Friday, August 12, 2011

Lourdes: The gift of a "disarming" Mother


I went to the baths at Lourdes this afternoon and washed in the waters of Bernadette's spring. It was the third time I have done so in four visits to Lourdes. And each time it is powerfully emotional for me. Hundreds of human beings from all over the world standing in line to enter the baths, praying and singing in different languages, asking for graces and healing for themselves and for others.

What is so powerful? It is the raw vulnerability that is rendered present as one approaches a tender Mother clothed in God's mercy. A smiling Mother who says, "Come as you are and receive the mercy of my Son." She exhorts and even goads us to trust in the One who first became all-vulnerable for us in her womb, taking our fragile humanity to Himself. ...As we made our way on the line to the baths here at Lourdes, it is as though each inner doubt or fear was addressed and further elicited forth by an understanding Mother: "What are you thinking, dear child? What more? Fear nothing and hold nothing for yourself. My Son's crucified love will provide all you need."

In his Angelus address at Lourdes on September 14, 2008, Pope Benedict said: "Before Mary, by virtue of her very purity, man does not hesitate to reveal his weakness, to express his questions and his doubts, to formulate his most secret hopes and desires. The Virgin Mary's maternal love disarms all pride; it renders man capable of seeing himself as he really is, and it inspires in him the desire to be converted so as to give glory to God."

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Monstra Te esse Matrem! (Show Yourself to be Our Mother!)


  1. Greetings, Fr Michael, from St Dominic's in Nairobi, Kenya. Your novitiate classmate, Fr Martin Martiny and I were talking about you today at lunch. Also, last week, I was with your Provincial at the CMSM Assembly in Orlando, and he extended your greetings to me!

    Glad to see that you are in Lourdes, and I am presuming, on your way to WYD Madrid. I hope we can touch base when we are both back in the States.

    Fr Brian Mulcahy, OP

  2. Hi Mike,

    We are following your journey! We hope your are enjoying. Keep hydrated.


    Mom and Dad