|THE BEAUTIFUL LADY|
We began by talking about the way the two children talked about what they had witnessed. They constantly referred to the "Beautiful Lady." So we reflected a long while on the meaning of that description of the "Lady." We asked ourselves if she was really "beautiful" and if she was, what made her beautiful. Two young children could have different views of beauty than those of us who live our lives today and still consider it to be the truth that she was beautiful. They said that she was surrounded by light and that in itself would make her beautiful in their eyes. There is also a certain depth to the description of her beauty because they reported that she cried all the time. When people cry the natural, physical beauty which they may possess is dimmed somewhat by their aspect of sadness and trouble. However, the children never wavered in their description of her. Something deeper that physical beauty then had to move them to describe her as beautiful. Through the years, those priests and bishops who were the first "on the scene," so to speak quickly came to the realizatiion that it was the Lady's expressions of goodness that made her so beautiful. Inside the light, beyond the crucifix on her breast, besides the roses decorating her raiment. This was a person who was special. She was kind. She was good. She was gentle. She took care of them. They both had hard lives at home and here was a person who was reaching out to them. That attitude hardly ever, if ever, was shown them at home. They knew that she was good. We know that she was good by the way she spoke and the way she behaved in their presence. Although she was crying, she accepted their presence. She did not shun them despite what could have been her embarrassing moment of discomfort. More than that. She acknowleged their presence by inviting them to approach her. In her invitation, she was kind to them. "Come near, my children..." Imagine the feeling that these simple children must have felt to be invited so gently to come near to an adult. Her kindness is most certainly an element of her beauty. Even we can see beauty in kind and loving people, even though they are not really that beautiful physically. The meeting of these two concepts drives the two children to not be afraid to report the event to the adults who ruled their lives. The kindness and the perceived beauty convinced the children that what they were saying was the truth. This was real. Not only was it real for them, it was real to everyone else to whom they told the story. Over and over again, without having to "sell" the story, the truth was easy to see because of the unity between the beauty and the kindness of the "Beautiful Lady." As the discourse continued, the facts that the Lady recounted to the children proved to be true. All the behavioral and natural elements that the Lady mentioned were true. This was an encounter that was inevitably bound to be judged true.
The lesson for us is clear. As followers of Jesus and His Mother, we strive to behave in beautiful kindness so the truth of our actions will be visible. It is essential for us to be able to be kind and truthful so that it will be clear by the beauty of our behavior that our message is in fact true. This lesson is not just for La Salette people, of course. However, since we have the model, it is our mission to put it out there for all to hear and to have a chance to put into practice.