Monday, September 04, 2006
I Am a Fussy Old Goat
I guess I'm having a bad week. First, I overlook Sister Mary Fiacre's feast day. (I was right on the money; she didn't notice.) Then, not only was I flummoxed in posting my tribute to Mother Teresa, I find I posted it on the wrong day. Her new feast day is today. I thought yesterday was the fifth. I better get it together because school starts Wednesday.
Or is it Thursday? Uh-oh.
And then there's the ever looming possibility of a war in heaven.
And now I'm a little down in the dumps because I've discovered...and this is a confession about as earth shattering as St. Augustine's whole book, for me anyway....I just don't believe in Our Lady of La Salette.
There I've said it.
The faithful are not required to believe in any Mary appartitions whatsoever, so I'm off the hook as far as that goes, but the Church has deemed La Salette worthy and true. It's not easy for me to just...you know, not buy it.
I was reading a little book about the Rosary. The author has this theory that since the whole secular, moral relativity movement started in France with the French Revolution, Our Lady spent a roughly a decade 'circling' France like a giant lasso. I really like that theory.
She starts in 1830 in LaBourre and swings around the country, ending up at our favorite sighting and the old Pope's, Fatima. La Salette would have been the second stop on her tour in 1846. She's been touring longer than the Rolling Stones.
The theory falls to pieces, though, if you look at a map. No circle. No lasso.
And for me anyhow, no La Salette.
The story is that two shepard children are out tending their cows. Like most of the visionaries..perhaps all of them, really... these two are dim bulbs. I wouldn't mention it, but that all the stories about them and the other visionaries like little Bernadette stress over and over how really backwards and 'simple' they are. They don't mean 'simple' like that magazine, or even the Amish...they mean not bright enough to pound sand. Anyhow the boy, Max, is 11 and the girl, what's her name...it starts with an "M", too. We'll call her 'Mimi" for now til it comes to me. Mimi is 15.
Being dumb as rocks they lose track of their cows, go find them, and as they're returning they see a big ball of light, like the sun has come to land. Then out of the ball of light steps this beautiful lady. At first they're frightened but her voice is 'like music' and they are drawn closely to her.
It's all very charming. We love that Mary's voice is like music and she comes in a ball of light.
But then....Mary, who never stops crying the entire time, tells the children she has 'good news' for them. Not so good to stop her crying, apparently. The 'good news' is that Jesus is soooo offended by cab drivers and the like taking His Name in vain that He is up in heaven saying, "Hold me back! HOoooold me back!" and Mary can barely hold Him back. Still crying, she continues the good news by telling them they've been getting warnings that were not heeded. The year before Jesus ruined their potato crop in an effort to get them to stop swearing, but unlike the Irish, they must have all just gone ahead and eaten something else. She tells them things are going to get a lot worse if everyone doesn't straighten up and fly right. Then she walks back into the light and she's gone.
I'm not kidding, she said "cab drivers"...okay..she said "cart drivers"...it's still all about 19th century road rage.
She doesn't even say the word "rosary."
In 1848 the Women's Rights movement began. A woman in New York appeared on the streets in bloomers. Carl Marx was writing. There was a little thing called the "Revolution of 1848" in which all of Europe was embroiled.
But Mary the Mother of God comes to tell us how really mad Jesus is at the cart drivers, not to mention that He wants to 'abandon' everyone except every day Mary tells Him not to.
I'm letting this one go.
How did it get authenticated? Well, the children were extremely convincing, not smart enough to hold up under the extreme scrutiny that befell them. Max in particular, if he was living today would defintely be diagnosed with ADD. Melanie! That was her name! Anyhow, at one point a burly man held Max over a cliff by his ankles and Max still never recanted. I admit that's compelling.
And then the faithful picked up the cause and miracles happened. You know the drill.
I'm not comfortable about any of it. Letting it go or not.
Some day I hope I'll get to ask Our Lady what that was all about. When I'm languishing in Purgatory, as I am certain to be, we can talk often. I've read the writings of other visionaries who tell us she is in charge there.