Re-Post: Today’s the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes!
Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes, France, I took this picture with my el-cheapo digital camera. It was February, the first day following weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the grotto. Here’s a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold for weeks:
However icy conditions might be among the hearts of men, crucifying our Lord Jesus, the fire of ardent charity was alive with maternal warmth in the Immaculate Heart of His Virgin Mother. The clarity of her vision, the agility of her soul and her purity of heart let her know clearly what it is for men for hell to freeze over, also hellish. She was sorrowful that her Son should be treated so terribly. She was sorrowful that she herself had to be redeemed, though she was never touched even by original sin. Her sorrow was an act of perfect intercession for us, mediatrix, therefore, of all graces that she is. Saint John Paul II used the phrase “co-redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times at last count. This refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!