Reflections from the Shrine ...
From The Desk Of The Director
Rev. John P. Sullivan, M.S.
June 23, 2018
Thank you to Lisa Torres for an outstanding presentation on Bishop Oscar Romero...we had a good crowd, and a good reflection. Not to mention nice weather. It was a good beginning for our summer series “Pathways of Peace in a Divided World.
This Sunday is our first of three healing services. June 24, 2018 starting at 2pm our friend Rev. Lance Harlow from Burlington, VT will conduct the healing service. There will be a priest available to hear confessions while to healing service is going on.
Our second presentation “Pathways of Peace In A Divided World” series. will be this Tuesday June 26, 2018. This talk will be on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. “It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” The presenters for this talk will be June Partridge and Sharon Markowitz. They are two of our long time LaSalette Associates.
Next Sunday (July 1, 2018) we will have our first community experience to help us build and improve our Shrine community. Please come and join us as we “Walk With Our Lady of The Rosary” for peace withing our country and our world. We will pray the rosary as we walk around our rosary pond. There will be refreshments after the prayer. In this divided world Mary has always reminded that peace would come if we would only remain faithful in praying, especially praying the Rosary.
Next Tuesday (July 3, 2018) is our third presentation of our summer series. This presentation will be on “Dorathy Day an American Saint?.” “Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” The presenter for this talk will be Christina Haidari. She is a mother of four grown children. She has stayed active as a Children’s Choir “Director. She volunteers in Lebanon for “Meals on Wheels. She sits on the Lebanon High School Board.
Called from Birth
(Birth of John the Baptist:
Isaiah 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26: Luke 1: 57-77, 80)
Elizabeth’s neighbors and relatives wondered what her child would be. Now we know his story. His role was to go before the Lord to prepare his ways. He was well aware of his unworthiness. He seems even to have passed through a moment when he shared the sentiment of God’s servant in Isaiah: “I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength“ (cf. Matthew 11:2-6).
Mélanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud were, we can say, called from birth to announce the event of La Salette. The later lives of both were largely unstable, partly because people around them thought they must be destined for a vocation in the Church. They were willing to try, but neither one succeeded.
From contemporary descriptions of Maximin, he might have been what is today called autistic, incapable of sitting still. He never did settle in any of the occupations he pursued and often found himself deeply in debt. He died in 1875, only 40 years old.
Mélanie was taciturn and excessively shy but, over time, there came a shift in her relation to the Apparition, as she herself became increasingly the center of attention. In later life she published writings describing her childhood as that of a mystic, in terms that have nothing in common with any of the early documents about the Apparition and its witnesses.
My purpose here is not to focus on the unworthiness of Mélanie and Maximin. That goes without saying. Like John the Baptist, they were not worthy of their calling, any more than you or I. Through no merit of our own we are the objects of God’s favor and plan.
Yes, we are all called to be saints. That doesn’t change who we are. Human imperfections are not always an obstacle to Holiness. The children’s flaws actually lent credibility to their account. Ignorant as they were, they were incapable of inventing such a story, much less such a message, and in a language they barely knew! But their simplicity, humility and constancy in telling the story made them more trustworthy still.
No one could have predicted what their lives would be after the Apparition. But now we know their story. At the heart of it we find an encounter with the divine, to which they were destined by God, and fidelity to the mission received, despite their faults. The Beautiful Lady’s witnesses are good models for us all.
Very Rev. Rene’ Butler, M.S.