Marie de la Ferre

Friday of the first week of the Advent
December 4, 2016 – La Flèche, France

Healing: Once again this morning the Gospel asks us to contemplate Christ, the physician. He is the one who goes out to meet with the sick and the sinner to heal them, to save them. God joins us in our weaknesses to transform them in his presence. Let us not be afraid of entrusting our sick and ourselves, poor sinners, as in the Hail Mary; to entrust our sick and ourselves to the Lord Jesus in humble prayer.

Faith: Jesus shows us that He should not be identified with a magician or even a human doctor. Jesus leaves no doubt on the cause of the healings. It is not a formula nor a gesture, or a power or a potion; what saves is faith.

So, let us remember that if the work of the Venerable Marie de la Ferre is so praiseworthy through so much good brought to the sick for centuries, the heart of her commitment was her faith and not a simple philanthropy. When still young, she would say firmly: «I want to see and know the God of the Christians». Her mother educated her in the faith and they would often go together to pray to the Virgin Mary at the church of Roiffé. Later, when she stayed with her aunt for 16 years, it is said that she withdrew every day to pray and that through her great devotion for the Blessed Sacrament she obtained from her confessor the possibility of going to communion almost every day.

Here is an example that is dear to us, and which is in the lives of so many saints. The service of Jesus Christ in the person of the sick and poor is prepared, nourished and fortified, not in medical exploits or magic, but in a humble and true faith, heart- to- heart with God.

Silence: Here is why the Lord Jesus invites us to silence. He does not want to be identified with a magician. It is in the rereading of those miracles, in the silence of our heart, that he wants our faith to be re-awakened and filled with wonder at the greatness and the kindness of God. Yes, the Lord sends us to preach to the ends of the earth. But such an apostolate is possible only if it is deeply anchored in a spirit of contemplation.

Healing, faith, silence: May all the sick we meet help us to get closer to the Lord, to love Him and serve Him better. May we know how to be silent to know how to listen for the steps of the real doctor. Amen.

Marc Génard
Assistant Pastor of Saint Thomas