Thought for the Day – 19 September – The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette
The Meaning of the Message
An apparition does not form part of the deposit of Faith. Rather it is a supernatural sign needing to be discerned. We are free to accept or reject it but in any case, what is ,needed is sufficient information on which to base a sound judgement and an enlightened faith.
Such is the end which the Church has in view when a bishop affirms that an apparition reported to have taken place within the confines of his diocese “bears within itself all the characteristics of truth and that the faithful have grounds for believing it indubitable and certain.” One cannot grasp the purpose and dynamism of such an event except in the light of the Holy Spirit’s action in our day and in the perspectives of the sources of our Faith.
It is time then to ask ourselves what is the meaning and import of the grace accorded to mankind on 19 September 1846. What are the aspects of the Word of God to which this message from Heaven recalls us? And to what kind of conversion does it summon us?
Even before speaking, Our Lady presents herself to the children and to us. Mary, the mother of Jesus and our mother, radiates the light of the resurrection. She is nothing else but light. The brightness of her face is such that Maximin is unable to bear it and it dazzles Melanie. Her garments, like those of Christ on the mount of the Transfiguration, are likewise resplendent with light – her headdress, robe, long apron and peasant woman’s shawl. All the light comes from the large crucifix she bears on her breast. In appearing at La Salette Mary continues to fulfil the mission she received at the foot of the cross: to “take pains” for us in order to give birth to us in the Faith.
Faithful to the mission she received on Calvary, Mary never ceases to recall to us, the means which have been given to us, to return to her Son – for we cannot, without His aid, build our lives and our world. To reject His grace cannot fail to have most serious consequence. Mary, our Reconciler, came to La Salette, to recall this truth to her people.