FEAST OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Troubled thoughts and FEAR of heart are theirs and anxious foreboding until death.
Life is a journey that is full of joys and miseries. Every person, high or low, is burdened from birth to death with fears, anxieties, and troubles, by day and often by night, the time appointed for rest. For sinners, the suffering is much greater. What they gained by violence and injustice is quickly destroyed; but righteousness will prevail. In the end they will meet the mother of all the living things and return to the earth. Listen to the words of King David on his death to Solomon.
“I am going the way of all flesh. Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill the promise he made on my behalf when he said, ‘If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.’” (1Kg. 2:2-4)
Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
The Message of the Virgin of Lourdes
One of the better-known apparitions of Our Lady took place in Lourdes, France in 1858. This shrine continues today to be one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world. Thousands of people visit this shrine every year, a special place of devotion to Our Lady, where many miracles have occurred.
Beginning with her first apparition of February 11, 1858, Mary appeared eighteen times to Bernadette Soubirous, a girl of only fourteen years of age. When Bernadette asked the Lady who She was, she received the reply, "I am the Immaculate Conception." Less than four years before, on December 8, 1854, Pius IX had raised the teaching about the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady to be dogma of faith with these words:
By the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and our own authority, we declare, pronounce, and define: the doctrine which hold that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was from the first moment of her conception, by the singular, grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin, is revealed by God and therefore, firmly and constantly to be believed by all the faithful. (The Christian Faith #709).
It is under the title of the Immaculate Conception that Our Lady is especially honored in our own country.
This message can be summed up in the following four points:
1. It is a heavenly confirmation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception that had just been defined by the Church a few years before.
2. It is an exaltation of the virtues of Christian poverty and humility that are perceived in Bernadette.
3. The spiritual message is that of personal conversion. Our Lady tells Bernadette that the important thing is to be happy in the next life. To attain this, we must accept the cross in this life.
4. Mary stresses the importance of prayer, especially the rosary. Our Lady appeared with a rosary hanging from Her right arm. Penance and humility are also part of the message, as well as a message of mercy for sinners and compassion for the sick.
Things to Do
· Watch “The Song of Bernadette”, a masterpiece filmed in 1943.
· Obtain some Lourdes holy water and give the parental blessing to your children.
· Give extra care to the sick in your community — cook dinner for a sick mother's family, bring your children to the local nursing home (the elderly love to see children), send flowers to a member of your parish community who is ill.
· Today’s recipes:
National Marriage Week-Marriage Retreat
Here is a virtual Marriage Retreat. Join us by taking a few moments each day, together with your spouse, to reflect and pray. This retreat will help you further reflect on what makes marriage unique as established by God, between a man and woman, as the basis for family and society. For more instruction or inspiration, visit foryourmarriage.org or marriageuniqueforareason.org.
· Plan to do the retreats weekly; perhaps on the day of the week you were married.
· Enjoy a good home cooked meal together after your retreat; use a recipe for the saint of the day. Available at Catholicculture.org. Say Grace together and ask to the saint of the day’s intervention.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Chapter 2 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Article 6-THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
I. "Male and Female He Created Them . . ."
2331 "God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion."
"God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them"; He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply"; "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created."
2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.
2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. the harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.
2334 "In creating men 'male and female,' God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity." "Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God."
2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. the union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator's generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." All human generations proceed from this union.
2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its
origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God's plan strictly:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I
say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed
adultery with her in his heart." What God has joined together, let
not man put asunder.
The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.