The reality of Original Sin ("I am the Immaculate Conception") and the great need for penitence in our times ("Penance! Penance! Penance!") were also the messages of the memorable events which began on February 11, 1858:
But the world, which today affords so many justifiable reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible temptation to materialism ...This materialism is not confined to that condemned philosophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions which weigh heavy on the life of the people. It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of life. It encourages scorn for human life, even for life which is destroyed before seeing the light of day. ...May priests be attentive to [the Blessed Virgin's] appeal and have the courage to preach the great truths of salvation fearlessly. The only lasting renewal, in fact, will be one based on the changeless principles of faith, and it is the duty of priests to form the consciences of Christian people. (Pius XII, Le Pèlerinage de Lourdes)
May we all find good priests to guide us as we "go up to Jerusalem" (Gospel for Quinquagesima Sunday) and help us to be released from the bonds of our sins (peccatorum vinculis: Collect for Quinquagesima Sunday), for the burdensome truth remains unchanged: "many are called, but few chosen" (Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday).