Today was a free day to explore Lourdes on our own. We started the day off at an international Mass for all the English speaking countries. There was a very large pilgrimage group from Ireland that was led by their Bishop, who was the celebrant of the Mass joined by about 20 other priests, including our own Father John Carney. The choir that led us in song was also from Ireland. The Bishop shared two very important quotes from the Bible. The first was Mary's instructions to the servers at the wedding in Cana, "Do whatever He tells you" and the second is during the Transfiguration when God the Father speaks to the Peter, John, and James and tells them, "This is my Son, my Beloved, listen to Him." These two are perhaps the two best pieces of advice in the Bible, from those who knew and loved Jesus the most. And if we follow those two pieces of advice, how can we go wrong?
After Mass, several of the group visited a small village where St. Bernadette spen some of her time growing up. It was high up on a mountain where Bernadette's aunt and uncle raised sheep. Many of our group also had the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconcilation, wash in the holy waters, and others watched Jean Delannoy's movie, Bernadette, at a vintage movie theater here Lourdes. Finally many of the group braved the rainy weather to attend the candlelight procession. Each of us, in our own way and in our hearts, took the time to reflect on the messages from the Bishop and to "listen to Him" and "do whatever He tells you." God Bless You!