Our Lady appears in the Cova da Iria to remind the world, that the “one thing necessary” consists in seeking first and above all the kingdom of God and His justice.
What is meant by His justice? That we render to God what is due to Him — all honor and glory. If His majesty is offended by man’s sinful pride, then justice consists in a perfect reparation made to His grieved majesty, in penance, in atonement, and in all acts which re-establish the true order. What then is the most perfect response from us poor sinners when confronted with the agony of Our Lord and His cruel Passion? What could be the perfect act of love which God requires of us in His first and greatest commandment? Our Lord himself gives the answer: “I looked for compassion, but in vain, and for someone to console me, and I found none.” The devotion to His Most Sacred Heart is nothing but such an act of reparation and atonement. The loving heart says to Our Lord: “If everywhere You knock at the doors of souls and nobody opens to You, if You are thrown out of society, of institutions, of families and even from Your own churches, if You are lonesome and despised, You the Creator and Master of all: then I wish to open wide my heart, to give You comfort and shelter and a poor but heartfelt welcome, where You can lay Your head and find a home. The more they reject You, I want to receive You; the more they forget You, I want to remember You; the more they refuse You, I want to welcome You; the more they turn from You, the more I want to turn towards You; the more they despise Your love, the more I want to honor You; the more they fill Your soul with sadness and tears, the more I want to console you!”
Our Lady chose the little children in Fatima to help us understand the utmost importance of such desires of the heart. Little Francisco was not able to live the life of a heroic missionary or of a contemplative monk; he could only offer his simple prayers and sacrifices, as Saint Veronica could only present a wet cloth to Our Lord in His torture. Exteriorly these things are nothing, but interiorly there is a supreme gesture of love which merited holiness for Veronica and to have the Holy Face of the Suffering Christ impressed not only on the linen cloth, but more importantly within her very soul. And who among us is unable to imitate the simple acts of a little child in order to console Our Lord and Our Lady in their sadness at seeing so many souls go astray?
Because the world denies God His due honor and glory, there is a need to make reparation. This happens above all through a life of love, and the first act of love is to be with the Beloved, to contemplate Him and live always in His presence. The second act of love is to repair the offence by a movement in a direction opposite to that of the offence. Maybe there is nothing so profound and touching than the thankful heart of a child who wants to give joy to his Father and Mother and “consoles” THEM with his smile and a burning flame of love.