I arrived back from Lourdes last night at about 1am (almost 2 hours late) and stayed with some kind friends near Dublin airport. Took the bus back today and was at home for 2.45pm. Had a great time overall with a real blast of summer heat at the beginning of the pilgrimage – Mon and Tue were up at 26C.
Lots of things to remark on. One was the number of handicapped and sick people that one sees all around you. At one Mass I saw a man in a wheel chair with both legs missing. In our pilgrimage group there was a little 16 month old boy Luke with his parents and grandparents. He was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour and after futile surgery and chemotherapy the family have decided to stop all treatment.
In a homily one day I spoke about this part of St Bernadette’s testimony: “She was the Mother of God, and she had been stepping out of Heaven to share her soul with me. She had taught me prayers no soul on earth had prayed. She had promised me happiness, not in this world, but in the next.” This all comes back to striving to live honours course Christianity. Furthermore I encouraged Luke’s parents to get him confirmed as soon as possible as this completes Christian initiation.
A very good documentary on the Lourdes apparition is available at http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/bernlife.htm