Bonjour from Lourdes
From Group 6 (John Paul, Toby, Belinda, Aiden, Natalie),
Catholic Education, Parramatta Diocese
Today, we did a tour around Lourdes.
For our Eucharistic celebration, we celebrated it in the chapel of St Anne.
After a wander and a bite to eat in the town centre, we made our way back down towards the famous spring called the "grotto". While some of us lined up to experience the holy baths, exploring the basilica, attending confession or enjoying the scenic attractions of Lourdes, others chose to pray in front of the grotto amongst fellow pilgrims and hopeful Catholics.
In the evening before we had our dinner, we listened to the testimony of Julianna, an Australian who was healed from the miraculous water of the Grotto.
'I am the immaculate conception.'
These were the words that Our Lady used to reveal herself to Saint Bernadette.
At the time she had no idea what these words meant. She was a young girl from a small town and a middle class family. Her father owned his own mill and made a decent living to support his family.
Our Lady appeared to her a total of 18 times. Each one of us is yet to understand the true nature of these words and when we truly understand, like Mary, we will come closest to Jesus and God.
'It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God'.
It was only at the lowest point in this family's time that God began to reveal His awesome power to them. He allowed St Bernadette to see Our Lady in a place that no one would even think about going to. Her family was so poor that they had to collect firewood to sell to survive. We must remember that our earthly goods can only get us so far and only mean so much to Our Lord. It is our faith in Him that truly matters.
Stations of the Cross
As we ascend the hill to part take in the Stations of the Cross, the sun begins to set over Lourdes. Our physical struggles to climb to the top does not even reflect a portion of what physical torture Jesus was subjected to in his final hours.
As a group we reflected on the Passion in the high hills above Lourdes. The stations were commemorated in life size gold statues on the hillside.
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