Just a few days later, the one lonely flower is now joined by dozens, giving me the immediate impression that they are marching together with determination to their goal of giving honor to the Immaculate Conception.
Of immediate recall is the Crowned Virgin in the esplanade of Lourdes. She is on the march, determined, without distraction, on her way to bring about a bit more honor for her Divine Son. She is marching in the direction of what today we ever so nicely call “The Grotto,” but which back in day was a pigsty of pigs and pig manure.
She was determined to see “The Little S#i+” as the entire town called Saint Bernadette, since this feisty, devout girl was the daughter of “The S#i+ Family”, for they lived in the room adjacent to the police stable manure pile.
Having been a “permanent chaplain” for the Sanctuaries I sometimes think of the apparitions. Having written my doctoral thesis on Genesis 2–3, with emphasis on Genesis 3:15, such thoughts often concentrate on the fact of the Immaculate Conception, and our Lady saying that she IS the Immaculate Conception. But, taking a step back, I see that now as being just a part of a bigger picture of the purpose of Our Lady in appearing to Saint Bernadette. Sure, there is the thing with the water reminding of Baptism, etc., and on and on. O.K. But, putting it all together, years later, I’m thinking that Lourdes is very much about calling priests back to their priesthood by having them recognize that Jesus’ good mom is in a special way the good mother of Jesus’ own priests.
The pigsty aspect of this is significant. She wanted a chapel built there. In a chapel, what do you find? Who? Jesus. But also His priests who offer the Holy Sacrifice by which they are taken out of pigdom and brought now without stain to the Kingdom of the Heavens. She wanted the priests to lead processions, which is very much the image, then, is it not, of the Good Shepherd guiding the flock. She wants to re-introduce priests to who they really are, their identity in the One, High Priest, Christ Jesus, her Divine Son. Why? So that they might assist with the Sacraments what was symbolized with the whole thing with the water. We all need purity of heart and agility of soul, trust in following the lead of the Holy Family, of Jesus’ good mom, of Jesus. When going to Lourdes – or wherever – it would be good to mention we knucklehead priests in prayer. Thank you for that. Hail Mary…