Do Whatever He Tells You

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marking the day when the Blessed Mother first appeared to the three Portuguese children. What makes this particular apparition really stand out from the other times and places at which the Mother of God appeared? There are the three secrets, the call for the consecration of Russia, the mandate to pray the Rosary daily for the staying of divine judgment.

And, yet, I must confess that this feast day doesn’t hold a lot that is special for me. Am I missing something by preferring devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes because of her noticeable motherly healings in my own life, or even by preferring Our Lady of Prompt Succor, who protected my beautiful hometown of New Orleans from both fire and the British scourge?

The answer, I think, is no.  Our Lady has appeared many times and in many places throughout Christendom.  Each apparition has its own beautiful devotions.  They may have slightly different messages, but we do not neglect some key aspect of the faith by not having a particular devotion to this or that apparition.

Although a particular apparition may have a message for a specific time or place, what makes them all beautiful is that Our Blessed Lady brings, fundamentally, the same basic message every time she comes to visit her children: the Gospel message.  She does not intend her apparitions to add anything to divine revelation, but merely to echo her own recommendation in the Gospel: “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).   

This is to say that Our Lady’s messages in her apparitions are messages of conversion and obedience to the commandments of Christ.  Any encouragement she brings us—to cling to the folds of her dress by praying the Most Holy Rosary for our salvation and that of others, or whatever it is—all of them are for the purpose of bringing the whole world to Christ.

The Blessed Mother knows that we fail time and time again to follow Christ’s commandments.  We’re like little children who fall a lot learning to walk.   We need to be coached and corrected over and over again.  How does she do this?  Whichever of her apparitions we are devoted to or whatever language we speak—she will always tell us the same basic thing: do whatever He tells you.  

When my Mother tells me to pray the Rosary, I know that essentially it is because she wants me to entrust myself and all my cares, like a little child, to her motherly care.  Who better could help me to understand and to carry out Christ’s commands?  Who better can teach me to love my neighbor than she who gave birth to Love Himself?

Image: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., Our Lady of Fatima

You May Also Enjoy:

Praying the Our Father with the Blessed Mother When the disciples of Christ asked Him how to pray, he gave them a formulaic prayer that has been recited billions of times since His instruction. Let us now consider praying that prayer with the one who is God’s highest creation, the Mother of the Eternal Son and the daughter of the eternal Father. Our Father, who art in heaven Mary calls on God as her Father. If you think Mary did not pray, you need to reconsider that theory and re-read J...
The Unkempt Man Brother’s having a really rough day. He wakes up at 7:08 am, throws on his habit, bounds bleary-eyed down two flights of stairs, and makes it to the chapel as the lector finishes the first reading. After Mass, Brother finishes the Morning Prayer he slept through and makes his exodus from the chapel to the refectory, a land of whole milk and honey oats. What he desires more than whole milk and honey oats, though, is hot coffee. But, on arriv...
A Catechism Around Your Neck “The Blessed Virgin is waiting for you,” the child whispered. St. Catherine Labouré, a novice in the Daughters of Charity, was gently woken from her sleep by a small, luminous child beckoning her to follow him to the chapel. It was nearly midnight. “The Blessed Virgin is coming; here she is,” the child said as Catherine heard the swishing of silk. There she was, the Mother of God. This nocturnal journey to the chapel in mid-July would be...
A Patron for Pyros   Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. This is undoubtedly St. Catherine of Siena’s most famous saying. Originally intended to challenge and embolden, this directive, however, has become rather domesticated. It floats along on a vast sea of comforting spiritual quotes on Pinterest. It’s available for purchase as a framed, floral watercolor on Etsy. Why? Because although Catherine offered this advice over six ...
Br. Reginald Hoefer, O.P.

Written by:

Br. Reginald Hoefer was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he attended Jesuit High School. He entered the Order in 2014 after receiving a B.A. in Classics from The Catholic University of America and working as a Credit Analyst at Iberia Bank in New Orleans. On DominicanFriars.org