Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Masses and Prayer

Just an update regarding the Christmas Masses at the Shrine:

Christmas Eve: December 24th - 10:00pm
Christmas morning:  December 25th - 8:00am

Christmas Prayer

Hail and Blessed be the hour and the moment in which Jesus Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.  In that hour, vouchsafe Oh my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of his Blessed Mother Mary. Amen.

December 2015 - Our Lady of Lourdes story - 5

Happy Thanksgiving!  Happy Advent!  Merry Christmas!

Continuing the story ...

Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times. 
On the 3rd apparition, Bernadette was accompanied by two women of the village.  When Bernadette saw the "beautiful lady", she began to say the Rosary as did the two women.  it was at this apparition that Mary asked Bernadette to come to the Grotto for 15 days.  Mary told Bernadette at this time she should come and not expect any favor of this world.  Mary said, "I did not come to make you happy here on earth, but in Heaven."

While they were praying, one of the women who was with her withdrew a bit.  She carried an internal weight and felt unworthy to be there.  When she asked if she should remain, Bernadette told her that the "beautiful lady" smiled at her and that there was no reason why she should not come.

The ladies wanted to know who this apparition was so they brought with them an inkwell and pen.  When Bernadette presented this to the Lady, she simply said, "It is not necessary." 

This beautiful story continues, but isn't it a bit like ours?  How many times do we approach Jesus and his Mother and think we are not worthy?  Just imagine in your heart, Mary smiling at you and saying there is no reason why you should not come.

As we approach Jesus' birth at Christmas, we should be there with him and the other adorers in the manger.

November 2015 - Our Lady of Lourdes story - 4

We pick up our Lourdes story with the beginning of apparitions. 

News spread like wildfire ... the entire town heard that Bernadette had seen a "beautiful lady" at the garbage dump called Massabielle.  Some people thought Bernadette was making it all up for attention.  Why would a "beautiful lady" appear to an uneducated peasant girl with a questionable family reputation in a garbage dump?

Stop for a moment.  Identify that moment in your life when what seemed signed, sealed, and delivered was turned totally upside down.  Did any good come of that experience?  In hindsight, was the change in the situation even better than what you were expecting?  If we cooperate with God, he will always send us what is better for us even if at first it seems to be the worst thing possible. 
That is what the apparitions were for Bernadette and her family.  It turned everything upside down.  Bernadette's experience was not that much different than ours is today.  We might not have an apparition, but we face the same problems.  
Her aunts convinced Mrs. Soubirous to allow Bernadette to go to the next apparitions.  They accompanied Bernadette to the Grotto, protecting her from the crowd hemming her in.  All of a sudden, everyone wanted to touch Bernadette, a little poor girl, and to give her items to give the "beautiful lady".
We invite you to come into the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and visit the "beautiful lady." 

October 2015 - Our Lady of Lourdes story - 3

We left our story with Bernadette promising to visit the "beautiful lady" again.  In her mind, Bernadette was just going to visit the Lady without telling anyone.  But her sister, Toinette, noticed that Bernadette was different.  She said that Bernadette had a glow about her.

Bernadette did tell her story to Toinette and her friend that was with them, but they had to promise not to tell anyone, especially her mother, Louise.  This was to be kept a secret.  Well, anytime you tell someone a secret, it is no longer a secret, and the first thing that Toinette did was to tell their mother.  No only that, but their friend told her mother as well.  Before you knew it, the whole town heard about the "beautiful lady" in the Grotto. 

Mrs. Soubirous (Louise) did not know that the whole town already knew so she had Bernadette promise that she would not go into the Grotto.  They would just keep it to their family.  Her reason for this was that her husband had just been let out of jail for stealing a sack of flour, well, that was the accusation.  No one would hire Mr. Soubirous so they lost their reputation and their house.  They ended up living in a jail cell that was too bad for prisoners.  The family of six ended up paying rent for a one room abandoned jail.  They became "that kind of family." 

Do you know people that are "that kind" of people, so we stay away from them?  Mrs. Soubirous wanted to stay "under the radar" so that the family could get on with their lives.  Did you ever want to do that too ... just get on with life? 

If it got out that Bernadette said that she saw this lady, there was no way the family could stay anonymous. 

St. Michael the Archangel prayer

When you need some protection, say the St. Michael the Archangel prayer:

"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou o prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen"

Remember to keep the holy souls in your prayers, especially at Mass.

September 2015 - Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine story - 2

We pick up our story when Bernadette, her sister, and a friend were looking for firewood.  Bernadette waded across the river and was astounded to see a "beautiful lady" in the Grotto. 

Her first reaction was fear, so she reached into her pocket to find her rosary. 
What is our first reaction to a fearful situation? 

Bernadette said she could not move.  That it wasn't until the beautiful lady began praying on her rosary that she, Bernadette, could take out her rosary and say it with her.

So the First Encounter with the beautiful lady was in prayer.
What is our first encounter with the Lord and his Mother?  Isn't the definition of prayer 'conversation' with God? 

After they finished, the Lady asked Bernadette if she would be so kind and come back to the Grotto again.  Bernadette tells us that the Lady was kind and that she wanted to come back so as not to hurt the Lady's feelings. 

Imagine that!  Bernadette's intention was to come back and not to tell anyone.  How can we learn from Bernadette's behavior and attitude?

Assumption - August 2015

We were very active during the week of the Assumption with many groups. It is so satisfying to share the story of Our Lady of Lourdes with all those who visit the Shrine.  The one that that is a bit disturbing is that some of these visitors are not familiar with the story of Our Lady and Bernadette.  with that in mind, we would like to share this story with monthly posts.  Now that it is December, we have some catching up to do.

We begin the story with Mary appearing to Bernadette in Lourdes, France on 1858 on February 11th. 
Bernadette was looking for firewood in a garbage dump.  Imagine that, the place was not beautiful at all. 
Today we make sure that it is beautiful because of the special person who appeared to Bernadette. 
Did you also know that before Bernadette saw the "beautiful lady" she felt a strong wind?  Do you think that the wind was actually nature or do you think that maybe it was the Holy Spirit or an angel heralding Mary's apparition?  Just bring this much of the story to prayer and see what the Lord tells you. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hi, everyone!  I'm starting this new adventure called "Blogging".

I am very excited about it because I will get to share what is most important to me, and that is my life as a Trinitarian Religious.  Not only that, but I get to share life living at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine.

I hope that we can travel on a journey together to a deeper relationship with Mary and through her, her Son, Jesus.  Stay tuned for more updates ... and bear with us, please.