Remember this: when Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette at Lourdes, she did not appear in the heart of passionately Catholic France.
Just the opposite. Since the French Revolution the country had been in the turmoil of anti-Catholicism, Freemasonry, neo-Paganism, revolution, rationalism and atheism.
These isms are always the way of the world, and apart from the pseudo mumbo jumbo and demonic supernaturalism of neo paganism, they are the philosophies of this world. They are the philosophies that are against the supernatural, against heaven, against God.
In the face of this the courageous Mother of God appears to the peasant girl, and as she does so she undermines all the naturalistic philosophies of this world.
The most subtle of the philosophies of this world is the one which assaults our church in our day. It is a form of the old heresy Arianism–a religion that masquerades as Christianity, but has the all the form of religion, but denies the power thereof. It is Christianity without the cross and an artificial life without the Lord of Life-the bright prince of the Resurrection.
This form of religion–so prominent in our world–and sadly in our own Catholic Church is the religion of moralistic, therapeutic Deism.
Moralistic because it replaces the grace empowered sanctity of God’s children with a bland set of polite principles of behavior. It replaces true heroic virtue with good manners. It replaces the valiant nobility of Truth with the weak cowardice of mere tolerance.
Therapeutic because it replaces the transformative power of the Holy Spirit with a course in self-help. It replaces the healing power of Christ with a program of counseling and improved self esteem. It replaces the purgative power of repentance with a mantra of self love and replaces the supernatural fellowship of the church and all her saints with an addiction support group.
Deistic because rather than the God who is the creator of all things coming to dwell among us and being alive and active in our midst through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is perceived as a distant being who is uninvolved with his world and if he really exists is probably having a nap.
This is a religion with no real place for the supernatural. Those who practice it in the Catholic Church do not really believe in the historic Catholic faith. Yet they remain within and “re-interpret” the Catholic faith. They use all the words of religion but do not believe them at face value. They reduce the miracles of Our Lord to object lessons and believe the supernatural power released in the world through the sacraments is (at best) the power of positive thinking.
Our Lady of Lourdes is an embarrassment to them. In fact the whole event…the appearance to a semi illiterate peasant girl and the credulity of the masses stinks in their nostrils. They disdain the multitudes who go for healing and light candles at the shrine. They sneer at the souvenir shops and the devotions of the poor. They mock even the possibility of apparitions from heaven and dismiss any idea of the supernatural.
Well I now whose side I am on. I am for the clattering rosaries in the souvenir stalls, the maudlin Marian hymns and the multitudes of cripples, the poor and those longing for God. I am on the side of the peasant girl who lies incorrupt in her crystal casket in France. Sign me up for Our Lady of Lourdes for whenever I see her I see the triumph of the tiny, the little girls who are warriors and the poor who reign over the mighty.
When I see my Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes I see the sign of the supernatural in the world today and I repudiate every expression of natural, secular, humanistic, atheism in the world.
Long Live Christ the King and Long Live His Mother the Queen.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!