Today is the feast day for Our Lady of Lourdes. Is it a coincidence that today is also the day I decided for sure that I am going to Europe this summer...to visit Lourdes? I don't think so. The movie "Lourdes" that just so happened to be on EWTN when I was looking at the guide. And even though it wasn't the most well-made flick ever and it was entirely subtitled, I cried and loved it. I also stumbled up the movie "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" complete on youtube. Also amazing. I cried, and I also found out it was nominated for an Oscar back in the day. Anyway.
As you know, today was one week on the diet and detoxing from caffeine and soda. I have only had water and milk in the past week. It took a while to get used to it, but then I began to crave the water. Well, today, as a reinforcer, I let myself eat chinese food for dinner with a regular coke. Bad idea. I knew I would feel sick, but I guess I just wanted to see if the food tasted as good when I wasn't craving it. Well, it didn't. In fact, I think I only ate about a quarter of my order before I was searching the house for a bottle of water. And now I feel sickly and can't sleep because of the caffeine. Wonderful. So, drinking the water is helping to heal my body and make me physically healthier.
If simply drinking normal water can do this for my physically, what can the water of Lourdes do for me spiritually and emotionally (or even physically as well)? I'm curious to know.
I'm still not sure why I feel like I should go on this pilgrimage. I didn't even really know much about Fatima or Lourdes before researching it in the past two weeks. But then again, that is how God works in me sometimes. He puts something amazing on my heart or kicks me in the head. But for some reason, I am feeling strongly called to go on this trip in June...and that is why I have decided to go. Now, if only I could locate my passport...it's around here somewhere!
Although, I don't know why this should surprise me. My devotion and relationship with Mary the Mother of God has deepened so much in the past year. She is my spiritual Mother, and I ask her to pray for me more than ever before. It really began with the women's retreat I went on last year at Our Sorrowful Mother's Ministry in Vandalia, Illinois, last year.
Something really special happened at that retreat. I feel that God spoke to me at that place and had two main messages. The first one was: fall before the Rosary. Well, I had never really been that person who prayed the rosary daily. I'd cycle through doing it for a week a couple times a year. But here I am, about 10 months later, trying to pray the rosary daily, closer to Mary, and I own a small business designing and creating handmade rosaries! I would have never guessed that in my wildest dreams! And now I'm going to visit two of the most important Marian sites in the world? What great plans does God have in store for me? Why me? Why such a little soul? Who am I to even speak of Holy? I'm just me.