Our Lady of Lourdes 11th February
Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. Lourdes has been a great place of pilgrimage and healing for over 150 years. So many people have been healed physically and spiritually and even more have been given the strength to continue their lives despite great hardships. I have been to Lourdes many times at this stage too many to count and I like so many others have got strength from the healing waters of the spring and the way that life is lived there. At Lourdes we see the brotherhood of man working together in service of the sick and those in need. Lourdes is one of the most important “places of grace” where countless people have put on the snow white garments of spiritual rebirth and renewal ! One of the reasons why I go on pilgrimage to Lourdes is to see things more clearly, to get the bigger picture of what is going on in my life. All of us come, with our own worries and intentions for our pilgrimage. We come to pray with and for the invalids who are with us, we come to pray for our families and friends, for our parishes dioceses and our countries.
But we find ourselves here with other people on our own pilgrimage and with people on other pilgrimages and there are countless nationalities who are praying for their own intentions and worries, their invalids, their families, their countries. All of us are on a journey to a house, the house of God that has many rooms. There is room in it for every person of every place and time to be fully at home, fully transformed, fully healed. The wonder of God is not just that he can and will care for each one of us with a love so powerful that it will fully answer all our deepest hopes and longings – the wonder is that God’s love offers complete fulfillment to every human being who ever lived or whoever will live – to the peoples from every nation and from every period of history from the past to the present and way on into the future. This is really what Lourdes is about the Love of God in action. Bernadette saw the Lady dressed in white, whereas we don’t see her with our eyes but with our heart, which is aware in faith of her presence on our journey through life.
The apparitions have sustained countless souls, encouraging them on the path of conversion and personal sanctification. And their change of heart has helped improve the world because the whole world benefits from the conversion of even one heart.There are so many stories that I could tell about Lourdes and what it means to me stories both funny and sad but the one factor in my life that I am so grateful for is that all my friends and I have one thing in common that is all of us have been to Lourdes at least once or more!! So today as we celebrate and thank God for the gift that St. Bernadette and Lourdes are to the Church and the people of God my prayer is that many graces will come to all who visit this place of healing during 2015.