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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
The Blessed Virgin at La Salette chose children to be the confidants of Her heavenly message, in order to imitate the wise ways of God, who leaves the proud in darkness, who communicates Himself to the humble, who uses weak instruments in order to better manifest His power, to test our faith and to add to the merit of our obedience. Mary shows Herself to shepherds to honor the modest and simple life of the fields so despised today. She appears on a mountain to tell us that the way to find Her is to get closer to heaven, renouncing the vile interests and vain noises of the earth. She chooses the day before the feast of the Seven Sorrows, because it is a sorrow that She comes to announce. (Note: the Church celebrated this feast on the Sunday following September 15.) Finally, She appears at a dried-up spring to teach us that the cause of Her affliction is to see the fountain of grace dry up in our souls, and that if we want to accept Her Heart as our refuge, we can still find our first life.
O Virgin, in whom God did such great things because of Your abasements, obtain for me the grace to become little in my eyes, so that I may participate in Your ineffable secrets. I want to establish my soul in peace and in a detachment that will allow You to always manifest to me the will of God over me. Make my heart, dried up until now by the fire of passions, quench its thirst only at the pure sources of virtue and the sacraments.
Everything breathes pain, everything weeps in Mary appearing to the little shepherds. First She hides Her face in Her hands, then She sheds sensitive tears. She wears the insignia of the Passion, each of Her words is a moan, and finally She leaves a spring as an inexhaustible emblem of Her tears.
Let us not remain strangers to tears of which we are all the authors. It is cruel to make one’s mother weep; but it is more cruel to be insensitive to her tears. Let us see in what way and for how long we make Mary weep, and let us promise here and now to console Her.
O afflicted Mother, if I had seen Your tears flowing, I would have gathered them like precious pearls. Happy is the ground that has drunk them, how can I not kiss it with love! But, ungrateful as I am, they flow every day on my sins, these blessed tears, and, harder than a rock, I do not add my own. Obtain for me, good Mother, by the merit of Your sorrows, the grace not to renew it, and may my heart, fertilized by Your tears, produce fruits of penance and salvation.
Mary complains that the name of Her divine Son is profaned. How could She be insensitive to this, who measures the majesty of the blasphemed God, the nothingness of the blasphemer and the treasure of wrath that this crime heaps upon societies.
Let us examine whether we have never forgotten ourselves to the point of blaspheming, either by murmuring against Providence or by defiling the holiest of Names. Have we never given rise to any blasphemy? Have we always understood that blasphemy is sacrilege, impiety, ingratitude, folly, a social plague, a diabolical sin and the gravest of crimes?
O Mother of the fear of God, I make amends to You for all the blasphemies which, by outraging Your dear Son, have filled Your Heart with bitterness. Give back to God, by Your praise, as much honor as this crime may have taken from Him. I declare myself at Your feet the implacable enemy of blasphemy. I will avoid everything that could lead those around me to it. I will punish it severely in those who are subordinate to me. I will work by all means to extirpate it from my Fatherland, on which it has already brought too many curses.
God gives us six days for work and reserves the seventh for His worship. Is He too demanding, He to whom all time belongs, who does not owe us even one hour! How ungrateful, how fatally careless, to deny Him His day, to violate it by stingy work, to lose it by distancing ourselves from the holy services, to defile it by sinful or dangerous amusements! In this way, faith is extinguished, humanity degrades itself like a beast of burden, society devotes itself to all kinds of misfortunes.
If we still love God and our country, let us stop the wrath of heaven by forming a holy crusade, under the banner of Mary, for the restoration of the Lord’s Day.
O Protectress of Christendom, give her back the happy times when Sunday was worthily sanctified. I deplore having so far been too insensitive to the forgetfulness of this sacred day. From now on, I want to make sure that it is respected around me and that I myself spend it in prayer, good reading and holy works.
The Holy Church, knowing both the need and the horror that we have of penance, exhorts us to practice it by depriving ourselves of certain treats every Friday, the whole of Lent, Advent, the days of the Four Seasons, etc. The Virgin Mary Herself has reiterated everywhere Her calls to “Prayer and Penance.” At La Salette, our good Mother said, weeping, “On Fridays people run to the butcher shop like dogs…” To this desire of our Mother, who could count the disobedience committed through indifference, disregard of divine calls, human respect or blind apathy?
God, who considers Himself despised, in the person of the Church His Bride, threatens us through the lips of His Mother to withdraw His protection and treat us as pagans.
Let us examine whether we are observing and enforcing the practice of penance in our midst, and let us make all reforms on this point that are compatible with real needs.
O Queen of the Church, You cannot be insensitive to such a general violation of her wise laws. Obtain for me the courage to be always faithful Catholic and to close my ear to the excessive delicacies of my flesh. I have sinned a lot, so I am in great need of penance. I want at least to accept the one I would not have had the generosity to inflict on myself and to embrace with love the little crosses that Providence sends me for my salvation.
Our Lady at La Salette not only reproaches us for faults against God, but She also deplores the abuse we make of His own benefits: “I have suffered such a long time for you, who do not take it into account… You will never be able to repay the trouble I have taken for you.” If we only knew, indeed, all the love She has for us, all the favors She obtains for us, all the misfortunes She removes from us while we think nothing of it! How many times would divine justice have struck us, if Mary had not interposed Her motherly Heart!
Let us not harden our hearts any longer, for Mary’s protection can be both the subject of our sweetest hope and of our most severe condemnation.
O Mother of Mercy, until now I have not been able to recognize Your assistance. Without You, I acknowledge it, hell would have been my home for a long time. I don’t want to be deaf to Your call anymore, it is enough to tire Your patience and to irritate the justice of Your Son. I want to be from now on the most faithful and the most grateful of Your servants.
A mother’s threats are the strongest proof of her love, because they are the last resource and the supreme effort of her heart. Mary threatens like a mother, shedding tears; but by showing us the misfortunes that She could not spare from our hardening, She opens the door by which it would still be possible for us to escape: “If My people DO NOT WANT to submit, I am FORCED to let go the hand of My Son.”
Many of Mary’s threats were fulfilled within the first year after the Apparition: grape disease, potato disease, cholera, etc. All these threats were a warning: the Virgin Mary hoped that our conversion would appease God’s anger. Alas! Humanity has turned a deaf ear, and a torrent of sins floods the earth and spreads a multitude of misfortunes. We have arrived at the day of great vengeance. With God, it is never too late. If we convert, we will obtain mercy and forgiveness. God has promised us this through the mouth of His Most Holy Mother.
O Mother of Divine Fear, imprint in the depths of my heart a salutary fear of the judgments of Your Son. Make me understand that fear is the beginning of true wisdom. May your maternal threats be salutary to me. What a terrible misfortune if I condemned myself to have You as my only refuge and the most precious pledge of my salvation.
“If they are converted,” Mary said to the little shepherds, “the stone, the rocks will turn to wheat; the potatoes will be found sown by themselves.” The goodness of God and His sweet Mother reaches down to our weaknesses. Seeing us so insensitive to the desires of invisible and eternal goods, They try to win us to duty by the lure of material rewards. Above all, they want us to understand that the only remedy for all the evils that overwhelm humanity is the conversion of our hearts. When souls ask God for forgiveness, apply themselves to loving Him and serving Him by observing His commandments, God will immediately intervene and save humanity by a miracle as great as His Love. Let us raise our hopes and desires to God alone, and may our powerful Mother, Reconciler of sinners, obtain for us sincere contrition for our sins and the generosity to do penance and reform our lives.
O Mother of holy hope! You know well our weakness, and You know well the way of our heart. Make us worthy of the promises You make to us. Give us enough generosity to help our brothers and sisters by sacrificing ourselves for their salvation, but above all, raise our hearts to desire the treasures of Heaven.
This was the recommendation that Mary repeated several times to the little shepherds, after Her speech. It tells us enough that Her visit was addressed to all of us. This mission of apostle of La Salette belongs to all of us. Mary repeats to us: “Pass this on to My people.” Let us all learn from this great event. Let us make ourselves capable of communicating our convictions to our brothers and sisters, of dispelling the clouds of their minds, of combating the self-serving objections of the impious. Let us spread devotion to La Salette with all our strength, so that the healing waters of this source of mercy, represented by the miraculous spring on the mountain, may pour forth in streams of conversions over all mankind.
Our Lady of La Salette, who has visited us, by the immeasurable extent of Your mercy, do not allow the multiplied attempts of Your love to be rendered vain by the spirit of darkness.
Multiply Your wonders of mercy and by them the number of believers, and bring us into the fulfillment of Your desires. Amen.