Need help understanding Fatima and Russia


#1

Hi :)

For some reason, the Fatima apparitions have been on my mind for a while now. But there's something that's been bothering me about them.

*For the record, I totally believe in the apparitions and I love Our Lady of Fatima, the Rosary, the brown scapular, etc! *

My question is regarding what Mary said about Russia. (but let's not turn this thread into a debate about whether the consecration of Russia has occured, or what the last secret is, etc ;))

My cultural background is Russian and that's also where I was born (though I grew up in another country). My parents are both Russian. I was baptized Russian Orthodox as a child. As you can see now I'm Catholic.... and I believe it was Mary who drew me to the Church. She has always been involved in my life though I only recognize it now.

At Fatima, Mary asked for the conversion of Russia, and - if this is happening person by person, - then I'm one of the Russian people she lead to the Church. :) so praise God!

But there's also something that I've wondered about and I hope that someone knowledgable here can give me some advice??

I disagree with Communism and it makes me sad how churches were closed down and atheism was encouraged during the Soviet era.. I grew up agnostic and so did all my family and relatives and maybe this is partly due to that. Russia was very much a Christian country before the Revolution, and I'm glad to see that now it's becoming that once more (even though Orthodox, not Catholic)

My family is (now) Eastern Orthodox and don't agree with this part of Communism either... but they grew up in the Soviet time and that's how they were raised. They have some great memories growing up and it wasn't a horrible time for them. I understand that. In the past, I've said that I disagree with Communism and dont really like how Stalin, etc, ruled the country.. and that I don't agree with the revolution and support the "white army" and the royal family over the "red army". And my family told me that I don't know what I'm talking about, that my view of history is just what I've been taught in Canada, and they worried that I've been brainwashed and turned against Russia or something. In truth, I'm not against Russia at all, I love my country and heritage, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with every bit of its history.. I just happen to like Russia before the revolution more, that's all. (I'm talking about the religion and culture aspect..I don't know much about economy, etc) My family also interpreted what I said to mean that I LOVE capitalism, but actually I don't really agree with any particular political system and that's not something I'm particularly knowledgeable about... there are aspects of capitalism that I think are good, like having private property, but I don't label myself according to any such system... the only label that applies to me is perhaps 'conservative Catholic'

Sorry for all this rambling, but I'm getting to my question:rolleyes:

I love Our Lady of Fatima and the messages she gave, but whenever I think of her, or see the Fatima statues, or the "13th day" trailer (which I really want to watch btw) - I feel worried, as if I'm going against my family or heritage and being a "traitor" to them. I don't think that being against Communism makes me "anti Russian"... and it's not offensive to me to hear people talking about converting Russia, - considering that I myself am a convert! but I'm worried if my family would feel hurt if I brought home the "13th day" movie or a statue of Our Lady of Fatima or something.

:confused: any advice/thoughts? how should I, as a Russian, see Fatima? and would my family be confused/offended/hurt by the 13th day movie? (like where it says "errors of Russia") .....perhaps someone here has seen the movie and can give me more detail?

maybe one way I can love my country is by praying for it to come to God, and be consecrated to Mary's Immaculate Heart?

thanks:blush:


#2

I think that perhaps your family is farther removed from modern Russians than they think. As far as I know, besides being happy that their nation was on top and powerful, Russia today is one of the most hard-core capitalist countries out there, and sentiment towards the old communist ways, besides the fanfare, is negative. At least that's what I've seen, from expats as well as friends who only came for the summer exchange programs.

I'm Polish, and a bit Slovenian:) and so when I began getting deeper into my heritage, on the surface I figured that communism was just a part of my heritage. But then I looked into it more, talked with some people, and found out that after living with that for years, most Slavs are dismissive of this ideology. Perhaps some Russians feel differently than their fellow Slavs, since Russia was more the center of communism back in the day. I don't know.

Keep in mind that communism and socialism are condemned by our Church (in Catechism) ONLY for their totalitarian and atheists natures, while capitalism as a whole is intrinsically wrong.

And so the 'conversion of Russia' does not refer to the end of communism, but to the end of this militant atheism.

I love Mary too! Perhaps you should pray and ask her what she meant. You never know:)

Please don't feel like a traitor to your homeland or family. I agree... the real Russia was tarnished during the time of the USSR, it's coming back. They're not being true Russians by clinging to a dead government. It's the people of Russia, and the beautiful country, etc, who they should thank for their happy childhood.

And Russia's not the only one... I am praying that Mary can come again to give a new message to our generation. My guess is she'll have things to say about America this time around. I think America is a problem country of our time(if not just for abortion). Russia's sort of done with that role:D

Well that was a bit of a ramble... Hopefully this helps a bit! If I were you I'd take the idea of little sacrifices and offering things up, more than the words about Russia, from Our Lady of Fatima. Really, that was just a small part of it. Also, remember that another Slav who grew up under communism, JP II, played a huge role in taking it down. And us Poles love him for it:D

Love, Ljubim


#3

Thanks, Ljubim! :)

sadly because of everything I've been told, it's proving to be very hard for me to separate 'Russia' from 'Communism'. Every time I think: "I disagree with Communism and I agree with what Our Lady said at Fatima", I feel like I'm thinking something against Russia, and against my family...then - probably some ridiculous attempt from the enemy to confuse me - I start feeling temptations to dislike the country I come from or my family, to think bad thoughts about them, though that makes no sense at all! and then when I think about Fatima, I'm tempted to bad thoughts about the apparitions too, and to even disbelieve them! I honestly feel like the devil is trying to confuse me and sad to say it's working. I'm not sure what I should do. It's all so ridiculous. In my mind, it's simple: I love my family and I love my country but I disagree with the Communist revolution, and so does Mary, okay, and she brought me to the Church which is awesome. The end. lol.

I've watched some of the '13th day' movie and I really like it so far, but I'm so confused about all this stuff...it's seriously bothering me. The thing is, I agree with the Fatima message on Communism. I see it as something dangerous too. But whenever I have these thoughts, I feel like I'm disrespecting my parents or something. Even though they're not communist either! and they don't totally agree with the regime anyways...they see some good and some bad in it and they're Christians too.

:shrug:

:confused:


#4

Finally I think I understand what my problem is.

Despite all logic, I feel like I'm supposed to choose between Our Lady or my family. I find this ridiculous but that's what i'm feeling. I don't know what to do...

God is first in my life and Mary comes next.

But I know He also wants us to respect our families. And I really love my family.

:( please pray for me that God would help me figure out what's going on


#5

I think I'm making it too much like: Communism=Russia=my family. I need to understand these things are distinct. And that Mary loves my family and I need to respect them but that doesn't mean agreeing with some historical event or political system but loving them as people...and loving Russia in terms of the people, too, like how God sees it


#6

I really feel Mary helping me in this :)

I've been praying for a while lol


#7

Monica4316…God rules over all nations! He loves all nations! There is plenty to be proud of in your Russian culture and it is perfectly acceptable for you to disagree with past politics while loving a country. Heck, I am ashamed that here in the United States abortion is legal and the least of God’s people are slaughtered daily. Yet, I am very proud of America and love it. Nothing in life is black and white. Nations will come and go, God is forever. We make allegiances here on this fallen earth, which is fine, as long as our full allegiance is to God first. It is kind of like being married…we can love and honor and serve our spouse…but obviously the spouse comes second to God. Same with love of country.
The issue with your parents…it also has a generational component that I think exists in all cultures. Even here in the US…parents reminisce of the way it used to be…feeling threatened by newfangled ideas. Sometimes when a generation is invested in something, they do not want to see it come and go and a new wave ushered in. But every nation is more than just a political ideal…it is the story of its people. Rich history, personal courage and family sacrifices exist if you look for them. They are buried somewhere below the big hoopla over politics. THAT is your heritage too.

I think it is awesome to think of yourself as one of the individuals converted by Mary. We often think of things on a grand scale transformation…but Fatima was about one life at a time. One soul at a time coming to Christ. Awesome!

Does anyone know of some Russian saints that Monica may find some pride in?


#8

My personal thought is that you should do as your family suggests and learn more about the history of Russia before, during and after the Revolution, and life under Stalin and his successors. Since your countrymen have now at least begun to discard communism, being against that ideology is hardly betraying either Mother Russia or your heritage. Learn also all you can about your Russian Orthodox roots not only the religious heritage but the cultural as well, which as your parents can affirm, often got trampled on even for devout Russians in the past century.

Fatima was a prophecy of events that would transpire in that sorry country which began in the year of the apparitions. Surely you cannot believe that to pray for conversion of your fellow countrymen is against God's will, or that wanting God's will for them in any way shape or form constitutes a betrayal, nor a denyal of your heritage.

your patronal Saint Nicholas gained his fame in part because he continued the tradition of hospitality toward the poor which he learned from his family. And your other Saint Andrew, with his brother, followed a new teacher and a new teaching which many of their parents' generation must have interpreted as a betrayal of their faith tradition.


#9

[quote="Monica4316, post:1, topic:178697"]
Hi :)

  • I feel worried, as if I'm going against my family or heritage and being a "traitor" to them. I don't think that being against Communism makes me "anti Russian

[/quote]

I don't think that makes you a traitor. I'm as American as American can get, but there are definitely parts of our past as a nation that I disagree with, am not proud of and want no part of. But that doesn't mean there aren't a million other things I love about my country and our history.


#10

Thanks everyone! :thumbsup:

yesterday I really felt a lot of anxiety about this but now things are better. I wanted to just give a little update ;)

I asked Mary to help me understand all this and then continued watching the 13th Day.

I don't remember when exactly this happened, but at one point I suddenly felt this amazing peace and all my anxiety disappeared...and I remembered that Mary is a loving Mother to us, to all of us. I asked her to help me understand how she sees this situation.

Somehow I felt my perspective was changing and that I was looking at all this from an incorrect perspective. Here's what I think the reality is (though of course I still can't see it perfectly! this is one one part)

Mary loves me, my family, the Russian people, and all people. We are all her children. Last century, in 1917, a revolution happened in Russia that was not God's will. Before this, the country was not Catholic, but it was still Christian and devoted to God and to Mary. But the new regime considered religion as an "opium for the people" and went against many of the cultural traditions. At several points during the Soviet era, there were persecutions of Christians. Atheism grew. In 1917, God could see where all this was heading. So in the same year, Mary came and gave a warning... that unless the world doesn't turn to God, there will be another world war, and that unless Russia is not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the Holy Father (who has the power of binding and losing :)) it will spread its errors to other countries. These errors were the Communist revolution and the atheism...I believe it was also the first country to formally legalize abortion (though later on this was changed because the population was going down.)

What Mary wanted was for Russia to be consecrated to her so that she could destroy the work the devil was trying to do there, and set the people free from that, and prevent it from spreading to other places.

I tend to believe that the consecration happened in 1984 by Pope John Paul II, and I know there are people who don't believe this, but - even if it was not a perfect consecration (not in union with all the bishops) - it still did a lot of good. Soon after, the communist regime fell..this was in my lifetime.. and also, now there is less atheism in Russia than there used to be. Many churches are being built and renovated, and Christianity is no longer persecuted. It's Orthodox Christianity, not Catholicism, but it's still a turning towards God and a conversion.

I was born around that time and there are many circumstances in my life that are related to Mary. Also, although I grew up agnostic, I later came to believe in God (and so did my family) and then became Catholic (I believe, through her intercession, since it was Mary who helped me believe in the Eucharist). I read that after the 1984 consecration, Sr Lucia said that it was accepted by Heaven, and now everyone needs to wear the brown scapular. I didn't know this before, but the brown scapular is a devotion that I've been really drawn to for a while. I wear one though I haven't yet been 'enrolled'. When I first found out about it, I felt a lot of peace and felt it was God's will for me to wear it. Also, I have made my Total Consecration to Mary, this summer.

So the way I see it, I dont have to 'choose' between Mary or my family. She loves my family too, even more than I do, and if the consecration was effective then they are also consecrated to her (as all the Russian people). I believe is helping Russia get back to God. There are still many attacks of the enemy but there's no more persecution, which is good.

I think my mistake was that when I first heard about "the errors of Russia", I started imagining that Mary hates Russia and so hates me and my family simply because that's where we were born. I knew that's ridiculous and ..well, kind of silly.. Mary can't hate anyone... but I was still confused.. and was worried about believing in Fatima because of my family's potential reaction.

But now, I see that if I believe in Fatima (which I do), all I have to think is - Communism, secularism, atheism - there were errors in Russia in the last century, but all this time Mary wanted for the people to be consecrated to her, so that she might deliver them from this, and prevent the errors from spreading to the world. Now, my family and I are in her care and I believe through her intercession we have been lead to God.

I also believe it's a good idea to pray for countries and I pray for both Russia, Canada, and the US, and all the world.

God bless


#11

Wonderful! I think perhaps the devil was setting up these up as opposites in your head.

I second the idea of praying for countries... it is said that countries have guardian angels as well (or something of the kind). Actually come to think of it... that's what the angel who came to the Fatima kids was!:) All nations badly need our prayers!

I feel that if Mary comes again soon(:DI hope so!) that she'll have some things to say about America, perhaps China too. So Russia-of-old is by no means alone. She was just the problem country of the time:D but that time is long-over.

What might make you feel better is all of this news about the Russian Orthodox Church and Catholic Church entering into unity. It gives me such joy to think about this! More so than the Anglicans... I think because Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism has historically been a huge division in Eastern Europe. In Ukraine especially relations have been warming... to remember the Holodymir a Catholic bishop and Orthodox bishop concelebrated a remembrance mass at the capitol:p It just warms your heart... I think this sort of thing makes God immensely happy!

Personally I would love to, when I go to Russia in a couple years for my study abroad, not have to worry about the religion thing. I know we can still go to liturgy without worries if there's no Catholic church nearby... but it still would feel odd. Now I know it won't happen that soon... but hopefully in our lifetimes we'll see the schism end! Imagine if it happens in 2054... exactly 1000 years later.


#12

Great, Monica. I definitely think you were hearing from Heaven when you gained these insights. God has blessed you.


#13

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