I arrived in Lourdes two nights ago. I was incredibly excited to arrive. I have come here with a friend from Milan as well as her brother Maurlo and his friend Paulo.
We arrived at 10pm and I was amazed to see the town buzzing on a Sunday evening. We grabbed dinner on the Boulevard. It left us wanting…but we are on pilgrimage after all! 🙂
Afterwards my friends went back to their hotel. I, however, decided to go around the grounds a bit. It was beautiful. I had already prayed my rosary that day, but very much experienced an inclination to pray another rosary! So I walked the grounds praying my rosary.
I went back to my hotel. It is a two star hotel, thus, again, leaving something to be desires. But, again, we are on pilgrimage, and so it is actually quite appropriate I think!
I woke up early the next morning and walked around a bit, meeting my friends at 8:30am for Mass. We went to Mass in Italian and then went to see a priest we know through the Comminion and Liberation movement. He arranged a bunch of stuff for us, some good, some things not so good.
I think the next time I come to Lourdes I am coming alone and coming for a week. Two full days and two very short days are not enough time to do everything. On top of that, things you want to do the others may not want to do.
After meeting up with the priest, my friends went to confession, so I went to a church supply store here that sells non-cheaply made things and got something there for the Mass with the Pope when I am in Madrid.
I met up with my friends and we went for lunch. After lunch we went for a coffee at a cafe that has wifi so we could do some emailing an so forth.
After coffee we went to see a movie in English on Lourdes. One thing really hit me in that video: Our Lady said to Bernadette: “I can’t promise to make you happy in this life, but you will be in the next”. That hit me because we are a world concerned with happiness in this life: if there is never lasting happiness now then something is worthless. But our happiness in this life comes only when we look with eager anticipation towards life with God. I don’t think we think of eternity enough. Lourdes has helped me see that we need to meditate on our – hopeful a eternal union with God.
The other thing that struck me in the video is the apparition in which Mary asks Bernadette to do penance for sinners. This is something we also forget! We need to do penance for our sins and the sins of others! We need to remember the pain that sin causes us, others, and, most importantly, man’s relationship with God. Imagine if we realized the weight of those words! I think the world would be a much better place if we only realized the influence, ugliness, and horridness of sin! I hope to grow in that as well.
After the video we had a tour: in the footsteps of Bernadette. It was good, but it was Italian and my friend forgot to translate sometimes.
But the very good thing I got from it was the letters of Bernadette in the hospital. They translates some of the snippets and I was really struck by something: Bernadettte struggled or at very least took time to see if she was called to religious life!
After the tour my friends wanted to rest, so I went back to the grounds. The Eucharistic Procession began, but I stopped halfway through: people were talking too much, it was difficult for me to enter into the prayer.
So I went to hunt the adoration chapel and eventually found it and spent just under an hour there. Afterwards we went for dinner an then there was something special going on for world youth day pilgrims. We made our way over: it was praise and worship. Me and my friends didn’t like it at all. Then they had some old priest trying to act like he was young. That, too, was just too much.
We left and I went to walk around for a while again.
I have much more to say but am running out of time, will update more later.