St. Pius of Pietrelcina once said that God is the supreme sun and enlightens the soul with His grace. That enlightenment helps us to see ourselves as we really are, which includes our weaknesses and shortcomings. For many, that sight is too difficult to behold. Perhaps, that is why many choose to turn away from God, instead of turning away from sin.

At times, even miracles from Heaven are not enough to open the hearts and minds of those who have closed themselves off from God’s heavenly graces. On October 13, 1917, thousands of people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal. For those who chose to believe in the miracle, their faith was strengthened. For those who chose not to believe, their hearts grew harder. The challenge of changing the hearts and minds of those who want to shut out God continues today; that is why Our Lady asks us to pray very much.

We may ask, “What is the point if people refuse to change?” Imagine if Mary, our Blessed Mother, asked that question at the Annunciation! Instead, Mary’s yes to God’s call was an act of faith, hope, and love as was Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta’s yes to Mary. Without fail these children, who witnessed the Marian apparitions, prayed the Rosary every day. Everything they did and endured became an offering of love to God for the sake of the world’s salvation.

Like the children of Fatima, our task is to pray every day for stronger faith and for the conversion of sinners so that God’s hope and love can spread throughout the world. As we learned from Fatima, prayers make a difference. When Lucia cried out “Look at the sun!” people saw a sight more spectacular than the recent solar eclipse and many prayers were answered. Yet, the miracle would have been even greater if more people had faith in God. Therefore, when God enlightens our souls, let us see what we can become when we believe in God’s greatness. Then let us pray for God’s graces to conquer our sins and bring peace to our world.