I started telling this story last year already. I shared with you my wish to attend the annual Gypsy (Rom) festival in Saintes Maries de la Mer and to do the pilgrimage to Sara la Kali and how this came true a few months ago - the story is here : http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.com/2011/08/sara-la-kali-part-three-in-lourdes.html
And then I was so fortunate to combine this trip with the Mary Magdalene pilgrimage - http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.com/2011/07/sacred-heart-shrine-part-two-in-lourdes.html
I also wrote during the Twelve Days of Mary meme, how the visit to Lourdes had changed my life in physical ways, here http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.com/2011/12/twelve-days-of-mary.html.
To me, the Blessed Mother is not limited to any religion, any dogma or any culture.
The Soul has its own religion and that is where you will find Her and Her many faces.
She is present for all
Her Grace enfolds everyone
You only have to become aware of Her.
Wherever I travel in the world, I visit Her sacred shrines. I have visited Kwan Yin in Ayutthaya in Thailand;
Kali Ma in Her many temples in India;
I have attended the Navaratri and Durga Puja, the nine nights of the Goddess in Varanasi;
the holy well and holy fire of Brigit in Kildare;
the Goddess Temple in Glastonbury
and I have participated in many Goddess Conferences in Glastonbury
hosted by the Temple of Avalon and Her priestesses
and I have facilitated the first International Goddess Conference in South Africa in 2008
to name some of my pilgrimages to the Holy Mother
all of these have been numinous experiences
that touched me deeply
and brought great insight and healing to my mind
for our conflicted nature as human beings
me so profoundly
Our Lady of Lourdes.
I did not have high expectations of my visit to the Grotto and the City of Lourdes.
I had seen many pictures and thought I knew what to expect.
At the grotto I fell in line with the other pilgrims, waiting my turn to touch the walls of the cave and its dripping water. The atmosphere was light and joyful, although many stood and kneeled deep in prayer. As I approached the statue of Our Lady where She appeared to St Bernadette, I could feel an
intensification of the energy, a slight vibration and a humming sound. The closer I came, the louder the sound became. The sound was over and above the sound of the rushing waters.
As I put my hand out to touch the dripping water and I raised my eyes,
a column of light was visible to me,
shimmering and dancing.
My first impression was that it is a giant candle, but then my logical mind
realised that this is not possible.
The only way I can describe it is 'a flame of living organic light' :
Her Divine Presence made manifest in this world,
visible to my eyes.
And overwhelming and immense feelings which I am at a loss to name.
A feeling of such incredible fullness and completeness which has stayed with me ever since.
A hundred thousand harps take you
like wings and sweep you up out of silence.
And your primitive wind is blowing
the fragrance of your marvelous power
to every being and to every creature in need.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
I invite you to join in with this Art Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes. If you have any art, pictures, stories or prayer that you want to share and offer in celebration of Her infinite Love for this world.