It's such a blessing to meet a blogging friend in real life, and this past Sunday I had the opportunity to do just that! Fr. James Kubicki, who is the head of the National Apostleship of Prayer and writer of the blog Offer It Up, gave a talk about his recent trip to Fatima to our local chapter of Catholics United for the Faith (CUF). I haven't had the chance to attend one of the local CUF meetings before, but this time, when I saw who was speaking, I knew I had to make room in my schedule to attend. I am so glad that I did!
Fr. Kubicki had an antiquated copy of an Apostleship of Prayer Card from 1909 in which the intention was to pray for Portugal. I found that to be extremely fascinating considering all of the miraculous events which took place in that country within a few years after that prayer card came out. Another fascinating tidbit that Fr. Kubicki shared was regarding the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. After he had healed from his injuries, the great Pope journeyed to Fatima with the bullet that had been meant to kill him. He offered the bullet as a gift to be added to a special crown that was on display in Fatima. Everyone wondered whether the bullet would blend in with the crown of gold, or would it stand out and look inappropriate. Believe it or not, the bullet fit perfectly into the crown, as if the bullet and the crown belonged together!
My favorite part of Fr. Kubicki's talk didn't consist of miracles or wonders, but rather in something very ordinary. Fr. Kubicki shared an anecdote from his college days when he had the chance to meet with a well loved priest, Fr. Cletus Healy. Fr. Kubicki asked Fr. Healy what he thought the Third Secret of Fatima might be (at that time it had not yet been revealed). Fr. Healy wisely answered, "Don't worry about the third secret; it's enough to worry about the first two! Work on prayer, fasting and penance for the Conversion of Russia!" Wise words indeed! Don't worry about the future or focus on the extraordinary. We would all do well to focus on daily prayer and penance, works of love and mercy and uniting our souls to God.
To learn more about Fr. James Kubicki and the Apostleship of Prayer, visit Offer it Up or the Apostleship of Prayer webpage.