Lent with Lucia

Make Lent awesome with Sister Lucia

Throughout these days of austerity and atonement, let us look at how Sister Lucia suggests we live out the Fatima message, which is the Gospel message itself. Then, following in her footsteps, we can begin to adopt a spirit of prayer and penance that goes beyond the 40 days of Lent, so that it becomes a natural part of our daily life in intimate communion with God, offered for the sake of sinners.

Twice weekly Lent with Lucia quotes will be posted (right) and scroll down
for new Sister Lucia reflections posted every Wednesday (below).

(Sister Lucia’s comments are in italics from her book, “Calls” from the Message of Fatima):

Repent of habitual sins

Our faith calls us to trust in God and to follow His commandments as a sign of our love for Him. In returning to God and His commandments this Lent, Sister Lucia reminds us: Our love must, too, must be self-sacrificing. To begin with, we must avoid whatever might cause us to sin grievously against God or our neighbor; in other words, we must not disobey God’s law in any grave matter. Then, we must also deny ourselves anything that might cause us to offend God or our neighbor in less serious matters, in other words by venial sin…The Kingdom of Heaven is won by those who deny themselves, doing battle with themselves to conquer their evil inclinations, the temptations of the world…in order to keep strictly to the path of justice, truth and love.

Forgive others as you have been forgiven

The Lord’s Prayer reminds us that we cannot obtain God’s pardon unless we ourselves first forgive our brothers and sisters. It follows that we must not harbor resentment, ill-will, dislike, and still less, a desire to avenge any offense, whether great or small, that one or other of our neighbors may have committed against us. Our forgiveness must be generous, complete and self-sacrificing, in the sense of overcoming ourselves. It will be necessary to grasp the reins of our own temper and keep a lid on the heat of our wounded self-love which, whether rightly or wrongly, feels bruised and irritated.

Seek intimate communion with God

The Angel of Peace reminded the three children of Fatima to “pray, pray very much,” reflecting the Gospel message of Jesus to “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Mt. 26, 41). Sister Lucia reminds us that we can be in intimate communion with God in simple ways all day long:

In carrying out our everyday tasks, we must endeavor to be aware of God’s presence: call to mind that God and our Angel Guardian are close to us, see what we are doing and in what frame of mind we are doing it. Knowing that God is present, it is enough to call Him to mind and from time to time say a few words to Him, whether of love – “I love you, Lord!” or of thanksgiving – “Thank you, Lord, for all your benefits,” or of petition, “Lord, help me to be faithful to You…”, or of praise, “I bless you, Lord, for your greatness…” This intimate and familiar converse with God transforms our work and our daily occupations into a true and abiding life of prayer, making us more pleasing to God and bringing down upon us extra special graces and blessings.”

Read more on what Lucia has to say about prayer

Practice self-denial for the sake of sinners

Our daily lives are filled with opportunities to offer sacrifices to God. At times it is the cross of our daily work; at other times the difficulties of life that we must accept with serenity, patience and resignation. Still other times, those humiliations and self-revelations that occur, when we must accept and acknowledge what is imperfect in us and amend ourselves with confidence in God’s loving help.

Here are five ways of self-denial that Sister Lucia says anyone can do to take up their cross every day and follow Jesus: It is our generosity in ordinary little things that are constantly happening; it is to make perfect the present moment”:

  1.  Make time for prayer with faith and attention, avoiding distractions, praying respectfully, remembering that we are speaking to God; therefore, praying with confidence and love, knowing that He wants to help us. Our prayer must be humble and accompanied by a spirit of sacrifice. Many times it will be necessary to sacrifice a little of our time for relaxation for prayer, getting up earlier in order to go to church and pray, setting aside time before bed to pray the Rosary, turning off the radio or television in order to do so. It is the renunciation of our own likes and fancies that God requires of us.
  2. Offer God the sacrifice of some little act of self-denial in the matter of food, but not to the extent of impairing the physical strength we need in order to do our work. For example, to choose a fruit, a dessert, a drink that we don’t particularly like rather than one we do; to endure thirst for a while, to abstain from alcohol, to choose healthy foods over those not as good for us.
  3. The sacrifice that we can and must make in the matter of clothing: Putting up with a little cold or heat without complaining; dressing modestly without becoming enslaved to the latest fashion, bearing in mind that we are responsible for the sins that others commit because of us.
  4. Cheerfully enduring without complaint whatever little annoyances we may encounter in our day. Sometimes, it may be the company of someone disagreeable or irritating, an unpleasant word, an ironic smile, a look of disdain, a contradiction, or that we are passed over as of no account, forgotten, misunderstood, reproofed, rejected or treated with ingratitude.
  5. Exterior prayers and penances include the days of fast and abstinence imposed by the church. Penances imposed on ourselves to suffer with Christ might be to pray in a spirit of penance with one’s arms outstretched in the form of a cross, or to pray prostrate with one’s forehead touching the ground, lowering ourselves before God whom we have offended.

Making such little sacrifices enriches us with grace, strengthens us in faith and charity, ennobles us before God and our neighbor, and frees us from the temptation to egoism, covetousness, envy and self-indulgence.

Remember, whenever you make some sacrifice, recite the little prayer that Mary taught the children:
O Jesus, it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners
and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

May your Lenten journey draw you closer to God for the sake of His kingdom and for those souls who have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.

Reflections by Lucia

Wednesday, March 14


Friday, March 9
“How can an external sacrifice be pleasing to God unless we offer Him the internal sacrifice of forgiveness granted to others? Jesus tells us in the Gospel: Go and learn what it means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice'” (Mt 9:13).

Wednesday, March 7
“God is merciful and is always ready to forgive us, as soon as He sees in us our own repentance and desire of amendment – turning away from the path of sin to embark on the path of grace.”

Friday, March 2
Our day has 24 hours in it. It is not asking a great deal to set aside a quarter of an hour for the spiritual life, for our intimate and familiar converse with God.”

Wednesday, February 28
“The (Fatima) Message asks us to undertake an apostolate on behalf of our brothers and sisters. It is a continuation of the mission of Christ on earth; we must be co-workers with Christ in his work of redemption, in the salvation of souls.”

Friday, February 23
“Putting up with any sacrifices in our day-to-day lives becomes a slow martyrdom which purifies us and raises us up to the level of the supernatural, through the encounter of our soul with God.”

Wednesday, February 21
“We know how weak we are, that we slip back and fall…We can only acquire the strength we need, the strength that comes from grace, when our soul meets with God in prayer.”

Friday, February 16
“In order to attain salvation, we all have to drink the chalice of self-sacrifice…while at the same time, we must embrace whatever sacrifices life asks of us, whether material and physical, or moral, social and spiritual.”

Ash Wednesday, February 14
“We all desire and long for peaceful days, to be able to live in peace, but this peace will not be achieved until we use the Law of God as the norm and guide of our steps.”


Lent with Lucia

Recommended resources from our Gift Shop:

Lucia’s Biography

“CALLS” from… Fatima

Rosary Meditations

Jacinta, The Flower of Fatima

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