The Stable And Massabielle Have The Same Message
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley

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Could it be that our sins and mistakes, once confessed and repented of, can actually help us to understand the weakness of others?  Could our sorrow and pain over our faults aid us in reaching out and feeling others’ anxiety as they go about their way—as they stumble on their daily road to Calvary?  If Longinus had not pierced the side of Christ, maybe no one would have ever taken note of the Sacred Heart. 


It very well might be that offenders become the best lovers of God, because they have so much to regret.  Perhaps it is only when we experience God’s forgiveness that we realize how much we owe.  Reformed sinners cling closer to the Cross of Christ, because, like Magdalene, they know their part in the tragedy of Calvary.  Their repentance, then, far outstrips their weakness in the sight of God.  You did say, Lord, that it was the sick who need the physician.


Dear God, you chose the stable and made it a shrine.  You were born amid the smells of beasts, yet You made the manger a Tabernacle by Your Divine presence.  Could You not then, drive out from the stable of my heart my foul sins and the beasts of evil that I have permitted to dwell there?  Can You not come to my repentant heart and clean it out with Your love and forgiveness.


Your Blessed Mother chose a dumping ground at Massabielle in Lourdes, France with all its filth and refuse, as the place of her appearance to St. Bernadette.  Perhaps both You and Mary wanted to show us that all You want is a place in our lives.  It doesn’t matter if the place is perfect or sparkling clean – that You just want some room in our hearts and lives; and, once You enter with your love and peace and forgiveness, You show us that all else is a waste and vast emptiness.  We then see that only when united to You are we truly happy, and that it’s You we’re looking for all the time.  And, perhaps, it is only then that we can bring that strength and hope to others who have really forgotten how good they can be.


Lord, take the stable of my heart – clean it up and come to dwell forever.


Mary, pray that Christ will change the dumping grounds of my soul into a kind of Lourdes where You will always have a dwelling place in the niche of my heart.