April 25 - Lourdes

Day 7 - Lourdes

O my God, what was that? 

We arrived in Lourdes late yesterday afternoon.  We checked into the hotel and then progressed to a chapel off the upper church at Lourdes.  It was my rotation for assisting Father and everything went as usual.  We came back for dinner and afterwards I went upstairs to blog while others went out to participate or watch the candlelight procession. 

This morning was Mass in the Grotto.  We had bumped into Fr Thumbi from Blaine and knew he and his group would be there.  It was to be a concelebrated Mass.  Deacon Dale and I agreed to both assist as neither of us could pass up the opportunity to worship in the Grotto.

As the four priests and two deacons prepared for Mass there were snippets of conversation; Mass of the Day or the Feast of St Mark, who would preside, who would preach, would Dale proclaim the Gospel or I?  Nothing seemed all that firm.  I went off to locate a lector (thanks John) and hurried back so Mass would start on time.  A fifth priest showed up with rumors of a sixth on his way.  Dale’s throat was still sore (we all have been fighting something) so he asked me to proclaim the word.  Fine.  A priest acting as MC got us out and Mass started. 

I was daring enough when it was time to proclaim the gospel to get us singing the Alleluia.  You should have seen Joan’s face when I started singing!  Slow and steady proclamations work well.  Done.  I turned around to see who was to preach and everyone else was sitting down.  Oh well. 

I have preached without much prep before but never without any.  Never in one of the great places of faith in the world.  Even thinking about it hours later makes me tear up.  I hope it always does.

Thank you, Holy Spirit. 

After I finished and had sat down for the preparation of the table, I noticed the sound of water tumbling.  I glanced behind me and there was the spring of Lourdes. I am in the Grotto.  Oh my. 

The sound of the water is still echoing in my soul. 

Thank you God for bringing me here. 

 

Pilgrimage to France and Spain

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