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Learning to Console Jesus from the Children of Fatima

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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Our Lady of Fatima (Week 7 of 8)

Francisco had no ambition to go to school with Jacinta and Lucia. What was the use, if he was going to heaven so soon? But he liked to walk with them as far as Saint Anthony's Church in Fatima. Then he would say:

“Look, you go to school and I will stay here in the church near the hidden Jesus. It isn't worth the trouble for me to learn to read. I'm leaving here soon for heaven. When you come back, call me.”

Yet he never paraded his piety, but concealed it, even from Jacinta. One day after school when the girls lost sight of him on the Serra, they found him lying prostrate and motionless behind a stone wall.

“Why didn't you come and pray with us?”

“I'd rather pray alone, to think, and to console Our Lord. He is so sad.”

“Francisco, which do you like better, to console Our Lord or to convert sinners so that their souls won't go to hell any more?”

This was a more profound theological question than Lucia may have realized, but he answered without hesitation:

“I'd rather console Our Lord.”

Our Lady of Fatima (Chapter 11, Paragraphs 19-20, 22-27)

The simple children from Fatima have light years of theological understanding beyond me.

And it is as I read the account of their lives that I have come to better understand concepts that, honestly, sounded to me like nice ideas without practical application.

How, exactly, does one console Jesus? And why?

He already died.

He already rose.

Life goes on.

(Give me a few more lines and I'll have a country western song…)

And yet, in this short excerpt from today's reading, I gleaned a sudden insight into just what it means to console Jesus, and just how and why you would do it.

Suddenly, Eucharistic Adoration and the peace it brings me became about more than just that mental calm that comes over me. While I need that peace, maybe the peace I get isn't what's important.

Perhaps, in fact, what's important about that hour or so I drop in to spend with Jesus is that Jesus needs it, that the world needs it.

If you've ever been around someone who struggles with a personality or mental disorder that's easily remedied with medicine, this might make sense. I immediately thought of someone dear to me who is not the same person without their medicine as they are with it. That medicine helps the rest of the world to see this person as the gift and charming individual they are. It also helps the person to be a more humane individual.

When we exert ourselves and give to Jesus — call it consoling him, if you want — we benefit. It's the best medicine we could give ourselves.

But — and here's the great part — the rest of the world benefits, too. Everyone's a winner here.

These kids at Fatima got it. They intuitively trusted and understood the start-to-finish rationale.

Would that I could emulate them…and use their example and inspiration to grow closer to Jesus.


Reading Assignment:

Chapter 17 – End of the Book

Discussion Questions:

1. How can you console Jesus this week? What sacrifice, however small, can you give him as a gift?

2. What's your biggest struggle with the concept of consoling Jesus? What's one step you can take this week to

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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