by Barb Ernster –
After pondering the question of the most important part of the Fatima message, Sister Lucia stated that it was “at the beginning, at the Cabeço.” It was there that the Angel of Peace led the three little shepherds to an intense reality of the presence of God and to worship and adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Lucia often recommended to anxious priests and laypeople who wrote to her, to get close to the tabernacle and pray. “It is here you will find light, strength and grace to sustain you and that you can pass on to others,” she told her nephew, Father José dos Santos Valinho, in 1971, during the turmoil of the Second Vatican Council.
Each era has its own set of problems. It seems, though, lately, that world leaders are rattling their sabers for war again. Extended heat and drought in various areas are raising concerns about crop failure and worse—famine. Fires, floods, earthquakes and other calamities are always threatening. The economy is downright scary.
Many people are murmuring to each other that they feel the need to prepare for tough times and not be concerned with worldly things. What I find so amazing, is how many of them express the sentiment that unless they are getting to the Eucharist regularly, whether in daily Mass or adoration, they do not feel peace. They do not feel strong. They easily feel anxious and vulnerable about the world. But as soon as they get back to the Eucharist, these feelings leave them and they feel peace.
Has this been your experience? If so, maybe consider it a good thing!
Jesus is calling us to a really, really close relationship with Him. He’s inviting us into an inner sanctum where we will keep our eyes so firmly on Him that we will not be able to depend on anything else.
The Fatima message invites us to grow in this deep, intimate relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, especially by way of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. In 1929, Sister Lucia had a vision of the Most Holy Trinity. The Father was above the Cross, the Holy Spirit—a dove—was there, too. At the center of the vision was Jesus crucified on the Cross, His blood dripping from the wounds in His head and side onto a host and chalice. The words Grace and Mercy flowed down like water from the side. Mary stood beneath the cross holding her heart covered in thorns and flames.
Lucia was doing a Holy Hour when the vision occurred; lying prostrate and repeating the prayer of adoration and reparation taught by the Angel at Fatima: “O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee … I offer Thee the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ…”
She said she received insights into the mystery of the Holy Trinity that she was not allowed to write down. However, the vision revealed in part what happens at every Mass in the light of faith. The Father and Holy Spirit are present during the re-presentation of Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary. Grace and mercy flow from the Heart of Jesus to all of humanity through the sacrifice of the Mass. Mary is standing beneath the cross, just as she was on Calvary, extending her Heart in union with Christ’s – as intercessor and Mediatrix of all graces.
This is the source of our power! If we are to have any chance withstanding the wickedness and evil of our times, we need to be filled with the power of our Eucharistic Lord. If we are to even be sustained in faith, we must go to the source of it—the Body and Blood of Jesus. Jesus told us, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” (Jn 6:53)
When we cannot get to a daily Mass, perhaps spend some time before the tabernacle as St. Francisco did so often. Ven. Fulton Sheen did a Holy Hour every day and said this was where he got his power to preach and to withstand the storms that came at his priesthood and faith. “The Holy Hour,” he said, “is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption.”
Sheen explained, our Blessed Lord used the words “hour” and “day” in the Gospel of John. The “day” belongs to God; the “hour” belongs to evil. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Our Lord contrasted two “hours” – one was the evil hour in which Judas betrayed Him: “This is your hour.” And the other was the hour He asked His disciples to spend with Him during His agony: “Could you not watch one hour with Me?” In other words, He asked for an hour of reparation to combat the hour of evil.
This is truly a time to get close to Jesus in the Eucharist. He wants us to grow more and more in His likeness, so that we become like Him. It is the only place on earth where we can find truth, light, clarity, peace, love and joy, despite all that threatens to overwhelm us today.