Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feast of Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Good morning. Today we celebrate the life of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes. I have read her story numerous times, and I read it again this morning. Yet something which never clearly occurred to me in the reading of her story was just how simplistic and non-assuming this young girl was throughout her interactions with Our Lady of Lourdes. This occurred to me following the first reading from today’s Mass which was from Chapter 11 of Genesis (Gn 11: 1-9). It was following the reading of the story of Babel and the reading again of the story of Saint Bernadette that it dawned on me how significant this young child’s non-worldly, not-knowing posture was to the unfolding of the events of Our Lady’s visit to Lourdes in February of 1858. Thinking further about this it seems to me that this not-knowing, attentive posture we see in Bernadette would tend to serve all of us well in our interactions with one another. This is especially true for us married couples; we too often allow ourselves to presume we know a priori the other partner’s frame of reference or the significance of their experiences. I know personally, even after nearly thirty years of marriage, that my tendency to analyze while listening often leads to confusing or misunderstanding what my wife, Linda, is attempting to convey to me. And, I do this time and again despite knowing that genuine, not-knowing openness goes much further toward better understanding and appreciating her messages to me. When we try to communicate to one another without really listening we wind-up engaging in babble and misunderstanding each other. The key to understanding is in truly listening; and listening well takes effort and commitment. There is an added bonus to being attentive and listening well. When we truly listen our partner feels validated and appreciated, and an appreciated partner is a happier partner. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts and works of Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

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