April 7, 2010 by Nicole
First, I must say that I am honored and encouraged as I watch the numbers of visitors slowly climb! Thank you to those of you reading my thoughts.
I have spent the last two days reading Lourdes Today: A Pilgrimage to Mary’s Grotto by Kerry Crawford. The reading has been very interesting, and it offers a lot to think about. I find that it has really gotten me excited and hopeful about this venture, and I only worry whether I will be able to find the funds to do this. But, I must be mindful of trusting that I will be provided for.
I have discovered that I have a lot in common with others who have undertaken this pilgrimage. As I read, I kept noting how time and time again, people feel like they have been called; the book refers to those who who go to Lourdes to attend to and serve the sick and suffering as feeling a personal, mysterious invitation to go. And the people who do go go in search of healing. I think that is what I hope to gain from all of this. I can go with the hope of having my depression healed (or, maybe not having to wear glasses anymore!). However, the thing that I found the most comfort in was reading how people are profoundly and spiritually converted by their experience.
My concern right now is whether I can seriously (and not half-heartedly) commit myself to the spiritual rigors of the next several months. I tend to let things fall away from me as I get wrapped up/distracted in day to day life, stress, worry, etc. The message of Lourdes calls us to penance and to pray for sinners. How exactly do you do that? Is there something that you’re supposed to do differently? Do you continue to fast and practice self-denial as intensely as you do during Lent? That’s a good question that will be interesting to find out.