What I have to say to you does not have to be written down.
St. Bernadette came with paper and pencil, ready to take notes like a student. But Our Blessed Mother was not there to instruct Bernadette as much as to establish a relationship with her.
Would you do me the kindness of coming here for 15 days?
St. Bernadette was overwhelmed that Our Lady treated her with such respect, and that Our Lady gazed on her “as one person looks at another person. ” St. Bernadette was poor, young, and sickly and was unaccustomed to being treated with such dignity by someone as lovely as Our Blessed Mother.
I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other.
Our Blessed Mother knows that this world is not our final destination. She desires us to grow closer to her son Jesus so we can share in the joy of the resurrection.
Go to the spring, drink of it and wash yourself there.
The apparitions took place in what was basically a pigpen. This would not have been appealing, but St. Bernadette complies. She digs at the spring. At first some muddy water appears. Eventually it becomes crystal clear.
Penance, penance, penance, pray for sinners.
St. Bernadette reported that Our Lady of Lourdes requested multiple times that she pray for sinners. We are asked not to think of our own salvation, but the salvation of all. God desires that every one of us be saved.
I am the Immaculate Conception.
Our Blessed Mother is immaculate and pure. She is a model for humanity. We are called to holiness. Just as she was a dwelling place for Jesus during the pregnancy, we are called to be temples of the Holy Spirit. The love of God should dwell within us.
- Do I just try to know God intellectually or do I really want a relationship with Him, like Mary wanted a relationship with St. Bernadette? What do I do to develop that relationship?
- Mary treated St. Bernadette with dignity. Do I recognize the dignity of every person, including myself? How do my words and actions reflect that?
- Our Lady of Lourdes spoke to St. Bernadette about the next world. Do I prioritize the things of this world or the next? What is most important to me in my life.
- The spring was muddy at first. Am I willing to do the work necessary to grow closer to Jesus, even if it is unpleasant? What sort of healing might that bring to me?
- Our Blessed Mother asked St. Bernadette to pray for others and to do penance for them. Do I remember to pray for others, even people who aren’t my friends? Am I willing to make sacrifices for the salvation and good of others? What are some concrete things I can do?
- Mary is the model of holiness. What things need to be washed away from my life so I can be holy? What is holding me back?