Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lourdes Procession

The most distinctive part of the experience of Lourdes is the nightly torchlight procession. This always begins at 9 pm. At this hour it is still light. During the hour or so of the procession, the sun sets and night falls.

During the Procession, the Rosary is said. The Our Father is sung in Latin at the beginning of each decade, then the Hail Marys are said in different languages, usually five Hail Marys per language. Then the Gloria is sung in Latin. In between each decade, there is a hymn or chant. The first is always the traditional Lourdes Hymn. At the Ave, everyone holds their candle up.

At the square in front of the Basilica, the procession is directed by the brancardiers to zig-zag while wheelchairs and flags are directed to the front. By this time, it is dark and the raising of the torches becomes more dramatic. When the Rosary finishes, one of the Bishops present gives a pontifical blessing. The evening finishes with a multi-lingual invitation to exchange a sign of peace.

Then off to the grotto for a night visit or back to the hotel for a nightcap and to exchange experiences of the day.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Humility


"The question whether I feel worthy to be called is beside the point; that God has called me is the one thing that matters."

Image result for HumilityWe know that the Christian life consists in a transformation in Christ. Only to the extent that we are united to him do we enter into communion with the living God, the source of all charity, and become able to love others with the same love. To become humble as Christ was, means serving everyone, dying to the old man within us, overcoming tendencies in our nature that original sin has unleashed.

Thus a Christian understands that "humiliations, borne with love, become sweet and savory; they are a blessing from God."

When we accept humiliations in this way, we open ourselves up to all the riches of the supernatural life and can exclaim with St. Paul: For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel


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Near the Fountain of Elijah in northern Israel lived some hermits on Carmel in the 12th century. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726, it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.

Saint Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” Saint John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel, and helping him escape from prison. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion day, Thérèse dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.

There is a tradition that Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a special way. The scapular reminds us of the Gospel call to prayer and penance—a call that Mary models in a splendid way.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Bastille Day

Our Lourdes Mission trip celebrated Bastille Day last evening participating in the evening's Candlelight Procession. Thousands gathered to pray the Rosary followed by the town's annual fireworks display from the fort.

On this clear and cool night, our group followed Our Lady's statue.






Sunday, July 14, 2019

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Our Mission Trip has arrived at Lourdes after a bus ride from Bordeaux.

After lunch we all moved out to say a pray of thanksgiving at the Grotto where St. Bernadette saw the apparitions of our Blessed Mother. While our pilgrims stood in awe at the crowds they were equally surprised at the size of Lourdes. The Basilica's spires gave a majesty about that had happened in this humble little village.

And so we begin our Mission of Mercy in Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!




Saturday, July 13, 2019

Lourdes Mission Trip


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Yearly one of our Marianist high schools take students on a Mission Trip to assist the maladies at Lourdes, France. We arrived at the beginning of our Mission trip to tour the city of Bordeaux and to visit the home and Chapel of our Founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.
We have been blessed with two wonderful days in Bordeaux. Our students have enjoyed the hospitality of this great city. We were blessed to visit the Chapel of the Madelaine, the birthplace of the Society of Mary.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Kindness


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Steven Petrow is a writer who lives in North Carolina. He was recently waiting in a long line at his favorite bakery, a shop which makes amazing scones. Watching the people ahead of him pluck the delicious scones out of the glass case, he worried that the bakery would run out. But when he got to the counter, he saw that there was one left, so he pointed and said, “I’ll take that.”

No sooner had he spoken than the guy behind him shouted, “Hey, that’s my scone! I’ve been waiting in line for 20 minutes!” Petrow knew that the man had been waiting, but a line is a line.

What do you think Petrow said to the man? He could have declared, “Sorry, it’s mine!” He had every right to do so. Instead, he asked him, “Would you like half?” The man was shocked into silence, but after a moment he accepted the offer and made a suggestion of his own: “Why don’t I buy another pastry and we can share both?”

Then they sat down on a nearby bench to share their pastries.

The two men had almost nothing in common in terms of jobs, age, political views or marital status. They were strangers. But they shared a moment of connection and simple kindness. “I felt happy,” says Petrow, “and, frankly, wanted more of that feeling.”