HOMILY OF 13th JULY 1980
TO SOME PILGRIMS FROM SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE
Don’t talk like this in church!
I thank you for coming to this Sanctuary. Evidently you have come because our Lady has something to tell you and above all She has also something to do with you, because only our Lady can do whatever She likes, provided that this is God's will. So you have come to our Lady. You know who our Lady is, don't you? " well, yes, we do ! Sure, She is God's Mother. She is the Virgin ". Yes, but these words have a very terrible weight, and I don't mean terrible in a negative sense, but they are terrible because they are very important.
Be silent, over there!
They are terribly important. They are terrible because they carry a great mystery, because our Lady has only one secret, only one: it’s the identification of Her will with God’s will. Our Lady’s will has become identical to God’s will, so if we say God’s will we say our Lady. Our Lady and God’s will are the same thing. Our Lady doesn’t lack only the fullness of the performance of Her will, but She doesn’t lack even the divine and wonderful light to know God’s will, to be in God’s will and to spread God’s will to every creature.
Well, you have come from the sea, the sea is not far from here either, but it’s far enough to prevent us from seeing it dirty. You have come from the sea, so you have come from a world which is close to the noisy movement which is typical of the world, or if you want a more precise word, of the century, not the century made of 100 years, but the classical meaning of the holy word, century means secular spirit, worldly spirit, human spirit of inferior quality, this is what it is, and you have come up here. Here there is a different climate, there is a different climate and the climate is our Lady’s will, which is God’s will.
Now I think you remember very well a very beautiful thing, if we could understand it, it would be an enormous privilege, because when our Lord created man He said: “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness”.
So we wouldn’t be God’s image and likeness if there hadn’t been the beast of the original sin. Our Lady is trying to bring this wonderful beauty back to our souls. Brave! Yes, we are never afraid, never!, and then… you know, so many scruples, but no, no!, even, so many times, even some priests “but be quiet!, but yes, let’s not exaggerate!, no then… yes… God… justice… but He is merciful! True, for goodness’ sake!”.
Everything is fine. The more people sow sin and the more it seems everything is fine. Well, we say so, but it is not so. Optimism instead means that Our Lord sows in ourselves the possibility of His will.
We can desire everything that God wants. So God will carry it out undoubtedly, but thanks to whom? Thanks to our Lady above all. And what does our Lady do? What our Lady does! If you could see what our Lady does, you would feel not only touched, but impressed for forgetting or anyway undervaluing Her possibilities. Our Lady loves us with an unequalled tenderness. We have seen this not only in the Saints, but also in the great sinners; for example, who was the teacher, the tender, prudent, affectionate, sincere, providential teacher of Magdalene? Magdalene, the one from whom Jesus took away, banished the seven devils, not one but seven. The great sinner, the one who, we could say, with folded arms, was looking at the men fighting and maybe killing each other for jealousy for her. Extremely worldly. Who assisted her, taught her, put her in the wonderful condition of being the great mystic of the Gospel? After delivering her, Jesus sent her to His Mother, our Lady. And our Lady kept Magdalene with her and taught her, how? According to Her Heart.
About this, our Lady is involved in two episodes; one is the episode with Magdalene and she has become the classical Saint, the most wonderful soul, mystically speaking, of the Gospel, of Jesus’ life on the earth. A second soul at our Lady’s school was Judas’ one. Jesus sent Judas to His Mother a couple of times, he even spent a long time there, almost a fortnight, and so on. What has happened of him? He has become a traitor. To speak of Judas is to speak of the man responsible for everything which is the tragedy of the Calvary, it’s clear.
And then? Then one only thing: our Lady has felt the joy of a resurrection in a soul who comes back to God in a wonderful way and She has tasted the terrible bitterness of a soul who was called and made an apostle and who betrays literally, totally, tragically, diabolically, our Lord. So our Lady has tasted both joy and sorrow.
According to the most authoritative mystic writings which describe our Lady at the sepulchre where Jesus had been put, She didn’t want to leave it. She was terribly tried. She said: if my Christ resurrects, I’ll come out of the sepulchre with Him, resurrected, otherwise I’ll stay here. There was no way, but instead it was necessary to come out of the sepulchre.
Do you know who helped our Lady out of the tragic hellish and sorrowful moments near the sepulchre and inside Jesus’ sepulchre ? Magdalene, who addressed our Lady and said: Mother, Jesus, the Redeemer, Your adorable Son resurrected my brother Lazarus from death, He helped us in many ways, He healed a lot of invalids, of lepers, He made cripples walk, He gave light to the blind; now He’s dead: He will resurrect. You, Mother, Would you have the courage to leave us alone in such a sad world, ( the Father is touched ), full of devils and full of persecutions? Come Mother, come with us, don’t leave us. And our Lady said: you are right, I’ll come with you.
Here is what a sinner’s words can do, the words of a sinner who reached the joy of redemption and holiness. She can have our Lady walk and behave as she likes.
A criminal on the cross. Who converted the criminal, the so called “good criminal”, on the cross near our Lord? We know about it in a sure way, in a very notable way speaking from a mystical point of view, , by some people who contemplated, received God’s revelation that the good criminal, or better the simple criminal, was redeemed by the prayer of the Blessed Virgin while Christ was suffering all the sufferings of the crucifixion. To the point that the converted criminal will say: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom
See what God’s mercy can do aroused by Mary’s motherly power. Logically, according to justice, that man, the criminal, in Latin “robber” referred to someone who had killed, murdered and so on. So, you have repented, we agree, but now you must do penance because your sin is great, provided it is the only sin. Because when a person kills he has a lot of other sins, however, we would say, do your penance; it was no so. Mary’s power drove Jesus’ heart to this point: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
Well, our Lady’s power is enormous, enormous. And referring to John the Lord said to our Lady: Behold, here is your son. And who protected the church against persecutions, during the first fights, in painful moments? It was the presence of this adorable Mother.
Well, listen, you have come to meet Our Lady. You will say “Well, Our Lady is everywhere”, I agree, there is an image, something in every church, I agree with you. This is a very notable human-religious initiative, it’s very good, they have build the church, there is also Our Lady, it is, we could say, a holy project, a human project for which the man or the priest has asked Our Lord for help to carry it on, and in substance, what is it? It’s human will helped by divine will.
So it doesn’t all depend on God’s will; something depends on man’s will, the rest is God’s help.
Here I assure you, it is not so. Here it is not so. Our Lady’s imperious word was without respite repeated, incessantly, several times, and it was resolute and authoritarian: “You must build this Sanctuary for Me on mount Borriga, within two years. Otherwise, it would be impossible to build it because sad times are near”. Well, “do it”, it was not “you may do it”, not “I would like”, it was “You must do it”.
And so it’s not a human doing; we have nothing to do with it; it’s an obedience to the will expressed by Our Lady and, as I told you that Our Lady’s will has identified with God’s will to be one only thing, it’s the will of the Being who is supreme, absolute, eternal, whose name is God and of whom we have no idea, even if we say with Saint Catherine from Siena: Oh, God, You are the immense ocean where the souls live and are nourished. Can you imagine the fish that live and feed in the sea? The same thing we do in God. God is infinite, we are pierced, surrounded, supported, fed, lit by Our Most High Lord.
It’s such a great thing! The secret is to do His will, so much so that while Saint Frances from Assisi, our Seraphic Father, was singing one of his latest spiritual works, he said: blessed are those who will die in His will because they won’t be hurt by their second death. Blessed are those who will die in Your will, in God’s will. They won’t be hurt by their second death, what is the second death? It’s damnation, the death of the spirit; it’s the mortal sin that condemns forever, there will be nothing like this for those who die in God’s will.
Even our Blessed Kolbe, the hero of the Virgin, of whom, at the entrance of the church, we find the painting by Semino portraying him sitting and wearing his poor pyjama, in the bunker of hunger in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. What did he say to his religious people, to his brothers? He said: I want you all Saints. I give you a simple formula to become saints and on the blackboard he wrote a small “w” with a piece of chalk, it’s true, a small “w”, then “=” and then a big “W”. The secret of holiness is this: the small “w” is the small human will assimilated by the big “W”, which is God’s will: this is holiness. And the more this absorption is total, complete, maybe affectionate, the more holiness emerges unequalled.
And so at the feet of Our Lady we have learnt something beautiful, at least we have been reminded of some principle which we had forgotten: never forget it again. Let’s not forget it, I won’t forget it either. Let’s have our will become one only will in Our Blessed Virgin, who is the living and continuous expression of God’s will. So we are under Our Lord’s protection.
This is why, at the inauguration of this temple Our Lady said: Who comes to this Sanctuary of mine – She calls it Sanctuary, I don’t know why – to this great Sanctuary of mine, I will never abandon him.
It’s not a puppet, it’s Our Lady. She is the one whose will is the same as God’s will, so her promise is authentic, strong and true. And so let’s cherish it. We will be abandoned neither by the Virgin nor by God, as we have come to this blessed place which Our Lady has chosen for Her.
And then I thank you for your coming and I give you the blessing of the Blessed Virgin.
For the intercession of the Virgin the Source of Mercy, the blessing of Our Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit may descend upon you in its fullness and power and may be with you forever.
In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The congregation answers: thank you Father.