Now, this is something. This is painting by a LaSalette Missionary priest by the name of Alfredo Villarde. As far as I have come to know, for now, he is stationed in Argentina. This painting was exhibited at one of the venues of the Lay Summit which took place in Georgia, USA just last week. The inspiration for this picture must have been painful to accept. It is a daring expression of the circumstances in which our Mother Mary was commissioned by her Son to be our Mother. This expression has been camped in my soul ever since I first saw it about three days ago. I don't know if my understanding of the message is the same as that of the author. I have attempted to contact him and I am still awaiting a response.
Our Mother Mary comes to us at LaSalette wracked by emotional pain. She comes to us accompanied by the pain that Jesus endured on the Cross. She also comes to us after being "Baptized" in the dripping blood and water of her Son's tortured body hanging above her. She and Jesus were enveloped in the fiery pain of human suffering. They were also engulfed in the fiery pain of those Patriarchs who had been waiting for so long to be relieved from the darkness of the absence of the Messiah. Our Holy Mother is here depicted by the author in the depths of his appreciation for the dialectic between the heat of suffering and the heat of love. The bloody Cross of fiery pain embedded in the core of His mother's being is also the generator of the fire of her love for us all. The simplicity of the children does not diminish the intensity of her mission. The small fraction of Maximin's hands engulfed by the fire are the small fraction of understanding that these two cowherds could capture. The universal aspect of suffering love that the Beautiful Lady brings to them, as small and simple as they are, is the part of Infinity that they now have to bring to the world.
We all, proceed from the womb in which the Cross is here planted. Into this world, we are born in pain (Genesis 3,16). Into the Kingdom of God we are also born in pain and suffering, that of Jesus and that of Mary. Into this world we are borne in love and born in love. Jesus carried the Patriarchs and their descendants through the streets of Jerusalem. He delivered us all through suffering and love into the new reality consequent to His infinitely efficacious sacrifice, with His mother and ours sympathetic to Him and to us.
This picture captures the mystery of the Apparition of our Mother Mary at LaSalette at a level deeper than so many others I have admired. It is almost as though the other pictures owe their explanation to this one. Not in time, but in Spirit. I hope that you who read this will appreciate its expression as deeply as the artist who made it real does.