The Lady came back every day except for two, for the next fifteen days. Usually Bernadette would go into an ecstasy, which would last for about an hour. People who witnessed this saw the girl transformed in radiance. Often she moved on her knees to the place where the wild rose bush was growing out of the earth and kissed the earth very reverently. On Feb. 24th Bernadette's ecstasy was marked by sadness. She had abundant tears running down her cheeks. She ascended the slope in front of the recess where the Lady stood, kissing the earth at each step. She prostrated herself beneath the wild rose bush and then raised her head toward the vision, as if hearing a new command. She turned to the crowd, tears still streaming, and cried out "Penitence!" three times.
On Feb. 25 Bernadette began by praying, then she pushed aside the branches of the wild rose bush and went to kiss the ground under the rock again. She came down the slope and fell into ecstasy. She got up as if confused and started for the Gave. She stopped abruptly, looked behind her, as if hearing instructions from the rock, and made a sign of assent. This time she walked towards the grotto, not toward the Gave. She went a little way and looked around, confused. She raised her head as if to question the Lady; then she resolutely bent down and began to scratch at the earth. The little hollow she scratched out immediately filled with water. She waited a moment, then drank of it and washed her face with it. She took a blade of grass growing in the soil and put it into her mouth. When she returned to her place of prayer, her face was smeared with muddy water and a cry went up from the crowd: "Bernadette has lost her mind!"
Most of the crowd began to leave, disillusioned and sure the ecstasies were nothing but hallucinations. She herself remained in prayer almost another hour, serene and radiant as usual. Those who remained with her and who accompanied her afterward testified that she was as ordinary as ever and fully in control of her faculties. They asked her to explain her behavior. She said, "While I was in prayer, the Lady said to me in a friendly but serious voice, 'Go, drink and wash in the fountain.' As I did not know where this fountain was, and as I did not think the matter was important, I went towards the Gave. The Lady called me back and signed to me with her finger to go under the grotto to the left; I obeyed, but I did not see any water. Not knowing where to get it from, I scratched the earth and the water came. I let it get a little clear of the mud; then I drank and washed."
Bernadette usually knelt on a stone when she came to the grotto. One day the Lady said to her: "You will kiss the earth for sinners." This the seer did, bowing low to the ground, then going beneath the rose tree and repeating it. Then she turned to the crowd and gestured for everyone present to repeat her action. Every knee was bent and every forehead was touched to the soil. Those who were not able to bow this low placed their kiss of repentance upon the rocks.
Every time that Bernadette called for repentance, it was accompanied by an action of reverence toward the earth – kissing the rocks, soil, etc. as if to say the sin to be repented was disrespect for Earth. The healing spring was not just an aside or an accident. It is obvious that it is meant to show us that it is Earth that provides natural remedies for healing of mind, body and spirit. What may not be as obvious is that we are made of the same stuff of Earth and that we, too, have "springs" that lie hidden deep in our own nature.
The message received from Blessed Mary today :
We invite you to join in either here or at Mary's blog atDuring this time I wish to teach you what will help you. Each day I will heal more deeply your eyes, ears, and hearts to see that all healing is found within you. I want you to have full access to the healing and wisdom that is inside yourselves. Please remain near me for these days of grace. At the end I will reveal what I have come to ask of you now.
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Hettienne and Mary