Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 18, 2008  It was not until Our Lady herself had made the sign of the cross that Bernadette could move her arm to cross herself with the sign of the cross and begin the Rosary.

Homily, Monday, February 18:  Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

We are told that during the first apparition Bernadette tried unsuccessfully to make the sign of the cross in order to begin the prayer of the Rosary. It was not until Our Lady herself had made the sign of the cross that Bernadette could move her arm to cross herself with the sign of the cross and begin the Rosary. This phenomenon confirms our Catholic tradition of crossing ourselves every time before we start a prayer.

Our Lady approves of this custom, and it is essential that believers do it to begin and end their prayers and tasks.
Mary Confirms the Rosary

Second, it is interesting that during the Rosary, Our Lady only moved her lips at the Glory... and the Our Father sections. So, Our Lady would wait until Bernadette finished the 10 Hail Mary's and join Bernadette when Bernadette got to the Glory and the Our Father sections of the Rosary. This also confirms our prayer of the Rosary the way it is being said by the Church. Our Lady approves this prayer, and she starts this prayer (the Rosary) with us, partners with us, and actively participates in it whenever we say it. It only makes sense that she would be silent and listen on the parts of the Rosary where she is directly addressed. She participates by listening. This illustrates to us how God loves, relishes, and cherishes our prayers. God pays close attention when we pray and listens just as Our Lady did listen to Bernadette. It also teaches us the art and virtues of silence and listening in prayer. We don't always have to be saying something in prayer. We can meditate and pay attention to God's words to us, as Mary paid attention to our words to her. It teaches us how to be still and hear God speak to us in prayer. Communication is a two-way street.

Mary confirms the Church Doctrine

Third, Our Lady revealed her name to Bernadette. It is strange that Our Lady would reveal herself under this title, because four years earlier, in 1854, the Catholic Church had just declared the article of faith that is binding to all the faithful that Mary was immaculately conceived. The doctrine was the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. For Our Lady to use that title which the church had just used four years earlier about her is a direct way of affirming the infallibility of our Holy Mother Church in matters of faith and morals. Our Lady is affirming the Catholic Church that the Church was right about her; that indeed she was conceived without sin. Brothers and sisters, this is to prove that indeed the Church of Christ, made visible in the Catholic Church is truly guided by the Holy Spirit to the whole truth. That was true in the early hundreds, anywhere in the middle and indeed this apparition shows that even in our very own modern era, the 1800s. Our Blessed Mother is consistent with her Son's teaching and the Church's teaching. Our Lady does not detract from Christ as many would assume. She leads and guides the church to Christ, as she guided the wedding waitresses to Him: .

Mary is interested in children

Last, we should notice that Our Lady keeps revealing these truths to the little children. It is almost like she wants to confirm her Son's words when he said in prayer, 

At Fatima in Portugal she appeared to three little children as well and revealed many things to them. Children should never underfestimate themselves when it comes to matters of faith. Although faith uses reason, faith doesn't depend on reason. You can be spiritually rich, in spite of your age or level of education and understanding. Youth should take note of this fact that Our Lady loves them and want to communicate with them a lot of things. She is a mother. That's what any mother does to her children. Youth should pray the Rosary a lot.

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