St Bernadette a true Role Model
In her complete and unquestioning acceptance of God’s will Saint Bernadette Soubirous can be a guiding example to us all.
Born in 1844 to a miller and his wife, François and Louise Soubirous, who were already on a downward path caused by their own fecklessness. At nine months she was sent to a wet-nurse at Bartrès, a few miles from Lourdes. She was nineteen months old when she returned home.
When she was ten her parents were evicted from their mill because of failure to pay the rent. At eleven Bernadette was sent to live with her godmother, her Aunt Bernarde, to help with the housework. When she returned home two years later her parents and brothers and sisters were living in the damp, disused town jail. Soon she was sent away again – back to Bartrès – to help her foster mother Marie Langrès with her children. In return she was to be taught her Catechism. As it turned out, she was not taught her Catechism but was sent to work minding sheep. In all this Bernadette never complained. It was God’s Will. It must be right. However, she deeply missed the family she loved so much. She was almost fourteen when she was allowed to return home.
Soon after her return she saw, several times, a joy-bringing Apparition of a young and pure Heavenly Girl. She was forbidden to return to the cave behind the rubbish-tip at Massabielle. She wept, but did not complain. She managed to wring the longed-for permission from her father in the end. She was invited to stay in the comfortable home of a pious lady, but soon chose to return home, to be with her family. Eventually, at fifteen, she was sent regularly to school, and afterwards lived with the Sisters who ran it, the lowest of the low among them. Yet there was never a complaint from her lips. All around her the Lourdes we know today was germinating, despite bitter opposition from the authorities. They even threatened Bernadette with prison if she did not admit she was mistaken about the apparitions.
In 1864, at the age of 22, Bernadette entered the Noviciate of the Sisters, miles away in Nevers. We are told she was always afraid of being sent away. Finally the day of her Profession made this impossible. She who had so often been “sent away” was now safe. Bernadette was happy in the convent in spite of constant ill health through her asthma, and persecution by the Novice Mistress, who of course was out of her depth before such simplicity and unquestioning acceptance. Bernadette said she liked to make a little chapel by drawing her veil close around her face. Inside that private space she could be alone with her beloved Lord.Her health deteriorated. To her asthma were added tubercular abscesses. Yet she was always cheerful. She was obedient and respectful, but sometimes ready with a shrewd or pithy comment too. She said the work God had given her was to be ill and that the healing power of Lourdes was for others, not for her. She died in 1880, aged 36. Her final agony lasted four months. She never complained. It was God’s will. Bernadette’s life was given, from beginning to end. Given – for us. What a role model!
By Prayer Crusader St Bernadette
Madonna a false role model
|Madonna and the fires of hell on stage.|
To close for comfort, or am I being judgemental?
Many celebrities seem to live their lives in a way that are the diametrically opposite to those of the saints. This cult of celebrity has great influence because their lives are communicated by the mass media to the rest of the world. This can be very corrosive particularly as role models for vulnerable and young. Below we discuss the influence and career of the pop singer Madonna, who has had enormous influence on young girls and women.
Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritche was born is Bay City, Michigan, United States in 1958. In the late 1970s she moved to New York to work as a dancer. By the early 1980s after working with two pop groups she released her first solo album Madonna. It was her second album Like a Virgin that propelled to international success and notoriety. By the time this album was released she had honed her own very stylised and subversive blend of Catholic imagery with sexual themes. These themes and images became ever more outrageous as the decade wore on, with subsequent albums called True Blue and Like a Prayer. Her styles of dress became very popular with young girls and women.
By the time she embarked on the Who's That Girl Tour in 1988 the Vatican became so concerned by her antics, that Pope John Paul II urged Italian fans not to attend her concerts. It is sad fact regarding the media and celebrity culture that they thrive on controversy gleefully amplifying any scandal which make protecting the young and innocent extremely difficult. However, the intervention of the Pope was very timely for in early 1989, Pepsi, the soft drink manufacturer withdrew from endorsement deal with Madonna. She had produced a commercial for Pepsi in which she debuted her new song Like a Prayer. The commercial and subsequent music video exploited many Catholic images such as the stigmata, and also showed burning crosses. Pepsi tried to convince the public that the commercial was not inappropriate but failed.
In 1990 Madonna drew even more criticism with her Blond Ambition World Tour. Especially her very controversial performance of "Like a Virgin" during which two male dancers caressed her body before she simulated masturbation. When the tour reached Italy a lay association of Catholics, called Famiglia Domani, campaigned for a boycotted. Also in 1990 Madonna released her first greatest hits compilation album, The Immaculate Collection, which included two new songs: One was released as a single and like most of her songs reached number one. Its music video featured scenes of sadomasochism, bondage, same-sex kissing and brief nudity.In October 1992 she produced a glossy coffee table book called Sex the content of which is so pornographic and spiritually deadening that I have decided not to list the perversions depicted in it. Sufficed to say that it featured many other celebrities who entered into the books spirit of depravity, one of which was Naomi Campbell Madonna’s record company Warner brothers who were to release the book through their Warner Books brand made her sign a contract that it would not include any photographs depicting religious imagery or bestiality etc. Madonna of course ignored the contract for she then formed her own multi-media company Maverick, over which she negotiated a contract with Warner Books that gave her full artistic control. She then ignored the earlier contract and demonstrated her nefarious power by including two photos that the first contract would have excluded and Warner executives could do nothing. Warner restricted books release to the English, French, Italian and Japanese languages. While the Japanese authorities quickly moved to ban the book, in the West the book sold out without even lifting an establishment eyebrow. Here we see Christendom gagged and bound by the Media. Even if any Western country had banned this book the dictatorial liberal exponents in media conglomerates like the BBC would have led the howls for free speech etc.
Madonna’s personal life is just as dissolute (and public) as her show business one. After divorcing her husband actor Sean Penn in 1989 she had a string of affairs and also speculation about Naomi Campbell and Sandra Bernhard. Madonna met fitness trainer Carlos Leon, in Central Park in September 1994. In 1996, she gave birth to their daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. Madonna met director Guy Ritchie, in 1999 through mutual friend, Sting. In August 2000 she gave birth to their son Rocco who was baptized by Church of Scotland Minister Susan Brown, who also presided over the marriage ceremony of Madonna and Richie at Skibo Castle the next day. Madonna is a divorced Catholic and Ritchie is a Protestant, Ms Brown is well known for her ‘progressive’ views. In October 2008 a spokeswoman announced the Madonna and Richie are to divorce.
Madonna has been a devotee of the Kabbalah Centre in London since the late 1990s. The Kabbalah is a form of Jewish mysticism with overtones of the Occult. Madonna has donated $21 million towards a Kabbalah school for children.Madonna has had enormous influence over many impressionable young women, she is very rich and powerful. Together with many other celebrities they continue to lead society away from Jesus. We must pray for Madonna and the poor souls she may have influenced that they may repent and return to Jesus.
By Prayer Crusader St Philomena