Mary Vitamin for April 14th
Topic: Union with Our Lady and St. Bernadette
"On Easter Monday [St. Bernadette] experienced the closest communion with the Lady that had ever been granted her since the beginning….Nothing seemed to contradict her hope that her communion with the lady would last the span of her life."
Franz Werfel, The Song of Bernadette
Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr
The two weeks which St. Bernadette spent with Our Lady at the cave of Massabielle were very fruitful. The vision and presence of Our Lady at Lourdes was extremely beautiful that it filled Bernadette's soul with tender joy. The Saint longed to be in the presence of Our Lady that Bernadette gladly agreed to continue with the visits despite the Lady's words, "I do not promise you happiness in this life."
At the conclusion of the apparitions, Bernadette returned to her duties at home and school with a difference. She now went about her work with the Vision in her mind. She learned about holiness from trying to please the Lady -- not from books. The memory of The Lady, her beauty, her laugh, her anxiety, or the pain revealed on her face taught St. Bernadette. For example, when Bernadette gladly suffered a penance this caused the Lady to become radiant with joy. When Bernadette avoided penance it caused the Lady distress. In these prayerful reflections St. Bernadette learned profound holiness. She could never forget the Vision of the beautiful Lady nor did she want to forget it. St. Bernadette continued to cultivate the presence of Our Lady in her life.
During this Easter week, I will make a special prayer to ask that Our Lady to never let me leave her presence and to help me to learn from her in the example of St. Bernadette.
The presence of Our Lady living in the soul of the one consecrated to the Immaculate is the essence of the Marian Vow. Even though the consecration takes place on a certain day, we need to make it more than a single act of devotion. The consecration needs to be lived daily.
St. Bernadette seemed to always see her Lady even though the actual appearance of Our Lady came to an end. This is very symbolic of the Marian vow. We should always have the image of Our Lady in our minds permeating our actions and transforming us.
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.