La Salette – the Teaching Apparition

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Icon of the three phases
of the La Salette
Apparition  - seated,
standing, and ascending.

At La Salette, Mary is not only speaking a message, she is also doing some multi-level communication. She is ministering, speaking to people, exhibiting behavior, showing an attitude, manifesting a mood, reaching out, teaching how to give reproach. She is giving us a lesson in proclaiming Christ.

She is also being herself. She is sad, angry and she is not hiding it. She is also revealing Christ's disappointment and displeasure. She is fulfilling a responsibility, answering a call, and through it all, manifesting a deep affection toward her people.

1) In her apparition she is showing involvement, responsibility, empathy, lively interest. We are thus clearly invited to manifest all of these in our own lives, following her witness and conduct.

2) She is manifesting interest in people – "my people" – their concerns and worries, especially over food which is often mentioned in the discourse.

3) She is exhibiting presence to people. She came. She spoke. She chose two small children from among the people.

4) She is communicating broadness of mind and an all-encompassing viewpoint: "You will make this known to all my people". She is manifesting interest in their daily, workaday lives, as well as in their spiritual lives – and showing how the two really blend together.

 5) Her concern goes as far as ownership – "my people". This is Old Testament covenant ("I will be your God and you will be my people") wording and she says it three times.

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Overview of the La Salette Shrine
in  southeastern 
France and
the surrounding Alpine peaks.

6) This concern is manifested by tears that imply an overwhelming sadness. Tears also imply a certain helplessness, a loss of control over one's feelings and emotions. Hands over her face like a first embarrassment. We don't cry because we want to. We cry because we must. Love, sadness, pain, force us to surrender to an excess of feeling and the overflow runs over in liquid drops of pain.

Tears are one of the barometers of love. Tears are a surfeit of affection. The Lady's sadness is measured by the flow of tears. They are signs of overwhelming love as well as of overwhelming grief. At La Salette our Blessed Mother was sent to express God's "feelings" for us. When she said, "You will make this known...." she meant not only the spoken message, but the entire apparition and that certainly included the tears. In fact, the tears were the most visible and are still today the most characteristic trait of Mary's apparition at La Salette.

7) What I see personally, and what I like to believe most in La Salette is that this Lady, this splendidly beautiful and lovable Lady bathed in the light of glory, was in fact representing God – the feminine aspect of God – and she was showing us the sadness of God and by so doing, the tears of God.