by Barb Ernster
This was the humble question little Lucia asked the Blessed Mother at the beginning of each of the apparitions at Fatima: “What do you want of me?” It is a question we all need to ask every day if we are devoted to — or have consecrated ourselves to — the Immaculate Heart of Mary and if we truly trust in our Lord.
Even after the vivid and frightening revelations of the July 13 apparition — the vision of hell, the prophecies and the third part of the secret —10-year-old Lucia asked again: “Is there anything MORE you want of me?”
Only someone completely emptied of self-interest and self-preservation could ask this question without any curiosity about what just happened.
There is much angst in the world at this time and people look to those who can deliver us from the chaos, the lies, the corruption, the moral bankruptcy, the apostasy from truth. But the answer is, WE will deliver us as children of the “woman clothed with the sun” (Rv 12:1) who is leading us right now.
Only by her complete obedience and humble submission to the words and direction of Our Lady did Lucia help establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart, as God desired. Only by patience and faith in the Lord did she see the Fatima message begin to spread, the First Saturday devotion approved, the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, the release of the third secret, the canonization of her cousins, always content that Our Lady’s promises of peace and triumph would be fulfilled. She never sought to know how, when or what the future held; she just kept doing what she could, namely offering sacrifice and prayer daily and fulfilling her duties to God and those around her.
Even when things didn’t turn out as they should, especially when the urgency of the times demanded it, she had an incredible way of avoiding the pitfalls of despair, surrendering all to God’s providence. When the consecration of Russia was not getting done, despite our Lord’s persistent requests for it in the 1930s, she wrote to her spiritual director, “I am sorry that it has not already been done. However, it is the same God who requested it, who has permitted this.”
Having given all over to our Lord, she then went about doing what she could and continued to promote the First Saturday devotion among the lay people and clergy with whom she was in contact. She noted in one letter that she was anxious for its propagation, not only because its practice would lead to peace in the world, but “above all, because it is the will of our dear Lord and of our dearly beloved heavenly Mother.”
As Communism was reaching the pinnacle of its power in the USSR toward the end of the 1950s, she wrote to Fr. Augustin Fuentes, postulator for the cause of Francisco and Jacinta: “God has provided humanity with an extraordinary weapon to stave off Satan — the Rosary. Political, national and international activities are beyond the reach of most people, but each person can recite the Rosary, and thereby influence the outcome of the world.”
To her nephew-priest who wrote to her about the disorienting times for the clergy and religious following Vatican Council II, she recommended that “above all else,” get close to the tabernacle and pray. “The only important thing for us is to do the will of God, to be where He wants us to be and to do what He expects of us, always with a spirit of humility, conscious of the fact that we ourselves are nothing and it is God who works through us and makes use of us to accomplish His work.”
To those who caused her much suffering because of the constant and widespread speculation about the third part of the secret, she lamented: “If they would just devote their energy to living out the real essence of the message, which has already been revealed — Our Lady’s request for prayer and penance.”
What would Sister Lucia tell us to do in our times?
The same. Stay close to God in the Eucharist, pray the Rosary, practice the First Saturday devotion, offer the sacrifices of your daily duty and seek the will of God in your life.
To those who are already doing this, if the Blessed Mother were to stand before you today, would you also be able to ask: “Is there anything MORE you want of me?”
May we all avoid unnecessary curiosity and concern about the future, but seek God always and trust in His divine providence.
Barb Ernster is the Communications Manager and Editor for the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.