Fatima’s Spirit of Sacrifice

Sacrifice as a Duty of Love

As Lent continues it can be easy to lose that original spark of devotion and energy awakened in us on Ash Wednesday. Our daily sacrifices and resolutions start out strong, but keeping them becomes increasingly tiresome, a chore rather than a loving gift. It is therefore extremely important that we rekindle our devotion to our daily duty of sacrifice this Lent by looking to the example of Sister Lucia. Better than anyone else, she understood the loving relationship of sacrifice that God wishes for us.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our sacrifices are one-sided. We often feel that our efforts are not bearing fruit. But Sister Lucia shows us this is not the case when she writes:

“We show and prove our love for God by the love we bestow on our brothers and sisters, because, like ourselves, they too are children of God, loved and redeemed by Him in Jesus Christ. If we really want to show love to a father of a family, we shall find no more effective way of doing so than by giving gifts to his children. It is in this sense that Jesus, in the Gospel, tells us that He regards as done to Himself whatever we do to one of the least of our brother and sisters.”

Not only do our actions toward our brothers and sisters reflect our actions toward Christ, they also reflect Christ’s own sacrifice for us, the Cross as the instrument of our redemption.

“All those who love, deny themselves for the one they love. This is precisely what Jesus Christ did for us. He sacrificed himself and gave himself up to death in order to give life to us. What more, then, are we doing if, for His sake, we sacrifice our fancies, our evil inclinations, our vanity, our self-indulgence, our pride, our ambition?”

The Rosary as the Key To Sacrifice

As followers of Christ, our sacrifices play a significant role in shaping us into ambassadors of His Divine image. But it may be quite difficult for us, even in the season of penitence, to approach these sacrifices with the proper spirit of love. This is where devotion to Our Lady and her promises comes in. The Rosary is the key to sustaining us in our daily duty of sacrifice:

“It is something everyone can do from anywhere…Even for those people who do not know how, or who are not able to recollect themselves sufficiently to meditate, the simple act of taking the rosary in their hands in order to pray is already to become mindful of God, and the mention in each decade of a mystery of the life of Christ recalls Him to their minds; this in turn will light in their souls the gentle light of faith, which supports the still smoldering wick, preventing it from extinguishing itself altogether.”

As the great feasts of Holy Week draw ever closer, we are called to renew our efforts. Rather than despairing or surrendering, we should draw on the example of Sister Lucia to renew our sacrifices, strengthen our devotion, and pray our daily rosary. Only then will we be ready to fully experience the great joy of Christ’s Resurrection.

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