By: Sister Mary Scholastica, O.C.D.

The Mass at the grotto this morning was deeply touching. Because the malade I was assigned to today did not have a companion, I had the blessing of being with her, closer up front in the grotto. I can’t quite express what was so beautiful about this morning’s Mass. It might have been the young girl (a malade) who so beautifully played the Ave Maria on her violin as a prelude to the beginning of Mass, it could have been the young girl (another malade) who received her first Holy Communion, it could have been all the sick gathered before us who were praying their hearts out to Our Lady. It also could have been all the Knights and Dames surrounding them and their beautiful service to the sick. It could have been where I am in my own place on the spiritual journey. It’s one of those things that you hope never leaves you. It filled my soul with gratitude and a heartfelt petition to be like our Lady, forgetful of self, poured out.

The weather in Lourdes is a bit finicky. In the afternoon, as the good Lord would have it, the weather seemed to complement our time of adoration together, all 7,000+ who were there. When Father took our Lord and walked amongst the sick and blessed them, the skies cleared and the sun peeked through. Our Lord walking amongst His people. Immediately afterwards, pouring rain. He has good timing, that’s for sure.

In Lourdes, it’s not just our Lady’s presence. It’s the everyday miracles that take place from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. The Lourdes experience is simply God reminding you that He walks with you every day and Mary holds your hand.

Tonight those who were “first-timers” to Lourdes gathered to receive their Malta medal. To have 1,000+ people from 45 different countries singing the Ave Maria together is a heart-touching experience. At the end, they called out the names of the different countries and the members from that country cheered as loudly as possible. The moving thing about this was when Iraq was called out, all the members unanimously stood and gave the Iraqi members a standing ovation that lasted a good while. It expressed the beauty of the hearts of these people standing in solidarity with the suffering Christian brothers and sisters, the unity of our Church. Needless to say, the United States cheered the loudest. 🙂 God bless you and know of our prayers!