On August 15th of this year, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, the Oklahoma City Civic Center is hosting its second public black mass, in spite of the outrage it caused the first time, in 2014.
In addition to profaning a consecrated Host in the most vile way possible, the registered sex offender who will officiate the ritual will also desecrate a statue of Our Lady, on her feast day.
Still, “be not afraid.” The Church provides a super-powered way to respond to these dark acts. I’ll explain about prayers of reparation, in a few paragraphs. First, a little context.
TFP.org is circulating an online petition to be sent to the Mayor of Oklahoma City, as well as the Governor of Oklahoma, demanding that this hateful, anti-Catholic ritual be stopped. This is no mere matter of free exercise of religion, and here’s why.
Attacking Jesus Christ, the Blessed Mother, and the Catholic Church are the purpose of the sexualized desecrations that constitute a black mass, yet the group now seeks acceptance as a mainstream “religion.” They essentially have nothing of their own–unless you count perversion and hate.
Lord, have mercy on us and on all who participate in, support, or accept this sacrilege. +
After signing TFP’s petition and sharing it around, it occurred to me that just getting angry wasn’t going to cut it; I thought, in addition to speaking out (which we should all do), I should make reparation for the offenses against Our Lord and Our Lady. I’d never really thought much about it, before, but suddenly it really mattered.
So, what is reparation? To make reparation means to make amends for harm that is done to another. Reparations in society are usually made in terms of assigned labor (community service) or the monetary payment of damages, as in civil suits.
In Catholic tradition, reparation means to make acts of prayerful, sacrificial love in order to accomplish several objectives:
- Give honor to the person wrongly offended
- Make amends for our own wrongs or in place of those who committed the offense
- Save souls–including and perhaps especially those who desecrate what is holy
This is powerful stuff, and I trust that the prayers and sacrifices inspired by Oklahoma City’s latest affront will far outweigh the evil acts being proposed.
Here are some simple ways to join in:
- Attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist with tender reverence. Nothing is more powerful.
- Confessing our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation with sincere penitence and cultivating the virtues we lack. This is an offering very pleasing to God.
- Praying the names of Jesus and Mary with affection, reverence, and love is a very simple way to make amends for the ways their holy names–and the Blessed Sacrament–are offended, daily–and it can be incredibly moving. When I started praying with more intentional love and affection, and cultivating more gratitude in prayer, my soul caught fire in a new way.
- The Sacred Heart Novena, popularized by St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), can be prayed daily. (For more on the Sacred Heart, this is a good article from Word on Fire Ministries.)
- Fasting, offering up ordinary tasks, any sacrifices done cheerfully
- Cultivating beauty in your life and sharing it with others through hospitality and friendship
- Our Lady of Fatima requested the First Saturday devotions in order to make reparations for the five offenses against her Immaculate Heart. (To learn lots more about that, Father Andrew Apostoli has a new book called “Fatima For Today” and a superb, hour-long talk, which you can watch for FREE on YouTube, here.)
The five offenses against Mary’s Immaculate Heart are as follows:
- blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception
- blasphemies against her perpetual virginity
- blasphemies against the divine and spiritual maternity of Mary
- blasphemies involving the rejection and dishonoring of her images, and
- the neglect of implanting in the hearts of children a knowledge and love of this Immaculate Mother.
With the intention of making reparations on the first five Saturdays (of five consecutive months), Our Lady asked us to do the following:
- go to confession (within a month before or after the first Saturday–it used to be 8 days, but not everyone has access to confession on a regular basis, so the Church allows a longer grace period, now)
- receive Holy Communion in a state of grace (which means that if you have committed a serious sin, you need to get to confession BEFORE receiving Holy Communion)
- pray the Rosary (preferably in presence of the Blessed Sacrament, but it can be anywhere)
- meditate for an additional 15 minutes on one or more mysteries of the Rosary (ditto, great to do in church)
Our Lady also told the seers of Fatima–Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco–that she was grieving because souls were “falling like snowflakes into hell.”
She asked them to pray the Rosary every day.
Through angelic, divine, and Marian apparitions, the following prayers were also given to the shepherd children at Fatima, and they are available to help us all make loving reparation and save souls.
Prayers of Reparation from Fatima
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.
Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit- I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.
Oh my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy.
In discovering the simplicity and beauty of reparation, I feel my heart is being expanded to hold more love–not my own paltry love, but the gracious love of God that is poured into any willing heart as pure gift. One thing leads to another, and now I’ve got plans to start the Five First Saturday devotion on August 6th. I’m really excited about it.
So you see? Much good can come out of very bad situations.
Be hopeful, my friends! To hope is to praise the goodness of our God.
And praising our merciful Lord makes amends in countless beautiful ways.
Enjoy this beautiful hymn, “It Is Well,” sung by Audrey Assad: