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Silent & Prayerful, A Message for All | KFP Articles
Silent & Prayerful, A Message for All PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 August 2013 19:48

The apparition of Our Lady of Knock is an apparition that speaks to the heart of Christian life.  There are many among the folks we run accross every day that suffer quietly and there are those in the latter years of their life when this quiet suffering exists side by side with the pressing reality that the end time is drawing near.  For these folks suffering has become their life vocation , hopefully the blossoming of their work on earth for flowers in heaven.  For all those suffering Knock is special because it brings out the welcoming of the faithful as adopted sons, centers on the Eucharist and draws us to silent prayer.  Here is what Margaret Byrne said of the apparition, from Clerical Whispers:

Margaret Byrne, 21, described the sight in a statement: "The Virgin appeared with hands uplifted as if in prayer, with eyes turned towards heaven, wearing a lustrous crown. I saw an altar surrounded with a bright light, nay, with a light at times sparkling." Dominick Byrne, 36, testified: "We saw the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, having her hands uplifted, and her eyes turned up towards heaven, as if in prayer. To her right I saw St Joseph, and on her left St John."

We are not drawn to Knock by the words of the Blessed mOther, there were none, or by all the attention given to the meaning surrounding those words but by the silent inner pilgrimage of faith.  Bishop Michael Smith spoke of this at the Knock shrine during his homily on August 18th:

A variety of reasons inspires people to come on pilgrimage.  It is a public affirmation of faith.  Many bring their own pains and sorrows seeking comfort and support, responding to the words of Jesus ‘come to me all you who labour and are overburdened’.  Those burdens take many forms, some touching life at the deepest level of darkness and pain, often a pain and sorrow that is too deep for words.

It is natural in human terms to seek the alleviation of pain and sorrow.  We do well however to remember those words spoken by Blessed John Paul II on his final pilgrimage, which was to Lourdes.  To the sick he said ‘with you I share a time of life marked by physical suffering, yet not for that reason any less fruitful in God’s wondrous plan’. He echoed those words of the psalm that no matter how burdened with years or broken in life we might be, in the sight of God we are ‘still bearing fruit, still full of sap, still green’.

The "growing pains" of suffering through trial and sickness are really the blossoming of our life in Christ.  That's a beautiful message, one that brings hope.

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