Monday, November 12, 2007

Bernadette looks back

I honestly was not thinking about appearances as I walked back from the grotto. My mother was annoyed with me, saying that people had laughed at me, making made rude remarks, but I did not hear a single thing. That is honestly true. My mind was just so caught up in everything that had happened that nothing else registered. I cannot even remember walking through the town. I suppose I must have done so because I found myself at home and I certainly did not fly!

So much has happened since we went to the grotto at Massabielle. I was feeling breathless and so stayed behind whilst my sister Toinette and her friend Jeanne gathered firewood. We did not want me to have another asthma attack, especially away from home, so none of us wanted me to wade through the bitterly cold waters of the River Gave.

That was when I first saw the Lady. She was so beautiful: slim, dressed in white and wearing a blue sash of such an exquisite blue it might have been cut from a piece of the sky itself. She spoke to me with a voice that reminded me of the breeze sighing through the leaves, or of a lark soaring into the heavens and signing as it flies. The time passed by in an instant and suddenly, there was the bare rock once again.

I saw the Lady eighteen times in all. The Abbé told me that I must ask her name, but she would not tell me that immediately. He was afraid that I was seeing an apparition of the Devil, but I knew that the Devil could never fill me with such a sense of peace and happiness. In any case, can you imagine Satan wanting to pray the Rosary? Never!

It was when I saw the Lady for the ninth time that she told me to drink from the spring near the river. I knew that there was no water there, that there was just a bare rock upon which I had sat on many occasions, but there was something about her words that made me long to obey her.

I remember climbing up the rock and then scraping the ground with my finger. A little water welled up, which the Lady instructed me to drink. It was rather muddy, so I discarded the first three handfuls and only drank the fourth. It was rather muddy. I have no idea for how long afterwards that I remained at the grotto. It seemed as though it was only a moment. The Lady disappeared and I went home. It was as simple as that as far as I was concerned, except that people saw my muddy face and laughed. I was completely unaware that I had mud on my face. My only thought was of the beautiful Lady. I love her so much.

It was exactly one month later that, in response to my repeated requests on behalf of the Abbé and from the bishop, the Lady finally told me her name. They seemed overawed and were speechless. “I am the Immaculate Conception.” I really do not understand the importance of those words. How could I? I am just a simple peasant girl from Lourdes. Whatever she calls herself, she will always be my Lady and I will always love her dearly.

My Lady, I love you so much.

God bless,
Sr. Janet