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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bernadette of Lourdes

I haven't watched this video yet so am not sure how it will turn out but, from personal experience and having been 7 or 8 times to Lourdes, working there for several months each summer when I was younger, I know that there is something truly remarkable, mystical and beautiful about that place and, whatever one's beliefs, there is a simplicity and ineffable beauty about this story.

It saddens me that Bernadette felt such a need to suffer and I think it was part of something that was deeply misguided in many saints (though it sounds arrogant to say that): a belief that somehow a loving God requires suffering and that pain and struggle is somehow holy. If that were the case, Jesus would have blessed the lepers and cripples and left them at the roadside to be 'holy'. He didn't. On the contrary, he told them to get up, to see, to be cleansed, to live life to the full. There is nothing holy about suffering. To many people Lourdes is equated with sick people being cured but that is not what it is about.....there is a far more beautiful sense of people of all nations, with their many and varied characteristics, coming together in peace., and being aware that there is always, at any moment, the possibility of it being 'on earth as it is in heaven..'

So! Here's the film...and, as I said, I'm not sure how good this is as I haven't yet seen it...but it is 154 years ago today that this story began...