Meeting God on This Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain of Our Lady of La Salette is very close to heaven, being atop an Alpine peak in the French Alps. In fact it is a high, holy ground – a good place for you to meet your God.

Untitled-1Overview of the Holy Mountain in FranceIn order to do this, you must first enter this stately La Salette Basilica, leaving behind your masks, and ready to hold God’s truth like a fragile flame in the palm of your hands. You must also be silent and aware of God’s awesome presence in this truly holy space.

Can you sense Mary’s lingering and loving presence? No loneliness can resist her tender words.

Look to the upper dome, above the sanctuary. Take in the majestic face the Christ, with his arms open in blessing, a shadow of the cross on his face. He is the Reconciler who calls you to a renewal of your faith in the privilege of this moment.

Looking around the central dome, heavenly light steals into this quiet space, softly lighting up the stained glass windows of the mysteries of the rosary.

If you listen carefully, you might even hear the stolid stones speak, echoing the prayer of countless thousands of pilgrims who have lifted up their prayers in this church. Pray from where you are, offering up your sincere concerns before the Lord Most High. And whatever feelings you sense of passion, misfortune, or upset, know that you are truly at home because God is waiting for you in the profound silence of this moment.

If you listen carefully, you might even hear the deepest call of God to your heart of hearts, calling you to pause and take a Sabbath moment, perhaps kneeling before the central statue of our Weeping Mother, crowned as Queen of Heaven.

Untitled-2The ceiling painting of Christ, the Pantocrator, by Arcabas with the statue below of Our Lady of La Salette CrownedLook into the sanctuary and gaze for a moment on the figure of the crucified Christ (see below), resplendent on the sanctuary pillar. He waits in patient agony to be lifted up into the arms of his Father, having completed his mission of earth. And on the cross, near his pierced hands are the hammer and pincers, instruments of his passion. Contemplate his face, sovereign in its serenity, peacefully enduring the agony of the cross for love of us.

If you have the privilege to join the gathered pilgrims for the evening service and candlelight procession, walk and sing and reflect on the words of the rosary of Our Lady and be inspired by her sacrifices for her Son and us, her people.

Ponder again the wonderful message the Beautiful Lady shared with the two children on this same mountaintop. Hear her speaking again to us in the solitude of this special meeting place. Our Weeping Mother reminds us that her Son is central to our faith and that we are invited to follow him more closely.

And these encounters continue on this holy ground, as still more pilgrims make their way up the winding road to the top of this Alpine peak.

As you finally leave this place, can you hear Mary speaking to us in the words of St. Paul, encouraging us once again to “be reconciled to God”? Share her message often and well for that is her wish, her mission for us as her needy people.
Untitled-3The La Salette Crucifix in the Basilica Sanctuary
flanked on either side by two stained glass windows
(Reprinted with permission from Les Annales, no. 77, Sept.-Oct, 1986, pg. 1, edited)

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