The air was sticky and dense. Escaping the heat, I walked into an intimate museum that was once home to Saint Bernadette Soubirous. This one-room dungeon, formerly a jail, holds few treasures, just the necessities to house a family of eleven: a fireplace, a few wooden stools, a crucifix, and a rosary.
As I stood in this simple, dark room, I thought how full it must’ve been when Bernadette’s family prayed and ate meager meals together. My kitchen is full of gadgets to make cooking simpler and Home Good purchases to decorate seasonally.
“I’m happier with my crucifix on my bed of pain than a queen on her throne,” Saint Bernadette said (source).
Comforts such as a bed ceased to exist for her family, and minimal space afforded no excess. Instead, they slept on the hard floor using one another as blankets of warmth. I have a queen bed and central air and heat to keep my room the perfect temperature no matter the season.
Our Lady of Lourdes revealed to Saint Bernadette, “I do not promise to make you happy in this life, but in the next” (source).
Bernadette greeted Mother Mary in the grotto in the same meager dress and babushka. Conceivably she possessed not much more than the clothes on her back. My closet is full of clothes I rarely wear, and I concern myself more with external appearance over my interior life with God.
“From this moment on, anything concerning me is no longer of any interest to me. I must belong entirely to God and God alone. Never to myself," Saint Bernadette reminds us (source).
It’s no wonder Mother Mary chose this meek, holy child to appear to and reveal who she is, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Nothing distracted Bernadette from her destination, saying, “I shall do everything for heaven, my true home.” She knew her treasure was in Heaven and thirsted solely for eternity.
Lord, make me more like Saint Bernadette and rid me of needless comforts. Provide what I need to obtain Heaven and nothing more. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a poor sinner” in her final words.