There is much to learn, I believe, from the behavior of Our Lady of La Salette toward Maximin and Melanie. First, she chose them humble, ignorant and poor. There is nothing much to envy in them. Second, they were not saints in the sense of official recognition as such by the Church. Nor will they ever be. Third, their lives after the apparition and after the local Bishop and assumed responsibility for spreading the news of La Salette, were still very ordinary.
“God chose the foolish of the world
to shame the wise” (1 Cor 1:27)
True, they were very often recognized as celebrities of a sort, but they manifested all the shortcomings of ordinary human beings. It would seem that Our Lady wanted to hold them up to the world as people able to serve God and the Church even though their lives gave no evidence of outstanding holiness.
It is clear that Our Lady showed them special affection and consideration throughout the apparition. The first sign of this consideration is her calling them to this special mission to the whole world. La Salette is the strong affirmation given to the people of God of the importance of their role as individuals.
Her message to all this people is clear:
|• it is possible to be called to an important mission even if one does not have what is normally essential for this mission.
• God calls the ungifted, the unloved, to his own gifts and to his own love. Clearly, Our Lady of La Salette called the children to a special kindof relationship with her. The discourse may have lasted no more than a half hour but the children's friendship with her was born on that mountain and it lasted throughout their own lifetimes.
A Message of Hope
La Salette is also clearly a message of hope meant to be given to all peoples, and given to them as individuals. Our Lady called even them to the lofty responsibility of carrying the message of God himself to the world. God and Our Lady openly granted these two illiterate children a complete trust. This trust can also be given to anyone. In fact, it is given, in other ways to people who want to listen to word and pass it on.
Our Lady’s choice of Maximin and Mélanie, in spite of an absence in them of the most common qualities and talents, is obviously an encouragement to everyone to aspire to closeness to Our Lord and Our Lady. These children, who did not pray, who did not attend Mass, who had the most sketchy knowledge of religion were shown to the world as having the Lord's and the Virgin's special affection.
They were called to a highly sensitive and responsible mission in spite of clearly lacking in all the gifts suitable to that mission. This is an unspoken message: even we are called to a special mission. Even we are loved individually and personally as Maximin and Melanie were.