I had heard of this place a long time ago, and as far back as twenty years ago, I had dreamt about going there. A couple I know had lost their son who was then in the seminary, and one day, he was taken home to the Lord in a tragic road accident. It was naturally a shock to the family and the parents could not stop grieving. Then came the pilgrimage that they undertook. They came to Lourdes.
The mother of the late seminarian shared with me that they had sought consolation from our Blessed Mother. Late one night, they were sitting just before the Grotto, hearts still heavy with the sudden death of their son. Had they not prayed that he would serve the Lord as a Jesuit? Had their son not been faithful to his vocation? Why then did it have to happen this way?
Our Lady responded. She had only one answer. She pointed them to her own Son, our Lord Jesus. At that moment, the couple understood and they were able to accept their son’s death. What else did they need to comfort them? It was enough. Our Blessed Mother is the Mother of Sorrows. Which Mother has undergone her sorrows? Which Mother has borne sorrow as she has done, and now continues to do for us all, sinners?
What a special place Lourdes is!
It would have been so meaningful for me to sit in silence to meditate and to reflect. But the place is packed and where there are people, there is movement. Volunteers stand along with signboards to remind pilgrims to keep the silence.
My first experience, upon arrival, had been to kneel down and to acknowledge that our Lady had appeared there. So many people have come and so many have departed with the peace a sanctuary like Lourdes can give. As soon as I knelt down, tears flowed down my cheeks. It was as if our Blessed Mother had given me an embrace, welcoming me to the place noted for healing of every kind.
I had come with lots of petitions and I was going to lift them all up to our Blessed Mother. I told her that she would have to take care of all and to see to the needs of all. I could not do it. I have not the ability. I have no power to do so. I am simply a servant, and a willing intercessor. I would also be the post woman, carrying all the messages to our Lady so that she in turn, through her powerful intercession, could give them to Jesus.
Yes, Mother, we have no wine. We need your help!
With such a plea, I placed my petitions with our Blessed Mother. Upon my return, I learnt that she had indeed answered many prayers. I am confident that I will learn more from others whom I have yet to meet. Praise God! Thank you, dearest Mother!