Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes Day 1

Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the centre
of the processional area in front of the Rosary Basilica
at Lourdes, France.
Today I am starting my annual
Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes.
Nine days of Beauty, Inspiration and Art
dedicated to the manifestation of the Blessed Mary
Our Lady of Lourdes at the Grotto of Massabielle.

If you are so called, I invite you to join in with me
in your own ritual, art making, meditation, prayer
or celebration for these nine days culminating
on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes.

A novena is an old tradition of nine sacred days

and nine intentions, carried by one's chosen action
out into the vibration of manifestation.

My first dedicated intention is that of the Observant.,
and by inclusion the Servant. 
I would like to revisualize and re-interpret for myself the word servant and especially
the holy servant and its images of reluctant and painful sacrifice.

St Bernadette from the Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

I start off with the story of Our Lady of Lourdes
and her holy servant, Bernadette.
We are told that Bernadette grew up poor
and almost destitute.  Along with her family
she lived in squalor and in the extreme weather
conditions of Lourdes which is on the slopes of the Alps.
She had to scavenge for
fire wood and food on the rubbish heap
of the village.  She also took care of the few
sheep that the family owned.

To mind comes the image of the serving girl
in fairy tales.  One thinks of Cinderella who had
to clean and keep house for her step mother and
step sisters.  Until her life is transformed
by the visitation of the fairy godmother
and she eventually is recognized for who she is.

Soulcollage card :  The Miracle

After the Lady in shimmering white had appeared
to the young Bernadette, her life had changed forever.
But she was persecuted and ridiculed for her visions
and messages.  She was put into jail and put through rigorous
interrogation.  Despite all of these hardships she continued
to turn up for her meetings with the Lady,
and she continued to deliver her messages.
She followed her instructions and dug a hole
where water had never sprung before.

Bernadette surrendered her fear and became
a servant of her divine purpose and calling.
She could not have known then what an impact
she and the messages that she delivered, would have on the world.

The appearance of the Lady in White at Lourdes
and the miracles that she brought to those whom
were touched by her appearance, has the power to
transform our world.  Belief systems and science
are refuted.  The impossible now becomes possible.
The world changes from a dark place abandoned
by the Divine, to a living spring with healing waters
available for all the partake from.

In the same way we see Mary herself take up the role
as holy servant.

I am Thy Handmaiden
Two of Vessels
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck

I am Thy Handmaiden

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; 
be it unto me according to thy word.

The fiat of Mary is Mary's consent to the divine plan.
Her acceptance and consent
has created a new world of grace.

My first novena to Our Lady of Lourdes :

I observe the challenge to recognize the call to serve the Divine within my own heart and
to dig the dry soil,

releasing the Spring of Love and Grace.


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