Lourdes Interpreted by the Salve Regina Part 13.

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

Here is banishment. We have no abiding city. There is nothing lasting, nothing that will inevitably survive. You may say, "But my condition seems fairly established.” Maybe! It may be that you will be left like that always, but please admit that at least it is uncertain. Be ready for it, if that which supports you goes. Human love, perhaps, you counted on that: stronger than you, someone to shelter you to the end, or someone younger than you, on whom you relied for everything; yet they go before you. The world is cursed by God.

Go to her and she will give you no other remedy than a remedy within. She will give you courage, share it with you, rising out of the same source as her own courage came. She carried the good news. God was with her. We can say, “I am in a place of banishment where God also dwells.” Never loneliness then, where God is your companion; never death while you hold by the undying God. To remember that is what she can do for us. She can make us hold by prayer long after prayer is apparently ended, long after it has given us any comfort. We do not need comfort. We do not need the consolations of God but the God of consolations. He it is that matters. No gift (less than God Himself) will content us. You feel no pleasure in prayer. You do not come for pleasure, I hope. You come to give something to God that you owe Him. Is not that enough? You have done your duty by praying. It is the duty He wants of you, its discipline, obedience, service, submission: He does not promise comfort, but courage, not ease but the following of the Cross!

"May it be done unto me according to thy Word.” That is her gift — not the taking away of trouble, but giving man the heart of courage to meet his trouble. She will teach us that, for she also is a child of Eve. She lived her years of banishment, yet she walked with courage. She lost no hope. It is true that there is a great difference between her and us. She had no sin, and we are sinners, but yet her Son seemed most to love enemies that were reconciled to Him. He spoke of greater joy for the angels of God over a sinner doing penance. He had joy, even over our sins repented of — He, and this joy she will echo. By telling us of His joy, He gave us hope. If you are really devout to God’s Blessed Mother, this much can be promised you. You will have courage to the end; and that is the only fine thing man has — courage in all his adventures; courage in faith; courage in hope; courage in love. Courage, that within which gives us power to surmount anything and everything. Shall we take courage by saying that the world will get better? that our evil days will pass? Who knows, who dares to make that prophecy? Nobody knows. Let us prepare for the worst, for we have God with us. Why should we be afraid ?

Having nothing, possessing all things — we that have God.