• Of Love of Solitude and Silence [IV]

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Apr 15 23:40:30 2021
    Of Love of Solitude and Silence [IV]

     It happens very often that those whom men esteem highly are more
    seriously endangered by their own excessive confidence. Hence, for
    many it is better not to be too free from temptations, but often to be
    tried lest they become too secure, too filled with pride, or even too
    eager to fall back upon external comforts.
    --Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ –Bk 2 Ch 20

    April 16th - St. Bernadette
    18 February on some calendars

    We can’t think of Lourdes without thinking of the 14-year-old girl to
    whom Our Lady appeared there in 1858--Bernadette Soubirous.

    St. Paul wrote, “God … singled out the weak of the world to shame the strong.” (I Cor. 1:27). In her apparitions to various people, Mary has followed the same policy. She has never revealed herself to presidents
    or potentates or plutocrats. She has chosen simple but substantial
    people, whether men or women or children.

    Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes was just such a person. A teenager who
    was physically frail and who, at that point, had not yet learned to
    read or write, or even studied her catechism or made her first Holy
    Communion! Bernadette was nevertheless solid, balanced and docile. A
    good one, in other words, to be sent as Mary’s ambassador to urge
    Catholics to prayers and penance for sinners, and to urge the local
    clergy to set up a chapel at the riverside grotto of the apparitions.

    In exchange for Bernadette’s prophetic role, Mary did not promise her
    to make her happy on this earth, only in the next. Bernadette began to experience frustrations during the apparitions themselves, in the form
    of excessive pestering by the curious people who flocked to the new
    shrine. But when the apparitions ceased, the young girl sought to
    escape from this turmoil. By then her embassy was basically
    accomplished. Now she wanted to hide from the world--to be retired,
    she said, as an old broom is retired behind the door.

    At the age of 18, Bernadette sought entrance into the Sisters of Notre
    Dame at Nevers. However, she could not be completely anonymous even
    there. The very nuns of her religious community sometimes expected her
    to be proud because of her special graces. But she would point out,
    “Don’t I know that the Blessed Virgin chose me because I was the most ignorant? If she had found anyone else more ignorant than me, she
    would have chosen her.”

    Although St. Bernadette’s mission was officially finished in July,
    1858, she had the continuing duty of living up to Mary’s injunctions,
    and of thus setting an example for others. As a nun, she sought to
    fulfill perfectly the rule of her community. She accepted even her
    chronic illness in that light. Thus, on a certain day, one of her
    superiors, finding her in bed because of her serious ailments, twitted
    her, “What are you doing there in bed, you lazy little thing?” Sister
    Marie Bernarde (her name in religious) replied, “Why my dear Mother,
    I’m doing my job.” “And what is your job?” “Being ill” said Bernadette.

    Always a vital part of her own “prayers for sinners” was the rosary,
    which she constantly recommended to all. Part of the rosary was the
    sign of the cross. Whether in the rosary or at any other time, from
    the days of the Lourdes apparitions on, Bernadette was noted for the
    wonderful way she made the sign of the cross. One observer at the
    grotto later wrote, “If the sign of the cross is made in heaven, it
    can only be made in this manner.” Everybody marveled at the way she
    crossed herself--slowly, reverently, “with majesty.” “It is important
    to make it well,” she told one of her fellow novices in the convent.
    The sisters respected the way she blessed herself, because they knew
    who had taught her. It was Our Lady herself, during the Lourdes

    Do we make the sign of the cross often? (Do you know that we can
    obtain a partial indulgence, applicable, if we choose, to the souls in purgatory, every time we make it?) Why not take on the project of
    always blessing ourselves slowly and reverently, pondering meanwhile
    what that sign means? If we offer up these signs of the cross for the conversions of sinners, we will also be corresponding with what Our
    Lady of Lourdes asked of us through her humble ambassadress,
    Bernadette Soubirous.
    –Father Robert

    Saint Quotes:
    Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but
    Jesus: neither things nor persons, neither ideas nor emotions, neither
    honor nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honor, delight, heart and
    soul.--Saint Bernadette

    You must receive God well; give Him a loving welcome, for then He has
    to pay us rent.--Saint Bernadette

    The more I am crucified, the more I rejoice.
    --Saint Bernadette Soubirous

    Love is watchful

    “Love is watchful.
    Sleeping – it does not slumber.
    Wearied – it is not tired.
    Pressed – it is not straitened.
    Alarmed – it is not confused
    but like a living flame,
    a burning torch,
    it forces its way upward
    and passes unharmed,
    through every obstacle.”
    --Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ

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