Blog Post - February 11th
Our Lady of Lourdes| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Our Lady of Lourdes
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.”
During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.
Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.
Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and healing, but even more of faith. Church authorities have recognized over 60 miraculous cures, although there have probably been many more. To people of faith this is not surprising. It is a continuation of Jesus’ healing miracles—now performed at the intercession of his mother. Some would say that the greater miracles are hidden. Many who visit Lourdes return home with renewed faith and a readiness to serve God in their needy brothers and sisters. There still may be people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes. Perhaps the best that can be said to them are the words that introduce the film The Song of Bernadette: “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”
“Lo! Mary is exempt from stain of sin, Proclaims the Pontiff high; And earth applauding celebrates with joy Her triumph, far and high. Unto a lowly timid maid she shows Her form in beauty fair, And the Immaculate Conception truth Her sacred lips declare.” (Unattributed hymn from the Roman Breviary)
Patron Saint of:
Lord, thank you for the blessing of a roof over our heads to keep our family safe and warm Watch over those who are not so blessed with shelter.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
In your sufferings, have Jesus in the center of your heart so that you are not far from the love of this God who is so good.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 41: Feelings Versus Faith
At times, the truth can seem to be of little consolation to us. That may seem strange to say. But if we are honest, there are times when we suffer interiorly despite the fact that we know what we are feeling is not true. For example, we may KNOW that God is with us and loves us, but we may not feel that or experience that at one time or another. We may KNOW that God is in control of our lives, but we may feel like in our life He is nowhere to be found. This apparent contradiction between what we know and what we feel or experience can be hard to reconcile interiorly. But it is a grace to experience this apparent contradiction. It’s a grace because when we do not feel the presence of God or, even worse, if we feel like we have been rejected by God, we are given, in that moment, an incredible opportunity for holiness. Why? Because faith is not about feeling, it’s about knowing. It’s about knowing the truth in all things, believing that truth and living in accord with that truth despite what we may feel or experience interiorly. Though this can be hard to understand, it’s a truth we must believe and embrace if we are to grow in perfection and holiness (See Diary #77).
Reflect upon the truths of our faith that appear to be in contradiction to what you feel. Which will you rely upon? That which comes through faith? Or that which directs your feelings? The best way to transform your misleading feelings is to make a profound act of faith in all that God has spoken and revealed. Make that act of faith and let God, in His time, redirect all that you interiorly feel and experience. Trust Him!
Lord, I offer You, this day, that which I feel and experience in my life. Specifically, I offer you (state an intention). Help me to rely upon You and all that You have spoken as my guide. Help me to allow Your truth to enter into my life and redeem me. Jesus, I trust in You.