The message delivered by Our Lady of Fatima, beginning on May 13, 1917, still applies to us today, a full 99 years later. It is a message of prayer, especially prayer and penance for the conversion of sinners. In a very real way, it reminds us of the words of Our Lord Jesus when He came down from the mountain of the Transfiguration (when the father of the possessed boy said “if you can help us”): “Some demons are only driven out by prayer and fasting.”
Do we worry about people who are living far from the grace of Almighty God? Do we worry, but fail to pray for them in concrete ways? And if we pray, do we ever add fasting to that prayer? The Fathers of the Church tell us that prayer, fasting and almsgiving (charity) all need to be present together. This Jubilee Year of Mercy is a great time for us to be praying, fasting (and even little acts of self-denial are forms of fasting), and practicing works of charity — and we can offer all of these for the conversions of those who are in great need of God’s Infinite Mercy right now.