Why does the LORD choose the weak of the world to overcome the strong? I love to teach and learn but not everyone has the opportunity to learn in an academic setting. Many like Bernadette are poor, marginalized, illiterate. Yet they thrive and become saints! What makes for the greatest Faith? Strong catechesis from brilliant teachers? That certainly can help but in my experience it is the home church which provides the deepest and most lasting catechesis. Parents: develop your love and Faith so that your children will "see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." (Matthew 5:16b)
Mary's job is to always point us to Jesus, as it is ours. We thank and honor her for the Herculean effort she puts forth to do so. Let us emulate her as well and then our children will understand such things as redemptive suffering and help to heal the world, physically and spiritually.
O Jesus, you who were forsaken have become the refuge of forsaken souls. Your love teaches me that I must gain the strength I need to endure being abandoned by seeing how you were abandoned. I am persuaded that the most terrible abandonment I could experience would be to have no part in yours. By your death, you gave me life; you delivered me from the suffering I deserved by suffering in my place. Because of what you endured on the cross, our Heavenly Father will not desert me. He is never closer to me through his mercy than when I am most united with you in your abandonment.
O Jesus, light of my soul, enlighten me during times of tribulation; and since these trials are useful to me, pay no heed to my fears or my weakness.
O my God, I do not ask you to keep me from suffering, but to be with me in affliction. Teach me to seek you as my only comforter; sustain my faith; strengthen my hope; purify my love. Grant me the grace to recognize your hand in the midst of suffering and to want no other comforter than you.
-- From the private notes of Saint Bernadette