Lourdes Interpreted by the Salve Regina Part 4.

Meditations given by the Rev, Bede Jarrett, O.P., during the Novena preached in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in preparation for the celebration of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Apparitions at Lourdes, February 2nd - February 10th, 1933

My brethren, you know that is what Lourdes can do for our world in its anxiety and distress. God is dealing with us now in His infinite mercy. If we do not learn that in our own time, we must learn in His. We shall need to remember His discipline. God first scourged us with war. What did we learn from it? You would think man would learn something from that hard lesson. You would think that ruined homes and hearts would have taught mankind the dreadfulness of selfishness. You would have thought that such a terrible scourge, the most ghastly war since man walked the earth, you would have thought that it would have taught the nations something. They learnt nothing by it. Then He tested them with prosperity. What have they learned? It is not just this nation or that nation that failed to profit and grow wise. We watch now a world crisis because it was a world that would not learn. God punished us? No, do not call it punishment. God is merciful. God is teaching us what, else, we would not learn. Is He teaching us? That is, are we learning ? Are we learning what we should learn — above all the need of discipline? If we will not impose it on ourselves, God will impose it because He is merciful; because it is a thing we must learn. If we are to be saved at all, we can only be saved by discipline. After war and again in prosperity, men laid it aside. What did they do in their days of wealth but give themselves whatever they wanted? Thrift? A hard day coming? They would have laughed at you had you told them that. ”What does it matter,” they cried, "This is life. Let us have a good time! Let us enjoy ourselves.” Poor foolish children. God’s mercy will deal with them. They must learn. Selfish they are. They cannot think of self-control, self-discipline. They increase divorce. What! a man separate from his wife and still practise control over himself? Impossible! You must let each marry somebody else. You do not mean to say that you expect a man in such a condition to live chastely! It is a thing impossible! Yes, truly, but only to those that have forgotten God. What is birth control but an appeal to man’s wretched selfishness ? Oh, have the fun. But what about the responsibility? No, let it go. Yes but God will not let it go. God will teach us for we are God’s children. You would not have a mother let her child grow up selfishly, if she could help it. You would not have a father leave his boy to grow wilful, when he could control him. You would say of them that if they did this they did not love their children.

God is love, God is full of an infinite mercy, so God must deal with His world. He is going to re-fashion His world. It will not learn of itself? Then He will teach it. God is our Master. God is love. Age has to learn that lesson and in our day of crisis, age must learn it, old age. You that are old, go down to the grotto in your time of trouble, go down there. You will see a rock, harsh as rocks are, unlovely. She stood in a rock and shed about her something of mercy and peace. It was a rock as they saw it, harsh, forbidding, but where she stood roses came. Harsh, unlovely, that rock as our life is. Yet where she stands, roses blossom out of the rock. The water, the bitter cold water, turned to healing when she came. Is not that Lourdes’ endless miracle? He said, you remember, "Go, tell what you have seen. The blind see.” Because their eyes are opened ? Ah, no. He left them blind, but in their soul they saw. How quiet the blind are! How gentle the blind are! We, with our eyes, miss the world’s beauty. They that are blind, if they have learned the lesson, truly see. It is "the lame who walk.” It is "the deaf who hear.” This is His lesson. She can teach it. Mother of Mercy, hail!