Rorate Caeli

Lourdes + 150: She came to Bernadette

In many ways the nineteenth century was to become, after the turmoil of the Revolution, a century of Marian favors. To mention but a single instance, everyone is familiar today with the "miraculous medal." This medal, with its image of "Mary conceived without sin," was revealed to a humble daughter of Saint Vincent de Paul... .

A few years later, from February 11 to July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary was pleased, as a new favor, to manifest herself in the territory of the Pyrenees to a pious and pure child of a poor, hardworking, Christian family. "She came to Bernadette," We once said. "She made her her confidante, her collaboratrix, the instrument of her maternal tenderness and of the merciful power of her Son, to restore the world in Christ through a new and incomparable outpouring of the Redemption."

In a society which is barely conscious of the ills which assail it, which conceals its miseries and injustices beneath a prosperous, glittering, and trouble-free exterior, the Immaculate Virgin, whom sin has never touched, manifests herself to an innocent child. With a mother's compassion she looks upon this world redeemed by her Son's blood, where sin accomplishes so much ruin daily, and three times makes her urgent appeal: "Penance, penance, penance!" She even appeals for outward expressions: "Go kiss the earth in penance for sinners." And to this gesture must be added a prayer: "Pray to God for sinners."

As in the days of John the Baptist, as at the start of Jesus' ministry, this command, strong and rigorous, shows men the way which leads back to God: "Repent!" Who would dare to say that this appeal for the conversion of hearts is untimely today?

... 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.


Haurietis Aquas said...

Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro. Ave Maria. Thank you for the celestial beauty that shines through by the power of our Holy Faith. Pius XII speaks to our time in a prescient way.
Father Cusick
blog: Haurietis Aquas (formerly Mission to Iraq)

Anonymous said...

As I read this, I am reminded of a sad fact...

Today marks one year since Portugal chose Moloch by passing the abortion law in a referendum.

When will the Constitional Court have its say?

Our Lady, pray for Portugal to God!
O Portugal, repent, and believe in the Gospel!

Joe B said...

To this day, the best book I ever read was The Song of Bernadette. I still don't know how a Jewish author could write such a Catholic novel. The symbolism in that book was outstanding from start to finish - the opening scene of the burning of the wounds by Bernadette's father just perfectly symbolized the offering of sacrifice at the Mass, and the book just gets better from there.

If you haven't read it, you can get a copy from used book internet sites for little more than shipping and have a great read for years.

Anonymous said...

"The only lasting renewal, in fact, will be one based on the changeless principles of faith"

A word which condemnes both V2 and the new prayer for Good Friday.

Let us pray to the Immaculate Virgin, that our Bishops may once again regain their spines and courage to preach the timeless truths of the Faith!

For unless they do, the laity will wander astray.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

This proves how the Angelic Pastor, the venerable Pope Pius XII, was an authentic Mystic and a true prophet for our times.

Venerabile Pie Duodecime, ora pro nobis et pro Sede Apostolica!

LeonG said...

"Let us pray to the Immaculate Virgin, that our Bishops may once again regain their spines and courage to preach the timeless truths of the Faith!'