Friday, August 18, 2017

God Created us for Heaven!

My delight is among the children of men.

God created us for heaven. To be sure, while we travel on the earth we have to do many other things: combat our passions, help our neighbor, and so on. But these are not the proper activity of our life; they are secondary things that pass away. Our Lord wishes that our chief occupation on earth should be to exercise ourselves in what is to be our everlasting occupation in heaven: to contemplate Him and love Him. 


Secrets of Interior Life
Luis M. Martinez
Archbishop of Mexico
B. Herder Book Company, 1949  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Divine Gardener

Where God has sown us, we must flower.

Oh Jesus, divine Gardener! We are flowers born in the garden of Thy Church and watered with Thy precious blood. Spiknard or lilies, roses or violets, exquisite flowers or simple blooms of the field, we have received from Thee the richness of our petals, the treasures of our perfumes, and the blessings of our fruitfulness.  
We wish to live for thee in the corner of Thy garden, where Thy divine hand has planted us; and we yearn to realize your precious destiny; to send our fragrance of love heavenward in order that thou mayest inhale it and repose it in thy heart; and to place the fruitful seed upon souls. 

Secrets of Interior Life
Luis M. Martinez
Archbishop of Mexico
B. Herder Book Company, 1949 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sixteen Words to Heaven

Our grandson Sasha fast asleep, Geneva Switzerland 08/16/17

Jesus, I love you―You know that I do.  Mary, my mother, I love you too.



Daily Gospel Reflection 8/16/17

Your daily Gospel reflection...
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
19TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR I
MATTHEW 18:15-20
Friends, the Gospel for today addresses an issue of tremendous practical importance, namely, how we ought to engage in fraternal correction. Jesus says, with utter directness and simplicity, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.”
 
What a world of significance in that little recommendation! It holds off the sinful tendency of running to everyone but the person in question and complaining about him behind his back. This strategy is utterly unproductive and spiritually harmful, for it does nothing to help the person you are criticizing, and it puffs up your already inflated ego.
 
I know it is exceptionally difficult, but going to the person directly is both productive and spiritually uplifting. It has at least a fighting chance of accomplishing something, and it confirms you in love. But the right thing is, as usual, the hard thing. Notice please that the accuser is encouraged to tell the person in question alone—and no one else. Venting and gossiping are not helpful.

One for the Books!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Poor Little Justin




OUR LADY OF LOURDES
BY HENRI LASSERRE  

To Read this story from the Actual Book


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     ALTHOUGH the crowd was, as we have already stated, more particularly dense in the morning at the time of Bernadette’s arrival, it was not to be supposed that solitude reigned during the after part of the day at the Rocks of Massabielle.  All the afternoon there was perpetual going to and fro on the road leading to the Grotto, which, from that time, was to be so celebrated.  Every one examined it in all directions, many prayed in front of it, and some broke off fragments of it in order to keep them as pious souvenirs.
     On that day, towards four o’clock, there were still five or six hundred persons, employed as above mentioned, on the banks of the Gave.
     At the same moment, a heart-rending scene was passing round a cradle in a squalid house at Lourdes, in which resided Jean Beauhohorts, a day-laborer, and his wife Croisine Ducouts.
     In the cradle there lay a child about two years old, who was sickly, and of a wretched constitution.  He had never been able to walk, was constantly out of health, and, from his birth, had been wasted by slow fever of a consumptive nature, which nothing had succeeded in reducing.  Not withstanding the skillful attention of a medical man of the place, M. Peyrus, the child was rapidly approaching his end.  Death was spreading its livid hues on a countenance which had been reduced by protracted sufferings to a deplorable state of emaciation.
     The Father and mother kept their eyes fixed on their dying child, the former, calm in his grief, while the latter seemed plunged in despair.
     One of their neighbors, Franconnette Gozos was already busying herself in preparing a shroud for the poor chid’s burial, and, at the same time, using her best efforts to induce the mother to listen to some words of consolation.
     The latter was crushed with grief, and anxiously watched the progress of the last agony of death.  The child’s eyes had become glazed, his limbs were absolutely motionless, and his breathing was imperceptible.
     “He is dead,” said the father.
     “If he is not dead,” observed the neighbor, “he is on the point of death, my poor friend.  Go and weep by the fire, while I, ere long, fold him up in his shroud.”
     Croisine Ducouts, the mother of the child, did not appear to hear what was said to her.  A sudden idea had just taken possession of her mind, and her tears ceased to flow.
     “He is not dead!”  she exclaimed;  “and the Holy Virgin of the Grotto is going to effect his cure for me.”
     “Grief has turned her head,” said Beauhohorts, sadly.
     He and the neighbor endeavored in vain to disssuade the mother from her project.  The latter had just taken the already motionless body of her child out of the cradle and wrapped it up in her apron.
     “I will go at once to the Virgin!” she exclaimed making her way to the door.
     “But my dear Croisine,” said her husband and Franconnette to her, “if our poor Justin is not quite dead, you are going to kill him outright.”
     The mother, as if beside herself with grief, refused to listen to their expostulations.
     “What matters it whether he dies here or at the Grotto!  Allow me to implore the mercy of the Mother of God.”
     Saying this she left the house, carrying the child in her arms.
     As she had said, “she went at once to the Virgin.”  She walked at a rapid pace, praying aloud, invoking Mary, and appearing to all who met her like an insane person.
     It was about five o’clock in the evening, and there were some hundreds of persons before the Rocks of Massabielle.
     The poor mother forced her way through the crowd, with her precious burden in her arms.  At the entrance of the Grotto she prostrated herself and prayed, after which she dragged herself on her knees towards the miraculous Spring.  Her face was burning, her eyes sparkling snd full of tears, and the state of disorder of her entire person proved the intensity of her grief.
     She had reached the basin which had been dug by the quarry-men.  The water was of an icy temperature.
     “What is she going to do?” observed the spectators to themselves.
     Croisine drew out of her apron the body of her dying child, which was in a state of complete nudity.  She made the sign  of the Cross on him and herself, and afterwards, without hesitation, and in a quick and determined manner, plunged the child up to his neck in the icy water of the Spring.
     A cry of terror, and a murmur of indignation arose from the crowd.
     “The woman is insane!” they exclaimed on all sides, pressing round her to hinder her putting her plan into execution.
     “Would you kill your child?” said some one to her, rudely.  It seemed as if she were deaf.  She remained motionless as a statue,―the statue of Sorrow, Prayer, and Faith.
     One of the by-standers touched her on the shoulder.  The mother turned round on this, still keeping her child in the water of the Fountain.
     “Let me alone, let me alone!” she exclaimed in a voice at once energetic and beseeching.  “I wish to do all in my power,God and the Blessed Virgin will do the rest.”
     The complete immobility of the child and the cadaverous hues of his face, were remarked by several of those present.
     “The child is already dead,” they said,  “Let her alone;  grief has turned the poor mother’s head.”
     No;  grief had not turned her head.  It led her, on the contrary, into the path of the loftiest faith, of that absolute, unhesitating, undecaying faith which God has solemnly promised never to resist.  The earthly mother felt within her, that she was addressing herself to the heart of that Mother who is in heaven.  Thence arose her boundless confidence which neutralized the terrible reality of the dying body she held in her hands.  Doubtless, she saw as plainly as the multitude around her, that ice-cold  water, such as that in which she was plunging her child, was calculated, in ordinary circumstances infallibly to kill the little hapless being to whom she was so fondly attached, and suddenly to terminate his agony by the stroke of death.  No matter!  Her arm remained steady and her Faith was strong.  For a whole quarter of an hour, before the astonished eyes of the multitude, in the midst of the cries, reproaches, and insults heaped upon her by the crowd of by-standers, she kept her child immersed in the mysterious water which had but lately gushed forth at a gesture from the all-powerful Mother of that God, who, for our sins, died and rose again.
     What a sublime spectacle of Catholic faith!  This woman precipitated her dying child into the most imminent of earthly dangers, to find in it, the name of the Virgin Mary, the cure which comes from heaven.  Humanly speaking, she was urging him in the direction of death, in order to lead him supernaturally to life!  Jesus commended the faith of the Centurion.  Truly, that displayed by this poor mother strikes us as being still more worthy of admiration.
     The Heart of God could not but be touched by an act of faith, at once so simple and so grand.  Our Father, who is, at the same time, so invisible and so manifest, bent Himself, doubtless, at the same time as the Blessed Virgin, over so moving and religious a scene, and He blessed the Christian woman, who believed with all the fervor of primitive times.
     The child had remained motionless as a corpse, during this long immersion.  The mother wrapped him once more in her apron, and hastily returned home.
     His body was cold as ice.
     “You see now that he is dead,” said the father.
     “No,” said Croisine, “he is not dead!  The Blessed Virgin will effect his recovery.”
     With these words the poor woman laid the child down in his cradle.  He had scarcely been there a few moments, when the mother, having bent her ear attentively over him, suddenly exclaimed:
     “He is breathing!”
     Beauhohorts advanced rapidly and listened in his turn.  Little Justin was certainly breathing.  His eyes were closed, and he slept a calm and deep slumber.
     The mother did not weep.  During the evening and following night, she came every moment to listen to her child’s respiration, which became stronger and more regular, and she waited with anxiety for the moment of his awaking.
     This took place at break of day.
     The child’s emaciation had not disappeared, but there was some color in his cheeks, and his features wore an air of repose.  The mild ray of life sparkled in his laughing eyes, which were turned towards his mother.
     During his slumber, deep as that sent of yore by God upon Adam, the mysterious and omnipotent hand, from which every thing good emanates, had re-animated and strengthenedwe dare not say resuscitatedhis body, which, but a short time before was motionless and cold.
     The child sought his mother’s breast and drew from it long draughts.  Though he had never walked, he wished to leave his cradle and walk about the room.  But Croisine, notwithstanding the courage and entire faith she had displayed the previous day, dared not trust too much in his recovery, and trembled at the thought of the danger he had escaped.  She resisted the repeated solicitations of the child, and refused to remove him from the cradle.
     Thus the day passed by.  The child constantly demanded nourishment from his mother’s breasts.  Night at length came, and was passed as calmly as the one preceding it.  The father and mother left the house at day-break, in order to proceed to their daily toil, and their little Justin was still sleeping in his cradle.
     When the mother opened the door on her return, she almost fainted at the sight presented to her view.
     The cradle was empty.  Justin had risen without any assistance from where his mother had laid him;  he was on his legs going to and fro, touching the different articles of furniture, and disarranging the chairs.  In short, the little paralyzed child was walking.
     A mother’s heart alone can imagine the cry of joy emitted by Croisine at such a spectacle.  She wished to rush forward, but could not, so great was her emotion.  Her limbs trembled.  Her sense of happiness seemed to deprive her of strength, and she supported herself against the door.  A vague fear, however, in spite of herself, was mingled with her beaming happiness.
     “Take care, you will fall down!” she cried out with anxiety.
     He did not fall;  his step was firm, and he ran and threw himself into the arms of his mother, who embraced him with tears in her eyes.
     “He was cured from yesterday,” thought she to herself;  “since he wished to leave his cradle and walk, and I, like an infidel, have hindered him, owing to my want of faith.”
     “You now see that he was not dead, and that the Blessed Virgin has saved him,” she observed to her husband, on his return home.
     Such were the words of this happy mother.
     Franconnette Gozos, who had, only two nights since, been present at what was supposed to be poor Justin’s death-agony, and had arranged the shroud for his interment, happened to arrive at the same time, and could scarcely believe her eyes.  She was never tired of gazing at the child, as if she wished to convince herself of his identity.
     “It is certainly he!” she exclaimed.  “It is certainly poor little Justin!”
     They knelt down.
     His mother joined the child’s hands to raise them towards heaven;  and, all together, they offered thanksgivings to the Mother of Mercies.
     His malady never returned.   Justin grew rapidly and suffered from no relapse.  Since that period, eleven years have elapsed.  The writer of these pages determined to see him, not very long since.  He is strong and in good health;  only his mother grieves that he sometimes plays truant when sent to school, and reproaches him with gadding about more than he ought.
     M. Peyrus, the medical man, who had attended the child, frankly allowed the impossibility of explaining this extraordinary occurrence according to the ordinary rules of medical science.
     The Doctors Vergez and Dozons undertook, separately, an examination of this fact so highly interesting, both as regards Science and Truth, and, like M. Peyrus, they could but attribute it to the omnipotent agency of God.  All united in establishing three circumstances which manifestly impressed on this cure a supernatural character,the duration of the immersion,its immediate effectand the faculty of walking displayed as soon as the child had quitted his cradle.
     The conclusions of M. Vergez’s report were unmistakable on this head.
     “A bath of cold water for a quarter of an hour’s duration, in the month of February, inflicted on a child in the agony of death, must, in his opinion, and according to all the data, theoretical and experimental, of medical science, produce immediate death.  For,” added the skillful physician, “if affusions of cold water, especially when applied repeatedly, may be of the utmost service in severe adynamic affections, their use is subject to certain rules which cannot be transgressed without exposing life to real danger.  As a general rule, the duration of the application of cold water should not exceed a few minutes, because the depression occasioned by cold would destroy all power of reaction in the system.
     “Now, the woman Ducouts, having plunged her child in the water of the Fountain, kept him in it for upwards of a quarter of an hour.  She therefore sought the cure of her son by means absolutely condemned by experience and the rationale of medical science, and yet she did not on that account obtain it less immediately;  for, a few moments later, he fell into a calm and deep sleep which lasted for about twelve hours.  And in order that this fact should stand out in the clearest light, and that not the slightest incertitude should hover over the reality and instantaneousness of its production, the child, who had never walked, escaped from his cradle, and commenced walking about with the confidence which is usually only the result of practice, showing by this that this cure was effected without any intermediate state of convalescence, in a manner altogether “Supernatural.”



The Conversion of M. Estrade

     M. Estrade's contempt for these mystic extravagances and these impostures went so far that up to that moment, in spite of his secret curiosity, he had made it a point of honor not to go to the Rocks of Massabielle.  That day, however, he resolved to repair to them―partly to attend a strange spectacle― partly to observe for himself―and partly out of complaisance and to escort his sister and certain other ladies in the neighborhood, who were much touched with these accounts.
     “I reached the spot,” he informs us, “much disposed to examine and, to tell the truth, to laugh and enjoy myself thoroughly, expecting as I did to see a kind of farce or some grotesque absurdities.  An immense crowd of people massed themselves by degrees round those wild rocks.  I wondered at the simplicity of so many blockheads and smiled to myself at the credulity of a crowd of devotees who were kneeling sanctimoniously in front of the rocks.  We had come very early in the morning, and thanks to my skill in elbowing the crowd, I had no great difficulty in securing a place in the front ranks.  At the usual hour, towards sunrise, Bernadette arrived.  I was near to her.  I remarked, in her childish features, that expression of sweetness, innocence and profound tranquillity with which I had been struck some days previously at the residence of the Commissary.  She knelt down in a perfectly natural manner, without ostentation or embarrassment, and paying apparently little attention to the crowd which surrounded her, precisely as if she had been alone in a church or in a solitary wood, far from human gaze.  She drew out her chaplet and began to pray.  Shortly afterwards her look seemed to receive and reflect a strange unknown light;  it became fixed and rested wondering, ravished and radiant with happiness on the opening in the rock.  I turned my eyes in the same direction, but I saw nothing, absolutely nothing, except the naked branches of the wild-rose.  And yet, must I confess it to you?  In face of the transfiguration of the child, all my former prejudices, all my philosophical objections, all my preconceived negations fell at once to the ground and cleared the way for an extraordinary feeling which took possession of me in spite of myself.  I had the certitude, the irresistible intuition that a mysterious being was there.  My eyes did not see it;  but my soul and the souls of the innumerable witnesses of this solemn hour saw it as I did, with the inner light of evidence.  Yes, I attest the fact that a divine being was there.  Suddenly and completely transfigured Bernadette was no longer Bernadette.  She was an Angel from heaven plunged in indescribable ravishment.  She had no longer the same countenance;  another cast of intelligence, another life, I was going to say another stamp of soul was depicted upon it.  She bore no longer any resemblance to herself, and it seemed as if she was a perfectly different person.  Her attitude, her slightest gestures, the manner, for instance, in which she made the sign of the Cross, had a nobility, dignity, and grandeur, exceeding anything human.  She opened her eyes wide as if insatiable of seeing―wide open and almost motionless;  she was afraid, it would seem, to droop her eye-lids and to lose for a single moment the ravishing sight of the marvel she was contemplating.  She smiled at that invisible being, and all this conveyed the fullest idea of ecstasy and beatitude.  I was not less moved than the rest of the spectators.  Like them, I held my breath, in order to endeavor to hear the colloquy which was being carried on between the Vision and the child.  The latter    listened with an expression of the most profound   respect, or to express it better, of the most absolute adoration mingled with boundless love and the sweetest ravishment.  Sometimes a shade of sorrow passed over her countenance, but its habitual expression was one of extreme joy.  I observed that, at intervals of a few moments, she ceased to breathe.  During the whole of this time she had her chaplet in her hand, sometimes motionless (for ever and anon she seemed to forget it in order to lose herself entirely in the contemplation of the divine Being), sometimes gliding the beads more or less regularly through her fingers.  Each of her movements was in perfect harmony with the expression of her countenance, which denoted by turns admiration, prayer and joy.  She made from time to time those signs of the Cross, so pious, so noble and so imprinted with power, of which I have just spoken.  If the denizens of Heaven make the signs of the Cross, they will assuredly resemble those made by Bernadette in her state of ecstasy.  This gesture of the child, restricted as it was, seemed to a certain extent to embrace the Infinite.
     “At a certain moment Bernadette quitted the spot where she was praying on the bank of the Gave, and without rising from her knees proceeded to the interior of the Grotto.  It is a distance of about forty-five feet.  While she was mounting this somewhat abrupt slope, the persons who were on her route, heard her very distinctly pronounce the words ‘Penitence! penitence! penitence!’
     “A few moments afterwards she rose and walked in the midst of the crowd towards the town.  She had subsided into a poor little tattered girl, who to all appearance had taken no more part in this extraordinary spectacle than those around her.”
     Many considerable men, and among others the one whose account of the occurrence we have just given, felt themselves converted to belief on witnessing the transfiguration of the youthful seer.

Taken from Our Lady of Lourdes - 1868
by Henri Lasserre
     

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Today's Homily by Bishop Robert Barron

TRANSFIGURATION AND DEIFICATION

FEASTSTRANSFIGURATION

by  Bishop Robert Barron  August 06, 2017
The Transfiguration signals the purpose of religion. The first thing we notice is that Jesus' appearance becomes more beautiful. Second, in his transfigured state, Jesus transcends space and time. Contemporary culture attempts to reduce all religion to ethics, but in Jesus' transfiguration we see that the final purpose of our religious devotion is not that we become just nice people, but rather we become transfigured as sons and daughters of God.

Mass Readings

Reading 1 - Daniel 7:9-14
Psalm - Psalm 97:1-9
Reading 2 - 2 Peter 1:-16-19
Gospel - Matthew 17:1-9

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Henry Went to Bed




HENRY WENT TO BED


     IT was not only at Lourdes that miraculous cures had taken place.  Many, whose maladies prevented them from repairing to the Grotto had procured some of the water and found their most inveterate symptoms suddenly disappear.
     At Nay, at the base of the Pyrenee mountains, there was a young lad called Henry Busquet who had fallen hopelessly into bad health.  He had, in 1856, a violent and long typhoid fever, the result of which was that an abscess had formed on the right side of his neck, spreading imperceptibly to the top of his chest and the extremity of his cheek.  The abscess was about as big as your hand.  This caused the lad such intense suffering as to force him at times to roll himself on the ground.  The medical man who attended him, Doctor Subervielle, a practitioner of great repute in his district, lanced the abscess about four months after its first formation, and there issued from it a vast quantity of sero-purulent matter;  but this operation did not conduce to the recovery of Henry.  After having tried several unavailing remedies, the Doctor thought of the waters at Cauterets.  In 1857, in the course of the month of October―a season of the year when the rich frequenters of the baths having taken their departure, those in poorer circumstances repair to them― young Busquet went to Cauterets and took a course of fifteen baths.  These proved more prejudicial than useful to him and served but to aggravate his sores.  His malady increased in violence notwithstanding some momentary relief.  The unfortunate lad had, in the parts mentioned above, an extensive ulcer, which emitted an abundant suppuration, covering the top of his chest, all one side of his neck, and threatened to spread to his face.  In addition to this, two fresh glandular swellings of considerable size had arisen at the side of this terrible ulcer.
     Such was the state of this poor lad when, happening to hear the marvelous effects of the water of the Grotto spoken of, he had thoughts of undertaking the journey to Lourdes.  He wished to leave home and make the pilgrimage on foot;  but he presumed too much on his own strength, and his parents refused to take him there.
     Henry, who was very pious, was haunted with the idea that he would be cured by the Virgin who had appeared to Bernadette.  He requested a woman, one of his neighbors, who was going to Lourdes, to draw for him a little of the water at the Spring.  She brought him a bottle-full of it on the evening of Wednesday, April the 28th, the Feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph.
     Towards eight o’clock at night, before retiring to rest, the lad knelt down and prayed to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
     His family, consisting of his father, mother and several brothers and sisters, joined with him in prayer.  They were all excellent people simple and full of faith:  one of the daughters is at the present moment a religieuse with the Sisters of Saint André.
     Henry went to bed.  Doctor Subervielle had charged him repeatedly never to use cold water, as it would inevitably lead to a serious complication of his malady;  but at that moment Henry was thinking of something else than medical prescriptions.  He removed the bandages and lint which covered his ulcer, and with a piece of linen soaked in the water from the Grotto, he bathed and washed his sores in the miraculous fluid.  He was not wanting in faith.  “It must be,” he thought to himself, “that the Virgin will effect my cure.”  He went to sleep with this hope in his breast and fell into a deep slumber.
     On awaking, what he had hoped proved a reality:  all his pain had ceased, all his sores were closed;  the glandular swellings had disappeared.  The ulcer had became a solid scar, as solid as if it had been slowly healed by the hand of time.  The eternal power which had stepped in and effected the cure, had performed in a few moments the work of several months or several years.  His recovery had been complete, sudden and without any intermediate state of convalescence.
     The medical men in their Report addressed to the Commission (from which we have derived the technical terms employed in our narration), humbly acknowledged the miraculous nature of the young lad’s recovery.
     “All affections of this nature,” observed one of them, “can only be cured very slowly, because they are connected with scrofulous diathesis, and involve the necessity of an entire change in the system.  This consideration alone, placed in opposition with the suddenness of the cure, is sufficient to prove that the fact in question deviates from the ordinary action of nature.  We rank it among facts which fully and evidently possess a supernatural character.”
     The lad’s usual medical attendant, Doctor Subervielle, declared this sudden cure―as indeed did every one―to be marvelous and divine;  but the restless skepticism, which often lurks at the bottom of the hearts of members of the Faculty, waited for time to afford full proof of the truth of his theory.
     “Who knows,” M. Soubervielle was often in the habit of saying, “but who knows, this malady may recur when Henry reaches the age of eighteen?  Up to that period I shall be always in a state of anxiety.”
     The eminent physician who spoke thus was not destined to rejoice at seeing the cure of Henry confirmed by time.  He died a short time after this and his death was a calamity to that part of the country.
     As to young Henry Busquet, the author of this book, in accordance with his practice of ascertaining the truth of facts by personal investigation, availed himself of the opportunity of seeing him and hearing the circumstances from his own lips.
     Henry told us his story, with which we are already acquainted from official reports and the testimony of several individuals.  He related it to us as if it had been the simplest thing in the world, without showing surprise of astonishment.  To the strong good sense of Christians, like Henry, sprung from the lower classes, whose minds have not been led astray by sophistry, the supernatural does not appear extraordinary, still less contrary to reason.  They find it strictly conformable with common sense.  If they are sometimes surprised at being restored to health by the aid of a physician, it is to them not matter for astonishment that God, who had power sufficient to create man, should, in his loving kindness, cure him when attacked with sickness.  They see clearly at a glance that a miracle, far from disturbing order, is on the contrary one of the laws of eternal order.  If God, in His mercy, has conferred on certain waters the virtue of removing maladies of certain kinds―if He cures indirectly those who employ, according to certain conditions, such material agency, have we not greater reason to believe that He will effect a direct cure in those who address themselves directly to Him?  Such is the reasoning of the humbler classes.
It was our great wish to see with our own eyes and touch with our own hands the traces of this terrible sore, which had been so miraculously cured.  The place where the ulcer was is marked by an immense scar.  It is now long since the lad passed safely through the crisis of his eighteenth year, and there has been no hint of any return of his cruel malady.  He has never suffered again from any running nor shown any tendency to glandular swellings, and he enjoys perfect health.  Henry Busquet is now a man of five and twenty years of age, strong and hearty.  Like his father, he is a plasterer by trade.  On Sundays he plays the trombone in the brass band at the Faufare de l’ Orphéon, an instrument on which he displays no small talent.  He has a splendid voice.  If ever you happen to go to the town of Nay, you will not fail of hearing him through the windows of some house, either being built or repaired, for, when on the scaffolding, he is wont to sing at the top of his voice from morning till night.  You may listen to him without any fear of your ears being offended by any coarse song.  His charming voice delights in gay and innocent ballads, not infrequently in the canticles of the Church.  The singer has not forgotten that it is to the Blessed Virgin Mary that he owes his life.



Friday, August 4, 2017

The Burning Candle

Our Lady's Grotto, Lourdes, France - 07/04/17
     
THE BURNING CANDLE

EASTER-SUNDAY had arrived.  Notwithstanding the pious apprehensions of the Minister of Public Worship, the marvelous occurrences at Lourdes had not “weakened the religious feeling of the population of the district.”  Numberless conversions had taken place, and the confessionals were in a state of siege.  Usurers and robbers had made restitution of their ill-gotten gains, and many scandals had ceased.  The Faithful crowded to the Holy Table.
     On Easter-Monday, the fifth of April, that is to say the very day the Prefect had visited the Bishop, the Mother of God had once more by an internal call, summoned the daughter of the miller, and the child, soon followed by an immense crowd, had repaired to the Grotto, where, as on the preceding days, the Heavens had opened themselves before her eyes, and displayed to her the Virgin Mary in a state of glory.
     That day a very singular occurrence took place before the wonder-struck eyes of the multitude.
     The taper, which Bernadette had either brought with her, or received from one of the bystanders, was of considerable size and she had rested it on the ground, supporting it at the bottom between the fingers of her hands, which were half clasped.  The Virgin appeared to her.  And behold, by an instinctive movement of adoration, the youthful Seer, falling in a state of ecstasy before the Immaculate Beauty, slightly raised her hands and let them rest calmly, and without thinking of what she was doing, on the lighted end of a taper.  And the the flame began to pass between her fingers, which were half open, and to mount above them, flickering in different directions, according as the light breeze blew.  Bernadette, however, remained motionless and absorbed in the heavenly contemplation, utterly unconscious of the phenomenon which caused so much astonishment to the multitude around  her.  Those who witnessed it pressed closely on each other in   order to obtain a better view.  M.M. Jean-Louis Fourcade, Martinou, Estrade, Callet, warden of the forest, the demoiselles Tard’hivail, and a hundred other persons were spectators of this unheard of    incident.  M. Dozons had remarked by his watch that this extraordinary state lasted more than a quarter of an hour.  All at once a slight shudder was perceptible in the frame of Bernadette.  Her features lost their lofty expression.  The Vision had vanished and the child resumed her natural state.  The bystanders seized her hand but it presented nothing unusual to the eye.  The flame had spared the flesh and the youthful Seer during her ecstasy at the feet of Mary.  The crowd, not without sufficient reasons, exclaimed that a Miracle had been performed.  One of the spectators however, wishing to test the fact, took the taper which was still lighted and applied it to Bernadette’s hand, without her being aware of what he was doing.
     “Ah! Sir,” she exclaimed, drawing back quickly, “you are burning me.”


     The occurrences at Lourdes had produced such an excitement in the surrounding districts, and the influx of strangers was so great, that on that day the multitude which had in a moment flocked around Bernadette amounted to nearly ten thousand persons, and these had not been warned beforehand, as was the case during the Quinzaine.

OUR LADY OF LOURDES BY HENRI LASSERRE - 1868



Tonight's Prayer at Lourdes

Night Procession at Lourdes - August 4, 2017

O My good Angel, whom God has appointed to be my guardian, watch over me during this night.


Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

First Friday's Divine Mercy Chaplet

  


During the month of May, in the year 1688, St. Margaret Mary wrote to her superior in Dijon: "During Holy Communion on a certain Friday the Lord spoke to me, His unworthy servant, the following words: 'I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without having received the sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge at that last moment.'"



Dedicated To