: 13, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." That's right, folks, we know neither the day nor the hour and neither do the visionaries of Garabandal or any other visionary. If God told us the exact time of the Warning, do you think many would begin preparing now or make a mad rush in "March Madness" style at the very last minute? Most probably the latter human nature being what it is. God is All-Knowing, All-Wisdom; we are not! So let's leave it in His infinitely caple hands and quit worrying about when the Warning is going to come and furiously following every rumor that surfaces about when it's coming. Let's all resolve that it is coming and soon; then prepare our lamps lest we are not ready when the Lord calls. It would be a terrible shame if we didn't heed the warning of the Warning because, rather than praying and heeding Heavenly advice, we forgot to light our lamps. Why? Could it be that we are all so busy watching for the Warning that we miss Christ's warning?