Archive | 2012 Pilgrimage to Marian Shrines RSS feed for this section
Image

three times touched your prayer

26 Sep

While Father Jan was preaching, I sneakily snapped this photo. I think he will like having it.

I carried your prayers with me to the altar for Mass at the Basilica of the Rosary at Lourdes. Three times they touched me, as I touched them. (1) at the beginning of Mass, when Archbishop Schnurr prayed in silence for a while after inviting, “Let us pray,” and before he prayed the Collect, I instinctively reached into my pocket and touched mom’s bag that held all your prayers that I had “collected” before I set out on this pilgrimage. (2) during the prayer of the faithful, I faithfully reached again into my pocket to faithfully pray your prayers. (3) as we offered ourselves, together with Jesus as he offered himself to the Father in that great “Through him, with him …,” I felt for mom’s prayer purse and I offered you and your prayers to God again. Three times in one Mass at Lourdes.

20120926-155325.jpg

After a day in Lourdes, on the second day in Lourdes, I was beginning to feel more like a pilgrim. The first day I was a tourist in the midst of crowds, sightseeing. The second day I was a pilgrim, paying less attention to what was going around me and more attention to what was going on within me.

Image

before the tabernacle

22 Sep

20120922-172703.jpg

This morning before Mass three of us arrived a little early. I placed your intentions (and mine) before The Lord in the tabernacle. Priest sometimes go where angels fear to tread, and do what angels hesitate to do. But you do not mind that I placed you and petitions there, do you?

Image

at Lourdes

22 Sep

20120922-172022.jpg

This is the statue of Mary as it appears in the Basilica of the Rosary: Our Lady of Lourdes.

This morning I awoke feeling more like of pilgrim. Yesterday I felt like I was in Disneyland, in the midst of crowds, everyone wanting to see everything before their two day pass ran out. Yesterday it was like sight-seeing. Today it was seeing within and seeing beyond. Much better today. But I still prefer Fatima. Interestingly, it was to Lourdes that I wanted to come, with Fatima thought to be a stop along the way.

Image

kitsch and glitz

21 Sep

20120921-234622.jpg

Unlike Fatima the area around the shrine in Lourdes is dreadfully tacky and distasteful. The safe and soothing and reverent and respectful avenues of Fatima are replaced in Lourdes with what is a gagging combination of Gatlinburg and Las Vegas.

Image

standing before the crowd with the bishop

21 Sep

20120921-233413.jpg

As we entered the main plaza in front of the shrine, a man gestured and whispered, “Father.” I went toward him. He pointed. Another man gestured me on. Then another motioned to come with him. Up the side of the crowd, across the center at a break, and up the aisle between the rows of the sick in chairs and carts on both sides at the very front, he took me to the raised area in front and motioned for me to join the bishop and the other priests. Now I was looking out over the crowd, all with lighted candles. The bishop included the prayer, and invited all the priests to join him in offering a blessing over the sea of faces lighted by the glow of candle flames. But then the best part. The statue-bearers brought the statue up the steps and placed it on a table right next to us. We turned – and here it got as best as it could get – wall of us together chanted the “Salve Regina” in Latin.

Image

raised to the Virgin and the Trinity

21 Sep

20120921-233139.jpg

Whenever we prayed the “Glory be to the Father …” or sang, “Ave, ave, ave Maria,” all the candles were raised high.

Image

oops

21 Sep

20120921-232952.jpg

I wasn’t the only one with a paper candle shield that looked like mine.

Image

another Mary procession

21 Sep

20120921-232145.jpg

After arrival and dinner at our hotel in Lourdes, we went to the evening rosary procession at the shrine. I kept getting lost in the praying, with so many repetitions in different languages, at least that was my guess as to what was happening. Hoping that God heard at least my intention to pray, I held my rosary and my candle, and walked with the couple thousand people, including a couple hundred sick, most pushed in wheelchairs or pulled in carts by volunteers

Image

breath-taking and breathe-inspiring

18 Sep

20120918-072145.jpg

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima at night

innocent and calm

18 Sep

20120918-071802.jpg

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in the early morning.