Naturally on waking up that Monday morning, July 3rd, the thoughts of the four girls were drawn immediately to the Virgin, and so they returned in a hurry to the scene of their good fortune.
Monday, July 3rd, arrived, and we were very happy to have seen our Heavenly Mother.
In the morning, the first thing that we did on Monday, July 3rd, was to go and pray there at the cuadro, the four of us together.
Together and certainly alone. The villagers had a lot of things to do. They had to make journeys to the distant pastures. The girls themselves would have to do the same. However, since the happenings of the previous evening, they had to understand that prayer—conversation with heaven— should not be just one of the many things that take up the time of day. It should be the most important— that with which they should start the day— and it deserved their greatest attention.
Together and alone. Under the deep blue summer sky, surrounded by the silence and tranquility of a nature pure and renovated from the previous evening. What a beautiful morning prayer! God’s four little girls were there looking up to Him, with their sighs supplying words for many of God’s creatures like the sun and vegetation that cannot express themselves, as they prayed to the Spirit that
breathes where He wills; and you hear His voice, but you know not where He comes nor where He goes. (John 3:9)
Together and alone. Offering up the new day to God in thanksgiving and petition, unusually joyful and unusually ardent, sensing themselves both sheltered and at the same time obligated by an immense display of Divine Love. From where had
this mysterious whirlwind come to suddenly interrupt their way of life and draw them into something they could never have dreamed?
After praying there in the cuadro, we went back to our homes to do what our parents ordered.
And then we went to the school. At the class we met our schoolmistress
She began crying and kissed us saying, How lucky you are, etc . . .
The good schoolmistress’ feelings are readily explainable. How could she have even imagined that such things would happen to the children of her simple little school.
And the wave of excitement rippled through the village.
When we left the classroom everybody was talking about the same thing.
All were very impressed and happy.
And they believed very much.
And our family felt the same way.
As for Loli’s family, her father Ceferino said, There’s never been anything like this.
You are very right, my friend Ceferino. Things like these just starting to show themselves have been only rarely seen in the world, and perhaps it would be better to say that this type of thing has never been seen. Well could you praise God and
try to cooperate with Him.
It was the same also with her mother Julia.
And María the mother of Jacinta, believed very much too, and her father Simón even more.
If we performed some practical joke, Jacinta’s father would say that the apostles had done the same.
And he would begin to explain the things we did; to him it appeared that
everything we did was good.
The good will of Simón and his noble sentiments for the things of God, (qualities found in genuinely good souls even with a lack of education) caused him to protect and excuse the girls from the opinions and comments which were soon to burst forth from the skeptics who never understand the working of the Divine Hand in lowly human affairs. Simón would have preferred then and there to see the girls immediately in a state of absolutely faultless angelic perfection so as to prove the authenticity of their visions.(2)
2. There are apparitions and ecstasies which are a reward for virtue and at the same time a strong confirmation of it; and for this, they are only given to the highest realms of the spiritual life, to those we call saints.
But there are also apparitions and ecstasies that happen to those who, while receiving them, serve more as instruments than as recipients. God uses these persons to bring forth His extraordinary designs of mercy. And so He chooses not those who merit more, but those who are more useful for His plans. In such souls there can co-exist both the extraordinary favors of God and also many of their own imperfections. These imperfections will disappear if these souls try to correspond; not immediately and from the very first day, but as a fruit of perserving effort, since both in the natural life and in the spiritual life, progress is gradual. Without taking this into account, one will not be able to easily understand Garabandal.