Lent with Lucia – Genuine love is sacrificial for the good of others

“It is true that keeping the word of God involves self-denial and renunciation,
but it is also true that it is precisely in this self-denial and renunciation
that we prove our love to God.” Sister Lucia

For all of eternity we have each been equally present in the mind of God and loved by Him. Therefore, we owe Him an eternal debt of love that can never be repaid. The command that God has given us to “love God above all else” is a sign that He accepts our love and gratitude, our humble efforts to return love for Love.

Lucia writes, “We are very small before the immensity of God, but we give Him what we have: our love! It is a bit like what happens with children who, cradled in the arms of the father from whom they receive everything, repay him with a hug and a kiss, symbols of their love. And the father smiles happily and is satisfied, because the child has given him a return of love.

“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.”

But our love must be sincere, cheerful and self-sacrificing. When our love is genuine, we willingly sacrifice for the good of others. The fruit of this self-denial is peace, joy and well-being. And all of our little acts of love and sacrifice are like the little bits of yeast that can raise the whole batch and bring the whole world to peace, joy and well-being – because love is infectious, is it not?!

Lucia writes, “The love that will lead us to do this must be strong enough to overcome our evil instincts, which incline us toward those temptations to pride, envy, covetousness, revenge, vanity. Only by means of this battle with ourselves shall we manage to keep to the straight path of our love for God and neighbor. The kingdom of heaven is won by those who deny themselves in order to overcome themselves, to conquer their evil inclinations, the temptations of the world.

“This is the effort we must impose on ourselves, and it is this that gives value to our love for God and for our neighbor. 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?”

Meditate on the Beatitudes

The Lord tells us how we are to win over the world in the Sermon on the Mount. In His teaching on the beatitudes, He calls us “Blessed” when we are humble, when we mourn for the sins of the world, when we work for justice, when our hearts are turned toward God, when we are obedient and gentle. (cf Mt 5:1-11). Lucia explains, “The peacemakers who suffer meekly are the ones who are blessed in this life because they are at peace with their neighbor and enjoy their friendship; they are at peace with their own consciences, because they have denied themselves whatever was necessary in order to avoid offending God and neighbor and to do good. This is where true love can be found. It is that overflowing love for God that flows out of our heart onto our neighbor in such a burst of faith and generosity that we see the face of Jesus Christ in each human being – whether he or she shares our own faith or not, whether he is a good person or enmeshed in sin. We love them, children of the same God and Father who created us all and calls us all to share in the inheritance of heaven.”

It is to this that we are called by God, and He taught us a simple prayer of love through His messenger, the Angel of Peace at Fatima, that we can say every day countless times: ‘My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You; I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.’

Read more of Sister Lucia’s reflections on our Lent with Lucia page.

 

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5 Comments
  1. “Calls From the Message of Fatima” is a veritable catechism of the Catholic Faith seen through the light of the Fatima message. Highly recommended.

  2. We will never have peace until we accept the word od God and show others acceptance and love as he asked..

  3. How does one order this book, “Calls” by Sr. Lucia?

  4. I would like to order this book by Sr. Lucia.??

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