Our Examination of Conscience

Untitled 1Visual of the Weeping Mother, drawn during World War IIEditor: This brief article explores the relevance of Mary’s message to the author’s age (post-World War II Europe) and some would say they are strangely similar to our own ongoing struggles in the world at large and in our nation; the author (1881-1965) was a member of the Académie Français. This article was translated from the French and has been edited.

Perhaps there is no moment in our annals of human history when La Salette's merciful message takes on a more striking significance than in the days in which we presently live and which evidence the greatest antipathy and divisions in our history.

Change is Everywhere

Everything is now moving and changing. Everything is at once being born and decaying simultaneously. Our old world is collapsing, and a new world is being born in the midst of the rubble.

Yet never has the human race, once isolated and repressed, begun to overcome its own impotence better than in this age . . . whose supreme end is ironically the possible destruction of the world.

It is at this hour that we realize the relevance of La Salette and Mary’s Message.

Mary Speaks to All Her Children

On a desolate mountain in a harsh corner of France, the Virgin gives two children the revelation of what makes her heart so heavy – blasphemy, the profanation of Sunday. She announces that the coming terrifying events have resulted from our long contempt for the divine voice of love and reason.

Untitled 2World War II Memorial, Washington, DC: (from left) Central Fountain surrounded by emblems of various war battles; a bronze bas-relief of soldiers caring for the wounded.
We have previously experienced other oppressive events. They have resulted in an explosion of animal-like actions and a regression to barbarism such as had never been recorded in the history of humankind. We will continue if we – “her people” – continue to remain deaf to God’s invitation to repent.

Many years have passed since this message was given to us. What account have we taken of the tragic and pressing warnings of the Virgin at La Salette? Everything today urges us to make a sincere and responsive examination of conscience. We cannot solace ourselves with the impression that the margin of humanity's salvation possibilities is always lessening, thus freeing us from the almost physical sensation of a threat hanging over our land.

The only way out for humanity remains on the side of penance and prayer. Let us recall the question of the Virgin to the two simple children of the mountain: "Do you pray well?" Never have we fully responded to this faith-vision in which the world can still place its trust.

(Originally written and published in 1946 for the 100th anniversary of the La Salette Apparition)


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