On June 13th in 1917, Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, the second of six apparitions. There’s so many lessons, warnings, and riches in the story of Our Lady of Fatima. But today, I wanted to highlight one in particular that I’ve been pondering.
After learning that Our Lady came from Heaven, the children did when any of us would do – they give prayer requests.
When Lucia asked for Our Lady’s healing for certain people, this was Mary’s response: “Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.” In another case, Mary says “If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”
It’s a reminder of something I’ve written about before, namely how God answers prayers: Yes, No, and Not yet. We see this at work in Fatima. Our ways are not God’s ways. And, our timeline is certainly not God’s.
Our Lady’s words also remind us that praying to God, offering petitions, etc. is not something that we pop in, lob up a hail Mary pass (pun intended), see if it lands, then go back to our worldly, sinful ways. For many in the Church, that’s what Sunday Mass has become. Six days of doing whatever we want, then a quick pitstop in Mass, say a few prayers, then back to “My Will Be Done.”
God wants to give from His infinite goodness, but He also asks something of us. It’s not a free meal ticket. He asks for repentance and conversion.