Why Did Our Lady of Lourdes Choose a Dirty, Muddy Grotto?
The reflection above was inspired by the following thoughts on communion and the gaze of Christ. Also see: website on Lourdes
Retreat of 2020- 1st Nail of Crucifixion, reflection 4 part 1, p.3
“To be human means to be called to interpersonal communion.”
But our relationships many times are not relationships of communion; we live in many dysfunctional, stressed relationships. Only as we strive for communion in relationships is our masculinity or femininity restored. That is why our Lord teaches Love Crucified to ponder all our relationships in which we do not love through Him, with Him, and in Him. Those relationships that lack “communion” reveal to us what is wounded and distorted in our womanhood or manhood.
“To say that man is created in the image and likeness of God means that man is called to exist "for" others, to become a gift.”
Being a person means striving towards self-realization (the Council text speaks of self-discovery), which can only be achieved "through a sincere gift of self.”
Blind Man. Cf. Mk 8:22-26
We must see ourselves as the “blind man” and see the blindness of all humanity. Jesus reveals an essential process required to see with the eyes of our hearts the glory of God before us. We first must be willing and desiring to be healed. We must have the knowledge that we are blind. This is part of our “self-discovery.” Then, we must become like a child and allow ourselves to be led by the hand of Jesus. He leads us “out of the village,” out of our “comfort zone,” our areas of “expertise,” away even from the people we are accustomed to being with… Then Jesus spits on our eyes. It's an action of the Spirit that is unexpected, uncomfortable, an action of the Spirit that is easy to reject, an action that makes no worldly sense… Yet, this “spit” prepares our soul to receive the healing touch of God. The wounds, disorders, and sin patterns are so deep that healing becomes a process, “then again He laid His hands upon his eyes! And He looked intently…”. It is finally, through the intensity of the gaze of Jesus Christ, that we can see “everything clearly.”
It is only as I allow Christ to heal me, discovering my blindness, self-love, darkness, brokenness, that I can begin to become a “sincere gift of self.”
What does it mean to become a "sincere gift of self"?
To gaze with the gaze of Christ
You have the INTENSITY OF MY GAZE.
SEE WHAT I SEE & SUFFER WITH ME THE CONDITION OF THE HUMAN HEART.
An example of being Christ’s gaze is St Paul. In Acts 14:9, Paul looks intently at the lame man and knows he has the faith to be healed. Jesus shows us that He could not cure all; a certain disposition of the heart was required, faith. The intensity of Jesus' gaze penetrated the hearts, and their “thoughts were revealed.” Paul, in union with the Crucified, “for now I have been crucified with Christ,” sees through the gaze of Jesus. As Paul looked intently at the lame man, his gaze, as one with Jesus, penetrated his heart, and he saw his faith.
The Gaze of Jesus
Simple Path – 2-D, beginning on page 50
14. I Wish to Heal your Blindness —Diary of a MOC.
Do you see the darkness that has consumed the hearts and minds of My people, the darkness that is consuming My Sanctuary? Do your eyes see the light of God that WILL consume this darkness or have you too become blinded by the darkness of the world? I wish to heal you of your blindness so that you can see the Son of Man in all His glory before you. To see is to believe. To see is to hope. To see is to become the beauty of what is revealed to you, which is LOVE… (11/14/11)
16. My Gaze Penetrates All Darkness —Diary of a MOC.
My gaze is upon each of you. I see your struggles; I know your trials; I feel and suffer your sorrows; I collect your tears; I suffer with each of you.
…My gaze is upon you; allow Me to heal your wounds and purify all darkness.
My desire for you, My thirst for each of you, is to make you My living icons. My little ones, suffer all with Me, gazing upon My crucified love so that your suffering can perfect your faith, and you can become My living chalices poured upon the world, redeeming, restoring and purifying with Me…(8/11/12)