Mary, Moved to Tears

By Chris Sparks

Have you ever made your mother cry?

Yeah, it makes me wince just to think of it. But sometimes children go too far - they're mischievous, or downright naughty; they get tired, sick, sore, or sinful; they just aren't doing what Mom wants, when she wants it.

Sometimes she yells. Sometimes, at the far end of her tether, she cries.

Well, the Blessed Virgin Mary isn't particularly known for yelling, but at least once, she just sat right down and wept.

When? At La Salette.

The apparition of Our Lady at La Salette, commemorated on Sept. 19, is one of the least remembered apparitions of modern times, and yet it foreshadowed so much of what was to come. She came and wept before the two young visionaries - 11 year old Maximin Giraud and 14 year old Melanie Calvat-Mathieu - telling them to call France to repent of two sins in particular: blasphemy and working on Sunday. She asked for conversion, penance, and prayer in reparation, warning of great calamities to come if mankind stayed on their present course.

It's amazing how little importance we place on these two issues today! The Lord's Name is taken in vain in a thousand different ways every day all over the world. In the culture of material success and affluence that dominates our civilization, so many people pour themselves out for their job, for money, for any advantage. We barely make it to Mass on Sunday, let alone actually take a proper rest.

And yet Our Lady was reduced to tears by these sins against the Lord committed in the 1800s in France, once known as the eldest daughter of the Church.

The sins of the 1800s reduced her to tears. What must Mary think of our world today?

Further, she came to call for penance for sins - for reparation. Why? Hasn't Christ already won our salvation? Yes - but the harm done by our sins remains in the world until it's healed by God's grace transmitted through the good works of those in the service of Goodness, Truth, Beauty, Being, and Love - that is, in the service of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of the Father made flesh. We must contribute to the healing of the harm we and so many others have done to ourselves, to our neighbors, to the Church, and to the world. We must pray, fast, and give alms; we must turn away from our sins, practice the virtues, and love God and neighbor in obedience to the great commandments. Then light will shine in the darkness. The wounds of the world will be bound up and healed. God will have a free hand, unimpeded by our sins and our selfishness.

So let us seek to be good children of Mary. Let us work to console her Immaculate Heart and make reparation, as she requested at La Salette and, yes, at Fatima as well. Let us commit to making the Five First Saturdays devotion at least once in our lifetimes, and let us search for ways to make up for our sins and the sins of the whole world - by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary in reparation; by performing works of mercy; by living the love of God and neighbor; by being like Mary.

We've made our mother cry. Let's try to dry her tears.

If you consecrated to Jesus through Mary or completed the Consoling the Heart of Jesus retreat, we'd love to hear your story. Please take a moment and share your journey below. If you have pictures, we'd love to see them, too. Just email them to!


You might also like...

As we commemorate the First Martyrs, let us not forget that today, more than ever before, our brothers and sisters in Christ are going home to God because of their fidelity to the faith which saves.

Palm Sunday and Good Friday are bookends of the spiritual life in a lot of ways.

As we celebrate the feast of Bl. Michael Sopocko on Feb. 15, here's a curious fact: two priests ministering to two "secretaries." Surely, God is telling us something.